Oak Island More Interesting Than Ever

Bootie of Columbus?

 DATELINE:  1492 Across the Ocean Blue

 As we dig deeper into the eighth season, the missing members of the show have returned: Alex Lagina and his cousin Peter are back searching through spoils piles.

No word on why they were absent for two weeks. But immediately Alex finds a piece of leather in the shape of a boot heel. Prominent suddenly is the newest member of searching, Michael John, a black man, as the show finally accedes to some racial balance after being all-white for eight years.

The last veteran is also present, Dan Henskee. And, a sop if thrown to the late Dan Blankenship who taught the searchers that you can dunk a piece of wood in a tub of water. If it sinks, it is exceedingly old. If it floats, it’s newer. We surely miss Dan.

Gary Drayton is also again the man of great knowledge and discovery. He gives a yo-ho when he finds a thick piece of glass and tells it is a rum bottle from the late 1600s. He is seldom wrong.

Drs. Spooner and Brousseau are again called in to give opinions—and the dating of items, nails, spikes, odd latches, seem to grew more distant in the past. It seems major work by large work crews occurred hundreds of years previously—and largely done in secret.

We are talking about depositers of treasure, not seekers.

There is almost immediate testing and evaluation of the heel leather. It belonged to a richly booted person, likely not a worker. And, shockingly, it could be from the 1492 era.

One of them jokes they found a boot that Columbus wore.

Shatner Looks for Atlantis

Edgar Cayce

 DATELINE: Visionary and Cautionary Tales 

 Every other weekUnXplained gives us chopped liver, but in between we have some gemstones and meaty insights. Will William Shatner’s search for Atlantis, the Lost Continent, fall into the good group, or the stinkeroo group?

Shatner is in fine fettle for the opening, always a good sign as he laces his intro with skepticism. And, the episode starts off with Plato’s “metaphor” that one expert notes has a kernel of historical truth. Well, not usually in poetry, but so much for the experts.

The real fad of Atlantis arose out of the 1880s when Jules Verne science fiction was at its height, and a book about an antediluvian world caught the public fancy. A philosophic allegory became a visionary and cautionary tale.

Reputable archaeologists indicate that many clues from Plato indicate that the word “island” has been misinterpreted: it means peninsula, and that leads them to the coast of Spain and Portugal where layers of methane indicate many dead bodies deep under ground.

However, Edgar Cayce had a different take: his visions indicated that Atlantis was located in the Caribbean and has since become the many disjointed islands. He thought it was destroyed by self-used crystal death rays. It sounds like Tesla lived there.

There is also a consideration that the Atlanteans were hybrid extra-terrestrials with both paranormal skills and technological genius.

Shatner saves his best wild attitude for the final push: that Atlantis was a community of space aliens. But, the final note is that Walt Disney planned EPCOT as a concentric utopian Atlantis.

Oak Island Teases Again

Ersatz Gold

DATELINE:  Missing in Action 

If there is any major development in the 11thepisode of the season, it is that there is a reference to the likely deterioration of weather ahead. Yes, another season os summery digging is about over. The Curse of Oak Island may be one for the books.

What has emerged in the recent episode is a continued absence of major figures. There has been another week with no direct appearance of Marty and Alex Lagina, nor Peter Fornetti. It is about the length of time for a quarantine. They’d never tell you that detail.

 

The two doctors, Ian Spooner and Aaron Taylor, have taken up major roles as advisors again this week.

Most of the on-site work has been hosted by Rick Lagina and the supporting workers. Marty shows up in a later filmed narrative analysis.

A growing chorus of responders keep asking us about Dave Blankenship, but he is gone for good, bought out by the Laginas and sent packing.  Nor is cartographer Erin Helton mentioned this week.

We spend much time again in the boring down to 180 feet where splinters of wood should not be. There is talk (again) of being near the money pit, with Money Bags 1 and 2 giving approval to dig.

Gary Drayton again is central to the discoveries of the week: a mysterious gold colored knob from a chest of drawers. Gary contends it belonged to a ship’s captain, and there is nothing to disprove his usual insight.

He later discovers a large post buried in the swamp with two massive spikes. It is a dock for a major ship.

In your usual disappointing news, the serpent mound is dismissed finally as a rubble field. Yet, the night’s show has been eventful and interesting.

Deeply Boring on Oak Island

1st Appearance of Dr. Christa This Season

DATELINE: Boring Deeper

One friend who tunes into Curse of Oak Island  on a now-and-then basis claims that she never knows it’s a new episode. It seems every week they find an old coin and are boring into the ground looking for a new entrance to the Money Pit.

