The Curse of Oak Island: New CT scanner allows the team to analyze artifacts and get answers super quick

Marty and Rick Lagina in the War Room
Marty and Rick Lagina hear the results from the first CT scan. Pic credit: History

This week on The Curse of Oak Island, the team took delivery of a brand new and very fancy CT scanner machine, which will now allow the team to analyze artifacts within a matter of hours.

The delivery of a Skyscan 1273 CT scanner from the Bruker Corporation could revolutionize the way the Oak Island team does their research as they’ll no longer have to rely on experts in faraway laboratories; they’ll be able to do the work themselves and cut down on months of waiting time.

Computed tomography (CT) scanners are best known for their role in the medical world and are generally used to detect injury and disease in humans and animals. The machines use X-Rays to create a 3D image of a body section.

Oak Island team can now analyze their own artifacts on the island

And now, the Lagina brothers have managed to source one of these machines for themselves. The idea is that they’ll be able to feed the artifacts they find into the device and create a 3D image that will reveal what’s inside these items.

The guys from the Bruker Corporation called the machine a “3D X-Ray microscope” and explained that the X-Rays would digitally remove any dirt or corrosion from the artifacts. And perhaps most importantly, this process doesn’t destroy or damage the artifact in any way.

Usually, the team has to send off artifacts to various laboratories, and they often have to wait weeks or even months for the results. Now, with this CT scanner, they’ll be able to attain the same information in a matter of hours.

CT scanner from Oak Island
The Oak Island team received delivery of a brand new piece of scientific equipment. Pic credit: History

The Bruker Corporation had sent up three guys from their base in Massachusetts to show the team how to work the scanner, and they couldn’t wait to get started. Luckily, Jack Begley had just found what looked like a piece of parchment from the spoils of the TF1 shaft, so they wasted no time putting the item in the CT scanner.

A preliminary investigation seemed to confirm Jack’s suspicion as the scanner picked up a glowing substance deemed to be iron, a substance often used in older inks. The iron showed up on a digital image as a series of glowing blobs, which a Bruker representative suggested might actually be the writing.

But when they switched to a higher resolution, things really became clearer, and it turned out to not be parchment at all, but a much more modern type of paper. They also determined that it was a paper used for wrapping explosives.

Digital image of the inside of an Oak Island artifact
This image from the CT scanner shows the inside of a piece of paper found at the Money Pit. The blue blobs indicate the presence of iron. Pic credit: History

Suddenly it all became clear. Way back in 1909, at an excavation involving future US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, dynamite was used in a shaft at the Money Pit. So, that was the end of that mystery.

Oak Island team invest in more scientific equipment

This isn’t the first fancy piece of scientific equipment that the Lagina brothers have splashed out on this season. Last year, the guys installed an X-Ray Fluorescence machine that has allowed the team to ascertain the chemical composition of various artifacts. It has so far allowed them to identify gold in numerous items.

Clearly, the team is prepared to invest in the scientific equipment needed to solve the Oak Island mystery. This is also great news for us viewers as rather than waiting weeks or months to get the facts, we should now be able to learn all about an artifact within an episode or two.

The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on History.

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