The Curse of Oak Island: Is the team closing in on illicit pirate booty?

Marty Lagina looks on as the team works to uncover buried treasure
Marty Lagina may see his treasure hunting dream realized on The Curse of Oak Island. Pic credit: History

For over two centuries searchers, dreamers and renegades have risked everything to unearth legendary treasure on Oak Island, Nova Scotia. Based on nothing more than a fantastic rumor, some have paid with every penny they own, while those less fortunate have paid with their lives.

Could it be that copious amounts of pirate treasure are hidden underfoot, with the lucky finder destined for wealth and infamy?

Treasure hunter Marty Lagina, star of History Channel’s The Curse of Oak Island, doesn’t discount the theory and believes that Peter Easton is the most likely buccaneer to have deposited illicit loot.

The name may not ring a bell, but those knowledgeable about pirate lore think he is at least as likely as infamous Captain Kidd to have secreted away a fortune in gold on the tiny Atlantic island. Now, Lagina is in a prime position to know, having spent the last six years filming the exploits he, his brother Rick Lagina, and their team have got up to in a bid to be the ones to solve the Oak Island mystery.

According to Lagina, Easton, once a loyal English seaman, was, “a breed apart … an outlier,” from the other pirates whose names have been connected to Oak Island.

For starters, Easton is believed to have been the wealthiest and most powerful of his rebel brethren. In his day, he roamed the Atlantic all the way to the West Indies, and he established a base in Newfoundland in 1612.

He had a well-appointed armada and wasn’t shy about raiding foreign vessels, including English, French and Portuguese ships. Prior to settling in Canada, Easton was known for roaming the Mediterranean as well as the West Indies, enthusiastically raiding Spanish ships of their gold.

In fact, Easton was so audacious that he took Richard Whitbourne, a well-known, legitimate trader, hostage. His goal? Converting the good man to pirate life!

Ironically, Easton himself may have been converted back to legitimacy, if not for a major paperwork problem. Believe it or not, Whitbourne actually did Easton’s bidding by traveling to England to ask for a pardon for the swashbuckler.

There he discovered that a pardon had been doled out, but had never been delivered to Easton. A second pardon was then granted, but by that time, Easton had reportedly grown too tired of waiting (or maybe grown too enamored of piracy) to change his life’s course.

Eventually, Easton and his swollen stores of bandit booty sailed on to France, where the cash-strapped Duke of Savoy made him welcome. He settled along the French Riviera and there he reportedly bought a mansion and established a base for his plunder. To say the 40-something buccaneer lived the good life would be an understatement.

In France, he was accorded the prestigious designation, Marquis of Savoy, and was expected to serve the Duke of Savoy. The inveterate pirate married a woman of means and was known to have lived out his days in a gilded manner until circa 1620, at which time he disappears from the historical record.

Did Easton leave behind a boatload of riches on Oak Island prior to sailing off into the sunset? The treasure hunting team led by the Laginas hope to find out.

To date, their multi-million dollar operation has yielded provocative clues in greater numbers than all previous searches combined. This includes a mysterious slipway, gold, tantalizing jewels, human bones, and a lead cross dating back centuries.

Could this be the year Peter Easton’s purported riches are unearthed on The Curse of Oak Island?

Be sure to tune in and find out!

The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c.

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