Second Season Civil War Gold Finale! Fake Gold!

DATELINE:  Hook, Line & Sunk

hook, line, & sunk One Born Every Minute?

If Alex Lagina had any effect on a first-season disaster for Curse of Civil War Gold, he turned it into something far more compelling. As with conspiracy theories and history, you can become more outrageous along the way.

However, he bailed out when his father Marty Lagina blew up over the lack of careful preparation. After firing the diver who found gold, and failed to properly mark its location, Lagina personally escorted John Chatterton to the show.

The dive expert indicated something was amiss. And, a second dive at the last moment revealed that a conspiracy may exist within a conspiracy. The lack of professionalism and giddy accusations may have backfired on Dykstra and his theory.

Yup, the Masons may have salted the mine with gold bricks.

It seems unbelievable that Marty Lagina will sink more of his cash into producing another season, but ratings may be the real gold.

We didn’t see a great deal of Jesse James, as promised, but the inclusion of John Wilkes Booth was inspired stuff from the Lagina investors. They have turned the dross into gold, no matter what Kevin Dykstra ever finds.

The transformation of a small-time rich banker named Charles Hackley into a big-wig with connections to Edwin Stanton also has proven to be magical when it comes to plots to kill Abe Lincoln who might have objected to the Masons taking the Confederate treasury.

It seems these maligned people and groups may have bitten back at Kevin Dykstra. Tune in next year to find out who’s behind the fraud.

Penultimate Gold from Civil War Curse

DATELINE: No Greed Too Low?

teenage captain Capt. Luke

Gold fever means unreasonable behavior. You can certainly see it in the more frantic activities as Curse of Civil War Gold comes roaring into the close of the second season.

Kevin Dykstra has never been one to respect weather, however bad Lake Michigan can get. They reluctantly find Mike Nelson, a young hotshot who is not bothered by freezing water or crashing waves.

We were more amazed that he went down 40 feet in 35-degree water without any gloves in his dry suit. He found it nippy. With the crew out in a small boat being assaulted by waves, Dykstra tells their teenage captain Luke Springstead to hold the boat steady. Easy for him to say. When Dykstra calls him “Captain Luke,” it almost sounds like an insult.

A second lonely dive for Nelson brings them the news that two seasons of shows has insisted will pay off. He has video of gold bars—which is sent to Alex and Marty Lagina, warm and comfortable back at their estate and too smart to go out diving.

Lagina has never been shy about his greed, and he mirrors Dykstra’s attitude that safety and human concern be damned. What’s more they show an uncanny lack of loyalty. The first reaction is to bring in more professional divers—like the notorious point killer, John Chatterton.

On two separate occasions he nearly wiped out the Curse of Oak Island with his negativity. So, Marty Lagina orders them to bring him aboard. Nelson is sent packing out of the room to spare him the humiliation of being fired on camera.

We almost can hear him say in the finale: nope, nope, nope, you dope.

Tune in next time for the second season point killer.

 

Ratings Gold for Civil War Gold Show!

DATELINE: Moneybags Lagina Wins!

in Hackley library In Hackley Library Under His Images!

Somebody up there at History Channel knows how to salt a mine. Tenderfoot types are buying the bullion by the cartload.

The curse of Civil War Gold is the albatross of the Curse of Civil War Gold. It’s too late to change the show’s title, and they’re stuck with it. Kevin Dykstra, the originator, seems more and more bewildered that his pitch has been hijacked and evolves each week into something far afield from his notion of a gold hunt series.

Take the latest episode as the arc of the season nears its end. “Grave Expectations,” throws another ironic title at him. You know he’s out of his element.

Now he leads a team with co-leader Alex Lagina who joins him on the big moments, like meeting a great-grandson of a Michigan man who has gold purportedly from the Jeff Davis arrest. And when the team meets with Marty Moneybags Lagina, the old man had demanded to hold gold in his hand—it is Alex sitting next to him.

As if to add irony to the biting satire of meeting a man who confirms the Confederate Treasury was stolen by Union soldiers and hometown businessmen, the meeting takes place in the Hackley Public Library.

