How the Lagina Brothers Finally Unearthed a 220+ Year-Old Treasure and Closed the Mystery of Oak Island
Oak Island is a small island off the coast of Canada that looks fairly unassuming. However, this island is home to a treasure hunt that has been going on for more than 2 centuries! The Lagina brothers claim to have cracked the code to the mystery and treasure. Read on to see how they unlock the mystery.
2 Brothers Who Live For the (Treasure) Hunt
These guys have been obsessive treasure hunters since childhood, so it was only a matter of time before they were lured in by the promise of Oak Island. Ricky, in fact, discovered a massive granite rock in his hometown of Kingsford when he was just ten years old.
Since that moment, Marty and Rick Lagina have dedicated their lives to solving enigmas, and Oak Island has been their biggest project yet. Uncovering its hidden secrets will, they hope, lead them to a treasure that will mark the end of their journey.
How the Legend Began
In 1799, the mythology of Oak Island began. Three teenage lads – Daniel McGinnis, Anthony Vaughn, and John Smith – were out on a fishing expedition when they discovered a depression in the ground after coming ashore for supplies. When they looked inside the peculiar dip, the dirt was notably loose, in contrast to the hard-packed ground around it.
The young men deduced that something must have been buried beneath the nearby tree after discovering a five-meter pit beneath it. They embarked on a decade-long search that was ultimately fruitless.
Researcher at Oak Island
William Chappel was a researcher who delved into the legends of Oak Island and played a huge role in the treasure hunt that the Lagina Brothers would later set out on. In his research there he discovered tools from ancient times.
These included an axe, a fluke anchor, and a pick. These ancient tools led him to believe that someone else had tried to find the treasure many years before him. However, his funding ran out before he was able to find much more. From there, industrialists took over the hunt.
The Next Piece of the Puzzle
The industrialist who led the charge after Chappel was named Gilbert Hedden. He continued to dig using his own resources, convinced that Chappel had been onto something huge.
He discerned that the axe that Chappel had found was at least 250 years old and the fact that all the tools had been found buried in the same place meant the people who had used those tools knew what was hidden beneath the surface. The pit in which they were digging became known as “The Money Pit”.
The Infamous Money Pit Claims Its First Life
A few pieces of gold were discovered at an Oak Island excavation site in the early 21st century. The Truro excavation team ran into problems when water from the sea flooded the hole where the treasure was hidden. The work involved in keeping the dig going was so intense that they eventually ran out of money and had to halt.
The Oak Island Association was tasked with draining the Money Pit. However, their efforts were in vain, and Oak Island claimed its first life as a result.
The Storm That Ruined Everything And Crushed Dreams
The Truro Company wanted to create a dam to obstruct the flow of water and dig out the treasure. They were surprised, however, when they discovered that somebody had already attempted this same idea when they stumbled upon an older dam. A storm came shortly after.
Unfortunately, an unusually high tide was created by this intense storm and it demolished all of their hard work. The Truro Company was in way too deep because the project depleted them of their money. They had to abandon their hope since they didn’t have the means necessary to rebuild another dam.
The Stone Symbol Reveals A Riddle
The Onslow firm would seek to finish what the three friends started a few years later. Despite the fact that their attempts were not successful, they discovered a tablet with writing that wasn’t able to be translated for nearly a century.
According to one purported expert, some of the writing means “Forty feet below, two million pounds lay buried.” Understandably, many people have interpreted this as confirmation that a treasure is hidden beneath. For years before this revelation, however, the symbols went unsolved.
The Conspiracy Theories Run Wild
Oak Island has, over the years, inspired enough conspiracy theories to shock even Alex Jones and Joe Rogan. People have postulated that the treasure may somehow be connected to Marie Antoinette, while others are convinced Shakespeare was involved.
Whether you put any stock in these wild theories or not, they reveal just how much Oak Island has captured our collective imagination. It has, after all, been a mystery for more than a century. Only after the arrival of the Lagina brothers did we start to get any real answers.
The Show is Born: The Curse of Oak Island
The brothers put in a lot of effort and spent a large chunk of their lives attempting to figure out what was going on at Oak Island, but to no effect.
However, their most recent endeavors to solve the Island’s secrets appear to have yielded results. This is why A&E chose to film a documentary special called The Curse of Oak Island to highlight their efforts and groundbreaking discoveries. When it comes to Oak Island, any treasure hunter worth their salt will tell you that the place is cursed.
Investors are Needed to Fund the Adventure
The brothers’ infatuation with the island compelled them to spend a large sum of money to undertake the excavations they hoped would lead them to the discovery of hidden wealth.
