BEAUFORT, NC (WECT) - The Queen Anne's Revenge is considered by many to be one of the most well preserved and historic shipwrecks of the modern era.
Last week it was announced that the main anchor of that ship would be excavated. One man who doesn't agree with that is the Queen Anne's Revenge discoverer, Captain Mike Daniel.
"We all need to look at this and 'go wait a minute.' Everyone needs to be aware of what's about to happen here," said Daniel. "When this anchor is removed, we're tearing it out of a concretion."
Concretions are vital to the preservation of the ship. They cover the exterior and loose artifacts, making them part of a natural reef.
Captain Daniel believes archaeologists are more concerned with the ship's artifacts than with preserving the ship itself.
"Archaeology is a destructive science. What it does is it dismantles a historic site, gathering information from that site as they destroy it," explained Daniel. "We don't have to do that right now. The type of artifacts they're hoping to find under this anchor in general are more of the same: cannon balls, cannons. There's no reason to think that there's something underneath there that is unique."
Daniel surrendered his rights to the ship for what he assumed was the greater good.
"When we discovered the ship wreck I was instrumental in talking my partners with Intersal Incorporated into giving our shares to the people of North Carolina. A concession we were given was we would have input on what would happen to the ship wreck," said Daniel. "Unfortunately that is not taking place. This whole thing with the anchor I hadn't even heard about it until it hit the press."
The captain knows full well the value of the ship and her artifacts.
"The amount of people who would come to see that collection if it was put on a world tour would make hundreds of millions of dollars," said Daniel.
Daniel compares the Queen Anne's Revenge to the Titanic, noting that their artifacts went on display at approximately the same time. He says that over 16 million people have seen those artifacts and wreckage, at $25 a head, equaling an estimated $400 million that could potentially go to the state of North Carolina.
"That's where my concern is, before we dismantle this thing and demolish it so that we no longer have any Queen Anne's Revenge to speak except for her artifacts that would stored in a museum," explained Daniel.