Did We Do This Before on Oak Island?

 DATELINE: It Only Feels Like a Rerun

Why do they keep drilling down when it is hit or miss? The Curse of Oak Island never really answers their alleged waste of money. They finally decide to do seismic testing.

The War Room gang entertain another historian, but this one is labeled a real expert by Marty Lagina: he is Chip Reid from Anapolis. He tells them the French likely built “water batteries” on Oak Island, which explains what the structures found in Smith Cove.

Reid, author and highly respected, tells them that there were several treasures dropped off over hundreds of years because secret Tempar knowledge shared the hiding spots for future protected items.

They also have another circus ring going on with GPR seismic imaging over at the original digger and discoverer, Daniel McGinnis whose ruins of a house are a national treasure. It now appears he had a secret cellar under the foundation.

They also refer to Dan Henskee as the new dean of the past and his information leads them to another spot that could direct the search to the Money Pit.

Oddly enough Henskee does not appear in the show. It is troubling about his health or condition.

As usual too, it is Gary Drayton who finds more stuff: this time he locates a chisel on the McGinnis land that indicates the original teenager who found the Money Pit was mining on his land back in 1800.

This was a holding pattern episode to set us up for something bigger and more shocking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closer and Closer on Oak Island

DATELINE: Muddy Waters

 Magical 13 Branches?

For the seventh season, we feel more and more that it is just like many of the previous seasons—except results now are becoming more compelling.

Digging in the swamp has now proven a wooden shaft or structure that is man-made. By whom? That remains the constant conundrum.

Several other factors give us our déjà vu moment, again and again. This time they are talking about a bladder coffer dam to hold back sediment. It seems like the fourth season again.

Lagina Nephew Peter Fornetti remains omnipresent and omni-silent. But Alex Lagina is now speaking more forcefully, like a true star of the show.

If there is a striking element here, it is the rise of the second bananas over seven seasons: these individuals now sit regular at the big discussion table. They are integral to the search: Paul Troutman, Laird Nivens, Doug Crowell, Gary Drayton, and now the overweight big man of the bulldozers, Billy. Each has earned a following among fans.

However, the bobby dazzler himself, Gary Drayton continues to be the mover and shaker of all discoveries. This week is not unusual. He locates on the west side of the island some kind of brooch: a leaf on coils of rope. He contends it is quite old and was a rich soldier’s bauble, perhaps a uniform pin.

Once cleaned up, it proves to have 13 branches on the fern: but is more like the tree on George Washington’s flag. It is a Masonic and Templar symbol. It may have been the symbol of the American Revolution that wanted to bring Nova Scotia into the original colonies of the United States.

Carbon dating is more frequently turning up dates in the 1700s, often parallel to the American Revolution. It hints that Oak Island may have more to do with the Founding Fathers like Ben Franklin and ties to the French allies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review of Oak Island Unearthed

 DATELINE: Recommended Book

You can bet your bottom of 10-X dollar that the Laginas would never have gone out to Oak Island if they had talked to John O. O’Brien when they were kids growing up in Michigan.

Marty would never have spent any of his filthy millions on buying up the property. They would not be interested in finding the tomb of Montezuma, nor would they believe he was in Canada. Who would?

Well, one enlightened author from Nova Scotia grew up with stories about the fabled treasure—and he has put the theories into a book, available online and in print. You can be sure that the Laginas have not read it.

John O’Brien appeared on the third season of Curse of Oak Island, one of many strange theories the show entertained—and ultimately dismissed. Mr. O’Brien was never asked back, and his theories were only half-inspected.

His book, called Oak Island Unearthed,is a thoughtful and personal recollection of a man who grew up near the legendary Oak Island. His career as a miner with insights into the science and technology of geology provides an interesting perspective.

You may have seen him treated rudely by Marty Lagina on their series, dismissing his ideas about how the Aztecs had the advanced knowledge to accomplish the feats at Oak Island. In fact, they performed much of the engineering in their own local Mexican territory.

