The Pirate Prince: The Man Who Discovered a Four Hundred Million Dollar Sunken Treasure

Overview

Barry Clifford's The Pirate Prince is the first-person account of a modern-day treasure hunter's quest to raise the legendary pirate ship Whydah, originally commissioned as a merchant slaver - sunk off the coast of Wellfleet, Massachusetts, during a raging northeaster on April 26, 1717. The shipwreck soon became a part of Cape Cod lore, as generations of would-be treasure seekers dreamed of finding gold, silver, ivory, and jewels. Barry Clifford did more than dream. Armed with a decade of historical and marine ...
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Overview

Barry Clifford's The Pirate Prince is the first-person account of a modern-day treasure hunter's quest to raise the legendary pirate ship Whydah, originally commissioned as a merchant slaver - sunk off the coast of Wellfleet, Massachusetts, during a raging northeaster on April 26, 1717. The shipwreck soon became a part of Cape Cod lore, as generations of would-be treasure seekers dreamed of finding gold, silver, ivory, and jewels. Barry Clifford did more than dream. Armed with a decade of historical and marine archaeological research, Clifford dove into the icy cape waters and one day came up with a gold doubloon in his hand. Like the colonial governor's cartographer and salvor, Cyprian Southack, Clifford knew "the riches with the guns will lie buried in the sand." The priceless treasure was still there! With a raffish crew and $6 million from Wall Street investors, Clifford began an extraordinary adventure of discovery that so far has yielded more than 100,000 artifacts, including gold and silver coins, jewelry, cannons, and personal effects of the pirates - even a human legbone, silk stocking, and shoe - that illuminate pirate life and culture as never before. Interwoven with his own exploits, Clifford pieces together and reveals the swashbuckling tale of the Whydak's pirate adventures along the North American coast, and of its notorious pirate captain, Samuel "Black Sam" Bellamy. The richness of the treasure and its story has led to the creation of the Whydah Museum project, a cutting-edge interactive museum, now in development. Filled with hair-raising excitement, treasure, history, high-tech salvage techniques, archaeological innovations, and a deckful of colorful characters (past and present), The Pirate Prince is a fast-paced and thrillingly cinematic read, sure to captivate those who love action on the water - much in the great tradition of Robert Louis Stevenson's Theatre Island and Joseph Conrad's Sea Wolf.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As a child, Clifford listened to his uncle's stories about pirates and dreamed of treasure; his favorite was that of Black Sam Bellamy and Whydah, sunk off Cape Cod in 1717. Clifford, grown and working in marine salvage on Martha's Vineyard, obtained a permit in 1982 to begin his search for the Whydah that would ultimately involve a $6 million investment, lawsuits and the break-up of his marriage. The story alternates between events of 1717 and those of the 1980s, which included finding the first gold doubloon in 1985. Clifford, writing with freelancer Turchi, describes modern salvage diving and the techniques of restoring artifacts, more than 100,000 of which have been recovered from the wreck. Although there are plans for a Whydah Museum to open in 1995, Clifford does not explain about disposal of the treasure, or whether he has recovered any of his investment. Unexpectedly, his account lacks excitement. Photos. (July)
Alice Joyce
Clifford's exploits as a modern-day treasure hunter are accompanied by a rousing overlay of pirate tales in this story of his search for an eighteenth-century ship sunk off the coast of Cape Cod. His extensive research into the location of the "Whydah" and his determination to recover its valuable contents derived from an obsessive, restless desire. A cast of colorful characters, a persevering crew, and interesting technical asides enliven the less-exciting particulars, such as the finagling for financing and the exhaustive legal hassles over salvage rights. Those details do, however, illustrate how biting the reality of an adventure such as this can actually be.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671768249
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/1993
  • Pages: 256

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