We’re glad she didn’t tune in to this show tonight. It’s more déjà vu than we can handle.

The eighth show of the eighth season is notable for who’s not there. Marty Lagina is on Zoom and not even on the island, and his son Alex doesn’t show up until he fills an empty seat in the final sequence. Peter Fornetti is nowhere. You won’t find Dr. Erin Helton either.

However, a couple of notable faces do come on board. First, making his initial island appearance is Mr. Moneybags, Craig Tester. He is the bank of Oak Island, and then at the end of the show, we have our first appearance of one of our perennial favorites, Dr. Christa Brousseau. We add Drs. Spooner and Aaron Taylor to the mix.

She has the most intriguing info of all:  she notes that two rose-head nails from different locations, one in the newly discovered serpent mound and another from a tunnel are the same, made at the same time. That connects the dots.

Once again, Gary Drayton is also on site as they uncover some kind of road out of the swamp, leading up to the pit areas. He finds another coin, likely from the late 1600s.

There are no additional confirmations of Templar work at the serpent mound from 1400, which is the most exciting part of this season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Day on Oak Island, Season 8

Swamp Thing

 DATELINE: When Nothing is Big 

Let’s cut to the chase and to what you really want to hear: No, no Erin Helton this week. Sorry, folks, though her mapping notions were verified again. That’s your Curse of Oak Island.

In the immortal, if not repetitive words of Robert Clothworthy, your narrator, another day begins on Oak Island with the usual suspects.  Dr. Ian Spooner and Rick Lagina are back at the swamp where Spooner directs the digging by backhoe by Billy to uncover a flat area road. We are puzzled by this as there seems to be nothing flat: three levels of stone placed deliberately.

The upshot is they need artifacts to date the construction timetable.

Gary Drayton is pivotal again, finding something called a plumb bob, which is an ancient tool to make sure you are digging level.

The biggest news comes via Craig Tester, not on the island this year, as Covid keeps him in Michigan, but through Zoom, he appears with news about the Serpent Mound.

The archaeologist Dr. Aaron  and his blond assistant Miriam are back at the table to hear that the nails and coal found at the mound are now carbon-dated to around 1350. That’s Templar time, folks.

More and more items are coming up with that date, indicating Oak Island was busy around the time the Templars were being hunted down.

The consensus came out that this was highly significant because it seems to outdo the Viking visitors with a mysterious purpose for work on Oak Island. Do we dare think Ark of the Convenant?

It’s a week when the smallest detail may be the biggest of the show’s history.

Bogged Down on Oak Island

Erin Helton

DATELINE: Erin Goes Wild

We haven’t seen quite a powerful reaction to a new member of the cast as has been given to Erin Helton, the new resident cartographer. Curse of Oak Island has a new big star.

Somebody has noticed, as she now makes a weekly appearance, and this time she was right at the top of the show with her theories being encouraged and appreciated by the Laginas—not your usual first reaction from them. Marty flatters her for having one of the “best minds.” Wow.

Some have asked if she is Rick’s new girlfriend, which is fairly amusing. Erin is young enough to be his daughter and smart enough to see what she’d be getting. In fact, ciphers are here specialty. She tells us that Zena’s Templar map has shown exactly where the treasure vault is.

More and more dating on the island discoveries is going deeper into the past. Seven weeks after finding that Chinese coin, they bring is a numismatist who tells them it is over 1000 years old. Speculation centers on that it was a lucky coin until someone lost it. But when were lucky coins popular, and where did you keep them? We doubt that Knights Templar had wallets or pockets.

Gary Drayton is still the best worker on the show—taking Peter Fornetti out and finding a wharf pin that he estimates is older than 1700 era.

Dr. Eric Taylor is now the on-site archaeologist and works on the Serpent Mound, putting it again, at least 1000 years ago. It is now becoming evident that Templar, or even pre-Templar treasure was placed on Oak Island.

For good measure, Erin Helton puts in a second appearance by telephone later in the show. That’s the power of stardom.

 

Oak Island: Mountain or Ant Hill

Key to what?

 DATELINE: Too Much Unexplained

Every episode of Curse of Oak Island  begins with the onerous tones of Robert Clotwothy announcing it’s “the start of another day,” on Oak Island. It’s beginning to sound like “Once upon a time….”

But this show has our usual workers up early and doing their jobs: Peter Fornetti is the digger with Gary Drayton’s metal detecting. He always finds something interesting, and a trail of ox shoes from 1700 may be indicating a path to glory.

