In search of pirate Black Jack

Posted: 03/27/2012 in all marine news

Angela Pownall –

Ruthless, murderous and cruel yet charismatic and passionate, Black Jack Anderson ruled the islands and waters off WA’s Recherche Archipelago in the early 1800s.

He is Australia’s only known pirate, yet the story of his life and crimes is little known outside of Esperance, the south coast town closest to Anderson’s hunting ground.

WA archaeologists, who went to Middle Island – the biggest island in the archipelago – during a recent expedition to the remote area, surveyed what is believed to have been Anderson’s cave in a bay on the south side of the island.

Facing open ocean that stretches to Antarctica, “Black Jack’s bay” can only be accessed in good weather, conditions that are not common in the wild Southern Ocean.

The limestone cave, which leads to chambers and tunnels that go deep into the ridge, is the perfect place for a pirate to hide his loot, as local legend has it.

Anderson was an American who came to Australia as his countrymen and Europeans hunted for seals and whales in the bountiful Southern Ocean.

He roamed the waters around Middle Island, robbing passing boats and ships.

Anderson was reported to have killed local Aboriginal people and kidnapped women to live with, and serve, him and his followers.

Full story…

 

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