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Thu, 13 Jan 2011
Scotlands William Kidd, still holds secret long after his death in 1701...

Scotlands William Kidd, still holds secret long after his death in 1701...

From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggety beasties William Kidd
And things that go bump in the night,

Good Lord, deliver us

Another Fantastic Sunken Pirate Ship-

-Discovered in the Dominican Republic

Just last week we wrote an article giving everyone an update on the wreck of the French Gun Ship found in Samana Bay, called Le Scipion and how it's rescue is progressing, yet without the ink being barely dry, another amazing and exciting discovery has been announced.  An underwater archeology team from the U.S has stated that they have discovered the shattered remains of a true sunken pirate ship, found just mere meters off the coast of the Dominican Republic on a tiny island called Catalina! The pirate ship also having been captained by the ever so notorious buccaneer William Kidd. This is the stuff Disney movies are made from! The sunken wreckage is believed to be that of the Quedagh Merchant, a ship abandoned by the Scottish Pirate in 1699.

Captain William KiddThanks to one of therealdr.com's roving reporters in the bush, Mr Dave Vande Vyvere who arrived in the Dominican Republic on Friday to give us this fantastic update about the new pirate ship discovery. Dave being interested in all aspects of archeological digs and discoveries (he's currently residing in/with an ancient relic in Puerto Plata) was only too happy to share this new found information about one of the most infamous pirates in history and his sunken ship. Thanks Dave.

One of the teachers from Indiana University was the first to set sight on the wreck.  The cannons and barnacled anchors were just under three meters of crystal clear waters off the coast of Catalina Island (an already popular and famous dive spot in the Dominican Republic).  Charles Beeker the teacher said "When I first looked down and saw it, I couldn't believe everybody missed it for 300 years!"  he continued "I've been on thousands of wrecks and this is one of the first where it's been untouched by looters."

The wreck of the Quedagh Merchant has been sought by bounty and treasure hunters for years around the Dominican Republic's coastlines.  Even a group with a permit from the Dominican government failed to find the wreck. Historians are of the opinion that the treasure inside the ship was already scavanged and burned shortly after Captain William Kidd abandoned the vessel.

Pirate William KiddNow the team from Indiana University have a license from the Dominican government to study the wreckage and eventually convert the sea floor into an underwater preserve, where divers and snorkellers alike can investigate first hand the amazing cannons and anchors which have been embedded for hundreds of years under Caribbean sand.  Mr Charles Beeker continued to say "We believe this is a living musuem."  Beeker has previously assisted the Dominican government open underwater parks that feature jar fragments, cannons and other items all recovered from 18th century shipwrecks. He said that the treasure itself is the actual wreck of the priate ship.

The scattered remains of the pirate ship were first spotted by a local fisherman, who reported his discovery to the local Dominican authorities said Mr Francis Soto who is the director of the National Office of Subquatic History and Culture.  The team from Indiana University then examined the wreck at the invitation from the Dominican government.

Every body is waiting with baited breath for more information to literally surface from this underwater site as in all likeliness this particular discovery will reveal key information about the history of piracy in the Caribbean and give us all more information about the elusive Captain William Kidd.  There has in the past been extensive written documentation about pirates and the acts of piracy in the Caribbean and this is now a rare opportunity to put actual facts to the truth.

Captain William Kidd One historian Mr Richard Zacks wrote a book about William Kidd called The Pirate Hunter:The True Story of Captain Kidd.  In his books he says that the Scottish Pirate captured the 454-tonne Moorish ship in the Indian Ocean but then left it in the Caribbean in 1699 as he travelled back to America to try and clear his name of criminal charges.  Unfortunately for Kidd he failed to persuade the authorities otherwise and was shipped off to London, England to stand trial.  Afterwards he was dipped in tar and then hanged in 1701.  His body was held in a gibbet (like a big birdcage)for 2 years on the River Thames as a warning to others against the evils of privateering!! 

What else the discovery of the sunken Quedagh Merchant will tell us only she knows.  She has quietly lain in her sandy grave for 300 years now keeping her secrets silent, but as her belly is opened up and the truth begins to spill out what an amazing story to keep us all enthralled for years to come. 

Posted 10:58

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