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Old 05-31-2011, 11:55 PM  
mohel
 
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A.T. Kempton's Fake Inscription II

Fake Inscription II.....

Quote:
Kempton's rendering of the symbols, from a typescript version of his "story" about the island that was apparently forwarded to Admiral Richard Byrd of Antarctic fame (who had a passing interest in the island until he was warned off it by a friend), is as follows: [3]



Many have presumed the "old Irish School Master" was James DeMille or James Leitchi of Dalhousie University, but Kempton makes no specific reference to either man and it is unknown at this time whether primary documents exist to prove such a link.

What is clear from all this however, is that the inscription used in nearly every book and article published about Oak Island since Ed Snow's 1949 compendium of treasure tales is wrong. Every author has uncritically used these symbols and their alleged "translation," with no supporting evidence whatsoever. As a result, generations of readers have been deceived into thinking the inscription was authentic.

Some researchers have postulated that the symbols are a Masonic "riddle" based on a rite known as the "Royal Arch." This may be accurate, but it is also certain that simple substitution ciphers of the type shown above were commonplace in the 19th century and could be made up by anyone.

Let us be clear: there are no known descriptions of the "original" Money Pit stone -- if indeed such a stone ever existed in the first place. The cipher shown above is an egregious fraud that has been perpetuated by poor researchers for over half a century. Only the unnamed teacher knows why he (or she) created these symbols.

Perhaps the teacher simply gave Kempton what he wanted -- another yarn to add to his collection of Acadian tales. Perhaps this teacher actually had access to other information, long since lost, regarding the inscription. However, no inscription was ever printed in any known work prior to the appearance of Kempton's symbols. None appears in the 1896 "prospectus" published by one of the treasure excavation "syndicates." Earlier books that mention the Money Pit, as well as the 1936 Popular Science article and other sources, are similarly silent.

As with so many elements of the story, the inscription itself stands on very shaky ground indeed.

Notes

[1] Blair, Frederick, letter to A.T. Kempton Apr 22 1949. R.V Harris Papers MG 1 Vol 384, item 2364d

[2] Kempton, A.T., letter to Frederick Blair Apr 19 1949. R.V Harris Papers MG 1 Vol 384, item 2364b

[3] Kempton, A.T., story about Oak Island (typescript) Apr 28 1949. R.V Harris Papers MG 1 Vol 384, item 2364f-h

Bibliography

Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management: R.V. Harris Papers, MGI Vol 384, item 2364b (letter from Kempton to Frederick Blair)

Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management: R.V. Harris Papers, MGI Vol 384, item 2364e (reply from Blair to Kempton)

Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management: R.V. Harris Papers, MGI Vol 384, item 2364f-h (Kempton's story about Oak Island)

Note: Original material on these pages is ? 2010 Richard E. Joltes
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:58 PM  
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Masonic Symbolism

The Oak Island Legend as an
Expression of Masonic Symbolism......

Quote:
1. Some years ago, sceptic Joe Nickell from CSICOP (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of the Claims of the Paranormal) proposed that the Oak Island Money Pit started out as a natural sink hole, which are apparently common in that part of Nova Scotia, and a Masonic legend somehow attached itself to that natural sink hole to create the start of what is now called the Oak Island Money Pit legend. A link to Joe Nickell's article, from the March/April 2000 issue of the Skeptical Inquirer Magazine, is here.

2. I myself am an Oak Island sceptic, and I am also a Freemason, but I was initially unimpressed by the Nickell theory, thinking it farfetched and contrived.

3. However, Kel Hancock and Richard Joltes recently discovered a very similar Money Pit legend from Jollicure in another part of Nova Scotia, particulars being found elsewhere on this site.

The very similar Jollicure Money Pit Legend caused me to re-evaluate my earlier dismissive view of Nickell's theory, and as a result I wrote a brief article published at the Oak Island Treasure website in which I decided the Nickell theory may well be correct, although I felt the
ritual of the Masonic Degree known as the Royal Arch of Enoch, being the 13th Degree of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (known as the "Rose Croix" in the United Kingdom and Australasia) was a more likely source of the Oak Island legend than the ritual of the Holy Royal Arch Degree suggested by Nickell. A link to that brief article is here, and which also contains a brief explanation of how masons use their rituals and their significance in what happens in Masonic Lodges.

4. Since then, I have carried out further research into possible Masonic origins for the Oak Island Money Pit Legend, and have discovered the following:

4(a) The Masonic legend which forms the basis of the Masonic Holy Royal Arch Degree has changed over time.

4(b) At the present day, the Holy Royal Arch Degree is based around the building of the second temple at Jerusalem around 500BC. In its present form, the Holy Royal Arch Degree has only limited similarity to the Oak Island legend as noted in my abovementioned previous article.

4(c) However, when the Holy Royal Arch Degree was founded about 1740, it appears it was based on the legend of Enoch, one of the legendary patriarchs from the Book of Genesis who predated the flood. See for example Mackey's History Of Freemasonry, Chapter 48, where he says:

"It is very probable that the Legend of Enoch which was embodied in Ramsay's Ecossais, and which was afterward adopted in the Degree of Knights of the Ninth Arch, was at first used by the ceceders in conferring their Fourth Degree. But it was afterward changed for the very different legend which is still taught in the English Royal Arch".

(When Mackey refers to the "Fourth Degree", he is in fact meaning the degree now known as the Holy Royal Arch). A link to Mackey's tome on the History of Freemasonry is here.

