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Old 05-31-2011, 11:25 PM  
mohel
 
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Conspiracy Theory and Oak Island II

conclusion of Conspiracy Theory...

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For example, let's say a second, clearer photograph of the alleged "face on Mars" is produced, clearly showing that the feature was actually a mountain range that just happened to have been illuminated by the sun in an interesting pattern. The conspiracy theorist can simply claim that NASA (or the CIA, or whomever) altered the second photograph to conceal the "true nature" of the feature. Likewise, when the US Air Force discloses the existence of a weather balloon experiment that offers a rational explanation for the "Roswell incident" a conspiracy buff will claim that records were faked, witnesses bought off or silenced, or whatever was necessary to conceal evidence of alien contact. The aliens really do exist, but all the evidence has been suppressed, destroyed, or altered... therefore the conspiracy theorist has had to work diligently to reconstruct what really happened, often producing "evidence" that is obviously contrived and illogical. But this matters not as long as it fits the theory.

Conspiracy theories exist best in those situations where:

Few or no hard facts about the true nature of the event exist
Witnesses are unavailable, or are "suspect" due to perceived involvement in the alleged conspiracy
Available evidence is of a nature or condition that makes numerous interpretations possible (i.e. blurry photographs, blacked-out Freedom of Information Act documentation, barely audible tape recordings, or tenth-generation unreadable photocopies of allegedly "official" documents
These theories often involve:

Tenuous, illogical, or even imaginary evidentiary chains
"missing" documentation that supposedly "proves" a given event occurred (i.e. "the fact that no documentation for event X exists proves it was suppressed by so-and-so")
References to the writings of fellow conspiracy theorists. The theorist cites the writing of another alleged "expert" in the field, even though that person's book or article contains no hard facts or original research. The fact that the second author was able to "cite other sources" (no matter how suspect they may be) is taken as evidence of legitimate research.
"Leaps of faith" in logic, often involving phrases such as "of course, this obviously means that..." or "naturally it follows that X leads to Y" even though no supporting evidence is offered.
It should be noted that many of these same tendencies are displayed by writers who are simply sloppy with their research; it is not necessary to be a conspiracy theorist in order to write illogical, badly researched, unsupported material.

Oak Island's Place

Given these conditions it can be easily seen that Oak Island is an ideal topic for the conspiracy theorist. Few hard facts are available, no reliable sources of factual data have yet come to light, and we have an evidentiary chain that rivals that of the Shroud of Turin for its lack of hard data and fragmentary nature. Finally, the original incident is submerged under 200 years worth of folklore--if indeed it ever occurred at all.

As conspiracy theories tend to cross-pollinate, and since the Templar/Grail/Sinclair legend has already been associated with the island, it would not be at all surprising for a future writer to "discover" a link between the Pit and, for instance, the final resting place of the "True Cross" or the bones of St. Paul. Should the link with the myriad "alien contact" theories take hold, we may expect to see the island designated as a hidden alien base or research facility. Should this happen, McInnis & co. are likely be cast in the role of abductees whose memories were altered to conceal the true nature of the site.

(And if someone makes a movie based on the above, I expect royalties for having thought it up.)
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:27 PM  
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"The Oak Island Diggings"

"The Oak Island Diggings".....

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Source Material: "The Oak Island Diggings"

Following is another account of the Oak Island legend yet found; it dates from 1862 and was found in the Liverpool Transcript newspaper. The author,J.B. McCully, was also involved in the 1893 excavation and may be one of the original inventors of the hoax. Spelling and punctuation, including italics, are as per the original.

We understand that a large steam boiler and pumps have recently been landed at Oak Island. They are to be used in conquering the water in the pits at that place. A most resolute attempt is now being made to bring to light the hidden treasure supposed to have been buried there by the notorious pirate, Kidd. We cut from an exchange, some time ago, a letter, written by an interested party to a gentleman in Halifax, and as it contains about teh best account we have ever seen of the "diggings," we give it entire to our readers, some of whom probably, may have read it before. Here it is :--

Truro, June 2, 1862

Having been ridiculed both by the press and the uniformed portion of the bublic [ed: probably "uninformed portion of the public"] for embarking in so foolish an enterprise as the "Oak Island Diggins," we propose giving to the public something in the shape of a reason for our great faith in that enterprise.

When the first settlers from the United States came to Chester, they brought with them a story that an old sailor, while on his death bed, stated that he belonged to Captain Kidd's crew, and that he helped to bury on an Island, somewhere in that neighboorhood, about two millions pound value of treasure, but that he had never dared to avail himself of the secret for fear of the "law" taking hold of him as a Pirate.

Sometime after the arrival of these persons a Mr. McGinnis went to Oak Island to make a farm, when he discovered the spot in question from its being sunken, and from the position of three oak trees, which stood in a triangular form round the pit. The bark had letters cut into it with a knife on each tree facing the pit, and one of the trees being so directly over the pit, that two large branches formed a crotch, were exactly perpendicular to the centre, and had a hole bored through, and an oak tree-nail driven in, on which hung a tacle [sic] block. He was induced from the appearance to suppose that it might be the place referred to by the sailor. He then acquainted two men, Smith and Vaughn [sic], of the circumstance, and they commenced digging. After going down ten feet they found a layer of oak timber, at twenty the same, and thirty the same. By this time the work became too heavy for them to carry on alone, and they tried to get the inhabitants to join them; but they refused from a kind of superstitious dread. About seven years afterwards, Simeon Lynds, of Onslow, went down to Chester, and happening to stop with Mr. Vaughn, he was informed of what had taken place. He then agreed to get up a company, which he did, of about 25 or 30 men, and they commenced where the first left off, and sunk the pit 93 feet, finding a mark every ten feet. Some of them were charcoal, some putty, and one at 80 feet was a stone cut square, two feet long and about a foot thick, with several characters on it.

