Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Curse of Oak Island: Season (Series?) Finale

I didn’t write anything about the Curse of Oak Island episode that aired on February 28 because, it seemed, based on the previews at the end, that we were about to be treated to some real, important revelations in the season finale. Not to mention that there was the steel plate they had run into some 70 feet below the surface in the latest hole they dug, they had found a ruby ring with a huge stone that suggested that maybe they had discovered the lost French crown jewels and there was a glimpse of a table filed with what looked to be treasure. I was, quite naturally, skeptical, but wondered if, finally, they had cracked the mystery of Oak Island and that they had finally beaten the curse.

We had now reached that season finale and we were waiting for the diver to take, well, the plunge. He headed on down, in the hole they had drilled that was much wider than any of the other holes and didn’t seem nearly as dangerous as dives taken in the narrower holes that had been drilled so much earlier. The water was filled with debris, clouds of mud so that there wasn’t much to see, but he reached the bottom and told us that there was a buoyancy that tried to lift him back to the surface. As I have said, this seemed to indicate that the water was surging up from below the island rather than falling down from some sort of booby trap. It seemed to indicate that the problem encountered two hundred years ago wasn’t from a system designed to protect a treasure, but from the naturally high-water table and to what seemed to be a network of natural tunnels or caves under the island.

The real point of the dive, however, was to identify material that had stopped the drilling and maybe gain a clue about what it protected. They had suggested it was a steel plate but no one seemed to know how it would have been put there hundreds of years ago or what purpose it might have served. It suggested a technology that was advanced for the time and added to the mystery, that is, until the material was identified. It wasn’t a steel plate but a granite boulder. It was a natural barrier and not an artificial one. Mystery solved… which, of course, didn’t allow them to penetrate that barrier. It just stopped them. They had no immediate solution about penetrating the plate, but then, it probably made no difference.

We were again treated to more Knights Templar connections and had to suffer through another of the segments in which the lead cross found on the beach is compared to a cross carved on a prison wall that seemed to match. I still say this Templar connection is weak and still wonder if that lead cross wasn’t planted there to underscore the Templar connection. We have seen, over the years, television shows and documentary producers salt an area so that the cast has something exciting to find. They’re just trying to jazz up the show which, when we get to the bottom line, is actually entertainment rather than a true search for information.

Finally, we end up in the war room with a huge group of people sitting around that table with all the treasure laid out on it. Both the Lagina boys and their kin are there, as well as Dan Blankenship and others who have been part of the search for these last several years. While the treasure looks impressive, Blankenship makes a comment that is quite telling. He said that 80% of the material on the table had been found on the surface. Though he didn’t mention it, much of that material had been found some distance from the money pit area as well.

So, we see the coins that they have found and which they deem important because of the dates on them. Many of them were from a time more than a hundred years before the money pit was “discovered.” But I’m thinking that I have a half dollar that was minted in 1855 and several pennies from 1857 and 1858. The point being that the date on the coin is not necessarily that date the coin was lost… and a quick Internet search shows that many similar coins available at a very low cost in case someone needs them to spice up the action.

No, I don’t believe the Lagina boys or those helping them, are responsible for salting the area. I am merely pointing out that these coins, found on the surface, well, down a couple of inches in the soil, don’t prove that anyone was running around the island at the time the coins were minted. I’m suggesting that having them dated from the late seventeenth century is not proof that they were dropped there at that time.

As an alternative, it is possible that inhabitants of the island, in the nineteenth century, were the ones who lost the coins, and not some treasure hiding group whether they were pirates, the Knights Templar or those who had escaped France with the crown jewels. That none of this was pulled up from any of the holes drilled around the original location of the money pit is the important point here. It is not proof of anything other than someone had lost these coins.

The few things that have been pulled up out of those holes, again, do not provide much in the way of evidence of a treasure. They are scraps of paper, a few bits of broken pottery, and, of course, those bone fragments. But these merely prove that the island has seen human occupation for a very long time, not that there is a treasure hidden on it, a point that seems to have gotten lost.

Red garnet in its natural environment.
That ruby that was so important the week before, with speculation that it was proof of a treasure turned out not to be a ruby. I thought the color was rather anemic and I do know that the deeper the color, the more expensive the ruby is, but this was a garnet, a semi-precious stone, that certainly could have been part of a treasure, but again, it was found, basically on the surface and away from the money pit area.

While they were sitting around the table, Marty Lagina, swept all the coins they had found, what 20 or 25 of them, into a pile to make the point that here was what the treasure would look like. But they weren’t gold and silver coins of any real value, but coins made of cheaper metal. Not much of a treasure, and worth, what, a hundred bucks or less.

Marty Lagina
And let’s not forget that on that table with their treasure was that toy pistol they had found. It wasn’t something from a hundred years ago, but a toy dropped by a child in the 1950s or 60s. Certainly not proof a treasure, but an interesting bit of the history about the search for that treasure.

As they wind down, they all look to the grand master at the table, Dan Blankenship. He’s the one who has been searching for the treasure for decades, and it was clear to me that he was extremely disappointed. They asked if he thought they should give up and his response was, “How much money do you have?”

To me that suggested he would sort of like to continue but realized that it might be useless to do so. He didn’t want to spend more money unless there was a lot of it around to spend. It was not the sort of enthusiastic answer you would expect from a man who’d spend more than half a century trying to find a treasure. It suggested that deep down he now realized that there was no treasure to find but he wasn’t willing to throw in the towel quite so soon.

