This week on The Curse of Oak Island, the team discovered just how vital the words and wisdom of patriarch Dan Blankenship are to the treasure hunt — when they spied what could be a crucial clue hiding in plain sight.
The team led by Rick and Marty Lagina also uncovered a new structure sunk in the muck of Smith’s Cove, plus revealing documents that could prove vital to their search. But are these enigmatic finds true clues or clever decoys?
The episode, Fingers Made of Stone, starts with the team deep in the sludge of Smith’s Cove — and the revelation that an unexpected find has been discovered on the shoreward side of the u-shaped structure, which was uncovered in last week’s episode.
This new structure is also packed with clay, but confounding data reveals that it was built in two distinct phases of work.
This only adds to the mystery of what has been uncovered so far at Smith’s Cove — the base of a significant wall and what appears to be a French drain used to divert water.
It is an exciting but frustrating find as it’s noted that the materials don’t appear to be consistent in purpose or construction. “We’ve got our work cut out for us,” says Rick.
But that’s not the only thing of interest exposed in Smith’s Cove. While the painstaking excavation continued in the muddy basin, some team members journeyed about ten miles east to the Chester Municipal Heritage Society in order to view a large collection of documents regarding Oak Island, with the hopes of discovering something of note about either Smith’s Cove or the Money Pit.
The trip was definitely worth the effort as a letter written in 1936 by Gilbert Hedden reveals details about a wooden structure, including a diagram of a structure (complete with Roman numerals) that looks awfully familiar! The team realize that the picture could be the very same u-shaped structure unearthed last week, the one first described by Dan Blankenship in 1971.
As if that weren’t amazing enough, the team also stumble across a newspaper article that seems to describe finger drains in Smith’s Cove. According to the article, they are 66 feet long and 66 feet apart, forming an equilateral triangle along with two flat stones. Whatever this is, they think that they should be able to find and confirm its existence because of the solid measurements.
News this good can’t wait so the rest of the team assemble at the Mug and Anchor Pub in Mahone Bay for a briefing. When told of the measurements recorded in the article, Marty immediately reveals that he himself measured the u-shaped structure, and it was 20 meters across at the leading edge: 65.5 feet! “What’s clear is, we need to do more work there,” he says.
As if the universe heard his command, the next day what could definitely be the triangle-shaped opening is found and Rick is immediately summoned to come down and see for himself what is described as, “A couple of curious stones.”
Spying the two flat rocks he notes that it’s hard to imagine that Mother Nature laid them like that and says, “to me it looks like a box drain.” He and the others agree that it’s hard not to get excited at what could be a historic discovery.
Is this the long awaited a-ha moment? Were these curious stones placed by people or by nature? Without hesitation Rick quickly washes down the area, but something even more startling is discovered!
The team find coconut fiber, indicating what very well could be original work.
When box drains were first discovered in 1850, coconut fiber was present, and it was theorized that the fiber was brought to the island as packing material since it is not native to the terrain. But coconut fiber was also found in the Money Pit area!
The team excitedly surmise that the drains could be moving in the direction of the Money Pit if they have found what they think they have.
Just a bit later, Rick is maneuvering the heavy equipment rig when someone calls out, “Looks like we have something, some kind of structure.”
Those words are like manna to Rick, who leaps out of the sky-high cab and starts digging with his bare hands. Another man-made structure buried beneath Smith’s Cove? But who did this and why?
Boards are found and Craig Tester proclaims, “It’s a wedged bottom,” before solid rock is discovered behind it. Rick immediately wonders if this is normal, and declares this latest development to be a, “Very interesting enterprise,” one for which they will have to figure out exactly what the structure represents.
The action was not confined to Smith’s Cove, however. The next day Craig Tester met up with Tory Martin, an expert in gyroscopic technology, at the Money Pit. Tory was brought in to inspect the boreholes to determine if the intended targets are being hit.
Five weeks earlier the team found in this area what could be evidence of Shaft 6, believed to be built in 1861 by a team digging a shaft to bypass booby traps there. The effort didn’t work and Shaft 6 was flooded with seawater. When it caved in, the Money Pit collapsed.
The hope is that if indeed this is Shaft 6, they should then also be able to find and excavate the Money Pit debris field, hopefully a treasure-filled cavity.
Tory relates that his data from a downhole gyroscope indicates that at least one of the boreholes has not been going down plumb and square, but veering off the further down it goes. Unfortunately, at a depth of 100 feet the borehole deviated roughly 5 feet. Craig concludes that the team will need to use this data to determine their next move.
But before this can happen, Tory unexpectedly summons the team back to the area: he has something startling to show them.
He has found a flat rock that appears to be cut and not natural, in close proximity to the Money Pit. Rick observes that the team has seen this rock before, but never gave it a second thought. It’s at this point that he shares with the group the prophetic words that Dan imparted to him a long time ago, “Keep your eyes open on Oak Island.”
Intrigued by the cryptic rock, they splash water on it and discover what appear to be man-made carvings, maybe Roman numerals. Could this mean it is somehow related to the Roman numeral-inscribed logs found at Smith’s Cove? It’s, “Certainly worth a look,” says Rick.
The flat stone is transported to a research center for further inspection. There, geologist Terry Matheson deflates the mood when he tells them that rock of this type is found all over Nova Scotia. But, as Marty rightly observes, “Anything close to the Money Pit that is unexplained needs to be investigated.”
Terry agrees, adding that the rock looks like a decorative stone, and further testing is warranted since it seems to be “touched by man.”
In response, the team call in experts from Azimuth Consulting Limited who two weeks prior examined what could be the legendary 90-foot stone. The experts set up a scanner to examine the newest stone nugget for hidden clues or markings.
The data will be used to generate a 3D computer model. What will the high tech data reveal? Tune in next week and find out!
The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c.