The Cape Cod Times reports on a new discovery by salvors at the 1717 wreck of the Wydah, the only authentic pirate ship ever discovered. On the last dive of the last day of the season, the crew brought up an L-shaped concretion that, when x-rayed, showed a cannon ball and stacks of silver coins. This is the largest haul of coins pulled from the wreck in 25 years, according to expedition leader Barry Clifford. Clifford discovered the wreck in 1984, and his company has been working the site ever since.
The Wydah was flagship of the pirate “Black Sam” Bellamy, and was loaded from the loot seized from 50 ships when it was caught in a hurricane off Cape Cod in 1717, breaking in two and sinking. Only two men from the crew of 146 survived. One of the crewmen told of 180 bags of gold and silver which had been split up among the crew as their shares in the loot, and Clifford believes that the recent finds of stacks of silver coins welded together in lumps from being submerged in salt water 296 years is what is left from the bags of loot. Gold dust and nuggets have been found mixed into the stacks of silver, encrusted along with gravel and lead shot into large lumps.
Clifford told reporters that this find, made on the last day of the season, has spurred his crew to brave the weather and work the newly-discovered area as long as conditions permit. He also mentioned a document that hints that there may have been as many as 400,000 more silver coins on board, over and above what is known to have been in Wydah’s hold.
The gold and silver recovered from the site is the only authentic pirate loot ever discovered.