Commanded by the famed pirate Sam Bellamy, the Whydah was wrecked off Wellfleet in 1717, taking with her the treasures of fifty plundered ships.
According to Cape Cod legend, Bellamy was returning to his lady-love, Maria Hallett, the “Witch of Wellfleet”, when his ship met disaster in one of the worst storms to strike the eastern seaboard.
Only two men of 146 made it to the beach alive, making the Whydah wreck the worst ever on the shores of the Cape.
Bellamy’s loss was history’s gain, however, as the contents of his once-proud flagship represent a unique look into the lives of the pirates, and an unprecedented cross-cultural sampling of treasures from the world of the 18th century.
Discovered by underwater explorer Barry Clifford, this archaeological shipwreck recovery project has been named a National Geographic Society “Special Event”, and our Provincetown Museum is the headquarters for our ongoing underwater archaeological missions.
Here you can see the world’s only pirate treasure–together with such fascinating artifacts as cannon, firearms, and more–and learn the amazing history of this famous shipwreck and the men who sailed her. Learn how we recover priceless treasures from the sea-bed and decipher the untold secrets of the pirates! Help us interpret x-rays of mysterious heavily-encrusted objects and discover the painstaking and fascinating scientific work that preserves these time capsules of the past.
As the must-see historical attraction on Cape Cod, our exhibition is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the entire family; whether you have just a half hour, or an entire afternoon!