The Curse of Oak Island: The team finds gold in the side of the garden shaft

A smiling Rick Lagina at the Money Pit
Rick Lagina was greatly cheered up when hearing about the gold discovery. Pic credit: History

On this week’s The Curse of Oak Island, the team detected a large quantity of gold in the wood on the side of the garden shaft.

There was both disappointment and excitement during last night’s episode. There was frustration when the borehole drill team went in search of a tunnel or void they had previously encountered at 55 feet.

Borehole number DN-10.5 seemed to show such promise when it began pulling up loose soil, indicating there may be a structure nearby.

However, after digging down to 120 feet without hitting any voids or tunnels, they concluded they must have missed it this time.

And there were more glum faces after the Dumas mining company finished their probing project, having found nothing. Dumas had drilled into all four walls of the garden shaft at 55 feet, hoping to find a void or chamber, but sadly they got nothing.

However, fortunes can change quickly on Oak Island. Metallurgy expert Emma Culligan had been tasked with analyzing a piece of wood taken from the side of the garden shaft during Dumas’s drilling operation, and she had a surprise for the team.

There’s gold in the wood of the garden shaft!

Within the wood, Emma detected quite a lot of gold. She said that 0.11% of the wood was gold.

This may not sound like a big number, but geoscientist Dr. Ian Spooner said, “this is huge.” Emma assured everyone that it was a “lot of parts per billion.”

Rick and Marty Lagina were absolutely thrilled with the news, Emma got a round of applause, and suddenly the frowns were turned upside down.

A drill in the Oak Island garden shaft
The Dumas guys used a hydraulic earth drill to cut through the walls of the garden shaft. Pic credit: History

Ian knew exactly how to proceed; he recommended that they keep drilling, keep taking samples, and sooner or later, they will narrow things down to the location of the treasure.

Meanwhile, on Lot 26, near the well that dates as far back as the 10th century, the guys had been examining an unusual old wall. The team was joined by forestry technician Peter Romkey, who set about retrieving a core from the massive oak tree that was growing out of the wall.

The core was sent to the lab to be dated, but Peter already estimated that the tree must be 100s of years old. The team believes the wall predates the tree, so when they have the tree’s age, they’ll also have the minimum age of the wall.

The mysterious wall on Lot 26 is throwing up surprises

The wall is different from others found on the island because of the technical skill used in its construction. It was clearly built by someone who knew what they were doing.

Peter is also a bit of an expert on walls, and he theorized that the stones used for its construction may have been debris from tunneling. He saw the wall as a good way to hide evidence of tunneling.

As the guys began dismantling the wall, looking for clues, they noticed that a lot of the rocks had been cut or sliced from other rocks. These rocks were red granite, which led Alex Lagina to recall that the Kingdom stone from Nolan’s cross is also red granite and had been cut from another stone.

This all led them to wonder if the wall was built by the same people who constructed Nolan’s cross. One theory has argued that the cross was built by Templar knights and may act as a marker for buried ancient Christian relics.

Also on last night’s episode, metal detectorist Gary Drayton, aided by Rick, found an ax head on Lot 4. They need to do more testing on the artifact, but Gary speculated that it could date all the way back to the Viking era.

An ax head
Gary Drayton found an old ax head on Lot 4. Pic credit: History

A Viking ax would be hugely significant. A few months back, the team found another artifact on the nearby Lot 5, which one expert said could be Viking in origin. That piece featured ancient symbols which were commonly used by Vikings.

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

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