Hunting for the huge treasure of "pirate king" Samuel Bellamy

For the first time in four centuries, the most valuable sunken treasure has been found.

Modern explorer Barry Klifford has found traces of the ship Whydah , dubbed the “battleship Admiral” by the infamous eighteenth-century pirate Samuel Bellamy , also known as “Black Sam”, or “pirate king”. Whydah was scuttled by a hurricane early in 1717 off the coast near Welflee (Massachusetts, USA). This is the largest treasure found so far along US waters, with an estimated total value of up to 400 million USD.

The historical significance is even greater, because the Whydah was the first pirate ship to be found on the ocean floor in an intact condition without any damage. In fact, no one had discovered this place before. So far, everything we know about the pirates of the past is just fiction, legend or fictional Hollywood movie products.

Hunting for the huge treasure of "pirate king" Samuel Bellamy
Portrait of “pirate king” Samuel Bellamy and his subordinates.

Through the study of Whydah, scientists can better understand the pirate world: how do they live, how do they plunder? What specific rules do they follow? For example, the traditional form of pirate image: always holding a sword, covered face and monstrous costumes seem to be confirmed by Whydah to be true. As evidenced by the numerous personal artifacts found on the ship: jewelry, weapons, precious metal rings…

The chemical compounds of the gold found in the Whydah are also being studied in the hope of understanding where they come from, as well as the route the ship usually takes. In addition, the artifacts found also allow to add to the “Whydah myth” that has fascinated scientists for the past few centuries.

Whydah was scuttled by a storm near Cape Cod, the largest vessel in the pirate fleet led by S. Bellamy. The bandit general who sowed terror in the Caribbean. The property he robbed can be compared to William Kidd – the famous “Pirates Emperor” of all time was captured and hanged by the British.

“Since I was a child, I have always dreamed of the Whydah. I have a feeling that this ship is more important than the treasure it carries. For nearly three centuries now, the people of Cape Cod have devised thousands of ways to find the treasure. Bellamy’s treasure My uncle was one of them.He told me the story of Whydah for the first time when I was 8 years old and it haunts me all the time.I first learned about Whydah through the internet. archive report of Siprien Suntek, who was sent by the former Governor of Massachusetts to find the Whydah treasure in the late 20s of the 18th century. Children of successive generations can see with their own eyes the illustrious artifacts of the time, to ponder …” , modern explorer Barry Klifford confided.

The cannon that the group of divers watched underwater was the same gun that was fired into the storm before the ship sank. The two sailors who survived later recounted that Bellamy was so angry at that time that he ordered the cannon to spit bullets everywhere: into the storm, into the waves, into the thunder and lightning… to avenge the forces of joy. dared to tear the battleship Admiral into pieces and sink it. They testified before a trial in Boston and were acquitted of being forced to serve on a pirate ship. If they were found guilty of piracy, they would be hanged immediately.

Despite being a calm man, Barry Klifford jumped when he picked up the first Spanish coin from the water. He said: “I held it tightly in my hand and looked closely. It was engraved with a silver cross and dated 1684. From this moment, the legend of Whydah became reality. I will never forget it. At that moment: the dome of the sky was black, the sea surface was even darker, in the middle were flocks of white seagulls.

The Spanish coin mentioned above is just one of thousands of ancient coins recovered from Whydah. The treasure is located about 400m from Welflee, under 7.5m of water. Whydah is covered by a layer of seabed sand about 2m thick. B.Klifford and a team of 9 skilled divers from the scientific ship named King West UK Exspllorer II, specializing in seabed surveying, worked under the direction of the Institute of Oceanic History and Archaeology. based at the Port of Bristol (Maine state).

Institute director, Professor Dr. Woren Riss is one of the world’s leading experts in the study of artifacts recovered from the ocean floor. “There are countless books written about ancient pirates,” said Professor W. Riss. “But most of them are based on legends. This is the first time we can see a real pirate ship.” .

For nearly three centuries before that, many people searched for treasure and Bellamy’s ship. But the name of Barry Klifford is credited with finding it. He spent nine years rummaging through archives, oceanographic libraries and rare bookstores, consulting hand-drawn maps, charts, and coordinates. It is not easy to apply the parameters from the 18th century to reality, because many places have simply disappeared over time. With the talent of a superior detective, with the help of modern electronic machines, B.Klifford found out where Whydah was wrecked.

An ancient silver coin from the Bellamy era is worth tens of thousands of dollars on the black market. A 1642 Spanish gold coin costs ,000. An ebony wine goblet dating from 1352 for half a million dollars… Among the artifacts are jewelry, weapons, large bronzes, even a sundial… Treasure for with B.Klifford is not just money, although by law Klifford is entitled to 75% of the total value of antiques, the remaining 25% belongs to the state of Massachusetts where the shipwreck is located.

“I want to keep the antique as it is a family legacy. Preserving memorabilia from Bellamy’s time is more important to me than keeping the money. The legend of Whydah and Bellamy needs to be known to everyone. , said the veteran adventurer eloquently.

The legend of Bellamy, like many other legends in history, is interesting for those who want to explore it. Samuel “Black” Bellamy was a British sailor who lived for a long time in Cape Cod, with his friend Poll Williams in search of hidden treasures in the Bahamas.

According to legend, before that Bellamy fell in love with a 15-year-old girl Maria Hallet and then they had a child together. Samuel and Poll, after becoming disillusioned with the treasures, determined to get rich by way of… piracy, becoming a terror throughout the Caribbean. In early 1717 they hijacked the British ship Whydah, which transported slaves to the Americas and were on their way back, after unloading in Jamaica. Having released the captain and others who did not want to become pirates, Bellamy personally took command of the Whydah. This is the largest ship he has robbed, up to 30m long and operating in very perfect conditions, honored by “Black Sam” as the Admiral battleship.

On the night of April 26, 1717 Whydah encountered a terrible storm, sinking the bandit general Bellamy and his accomplices who were drunk with rum to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. However, like many myths, this story is not lacking in embellishment. Some people believe that Bellamy escaped, and his wife and children escaped to live in the state of Maine, where he planned to create a “pirate stronghold”. Others say that Bellamy’s son died, and Maria Hallet was evicted from her home and lived in vain for the rest of her life…