John Borkowski became interested in the Oak Island mystery about two years ago and decided to look on eBay for a copy of R.V.Harris' book, The Oak Island Mystery.
You can imagine his surprise when the book arrived complete with original newspaper articles form the 1960s, photographs and correspondence from the Restalls who were excavating on the island at this time.
"I feel like I own a little piece of the story", says John from New York. "The letter is from Mildred Restall to a Mrs Geiser. It talks about the trouble the "boys" were having on the shore, and the terrible storm that came up and wiped out their work. It's really a little piece of what she was thinking at the time."
The collection of documents includes a letter from Mildred Restall, whose husband and son later died in a tragic accident on Oak Island.
Her letter paints a picture of how hard it must have been living on the island away from the mainland and open to the elements in the quest for treasure. It is also tinged with tragedy as she writes with such confidence in her husband's desire to solve the Oak Island mystery.
John contacted Oak Island Treasure via our facebook group to inform us his discovery, and with his kind permission, we've been able to share the material online for the very first time.
John has also contacted Lee Restall Lamb, daughter of Mildred Restall, and author of Oak Island Obsession, in which she shares anecdotes of her family's time on the island, photographs and a collection of amazing sketches drawn by Robert and son Bobby.
To view these documents, please view the links below:
1965 newspaper articles relating to the Restall tragedy on Oak Island.
Photographs taken in July 1960 showing life on Oak Island.
Letter from Mildred Restall to Mr & Mrs Geiser dated November 16th 1960.
Letter in reply to Mildred Restall from Mrs Geiser - part I.
Letter in reply to Mildred Restall from Mrs Geiser - part II.
Newspaper article: Look for Pirates' Treasures Left on Isle 200 Years Ago - The Times Record, Troy, New York from December (exact date is obscured).
Newspaper article: Privateer Hoard Eludes Seekers, December 1st, 1961.
Death trap defies treasure seekers for two centuries. (Money Pit, Oak Island, Nova Scotia)
Publication Date: 01-JUN-88
Author: Preston, Douglas
"Of all the stories surrounding Oak Island, the one about the severed hand is by far the strangest. It was seen in a water-filled cavity at the bottom of a shaft known as Borehole 10X. The cavity was found during test drilling in the late 1960s; a narrow shaft was sunk to explore it further. In 1971, Dan Blankenship had enlarged Borehole 10X to the point where he could finally fit an underwater video camera down through it. He was monitoring the screen in a nearby shack while three crew members manned the equipment outside. The camera shortly came to rest in the cavern. There was a moment of silence. And then the crew heard a bloodcurdling yell from the shack.
"I called in each man," Dan recalls, "one at a time. I didn't say anything, just pointed to the screen. And each man said, Damn, that's a hand. That's a human hand.' The hand appeared to be floating in perfect equilibrium in the water."
Come on. A human hand?
Dan looks me straight in the eye. "Now I don't say I think I saw a human hand in there. I don't say that. I saw a hand. There's no question about it."
Once again, Oak Island had thrown up a maddening, intriguing clue. After a while you start asking yourself, What is real? How do you separate fact from fiction? Where's the truth?"
Joy PS I have called Anne Denny, (Aboriginal studdies), for a meeting no less than 5 times. Hard to say if I can glean any information from that, but I'll give it another shot.
e: Bodies on Oak Island?
by mutakwe on Sat Apr 11, 2009 2:15 pm
You are not going to believe this, but I was about to answer your question and just today made another discovery. I came across a grizzly account of 3 murders on an Island in Mahone Bay in *1765, not just any murder. It does not say which island but it is surely Payzant I. Nonetheless we can at least extrapolate that this sort of thing did happen in the area. Additionally, the bones of the victims were burned. Perhaps Ghost of Oak Island, Tank, or Rick my be able to shed more light as you are residents of the area. Additionally, the very first line blew me away....let me give you a peeK?.....
"In the Spring of 1765, ***soldiers from the fort at Lunenburg helped Mr. Payzant break up the soil..." ......Soldiers helped to break up the soil????? What the hell else did the soldiers do, I wonder??? Is this an explanation for the large military force needed which so many believe...???It seems they really went through a lot of trouble to help out a fellow Huguenot Protestant.
In the meantime, I think Jo or Tank may post a picture of what I believe was the boiler that exploded, (perhaps there are some who didn't see it).
