For over 200 years treasure seekers have been searching here for buried treasure.
Oak Island, Nova Scotia, is one of the greatest mysteries of all time.
It all began in 1795 when three young men landed on Oak Island. They noticed a tree
with one limb sawed off and a depression in the ground underneath. This piqued their
interest since the island was uninhabited.
Underneath the sawed limb it looked as though something was buried there. They came
back the next day and began to dig. The men came upon a layer of logs every ten feet
that had been embedded in the walls of a refilled pit. Some of the platforms were
covered with charcoal while others were covered with a putty-like substance. At around
thirty feet they abandoned the dig until they could get help. Later they returned
with people from the area and resumed the dig, to no avail. The treasure was much
deeper than they could imagine.
Since that time, there have been many major digs in the area at a cost of well over
1 million dollars. In 1897, William Chappell struck iron, then cement, wood, and
32 inches of soft metal plus oak chips, coconut husk fiber, and a small piece of
parchment with the letters "ui" "vi" or "wi". They appear to be written in India
ink with a quill pen. These were found at the 153-foot level. In 1909, Franklin D.
Roosevelt, at the age of 27, was part of an exploration group. He maintained a lifelong
interest in Oak Island.
Between 1967–1969 an exploratory group brought up oak buds, fragments of 16th century
wood and a piece of antique brass. In 1972, a team lowered an underwater camera in
a deep shaft close to the Money Pit, called Borehole 10X and photographed what appeared
to be logs, sea chests, a human head and hand. This was photographed at 230 feet.
To date, the treasure has not yet been uncovered.
One group, the Oak Island Exploration Company, has begun to address the problems
associated with the excavation. These include: No direct plan supported by professional
engineering studies, the inability to control underground flooding which is coming
directly from the sea via two or more tunnels, insufficient funding to overcome unforeseen
obstacles, and not understanding the island's underground structures.
In 1995 a team from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute spent two weeks on the island
while their report is confidential it was by no means discouraging.
Since the time of the first exploration, six people have died attempting to uncover
what some people believe to be buried treasure—Legend has it that seven people will
die before it is found! And what is this treasure? Speculation ranges from Captain
Kidd's treasure; a communal bank built by pirates; the hiding place for the treasure
plundered by Sir Francis Drake from Spanish ships and settlements in the Caribbean;
writings by Francis Bacon that would prove it was he that wrote Shakespeare's plays;
Marie Antoinette's jewels; the lost treasure of Tumbez, Peru; and others.
One of the leading theories today is of the Knights Templar and there certainly is
evidence to support the theory. Whatever the treasure may or may not be, Oak Island
is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure which combines the excitement of a treasure hunt
with a major archeological dig!
Unfortunately the island is closed to the public now. But hopefully tours will be
available again soon. The last activity of any merit occurred in 1995 when a team
from Woods Hole spent two weeks on the island and also surveyed the surrounding bay.
While I can not divulge the 200 page report from them ... I can say it did nothing
to discourage us from continuing the search.