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blucher 05-30-2011 10:04 PM

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Originally Posted by RiponredTJ (Post 108063)
Where's that bloody Viking treasure hoard?

That's actually possible. That & Capt. Kidd's gold, Visigoths, Spanish and English pirates too. I can't believe we can't find out for sure by now. Whoever hid it had engineering skills well over 200 years old so we should be able to circumvent the traps and flooding.

Pages from Readers Digest

blucher 05-31-2011 01:38 PM

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A pair of wrought-iron scissors were discovered in 1967 buried below the drains at Smith's Cove. It was determined that the scissors were Spanish-American, probably made in Mexico, and they were up to 300 years old. Also found was a heart shaped stone.

Smith's Cove revealed some more secrets in 1970 to Triton Alliance, a group formed by Blankenship to continue the search. While Triton was building a new cofferdam they discovered the remains of what appeared to be the original builders' cofferdam. The findings included several logs 2 feet thick and up to 65 feet long. They were marked every four feet with Roman numerals carved in them and some contained wooden pins or nails. The wood has been carbon dated to 250 years ago.

The western end of the island has also revealed several items. Two wooden structures, along with wrought-iron nails and metal straps were found at the western beach. Nine feet below the beach a pair of leather shoes were unearthed.

The next major discoveries came in 1976 when Triton dug what is known as Borehole 10-X, a 237 foot tube of steel sunk 180 feet northeast of the Money Pit. During the digging several apparently artificial cavities were found down to 230 feet.

A camera lowered down to a bedrock cavity at 230 feet returned some amazing images. At first a severed hand could be seen floating in the water. Later three chests (of the treasure type I would presume) and various tools could be made out. Finally a human body was detected.

After seeing the images, the decision was made to send divers down for a look. Several attempts were made but strong current and poor visibility made it impossible to see anything. Soon after, the hole itself collapsed and has not been reopened.

Blankenship and Triton still continue the quest.
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blucher 05-31-2011 01:54 PM

The Treasure Pit of OAK ISLAND
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Oak island..........

bruce ricketts
if i told you that there was a buried treasure on an island just off the coast of nova scotia, you might believe me. After all this area of north america was a favourite stomping ground for pirates in the 18th century.
If i told you that the treasure was buried in a deep pit, you might respond, "of course, that was it to make sure no one but the pirates found it".

But what if i told you that the treasure pit was, to date, almost 200 feet deep, protected by an elaborate set of booby traps (underground channels to an ocean beach over 500 feet away), has been the subject of countless excavations since 1795, costing millions of dollars, and the death place of six treasure hunters, and they still haven?t found the treasure? if you answer: "that?s the treasure pit at oak island", you are correct!

The story of the oak island treasure pit is fascinating and complex. It is a story of mystery, greed, controversy and very little humour. The oak island treasure has been sought by many individuals and corporations for over 200 years. It has attracted all strata of explorer from: The three teenagers who first discovered the site; to franklin d. Roosevelt, a former us president, whose company old gold salvage group searched in 1909; to the swash-buckling actor errol flynn who wanted to search oak island in 1940, but was discouraged when he found the search rights belonged to a company owned by fellow actor john wayne.

The story of the oak island treasure pit has been written about in numerous books. To date the treasure has not been uncovered, but tantalizing glimpses of what are purported to be part of the treasure have been reported. The following are a sample of some of the theories on who buried the treasure on oak island:

The most popular theory is that of the early 18th century pirate captain kidd, who frequently visited the region of oak island for rest and relaxation and to repair his ships. He seemed to have a habit of burying part of the treasure he plundered far and wide.
The most bizarre theory is that the treasure is the original works of william shakespeare/ sir francis bacon buried on the site in the late 16th century. This theory is based on the evidence of a piece of parchment paper brought up from the pit by one of the treasure hunters.
Equally strange is the theory of the crown jewels of france which went missing in 1791 and were said to have been smuggled to louisburg (north of oak island in cape breton). Since louisburg was frequently attacked by the british when the french owned it, the jewels were considered unsafe and were transported to oak island.
The theories go on but no one knows for sure the origin of the treasure pit.

Excavation of the pit has never been successful because of the booby traps which were set to protect it. In the mid-1860s, while excavating at the 90 feet level, the treasure hunters encountered soggy ground. This was not too surprising because the pit was only 500 feet from the coast line and high tide of the ocean was about at the 32 foot level. At 93 feet the wetness was more pronounced. At 98 feet they struck an extra hard surface. They took the rest of day off and the next morning found that the shaft of the pit was filled with sea water to the 32 foot level. We now know that the miners had inadvertently opened a series of channels to the beach which had been installed as a booby trap to protect the treasure.

Many attempts have been made over the years to discover how the booby trap works. Coffer dams have been built on the nearby beach, thought to be the source of the water flow? but to no avail.

In the over 200 years that adventurers have searched for the treasure pit of oak island, they have encountered oak log platforms every ten feet or so to the thirty foot level. From there, a drill probe used in 1849, encountered multiple layers of charcoal, putty and coconut fibre. At the 98 feet level, a spruce platform guarding two oak chests containing loose metal pieces (pieces of eight?) was discovered.

But the discoveries do not stop there. Continued drilling, in 1897, found that there were, below the 98 foot oak chests, layers of wood and iron, a 30 foot layer of blue clay (a hand-worked watertight mixture of clay, sand and water) , a seven foot deep cement vault at 153 feet and an iron barrier at 171 feet.

Early on in the hunt for the treasure, an inscribed stone (which has been lost over time) was found face-down in the pit. There have been various interpretations made of the inscription.

blucher 05-31-2011 02:54 PM

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Dan Blankenship?s 40-year search for the secret treasure of the Money Pit
Posted: 10/10/2010 by uwTreasures in all marine news
By Joe O?Connor (link)

Golf ? It is a waste of time. And vacations, well, there is no time for those either, no reason to be lying about in the Florida sun sipping umbrella drinks when there is work to be done.

And there is always more work, and never enough time, not for Dan Blankenship. Not for the past 40 odd years. Not for a hopelessly driven dreamer with gold in his eyes.

He is 87. Don?t ask about retirement. There is no quitting, no turning back, especially with the clock winding forward, ticking down to a Dec. 31 deadline that changes everything.

?It is way too late [to turn back],? says Mr. Blankenship. ?It?s been too late for a good many years. I had a good contracting business in Florida. I had friends, a good reputation, and I shucked it all to come up here and make a gamble.?

Here, is Oak Island, just off the coast of Nova Scotia, near the well-heeled town of Chester. It is a 56-hectare postage stamp shrouded by trees and central to a mystery that has been tormenting treasure hunters, like Dan Blankenship, for more than 200 years.

Nova Scotia farmers, Texas oilmen, Boston financiers, New York dandies, celebrity daredevils, Hollywood legends (John Wayne), even an American President (Franklin D. Roosevelt), have been bewitched by tales of the Money Pit.

It is a Canadian cliffhanger dating back to 1795. A teenager happened upon a clearing, saw an oak tree with a missing branch and beneath it, an unusual depression in the earth. So he began to dig, an excavation that revealed an underground shaft ? a Money Pit.

In the years since, fortunes have been swallowed, hopes dashed, partnerships fractured, friendships ended and six lives lost in a hunt for what, nobody knows.

Some say it is pirate booty, perhaps even the riches of Captain Kidd himself. Others imagine Aztec gold, the lost treasures of the Templar Knights, a tomb for Norse kings or even Shakespeare?s original manuscripts.

It could be anything, or nothing at all. All that is required are the dreamers to keep on dreaming about what it might be.

?I read about Oak Island in the January, 1965, issue of Reader?s Digest,? Mr. Blankenship says. ?I handed the article to my wife and said, read this. She read it and shrugged, said, ?So what ??

blucher 05-31-2011 04:06 PM


Welcome to Oak Island Theories - May you find what others have
Sunday, 19 July 2009 13:09 | Author: Administrator |
This site is dedicated to providing the real and documented truth to Oak Island's history.

Many books have been written about Oak Island for the purpose of narrating a treasure hunt. A few of the better books have attempted to cast light on the island's history before treasure hunting, and even fewer on the folks of the community who are connected with the island. Since the publication of those books, technology has provided access to information like never before; thus, early Oak Island information is more readily available for study.

These pages are a history of Oak Island like you've never read before. Here you will read and learn about Oak Island and those associated with it, through the largest and most comprehensive online collection of primary source Oak Island documents such as grants, deeds, maps, letters, diaries, etc. Many of these documents can be purchased in our store.

Through many of these documents the picture of Oak Island's early history is now more clear. The tale of three young lads, one Donald McGinnis, John Smith, and Anthony Vaughn Jr. rowing out to a previously uninhabited Oak Island in 1795, is the furthest from the truth that one can get. There is much more to the island's history than this quaint little tale.

One must wonder why the story developed the way it did.

Oak Island enthusiasts, those interested in Nova Scotia's history, or even archaeology, will find this site as a valuable resource. Please visit the FAQ menu selection where answers to your Frequently Asked Questions are provided. Enjoy!
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General History of Mahone Bay to 1753
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The 1494 Spanish and Portuguese Treaty of Tordesillas 1 divided the world from pole to pole between Spain and Portugal for all lands not belonging to a Christian Prince. Lands to the west of this line were granted to Spain and all lands to the east were granted to Portugal. This demarcation line was 370 leagues west of Cape Verde Islands. Due to errors in cartographic and navigational knowledge for this period, the line intersected the coast of North America at some point in Nova Scotia. While history says Spain and Portugal planned a joint venture to actually measure the distance and to mark the shores of North and South America, there are no texts which indicate this trip ever happened. Cartographers of Spain and Portugal were required to place this treaty line on their maps. Depending on the country of origins, this line varies from west to east with Portuguese cartographers moving the line west and Spanish moving the line east. Few maps exist today which clearly identifies the treaty line. The first map thought to show the treaty line is known by Cantino in 1502 2. One map by Spanish cartographer Diego Ribero in 1529 gives Spain more land 3, while the 1554 map by Lopo Homen has the line giving Portugal more of Nova Scotia 4.

This treaty was beneficial to both Spain and Portugal, but more so for Spain, as it gave its fleets access to Portuguese ports such as the Azores. Any type of settlement by either country in Nova Scotia would have caused concern due possible infringement into the other country?s lands. Spain showed very little interest in Atlantic Canada and beyond the 1529 trip of exploration by Esteban Gomez 5 , there is no evidence the Spanish Crown ever returned.

Interest in Atlantic Canada was the opposite for Portugal, especially for those folks of the Azores Islands. The settlement attempts by the families of Fagundes 6 and Barcelos are recorded, but were not well known. The Barcelos attempt was not even brought into light until the 1950s by the Azores Chief Archivist, Dr. da Lima Ref:

Boletim do Instituto Historico Vol. XVIII (1963). Originally discovered by Dr. de Lima, Chief Archivist. Translated by L.A. Vigneras, published as ?The Voyages of Diogo and Manoel de Barcelos to Canada in the Sixteenth Century?. Terrae Incognitae Vol. 5 7.

Due to the concerns of infringement, this author thinks both settlements were kept quiet outside of the Azores.

By 1508, the Azorean family of Pinheiro de Barcelos was granted/claimed part of the Nova Scotia. We can tell through period maps 8 (HM44 f.3v, f.4, f4v) and court documents illuminated at Ref 7, of two big double bays given the designate ?Gulfo? and drawn at 44.5 degrees North latitude. This latitude precisely intersects Mahone Bay; with the Mahone/St. Margaret?s Bay combination being the only two bays of close proximity to be representative of this cartography.

From a 1568 petition?

?Manoel de Barcelos Machado, who resides in this city of Angra in Terceira Island, says that he bought a new ship, whose master is Joao Cordeiro, to go and settle the Island Barcellona de Sam Bardao, in which discovery his late father and he spent more than 5000 cruzados, and in which they have (or he has) been breeding herds of cows, sheep, goats and swine??

The island in question is the red colored island in the image to the left, this is the island identified by Dr. da Lima as being associated with the court documents. This is the Island of Barcellona of St. Bernard. The map clearly shows the Island being in the Gulf of Sam Barnaldo.

Ref 7 documents dating to 1568 still shows the family is associated to the area. They were raising livestock for trade with whalers off Labrador and they were mining lime for use as lime mortar back in the Azores. Most likely this family remained associated to the area until 1588, when records show the Portuguese withdrew from Atlantic Canada as they could no longer protect their activities. In 1580, the King of Spain claimed the crown of Portugal, with the defeat of his armada in 1588, the crown could no longer offer protection in Atlantic Canada and thus wisely chose to focus its remaining warships to protect more lucrative trading routes.
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blucher 05-31-2011 04:16 PM

Mathieu Da Costa and Early Canada:
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blucher 05-31-2011 04:54 PM

The Inscribed Stone
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[QUOTE]The Inscribed Stone
Sunday, 19 July 2009 14:38 | Author: Administrator |
The time line for the money pit?s inscribed stone has never been completely identified in any single book. You might be surprised to learn of some details, especially of quickly unfolding series of suspicious events which happened during the 1860s.

