The Curse of Oak Island: The drill team finds a massive underground tunnel, bigger than anything before

Steve Guptill on Oak Island
Steve Guptill thinks the tunnel under the Garden Shaft must have transported something very important. Pic credit: History

The Curse of Oak Island team has found the largest tunnel ever excavated on the island. At an incredible seven and a half feet tall, the guys are convinced the tunnel must have been used to transport something large and important.

The Curse of Oak Island Season 11 returned last night with Episode 3, with many more exciting discoveries.

On Lot 5, Gary Drayton and Rick Lagina unearthed an old ramrod guide, a device used to push projectiles into a musket that could date anywhere from the 1600s to the 1800s.

However, the most interesting development from last night’s episode was regarding an elusive secret tunnel.

The guys have been attempting to track a tunnel they believe runs under the Garden Shaft from east to west and into the Baby Blob, and they’ve been having enormous success!

The tunnel lies just over a hundred feet below the surface, and the team hopes it will direct them to a secret chamber where they’ll find untold riches.

Oak Island team believes the tunnel dates to mid 18th century

On last night’s episode, Craig Tester received the results of Carbon-14 dating on a piece of wood pulled up from 108 feet to the east of the garden shaft. The guys were not disappointed as the woodcuts were dated at 55 percent from 1734 to 1804 and 24 percent from 1656 to 1684.

The team read this data as meaning the tunnel was likely constructed as far back as the 1730s, over 50 years before the initial discovery of the Money Pit, which the depositors most likely built.

And what a tunnel it turned out to be! The drill team then set up their rig a bit closer to the Garden Shaft but still on the eastern side, and again, they hit evidence of a tunnel. At 108 feet, they hauled up a whopping seven-and-a-half-foot-long wooden beam.

Terry Matheson instantly identified it as an upright beam, meaning this tunnel was almost 8 feet high, higher than any tunnel they’d found before.

The beam had markings, which showed it had been cut by hand, maybe with an adze tool, so it was likely made before the invention of mechanical saws.

The guys were absolutely blown away by the size of this beam. They asked why anyone would build a 7-and-a-half-foot tunnel at over 100 feet below the surface unless they were transporting a large amount of goods and wanted to do it in secret.

Borehole coordinates marked on map of garden Shaft zone
The 7-foot wood beam was pulled out of borehole D5N-24.5. Pic credit: History

The labor required to pull off such a feat in the mid-18th century is somewhat mind-boggling. Alex Lagina commented that he had only seen tunnels that size when visiting medieval Templar Knight strongholds in Italy.

Rick Lagina noted that they had never found a tunnel more than four or five feet high, and there was no indication of anything like this in the historical record.

Oak Island guys will have to excavate the Garden Shaft to get to the seven-foot tunnel

The team couldn’t wait to get a closer look at what was down there, so they popped a camera down the borehole, which soon plunged into the water and revealed nothing but a blank screen. Steve Guptill peered down the hole and helpfully remarked that he could see which, and it was “murky.”

We’ll all just have to be a bit more patient. Representatives from Dumas Mining Company informed the guys they should have the permits to start working on the Garden Shaft by the end of the month.

Once the miners get their paperwork in order, they can start deepening the Garden Shaft and then hopefully begin lateral digging toward this tunnel so we can all see what is really going on down there.

In the meantime, Gary and the guys are bound to find more interesting stuff on Lot 5. Apart from the ancient Roman coins found a couple of weeks ago, they keep uncovering a selection of pottery and artifacts going back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

An artifact found on Oak Island
This ramrod guide for a musket was found on Lot 5. Pic credit: History

The guys are increasingly convinced that the mid-18th century, around the 1740s, is the time period when something major occurred on Oak Island.

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

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Barbara Klampt
Barbara Klampt
4 months ago

I love this show. I watch it year after year

4 months ago

7 feet is not the height of a tunnel – it’s the height of a ROOM in those days…

4 months ago

Been watching the show for over ten years and have never been disappointed.