Cursed Oak Island 6.5: Treading Water

DATELINE:  Hold Your Horses & Other Pauses

avast there, matey! Buried Treasure ?

We now interrupt this empty episode for more commercial messages on Curse of Oak Island for the fifth episode of the sixth season.

Yes, there is no golden banana under the drilling. The core samples seem to indicate that there are wooden beams over 100 feet down in two new segments for the drilling. No news is not bad news.

This is a no-show week, with progress reports on various angles of treasure hunting, including putting in a retaining wall at one of the coves. It is an eyesore for sure, but will allow excavation to learn if booby traps were placed at this point for a tunnel system throughout the island.

However, this week’s show is highly repetitive, with self-congratulations and fat middle-aged men in repeated hugs with each other. Don’t snack while watching this episode.

There is a preponderance of endorsements. A company donates “temporarily” a prefab house to serve as the repository of the donated papers of a recently deceased researcher. She has willed the materials to Rick Lagina who has a house converted to a library. No librarians, please.

Also, another author of Oak Island tales calls in to announce his new book will be forthcoming—and he will show up to give them an autographed copy (for free). The rest of us pay.

No wonder that Marty Lagina is mostly absent from this episode, phoning in his comments.

The sole true find of the week belongs, again, to Gary Drayton who locates what appears to be a hat insignia from a French dragoon who was on the island, oddly enough, in 1740s or so.

It was when a legendary soldier of fortune from France and the Templar mode brought treasures from the Holy Land. Is it true? You’ll have no answers this week.

 

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Oak Island 6.4: A-Ha Moment or Not?

 DATELINE:  Curses, Foiled Again.

Alex Alex Lagina, just for Luck!

Once again, we bought into the Lagina Brothers’ claim that we are about to have that notorious “Aha!” moment.  Well, in Season 6, episode 4, that may be only partially true.

We felt more like a “Bah, humbug,” moment at this time of year.

Despite all that expensive seismic testing, they began to drill down to the usual 170 feet, and instead of finding a treasure or vault, or even a searcher tunnel, they hit bedrock.

Hit the snooze button.

Among other highlights, or depressing lowlights, one of the few women to be heard on the show, had passed away at age 88, but she left her research papers on the Knights Templar to Rick Lagina. He and his nephew Peter drove from Nova Scotia to Manhattan in a U-Haul truck to pick up the loot.

Despite throwing money around like crazed millionaires, they usually eschew flying and drive. Last week they drove a couple of thousand miles to Alberta. Penny-savings seem to be the way to go.

They also spent some time on last week’s big find by Gary Drayton:  that bolt shaft for a crossbow. They initially thought it was Medieval—and took it to one university for analysis that suggested it was iron with magnesium (older than suspected).

It was an antiquities dealer who shocked them with the news that they were 1000 years off. The bolt was dropped on Oak Island closer to 2000 years ago. It raised questions for sure.

We could be accused of saying, “Aha,” at this moment, but finding something doesn’t make it an artefact that was dropped by a Roman centurion as he buried the Silver Chalice of Jesus.

We’ll tune in again, whether you say “aha,” or not.

Oak Island 6.3, Not Exactly Revelations

DATELINE:  Not Unforgettable

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We have been asked where is our Curse of Oak Island assessment for 6.3.  And, we feel like responding, let sleeping dogs lie. Some weeks it may be best to allow us to ignore the treasure hunters.

In the third episode of the sixth season, we begin to feel like chapter and verse is out of synchronization. Oak Island is beginning to feel like an enforced work camp.

The onerous tones of the narrator continue to insist that death is around the corner as payment for any discovery.

Seismic results show a bunch of oval shaped anomalies under the ground on colourful maps. We were unmoved. Some voids are only fifty feet down, above water level. Since they found key stuff last season at nearly 200 feet, it seems a tad odd to believe that significant finds are so shallow.

Yet, the explosive technology reveals caverns and voids, not so deep after all.

It appears the five elders of the Oak Island crew (minus 94 year old Dan Blankenship) drove 2000 miles to Calgary, Alberta, to receive this result. If so, this may well be the most revealing detail in five years. Do we have a fear of flying among our foibles?  Most of the younger guys are out to lunch here, as if the next generation has been frozen out of true discovery.

They have been eliminated from most of the episodes so far in season six.

In the meantime, Gary Drayton’s instant analysis on the rocky shore of the island, digs up a thin and deadly metal crossbow shaft. It is a small weapon that is meant to piece armor and chain-mail, not e-mail. He is utterly thrilled, believing it is Templar age.