You guessed it: sitting under photos of Charles Hackley, the man Kevin Dykstra maligns at every stage of the series, they meet with a descendant of the conspiracy.

Well, at least, they confirmed this time that the mummy of John Wilkes Booth was a carnival attraction for years—hardly the proper fate of a man in on a plot to steal hundreds of millions of dollars in gold.

And, once again, an attempt to find the escape tunnel Booth used at Garrett’s Farm, is futile and pointless, as they have no permission to excavate to prove anything. An aside throws out the info that unspecified “authorities” have refused to allow Booth’s remains to be exhumed and tested with DNA.

The series has taken on a new life—and will likely be back on History next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lincoln Murder Conspiracy & Civil War Gold

DATELINE: More than Expected?

Nutcake Stanton Edwin Nutcake Stanton.

You could say that Alex Lagina, son of producer Marty Lagina, is picking his moments to stay clear of the series—and when to jump in to take over.

We still haven’t figured out what the Curse of Civil War Gold may be:  perhaps the show should have been configured as the Conspiracy of Civil War Gold.

In more idiocy, Kevin Dykstra seems determined to go out onto Lake Michigan when heavy waves could capsize his boat and bring physical harm to members of his search team.

You may have noticed that Alex Lagina stayed clear of this aspect of the search. He did come in toward the end, when again the Masons were made to be culprits in the Hackley scheme to steal the Confederate treasury.

Hackley now has been tied to the freemasons, and his propensity to build tunnels between his various building projects looks suspicious. Now there is an attempt to show Charles Hackley wanted to make Michigan a rival to New York as a financial capital with capitol.

As the richest man in Muskegon, Michigan, Hackley built hospitals and schools with his money (wherever it came from) and that philanthropy continues to be tainted with each show in the series.

After this night, Hackley is tied in to Edwin ‘Nutcake’ Stanton, the notorious Secretary of War under Lincoln whose mad techniques led him to suicide and/or murder. On top of this, he’s accused of being a freemason, worse than anything else.  It’s Alex Lagina who brings in another “author” and investigative journalist to liven up the stolen gold tale with assassination plots.

If this seems to be turning from a molehill of gold into a conspiracy of historical proportions, you may wonder how far afield can the History Channel take us.

Stay tuned because the plot just thickened.

 

 

 

 

Civil War Gold: Southern Discomfort

DATELINE:  Another Tangential Search

Alex & Gary Hostile Take-over?

When Kevin Dykstra notes how glad he is to be returning to Georgia for this fifth episode of Curse of Civil War Gold, there is a strong sense that his nose grew about five inches.

We didn’t believe him. Again.

Dykstra now comes up with a third brother (Darren) also a diver and leaves him to clean up the lake-bottom while the other brothers go south. It’s beginning to look like the weak link in the show is Dykstra himself—and Alex Lagina cannot save the day.

Gary Drayton once again, in a throwaway role, steals the show, finding horseshoes, silver rings, and pieces of metal off a Confederate uniform. His sharp wit and insights blow the hosts out of the creek in which they are digging.

The show has two angles that now splits the message by suggesting gold is in multiple locations—and the Lake Michigan search may be only one minor aspect.

So, in this episode they shoot the horse that was leading the charge.

This time he has information from a descendant of a plantation owner. He insists she is “legit” in her information, which is paltry. We also wondered why she is telling him anything at all. These gold seeping out of creeks after rainstorms according to her great aunt.

It also appears that another expert is a former mayor and novelist (that’s a fiction writer) who insists he has insider info too. It seems everyone was an ex-Reb robber—and there was gold being taken by wagons out of the Confederate treasury in buckets.

If you want to have a less respectful opinion of these gold hunters, they drive from Michigan to Georgia. There they meet up with Alex Lagina (now described as the “investor’s son”—something for his resume) and Gary Drayton.

At least, the best part of the show has returned for this episode. They have permission to dig on 300 acres where gold may be hidden, though the other 700 acres are off-limits.

We are not sure how they can remove Dykstra without a revamping and re-imagining of the entire show concept. The man who brought the idea to Marty Lagina may be all wrong to bring the idea to fruition.

