Skeletons of 6 Pirates From 1717 Shipwreck Discovered Off Cape Cod Coast

Captain Samuel Bellamy, wreck of The Whydah
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The Whydah was the name of the ship that went down off Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

An amazing discovery of at least six pirate skeleton remains were found at the wreck site of a shipwreck off the coast of Cape Cod in 1717, the investigative team from The Whydah Pirate Museum announced. 

The Whydah was the name of the ship that went down off Wellfleet, Massachusetts. The skeletons were found in several large concretions and are now being examined by underwater archeological explorer Barry Clifford, who first discovered the wreckage in 1984 along with his team of archeologists, News3-WREG Memphis

The captain of The Whydah, Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy, has been named one of the most important pirates of the “Golden Age of Piracy,” which took place between 1690 and 1725, according to the museum. He was also considered the most successful pirate in history, WREG reported. 

Clifford describes the shipwreck as a very “sacred ground.” He also noted Bellamy and his crew experimented with democracy.

“We hope that modern, cutting-edge technology will help us identify these pirates and reunite them with any descendants who could be out there,” Clifford said in a statement.

In 2018, Casey Sherman, one of the Whydah team members, discovered Bellamy’s DNA through a bloodline descendent in England. Sherman had the sample tested against a human bone found in the wreck, according to the museum, The New York Post reported. 

“That bone was identified as a human male with general ties to the Eastern Mediterranean area,” Sherman said. “These newly found skeletal remains may finally lead us to Bellamy, as we now have his DNA.”

The new findings are currently on display at The Whydah Pirate Museum, which has thousands of items from the ancient shipwreck and houses in what the museum calls the “largest collection of private artifacts recovered from a single shipwreck anywhere in the world.”