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

In a radio interview, Clifford explained that when searchingthe site of the wreckage, he firmly believed he was in the exact location ofKidd’s cabin. He was working in near pitch darkness owing to the depths of theshipwreck when the ceiling collapsed on him.

As he bent down to pick up whathe thought was a rock, he realised that it was actually a silver bar. Itprovoked much excitement amongst the divers and Clifford was convinced he hadfound pirate treasure.

Piece of silver

The silver bar is around 50kg in weight and it bears aninscription with the letters S and L. It was presented to the president ofMadagascar. The team believe that there is much more treasure in the wreckageand are excited to resume their search.

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

Madagascar’sUK ambassador is convinced it will lead to an increase in tourists interestedto view the find.

Pirate seeker turned buccaneer

Captain Kidd’s story has attained legendary status. Employedby England’s Crown to seek out pirates, he actually turned to piracy during hismission and looted the Quedagh Merchantof its gold, silver and cloth.

It turned out the ship’s captain was an Englishman and Kiddwas captured. He was tried in Britain, receiving the death sentence. Even hishanging produced some late drama as the first two ropes snapped when round hisneck. The third rope finally held and he was strung up and left in public as awarning to other would-be pirates.

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