Cape Cod museum testing if unearthed bones belong to feared pirate

Conservationists at the Whydah Pirate Museum said they found skeletal remains of a crew member of the pirate ship Whydah Gally inside a mass of hardened sand and stone pulled from the wreck site near Wellfleet.

YARMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — Researchers are examining whether human bones found in a Cape Cod shipwreck are those of the infamous pirate Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy.

The Whydah Pirate Museum in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, says Wednesday that archeologists uncovered the remains in the wreck last year, near what they believe to be Bellamy’s pistol.

They’ve enlisted forensic scientists from the University of New Haven in Connecticut to compare DNA from the bones to a DNA sample given by one of Bellamy’s living descendants in the United Kingdom.

The Whydah Gally went down in stormy seas off Wellfleet in 1717, killing nearly all its 150-person crew, including Bellamy, and leaving its ill-gotten riches at the bottom of the ocean.


It was discovered in 1984 by Barry Clifford, an explorer who owns the pirate museum.