 

Gold in Them Thar Michigan Cellars?

DATELINE:  Top Pocket

top pocket picker 

If you want to find a gold coin, you call on only one metal detective with a heart of money-making: Gary Drayton.

The Curse of Civil War Gold has tried to live up to its name by bringing aboard again, the star gold piece of Curse of Oak Island. Gary Drayton seems to have a knack and no one else comes close to his luck and pluck. Last year he came on for one appearance in Georgia, and not unexpectedly, he found a Confederate gold coin near the capture spot of President Jefferson Davis.

This year, he visits the home of Lt. Col. Ben Pritchard, the man who led the capture of said Davis. Lo and behold, like a gopher in the front yard of Prichard’s home, he digs multiple holes (apparently with the latest owner’s blessing), and he not surprisingly finds another Confederate coin.

It looks more than suspicious that the same sort of coin would be in Michigan on land by a man who is now being accused of conspiracy to steal gold.

This is the second pillar of the community and Civil War hero who has come up besmirched by the gold diggers. We are hit with less circumspect conclusions about circumstantial evidence.

Yet, the digging does seem to yield one key discovery: people will agree to anything for finding free loot.

More promises by Robert Clotworthy end the show with name-droppings like Abe Lincoln and his assassination. Hmmm. The show continues to make big conspiracy theories—and Marty and Alex Lagina continue to make last minute appearances to affirm the activities.

Next time Alex and Gary team up to steal the gold fillings from Kevin Dykstra’s mouth.

Still waiting to hear what the curse is in the title of this show.

 

 

 

 

Irony Lost on Civil War Gold

DATELINE: Follow the Red Brick Wall!

IMG_4765

“A Void at All Costs”? That’s what the episode is titled.

Yikes, when the show names its own poison, you have to wonder how serious it is when it comes to playing around with truth and history. Of the trio of gold hunt shows on History, this one is the lamest. Irony is lost here, not gold.

In a continuing effort to malign people who are dead, History Channel gives us more of the same. Collapsed tunnels from the late 19th century connects the two houses of banker partners who lived across the road from each other. How nefarious is that?

More troubling is the connection between a man who captured Jefferson Davis, Confederate president, and the treasury of the South—to Charles Hackley, the banker who hired the Union officer’s son.

Modestly poor men suddenly open banks. It does raise an eyebrow.

As far as permits go to salvage Lake Michigan, we again have been misled. The process only leads to a federal appeal—and a more deliberate delay. Clearly the Michigan connection is a dead end for now—and the series must move to other areas, literally.

The suppositions are built on sand, or brick walls that front air pockets. Follow the red brick wall. The tease of Wilkes Booth and Jesse James being involved in the story has dried up. They cannot break through the walls because it could bring down the house, which would put them over-budget.

There’s enough dubious dullness that Alex Lagina is not on Oak Island, but back at his father’s business. He gave them any excuse to flee the Civil War hoax.

But, we are connecting dots not meant to lead anywhere. Maybe next week, Gary Drayton will show up and find a coin. Going nowhere is a theme on this show, and they are off on another tangent next week. We still don’t know what the curse is this show’s title refers to.

We Got Bingo & Lost Gold Too

DATELINE:   Eureka?

bingo

 Bingo Minerva.

The lost treasure among the many treasure hunters from the new History Channel series Lost Gold of World War II is their at-home in the U.S. researcher and Man Friday.

His name is Bingo Minerva, and he has the most interesting and least stressful job of the pack. He interviews old gold hunters and experts in myriad evidence, then skypes his response back to the Luzon Island boys.

The elderly gold diggers on Luzon Island seem to be sweating more than usual in this episode. We worry for the health of old-man Peter Struzzieri.  The only smart one is the expert in reading Japanese markers: he seems to remain back at home base in the air conditioned bungalow, aka shack, of the treasure hunters.

As per usual, they take the wrong road constantly: deciding to dig next to a waterfall—and then becoming amazed that water leaks into their air vent pit.

The other brainiacs have decided to dig down into the area where drill bits have been worn to a nub. The volcanic rock is, of course, impenetrable.

The upshot is a waste of time and a waste of one episode: the sole interesting point was made by Bingo who interviewed an aging attorney who represented a man who sued Ferdinand Marcos for stealing millions of dollars in hidden loot.

There is a hint of danger in that the CIA is also after the Japanese treasures hidden in some remote mountain tunnel.

As the series will go on hiatus after the next episode, we suspect we are about to be left hanging for a year.

 

Hitch Your Wagon to a Gold Star

DATELINE: Curses Again & Again!

Hackley manse  Suspicious Hackley House!

Curse of Civil War Gold has become an off-shoot of Curse of Oak Island. It’s not even a spin-off, just a continuation like the other show History has developed, Digging Deeper on Oak Island. The formula of two middle-aged brothers on a quest is a gold mine.

If you have a hit show, you might as well milk it to high heaven. Kevin Dykstra may know this more than any of us. Whatever hostility he might have harbored to having his gold hunt show hijacked by Marty Lagina, has given way to obsequious sucking up.

This second episode had Dykstra asking people in his crew to step aside to let Alex Lagina look at the sonar findings under Lake Michigan. Yup, the bread is now buttered up.

We cannot fault Alex who is who he is: the youngest one on the series, and clearly the star with drawing power. So far, Gary Drayton has not made his appearance to bolster the Civil War Gold series.

A couple of thrusts dominated the second episode: there was the return to the lake, looking for a sunken box car that reportedly was witnessed by a nameless death bed lighthouse keeper. Okay.

The other angle was the continued character assassination of Charles Hackley, a banker and noted Victorian citizen of Michigan who is accused of evil and greedy wrong-doing.

This time the gang wants to prove he had a tunnel from his house to the bank to the railroad station. As they conclude, it was for the worst possible motive.

Who knows?  These guys act as though they do.

The show’s high-point for us was when Alex insisted he must return to Oak Island because they are short-handed in Nova Scotia. This is after we witnessed 500 workers and heavy machine operators all season. Daddy Marty’s payroll is bursting at the seams.

The producer decision to abandon the first season approach for a sequel to Oak Island is not to be disparaged. It seems to be working out.

Coda for Oak Island Season 6

DATELINE:  Digging Deeper Junior Varsity

dan

The end comes from the Digging Deeper adjunct TV series that often accompanies the regular series episodes of Curse of Oak Island. These are not narrated with the lugubrious tones of Robert Clotworthy, but instead seem to emanate out of Matty Blake in stream-of-consciousness.

Though we seem to be less offended by his stick-your-nose-into attitude, he still comes across as an interloper whose nose remains brown to the Lagina brothers. The key group in Michigan included Tester, Jack Begley, Alex, and the two brothers. You learned where the power and money begins and ends.

Once again, he shows up at family meetings in Traverse, Michigan, and plops down into the setting to hear the seismic results. We have to admit being surprised that these findings were not withheld until season 7.

The radar seems to indicate something large, like an old ship, is buried there under a layer of silt. Next season is set forth for us.

The other major factor of the episode’s coda was the honoring of Dan Blankenship with rare photos and lots of eulogies. The 95-year old never gave up his hope, but may now only see the results from another dimension of time and space.

Privacy toward the grand old man was kept, as there was nothing of the service and memorial to him. We presume his name will be added to the marker on Oak Island sometime next season.

We give Blake credit for doing a commendable job in the sensitive aftermath of Dan’s death. Son Dave admitted his partnership with his father was life altering.

Rick Lagina seemed most deeply affected by the passing of the old legend, but life moves on—and the new, next season will likely be dedicated fully to Dan Blankenship.

Civil War Gold Returns to Pan Again

DATELINE: Glittery Start

Daddy's Boy
Daddy’s Boy?

Has History Channel no end to the depths to which it will sink? Apparently not, as The Search for Civil War Gold is back on the air for another season.

As if to sweeten the leprechaun’s pot at the end of the rainbow, they have added Alex Lagina as a catnip to fans of Curse of Oak Island. His millionaire old man (Marty Lagina) is bankrolling this series, of course.

They are also trotting out Gary Drayton as a guest star, to bring the full-force of the Oak Island influence to another series. It won’t hurt to throw the two most popular figures from the other series into the pot of gold.

Trying to overcome the bad habits of the first season may be an interesting exercise. A three-ring circus may be a good way to deflect and to misdirect. It works for Trump.

Curse of Civil War Gold has hooked us immediately as the stars of last season, Kevin Dykstra, picks up the newest addition:  Alex Lagina. He will now serve as the lynchpin.

You could not ask for more: handsome, charming, and with 50million bucks in the bank. We are now on board. Be still, all those beating fan hearts.

There has been a bit of hostility and passive-aggression from Kevin Dykstra and his brother over the fact that Marty Lagina has kidnapped their “baby” project.

However, without Lagina’s money, they’d be nowhere and with a theory they could not prove.

Then, with the onerous tones of Robert Clotworthy bringing sequelitis to this Curse of Civil War Gold followup to Oak Island.

Dykstra makes a snide comment about Lagina trusting “one of his children” to look after the investment. We aren’t sure how Alex will react to being labelled a child.

Alex is the new star of the show, so move aside all you middle-aged, paunchy amateurs. Right away, Alex shows he is in charge by bringing in a noted underwater archaeologist, which the others gush over (later they sneer at how college professors always get it wrong).

Alex also shocks them with providing a luxurious boat to do their diving from: they clearly have never had it this good, and suddenly are humbled.

Dykstra struts, “Marty’s really paying off…” Yes, literally. That’s why he can take over the show and make his son the new focus.

Of course, these guys cannot do salvage work without a permit—and it again takes Marty Lagina to work out the legalities. When that’s done, Alex announces he will head the dive team.

The show also opened up by hinting that the Confederate gold was hijacked by Jefferson Davis, Jesse James, and John Wilkes Booth. Hmmm. Okay, we’ll come back to hear more of this.

Oak Island S6 Goes into History Books

DATELINE: From Oak Island to Heaven?

appeal to heaven Washington’s 13 Branches!

Curse of Oak Island has indeed saved the best for last.

We thought we were at the end of the road several times, but as a cold autumn wind chills the treasure hunters, they are going out on top of the world.

Of all the discoveries, the most haunting images remain of Dan Blankenship at 95, looking vibrant and sharp. He starts off the show receiving the news about the tree rings proving that work was done before the Money Pit theories commenced around 1800.

As the hour develops, there seems suddenly a connection that puts frosting on the cake of Knights Templar:  Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson spent time in France—and may have ties to the descendants of the Templars.

If Nova Scotia wanted to become the thirteenth state or colony in the American Revolution, it had a fortune to provide to finance the fight against the British.

Did they bring into the conspiracy the man who became the father of the United States, the man who used his Masonic roots and applied them to his flag: the famous “appeal to heaven!”  Why is the template for the flag also found on Oak Island?

George Washington’s 13 branches of his tree of heaven—and his 13 colonies relate to the magical number of 13 in Templar lore. Fascinating.

As chilling as these notions are for the basis of another season, it is the arresting image of Dan Blankenship at the end of the show that is most profound and sad. He drives off alone in his golf cart, the last one to leave the final meeting of the season, alone and singular, a figure of legendary power.

Hitler’s Concrete to Hide Lost Gold?

DATELINE: Lava Flows Over the Gold

HItler greets Yamashita Hitler Greets Yamashita, 1940.

The limited first season of this fascinating little reality treasure hunt show, Lost Gold of World War II, is moving to a climax that will make us yearn for the second season, if History Channel so agrees.

Like the Oak Island show, this one is driven by weather. Cold snow ends the season for Nova Scotia, and on Luzon Island, the monsoon season will bring this hunt to a finish for now.

So, they are racing like old race horses. Indeed, when they bring in a machine to dig down 40 feet, the old leader Struzzieri notes that the equipment is older than he—and nearly as shaky. We’re talking 70 years or more.

We wonder why they would guarantee problems with faulty equipment. Of course, the ground penetrating radar spares no expense—with an expert flown in from the States to find a void or tunnel.

