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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

What? Another Week of Season Seven?

DATELINE: Deadend Kids?

 Ball’s Tunnel?

It’s like lingering on a deathbed. Yet, here we are with another weekly survival on Curse of Oak Island. We are hanging on by a dendro count by our fingernails. Even Alex Lagina is starting to look shopworn, even with his filthy millions and clean hands.

Mother of Mercy, is there no one who will rid us of this meddlesome priest? Oh, wait, that’s another series altogether. If this continues, we think Gary Drayton will begin seeing the ghost of Hamlet’s father on the ramparts.

He does find a crowbar in what seems to be the true Money Pit. Legge thinks it is an anchor or pulley. He always impresses Alex. Gary realizes he needs a bigger metal detector.

Every time Carmen Legge says “1700” we begin to think it is a glitch on the audio. So, he shocks them by saying, “Middle Ages.”

At 120 feet below, there is again more coconut fiber. They also locate a metal shield that was used in 1931—not exactly the original diggers. But it does indicate that they have reached the end of searcher efforts.

Next should be original buried stuff. However, at this point, the crane pressure brace has broken. It’s a setback as the season comes to a finish. It does mean something is there causing the grinder to be blocked. But they are so desperate they are working into thedarkness.

This forces them to turn to excavating the home of a man who was once a slave but ended up super-wealthy. Samuel Ball had something tunneling under his house. Samuel Ball’s lot may have been over a much older vault. Something big may be apparent because Alex shows up and a camera is snaked deep into the tunnel.

Oak Island Redux (again) 7th Season

DATELINE: Petering Out Pathetically

X marks the spot, as usual. Gary calls it the biggest “smash and grab” in history. It is Gary Drayton who once again makes the biggest discovery of the show: a bobby trap nail.

They are looking for the money and finding mostly old wood, but is it the cover for the treasure? When Gary finds a large needle in a claystack, he jokes about it. However, expert Carmen Legge makes a shocking comment upon observing it.

Legge thinks it was a booby trap item. It was a form of a punji stick: an object that could have, hundreds years ago, been covered with a poisonous substance. The big three go to visit Legge: it is Gary, Marty, and Alex.

Legge noted these were sail repair needles or spikes, called a marlinspike. It is more indication that a ship was wrecked in the “swamp.” He finds the needle was part of a booby trap that could be from a time as early as 1500—and it was part of a planking that was meant to do damage to human flesh.

Other spoils are cleaned out of the wash table. They continue to find leather of book cover thickness. Yet, they also find a hinge. Of course, the optimists want to say it is part of a treasure chest.

Of course, again, the deeper they go, the less they find. So, they did not find the Money Pit. How many disappointments and dead ends can there be in a treasure hunt.

The biggest news of the night is now a contest, the Oak Island Sweepstakes, to win some kind of memento from the Lagina Brothers. Oh, my, talk about following in the steps of P.T. Barnum. Oi vey, it’s the viewers who are cursed.

 

 

 

Surely Templar on Oak Island

DATELINE: Coconut Fiber 

Ship in Swamp.

If you are among the faithful, your belief in Templars, treasures, and miraculous artifacts, may be about to be rewarded big time.

The show itself has begun to ask if the search is worth it. Yet, there is a major structure or more on the island. Both the Money Pit and Smith’s Cove are showing to be rich in evidence. The thinking finally is that the ocean was much lower at Smith’s Cove that made it easier to build giant structures that had no nails or fasteners.

The eye of the swamp may be pivotal. They think a major discovery of a Spanish galleon may be their reward. The possible ship is about 15 feet at the shallow end and over 50 feet at the other end. Ground penetrating radar presented an image.

Marty arranges to dig a major shaft into the Money Pit where wood has been found that is from 1620. They can do a safe dig eight feet across and 120 feet deep.

On another front, the Scottish immigrants came to Oak Island and wanted to use a prebuilt system to hide their Templar artifacts. They may have created the newer Money Pit. These Templars, aka Knights Baronet, were freemasons. In fact, many of the searchers were actually Masons.

It may be the original discoverers of the Money Pit were actually came with some knowledge of treasure. They knew what was there and why they went down over 30 feet.

Even more shocking, they discover an opening to a tunnel under the foundation of early resident Daniel McGinnis. Direct descendants several years earlier claimed there were treasure chests the original teen treasure hunter located. Back at Smith Cove, Gary Drayton jokes about a tunnel—but then they find one. It contains more coconut fiber—or something else! If that material is fiber, it could mean it is near the booby traps.

They return again to Carmen Legge, now a regular deliverer of amazing findings. He identifies this pipe pole as a boat hook.

However, the biggest news of the night has to do with the mystery fiber discovered in a strange new place. It turns out to be a shock from Dr. Ian Spooner: it’s not human hair. More coconut fiber indicates a flood tunnel. It was a filter and original work for the placement of treasure.

Oak Island Box Out

DATELINE: Wait till Next Year

 Inexplicable Log Boxes

They now have evidence from science that material buried in the cove dates back to 1620, around the time of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock. With the end of the season rapidly approaching, The Curse of Oak Islandhas more mysteries and fewer answers.

The original Money Pit shaft has wood dating back way before the original searching. How many people were on an uninhabited island doing this engineering? And why? We may have to tune into the UnXplained to hear what Shatner states.

At Smith’s Cove they have found a bizarre wooden log box. It was either meant to be part of the flood booby traps or to circumvent them. Their digging nearly destroys the box. It collapses. However, it was not tied to the drain systems.

They are off to the next spot: the swamp. There, Gary Drayton finds another hinge or bracket. It was a match to one found last year that blacksmith expert said was 400 years old.

When Alex and Marty show up at an area between the cove and Money Pit, it looks like a war zone of a no man’s land from the Western Front excavation. That is how much work has been done on this small island. Millions have been poured into this money pit.

They never expected to find another tunnel, well-constructed and with no historical record. They had discovered another massive building project on a small island. It leads to conclusions that define historical mysteries of Arks of the Covenant and Holy Grails.

Carmen Legge joined in to identify various metals that he placed around the mid-1700s.  Who was making those tunnels?  He found it amazing that tunnel tools were in a swamp (or maybe it was not a swamp). He finds the strapping is from a sailing ship. He felt it was a ship from as early as 1710. Gary thought it was from a pirate ship, and Legge said the metal was in a big fire.

We are realizing that another season will be required. They are nowhere close to revealing the truth. But it may be worth the wait.

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.

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.