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  1. #1
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    da book worm--researcher

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    beeswax wreck (near the columbia river) 1707 manila galleon Francisco Xavier?

    is the vessel lost just south of the columbia river known as the " beeswax wreck" --the missing 1707 spanish manila to mexico galleon named -- Francisco Xavier? ummm could be.

  2. #2
    jog
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    Re: beeswax wreck (near the columbia river) 1707 manila galleon Francisco Xavier?

    Just south of the Columbia river there is a shipwreck sticking out of the sand,but that would be the Peter Iredale.Been there many times,grew up there.
    Those Who Say It Can't Be Done Shouldn't Interupt Those That Are Doing It.

  3. #3
    us
    da book worm--researcher

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    Re: beeswax wreck (near the columbia river) 1707 manila galleon Francisco Xavier?

    the one I speaking of has bees wax carried from manilla for making candles aka as "tapers" for the spanish catholic church -- its often refered to as the "bees wax" wreck

  4. #4
    us
    Dec 2005
    Eugene, Oregon
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    Re: beeswax wreck (near the columbia river) 1707 manila galleon Francisco Xavier?

    Not the first time I've heard the theory and it could very well be so- There are over 500 wrecks near the mouth of the Columbia as of 1964, I have a book that lists the recorded ones. Particularly nasty stretch of water there, the coast guard uses it as training grounds for a reason.

  5. #5
    Charter Member
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    Scotland, Aye !!

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    Re: beeswax wreck (near the columbia river) 1707 manila galleon Francisco Xavier?

    "One of the most popular mysteries of the Oregon Coast has been the identification of the "Beeswax Wreck" at Nehalem Beach, in Tillamook County. Identified over time by various researchers as either a Chinese or Japanese junk, a Spanish galleon, a Portuguese trader, or a lost English or Dutch pirate vessel, we have been able to determine that the ship was in fact a Spanish Galleon of the Manila Trade. Nehalem Indian oral histories and the journals of the earliest traders in the area indicate that the galleon wrecked prior to European settlement and indeed most European exploration of the Pacific Northwest." (Source referenced below.)


    BTW, while in partnership with Marx many years ago, he determined the wreck may currently lie under a parking lot.

    Ivan: You may find this site interesting. http://www.nagagroup.org/BeesWax/about/about.htm

  6. #6
    us
    da book worm--researcher

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    Re: beeswax wreck (near the columbia river) 1707 manila galleon Francisco Xavier?

    hummm chinese trade china pieces from about 1700 --- the manila galleon ---francisco xavier--- lost in 1707 "fits" very nicely into that time frame

  7. #7
    jog
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    Re: beeswax wreck (near the columbia river) 1707 manila galleon Francisco Xavier?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mackaydon
    "One of the most popular mysteries of the Oregon Coast has been the identification of the "Beeswax Wreck" at Nehalem Beach, in Tillamook County. Identified over time by various researchers as either a Chinese or Japanese junk, a Spanish galleon, a Portuguese trader, or a lost English or Dutch pirate vessel, we have been able to determine that the ship was in fact a Spanish Galleon of the Manila Trade. Nehalem Indian oral histories and the journals of the earliest traders in the area indicate that the galleon wrecked prior to European settlement and indeed most European exploration of the Pacific Northwest." (Source referenced below.)


    BTW, while in partnership with Marx many years ago, he determined the wreck may currently lie under a parking lot.

    Ivan: You may find this site interesting. http://www.nagagroup.org/BeesWax/about/about.htm
    I have heard that they are doing some testing,trying to locate this shipwreck.There are a couple of local men who have claimed that when they were boys they played on that wreck,and they know pretty close to where it was.There is a group of people from what i have herd that are trying to get the OK to excavate this ship.I believe it's in the state park in Nehalem Oregon.
    Those Who Say It Can't Be Done Shouldn't Interupt Those That Are Doing It.

  8. #8
    us
    Feb 2008
    canby,oregon
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    Re: beeswax wreck (near the columbia river) 1707 manila galleon Francisco Xavier?

    they probably wont get permission because that is alo the place where the indians camped. when i was growing up there and in boy scouts the scoutmaster mr Whitehead told us that there was a two masted ship sunk in the bay about a hundred yards out from the parkinglot and dock. at the time you could still see the masts sticking up put of the water. Pieces wash up along the spit there every once-in-a-while.Ive seen a few pieces of china there myself.
    ksmith

  9. #9

    Aug 2003
    104
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    Re: beeswax wreck (near the columbia river) 1707 manila galleon Francisco Xavier?