4(d) Some time between the birth of the Holy Arch Royal Degree (about 1740) and around 1800, the legend at the basis of that degree was changed from the Enoch legend to the legend of building the second Jerusalem temple at the time of the Jews returning from their captivity in Babylon, and that legend (of building the second temple) remains the basis of the present Holy Royal Arch Degree.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:59 PM  
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Masonic Symbolism II

Masonic Symbolism II.....


Quote:
4(e) But, the Enoch legend remained the basis of some Holy Royal Arch rituals, as worked in some Royal Arch Chapters, as late as the early 1800s; see for example the paper of Piers Vaughan entitled Early Rituals of the Holy Royal Arch where he says:

2.3 STORIES
One of the most fascinating differences in early rituals are the different settings for the ritual story. While some most certainly focused on the building of the Second Temple, at least one is set in the time of King Solomon, and involves the building of the secret vault and the discovery of the vault of Enoch. We mentioned earlier that the story of the Ark of Noah is one of the oldest of all Masonic devices. The story of Enoch is intimately intertwined with this story, leading us to suspect that the Enochian slant also reflects an early version of the myth.

In the Finch manuscript of circa 1800 we find the most fully developed version of this particular story. Enoch is take to heaven and is shown the triangular plate bearing the name of God, then a vision of an underground vault with nine arches one upon another, within which is a white marble pedestal.

God commands him to build this, as well as two pillars of brass and brick, containing all the knowledge of mankind (later seen in the Second Degree lecture, this time pertaining to the pillars at the entrance to the Temple of Solomon). This he does. In this version we are then transported forward to the time of King Solomon, who is commanded to build not only a Temple but also an underground corridor, and he is promised that on completing the Temple the true name of God revealed to Moses would be restored. According to the text, next to Mount Moriah was another Mount called Mount Calvary (sic), which the workmen were excavating in order to lay foundations for another building.

They come across the ruins of a more ancient building, upon vertical arches. Solomon tells his three principal architects to investigate, which they do, lifting each keystone by its ring, and in the ninth arch they discover the pedestal and the triangular plate.

This story also introduces us to the mysterious names of the three architects or sojourners: Stolkyn, Jacobert and Giblim. This extraordinary development is, perhaps, the strongest hint that the Degree is indeed descended from the French system, as we will see in the conclusion. Most of the other Rituals studied are rather more familiar, dealing with the rebuilding of the Temple by Zerubbabal, Jeshua and Haggai. The use of three sojourners is common to all, as is the idea of descending into a place of darkness, there finding something bright which in many rituals shines with its own light. In most cases, too, the pedestal is a double cube -more of an altar - which means its surface is square, bearing a circle which contains a triangle (of gold): a device familiar to Masons in the Hermetic degrees. Sometimes the language is quite fun. For example, in the Bristol rite the sojourners angrily reply to Zerubbabel's taunt that they may be "of the lineage of that set of traitors who fell away during the siege and went over to the enemy", that: "we are not, Most Excellent, of that timorous race of parasites who...fell away and deserted their trust."

Nevertheless, given that the earliest rituals focus on the period from Enoch, the Flood, and the Building of the First Temple, there is reason to suppose that the action was moved to the Second Temple to continue the biblical tradition, and to move away from apocryphal stories. After all, there is no reference in the Old Testament to finding a secret vault containing a pedestal or sacred delta in the books of Ezra, Haggai or Nehemiah.

Follow this link to Vaughan's paper:

4(f) Eventually the Enochian version of the Holy Royal Arch Degree became the 13th Degree of the Masonic Degree system known as the Scottish Rite in North America and known as the Rose Croix elsewhere, and the 13th Degree remains based on the legend of Enoch to this day.

5. The Oak Island legend probably began, in something vaguely approaching its modern form, in the period 1800-1850, when the Holy Royal Arch Degree was in many Royal Arch Chapters in the world still based on the legend of Enoch, i.e. when the Holy Royal Arch Degree in many Chapters still resembled what is now the 13th Degree of the Scottish Rite rather than the modern Holy Royal Arch Degree.

6. Therefore Nickell is very likely correct when he identifies the Holy Royal Arch Degree as the source of today's Oak Island Money Pit legend, although the Holy Royal Arch Degree at the relevant time was in many Royal Arch Chapters more akin to what is now the 13th Degree of the Scottish Rite. In other words, it turns out that both Nickell and myself were correct when he identified the Holy Royal Arch Degree as the source of the Oak Island Money Pit legend and I identified the 13th Degree of the Scottish Rite as its source.

7. An old ritual of the 13th Degree, likely similar to the Holy Royal Arch Degree rituals in many Royal Arch Chapters in the early 1800s, is available on the web at this link. I would also refer to the various links to Masonic legendary material in my previous article referred to above.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:02 AM  
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Masonic Symbolism III

Masonic Symbolism III....

Quote:
8. We are now in a position to see just how many elements of the Masonic Holy Royal Arch Degree (in its old version which is now the 13th Degree of the Scottish Rite) and other Masonic motifs and legends have been incorporated in the Oak Island legend:

8(a) The Three Sojourners

In the Masonic legend, the Vault of Enoch is discovered and excavated by three sojourners called Stolkyn, Jacobert, and Giblim. In the Oak Island legend, the Money Pit is discovered and excavated by three fellows called McInnis, Smith and Vaughan.

8(b) Surface Temple
In the Masonic legend, the remains of Enoch's temple are discovered at the surface, being a roofless temple of large unhewn stones. In the Oak Island legend, McInnes, Smith & Vaughan discover a layer of flagstones only two feet below the surface when they start excavating the pit.

8(c) Nine Successive Vaults
In the Masonic legend, the three sojourners find the roofs of nine successive vaults, vertically aligned down into the earth. In the Oak Island legend, McInnes, Smith and Vaughan and then later the Onslow Syndicate find nine successive layers of oak logs at 10 feet intervals going down into the earth.

8(d) The Porphyry Stone
In the Masonic legend, Enoch concealed the secret name of God, known as the "Grand Secret" "engraven on a white oriental porphyry stone, in the bowels of the earth". See the Royal Masonic Cyclopedia quoted at the following links:
http://www.mystae.com/restricted/str.../mrituals.html
http://www.mystae.com/restricted/str...pts/enoch.html

In the Oak Island legend, the inscribed stone found at about the 90 foot depth in the Oak Island Money Pit is often suggested to have been porphyry; see for example:

Fanthorpe, The Oak Island Mystery, page 31 and other pages
Crooker, Oak Island Gold, page 21
Harris & McPhie, Oak Island and Its Lost Treasure, page 30.
8(e) The Translation of the Characters on the Porphyry Stone
The Masonic legend includes the following from Mackey's The History Of Freemasonry cited above:

"The legend proceeds to inform us that after Enoch had finished the construction of the nine vaults, fearing that the principles of the arts and sciences which he had assiduously cultivated would be lost in a universal deluge of which he had received a prophetic vision, he erected above ground two pillars, one of marble, to withstand the destructive influences of fire, and one of brass, to resist the action of water. On the pillar of brass he engraved the history of the creation, the principles of the arts and sciences, and the doctrines of speculative masonry as they were then practised; and on the pillar of marble he enscribed in hieroglyphic characters the information that near the spot where they stood a precious treasure was deposited in a subterranean vault." (Emphasis added).

See Chapter 41 of Mackey's The History of Freemasonry. According to the Oak Island legend, the most common translation of the inscribed stone message reads "40 feet below two million pounds are buried". Incidentally, on the assumption the inscribed stone from the Oak Island Money Pit records a message in Spanish, it can be translated as "At 80, Guide maize or millet into the estuary or stream", which alludes to the well known Masonic symbolism of "An ear of corn near a fall of water" which any Freemason will recognise. For a link to this so-called Spanish translation of the inscribed stone, see this article (which incidentally also points out that the nine log platforms of the Oak Island Money Pit correspond to the nine vaults of Enoch).

8(f) The Discovery of the Treasure
In the modern version of the Masonic Holy Royal Arch Degree, three sojourners discover the hidden treasure vault under the remains of King Solomon's former temple when their crowbar accidentally strikes a rock and makes a hollow sound, revealing the existence of the vault underneath. In the Oak Island legend, the diggers of the Onslow Syndicate sink a crowbar into the mud at the bottom of the money pit, and strike a flat wooden surface which they interpreted to be the lid of a treasure chest.

8(g) The Treasure
In both the Enochian and the modern versions of the Holy Royal Arch Degree, the treasure in the hidden vault consists of a plate of gold on which the long lost secret name of God is engraved. In the Enochian version of the legend, the gold pate was also encrusted with jewels.
The Oak Island legend assumes that a very valuable treasure is buried in the money pit, although is not specific as to the nature of the treasure as it has not yet been recovered.

8(h) The Flood Channels
An English translation of the Apocryphal Book of Enoch includes the following passages:

"89.2 And again I raised my eyes to heaven, and saw a high roof, with seven water channels on it, and those channels discharged much water into an enclosure. "
"89.3 And I looked again, and behold, springs opened on the floor of that large enclosure, and water began to bubble up, and to rise above the floor. And I looked at that enclosure until its whole floor was covered by water."
I have been unable to find any Royal Arch Degree rituals which incorporate the above allusions to "flood channels", but given that the legend of Enoch is very important to Freemasons, and given that Masonic ritual changes over time (as explained in my earlier article), it would not be beyond the bounds of possibility that some versions of the Holy Royal Arch Degree at certain periods have incorporated the above allusions to "flood channels". Certainly the above allusions to "water channels" correspond to the Oak Island and Jollicure Money Pit legends including the tale that they both filled with water, and in the case of the Oak Island Money Pit legend the source of the water was artificially dug flood tunnels linking the money pit to the sea.

8(i) Animals Sinking
Also from the Book of Enoch:

"89.5 And all the bulls of that enclosure, were gathered together, until I saw how they sank, and were swallowed up and destroyed, in that water".

This passage corresponds to Sophia Sellar's oxen sinking into the cave-in pit and to the blacksmith's cow sinking into the Jollicure Money Pit. For a link to the relevant passages of the Book of Enoch, refer to the following: Exodus 2006 - The Book of Enoch

8(j) Equilateral Triangle
The equilateral triangle is probably the most important symbol of the Holy Royal Arch Degree, both in its Enochian version and in its modern version. The secret name of God was inscribed on an equilateral triangle on the gold plate in the hidden vault in the legend at the heart of the Royal Arch Degree. This corresponds to the famous equilateral stone triangle which was formerly on the south shore of Oak Island, but which was unfortunately destroyed during Dunfield Senior's excavations in the mid 1960s.

8(k) The Letter "G"
The letter "G" has always been important in Masonic symbolism, standing for the Grand Geometrician of the Universe or God. Nickell's article cited above refers to the discovery near the cave-in pit on Oak Island in 1967 of a granite bolder with the letter "G" clearly chiselled on its surface.

