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Oak Island is located off the coast of Nova Scotia near Halifax, in the eastern part of Canada. This 140 acre island is privately owned, and is best known for its supposed buried treasure, especially at a certain spot commonly known as the Money Pit. Since its discovery around the end of the 18th century, a number of theories have been put forward to explain the nature of the legendary treasure in the Money Pit of Oak Island. In addition, many attempts to unearth the treasure have been made in the following centuries, though these have yet to meet with success. Nevertheless, efforts continue even today, with the hope that a fantastic treasure will eventually be found on the mysterious Oak Island.
Discovering the Money Pit on Oak Island
The Money Pit of Oak Island is reported to have been discovered in the summer of 1795, when a teenager by the name of Daniel McGinnis came across a circular depression in the ground whilst wandering on the island. McGinnis decided to investigate the pit with a few friends, and over the next couple of days, he, along with his friends John Smith and Anthony Vaughan, began to dig a hole.
Oak Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. ( Crystalinks)
Two feet (about 0.61 meters) from the surface, the boys struck a layer of flagstones. They continued digging, and at a depth of 10 feet (about 3 meters), they came across a layer of oak logs. Two more layers of oak logs were encountered again at 20 feet (about 6 m) and 30 feet (about 9 m) below the surface. At this point, the boys were no longer able to continue on their own, and decided to go home, with the intention of returning to continue their search.
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The ‘Money Pit’ on Oak Island, Nova Scotia, Canada in 1947. (Public Domain)
It was only eight years later that McGinnis and his friends managed to return to their dig site, along with the Onslow Company, which was established for the purpose of excavating the Money Pit. The digging continued until a depth of 90 feet (about 27 meters). At each interval of 10 feet, a layer of oak logs were discovered.
The Oak Island Treasure? “Forty feet below two million pounds are buried”
In addition, a layer of charcoal, putty and coconut fibre are reported to have been found at the depths of 40 feet (abut 12 meters), 50 feet (about 15 meters), and 60 feet (about 18 meters) respectively. The most puzzling discovery, however, was allegedly made at 90 feet. At this depth, a stone with an inscription was found. The writing on the stone, which consists of symbols, has been commonly deciphered as follows: “Forty feet below two million pounds are buried”.
Replica of the Money Pit inscribed stone. ( Oak Island Treasure )
When the layer of oak logs found at this layer was removed, water began to enter the pit, and by the following day, it had flooded it until the depth of 33 feet (10 meters meters). The excavators attempted to pump the water out of the pit, but to no avail. In the following year, a shaft was dug parallel to the Money Pit, with the intention of digging a tunnel to the latter at 100 feet (30.5 meters). This, however, did not succeed, as the problem of flooding recurred once more.
Oak, Metal, and Spruce Layers at the Money Pit
The search for the Money Pit treasure was abandoned for about half a century, before it was resumed in 1849 by the Truro Company. Once again, the problem of flooding was encountered. The company decided to figure out what was buried in the pit before attempting to continue digging. For this purpose, drilling core samples were obtained, which supposedly contained a layer of spruce, followed by one of oak, and then metal pieces. This was followed by another layer of oak, metal pieces, and spruce. With these findings at hand, it was concluded that there were 2 casks / chests of gold coins waiting to be discovered in the Money Pit of Oak Island.
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The Truro Company tried digging a parallel shaft and a connecting tunnel in the following year, but like the Onslow Company before them, they were not successful. The Truro Company eventually gave up, and several attempts to locate the treasure were made in the following century and a half, with various discoveries being claimed to have been made at the mysterious site on Oak Island.
More Discoveries: Who May Have Left a Treasure on Oak Island?
At a depth of 160 feet (about 49 meters), for instance, a cement vault, believed to contain the treasure, was reported to have been discovered in 1897. Despite all these attempts, the treasure of the Money Pit has yet to be found, and the effort continues even today.
Digs and Buildings, Oak Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, August 1931.
The most recent attempt to retrieve the treasure is being made by the brothers Rick and Marty Lagina and their team. Their treasure hunting has been made into a History Channel series entitled The Curse of Oak Island . Some of the finds made by the brothers in the Money Pit include pieces of metal and wood. But one of the most intriguing discoveries was made at the end of the program’s 4th season (which concluded at the end of February 2017), during which a large piece of worked metal that might have been part of a treasure chest was found.
Although most treasure hunters have ended up empty handed, another recent revelation found off the coast of Oak Island points to an incredible, and possibly history-changing, finding. A shipwreck, believed to be Roman, was discovered near Oak Island, and within the wreck it has been claimed that a well-preserved Roman ceremonial sword was retrieved.
The Roman sword found just off Oak Island. Photo courtesy of investigatinghistory.org and National Treasure Society
J. Hutton Pulitzer, lead researcher and historic investigator, along with academics from the Ancient Artifact Preservation Society, wrote a paper in 2016 on the find and also outlined other possible evidence that romans may have reached the New World more than 1,000 years before Christopher Columbus. Debate still rages on regarding this artifact and its possible repercussions for the history books.
Featured image: A photo that has been associated with the mysterious Oak Island. S ource: Expanded Perspectives Podcast/ Youtube Screenshot
Who Is Paying for the Oak Island Treasure Hunt?
Searching for an old, legendary treasure hidden in a distant island sounds just like the dream of any child, or at least that’s what people who have never watched “The Curse of Oak Island” might think.
Said History channel’s show, filmed completely on Nova Scotia’s Oak Island brings some light into the centuries-old mystery surrounding the place. Nonetheless, anyone who has watched the series has noticed the explorations made are not cheap, which brings out a big question: where does the money for those operations come from?
As expected, we have the answer to that question as well, as we will reveal details about the finances of “The Curse Of Oak Island” and its cast, so sit down and enjoy it!
The mystery deepens
In the years since, various companies and excavation teams with dreams of buried riches have taken up the digging effort at the same spot McGinnis found, all still to no avail. Even so, the mystery has deepened. And so has the hole.
Wooden platforms every 10 feet have teased excavators, all the way down to at least 100 feet deep. At 90 feet, one of the pit's most enticing mysteries was uncovered: a stone slab with cryptic writing etched on it unlike any writing ever found before. Was it a cipher? A coded clue to the whereabouts of the hidden treasure?
The obscure tablet remained undecipherable for decades. But then, in the 1860s, the puzzle drew the interest of a renowned professor of languages from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, James Leitchi, who claimed to have been able to decode the text. Its message only motivated excavators to dig ever deeper. According to Leitchi, it read: "Forty Feet Below, Two Million Pounds Are Buried."
Digging such a deep hole is not without engineering challenges in fact, excavators have been stymied over the years by a number of issues that were only later solved with improved technology and, of course, a bigger budget. For instance, there's a constant battle against water flooding into the pit, as the hole is on a relatively small island just a short distance from the ocean. The flooding is so bothersome that some excavators have even theorized it's part of an elaborate booby trap, set up by the treasure's original buriers to foil its discovery.
The excavation has now drilled down to 190 feet — well beyond the extra 40 feet prophesied by the stone slab's inscription — but still hasn't turned up any loot. If an 18th-century treasure could have been buried at such a depth, it would have been a monumental engineering feat. And yet people still seem compelled to dig.
The effort has even drawn interest from the likes of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States, who at the tender age of 27 decided to join the excavation effort at Oak Island. Famed actors John Wayne and Errol Flynn also got in on the action, each bidding for a chance to join the dig.
This 17th-Century Conspiracy May Explain the Oak Island Money Pit
It sounds pretty convincing&mdashand there's even some hard evidence to back it up.
Could this complicated theory involving a 17th century plot to overthrow the king of England be behind the Oak Island mystery? It sounds pretty convincing&mdashand there's even some hard evidence to back it up.
Anyone familiar with the History Channel series The Curse of Oak Island knows the mystery well. But for those who haven&rsquot yet heard the tale, buckle your seatbelts.
Oak Island is in Nova Scotia, and the mystery in question is a legend that there&rsquos big treasure buried there. Since the 19th century, explorers have tried to locate the loot. And some interesting artifacts have been unearthed. But the main treasure has never been found&mdashand remains a mystery even to these explorers. Theories say that the island could be home to a massive pirate treasure, the Holy Grail, Shakespearean manuscripts, or the Ark of the Covenant.
Not only is there a mystery, but there&rsquos also a curse, hence the name of the History Channel series. Legend says that seven men will die searching for the treasure before it is found. To date, six men have died.
