Marine explorers have uncovered a hoard of treasure, said to belong to pirates. Having known the whereabouts of the site of the Adventure Galley for several years, the team, led by US explorer Barry Clifford, believe that the treasure belonged to notorious pirate Captain Kidd. The discovery was made in the Madagascan waters near the island of Sainte Marie.

In a radio interview, Clifford explained that when searching the site of the wreckage, he firmly believed he was in the exact location of Kidd’s cabin.

He was working in near pitch darkness owing to the depths of the shipwreck when the ceiling collapsed on him. As he bent down to pick up what he thought was a rock, he realised that it was actually a silver bar. It provoked much excitement amongst the divers and Clifford was convinced he had found pirate treasure.

Piece of silver

The silver bar is around 50kg in weight and it bears an inscription with the letters S and L.

It was presented to the president of Madagascar. The team believe that there is much more treasure in the wreckage and are excited to resume their search.

Such discoveries of treasure are rare and a find of a pirate stash is scarcely imaginable. It is like a tale from story books, and represents for Clifford the culmination of a lifetime’s pursuit. Skeptical researchers will seek further proof before the claim is fully authenticated.

Madagascar’s UK ambassador is convinced it will lead to an increase in tourists interested to view the find.

Pirate seeker turned buccaneer

Captain Kidd’s story has attained legendary status. Employed by England’s Crown to seek out pirates, he actually turned to piracy during his mission and looted the Quedagh Merchant of its gold, silver and cloth.

It turned out the ship’s captain was an Englishman and Kidd was captured.

He was tried in Britain, receiving the death sentence. Even his hanging produced some late drama as the first two ropes snapped when round his neck. The third rope finally held and he was strung up and left in public as a warning to other would-be pirates.

The discovery of silver has provoked much interest and further yields will be keenly anticipated. It will provoke an upsurge of interest in pirate memorabilia and will inspire a sense of adventure worldwide. 

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