A deep sea explorer said he found a 17th-century pirate’s treasure off the coast of Madagascar Thursday.
Barry Clifford said he recovered Scottish pirate William Kidd’s bounty, including a 100-pound carved silver bar, from a shipwreck off the coast of Saint Marie Island, the BBC reported.
The Massachusetts explorer handed the loot, which had been guarded by soldiers, over to Madagascar officials in a ceremony attended by President Hery Rajaonarimampianina on Thursday.
“It is a huge find for my team but an even bigger find for Madagascar and world history,” said Clifford, who has been researching in the island nation for 15 years, according to a press release.
The loot is believed to be from the Adventure Galley, Kidd’s “terror of the seas” that was abandoned in 1698 after amassing gold, silk and jewels,
Most of the booty appeared to have been stolen from the British East India Company.
Kidd, who was part of the inspiration for the novel “Treasure Island,” initially fought pirates before he became one.
He was hanged for piracy and murdering a crew member in 1701. Authorities tried to hang him three times before he died. His body was then dipped in tar and displayed along the Thames River as a warning to other pirates.
Another one of Kidd’s ships was discovered in 2007 off of the coast of a Dominican Republic island, the Independent reported.
Clifford discovered the Whydah pirate ship off the coast of Cape Cod in 1984, 267 years after it sank in 1717. He also claimed to find Christopher Columbus’ Santa Maria last year.
His latest find will be documented in a film for the History Channel, which helped fund the expedition, later this year. (Ast)