Welcome to the companion Web site to the NOVA program "Voyage of Doom,"
originally broadcast on November 23, 1999. The program chronicles the discovery
and excavation of the French explorer Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle's ship,
La Belle, which sank off the coast of Texas in 1686. Here's what you'll find online:
Stories in the Timber
Underwater archeologist Toni Carrell reveals just how many clues to the ship's construction specialists have been able to tease from the hull of La Belle—everything from what kind of tools the builders used to why they numbered each of the timbers.
Explore the Shipwreck
Delve into an inventory of the ship's well-preserved artifacts with this clickable
drawing, which contains information on the position, description, and conservation of many
items recovered during the excavation.
Who Owns Lost Ships?
With everything from patriotic pride to fabulous riches at stake, salvage rights are a burning issue, and La Salle's La Belle is just one of hundreds of sunken ships whose ownership is more than a little controversial.
Buoyancy Brainteasers (Hot Science)
If you're in a small boat in a pool, and you throw a stone that was resting in the bottom of the boat into the water, will the water level rise, stay the same, or fall? Try this and other conundrums related to buoyancy. (Careful: This one stumped even the great physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer.)