Barry Clifford Discovers Real Life Pirates Treasure and Shipwrecks

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Life’s Tough Media is pleased to announce the latest episode of our “Life’s Tough: Explorers are TOUGHER!” podcast series. Hosted by Richard Wiese—explorer extraordinaire and President of The Explorers Club—this episode features Barry Clifford, an underwater archeologist and among the world’s best known underwater explorers, known for discovering the remains of Samuel Bellamy’s wrecked pirate ship The Whydah, the only fully verified and authenticated pirate shipwreck of the Golden Age of Piracy ever discovered in the world.

This “Life’s Tough: Explorers are TOUGHER!” episode released on March 25th, 2021, and is now available on all major podcast networks, under the Podcast Channel “Life’s Tough: Explorers are Tougher”.

In this episode, Barry Clifford tells how he first got excited about exploring by spending hours playing in the drained cranberry bogs by his house, and finding the treasure that surfaced there. Barry grew up in Brewster Massachusetts and remembers hearing his uncles telling tales of the war, and their latest fishing expeditions. Most exciting was the story they told of the wrecked pirate ship, the Whydah (pronounced wih-duh) and the legend of Samuel Bellamy and his girlfriend—a condemned witch at the time, whose eyes were the color of the deep sea and her hair like cornsilk.

“I’m just fascinated with solving riddles,” Barry says. “The key to a lot of this is having experience with diving and being able to recognize things that most people wouldn’t recognize.” Some of his discoveries include The Fiery Dragon, commanded by the pirate William “Billy One-Hand” Condon; Captain Morgan’s flagship, The Oxford; the wreck of The Sainte-Marie off the coast of Madagascar that he believes was part of Captain Kidd’s treasure, where he found a 110 lb. silver ingot in.

But then Barry found it! The legendary pirate ship from his uncle’s stories—the remains of the Whydah—just off the coast of Wellfleet, Massachusetts. The Whydah is the only fully verified and authenticated pirate shipwreck of the Golden Age of Piracy ever discovered in the world and it is Barry’s most cherished discovery. Artifacts from the wreck provide historians with unique insights into the material, political and social culture of early 18th-century piracy. According to the federal admiralty law in 1988, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that 100% of the Whydah rightfully belonged to Barry Clifford. In fact, Barry also has exclusive diving rights to the site which is patrolled by the National Park Service and U.S. Coast Guard.

Barry has kept the Whydah Collection intact without selling a single piece of the more than 200,000 recovered artifacts, which includes tens of thousands of coins, more than 60 cannon, and the “everyday” objects used by the crew. He maintains a large private facility in which the majority of the Whydah artifacts are kept for conservation and examination; however, Clifford exhibits a variety of the ship’s artifacts, as well as from many other shipwreck discoveries, for the public to enjoy at his Whydah Pirate Museum in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts. In addition, a smaller selection of artifacts are kept with an international touring exhibition through a National Geographic/Premier Exhibitions joint venture, called Real Pirates.

Join Richard and Barry in their fascinating conversation about pirates, their treasures, and the stories these fabled shipwrecks hold.


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