8(l) Masonic Symbols on Rock
Nickell's article also refers to an inscribed stone discovered by Gilbert Hedden at Joudrey's Cove on Oak Island in 1936, featuring a number of symbols which are clearly Masonic including a point within a circle, which any Mason would recognise.

8(m) Links of Chain from Epaulette
At formal meetings in Masonic Lodges, the Masons still wear "aprons" loosely modelled on the aprons of working stone masons in the Middle Ages. Those aprons, in many degrees, often include metal epaulettes attached to the aprons; those epaulettes are often of either gold or a metal resembling gold, e.g. brass. It is not without significance that the three links of chain reportedly recovered by the Truro Syndicate in 1849 by drilling in the Oak Island Money Pit with a pod auger resembled"links forced from an epaulette".
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:08 AM  
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Masonic Symbolism IV

Masonic Symbolism IV.....

Quote:
8(n) Piece of Parchment and the Cement Vault
As is well known, the Blair Syndicate of the 1890s drilled deep into the money pit and purportedly discovered a cement vault at approximately 150 feet depth, from which their drill extracted a piece of parchment containing the letters "VI" or "RI". The piece of parchment actually does exist, although its provenance is not recorded in a manner which would be satisfactory to an archaeologist. It needs to be noted that in the modern versions of the Holy Royal Arch Degree (i.e. in use from say about 1800), the treasures concealed in the hidden vault included a parchment containing the original text of the Book of Genesis and which is discovered by the three sojourners when they enter the long lost vault.

8(o) The Iron Ring
The Enochian version of the Holy Royal Arch Degree refers to Enoch covering the top most entrance into the system of nine vertically aligned vaults into the ground, with a large stone with a large iron ring to assist its removal when required. The Oak Island legend records that an iron ring was found embedded in a rock at Smiths Cove, probably in the 1795-1804 timeframe.

9. The parallels between Masonic symbolism (particularly as encapsulated in the 13th Degree, which was formerly the basis of the Holy Royal Arch Degree) and the Oak Island Money Pit legend as it has come down to us are striking. In my view, there are just simply too
many parallels for it to be a coincidence. The clincher to my way of thinking is the porphyry stone with hieroglyphic characters on it and purportedly found at about 90 feet down in the money pit by the Onslow Syndicate in the early 1800s; this is a classic example of Masonic
symbolism, especially the translation which alludes to the traditional Masonic motif of "an ear of corn near to a fall of water". The reason why the porphyry stone with hieroglyphic characters is classic Masonic symbolism is that the porphyry stone features prominently in the Masonic side degree known as the Royal Ark Marriners, and stones engraved with non English characters feature in a number of Masonic degrees including the Mark Master Masons degree.

10. In fact, it would not be exaggerating too much to say that the whole Oak Island Money Pit legend is a Masonic pun.

11. It is almost as if a group of Mahone Bay Masons have been "laughing up their sleeves" at the rest of the world for several generations.

12. It now seems that a number of independent elements have converged together to form the Oak Island Money Pit legend as it now exists, including:

12(a) The recent discovery of John Bartram and others that digging for Captain Kydd's treasure was a well established confidence game/trick in North Eastern United States in the early 1800s, and was practised as a means of earning a livelihood by Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith and others at that time, and thanks to John Bartram we now know there is a link between Joseph Smith's family and the Oak Island Money Pit in the form of one of his wives, Fanny Young (who also happened to be a sister of Mormon Church President Brigham Young) visiting Oak Island about 1850 to divine for treasure.

12(b) If there was any kind of genuine "hole" at the money pit site originally, then it may have been nothing more than a natural sink hole, which we know are common in that part of Nova Scotia, or possibly the remains of an early settler's attempt to dig a water well; and whether the original "hole" was a natural sink hole or the remains of a well there is the speculative possibility it may have been used by early Oak Island land owner Casper Wollenhaupt as a saw pit for pit sawing lumber on the island, it being known that Casper Wollenhaupt had a contract to build a ship or ships in the early 1790s.

12(c) As the Oak Island Money Pit legend evolved, it acquired extensive amounts of Masonic symbolism, particularly drawn from the Enochian version of the Holy Royal Arch Degree of Freemasonry.

13. Where we have got to so far:

13(a) The flood tunnel or tunnels have now been conclusively shown (at least to my satisfaction) to be purely mythical.

13(b) There almost certainly was never a real treasure in the Oak Island Money Pit. The legend has incorporated a vast treasure at the bottom of the money pit as a result of early 1800s treasure digging swindlers, who were active at that time in that part of the world, and we now know thanks to John Bartram that there is a connection between those treasure hunting swindlers and Oak Island.

13(c) The Oak Island legend has also undoubtedly incorporated a vast lost treasure as a result of the incorporation of Masonic legendary material which revolves around the discovery of a lost vault which has a very valuable treasure in it.

14. Although this website has only been going a short while, I think we can justifiably say it has made giant strides towards solving the Oak Island mystery. I would go so far as to say it is virtually solved.

Note: All material on these pages is ? 2005 Dennis J King.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:11 AM  
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The masonic angle

THE OAK ISLAND LEGEND: THE MASONIC ANGLE

By Dennis J King
May 12, 2010

?Dennis J King 2010 Short excerpts may be copied from this paper without prior permission so long as due acknowledgment is given.


