Treasure of Oak Island

Treasure Island, no one has solved this mystery yet

Hi all! Who among us hasn’t dreamed of a treasure hunt as a child? At least many boys buried some coins in the yard sandpits, so that in the future, playing pirates, they could dig up the cherished “treasure. But not only children are given to reincarnate in treasure hunters.

For over 200 years, a small island in the Atlantic Ocean stirs the interest of many people who are ready to invest a lot of money in search of the mysterious treasure. In today’s issue, we’ll talk about Oak Island, or literally translated as Oak Island.

In 1795, three teenagers Daniel McGuinness, Anthony Vaughan and John Smith, who lived on the coast of Nova Scotia, decided to escape to a deserted island nearby to play pirate. When they arrived, they had no trouble establishing a place to play. It was a tall oak tree, with old fishing gear and scraps of rope hanging from its branches. But the most interesting thing was under the tree. It was not a big hole. The boys immediately began excavating. What was their surprise when they came across a wooden, oak masonry blocking the way to the pit. The boys returned to the island a few days later, fully armed. With shovels, picks, etc., they broke through a few more feet and stumbled upon another masonry wall, but with more supportive logs. A deep well was in sight below. They realized they couldn’t go any farther without special equipment, so they postponed the search for the treasure until they couldn’t find it. That’s how a child’s game began a 200-year treasure hunt.

Ten years had passed. But friends have not forgotten about the children’s discovery. And now they are already moving with their families to Oak Island. This time, the men in earnest begin to excavate. The work is slow, as at a depth of every 3 meters they will encounter log obstacles. The hard work lasted for weeks. And here at a depth of 90 feet they were waiting for the next masonry. But instead of the familiar sound of a shovel hitting a log, they heard a ringing bang on a rock. It was a small slab of stone with mysterious hieroglyphs. Naturally, none of them could determine the meaning of the symbols. For many more years the men, and later only Vaughan, held an interest in the mine, but after futile efforts they gave up. But the stone tablet gave no rest for many more years. It was not possible to decipher its inscription until the 1960s. Its inscription read: “40 feet below, 2,000,000 pounds buried.”

For 225 years the search for the coveted treasure lasted, sometimes even fatal. Because of the accidents, another legend emerged: “seven must die before the treasure is accessible.” But let’s go in order:

In 1878, Mrs. Sellers’ bulls, who were grazing on the island, unexpectedly fell underground. This became a new starting point for treasure hunters. By 1895, the centennial of the discovery of the mine, the island has been dug up and down, many signs indicating the exact location of the cache are lost, along with them and the cherished mine. It is dug out again in 1889 and to their horror they realize that it is flooded. To understand the principle of flooding, paint is pumped into it, which begins to stain the ocean water in the south of the island at Smuggler’s Cove.

In 1912, Professor Williams of Wisconsin proposed freezing the soil around the mine and cutting through the ice to get to the bottom. But at the time this plan was not implemented. At the same time a theory emerges about a metal room at the bottom of the Money Mine. It was supposed to be 4 meters in diameter and 6 meters high filled to the top with gold. Until the end of World War II, the island is completely dug up again. That is when the first deaths occur.

In the post-war period to the island streams of mediums and psychics who, of course, did not find anything.

In 1965, explorer Robert Resstal and his sons found a stone on the island with the number “1704” carved into it. What this means, no one knows to this day. But it is known that Robert, his son and two others died in the mine, suffocated by diesel exhaust pump. Following Ressenthal, oilman Robert Dunfield cardinally rips the mine. In its place is a crater 25 meters wide and 40 meters deep. He finds a triangle of stones on the island, directly pointing to the ill-fated mine. Later several more stones were found at the intersection of which was the money mine.

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From 1967 – to 1972, the company “Triton Airlines” unfolds work on the island. They make the colossal discovery that two separate tunnels lead to the mine from that very Smuggler’s Cove. They descend at an angle of 28 degrees. The suggestion arises that perhaps they served as a trap of sorts, flooding the mine when they tried to excavate it. Also using a camera, they were able to see part of a framework resembling a trunk and a torn fragment of a human hand. Project leader Daniel Blankenship, armed with a diving suit, dived to a depth of 77 meters. After his dive he made an intriguing statement to the press: “What lies beneath the island leaves behind every theory. All theories or legends pale in the light of what I guess. ” But what exactly Blankenship discovered remains a mystery, as his company’s work has not been successful.