What may seem incredible is that the Aztecs would travel to Nova Scotia for any purpose, let alone to hide the body of Montezuma. All of their travels have gained credibility since Aztec artifacts were found in Georgia!

Though the TV series picked up on the motif of corn in Scotland art work and architecture a century before it was introduced to Europe, the TV show did not give O’Brien credit for this notion, or the truly amazing detail that the Aztecs regarded blue clay as more valuable than gold.

In one scene of the TV show, they complain about all the strange blue clay on the island, never connecting it to the Aztecs who went all over North America in search of this ceremonial pigment.

The clues of corn and blue clay are compelling arguments. This is a book that is eye-opening and for those not blindly following the cursed TV series.

Mr. O’Brien’s book lays out the arguments in both technical and non-technical terms, giving a personal and conversational explanation to his lifelong beliefs.

He was denied a chance to explore the island by earlier owners, like Nolan and Blankenship. And, his final visit to Oak Island by the Lagina group was less than satisfying.

You will step back and re-consider some of his notions when you read this fascinating account of the presumed treasure.

Hindenburg Revisited

DATELINE: Disaster Cause

That marvelous PBS series, Secrets of the Dead, has a streaming episode called What Happened to the Hindenburg!

It takes a refreshing new look at the blame game that for sixty years or more has dismissed hydrogen as the culprit. Not only was the gas made to be considered unsafe, it ended the short reign of the airship, Zeppelin balloons, as a form of luxury transportation.

Most of us know the pompous and unprofessional radio broadcast that lamented the “humanity” of a disaster, but this documentary is far more horrific in giving us the details, and far more credible than the 1975 movie with George C. Scott and the Nazi conspiracy notion.

It certainly didn’t help the German mode of transportation in the years before the World War that it was a favorite project of Adolph Hitler. In fact, the Hindenburg was almost christened the Hitler, after the mad dictator. It was a ship that was an air version of Titanic, but with 35 deaths and fewer than 100 passengers, it measured up in microcosm.

Only years later when NASA used hydrogen in its space shuttle launches did a scientist named Dr. Addison Bain decide to take his free time to the archives. There, he found the dismissal of sabotage and the scapegoat of hydrogen somewhat unlike his own professional study of the gas.

When he began to investigate the conspiracy theories dismissed and the faulty investigation, partly the lack of sophistication in the era, that he saw new possibilities.

His clever detective work discovered the airship was painted with a highly flammable concoction that was an ingredient of solid rocket fuel! Powdered aluminum: Bingo!

Once again, the PBS series gives us something special in merging good science techniques with intelligent documentary filmmaking.

 

 

 

 

 

In Search of… Nazi Loot

 DATELINE: Nazi Mysteries

 Remote Nazi Hunter?

Whether the History Channel take sus to the Philippines to look for lost gold of World War II, or if Bob Barr is chasing the legend of Adolph Hitler, or whether we are back in Germany to uncover the stolen cash and jewels of Nazis, we are hooked.

Now, the high-powered antennae of this top-drawer series is going to give us the scoop. Only about half the Nazi gold and treasures was ever recovered after the war. Some thought minor pilfering by American soldiers took off shavings, but the vast amount has simply been taken in the style of an inside job.

There is no rehash here in the world of rehash mysteries on TV. We give credit again to this marvelous series for their original research and new insights into old problems.

While Quinto himself does not go diving or climbing into tunnels, there are a battery of experts in Europe to oversee the search for sunken supersonic U-boats, a stolen room (not its contents, but the room itself), and the ubiquitous piles of gold bullion.

Showing the elaborate Nazi tunnel system is tantamount to finding the Knights Templar technology: how on earth did they have time to build this stuff while fighting a war? Slave labor jumps to mind.

Quinto points out that the Nazi crimes included kidnapping the best minds to do their research, pilfering every art collection, and other untold secrets. In all, the show estimates billions in today’s estimate has never been recovered.

You begin to wonder where Gary Drayton is with his knack for finding treasures!