All the way down they were confined to a diameter of 16 feet, by the softness of the ground within that limit. The pick marks could be distinctly seen all around the sides of the pit. After they got down 93 feet, they forced a crowbar down and struck wood at five which appeared to be a platform from its being level, making in all to the supposed platform 98 feet. They then quit the work until morning, when on commencing again they found the pit filled with water, as high as the tide level. They then tried bailing, and afterwards tried pumping, which was all to no purpose. After which they sank a new pit in order to tunnel under the treasure which was unsuccessful. Matters stood so until 1849, when a few persons in Truro, hearing Lynds tell the story, got up a company. They got down to 86 feet, when the water drove them out. They then bored. This part of the work I can speak of with more certainty than any previous, as I took part in it personally, and worked on the auger. We bored five holes, in the first of which we lost the only valve sludger we had. It was a long pod with a valve at the bottom to prevent the contents from dropping out. This we always used after the chisel. It was lost by being a little too rash, and thereby twisting it off(?) at the shank. Having lost it we had only one left, which had, instead of a valve, a ball inside with a pin across the bottom to keep the ball from dropping out. That one would not admit of coin passing into it. It would seem strange that we should not have got another valve sludger, but people who are penny wise and pound foolish sometimes do strange things. I wated the persons in charge to send for two or three, but could not prevail on them to do so. The second hole we bored struck the platform which the old diggers told us about -- precisely at the depth they told use they had struck it with the crowbar, 98 feet. It proved to be spruce, six inches thick. After the auger went through it, dropped one foot and struck wood again, which was oak, four inches thick, then twenty inches of metal in small pieces which we knew from the sound and from the fact that the auger would go through by simply turning it, then eight inches oak, then 20 inches metal, then four inches oak, six inches spruce, and then seven feet worked clay,, then hard clay which had never been disturbed, another of the five holes struck the platform at the same depth, 98 feet; after going through the auger dropped a little more than it did in the first hole, and struck a cask which was evident from our bringing up a piece of an oak stave, and some pieces of birch hoops. We also brought three small links which had apparently been forced from an epulette. They were gold. After that another gang bored, but the results were known only to the persons who conducted the boring, which he managed to keep to himself. But a short time after he made such disclosures to Mr. Charles D. Archibald, who was then concerned in the Londonderry Iron Mines, that he, Mr. A, went to the Government and got a license to dig. But from our having applied for a license before, they could only get permission to dig on unoccupied ground, which kept them from doing anything while our lease held good. One of the parties dying in the mean time, and Mr. A. being in Europe, they did not avail themselve of the license. Our company worked at it for four years, during which time they found a drain, or tunnel, leading from the sea to the pit. By digging a pit about 20 feet from the old pit and 94 feet deep, also near the shores of at the same level, which would make it appear that the water came into the old pit about the top of the upper platform.

Work was evidently done by hands in both pits, and also at the beach, where we found flag stones made in the form of drains and covered with a type of grass, not the growth of this country, and the outer rind of the cocoanut. When the drain was struck in the pits, in both cases, the water burst in with such force as to drive us out. We drove piles into the one at the shore to stop the course of the water, which slackened the flow of the water in the old money pit, but did not stop it altogether, thereby inducing usto believe that there might be another drain. We afterwards dug two other pits near the old money pit, and found that there was no difficulty from the water at 109 and 112 feet until we attempted to work into the old pit by tunnelling, when it would invariably rise to a level with the tide. That company also gave up, and last summer we formed another, and commenced digging a new pit 120 feet deep about 25 feet from the old money pit. Our object was to intercept the water but to no purpose We then tunnelled from one of teh old pits on the west side, in order to enter the money pit, between the upper and lower platform, but from a misunderstanding about the starting point, the tunnel entered the old money pit a little below the lower platform, where we found the soft clay spoken of in the boring. The tunnel was unwisely driven through the old pit until it nearly reached the east (cast?) pipe, when the water started, apparently, coming above as on the east side.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:29 PM  
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"The Oak Island Diggings" II

Conclusion.......

Quote:
We then bailed from the west pit, with six horses, for three days, and the horses becoming tired for want of oats, of which we ran short, we knocked off, and went home, and started again with 33 horses and over 60 men. We then rigged gins and bailing apparatus on the new pit, the money pit, and the west pit, and commenced bailing on Wednesday morning, continuing constantly night and day, until Friday morning, when the tunnel leading from the west pit to the money pit, which was 17 feet long, 4 feet high, and three feet wide, becoming choked with clay, we sent two men down to clear it out. After they had gone about half way through they heard a tremendous crash in the money pit, and barely escaped being caught by a rush of mud which followed them into the west pit, and filled it up seven feet in less than three minutes. In the mean time a stick of oak timber of considerable girth and 3 1-2 feet in length, was ejected with the mud, all of which was soon cut up and made into walking canes, one of which I have the pleasure of sending you. The bailing continued until three o'clock, p.m., of Saturday, when, on clearing the tunnel again, another crash was heard in the money pit, which we supposed to be the upper platform falling, and immediately the bottom of the money pit fell to about 102 feet, measuring from the level of the gro[u]nd at the top. It had been cleared out previously down 88 feet. Immediately after the cribbing of the money pit, commencing at the bottom, fell in, plank after plank, until there was only about thirty feet of the upper cribbing left. On Monday the top fell in, leaving the old money pit a complete mass of ruins. We then got a cast iron pump and steam engine from Chebucto Foundry in Halifax; but the boilers being defective we were obliged to give up, after spending considerable time &c., until the Spring of this year,--not, however, until we proved that the water could be pumped out in two hours.

