The Curse of Oak Island: The guys identify a massive tunnel stretching under the Garden Shaft

Alex Lagina smirking on Oak Island
Alex Lagina and the team have been hunting for a tunnel that leads to treasure. Pic credit: History

The Curse of Oak Island Season 11, Episode 2 saw the team locate and start to map a lengthy tunnel under the Garden Shaft, which the guys hope will lead to a secret treasure vault.

Last week, the borehole drill team hit wood, indicating a structure at approximately 97 feet a little bit to the west of the Garden Shaft. The guys suspected it was part of the same void or tunnel they encountered at the end of Season 10.

This week, the Fellowship of the Dig decided to think outside the box and drill a borehole east of the Garden Shaft, an area they had not previously explored.

Some fans may wonder why the guys were drilling east of the Shaft when Dr. Ian Spooner said the precious metals were mainly located on the west side in the Baby Blob.

Well, Ian and his colleague, Fred Michel, have since updated their theory, stating the treasure was likely within a twenty-foot radius of the shaft.

Also, the Dumas Mining Company is still waiting on a permit to begin expanding operations at the bottom of the Garden Shaft, so it makes sense for the guys to explore the area around the shaft so the miners have a clear target when they return.

Oak Island team located a tunnel east of Garden Shaft

With that in mind, the team began digging borehole DN.5N-26.5 in fresh ground a few feet to the east. And at just over 100 feet, they started hitting loose, disturbed soil, which soon revealed multiple pieces of wood.

This wood was found at roughly the same elevation and in alignment with the same wood found to the west, suggesting that this is one very large tunnel that runs underneath the Garden Shaft.

A computer generated image of a tunnel under Garden Shaft
The Oak Island team believes they’ve found a tunnel under the Garden Shaft. Pic credit: History

The guys drilled a second borehole on the eastern side of the shaft, and again, they found enough wood to indicate this was most likely the same tunnel. That’s at least four boreholes that found evidence of this long tunnel.

Oak Island team explores the tunnel’s significance

Obviously, the guys had lots of questions. Who built it? When did they build it? Why did they build it? And perhaps most importantly, where is the tunnel going? Hopefully, toward a chamber full of treasure!

The team began analyzing the wood. Emma Culligan used the  X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer to ascertain its chemical composition. She didn’t find gold or silver, but she registered a high volume of palladium.

Emma Culligan in the Oak Island Interpretative Center
Archaeologist Emma Culligan analyzed the wood. Pic credit: History

Environmental scientist Moya MacDonald was on hand to inform the guys that palladium can be found in deposits of gold and silver.

There are no known natural palladium deposits on Oak Island, which suggests the element was transported to the island perhaps within a treasure.

Image showing 20 foot radius of Garden Shaft
Dr. Ian Spooner says there’s silver and gold in the green zone. Pic credit: History

The next step is to get the wood Carbon-14 dated, telling us if this is a searcher or a depositor tunnel. Unfortunately, we will have to wait at least another episode until we learn the dates.

But it’s great that the guys are making such rapid progress after only two episodes of the new season.

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

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