This week on The Curse of Oak Island, once again, it was all about the swamp and uncovering the secrets that lie underneath its murky depths.
The team believes they may have uncovered a wharf or pier like structure, possibly hundreds of years old, that stretches out from the swamp into the ocean. And they reckon it was used to unload a large amount of cargo, hopefully, treasure.
This piece of the puzzle began five weeks ago when Geoscientist Dr. Ian Spooner (our expert on all things swamp related) thought he’d discovered another human-made structure in the swamp.
Last year, a paved area was uncovered that the good doctor Spooner dated to an incredible 1200 AD. Unfortunately, this new structure has not been dated yet, but Spooner and Rick Lagina were able to map its width and length. It was 20 feet wide and 70 feet long and was located in the southeast corner of the swamp at about 3 feet under the water.
The guys have already drained large parts of the swamp on two occasions, but somehow they’d missed this. It’s time to drain again, but unfortunately, they need a permit before they can continue.
While the guys waited for a permit, they decided to investigate beyond the confines of the swamp. Spooner wanted to know if the structure continued out to sea, so he, Alex Lagina, and Tony Sampson rigged a boat up with sonar and went out to explore the shoreline.
Possible ancient wharf found just under water’s surface
And sure enough, right by the swamp, the sonar picked up a possible human-made structure under the water. It was a perfectly square 8 feet by 8 feet.
All the evidence in recent weeks has pointed in the direction of large scale activity occurring between the swamp and the recently discovered structure at Lot 15. Last night’s discoveries indicate that heavy unloading of ships could have occurred at or near the swamp.
Last month, Gary Drayton and Jack Begley uncovered a number of ox-shoes, which led them to believe they’d discovered a trail used for transporting goods between the swamp and the structure at Lot 15.
As for Lot 15, The archaeologists, led by David McGinnis, think they found an old pine tar kiln that could have been used to seal underground tunnels. They also suspect there’s a tunnel entrance at the site buried beneath some rocks.
Despite the shortened season, coupled with the restrictions due to COVID-19 that have limited large-scale excavations for this year, it seems that the guys have started making real progress in piecing together all the clues.
What seems clear is that they are increasingly finding evidence that large amounts of cargo were transported to and unloaded on Oak Island. Now the Fellowship just needs to find out what this cargo was.
Ancient shipwreck just off the north shore?
There was one more interesting discovery last night; as the guys glided through the water on the north side of the island, the sonar imaging picked up what looked like a shipwreck at about 30 feet below the surface.
They were just off-shore, in front of a boulderless beach, meaning unloading might have been possible at that point. It’s definitely something the guys will need to check out.
The Curse of Oak Island airs at 9/8c on History.