Spanish Galleon Shipwreck Timber Recovery

Have you seen MAS in the news this week? We are so excited the word is finally out!

As part of a collaborative effort with Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, other local agencies, the Columbia River Maritime Museum, and SEARCH, Inc., timbers believed to be from Oregon’s Spanish Galleon Shipwreck, often referred to as the Beeswax Wreck project, have been recovered from a cave on the northern Oregon Coast near Manzanita. The timbers are likely from the Spanish galleon Santo Cristo de Burgos, last seen when it left the Philippines for Mexico in 1693. The timbers have been moved to the Columbia River Maritime Museum for preservation and further study.

MAS was founded as a non-profit in 2015, in part to provide the ability for project volunteers to seek grants to aid the search for the Beeswax Wreck Project.

Here is a roundup of some of some of the coverage:

More coverage:

Special Appeal – Thank you

Thanks you so much for your support! With your help we were able to raise the funds to purchase a magnetometer.

MARCH 2021

We received some great news recently, and we must act quickly in order to take full advantage of two generous donations. Two long-time MAS members have very graciously donated $30,000 toward the purchase of a much needed magnetometer used for remote sensing to locate shipwrecks. Marine Magnetics has offered us a new Explorer magnetometer for $39,000. So, we are almost there.

Another longtime MAS member has offered to match additional funds raised during this appeal. We only need $9000 more to purchase the equipment. Any additional funds would go towards expenses including boat reimbursements for our members assisting with remote sensing expeditions. Every dollar raised will be doubled by this generous match up to $14,000.

Please consider making a donation to help us acquire the new magnetometer in time for this summer’s survey season. Any amount of donation will help since our anonymous donor will match it.

The summer survey season on the Oregon Coast is very short, and we do not want to miss this year’s limited window. We need to purchase the equipment and receive it soon. We have to allow time for technical integration of the system with the towboats, team training, and the development of an analysis plan for the data we record. 

This new system is vital to our mission to seek out and explore shipwrecks on the Northwest Coast and beyond. MAS is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. Your contribution may be all or partially tax deductible. All donations are appreciated.

Click the link below to donate with PayPal now.

If you would like to mail your donation send your check or money order to:
The Maritime Archaeological Society
PO Box 332
Astoria, OR 97103

Shipwrecks of the Pacific Northwest – The Book (Preview Trailer)

Looking for a something new to read while you are trapped inside? Get the real story behind some of the most compelling historic wrecks in the PNW’s Graveyard of the Pacific. Combining archaeological analysis and new research, this unique collection takes a deep dive into the tales of peril and heroism, uncovers what remains of those ships today, and explores what may still be out there waiting to be discovered.

Check out this promo trailer for our new book and support Portland’s flagship local bookstore by ordering it here from

MAS Operations and Covid-19

Hello MAS Members,

I hope everyone is well. The medical community is indicating that nonessential meetings should be avoided. While many of us enjoy searching for shipwrecks, everyone’s health and safety should come first. Therefore, MAS will take the following precautions:

Effective Immediately:
1. MAS field operations will be suspended.
2. All MAS member training classes are cancelled.
3. Weekly shipwreck research at CRMM has been suspended.

What we will do:
1. Our training coordinator will work to reschedule the member training classes once the situation improves and the training facilities become available.
2. The Survey Supervisors assigned to the field work will plan and coordinate the field operations in order to carry them out when we can get back to work.
3. Individual researchers will work from home or their local area and coordinate with their Points of Contact for their ship/ship type category. If you are interested in doing some research while at home, please send us an email at
4. The MAS board will keep an eye on events and determine when we can bring the different programs back up.

We will keep you informed as we proceed. Thanks for your patience and support.

Chris Dewey
MAS President

A tribute to MAS board member Rick Rogers

We lost one of our founding MAS board members, Captain Rick Rogers, unexpectedly in a plane crash in late February. He was a true friend and will be greatly missed.

Rick was a retired Hawaiian Airlines pilot, shipwreck diver and explorer, an avocational Historian and the author of Shipwrecks of Hawaii. He researched shipwrecks, particularly galleon wrecks, all over the world including Mexico, Hawaii, and off our Oregon coast.

Here is a YouTube video one of his fellow pilots put together to honor his memory:


PSU Partnership


December 09, 2019

MAS is working with Portland State University Engineering Capstone Program to integrate a side-scan sonar on their Riptide Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. This is a short video showing the AUV systems check-out at Hagg Lake. This is a great group of students using the latest technology to locate shipwrecks.

Beeswax Wreck Project


There is a proto-historic wreck at Nehalem, which Indian oral history says was a large ship that wrecked many years before the white men came to the area; the ship was carrying many tons of beeswax, both as blocks and candles, and many of the blocks have Spanish shipping marks; she also carried a large and diverse cargo of Chinese porcelain in forms intended for the markets in the New World; she either had a Jesuit priest onboard or was carrying items associated with the Catholic Church, and she wrecked sometime between 1650 and 1725, with a range of 1680-1700 most likely given the porcelain styles and radiocarbon dates associated with wreck artifacts. These facts indicate the ship was a Manila galleon,

Read More about the Beeswax Wreck Project