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Blackbeard's anchor recovered off NC coast

Posted May 27, 2011
Updated May 29, 2011

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— An anchor from what's believed to be the wreck of the pirate Blackbeard's flagship saw the light of day Friday for the first time in almost 300 years.

Archaeologists believe the anchor, raised from the ocean floor off Beaufort, is from the "Queen Anne's Revenge," which sank in 1718, five months before Blackbeard was killed in a battle.

The shipwreck was found in 1996.

Blackbeard's anchor recovered Blackbeard's anchor recovered

Ken Howard, director of the North Carolina Maritime Museum, is certain about the value of the find.

"This is the Queen Anne's Revenge, he said.

"This is Blackbeard's ship, the most famous pirate in history, the one name everyone recognizes. I'd say this is incredibly priceless."

The recovery coincides with the release this month of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," which features both Blackbeard and the Queen Anne's Revenge.

Wendy Welsh, who was part of the dive team that brought the anchor to the surface, hedged, but just a little bit. 

"As an archaeologist, you always have to leave yourself an out and say you're 99.9 percent sure, but you ask anyone who works on this project, and we all think this is the Queen Anne's Revenge.

A research team led by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Underwater Archeology Branch directed the operation, which lifted the 3,000-pound anchor from 20 feet deep. The anchor is about 13 feet long and 8 feet across. The artifact is the second-largest item at the site, out-sized only by another anchor.

Lifting the anchor will let archaeologists see what lies beneath it, a project that could continue for years.

Wendy Welsh Diver helps raise Blackbeard anchor

Welsh said the operation was a textbook execution. "The anchor was just hovering there. It was a wonderful feeling to be involved in this," she said.

"Just to see it raise up nice and even, it was unbelievable."

The research vessel Dan Moore headed for port with the anchor on board. It will be sent to Greenville for conservation.

31 Comments

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  • ncmickey May 27, 2011

    People will try to tie anything into politics... its a sickness.

  • Shine -On May 27, 2011

    The news beats American Idol although I do congragulate the young man from Garner that won.

  • clickhere May 27, 2011

    Blackbeard for sainthood.He represented the true American spirit by robbing the rich and giving some to the poor.I could see his picture on the new trillion dollar bill.
    THE ETERNAL
    Good thought - or maybe on the penny, more to the truth.

  • Alex25 May 27, 2011

    Pirates Party.......no difffff.

  • Alex25 May 27, 2011

    Pirates Party..... EcU also Parties.....no difffff.

  • THE ETERNAL May 27, 2011

    Blackbeard for sainthood.He represented the true American spirit by robbing the rich and giving some to the poor.I could see his picture on the new trillion dollar bill.

  • Mr. Tibbs May 27, 2011

    This will be a good tourist attraction.

  • patchscratch27 May 27, 2011

    'If only that anchor could talk!'

    it would say.... AAARRRRRRRGGHHHH!!!!!

  • ifcdirector May 27, 2011

    Pirates digging up pirates.

  • grasshopperrtp2 May 27, 2011

    If only that anchor could talk!

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