The Curse of Oak Island team uncovered far more discoveries while filming Season 5 than previously thought, the show’s end-of-season ‘Drilling Down’ episode revealed.
A total of 600 artifacts were found rather than just those shown on the show, and it emerged that the team also uncovered an “original searcher shaft” believed to have been dug by the original people who found the island’s famous Money Pit. Only aerial shots of the shaft had previously been shown to viewers.
During the season two human bones were shown being found in the spoils from the team’s “H-8” borehole, however footage on the Drilling Down episode showed several other pieces of bone were also in fact uncovered. Marty Lagina said they were “yet to be tested”.
There were also several more bits of leather found, similar to the one shown during the season that experts examined and said was a piece of book binding.
Marty Lagina confirmed while looking over some of the artifacts on the Drilling Down episode: “This is just a portion of Season 5. There are 600 catalogued artifacts from our efforts this year.”
It was revealed on the Drilling Down episode that the team are now starting to think there could be two distinct time periods when people were on the island in the past. Their new theory follows the discovery of a medieval lead cross on the island earlier in the season by metal-detecting expert Gary Drayton.
Marty said on the episode: “You almost have to have two significant visitations at this point. One very ancient, if that’s what that [the cross] is trying to say, and then one ‘just’ 400 years old.”
Rick Lagina said it was also looking increasingly likely that there could be some sort of manuscripts in the Money Pit. Referring to the piece of parchment found in the H-8 spoils earlier in the season along with the leather, he said: “If that really is parchment, and we’ve had several people render the opinion that it is, then where do you go with that? It can only go to there’s some sort of manuscript or document at great depths in the Money Pit.”
Asked for his thoughts after Season 5, Marty said: “I was willing [in the past] to dismiss that anything significant happened on this island prior to 1795. I now have to go with the evidence, and the evidence suggests that something quite odd did occur on this island prior to 1795.
“Now I’m not saying I’m swayed that there’s treasure, I’m certainly not yet with Rick that there’s something of worldwide significance here, some sort of historical big significance here, but something happened here prior to 1795 and apparently much earlier, at least 100 years.
“The preponderance of the evidence says that something very odd, significant, out of the ordinary happened here prior to 1795.”
Discussing the lead cross, Marty’s son Alex said it had the potential to rewrite North American history if it could be proved to be from Medieval times, which initial analysis indicates it is.
Rick also gave a hint as to what operations could take place on the island this year, saying that he would like to see a “bladder system” installed at Smith’s Cove in a bid to try and find more items like the cross.
Discussing what the team could do next at the Money Pit following their difficulties drilling there this season, Rick said further work there would inevitably involve bringing in “big, expensive gear”.
Drilling Down host Matty Blake pointed out that it would only have taken an inch for the team to have missed something of vital importance with one of their caissons, a reality described as Marty as “maddening”.
However, Matty said: “I want to congratulate you guys on what you did do this season. You pulled some incredible stuff out of here [the Money Pit area]. I’m psyched to see what you guys come up with next season right here on this spot.”
The Drilling Down episode also saw theorist Kathleen McGowan Coppens reveal she believes Templar treasures from the Temple of Solomon are buried on the western edge of the Oak Island swamp, with a tunnel leading to a chamber from the Money Pit.
Asked what they would do this year if money was no object, Craig Tester suggested the team could FREEZE the Money Pit in order to excavate it so they wouldn’t have to worry about it flooding or collapsing.
The Curse of Oak Island is expected to return in November 2018.