Wreck's large size, weapons that of 18th-century pirate, experts say.
After 15 years of uncertainty, a shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina has been confirmed as that of the infamous 18th-century pirate Blackbeard, state officials say.
The Queen Anne's Revenge grounded on a sandbar near Beaufort (see map) in 1718, nine years after the town had been established. Blackbeard and his crew abandoned the ship and survived.
Until recently, the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resourcesemphasized that the wreck, discovered in 1995, was "thought to be" the Queen Anne's Revenge.
Now, after a comprehensive review of the evidence, those same officials are sure it's the ship sailed by one of history's fiercest and most colorful pirates.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ROBERT R. CLARK, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC