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  1. Nancy Moses Appointed Chair of PHMC
  2. Recent Comments
  3. Lost in the Museum: Buried Treasures and the Stories They Tell
  4. 25 Real-Life Treasure Hunts That Turned Up Millions In Loot

It was claimed that one of the samples brought a tiny piece of sheepskin parchment to the surface. The parchment had two letters, "vi" or "wi", written in India ink. Captain Henry L. Bowdoin also examined Smith's Cove, where drain tunnels and a ring bolt in a rock had reportedly been seen. Although the group found the remains of an cofferdam , no evidence of anything else was found. He was doubtful that symbols could have worn off the rock, given its hardness. The group left the island in November , but Roosevelt kept up with Oak Island news and developments for most of the rest of his life.

In , a New York newspaper published a feature story about Oak Island. William Chappell became interested and excavated the pit in by sinking a byfoot 3. The pick was identified as a Cornish miner's pick, but by this time the area around the pit was littered with debris from previous excavation attempts and finding the owner was impossible.

Gilbert Hedden , an operator of a steel fabricating company, saw the article and was fascinated by the engineering problems involved in recovering the reported treasure. Hedden made six trips to Oak Island and collected books and articles about the island. He went to England to consult Harold T.

In , he informed King George VI about developments on the island. Robert Restall, his year-old son, and workpartner Karle Graeser, came to Oak Island in after signing a contract with one of the property owners. In , they tried to seal what was thought to be a storm drain in Smith's Cove and dug a shaft down to 27 feet 8.

On August 17, Restall was overcome by hydrogen sulfide fumes. His son then went down the shaft, and also lost consciousness. A visitor to the site, Edward White, had himself lowered on a rope into the shaft but was able to bring out only DeMont. Restall, his son, Graeser and Hiltz all died. That year, Robert Dunfield leased portions of the island. Transportation of the crane to the island required the construction of a causeway which still exists from the western end of the island to Crandall's Point on the mainland, two hundred metres away.

In January , Daniel C. Two years later, Blankenship and Tobias formed Triton Alliance after purchasing most of the island. Several former landowners, including Mel Chappell, became shareholders in Triton. According to Blankenship and Tobias, cameras lowered down the shaft into a cave recorded possible chests, human remains, wooden cribbing and tools; however, the images were unclear and none of the claims have been independently confirmed.

The shaft later collapsed, and the excavation was again abandoned. An account of an excavation of the pit was published in the January issue of Reader's Digest. In , Triton Alliance sued Frederick Nolan over the ownership of seven lots on the island and its causeway access. Two years later, Nolan's ownership of the lots was confirmed but he was ordered to pay damages for interfering with Triton's tourist business. On appeal, Triton lost again in and Nolan's damages were reduced. During the s, further exploration stalled because of legal battles between the Triton partners and a lack of financing.

Nolan of Bedford, NS in June Although the Oak Island Tourism Society had hoped that the government of Canada would purchase the island, a group of American drillers did so instead. The rest of the company is owned by Blankenship. The Michigan group, working with Blankenship, said that it would resume operations on Oak Island in the hope of discovering buried treasure and solving the island's mystery. In July , Blankenship and the other stakeholders in Oak Island Tours announced on their website that the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage had granted them a treasure-trove license which allowed them to resume activities until December 31, Explorers have made claims about an elaborate drainage system extending from the ocean beaches to the pit.

Later treasure hunters claimed that coconut fibres were discovered beneath the surface of a beach, Smith's Cove, in This led to the theory that the beach had been converted into a siphon , feeding seawater into the pit through a man-made tunnel.

Nancy Moses Appointed Chair of PHMC

A sample of this material was reportedly sent to the Smithsonian Institution during the early 20th century, where it was concluded that the material was coconut fibre. At the invitation of Boston-area businessman David Mugar , a two-week survey was conducted by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the only known scientific study conducted on the site. After running dye tests in the bore hole, the institution concluded that the flooding was caused by a natural interaction between the island's freshwater lens and tidal pressures in the underlying geology refuting the man-made tunnel theory.

The Woods Hole scientists who viewed the videos reported that nothing conclusive could be determined from the murky images. Oak Island lies on a glacial tumulus system and is underlain by a series of water-filled anhydrite cavities, which may be responsible for the repeated flooding of the pit. This type of limestone easily dissolves when exposed to water, forming caves and natural voids. Bedrock lies at a depth of 38 to 45 metres to feet in the pit area. A stone found 90 feet below the surface was said to have been inscribed with "mysterious markings.

McCully which retold the story of the stone. In a January 27, , letter to Hunter-Duvar, Cooke claimed that Smith built the stone into his chimney in and said that he was shown the stone by Smith in the chimney around , when "there were some crudely 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 with a sharp one. 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 fireplace in the house.

The characters were there all right, but no person present could decipher them. DeMille lived on Oak Island for a summer and had firsthand knowledge of the area. The characters in the novel find that the stone had been removed from the chimney when they arrived on the island; [40] until then, no one had been able to decode the mysterious symbols reportedly on the stone, which an inn landlord describes as 'rather faint, and irregular' — he also says that 'men who don't believe in Kidd's treasure Among those who worked to remove the stone was Jefferson W.

Harris provides no source for the claim that the stone was removed in or The next mention of the stone is in an Oak Island Treasure Company prospectus.

