by Björn Schöpe
August 6, 2015 – In May American treasure hunter Barry Clifford attracted attention internationally once again when he discovered a silver bar weighing some 50 kg off the coast of Madagascar. Confidently Clifford announced that this bar was from the shipwreck of the legendary pirate Captain Kidd. Now, however, this spectacular finding has been shown nothing else but a spectacle.
Immediately after the discovery UNESCO voiced misgivings. Clifford’s working method did not meet scientific standards, they said. Therefore the international organisation demanded Clifford’s statement to be proved. With a team, for four days, French expert Michel L’Hour went to the place where Clifford had dived.
The result is disillusioning: the bar is 95 % lead. Apparently it is a modern lead-ballast piece of a fishnet. The divers could not confirm the shipwreck either as they were not able to find any one. According to them at the position indicated by Clifford was only old rubble, probably once part of the port constructions now broken down.
Clifford’s team replied: it was UNESCO who did not work carefully and applied debatable methods. The organisation was clearly trying to fight private research and Clifford himself. Clifford’s son Branford who works with his father spoke to the media. Referring to the lead bar he said that his father was ‘100 per cent convinced it was silver’. Then he said: ‘I believe Unesco is going to take a very good thing away from Madagascar and the people of Sainte Marie.’
And this seems to be the crux of the whole matter: Clifford handed his sensational discovery over to Madagascar’s president in an ostentatious ceremony. People were already saying that tourism would benefit enormously from this finding. But as it stands this forecast has become obsolete.
On this new development reported The Guardian.
Another article is available on the website of The Daily Mail.