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The Curse of Oak Island: Discovery of Shaft 2 means team are only 14ft from Money Pit

Shaft 2 pictured from above
The team believes that with the discovery of Shaft 2 that they are just 14 feet from the Money Pit. Pic credit: History

There was some thrilling news for fans on this week’s episode of The Curse of Oak Island Season 7 — the team believes they are a mere 14 feet away from the Money Pit.

The revelation came after the discovery of Shaft 2, which is the oldest searcher structure on the island and the one closest to the Money Pit and, potentially, buried treasure.

The team were drilling exploratory boreholes near the Money Pit area when they hit wood. Laird Niven excitedly told Rick that they believed they had hit a corner of Shaft 2 and, therefore, could work out its orientation. Rick dampened everyone’s enthusiasm, though, by insisting they keep drilling to make sure.

They made another exploratory borehole, and soon the cries of  “LOTS OF WOOD” came ringing out. They had found a second wall of the shaft. Cue beaming faces all round, with Jack Begley and Steve Guptill looking particularly pleased with their efforts.

Steve pointed out that the shaft is “pointing towards virgin ground.” They have never dug in this area before, and Steve continued by suggesting this could be their most “important find to date.”

The shaft was initially built by Dan McGinnis and his searcher team back in the 1790s when the Money Pit was last located. But first, they needed to make sure that this was indeed Shaft 2.

It was time for a dendrochronology test on the wood. Dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating, is a scientific method that can accurately date, to the year, how old a piece of wood is by counting its growth rings. Marty said of the dating method that “it is the tool that has worked the best on the island in terms of accuracy and dating.”

A week later, as the lads gathered around the table in the war room, they all looked excited, but also nervous and anxious, as Craig Tester gazed down at them from the video screen. Jack Begley still managed to look excited, as you’d expect from him. Alex Lagina, on the other hand, looked 100 per cent anxious.

In hindsight, you could perhaps say that Craig’s expression looked a little smug — he knew something the others didn’t; he had the results of dendrochronology tests. Craig calmly informed the group that the wood dated from 1796. This means the structure is almost definitely Shaft 2.

They now just need to go down 110 feet to find a 14-foot tunnel leading from this shaft, and then they have the Money Pit. In other words, they are 14 feet away from the Money Pit; they just don’t know in which direction.

Depiction of Shaft 2 with adjoining tunnel to Money Pitt
The discovery of Shaft 2 means the team is just 14 feet away from the Money Pit. Pic credit: History

“That’s stunning,” said Rick, who then looked to Gary Drayton and said “what is it, Gary… I’m gobsmacked?” “Yep! Gobsmacked,” Gary confirmed. Rick reiterated, “you couldn’t get better results than that.”

Marty then pointed out “how many times have we sat around this table, and the data said ‘might be and could be?”. This time, however, they have definitive results which indicate they are really close to the original Money Pit.

The team sat in the War Room
There were beaming faces in the War Room as the guys realized they’d narrowed down the location of the Money Pit. Pic credit: History

The guys all agreed that the dendrochronology results must mean they have located Shaft 2, which means the Money Pit is somewhere in a 14-foot radius. They have narrowed down its location to a tiny area.

The big take away for this week, Doug Crowell says, is “the Money Pit may no longer be lost.”

The Curse Of Oak Island airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on History.

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