Commanded by the pirate Sam Bellamy, the Whydah was wrecked off Wellfleet in 1717, taking with her the treasure of fifty plundered ships.
According to Cape folklore, Bellamy was returning to his love, Maria Hallett, the “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 the worst wreck ever on the shores of the Cape.
Bellamy’s loss was history’s gain, however, as the contents of his 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 is a National Geographic Society “Special Event”, and our museum is our headquarters for our on-going archaeological mission.
Here you can see the world’s only pirate treasure–together with personal remains as weapons, jewelry and clothing—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.
Geared for ages “6 to 106” the Whydah Pirate Museum is a “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!