Treasure Island, no one has solved this mystery yet
Hi all! Who among us hasn’t dreamed of a treasure hunt as a child? At least many boys buried some coins in the yard sandpits, so that in the future, playing pirates, they could dig up the cherished “treasure. But not only children are given to reincarnate in treasure hunters.
For over 200 years, a small island in the Atlantic Ocean stirs the interest of many people who are ready to invest a lot of money in search of the mysterious treasure. In today’s issue, we’ll talk about Oak Island, or literally translated as Oak Island.
In 1795, three teenagers Daniel McGuinness, Anthony Vaughan and John Smith, who lived on the coast of Nova Scotia, decided to escape to a deserted island nearby to play pirate. When they arrived, they had no trouble establishing a place to play. It was a tall oak tree, with old fishing gear and scraps of rope hanging from its branches. But the most interesting thing was under the tree. It was not a big hole. The boys immediately began excavating. What was their surprise when they came across a wooden, oak masonry blocking the way to the mine. The boys returned to the island a few days later, fully armed. With shovels, picks, etc., they broke through a few more feet and stumbled upon another masonry wall, but with more supportive logs. A deep well was in sight below. They realized they couldn’t go any farther without special equipment, so they postponed the search for the treasure until they couldn’t. That’s how a child’s game began a 200-year treasure hunt.
Ten years had passed. But friends have not forgotten about the children’s discovery. And now they are already moving with their families to Oak Island. This time, the men in earnest begin to excavate. The work is slow, as at a depth of every 3 meters there are log obstacles. The hard work lasted for weeks. And here at a depth of 90 feet they were waiting for the next masonry. But instead of the familiar sound of a shovel hitting a log, they heard a ringing bang on a rock. It was a small slab of stone with mysterious hieroglyphs. Naturally, none of them could determine the meaning of the symbols. For many more years the men, and later only Vaughan, held an interest in the mine, but after futile efforts they gave up. But the stone tablet gave no rest for many more years. It was only possible to decipher its inscription in the 1960s. Its inscription read: “40 feet below, 2,000,000 pounds buried.”
For 225 years the search for the coveted treasure lasted, sometimes even fatal. Because of the accidents, another legend emerged: “seven must die before the treasure is accessible.” But let’s go in order:
In 1878, Mrs. Sellers’ bulls, which were grazing on the island, unexpectedly fell underground. This became a new starting point for treasure hunters. By 1895, the centennial of the discovery of the mine, the island has been dug up and down, many signs indicating the exact location of the cache are lost, along with them and the cherished mine. It is dug out again in 1889 and to their horror they realize that it is flooded. To understand the principle of the sinking, paint is pumped into it, which begins to taint the ocean water in the south of the island at Smuggler’s Cove.
In 1912, Professor Williams of Wisconsin proposed freezing the soil around the mine and cutting through the ice to get to the bottom. But at the time this plan was not implemented. At the same time a theory emerges about a metal room at the bottom of the Money Mine. It was supposed to be 4 meters in diameter and 6 meters high filled to the top with gold. Until the end of World War II, the island is completely dug up again. That is when the first deaths occur.
In the post-war period to the island streams of mediums and psychics who, of course, did not find anything.
In 1965, explorer Robert Resstal and his sons found a stone on the island with the number “1704” carved into it. What this means, no one knows to this day. But it is known that Robert, his son and two others died in the mine, suffocated by diesel exhaust pump. Following Ressenthal, oilman Robert Dunfield cardinally rips the mine. In its place is a crater 25 meters wide and 40 meters deep. He finds a triangle of stones on the island, directly pointing to the ill-fated mine. Later several more stones were found at the intersection of which was the money mine.
From 1967 – to 1972, the company “Triton Airlines” unfolds work on the island. They make the colossal discovery that two separate tunnels lead to the mine from that very Smuggler’s Cove. They descend at an angle of 28 degrees. The suggestion arises that perhaps they served as a trap of sorts, flooding the mine when they tried to excavate it. Also using a camera, they were able to see part of a framework resembling a trunk and a torn fragment of a human hand. Project leader Daniel Blankenship, armed with a diving suit, dived to a depth of 77 meters. After his dive he made an intriguing statement to the press: “What lies beneath the island leaves behind every theory. All theories or legends pale in the light of what I guess. ” But what exactly Blankenship discovered remains a mystery, as his company’s work has not been successful.
