By Matt Neal - The Standard
Two men have claimed to have found the fabled Mahogany Ship on the same day - in two different locations.
Ross Poulter, a Warrnambool chef, spoke to The Standard last week to detail his theory about the wreck's resting place. Less than an hour after that interview took place, Rob Simpson, of Boronia, contacted The Standard suggesting that he too had found the lost ship.
Both men have used Google Earth to help them find their locations for the legendary wreck, which has been suggested to have been everything from a Portuguese caravel to a Chinese junk to a colonial-era English vessel.
Mr Poulter's research began with the "Stewart position" - a longitude and latitude reputedly found in a religious book many years ago that is well-known to previous Mahogany Ship hunters.
But while many people have been looking for the wreck in the dunes, to account for the shifting sands of time, Mr Poulter believes the wreck lies "two to two and a half miles east of Gormans Road ... and roughly a cricket pitch length out to sea".
"It's about three feet under the sea but the hull outline is as plain as day," Mr Poulter said.
Some wooden beams he found in the nearby dunes, just metres away from where he said the submerged ship's hull lies, were tested and turned out to be messmate or eucalypt, but Mr Poulter is undeterred.