But let me go out on my shaky limb again and state what direction my thinking is going....subject to change, of course. Oak Island may have had it's early start as a mine. I believe I have worked hard and have established sufficient evidence that precious metals were and I reckon still are on the island, (core samples, testimony of Dan Henskee, and two accounts found by N4n in the files of NSR). Then at some point later, I believe the abandoned works became occupied by privateers or smugglers, and from the evidence I gathered today, perhaps the soldiers of Lunenburg were party to this. A communal smuggling ring, so to speak. Likely, they were dealing in contraband trade probably with Louisbourg, perhaps booze. (And let us not forget the expulsion of the Acadians in 1755. I have just read that smugglers such as Joshua Mauger were scavaging the leftovers and selling them.) The coconut was likely dunnage to protect the stock which was fragile. Indeed I have uncovered a newspaper article from the NY times in which wittnesses have claimed to have seen booze in the money pit. One old timer even stated...." I should know, because I drank it"! I have also found information that it was a practice to light a fire in the night to signal the other fellow privateers to slip in under the cover of night. This might certainly explain the glowing lights reported, if that was so.
Joy **Subsequent research shows this date to be a likely printing error. The incident I believe occured in 1756, not 1765, and I have found a connection to Oak Island.
This is the photo Mutakwe speaks of and wanted Jo or I to post. It has some really interesting features, for example, see the big bags stacked up in the foreground? Those are bags of coal to fire the boiler to make steam, thus creating a wheel to turn and then make lifting power (winch) or a pump, etc.. The great big cylindrical object right behind the guy posing on the equipment is the boiler. Based on the position of the machine, and the topography, my best educated guess is that this is the Money Pit area. It is also widely believed this is THE boiler that exploded, and killed the unknown man.
Photos and video
Welcome to our wide collection of photos from past digs to present excavations on Oak Island. Here you can find photos from Explore Oak Island Days, pictures of artefacts found around the island, inscribed stones, aerial photographs and all the key points of interest on the island.
In addition, here follow a selection of videos available on Oak Island. They include clips from documentaries, film shot on tours of the island plus footage taken at a number of Oak Island events.
If you have photos of Oak Island that you would like to share with enthusiasts then Oak Island Treasure would love to hear from you! Please email us in the first instance.
Likewise, if you are interested in using any of these photos, please email to obtain permission.
Oak Island videos ( 9 items )
Inscribed stones of Oak Island ( 3 items )
Artifacts found on Oak Island ( 5 items )
The Restalls ( 2 items )
Oak Island and the paranormal ( 2 items )
Past excavations ( 2 items )
Around Oak Island ( 6 items )
Aerial photos of Oak Island ( 3 items )
Other Mahone Bay islands ( 2 items )
Oak Island Treasure UK meetings ( 2 items )
Explore Oak Island Days ( 6 items ) http://www.oakislandtreasure.co.uk/c...ection/19/203/
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
The wait is finally over for Dan Blankenship and other members of Oak Island Tours Inc, the team currently continuing the 200 year long treasure hunt on Nova Scotia?s Oak Island.
After a two year halt in what has become the world?s greatest treasure hunt, the team have finally been granted a Treasure Trove Licence (albeit temporary) allowing them to continue their search for treasure on Oak Island.
The treasure hunters were informed yesterday that they will be granted the necessary paperwork which will allow them to continue their search. However this licence will only allow them to resume their exploration until 31st December 2010. After this date, the Nova Scotian Department of Natural Resources/Tourism, Culture and Heritage will impose the new Oak Island Act, details of which have yet to be announced.
You can also become a fan of Oak Island Treasure on Facebook which will give you access to photos, discussion and up to the minute news alerts, not to mention contribute to the growing community of Oak Island fans spanning the globe: Welcome to Facebook - Log In, Sign Up or Learn More
I would like to introduce a new theory regarding the treasure of Oak Island, but I need help in sorting out some of the details. There seems to be enough clues available to solve the mystery, but I believe it will take a collective effort. With help from researchers and visitors to the Oak Island community, I think we can solve the problem. If you are an investigator, engineer, or archeologist, please provide facts and constructive criticism as we work to solve the mystery.
We, as investigators, can analyze each fact and interpret it in our own way. Then we can discuss it as a group to see how it contributes to solving the mystery. It is okay to disagree with each other during the investigation. While analyzing the facts, we can try to determine how the pieces of the puzzle fit together. The main goal is to have everyone come together regarding the big picture.
Let?s start with one of the most important facts we know. This will help us get an understanding of what Oak Island looked like in the past. Then we can work forward from there.
Fact: About 10,000 years ago, Oak Island was not an island at all; it was more like a peninsula. This is a fact because the water level around Oak Island was about 45 feet lower than it is today.
