Today we talk about one of my favorite of those curious little oddities and mysteries from out there among the world. Today we delve into the money pit on Oak Island, just off the coast of Nova Scotia, and what is possibly one of the longest running treasure hunts into the unknown.
The earliest recorded beginning of this tale starts back in 1795, when 16 year old Daniel McGinnis was wandering around Oak Island, a tiny uninhabited island a short rowboat ride away from Nova Scotia, and discovered a curious circular depression in the ground in the middle of a clearing. Investigating further, he discovered that several branches had been cut away for a tackle block to be used above the depression in the ground. Since there had been reported stories of pirates in the area, McGinnis decided to leave and come back with some friends later.
Over the next several days, McGinnis and his teenage friends worked over this mysterious hole, which they found to be quite deep. Just a few feet down into the hole, they found some flagstones and the marks of a pick into the dirt. As they continued to probe into the hole, they found a layer of logs laid out every ten feet down, but had to abandon their excavation 30 feet down due to lack of supplies or skills to push further. But what they had found had astonished, especially since it was clearly the work of human engineering.
This is just the beginning of what would later come to be known as the Money Pit.
Eight years later, McGinnis and his friends returned, along with the Onslow Company, formed with the express purpose of literally getting to the bottom of this mystery, but their efforts, if you’ll pardon the pun, only deepened the mystery of the Money Pit.
They continued to push down into the hole, all the way down to the 90 foot mark, still finding the layers of logs every 10 feet. But in addition to that, they also found at the 40 foot mark, a layer of charcoal, and at the 50 foot mark, a layer of putty, and at the 60 foot down mark, a layer of coconut fiber. But at the 90 foot mark, one of the most puzzling aspects of this mystery was found: A stone inscribed with a mysterious writing in symbols on it.
No actual pictures were taken of the stone, which has since been lost, but one translation claims that the symbols (seen above) say, “Forty feet below, two million pounds lie buried.”
Naturally, that only energized the men doing the excavation and they began pulling up the layer of oak there at the 90 foot mark. In doing so, water began seeping into the hole, but they couldn’t tell from where. By the next day, the hole had been flooded up to the 33 foot mark.
Since pumping didn’t work, a new pit was dug in the following year, one that ran parallel to the original and went down to the 100 foot mark, and then went over into the original. Again, that pit flooded with water and the search was abandoned for 45 years.
What was later discovered by the attempt to get to the bottom of the Money Pit that followed the Onslow Company was that the water was part of a booby trap designed by the designers of the Money Pit. In their digging, they had unleashed a 500 foot causeway that went to the nearby Smith’s Cove. As soon as any water could be pumped out of any dug pit in the area, it would be quickly refilled the sea.
Then came the discoveries of the beach, in which those investigating Oak Island discovered had five channels laid out underneath for drawing water into the booby trap,with the five channels in the shape of fingers of a hand. In fact, the whole beach was fake it was soon learned, just made to hide the water deliver system.
The story of Oak Island and the quest to get to the bottom of the Money Pit by no means ends there, but I’ll let you do the rest of the reading on your own. It’s a fascinating tale and has quite a few celebrity enquirers (Franklin Delando Roosevelt was part of one of the dig groups and kept up with news of further excavations for the rest of his life) and has been heavily romanticized over the years (despite the six deaths in the process of the variou excavation attempts). Here’s a short list of theories as to what could be in the Money Pit or who could have been involved with it’s creation:
Vikings! That theory’s for poor people though.
Other various pirates of just about any kind.
The Knights Templar. Which only leads to either…
The Holy Grail. Or…
Mary Magdalene. Or…
The Spanish. Perhaps there’s a stranded galleon of gold down there? Like…
The Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion.
A ghost. As in, there’s a ghost imprisoned down there.
The British, doing who knows what during the American revolution.
Shakespeare and buried below is his lost plays. Ooh. That would tie back into Francis Bacon, right?
Either Incan or Mayan treasure. Maybe the secrets to surviving 2012? (Actually, no, that’s in an upcoming Counterforce post, actually).
Aliens! Because aliens are always fucking involved, right? I sure hope it’s the lizard ones, not the grays with their anal probing of cows tendency.
But all of that good stuff right there. You just know that when you’re doing something wacky and mysterious, that if all of those gathered above could be potential theories then, well, you’re just onto a winner, right?
Come back soon and we’ll go over the third mysterious thing/place I wanted to talk about. And that one is my favorite…