Henry Every remains perhaps the most legendary pirate to have ever existed: In late 1695 he knocked off a fleet of Mughal Empire vessels for what was then equivalent of about $120 million, then he disappeared and was never seen again.
He basically pulled off the plot of Ocean's 11 on the high seas of the 17th century.
But new evidence has come to light pointing to his presence in the American colonies after that once-in-a-million-years heist:
One tarnished silver coin at a time, the ground is yielding new evidence that in the late 1600s, one of the world's most ruthless pirates wandered the American colonies with impunity.
Newly surfaced documents also strengthen the case that English buccaneer Henry Every - the target of the first worldwide manhunt - hid out in New England before sailing for Ireland and vanishing into the wind.
"At this point, the amount of evidence is overwhelming and indisputable," historian and metal detectorist Jim Bailey, who's devoted years to solving the mystery, told The Associated Press. "Every was undoubtedly on the run in the colonies."
Historical sleuths say there's no real way the coins are anything but the ones Every stole from the Islamic fleet in 1695:
Research confirmed that the exotic coin was minted in 1693 in Yemen. Bailey then discovered that it was consistent with millions of dollars' worth of coins and other valuables seized by Every and his men in their brazen Sept. 7, 1695, sacking of the Ganj-i-Sawai, an armed royal vessel owned by Indian emperor Aurangzeb. ...
When I first heard about it, I thought, 'Wait a minute, this can't be true,'" said Steve Album, a rare coin specialist based in Santa Rosa, California, who helped identify all of the silver Arabic coins found in New England.
"But these coins have been found legitimately and in a few instances archaeologically, and every single one predates the sacking of the ship," said Album, who has lived in Iran and has traveled widely in the Middle East.
It's amazing what a coin will tell you!
Up next: Figuring out where this murderous pirate went after his jaunt in the colonies.
Bailey's next challenge: figuring out what happened to Every after the trail ran cold following his arrival in Ireland on June 20, 1696. It's the mystery's elusive final chapter...