An underwater ‘yellow brick road’ could lead fortune hunter Barry Clifford to pirate treasure. More specifically, the literal trail of gold dust could take him to the famed pirate ship Whydah.
The Whydah was originally built as a slave ship for the Atlantic slave trade. However, it was captured by the pirate Captain “Black Sam” Bellamy on its second voyage across the ocean.
But the newly outfitted pirate ship wasn’t meant to be. Instead, Newser notes that the Whydah went down off Cape Cod, Massachusetts in 1717 during a brutal storm.
The ship was carrying plunder from 50 vessels when it ran aground and sank. The ship and its treasure remained untouched by humans until the wreck was discovered by Clifford in 1984. Since then, he and a team of divers have pulled up more than 200,000 artifacts, including sword handles, gold ornaments, and a boy’s leg.
And about two weeks ago, Clifford and his dive team decided to revisit the site, which is the only authenticated pirate wreck in US waters. The New York Daily News reports that Clifford’s yellow brick road is a trail of gold dust that runs along Cape Cod’s seafloor.
The experienced underwater treasure hunter believes the road leads to even more riches from the Whydah wreck. Clifford believes that the road could lead to 400,000 coins and other plunder from two vessels the pirate ship raided in the weeks before it sank.
So, during a dive on September 1, Clifford traveled the yellow brick road again. Divers discovered several concretions, which are rocky masses formed when gold, silver, and other metals react chemically with seawater.
X-rays of the concretions show that they all contain coins gold inside them, possibly confirming Clifford’s theory that the underwater yellow brick road will lead to more pirate treasure. The hunter took 21 trips to the site this summer at a cost of over $200,000.
However, he will have to wait to confirm his theory of more coins and treasure until next summer, thanks to worsening weather and lingering boat problems.
[Image by Theodore Scott via Wikimedia Commons]