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.

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.

Shatner, 4thTime a Charm on Oak Island

DATELINE: Ben Franklin after Treasure?

 Ben Franklin.

This time William Shatner is taking on the take of the American Revolution using the treasure on Oak Island to finance the fight against the British. The irony is that they used Canadian territory—and even tried to draw Nova Scotia to join the States.

Samuel Ball, the former slave, was given his freedom for working with the Brits—and reportedly found some of the treasure within 20 years of moving to Oak Island.

Shatner hosts “The Founding Fathers.”  To fight the richest empire of the time, the United States used Benjamin Franklin to try to locate funding.  Because of his ties as the Grand Master of the Masons, he could use this connection to find money.

What’s interesting the French ties to the Templars had transformed into freemasons. That was the role and connection that Franklin used for the American Revolution. These ties actually went back half a century to Nova Scotia. These French military wanted to take the territory away from the British.

The French placed a “second” treasure on Oak Island in the mid-1700s. The Templars went to Scotland where they were not persecuted—and they soon delivered their secret treasures to New Scotland (Nova Scotia).

The Laginas tell Shatner that there is no proof, but there is circumstantial evidence. It does allow the Lagina Brothers to dig out their visits to Scotland to give Shatner some information, including the discovery of the lead Templar cross on Oak Island.

Shatner provides the authority and brings the gravity of his celebrity to the theories. He relates how Franklin and Thomas Jefferson owned thousands of acres in Nova Scotia—and wanted it to be part of the new nation.

George Washington may also have a connection, however oblique, to Oak Island. Did the Americans finance their freedom fight with Oak Island treasures?

 

 

Oak Island Ends 7th Season with $ Whimper

DATELINE: The Price is not Right.

 Star is born.

When Gary Drayton is doing the History Channel promos for the last episode of the season, you know they have a new star on their hands.

It’s raw November as the season ends, and the digging time is over. The so-called Fellowship’s final dig becomes too dangerous and is curtailed because of collapsing tunnels. It is the worst news of the season.

Attention immediately shifted to the swamp. It was a docking area and a man-made site, and Dr. Ian Spooner brings the most interesting news. He dated tree branches and rushed to give them the dates of his findings.

The swamp was created in 1200 A.D. which seems to be Templar. It is a stunning historical event, though this is secondary to finding gold in most eyes.

Marty Lagina resisted any idea of the swamp being important, but now he has found that answers are there. If the swamp was made in 1200, you have something momentous, far earlier than the Columbus discovering America notion.

Human activity could include tunneling 800 years ago. There is a stronger sense that there were several treasure burials. A second group may have taken advantage of their knowledge about the early excavations.

If there is cold water, Marty Lagina has the right to throw it on this exploration. He now states that additional digging for the Money Pit may now tally into the tens of millions. At what point does the treasure wash out by the cost of retrieving it?

Should they dig down 250 feet and create a concrete circle in which you may find the treasure?  It seems beyond feasible. How much profit can you dig out of this series?

A memorial to honor Dan Blankenship was created immediately, no matter what else happens. Dan’s not able to be there, but his presence will remain.

 

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.

 

 

 

Oak Island: Time Running Out

DATELINE: Reckless 7th Season?

 Mercury Dunk?

Dr. Ian Spooner shows up to assess another breakthrough in the swamp. Can it be some kind of megalithic creation that is manmade? Bigger is more desperate on Curse of Oak Island as we wrap up another season of empty-handed potential.

Big trouble is coming because the coffer dam must be removed within weeks, with the permit running out after one year. Not only must the dam be removed, but the area must be made to look as it was. Why can there be no extension of the permit? There is no explanation. Did they even try?

Finding a potential tunnel to the Money Pit means that Rick Lagina will go down on a bucket into the hole. If this seems a bit extreme and likely to be dangerous, we must recall that this is a cliff-hanger series with death-defying (or something akin to it).

Another lead artifact now has a strong mercury component, which suggests that Francis Bacon may have done some experiments on the manuscripts of Shakespeare. The lead also can be traced to the Middle East. More inconclusive but tantalizing hints. We are hooked again and reeled in.

Another curious discovery occurs at the home of original finder Daniel McGinnis whose root cellar was a secret tunnel, leading to something hidden. Because permits will not allow them to dig deeper, whatever treasure buried under the house cannot be excavated for a year in all likelihood.

If you want frustrations, they are everywhere this week. They have found more 1760s tunnels and shafts. Rick Lagina plans to go down in the bucket. They have to insist he come out before it caved in on him (which likely is his preference). Of course, Marty Lagina must put on a harness and goes down.

So they put a camera on the long-range excavator. Even that is inconclusive: we feel like we are no closer to knowing anything.

With time running out for this season, it becomes clear that a new sequel series is in the ready with the Lagina boys: it’s called, naturally, Beyond Oak Island.