Quote:
My concern in this paper is to trace how Masonic symbolism and imagery have been incorporated in the legend. I am not the first to note a connection between the Oak Island Legend and Freemasonry:

As far as I am aware, author Mark Finnan was the first to draw explicit attention to the links between Freemasonry and the Oak Island Legend (2). Finnan, in the 1997 edition of his book ?Oak Island Secrets?, noted that many of the treasure diggers have been Freemasons, and implied that the Masonic Fraternity possessed secret knowledge of the nature of the treasure which impelled them to seek it. While not explicitly a Masonic conspiracy theory, Finnan?s work certainly implies such a conspiracy.
Professional sceptic Joe Nickell followed with an article in the Skeptical Inquirer in the year 2000 entitled ?The Secrets of Oak Island? (3) in which he noted that symbolism from the Masonic Degree known as the Holy Royal Arch appeared to have been incorporated in the Oak Island Legend.
Although I am therefore not the first to discuss the Masonic aspects of the Oak Island Legend, I believe I am the first Freemason to write on the Masonic angle in the legend. I therefore have an advantage over both Finnan and Nickell, neither of whom are Masons. I have previously written two brief online papers entitled respectively ?Did the Oak Island Legend Start Out as a Masonic Ritual?? (4) and ?The Oak Island Legend as an Expression of Masonic Symbolism? (5), posted to the internet in 2004 and 2005 respectively, but my understanding of the evolution of Masonic Ritual and of the evolution of the Oak Island Legend itself has since increased to the point where I am now able to take the very different approach of this present paper.

The Evolution of the Oak Island Legend:

The traditional date for the discovery of the Oak Island Money Pit is 1795, being the date given in the 1890?s prospectus of the Oak Island Treasure Co (6), which was the syndicate which attempted to locate the treasure in the late 1800?s and early 1900?s. Recent research by Paul Wroclawski suggests the 1795 date is too late, and the true date of discovery was probably in the 1780?s (7). The earliest unambiguous documentary evidence of treasure hunting on Oak Island dates to the year of 1849 and takes the form of a Treasuring Hunting Licence issued to Charles Archibald and John Pitblado on 6 August 1849 by the Governor of Nova Scotia (8). The first published accounts of the Oak Island treasure hunt do not start appearing until 1857 and comprise the following:

First Article: An article in the Liverpool Transcript, a Nova Scotian newspaper, in its issue of 8 August 1857 by JP Forks briefly mentions digging for Captain Kidd?s treasure on Oak Island (9).

Second Article: The 15 August 1857 issue of the Liverpool Transcript contains a longer discussion of the Oak Island Treasure Quest (10). The facts disclosed in this article are limited to essentially only the following:

Oak Island is the scene of a so far fruitless search for the treasure of Captain Kidd.
Four pits, of which three are still open, have been excavated to considerable depths in search of the treasure. The pits are all ?upwards of 100 feet [30 metres]? in depth, and the three open ones are now all filled with water.
The pits all measure approximately 12 feet [4 metres] by 8 feet [2.4 metres] and are boxed in with timber 8 inches [20 centimetres] square.
The treasure searchers were flooded out of each pit by water, and they believe ?sluices or communications with the sea? [ie flood tunnels] had been constructed to protect the treasure.
Five horse-operated whimsies or gins are set up to elevate dirt, stones and water out of the pits.
The article mentions nothing about when the pit was discovered, who discovered it, and who has been digging for the treasure.

Third Article: The third known article on the Oak Island Money Pit was a further brief piece in the 20 August 1861 issue of the Liverpool Transcript entitled ?The Oak Island Folly? (11), which is highly sceptical in tone. This article discloses a few additional facts over and above those disclosed in the previous issues of the Liverpool Transcript, namely:

The treasure search has been going on nearly every summer for the last 10 or 12 years.
$20,000 has already been expended, and at present 65 men and 35 horses are employed in the search, in three pits dug to 126 feet [38 metres] in depth, each measuring approximately 12 feet [4 metres] by 15 feet [5 metres] and boxed in with timber.
The three pits are connected at bottom by a lateral tunnel, where the dark and cold obliges the miners to carry lamps in their caps and be relieved every two hours.
The inflow of water is very great, and the article repeats the earlier theory that sluices or communications with the sea have been constructed to protect the treasure.
Gins and whimsies are constantly at work raising dirt, stones, and water.
A fortnight previously it was thought the treasure was about to be retrieved and shares in the treasure company rose dramatically in value, but all were disappointed.
This article also does not mention who is digging for the treasure, and says nothing about the circumstances of the Pit?s discovery. The writer does not mince words, calling the treasure seekers ?deluded? and the treasure quest an act of ?the utterest madness?.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:13 AM  
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The masonic angle ii

The masonic angle ii.....

