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The Curse of Oak Island: Hunt to continue after tests show ship may lie buried in swamp

Rick Lagina on The Curse of Oak Island: Drilling Down
Rick Lagina as the team discuss the new findings on The Curse of Oak Island: Drilling Down special. Pic credit: History

On The Curse of Oak Island this week, a very special Drilling Down episode revealed the results of startling seismic testing from the swamp — which means the hunt will go on!

The episode, titled Legacy, takes place in Traverse City Michigan, where Rick and Marty Lagina, along with Alex Lagina, Jack Begley, Craig Tester, and Matty Blake have assembled to hear exciting news from officials of Eagle Canada.

“There’s a lot of anxiety around this table, we gotta get to it,” Marty says.

In response, the experts inform the team that they have found four key anomalies: two so-called Highland anomalies, and a Connector anomaly, all clues that point to the Money Pit area.

And then there is the Swamp anomaly! In the swamp the experts have found, “a very unusual object,” around 250 feet long. “We don’t know what it is … it just doesn’t make sense,” one official says.

Confounded, Marty asks, “would it be s-h-i-p?”

The anomaly in the swamp
The anomaly in the swamp, with arrows showing its dimensions. Pic credit: History
The anomaly superimposed over its actual location in the swamp
The anomaly superimposed over its actual location in the swamp. Pic credit: History

He is referring to Fred Nolan’s theory that the swamp was man-made, possibly to hide a ship — presumably one loaded with treasure!

In the past the team found a wood plank in the swamp. Could it have come from a treasure or pirate ship that is still in place, filled to the gills with gold, jewels, or priceless artifacts?

The team learn that the anomaly is just below sea level, and it has sharp, defined edges. Drone photography shows a high point in the swamp within which the anomaly lies. Getting to it would  involve some 50 feet of swamp digging, and Rick excitedly says, “it’s time to get dirty!”

The experts affirm that, “It looks promising,” and that getting more data would be, “a low cost operation.” The team theorize that coring through the object might be the way to go as a means of getting closer to the truth of just what lies in the mysterious, if stinky, swamp.

Matty is so excited, he implores the team, “you have to start digging!”

Always rational, Marty responds that the anomaly, “could be a lot of things,” but Craig just about guarantees that there will be a Season 7 of History’s wildly popular show when he says that they, “need to search it, absolutely.”

After absorbing the stunning news, Marty exclaims that it feels like they are, “on the cusp of beginning after all these years.”

Although he always believed that the Oak Island enigma could have been, “collective madness”, he adds, “I don’t think that anymore.”

“Nothing did not happen here,” he proclaims with the kind of certainty that Rick has always had.

In turn each of the team members shared a significant memory from the year’ dig. For Alex it was uncovering the u-shaped structure, and for Craig it was the revealing dendrochronology data. For his part Jack was pleased that the finds were, “a huge win for all Oak Island enthusiasts all over the world.”

Shortly after filming for Season 6 ended, Dan Blankenship passed away at the age of 95. The late Oak Island treasure hunter played a pivotal role in work on the island, and on the documentary reality show, and died March 17, 2019.

Dan Blankenship
Legendary Oak Island treasure hunter Dan Blankenship, who passed away earlier this year. Pic credit: History

Dan spent more than 50 years searching for treasure and uncovering mysteries on the infamous island. Along with a montage of memorable moments showcasing Dan’s wit and wisdom, the team members shared their thoughts of the larger than life figure. Rick stated that his association with Oak Island began with Dan and believes his unconquerable spirit will always remain on Oak Island. “He was the guy we looked to … I can’t speak highly enough of the man.”

Marty agreed, saying that what he will miss the most is seeking advice, “that’s gone, that’s sad. But I’m sure he would want us to move forward.”

For Rick the journey has always been more about a search for truth than treasure, and he believes that Dan would have been gratified that the swamp data, “advanced the search and gave credence to what he did.”

Team member Dan Henskee met Dan in 1965 and remembers him as business-like and vigorous, “he was a very active man,” certainly not one for any small talk that would take him away from the task at hand which, for more than half of his life, was searching on Oak Island.

Oak Island historian Charles Barkhouse recalls that meeting Dan was like, “meeting a sports hero.”

His son Dave Blankenship shared that his dad, “had a good run … hopefully we can find something for him.”

Dave and Dan Blankenship
Dan Blankenship with son Dave Blankenship in a happy moment from The Curse of Oak Island. Pic credit: History

The Fellowship of the Dig is now a worldwide phenomenon, and in many ways it was Dan’s inspiration and example that helped to make that happen.

There is no doubt that this year was a bittersweet one on Oak Island, with the passing of a legend, but also the discovery of the most amazing results to date — but there is still much work to be done!

Spoiler alert: in the words of Matty, get ready to be blown away! He confirms the exciting news that Dan Blankenship’s legacy will live on as the team return more determined than ever to solve the centuries old mystery by getting down and dirty, and going for broke, in what is sure to be a blockbuster Season 7!

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


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