We know this fact because of a place call Doggerland. This area, in Northern Europe, is about the size of California. It is a low-lying area that was probably devastated by a tsunami before the sea level rose and covered the area. Now researchers have drawn maps of that lost land. They have sketched out a 10,000-year-old landscape filled with marshes, rivers, lakes, tools, bones, and other artifacts found on the sea floor. The land disappeared under the waves 10,000 years ago.
According to researchers, sea level has risen about 45 feet during the past 10,000 years to cover Doggerland. A 45-foot drop in sea level around Oak Island will give a better picture of the area. Most importantly, the man-made artificial beach on Oak Island will be at sea level again. This will help us understand the purpose it served.
We know this much about the beach because engineers have surveyed the Oak Island area. They found that the people who built the booby traps would have had to build a cofferdam big enough to hold back 45 feet of water in order to build the booby trap system that protects the treasure. With the sea level at 45 feet lower than it is now, it would have been much easier to build the cofferdam before constructing the bobby trap system. They would have been working from mostly dry land.
Given the facts we have available, let?s discuss some of the issues regarding Oak Island when the sea was at a lower level.
1. What would the Oak Island area have looked like 10,000 years ago?
2. Would the booby traps have work as well then as they work now?
3. Could coconut fibers and timbers last 10,000 years without deteriorating and turning to dust?
4. It seems that the artificial beach was made to hide the water delivery system for the traps, but why did they need such a system?
5. Could engineers have built the cofferdam and booby trap system 10,000 years ago?
6. Do the artifacts found there represent the real age of the treasure?
7. Could the Oak Island treasure pit be over 10,000 years old?
Let us hear from you. Do you have other facts we can explore? What do you think about the issues under discussion?
I am retired, but during my working years I was asked to come up with some very crazy ideas to get the work done. So set my mind to the money pit and how I would go about getting to the bottom.
From the latest show on the History Channel that there are three flood tunnels and maybe more. The first thing that I would do is throw dye in the water see where it shows up on the beach. Then I would rent a ground sonar truck, like the ones oil companies use, to map the beaches where the tunnels are.
Once the tunnels were located, then I would bring a well drilling rig and sink a wells to hit the tunnels. Pump in cement and plug the tunnels. once the water was stopped then pump down the pit slowly to lessen the chance of a cave in.
A simple idea that I heard was done with the first tunnel with TNT. I have wondered why it was not used on the other ones.
When my nephew was working in the oil fields overseas. They would come in with maps that was made by ground sonar and they would show any tunnel or cave so that they could avoid drilling into them. Bad for the drill heads. Using ground sonar the whole island could be maps and show where the tunnel are and at what depth. It would take a few days at most and could be without digging. Just a truck driving around press a sensor onto the ground and thumping and record the echo. Once you know where the tunnels are, drilling a 6" water well hole and pumping in cenment to plug the tunnels Also it would show any chambers or any more flood tunnels that had not been tripped.
How did the builders of the money pit stop the water during construction? They build a tunnel underwater going into the island. How did they comtrol the water. If you map the tunnels with sonar you might find a gate or valve on each tunnel. That might tell us more about the builders.
OAK ISLAND EXCLUSIVE Behind the scenes with CBC's Land & Sea
exclusive interview with the show's producer, Jessica Brown.
When did you first hear about the Oak Island mystery?
I first heard of Oak Island when I moved to Nova Scotia in 1997. Of course any mystery surrounding pirate treasure is fascinating, but what intrigued me the most was the fact that the search has been going on for such a long time, arguably with very little evidence to keep the search alive. But in producing and directing this documentary I was very fortunate to meet a number of people who are so passionate about the story, that I believe the real treasure lies in them.
Why did you decide to make a documentary about the Oak Island treasure hunt?
CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), another one of our national treasures, was looking for an update on the Oak Island story. John Wesley Chisholm, the president of Arcadia Entertainment Inc. had been following the story for a long while, and thought it would be a great opportunity to let everyone know that the search is still on, and include the possibility of new engineering techniques from the McGill Engineering students in Montreal, Quebec. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to take the idea into fruition.
We understand that in the documentary, you have been the first person to interview Dan Blankenship on camera in over 30 years. What can we look forward to hearing?
D'Arcy O'Connor really needs to be thanked for this, because it was through D'Arcy that I was able to get in touch with Dan Blankenship, and luckily Dan was kind enough to give us the better part of a day with him to tour around the island and chat! I feel very fortunate that Dan agreed to speak with us about his time on Oak Island, and his personal beliefs of the true history of Oak Island. I think what viewers can look forward to really is meeting Dan. He has kept Oak Island very close to his heart, and his passion for it really comes across in his interview.
Did your opinions of the Oak Island treasure hunt change as a result of speaking to Dan?