Quote:
fourth article: The scathing tone of the third article inevitably called forth a defence of the treasure diggers, which was the fourth known article and was published in the nova scotian newspaper on 30 september 1861 under the name ?patrick? (12). The identity of patrick is unknown, but he includes new material not mentioned in the previous articles, albeit his article only covers parts of what is now understood by the phrase ?the oak island legend?. I attempt only a brief summary of patrick?s new material only:

The ground at the money pit comprises ?compact clay mixed with round lumps of stone to the depth of 110 feet [34 metres], perfectly dry, except in one pit where the water comes in at 98 feet [30 metres] from the surface?.
Over 50 years previously (to 1861) a company from onslow excavated the last mentioned pit and found it had been carefully refilled with earth in which they found wood, charcoal, putty, etc. When down 93 feet [28 metres], they probed beneath them with a crowbar and struck a wooden platform at 98 feet [30 metres] after which the pit was flooded out.
About 10 years previously (to 1861) a company including patrick bored down the said pit with mining augers and encountered the wooden platform at 98 feet, which proved to be spruce 6 inches [15 centimetres] thick, then a void of 12 inches [30 centimetres] then 4 inches [10 centimetres] of oak, then 20 inches [50 centimetres] of material which sounded like small pieces of metal as the auger worked through it, then 8 inches [20 centimetres] of oak, then another 20 inches [50 centimetres] of the material which sounded like small pieces of metal, then 4 inches [10 centimetres] of oak, then spruce and then into the clay below. They did not succeed in bringing up any samples of the ?material which sounded like small pieces of metal?.
The money pit itself (which patrick calls ?the old pit?) is filled with water, but four shafts dug north, south, east and west of the money pit are dry, which supports the notion there is a flood tunnel from the sea to the money pit. The flood tunnel is further corroborated by the discovery of the end of it at the shore where drains ?were laid most skilfully? underneath sand covered with a kind of grass not native to the area, the connection of these drains to the money pit being shown by the same kind of grass having been bored up from the ?platforms? in the older pit. As patrick has made no reference to the famous platforms at every 10 feet [3 metres] depth in the money pit, which were added to the legend later, i infer that when he refers to ?platforms in the old pit? he is meaning the layers of wood mentioned in the preceding bullet point.
This season (1861) two pits were prepared for bailing water out of the money pit by sinking them deeper, but before they could drain the money pit it collapsed further down into the earth, driving wood and clay through one of the lateral tunnels.
The association currently seeking treasure is about to issue new shares to raise the money for a steam engine and pumps to continue the treasure dig.
Although patrick adds much new data to the legend, he still offers nothing on the date and circumstances of the money pit?s discovery, and still does not reveal who the treasure diggers are except for the reference to himself by only his forename.

Recapitulation of the evolution of the oak island legend to the end of 1861:

As at the end of 1861, the published accounts of the oak island money pit could not be considered to incorporate much in the way of masonic symbolism or imagery, and i do not believe any freemason would consider the legend as of 1861 and as set out above to be overtly masonic in any way. As we shall see later in this paper, there is one element in the patrick letter which could be considered unambiguously masonic, but that element by itself would not be considered by any freemason to be conveying any kind of masonic message in my opinion. There are also two further elements which might be called ?ambiguously masonic?, ie they could be taken to be masonic symbolism but they also have non-masonic meanings. It is in the next and fifth publication on the oak island legend in 1862 that various masonic elements are suddenly added to the legend, in a way that in my opinion conveys an unmistakeable masonic message to those freemasons who are scottish rite masons but that is getting ahead of ourselves. We now need to trace the evolution of masonic ritual to the end of 1861.

The evolution of masonic ritual

freemasonry is a very old fraternity, dating back in some form to the middle ages. It assumed its modern organisational form with the formation of the grand lodge of england in london in 1717. It is the world?s oldest and largest fraternity, with a worldwide membership of perhaps 4,000,000-6,000,000. To put that figure into perspective, the worldwide membership of rotary is currently about 1.2m (13). Freemasonry or masonry sees itself as a character development organisation, or to rephrase that in more modern terminology, a self-improvement organisation, or ?making good men better?. It achieves these lofty goals by putting candidates through degree ceremonies which take the form of two act plays, where the participants take roles which they are supposed to learn by heart, as in real plays. The material which the members learn by rote is called a ?ritual?. Every masonic degree has its own ritual. The three basic degrees in masonry are called the craft degrees, each of which has its own ritual, and the majority of masons only ever do the three craft degrees. A minority of masons go on to do various side degrees, of which hundreds exist although only about 100 are commonly available in most countries in the english speaking world.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:15 AM  
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The masonic angle III

The masonic angle III....

Quote:
One of the most important of the Side Degrees is called ?The Holy Royal Arch?, which we will have occasion to consider further below. Another Side Degree, which we shall also consider in greater depth below, is the ?Knights of the Ninth Arch?, also known as ?The Royal Arch of Enoch? (not to be confused with the Holy Royal Arch), and which is the Thirteenth Degree in a system of Thirty-Three Degrees called the Scottish Rite in North America and the Rose Croix in the rest of the English speaking world. As with all Masonic Degrees, the Holy Royal Arch and the Knights of the Ninth Arch (or Royal Arch of Enoch) have their own rituals.

Contrary to popular belief, Masonic rituals change and evolve over time, and generally have been publicly available since the early 1800?s and even earlier for some degrees because disaffected Masons have more or less regularly taken revenge on the Masonic Order by publishing the rituals in so-called ?Masonic exposures?. Many of these exposures are now available online (14).

The existence of Masonic exposures means we can trace with more or less absolute certainty the state of Masonic ritual for many if not most degrees in North America in 1861.

