Science Hunters: Barry Clifford and Captain Bellamy’s Treasure

For this twentieth episode of Science HuntersLet’s embark on Cape Cod on a two-and-a-half-century journey back in time. It began in 1717, with a shipwreck, a pirate prince, and a wonderful treasure.

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On April 26, 1717, it was terrible Tornado Blow up the eastern coast of the American colonies, taking it with it And hands And his three companions to travel. Aboard the three-man Captain Bellamy, also known as Black Sam, he only has time to watch the boom shatter his dreams before being swallowed up by a storm with his crew and formidable treasure.

In the 1950s, in a small fishing village in Cape Cod, Barry Clifford grew up to the rhythm of sailors ‘songs and his ancestors’ tale of the shipwreck of the Pirate Prince two and a half centuries ago. Then young Clifford takes the oath: he will be the one to discover Samuel Bellamy’s submerged treasure.

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April 26, 1717. Samuel Harding rolls onto his thatched bed, unable to sleep. Outside, you are making a storm Anger He rocks his tiny house in Cape Cod from all sides. He hears the concert from his tiles Windows That moved under the onslaught of the wind, the deafening rain pounding on its roof, and shattered waves Shattered mercilessly on the shore below. He groaned and buried his head under his blanket, far from suspecting that a pirate would knock on his door a few hours later.

Hundreds of meters offshore, panic reigns on board And hands. On the bridge, the guys fold eyes, Trying in vain to penetrate the dark and mist, but nothing helped. The Lights The Anne Galle, The Fisher And you Mary Ann The tornado has already swallowed it up. The building is creaking, creaking, threatening to tear itself in half. Carried by the wind, it patheticly pulls its anchor along the sandy banks as the breaking waves attack its sides. While some turn to God feeling death is approaching, those who still have hope turn to the only master on board, Captain Black Sam, Gentleman of the Seas and the Pirate Prince.

But for now, the latter feels nothing more than helpless guy Samuel Bellamy, who is overwhelmed by the elements. He stands among dozens of his faithful companions, silently weeping those he led to their perdition. Just like the captain, take over And hands A few days ago, he knew how to recognize losing a battle. The treasure sleeping in a dormitory under his feet does not bring him relief.

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New hit of thunder Mixed echoes with a sinister creak: the ship collided with a sandbank. Dozens of men and their commander were thrown overboard. Under the bridge, cannons, barrels and bullets suddenly turned into plant projectiles, their roar mingling with the howling of sailors crushed under their weight. Just as the dust turns to dust again, the salt of Captain Bellamy’s tears joins the tears of the sea and in the noise of the waves that tear his dream to shreds, the last pirate prince breathes.

Barry Clifford was born on May 30, 1945, in Cape Cod. His childhood covered in mists, Songs Sailors and fishing stories. But one story in particular has captured Cape Town’s imaginations for generations. Two and a half centuries ago, a pirate ship ran aground along these coasts, and its stomach was loaded with gold coins. The settlers of the time, the wretched ones whose work did little to provide for them, threw themselves at the pieces of eight that swept ashore that day, and then the next. But it is said that much of Samuel Bellamy’s treasure will still be found beneath the waves.

With his degree in history and sociology now in his pocket, young Barry Clifford has only one wish: to be the one to discover the wreck of Captain Black Sam and bring his treasure to the surface. He greedily plunged into the historical documents of the time in order to discover clues that would point to him as to where he deviated. Learns that And hands, The slave ship captured by the Pirate Prince a few days earlier, travels along with two other acquisitions: Sinaw. Anne Galle And the merchant ship Mary Ann. Around four o’clock in the afternoon, Mr. fog Heavy clings to the landscape and leaves Bellamy in a temporary stupor. The captain is not familiar with these waters, but he has heard of the lethal, high shallow waters of Nantucket. This vast area of ​​variable sand bars is so dangerous that it was first classified as an avoidance area by the US Coast Guard in 1980, and then by the International Maritime Organization in 2010. Sailors regained hope when a small fishing vessel appeared on the sea. Horizon half an hour later. Its captain Robert Ingalls knows the local waters well, and in less time than it requires, four armed pirates are sent on board the sailing ship. Fisher To prevent him from escaping while the sailor is forcibly seized on board the ship And hands To help his crew extricate themselves from this situation. So the four ships resume their path in close formation, challenging the lack of visibility as much as possible. As the day fades, the sky gradually turns into a pigment of ink over the Nantucket Scholes, mixing with the darkness of the haze that darkened the horizon for hours. Black Sam orders the lanterns to be lit on the ships so that one of them is not missed by the other, but the gloomy spell awaiting them is already underway. Ignore it however Mary Ann The pirates flee on board the ship so drunk that they have to turn over the rudder to the inexperienced inmates they carry with them. The weather is getting worse. With Cape Cod’s arm nearing, terrible winds and torrential rain sails flap horizontally as the silhouette of monstrous waves emerges in lightning punching through the sky. The ships move irrepressibly apart, and horror rises as the faint lantern glow fades from each other’s surface. With skill or wealth, Captain Noland saves Anne Galle And the Fisher Just in time by asking the two ships to drop the anchor early enough. But his fellow travelers are not so fortunate. It’s 11 pm Mary Ann She drifts with a crash on Pochet Island. Although its hull was not cracked by the shock, many of the pirates on board shouted to God for allowing them to die in peace, frightened by the thundering waves on the wood and the wind blowing in their ears. Regarding And handsHis doom is matched when midnight struck a stroke off the coast of Wellfleet.

