Tuesday, April 21, 2009


That's a fine haul there but only a fraction of what has been recovered from the wreck of the Whydah. It's the only authentic pirate treasure found in the only documented pirate ship ever found. Evidence being the recovery of the ship's bell with the inscription, The Whydah Galley 1716.
The Captain of the Whydah was the l8th Century pirate Black Sam Bellamy, who was returning to collect his bride or visit his mistress according to who's telling the tale, when the ship was caught in a storm off Cape Cod and went ashore at Wellfleet, Massachusetts.
Underwater explorer Barry Clifford, a marine salvager on Martha's Vineyard and honorary member of the Boston Marine Society (the oldest association of sea captains in the world), discovered the remains of the wreck off Marconi Beach in 1984. He has been on expeditions to Madagascar where he and his team excavated several sites. One shipwreck might be the Adventure Galley, flagship of Captain Kidd. Another is believed to be the Fiery Dragon, once commanded by the pirate, William Condon.
One of the original members of the Whydah search team was John F. Kennedy Jnr. Two years ago, divers discovered his compass, inscribed with his initials, hanging from some wrecked cannons. Kennedy was with Clifford the day they picked up a signal from the seabed where they suspected the Whydah would be.
The importance of the Whydah in marine archeaology is in the range of artifacts found from all over the world. The ship was carrying the cargo of all the ships Bellamy had captured. Rare coins going back to Ferdinand & Isabella, silver pieces of eight and a pewter plate which has a sign etched on the rim which is thought to be one of the oldest authentic Freemasons' symbols known. Along with cannons, plates, silk stockings, there was found a pistol with a dragon engraved on the golden handle. The excavation is still going with the team hoping to find more treasure at the bottom of the wreck where the cannons crashed through the decks when the ship capsized.
You can see a video of the treasure or visit the home page.


Brian Hughes said...

That's not 'archaeological excavation work'. That's 'treasure hunting'.

JahTeh said...

It's only treasure hunting if he sells it. There's a bun fight going on about where to put the musuem for all these artifacts. How would you classify a shipwreck like this, one with objects from all other the world and different eras? The ship isn't unknown so the interest is in the cargo and what ships the cargo came from.

Jayne said...

The nightmare of logistics to try to organise a permanent revolving display all around the world to cover the countries of origin is making my head hurt.

River said...

That's a truly impressive find. Even after they've excavated the bottom of the ship, there'll be much more stuff that has sunk into the seabed or has had tons of sand drifted over it in the years since sinking. Imagine the excitement of finding, then tracing the origins of all artefacts, finally knowing what happened to ships that may have been sunk by these pirates and not heard about since. I love hearing about this sort of excitement.

Middle Child said...

Hidden treasures cold, golden treasures bod, sweet treasures in the hold... nine days old

Middle Child said...

bloody typos..what I meant was
"Hidden treasures cold,
golden treasures bold,
sweet treasures in the hold... nine days old

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