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The Curse of Oak Island: The team chase gold and silver from an old geophysical survey

Oak Island team in the swamp
Scott Barlow, Steve Guptill, and Charles Barkhouse brave the nasty weather to dig for treasure. Pic credit: History

This week on episode 21 of Season 8 of The Curse of Oak Island, we had further disappointment in the team’s search for gold and silver treasure, but the island also teased the guys with a brand new discovery at the bottom of the swamp.

Oak Island is forever acting like an emotional rollercoaster when it comes to the hopes and dreams of both the viewers and the Fellowship of the Dig; it regularly gives you a crushing setback only to then draw you back in with another intriguing discovery or mystery.

And that was the case, once again, with last night’s episode.

Last week, the guys gave up on drilling for the Money Pit for this season after deciding they were running out of time and weren’t actually getting any results. However, rather than give up the use of the borehole drill, they decided to point it somewhere else.

The team decided to investigate an area between the Money Pit and Smith’s Cove that in 1988 was subjected to a survey using low-frequency radio waves in the hope of identifying what lay below the ground.

Barringer Survey showed potential gold and silver hidden underground

The so-called Barringer survey, commissioned by the legendary Dan Blankenship, identified a series of tunnels and deposits of non-ferrous metals, i.e., gold and silver.

Due to not having access to a borehole drill, Dan wasn’t able to follow up these findings with a dig; happily, this was something the guys could rectify in last night’s episode.

Of course, our guys are still pressed for time, and they were only able to dig two boreholes; Doug Crowell later stated towards the end of the show that they’d need to do 16 holes to cover the area adequately.

And unfortunately, this is where the disappointment came into last night’s show as the two holes came up with absolutely nothing, zilch. Geologist Terry Matheson said the earth they pulled up was too unstable for tunnels. His conclusion, the Barringer survey may have been mistaken.

However, all is not completely lost as the team decided they’d revisit the area another time.

Have the Oak Island team found the buried ship in the swamp?

There was more excitement yet to come as at the end of the show. We saw the guys performing some deep digging at the edge of the swamp. Billy Gerhardt brought in his digger and scooped out buckets of dirt out of the swamp, like never before. They were searching for evidence of a wharf that may have been used to unload treasure.

At this point, Billy’s digger pulled up a piece of wood that the guys concluded was a handrail from a ship. What’s more, Billy said he couldn’t go any deeper because there was a large object buried underneath that was preventing the giant bucket from going any further.

Handrail for Oak Island ship
The team thinks this piece of wood may be a handrail from a buried pirate ship. Pic credit: History

Rick Lagina said to the guys, “we need to find out what that is… whatever it takes.” The team thinks they may have found the ship that is thought to be buried in the swamp.

For the last couple of years, the guys have theorized that an ancient ship may have been hidden in the swamp after its precious cargo was unloaded. Frustratingly, we’ll have to wait until next week to see if they have uncovered this, now legendary, ship.

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

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