The Curse of Oak Island Season 6 has finally come to an end. The finale, Lost and Founding, saw the team make an incredible new discovery — and it was decision time on whether to continue the hunt!
The episode opens with Rick and Marty Lagina along with Dave Blankenship gathering at Dan Blankenship’s home. There, they tell the patriarch of the dig that dendrochronology testing has revealed the stunning news that the Smith’s Cove slipway dates to 1769, 25 years prior to the Money Pit being discovered.
Dan is impressed and pleased by the news. In the early 1970’s he excavated Smith’s Cove before a funding shortage cut short the endeavor.
“I had no idea,” he tells the team.
As Rick notes, Dan’s life has centered around the Oak Island mystery, “and it was important to give him answers this year.”
Elsewhere, the team checks in on Eagle Canada’s nighttime seismic testing operation. Due to high daytime winds, the crew has decided to set off 800 dynamite charges at night. One week ago they began the underground survey of the swamp area and when it is all said and done, 2,000 dynamite charges will be set off. The crew is able to obtain seismic data at a shallow depth and as Marty notes, “if there’s something here, we ought to find it.”
The next morning the team learns that the raw data looks, “really good,” but it will take a month to process it, and then two weeks for the report to come out. In other words, they will have to wait until next year to act on the results.
In the war room, the team meets with theorists Bruce Lindahl and Justin Cannady. A third theorist, Cort Lindahl, video conferences into the meeting and tells the team that he may have made a connection between the late Zena Halpern’s historic map and a theory of his own.
Two years ago, Zena showed the team a transcription of a map that mentioned the Rochefoucauld family of France, who had connections to the Knights Templar and could possibly have had a connection to Oak Island.
According to Cort, a member of the Rochefoucauld family knew both Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and may have told the two founding fathers of the USA of any secret treasure that might be buried on the island. If so, could Oak Island treasure have been used to finance the American Revolution and thus establish a new country?
It is thought that during his time spent in France, Jefferson could have been initiated into the Knights Templar. Cort mentions that George Washington was a Freemason and speculates that Nova Scotia could have been intended to be the 13th colony.
What is known is that at the beginning of the 14th century, the powerful and wealthy Knights Templar were taken down by King Phillip IV of France. In fact, on Friday, October 13, 1307, thousands of members were arrested, tortured, and even executed.
Some Knights escaped to Scotland, but is it possible that some took Holy Land artifacts to Oak Island, and perhaps that even members of the Rochefoucauld family did so?
To bolster his point about Washington being funded by Oak Island treasure, Cort refers to the Tree Flag, also known as the Appeal to Heaven flag, commissioned by Washington in 1775. The tree symbol on the flag signified colonial resistance to Great Britain during the American Revolution, and there is a stone on the island that has a similar looking tree symbol. Could these two images be connected in some way?
The team and their visitors head to Lot 14 on the northeast end of the island. There they examine the stone carving that appears to depict the Appeal to Heaven flag commissioned by Washington.
“I don’t know, this is really strange,” says one of the theorists, to which the other responds, “it does look like a tree though, doesn’t it?”
Marty tells the others that this event, “opens up my thinking about what happened here.”
At Smith’s Cove, the team arrives to oversee the ongoing excavation. There is just a week left before winter shuts down the operation and their permit runs out. Archeologist Laird Niven informs them that he has found clay coming out in chunks among the boards being uncovered.
“Why put the clay in back?” Rick asks. “I have no idea what to make of it. All we can do is track it back.”
Could the presence of clay be evidence of 1850 searchers attempting to block off the flood tunnel to the Money Pit?
Historian Charles Barkhouse confirms that there is no record of this latest find. As they dig they discover more rocks packed with clay, as well as another wall, a few feet behind the first one. Metal detecting expert Gary Drayton wryly sums up the mood when he says, “Another day, another structure.”
But wait, there’s more! Laird finds a third wall and when Marty inspects it, he thinks it could be a possible sluice box, a device designed to channel the flow of water.
“Whatever that is, it’s beautifully done,” he says. With these three additional structures found, Marty thinks that more digging needs to take place in order to assess their significance. But while the investigation is far from over, their time has come to an end.
“We’re out of time … we’re basically done,” says Marty, and tells the team it’s time to assemble in the war room.
Marty starts off the team’s final war room meeting for the year by observing, “It’s that time again… Where in the heck are we going?”
Gary tells the team that he thinks the Smith’s Cove excavation was a big success. The finds there included the well-engineered slipway, an intact box drain, and the U and L shaped structures. Marty says that before finding the slipway wood sample dating to 1769 he thought, “nothing happened here but collective madness.”
The team agrees that depositors and not retrievers were behind their amazing finds. Historian Charles Barkhouse would bet his life that there is something significant there. Jack Begley concurs, saying he would bet his house and car.
Dan says that they can’t ignore the evidence found to date on the island, including bones, parchment, and bookbinding. The team is in consensus that there is something worth looking for on Oak Island.
This year the team revealed more pieces to the 223-year old treasure puzzle than anyone before them. Have they discovered something that could impact the fate of the entire world?
According to Marty, there are significant questions that remain to be answered, answers that could rewrite history. He believes that they have proven that something substantial happened here prior to the discovery of the Money Pit, and he, “can’t state how significant that is.”
“There’s a lot to look forward to,” says Rick. He says they have experienced a long year of discovery and he is looking forward to the upcoming year.
With that proclamation, the team piles their hands on top one another in the middle of the table and Rick concludes, “One in all in, once in forever in. Let’s go.”
The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on HISTORY.
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