Thee’s a sucker born on Oak Island every minute.

 

 

 

Shatner’s UnXplained On Oak Island

 DATELINE: Curses, Foiled by UnXplained!

 

Gary & Rick Guests on UnXplained!

Last week we had a special episode of Curse of Oak Island that featured William Shatner visiting and researching. Now, on his own History Channel show, Shatner gives us his conclusions and his perspective on the second season operner of UnXplained.

For openers, Shatner sneers at the thought of a curse preventing hunters from finding the treasure. Shatner is quick to point out that no treasure has ever been found, and that obsession seems to be the operative motivation.

History Channel provides its usual consultants to weigh in on the mystery. And, in fact, they even use the same re-enactments that are endlessly repeated on Oak Island series.

Shatner also spends some time discussing pirates who may have left treasure there—and an equal amount of time on the victims who died in the search, including Robert Restall and his son Bobby. It is reported that the gang of Lagina brothers have spent thousands of work hours—and millions of Lagina dollars on the quest.

This leads to the Knights Templar and evidence of their visits to Oak Island. In fact, Shatner’s show discusses Jacques Demolay and his curse placed on the Templar treasure. It resonates with every treasure hunter.

In fact, UnXplained  brings on a few psychologists who do not speak well of treasure hunters–and Ancient Alien  staples show up to confirm mythology lives on Oak Island.

UnXplained takes the position that the curse of Oak Island is the energy, and dark force, that it imposes on all treasure seekers. Is there paranormal stuff here? For the first time, Marty Lagina admits to having some frightful experiences on the island—which he has steadfastly denied on his own series.

Interesting take by one series on another. Our own relatives who lived near Oak Island a hundred years ago always said it was the treasure of Captain Kidd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shatner on Oak Island: Beam Him Down

DATELINE: UnXplained Star Visits 

 Shatner at Oak Island!

Well, if you travel across the universe and end up with the UnXplained,you will surely make a pit stop to visit with the Lagina Brothers on Oak Island. William Shatner, not slowing down at 90, is there to see what all the commotion is about.  One fan called this appearance “epical.”

He is there to interview each of the key people about what is going on: he is intrigued, but the people in the so-called War Room are in awe of Captain Kirk in their midst.

There will be no revelations, but there are insights into the past of key people like Gary Drayton who is not used to turning over the findings to the Nova Scotia government. He has a history of being a modern pirate: keeping the spoils.

Yet, Shatner is cynical enough to tell them that the metal of the lead cross, apparent Templar, that was dropped not 600 years ago, mined back then.

They show him the swages that likely made the massive structures of 1741 that indicate that no Europeans were not supposed there—but really were.

Shatner tries hard to find the logic of the mystery of Oak Island, but he needs the late Leonard Nimoy’s Spock to give him the explanation. Marty Lagina tries to play the role of the man explaining the UnXplained.

It will be interesting to see how the same interviews come out on the other History Channel show.

Shatner drives at the key question, what is the curse! But he believes that the Shakespearean manuscripts sounds most plausible, hidden by Sir Francis Bacon.

Captain Kirk digs hard at the notions of mythology and magic, and for that we give him much credit as a journalist. He is intrigued by their notion that the latest technology always renews interest in solving the mystery.

Tractor and big equipment operator Billy Gearhardt is quite eloquent in answering. His new found fans will be thrilled that he stands up to Captain Kirk in this cross-pollination of History channel hit shows.

 

 

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.

Oak Island Treasure Map Revealed!

DATELINE:  Cartography Lunacy

 Skull Island

                             

Templar Island                                   Oak Island

Can it be possible that Abbott and Costello found the treasures of Oak Island with Charles Laughton?

In 1952’s silly trifle about Captain Kidd, the Oscar-winning actor (Laughton, not Costello) owns an island where he has buried treasure and loot, though it is not stated whether the Ark of the Covenant, Spanish dubloons, or Montezuma’s coffin, are among the pickings.

We feel like the Money Pit is within reach!

For reasons beyond ridiculous, Lou Costello manages to confiscate the map and then must be abducted to lead the way to the treasure on the island.

Only a funny thing happened on the way to Skull Island…no, it did not belong to King Kong. It was, in fact, a copy of the notorious Templar map of 1398 that happens to resemble the actual island off Nova Scotia.

Back in the 1950s, long before the Lagina brothers bought the island and made it a hit TV series, it was known as a pirate lair with secrets. Among those interested were President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, swashbuckler Errol Flynn, and cowboy John Wayne. Also interested was Vincent Astor whose father died on the Titanic.

Is this someone’s idea of a joke? It is funny beyond Montezuma’s revenge.

 

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Another Oak Island Fake Documentary

 DATELINE: Kidding the Kidder?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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