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    Re: The lost expedition of La Perouse
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2005 Jun 11, 03:05 EDT

    George H, you wrote:
    "Indeed, the fate of La  Perouse's two ships had been a great mystery, for
    30-odd years, but was  resolved, with considerable certainty, around 1827."
    Good point. The  short articles on cnn.com and timesonline.co.uk seemed a
    little fishy --as if  something might have gotten lost in the translation. I had
    some time to go  hunting for the original French press release and background
    on this. What the  expedition leader is claiming is that the specific identity
    of the vessels has  been determined by disovering this sextant. The
    implication is that the vessel  of de la Perouse was lost on the outer reef and
    probably sank with all hands  while the other vessel grounded and broke up in much
    safer waters. The  survivors, therefore, probably came from that vessel and
    Monsieur de la Perouse  would not have been among them.
    Two web sites (in French) with lots of  background on the expedition and its
    Scroll about  halfway down to see the sextant. Click to  enlarge.
    There's a photo here of the  sextant just as found underwater. Again, click
    to enlarge.
    While trying  to find these web sites, I discovered that the whole tale of
    Vanikoro and the  wrecks is also told in Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the
    Sea" (I've never  read it).
    42.0N 87.7W, or 41.4N  72.1W.

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