The Oak Island Money Pit – Treasure or Hoax?
In 1795, a teenager named Daniel McGinnis found a depression in the ground, below a large oak tree on the island. Later, he returned to the area with two of his friends to dig deeper, hoping to find some kind of reward. After 2 feet they came across flagstone which covered a shaft filled with dirt. As they continued, they found more levels (platforms) beneath the ground. After digging 30 feet deep, they abandoned the pit, but they never forgot about their childhood treasure hunt.
Daniel and his team returned many years later with proper funding and a crew of professionals to finally uncover what laid beneath the ground and to see if the Oak Island Money Pit really concealed anything worth their time. Every 10 feet they found foreign materials from Coir to clay. After digging 90-100 feet deep, the team allegedly found their first piece of evidence that the Oak Island Money Pit has more to offer than dirt.
They uncovered a stone slab with markings on it in an unknown language. When deciphered, it was said to translate to ”forty feet below lie two million pounds”. Even more promising was the alleged discovery of a few pieces of gold. They also found a cavern which was deemed “booby trapped“, which made them more confident that something valuable was in the money pit. The following day after uncovering the slab, the shaft flooded with approximately 60 feet of water, which made continuing the dig a huge challenge. The team attempted to dig a parallel well to continue the search, but shortly after starting, that also flooded.
Many treasure hunters have fled to the island in the hopes of uncovering what lies beneath the ground and there’s been many theories as to what the pit contains, which include:
- The pit being a natural sink hole which has the materials above ground collapsing into the pit
- The secret hiding place of Captain Kidd‘s treasure, a pirate from the 1600’s who is said to have hidden his riches somewhere east of Boston
- A hidden treasure from early Viking explorers
- Freemasons‘ treasure
- The hiding place of Marie Antoinette‘s jewels
- Evidence from Francis Bacon proving he was the true author of Shakespeare‘s plays
- Related to The Lost City of Atlantis
Since Daniel and his team left the hunt, many more enthusiasts have dug, uncovering more stone slabs and even human remains. Some have even lost their lives in attempts to excavate the island. However, a hoard of gold or treasure has not been found in or around the Oak Island Money Pit, yet.
Professionals believe the pit was man-made, due to the materials found and the underground caverns and channels.
In 2010, a final treasure hunt was initiated, but nothing was found and the government passed the Oak Island Act (more here), banning all commercial treasure hunts on the island. However, in 2011 a new Oak Island Treasure Act invited the hunt to continue (amended in 2014), with permission granted from the Minister of Natural Resources.
Maybe one day soon we will uncover what the creators of the Oak Island Money Pit didn’t want anyone to find.
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