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The next morning, farmer Samuel Harding woke up to a knock on his door. Sailor in rags and standing cold in front of his house: Thomas Davis, one of the only survivors of that infernal night. Davis tells his story, and before the Dutch carpenter gets time to rest, Harding prepares his cart and horse and asks him to drive it to the site of the sinking. He has time to make two trips back and forth before his other neighbors know the news and they join him on the beach to collect the treasures that the waves have deposited in the sand.

However, it’s neither Harding nor Davis, but another character in this story who will provide Barry Clifford with the key he’s looking for. The Massachusetts Governor has not heard of a shipwreck And hands He immediately dispatched the English captain Cyprian Sothak, an accomplished cartographer who was investing him in a mission: to recover the sunken treasure and seize the goods that Cape Cod residents had already had a monopoly on. Unfortunately for Southack, he fails to complete any of his goals, confronting a group of fishermen and farmers angry because they are determined to keep gold that will finally exceed their meager wages. But this did not matter to Clifford, as the Briton left behind a map as well as correspondence that accurately indicated the location of the legendary shipwreck. And hands.

Almighty, a wreck hunter on an expedition. Using sonar and other remote sensors, it took Clifford and his team only a short time to determine the location. On July 20, 1984, a divers shouted with excitement that he saw a cannon buried in the sand, just 4.5 meters below the surface. This find is the first in a very long series that will allow over 200,000 individual items to be salvaged. Silver and gold coins, gold powder, crockery, clothes, and weapons shootingOr artillery shells, jewelry, toy pieces, or even a few thin shards from the ship that were revealed to astonished archaeologists. In the fall, a new element to crown Clifford’s work comes when it rings a bell Galli Day, Engraved with the ship’s name and in 1716. The Whydah Project caused a sensation in the scientific community and among the public, as the Massachusetts Council of Underwater Archaeological Resources did not hesitate to call it a model for underwater archeology. To this day, the ship remains the only ship from the golden age of piracy to be verified with certainty.

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Under the Federal Admiralty Act of 1988, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that all artifacts rightfully belonged to Clifford. It also obtained exclusive diving rights for the site, which is monitored by the National Park Service and the US Coast Guard. And this is where the ice on the boat comes from, so to speak. Instead of squandering and dividing Bellamy’s treasure, the archaeologist decided to keep it entirely and make it within everyone’s reach. He opened the Pirate Museum in And hands, Giving everyone the opportunity to walk alongside a giant replica of the ship, enjoy a sound bell in a luminous aquarium or enjoy chests filled with pieces of eight.

Today, Clifford continues to plunge into forging sunken treasures with his teammates. In February, the museum announced the discovery of at least six skeletons at the museum site And hands. Thanks to Bellamy’s direct descendant, the team got a sample ofADN This will allow them to know if one of the bodies discovered under the sand belongs to the legendary captain who was called the Prince of Pirates.

Thank you for listening Science Hunters. The music for this episode was composed by Patricia Chailda. If you value our work please do not hesitate to leave a comment and five stars On distribution platforms to support us and improve our visibility. You can also subscribe to SpotifyThe Deezer an Apple Podcast so you never miss a single episode. As for me, I’ll meet you soon for a future time expedition, in Science Hunters. Bye !


Patricia Chailad

Titan, Par Scott Buckley

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