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Some Question Discovery Of Blackbeard's Flagship Off N.C. Coast

Posted April 8, 2005

— Nine years ago, researchers believe they found Queen Anne's Revenge, Blackbeard the pirate's flagship. Now, some Archaeologists at East Carolina University are not so sure.

Researchers found a major shipwreck at Beaufort Inlet nearly a decade ago. They later located 23 cannons resting on the ocean floor. Archaeologists have recovered some of them, along with other 18th century artifacts, which they say all point to the famous vessel.

"I am, from my point of view, personally 1,000 percent sure it is Queen Anne's Revenge. I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever," researcher Phil Masters said.

"We've come to the conclusion that there is no evidence yet that this is the Queen Anne's Revenge," archeologist Brad Rodgers said.

Rodgers has just published his theory in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.

"By examining the evidence, it looks for all the world that this may be a merchant vessel from about the right time period," he said.

"For them to come up and make this a big issue in an international magazine, I think, is really unfair and I think it's driven by jealousy," researcher Mike Daniel said.

"The moment we found more than 10 cannons, we knew it was Queen Anne's Revenge the first day we found it," Masters said.

Archaeologists worry now what the doubters will do to their funding. They have excavated only 2 percent of the wreck. They received $250,000 in funding this year, half coming from state lawmakers. Archaeologists hope to dive on the wreck again in May.

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