An expedition overseen by underwater explorer Barry Clifford has located a silver bar believed to have been left by William Kidd, the 17th-century Scottish pirate, the BBC said
The bar, weighing more than 100 pounds, was found off Ile Sainte-Marie on Madagascar's northeastern coast.
Clifford is no stranger to amazing finds. In 1984, he located the pirate ship Whydah off Massachusetts' Cape Cod, the "only verified pirate shipwreck ever found in U.S. waters," according to National Geographic
. The treasure of the Whydah, which went down in 1717, included gold and silver coins, African jewelry and weaponry.
Clifford also led an expedition that was thought to have found the Christopher Columbus ship Santa Maria, but a UNESCO team later determined the ship dated from much later
Clifford's work in Madagascar dates back to at least 1999 when his team found Kidd's ship Adventure Galley.
Kidd has long had a reputation as a brutal pirate, though historians have noted he was less cruel
than his contemporaries.
Born in Scotland in 1645, he later moved to New York and was eventually hired to protect English ships in the Caribbean. After some success, he returned to England and began to captain the Adventure Galley.
The Adventure Galley was intended for the Caribbean as well, but with little work, Kidd turned to Madagascar and the Indian Ocean. While sailing near the tip of India, he spotted the Quedagh Merchant, a ship with all sorts of valuables. Kidd and his crew attacked and took over the ship.
Unfortunately for Kidd, the owner of the Quedagh Merchant had powerful connections in London, and Kidd was arrested, tried and hanged in 1701.
Nevertheless, legend has followed the sea captain around -- particularly the belief that he left buried treasure all over the world. The Madagascar find may settle that question to at least some degree.