Diving is one of the big tasks this week, looking at some unusual features outside the swamp area. We always enjoy seeing the younger generation take charge—and this time, it is Alex Lagina, Peter Fornetti, and Jack Begley who go off with experienced diver Tony Sampson.

Another new research assistant, named Noah Currie, shows up without much fanfare or explanation with Gary Drayton. In one sequence Drayton finds what appears to be a giant, ancient key. Not much is made of this unusual finding.

The locate some wild metal detections, but are not allowed to dig to learn what it is. These restrictions tend to make the entire operation futile and senseless. The young researchers fail to make any point about some electromagnetic interference with their communication system.

Marty Lagina thinks putting fins on Gary Drayton might give better results.

The oddest thing of the episode was the discovery of the molehill:  there is a serpent mound on the island, a long twisty arrangement of stones and earth. Experts come by to contribute to the mystery, noting some serpent mounds can be 2000 years old and are ceremonial.

We wait till the re-appearance of Erin the cartographer next week.

Oak Island Star Emerges

Erin Helton

 

DATELINE: Busy Week

If you need to boost ratings on a sagging treasure hunt that seems to go nowhere and digs up the same old coin and broken axe weekly, you could not do worse than cartographer icon Erin Helton.

She made another appearance and a bigger splash than Carmen Legge or Dr. Ian Spooner. Has she taken the place of Dr. Brousseau?

Erin knocked the War Room for a loop with her latest discovery that crossed out the boundary of map reading. She announced that the famous cross of the Templars found by Gary Drayton on the shoreline is not necessarily what you think.

She told them to use the misshapen cross like a protractor and draw some lines to overlay on a map of the island. Hmmm. Has she found something?

Dr. Spooner showed up for a couple of intriguing moments: he went out into the swamp with Rick Lagina to discover a road or platform over 70 feet wide. And later he took Alex Lagina out to examine the old eroded shorelines to figure out what it looked like 1000 years ago.

Alex looks like he has been eating too much during the pandemic, locked up with his father, and so he jumped at the chance to go out looking at sonar to find ship wrecks along the island shore.

And, Carmen Legge confirmed Gary Drayton’s immediate judgment that a piece of metal was a 1700 pot belly stove from a ship.

These findings set the table for more fascinating developments.

 

 

 

Monkeys Strike Back at Monolith

Vini, Vide, Da Vinci

DATELINE: Gone Too Soon

It came. It was seen, and it was stolen. Vini, vide, da vinci.

You knew that our pandemic age of value-less and soul-less humans would strike back at the giant tin Monolith discovered in Utah.

Mono is a sickness, and monolith is the side-effect. There is no vaccine for stolen property of artistic expression.

Indeed, not a week after it was discovered, visitors to the site found tire tracks and a missing objet d’art.

Yes, the hollow tin homage to 2001 has been hijacked and taken right from under our satellite image. It was illegally installed in Utah, and the likelihood that authorities will pursue the criminals who took it, is about as likely as the notion that the thieves did not wear face masks and failed to maintain social distance during their dastardly action.

Some imbecile scrawled the message, “bye, bitch,” in the area where the monolith once stood. Respectability was never a hallmark of small minds. Creeps continue to creep in the dark.

The item, standing twelve feet tall, but probably light weight was not guarded—and it did not take long for pranksters and people of bad will to come out in the dark to steal the phenomenon from others who were appreciative of its totem.

You cannot live in a world of lawless presidents and viral herds and expect anything less than vandals and desecration to be at your doorstep.

The strange Monolith that provided some escapist hope for many may yet be re-discovered as idiots thrive on shenanigans to parade their criminally empty heads. These idiots will likely brag about their drunken revels to other drunken revelers.

You cannot have a perfect crime in an imperfect world. May the Curse of Corona Virus beset these vile thieves.

 

Not Beyond Gary Drayton

Butch Cassidy

DATELINE: Beyond Oak Island

The second episode of the Beyond Oak Island commercial for Curse of Oak Island may turn out to be a community audition for Gary Drayton’s own series. We hope so.

If not for Gary, we’d probably skip this show. He makes an entrance and tries to minimize the Laginas with his understanding of the Robber’s Roost and Butch Cassidy, despite being British.

The show is given over then to three re-enactments of famous robbers and their lost or buried booty. Only the first one deals with Butch and Sundance. Word from the Cassidy family is that Butch returned to the United States in 1925—and was not killed, as legend claims.

Meanwhile, the Lagina brothers reminisce about Westerns on TV in the 1950s for ten minutes. We see some stories about the Dalton Gang and Juan Murieta, irrelevant to the point of the show, except as examples of buried loot.

When finally Gary is able to escape Oak Island for his adventure, we realize it will be a short visit. He travels with the great grandnephew of Butch out into the Badlands of Utah. It is clearly a place where stolen loot is as lost as a needle in the proverbial haystack.

Gary’s not going to be able to find much unless he devotes great time—but he quickly assesses the HQ rubble and notes he will look here. He finds a Winchester cartridge, which tells him searchers have missed plenty. There is still ill-gotten gains somewhere in this vast area.

Alas, Gary’s trip is short and he will return to his main task at Oak Island, though if you want a pilot for a new series, Drayton after Cassidy’s double-eagles would be a treasure indeed.

Oxen Free on Oak Island

Chinese Coin

 DATELINE: SEASON 8, E3

A couple of mysteries seem to be reluctantly and obliquely revealed on the Curse of Oak Island by the Lagina brothers.

The one most people have asked about is whatever has happened to Dave Blankenship, the unfunny curmudgeon son of Dan who died a few seasons ago.

Dave has gone MIA, and no one at History is telling anything directly. However, in the first episode, there was mention that researchers suddenly had complete access to Dan Blankenship’s fifty years of archival material.

This week the throwaway line mentions that the Lagina Brothers have purchased all of Dan Blankenship’s island property and materials. Oh, that? 

It means they also bought Dave lock, stock, and barrel. Whether he has moved off island with the loot is unclear so far, but his father’s house had been occupied by a daughter last season. No mention this year.

If Dave has taken the Lagina money and is on the run, you won’t see him again. We doubt that his name will pass the lips of any Lagina.

Once again, too, we note that Alex Lagina, son of millionaire Marty, has again taken the cushy duty. He is the one to deal with educated researchers and stays away from mud and digs.

So, he meets with another expert to show the Chinese coin Gary Drayton located. It is never explained how or why a coin from China happens to be on Oak Island. Who knows?

Gary and Jack Begley are the new dig team with results. And, this time they find a pathway strewn with oxen shoes. It was an industrial moving site from swamp to money pit.

Alex goes to Carmen Legge, their blacksmithy expert who reveals the oxen shoes are from different seasons and likely are 100 years before the money pit discovery. He also tells Alex that the oxen shoes are British military issue.

In other news, we are going to have more draining of the swamp over the next few weeks. This time it will be big time with metal dams installed.

 

 

Beyond Oak Island, Beyond Belief

Jean-Boy

DATELINE:  More Oak Island Spin-offs

 Well, here’s another Oak Island series with the Lagina Brothers. If there is one thing you can count on, they do not share the limelight or the revenue. Anyone could have hosted this new series, but no.

Beyond Oak Island, a Lagina production could have become more than a commercial for their hit series, the Curse of Oak Island.

No, the Lagina brothers are interested in making another series that is merely a commercial and advertising for their brand.

So, as useless as it is, each show will start with the Laginas in their “War Room,” setting up some other international search for treasure.

Another callow hotshot pays homage to the Lagina team and explains he is after one billion dollars in gold from the lost Jean Lafitte treasure. It makes Oak Island look like a pittance, though the Oak Island case has far more interesting historical implications, whether you are talking Knights Templar, or Ark of the Covenant, or Shakespeare’s manuscripts.

This new series will have a strong overdose of Lagina-itus. But, our mission is to stick with it so you don’t have to. When Lagina water boy Matty Blake shows up, late to the party, we know what we’re up against.

The story of Jean Lafitte is compelling, and he was a faithful ally of the United States during the War of 1812. Rather than run afoul of America, he moved his pirate operation to Galveston and disappeared from history with a cool billion in booty. Pirates are also celebrated here as multi-cultural, politically correct people. Hunh?

The show actually improves when it moves into history of pirates and away from the Laginas. Voice-over Robert Clotworthy is perfect here. Alas, one segment does not a series make. If you think they find silver ingots at the end of the hour, you are the audience they play to.

Repeated Discoveries on Oak Island S8

Where’s Waldo?

 DATELINE:  MIA

 With the second episode of season 8, it is clear that regular and original treasure hunter Dave Blankenship has been either evicted, fired, or otherwise removed from the series. He was a figure head “producer,” for years, meaning his father owned a better part of the Island for years. It now rings hollow when members of the team refer to a re-assembly of the “fellowship.”

At least one jolly good fellow has been eliminated. You could say that Dave Blankenship’s comic relief had run its course, finally and unfunnily.

