Jan Bartek - AncientPages.com - Captain Samuel Bellamy (1689 – 1717), later known as "Black Sam" was one of the wealthiest pirates in recorded history. Sometimes nicknamed the 'Robin Hood of the Sea' the legendary English pirate lived during what is known as the Golden Age of Piracy from 1700 to 1725.
Left: Model of Whydah Gally. Image source - Right: Artist's impression of Captain Black Sam Bellamy. Image source
Many of the most well-known pirates in historical lore originate from this Golden Age of Piracy. We come across famous pirates such as Henry Morgan, William "Captain" Kidd, "Black Sam" Bellamy, John "Calico Jack" Rackham, and many others. There were also famous female pirates such as Anne Bonny and Mary Read. All these ancestral pirates played a part in the evolution of the Golden Age of Piracy.
Pirate Black Sam captured 53 ships before he died in a shipwreck that occurred in 1717. His body has never been found but this may change now.
In February 2018, researchers discovered a shipwreck near Wellfleet, just outside the coast off Cape Cod, USA. There were speculations the discovery was the ship belonging to pirate Black Sam. Marine archaeologists also uncovered human bones on the ship.
Some months later archaeologists said they had come across America's largest mass pirate burial ground with more than 100 sets of remains that could belong to Captain Black Sam’s pirates.
Now, according to the latest news, six skeletons have been discovered off the coast of Massachusetts, with one thought to be the Black Sam, the captain of a pirate shipwreck Whydah that sank in 1717.
A life-size replica of the hull of the pirate ship Whydah Gally is displayed at the Whydah Pirate Museum, in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. Credit: Associated Press
The new remains were found in multiple large concretions (hard, compact masses of matter) by underwater explorer Barry Clifford and are set to be examined by a team of archaeologists, the Whydah Pirate Museum announced in a statement seen by CNN.
According to the Whydah Museum website, the shipwreck was one of the worst ever seen on the eastern seabord, with only two of 146 men on board making it to shore.
Investigators hope to identify the skeletons and potentially link them to descendants living today.
"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 told 7 News Boston.
Researchers removed what is believed to be Bellamy’s leg bone from a concretion. Picture: AP
"This shipwreck is very sacred ground. We know a third of the crew was of African origin and the fact they had robbed the Whydah, which was a slave ship, presents them in a whole new light. Their benevolent captain, the legendary Samuel 'Black Sam' Bellamy and crew were experimenting in democracy long before the so-called civilized societies had considered such a thing," Clifford said.
The bones were identified in a hard, solid mass from the wreck site of the Whydah. The ‘concretion’ is formed out of matter that accumulated over time. Credit: Barry Clifford
In 2018, author and member of the investigative team Casey Sherman found Bellamy's DNA in a descendant in New England, and it's now being tested against the skeletons.
See also: More Archaeology News
"That bone was identified as a human male with general ties to the Eastern Mediterranean area," said Sherman in a statement sent to 7 News Boston. "These newly found skeletal remains may finally lead us to Bellamy as we now have his DNA."
We may have come one step closer in our search for the remains of legendary pirate Black Sam.
Written by Jan Bartek - AncientPages.com Staff Writer