The show also finds a submarine that left Germany on the day before the war ended: its cargo is unknown, but laws designate the U-boat is a gravesite that cannot be explored inside. So, if it held gold, artwork or the body of Adolph Hitler, it is not for today.

Nevertheless, this remains the single-most and most consistent of History’s mystery shows.

 

 

Francis Ford Coppola in Conversational Mode

DATELINE: Eavesdroppers

  Pouty Harrison Takes on Hackman

In 1974 between his Godfather epics, Coppola tackled the high-tech tale of a wire-tapper who is tapped out. He wrote and directed this intriguing suspense drama. You know the Coppola tag will build this to a daunting climax.

The Conversation seems a throwaway but may be a perfect metaphor for the upcoming technological invasion of privacy that the 21stcentury and Internet will dump on us.

Gene Hackman is a suffering paranoid who seems to enjoy eavesdropping less and less each day. When he discovers that his work may be even dirtier than usual with murder in mind, he seems to be struck with a conscience.

When you subtract all the outmoded surveillance equipment from the movie, you have something so quaint as to be primitive by today’s digital standards. You may rightfully worry that things are a lot worse nowadays.

You may laugh at the spooling tapes and wonder how they could do any job effectively.

As a film, the story is microscopic as befits the nosy nature of small-time detective work. Yet, nothing transcends the basic fright of murder under your nose.

The Coppola cast is more than right: he has collected some of his favorite people and found others right before they made it big on TV/and movies. You will see a baby-faced Harrison Ford, a young girlish Teri Garr, a pretty victim in Cindi Williams without Laverne. Frederic Forrest is a callow-looking adulterer. Slippery John Cazale is always a Coppola staple and acts as a supporting, underappreciated wiretapper here too.

One of Coppola’s favorite actors makes a cameo as the corporate villain.

They are all secondary to the mid-life crisis that cannot be better epitomized than Gene Hackman at the pinnacle of his Everyman person.

The business means that you cannot trust anyone, professionally or personally. And, there is good reason to be suspicious when large amounts of money is paid for information.

 

 

 

Cores De-Valued on Oak Island

DATELINE: Digging and Drilling Continues, Season 7

 Not a Sledge!

 

If boring down again seems familiar, this time it is in the notorious swamp where no boredom is deep. If you seem to have a sense of deju vuall over again, we can understand it. Between the recaps that dominate the series almost three or four times per show, we are now re-enacting the re-enactments.

That’s not to say the Curse of Oak Island is not compelling! Though Marty Lagina seems to use the same expressions repeatedly, they are applied to different situations. He just makes it feel like we are re-living a previous episode.

They are now in the swamp, drilling down, to use a phrase for those irksome Matty Blake specials on the topic. What first hits them is the expensive floating drill machine, boring into some unknown hard substance,

The core samples are all clay, of varying hardness and dryness. However, that is not their goal: they want to find the wood of a Spanish galleon. Well, it does nto seem to be cooperating.

They move the floating feast of drill bores to another spot and again strike a waterproofing capstone. A rock formation appears to be there to keep out the water. Once again they may have struck pay-dirt without knowing why.

In the meantime, on a second Western front, ground penetrating radar finds a tunnel system on a part of the island that has not been explored.

 What?

You mean there are areas that have not been dug up. It is a revelation to viewers after six full seasons. Yes, there are tunnels where you don’t expect them, and a fresh faced geologist tells them their swamp is not prehistoric, but only in the range of 300 years old.

Fortunately Gary Drayton is still on the job and he locates what looks like primitive sledgehammer heads: two of them in close proximity. He claims they are quite old. His assessments are now regarded with less skepticism than in previous years. We have noticed the absence of Jack Begley, and the unannounced appearance of Peter Frenetti, another nephew this week.

Bring on a new fresh face: Carmen Legge, the local blacksmith historian who has delivered all the good news for two years. Now he is on set in the War Room: he has made the cut.

And, now he tells them their sledgehammer heads are actually tunnel sharpening devices that date back to the 1400s.

Who needs a Spanish galleon when the ground is like a mole’s delight: filled with tunnels everywhere.

