A U.S. underwater archaeology team announced Thursday it has likely discovered the shattered remnants of a ship once captained by the notorious buccaneer William Kidd off a tiny Dominican Republic island.
The barnacled cannons and anchors found stacked beneath just 10 feet of crystalline coastal waters off Catalina Island are believed to be the wreckage of the Quedagh Merchant, a ship abandoned by the Scottish privateer in 1699, Indiana University researchers say.
“I look forward to a meticulous study of the ship, its age, its armament, its construction,” Foster said. “Because there is extensive written documentation, this is an opportunity we rarely have to test historic information against the archaeological record.”
Historian Richard Zacks, who wrote a book about the seafaring privateer called “The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd,” said the Scotsman had captured the 500-ton Moorish ship in the Indian Ocean but left it in the Caribbean in 1699 as he traveled to New York to try and clear his name of criminal charges.
Kidd failed to convince authorities of his innocence and was hanged in 1701 in London, Zacks said. His body was suspended in a gibbet, a kind of cage, on the Thames River as a warning to other privateers. Continue Reading…