Blackbeard's Curse & Pirate's Gold
The most swashbuckling adventure in the John Storm ocean adventure franchise, 'Treasure Island,' is to be developed as a (1st draft) screenplay, and full graphic novel series, starting in June of 2023.
The privateer, Captain Henry Morgan, died in August, 1688 at Lawrencefield in Jamaica. He was entombed in Port Royal. Then on June 7, 1692, a massive earthquake followed by a tsunami submerged the city of Port Royal. Morgan along with it.
1716 the veteran mercenary, English Teach (Blackbeard) was declared a
pirate again, having once been pardoned. He was famous for his thick
black beard and fearsome features which terrified sailors when they were
being boarded. He lay in wait for ships plying passage to the east
coast of the American
colonies, North Carolina, blockading Charlestown, thus caught in a
trap he mercilessly sacked those merchants for their cargoes rich in
jewels and other
STORM BY NAME, STORMY BY NATURE - Only two people knew where Henry Morgan's golden hoard was hidden, and both of them are in Davy Jones Locker. Blackbeard was tortured by a British naval officer, who killed the pirate, trying to extract his secret. While Captain Morgan died of a heart attack, in a drunken stupor, on his plantation in Jamaica. John Storm finds the location, but refuses to reveal where it is, even in the International Court, where prosecutors try every trick in the book to make him talk. But John knows he has done nothing wrong, assisted by George Franks, an experienced legal eagle. The duo tie the prosecutors in knots.
Gold has long been viewed as the
never more so than during times of uncertainty and financial crisis.
nations no longer use the "gold standard" to determine the value of
currencies, the precious metal is still incredibly useful. It's held by
many central banks due to its immunity to political changes and economic
shocks while being a "liquid asset", which means it can be converted to
cash if needed.
Some three-hundred and twenty years later, give or take, another Caribbean quake shakes loose clues as to the submerging of Port Royal, with Blue Shield and UNESCO keen to protect any recoverable artifacts.
John Storm is called in to survey, with additional behind the scenes effort from Lord Huntington, of the British Geographical Society, all adding to the request for his underwater archaeological expertise to assist at Jamaica. With the discovery of Henry Morgan's coffin, clues surface as to the possible whereabouts of Teach's buried treasure.
Meanwhile, a former US Navy Captain, William Gray, learns of the subsea expedition, and discovers that Huntington is more than a little interested, so introduced John Long and his band of cutthroats to deal themselves into the game, set against a background of military patrols, as tensions between Columbia, Brazil, Mexico and Cuba, to add to the intrigue.
The hunt is on for the long lost treasure. New technology taking on an old pirate puzzle, but the game remains the same. No matter the clock has fast-forwarded 300 years. There is still foul play afoot to gratify many a Robert Louis Stevenson fan. Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum.
John Storm has heard many a sailor's yarn of Blackbeard's treasure, said to have been buried on Londoner's Island, the Virginia Beach sand dunes, and Plum Point and Blackbeard Island, among many other supposed locations, without any facts to support such theories. But, who does not enjoy a spooky sea tale? Imagine then his surprise, when confronted by the bones of Henry Morgan, he finds a secret compartment in the old sea dog's coffin, containing genuine clues in the form of a wooden carving. Analysis aboard the good ship Elizabeth Swann, confirms authenticity, and reveals much more.
One man has been guarding the existence of a parchment that contains clues to the location of Edward Teach's secret treasure trove on an Island in the Caribbean, said to be guarded by a macabre human spirit manifesting itself with a golden human skull. News of Storm's find triggers a treasure hunt.
