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. Richard

    This is the biggest waste of government money. They will never prove that it is his ship. The government plundered our money to spend on someone who plundered others money, paybacks are a B TCH.

    May 22, 2011 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Sevinthseal

      They're not trying to prove that it's his ship. They know it's his ship. You should check out this new thing they've got out; they're called books. Teach was chased into that inlet and killed. The whole mission recorded in detail.

      May 22, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Robin Bray

      State funds and your tax amount if a resident of the state was likely less than 1/2 a cent. Grow up whiner. And get an education as well.

      May 22, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • hackdiesel

      Sevinthseal,
      Before you go throwing rocks at peoples lack of reading make sure you don't live in a glass house. Blackbeard was not chased into that inlet and killed, he abandoned the Queen Anne's Revenge after grounding her on a sand bar (either on purpose or accidently). He was killed in on a different ship (Adventure) at a later date.

      May 22, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Isaac

      No no Richard. The government's support of your education was the biggest waste of government money.

      May 22, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ellis

    I know D*ck. The US Fed government wastes a lot of money. This is one reason that Panama is superior to America. We don't squander our money. I hope to go back some day. By D*ck.

    May 22, 2011 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
    • DonBeal

      Panama – leading the world into a new age.

      May 22, 2011 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • yabbut

      I presume you're here for financial reasons, Ellis? As in, to plunder a bit yourself?

      May 22, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I just got back from Colon Panama, they cant even afford street lights and stop signs! The entire city is a pit of trash!

      May 22, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      You are welcome for the canal.

      May 22, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • reACTIONary

      RE: I presume you're here for financial reasons, Ellis?

      Sure, like education for our children and scientific advancement. You know, that aspect of life called "civilization". So selfish of him!

      May 22, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      If you can't wait to go back to panama, then go now. For the ship, history is exceptionally important to people. If people paid attention to history, many of the current events would not be happening right now. Blackbeard is just another part of history from the 18h century, maybe in 200 years, our actions will be scrutinized by people just like us. Hopefully a bit smarter.

      May 22, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Chartreux

      Thanks awfully for the constructive criticism, Ellis. You're extremely welcome for the canal. Where do you suppose your lovely little country would be without the income from that enormous resource, with which we provided for you and yours? Do you suppose that we couldn't take it back if we ever saw the need?

      Think you could defend it by yourself? Not.

      May 22, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Herb Souder

      Ah Panama your contributions to the world make it a better place for us all.Take for instance.........uh...for instance.......uh oh yeah Noreiga a real contribution to the world...Thank you Panama!!!!!!

      May 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. djpboston

    Arrrgh !

    May 22, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. MajorGas

    Ellis,
    Do you need a ride???

    May 22, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. lmanila

    Aaarrrgh!

    May 22, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. DonBeal

    I wonder how often Blackbeard complained about government interference with free enterprise.

    May 22, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. che-3

    Hey, what the heck do they think they’re doing?
    Unearthing Osama Bin Laden’s body at the bottom of the ocean to resurrect him back to life? Can someone Holla at Michele Obama to wake Barack up to STOP these folks. The world doesn’t need boogieman Osama bin Laden terrorizing our kids. Hey, Barack wake up and stop this nonsense!

    May 22, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin Rismiller

      what the hell are you talking about? you need medication, my friend…

      May 22, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • kudz

      um, what?

      May 22, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • steve-o-

      you are quite illiterate.. where does bin laden associate with a 17th century pirate. Both bad people in general but damn youre wierd..

      May 22, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Isaac

      Troll FAIL!

      May 22, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Chartreux

      Umm...Bin Laden's in a completely different ocean than the Queen Anne's Revenge, dude. Perhaps you should try to remain awake in Geography Class this semester, and learn a thing or two?

      These two things are completely unrelated. Well, except in your 'unique' mind.

      May 22, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. stewie

    Hmm, 1718, wasn't that a bit early for Ben Franklin to have hired him. Yes me thinks so.

    May 22, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. Ellis

    Shut up Joe. Panama has lights.

    May 22, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ellis

    Sorry Joe, I didn't mean to blow up. I was just sticking up for my country. JEFF, I will retire in 14 years. With my US pension, I will live like a king in Panama. But I will go much sooner for a vacation. Panama the beautiful.

    May 22, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Chartreux

      No, Ellis, you were being unnecessarily insulting to the US. I invite you to read your comment again. It's a comparison of the US to Panama with a fling against the government here, which apparently has you as a guest and from which you're profiting:

      Ellis: 'I know D*ck. The US Fed government wastes a lot of money. This is one reason that Panama is superior to America. We don't squander our money. I hope to go back some day. By D*ck.'

      You aren't behaving like a welcome guest in our country. You're acting like a jerk. Let me turn it around for you:

      'The PANAMA government wastes a lot of money. This is one reason AMERICA is superior to PANAMA. We don't squander our money. I hope to go back some day.'

      Now, let me ask you, how does that make you feel? Angry? Inhospitable? Like you want to lynch someone, or at least run them out of the country on a rail? As though the day has arrived when it's time to send you right back to that country, because you're here as a guest who isn't behaving well?

      Imagine that.

      May 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. stewie

    @mb2010a, think ye be talking about John Paul Jones. He was hired to harass British ships until the war and then he was put in charge of the navy.

    May 22, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. stewie

    Of course one country's privateer is another country's pirate.

    May 22, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Isaac

      Very good point. Comment win.

      May 22, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. Cricket

    Uhhhh, you do realize "Ellis" is a troll? Possibly from Panama, I don't know, but a troll nonetheless?

    May 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Markajv

    Go to http://www.crackle.com/c/The_Real_Story this is the story of Blackbeard and the group that originally found the ship in 1996.

    May 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dustin

    Have they found the ships turbo boosters yet?

    May 22, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
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