11 Archaeological Discoveries In 2022 That Left Even The Experts In Awe

Published December 23, 2022
Updated March 12, 2024

Timber From The Shipwreck That May Have Inspired The Goonies Unearthed In Oregon

There was some thrilling archaeology news in 2022 for fans of Steven Spielberg’s 1985 film The Goonies. His treasure-hunting movie was possibly inspired by tales of a mysterious shipwreck off the Oregon coast, and archaeologists announced this year that they found timber from the wreck.

The shipwreck, which dates to the 17th century, has also been dubbed the “Beeswax Wreck”. For years, beachgoers near Manzanita, Oregon have found chunks of beeswax along the coast — and many locals believe the beeswax came from the wreck. Some have also found pieces of porcelain.

But in 2020, a beachcomber named Craig Andes alerted the Maritime Archaeological Society (MAS) about timber he found in a nearby cave.

Beeswax Wreck

Salem Public LibraryOregonians have found beeswax on this beach for years, leading many to believe that a ship carrying beeswax had wrecked near the coast. Here, a man holds beeswax found on the beach during the 1950s.

The MAS had long suspected that the Spanish galleon Santo Cristo de Burgos had wrecked off the Oregon coast in 1693 while sailing between the Philippines and Mexico. And sure enough, an examination of the timber revealed that it came from Asian wood that was cut down around 1650.

But even though the researchers are thrilled with this discovery, they’re eager to find the rest of the vessel that likely inspired The Goonies.

“We haven’t found what we would call ‘The Wreck,'” MAS president Scott Williams explained. “We don’t know if something like ‘The Wreck’ exists.”

Kaleena Fraga
A staff writer for All That's Interesting, Kaleena Fraga has also had her work featured in The Washington Post and Gastro Obscura, and she published a book on the Seattle food scene for the Eat Like A Local series. She graduated from Oberlin College, where she earned a dual degree in American History and French.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.