Oak Island Pays Dividends for Fans!

DATELINE: Gob-Smacked by Gary Drayton

 Steve Guptill

At long last, not even bad delaying tactics of the show’s producers can stop the progress to something important. Long-suffering fans who have put up with endless recaps and repetitive reminders may now be able to see a mystery unfold.

Well, it’s not quite the same as having the UFO land on the White House lawn, but finding giant structures under a long-submerged bay area tells us that the rise in oceans has complicated the treasure hunt.

Young surveyor Steve Guptill has emerged this season from nowhere to be Rick Lagina’s right hand.  He is in on every discovery and has the complete trust and attention of Mr. Lagina. We are happy he has found a true companion with talent, beauty and brains. He has located the first tunnel made to avoid the flood drains in 1805.

Once again, members of the team find unusual features—and then Rick Lagina shows up. Yet Smith’s Cove now has giant logs, not smaller, meaning the engineering was overwhelmingly difficult. What were they doing hundreds of years ago?

The other big news is the Swamp. They may have found the Eye of the Swamp as the theoretical center of the treasure. Again, an art expert has used French paintings to reveal secret information—which makes Marty Lagina particularly cynical.

Expert Dr. Ian Spooner returns—and Steve Guptill is in charge of digging in the swamp eye, a coring operation to determine the swamp’s age.

Not to be undone, Gary Drayton finds a wooden peg or two at the cove. What we have here is massive structure made on a grand scale 1220 A.D. in Nova Scotia. Significant human activity is discovered in 1675 or so, as well.

We are now in the area of Knights Templar.

Short Hiatus Teases Us with New Insights!

DATELINE: More Data

 Poussin Painting

Curse of Oak Islandhas returned with big insights.

Has another discovery been made? They have found a structure that could be a booby trap design to send water into flood tunnels on the island. No historical record exists, but how did people go out under ten feet of water to build floodgate?

Creating a bump out has revealed a possible engineering marvel. Of course, Marty Lagina and son Alex are not there for this important stuff, which likely means they are out filming the Civil War Gold series in Michigan. Operative term is “away on business.”

All the second bananas are here for this one: Laird, Crowall, Henskee, Gary Drayton, Begley, Bill Gearhardt, Terry Matheson. Of course, Gary immediately finds cribbing spikes from the 1600 or 1700s. You may notice that Dave Blankenship, Dan’s son, has been further marginalized.

Another “expert” on French art shows up to show that secrets of Oak Island were recorded in oils during 17thcentury.

A French art expert claims a French painter named Poussin painted a map in his painting to show where the Ark of the Covenant could be buried on Oak Island. Why did he have secret knowledge? Guesswork connections.

We also go back into the swamp this week with Tony Sampson, the diver who has been on many times. They are looking for newer anomalies using GPR. It’s suddenly cold in the swamp and they are heavily insulated. They are looking for the point overlaid in the French painting.

Permits again are going to be required.

They also joke that Alex is going to have to get his hands dirty in Smith’s Cove. Every five minutes is a new most important discovery yet.

The word of the show –and day—is dendrochronology, or dating by tree rings. We are now in the exact time of 1795.

Bend in Smith’s Cove at Oak Island

DATELINE: New Discovery!

 What is it?

Two searches seem to be reaping rewards for the treasure hunters on Curse of Oak Island as the seventh episode of the seventh season airs. Another search is, as usual, highly speculative and a tease.

We finally receive word after a year that the stone located at a former bookstore from 1919 and thought to be the notorious 90foot stone with hieroglyphs written on it, was some kind of replica.

Once again, interesting info is simply withheld as a story fades away. Now Rick Lagina reveals there was nothing on that bookstore stone found in the old basement.

However, the family that owned the bookstore may have moved it to their ancestral home in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. There, buried under a rhododendron bush could be the stone. Why? No one can say, but permits will be gathered to dig.

Back on the island, there is a shortage of appearances by Marty and Alex Lagina. So, Rick has recruited his other nephew Peter Fornetti and Billy Gerhardt to do some travel and research (for no reason except to highlight their appearances).

On the west side of the island, usually not explored, Gary Drayton and Jack Begley start to locate what seems to be an ancient wharf. Spikes, pins, and nails, indicate a structure from pre-1795 to unload or to repair ships was there.

