MYSTERY surrounding the shipwrecked Vergulde Draeck, or Gilt Dragon, has captivated a Clarkson man now intent on uncovering the history.
Originally from Melbourne, Steve Caffery said he came across the story of the ship, which sank off Ledge Point in 1656, online and decided he wanted to piece together what happened, so he set up the Gilt Dragon Research Group last year.
“I was just looking for something interesting to solve,” he said.
“It’s a personal interest – nothing academic. It’s more of a grass roots-type group.”
The private research group’s work would hopefully shed some light on the fate of the 68 survivors marooned off the WA coast, according to the environmental scientist.
“Most of the people who were involved in the finding of the shipwreck are old now,” he said.
“A lot of the stories that they had are getting lost.”
Mr Caffery said because it was illegal to possess artefacts from the shipwreck, unless authorised by WA Museum, there was a lot of secrecy.
“I’m asking permission from those people to quietly go out and see what they have,” he said.
Mr Caffery said he would photograph artefacts, record the stories and keep an online diary, but not identify anyone who did not wish to be named.