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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sir Francis Drake's Burial Casket may have been found!

I received this email and since I just love history I thought it might interest some who enjoy this kind of stuff too. Those ship's captains were something!

 

"Treasure hunters claim they have discovered two ships from Sir Francis Drake’s fleet off the coast of Panama and believe his coffin could lie on the seabed nearby. By Barney Henderson

Now, more than 400 years after Sir Francis Drake's death in the Caribbean, the great seafarer's watery grave may be close to being discovered.
A team of treasure hunters led by an American former basketball team owner claims to have discovered two ships from Drake's fleet lying on the seabed off the eastern coast of Panama. The 195-ton Elizabeth and 50-ton Delight were scuttled shortly after the naval hero's death from dysentery, aged about 55, in 1596. It is thought that Drake's final resting place may be nearby.
Pat Croce, a former president of the Philadelphia 76ers and self-professed "pirate aficionado", embarked on a search for the ships after researching a book on the latter part of Drake's career, as a privateer plundering Spanish ships in the New World.
“It’s been truly miraculous,” Mr Croce told The Daily Telegraph. “You set yourself impossible goals in life but to find these two ships has been amazing . “We are 98 per cent sure of their veracity. The charred wood, the lead on board, the English pottery from that period. And we’re confident no crew in its right mind would have deliberately sailed there.
Mr Croce said that based on multiple records from the time, including the journal of Thomas Maynard, a member of Drake’s entourage who sailed on the Defiance, the coffin was believed to be one league – or just over three miles – away from the wrecks.
Mr Croce described Drake as his “favorite pirate of all time”. “Here’s a fellow in the 16th century who sailed around the world and single-handedly wreaked havoc in the New World when navigation was still primitive,” he said.
“Even Queen Elizabeth described him as her pirate. The British members of our crew have been very excited.”
Drake fell ill a few weeks after failing to conquer the port of Las Palmas.
He died while anchored off the coast of Portobelo and his two badly damaged ships were scuttled to avoid them, or their contents, falling into Spanish hands. Mr Croce's team, which includes experts and explorers from Britain, France, Australia, Panama and Colombia, used what diving experts have described as the most sophisticated equipment in the world to scan the ocean floor.
After locating the two ships, they now hope to find Drake's body, which has long been the target of treasure hunters and historians.
"It's truly a needle in a haystack, but so were the ships. We found them within a week. We just haven't found him, yet," said Mr Croce, the founder of the St Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum. The Elizabeth and Delight were emptied and torched after Drake died, so no treasure has been recovered, Mr Croce said.
The ships will remain in the water because they are the property of Panama, he added.
Marine archaeologists were amazed at the find. "We've really, I feel, hit a home run here with what we found with Pat," said James Sinclair, a marine archaeologist.
"Finding the Elizabeth and Delight near where Sir Francis Drake is buried is as exciting to me as helping discover the [Spanish treasure ship] Atocha and diving the RMS Titanic." He added: "Finding ship structures from that time period in this temperature of water with the type of organisms that exist is a treasure in itself.
"We have an area that future students of underwater archaeology will be able to use for years to come."
Drake, one of the key figures of the Elizabethan court, is revered for his defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. One of Britain's greatest adventurers, he became the second seafarer in history to circumnavigate the world."

Of course we al learned that Drake sailed along the California coast back then and even stopped and explored some lands along the way.  He was famous in his own time too.  

5 comments:

  1. How cool is this? It's VERY cool! I was raised mostly in Marin County, went to Drake High school. Grew up with all the Drake history and stories.

    I also love history and Drake was an amazing guy... and one bad ass sailor too.

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  2. Love this stuff. If anyone can find the lead coffin Odyssey Exploration would be my fist choice, if Ballard is not available.

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  3. Sir Francis Drake was a great man and a infamous pirate to the Spanish. I love history its my favorite subject. I hope someone does find his casket.

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  4. Drake was a grand man. May he rest in peace but find his remains I pray

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  5. I sailed the bay where Drake was buried and felt his presence. Leave him be. He is where any real sailor would wish to rest.

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Real name thank you.