My theory

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Postby JodyLane on Thu Jan 22, 2004 1:14 pm

Sorry to be so long in responding. Been sidelined with illness.

My thoughts were that could have been some early adventurers from the new world who took advantage of some kind of natural disaster to hide their treasure. My 1715 date came from the 1704 rock and a 1713 coin found somewhere on the island.
I am open to it being earlier.
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Postby icrp on Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:09 pm


Your theory has some resonance - D'Arcy O'Conor's book "The Big Dig" has a similar theory with a different timeline. What you have suggested makes about as much sense as anything anyone can come up with in the face of only circumstantial evidence for us armchair generals.

The 1704 rock - well this could be a problem - as other posters have indicated, this may be a practical (& ancient) joke, simply graffiti, or a valuable clue. The coin may be something dropped years after its mint date if it is indeed authentic.

The problem is multi-fold: too many gaps in the information circulating, too many red herrings (those merry pranksters again) and worse, overly vivid imaginations - that is, if it's old enough, it is absolutely connected to the mystery.

One of the prime goals for the Oak Island Tourism Society - in my view - is to provide a physical forum for the uninitiated, a serious look at the mystery and a fun take on the history and characters. The difficulty will be in separating the three!
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Postby Dave on Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:13 pm

Unfortunately, I do not have a comprehensive list of what has been carbon dated on OI. In addition to the items tank has mentioned, I think the WHOI study carbon dated some coconut fibers from the beach. I think the age I have often seen reported for this was 1100 (somewhat surprising), but unfortunately without an error term.

I'd be interested to know what tests they ran on the chain recovered from 10X. Archaeological dating of non-organic artifacts is usually done via relative dating techniques. Despite the fact that this sounds like a sociological phenomenon in West Virginia ;-) this is basically saying "well, this piece looks like something made in Spain in the 1600s, therefore this piece is probably from Spain in the 1600s." I'm not aware of any radioisotope procedure analogous to C14 that is used for metals. I'm assuming a metallurgic suite was done to determine its chemical makeup (in addition to the style of metalwork, archaeologists can also use the relative abundance of impurities to determine the source of the ore made, although this obviously has some limitations).

I suspect I've not really cleared anything up here and I anxiously await a more knowledgable board member than myself to come forward with a list of dated artifacts.


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Spanish connection

Postby Procutus on Thu Jan 22, 2004 8:18 pm


I too, feel that you're theory has merit, although I have to agree with both Tank and GB about the timeframe of the original workings, which I believe to be early 16th century. As to the nature of the treasure itself, my own theory is that it's either Aztec or Incan in origin, looted by conquistadors. I also agree with your general theory that the crew of the ship or ships were most likely sunk in an Atlantic story enroute home. This would explain why in nearly four hundred years there were no deathbed accounts from sailors claiming to know where a fabulous hoard of gold and precious gemstones lay.

I also agree with you regarding the existance of a decoy treasure within the depths of the original Money Pit itself; I believe this is what the 1849 group drilled through with their pod auger. One point though where our theories diverge is on the purpose of the Money Pit. I believe it to be the original point of entry into the ground by the original workers and that they tunneled through to the other chambers from there and created the two flood tunnels, then worked backwards and filled the pit. It was intended to be the area that would be discovered in the future, but not the means to which the treasure could be retrieved.

That secret has died with the designers of the underground workings.

In any event, I look forward to discussing various aspects of the Spanish theory with you as time goes on. I'm also encouraged by the fact that this theory is the one that Dan Blankenship seems to believe in as well.

warm regards,

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The Date and Spanish Connection

Postby . . . on Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:33 pm

I think we should be careful here. The discussion surely suggests that C14 dating of wood samples from Oak Island should not be used, per se, as a sure indicator of the year of origin. For example, a date of 1585 plus or minus 50 years would allow 1635 as much as 1535 - with equal 'probability'.

Consider also that the wood from HMS Victory (docked in the UK) must date back to about 1750. If this was used in 2004 to reconstruct an 18th century cottage, the age of the wood (the year in which the trees died) would in no way identify the year the house was built (the year of origin.)

Furthermore, to state that the Oak Island origin lies in the 16th century is to state that the works of Shakespeare / Bacon cannot possibly be found on Oak Island due to C14 analysis of wood samples. While I don't subscribe to the theory, yet, I feel this would be unfair to the proposers. Nor could the 'treasure' relate to Phipps, Avery, Ubilla and a host of others. This completely ignores the possibility that the wood died 50 years before it was used. In the example in the first paragraph, 1685 would then become a possibility.

