The Oak Island Mystery
The History Channel has been running a
series of hour-long programs dealing with the continuing search
for a vast treasure on Oak Island – a 140 acre parcel of land in
Nova Scotia. Originally settled by the English in 1761, the
mystery began in 1795 when three boys who were exploring the
island came across a depression in the ground that looked like
evidence of previously buried pirate loot. Once they started
digging, they found layers of flat stones and oak logs at ten
foot intervals. Someone, it would seem, had gone to a lot of
trouble to hide something.
When the digging reached close to 100
feet, salt water that rose and fell with the tide began seeping
in and soon filled the shaft. For the next two plus centuries,
an assortment of treasure hunters and investors (at one time
including Franklyn Roosevelt) took turns digging and trying to
plug the leak. The latest development in this continuing saga
involves two brothers (Rick and Marty Lagina) who bought most of
Oak Island in 2006 and that's where the History Channel picks up
The programs are similar in that each
one starts with a new theory and the brothers seem close to
solving the mystery but then, after building to a climax,
there's the inevitable fizzle. You'll just have to wait until
next week boys and girls. And so it goes, one show after
another. I must admit to having been caught up in the hoop-la
until my wife pointed out that if anything were ever found it
would be on the morning news long before the next episode aired.
So what's down there? Nobody knows but
along with pirate booty, suggestions include Masonic secrets,
Biblical relics, Knights Templar treasure, Shakespeare's
manuscripts or maybe...fill in the blank. All this as a way of
saying: Truth is rarely as exciting as fiction.
The first finders "knew" it was a
treasure trove and so did those who came after. The fact
that the treasure idea doesn't seem quite right won't stop them.
My belief is that the producers of the series will earn more
treasure than will ever be found on the island.
Look At It This Way
Someone even suggested that the
original shaft, called the “money pit" even though no money has
ever been found, was actually engineered as some sort of
irrigation project that was meant to flood and not to hide
buried treasure. Though I doubt that's really the answer, I
do feel that such out-of-the-box thinking is just what's needed.
A major effort appears to have been made in the distant past and
one wonders why? But so much of the island has been torn
up and so many rumors have been circulated that any legitimate
clues that may have once existed are by now probably long gone.
My friends at Skeptical Inquirer magazine have a
saying: Before you try to solve a mystery, made sure there is a
mystery. I'm wondering if that applies here?