In another revealing moment, it almost seems as if Rick Lagina’s enthusiasm at the discovery is muted, understated, and diminished. Has the search finally wore out his thrill of the expensive efforts? Or is he just a bad actor for these re-enactment scenes that are filmed for the show?

We are again and again puzzled by absences of regular cast members: the list seems to have expanded as to who’s no longer present and much of a factor in the show.

 

 

 

Steely Resolve on Oak Island

DATELINE:  Not Rock Bottom

oak-island

As we finish up one of the longest seasons of the five in the can on Curse of Oak Island, there is a sense again that we’re going nowhere fast.

However, more flooding in shafts and tunnels shows the doom of history repeating itself. Once again, a search effort has been thwarted by the lesson of the past: booby trap is thy name. This time the discovery seems to transcend all previous searches.

The Oak Island Lagina Brothers have found a steel plate 70-feet below the surface, preventing their dig.

Who put an iron cap over whatever is below, and why?

We suspect that the Knights Templar were indeed time travelers if they were able to create such engineering marvels on an obscure little island off the coast of Nova Scotia 800 years ago.

There can only be one more dive into the murky silt of the latest hole to find out what kind of steel plating is making a ceiling or a floor over history.

The latest episode also put forth the theory that the Templar gang was smuggling gold out of Europe under the disguise of a lead coating. If that holds true too, then metallurgy was alive and well in the time of Medieval knights. Gary Drayton, Oak Island’s resident metal detective, has his work cut out.

We can likely predict that any treasure or notable discovery of earth-shattering quality will require steel-shattering resolve. Another episode will follow, but we suspect we are going to be back here next season, probably in November, to hear the results of another summer of searching.

Oak Island, Season Five Continues…

DATELINE: More Delays on Oak Island, S5 e12

march of time news

You know you are becoming a hardened veteran of the series Curse of Oak Island when you expect nothing to occur and your frustration level to be enhanced.

We could dispute every decision made by the Lagina brothers as being a tactic to string out the series for another lucrative episode, not in terms of treasure, but in terms of ratings. We presume the delaying strategy is part of the way to enhance ratings by keeping us in suspense and willing to tune in again next time for another chapter.

Once again Rick Lagina brought his fascinating cross to an “expert” researcher. This one, some woman on the phone, tells him that it is Phoenician and from 1200 BC. It’s not Christian, which seems to eliminate the Templars. Even Rick Lagina realizes this bad news in terms of a big payoff.

Told he has the find of the century, Rick Lagina still has not brought the physical object to a real expert. So much for clarifications.

Also, their boring drilling remains boring drilling. This time, however, they hit some oddly-placed hard surface that started breaking the teeth of their bore machine. It takes quite a while to decide to send a camera down to see what the matter is.

Wait till next week on that point.

They also go to the swamp on the Nolan property, now having permission after five years, to find another surveyor post that indicates the swamp was made by men to hide something.

That too will cause you to wait another week for results.

The season is drawing to a close, and you can bet your treasure pants you will be told to come back next summer. However, the next episode will be held back AGAIN for two weeks—just to increase your frustration.

Crossing Your Heart on Oak Island

 DATELINE:  Medieval Cross Amazes Hunters

lagina's cross

Rick Lagina crosses our hearts.

 

You may be surprised that we are up to Episode 10 of the fifth season on Oak Island. They have hit a plateau with the boring stuff.

Yes, their 50” drill, supposedly to be used with great care, has fallen through some vault and down 10 feet without meeting any resistance. So much for smashed objects.

There really is no where to go but down.

While waiting for more water (they are out of water on an island?) that is used to sift through the debris located at 150 feet to locate more bones, pottery, or whatever else is down there, Rick Lagina and Gary Drayton, the Australian metal detector guy, went to a rocky beach area at low tide.

With the expensive metal detector, Drayton made one of the more intriguing discoveries of a season of odd items. He located a rough-hewn cross made of lead.

Rick Lagina immediately recognized it as resembling the crosses he had seen from Knights Templars—and Drayton was convinced, without any other confirmation, that the style of the cross meant it could be from as early as 1200.

The Templars were wiped out as heretics in the early 1300s.

There is no way to know if the cross came to Oak Island, improbably, years after it was made, lost off a ship, brought by waves to its present location. No, we suspect it was dropped there by a visitor. But, jumping the gun becomes the norm when your patience is at a nadir. We want some official inspection by experts.

We feel the long wait may be about to pay off on Oak Island.

Lagina Brother Will Always Have Paris

DATELINE:  Oak Island S5 Provides Rest Area

 Paris Sites?

If you are a big fan of the Curse of Oak Island, you probably love the idea of the past few weeks that it’s gone 75 minutes for each episode. They’ve done this by having extended previews after the “initial episode”.

You might even say finally there is too much of a good thing. The two longest episodes of the season so far have been the dullest. They have struggled for any newsworthy item.

Gone are the days in which brother Marty complained about the expense of conducting the treasure hunt and saying there was only so much money they had to allocate.

Now they have money to burn. That’s what big TV ratings do for your bank account.

It also allows you the luxury of having what in politics we call a “junket.”  That’s an all-expenses paid trip to some exotic location on somebody else’s nickel. On Season 5 Rick Lagina took his two nephews Alex and Peter to Paris, looking for clues about Knights Templar and the French nobility. We did not see them take in the Folies-Bergère.

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Now there were two problems with this luxury trip to Paris. First, nobody in his right mind wants to go to Paris with Rick Lagina. And two, the results of the research trip could’ve been accomplished by WiFi. They learned one word on a map had been mistranslated, and they found graffiti on the wall that could’ve been photographed and sent to them in a text message.

A nickel well spent? Hardly. Maybe History Channel can get its money back.

We are happy the Lagina nephews got to go to Paris. As for the rest of us, we must wait while the equipment bores down 150 feet, which probably will take another week. The boring part is taking its toll on the audience.

Another Season 5 Snooze Fest on Oak Island

 DATELINE:  Pass the Bottle of Rum

 heartthrob Alex Lagina Alex Lagina

We love any tribute given to Dan Blakenship, the 94-year old treasure hunter from the 1960s who devoted his life to solving the mystery of The Curse of Oak Island.

Today we see  a mere shadow of what a lively, witty, insightful man he must have been back in his day. So, we enjoy seeing him throw the switch, literally, on another phase of the hunt. We hope he sees it through.

However, Oak Island is exasperating for other reasons.

Waiting for the oscillator to dig a 50” bore hole into what may a treasure vault seems to be taking forever. Yes, it is coming from South Korea on a banana boat. In the meantime, we are left to library research.

Yes, we would love to spend time in a library mode, trying to find vague French references to Parisian royalty of 1600 with Alex Lagina. Yet, the entire operation of four men poring over old volumes is almost as exciting as watching paint dry.

We know not much is happening next week either: Rick Lagina and Alex, his nephew, will be off to see the Paris sites and find more graffiti from the Knights Templar.

It is significant that a Middle Eastern man was buried 150 down in unmined area where something is hidden around 1700. It is intriguing that there is a correlation between early French explorers on Oak Island and Crusaders who may have plundered the Ark of the Covenant and buried it in Nova Scotia.

Yet, we know too that not much is expected to happen for two more episodes. You need to learn how to appreciate suspense and delay gratification.

Among the Missing on Oak Island

 DATELINE:  Treasure Near?

Oak Island treasure?

 

If anyone is missing around Episode 6 during this new season of Curse of Oak Island, we would become alarmed. You might not see your “favorite” treasure hunters. This week we looked in vain for Dan Blankenship, Alex Lagina, and even Gary Drayton, our Australian metal detective. They are not present.

We did not expect to find the leader of the show, Rick Lagina, calling in sick. Described as a man who had not visited a doctor in 50 years, he came down with some mysterious illness. Heaven forefend that it reminded us of the Curse of King Tut taking down Lord Carnarvon.

Marty Lagina was suitably distraught that his brother did not show up at the dig site for an important event. It appeared he was suffering egregiously from headache and a variety of issues, related to a bull’s eye rash on his back.

You guessed it: the outdoorsman who spends most of his time traipsing through the Nova Scotian woods on Oak Island seemed to be bitten by a lyme disease tick.

Under medication and forbidden to expose himself to sunlight, he was notably absent. However, he returned under medication to reveal the first step of testing to odd objects located at 165 feet into the latest dig spot:  they have found human bone that belonged to two, count’em, two different people.

As one bone still had skin and hair attached, it is hoped that DNA will reveal a great deal about who and when.

Additional instruments from another scientist indicated that they were near some strange place where book parchment, yes, old leather, like on a Shakespearean manuscript has been located.

 

 

 

 

Oak Island: Curtains to Curses

DATELINE:  Weekly Update #3

Rick lagina

Time for Just for Men?

As season five progresses, the series Curse of Oak Island seems in jeopardy.

From the off-season storms that decimated roads and other parts of the island, to the tragic death of the 17-year old son of Craig Tester we have had already sufficient warnings and dire omens.

The latest episode begins optimistically enough with the discovery of coins from the 1600s in a pile of dirt uncovered 60 years ago and never searched with a metal detector. We almost feel that the show will conclude successfully this season.

However, the good news became muted when the Canadian government sent a “cease and desist” letter to the Lagina operation, claiming they were vandalizing cultural artifacts after five years of digging.

After 400 years of hunters and hiders tunneling and bulldozing, and ravaging the little Nova Scotian island, this johnny-come-lately interference from some nitwit cultural ministry of do-gooders seems a day late and a dollar short.

In order to assuage the governmental cretins, the Lagina brothers agreed to hiring an archeologist to oversee their work. He promptly stops their digging when they overturn tree stumps and find indications of an old settlement.

We thought the troglodytes of do-good deeds only hid in the bowels of the US government, but the virus has spread to Canada’s guts for real adventure.

Rick Lagina seems crest-fallen. He might have to take that job with Just for Men for Beards. His jet-black hair mismatches his white beard—and he could make a fortune coloring both for an endorsement contract. He can draw on a big gay market, based on the number of people who ask us to find out if he’s gay.

Our other solution is far simpler. We suggest that Rick Lagina sacrifice himself by jumping head first into the Money Pit. This will end the curse instantly by giving the Island its seventh victim and reveal the treasure instantly—in our humble opinion.

 

 

Not Much Ado on Oak Island S5, E2

DATELINE: Slow-Going

heartthrob Alex Lagina

Heart-throb Alex Lagina

At this point, the biggest curse of Oak Island may be its tendency now to catalogue every tiny point, ad nauseum. As a result, even the Lagina Brothers are having a hard time showing enthusiasm for minor details that would have sent them into ecstasy two or three years ago.

So, when Gary Drayton finds a bit of coin from the 1600s, they smile and try to muster exuberance, but the big fish still eludes them.

If the second show of the season had any excitement, it was in the dating of a large spike found 170 feet below the surface. If it dates to the 1600s, it might be part of the original Money Pit. Who put it there and why remains elusive.

At a local university on Nova Scotia, the brothers and their partner take the spike to a couple of metallurgist professors who put it under a microscope.

Sure enough, the spike is of the type manufactured in the 17th century. Small steps lead them to the firm belief that there is something hidden on the island that was not “officially’ settled until the late 1700s when treasure hunters descended upon Oak Island.

Heart-throb Alex Lagina takes a side-trip to a descendant of one of the land-owners in 1788 renders a dull search of a sea chest with papers stowed away that indicate the captain of the Betsy was charged with treason by Virginia’s Governor Thomas Jefferson before he became President.

The other tie-in is that we have yet another member of the Masonic Temple, which always leads to the next jump of logic that he must be tied into the Illuminati, the Knights Templar, and in on the secret of Oak Island.

On top of that, continued drilling causes tunnels to flood, yet again, like in so many previous searches over two centuries. The treasure hunters have grown accustomed to the delays and set-backs.

We are not sure if the audience will continue to exercise patience at the snail’s pace.

Curse of Oak Island: Season 5, Starting Gun

DATELINE: On the Money

oak island

Our cruel skepticism has been dumped on its head into the Nova Scotian Bay of Fundy. The Curse of Oak Island is back–and better than ever.

As Season Five opens with the death of young Drake Tester, off Oak Island of some unfair seizure, the pall of mortality hangs on everyone—from 94-year-old Dan Blankenship to the younger generation of treasure hunters. Young men of good character are not supposed to die before old, cynical adventurers.

Yet, this season on the show, there is finally something tangible and within grasp. We are still left with anguish over the enterprise that boasted a seventh person had to die to solve Oak Island’s mystery. The Lagina brothers never expected the youngest of their treasure hunters would be the one.

In the meantime, safety went to the forefront with the notion of sending a diver down 170 feet into a small shaft. With the bends and hypothermia likely dangers, the diver nearly exceeded his safety limits. It made for dramatic reality television, but also made obvious how the obsession for treasure is dangerous.

Metallurgist Gary Drayton, Australian expert, found another artifact that could be as much as 400 years old on an island no inhabited back then—making this season compelling television viewing.

The two-hour premiere seemed to be the most professional in the history of the search. This gives the quest some highly charged foreshadows.  However, at the end of the night, as it has for all their efforts, technology fails for reasons unknown. Call it a curse.