We now talk of letting a job of the whole work to Sutherland & Co., railway contractors, who have agreed to finish the work to our satisfaction, according to specification, for $4000, and which will take all the risk or forfeit payment, for which purpose we are now endeavouring to raise the required amount of stock. The foregoing statement can be certified on oath of respectable persons.

Now, I leave the matter to a discerning public, to say, whether we are the fools some people take us to be, in endeavouring to set the question for ever at rest. But I suppose the public will judge of it by the success we meet with. Should we be successful in getting a large amount of treasure we will be considered a very sensible lot of fellows; and if we should fail in finishing the work we will be set down as a set of phantom-following fools, fit for nothing but to be held up to public ridicule.

But facts are stubborn things. We have proved that the old "money pit," so called, was dug, and that the water must have been let into it after it was filled up. The filling of it, leaving the ten feet marks, shows that the water did not flow into it until after it was filled; also, that the tunnel must have been made before it was filled, and that brobably [probably] the last thing they did was to tear away a dam and let on the water. By the way the remains of an old dam was seen outside of the place where we found the drain and tunnel on the shore.

Yours, &c,
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:33 PM  
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On the claim for a flood tunnel

flood tunnel?

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Never observed directly, how does the 19th-century claim stand today?
By: John A. Bartram on: Sun 19 of Jun, 2005 [08:01 UTC]

The Oak Island story has incorporated the claim that a flood tunnel once ran from the so-called 'box drains' in Smith's Cove to enter the 'Money Pit' at 110 feet. The claim is not based on direct observation, because none of the treasure hunters, nor anyone else, has ever reported to have seen it; it is based entirely on an assumption made in the 19th century resulting from observed phenomena. Now, in the 21st century and with the benefit of a better understanding of geology and archaeology, a reappraisal of the assumption is long overdue.

The Historical Record

There are no known contemporaneous records for the discovery and excavation of what came to be known as the ?Money Pit? (MP) in 1795, or of the excavations by the Onslow Company ca. 1804-05, or that by the Truro Company ca. 1849-50. There is, however, an oral tradition originated by the three discoverers (McInnis, Smith and Vaughan), passed from Vaughan to Lynd of the Onslow Company, then to various others, notably R. Creelman and J.B. McCully? of the Truro Company.

This oral tradition resulted in a number of newspaper pieces starting in 1857 and in more detail in 1862, then in the Prospectus of the Oak island Treasure Company in 1893.

Early Excavations

The first excavation to reach any great depth was that of the Onslow Company. No flood tunnel was observed. At 95 feet, the pit flooded to within 25-30 feet of the top. Bailing did not reduce the water level. The workers did not observe that the water was saline - seawater - even though the act of bailing is, in its nature, a wet experience.

They then dug an auxiliary shaft 14 feet away by and from its bottom at 100 feet, drove a lateral tunnel into the MP. Two feet from the MP, water in the MP entered the side tunnel and flooded the new shaft. Work was abandoned. Again, the water was not observed to be seawater.

The MP was re-excavated in 1849 by the Truro Company and water was reached at 86 feet, at which point the MP was abandoned.

In the summer of 1850, the Truro Company sank a second auxiliary shaft to one hundred and nine feet, ten feet away from the Money Pit. From the bottom of this, at 110 feet, they dug a lateral tunnel into the MP. Again, water burst through and flooded the new shaft.

It must be noted that at this point in time, treasure hunters had created two tunnels, entering the pit at depths of some 100-110 feet. Both were dug from the general direction of Smith's Cove.

Somehow and for reasons that are not consistent, they decided that the water was entering the MP via a flood tunnel running from Smith?s Cove. The minimum length of such a tunnel would be over 500 feet. It is worth noting here that a tunnel to the sea at South Shore would have been less than half that distance and no good reason has been proposed as to what would have made the longer distance the most suitable.

Circa 1861/84 the Oak Island Association used 63 men and 33 horses in a failed attempt to bail out the water. The pit collapsed. Apparently, there was a large empty space just below the 120-foot level.

In 1864, workers believed that they had located the flood tunnel entering the MP at about the 110-foot level. It was reported to be four feet high and two and a half feet wide. Blocking this did not stop the inflow of water.

The suggestion of a flood tunnel entering the pit from the direction of Smith's Cove must now take into consideration the other two tunnels, made by treasure hunters of the two previous expeditions, which we know actually did enter the pit at about the same depth and from the same general direction. As the treasure hunters of 1864 made no reference to these earlier tunnels, it is fair to question whether or not they had knowledge of them. At the same time, one must consider if it is even possible for a 12'-diameter tunnel to sustain three man-sized tunnels entering the pit, from the same general direction, and at the same approximate depth. There is only so much area of surface available; the pit and tunnels were driven through soil, not rock; I conclude from these facts that the suggested third tunnel was not physically possible.

Over many decades, various and numerous attempts made to block the supposed flood tunnel as it entered Smith?s Cove failed to either find the tunnel, or stop the inflow of water.

Analysis

Belief in the existence of a flood tunnel never had a factual basis and there has never been a good reason to accept this suggestion.

Those who first bailed water from the MP did not observe that it was seawater.

Extensive searching through the 19th and 20th centuries failed to find any evidence of a flood tunnel.

All attempts at blocking the supposed flood tunnel ? by both digging and use of explosives - have failed to stop the flow of water into the MP.

There is therefore no reason now to believe that there is a flood tunnel. Those who supposed in 1864 that a flood tunnel entered the MP simply misinterpreted one of the two lateral tunnels dug earlier from an auxiliary shaft.

Geology

There is a simple and natural explanation of how water enters the MP.

Bedrock of limestone lies at 160-180 feet and contains numerous faults and voids. Above that are sandy, rocky subsoils to 50-100 feet. The surface soils are composed of firm clay. Graham Harris, civil engineer and co-author of Oak Island and its Lost Treasure, provides this description of the island?s geology:

Geologically the island is a drumlin. Composed almost entirely of dense glacial till, it is a remnant of the last Ice Age. This till overlies anhydrite bedrock, with which is associated some minor limestone. Anhydrite possesses the dubious property of being exceedingly soluble, more so in salt water than in fresh. Paradoxically Oak Island is the only island in the region to be underlain by anhydrite. On the adjacent mainland, and on other islands in the region, sounder limestones and slates can be found at shallow depth.

?digging the first shaft through dense till into the underlying anhydrite is a simple operation fraught with little peril. But once the excavation fills up with water, drawn into it through systemic seepage paths within the anhydrite, these seepage paths will enlarge progressively. The greater the pumping activity the greater the rate of solution of the anhydrite and, of course, the greater the rate of inflow. Once started it is a vicious circle, and one likely to prove catastrophic as the solution passages enlarge.

Treasure-seekers centuries later would repeatedly attempt to dewater the workings by pumping - an exercise as fruitless as trying to pump the Atlantic Ocean dry! In recent years, massive sinkholes have developed offshore showing that the seepage paths radiating outwards from the base of the Money Pit have grown great indeed.

- Recovering the Oak Island Treasure, Graham Harris, C&G Association Journal, Spring 2002.

Richard Joltes, an archaeologist who has studied the Oak Island mystery extensively, states:

What most likely happened on Oak Island was that once the diggers reached a certain depth the pressure exerted by sea water flowing through the channels and fissures in the rock became too great for the earth remaining in the Pit, so a "blow-out" occurred and the Pit was filled as would any hole dug to such a depth in close proximity to a body of water. It must be remembered that the island rises a maximum of thirty feet above sea level, and the Pit was dug to a depth of over 100 feet. Thus, it extended roughly 70 feet below mean sea level a depth at which the remaining soil would be subject to considerable pressure.

Further:

Also, the water in the hole is not actually seawater. Instead it is brackish, indicating that a freshwater 'lens' exists on the island, riding atop the surrounding seawater due to the density difference between the two. This is apparently quite common where island geologies are concerned (Aubrey, 2002). If the so-called 'box drains' actually existed we would expect to find only seawater in the Pit. Instead, the findings indicate that a subterranean stream, normal water infiltration through the deeper 'sand and boulder' soils, and/or other natural mechanisms have caused the flooding of the Pit and other shafts.

This finding is reinforced by the results of side-scan sonar studies that were conducted at the same time. No indications of any sort of channel or 'drain' between the Pit area and the shoreline were found. The scientists summarized this finding during the interview by stating that 'no direct connection to the surrounding ocean was found during the study (Gallo, 2002).'

Gordon Fader of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Nova Scotia, states:

?I know the bedrock is filled with channels. They were drilled by Blakenship and cameras were lowered in them. The walls of the caverns are sculpted by flowing water - no question.?

In 1995, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) introduced an extremely sensitive dye into Borehole 10-X. WHOI scientists then monitored the island?s coastline without detecting any trace of the dye.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:35 PM  
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A 'Blow-Out'

A 'Blow-Out'......

Quote:
Those who assumed (originally and now) that the only way the pit could have flooded was via a flood tunnel have a problem in understanding how it could have resulted from a natural process.

It does not take a rocket scientist, if the phrase will be excused, to appreciate that digging the first shaft through dense till into the underlying anhydrite is a simple operation fraught with little peril. But once the excavation fills up with water, drawn into it through systemic seepage paths within the anhydrite, these seepage paths will enlarge progressively.

- Graham Harris, Civil Engineer, specialist in practical soil mechanics applied to large projects mostly in the mining industry, co-author with Les MacPhie? Oak Island and its Lost Treasure

According to this expert, water would have entered the pit by a natural process, from below, through bedrock and soil. What happened when the treasure hunters excavated the pit was more dramatic than seepage.

BLOW-OUT:
A mining term indicating a catastrophic event when the external hydrostatic or rock pressure causes a failure of the rock environment in which mining is taking place. The mine workings become inundated with water and debris as a consequence. This type of event often leads to loss of life.

The island's 'Cave-in' pit is an example of how the local geology is susceptible to this type of occurrence. The 'Money Pit' suffered a number of collapses, as it was excavated by treasure hunters.

In 1965, Robert Dunfield, a qualified and experienced geologist, applied modern survey techniques and open-pit mining methods to the island.

He conducted spectrographic tests on the water from the Pit and showed it was coming from the ocean, not from the sea immediately adjacent OI.

When his examination by closed circuit television of his 140-foot shaft failed to show any indication of a flood tunnel, he rode the bucket of an excavator to the bottom to confirm this personally.

His measurements of the inflow of water into the Pit from above 140 feet (only 15 gallons per minute) demonstrated that nearly all the water intake of the Pit was coming from below, not from a flood tunnel above 140 feet.

He conducted dye tests, which failed to disclose a connection to the adjacent sea.

In June 1966 and February 1967, he wrote a number of letters regarding his work on Oak Island and concerning the idea of a flood tunnel stated:

"We resolved the water problem completely beyond a shadow of a doubt. Water enters through a natural course and caves typical to the limestone and gypsum of the Windsor formation."

