Those maps again!

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Those maps again!

Postby . . . on Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:03 pm

I was passing through, keeping up-to-date with the mystery, and found the March 2009 thread on the National Geographic book - with its predictable conclusion. I’d given up trying to promote a rational response to, and discourse upon, the Oak Island ground markers but recent events prompt me, yet again, to attempt to break through the prejudice - my last surviving contact to the source of the file of information reported below died recently.

It’s all too easy to decide, without proper investigation, that you know something as a fact, or that information is false, particularly if ‘experts’, authority figures or your peers, widely declare it to be so or belittle your intelligence if you choose to pursue an unpopular line of inquiry. This has happened in the case of the so-called Kidd Maps.

Unfortunately, some people can’t be bothered to put effort - time, money and hard work - into digging into these matters to discover the truth. It’s far easier to guess a solution, ignore the real problem or merely state what you think others want to hear. Fortunately for us, the police and judiciary, as a general rule, don't approach inquiries in such an irrational and high-handed manner.

To my mind, Oak Island does not feature just one mystery - it has many. However, to maintain focus, I tend to reduce these to manageable proportions:

The mystery of the Money Pit
The mystery of Smith’s Cove
The mystery of the Ground Markers
The mystery of Nolan’s Cross

The last two are contentious but, for the sake of absolute simplicity, one might say that there are two fields of interest; the Money Pit and Elsewhere. It’s the Money Pit that keeps Oak Island alive whereas thoughts of a treasure elsewhere on the island, while equally intriguing, detract from this objective and, as such, are all too easily dismissed. I refer to ‘Elsewhere’ scenarios as Cache Theory.

The first author to promote the idea that the Money Pit was incidental to the Oak Island enterprise was Rupert Furneaux who,in 1972, suggested that there may have been an access tunnel off the supposed Flood Tunnel that led to a safe point above sea level where an assumed treasure could have been stored. The depositor, or heir to the treasure, could then simply dig down from a point above the chamber to retrieve it, untroubled by flood water. So, possibly, the Money Pit could have been no more than a blind to divert treasure seekers from the real location - much as may have happened for the last two hundred years - but you wouldn’t tell that to potential investors in a Big Dig or a Big Freeze, would you!

After assessing some potential date indicators, Furneaux concluded that one event that could have prompted such a deposit was the Revolutionary War (War of Ameriucan Independence). British military engineers could have undertaken the project in order to safeguard the military chest from the hands of a rapidly increasing number of patriots / revolutionaries advancing on New York. To prevent the good guys getting hold of the treasure the bad guys hid it - but Furneaux believed they did so some way from the Money Pit.

In the past, on my website and also on this forum, I have attempted to promote the idea that there were, perhaps, two sets of tunnels, one wet and one dry, with a wet tunnel perhaps running directly over the cache chamber to prevent access from immediately above. It would also be possible to mark points on the ground that were to be translated into locations below which were accessible through the dry tunnels. The suggestions were, effectively,idismissed. The dry tunnels may have been those investigated in the 1960s but, in any event, these are likely to have been flooded, by now, as a result of the random drilling and excavating typical of Oak Island investigations.

The very real problem of cache theory is how, given a considerable area of high ground, anyone would be able to identify the correct point at which to dig. The 17th century diarist, Samuel Pepys, provides some pointers. He reports that, when London was threatened by attack from the Dutch navy, he instructed his wife to bury the family gold and was appalled that she failed to take some obvious precautions, such as: bury it in a remote location (she hid it in view of a neighbour’s house), put it in a box (the bags she used broke up in the damp soil) and, above all, use static markers as a reference point, and draw a map (she had no idea of the precise location). Consequently, when Pepys went to recover his hidden wealth he had to search and dig up the south forty, finding the gold very much scattered, and failed to recover it all.

Presumably, in the case of Oak Island, the secret of a cache would have been restricted to a few although there would be two obvious dangers; those who know the location might die (in war or at sea) or might conspire to remove the treasure. But what if the originator never intended to recover the treasure himself? How might he safely communicate its location?

This is where ground markers and maps come in. Cache theory does not exclude the possibility that there was a deposit in the Money Pit but Money Pit theorists seem to hate the idea that there could have been a major cache somewhere else. This is seen in their reaction to the possibility that the ground markers on Oak Island were set in place to assist in identifying the true location of the cache, or caches, by way of instructions written onto maps and, therefore, are more important in the overall scheme than is the Money Pit.

If such treasure maps pertaining to Oak Island exist then they would, very likely, reference the ground markers but would not lead to the Money Pit which, after all, was the most obvious location on the island, being broadcast to all and sundry by a clearing, a distinctive tree in the middle with a tackle-block suspended over a depression in the ground. No secret there, then!

The cynic might suggest that such an obvious point lit by a huge flashing neon light proclaiming ‘vast treasure buried here, start digging now’ is unlikely to convince anyone of a rational frame of mind. This said, even if tempted, one might imagine that people would have the sense to give up when the walls fell in and the bottom fell out. Given the state of the ground in the vicinity of the Money Pit one might even hope that if any treasure was ever hidden on the island then it was put somewhere else. ‘Hidden’ is the key word. After all, the Money Pit could easily have been hidden but wasn’t, and if somebody came along and destroyed the area, just as has been done, then the depositor, or his heirs, could never recover the treasure - which would have been his own stupid fault for advertising the location in the first place.