My opinion of the Oak Island treasure hunt did change in meeting Dan, and everyone else who is passionate about the story. From the historians to the engineers. At first I really questioned why people would spend so much time and money, not to mention the loss of lives, in order to get to the bottom of the mystery, but in meeting those involved, I feel that I have a new understanding to the why it remains such a huge topic of interest.
After producing the documentary, seeing Oak Island and speaking with Dan, do you think there is anything buried on Oak Island? If so what?
I am not sure if there is treasure to be found, and of course I am by no means an expert, but certainly the people who we met along the way and their desire to find out the truth is something that I think should be respected, and hopefully sometime soon they will be able to tell us what is really going on there!
What were your expectations before visiting Oak Island?
Truthfully I am not really sure what my expectations were before visiting Oak Island. I had heard that there were a lot of drilling sites and holes dug to try to get to the bottom of it, so I really wasn't sure what I would see. Dan Blankenship gave us a really great tour of all of that.
Did you face any challenges producing the show? If so, what were these?
The only challenge that we faced in making the show was really to get on the island and get a first hand account from Dan. Everyone loves a mystery, and I think everyone loves to talk about it. So it wasn't hard to get people interested in meeting with us and I would like to thank everyone of them for doing so.
Do you get a sense there is a growing appetite for documentaries on unsolved mysteries? If so, why do you think this may be?
I definitely think there is a growing appetite for documentaries on unsolved mysteries. I think we all have a tendency to want to get to the bottom of things that we might not understand right away. Luckily television is a great way to document this, although sometimes, such as with this show, at this time the mystery is left to the viewers to come up with their own conclusions.
What other shows have you worked on?
I have been very fortunate in having had the opportunity to work on a number of different shows- from shipwreck treasure shows, to occult mysteries, to futuristic theories, to a documentary on another not so accessible island, Sable Island in Nova Scotia, where wild horses roam! If anyone is interested they can check out Arcadia Entertainment Inc.'s website for a list of documentaries we have produced - Documentary producers Canada| Documentary production company, Wildlife,Ocean.
I believe the treasure relates to the British sacking of Havana in 1762. Essentially, the new King George III plundered the gateway to the Spanish world. He arranged to have 3 brothers put in command - the Keppel brothers. I believe the ship that contained the treasure buried on Oak Island was the one under the command of the Keppel brother, George I believe, who had commanded the land forces.
His whereabouts are pretty much unaccounted for in 1763. Upon leaving Havana with his gunship, he initially went to Jamaica. He supposedly stayed there for a year even though he was very anxious to get home. Then he continued home. (I think he detoured to Halifax and Oak Island; ship logs at Halifax or more likely in London are the key; I can look up in my notes the name of the ship. I believe General Amherst, who assisted the Keppels with troops, would have had to be in on it. Along with the King's confidante who arranged the Keppels to be appointed.
The key to proof of this theory -- apart from the ship logs in London -- is discovery of the ciphers that British naval intelligence used circa 1760. I believe the inscription is what David Kahn describes as a geometric cipher. The endpoints of the lines, the dots, the points of the triangles etc. determine the place on the 24 (at the time) letter alphabet.
The key to the cipher is simply a string, which is easy for a seafaring man to carry. 18th and 19th century books (such as Mercury..)have a more detailed explanation than David Kahn's book. If any one is near Washington, D.C., I recommend they go to the historical museum at Fort Meade and ask there for examples of the ciphers that British naval intelligence used during the revolutionary war (and more to the point, in 1760).
There were good reasons for King George III not to have the treasure brought back because he had not yet consolidated his power.
I realize that serious and careful research has gone to support the theory that it is all a hoax. And I agree that many assertions are not well founded - just unsupported assertions based on earlier magazine articles that contained unsupported assertions.
Given the motivation of the folks over the years to raise money for digging, special care by any historian needs to be taken. But I believe the cipher affords an opportunity to nail the nature of the treasure. And the ship logs would provide objective proof.
In addition, on the cipher, you might start with Professor Weber's book "Masked Dispatches" which I haven't seen but promises to be useful.
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
An idea taken from the Channel Tunnel between France and the UK
Richard A. Walker
The first time I read about Oak Island was 1937 and it has fascinated me ever since. I currently have 6 different Garrett metal detectors that I play with in retirement.
Let me preface what I am going to discuss with the comment; "you don't have to be smart to think outside the box"
I believe that since the original efforts to dig out the buried items at Oak Island, the searchers have played into the engineers' hands that originally buried what ever is there.
Instead of digging holes and trying to pump the water out, which up to this time has been impossible, we take a different tack.
