In the latest episode of History’s number one documentary reality show, The Curse of Oak Island, it’s deja vu all over again in 2019 for intrepid treasure hunters Rick and Marty Lagina who get good news tempered by bad news.
After years of searching, the team discover an astounding artifact that they surmise may have been missing for more than a century. But in what seems to be the curse of Oak Island, the team face bitter defeat as they must fight to hold back the waters at the Smith’s Cove coffer dam.
The episode entitled Rock Solid starts off on a promising note as Rick remarks that the last of the sheet metal is expected to go up in Smith’s Cove today after four weeks of construction. The 525-foot long coffer dam is the team’s costliest project to date.
Before the bad news about the dam is discovered, a hopeful Marty exalts, “Not since Moses has the water been held back so well!” News that it may be sunk, so to speak, before it’s complete would be a bitter pill to swallow.
But back to the good news of the episode, which saw team members venture to Halifax where they once again try to locate the infamous 90-foot stone. This significant Oak Island artifact was last seen more than 100 years ago in the window of a Halifax bookstore, but disappeared without a trace.
Believing that a second search for the stone is worth a try, Charles Barkhouse, Doug Crowell, and Jack Begley venture down into the dark and dusty basement of the book bindery.
It doesn’t take long for Jack to exclaim, “Oh look!” and the trio shine flashlights upon a sizable gray stone. Could it be the 90-foot stone at long last? It appears to have a couple of letters, what look to be an L and an N, leading them to proclaim that indeed this could be the stone.
The chunky boulder is brought back to the war room where the rest of the team examine it up close. The tension builds as the stone is pored over and touched. Doug tells the others that he thinks it is the 90-foot stone last seen in the book bindery.
A skeptical Marty peppers Doug with questions while Rick gazes at the letters L and N that are now clearly visible. In addition, the nearly 200-pound stone appears to have very faint markings etched into it.
Marty notes, “It’s exciting, it’s just the beginning.” He wonders if laser technology that helped identify Stonehenge markings could help them to restore the very faint, almost obliterated etchings? This is a promising lead they will look into.
But the next day Rick and Craig Tester drive to the coffer dam and see something they don’t like — water pouring in through multiple openings in the dam. There are three major leaks says Craig, but Rick notes that almost all of the walls are leaking.
The team expected some water to filter out here and there, but not to be pouring through at what Rick calls an alarming rate. “It is a devastating development,” he says, “we’re severely compromised.”
They make an urgent call to the company responsible for the construction of the dam, Irving Equipment Limited. Can they address this catastrophic issue? A fast-setting silicone to staunch the leaks is suggested.
To make a long story short, the silicone does the job intended, and the dam is successfully sealed! Finally, the nearly 12,000 square foot area is ready for excavation. Guided by Dan Blankenship’s photos and surveys from the 1970s they begin on the northwest side of beach, hoping to uncover what Dan termed the u-shaped structure.
Tons of earth and material will eventually need to be dredged up, but a hinge-type object is found. It is an exciting find, but will the team uncover another discovery as significant as the lead cross?
During the episode the team also hears an intriguing idea from Travis Taylor, an astrophysicist who they earlier had asked to look over previous seismic data for any new leads.
Travis is an aerospace engineer, science fiction author, optical scientist, and no stranger to documentary reality shows, as he has starred on National Geographic Channel’s Rocket City Rednecks and When Aliens Attack. Travis tells the group that he has nothing new or promising to report about the seismic data, but he does have a novel theory to share.
He shows them what he calls a “star map” which could disclose possible ties to hidden Mason treasure on the island.
When the star map is superimposed on a map of Oak Island, the team think that it may show the placement of markers which could lead to treasure. They then venture into the field and find enough evidence of the markers on the star map correlating to stone markers on the island that it warrants getting more refined GPS data for evaluation.
Gary Drayton also comes through for the team with yet more intriguing finds courtesy of his metal detector. Examining these, archaeologist Laird Niven proclaims, “the fact that you found artifacts means it could be a shaft or tunnel that was filled in,” in that area.
Has Gary indeed found proof of the elusive below-ground tunnels?
Rick Lagina neither confirms nor denies this tantalizing possibility, teasing, “That’s what we’re looking for, tunnels under Oak Island.”
The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c on History.