The Whydah
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Scientists in Massachusetts will soon know if bones discovered in a pirate shipwreck belong to one of the most notorious Pirates of the Caribbean that ever sailed the seven seas - Captain Samuel "Black" Bellamy. In 2008, Forbes reported that during his time as a pirate, Bellamy amassed the equivalent of "$120 million" in today's money.

This story unfolds like a Hollywood movie and it began in 1982 when underwater explorer Barry Clifford discovered a shipwreck 20 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. Then, in 1985 he recovered the ship's bell - "THE WHYDAH GALLY 1716" - sounding a 'gong' on the first authenticated pirate shipwreck ever discovered in North America.

Built in England in 1715, The Whydah Gally was a 300-ton, 102-foot-long (31 m) English slave ship and was fitted with 18 cannons, but Bellamy beefed it up with 10 more. The ship could reach speeds of up to 13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph) and under the command of Bellamy it plundered 54 ships in the Caribbean in 1716 and 1717. Historical reports detailing her inventory when she went down recorded "about four or five tons of silver and gold, indigo, Jesuit's bark, ivory and other precious trade goods."

Now, conservationists at the Whydah Pirate Museum in West Yarmouth have discovered "part of a skeleton of a crew member," said Chris Macort, an archeologist and director of the museum's ship exhibition, according to a report in the Boston Globe. It's the only pirate ship found anywhere with its stolen treasure, said Macort. The report revealed that filmmaker Casey Sherman is now creating a movie about Clifford's discovery and he is "helping the museum coordinate with forensic experts at the University of New Haven to compare DNA found in the remains with that of a known descendant of Bellamy living in England."

Talking of this incredible piece of historical conservation work, in a statement released on Wednesday Sherman said "The Whydah site is the maritime equivalent of King Tut's Tomb...divers continue to find Bellamy's astounding treasure and now there's a strong chance that we've located the remains of the Pirate Prince himself."

Until the DNA results come in, no-one can be sure, but having a look at the subjective evidence it looks very much like they have their pirate!

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