1. Completely fill and SEAL all past efforts of digging. A great deal of weight must be placed upon all closures to prevent a "blow-out" for the following reasons.
2. We will reverse on Mother Nature and not fight her; lets make her fight us.
3. After all areas have been filled and sealed we are ready for the "new" assault on the Oak Island Treasure. If we can tunnel under mountains, under oceans, under rivers and under lakes, why not do the same on Oak Island??
4. Lets take the methods used to tunnel under the English Channel and several other bodies of water and do the same?? with a few modifications. The shaft will not be as vertical as we would like but it will suffice. It will be close enough to vertical to hit the treasure vault at X feet.
The key to this operation of course is the shaft being heavily weighted in place, and having air pressure to hold the water back; and the air lock area at the top of the shaft to take out the material that is dug out and bring concrete and rebar in to build a vertical tunnel. As the tunnel goes deeper the air pressure to hold the water back will increase. With personnel out of the tunnel after it reaches a certain depth air pressure can be increased in the vertical tunnel to blow air bubbles into the ocean to find and permanently seal the water channels flooding the pit. At that point it shouldn't be that difficult to locate and carefully unload the treasure vault.
Erin Bennett Banks is the artist behind this wonderful painting inspired by the Oak Island mystery. It was published in the children's magazine The Weekely Reader back in 2001. If you would like to find out more about Erin and her artwork, please visit her website: Welcome to the Official Website of Erin Bennett Banks
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
Seeing his Oak Island dream slide away
N.S. hasn't OK'd licence to dig for storied treasure
By BEVERLEY WARE South Shore Bureau
Fri. Dec 11 - 4:46 AM
Dan Blankenship is 86 and getting pretty fed up the province hasn't approved the licence that would allow him and his partners to start digging for treasure on Oak Island.
It w?ll be two years next June since Mr. Blankenship and his four business partners applied for a treasure trove licence. Between them, they own 78 per cent of the island, including the money pit where many believe there could be treasure.
Mr. Blankenship has a letter from 1894 in which the province first granted permission for someone to look for treasure on Oak Island. The Treasure Trove Act was introduced in 1954 specifically to deal with Oak Island, but that act is now under review.
In the meantime, Mr. Blankenship can only sit and wait.
"Without the treasure trove licence, our hands are tied, that's for sure."
He has spent the last 40 years pursuing the secrets of Oak Island, but in the last six months has started giving up on his goal. He won't say why.
"That's personal," he said, but he's clearly deflated.
The mystery of Oak Island lured him here from the United States more than 30 years ago. He has worked with various partners over the years who did have treasure trove licences, but the provincial Natural Resources Department has not approved his current application.
In the meantime, not only is he getting older, Mr. Blankenship is concerned that people don't get to experience the mystery of Oak Island.
"Oak Island is known better outside of Nova Scotia than it is in Nova Scotia," he said.
Smithsonian magazine interviewed him for an article about Oak Island in 1988. The associate editor wrote to him in 1994 to say that article was being run again in a special edition because the magazine got more mail on the Oak Island story "than for any other story published before or since."
Mr. Blankenship ran private tours on the island for 21 years. He said he didn't get a lot of government support to do it and estimates he and his former business partner lost $35,000 to $40,000 on the venture.
"It was a very austere operation," but he enjoyed sharing the story of Oak Island.
He stopped doing those tours in 1995.
"We weren't getting co-operation from the province, so I said to hell with it. I met with every minister of tourism back into the '70s. I contacted every damn one of them to give them an opportunity to express what they'll do the next year on the island."
Although he was frustrated by the lack of interest from the province in the cultural treasure that lies on the South Shore, he said people still loved the mystique surrounding Oak Island.
"People came from every country in the world," he said.
He has stacks of guest books on one of the long tables in the basement office of his Oak Island home to prove it. Pierre Trudeau even showed up with his three sons one summer day in 1979.
"He talked with me for a good half-hour, 45 minutes, and asked a lot of good, sensible questions," Mr. Blankenship recalls.
When he and his former partner put their shares in the island up for sale about four years ago, Judy Streatch, the former MLA for the area, came out to meet with them. Mr. Blankenship told her the asking price was $8 million. Word came back to him that the province was entertaining an offer of $4.5 million, but nothing ever came of it.
Then four investors from Michigan stepped in and are now equal partners with Mr. Blankenship.
He may be disheartened about where things now stand on Oak Island. But as Mr. Blankenship talks about the island, the glint inevitably returns to his eye when he thinks about what could be here.
"I may be crazy, but I'm not wrong," he grins.
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost