Divers off the coast of Madagascar claim they have found sunken treasure belonging to Captain Kidd.
A 110-pound silver bar that is believed to have belonged to the legendary pirate was shown off to local media this week, according to the BBC. One of Kidd’s ships sunk during the 17th century near where the press conference occurred.
Pictures show the bar inscribed with an “S,” an “L,” what appears to be the number 95 and a few other markings.
The dive team claims the silver bar was found in the bowels of a wrecked ship called the Adventure Gallery, according to Discovery News. The boat was discovered along with more than a dozen others in a shallow bay off the coast of Saint Marie, another island off the coast of Madagascar.
“We discovered 13 ships in the bay,” Marine archaeologist Barry Clifford told reporters, according to Discovery News. “We’ve been working on two of them over the last 10 weeks. One of them is the Fire Dragon, the other is Captain Kidd’s ship, the Adventure Galley.”
Another expert, archaeologist John de Bry, told Discovery News that the ship’s wreckage and silver bar are “”irrefutable proof that this is indeed the treasure of the Adventure Gallery.”
Kidd was originally hired by British authorities to hunt down pirates and capture French ships, according to the BBC. But he soon became a pirate and then made the fatal mistake of plundering a British ship at the end of the 17th century.
Clifford brought a crew to film the expedition searching the bay for bounty, according to Discovery News. His cameras captured the moment the bar was found and brought to the surface.
“Captain’s Kidd’s treasure is the stuff of legends. People have been looking for it for 300 years. To literally have it hit me on the head – I thought what the heck just happened to me. I really didn’t expect this,” he told the BBC.
“There’s more down there. I know the whole bottom of the cavity where I found the silver bar is filled with metal. It’s too murky down there to see what metal, but my metal detector tells me there is metal on all sides.”
The Adventure Gallery is believed to have sunk a few years before Kidd was executed in 1701 in England.
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