Now, there&rsquos endless theories to what type of treasure could be on the island&mdashand how it got there. But The William Phips Theory has many convinced, with hard evidence supporting the claim. The theory was recently broken down by writer and history buff Hammerson Peters on his YouTube channel. The video sources much of its information from the book Oak Island and Its Lost Treasure, which first presented the convincing conspiracy.
The theory, as presented by the Peters, goes something like this: William Phips was a successful 17th century explorer with his expeditions funded by the English. When King James II came into power in 1685, the Catholic king was wildly unliked by the Protestant majority, including political leaders and aristocrats. Simply put, they wanted to overthrow him.
An enemy of King James II, who fled to Holland when the king came to power, convinced the King William III of the Netherlands, who was Protestant, to join forces with the English to overthrow King James II. All King William III needed money to fund the war.
Here&rsquos where the treasure&mdashand Phips&mdashcomes in. In a previous expedition funded by English aristocrats, Phips found a Spanish shipwreck loaded with treasure. He and his crew recovered about $4 million in today&rsquos currency on their first loot of the wreck. Upon his return to Englad, the rogue Protestants convinced Phips to go back with an increased crew from Holland and gain more treasure to fund the invasion. After all, Phips had his own problems with King James II, who wouldn&rsquot let Massachusetts self-govern even after Phips gifted him boatloads of treasure.
After looting the wrecked ship a second time, the crew from Holland sailed back to the Netherlands with silver coins to fund the invasion, which was successful in overthrowing King James II in 1688. But Phips and his crew went to hide the rest of the treasure for safe keeping on Oak Island. There, his crew dug the infamous Money Pit. Theory has it that while digging, an underground cavern gave way, flooding the pit with water&mdashand leaving the treasure in a precarious and unretrievable state.
Phips and his men sealed the Money Pit, and went to inform England of the big problem. Secret engineering squads were deployed to the island many times, but couldn&rsquot retrieve the treasure. By the 1750s, the British Crown decided if they couldn&rsquot have the treasure, no one could. The British then booby trapped the island, creating shafts and flood tunnels modern day explorers have since discovered. But the treasure still remains untouched.
Now, that&rsquos a pretty legit theory&mdashand modern-day discoveries on the island, many of which have actually been found on the The Curse of Oak Island series, back it up. There&rsquos the discovery of a 16th or 17th century pick axe, proven to be from England. Then there&rsquos several pieces of wood discovered in the series, all of which have been carbon dated from the late 1600s to the early 1700s. There&rsquos also the two human bones discovered in season 5, one of European dissent and one of Middle Eastern dissent, both carbon dated from the late 1600s to the mid 1700s. Not only that, but core samples from the Oak Island swamp indicate human activity took place somewhere between 1674 and 1700.
A full breakdown of the theory in substantial detail is available in Peters&rsquo YouTube video. But you have to admit, it sounds pretty convincing.
List of Oak Island Updates 2020
1. There are tunnels that lead water from swamp swamp to money pit
2. Similar trenches were discovered in the Louisburg Fortress of Canada, which was one of the French military’s focus areas on the American continent.
3. The canals were probably built with knowledge of Freemasonry on the Templars Early buildings
The Curse of Oak Island Possible discovery
Objects from Jerusalem and the Templar’s gold
Ancient tombs of Freemasonry
A combination of treasures of historical value
In my opinion, items like the Ark of the Covenant or the Golden Lamp of the Keys will not be found on the island for the simple reasons. The Ark of the Covenant was well hidden or stolen by the Roman Empire. It is more likely to be found in the Judean Desert in Israel.
The Temple’s golden lamp is documented as part of the Victory Parade in Rome. She was brought in to pay as a reward to the Emperor and was probably either used for other purposes or lying in the Vatican basements.
1795, The Year of Discovery
Even the circumstances surrounding the beginning of this story cannot be known with absolute certainty. There were no Facebook posts or Tweets to announce the event, no selfie photos or iPhone videos to capture the sequence of activities. These were far simpler times wherein even the written word was not always the norm in rural communities. Much was left to the oral tradition.
What we do have is the testimony of each generation of searchers who readily shared their knowledge with each subsequent generation. From 1795 onward, the story, while undoubtedly embellished, was never lost and eventually began to be documented.
