CapeCodOnline: Inside the Whydah project’s barnlike laboratory in Brewster [Massachusetts], restoration technician Chris Macort positioned what appeared to be a large, black video camera so that it pointed at a shapeless, concretized mass of rusty gravel and sand that was brought up from the ocean floor last week.

Macort then tied on a long, leaded apron and had everyone leave the building. Sharp cracks and pops issued from the open door and a ghostly X-ray image appeared on a laptop screen of an 18th-century cannonball surrounded by diaphanous discs.

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