At Smith’s Cove, the new 50 foot bump-out instantly reveals some kind of ancient box of logs (and tar paper) that predates any  record. It is under 10 feet of water usually, but the area may have been flooded since the oceans have risen in the past few hundred years.

It could be a booby trap flood tunnel, or something else. It is intriguing and indicates a growing number of historical possibilities. Something is indeed afoot.

Big Dig and Little Dig on Oak Island

DATELINE: Waiting for Results Again

  Teammates!

Shaft #9 was originally dug in 1865 as a means to divert flood tunnel booby traps. It is a big job requiring the big man Billy. This lost shaft was given up when the group only decades after finding the Money Pit ran out of money. So, we have additional and new background on Curse of Oak Island.

It’s hard to believe they only now mention “The Highlands,” after five years of episodes.

This episode provides contrasts with the smaller discoveries of Gary Drayton, teamed with Peter Fornetti and Alex Lagina.  Fornetti is no longer the callow teenager of five years ago and now provides muscle for Gary Drayton’s searches. He is working on piles of dirt that render iron work from Spanish galleons that may have been laden with the treasure of the Aztecs.

Though Marty Lagina once disparaged the notion of Montezuma’s gold bags, he is enthralled when journalist D’Arcy O’Connor tells him the same thing. He adds that the Spanish lost about 200 ships going back and forth with gold spoils. Some may have gone sideways to Oak Island to hide their stolen loot.

Gary Drayton, meanwhile, has found a cribbing spike, greatly corroded. He and Alex take it to Carmen Legge, the latest expert to become a big man on the side of the search. He dates the find as 1600s.

The other big project is setting off 18,000 dynamite charges to map the underground, down to levels of 300 feet. The tease is that results won’t show for several weeks.

Interestingly, Marty Lagina was mostly absent from this episode, showing up on Skype mostly, which hints that he is busy working on the sister series of Civil War Gold.The team of Gary and Alex likely will show up on that one too.

Henry Morgan’s Mystery Ships

DATELINE: O’er the Seas, Let’s Go Men!

Young Privateer Henry Morgan circa 1660.

A preliminary archaeological dive team visitsIle a Vacheoff the southern coast of Haiti to locate HMS Oxford, the flagsthip of privateer or pirate Henry Morgan. The Australian film is called Henry Morgan’s Mystery Ships.

Though it might seem a pleasure cruise, there are more than usual diving perils:  Haiti is in full-scale chaos in Port-au-Prince and security guards are needed even in the remote area far from the city strife.

There are dangerous waves and currents that can pull divers off to the “Madness Reef,” yes, its name. And they have no idea really where the Oxford sank in mid-1600s.

The magazines of the royal ship blew up (maybe even taking down a few other nearby ships) while at anchor in one of the bays. By scouting the area and reading old maps, they come up with a few possible places to dive.

Local residents belong to the state-sanctioned Voodoo religion, and they kindly sacrifice a white goat and a black goat for the prayers of the divers. The team is grateful for all augurs on their behalf.

Morgan may have hidden more treasure on Ile a Vache than there is on Oak Island—and he retired to nearby Jamaica as a governor where he lived until 1688. He survived a sham trial as a pirate in England—after all, a huge bounty of riches was paid to the Crown. And, a larger share was kept for Morgan and his men. He had sacked Panama City for its gold and gave the Spanish and French their most difficult time, preventing the future United States from becoming a Spanish-speaking nation.

What they uncover is stunning—and will benefit archaeologists for decades to come. They hope there will be a museum or tourist haven made on Ile de Vacheto help the residents who live in relative isolation and poverty.

 

 

 

  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.

Swamp Thing on Oak Island

 DATELINE: Progress on Oak Island

 Treasure Map?

Something is bogged down on Oak Island, under the swamp that is. We do have to admit this season of Curse of Oak Island is the best one so far.

Marty Lagina seems finally to be convinced that there is something in the swamp, though he is one to admit that the rocky side of Oak Island really has never been explored for tunnels. That remains the truly amazing detail.

Once again, academic experts are the real stars of this show. Dr. Ian Spooner provides a perspective of a scientist looking at the swamp—and only when he tells them it is man-made do they feel some vindication. The real question is why it took seven years to confirm a theory that the Nolan-Blankenship diggers postulated decades ago.