Then, they hit a snag: not the old drill bit, but the old typhoon, Category 5, second worst in history.  Peter Struzzieri assures us that Grandpa is okay after the storm, though they never really go to check on their key witness.

It is a mere one-day delay.

About 40 feet down, they hit what they theorize is Nazi concrete, bunker strength. They even have old colorized newsreel footage of Hitler and Yamashita shaking hands. We cannot imagine that pure racist Fuhrer would give the inferior Japanese anything.

Indeed, when Bingo travels to Minnesota for a concrete expert, he blows up the theory by stating they hit lava, rather common in the Philippines.

Our intrepid American hunters disbelieve this, and they drill down harder than the Lagina brothers—and we are left with a draining hole leading to—you guessed it—a tunnel.

Hmmm. And only one episode left for the first season….

Lost Gold’s Backdoor Episode

DATELINE: Grandpa Knows Best. 

Luzon meeting Luzon Meeting of the Braintrust?

Finally, in the fifth episode of trudging through the thick, humid, sticky jungle, the intrepid American heroes of this series admitted there were bugs eating them alive. Lost Gold of World War II holds your attention.

We saw sweat dripping several times over the past few weeks as they chop through thick underbrush, bemoaning how the Japanese soldiers managed.

Well, we heard in a throwaway line that prisoners of war and others did this heavy work—and were paid by being entombed in the mine shafts where the gold was hidden.

We were also bemused to see the true oldsters of the expedition going out on this show:  Peter Struzzieri, the ostensible brains back at basecamp and a spry 70 year old, and Martin Flagg, a less spry senior expert in Japanese secret society symbols were dragged out.

Peter Casey was clearly concerned that this was an arduous trek. But, the so-called carved turtle rock was something they must behold: it’s alleged to be a direction marker to a backdoor to the gold.

We did laugh when Struzzieri noted that the younger guys would go on ahead. No one is under 50. If you stick around for the closing credits, you will note that these scenes are all “re-enacted,” for cameras.

You also have to marvel when they go to “grandpa” who is the ancient source of wisdom (sort of their version of Dan Blankenship on Oak Island).

Like our gold diggers on Oak Island, these guys like to jump to conclusions. Thank heavens that Bingo Minerva is back in Texas, taking a shell casing to a military historian.

The ammo is actually dating from 1908 and American intervention in the Spanish-American conflict of 1898. If you want rationalizing at its best, the searchers speculate that World War II Japanese soldiers were using old American ammo by war’s end.

Oh, well, this stuff is still fun.

 

More Spirit of 1776 on Oak Island

DATELINE:   20th Episode of Season 6

spirit of 1776JPG

Who’d have thunk Oak Island would reach 20 episodes in one season?  And, who would believe that they might hang on to hope when results seem skimpy?

Yet, here we are, with a drained swamp and about 2000 seismic charges about to blow little holes in the plot to hide Templar treasure. Instead, we are back to those pesky Masons and Founding Fathers.

As usual, we had the regular incident of nearly every week. Metal expert Gary Drayton went out to some remote location and found a coin. As one friend said, it seems like a rerun. This time, Gary did not point out that the coin had a square hole in its center. Nearly every item he has found seemed to have a square hole in it—to which he made a big deal.

And again, Alex Lagina was trotted out like a prized prince to no particular reason to look decorative at Smith’s Cove and to make the pronouncement that they had found something significant.

Beyond that, the group of treasure hunters has shrunk remarkably by this point: it’s nearly November 1st—and they are lucky there is no snow.

The huge construction crews are gone—and the diggers are the geologist, the archeologist, the historian, the library researcher, and the metal detector. Second bananas are the real worker bees in this cove.

A scientist expert in tree rings enters at the end to give a date to the various wood structures. No one seems disappointed that the construction is not pre-Columbus, or pre-Templar massacre. It is rather akin to the American Revolution.

It is, rather importantly, the 99.999 % certainty that it predates the dates of the Money Pit discovery by a mere twenty years.

We are left with one last episode of season six to pull this all together.