“The Curse of Oak Island” is a documentary reality TV series that follows a team of treasure hunters in their search for legendary artifacts and buried treasure on Oak Island – a small piece of land protruding from the water near the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. The show has been airing since 2014, and is currently in its ninth season.
The series, narrated by Robert Clotworthy, follows brothers Marty and Rick Lagina, who purchased a controlling interest in Oak Island Tours Inc. in 2006. Since then, they’ve been searching for the legendary treasure rumored to be buried on the island. The team consists of a variety of experts, including archeologists, historians, engineers and geologists.
The team has used a variety of techniques to search for the treasure, such as drilling, excavating, and metal detecting. They have also used ground-penetrating radar and other advanced technology to explore the depths of the Money Pit – a mysterious shaft that is believed to contain the treasure.
Just when you thought you’ve seen it all… we’re digging deeper. The Curse of Oak Island returns Tuesday, November 15 at 9/8c only on The HISTORY Channel.
Posted by The Curse of Oak Island on Tuesday, November 8, 2022
They’ve made several discoveries over the years, including a stone bearing an inscription in a language that predates the island’s settlement, a set of wooden platforms, and a number of artifacts. However, the team has yet to uncover the legendary treasure.
The show has become a cultural phenomenon, with millions of viewers tuning in each week to follow the team’s progress. It has also spawned a number of spin-off shows, including “The Curse of Civil War Gold”, and “The Curse of Oak Island: Drilling Down.”
This series has captivated viewers for years in spite of it looking like the team is no closer to finding the legendary treasure. That said, the show continues to draw audiences in with its thrilling mysteries and suspenseful plotlines. With each new discovery, however small, the team supposedly gets closer to uncovering the secrets of Oak Island and the legendary treasure that lies beneath.
What Oak Island really is
Oak Island has been the subject of much speculation and mystery since the late 1700s, when a group of men first began to search for buried treasure on the island. Its story began in 1795, when a teenager named Daniel McGinnis noticed a strange depression in the ground near a large oak tree on the island. He and two friends began to dig, and soon discovered a layer of flagstones beneath the surface. They excitedly pressed on, but eventually stopped upon reaching a depth of 30 feet, almost 10 meters, and encountering a layer of logs.
Since then, many people have attempted to uncover the secrets of Oak Island. In 1804, a group of investors formed the Onslow Company, and began to excavate the Money Pit, as it came to be known. Over the years, the company spent thousands of dollars and countless hours digging, but never found any treasure. In 1861, another group of investors, the Truro Company, took over the excavation. They too failed to find anything of value, but did discover a number of artifacts, including a stone inscribed with mysterious symbols.
In 1909, the Oak Island Treasure Company was formed, and began to use more advanced technology in their search. They drilled several boreholes into the Money Pit, but still failed to find anything of value. In 1965, Robert Dunfield began to excavate the Money Pit using a backhoe. He dug to a depth of 140 feet, but again failed to find anything of significance.
In the 1970s, a group of treasure hunters called the Triton Alliance began to search for the treasure. They used a variety of techniques, including sonar and ground-penetrating radar, but still came up empty handed. Today, even after all of the excavations, Oak Island remains a mystery. Many believe that it holds a great treasure, while others think that the Money Pit is nothing more than a natural formation. Whatever the truth may be, this enigmatic landmass remains a constant fascination for many across the globe.
The significant events of season nine
The ninth season of the show is when the team gets closer than ever before to solving the mystery, after eight years of consistently looking for anything that would give them answers. Its first episode, entitled “Going for the Gold” from 2 November 2021, definitely starts off strongly, although the name is a little misleading.
What the team is really ‘going for’ is actually silver, of which they found a heap in the soil surrounding the money pit, causing everyone to return to the island and dig with great hopes of finally making a breakthrough.
A breath of fresh air washes over the cast and the audience as they indeed strike gold, but only very minor traces of it. Still, this discovery lends credence to the idea that real ancient treasure is in fact buried there – the premise that has kept the cast going for almost a decade.
Spirits were at their lowest prior to this discovery though, with excavations around the swamp area resulting in pretty much nothing, after which the trusty metal detector took center stage. It only served to bring hopes down further, however, as only a rusty nail, an ox shoe and a can’s pull tag were located.
Fortunately, at the end of the day, further borehole drilling in the area mapped out as D2 yielded wood dating back to the 15th century, indicating that there may actually be real-life treasure chests hidden on the island, which that broken-off piece of timber may have come from.
Later on, they also came across cemented matter that was found to contain traces of various metals, some of which are actually quite rare and super valuable, such as gold and even osmium – one of the metals least likely to be found almost anywhere on the planet. To add to that, the crew also ran into the largest chunk of lead ever discovered on Oak Island, which at least with sheer size, puts them ahead of most others who ventured there.
Still, there is the pressure of recovering the money invested in the dig, as the team are no closer to getting rich than they were eight years ago. They chase any trail possible, hoping to find paved dirt, researching a particular wine glass that was recently uncovered. The material used to create the liquid container turns out to be from the 17th century, which aligns with several hypotheses that the Lagina brothers had put forward.
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Feeling on the edge of a great discovery, they proceeded to dig into the swamp in full force, eventually coming across the shards of First Nation Mi’kmaq pottery – an extremely valuable archeological find that gets the Canadian government to almost call off the entire project. With the argument that many of the drilling methods used by the brothers can destroy fragile ancient artifacts in the soil, they were almost forbidden from going further and sent home by force.
Still, they had come too far to quit, and so the saga continued on, albeit at a different pace. In episode six of the ninth season, Marty said ‘We have internally made a decision to back down on archeological methods for the time being, and let the dust settle on this,’ while Rick added ‘There are other methodologies that can be applied that are much less restrictive.’
Having finally decided to switch strategies so as to maintain that their lifelong dream remains unextinguished, Marty said ‘We think it’s best to not do archeological work at this point. To shut it down.’
The reasoning for the decision seemed quite mature, yet slightly disappointing to the audience, which he explained as ‘Because until we understand the rules and what we might be giving up, that seems to be the most prudent. In the meantime, we’re going to stay with the search, but we don’t want to shoot ourselves in the foot.’
Throughout the course of the season, the team also goes to Europe, to confirm various findings and connect them to some of the most important meanings that could truly answer the mystery of the island. One of the countries most frequented by the brothers is Portugal, as its older structures are generally in immaculate shape, allowing for various comparisons of symbols and other data.
In one such case, they travel to the municipality of Póvoa de Lanhoso in an attempt to find a connection between some of the symbols carved on a massive stone on Oak Island to the legendary and secretive ancient order of the Knights Templar, also known as the Knights of Christ.
There is also a structure believed to be of Portuguese origin – a stone road, or wharf, discovered in the triangular-shaped swamp that the government almost halted the project over. A fragment of a ship’s cannon was also located throughout the excavations, and according to the metal used and the way that it’s shaped, it can be tied to the Portuguese navy. Finally, two stone cannonballs are also reminiscent of the small European country, one of which came from deep within the Money Pit area.
The team visited the Church of Fontarcada – the first Portuguese land grant to the Knights Templar. Factually, the mother of the first Portuguese king donated it to the order in 1126, making the structure also one of the oldest churches in the country. King Alfonso I actually invited the Christian warrior monks when in need of assistance against the Moor invaders.
As their aid helped many European kings turn the tide in wars that threatened their very existence, the Knights Templar were given both land and valuable objects as gratitude, including gold, gems, and even objects believed to be sacred to the Christian faith. The reason that this interests the Laginas is because some of their wealth is thought to have been buried on Oak Island.
Since the church is also thought to be the oldest Templar commandery in Europe, and maybe even the entire world, there’s good reason to believe that it would contain symbols that can be tied to those found on Oak Island, thus confirming the assertion that a big, ancient mystery indeed resides in its depths.
Rick stated ‘If we are really tracking the Templars’, or Masonic connections to Oak Island, we need to look at the mason’s marks, and see if they actually mean something. It may only take one, just one clue, one strange symbol that says ‘Here. Here is what you seek.’’
Not long after entering the church, looking at the pictures of many symbols found on Oak Island and comparing them to those on the walls, they find a cross with an extra line on the lower half – a symbol resembling a hashtag with only a single vertical line in the middle – that looks exactly the same both inside of the church and in the picture.
Later on, the cast learns that the Knights Templar and later Portuguese kings faced internal strife as the power of the monks grew. This conflict became widespread across Europe, and in 1317 the order was forced to finally disband. However, approximately 300 knights escaped the yoke of law, fleeing to still unknown lands with their priceless treasures. Oak Island is thought to be one of these places.
To get rid of the earlier stigma, some of the remaining order headquarters were kept manned, but under a new name – the Knights of Christ. The rounded short cross that represented the Knights Templar was replaced with a sharp-edged short cross, which later had its lower part extended – this happens to be the exact same shape that was found by looking at a stone formation on Oak Island.
The conclusion of season nine
Even though numerous discoveries akin to the aforementioned were made throughout the ninth season, any treasure still remains to be found. What makes these 25 episodes highly significant, however, is the fact that no other season mounts credibility for the theory of a treasure island to this extent.
With dozens of excavated objects having a rather rich history, all of which binds into the one same story at the end of the day, the Lagina brothers now have more evidence than ever to support the quest of their lifetime.