Whatever Oak Island is hiding, it has a deep and abiding reluctance to reveal itself to the nosy eyes of the camera—or to the adventuresome spirit of a team of adult “boys” as they call themselves.

We won’t miss an episode.

Oak Island Curses Postponed Till Next Season

DATELINE:  Finally!

oak-island

oak island

Eureka!   Or what passes for it on Oak Island. If you’re waiting for someone to die from the task of treasure hunting, tune in next season.

We have to offer our apologies again to the Lagina brothers of the reality show Curse of Oak Island. After four seasons, on the finale, they appear to have struck pay dirt, not mere payola from the ratings.

We don’t want to give away all the spoilers, but we can assure you that plenty of digging is left for another season.

Women finally showed up on Oak Island, and they proved to be most interesting.

In particular, we loved Dr. Lori, an archaeologist who knows her stuff from Penn State University. She brought good news on several occasions and brightened the show with her sharp energy. She dated material brought up from the dregs of 170 feet below the surface to the 1575 to the 1675 era.

It looks like Spanish galleon stuff stolen from Central American goldsmiths and lost empires.

You probably will get some pleasure out of seeing what they dig up after suffering many frustrating episodes over four years. We felt happy that the theories of 93-year-old Dan Blankenship have been supported –and he was there as a witness.

A few others, like Alex Lagina, son of Marty, were absent despite all his work for the past four years. And Marty goes all out to commend brother Rick if no one else will. Take that, you skeptical bloggers.

There’s nothing sweeter than self-congrats.

The amazing discoveries put a strong denial on our past charges of fake news.

Yes, it got quite interesting at the end of season four. We are left hanging from the yard-arm until next year, matey.

 

 

Apologies to Oak Island Treasure Hunters

 DATELINE: Revising the Original Review

 

Unlike a bad penny, the Oak Island treasure never turns up.

When last we reviewed Curse of Oak Island, we were in a less than kind mood. The onerous tones of the opening remain, telling us that six men have died searching for the pirate treasure in Nova Scotia. And legend insists that a seventh will die.

We now suspect the seventh victim will be the audience, dying of old age.

Yes, the show remains intriguing. We feel like an addict, called back to the bad stuff by enabler Rick Lagina.

The best parts of the show always are the detective work, often leading nowhere. Don’t let that stop you. But most of all, we enjoy the old-timers who were there 50 or 60 years ago—and still are caught up.

Dan Blankenship is now 93 years old, but is spry, witty, and the best part of the series. He lives on Oak Island and brings a unique perspective to the American searchers.

The Lagina brothers have always been smarmy, but this season Rick is overdone by his younger sibling. Once a tightwad, Lagina is now prepared to dump millions into digging up the money pit.

The show must be reaping more revenue than we suspected. The real treasure is cable TV ratings.

We must confess we are hooked. Bring on the snake oil. Show us another murky video of gold glimmering 150 below the surface. We have signed on for another season, enjoying it like a return to boyhood.

 

 

Oak Island Curses Viewers!

 DATELINE: Brothers Lagina Cursed

We stuck with The Curse of Oak Island for one more season.

It appears our faithful allegiance has not paid off—again. Maybe it’s just inadequate technology that fails us.

The ugliest truth we have discovered is that Rick Lagina, leader of the search and object of a fan club on Facebook, is an obtuse twit and former mailman who will stop at nothing to sate his delusional searching. His brother Marty is more down to earth, but even more secretive, though rumors circulate he is worth a couple of million bucks.

Treasure Hunter obsession has gripped many a man over 200 years at Oak Island, and we are not surprised to find someone willing to spend millions of dollars of other people’s money to continue his pointless search.

We do object to spending any more of our time.

This season noted diver John Chatterton, who has hosted many search shows of his own, went into the notorious 10x hole that other divers refused to attempt.

He returned with sour news: it was a natural hole with a naturally formed tunnel, a big rock, a metal pipe, a depression shadow that looked like a dead body—and absolutely no treasure.

That momentarily took the wind out of Rick Lagina’s sails. He looked like a man ready to punch Chatterton in the nose for his arrogance. He gave the intrepid diver a limp handshake and thanks for nothing.

As for us viewers, we were tossed a couple of hooks on which to bite: a tiny gold cross allegedly found at the Money Pit, but with no proof. And the walls of another hole, 170 feet down, seemed to be lined with a shiny gold.

Will that bring back disenchanted viewers next time?  Promise of something important!

We have revised our opinion of this show and the work done by the Lagina brothers. We hope they do find something of great significance.