 

 

 

 

Travel Back Centuries on Oak Island!

DATELINE: Gary Drayton Finds Another Gem!

  Two Islands Become Merged!

Curses aside, is it the year we finally hit paydirt? You need two hours for the first episode of the new season.

The seventh season premiere of The Curse of Oak Island is highly anticipated if only because of those promos that are promising the treasure steps to nirvana.

You could say everything is ship-shaped to begin the new year. There is a 200’ long ship apparently buried in the swamp. And, even more interesting, there is a road or wharf made of stone next to it.

The swamp now appears to be man-made and artificial for sure.

Yet, it is the team of Gary Drayton and Alex Lagina who find more beachfront artifacts. They had already been a team and good workers on the other gold digger show about the lost Civil War treasure.

Now they go out to a rocky locale to discover a spike of sorts. Once again, Drayton is the key and his uncanny insights date the item as quite old, despite not having any corrosion. He also finds a silver button, clearly belonging to someone of wealth or importance.

This stuff must go to more specific experts. A conservator is brought in to clean up the button

And, the old spike is brought to an expert who looks it over and sees it is used for stone carving, back in the 1300s. Of course, a tool made then could be used for hundreds of years.  Blacksmithing expert in Nova Scotia thinks it was a stonemason tool.  We are talking Templar and freemason connections. Again.

Had they found the actual tool that carved the infamous 90’ stone that led to the original search for the treasure?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quinto Searching for the Ark of the Covenant

DATELINE: In Search of Bible Treasure!

Sheba wows Solomon with Gold!

 

Zachary Quinto stays back in a safe studio while the treasure hunters seek out the real Bible treasures that are all part and parcel of a connect-the-dots secret plan.

Yes, Solomon was wise—and rich. In Israel he found the most valuable early metal: copper. It’s still increasing in value, and Solomon had enough smelted copper to plate his new temple. And, he was involved with a Queen from Sheba who brought him his weight in gold. He ended up with more tons than the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

It seems it was Sheba who was the true gold digger, having a mine in Ethiopia, her home. The Ark of the Convenant was, however, the real treasure, which required a great deal of gold plating.

It was sent in hiding, according to Ethiopian scholars, to a vault guarded by a sacred monk 100 feet underground, but there are replica Arks in every church of Ethiopian churches. And, only true believers are satisfied with this theory.

Instead, the show follows a copper scroll at Qumran that is a treasure map: they think the scroll describes a golden loot of tons of gold. An American researcher has used these maps to target both the Ark and the cache of gold.

He feels that his map tells where the hills near Qumran are where these bible treasures are buried in location that the copper map notes.

Solomon and Sheba might have been a hot couple, but their son buried the valuables were in a deep cave where metal detectors indicate that the prize of tons of gold are hidden where Israel’s greatest treasures are protected by the country’s government. If it’s there, it may remain hidden and unexcavated.

Solomon was wise enough to become the first billionaire but money and power, even owning the Ark of the Covenant, did not bring him ultimate happiness. Only historical immortality, which is seldom satisfying when you’re dead.

Diana: New Evidence

DATELINE: Who Wanted to Off the People’s Princess?

When news of Lady Di’s death was delivered to our door with the morning newspaper, we told the paperboy, remember the day for a history lesson.

It seems over twenty-years later, the truth may still not be out, nor is murder out of the question. Once again, we hear Diana worry that her bodyguard had been done in to keep him quiet and ruminating that she would be next.

We also hear those who knew her stating that she was not prone to hyperbole.

A short documentary called Diana: the New Evidencedelivers the goods and the bad news. She was a beautiful woman, inclined to public display—even if it infuriated Buckingham Palace where she felt ill-treated.

Her stay at the Ritz in Paris in a suite once used by Winston Churchill and Herman Goering (not together) was typical of her derring-do. What she could not suspect was that her driver Henri Paul was a spy for MI-6, paid informant. He was also slipped some nerve gas to explode in his pocket hours before the car crash.

Whether Paul was really drunk has been covered up—and independent investigators either arrested or simply stone-walled. In video Paul does not appear drunk—and a photographer, also under pay of secret service agencies, bragged he was there and took pictures. He later was a suicide, though some speculated it was murder. It too was covered over.

Who on earth wanted her gone? Members of the royal family? the British military guards? MI-6? The list of suspects rivals any modern political assassination bureau.

Over twenty-years later, there are still official groups avoiding the truth.

Roanoke: Where Did All the Flowers Go?

DATELINE: Closer than an Old Map

Zachary Quinto tackles the lost settlement of Virginia in Colonial times.  It’s like Plymouth decided to pull up stakes and not have Thanksgiving. Roanoke was the first real town in the new world of English outgrowth:  and they bailed.

In Search of….turns it high sonar spotlight on an entire community in the middle of a hostile wilderness that disappeared because there was no mass communication, no way of keeping in touch.

It’s not the biggest mystery in the pantheon, nor the most important, but it holds tight to a small corner of the “lost” market. Once again, owing to production timetables and in an effort to afford Quinto, he is absent from the episode, short of standing before a screen image.

His compelling narration remains the key to the show. He delineates theories about how the problem of 1587 started and grew into a catastrophe in the making: colonists were stranded in a location that never intended to settle, and they were not sufficiently supplied. Hostile natives also seemed a problem. Over 100 people simply vanished, but coastal erosion may have erased their original fort home.

Three years later, a supply mission found them all gone, their settlement dismantled, and one cryptic message carved into a tree: letters CRO hinted at another location, as if they left a roadmap to their move.

It appears the inhabitants for unknown reasons may have moved to an earlier sieged fortress called Site X, or southward to more friendly natives at Cape Hattaras. As real historical research is depicted, we continue to have one of the brightest of all TV documentaries in this series.

The oldest missing persons cold case turns ultimately to DNA technology to discover there are descendants of English and native bloodlines who still live in that area. Case almost closed?

 

 

 

 

 

Another Oak Island Fake Documentary

 DATELINE: Kidding the Kidder?

The second attempt to whet the appetite of the fans for the seventh season of Curse of Oak Island proves to be a phony countdown. Here are the 25 most likely theories about the what explains the mystery on the island.

This list of “top” items has no particular logic to it.

How does it differ from the top 25 moments on the series? Well, it all covers the same ground, atop and underneath.

This gives the series host a bunch of short bridge moments between three or four-minute segments. These rehash topics are not in any sense of urgency or chronology, as presented by Matty Blank, er, Blake.

In fact, the oldest theories about what happened on the Nova Scotia island may be the earliest and oldest items: like this is the treasure of a couple of dubious pirates: Captain Kidd or Sir Francis Drake. As we recall from our 33rddegree Mason great-uncle who went up there every summer from the 1920s to the 1960s, this was the common belief of residents.

To lesser extent, there was a belief that Marie Antoinette’s jewels may be there, or Shakespearean folios hidden by Sir Francis Bacon.

Recently the show has bought forth a bunch of neo-experts, including Travis Taylor (he brought the star map theory), or people who believe that the Aztecs reached up to Oak Island where Spanish conquistadors put the Mexican treasure,

Don’t expect answers: after all, they want you to tune into their best kept secret shows that begin in a few weeks. You will be teased with Columbus and Washington as potential treasure plotters.

Hang in there, fans, (or as Matty Blake calls you–“Acorns”) but these alleged hook shows are really counter-suspense and point-killers.

 

 

Part Two of Nessie, In Search Of…

DATELINE: Sticking Your Neck Out?

 No Pencil Neck Geeks!

 All wrong, Nessie!

When you have a good one, you beat that horse to death—again. Or, in this case, that Nessie. In Search of…continues its highly impressive probe into the depths of an idyllic loch of Scotland.

Again, Zachary Quinto is around as a narrator, but does no visit to the site.

However, there is now no doubt after the second part that this may be the best, most revealing documentary ever made on the Loch Ness Monster. In fact, the careful building of a profile, in an FBI mode, turns out to show the creature does not have a long neck and may have gills, accounting for so few sightings.

On top of that, they find a similar creature washed up on an island near Scotland in 1808—around the time a canal was built alongside a shallow riverway leading to the Loch. This means the creature had now a highway to follow salmon into the loch.

A scientist disproves the notion that this monster has a neck that can break the surface: it may be more akin to a sturgeon or shark in shape.

It means the migratory pattern of going from Sweden to Scotland is enhanced. It also indicates the creature’s cyclical appearances mean it is not thee annually but may come with a decade lapse.

They have visited the loch in a good year—and armed with new information, go under the frigid surface, 150 feet below to meet up fleetingly with something.

If you are curious or are a Nessie fan, there can be no more heavenly dive than Quinto’s two-part show.

 

 

 

 

 

Oak Island Specials Headline New Season

DATELINE: More of the Same Again!

 $ Cash Down Logo!

To whet your appetite for season seven of the Curse of Oak Island, the series is beginning the season with early-bird specials. Fans cannot get enough of the Lagina Brothers and their motley crew of treasure hunters.

Tonight is a count-down of the group’s accomplishments over the past six seasons. And, you better believe they give credit to no one except themselves.

What have we got here? Well, it’s the same old wine in a semi-recycled bottle. Yes, the clever producers of the show have found yet another way to repeat, ad nauseum, the same events we have seen repeatedly, over six seasons.

Never let it be said that the Lagina brothers don’t know how to beat a dead horse. This is marketing at its most brazen. By packing the two-hours in the guise of a count-down, you have a way to introduce the show to new viewers. And, if you are an old hand, you should avoid these two hours, lest you are bored, bed-ridden, and/or your remote control is broken.

What’s more, the ever-irritating, fawning Matty Blake is your host, on the Lagina payroll.

To start, the show deals with 25 great discoveries over 220 years. So, you have to include all the historical data: like boys finding a hole and digging in pre-1800. You must include the reasons why Marty Lagina and Dan Blankenship had to move to Oak Island (after reading a Reader’s Digest article), and then you have to list the appearance of the Restall family, and on and on.

Forget those “bobby dazzlers” found by Gary Drayton. Those are at the end of the show.

What emerges of interest is the stuff the producers never think is interesting: like the fact that Oak Island is now a big tourist attraction, or that it has a money-making museum with unusual artifacts (TV props included).

You see throngs of tourists being led by some of the TV show personalities in walk-arounds. You begin then to see the mammoth scale of this money-maker for History Channel, and the Lagina family.

There is never a discussion of cost of security, or other requirements to protect the island. It must be steep: Oak Island is no longer a forgotten speck off the coast of Nova Scotia. You are looking at a Grand Canyon of Mysterious Tourist Traps.

 

 

In Search of Nessie, Part One!

DATELINE: Zachary Quinto & Loch Ness

The return of Zachary Quinto’s series In Search Of... is a welcome sight!

With spectacular new photographs of the Loch Ness and with an assembly of rare and remarkable historical documentary footage, you could have in a two-parter, the most thorough and entertaining investigation yet. In Search of..is back with even better production values.

There is the colorful background provided for a full report: over 1400 years ago, it was thought to be a dragon—which certainly transformed the artistic depictions and sent them in a popular direction.

If there is a drawback to the episode, it is that Zachary Quinto is seen standing in front of a screen image of the Scotland territory. He did not make the trip. Unlike the previous episodes that put him central to the action, he is here merely a voice-over with an occasional image.

That logistical concern may be overlooked when it comes to careful assessment of evidence and no-holds punches that we have come to expect in the series. Alas, part of the charm of the show is seeing Quinto on location, actually interviewing people who appear.

One new piece of info features a similar creature in a Swedish cold-water lake, which is reachable by the North Sea from Scotland. Their histories and descriptions are identical. The Loch Ness monster may well be a migratory fish or some sort.

Ending the first part is the theory that a 30-foot Atlantic or Baluga Sturgeon may be an armored version of Nessie.