NOVEMBER 2016 was the 20th ANNIVERSARY of INTERSAL’S DISCOVERY of BLACKBEARDS QUEEN ANNE’S REVENGE!
The shipwreck of Blackbeard’s the Pirate’s ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge (QAR) was discovered by Intersal, Inc. on November 21st, 1996 at Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina. Initial excavation and recovery efforts during 1997 provided overwhelming evidence that it was indeed Blackbeard’s Flagship which had been found. 14 cannons were located that first season; many were 6 pound shot cannon, too big for smaller vessels. Two of the cannons were raised and began undergoing their long conservation process. Of the cannon located, there were two sizes and a variety of musket barrels which indicated that this was not a regular naval vessel, but a pirate’s collection of munitions.
Also collected was a bag shot grenade or “Molotov Cocktail” style weapon that was lit and thrown. When the device exploded it showered the area with shot and shrapnel. The use of the device by pirates was described by William Defoe in his description of the final battle between Blackbeard and Maynard where Blackbeard was finally killed.
Other items recovered include pewter platters from London, 17th and 18th Century gin bottles (which are important to any Pirate vessel), a 1714 onion bottle, 3 anchors-one of which still had a partial wood shank. The size of the early 18th century style anchors indicate that the ship would have been about 360 tons in size. The 6 pound cannons alone weigh 2500 pounds each.
The ship lies in 25 feet of water with heavy Coast Guard and law enforcement security. The some of the artifacts on the bottom were easily accessible as seen in video tape shot of the recovery effort, however they are heavily encrusted and are mostly in a tangled heap making recovery difficult.
Intersal, led by president Phil Masters, entered into agreements with the state of North Carolina with the goal of keeping intact the entire collection, which promises to be one of the richest maritime archaeological finds of the century.