N.C. divers to search Blackbeard's ship for artifacts
In addition to being known for his dark, twisted facial hair, Blackbeard was said to have lit fuses under his hat.
May 21st, 2011
05:19 PM ET

N.C. divers to search Blackbeard's ship for artifacts

In a bid to recover sunken artifacts – and as an excuse just to say “Aarrrgh” to each other – divers plan an expedition next week off North Carolina to the flagship of famed 18th century pirate Blackbeard.

Blackbeard’s ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge, is believed to have run aground in the shallow waters off Beaufort, North Carolina, in 1718. The ship was discovered by excavators in 1996, with piecemeal recovery of artifacts intensifying only a few years ago.

Staff from the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Branch will enter the waters Monday for a two-week mission focused on “conducting a detailed assessment of the main mound to determine strategies for disassembly and recovery,” according to the Queen Anne’s Revenge website.

Mark Wilde-Ramsing, project director for the Queen Anne’s Revenge dive, told WUNC 91.5 the expedition hopes to score a trove of 18th century goods, which then can be used to educate the public and raise awareness of underwater preservation efforts.

He said divers could  "hopefully recover a large anchor that is on the main ballast pile. There's a lot of these rock, stones and these anchors, two of them, plus a lot of cannon underneath,” he told 91.5.

Blackbeard, known for his dark, braided facial hair, evidently used a lot of cannons.

An article published in March on the Smithsonian website said the Queen Anne’s Revenge was found to have about 225,000 pieces of lead shot and at least 25 cannons, many of them still loaded.

Romanticized in history books as a notorious ruffian, Blackbeard, born in Britain as Edward Teach, terrorized Atlantic seafarers from the shores of the American colonies to the Caribbean.

The Queen Anne dive is part of a conservation project that has been years in the making. Wilde-Ramsing said divers will try  anti-corrosion agents and devices to stop or even reverse years of saltwater decay, according to 91.5.

For more information, see the Queen Anne's Revenge website.

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Filed under: History • North Carolina • Pirates • U.S.
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. iamwhoiam

    Curious, if a person who can make a complete connection with their family genealogy to show that they had a relative on that ship when it went down, would that person be able to profit from whatever is found? Just wondering...I know in Florida the state itself took possession of what was found on that coastline. Seems to me that relatives would be able to claim property.

    May 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • lols

      Use your head! It's a pirate ship. I'd imagine everything on that ship, including the ship itself, may have been stolen.

      May 21, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain JackUrAsse

      Ayye the ship was taken as booty where many rapings took place Biatch....

      May 21, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • geckopelli

      Actually, Blackbeard was a privateer, not a pirate, so everything belongs to the English Crown.
      Of course, France, the Dutch and Spain, etc. might have other ideas.

      May 21, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Quincey9

    Other than historical artifacts I wonder if any actual 'treasure' was ever found.

    May 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      Not really. The ship was run aground by Blackbeard on purpose. Everything of real value was removed by him and the crew before it was abandoned. (Everything that could be removed, canons not withstanding.) Blackbeard was a privateer and not a pirate. He was hired by our government (Ben Franklin) to raid the British ships that came and went. Not really interested in US shipping...

      May 22, 2011 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. dooms day surviver

    Who cares we survived dooms day!

    May 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • lols

      Doomsday only existed in the minds of the gullible. I was more curious about the reactions of the poor fools who fell for it and how they will be helped after they have forsaken nearly everything in a desperate attempt to score extra points to get into heaven.

      May 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. deb m

    According to History Channel, Edward Teach was a psuedonym adopted by the man who eventually was named "Blackbeard". No historical information exists on Edward Teach and no one know what Blackbird's name really was.

    May 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. wed110197

    This is it! Run for the hills!

    May 21, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ellis

    I have to potty.

    May 21, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Pix

    Oh, for fffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucccccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkk's sake. Stop with the Rapture ssssssssshhhhhhhiiiiiiiitttttt already!

    May 21, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • santa

      that's it your on the naughty list..

      May 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |

    if you went back in time and got black beard would he like a cold bear or a hard drink like 'capt morgans?'

    May 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pix

    Who wants a cold bear? Give me a Captain Morgan's!
    Thought I would hardly consider that a "hard" drink!

    May 21, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ellis

    I want a cookie with my rapture.

    May 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Skytag

    Why now in this time of trying to overcome racism are we still calling a thieving pirate BLACKbeard?

    May 21, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Isaac

      African-American Beard?

      May 22, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  12. HaveAnIceTay!

    Blackbeard has a strange resemblance to Osama. Whats up with that?

    May 21, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Isaac

      I dunno. I think he looks more like Michael Jackson when his hair caught on fire.

      May 22, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  13. asgardshill

    I survived the Rapt-ARRRRRRRR and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.

    May 21, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. popeye

    ARRRRGH! I'm popeye the butt pirate and I want to swallow the meat stick of a black scaliwag!

    May 21, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. popeye

    ARRRRGH! I'm popeye the butt pirate and I wanna get my hands on some black booty.

    May 21, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
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