The implied historic time line which takes us to 1864 is the following:

A stone is found at the 80 ft level. Specific year and by whom is unknown; however is thought to be in 1805 by the Onslow Company. (Ref Halifax Sun and Advisor dated 2 July 1862)

John Smith comes to possess the stone, specific year is unknown. (Ref: PANS microfiche 10599)

John Smith places the stone in an outside course in the back part of his fireplace during the building his new home in 1810. (Ref PANS microfiche 10599)

John Smith supposedly tells George Cooke of the stone and where it is located during 1849. (Ref: PANS microfiche 10599)

John Smith dies in Aug 1857. (PANS MG 100 Volume 230 #32-32E microfiche 9809 - Descendants of the Smith and Floyd Families)

After John?s passing, the property and house falls into the possession of Anthony Graves, but is used as a treasure hunting headquarters by the Truro Group, then by the Oak Island Association. Neither Anthony Graves nor anyone except for George Cooke, knows of the stone?s location. (ref PANS microfiche 10599)


Liverpool Transcript 1857

does not mention the inscribed stone.

Liverpool Transcript Sep 1861

?The digger, Patrick? letter does not mention the inscribed stone, but does describe in detail the Onslow work, specifically them sinking a crowbar at 93ft into a wooden platform. Patrick self proclaims himself as ?one who knows?.

Liverpool Transcript Aug 1861

does not mention the stone.

Nova Scotian 20 Sep 1861

does not mention the stone.

Liverpool Transcript Dec 1861

does not mention the inscribed stone.

Halifax Sun and Advisor dated 2 July 1862

This paper contains the first mention of the inscribed stone. The author was J.B. McCully who drafted the letter on 2 June 1862. While offering information which described conditions as supposedly found during the 1805 excavation, McCully mentions the following:

?Some of them [layers] 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 cut on it?.

No further details are provided other than this fleeting mention.

This above disclosure by McCully does not appear to have gained any interest.

Rambles Among the Blue noses Aug 1862 by Andrew Spedon

McCully is interviewed by Andrew Spedon for his book,. McCully does not mention the stone to Spedon.

Halifax Colonist 2 Jan 1864

Additional details of the stone are revealed through an anonymous letter detailing the history of the treasure hunt. The letter is signed by ?A Member, Truro Dec 20th 1863?. Research comparing the manuscript letter against a subsequent letter by George Cooke, Secretary of the Oak Island Association, found a positive match in hand writing style. George Cooke says he personally spoke with Smith about 14 years early, thus 1849 (Ref: PANS microfiche 10599). The only additional information contained in this article is the following:

?As it was preserved in the family of Mr. Smith it may be seen by the curious at the present day.?

A letter from John Hunter Duvar, Secretary to the Historical Society of Nova Scotia, to George Cook - 2 Jan 1864

John knows that George is the anonymous author and asks ?May I beg, in the name of the Society, to be informed with the name of the person in whose possession this stone is??

A letter by George Cooke to John Hunter-Duvar, replying to the letter of 2 Jan 1864, dated 27 Jan 1864

?Our making inquiries since receipt of your letter, I find that the chimney has been boxed around by a wooden partition, and that a flight of stairs back up near where the stone is inserted. I was not aware of this before. This may prevent the stone being got at without trouble?

George also discusses deciphering the stone and it is very important to the Oak Island Association.

George concluded the letter with the following:

?At the time I saw the stone, I noticed that there were some rudely cut letters, figures, or characters upon it. I cannot recollect which, but they appear as if they had been scraped out by a blunt instrument rather than cut by a sharp one.?

George also provides testimony from John Smith about the stone's discovery. Smith merely saw the stone come from below ground with Smith implying he was not present below ground on that day.

After the date from the above letter, the exact chain of custody for this inscribed stone is clouded.

James DeMille's "Treasure of the Sea? 1872

DeMille is a summer resident of Chester Basin during the later 1860s, he lived on Oak Island for a summer, and possessed firsthand knowledge of the underground workings through his own observations. (In October, 1865, James DeMille, M.A. was added to replace McCulloch who had died in March, 1865, and James Leichti was added as tutor in Modern Languages. DeMille remained until his death in 1880 and Leichti until 1901 [Ref: Dalhousie University - Earth Sciences - About Us - History - Chapter 2 ]

James Leichti is thought to have (at some point) translated the stone which read: "Ten feet below are two million pounds buried."

DeMille was kind enough to note the stone was already removed from the fireplace when he arrived on the island. DeMille also mentioned that up until this point, no person was able to decode the stone. Considering DeMille?s interest in the island, and for DeMille to have been Leichti?s boss at Dalhousie University, DeMille ought to have known if Leichti translated the stone prior to 1872.

Undated letter by William Blair (private collection)

?Jefferson W. McDonald, who first mentioned Oak Island to me in 1893, worked there under George Mitchell?.Mr. McDonald, who was a carpenter by trade, also told of taking down a partition in Smith?s house, in order that he with others might examine the characters cut on the stone used in the jamb of a fire place in the house. The characters were there all right, but no person present could decipher them.?