Fortunately, their participation in a TV documentary on the island piqued the interest of other investors. The battles that occurred around the time the island was initially discovered are one of the most compelling reasons why investors were convinced to shell out money and fund the treasure hunt.
Discovering Ancient Artifacts
The show went on for two seasons, with the Laginas making no important discoveries. During the third season, however, the brothers turned everything around with a momentous discovery.
When the Lagina brothers uncovered some fascinating antiques, they drained a massive pit to see if they could unearth more. One of their finds included what looks like a Roman sword. If authenticated, this discovery could prove that the Romans landed on American soil thousands of years ago. In turn, this might mean that the treasure of Oak Island could be far older – and far more valuable – than anyone imagined.
The Detailed Treasure Map
Zen Halpern, the author of The Templar Mission to Oak Island and Beyond, was one of the show’s guests. He had plenty of insights to share with the Lagina brothers.
Halpern recounted his theory regarding the presence of 12th-century Templars on the island. He offered evidence in the form of a meticulously made replica of a 1647 French map. The terms “hatch,” “valve,” and “anchor” were printed on this chart. He also argued that the vast treasure hidden on the little Canadian island may have come from Africa.
Discovering An Ancient Binder That Led To More Questions
One of the most intriguing items the group found was a small piece of material that appeared to be part of a book – possibly from a binder. What document did this piece of fabric tie, and what did it mean in terms of the treasure rumored to be buried beneath the island’s muddy ground?
It was a mystery, but Rick believed it was vital to the island’s enigma. “If that really is parchment,” Rick Lagina argued, “it can only mean that there’s some form of manuscript or record at tremendous depths in the Money Pit.”
An Old Parchment Letter Uncovered Something Important
Soon after the crew found the fabric from the binder, they unearthed a piece of parchment made from animal leather. It bore markings that looked like a medieval script of some sort. According to the brothers, this piece of parchment is linked to a series of correspondences between Frederick Blair and William Chappell, the latter of whom was involved in a 1930s investigation on the island.
Blair and Chappell were late-nineteenth-century treasure hunters from Canada who believed that a parchment they had discovered was extremely valuable because it indicated the location of the treasure.
What Was the Motive For Hiding The Treasure?
The motivating factor behind hiding all this treasure so mysteriously was the number of wars and conflicts which were going on during the time that island was just discovered. People were feeling to find safety in remote locations.
Since Oak Island was. along way from the conflicts going on in Europe, it was the perfect remote spot to hide ones’ wealth.
The Tragedy Of The Restall Family
Oak Island’s enduring and intriguing legend has continued to perplex many treasure hunters. In 1959, after signing a contract with one of the island’s property owners, Robert Restall went to the island with his 18-year-old son and his work partner and friend, Karl Graeser.
In 1965, after working on the site for a few years, they dug a shaft down to a depth of 27 feet. Robert Restall was overcome by hydrogen sulfide flames while he was exploring the shaft alone. His son followed him in and also lost consciousness. Tragically, they both perished, as well as the other working hands who tried to save them.
Enter The Triton Alliance
It was in the late 1960s that a group called the Triton Alliance was created to continue the pursuit of finding the evasive treasure. In the hopes of finding something significant beneath the ground, they used heavy machinery.
The Triton team recovered some interesting artifacts, such as a 300-year-old pair of wrought-iron scissors. Much to their disappointment, their extensive search didn’t do much at all. But, the ultra-determined and relentless crew of hard workers refused to give up and back down.
The Triton Alliance’s Brilliant Idea
To try and reach a breakthrough, the Triton Alliance came up with the perfect solution. Luckily, there was new technology available at that time which didn’t exist during previous expeditions.
Their idea was to sink a Borehole 10-x steel tube into the ground. The purpose of this was to lower a camera into the pit to see what was down there. They were amazed at what was waiting to be discovered. Indeed, it was a huge reward for the Triton Alliance.
Unearthing Intriguing Discoveries From The Pit
As the camera was lowered into the pit’s cavity, the Triton Alliance were amazed and shocked by what appeared on the screen. Not only was there a display of objects and tools suspended in the water, but leather shoes. And, horrifyingly, a human hand.
The members of the Triton Alliance were even more excited when their eyes came across three chests that looked a lot like what people buried treasures in. It was all too overwhelming, especially with finding the human remains.
The End Of The Triton Alliance’s Search
The Triton Alliance were quite taken aback by what they discovered in the pit, so they tasked divers to bring the objects to the surface. Yet another surprise was thrown their way, however. Due to the strong current of the pit and all of the sand and dirt churning, nothing was visible.
