I have found the new season of The Curse of Oak Island to be a crashing bore. I haven’t posted much about it because I keep falling asleep in the episodes. I have tired of the artificial crisis of the week, the over the top claims and the failure to really find anything of significance no matter how many times they tell us they have found something of significance.
You all must remember that in the first minutes of the first episode they came to the washed-out road and wondered if they had lost the whole season because the road provided the only dry land access to the important locations on the island. Of course, they repaired the road and we all knew that was going to happen. If they couldn’t repair it, we’d have had a one hour special rather than the opening of the season.
Look what has happened since. Well, the government, either in Nova Scotia or the Canadian government, was going to shut down the operation. They feared, apparently, for the archaeological integrity of the island. Without a trained archaeologist on site, they weren’t going to allow the search for the treasure to continue. I wondered if the archaeological integrity hadn’t been compromised sometime in the last 220 years. Everyone one and his brother or sister (yes, my hyperbole) has been digging on the island. It would seem that anything that might have had any significance had already been destroyed, moved, broken, discarded, hidden or completely compromised.
But, of course, they found a suitable archaeologist who was approved by the governmental agencies and is now another person who has begun to fed at the trough known as Oak Island. Oh, don’t misunderstand. I’m sure the man is highly qualified and knows what he’s doing, but I’m not sure that he is all that important.
This whole program, meaning The Cures of Oak Island, is so important to Nova Scotia that they’re not going to stop the production. Millions of dollars are at stake, millions have been brought into the local economy and people are coming for tours of the island and tales of the treasure. Of course the government is not going to shut the thing down and stop the floor of dollars.
So, what have they found this season?
Well, Rick, who was suffering from Lyme Disease, another of the problems over blown this season (and, again, don’t get me wrong, the disease is serious), but Marty showed up to tell him they had found the Money Pit. It sounded like a dramatic announcement It had been teased in the trailers for the season. Now they were close to the treasure, but all it really meant was that Marty believed they had found the original hole dug back in 1795. Didn’t mean there was any treasure to be found, only that they had found, well, an old hole, which meant very little in the overall picture.
The guys with the metal detectors, who seem to be doing the most important work here, found the barrel of a gun. Before the commercial break, we got a glimpse of it, and by the sight on that barrel, it was clear to me that it had been modeled after the Colt Peacemaker, first produced in 1873, which meant its relevance was limited. Back from commercial and we learn that it was the barrel from a cap pistol made in the 1950s, so the relevance is further reduced. It might have belonged to Ricky Restall, youngest son of Robert Restall. For those who don’t know, Restall and his oldest son, Robert, Jr., died on Oak Island in a tragic accident that took two other lives, Karl Graeser and Cyril Hiltz.
Just to recap this tragic tale, Robert Restall had arrived on the island in the late 1950s sure that he could find the treasure. He brought his family with him and they spent their summers in their effort to recover what had been buried in the Money Pit. On August 17, 1965, about two in the afternoon, Restall told his wife, Mildred, that he had to go into town. He’d work for another hour or so and then return to clean up for the trip.
Restall, climbing down into shaft that he had been working in that day, fell into about four feet of water that had collected on the floor of the shaft. His older son, saw his father lying in the water and began to climb down to help him. He too lost consciousness and fell into the water. Moments later, Graeser, one of Restall’s backers and a marina operator from Long Island, arrived, saw the trouble and climbed down to assist. Behind him was 16-year-old Cyril Hiltz. Both of them lost consciousness and fell into the shaft. The final person to fall into the water was 17-year-old Andy DeMont.
By now there were calls for assistance and a group of tourists on the island, including a fire fighter, Edward White, ran to help. White apparently realized there was some sort of gas in the shaft. White tied a rope around his waist, and had others lower him into the shaft. He was able to pull the unconscious DeMont out of the water, but White was beginning to lose consciousness as well. He tried to find the others but failed. DeMont, and White were pulled out and given artificial respiration, regaining consciousness.
The other four did not survive. The autopsy suggested they had all died by drowning, which, given the circumstances, makes some sense. They all fell, unconscious, into about four feet of water.
This didn’t stop others, over the years, from attempting to find the treasure. Of course, all those attempts have failed, but none seem to have been as well financed and equipped as that begun by the Laginas boys. They keep digging and drilling and finding little bit of this and a piece of that. These have been promoted with great fanfare, but mean little to the overall solution. A bit or two of pottery, found far below the surface, seemed to suggest something to the Laginas and others, though I’m not sure what. Had the land been undisturbed, had there not been two centuries of people digging up that one end of the island, it might have been significant, but without some sort of context, it seems, to me, to mean little.
When we get right down to it, and which is the reason that I haven’t posted much of anything about this season is because it mirrors the last few seasons. Discoveries touted as important, but really, in the end mean little. The pieces of the cap gun were returned to Rick Restall, and seeing him and his sister certainly put faces on some of the tragedy of the island. And, we have learned a great deal about the history of the island, but nothing that gets us any closer to the treasure.
Yes, I will continue to watch. But I fear, at this point, it is a lost cause. The treasure, if there ever was one, was removed long ago, probably before the boys began digging in 1795. The little bits and pieces of history found on the island have almost nothing to do with the actual treasure and is more probably debris from all the searching that has been going on for centuries. I wish them luck, but according to those celebrity net worth pages I looked at, the Laginas have millions already and this is more a love of adventure than anything else. *
*I know that some of those celebrity net worth pages are completely wrong. I don’t know how they obtain the figures but it seems to be guess work at best.