Rare 1823 Wreck Found—Capt. Linked to "Moby-Dick," Cannibalism
Lightning struck ill-fated skipper twice.
The shipwreck was found at French Frigate Shoals in the remote Papahnaumokuakea Marine National Monument, archaeologists announced Friday.
At its peak, from the 1820s to the 1840s, Nantucket was home to several dozen whaling ships. Whaling crews hunted whales species for their blubber, which was boiled down into oils that were used in everything from lamps to perfume to machine lubricants.
Whale oil "was the day's equivalent of our oil trade. ... The resource was so valuable that it drove man to hunt species to extinction," explained Kelly Gleason, a maritime archaeologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and maritime heritage coordinator at Papahanaumokuakea.
(Related: "Whale Hunting to Continue in Antarctic Sanctuary.")
Pollard's first ship, the Essex, sank in