NEWS: Mystery of Florida Keys Shipwreck Solved
The tests indicated the wood could have originated anywhere from 1670 to 1950, opening many possibilities. Analysis of ring patterns also proved incomplete, as only 29 out of the 50 rings necessary for the dating were visible in the scans.
"I'm looking at the evidence, and the evidence is pointing to a net stake," Dean Anderson, Michigan's state archaeologist, told the Associated Press.
"I'm not seeing any evidence of a vessel element here," he added.
Libert hotly disagrees and claims the timber, which features four treenails, is a bowsprit - a spur or pole that extends from a vessel's stem.
"It cannot be a pound net stake," he told Discovery News. "Who would have put it there?"
"We know from the French archeologists that the bowsprit is at least 200 years old due to the erosion marks on this piece. It wasn't until the 1880s that the fishing method was used by white settlers in Lake Michigan," he said.
PHOTOS: Recovering a Silver Treasure
According to the shipwreck hunter, there is no way this piece was dead headed 9 feet into the bottom.