ST LOUIS, Mo – A group of amateur divers this weekend discovered a sunken pirate ship in the Mississippi river south of St. Louis.
The discovery was made Saturday near Oakville, Missouri after a group of divers, searching for lost river boat artifacts, came across the large ship.
“We have found parts of smaller river boats before. At first we thought it was just another one of those,” Jake Turner, one of the divers, tells us. “We quickly noticed that this was no ordinary boat, instead it became clear that this was an old sailing ship.”
The ship they discovered was the Negrito, captained by legendary Pacific pirate Black Eye Dan. According to legend the Negrito went vanished in 1708 and is believed to have sunk somewhere in the south Pacific. Various treasure hunters searched for several years for the missing ship with no luck.
Aboard the ship the divers found a large number of gold and jade artifacts, along with over 100 barrels of honey infused moonshine, which is likely the reason the pirates sailed to the area originally.
The divers say they will keep any treasure and artifacts, but will donate the ship itself to the city of St. Louis to be used as a museum. The boat will be on display under the Gateway Arch, inside the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, where a permanent exhibit will be constructed.
“We are thrilled to add the ship to the memorial,” St Louis visitor’s bureau president Nat Hudson tells us. “We did receive several request from the ancestors of the ship to return it to south-east Asia. We figured however it was in everyone’s best interest to drag it out for the world to see while we make a few bucks charging admission. We will respect the families by giving them free admission and a 25% discount off all merchandise though.”
Hudson says a temporary exhibit for the ship will officially open in April. The St. Louis visitor’s bureau will hold a contest between now and the opening for people to come up with the best conspiracy theory about how the ship reached St. Louis. Best entries will be shared on all major international news organizations.