Looking at the ritual of the Masonic Degree known as the Holy Royal Arch (not to be confused with the Royal Arch of Enoch also known as the Knights of the Ninth Arch), we know what that ritual was in North America in 1861 because it had been published in two recent exposures:

The Crafts Edition of William Morgan?s ?The Mysteries of Freemasonry? which was published in the 1850?s (15). A copy of it is available online at page 87 (16).
Richardson?s Monitor of Freemasonry published in 1860 (17). A copy of this work is also available online at page 149 (18).
The theme of the ritual of the Holy Royal Arch Degree is the discovery of the lost name of God and accompanying treasure in a vault underneath the ruins of King Solomon?s Temple during the construction of the second temple in Jerusalem during the years c535BC-c516BC. The discovery is made by a group of searchers called sojourners, who discover the vault containing the name of God and treasure by striking a rock with a crowbar and realising it made a hollow sound (see pages 96-97 of the Crafts Edition of Morgan (16)). The discovery of the treasure by a crowbar in the Holy Royal Arch Degree is the one undoubted Masonic element hinted at in the Patrick letter, where you will recall the Onslow company when at 93 feet probed below them with a crowbar and struck a wooden platform at 98 feet which they interpreted as the roof of the treasure chest or chamber. We shall later see that there are also two ambiguous elements mentioned in the Patrick letter, but as they also have non-Masonic interpretations we will not concern ourselves with them just yet. The existence of this single unambiguous element in the Patrick letter can of course be written off as coincidence, and I certainly do not suggest the Patrick letter has deliberately included any Masonic motifs. We are now in a position to consider the fifth published article on the Oak Island Money Pit, and how it appears to have deliberately included elements from the Royal Arch of Enoch Degree (not to be confused with the Holy Royal Arch).

Fifth Article on the Oak Island Legend, Published 1862: The fifth known article on Oak Island was published in the Liverpool Transcript in October 1862, and was by JB McCully whose involvement in the Oak Island Treasure Quest dated back to 1849, and who was in 1862 secretary of the Oak Island Association, the treasure seeking syndicate then excavating the Money Pit. McCully?s article is available online (19). McCully introduces important new elements into the legend including:

For the first time, the name of the discoverer of the pit is given as McGinnis, and we are told the initial excavators of the pit were three men being McGinnis, Smith and Vaughn.
We are also told McGinnis discovered the Money Pit from its site being sunken, and ?from the position of three oak trees, which stood in triangular form round the pit?.
The bark of the three trees had letters carved in them facing the pit.
For the first time, we are informed the three men discovered oak platforms at 10 feet [3m], 20 feet [6m], and 30 feet [9m], and other marks were discovered by their subsequent treasure syndicate (Onslow) at 10 feet [3m] intervals down to and including the 90 foot [27m] level. In other words, nine levels extending vertically down into the ground.
Also for the first time, we learn that a large stone was discovered at the depth of 80 feet [24m] with ?characters? cut on it.
McCully repeats the information in the Patrick letter (supra) that the diggers at 93 feet [28m] probed below with a crowbar and struck a wooden platform at 98 feet [30m].
McCully also repeats Patrick?s information that after the crowbar probing, the pit overnight flooded with water.
McCully adds the new information that the borings described by Patrick (supra) brought up three small links apparently forced from an epaulette, which were gold.
McCully repeats Patrick?s tale of the ?collapse? of the Money Pit, which he places during the preceding year (1861), and whereby the bottom of the Money Pit fell down a further 14 feet [4m] from 88 feet [27m] to 102 feet [31m] accompanied by the timber cribbing of the pit falling down into it. Patrick mentions only one collapse, but McCully adds that there were in fact two collapses of the Money Pit, apparently in fairly quick succession.
The foregoing list of McCully?s additions to the legend is not exhaustive, and is confined to the elements which as we shall see are almost certainly derived from or influenced by Masonic ritual. However, we see that with McCully?s additions, the legend has in one quantum leap assumed what would generally be regarded as the classic or traditional version of the Money Pit Legend. It is now time to return to the state of Masonic ritual as it existed in 1862.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:19 AM  
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masonic angle IV

masonic angle IV.....

Quote:
The Thirteenth Degree of the Scottish Rite, known as the Royal Arch of Enoch and also known as Knights of the Ninth Arch

The Crafts edition of the Morgan exposure (15), (16) and the Richardson exposure (17), (18) both reproduce the rituals of the Thirteenth Degree of the Masonic System known as the Scottish Rite, which degree is called by both exposures ?Knights of the Ninth Arch? although it is more generally known as the Royal Arch of Enoch nowadays. As Crafts was published in the 1850?s and Richardson in 1860, we therefore know with a high degree of certainty the Thirteenth Degree Rituals that would have been available to McCully in 1862.

For the benefit of English speaking Masons who live outside of North America, it is apposite at this point to explain a potential point of confusion: For them, the Scottish Rite is generally known as the ?Rose Croix?, and the Fourth to Seventeenth Degrees, including the Thirteenth Degree, are not actually practiced anymore, with candidates going directly from the Third Degree to the Eighteenth Degree, and with the Fourth to Seventeenth Degrees being conferred ?by name? ie simply conferred without going through the ceremonies of those degrees. Masons from outside of North America will therefore not generally be familiar with the ritual of the Thirteenth Degree as for them the Thirteenth Degree has fallen into disuse. However, in North America, all the rituals of all the degrees in the Scottish Rite are still actually ?worked? in full, and North American Scottish Rite Masons therefore remain fully familiar with the ritual of the Thirteenth Degree.

The theme of the ritual of the Thirteenth Degree can be briefly summarised as thus: Prior to the flood, the biblical patriarch Enoch constructed an underground temple consisting of nine chambers descending vertically into the earth, and in the ninth or lowest chamber he deposited a treasure which included the secret name of God engraved on a triangular plate of gold. This temple was inundated by Noah?s flood and was lost, until it was accidentally rediscovered by three searchers during the building of King Solomon?s Temple, with the three searchers recovering the treasure and the secret name of God from the lowest or ninth chamber.

The essence of the Thirteenth Degree is therefore the same as that of the Holy Royal Arch Degree noted above: viz the discovery of the lost word or name of God, albeit the historic context of the discovery in the Thirteenth Degree (the building of King Solomon?s Temple about 1000 BCE) differs from the historic time of the Holy Royal Arch Degree (the building of the second temple about 535 BC-516 BC).
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:22 AM  
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Tabulation of Correspondences Between McCully and Masonic Ritual

Tabulation of Correspondences Between McCully and Masonic Ritual....
See:
THE OAK ISLAND LEGEND: THE MASONIC ANGLE

Quote:
The parallels between McCully?s additions to the Oak Island Legend and the Thirteenth Degree rituals that would have been available to him in 1862 are numerous and striking. Too numerous and too striking to be coincidental, in my opinion.
What Evidence do we have that McCully Deliberately Added Masonic Elements to the Oak Island Legend?

Quote:
I would concede we have no direct evidence that McCully deliberately and knowingly added Masonic material to the Oak Island Legend, but we do have at least three items of indirect evidence he did so:

(1) First Item: The first item of indirect evidence is the number and striking nature of the parallels between Masonic ritual as it existed at the time and McCully?s additions to the Oak Island Saga. One such parallel could justifiably be written off as coincidence, as could two parallels and possibly even three parallels at a stretch. But ten parallels goes beyond coincidence in my opinion. I would further note that nine of the ten parallels come from a single Masonic Degree, and the tenth comes from a Degree with a very similar theme to the Degree that has the other nine correspondences. Moreover, six of the ten correspondences originate with and were added by McCully and a seventh (the collapse of the Money Pit) was added to by McCully in a way that made it much more strikingly reminiscent of the Crafts ritual of the Thirteenth Degree. It is also worthy of note that McCully only borrowed three of the items in the above table from previous versions of the legend and they are:

? The probing with the crowbar, which as we previously noted was the one unambiguous masonic element appearing in the Patrick letter.

? The flooding of the Pit, and the existence of the treasure, being the two ambiguous masonic elements appearing in earlier versions of the legend, and which I call ?ambiguous? because they have non-masonic as well as masonic meanings.

(2) Second Item: The second item of indirect evidence that McCully deliberately added Masonic symbolism to the Oak Island Story is his treatment of the three gold chain links ?as if forced from an epaulette? and supposedly brought up from the pit about 1849-50 by a mining auger. McCully?s reference to them appears to be an embellishment originating with him, because most (but not all) other contemporary accounts either omit all mention of them or make no reference to them being gold:

? Patrick in his article of 30 September 1861 insists their auger did not recover any of ?the material which sounded like small pieces of metal? (12).

? An article in the Yarmouth Herald of 19 February 1863 refers to the 1849-50 auger bringing up ?three links of a chain, of a copper colour, which, however on being tested proved to be gold? (21).

? An article in the Yarmouth Herald of 12 March 1863 refers to ?gold wire? being taken from the pit in 1849, but says nothing about three gold links even though it cites McCully as its source (22).

? AL Spedon?s ?Rambles Among the Bluenoses?, a book published in 1863, does not mention the three links even though he cites McCully as his source for his account of the Oak Island Legend! (23).

? An article on Oak Island in the ?Colonist? issues of 2 January, 7 January, and 14 January 1864, although one of the most comprehensive accounts of the legend to that date, makes no mention of the three metal links (24).

? More or less identical accounts of the Oak Island Legend published in the 2 September 1866 issue of the New York Herald (25) and in the 22 September 1866 issue of the Scotsman (26) respectively make no reference to the three links of chain, although such accounts are otherwise a faithful reproduction of the legend as it was understood at that time.

? Treasure digger James McNutt, writing in his diary in 1867, refers to the metal links but calls them three pieces of copper wire (27).

? The 1890?s prospectus of the Oak Island Treasure Co (6) mentions the three links, but says only that they resembled an ancient watch chain, and says nothing about them being gold, even though the prospectus here is directly quoting McCully!

The inconsistencies of the various contemporary accounts of the three gold links indicates that McCully embellished his account of them, and it appears likely they never existed or if they did they were not gold. My point is that if McCully embellished or enhanced the reference to three gold links, what other parts of the legend did he embellish or exaggerate?

(3) Third Item: The third item of indirect evidence that McCully deliberately engrafted Masonic elements onto the Oak Island Legend arises from AL Spedon?s ?Rambles Among the Bluenoses? (23) mentioned above. McCully?s article adding the various Masonic emblems to the legend, although only published in October 1862, is dated by him June 2, 1862. Spedon?s book is subtitled ?Reminiscences of a Tour Through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia During the Summer of 1862? and he cites McCully as his source for his account of the Oak Island Legend. So the McCully account in his own article, and his account given to Spedon, both date from the Northern Summer of 1862. Yet the two accounts are very different! Of the ten apparent Masonic elements, only three are mentioned by Spedon, namely: (i) ?Sounding to the further depth of five feet [1.5m]? and striking an apparent money box, and (ii) the flooding of the pit, and (iii) the alleged existence of the treasure, and of course those three elements did not originate with McCully in any event. Now there is no nice way out of this one: either McCully?s own article is wrong or his account given to Spedon is wrong. Because McCully?s own article is so obviously based on the ritual of the Thirteenth Degree, which after all is entirely mythical, then I would argue his own article deliberately and knowingly added the Masonic motifs to the Oak Island Legend.
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