Acts of God - Violent and destructive natural events, sometimes seen as punishment for wickedness and evil, or injustices
Admiral Benbow, The - A tavern where Jim Hawkins lived
Adventure - An 8 gun sloop captured by Blackbeard
Adventurers - People who explore land and oceans, looking to solve riddles
AI - Artificial Intelligence, by way of computer programs that simulate human like responses
Alexander Spotswood - Governor of Virginia who with Lt. Maynard, sought to trap Blackbeard to discover his treasure
Anne - Queen 1665 - 1714
Apple Barrels - Carried on sailing ships to prevent the crew from getting scurvy
Aztecs Empire - A Mesoamerican civilization in central Mexico
Ben Gunn - A marooned pirate who likes cheese
Benjamin Franklin - Founding father, Declaration of Independence, Blackbeard ballads
Bermuda Triangle - Area of the North Atlantic where ships and aircraft mysteriously disappear
Billy (One Eye) Bones - Is a dead shot marksman, ex SBS Royal Navy sailor, turned pirate adventurer
BioCore™ - Biological digital wireless communications interface, that revolutionizes medical monotoring
Blackbeard - Edward Teach, the Queen Anne's Revenge and Adventure
Blackbeard Island - Georgia, is a location where the pirate Edward Teach, may have buried some of his treasure
Blackbeard's Ghost - 1968 comedy starring Peter Ustinov, Walt Disney Studios
Black Dog - A pirate
Black Jack - Pirate computer hacker
Black Spot, The - A dreaded pirate sign
Bloody Triangle - Slave trading between Africa, England and the West Indies - Charles & James Stuart II
Blue Growth - Developing a sustainable marine economy; fishing, farming and transport
Blue Shield - Organization for the protection of our cultural heritage in times of unrest
British Geographical Society - BGS is a fictional thinkers club situated in Pall Mall, London, England
British Royal Navy - Admiralty and Ministry of Defence war office
Captain Flint - Long John Silver's pet parrot
Characters - Blackbeard's Curse & Pirates Gold
Charles I King of England - 1600 to 1647
Charles II King of England - 1630 to 1685
Christopher Columbus - Ferdinand of Aragon & Isabella of Castile
Colombian Navy - Armada de la Republica
Coracle - A small round boat
CyberCore Genetica™ - The world's smallest, fastest, and most powerful nano-supercomputer
Dan Hawk - Computer wizard & electronics genius, crew member Elizabeth Swann
Davy Jones's Locker - The sailors devil, a chest at the bottom of the sea signifying passing and their final resting place
Dead (Man's) Chest Island - British Virgin Islands - Where Blackbeard marooned his unruly pirates in folklore
Dead men tell no tales - Pirates language or code for giving reason to kill another pirate for careless talk
Diamonds - Highly prized gemstones as treasure favoured by pirates
Doubloons - Coins minted from solid gold
Edwin & Marion Link - Port Royal excavations 1959-1960
Elizabeth I - Good Queen Bess, the Spanish Armada, and her Sea Dogs, privateers
England - Home of the the Admiralty, British naval forces who operated ships in the Caribbean and all over the world
Excalibur - The laser cannon aboard the Elizabeth Swann, Pendragon and Merlin
Fortress - A fortified building or town, typically sporting cannons and turrets
George I, King of England and Ireland 1714 - 1727 - Coronation riots for unpopular German royal
George Franks - International solicitor advocate, with offices in London and Sydney
Graphics - Blackbeard's Curse and Pirates Gold
Guineas - Gold coins
Haba - Children's board game: The Curse of the Pirate Gold (Das verfluchte piratengold)
Henry VII - Eighth King named Henry, English tyrannical (divine) ruler, beheadings without trial & six wives
Holy Compass, The - Quest for knowledge life eternal, the Cup of Christ or Grail
Hurricanes - Tropical revolving storms, very high winds
Hydrofoils - Underwater wings that lift boats and small ships clear of the waves, for hull efficiency
Incan Empire - Forced labour in gold and silver mines
Inca gold - An ancient South American civilization rich in precious metal objects stretching from the Andes to Pacific coast
Islands, Caribbean - A to Z index West Indies
James II - King of England, Scotland & Ireland - slave trader African Company, colonialist British Empire 1633-1701
Jeremiah Murphy - Discovery Fort James, Port Royal 1859
Jewels - Precious gemstones, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, pearls, jewellery
Jill Bird - BBC World Service, senior anchor and news editor
Jim Hawkins - Cabin boy
John Storm - A conservationist and amateur anthropologist, who is an ocean adventurer
Kingston - The capital of Jamaica
LIDAR - Light Detection And Ranging
