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Beyond Oak Island: The search for stolen pirate silver in East Texas

Rick and Marty Lagina on Beyond Oak Island
In Beyond Oak Island, Rick and Marty Lagina hope to ‘give something back’ to the treasure hunting community worldwide. Pic credit: History

The first episode of Beyond Oak Island finally graced our screens last night, and if the series continues like this, it’s gonna be both educational and a helluva lot of fun.

The format of the show was essentially split into two parts. In the first part, we were introduced to treasure hunter Christian Roper, who Marty Lagina described as a young idealistic version of Rick Lagina.

Christian is based in East Texas, and he described his quest to locate the missing treasure of 19th-century pirate Jean Laffite. The legend says that in 1816, Laffite and his fellow pirates plundered six wagon loads worth of silver from the Spanish.

As Laffite and his men raced through East Texas with the wagons, Spanish troops hotly pursued them. As the troops closed in on the men, they panicked and dumped the loot into Hendricks lake, near present-day Tatum, Texas.

Fast-forward 200 years.

Rick and Marty decided to help Christian and his colleagues search the lake for hidden silver.

The search for pirate treasure on Beyond Oak Island

In this first part of the show, we also get a small history lesson as the guys discuss several famous pirates and the fascination that these old-timey bandits hold for millions of people.

They briefly touch on the exploits of such infamous scoundrels as French pirate Olivier Levasseur nicknamed La Buse, and, of course, Edward Teach, aka Blackbird.

In the second part of the show, we travel down to East Texas to see how Christian and his buddies get on with searching Hendricks Lake for the silver.

They are now armed with some sophisticated sonar equipment and some dedicated divers. The Lagina’s have also lent out Oak Islander researcher and Drilling Down presenter Matty Blake.

Matty heads down to Hendricks Lake with his trademark enthusiasm and can-do attitude, and the guys get to work in finding some silver ingots.

Oh, and they also do their best to avoid the alligators and the four types of snakes that inhabit this stretch of water.

Matty Blake on Beyond Oak Island
Matty Blake from Oak Island’s Drilling Down was sent to East Texas to help out. Pic credit: History

The sonar equipment means they are the first people ever to get an idea of what’s at the bottom of the lake. We are talking centuries of history waiting to be uncovered from the murky depths.

The guys get really excited when they think they’ve spotted wagon wheels on the sonar, so they send the divers down for a closer look.

Treasure is always elusive

Unfortunately, the divers have to contend with zero visibility, meaning they needed a lot of time to feel their way around. When a storm starts brewing up, they have to call an end to the search.

Just like in Oak Island, it seems that treasure never gives up its secrets easily. But, as always, the search never stops.

Rick and Marty spoke about their delight at speaking with other dedicated treasure hunters and wished Christian and his buddies the best of luck.

The brothers know how fortunate they’ve been with their project and said they relish the opportunity “to give something back” to the treasure hunting community.

Great job, guys! More of the same, please. Next week, it seems as though Beyond Oak Island will be heading to the Wild West.

Beyond Oak Island airs at 10/9c on History.

Jerry Brown


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