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The Curse of Oak Island recap: The one where they probably found the original Money Pit

Marty Lagina tells brother he thinks they've found the Money Pit
Marty Lagina tells brother Rick that he thinks they’ve found the original Money Pit

SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read below if you don’t want to know what happened in the latest episode of The Curse of Oak Island.

Last week’s episode of The Curse of Oak Island was always going to be hard to beat. But Marty Lagina is smiling in the picture above for a reason, and that’s because he thinks the team have finally found the original Money Pit!

If his belief turns out to be true, this week’s episode will go down as one of the biggest moments ever in Oak Island history and could finally lead to the team solving the mystery of what is hidden on the island.

Whether that is treasure, priceless artifacts or a tomb full of bones, we know one thing for sure — this is going to be an exciting rest of the season.

Here’s ten things we learned in Season 5 Episode 6:

1 There is a whole lot of pottery down H-8

Pottery fragment on Jack Begley's hand
The piece of pottery with a distinctive design found by Jack Begley in the H-8 spoils

After the two pieces of pottery found on last week’s episode, Jack Begley discovered more in the H-8 spoils — including one that has a very distinctive design. This could well help the team get a much more accurate idea of where and when the pottery is from.

As well as the pottery, Jack also found a second piece of bone to add to the first one found on last week’s episode. But this wasn’t just any piece of bone…

2 The bones could offer a huge amount of information

Microscope close-up of the bone showing the soft tissue and hairs
A close-up one of the bones under the microscope showing the soft tissue and hairs

Everybody in the room seemed stunned when Dr Christa Brosseau and Dr Xiang Yang of St Mary’s University revealed that the weird patterned fragment of bone found this episode still had soft tissue and HAIR on it.

The fact you could actually see the hair and the follicles on the screen was pretty creepy. As Craig Tester pointed out, the hairs were quite spaced out which meant it looked quite likely that what they were looking at was human skin. Dr Brosseau said the soft tissue could also be fat.

As we found out in a letter from Timothy R Frasier, Coordinator of the Forensic Sciences Program in the Department of Biology at Saint Mary’s, more testing is going to be done on the bones. The fact that one of them still had that tissue on it is great for the team, because it should help the experts find out a lot more about where the person it belonged to came from.

It was slightly unclear what was meant in the letter by the bones being “different”. Does that mean different people, or could it just mean different parts of the same body?

The bones are going to be carbon dated so that they can find out how old they are, and it looks like if they’re over a certain age the team won’t necessarily have to notify the authorities which means their discovery won’t hamper their efforts.

3 There could be parchment down in H-8 as well

Jack Begley looking at something
Jack Begley looking at what he thinks could be parchment found in the spoils

As well as the pottery and bone, Jack and Dan Henskee — who has suddenly reappeared on the series (where has he been?) — also found something in the spoils that looked like a piece of leather from old footwear, as well as something that looked like parchment.

Could this somehow be linked to the piece of parchment Frederick Blair and William Chappell found in 1897 on which were written the letters “VI”?

The sneak peek for next week’s episode suggested the new piece of parchment — and the leather — could actually be a very important find. We’ll get into that below, but first…

4 Rick is lucky Marty’s got his back

Rick looking poorly
Rick looking poorly before being diagnosed with Lyme disease

Lyme disease is no laughing matter, so Rick — who said he hadn’t been to the doctor in 50 years — is pretty lucky that Marty persuaded him to go to the local clinic.

It may have just looked like a small bite, but it had the tell-tale “bull’s-eye” pattern one from a deer tick infected with Lyme disease — which is what it turned out to be.

Because he got treatment early, Rick should be fine — but you can read our article here about how serious the consequences can actually be.

5 Marty thinks an anomaly in H-8 could be the Chappell Vault

Screen showing a graph spiking to the right
The dual-induction device’s readings spiking off the chart

This was when it started getting really exciting. With the help of geophysicist Mike West the team used a dual-induction device to scan a 2ft diameter area all the way down H-8.

We got told that if the device picked up metal, the graph they were looking at on a screen would spike outwards. So what did it do, right around the level where the Chappell Vault is supposed to be? It spiked outwards!

That was enough to convince Marty that the anomaly was the Chappell Vault.

6 He also thinks H-8 is the original Money Pit

Marty Lagina talking
Marty explains why he thinks H-8 is in the place of the original Money Pit

It didn’t take Marty long to make the connection between the Chappell Vault and the Money Pit being part and parcel of the same thing.

In his words: “Well, hi ho! So in one hole we got evidence of something at the Chappell Vault level, we got pottery where it can’t be and we got oddball stuff…it’s the Money Pit!”.

Marty said the results from the dual-induction device pointed at there being a “big chunk of metal” right where drill operator Ivan hit a void on last week’s episode.

He added: “I have liked H-8 as our target anyway, because of that pottery found at 200ft and the bone. There is just no other way to explain that other than that is the Money Pit, and having a chance at piercing the vault too at 155ft as we go down is doubly exciting.”

7 Rick was understandably pretty happy

Rick Lagina smiling
Rick after Marty told him he believed they had found the original Money Pit

He might have had Lyme disease, but if there was any news that was going to get Rick back on his feet this was it.

Hearing Marty say the immortal words “I think we’ve found the Money Pit” is something Rick has been waiting for for a long, long time.

It looked like he couldn’t really believe it. In his own words: “Marty describes himself as the skeptic-in-chief, and the skeptic-in-chief has just pronounced ‘we’ve found the Money Pit’!”

You can read about the history of the Money Pit here.

8 This could go one of a few ways

Top of the H-8 borehole
The H-8 borehole, which could hold the secrets to the Oak Island mystery

At some point — hopefully next episode — the team are going to bore down into H-8 with a massive 60in caisson. We know they do this, because we saw it on the Drilling Down episode at the start of the season.

How they’re going to do it without destroying what’s down there we have no idea. Ditto for how they’re going to recover whatever it is they find. But what WILL they find? It looks it could go one of several different ways.

As narrator Robert “Could it be?” Clotworthy said at the end of the episode: “What will they find? A treasure vault filled with gold and priceless artifacts? Precious manuscripts written on parchment? Or a tomb containing ancient human remains?”

9 There could be a link to Sir Francis Drake

Expert/researcher talking on next week's The Curse of Oak Island
Sir Francis Drake being discussed on next week’s episode

The sneak peek for next week’s episode showed a clip of a man, likely an expert or researcher, saying: “If someone was going to build this engineering marvel it would be Sir Francis Drake.”

Drake was a very interesting character, but what was his possible link to Oak Island? You can find out more about Sir Francis Drake in our article here.

The preview for next week’s episode also showed the team excavating a square-shaped piece of top-soil which archaeologist Laird Niven said he didn’t believe was natural. But the really interesting bit from the sneak peek was…

10 The parchment/leather could be part of a book

Craig Tester talking
Craig Tester asks about Shakespeare’s manuscripts in footage from next week’s episode

The preview for next week’s episode also showed the team back once again visiting Dr. Brosseau at St. Mary’s University, where they get another item — thought to be the piece of parchment or leather found by Jack Begley and Dan Henskee this week — tested.

Amazingly, the results show it is a piece of book binding! Of all the theories about what’s buried on Oak Island, we’ve always thought Shakespeare’s manuscripts was a far-fetched one. But…could it be???

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

Julian is the editor of Monsters & Critics. He has worked as a journalist for more than ten years, previously as an editor at the... read more
Julian Cheatle

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