Lieutenant Robert Maynard - British Royal Navy, HMS Pearl, the man who killed Blackbeard
Lignum Vitae - Heavier than water Iron Wood, Guaiacum
Londoner's Island (Lunging) Isle of Shoals, Blackbeard & buried treasure, History Channel
Long John Silver - Pirate captain
Lord James Huntington - English aristocrat and professional treasure hunter
Maps - Treasure charts, usually written on waterproof velum or parchment
Mausoleums - Caskets Vs Coffins, Crypts, Vaults, final resting places RIP
Mayan gold - Ancient civilization from central America and southern Mexico, found to have substantial gold and silver treasures
Mexican Navy - Marina Armada de Mexico
Movies - Ten and more of the best and worst Treasure Island films (so far)
National Treasure 2004 film by Walt Disney, starring Nicholas Cage, Diane Kruger & Harvey Keitel
National Treasure 2007 Book of Secrets, starring Nicholas Cage, Diane Kruger & Harvey Keitel
Navigation - A skill that all pirates and naval officers needed to learn before the invention of GPS
Nicaraguan Navy - Marina de Guerra Sandinista
Old Providence - Isla de Providencia, Columbia
Orgies - Port Royal and other pirate locations where morals are very low
Paleoanthropolgy - The study of the development of man
Palisadoes Cemetery - Old Port Royal, notable for the internment of Captain Sir Henry Morgan
Panamanian Navy - National Aeronaval Service
Parrots - Talking birds
Pearls - Valuable pirate tender
Pieces of Eight - The Spanish dollar is a coin made of silver
Piracy, Modern - The most dangerous waters for pirates
Pirates - Sailors who scour the sea for ships they can plunder
Plum Point - Bath Creek, North Carolina is a site where Blackbeard may have buried part of his treasure
Port Royal - The former capital of Jamaica, that got washed into the sea by a tsunami
Port Royal - UNESCO World Heritage Site, tentative listing, Jamaica
Puss In Boots Blackbeard's Curse - Dreamworks (Universal) animation proposed for 2024
Queen Anne of England 1665 - 1714
Queen Anne's Revenge - Former French slave traders ship captured by Blackbeard, rediscovered wreckage historic site
Queen Anne's War - Spanish war of Succession, inter colonial fight for control of the American colonies
RADAR - Radio Detection And Ranging
Robert Louis Stevenson - Scottish novelist: Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Curious Case of Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde
Robin John Longstride - A pirate known as 'John Long' to his shipmates. He has a parrot named Captain Flint and cooks
ROVs - Remotely Operated Vehicles, typically smaller underwater vessels for marine survey and salvage work
Rubies - Red gemstones highly prized by pirates
Rum - The devil drink of Jamaica, Captain Morgan's Rum
Sam Hollis - Freelance roving reporter, based in Trinidad, covering the Caribbean geographical regions
Sargassum - US Virgin Islands declares a state of emergency April 2022
Satisfaction - Henry Morgan's ship that sank in 1671 at Lajas Reef during a raid on Fort San Lorenzo
SBS - Special Boat Services, units of the Royal Navy dealing with highly classified Black Ops
SeaVax-Calypso - Floating, navigable seaweed harvesting machines for the Caribbean Sea
Skeleton Island - An uncharted location known only to a few pirates, inhabited by numerous well positioned human skeletons
Scott Tremaine - Ship's captain and explorer
Script - Blackbeard's Curse and Pirates Gold
SCUBA Gear - Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, diving equipment and dive computers
Silver - Coins and bullion, pirates treasure, pieces of eight
Sir Rodney Baskerville - Professor of maritime history, specializing in shipwrecks and recovery
Slavery, Slave Trading - Africans taken from Gold Coast and sold into slavery on colonial plantations
Smithsonian Magazine - March 2011, did archaeologists uncover Blackbeard's treasure on the Queen Anne's Revenge
Sovereigns - British solid gold minted coins, Henry VIII, 1489
Spain - Spanish Navy Española Marines - treasure ships, laden with gold and gemstones
Squire Trelawny - Treasure hunt sponsor
Stealth Ships - Vessels (including aircraft) that are invisible to radar
Storms - Hurricanes, rough seas and tornadoes
Sugar Plantations - Farms where cane is grown to produce sugar
Texas University - Institute of Nautical Archaeology: 1981 to 1990 excavations of old Port Royal
The Goonies - A treasure hunting yarn from 1985 based on the pirates map of One Eyed Willy
The Old Anchor Inn, Bristol
Top Ten Films - 10 best Treasure Island movies index
Tortuga - A favourite pirate haunt of old
Treasure Trove - Who owns the treasure that is found buried or stashed away. Is it you or the State?