For the sake of those who didn’t follow earlier and, occasionally, acrimonious clashes on this subject years ago I’ve spent more than thirty years tracking down primary sources pursuing the paper trail (correspondence, diaries etc.) relating to the assumed Kidd maps. I know that some reading this will respond with a predictable “more fool you” and I recognise that it is given to such people to know all the answers without doing any of the footwork. :wink:

While I appreciate that the pieces of paper upon which the instructions are written may be fake, or the subject of a hoax, I don’t have the luxury that others appear to have in knowing that the instructions are also fake. To my mind, this doesn’t follow logically, although I realise that the thinking of some forum members precludes the possibility that somebody might have copied genuine instructions onto a map of the wrong island, perhaps as a subterfuge. Nor do I conclude that because some crackpot decided to associate the maps with the notorious pirate Captain Kidd then this association must be correct. You will, therefore, appreciate that you have long been spared my posting on this forum because I lack the common sense of everybody else here. :(

In any event, during this quest I’ve been plagued by the same problems that obstructed Furneaux - secrecy and selfishness. Key information comes into the hands of people who jealously guard it, hoping to become rich, but they don’t appreciate that it’s only part of a greater whole that someone else is trying to piece together. Ultimately, the possessors of the information die off and the knowledge is lost.

I agree that some of the people I’ve met on the trail have been borderline crazy (and maybe you just have to be mildly eccentric to go off looking for buried treasure) but the prejudice of others against these people has resulted in many lost opportunities because ‘sensible’ folk fail to follow up some very real leads that end up in the hands of crackpots and cranks - simply because they’re the only ones who ever go in search of them!

I’m sure that forum participants who don’t want to look as stupid as me will reject the fanciful notion of the treasure map which, as ‘everybody’ knows, exists only in children’s fiction. The tale of the Kidd maps, and the negative reaction to them - by members of this forum and those operating on the island - sums up this attitude. Perhaps the worst thing is that opportunities have been lost because people have decided - quite illogically - that if a piece of paper seems to be fake then the information it transmits is also fake and, in any event, information of this sort cannot possibly relate to Oak Island.

This response completely ignores the very real fact that over the time span in which the Oak Island enterprise is likely to have been undertaken (16th to 18th centuries) nobody, but nobody, would have sneered at the suggestion of pirate treasure and, particularly, of treasure maps. In modern times, we might consider the idea fanciful but the originator of an Oak Island enterprise in this period would have considered it eminently sensible - yet many still persist in applying modern perceptions to the thoughts of people in times past.

In brief, the story of the instructions on the Kidd maps actually predates by well over a century their appearance in Harold Wilkins’ book. Anthony Howlett, who originally reported the tale, did not have access to the people involved, to their heirs, correspondence or their diaries, and so got the story wrong.

In the 1920's, a file surfaced containing papers some of which, from internal evidence, dated back to the late 1700s and early 1800s. The papers had been discovered shortly before 1900 and came into the hands of a collector but were lost from view until some time after his death. The trail of this file surfaces every now and again in published material and even Graham Harris sensed its existence.

As Furneaux surmised, the instructions on the Kidd maps are definitely linked to Oak Island by an original association with J.F.W. DesBarres’ Atlantic Neptune. Unhappily, the information came into the hands of eccentrics who misinterpreted it and wove a false trail about it. Some people who recognised the trail as false illogically declared all the information communicated by the maps to be equally so.

I appreciate that some members of the forum will know, without investigation, that what I say cannot possibly be correct so I won’t waste time elaborating upon this outline. Anyway, you won’t find any references to this in D’Arcy’s books so it can’t possibly be true, can it? :)

However, if anyone does care to think dispassionately about the maps, specifically their instructions, and assume, for the sake of argument, that all five published sets relate to Oak Island then, while they may not agree with my published interpretations (that is, the five lead to separate and equally spaced points on a rhombus between the drilled rocks) they will appreciate that the most important features on the island would then be the ground markers - not the Money Pit - and that these have, traditionally, been the least valued of the island’s discoveries.

Some forum participants have also disparaged the “wacky geometry” associated with the ground markers. My own suggested ground plan is set upon a baseline of specific length together with a particular angle of magnetic variation (for driving the tunnels) and closely matches the reported locations of the ground markers (which are themselves vague). This plan reveals a rhombus between the drilled rocks and all five sets of instructions can be interpreted in exactly the same way to identify regularly spaced points upon this. The centre point of the rhombus would be 209 feet due east of the Money Pit and 8.25 inches short of 56 feet due north of this point.

Some twenty-five years ago, I approached David Tobias to see if I could look for the Mallon Triangle (amongst other things) and, if it truly existed, photograph it, survey it and establish its precise location with respect to the easterly drilled rock, then handing over everything to them. I just wanted to test my theory. He didn't want to know. To my knowledge, Triton failed to do this themselves. Hence, the Mallon Triangle is still a mystery, but this lackadaisical attitude to the archaeology of the island is typical of views from the 1960s onwards when some of the ground markers were casually destroyed.

Sadly, finding treasure in the Money Pit has always been more important than investing in finding the answer to the Oak Island mystery. Tracking down primary sources relating to aspects of the mystery hasn’t received particular emphasis. So, in the case of the maps, just carry on ignoring them. After all, you know intuitively that the markers and maps are irrelevant to the Oak Island mystery because the treasure is definitely in the Money Pit, isn’t it?

Hence, the mystery of the ground markers. Why would the originator have gone to all the trouble of placing triangles and drilled rocks on the island, and leaving the tree as a marker, particularly considering that these are the very features referenced by the instructions on the five maps? But don’t worry about this: the instructions can’t be relevant to Oak Island because intelligent and rational people just know that the instructions on the maps are meaningless! :wink:
Last edited by . . . on Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Those maps again!

Postby The KGT Kidd on Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:13 pm

Hi ..., I would be pleased to talk with you, let's start with the maps. :D What is the name of your website please, mine is OAK ISLAND REVELATIONS.

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