The mystery surrounding a jet skier’s discovery of a sunken wooden boat in Texas’ Neches River earlier this month has been solved.

Shortly after stumbling across the remnants barely visible below the water near Evadale, Bill Milner took some photos and enlisted the help of local historians.

“I wanted to document to make sure I could share it with someone who may have more expertise than me to make sure what I found was maybe old. I could tell it was a really large vessel,” he told ABC 12 News.

Susan Kilcrease, curator of the Ice House Museum in Silsbee, agreed.

“It blew my mind, because I felt like this was very old. We could tell almost immediately that it was constructed of wood, which put it at a certain time period, at the 20th century at a minimum,” Kilcrease told ABC 12.

Images of the intriguing relic were passed from Kilcrease to the Texas Historical Commission in Austin, the team of which yielded an answer.

The underwater ruins are believed to have been from a government-commissioned fleet of ships built during World War I in shipyards in nearby Beaumont.

“Once we were provided the locational data for where it is, we were able to confirm it’s one of more than a dozen what are called World War I Emergency Fleet Corp vessels that were abandoned in the Neches River in the vicinity of Beaumont,” explained Amy Borgens, a maritime archeologist with the Texas Historical Commission, in an interview with the Texas Standard.

“During wartime, often there were metal shortages, metal scarcity, and so they would rely on other construction materials,” Borgens added. “And so during World War I, you will see ships being made out of wood. And also we have some that were made out of concrete as well.”

As for why dozens of these ships were abandoned, Borgens explained that when the war ended, there were no buyers for these unique 282-feet-long vessels. While initially built for $250,000 each, those that could be sold were going for prices as low as $1,000.

According to Borgens, it is difficult to preserve waterlogged wooden remnants such as Milner’s find, but the Texas Historical Commission might endeavor to help ensure the site isn’t disturbed. She estimated that there have been about 20 similar wreckages found in the Neches River and roughly 15 in the Sabine.

During the 1800s, the waters of the Neches and Sabine Rivers were popular routes for barges and ferry boats moving people and things to and from the Gulf.

Nowadays, the waters are nearing their historical lows due to ongoing drought conditions. As the drought persists and the waters continue to recede, it is possible that more shipwrecks will be uncovered.

In Ukraine, a number of archeological discoveries were also made under similar circumstances.

As previously reported in The Dallas Express, a treasure trove of artifacts dating as far back as the Bronze Age was uncovered in a reservoir drained by the explosion of the Kakhovka dam in June.

The receding waters also uncovered the remnants of a wooden boat, a 20-foot-long vessel made of oak etched with strange markings. It is believed to be at least 500 years old.