Thus, the divers were essentially blind and unable to pinpoint the items. They gave up right as things got even worse. As if this all wasn’t enough of a nightmare.
Another Dead End
Minutes after the divers gave up and decided to get out, something horrific happened. The shaft fell apart and the group had to abandon the excavation.
As passionate as they were about uncovering the fascinating items they saw in the camera images, they tried to dig up the shaft again. However, just like the many others who had attempted this endeavor before, their financial backing ran out.
Oak Island’s Popularity Rose Tremendously
After the Triton Alliance officially ended a decade after their quest for buried treasure ended, Oak Island started to become of interest to the general public. On the 1979 TV show, “In Search Of…” the episode about the island garnered a massive fan base, both locally and around the globe.
With all of the fascinating stories and unbelievable discoveries, as well as the many attempts to solve the mystery, Oak Island was becoming popular. People from everywhere were curious about the mysterious treasure and the legends that helped the island’s name become known.
A Conflict Of Ownership And Interest
It was rumored that two million pounds were buried on the island, so it’s no surprise that conflicts would arise. The Triton Alliance and one of its members, Fred Nolan, were fighting over certain parts of the island in 1983. Nolan was sued by the company over ownership of seven of the island’s lots.
Nolan was subsequently sued for damages that largely affected Triton Alliance’s tourist business. Therefore, his company appealed in 1989 but lost for the second time. During the legal battles, Oak Island remained silent from 1990 to 2005. Then, the Lagina Brothers stepped in.
How Francis Drake Fits Into The Picture
The notorious pirate, Francis Drake, is believed by the Lagina brothers to have possessed the knowledge and skills to create the Money Pit. Drake’s command of coastal mining put him in a solid place since his team was capable of getting beneath the ocean bed.
Due to Drake’s pirate status, he would also have had good reason to hide the treasure in a place that wouldn’t be found. Over the years, Drake had been a hoarder of loot. Although some of it was taxed and went to the royal treasuries, it wouldn’t be far from the truth to think that he hid his personal stash somewhere.
These Six-Pager Logs Could Be A Big Help
One of the Lagina Brother’s colleagues, Doug Crowell, discovered six pages of ship logs. In one of the entries, the contents read, “It has been agreed that a deep pit is dug, and treasure securely buried.” Also, “The pit to have a secret entrance by a tunnel from the shore.”
Naturally, this piqued the interest of the Lagina Brothers without hesitation. Was it possible that the pit-flooded tunnel was the same one brought up in the maritime logs?
Their Discoveries Were Meaningful
With absolute conviction, Marty believes that their recent findings are meaningful and extraordinary. They have proof that something remarkable took place on the island many years ago.
Marty confirms this proof. He says, “The evidence suggests that something quite odd did occur on this island prior to 1795. Something happened here prior to 1795 and apparently much earlier, at least 100 years.” So, what secrets exactly is the island covering up? Buried gold? Or, something even more meaningful than that?
How Was U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt Connected to Oak Island?
Many people attempted to explore the island during the twentieth century. One such exploratory trip was supposed to include President Roosevelt, who had a lifetime obsession with the island. One can only speculate as to why Roosevelt abandoned his search for treasure on Oak Island, but it’s probable that his crew was unsuccessful and lacked the funds to continue.
Interest in the Money Pit remained high, thanks to discoveries such as those made by Erwin Hamilton, who claimed to have found rocks and wood that were not native to the area, confirming that something had been buried beneath.
Meet the Brave Team Behind The Oak Island Search
Marty and Rick Lagina would never be able to finish their quest without help. With their buddies Dan and David Blankenship, as well as Craig Tester, they ventured out in search of hidden riches.
They have certainly put together a brave team with the know-how and experience to take the Oak Island search to the next level. After nearly two centuries of excavations, it appears that the Lagina Brothers and their team have made the most progress of all the treasure hunters and explorers who have come before them.
All Of The Hard Work Would Pay Off
More often than not, continually digging and not seeing anything come to the surface is difficult and discouraging. Sometimes, the Lagina Brothers would assemble their crew and look at all of the magnificent treasures they’ve uncovered. This, however, serves as a reminder that they need to keep digging.
Of course, celebrating is well-deserved, and even more so when the hard work pays off. The Lagina Brothers and their hard-working team are pictured in the photo above looking back at their new findings with a tremendous sense of accomplishment.
A Father And Son's Determination To Solve The Perplexing Mystery
Dan Blankenship is a determined man with the knowledge and experience to solve this enigma. He had a prosperous contracting firm but abandoned it all for Oak Island after reading an article about the mystery. He is lovingly referred to as a “living legend.”
