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Explorer’s hunt for two tonnes of Captain Kidd’s booty of silver and gold among shipwrecks, secret tunnels and graves

Ian Harvey

exhib_slideshow_bohfs_sunkentreasureThe paradise for tourists of 21st century and a safe haven for the buccaneers of the 17th century, the island of Ile Sainte Marie has more to offer then just beauty and serenity. From late 17th century to the most part of the early 18th century the breathtakingly beautiful strip of land off the coast of Madagascar Mainland, was ruled by thousands of the most notorious Pirates from around the world.

These pirates plundered the merchant ships of almost all the major empires of the world at that time including British, French, as well as Mughals of India. The Island’s proximity to one of the major trade routes of the time meant that the looters could easily identify and attack merchant ships from all over the world.

The buccaneers thrived on the island with more gold, and silver then they could ever spend. Rum flowed all seasons, festivals and celebration was a common occurrence, however behind all the glitter the hideous business of piracy thieved in leaps and bounds.

Food and women were abundant and the structure of the island is such that it was protected against storms with plenty of fresh water all over the island. Soon the beautiful Island turned into a mecca of looters and plunderers. Three centuries later scores of graves belonging to the pirates of 17th century could be found on the Island marked with skulls and bones signifying the piracy. (Mail Online)

The surrounding waters of Ile Sainte Marie have believed to be keeping more than 75 shipwrecks from the time of pirates. One explorer and famously dubbed ‘treasure hunter’ from United States have been working on the exploring the Island for the last fifteen years. Barry Clifford, 70 who is a veteran underwater explorer and a shipwreck enthusiast believed to have unearthed one of the most infamous treasures of all. In May this year Mr. Clifford announced that he had discovered the treasure belonging to the famous Scottish pirate William Kidd.

William Kidd conducted some of the most successful pirate operations off the shores of the Island and was later arrested and executed by the British Empire. According to the legends, Kidd left his treasure on the Island before British Officials arrested him. However recent analysis of Mr. Clifford’s discovery carried out by a UNESCO teamed proved that the ‘silver ingot’ presented by Mr. Clifford is actually a fake and has no historic value.