Oak Island is an uninhabited Canadian spot of mystery just off the coast Nova Scotia. It’s a small, wooded piece of land that totals only 140 acres and rises no higher than 36 feet from sea level. Hidden in this lush green spot is a deep dark secret, one that people have been trying to uncover for the past 250 years. What started with a teenager stumbling across a hole in the ground turned into one of the largest treasure hunts in North American history.
In 1795, 16 year-old Daniel McGinnis was exploring the island when he found a small, round dip in the earth. Like any rambunctious youth before the days of television, he called together a team of friends to help him investigate. They started digging and noticed a couple of odd qualities about it, suggesting that the hole was man made. Every 10 feet or so was a layer of logs, along with support stones and what looked like marks from a pick.
It was almost a decade before anyone else investigated the find, but once that ball started it rolled into a constant cycle of groups making an attempt at getting further into the hole. Interested parties would gather friends and investors, drum up some exciting stories and form a Company with the intent to find whatever was buried at the bottom of the pit. The following groups tried, and failed, to find any evidence of treasure in the mysterious pit.
The Onslow Company, 1793 Depth: 90ft Result: Found a stone marker, which some believe to be a promise for more treasure. Soon after digging deeper, the pit flooded and the Company disbanded.
The Truro Company, 1849 Depth: 98ft Result: Found evidence of more wooden planks, but nothing valuable.
The Oak Island Association, 1864 Depth: Unknown Result: Part of the shaft collapsed; believed to be from an ancient booby trap. Later, a boiler burst and the company disbanded due to the resulting fatality.
Multiple companies, 1866-1959 Depth: Various Result: Despite numerous deaths, the companies pressed on. They began to dig shafts adjacent to the main one in an attempt to penetrate it from a new angle. Nothing interesting was ever found.
Triton Alliance, Ltd, 1967 Depth: 235ft Result: The company allegedly sent a camera into the pit which found evidence of human remains and tools, but the video never surfaced. They disbanded due to lack of funds.
Theories abound as to what could lay at the bottom of the massive pit, if anything. Many people argue that the pit is not even man made, it’s simply a sinkhole whose otherworldly properties are continually over-exaggerated. The previously mentioned stone carving found in 1793 has been deciphered as saying either “two million pounds is buried” or a religious message about the importance of remembering God. The stone’s whereabouts are currently unknown.
The most common theory, however, is that pirates buried their treasure there and set up a series of traps to protect it. Captain Kidd and Blackbeard are both believed to be owners of the alleged booty. Other wild ideas range from Marie Antoinette’s jewels to the Ark of the Covenant. Here, D’Arcy O’Connor author of The Secret Treasure of Oak Island discusses some of the wilder theories that have been proposed to him:
In 2006 a Michigan-based drilling company purchased a 50% stake in Oak Island Tours, who owns the island. It is presumed drilling will resume at some point in the future, but due to the Oak Island Treasure Act enacted this past January, a license to search the pit must be issued by the Canadian government.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
5 responses to "Mysterious hole in Canada that has been investigated for over 200 years"
What stands out most to me, is the idea of burying treasure. In the historical record of mankind, do humans bury a treasure they plan on getting back at some point - bury it so deep, so over the top in its complexity, that even modern industrial efforts could not recover it? The answer is no. Burying treasure is far more about hiding it than it is about stopping people from digging it up. At the time it would have been buried, it was more than a quiet place no one would think to look in. I think treasure was buried there, then as expected, the owners or those who betrayed them went back and dug it up. Only people who bury things they want never found go to that kind of trouble, like a king's tomb. Way too much trouble for burying some gold.
"do humans bury a treasure they plan on getting back at some point - bury it so deep, so over the top in its complexity, that even modern industrial efforts could not recover it? " Well no, but one intriguing theory is that the item to be buried and retrieved is not put at the bottom of such a hole but rather a deep hole is dug and then a tunnel at an upward angle in a calculated direction is dug from that depth to a point below the undisturbed surface and somewhere away from the pit. Then only the person with the map and landmarks with which to calculate where it is, will be able to recover the hidden item, and they won't have a very difficult time digging to it either as it's not that far down! Anyone trying to dig to the item by way of the original pit will be unable to do so.