I feel, therefore, that it would be wrong to suggest that JodyLane's theory can be destroyed on the basis of C14 dating of wood samples. Nor should the finding of Spanish artifacts be used to state that the originators were most likely Spanish, rather than the artifacts being stolen from the Spaniards along with the treasure. It sems clear we need further refinement to focus on a distinct period - and this would probably come from discoveries on the island.

The key to finding documentary evidence of the Oak Island enterprise must lie with archaeology - because the context would indicate the period in which to look - if not in which archives. When have any of the owners conducted professional archaeological digs at likely spots on the island? We don't know - or can we safely guess - rarely if ever? Archaeology is not about finding things in extemporarily dug holes - it's about looking for them in a controlled manner. This is the mark of serious research rather than treasure hunting.

I note from books and Petter's photographs that Fred Nolan has already destroyed the archaeology surrounding the Cones of the Cross, not to mention other markers - the location of which he seems to be keeping to himself. Congratulations are surely due to him for his professional and selfless endeavours. This is a consequence of having a licence to dig holes anywhere and in any way, looking solely for treasure. The Province has put its seal of approval on such activity - for a cut of the treasure rather than a share in Canada's archaeological inheritance.

It would seem that Oak Island is still a search for treasure, not a search for answers. I say again, the context is the treasure. Why not look for answers systematically on the surface, rather than randomly in the depths? I know this will fall on deaf ears. So, just keep digging at the Money Pit - that's why it's there! Only joking - I know there's a huge treasure (if not plenty of valuable archaeology!) at that precise spot just waiting to be dug up. So, here's to the next 200 years' highly productive activity at the Money Pit! ;-)
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age of wood

Postby isethebye on Fri Jan 23, 2004 2:15 am

exactly! :D
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Postby Tank03 on Fri Jan 23, 2004 12:41 pm


You wonder, "I'd be interested to know what tests they ran on the chain recovered from 10X".

The chain was examined by the Steel Companyof Canada, Hamilton Ontario (aka Stelco) back in 1971. This was a Metallurgical examination that tested the case hardness of the chain, along with other attributes. It was said to be of archaic manufacture, and characteristic of deeply case hardened samples that cracking will occur under high stress. The cleanliness of the sample indicates the the possibility of use of Swedish steel. Until after about 1749, the British navy for example, would not use English steels.

I would suspect this company, and any others used by Triton to determine the age, and artifact origins, would stand to professional scrutiny.
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Postby icrp on Fri Jan 23, 2004 2:15 pm


You wrote: "Why not look for answers systematically on the surface, rather than randomly in the depths?"

Well, I would suggest that there may be a method to search the depths systematically - shallow acoustics: in other words, near-surface seismic.

I just need to borrow a few dollars....
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Postby JodyLane on Fri Jan 23, 2004 2:45 pm

Wow, I am flat on my back for the better part of the week and so many responses.

I agree that the 1715 date was a shot in the dark. I guess it was a reference point or a suggestion on how the treasure came to be on the island. I agree that carbon dating has shown things to be older than my date. I think my general hypothesis that some people who found gold and silver on the New World might have wanted to keep it for themselves and placed it far enough North to avoid detection is possible (then again this is theory, so it holds as much weight as Karen Carpenter on a diet).

Apparently while describing my theory I wasn't clear though. I think the original dig by the creators of the pit did start at the Money Pit, then dug the flood tunnels. But at some point they had the stop before they reached the ocean. Otherwise they would have flooded the Pit before filling it in and placing all the oak layers and stones in it.

Maybe after filling in the Money Pit, they finished the job from a location closer to the shore line?

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Postby icrp on Fri Jan 23, 2004 4:02 pm


There is a reference in one of the books - can't remember which - that recalls a coffer dam just beyond low tide (present day) in Smith's Cove. This was a reference to something done before the mid-1800s group did their coffer dam. Obviously, the searchers at the time felt that a dam was previously in place and thought it was "original workings".

I also recall a mention of a lack of evidence for a similar dam on the South Shore Cove - the Bedford Institute of Oceanography did a sonar run there a few years back. It may be possible that the slope there and the higher degree of erosion by sea action has obliterated any trace of a dam. I would like to hear some other opinions on this as I have heard contradictory staements re: a south side cofferdam.
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