The Curse of Oak Island: Team will travel to Portugal to investigate compelling theory on the Templar Knights

Members of the Oak Island team
The Oak Island team members were quite excited at the prospect of a trip to Portugal. Pic credit: History

This week on The Curse of Oak Island, viewers learned that some team members will now be traveling to Portugal in southwest Europe to investigate the possibility that Templar Knights journeyed to the island centuries ago.

The guys have long speculated that members of the medieval military order of the Templar Knights took ancient religious artifacts from Jerusalem and buried them on Oak Island. Separately to that, the team has seen an increase of evidence linking the island to 14th and 15th century Portugal, and they’ve now decided to see if there’s a link between the two.

They turned once again to Oak Island theorist and Templar expert Corjan Mol, who had compiled a short history lesson for the guys.

Corjan explained that the Order of the Templar Knights was officially dissolved in 1312 following a decree by the then King of France. Members subsequently fled, were arrested, and many were killed in almost every European country except one.

Many Knights fled to Portugal, where they were protected by King Denis I, who then reformed the order and changed the name to the Order of Christ. These exiled knights then became an integral part of Portugal’s sailing expeditions, which explored the new world in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Corjan revealed a 15th-century Portuguese map that featured Nova Scotia in the top righthand corner proving that the Portuguese sailors were familiar with the east coast of Canada.

The guys have often speculated that Templar Knights fled France in the 14th century and traveled first to Scotland and then to Oak Island, where they buried ancient religious artifacts such as the Holy Grail, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Golden Menorah from Soloman’s Tomb. Doug Crowell suggested that a future generation of Portuguese Templars may have returned to the island to seek these artifacts.

Are there archives linking Oak Island to the Templar Knights?

Now for the really interesting part, Corjan said most of the Templar archives were destroyed when the order was dissolved but that some documents made it safely to Portugal. He then suggested that there are two churches still standing in Portugal that the guys may want to pay a visit.

The Convento de Christo in Tomar in central Portugal and the Church of Fontarcada in the north of the country both acted as strongholds or headquarters for the Templar Knights and their successor organization, the Order of Christ. Corjan suggested that the guys go to these churches to review their archives to see if there’s a mention of Oak Island.

Unsurprisingly, the Oak Island team jumped at this opportunity and asked a more than willing Corjan if he would accompany them to Portugal to investigate this compelling theory.

The links between Oak Island and Portugal have been clear in recent seasons. Last year, professional historian Terry Deveau told the team that the mysterious stone road unearthed in the swamp looked very similar to the type of road constructed in Portugal in the middle ages.

Stone road on Oak Island
The Oak island team suspects this road may have been constructed by the Portuguese in the middle ages. Pic credit: History

The team has also found artifacts such as a piece of a cannon and two stone shots with chemical compositions that indicated they originated in Portugal. Finally, Doug has touted theories of Portuguese sailors burying plundered Incan treasures on Oak Island.

Who from Oak Island will travel to Portugal?

It’s not clear which team members will be conducting this field trip, but it’s likely Doug, as the one who suggested this Portuguese link, will make the trip.

And Marty joked that while Rick is “gone, I’m gonna stay on the island and dig all over the place,” which definitely implies Rick will also be making the trip.

The guys will be rushing to get that fifth caisson in the ground before the winter arrives and ends the season, so it’s likely that the trip will be taking place during the winter, so we’ll hopefully see the results in Season 10.

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

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