Dan Blankenship.
They did go around the table asking about continuing the search, but I didn’t get the feeling there was much enthusiasm for that. Sure, they looked at what they had found and they talked about the Templar connection, and they sort of said they should go on, but the attitude reflected that of Dan Blankenship. In the end, the question was left in the air. The Laginas were going to reevaluate the season, study what they had learned, and then decide what to do.

I think this might have been the series finale rather than the season finale because they didn’t say then needed to finish the work. They didn’t talk about another hole to be drilled or a place to be searched and they didn’t seem to have a direction. They had taken it as far as they could and they had found nothing to indicate there was a treasure. Sure, there might have been something buried there at one time, but that treasure, if it ever existed, is long gone.


I think that the decision to return is going to be based on the ratings of the new treasure hunt they talked about last night. This one, Confederate gold at the bottom of Lake Michigan, had better historical documentation… which, of course, doesn’t mean it exists, only that there is documentation for it. If that show does well, if the ratings are high enough, I think the Curse of Oak Island will fade away as they begin the attempt to recover that gold… after all, one treasure hunt is as good as the next and as I have said, repeatedly, the gold is not in the ground by in the ratings.

7 comments:

TheDimov said...

well, with that boulder, I'd be out. That would be enough for me. Quite frankly I don't know how the likes of Dan keep at it after 50+ years.. there's more than enough to prove that the original diggers made off with the loot, I mean the keys and chest hinges they found I think say everything : there's nothing left here, boys!

Nonetheless I still love watching, just wondering what else they might dig up. I'm glad they've come up with a spin-off show but I prefer the Money Pit mystery. I think a good, proper draining of Smith's Cove would be the next big thing to do, and because they haven't done that yet, and the ratings have been excellent, there will be another series. I think if they even discover what was constructed there was all about it would be a victory - it would at least be one secret the island would finally give up.

charles tromblee said...

OK, I watched the show in fast forward as usual, due to the 90% repetitive nature of the show. As usual, I was disappointed by the lack of progress, and also this time by the ignorance. For example, the array of crap on the table at the end was not impressive, but it, along with the previous carbon dating of wood dredged up from the depths, indicated that there's a locus of data points which show that a) something major occurred on Oak Island and b) it occurred in the 1400 to 1650 time frame. Why didn't someone say this? (Most of these guys are leeches on Marty Lagina's money and on the $ supplied by the tv channel.)That's a big conclusion that could have been reached. That's about 7-10 data points , maybe. That's enough for me to conclude that previous BS about phoenicians and templars should be flushed down the toilet.

Next, the drillers and divers. Apparently the drillers had convinced everyone that their big pipe with teeth on the end could go through anything, including rock, but not hard metal. Then, when the pipe failed to penetrate the barrier, they surmised that it was a steel barrier, so a diver was sent down after a flocculization agent was thrown into the water to coagulate the sediment to allow greater visibility. It did just the opposite. The next diver claimed that the hard surface was repelling him and increased his buoyance. It sounded like he had discovered a UFO hull, still active. The next diver reported no such thing but said it felt hard and rough like stone. Didn't these idiots, knowing that most metal found so far was iron, think to take a magnet down with them? WTF! Then the diver brought up some granite crumbs which convinced these idiots that the mysterious blockage which we have spent two weeks on was a stone. Then one of the drilling company's managers weakly stated that some granite is as hard as steel (which is true: Moh harness of a steel file is 6.5, and granite 7.0. Duh.) Talk about over-selling their drill! I'm getting fed up, but will watch on fast foward next year if there is a next year.

Then they launched into the confederate gold. It will be just as horrible as this show.

Wade said...

Maybe they should go after the Lost Dutchman Mine in the Superstition Mountains in Arizona.

Lots of elbow room to explore with all the different origin stories.

Mr. Sweepy! said...

Hey Kevin,

I said about a month or so ago that there would be another treasury hunt in the making. I aced that one. LOL

The truth is I didn't know that would happen but I do know their very big TV following of people watch the show is more valuable than all the treasure they will find. My background is marketing and advertising for many years and worked on a number of big money projects. You learn to follow the money before it hits the ground or in their case, their bank accounts.

With that said, part of the reason for saying this is because in your other post about Ufology, I am see some of the same things happening also. In TV is there a shortage of contents. Some networks are looking for new UFO stories and contents to keep their UFO hungry followers coming back. This is where the Las Vegas bunch comes in. Tom, Elio and others who are trying to cash in. However the big jackpot is being played by the Billionaire Bigelow. He is looking for payback for his campaign dollars to Former Senator Reid and shoot for patients from downed UFO crafts. Then the question becomes, did Reid fast talk him out of money or will Bigelow get something of substance for his money. That's the real treasure chase of the history of mankind.

In short, follow the money.

Baffled said...

I have watched the show from the beginning. I doubt that I will watch any more if there is more.I absolutely agree with all the previous comments. And am completely baffled as to why I watched it for so long,I guess I just wanted to believe in faeries again

BingeWatcher73 said...

I really hope they continue. To me treasure isn't always gold or jewelry,it's historical artifacts, piece of wood, bones, coins, etc.
I love history so much. I hope someday a brilliant mind invent radar or something like that which can see through earth and stones etc..because there are millions of mysteries all over the world that haven't been found. Most of them are forgotten.

Unknown said...

I totally agree. I want to see this ship they sank in the cove.