His final stated position on this matter:

"This deceives the theory of man-made flood tunnels from which water defeated searchers for the past 170 years."

Conclusion

There is no reason today to disagree with Dunfield?s position. Natural, geological processes are responsible for water entering the MP. The accounts of the excavations show every symptom of the phenomenon of successive generations of treasure hunters misinterpreting the works of earlier treasure hunters as being 'original'. This pattern extends beyond the subject here to other features excavated by Oak Island treasure hunters.

Archaeological excavation of the area under the 'Money Pit' and above bedrock requires a method to stop the flow of water into the site. The geology of the area surrounding and beneath the MP needs further geological study in order to understand the movement of material from the MP into areas within the bedrock.

Are there any counter-arguments, in favour of a 'flood tunnel'? As nobody has ever seen a flood tunnel, the only argument in favour of its existence can be the same one used in the 19th century: an assumption based on a poor understanding of the observed phenomena. Such speculation hardly qualifies as an argument. Further, counter-argument to try and expose flaws in the proposal that there is no flood tunnel cannot, by itself, work in favour of a flood tunnel. Those supporting the assumption of a flood tunnel carry the burden of proof, for which no direct evidence has ever existed.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:36 PM  
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The Jollicure Treasure Tale

Treasure Tale....

Quote:
Introduction

Another researcher found a reference to a legend with a startling resemblance to the Oak Island story, and mentioned it on the Oak Island Forum in late Summer, 2004. A copy of the book was obtained and the following tale was found. Many components are startlingly similar to the classic Oak Island tale.

Treasure has been found, and treasure has been lost in the long years. What has been referred to locally as the greatest treasure on the Aulac Ridge lies at Jollicure, which is a little community halfway across the Chignecto Isthmus. Even in recent times, efforts have been made to secure the buried treasure, which old timers believe must still be hidden in the earth.

The discovery of the so-called treasure spot was made by a local blacksmith in the early part of the 1800s. Looking from his forge to the pasture just behind, the blacksmith discovered that one of his cows was in trouble. Her hind-quarters were sunk into the earth, and in his effort to remove the animal, the blacksmith found that she had broken through the earth into a timbered pit. Keeping the knowledge strictly to himself, he set to work to uncover a ringed space, twenty-five feet in diameter. This was topped with logs over which had been placed two feet of soft earth. Still working alone, the blacksmith discovered that down below was a well constructed pit. But the labor got beyond his strength, and the neglect of his forge made the neighbours curious, so he was forced to take them into his confidence.

Night and day the blacksmith and his neighbours worked, until, twenty feet down the shaft, they uncovered a planked platform, upon which were some mysterious markings. These they ignored and ripped up the planks. Once more they were forced to discontinue their digging. At thirty feet they again came upon a heavy log platform, but at this point the water began to pour into their workings and, try as they might, they found no way to overcome the rush of water. The blacksmith and his neighbours exhausted their small capital and finally gave up. They tried to keep their secret against the day when funds would again be available and they could continue their search, but the secret leaked out, and the place was over-run with those seeking ways and means to secure what they believed was a buried treasure. But every effort failed. Then, many years later, a company was formed to continue that search, and word went about that it had been established that there was actually treasure down below, for a mineral auger, driven into the pit, had actually brought up pieces of gold, silver, and other metals. Hydraulic pumps were installed to overcome the water menace, but they, too, were unsuccessful.

[the author then mentions the similarity to Oak Island, but notes that the treasure there was said to have been left by pirates while the Jollicure pit is ascribed to Arcadians]

Quoted from The Brides' Ships And Other Tales of the Unusual, by Roland H. Sherwood.

Analysis

The number of similar elements found here is astounding.

A cow sinking into the earth discloses the location of the fabled Pit. Compare this with the story of the 1878 "sink hole" on Oak Island, into which a farm animal was said to have fallen.
A round pit, "two feet of soft earth" atop the first layer of logs. On Oak Island the original diggers were said to have found a layer of flag stones 2 feet beneath the surface of the "sunken" pit area, and often variants of the O.I. tale mention that earth under the log platforms has settled and is much softer than the surrounding soils.
Platforms are discovered at regular distances underground in both legends
"Markings" are found on these platforms. In the Oak Island tale, we have both the "inscribed stone" and the "marks or signs" sometimes said to have been found when the original Pit was being excavated.
Water begins pouring in when a certain level is reached, and cannot be stopped using any means available to the diggers.
An auger is used to penetrate the flooded shaft, and brings up tantalizing bits of treasure.
The great question in respect to this tale is when it originated. The author, Sherwood, made no mention of its origin or when and where he collected it (he was not a scholar, but a teller of tales after all). Thus we have no idea whether this tale is older or newer than the Oak Island legend. More research into this question is in progress.

There are only a few possible explanations for the similarities seen between the two legends:

At least two examples of a nearly identical and highly nefarious pit trap exist, but said design has never been recorded in history. If this is the case, then two large treasure troves lie unrecovered in Canadian soils.
The Oak Island story is "true" (in some sense), is older, and the tale above was derived from it.
Conversely, the above story is the older of the two, and Oak Island was derived from it.
Neither story is true; they're both pieces of folklore based on common "hidden treasure" motifs.
Note: Roland Sherwood was NOT a historian. He is cited as having no degree other than an honorary D.Litt (doctor of literature) from St. Francis Xavier university; all his writings were about pieces of local folklore and legends. He cites no sources for any of his stories, and the background material on the back cover states that "[his] inimitable mixture of good storytelling, fact and folklore shine throughout the present collection."
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:39 PM  
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John Brown's 1867 Report

John Brown's 1867 Report.....

