pirate Sam Bellamy

Pirates invade Chicago's Field Museum


By Randy Mink


We all have romanticized visions of pirates and may have daydreamed about a swashbuckling life at sea.

Chicago's Field Museum will shed light on those notorious seafaring plunderers of yesteryear in the touring exhibition "Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship."

From Feb. 27-Oct. 25, landlubbers can sail with legendary pirate Sam Bellamy and his crew and learn the true story of the Whydah, an empty slave ship that was captured in the Bahamas in February 1717.

Two months later, the vessel, laden with booty seized from 50 ships, sank off the coast of Massachusetts.

Underwater explorer Barry Clifford discovered the shipwreck in 1984 and is excavating the site.

More than 200 artifacts from the first fully authenticated pirate ship ever found in U.S. waters will be on display at the Field.