In February 2013, brothers Rick and Marty Lagina landed on the island. They used expensive equipment to try to shed light on the secrets of Oak Island, but they also failed to make big discoveries. Their work was monitored by Prometheus Entertainment, which was filming a documentary series for the Hystory Channel, “The Curse of Oak Island. Their work was completed last year, in the series’ final, seventh season.

One of the most popular versions of the treasure burial is Captain Kidd’s stash. It is no secret that the period from 1650 to 1730 is the “golden age of piracy. Pirate ships regularly attacked the merchant ships of the colonists and as a result, the colonists became handsomely rich. According to the theory, Captain William Kidd left a map of the treasure, which looks very similar to the outline of an oak island. This map was published in the early 1930s in the book “Captain Kidd and Skeleton Island” by Harold Ulkins. Later in 1937, Gilbert Hedden conducted a similarity analysis. It turned out that Captain Kidd’s Treasure Island matched Oak Island in 14 ways. But skeptics to this day do not believe in this coincidence.

The following theories are less valid. There is talk of lost Marie Antoinette jewelry, looted Incan treasure, secret documents revealing Shakespeare’s true identity, and even the lost Ark of the Covenant. But all this seems to be nothing more than fiction.

But there is also a version that is not without rationalism. 1778. U.S. War of Independence. New York is threatened by a siege by Washington and the French navy. The Loyalists are forced to retreat. On July 29, the commander-in-chief of the British army, Henry Clinton, raps about being forced to retreat to Nova Scotia, which by then was still under their leadership. They took with them a lot of food, as well as funding allocated to the British troops. At that time enormous sums were allocated for the maintenance of the British army. So during the war 17,000,000 pounds were allocated. There were many engineers in the refugee group who could have easily built such a mine. Thus, we can assume that Oak Island may have served as a temporary hiding place for the British army.

There is another legend that the island will reveal its secret when the last oak tree falls. Perhaps the treasure will never be found. Or maybe someone else will want to leave a lot of money there and still be rewarded. Perhaps it will be you! If you liked the video and would like to learn more about a particular time period of Oak Island, write in the comments. And that’s it for now. See you all again. Bye!

The real story of Oak Island’s legendary money pit

Templar gold, a pirate vault, a natural sinkhole, or one giant hoax? The curse of Oak Island tells us that seven men must die before the island reveals its legendary treasure. Six men die in search of billions in gold, but the danger only fuels research and speculation.

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“Frustrating, fascinating, alluring — you could put any adjective in front of the words ‘Oak Island,’ and you’d be right,” says Charles Barkhouse, historian of the History Channel show The Curse of Oak Island, which has been chronicling the ongoing treasure hunt for eight seasons (with some results).

“If you’re not ready for the emotional strain, you can pack up your toys and go.”

The treasure hunt for the Oak Island Money Pit, that is, a 100-foot (about 30 and a half meters) hole on an island in Nova Scotia that supposedly holds anything from pirate treasure to the Ark of the Covenant, began back in 1795. Although the treasure has never been found, related discoveries–obvious clues, possible traps and geological curiosities–have kept searchers searching even as historians have challenged more sensational claims related to the treasure. Was Oak Island the treasure trove of the Knights Templar, Britain’s secret industrial center, or an unfortunate natural sinkhole? To answer that question, of course, one must dig.

The search begins

Oak Island first came to attention shortly after the “golden age of piracy” (around 1650-1730), when Edward Law and Bartolo Mew Roberts patrolled the seas northeast of America. In 1795, a teenager from Nova Scotia from his home on the mainland saw strange lights hovering over the island.

He told two friends about it and sailed for the discoveries. In a grove of trees on the southeast side of the island, the boys found a depression 13 feet wide (about 4 meters) surrounded by loose soil and young trees, signs that the ground had been disturbed.