According to the prospectus, the stone was taken out of the chimney and moved to Halifax; there, an unnamed expert was said to have deciphered the stone as reading: "Ten feet below are two million pounds buried. On August 19, , Collier's magazine published a firsthand account by Captain H. Bowdoin of the stone which was then in use at Creighton's bookbindery in Halifax. Bowdoin described the rock as "of a basalt type hard and fine-grained. Although Bowdoin was told that they had worn off, he was skeptical because of the stone's hardness.

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Driscoll's book, The Oak Island Treasure based on secondhand accounts ,. 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 the local savants were unable to translate the inscription. It was then taken to the home of J. 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 bookbinder, which 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 bookstore in Halifax, and what happened to it after that I was unable to learn. But there are plenty of people living who have seen the stone. Nobody, however, ever seriously pretended to translate the inscription.

The stone was reportedly brought by A. Creighton of the expedition from the Smith home to Creighton's bookbindery in Halifax. Harry W. Marshall born , the son of an owner of the bookbindery, wrote in that: -. One researcher claimed that the cipher translated as "Forty feet below, two million pounds lie buried. In his book, Snow said that he received the set of symbols from Rev. Kempton of Cambridge, Massachusetts , but no information was provided as to how or where Kempton obtained them. Franklin Delano Roosevelt , stirred by family stories originating from his sailing and trading grandfather and Oak Island financier Warren Delano, Jr.

Roosevelt continued to follow it until his death in Although the president secretly planned to visit Oak Island in while he was in Halifax, fog and the international situation prevented him from doing so. Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd , Jr. Roosevelt about the island; [53] the men forged a relationship, forming the United States Antarctic Service USAS, a federal-government program with Byrd nominally in command.

Wide-ranging speculation exists about how the pit was formed and what it might contain. According to Joe Nickell, there is no treasure; the pit is a natural phenomenon, probably a sinkhole connected to limestone passages or caverns. Its resemblance to a human-made pit has been suggested as partly due to the texture of natural, accumulated debris in sinkholes: "This filling would be softer than the surrounding ground, and give the impression that it had been dug up before".

Another pit, similar to the early description of the "money pit", was discovered in the area in when workmen were digging a well on the shore of Mahone Bay. At a point where the earth was soft, "At about two feet down a layer of fieldstone was struck. Then logs of spruce and oak were unearthed at irregular intervals, and some of the wood was charred. The immediate suspicion was that another money pit had been found.

According to the earliest theory, the pit held a pirate treasure buried by Captain Kidd ; [2] [61] Kidd and Henry Avery reportedly took treasure together, and Oak Island was their community bank. Another pirate theory involved Edward Teach Blackbeard , who said that he buried his treasure "where none but Satan and myself can find it.

Templars, Masons, or Incas seeking to squirrel their treasure away from Spanish conquistadors may have created the Money Pit, according to William S. Other possible explanations include the pit being dug by Spanish sailors to hold treasure from a wrecked galleon or by British troops stationed there during the American Revolution.

John Godwin wrote that given the apparent size and complexity of the pit, it was probably dug by French Army engineers hiding the treasury of the Fortress of Louisbourg after British forces captured the fortress during the Seven Years' War. Marie Antoinette 's jewels, missing except for specimens in museum collections, may have been hidden on the island.

Lost in the Museum: Buried Treasures and the Stories They Tell

On October 5, , revolutionaries incited an angry mob of Parisian working women to march on the Palace of Versailles. According to an undocumented story, Marie Antoinette instructed her maid or a lady-in-waiting to flee with her jewels. The maid fled to London with the jewels, and perhaps artwork, documents and other treasures, secreted on her person or in her luggage. In late possible evidence for this theory was discovered - a year-old brooch containing a large garnet was found on the island. In his book, Oak Island Secrets , [72] Mark Finnan noted that many Masonic markings were found on Oak Island, and the shaft or pit and its mysterious contents seemed to replicate aspects of a Masonic initiation rite involving a hidden vault with a sacred treasure.

Another theory holds that the Rosicrucians and their reported leader, Francis Bacon , organized a secret project to make Oak Island the home of its legendary vault with ingenious means to conceal ancient manuscripts and artifacts. Researchers and cryptographers such as Petter Amundsen and Daniel Ronnstam claim to have found codes hidden in Shakespeare, rock formations on the island, and clues hidden in other 16th- and 17th-century art and historical documents. Author Joy Steele suggests that the money pit is actually a tar kiln dating to the historical period when "Oak Island served as a tar-making location as part of the British naval stores industry".

However, Fell is not considered to be credible by most mainstream academics. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also: The Curse of Oak Island. It is known that the company roughly had its activity sometime in the early s. Skeptical Inquirer. August 20, Liverpool Transcript.

25 Real-Life Treasure Hunts That Turned Up Millions In Loot

Liverpool, Nova Scotia: S. According to accounts, Rogers himself then took a raft down the swift waters of the Connecticut River, arriving at the fort in late October. Gold and silver coins, church plates, chandeliers, candlesticks, a ruby ring, a silver shirt, and a silver statute of the Madonna are mentioned among the loot. One of these tales relates that the treasure thirteen bean-kettles full, and including the golden calf was buried at the mouth of Cow Brook at North Littleton, on the Falls.

Many men have dug for it there. I myself have seen the numerous holes and trenches, one of which is forty feet long and six feet deep.

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He heard the local legend of a buried golden calf and hired a seer named Nide Munn to go into a trance and locate it for him. The next night the stranger and the guide with whom he was staying, one Dave Merrill, dug it up and the stranger departed before dawn and was never seen again. This quote appears thanks to the American Folklore Society.