    Some of the wax is a the museum in Tillamook. Going to be a story on it on the History Detectives this month as per OPB.

  10. #10
    jog
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    jog

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    Re: beeswax wreck (near the columbia river) 1707 manila galleon Francisco Xavier?

    In last weeks local paper.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Those Who Say It Can't Be Done Shouldn't Interupt Those That Are Doing It.

  11. #11
    us
    Aug 2008
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    Re: beeswax wreck (near the columbia river) 1707 manila galleon Francisco Xavier?

    I've heard a lot of stories about this wreck, including one that said early pioneers had found it on the beach and cleaned it out.

    When the San Felipe grounded off Ensenada, it was eventually brought into a surf zone where it broke up. Here is a good site to get some idea of what they are looking at. They have even determined that the San Felipe had lead sheeting.

    http://www.captainrick.com/SanFelipe.htm

    With the San Augustin, it directly struck a shoal at the mouth of Drake's estero and broke up. It scattered artifacts for about 3 miles down the beach, as boards washed up from it, as well as bales of silk, blocks of wax, pieza shipping boxes, and the sailors' chests. There appears to have been an effort by Carmeno to retrieve and concentrate these items in one area on the beach, probably on the high dunes near the south west tip of the beach. They were never salvaged, but the Miwok indians probably had a ball.

    There are reports from early Spanish explorers that they found the remains of the San Augustin's masts in San Francisco Bay in the 1770's, and I remember reading a historical article in the 1970's about 2 men who had found several old style silver cob reals on one of the beaches below the Marin headlands, perhaps from the remains of a sailor's chest.

    I think that that the San Feliepe wreck would be a closer in comparison to the Beeswax wreck. The physical circumstances of the San Augustin's wreck are unique to the area it wrecked in.


    There are reports that Cape Medicino was the first point seen by most early Manila galleons; and in 1604, two galleons were almost lost near it. The Faralones were well known, and some ships immediately turned south east when they encountered seaweed, sealions, and the strong southren winds off the coast. They would eventually come to the Faralones, and travel southward within sight of the coastline to Acapulco.

    It seems that the San Filepe deposited the wax that was found in a certain area of the beach or dunes, while the china was scattered with wave energy down the coast line. The San Augustin seems to have dropped most of its cargo in what was Drake's Estero, with the porcelin and most items coming to shore in a relatively small area. Some items are also found along the beach, as in the case of the wax I found.

    The "Beeswax Wreck" at Nehalem Beach would have had to have been off target for some reason, possibly from a storm, wrecked masts, or because the crew became incapacitaited by sickness. If the wax is concentrated in one area of the beach, that would be a good indication of the wreck area, even if it was stacked by someone after the wreck. It seems that these ships may have been armed with cannon after 1610, as a order was put into place forbidding the removal of artillery from the ships to be used in forts.

    Looking at that stuff in the case, it kind of looks like things I have seen. My wax block was irregular. I have concluded that the teak wood used to build the San Augustin was a dark brownish purple in color with a white frosted surface where it was exposed on the outside of the ship. It has a very deep banded striation when looked at across the grain. A dark brown, fine grained mahogany was also used, and a yellow brown pine like wood called Lanang for planking. That cut of wood in the beeswax case looks more like a section of sandalwood, which many of these ships carried as a trade good.

    I think it could be concluded that it is close to land because of the artifact deposit, and probably broke up near shore, which is what these other two vessels eventually did.

    Small fragments of pottery washing to shore may mean a couple hundred feet away. Big pieces like plates would mean it was right there on the beach. From what I also understand, there has been a rise in sea level of four feet in the last 200 years. After looking at their beach area, their wave energy is working a little different than what I was thinking before. I saw that big fragment of plate, and it kind of makes me wonder. Not inconcievable that it was brought in also.

    Last summer, right after an old mast began rolling over parts of the Drake's Estero's mouth, I found part of a tea cup that looked like it had just been broken. That is what these pieces in the picture remind me of- stuff sticking up that got nailed by debris. The bright blue coloring seems to indicate that there is little sand wear from this pottery rolling around in waves, which kind of fits in well with either dune erosion, or a muddier, less violent surf action.

    The San Francisco Xavier seemed to have been in service since 1699, and was lost in 1705. S. A. Clark's Pioneer History of Oregon has a lot to say in it about wrecks on that beach. One is kind of familiar to me: it says that a ship grounded off the beach and gradually went to pieces, releasing the wax. This is similar to what happed to the San Felipe. Wood from it must have come ashore also. The San Francisco Xavier was designed to carry 60 cannons, including 2 salvaged from the Concepcion's wreck at Saipan.

    In my own tracking of the wax block I found, it had been deposited about 2 miles from the wreck area of the San Augustin at the high-high tide line against the base of a sand dune. It had evidently been released out of the sand in the bay, perhaps, in 2008. I have often considered walking around the base of the estero cliffs closest to the sea to see if there might be additional pieces there, but have so far not done so.

    That newspaper article is full of inaccuracies and tries to tie the loss of the ship to the Chinese uprising of 1610.

  12. #12
    us
    Jun 2009
    Winchester Bay Oregon
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    Re: beeswax wreck (near the columbia river) 1707 manila galleon Francisco Xavier?

    There was a show on OPB last night where a lady from Nehalem has a 20# brick of bees wax from the beach found by her mother or grand mother I think. she asked for the show to research it. they did and did a story on it. the ship was one of two the san francisco one you mentioned was one and I cannot remember the other. I have looked on the internet on the wreck and they both are listed and sank near nehalem but have never been found. Indians traded bees wax to the hudson bay company for beads and such. the story is the crew came aground with a large trunk and buried it there were several maps drawn but never deciphered. I guess peices of bees wax can still be found when sand is washed away after storms. Good Luck

  13. #13
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
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    Re: beeswax wreck (near the columbia river) 1707 manila galleon Francisco Xavie

    This is also referenced as the Neakahnie Treasure, and was the basis of the Spielberg movie "Goonies," which was shot in part in Astoria.

    The good news: glass expert James Seeley White actually dived on the wreck, which was swept over the bar and into Nehalem Bay by a tidal wave about 1710-1720.

    The bad news: I have heard stories (unconfirmed) that a salvage vessel working with a magnetometer found the remains of another ship just off the coast near Nehalem. Diving on a shallow reef, they recovered items which confirm the Manila galleon story: pieces of fine Chinese porcelain, as well as carved jade belt buckles about 3x4 inches. Story also relates that the secret deal with State of Oregon was that if any cannon were found, the state would receive the first one. Apparently 2 cannon have been salvaged, and the last I heard one was undergoing restoration in a salt-water tank in California. At least one cannon was found in deep water, and was eventually recovered using an ROV. Pretty exciting stuff, but I am not at liberty to tell who told me this story in confidence.

    Apparently the vessel had certain modification which allowed positive identification. The major modification that differed from a Spanish galleon (Manila galleon) was the addition of a single cannon near the aft pointing backwards. This allowed much greater area to be covered with deadly fire, and allowed the ship to thwart numerous attempts to board her in the Phillipines and near China.

    Finally, a reference I found to Chief Comconolly of the Chinook Tribe, whose major settlement was on the northern Columbia River near Scarborough Point. Comconolly is said to have told Hudson's Bay representative John McLoughlin, sometimes called the Father of Oregon, who was Comconolly's son-in-law, that he (Comconolly) was the son of a wrecked Spanish sailor near Nehalem.

    Yet another early reference was a Spanish document from Pacific Shore, an early predecessor of Sunset Magazine, that detailed the finding of said document in a hollow rock or cairn on Neakahnie Mountain: something most stories leave out.

  14. #14
    Charter Member
    us
    Scotland, Aye !!

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    Re: beeswax wreck (near the columbia river) 1707 manila galleon Francisco Xavier?

    Tuberale: How about a pic of the cannon sitting in the restoration tank??

  15. #15
    us
    Tuberale

    May 2010
    Portland, Oregon
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    Re: beeswax wreck (near the columbia river) 1707 manila galleon Francisco Xavie

    I was not the finder. I think it unlikely I would be given access.

 

 
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