The boys began to dig out what later became known as the money pit. At a depth of two feet (60 centimeters) they found a circle of stones edging the circumference of the pit, and at a depth of 10 feet (3 meters) they found a platform of log scraps tucked into the walls of the pit. A second platform lay 20 feet (about 6 meters) below, but that is where the story of the first search ends.

The story resumes in the early 1800s when the Onslow Company went on their first official expedition to excavate. They continued excavating from where they first stopped, finding new platforms every 10 feet (about 3 meters) (about three meters), sometimes with layers of caulk, charcoal, or coconut fibers. Coconuts don’t grow within 900 miles (about a mile and a half) of Nova Scotia, but history claims that the crew made an even grander discovery at 90 feet (more than 27 meters): a rectangular rock scribbled with strange signs.

Oak Island. The peak elevation of Oak Island is only 36 feet (almost 11 meters) above sea level. Nova Scotia Archives.

Oak Island. The peak elevation of Oak Island is only 36 feet (almost 11 meters) above sea level. Nova Scotia Archives.

Explorers and treasure hunters thought the marks were made by mistake with excavator tools, but others were convinced they were a secret code leading to buried treasure. In the 1860s, a linguistics professor from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia studied the stone and determined that the code was a substitution cipher: “Forty feet [colo 12 meters] below buried two million pounds.” But another attempted translation in the 1970s interpreted the code as a Christian warning to Copts not to forget their duty to the Lord.

Onslow’s company continued digging, and at a depth of 98 feet (30-meter colo) they discovered something that sounded like a hollow container – presumably a treasure vault. The crew stopped work for the evening, but when they returned the next morning, they found that the pit was 60 feet (about 18 meters) full of water. The excavation was thought to have triggered a booby trap. And the flood seems to have put an end to Onslow’s efforts; the company was dissolved in 1805.

Cursing blow.

Another expedition to Oak Island was launched from the nearby town of Truro in 1849. The team was able to pump water out of the hole and strengthen the walls of the hole before drilling into the “vault.” The drill penetrated successive layers of wood and loose metal – and it suggested a treasure chest, and, according to a newspaper news story published years later, three small links of a gold chain surfaced. But before the team could gain access to the vault, the bottom of the money pit collapsed and was flooded again, taking the supposed treasure with it.

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Not the least bit embarrassed, the men thought they had found a submerged tunnel connecting the pit and the manmade Smith’s Cove about 500 feet (about 150 meters) east of the site where they were digging.

Oak Island. By the time this photo was taken in 1947, the hunt had claimed two lives. Nova Scotia Archives.

Oak Island. The hunt had claimed two lives by the time it was filmed in 1947. Nova Scotia Archives.

As news of the dangerous, dramatic hunt spread, more and more excursions arrived on Oak Island, discovering more pits, but this only hid the truth about the treasure. In 1897, prospectors discovered a tiny piece of parchment with the letters “vi.”

Experts from Harvard University confirmed the authenticity of the parchment, although it is unclear whether this means the folio is “authentic” – full of mystery – or just a scrap left over from the island’s former inhabitants.

The year 1897 is also notable for the second hunting-related death, in which a man fell and crashed to his death. Four more deaths followed in 1965, caused by poisonous underground fumes.

Neither did modern technology provide a breakthrough. A 1971 film crew brought cameras and a monitor to investigate an approximately 235-foot (just under 72 meters) shaft (called the 10X well and located about 180 feet (about 55 meters) from the money pit), and although they claimed to have found a wooden chest and a severed human hand at the bottom of the pit during the investigation, the incident was never recorded.

Rick and Marty Lagina, part of a group of Oak Island owners, host a series on the History Channel.

Rick and Marty Lagina, part of the Oak Island ownership team, host a series on the History Channel.

Among other clues, the series team discovered a lead cross attributed to the Knights Templar, a bone fragment and a buried U-shaped wooden structure found under Smith’s Cove. None of these discoveries have solved the mystery, but perhaps they don’t need to – the Lagin brothers own most of the tour company operating on the island, as well as the TV show promoting the island.

Even so, says Barkhouse, “the amount of evidence we find [on Oak Island] makes you believe that some group or some person did something special there.”

Holes in the Finding

Oak Island is sometimes called “Mystification Island” because of the lack of eyewitness accounts. Until the early 1860s, there is no direct evidence to support any excavation on Oak Island, when the first two expeditions of the boys from Nova Scotia and the Onslow Company were recorded. Most other nineteenth-century accounts of Oak Island are recollections of people who claimed to have participated in the dig.

There are other gaps: many believe that the gold chain links from the 1849 group were planted by the group itself to encourage future expeditions, and an inscribed stone found in the early 1800s was not recorded as having been found until 1862. The stone was not mentioned at all in the Oak Island Treasure Company’s 1893 investment prospectus: neither the stone itself nor its markings were sketched or photographed, and the existing image of the stone today dates from 1949. It is from this time that modern translations begin.

Oak Island. A causeway leading to the mainland allows treasure hunters to bring heavy equipment to Oak Island. Nova Scotia Archives

Oak Island. A causeway leading to the mainland allows treasure hunters to bring heavy equipment to Oak Island. Nova Scotia Archives

“The argument can be made that there is a general structure [to stories] about buried treasure,” Downs says. “The treasure is somehow lost, the stories about it are told as if they were true, and the fact that the treasure is never found … falls into the category of ‘confirmatory formulas’ added to the legend to make it more credible.

The curse is unfounded, but its legend may be told to discourage seekers, and to treasure hunters, the legend may mean that the pit holds a secret worth protecting.

Tales of the Money Pit

There is much speculation as to exactly what the Oak Island Money Pit represents: a general bank for pirates, a repository for treasure looted by the British military, or a savings account to fund the American Revolution in kind.

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According to one firm theory, the pit was built by the Knights Templar Order, predecessors of the Freemasons. Researchers have interpreted some of the engravings on the island, as well as the large and obscure Masonic stone triangle, as evidence that the island was a hiding place for religious artifacts such as the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant.

Downs believes these theories are driven by the same mechanisms as belief in conspiracy theories. “People like to believe that there is some kind of order in the world around us,” she believes.

“The reality is that they don’t always [know enough about the order]. To give meaning to a world we find hard to understand, we often make up narratives.”

The archaeological and geological evidence concerning Oak Island and the money pit indicates that none of this is from an Indiana Jones movie. In and around the money pit, pickaxe handles, coins, and hinges have been found, but this is not surprising given the number of expeditions and inhabitants who have been proven to have been there.

A scene from the TV series “The Curse of Oak Island.” Often people who assume the existence of treasure on Oak Island have a share of its land

Nevertheless, the truth about Oak Island retains elements of intrigue. Research conducted by historian Joy A. Steele and retired marine geologist Gordon Fader prove that Oak Island was home to a secret British industrial center.

After studying business records and contemporary correspondence, the pair conclude that in 1720 the Crown, in conjunction with the British military, chartered private companies to do business on Oak Island, including pine resin production, brass manufacturing and wire drawing, to help pay off debts. At the time, it was the largest industrial development in Canada, says Fader: “There were a million reasons to go to Oak Island – it was closest to fresh water, closest to shore, safe; the island is the largest in the bay – it’s a good parking lot.”

Steele and Fader believe the Money Pit was a natural geologic site that the British used as a kiln to fire pine tar to make tar to cover their ships with. The Money Pit’s excavated layers of wood, charcoal and putty are consistent with what one would expect in an old tar kiln, Fader also says. He notes that buried in Smith’s Bay, the U-shaped structure was likely part of a shed for storing pine tar in barrels and in the sun.

According to Fader, “In those days, pine tar was as important as oil is today: A ship would not go to sea unless it was soaked in pine tar. That’s what people did on the island. All the artifacts we see are exactly consistent with this theory.”

The Chancellor of the Exchequer of England (essentially the Secretary of the Treasury) and other high-ranking banking officials of the time often referred to the Secret in their correspondence, says Steele, who “[no doubt] project Oak Island.

I’m surprised that historians have never paid attention to it or dared to find out what the ‘secret’ was,” she says. “[Oak Island] embodied what could have been a very profitable commodity scheme.”