Trisha Lippard - Cleopatra's alias, to protect her royal identity
Tsunami - A giant wave usually triggered by seismic activity such as an earthquake
Underwater Kingdom - Innerspace, is the opposite of outerspace
Universal & Mandeville Studios - Treasure Island under development Oct 2019 >>>
USS Port Royal CG73 - Navy warship named after battles in American Civil War and Revolution
Velum - Animal skin version of parchment
Virginia Beach - Chesapeake, North Carolina, is a spot where Blackbeard may have buried some of his treasure
Voodoo - The practice of black and white magic, now a recognised religion for its healing powers
Water - Traditionally kept in a barrel, but subject to
William Gray - Former US Navy Captain
M O V I E : S T O R Y - M A P (SYNOPSIS)
PLOT SUMMARY: At the request of Blue Shield ( UNESCO), John Storm surveys the sunken Caribbean city of Port Royal, Jamaica, with the Elizabeth Swann, in his capacity as marine archaeologist, following a worrying earth tremor, when he discovers the resting place of former buccaneer Sir Henry Morgan who passed in 1688. This news reaches England (BBC Jill Bird - world service) where Lord Huntington believes that the engraving John Storm has found puts them on a parallel course, where the ocean adventurer could help unravel a parchment his family have been guarding since Blackbeard's death in 1718, 300 years earlier. In London, Lord Huntington, of the British Geographical Society (BGS), learns of this, and realizes the find could help him decode a parchment handed down through generations of his family, as a map, that once belonged to Blackbeard, telling the whereabouts of the buried treasure that remained undiscovered on Skeleton Island; thought to be an unmarked island. Commander James Maynard RN, & the BGS fund Operation Hispaniola, doomed to failure, but Storm is persuaded by Huntington to assist further, then reveals his map, taking them to Santa Catalina & Isla Providencia, unfortunately ravaged by Hurricane Iota, where mutineer John Long kidnaps Cleopatra and Dan Hawk, and Maynard joins forces with the Spanish Navy to capture the Elizabeth Swann, along with the Aztec Gold and Skull. John Storm finds Morgan's treasure and secures a salvage deal with Peru, Ecuador, Panama and Mexico, evading a blockade by British and Spanish warships, and retaking the Swann from pirates Bones & Boon. On return to England, Maynard is charged with misconduct and absconds, while the pirates purloin another vessel and sail into the Bermuda Triangle, not to be seen again.
Aiming for a screenplay 90-110 pages max.
PROLOGUE: ROYAL AFRICAN COMPANY - King Charles II, grants a Royal Charter to his brother James Stuart II, giving him and other partners, the exclusive right to transport goods from Africa, updated in 1663 to include the exclusive right to trade in slaves from the Gold Coast, in supply to British colonies, as cheap labour for plantations in the Caribbean, Virginia and Carolina - the so-called Bloody Triangle.
SCENE 1. THE BATTLE OF OCRACOKE - North Carolina Historic flashback - 1718, 22nd November, a British naval taskforce led by Lieutenant Robert Maynard lay in wait for Edward Teach (Blackbeard), beheading the troublesome pirate after a long and bloody swordfight, including severval gunshots wounds by way of a torturous interrogation. As Blackbeard expires on the deck of the Adventure, he curses the English sailors and their kin, taking the secret of his treasure with him to the Devil.
SCENE 2. EARTHQUAKE JAMAICA - Present Day - An earthquake hits Port Royal, disturbing the sunken city. Underwater scenes of chaotic movement ripples, what is left of buildings rocking. A Palisadoes cemetery opening an entrance to Henry Morgan's mausoleum.
