Precious Metals

Explorers say they've found 'Capt. Kidd's treasure' off Madagascar

An item that a salvage team believes to be part of the treasure that belonged to a 17th century pirate has been discovered off the coast of Madagascar. 

The silver ingot from “Captain Kidd’s treasure,” as BBC News referred to it, was recovered Thursday near the island of Sainte Marie before being presented to Madagascar’s president.

The recovery was made by a team led by American Barry Clifford. BBC News reports that the 50-kilogram bar appears to be marked with the letters “S” and “T,” and Clifford’s team believes it originally came from Bolivia. It was discovered at the site of what is believed to be the wreck of the Adventure Galley, the infamous Captain Kidd’s boat. 

The Adventure Galley’s location had been known for several years, but no silver had been previously pulled up. The ship was sunk in 1698. 

Captain Kidd is William Kidd, a famous rogue captain.

CNN provided background on Kidd

Born in Scotland in 1645, he later moved to New York and was eventually hired to protect English ships in the Caribbean. After some success, he returned to England and began to captain the Adventure Galley.

The Adventure Galley was intended for the Caribbean as well, but with little work, Kidd turned to Madagascar and the Indian Ocean. While sailing near the tip of India, he spotted the Quedagh Merchant, a ship with all sorts of valuables. Kidd and his crew attacked and took over the ship.

Unfortunately for Kidd, the owner of the Quedagh Merchant had powerful connections in London, and Kidd was arrested, tried and hanged in 1701.

BBC News reports Kidd is believed to have hidden various stolen treasures around the world, inspiring the plot of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.

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