This week on The Curse of Oak Island, the team had to make some tough choices, but ultimately, they decided it was time to bring in a large caisson and excavate Aladdin’s Cave.
Last night’s show, Season 11, Episode 10, called Chain Reaction, was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster with the guys continually having to bat away problems and bad news.
The episode began with the not-so-unexpected news that there would be a significant delay in the project to deepen the Garden Shaft. The guys had wanted to deepen the shaft to about 95 feet so they could spend the summer performing horizontal probe drilling in the search for tunnels and treasure.
Unfortunately, the Dumas miners informed the Lagina brothers that the shaft wouldn’t be deepened until the Fall due to recent flooding.
However, Rick and Marty Lagina are not ones to rest on their laurels, so they thought about what else they could spend the summer doing. Marty suggested they put a large caisson over Aladdin’s Cave.
Oak Island team hopes excavating Aladdin’s Cave will reveal the treasure
Aladdin’s Cave is a large cavern about 60 feet southwest of the Garden Shaft and at a depth of roughly 150 feet.
Dr. Ian Spooner and his colleagues said the water in the cavern showed traces of precious metals and organic materials. The organic traces suggest the presence of wood, which implies there may be human-made structures down there.
The guys have spent a few weeks flirting with Aladdin’s Cave, trying to work out if there’s an access point in and out of the cavern. Frankly, they’ve not had too much success.
Last night, the borehole team dug another hole into the cavern and was surprised when the casing came back up with loose, mushy material. The guys concluded that the cavern had suffered a collapse since they were last down there.
A collapse would severely complicate matters. Surveyor Steve Guptill, Paul Troutman, and Ian were asked to go over all the data they’ve already collected through sonar mapping and the underwater camera to see if further exploration was feasible and warranted.
Steve argued that one piece of footage from the cavern appeared to show a right-angled corner. This is not something that generally occurs in nature, so the guys are hoping it’s evidence of a human-made structure.
The surveyor also showed a 3D sonar map of the cavern, which he claimed showed at least two possible entrances to the cavern.
Thankfully, moneyman Marty agreed with Steve’s analysis and gave his go-ahead to bring in a large caisson to excavate Aladdin’s Cave finally. The rest of the team also agreed with this move.
So, this season will now pivot its focus to this mysterious cavern, and we can expect the heavy drilling machinery to arrive within the next month or so. Aladdin’s Cave will be excavated, and we’ll finally have an answer as to whether or not it holds the treasure.
More artifacts found on Oak Island’s Lot 5 and in the swamp
Elsewhere on the island, Billy Gerhardt and Gary Drayton spearheaded the hunt for artifacts at the southeastern edge of the swamp. Last night, they found many old-looking ship-based artifacts, but unfortunately, nothing was groundbreaking. Certainly, no bobby dazzlers.
And the archaeologist continued their slow and thorough excavation of the rectangular stone feature on Lot 5. Jamie Kouba uncovered an ornate glass bead that could originate from Venice and be up to 500 years old.
Laird Niven called it a very important artifact.
The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on History.