In February 2013, brothers Rick and Marty Lagina landed on the island. They used expensive equipment to try to shed light on the secrets of Oak Island, but also failed to make big discoveries. Their work was monitored by Prometheus Entertainment, which was filming a documentary series for the Hystory Channel, “The Curse of Oak Island. Their work was completed last year, in the series’ final, seventh season.
One of the most popular versions of buried treasure is Captain Kidd’s hiding place. It is no secret that the period from 1650 to 1730 was the “golden age of piracy. Pirate ships regularly attacked the merchant ships of the colonists and, as a result, the colonists became handsomely rich. According to the theory, Captain William Kidd left a map of the treasure, which looks very similar to the outline of an oak island. This map was published in the early 1930s in the book “Captain Kidd and Skeleton Island” by Harold Ulkins. Later in 1937, Gilbert Hedden conducted a similarity analysis. It turned out that Captain Kidd’s Treasure Island matched Oak Island in 14 ways. But skeptics to this day do not believe in this coincidence.
The following theories are less valid. There is talk of lost Marie Antoinette jewelry, looted Incan treasure, secret documents revealing Shakespeare’s true identity, and even the lost Ark of the Covenant. But all this seems to be nothing more than fiction.
But there is a version not devoid of rationalism. The year is 1778. U.S. War of Independence. New York is under siege from Washington and the French navy. The Loyalists are forced to retreat. On July 29, the commander-in-chief of the British army, Henry Clinton, raps about being forced to retreat to Nova Scotia, which by then was still under their leadership. They took with them a lot of food, as well as funding allocated to the British troops. At that time enormous sums were allocated for the maintenance of the British army. So during the war 17,000,000 pounds were allocated. There were many engineers in the refugee group who could have easily built such a mine. Thus, we can assume that Oak Island may have served as a temporary hiding place for the British army.
There is another legend that the island will reveal its secret when the last oak tree falls. Perhaps the treasure will never be found. Or maybe someone else will want to leave a lot of money there and still be rewarded. Perhaps it will be you! If you liked the video and would like to know more about a particular time period of Oak Island, write in the comments. And that’s it for now. See you all again. Bye!
The story of the legendary Oak Island Money Mine
“Irritating, enchanting, alluring – you can pick any adjective for Oak Island and it will turn out to be right,” says Charles Barkhouse, the historian the History Channel works with for the show “The Curse of Oak Island.” The show has been chronicling the treasure hunt for eight seasons now (with some results).
So what’s really there: Templar gold, a pirate vault, a natural sinkhole, or one giant hoax? According to the curse of Oak Island, seven must die before it will reveal its treasure. Six seekers have already died in search of the golden billions, but the danger only fuels research and speculation.
The treasure hunters of the 30-meter-deep Oak Money Mine in the lands of Nova Scotia, supposedly containing anything from pirate treasure to the Ark of the Covenant, takes us back to 1795. While the riches are not found, secondary discoveries (obvious clues, possible traps, geological rarities) compel searchers to move on, even as historians dispute the sensational claims that surround the treasure. Was the island a Templar treasure trove, a secret British industrial center, or a natural sinkhole?
The Beginning of the Search
A veil of intrigue was thrown over the island shortly after the “golden era” of piracy (circa 1650-1730), when Edward Law and Bartholomew Roberts patrolled the seas of the two Americas. In 1795, a teenager from Nova Scotia reported seeing strange lights from his home on the great land. He announced it to his two friends, and they set out to explore the island. In a grove of trees on the southeast side of the island, the boys found a hole about four feet high surrounded by loose soil with young trees, signs that the soil had been disturbed.
The boys began digging what later became known as the Money Mine. At a depth of about half a meter, they found a circle of stones edging the mine, and at three meters, a platform of cut logs tucked into the sides of the mine. The second platform lay six meters down, but that is where the story of the first search ends.
And it would continue into the nineteenth century, when Onslow embarked on their first official expedition to excavate something new. They began digging where previous excavations had ended, finding more platforms every three meters, several layers of putty, charcoal, and coconut fiber on top. Coconuts don’t grow in the vicinity for a mile and a half at that spot, but history says the crew made an even more monumental discovery at 30 meters of the Money Mine – it was a stone scribbled with strange inscriptions.
Oak Island. The peak of the island is about 11 meters above sea level. NEW SCOTLAND ARCHIVES.
Explorers, treasure hunters wrote off the signs as careless handling of the digger’s tools, but others were convinced that the stone contained a secret code leading to the buried riches. In 1860 a professor of linguistics at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia examined the stone and determined the substitution cipher: “40 feet [about 12 meters] below ground is a buried treasure of 2,000,000 pounds.” But another attempt at translation in the 1970s led to an interpretation of the inscription as a warning to Coptic Christians not to forget their duty to God.
Onslow continued excavating – and at about 30 meters they came across something that sounded like a hollow container; it was assumed to be a treasure chest. In the evening the crew suspended work, and the next morning the men discovered that the shaft was 18 meters full of water. They decided that the excavation had set off a mine trap. The flooding seems to have ended Onslow’s efforts: the company was dissolved in 1805.
Another expedition, in 1849, set out from the town of Truto nearby. Its crew was supposedly able to pump out the water in the mine and strengthen the walls before drilling toward the vault. The drill penetrated successive layers of wood and loose metal and it was assumed to be a chest of riches. But before the ship’s crew reached the vault, the bottom of the Money Mine collapsed and was flooded again, taking the supposed treasure with it. The crew was not embarrassed, believing that a manmade tunnel had been found that channeled water into the mine from Smith’s Bay, which was about 150 yards away.
Oak Island. The hunt had claimed two lives by the time it was filmed in 1947. NEW SCOTLAND ARCHIVES
As news of the dangerous, dramatic hunt spread, Oak attracted more excursions, people discovered other cavities that only clouded the truth about the treasure of the Money Mine. In 1897 searchers unearthed a piece of thin parchment with what looked like the letters “vi.” Harvard University experts confirmed the authenticity of the parchment, although it is unclear whether this means the parchment is “authentic” and full of mystery, or a scrap left over from the activities of the island’s early population. Because of a second treasure trove-related death, the year 1897 was also noteworthy – that’s when a man crashed. Finally, in 1965, poisonous fumes killed four more people.
Modern technology did not bring results either. In 1971, Daniel Blankenship’s crew used a hand-held tether camera to investigate a mine about 71 meters deep, called the Borehole 10X, about 54 meters from the Money Mine, and although they claimed to have found a chest and a severed human head at the bottom of the mine, the incident was not recorded.
Today, the hosts of “The Curse of Oak Island” on The History Channel’s Rick and Marty Lagina use seismic surveys, GPR, drilling and dye tests, Barkhouse says. “They’re throwing all the science and technology they can at the island.”
A scene from the History Channel show “The Curse of Oak Island.” Rick and Marty Lagina of Oak’s ownership group host the show on the History Channel.
Other clues on the show include the discovery of a pectoral iron cross, a Templar attribute, a bone fragment, and a buried U-shaped wooden structure under Smith’s Cove. None of these discoveries solved the mystery, but the purposes here may be different: the Lagina brothers are the owners of most of the tourist companies operating on the island, in addition, the television show promotes the island.
Although the secret is not revealed, “the amount of evidence we have found on the island leads one to believe that a person or some group has done something special there.”
Holes in the search
Because of the lack of eyewitness accounts, Oak is sometimes referred to as “Mystification Island.” Until the early 1860s, when the first expedition of the Nova Scotia Boys and Onslow Company was recorded, there was no direct corroborating evidence of the excavation. Many other nineteenth-century reports are based on the words of people who claimed to have participated in the dig.
There are even more gaps: many believe that the links in the chain were planted by the diggers themselves to support future expeditions, while the stone found in the early 19th century was not registered as such until 1862. The stone was mentioned in an Oak Island Treasure Company investment prospectus in 1893; neither the stone nor its inscriptions were sketched or photographed. The current representation of the stone is dated 1949, which is where the modern translations come from.
As for the curse and related deaths, Christina Downs, Ph.D., managing editor of the Journal of Folklore Research at Indiana University, urges treasure hunters to treat these events with skepticism. She points out that curses and hidden ciphers often serve to acknowledge unproven claims.
Oak Island. A causeway leading to the mainland allows treasure hunters to bring heavy equipment to the island. NEW SCOTLAND ARCHIVES
“The argument can be made that all treasure stories have a common structure,” says Downs. – “They are somehow lost, the story is told as true, and the fact that the treasure was not found turns out to be a ‘confirmatory formula’ added to the legend for credibility.
The curse is unproven, but the legend of it is still leverage to discourage seekers, and to treasure hunters it can mean that the mine holds a secret worth protecting.
The tales of the Money Mine
Assumptions abound as to what exactly the Money Mine is in the first place: a common pirate bank, a repository for loot from British troops, or a simple savings account to finance the American Revolution. One credible theory is that the Money Mine was built by the Knights Templar, predecessors of the Freemasons. Researchers understand the items found on the island as evidence that Oak is where religious artifacts, the Holy Grail or Ark of the Covenant, were hidden.
Downs says these theories come up just like belief in conspiracy theories. “People like to believe that there is order in the world,” she argues. – Reality, however, is the opposite.”
“We create narratives so that the world, which we have trouble understanding, becomes meaningful.” Archaeological and geological counter-evidence regarding Oak and the Money Mine indicates that this story is not about Indiana Jones.
The coins, pens, and hinges collected in and around the mine are not surprising given the number of its inhabitants and proven expeditions. Dennis King, one of the island’s explorers, writes that the supposed tunnel from Smith’s Cove is evidence of sea salt mining unrelated to the Money Mine, and the coconut fibers found on the island are most likely ship packing material. This practice was common at the time.
The scene at the “Curse of Oak Island” show. Often those who presume to have treasure on Oak have a share of its land. THE HISTORY CHANNEL
Regardless, the truth about Oak retains an element of intrigue. Research by historian Joy A. Steele and retired marine geologist Gordon Fader demonstrate that the island was home to a secret British industrial center. Scholars have checked business records and contemporary correspondence and conclude that in 1720 the Crown hired private companies along with British troops to do business on Oak, including the production of pine resin, brass and wire to help pay the debt. It was Canada’s largest industrial development.
Fader says that “there were a million reasons to come to Oak, the largest island in the Gulf: proximity of fresh water, safety, convenient shore and anchorage.”
Steele and Fader believe that the Money Mine was a geological feature of the island that the British used as a kiln to fire pine tar and produce tar to cover ships. The excavated layers of the Money Mine — wood, charcoal, putty — are consistent with what one would expect from a tar kiln, Fader says. He points out that the U-shaped buried structure beneath Smith’s Cove was part of a storage facility where barrels of tar were kept safe from the sun.
“Pine tar was as important then as oil is today: your ship couldn’t sail properly if it wasn’t covered with it. That’s what the British did on the island. All of the artifacts we see definitely point to that theory,” says Fader.
Steele says that the Chancellor of the Exchequer of England and other high-ranking banking officials of the time often referred to The Secret in their correspondence – [no doubt] it was the Oak Island project.
“It is amazing to me that historians have not picked it up and dared to find out, the secret,” she says. – [Oak Island] carried out a lucrative scheme to sell goods.”
“I’m surprised that historians haven’t picked up on it and dared to find out what the ‘secret’ was,” she says. “[Oak Island] implemented what would have been a very profitable commodity scheme.”
The final argument against the artificial origin of the Money Mine is found in the area of geological conditions. According to Fader, the island’s rocks are dissolving due to exposure to the sea and groundwater. This situation generates a system of underground cracks and caves (karst system), prone to collapse and the formation of sinkholes.
While working as a marine geologist for the Canadian government, Fader produced an underground map of geological conditions along the Nova Scotia coast. He says sinkholes are common to these places.
“You can see how a sinkhole occurs around an 18-meter pine tree and the latter falls [into the sinkhole] in two seconds,” says Fader, illustrating how objects the size of the masts of British ships can be placed in the sinkhole.
At least two sinkholes have been found on Oak Island, and there are many more on the adjacent mainland. Ph.D. Steven Aitken, a geophysicist who has studied the Oak area for more than 25 years, says: Natural evidence indicates that the Money Mine is itself a sinkhole. Consistent with Fader’s view, Aitken says the rock beneath that side has dissolved and formed a karst system, and some caves have collapsed to form sinkholes, including the Money Mine.
“Karst sinkholes are geological trash cans,” Aitken says. They are often filled with breccia, [a type of sedimentary rock] overlain by a mixture of debris from organic deposits. Aitken writes that “the sediments above the breccia in the Money Mine have a thickening of just over 11 meters, and this indicates the filling of the depression. According to him, the primary depression discovered in 1795 also corresponds to the manifestation of a sinkhole on the surface.
The flooding, which, according to legend, serves as proof of the existence of the “booby trap,” occurred naturally due to the inflow of water from the sandy interior of the island. “Unless the boreholes are filled with impermeable clay or covered by a sheath while drilling through the sands over the bedrock, fresh water will naturally flood the excavation,” Fader explains.
“The idea of pirates digging up the treasure vault with picks is ridiculous,” Aitken argues. I don’t want to belittle anyone’s dreams, but there is no treasure vault or booby traps devised to protect them in the Money Mine. All the peculiarities are explained by elementary science.”
Charles Barkhouse (History Channel historian) believes that rational explanations and complex theories are not mutually exclusive. He says that, at any rate, geological conditions have deepened the mystery by hiding the buried treasure even deeper, and the evidence gathered in the field is so impressive that many groups of people have been involved in the search for centuries.
“Wherever you go on Oak Island, you go through history,” Barkhouse asserts. “You can’t take everything you find and fit it into a single theory; that’s what’s so strange here,” the historian reasoned about the island. “I will never stop believing that there are hidden treasures on the island and they are still there. I can feel it.”
The appeal of the treasure, whether it’s the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant or a huge pirate bank, also comes from the rest of the finds. The hunt may never cease. The passion for riches, as one registered seeker pointed out back in 1862, can be worth the effort.
“If we succeed in obtaining much treasure, we will be regarded as very prudent men,” he wrote. – And, if we fail to finish the job, we will be exposed to the public ridicule as chasing ghosts, unfit for anything but being precisely the public ridicule.”
How sinkholes are formed
There are at least three observed sinkholes on the island, and the geography of the area suggests that the island is prone to these natural hazards. According to geologist Gordon Fader, the interior of the island consists of soluble anhydrite, limestone and gypsum rock, and the water table begins just a few meters below the surface.
On the island, sinkholes are formed primarily by a process called dissolution: water penetrates and breaks down soluble minerals in the rock below the surface, creating a series of underground cracks, pathways, and chambers that look like Swiss cheese. These holes and cracks expand over time, spreading to the topsoil. Finally, when the weight of the topsoil becomes too much for the weakened soil below the surface, the surface collapses. “It’s the same as if someone had cut out the support piles in your house. The roof will collapse,” Fader makes the comparison.
Karst sinkholes can take decades to form and collapse within seconds, depending on geological conditions and the materials above. Collapse can be accelerated by a sudden influx of water into the subsurface or by freezing and thawing. Fader tells us that under certain circumstances, a sinkhole can be 40-50 meters deep across. He is adamant that this phenomenon is the true cause of the Oak Island Money Mine.
If you are interested in finding treasure not only in islands, but also in data, you may want to check out our course on Data Science, where students gain knowledge comparable to what they would have gained in two or three years of independent research in data science
Learn how to get pumped up in other majors, too, or master them from scratch: