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The Mysteries of Pirates

Updated on November 5, 2011


Francis Drake
Francis Drake | Source


Ever since man has used boats as a means of transport for trading, pirates have existed.

In the past they have been shrouded in secrecy and mystery.

Pirates have sometimes been used as tools for one country against another.

In some cases someone who has been considered a pirate by one country was considered a hero by another. A case in point was Sir Frances Drake of England. He was considered a hero by the English after having defeated a Spanish armada in the English Channel, yet was called a pirate by the Spanish.

Drake, in open waters, would attack Spanish shipping returning, laden with gold, from the Americas. This gold he then delivered to Queen Elizabeth 1 of England.

This meant that although he acted as a pirate on the open seas he still came under the protection of the Queen of England.

Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa | Source
Somali Pirates
Somali Pirates | Source


Pirates still exist today and there is still a mystery.

The most well known of these pirate groups are the ones known as the Somali pirates. They operate in the waters around the horn of Africa.

For many years they have been in operation, perhaps attacking five or six ships a year. However, in the last decade the pirate business has become big business with five or six ships being attacked every month.

This has become a multi million dollar business by the pirates now holding the ships and their crews’ hostage and demanding large payments for their safe release.

No countries shipping seems to be safe and sailors are now very wary of travelling these waters.

International Floatilla



There still lays mystery regarding these pirates.

Although it is no mystery why the Ethiopian military, which police the areas, ignore the pirates, it is a mystery as to why they are allowed such freedoms by others.

The Ethiopian military can be paid off by these million dollar pirates. More recently though an international flotilla has been on duty in these seas and that is where the mystery lies.

Although there has undoubtedly been American drones with surveillance cameras following the money after pay offs, the action stops there.

There have been no “surgical” marine assaults, no flotilla bombardments and not even a sign of an international investigative reporter. What makes these pirates seemingly immune?

By now the authorities must know where they are operating from, yet no active action has been taken against them.

The only imprisoned pirates are those that were caught in defensive actions against them.

In this modern age, with a war against terror and multi agency co-operation against international criminals, piracy maintains its mysticism and is thriving.

Why do these pirates seem immune?

Who is affording them protection and why?

Some things never change except for the names.


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    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      A fascinating hub on the history of pirates. You do get the sense that the modern pirates are being protected by someone very powerful! Who or what is protecting them is, as you say, perhaps the real mystery!

      Great hub, very informative. Voted up + awesome!

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      This poses interesting questions re the Somali "pirates." I can only think that to attack them on sovereign Somali soil would be an act of war. Either that, or shipping companies would rather get the insurance than deliver the cargoes? The British pirates still flourish today in the huge estates owned by their offspring many times removed, The Brtish royal family are a bunch of thugs whos forefathers pillaged the world...Bob

    • profile image

      mtsi1098 6 years ago

      a good succinct hub - I enjoyed it...thanks