SCENE 3. BLUE SHIELD ENGLAND - England - Blue Shield, Newcastle University. John Storm is called to Jamaica urgently, requested by UNESCO, to catalogue the archaeological remains of the underwater city, using the Elizabeth Swann's ultra modern array of subsea survey sensors, worried that another quake threatens to wipe out all records. They plan to make the submerged city a UNEP World Heritage Site.
SCENE 4. HENRY MORGAN'S DEATH - Historic flashback - Henry Morgan musing taking of a prize ship as a pirate off coast of Venezuela and Panama, while he is working his sugar cane plantation in drunken condition, he has a heart attack. Cut to his funeral ceremony at Palisadoes cemetery, old Port Royal.
SCENE 5. SUNKEN CITY SURVEY - Caribbean Sea Present Day - The Swann's sensors scan the ocean bed, revealing what turns out to be the mausoleum and tomb containing remains of the former Governor of Jamaica. It is under threat of imminent and dangerous collapse.
SCENE 6. JUNE 1692 TSUNAMI - Jamaica Historic flashback - June 7th, an earthquake hits Port Royal, then a tsunami washes the pirate haven under the sea, covering Henry Morgan's mausoleum. Washing clean the sins of the wicked city.
SCENE 7. HENRY MORGAN'S COFFIN - Jamaica Present Day - John Storm investigates target underwater areas using an ROV, then dives the site, coming face to face with Sir Henry's macabre skeletal remains. Then discovering secret compartment in his coffin, and interesting wooden engraving.
SCENE 8. BBC JILL BIRD - London. "The intrepid conservationist, Mr John Storm .." News of the archaeological find and condition of lost Henry Morgan, pirate's remains - saved. "And for those of you wondering, there was no treasure."
SCENE 10. SHIP'S COOK - William Gray helps John Long and his band of cut-throats to crew for Huntington's Hispaniola, on the basis of purloined data from a UNESCO report on a description of Henry Morgan's wooden engraving. John Long poses as a cartographer, but proves to be a dab hand on the galley. He is elected ship's cook.
SCENE 11. ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOS - Huntington contacts John Storm, asking for help with the supposed shipwreck survey - meet in the Caribbean. Asking for ES assistance as portable lab, appealing to Storm's general interest in such matters. At this stage John has no idea about the parchment Huntington has been keeping a secret, thinking he is cosher, as a BGS bigwig.
SCENE 12. SKELETON ISLAND - Intrigued as to the map now proffered by Lord Huntington, John agrees to switch attention to the new location, even though not that far off the cost of Panama. The map, though not the original parchment recovered from Blackbeard's Adventure, is sufficiently alluring after checking historical accuracy, as to be believable. John keeps the information recovered from Morgan's casket to himself, genuinely unsure if it relates to the mysterious map - and just in case there are any heritage assets to safeguard, though both men probe each other for more clues continuously. Commander Maynard has bugged the Hispaniola, so knows of their intended location. Speeds to Caribbean.
SCENE 13. SANTA CATALINA - The Colombian Archipelago including San Andreas, Santa Catalina and Providence Islands, is swarming with naval ships. Colombian, Mexican, Panamanian and Nicaraguan navies routinely patrolling close by, triggered by the discovery of Henry Morgan's ship 'Satisfaction' at Lajas Reef between 2008-10, the military of these countries have been alive to the possibility of a claim on the Aztec gold, looted by the Spanish Conquistadors. Then re-acquired by the Welsh privateer momentarily in 1671, to be lost again in time again.
SCENE 14. TREASURE ISLAND - Rendezvous at Muelle de Barcos, crew asked to remain on docked Hispaniola. Dan and Cleopatra to remain on Swann. But Long shadows Huntington and Storm, as they seek to identify map landmarks. Mostly erased by Hurricane Iota. Huntington is forced to reveal other clues, not included on duplicate map. They find a cave full of pirate skeletons, and a golden skull. John Longstride thinks this is location of Blackbeard's/Morgan's treasure. He noted John's strength in moving some large rocks, impossible for an ordinary man to move. Huntington also surprised at the extraordinary feats.
SCENE 15. KIDNAP - Longstride orders Black Jack and Billy Bones to kidnap Dan and Cleopatra going onboard as supposed friendlies - then lock in Hispaniola (then anchored in new location) cabin tied up with Tremaine, to be used as hostage leverage. Then, to steal the Elizabeth Swann. The pirates think they have control of the Swann, but Hal allows that illusion, not wanting to Taser the illicit guests until Dan and Cleopatra are safely recovered. Hal alerts John to events via BioCore, when Longstride tips his hand, give us the map, golden skull and cave contents and we'll release hostages Hispaniola and return Swann.
SCENE 16. DOUBLE CROSS - Maynard does deal with Spanish Navy to blockade south-west Caribbean & Santa Catalina/Providence islands, to prevent John or Huntington returning to Atlantic with Blackbeard's/Morgan's gold - which they consider to be theirs - split 50-50. They are prepared to board or sink Swann and/or Hispaniola - to take as prize ships. Nicaragua remains neutral. Mexican and Panamanian governments decline offer to join group. Express concerns, as to cultural heritage, where technically a Colombian Archipelago surrounded international waters, hence they consider blockade, a pseudo act of piracy. Hal intercepts messages as watching brief. Maynard offers Longstride a deal for Aztec Golden Skull, but John Long will will not agree to harming of Dan or Cleopatra. He does secure safe passage through blockade.
SCENE 17. BLACKBEARD'S CURSE - Threatened once again, John retakes Swann, actually Hal immobilizes Black Jack and Billy Bones. They (JS & Swann) then rescue prisoners on Hispaniola. Hal locating new anchorage. Huntington and Tremaine clap Longstride, Boon and Bones in irons on Hispaniola. The Hispaniola heads to Muelle de Barcos, to hand pirates over to authorities. But, the pirates escape, purloin a boat from dock, then go to cave and take the Golden Skull, despite Blackbeard's Curse - pushing on to Maynard's ship to deliver Golden Skull, thence through blockade, into Caribbean.
SCENE 18. MORGAN'S TREASURE SHIP - John deciphers code on wooden carving with help from Dan and Cybercore Genetica. Putting the Swann into stealth mode, so invisible to blockade, John dives to find the privateer's sunken treasure, thinking in cave, but actually discovers a whole ship, laden with gold, silver and gemstones; huge cargo. He videos ship in water, and holds as evidence and schedule of contents. But does not remove anything from the wreck.
SCENE 19. BILLION DOLLAR DEAL - John opens negotiations with Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Panama, keeping Blue Shield in the loop. He plays them video of wreck, all astonished. Panama (owners of wreck) offer 10% to John for location. John accepts 5%, on proviso wreck is preserved as heritage site, and treasure Aztec treasure is recognised, in museum displays, to be divided appropriately, himself as final arbiter with guidance from Blue Shield.
SCENE 20. BLOCKADE RUNNER - The Swann navigates a course through a blockade, proceeding in stealth mode, invisible to radar. Not wanting to harm Spanish Armada or Royal Navy ships collaborating to capture John's ship. He reports events to US President. US remains neutral. John goes public with Jill Bird world service broadcasting the find of Morgan's treasure with exclusive footage of: 'Blade Runner.' Commander Maynard is relieved of command, due to be charged with misconduct. He absconds with Aztec Golden Skull. Spain declines to comment on their involvement. An embarrassed UK reserves their position.
SCENE 21. BERMUDA TRIANGLE - Pirates boat last reported heading into the Bermuda Triangle, Colombian Navy in pursuit - the mutineers disappear in a freak storm, presumed loss of all hands: BBC and Sky News. Never to be seen again, or so one would think.
TREASURE ISLAND - CAST
APRIL 2023 - The Cleaner Ocean Foundation started building a 2.4 meter special effects model - to double for exhibitions and events from November 2023 - and for giving technology demonstrations at suitable events, for those who may never have seen a fast solar powered boat in action. You can see some of the main components and radio control transmitter in the picture above - and follow the build of this ground breaking technology, leading to launch, open water trials, and (eventually) water tank testing.
B l a c k b e a r d ' s C u r s e and P i r a t e ' s G o l d
Shipmates, feel free to use our A - Z to search for treasure. Yo, ho, ho me hearties
This original story is Copyright © 2023 Cleaner Ocean Foundation Ltd.