Underwater explorers say they have found treasure believed to belong to the notorious pirate Captain William Kidd.
A 50kg silver bar was found near the Madagascan island of Sainte Marie and brought to shore on Thursday after being recovered from the wreckage of what is believed to be Kidd’s ship, ‘The Adventure Galley’.
The team believes the bar, marked with what appears to be a letter S and a letter T, has its origins in 17th-Century Bolivia.
In the 1600s, Captain Kidd was appointed by British authorities to stop pirates, but soon turned to a life of piracy himself. He was executed in 1701 and his body was displayed as a warning to other pirates.
Kidd was said to have hidden much of the treasure he looted from other ships and the stories have prompted treasure hunts around the world and were the main inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’.
Divers just pulled this 50 kg silver bar out off Sainte Marie island Madagascar. Say it could be pirate treasure. pic.twitter.com/bdH9bFWBlB
— Martin Vogl (@martinvogl) May 7, 2015
U.S explorer Barry Clifford told the BBC he believes there are many more bars of this kind still in the wreck.
Speaking to the BBC, explorer Barry Clifford said:
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.
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 silver bar was presented to the president of Madagascar at a special ceremony.
Some people have questioned the authenticity of the find but, frankly, we think those people just haven’t watched Pirates of the Caribbean enough.