Lost Ships, Lost Sailors: Mystery Wrecks of the Pacific Northwest

Scott Williams, Washington State Department of Transportation

Part of the 2022 Archaeology Roadshow




For over two centuries, Pacific Northwest Tribes have told the histories of at least five shipwrecks or visits by European ships decades before Europeans were supposed to have visited the region. What were these ships, and where did they come from? Why were they in the Pacific Northwest at a time when no Europeans should have been here? Scott Williams will present the results of more than 15 years of research into these “mystery” wrecks of European ships in the Northwest prior to the recorded voyages of English and Spanish explorers and fur traders.

Biographical Information

Scott Williams is the Manager of the Cultural Resources Program of the Washington State Department of Transportation in Olympia, Washington, serves as the President of the Maritime Archaeological Society (www.maritimearchaeological.org) and is on the Board of the Pacific Northwest Archaeological Society (www.pnwas.org). In these roles, he does extensive public outreach, including presentations to professional and public audiences. He has over 35 years of experience as an archaeologist working in the Pacific Northwest, the Pacific, and Australia. He has been researching Oregon’s early shipwrecks since 2006.