The Mysterious Ship Found Under the Twin Towers After 9/11

A ship was discovered buried beneath the rubble of the Twin Towers after the 9/11 terrorist attack. The large vessel — buried under 22 feet of soil and wreckage — was built around the same time the Declaration of Independence was signed. By comparing the wood’s ring patterns with the historical record, researchers at Columbia’s Tree Ring Lab found that the ship was built in a Philadelphia shipyard around 1773. More importantly, the rings matched samples from Independence Hall, the building where the founding fathers signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Analysis of the wood also found burrowing holes produced by a worm plague, which researchers believe the ship got on a trip to the Caribbean. One mystery remains, however: How did the ship end up in New York? Historians still aren’t certain whether the ship sank accidentally, or if it was purposely submerged to become part of a landfill used to bulk up Lower Manhattan’s coastline. Oysters found stuck to the ship’s hull suggest that it at least languished in the water for some time before being buried by layers of trash and dirt.