We have seen this pattern in other History shows, and Dave has been on borrowed time since the death of his father—and he has added little to the show development for many years.

In the meantime, we have two couples in quarantine: Rick and nephew Peter in one house, and Alex and father Marty in another, receiving video call updates from the workers in the field. The real treasure hunters did find a surveyor’s mark in a flat stone, one of many found in 200 years, but the first by this team.

The most curious discovery is to see inside Rick Lagina’s Oak Island home, which he shares with his puppy nephew.

However, the series continues to read like a repeat of itself. Once again, we have some small discoveries that echo past findings. Gary Drayton, as usual, is the main explorer with a touch of near-non-ferrous. He locates another broken pickaxe.

There is also a button and piece of leather. Laird Niven disagrees that it is book-binding and immediately says, “shoe leather.”

Yet, the big news of the night is Gary’s withholding of a rare coin until the Laginas can show up after quarantine. They agree it needs more expertise analysis, but Gary’s sense is always prescient. He claims it is quite old, well before the hunting for treasure and perhaps one of the original diggers.

In all gatherings, the absence of a Blankenship is notable, and even the newly discovered map in an archive is credited to Dan Blankenship’s work in the 1980s in passing.

Oak Island Returns for S 8

Boys in Quarantine

DATELINE: Two Young Stars Out for Covid-19

 History Channel gave the new season 8  start of Curse of Oak Island one of their 2-hour special starts. That may be due to the fact that the principals were all trapped back in the USA, unable to reach Oak Island and the return of the hunt.

Yes, Covid-19 may have put a damper on the Lagina brothers and their participation in their own show. It became the “Remote Control” episode. Interestingly enough, none of the major stars (Marty, Alex, Rick, Jack Begley, or Craig Tester) could find their way out of Michigan. 

 Yet, the rest of the team assembled, most of them already on the Island and ready to work.  What does that tell us? Oh, yes, Gary Drayton too was not on the island, probably back home in Florida. But thanks to Zoom, the gang was all there for a teleconference.

Tom Nolan, who lives on the Island, admitted that cases were still somewhat rampant in Nova Scotia. And Blankenship was nowhere to be seen, after years of offering little to the show.

 A new face cropped up: archaeologist Dave MacInnes, 4G grandson of the young man who found the original Money Pit in 1798. Nice choice.

Inexplicable actions continued this season to start: nothing much changes on the show. The diver Mike Huntley suddenly is replaced by a big rig team to go looking for shiny gold objects in the C-1 tunnel where for years cameras spotted golden flashes.

 However, the new group featured butterflingers. The diver dropped the gold coin he dug out of the wall and it fell into the dark dregs. No one swore, or said any discouraging word. But, please.  That dive team did not return.

And their diver did not locate any of the gold seen on camera. It seemed almost inexcusable to drop the gold piece.

 

Finally, the Laginas were given permission to go to Canada under the proviso of a two-week quarantine.  Again, they were unnecessary for any success.

Lost Gold Claims a Shocking Discovery

DATELINE: Shocking Allegations!

MacArthur & Truman!

 

With all the hyperbole and exaggeration around this season and the unpleasant and arrogant John Casey who did in his first-season team, it is no surprise that there is a “shocking discovery” on the latest episode.

The expert miners involved once again overrule Casey, feeling he has jumped to conclusions about how easy it will be to find the treasure vault.

The father-son miners are concerned that their robotic dig of a parallel tunnel may uncover gases that can overcome the men.

At the second dig, they have found rope that is clearly not old enough to be from World War II. It is blue nylon, indicating that their dig is not the first. They are finding modern digging tools. Another successful treasure hunter would not have publicized his discovery.

They now think one of three boxes of gold or treasure has been found and taken, but two boxes remain—based on the McDougall map.

Bingo Minerva is hot on the trail of rival searchers back in the United States. He has been encountering dire threats about their safety and a conspiracy that supports covert operators. A New York Times reporter suggests that it is General Douglas MacArthur may have been one o those who found treasure. He at least shared the info with President Harry Truman.

Allegedly Truman and MacArthur used the treasure money to fund U.S. operations against the Soviet. They had over 20,000 tons of gold at their disposal.  It is certainly shocking to learn that the POTUS and his Supreme Commander were taking treasure at will for their nation’s covert operations.

They are warned this search is dangerous. Then, there was carbon dioxide and monoxide that can kill fairly quickly. They have to flush out the poisonous air.

There are sensational shocks this week for sure.