The "Mardi Gras Shipwreck" sank some 200 years ago about 35 miles off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico in 4,000 feet (1220 meters) of water. The shipwreck, whose real identity remains a mystery, lay forgotten at the bottom of the sea until it was discovered in 2002 by an oilfield inspection crew working for the Okeanos Gas Gathering Company (OGGC). The crew was surveying with video cameras mounted on a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) the proposed route of the Mardi Gras Gas Transmission System, the highest capacity deepwater pipeline system ever built. Until further research and study hopefully can identify the name and history of the vessel, it remains known simply as "the Mardi Gras Wreck" after the pipeline where it was found.
In May 2007, an expedition, led by Texas A&M University and funded by OGGC under an agreement with the Minerals Management Service, was launched to undertake the deepest scientific archaeological excavation at that time ever attempted in order to study the site on the seafloor and to recover artifacts for eventual display in the Louisiana State Museum for the benefit of all. You are invited to follow the archaeologists, oceanographers, engineers, students, ROV pilots, and ship's crew as they explore this 200-year-old time capsule 4,000 feet beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.
Nautilus Productions is proud to announce that the Mystery Mardi Gras Shipwreck won a 2009 Bronze Telly award in the documentary category. The one-hour HD documentary, produced for Texas A&M University, the Minerals Management Service, and the Louisiana State Museum, chronicles the year and a half long effort to recover and conserve artifacts from an early-19th-century shipwreck lying in 4000 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. Information indicates the Mardi Gras shipwreck may date between 1810 and 1820 and could possibly be a War of 1812 gun runner or British trader. The Telly Awards honor the very best local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions and work created for the Web. The 29th Annual Telly Awards received over 14,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents.
The Mystery Mardi Gras Shipwreck DVD can be purchased online and is also part of the Sant Ocean Hall exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.