Two of the earliest written accounts come to us in newspapers, the Liverpool Transcript of October 16, 1862 and the Colonist of Halifax in January 2, 1864, almost 70 years following the initial discovery.
Judge Mather B. DesBrisay’s History of Lunenburg County (1870) was the first to include the Oak Island story in a book and his introduction is as worthy as any, notwithstanding a preference towards the Captain Kidd theory prevalent at that time (and remains a viable candidate today). It is also worth noting that the daughter of one of the original discoverers, Ms. Mary Smith, lived with the DesBrisay family for many years and reasonably would have been a source of information. We also have the Oak Island Treasure Company’s public share offering of 1893 which chronicles the newer discoveries made up until that date.
Those familiar with the Oak Island story will recognize that certain details in these early accounts do not fully align with other written versions of the circumstances by which Daniel McInnis first came to be on the island in 1795. Likewise is the case regarding the question of whether the old tackle block actually existed, the diameter of the shaft (7, 12, or 13 feet) or at what specific intervals oak platforms, charcoal, and putty were encountered in the shaft.
These specifics will never be known because the oral history is no longer verifiable. Regardless, we humbly submit that it simply does not matter because what was subsequently discovered at lower levels within and surrounding the “Money Pit” on Oak Island render those details moot.
Chronology of the Oak Island Treasure Hunt
Copyright © 2007-2021 Ken Polsson
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All rights reserved. Permission is granted to create web links
to this site, not to copy these pages to other web sites.
This document is an attempt to bring various published sources together to present a timeline about the Oak Island Treasure Hunt.
Oak Island lies directly against the western shore of Mahone Bay, off Nova Scotia, Canada, about 35 miles west of Halifax. The island itself is less than 1 mile long, and 1/2 mile wide.
The legend begins in 1795, as three boys discover what appears to be the location of buried treasure. The story is first written about in newspapers in the 1860s. How much is true, and how much is exaggerated to make a more sensational story, is unknown.
Millions of dollars have been spent since then, and many lives have been lost as well. There are several theories about what lies 100+ feet below the surface: pirate gold, Inca gold, Templar Knights gold, even original manuscripts of the works of Shakespeare. Some think there is no treasure, that the underground is filled with natural channels of water and cavities formed from limestone.
I have included some early events seemingly unrelated, that some believe are part of the explanation for a possible buried treasure.
References are numbered in [brackets], which are listed here. A number after the dot gives the page in the source.
The adventure continues through the centuries
This gave rise to literally centuries worth of treasure hunters who have tried to unearth the treasure that’s still believed to lie at the bottom of the money pit. Along the way, several interesting clues have been unearthed. In 1804, a group of men called The Oslow Company headed over to the island to try their luck with the mysterious hole. Picking up where the boys had left off, they confirmed the pattern that every 10 feet down or so, there was another wooden platform. When they got down to 60 feet, however, they did discover something rather curious. The platform they found there was lined with coconut shell fibers, which was significant because coconuts are not indigenous to the area. That gave them hope that whoever had constructed the tunnel had probably brought over coconuts from the Caribbean. Thanks to Johnny Depp, we all know that the Caribbean was a favorite hangout of pirates. So they kept on digging as platform after platform revealed itself. At 90 feet, they discovered a mysterious stone marked with strange carvings.
It wasn’t until nearly half a century later that someone would propose to have deciphered the strange message carved into the heavy stone that the treasure hunters brought home. In 1860, a language professor named James Leitchi used a cipher which he claimed revealed the hidden message. Apparently, the stone read, “Forty Feet Below, Two Million Pounds Are Buried.”
Well, of course, this set off a new whole interest in getting to 130 ft. beneath the island’s surface. The island, however, had even more surprises to offer. Not only was whatever was at the bottom of the hole protected by wooden beams and coconuts, but it was also guarded by the fact that the hole was rigged with underground tunnels that would flood it with water when diggers reached a certain point. Various pumps and dams were used over the following centuries to keep the obstinant hole from flooding but failed to do the job.
Oak Island Treasure Company’s public share offering of 1893
Promoting "Shares Only Five Dollars Each", this public effort to raise money for their attempt to solve the Oak Island mystery presents another detailed account of early discoveries on the Island. It claims rather directly that "Our story has to do only with fact, as stated by the men now living and who had a hand in them, or as told to them by men now dead."