Quote:
Evidence of Early Fraud and Concealment of Critical Evidence By The Oak Island Company And Subsequent Syndicates

Preface

The following is a transcript of a report written by John Brown, an individual hired by the Oak Island/Halifax Company in 1867. He worked for the Walton Manganese Company, but we do not know his professional capacity at this time. Additionally, Walton's services were hired in 1866, the report was merely drafted in Jan 1867. This material was discovered as a result of efforts by Paul Wroclawski, a Nova Scotia based researcher who has been working tirelessly to find early ("primary") evidence and documentation related to the Money Pit. It was transcribed through the good offices of Dennis King, another long-time Oak Island researcher located in New Zealand, and passed to Critical Enquiry for publication. Arrangements are also being made to publish actual images of the handwritten pages from the 1867 report. Many thanks to Paul and Dennis for their efforts, and for not restricting publication of this material.

The ramifications of this report are devastating to the supposition that treasure (or anything else) exists in the Money Pit, showing that earlier reports of augurs passing through "metal in pieces" or other materials were totally subjective in nature. As this report notes, numerous layers of gravel were encountered during drilling and could easily have been mistaken for metal due to the similarity of the sound both made at the surface. Additionally, the fact that their augurs passed into hard soils at approximately 130-140 feet indicates, as the text shows, that they had reached the lower extent of soil disturbed by human activity -- i.e. previous treasure excavation attempts. Thus, subsequent efforts that have penetrated to the 200 foot level have simply been exercises in futility, as they have dug into virgin soil untouched since the island's formation thousands of years ago.

Brown himself states the problem with remarkable clarity: "it is the easiest thing in the world for the most honest man to be deceived, especially in connection with borings having for their purpose the discovery of immense amounts of treasure; one?s imagination is so readily excited by the supposed proximity of wealth, that we are not in a position to discuss and examine evidence which under other circumstances would not be for a moment entertained. "

Specially interesting passages are highlighted in bold print.

The fact that this information has remained unpublished by subsequent excavation syndicates, whose officers must have been aware of its existence until at least the early 1900s, is (as regards the treasure syndicates until perhaps the early 1900?s) evidence of dishonesty and a desire to edit out material that failed to support the hypothesis that treasure was still buried below. To avoid doubt, we do not claim any Treasure Syndicates or Treasure Diggers from say the 1920?s onwards were dishonest.

I will also note that Critical Enquiry reports on the Money Pit saga, as well as material by other authors, have presented exactly the same conclusions as those reached by Mr. Brown: the flooding is natural, reports of "metal in pieces' and other claims are mistaken impressions made by credulous observers, wood and other items found at depth are the remains of earlier construction debris, and there is no way subsequent excavations could have missed the legendary platform on which it is claimed the treasure chests lay.

TRANSCRIPT OF REPORT OF JOHN BROWN TO THE DIRECTORS OF THE OAK ISLAND COMPANY [ALSO KNOWN AS THE HALIFAX COMPANY] OF 1867



Trancriber?s Note: the original of this report is handwritten, and is very difficult to decipher. Where I have used a (?), it means the immediately preceding word is not clear and I have recorded my best guess as to what the intended word was. Where I have used a [?], it means I was so unsure as to the intended word I was unable even to hazard a guess and therefore the word in question has been omitted altogether. Any underlinings appear in the original.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:41 PM  
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John Brown's 1867 Report II

1867 Report II.....

Quote:
Walton
Jan 17th 1867

To
Messrs McElreith, JD Nash, John Selnes and others
Directors of the Oak Island Company

Gentlemen,

In making a report of the recent boring operations conducted under my superintendence at Oak Island, it would be superfluous on my part to enter into any of the past history of that remarkable locality, as doubtless most of the shareholders are better acquainted with it than myself. Before however entering into a description of the borings, the results obtained, and the conclusions I have arrived at, I must tender my thanks to W Hill, as well as to Ch Ross the engineer for their valuable advice (derived from the interest and experience they have in the undertaking) as without it, it would have been impossible for me to have completed in so short a time the work entrusted to me.

The position of affairs previous to the works of the last two months (if I understand rightly was as follows) the treasure was supposed to have been originally deposited upon a platform built across the Money Pit at a depth from the surface of some 90 odd feet, and that a tunnel from Mitchell?s Shaft had undermined it, the whole platform and treasure falling to the bottom of the pit, where it was thought it would be found; therefore it was required by means of boring to find the bottom of the unsettled and disturbed ground, and if possible strike the remains of the platform.

From what I could learn it appears that the present Money Pit is not exactly in the position of the original one, the bottom of the existing pit containing within its base only about two feet of the old round Money Pit, the latter being to the eastward and in order to arrive in the centre of it, it became necessary to bore at a slight angle; we had therefore to keep the engine at work and commenced our operation from a platform erected ten feet from the bottom of the pit. In this hole (no. I on the plan) we passed through ?

1 feet water
5 feet soft mud
1 half feet soft wood
4 feet gravel and clay
Half feet mud
10 feet gravel clay and mud with fibres
6 feet clay and gravel
1 feet oak borings
4 feet clay gravel and sand
1 feet vacant space
25 feet hard settled ground, making in all 58 feet or 166 feet from the original surface.

The water being kept by the engine some 75 feet below the tide level, we were subject to an immense pressure of water, rising through the boring tubes and it was only by driving the pipes ahead of the borings that at times we were enabled to save any portions of the ground passed through. The water appeared to augment until we passed the spot marked on the plan as vacant space, the augur dropping suddenly one foot, caused no doubt by the great rush of water clearing away that extent of ground from before the pipe. After passing this place the ground soon became much harder and the water gradually ceased until about 163 feet it completely stopped, at 166 feet the ground was very hard and unfortunately at this depth we lost an augur, and being unable to recover it, abandoned the hole. Having met with the undisturbed ground at 141 feet from the surface and having been boring at an inclination to the eastward it was thought possible we had passed through the old round pit and had reached its opposite side, it was therefore deemed advisable to put down another hole more perpendicular than the first, so that we might be able to sink further in the pit without danger of coming in contact with the side.

Being able to accomplish the desired end from the tide level, the engine was stopped and after planting the end of the pipe in the right direction inclining only one part in twenty to the eastward, we commenced to bore meeting with nearly the same results as in the previous borings, passing through ?

18 feet soft clay and gravel
8.8 feet clay, gravel, softwood chips, with fibres
4 feet gravel
1 foot augur dropped into a fine sediment
8 feet fine sediment (sandy)
9 feet settled ground
12 feet hard ground, bringing us to a depth of 169 feet

In the last borings which were nearly vertical it will be noticed that we struck the settled ground at almost the same depth as on the first occasion when boring at a greater angle; it is therefore beyond doubt that it was not the side of the pit struck in the first instance, but that both of the holes must have reached the bottom.

The layer of gravel which forms the bottom of the unsettled ground is also (no matter whether natural or artificial) the channel by which the seawater is brought into the pit; on the first occasion the rush of water (as before mentioned) greatly increased and also became clearer and cleaner, but immediately it was passed the water lessened foot by foot (and it would naturally follow the pipe some distance) but we found in both holes that after going a few feet it entirely ceased.

The boring marked III on the plan was commenced 78 feet from the mouth of the pit and was inclined one foot in four to the east in order to arrive at the spot where W Graham & Co met with wood, etc in 1851. W Graham was himself present at the starting of this hole, but from the altered appearance of the ground was unable to give any exact information as to the bearings it would be necessary to give in order to explore the ground he passed through. This hole was sunk 25 feet meeting with hard clay which evidently had never been interfered with and having arrived in the immediate vicinity of W Hill?s tunnel it was useless to continue in that direction.

I should be doing W Graham great injustice did I not believe that he personally is convinced, that the borings of 1851 actually penetrated the treasure; but it is the easiest thing in the world for the most honest man to be deceived, especially in connection with borings having for their purpose the discovery of immense amounts of treasure; one?s imagination is so readily excited by the supposed proximity of wealth, that we are not in a position to discuss and examine evidence which under other circumstances would not be for a moment entertained.

Many times I have allowed myself to be carried away with the idea that we were about to strike something. Doubtless Messrs Graham & Co passed through wood, but when the wood was brought up in the augur, why did the coin not also come up, from mere curiosity, I often at a depth of 150 feet threw money into the hole, of course it came up in the augur and I for one should not be in the least afraid to throw any amount in, and to bring up every piece. If the treasure existed in layers as was supposed, confined in a chest or even in bags, it is my opinion that provided the augur once entered it would be impossible for some of the contents not to have been brought to the surface.

I might also mention that during my operations I frequently passed small layers of gravel, at which times the grate (? grit ?) of the augur so greatly resembled the sound I should fancy would emanate from gold or silver coin, that it was difficult to undeceive myself until the augur was withdrawn.

Having given you a description of the borings which will be better understood by reference to the accompanying plan, I will briefly draw your attention to a few of the conclusions I have arrived at viz: the water course is a natural one, and this being the case it is quite possible to account for the original sinkage at the surface, the existence of the so-called round Money Pit, the presence of wood in the disturbed ground as well as the peculiarity of the salt water being found only in one pit.

As regard (sic) the water course, it is not at all likely that any man would excavate a drain so great a depth below tide level when the same result of flooding the pit could have been accomplished by bringing a drift in at a much less incline, and consequently at a far less expenditure of time and labour. If it were an artificial channel it must have been at least 5 feet x 3 or 4 feet in size, and as the engine could not possibly keep the quantity of water such a tunnel would bring in, it has been surmised that the drain had become choked, but it could only have been choked by the surrounding clay, and as it still brings in the seawater with the tremendous pressure acquired by reason of being some 100 feet below low water, it is impossible to believe that it would not soon clear itself; on the contrary however, I understand from those who have watched it for years passed (sic), that the supply of water neither lessens or increases.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:45 PM  
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Notes

Notes..........

Quote:
John Brown was obviously a thinking man and you will observe for yourself that he concludes the following among other things:

The sound of an augur going through gravel is in John Brown?s view, indistinguishable from the sound he ?fancies? it would make going through gold or silver coins (i.e. he implies without directly saying that the Truro Companies reported augur borings through coin in the money pit about 1850, could easily have been borings through gravel).
John Brown tested his augur?s ability to bring up coin by tossing coins into the drill shaft at 150 feet and found the augur, without exception, always returned the coins to the surface. He asks, if the Truro Company about 1850 was able to bring up wood with its augur, why was it unable to bring up coin? He concludes that if coins were in the pit, the Truro Companies? augur could not have failed to bring some of them to the surface.
He concludes the famous ?flood tunnel? is a natural watercourse, namely a layer of gravel at about 140 feet depth which admits a natural flow of water from the sea; and that the pit itself is a natural sinkhole.
He points out the unlikelihood anyone would excavate a flood tunnel at so great a depth below sea level when a flood tunnel at a much lesser depth, would be just as effective and much cheaper and easier to build.
He points out an artificial flood tunnel would have to be at least say 5 feet x 3 or 4 feet, but at those dimensions, Brown?s pumps could not have kept the pit dry enough to descend in it. If the flood tunnel was partially blocked, the tremendous pressure of water at such depths below sea level, would have cleared the blockage, thereby rendering Brown?s pumps ineffective at keeping the money pit dry enough to descend in.
The tunnels of the Halifax syndicate were extremely well constructed, but parts collapsed within a few years and left telltale depressions on the surface 100 feet above. The flood tunnel, if it existed, would have collapsed long ago, leaving an imprint on the surface all the way to Smith?s Cove
The money pit is a natural cave-in pit or sinkhole emanating up from a gravel layer, a phenomenon which is common.
The sinkhole nature of the money pit is confirmed by the fact it descended at a slight angle to the east; had it been excavated, the overhang would not have been able to support itself and would have required secure timbering to support it, but such timbering was never found.
The supposed platform supporting the treasure allegedly found by the Truro syndicate about 1850, could not exist; the two borings of Brown could not have missed it if it had covered the entire shaft as was claimed by the Truro syndicate.
If the flood tunnel existed, then when the pumps are stopped, the cave-in pit near Smith?s Cove would fill with water first and the money pit second, but in fact the opposite occurs which is what would be expected if the filling of the pit with water occurs naturally from the gravel layer at about 140 feet depth.
Once the money pit was first excavated and first filled with water, every bailing of the pit would naturally mix up wood and other foreign objects left in the pit by the diggers and the objects would naturally sink to the gravel layer below which no more foreign objects would be found and this is exactly what Brown?s drillings found.
No matter how you look at it, Brown?s Report is a devastating demolition of the Oak Island legend.

According to Paul Wroclawski, the Halifax syndicate ceased operations as a result of Brown?s Report and no further digging was done in the money pit until the Oak Island Treasure Company commenced operations in the mid 1890?s.

All of those involved in the Halifax syndicate and other syndicates of the 1860?s, must have been aware of Brown?s Report, including McCully, Tupper, Creelman and others and of course many of those people were either involved in the Oak Island Treasure Company of 28 years later, or actively lent their support to it with statements made in its Prospectus, and the non-mention in that Prospectus of the Brown Report says very little in favour of the honesty and integrity of the promoters of the Oak Island Treasure Company and its supporters.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:50 PM  
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A.T. Kempton's Fake Inscription

Fake Inscription..........

Quote:
One of the key elements in the Oak Island legend is the "inscribed stone" said to have been found somewhere (accounts vary) around the 90 foot level. According to the legend, this stone was cut with "mysterious markings" that no one could read or decipher. It is said to have passed from one person to another over the years; John Smith is thought to have used it as a fireback at one point, after which it was allegedly transferred to Creighton's Book Bindery in Halifax. There, according to various versions of the tale, it was used as a hammering table when beating leather until the inscription was completely obliterated. As of roughly 1912 it vanishes altogether. Some say it became a doorstep in someone's home.

The stone and its inscription are still part and parcel to the Oak Island legend. However, a major question must be asked: what is the source of the symbols seen in all modern books on the subject? The stone was never photographed, sketched, or otherwise depicted prior to its alleged disappearance in 1912. Indeed, the so-called "symbols" appear in no written work on the subject until the mid 20th century, when the oft-depicted "forty feet down" phrase appears in Edward Rowe Snow's True Tales of Buried Treasure (1949, page 32).

Where did Snow get the symbols in the first place? He claims to have received them from one Reverend A.T. Kempton of Cambridge, MA USA. But who is Kempton, and what role does he play in the long-running tale of the Money Pit?

Kempton Emerges From the Shadows

If one examines the papers of R.V. Harris, the source of these symbols becomes clear. In the 1940s, Kempton was in correspondence with Frederick Blair, who was then excavating Oak Island in yet another futile attempt to recover the mythical treasure. We may not have all the letters that were exchanged, but it appears Blair initially wrote to Kempton after seeing his name mentioned as the source of a set of symbols found in Edward Rowe Snow's book. He appears to have sent a copy of his Money Pit "story" (which is indeed very different from usual versions of this story) to Blair during this corrsepondence. Blair replied:

April 29, 1949

Dear Mr. Kempton:

Thank you very much for your recent letter with the story of Oak Island enclosed. It was very interesting, but considerable of it is far from the facts as I understand them to be, while there is confirmation to a considerable degree.

Again thanking you, I am

Yours truly

Frederick Blair (signed) [1]

This was in reply to a letter sent by Kempton in early April of the same year (it is stamped as received April 19). The letter, written in a barely legible script as a result of cataracts and failing vision, reads in part as follows:

Over 40 years ago I had a very brilliant idea. I wanted to write up a lot of the stories of Acadia. I was born and brought up in Cornwallis and [illegible] from Acadia. A long time ago -- 1891.

After discussing his Acadian roots and proposed book project, he then goes on as follows:

I wrote a Minister whom [sic] I knew at the time and asked him if he knew of someone who would write me a good account of Oak Isl. He got a school teacher long since dead. The Minster died years ago. He sent me the MSS. and I paid him for it. I never wrote the book. I had never pub. the Oak Isl. story. [...]

The teacher who wrote my MSS. did not give me any proofs of his statements -- only that the [illegible] was found and [illegible] characters were cut in the stone and a very bright Irish Teacher had worked out this statement as printed in Snow's book. Several years after he sent me the MSS. I went to Mahone Bay to find the teacher. But he had died. I learned that the stone was in the Historical society at Halifax. I went there several times but never found anyone who could tell me about the stone. So I let the matter drop until I showed it to Ed. Snow and he set it in his book.That is about all I can tell you. [...]

A.T. Kempton (signed) [2]
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