The Curse of Civil War Gold starts next week, following a hunt for $140million worth of gold bullion believed to be lying at the bottom of Lake Michigan.
A sneak peek from the premiere shows Marty Lagina of The Curse of Oak Island fame quizzing treasure-hunter Kevin Dykstra about his quest to find the gold.
Worth $2million at the time it was stolen and $140million in today’s money, the bullion is believed to have been looted from Confederate President Jefferson Davis by Union soldiers back in 1865.
A lighthouse keeper later revealed on his deathbed that following a plot to smuggle it nearly 1,000 miles home by train, part of the gold was loaded into a railway boxcar — a type of freight wagon — and pushed off a ferry into Lake Michigan.
Boxcars are known to have been pushed off ferries at the time to lighten the vessels’ loads during storms in a bid to stop them sinking.
Dykstra approached Marty, a multi-millionaire thanks to his interests in the energy industry, for help funding his bid to try and trace the boxcar — a quest he started out on seven years ago.
The Curse of Civil War Gold also features metal-detecting expert Gary Drayton from The Curse of Oak Island and will be shown over six episodes.
Dykstra wants to scan around 100 square miles of Lake Michigan with sonar, but to get the tens of thousands of dollars he needs he has to convince Marty that his theory has legs by showing him proof.
The series then documents him and his team as they trace the journey the money would have taken following Jefferson Davis’s arrest.
Their investigation leads them from the scene of the original heist to bank vaults looking for secret tunnels where the money would have been laundered, and finally to the bottom of Lake Michigan.
In 2015, Dykstra’s treasure-hunting partner Frederick J. Monroe told local television station WWZM13 how he first heard about the apparent treasure in 1972.
He said: “I was sitting down and talking to a friend of mine, and all of the sudden he says, ‘Fred, you’re just the person I want to see with your diving experience.
“My grandfather told me a story that he heard from a lighthouse keeper, who originally heard it during a deathbed confession, that there’s $2million of gold bullion inside a boxcar that fell off a ferry into Lake Michigan.”
Dkystra has previously told how a piece of Confederate gold that turned up in Traverse City, Michigan — where Marty Lagina’s oil and gas business operates from — was examined by three experts who said it “could only have come from the Confederate gold taken down in Lincoln County, Georgia.”
The Curse of Civil War Gold will premiere following the Season 5 finale of The Curse of Oak Island on Tuesday, and is produced by Prometheus Entertainment, the same company that makes COOI.
Monsters and Critics told earlier this week how it is likely that The Curse of Oak Island will be renewed for a sixth season, but this is yet to be confirmed.
The Curse of Civil War Gold premieres Tuesday March 6 at 10/9c on History Channel.
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