By the advice of my Professor, I have been contacting experts on various experts who could offer information and advice on the topic of my paper.
I managed to track down an underwater archeologist who does some part time work for the Archeological Society of Virginia in the area where Owens lived. I asked him what the Society new of Edward Owens but he said he hasn’t heard anything more then rumors and stories. I asked him about if it would be even possible for a pirate to operate on the Chesapeake and amazingly he said that its very likely something like that could happen.
After some research I had discovered that many of the ships operating on the bay were run on steam which would have made it difficult for a pirate with limited financial means. However, he was able to offer some information about the kind of boat Owens likely would have had — a bugeye (who made up that name?). He said it was a small sailing ship that was very common on the Bay at this time. They were used mostly by oystermen and under the right conditions could outrun a steamship, so it seems very reasonable that this would be the kind of ship Owens would use. Lastly he told me to be careful about disclosing locations, because treasure hunters are notorious for disturbing wrecks looking for treasure.
I also asked him about the guns that were used during that time period. After I gave him the description of the gun that had been described in the newspaper articles that I found, he said it was very common for ships to have a gun like that to use for duck hunting on the Bay. He showed me a video of it being fired and my jaw dropped to the floor. This thing just doesn’t hunt ducks, it vaporizes them. Their wouldn’t be anything left of a duck after you fired it, that alone could be very useful and successful in persuading potential victims. He told me that these “punt guns” (another strange name) could certainly blow a hole in the side of a wooden ship if fired from close range.
Here’s the you tube clip: