(Blogger's Note: Early postings about this follow. The entire article is more than 12,000 words and should contain a good history of Oak Island.)
As of today, the big dig has not taken place. The Triton Alliance has had to postpone their plans a number of times. Some of it has had to do with financing, but part of it has to do with the credibility of the story. After all, there is no solid proof that anything of value is in the Money Pit. Theories about it abound. Some believe it is pirate gold, some believe it was treasure from Europe, some believe it is the lost original manuscripts of William Shakespeare, and some are convinced it is nothing more than some sort of a hoax based on faulty reasoning and bizarre natural phenomena. A few think that treasure had been there once, but has been removed, probably by the original designer.
Evidence pulled up during the many test drillings have produced some interesting results. Tobias had some of the material, the coconut husk, samples of wood recovered at the bottom of the pit, and iron spikes, analyzed. According to the National Museum of Natural Sciences, the spikes had probably been forged prior to 1790. The wood was carbon dated to 1575, plus or minus 85 years. That means the treasure could have been put down there as early as 1490 or as late as 1650. In other words, the Money Pit had been dug at least a hundred and fifty years before it was found according to that analysis.
Of course, if the coin dated 1713 found by the boys back in 1795 was inside the pit, it means that it could be no older than 1713, the date of that coin. If it was found on the surface and outside the pit, then the date on it had little to do with the pit and could have been dropped by almost anyone at any time between 1713 and 1795.
Clearly the evidence, from the stone triangle found in the summer of 1965, the cofferdam erected in Smith's Cove, to stones that were carved and scattered on the island, shows a presence there. The Money Pit is a worked area, constructed for some purpose. That is not really in dispute. And, it could have been constructed two years before Columbus set sail for the New World. More likely, it was build some time after that, long after that, but the point is, it predates 1795 by decades.
So, is there a treasure? It seems unlikely that someone would invest the time and effort to construct the pit without putting something valuable at the bottom. Whoever built it would have been able to recover that treasure if he had decided to do so. The secret to the recovery is there for all to see. It’s in the shaft dug around the Money Pit, parallel to it, with tunnels to the pit. The original builder of the Money Pit would have known about the booby traps and would have known the way to defeat them. Only those who didn’t know, which would be practically everyone else in the world, would dig into the Money Pit. That would trip all the booby traps before they could get to the treasure. Digging that parallel pit and then connecting with the original pit trouble leaves the “plugs” in place.
Another theory is that the Money Pit itself is a red herring. Those who built it, dug a side tunnel, or two, or three from the main shaft, and used these tunnels to hide their treasure. A hundred yards, two hundred from the main pit, closer to the ground, was the treasure. The Money Pit was then filled in with the booby traps set. If the original owner of the treasure returned, he could dig down thirty or forty feet, out the proper distance from the main pit, recover his loot and be gone. The main shaft would be undisturbed. And, anyone who found the island and the evidence of the Money Pit would dig that up assuming, incorrectly, that the treasure had to be at the bottom of it.
The treasure then could be somewhere else on the island, or it could be gone, recovered long before the pit was found in 1795. There have been indications of loose metal held in chests, but no one has recovered the chests and that evidence has not been duplicated in more than 100 years. There are the three gold links brought up during one of the drilling operations if that is not legend... or even worse, a marketing ploy of the mid-nineteenth century. So, there is an indication that something was buried or maybe that was all that was left to find... sort of.
Oak Island is unique in the field of treasure hunting. Everyone knows where the treasure is supposed to be. At the bottom of the pit. Modern technology should be able to defeat the booby traps, but financing, legal squabbles, and bad luck has prevented that. Any archaeological benefits have been destroyed long ago by all those who dug before. The huge earth moving machines that plow up tons of dirt certainly would have destroyed any archaeological evidence. They did ruin the stone triangle and some of the carved stones near Smith's Cove have disappeared.
The Latest Attempt by the Lagina Brothers
I had thought, twenty years ago, given the improvements in our technology, given what we could do, and how much water we could pump, with infrared and satellite mapping, it would seem that we could defeat the Money Pit’s builders whose technology was now centuries out of date. That didn’t happen, of course. The Big Dig never took place and no one seemed interested in making a new attempt until the Lagina brothers, who had been fascinated with Oak Island for decades, decided to make a try.
It doesn’t seem as if they have bothered to learn the history of Oak Island and why all the others failed but that could just be editing by the producers. The Laginas do seem to understand that the Money Pit has been excavated so many times that no one is sure where the real pit is. They seem to think that it might have been a red herring and have looked for something else on the island that could lead them to the treasure which explains all that mucking around in the swamp. But they have discovered nothing exciting other than some coins found on the surface, and have done nothing other than bring in some really big machines in their attempts to gain the treasure. For all their time, effort and money, they have charged around without getting much return. Why head to Europe to talk about the Knights Templar when the Money Pit was created centuries after the disappearance of them?
For me, this whole thing, meaning the show, has dragged out much too long. I didn’t really need to see a segment on someone saying that he had deciphered the code on the stone saying that it was a double cypher but without adding anything of value to the search. According to this theory, the code tells them to dump corn into the channel to block the water flowing into the Money Pit. Corn, according to them, is dry and would absorb the water. It would expand and block the tunnel but the real question is why not just dump dirt and rock into the channel to block the flow. This seems to be an overly elaborate method to defeat the booby traps and seems to come from nothing other than wildly irrelevant speculation.
The truth seems to be that the symbols were created in the 1860s to sell shares in one of the companies that wanted to recover the treasure. That the man who displayed the stone in the 1860s turned it into some sort of a heavy weight on which to create paper or the like suggests that he knew the real value of the message. I would suggest that the message was added to the stone long after it was originally found and is therefore meaningless.
I have to laugh when the Laginas created some sort of square diving platform and then pushed it into the round hole of Bore hole 10X. Their plan was use it to lower diver into the pit to see what was at the bottom of it… but all I could think of was the square peg in a round hole.
There is something else. Remember that decades ago there was a collapse in the 10 X that seemed to drop everything into a deeper hole creating a blockage at the bottom of the enlarged hole. There is four foot of debris and trash that blocks entrance into the narrower section of 10 X that leads down into some sort of natural chamber. Remember that divers did enter that and found themselves in what might have been a natural chamber that had strong currents suggestion a connection to the sea. It could be that if there was anything left in the Money Pit, it dropped into that natural feature and the treasure would no longer be in a place where it could be recovered.
For all their effort, for all their traveling around half the world, for all the experts they have brought in to consult, they haven’t added much to our knowledge other than some things about the triangular swamp that they don’t believe to be natural. They haven’t found anything in there other than a tree stump that they attach some significance to. I don’t know what it might have been. Someone, long ago, might just have discarded it into the swamp for no other reason than to get rid of it.
Yes, I know their drilling has brought up some bits and pieces that seem to confirm a vault and treasure, but the evidence is quite thin. I wonder if some of those things found in the mid-nineteenth century might not have been planted to entice investors to produce more money though these results by the Lagina expedition seem to be real.
They show us the result of various technological gadgets that seem to confirm something buried on the island. Using high-tech metal detectors, they found what they believe are large stashes of nonferrous metals, but in the end, they haul nothing out of the ground. Using ground penetrating radar, they find void underground that suggest something has been buried or the soil has been worked but in the end, that produces nothing other than speculation.
And when that fails, and they find a strange clearing, they resort to dowsing. That’s right, they used dowsing to locate what they thought might be an underground tunnel system carrying water to the money pit. They brought in digging equipment, dug two holes and found… nothing. But that didn’t stop the narrator from sort of suggesting there was some science to back up the idea of dowsing. So, when all else fails, slip off the deep end.
They attempted to recreate the experiment with the dye from decades earlier, looking for the source of the water in the Money Pit and fail. Instead of using the Money Pit (which I’m beginning to think they may not have found) they toss the dye into Borehole 10 X. Using a helicopter, they found what they thought was some of the dye, but it turned out to be algae growing near the shore. It is interesting that they failed to duplicate the dye experiment and wonder if it was because they used the borehole rather than the actual Money Pit.
I wonder this because, in the last episode of the season, which was hyped with announcements of a major discovery, they use divers in Borehole 10X, but they divers find nothing. The dive is called when the communications cables and air hoses become entangled and I have to say, that was probably a good call. The dive was extremely dangerous. In fact, though the divers were willing to try again, the Laginas refused to allow it and I say good for them.
Instead they use some high-tech radar, lowering it into a six-inch in diameter tube that they had drilled the year before. I don’t know why this wasn’t done earlier in this season because it would have saved a great deal of nonsense with them running around the world chasing the Knights Templar.
That radar seemed to find a chamber some 235 feet below the surface, which might have been rectangular, which might have contained two chests, which might have been supported in part by a large wooden post, and which might have two entrances to it. I use the qualifiers and while there were times that these words were not used, in the end, in listening to the expert, he did use them. They thought this chamber had been made by humans because it seemed to contain objects that had been made by humans but in the end, it was all speculation based on their interpretation of what the radar showed.
And that was the thing… it was interesting and sort of exciting if you didn’t pay close attention to the words being used. They were all excited by the results and said it was the first real evidence of something valuable hidden under the island but that isn’t exactly accurate. It was a suggestion of something hidden in a chamber created by humans that might contain a treasure but it was no evidence of anything real. You might say it was the interpretation of evidence of something real. But this was their last attempt to learn anything for the season. Winter is coming.
The show, Curse of Oak Island, was interesting in the beginning, but they have been diverted in their search so often, they have spent so much time exploring ideas and theories that don’t work (really, we have an old manuscript that seems to have a star code on it that translates to something on the ground at Oak Island which points to the spot where the treasure is hidden but we seem to have lost interest in that by the final episode) and listen to people with wild ideas that have little or nothing to do with finding a treasure (such as filling the channels that seem to be filling the various pits with water and using corn to block them) or taking trips to Europe to chase down the Knights Templar, that I suspect we’re never going to get a resolution. This will continue as long as the ratings hold up, but I think there is a limit to the patience of the audience. They better find something significant quickly and I’m not sure that the season finale is as significant as they all suggest, or no one is going to care if they do get to the bottom of the hole.