Nature’s counter-evidence

The final argument against the man-made Money Pit is based on the geological conditions of the area. According to Fader, the island’s rocks are subject to dissolution by the sea and groundwater. This creates a system of underground cracks and caves prone to collapse and the formation of sinkholes.

Fader mapped underground conditions along the Nova Scotia coast while working as a marine geologist for the Canadian government, and he tells us that sinkholes in the area are common.

“You can watch a sinkhole develop and a pine tree 60 feet (about 18 meters) fall [into it] in two seconds,” he says, illustrating how objects the size of the masts of British ships could fit in the hole.

At least two sinkholes have been discovered on Oak Island, and there are many more on the adjacent mainland. Steven Aitken, Ph.D., a geophysicist with more than 25 years of experience studying the Oak Island area, believes: natural evidence indicates that the Money Pit itself is a sinkhole. Consistent with Fader’s claims, Aitken says the rock beneath this side of the island has locally dissolved to form a karst system, and some caves in that system have collapsed and formed sinkholes, including the Money Pit.

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“Karst pits are the garbage cans of the geologic world,” says Aitken. They are often filled with collapsed breccia [a type of sedimentary rock] overlain by a mixture of organic debris and sediment.

Aitken writes that the deposits above the breccia in the Money Pit are “thickened to 37 feet (just over 11 meters), and this indicates a late filling of the depression.” According to Aitken, “the original depression, discovered in 1795, also corresponds to a typical surface karst sinkhole manifestation.”

The flooding of the Money Pit, which legend has it is evidence of a booby trap, in this part of Oak Island occurs naturally because of the influx of fresh water from the sands of the island’s interior. “Unless the shafts or wells are backfilled with impermeable clay or encased in sand over bedrock when drilling, fresh water will naturally flood those workings,” Aitken explains.

“The idea that pirates dug a treasure trove with picks in the bedrock is ridiculous,” he also adds.

“I don’t want to belittle anyone’s dreams, but there is no treasure vault or trap designed to protect buried treasure in The Money Pit. All of these features can be explained through basic science.”

Charles Barkhaus does not believe that rational explanations and complex theories should be mutually exclusive. He says the island’s geological conditions have made it even more mysterious by hiding buried booty underground, and the evidence collected on the site speaks of treasures so impressive that they have been dealt with by a variety of groups of people over the centuries.

“Wherever you walk on this island, you’re walking through history,” Barkhouse asserts. “You can’t just take everything you find and lump it all into one theory; that’s what’s so strange about the island. I’ll never stop believing there’s a treasure buried on Oak Island, and that treasure is still there. I can feel it.”

The lure of real treasure, whether it be the Holy Grail, the Ark of the Covenant, or a huge pirate bank, outshines all other finds on Oak Island. The hunt may never cease. The obsession with riches, as one registered treasure hunter pointed out back in 1862, can be worth the struggle.

“If we succeed in obtaining much treasure, we will be regarded as very prudent men,” he wrote. “and if we fail to finish the job, we will be exposed to public ridicule as ghost-chasing fools, unfit for anything but being a general laughing stock.”

How are sinkholes formed?

On Oak Island, sinkholes are formed mainly by dissolution: water penetrates the rocks below the surface and erodes the soluble minerals, resulting in a series of underground cracks, passages, and chambers that resemble Swiss cheese. These holes and fissures expand over time to reach the topsoil. Finally, when the weight of the topsoil becomes too much for the weakened soil below the surface, the surface collapses. “It’s the same as if someone had cut out the posts in your house that hold the walls together. The roof would collapse,” Fader makes the comparison.

Depending on geological conditions and the materials above, sinkholes can take decades to form and collapse in seconds. Collapse can be accelerated by a sudden influx of water into the subsurface or by freezing and thawing. Fader says that under the right circumstances, a sinkhole can be 130 to 165 feet (just over 50 meters) across. He is convinced that this phenomenon is the true cause of the origin of the Oak Island money pit.

If you’re interested in more than just research and treasure hunting and want to explore the data and benefit from it, you might want to take a closer look at our

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