George Mitchell was the superintendant of works for the Oak Island Association, formed 3 April 1861 and ceased before 29 March 1865. RV Harris wrote ?About 1865-1866 the stone was removed and taken to Halifax. Among those who worked to remove the stone was one Jefferson W. MacDonald.?

1894 Prospectus ? Oak Island Treasure Company

This is the first instance in print to mention a translation of the stone. It implies for someone (an expert) of Halifax made the translation.

?Afterwards, it was placed in the jamb of a fireplace that Mr. Smith was building in his house, and while there was viewed by thousands of people. Many years afterwards, it was taken out of the chimney and taken to Halifax to have, if possible, the characters deciphered".

One of the experts gave his reading of the inscription as follows: "Ten feet below are two million pounds buried." We give this statement for what it is worth, but by no means claim that this is the correct interpretation. Apart from this, however, the fact remains that the history and description of the stone as above given have never been disputed.?

The Oak Island Treasure CHARLES B. DRISCOLL, (1929:Jan./June) p.685

?The stone was shown to everyone who visited the island in those days. Smith built this stone into his fireplace, with the strange characters outermost, so that visitors might see and admire it. Many years after his death, the stone was removed from the fireplace and taken to Halifax, where local savants were unable to translate the inscription. It was then taken to the home of J.B. McCulley in Truro, where it was exhibited to hundreds of friends of the McCulleys, who became interested in a later treasure company. Somehow the stone fell into the hands of a book binder, who used it as a base upon which to beat leather for many years. A generation later, with the inscription nearly worn away, the stone found its way to a book store in Halifax, and what happened to it after that I was unable to learn.?

27th March 1935 Letter of Harry W Marshall to Fred Blair and RV Harris

The stone was on display until 1919 in the store of Creighton and Marshall, which his father was a partner. Harry says one of the Creightons who was interest in the Oak Island Treasure Company brought the stone to Halifax, but no characters could be seen except for the initials JM which were carved into the stone in more recent times. Considering the Oak Island Treasure Company was in existence from 1893 to 1899, this can only mean a Creighton brought the stone to Halifax between 1893 and 1899.

blucher 05-31-2011 04:58 PM

The trail of the stone goes silent after 1919.


Early details about the stone are weak.

McCully?s failure to mention the stone to Andrew Spedon is most suspicious. The stone would have been the only tangible evidence to the early story. This lack of inclusion to Andrew Spedon defies logic, especially considering McCully mentioned the stone in the newspaper only one month earlier. Perhaps McCully did not know where the stone was located which is consistent, or had reservation in showing the stone.

At some point between 1849 and the death of Smith in 1857, George Cooke observed the stone and found characters. Between the time of George Cooke viewing the stone and replying to John Hunter-Duvar in Jan 1864, someone supposedly build a wooden partition which hid the stone.

John Hunter-Duvar, the Secretary for the Historical Society of NS never does see the stone, and never does obtain a rubbing. If so, it would have been included in a period publication of the society or would have made it into his own book, The Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. (1892, London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co.) Chapter 12, - Explorations in North America.

Upon George Cooke disclosing the location of the stone in Jan 1864, it is quickly removed from the fireplace prior to the closing of the Oak Island Association.

We can gather by the dates, and folding of the Oak Island Association, for the stone to have been removed very close to the end of the company and very near to when its location was disclosed by George Cooke. If they knew about the location prior to the disclosure by George Cooke, then why did Jefferson MacDonald and company wait to remove the partition to view it?

While George Cooke says he saw characters and supposedly other folks in Halifax and Truro saw characters, by the time the stone arrives in Halifax for a second time, no characters are observed on the stone.

The stone had not yet been translated by 1872. This would be consistent for the information by Driscoll. The stone came to Halifax, then went to Truro, then in or after 1893 (a stone) made its way back to Halifax.

Did J.B McCully switch the stones, even perhaps selling a fake to the new Oak Island Treasure Company?

This paper contains the best information known as of 30 June 2009. [/QUOTE]
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RiponredTJ 05-31-2011 05:00 PM

I never cease to be amazed at the depth and breadth of the arcane curiosities that you always seem to have at your fingertips :)

I knew this scenario rang a bell with me. Turns out I read a book a couple of years ago based on the Oak Island treasure called Riptide, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. It was an entertaining read, and I know I still have it somewhere on my rather messy bookshelves.

Cheers Michael :)

blucher 05-31-2011 05:49 PM

When I bought my first computer I traded in 5 library cards for 24/7 access to information. Within a few months I'd gathered 35 search engines under one app I could dispatch at will to seek out answers.

Oak Island was researchable but never to this degree. I love the web and it's gifts.

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