He spent the better part of a century drilling, digging, and uncovering Oak Island’s mysteries. David, his son, learned his skills and expertise from him. Though David was in a catastrophic car accident over three decades ago, he is alive and well and dedicated to their mission.
Craig's Wild Idea To Make Excavation Easier
The brave treasure hunters discovered that the Money Pit was much deeper than anyone had previously imagined. They attempted to drain the water once more, but something strange occurred when they did so. Water continued to flow into the pit, filling it as they worked to empty it.
Craig and the Lagina team had an idea: they would freeze the money pit. Excavation would then be far easier. Craig explained that when faced with a problem that endlessly repeats itself, you must take a fresh approach rather than trying the same old tactics.
The Partnership That Was Needed To Reach Their Goal
The brothers assumed that they would have to buy a stake in the island in order to pursue their quest of discovering the hidden gold. In 2006, they did just that by purchasing half of Oak Island Tours, which owns the majority of the property on this intriguing island off the coast of Nova Scotia.
Half of the company was owned by Dan Blankenship, a member of the Lagina team. Both sides recognized from the start that they needed to work together to achieve their common goal.
Finding The Treasure Would Take Time And Patience
There have been several efforts to uncover the riches concealed on Oak Island, and these attempts have spanned nearly two centuries. Every historical conspiracy theory conceivable appears to have been linked to Oak Island at one point or another.
Despite the rumors, one thing is universally acknowledged and agreed upon by treasure seekers, and it is this belief that keeps the Lagina brothers and their crew going: there is a money pit, and it most certainly holds something. No matter how long it takes, they have committed their lives to discovering what that “something” is.
The Wooden Lined Shaft Would Prove Crucial In Their Discovery
Marty and Rick made use of cutting-edge technology and instruments to demonstrate that early excavators created a wood-lined shaft in the pit. It was built in 1805 (or thereabouts) by the individuals who first discovered the Money Pit and sought to dig up its treasure.
These early explorers provided the foundation for many of the subsequent breakthroughs. However, they never made it far. Since beginning their modern-day journey on Oak Island, Marty and Ricky have uncovered approximately 600 historical relics.
The Human Bone That Raised Even More Questions
One of Marty and Rick’s most notable findings was a human bone that was found to belong to a person of Middle Eastern origin. The brothers struggled to explain how a Middle Eastern person could have made it to Oak Island, let alone be buried there. Another bone they found was proven to be of European descent.
The discovery raised more questions than answers. Marty expressed his delight at the finding and speculated on a possible connection with the Knights Templar.
Master Metal Locator Gary Drayton
Gary Drayton is a metal-detecting expert who offered his services to the Lagina brothers, doing his best to help them secure the Oak Island treasure. Drayton is a seasoned treasure hunter who specializes in metal detection, and his knowledge has been crucial to the brothers’ efforts.
He is frequently referred to by the team as having the enviable ability to find things that others cannot. And he’s made good use of his abilities for the squad. Gary uncovered something genuinely astonishing before the fifth season of The Curse of Oak Island ended.
A lead cross with a square hole at the top was discovered by Rick, Marty, and Gary. This cross dates from the 1200s to the 1600s, making it medieval in origin. Though the precise century of its creation is unknown, we do know it was made in the Middle Ages.
They also discovered a mysterious stone with the Greek letters Eta and Theta on it. The design bears similarities to a Templar prison in Domme, France. The discovery would be less noteworthy if they didn’t have other evidence on hand that pointed to a Templar connection to the island.
Are the Knights Templar Connected to Oak Island?
The Knights Templar had the motivation and ability to bury valuables in the Money Pit on this enigmatic island. The Order of the Knights Templar was a large, multi-national Catholic Christian organization created in 1119 by Pope Gregory XIII.
“If proof can be established that members of the Knights Templar made their way to North America as many as seven centuries ago,” the show’s description claims, “it would transform not only the history of a small island off the coast of Nova Scotia but the history of the world.”
The Origin of the Cross
Despite popular belief that the lead cross is tied to the Knights Templar, historian Zena Halpern believes otherwise. The cross, according to Zena, could be a representation of the Phoenician deity Tanit.
According to Zena Halpern, the Templars may have secretly worshiped Tanit, which is comparable to earlier assertions that the Templars were secretly occultists. This has led to speculation that the Templars revered the Phoenician goddess of fertility and health, which might turn certain historical knowledge on its head.
The Smuggled Gold Theory
Another explanation regarding these fabled crosses takes a more pragmatic approach. The scientists hypothesized that many chunks of lead, such as those seen in crosses, were used to smuggle gold.
Because gold and lead are both rather heavy metals, precious gold wrapped in bland old lead can be smuggled without danger of being robbed by pirates or other unsavory characters. “There was gold beneath this cross, and the cross itself was wrapped in lead,” Jack Begley explained. He expressed a feeling that there may be more lead-wrapped crosses out there.
A Stunning Rhodolite Stone
This Rhodolite stone could be 500 years old, according to Gary Drayton, and could be linked to the legend of Marie Antoinette’s gems. Such stones have been used in religious ceremonies by both Egyptians and Romans.
How did such a valuable, rare jewel wind up in a marshy pit in Nova Scotia? Is it possible that more riches will be discovered in the Money Pit? Rick Lagina wasn’t sure, but he was thrilled with the discovery of the rhodolite garnet. Whatever happens next, they’ve already found something precious.
As the mystery surrounding the Money Pit remained unexplained, curiosity about the hidden wealth grew. The rhodolite garnet could have come from a variety of locales, and the Marie Antoinette connection is just one of several ideas about the stone’s origins.
Other scholars claim it held secrets that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Shakespeare’s plays were authored by Francis Bacon. Whatever treasures were imagined to be hidden beneath the surface, the island drew treasure hunters for more than 200 years. Historians, archeologists, and researchers all contributed to the investigation.
Getting Closer to the Hidden Treasure
Rick and Marty Lagina knew they were closer than ever to discovering Oak Island’s buried riches. They soon discovered another valuable stone that has since been officially designated as “treasure” by the Treasure Trove License. “It’s like a lightning rod has gone off,” Matty Blake remarked, “and they continue finding all kinds of discoveries.”
We couldn’t agree with Matty Black more and can’t wait to see what they uncover next now that the floodgates have been opened! Read on as the treasure hunt doesn’t stop here.
A Mysterious Stone
The hidden treasures on Oak Island continued to pile up. Another unusual stone was uncovered, with intriguing engravings that more than hinted it wasn’t simply garden variety. The engravings reminded Craig Tester, the in-house drilling specialist of the treasure hunter team, of Roman numerals.
If there’s one thing the crew agrees on at this point, it’s that anything discovered near the Money Pit has to be properly explored. Later, they discovered a shocking fact about the newly found stone.
Vikings on Oak Island
The strange-looking stone was taken to their lab, where it was subjected to a battery of tests. Further research was carried out on the stone. They believe that the data thus far points to “an early Viking presence on Oak Island.”
The Lagina Brothers take their workers out every now and then to gaze at the abundance of riches they’ve previously discovered as a reminder to keep digging. This stone added another piece of evidence to support the previously well-documented hypotheses regarding a Viking link to the island.
Tube Plates Discovery
Strange stones and parchments were not the only things they discovered. Rick and Marty began digging in Smith’s Cove during the sixth season of The Curse of Oak Island. They uncovered some extremely fascinating finds after shutting the excavated area off with an intricate steel structure.
The crew uncovered what seemed to be tubular rods that were out of place in the environment, implying that they were man-made. They were able to corroborate this by consulting an eminent archeologist, Laird Niven, who identified the artifacts as “tube plates.”
A Hidden Vault
The researchers also discovered an odd-looking structure under the surface that was tilted in such a way that it appeared to be man-made. The group soon found themselves digging up even more relics. Surely, they reasoned, they were one step closer to unearthing the mythical wealth.
The latest find baffled the crew, but they collectively came to the thought that it may be the mysterious Chapel Vault, which is supposed to house the Oak Isle riches. Only time will tell whether or not this hopeful theory is correct.
Discovery of the Flood Tunnels
In the last seasons of The Curse of Oak Island, there have been a lot of ups and downs and discoveries. The excavation crew uncovered many intriguing items, but during season 7, one of the main focuses was on a probable tunnel discovery.
One of the biggest steps to confirming whether the legend of Oak Island’s treasure is true or not came via a flood tunnel that appears to lead to the Money Pit. Sadly, they appeared to be hitting dead ends. Until the fourth quarter of 2020, that is.
The Real Treasure
Whatever comes of their island search in the near future, one thing is certain: the brothers have profited handsomely from the famous TV show that chronicles their Oak Island treasure quest. Because of the public’s interest in their lifetime ambition, the Laginas now own a portion of the island and have become a cash cow for the History Channel.
Unsurprisingly, the Laginas are now wealthy with tens of millions of dollars, with Rick’s value estimated to be over $2 million and Marty’s estimated to be around $50 million. Hopefully their collection of valuable relicts and historical discoveries will only continue to grow.