Pirate fans create events, artwork, books and meet-ups. Today’s blog post is an interview with the founder of Under the Black Flag, a pirate-themed Facebook page with over 10,000 likes and an active base of modern-day pirates.
Captain Black: Ahoy!
TSR: Welcome! Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Is there anything you'd be willing to share with us about your non-pirate persona? Home port, age, how you pay the bills?
Captain Black: Please just call me Captain Black, Brother of Jake Lankster in life, age 34, port Greece.....
TSR: And how did you decide to start your pirate site?
CB: From the time I was a child I had the curiosity to search the myths, the facts, the romance and the fiction of Pirate History. .But as I learned the facts, history taught me something more important and that was the importance of Freedom. It was four years ago when my brother and I decided to create Under the Black Flag. Our purpose is to share the amazing pages of Pirate History with everyone.
TSR: What's your earliest memory about pirates?
CB: When our father bought us a Playmobile pirate ship. Later we saw the anime TV show Captain Harlock the Space Pirate...after that we began to research true Pirate History.
TSR: You live in Greece, near the sea. Do you have any local pirate stories - stories about pirates that operated near your home?
CB: According to an old legend a certain cave has taken its name after a pirate from Mani in Southern Greece. He arrived at the island and broke into the Panagia Akathi church. While he was stealing the church’s money he turned his eyes towards the icon of Virgin Mary and felt that she was watching him. He was so irritated that he pulled his pistol and shot the icon.
Coming out of the church with the stolen goods he slipped down the hill next to the cave and died. He was cremated nearby and since then the rocks of the cave became black and they have been black ever since.
My family lives near the sea. It is our home...
There are many true stories and many myths.... Many Greek pirates participated in the Greek revolution in 1821 against the Ottomans...
TSR: How far back do the Greek pirates go?
CB: Odysseas was the first famous pirate.
TSR: From the Odyssey? I never thought of him as a pirate.
CB: Many myths and many legends.
TSR: Did pirates in the Archipelagos group together? Or did each ship work independently?
CB: Depends on the date and the circumstances. Piracy in the Greek Archipelago has been going on for 3,000 years. Ιn that time, Venetian pirates, Frank pirates, Russian pirates, Greek pirates, Ottoman pirates ... Sometimes these people acted as privateers and others as Pirates ....You know the difference between pirate and privateer.
For sure all these years all the nations wanted to rule this Sea....
TSR: Besides Odysseas, who's the most famous Mediterranean pirate?
CB: Well, the beginner for example was Odysseas......after that if we talk about the Ottomans period and Barbarossa... His nickname meant “Redbeard” and he fought against the Spanish in the early 1500’s.
John Kapsis was also a local pirate. In the year 1677 he become the king of pirates on the island of Melos. He ruled the island for three years before the Ottoman navy captured him... He declared Melos island a free place for all pirates.
Crevillie was a knight of Malta. He plundered most of the islands of Aegean Sea for more than ten years... He also tried to conquer the whole Peloponnese territory and become a king. I want these stories told…
There are many Mediterranean pirates. This is the reason that I started this Facebook page with my brother, to find and share Pirate History not only of the Mediterranean but also the Caribbean. In addition to the Facebook page we have undertheblackflag.com It is a Pirate history database so that anyone can find information about Pirate History. In the Under the Black Flag Facebook page, we are 6 Captains working on this research.
TSR: That's great!
CB: We can write a whole book about him.
TSR: As you know, I’m the author of the pirate series, The Pirate Empire Have you written stories or books about pirates? If so, fiction or non-fiction?
CB: As you can see the research about Pirate History is a big journey… My brother Jake wrote a book in the past, Piracy in the Mediterranean: The Maniot Pirates http://www.youtube.com/watch and now we will write a new one: The Pirates of Archipelago...Facts and Myths... http://youtu.be/e5qGr4t20ns Also our Capitana Andrea Johns has written two fictional books about pirates. Check her site http://www.reginettapress.com/hookandjill/
The Hook & Jill Saga by Andrea Jones
TSR: Your Facebook page has over 10,000 likes. You must be very pleased.
CB: As we know Facebook can help you to provide easy access to you thoughts. Also we met more captains with the same passion. We go to Facebook because on social media you can speak with the people live to see if they are interested in your project and you can share your ideas fast. Our purpose is to share the pirate history and people understand that the pirates before anything else want their freedom.
Our target is to share our Passion...Passion for Pirate History.!
TSR: Thank you so much for this time.
CB: No problem at all... Thank you very much and Strong sails from my heart!
TSR: Strong sails to you, my pirate brother.