COUNTLESS stories have been written and images drawn of the legendary Mahogany Ship supposedly buried under sand between Warrnambool and Port Fairy — now it’s sailed on to film.
Avid amateur historian Rob Simpson has produced a high-definition documentary called Quest for the Mahogany Ship and posted it on YouTube.
His conclusion after years of tramping dunes, studying books and aerial archaeology is that remains of a ship, or ships, will eventually be found, but it won’t be mahogany timber.
He believes any relics are 80 metres inland from the surf, having used Google Earth imaging and reports of early sightings to make his calculations.
“This is too big to be a Portuguese caravel,” he said.
“I have friends and supporters who also believe it could be a Chinese ship from the Ming dynasty.
“There’s more than one ship in the hummocks, there’s possibly three — that’s why there seems to be conflicting records.
“It’s highly unlikely to be mahogany, reports said the wreck had the colour of mahogany. If remains of shipwrecks are still there it’s a job for archaelogists, not amateurs.”
Mr Simpson, of Melbourne, is a retired piano teacher and describes himself as a keen student of ancient archaeology.
“The movie is my statement on the shipwreck mystery,” he said.
“In the past we’ve done some augering in the dunes and struck something twice, but I can’t do any more because I’m not an archaeologist.
“It needs to be declared an archaeological site.
“My production has been assisted by a large number of people who provided information and advice.”
Mr Simpson denied he was merely revisiting conjecture.
“I just present what’s in the books — The Mahogany Ship Relic or Legend by the Mahogany Ship Committee and The Mahogany Ship, A Survey of the Evidence by J. W. Powling,” he said.
“The wreck has been lost for more than 130 years and remains one of Australia’s most baffling and tantalising mysteries.”