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The Curse of Oak Island recap: Have the team uncovered a vital clue on nearby Apple Island?

Gary Drayton and Jack Begley examine one of the boulders on Apple Island. Pic credit: History

Hold the phone, fans, because the treasure-hunting plot definitely thickens in the latest episode of The Curse of Oak Island!

In Season 6 Episode 9, titled As Above, So Below, the team led by Rick and Marty Lagina make progress on not one, but four fronts in their quest to uncover fabled riches and artifacts on the mysterious island.

The day gets off to an exciting start as Rick and Marty and their team continue to shovel and scoop out Smith’s Cove, both by hand and with heavy equipment.

The area is now dry after a 525-foot long steel cofferdam was built to hold back the Atlantic Ocean. They plan to dig down to a depth of 10 feet, and last week found a huge piece of wood with the Roman numeral VII (the number 7) carved into it.

They believe this to be a part of the u-shaped structure, and as they continue to dig out the log, they are amazed to find more Roman numerals, a XII (12) and an XI (11).

“It’s a great day,” says Rick, while Marty describes it as “extremely gratifying,” noting that this was how the structure was depicted in an old picture.

Later they find blue clay inside the structure and have no doubt that it was intentionally put there. Could this mean that the u-shaped structure was involved in the Money Pit construction years ago?

It’s a definite possibility as Marty explains, “The outside of the structure was packed intentionally…intentional water-proofing.”

In the same vicinity, Gary Drayton and his metal detector initially find no metal, which leads them to wonder why there are no nails or spikes in the structure? As is the case with most of the Oak Island enigmas, there is no easy or ready answer.

Jack Begley offers his theory that the u-shaped structure is actually the remains of an ancient cofferdam. If this is correct, then the entrance to the sought-after box drains is imminent!

The next day archeologist Laird Niven arrives to review the fascinating structure and says that he’s never seen anything like it before and believes it is part of what was a massive undertaking.

He and Marty measure the dimensions of the structure, with Laird calling out, “sixty-five, five,” at one point. Marty thinks the number could have an as yet unknown, but significant, meaning.

Marty Lagina measuring the structure in Smith’s Cove. Pic credit: History

Later, the team watch as the dug-up spoils go through the wash plant, and Gary and Jack get busy checking some of the piles.

Gary’s metal detector finds several targets and he starts digging with his hands once he hears something promising. “It’s a coin!” he yells, and Jack hollers, “yeah, man!” But their exuberance quickly fades as Gary reports that the coin isn’t old, it’s from 1963!

But, that disappointment is quickly erased as other team members who are watching the continued excavation of the u-shaped structure realize they have just discovered a post sticking straight up. Digging by hand commences, and this unexpected discovery leads to an even more astonishing revelation, planks of wood in a formation.

But the best is yet to come when they next stumble upon a row of “timbers on edge”, that could be thick enough to be a wall. Laird and team member Terry Matheson conclude that what they are looking at was built for strength and quickly summon Marty to see the marvel.

Gobsmacked by what he is spying with his own eyes, Marty also believes that they have found a significant wall. But vital questions remain: who did this and why?

What the team does know with certainty is that this new find is not on any map! And because it was heretofore undiscovered, Marty thinks it could be original.

Next the team uncovers stacked rocks leading Jack to ask, “Are we staring into the French drain?”

Two years ago the team discovered similar layers of rounded stones believed to be an ancient irrigation system. If this is actually another French drain it could be the team’s biggest breakthrough in their 12- year search!

But believe it or not, that’s not all the team got up to in the latest episode. In the War Room they gathered with experts from Azimuth Consulting Limited who last week conducted a 3D laser scan of what they hope is the 90-foot stone. They learn that initial analysis confirms that the letters L and N have definitely been carved into the boulder. But wait, there’s more!

The team is surprised when they are told that a, “Well-defined A,” has also been found.

The original 90-foot stone was taken to Halifax in 1865 and displayed in a bookstore in order to raise capital for Oak Island treasure hunters.

In 1909, a treasure hunter went to see the stone but discovered that etchings he expected to find had been worn off. But what he did see were the letters L and N.

Is this latest data proof that the stone in the War Room is the same stone last seen over 100 years ago? Members of the team think that it is indeed the same stone, and Rick says that there is some hope, which leads to the conclusion that further scientific testing will be done.  

Elsewhere, team members head to the Money Pit site where core drilling is being conducted in the hopes of finding a searcher tunnel and eventually the treasure shaft. Four weeks ago, at a depth of 109 feet, evidence of wooden timbers were found and more boreholes dug in hopes of finding something significant.

The team is excited when the fourth hole, named K5.5, reveals spoils at a depth of 98 feet that are a definite change from previous core samples. The spoils indicate human activity underground, and suggest that the team may be drilling in the center of the Shaft 6 tunnel.

Then, something startling happens! Someone yells, “Hold the phone boys, we got wood!” It’s from a depth of between 118-124 feet, and Rick eagerly smells what they conclude is a full five feet of wood.

Rick smells part of the wood brought up from underground in the Money Pit area. Pic credit: History

Could it be evidence of the 1861 Money Pit collapse? It’s a plausible theory, says Marty. The day is declared a win, and Rick decides that smaller core samples at multiple locations are called for.  

Last but not least, professional diver Tony Sampson, Gary, and Jack head out to uninhabited Apple Island located a half mile east of Oak Island in hopes of finding what astrophysicist Travis Taylor believes are possible Freemason ties to the fabled Oak Island treasure.

Using his star map as a guide, they find stone markers that could be vital clues. In 1994 Dan Blankenship also searched Apple Island, with several others, but his findings were inconclusive. 

Straight away the team see something promising as Gary exclaims, “That’s a big boulder!” leading Jack to respond, “Oh, no way!” They describe what they see as fantastic and exciting, as several boulders are in place where Travis said they would be.

Based on the evidence, Jack and Gary agree that it’s possible that the star map theory is correct. But before they leave, Gary’s metal detector starts to beep; it’s just iron.

Then, a promising beep indicates a non-ferrous target, possibly a coin or artifact. It’s a good sign says Gary, but they can’t poke as much as a finger into the dirt because their treasure-hunting license applies only to Oak Island, not Apple Island! Will they get the permission needed to dig up what could prove to be the only key needed to solve the mystery of Oak Island?

Tune in next week and find out!

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

Tanya is a freelance writer, therapist and educator. The L.A. native was born at General Hospital, foreshadowing her obsession with writing about soaps, something that makes her... read more

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