Heartthrob Alex Lagina is given a larger role, and lets his younger nephew Peter Fornetti tag along with historian Charles Barkhouse, as they visit Dr. Christa Brosseau at St. Mary’s College in Halifax.

She seems non-plussed at meeting yet another group of visitors from Oak Island. She tells them what Gary Drayton has claimed all along: those swages found were tools that go back to the original searchers, at the latest.

Why haven’t they invited her to the Island? Women are always an afterthought on Oak Island.

The multiple searches also pay off location of remnants of dynamite that was used around 1900 to try to shut off the flood mechanisms that have ruined many a search. Whenever these primitive technological devices were created on Oak Island, they garner respect for those under-educated pirates or knights who buried the whole shebang.

Once again, folkhero Gary Drayton takes on the unenviable task of diving into the swamp to locate iron in a perimeter area that is now called the all-seeing “Eye of the Swamp.”

Don’t let your pineal gland go to your head, but this indicates that there may be a gateway to treasure awaiting us.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

Oak Island’s Cutting Room Floor!

DATELINE: What You Missed Over Six Seasons

 Old Friends Meet at Nursing Home! 

The final “special” Oak Island pre-season show may be the most intriguing and interesting of all. This one billed itself as 25 moments you have not seen because they are the clips that never made it into the series.

That makes it fresh and revealing. We suspect that it may be the Gary Drayton show, as he was the one who found so much and knew instantly what it meant. His vast knowledge of archeology transcends scholars easily. So, we were prepared to find 25 moments of Drayton.

Alas, the episode quickly devolves into the antics of the Lagina Brothers, to remind us that the second bananas are not your stars.

Some of the incidents relate to tragedy, such as interviews with the son of a rescue worker who witnessed the deaths of the Restall father and son. There is also a visit with one of Dan Blankenship’s coworkers, and all of these were deemed not worthy of viewership during the series. So, we are happy that they are now included in the official record.

You may well wonder who decided not to show the moment they learned one of the bits of human bone 160 feet below ground belonged to a woman. You may also find exasperating when they find evidence that someone was chained to a post in one of the tunnels.

Bad news and unpleasant truths are avoided by series, and not to show the two black descendants of Samuel Ball’s visit to the island is puzzling.

In a lighter vein, there is the omission of Dan Blankenship’s 95thbirthday party! It was something that should be assembled in a biographical tribute to the man they praise not enough.

It certainly ended these pre-season specials on the highest note.

 

Oak Island: Strike Three, Pre-Season Seven

DATELINE: Another Dud Top 25!

  Red Dye is not #2!

Twenty-Five Moments? It’s like sitting down for those home movies one more time. You may want a glass of wine, or something stronger to bare those ills we have than discover the repetition. There is no undiscovered country in this special.

Well, weren’t those the same as the 25 great theories? Or the 25 great discoveries? You could probably package a few minor times as a moment. And, you could rehash the entire two hours from the previous week.

The notion that Matty Blake, the Lagina Brothers’ cheerleader, has to bridge each three-minute segment with some hyperbole is growing tedious.

It might have been interesting to have Gary Drayton, Alex Lagina, or even Charles Barkhouse, host one of these preamble specials. Of course, that would have given the second bananas too much attention. Instead, the radio personality that shows excitement over a licked stamp is the host with the most.

Could they not give us a two-hour biography of Dan Blankenship who received three-minutes of tribute in the first of these specials?

That could have been illuminating, given his disagreements with the other Oak Island pioneer, Nolan, or even with Marty Lagina over dowsing rods.

Instead, we seem to have a two-hour episode with more commercials than usual, but it must be our imagination.

As for the clips, we are re-visiting Paris, and there are repeated clips of previous research families. Mostly, there are pictures of the Lagina Brothers being “cute” or “meaningful.” Perhaps we have lost something over six seasons.

Yes, there have been three or four figures, including Dan Blankenship, who have passed on. These are among the moments. However, Number One is not finding the leaden Templar Cross! We won’t spoil the invisible suspense.

As for treasure, you will see the jewels, the bones, the scenes of the early diggers re-enacted, and on and on.  We are now at the edge of waiting for the seventh season to start, and this nonsense to stop.