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Oak Island Treasure • View topic - Charing Cross

Charing Cross

Please post your theories for discussion here. Expect plenty of questions and devil's advocacy.

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Re: Charing Cross

Postby wayward on Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:29 pm

Coconut fibres: I have only now come across the results of the C-14 dating of the coconut fibres found on Oak Island. Dated to 1130 AD +-70 years according to the letter dated Oct. 6, 1993 from a Richard C. Nieman, the dating itself being done by a company called "Beta Analytic". Certainly the only way these fibres could be found on Oak Island is by being included in the holds of vessels as most likely cargo packing. Although "Woods Hole" wrote that the dating could not be absolutely trusted, they also said the 1100 date was certainly possible, they also said the fibres were coconut and possibly of Mediterranean origin. IMHO, Woods Hole would not use the word possible out of the clear blue sky, they must have had some indication of this origin. As for the dating, if it is somewhat skewed, it would not be by the required 4 centuries needed to support pirate theorys, at least, again in IMHO. Coconut fibres in the ancient Mediterranean would only be easily available along the Nile or Red Sea, where they may have been widely used by transport vessels carrying pottery or other fragile cargos. I have premised, along with many others, and there is evidence to support, that the purpose of the first nine Templar Knights for the first nine years of the orders existence (1118- 1128) was to look for certain artifacts within the old temple mount in Jerusalem. The discovery of these objects and the dating of the coconut fibres is coincidentally within the same time period. Because of these, which I agree are at this time questionable facts, I premise that the Knights Templars were responsible for the coconut fibres on Oak Island.
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Re: Charing Cross

Postby n4n224ccw on Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:29 am

The fibrous material is one of the few tangible items which can still be gather today.

There is more to this issue than merely dating the fibres. The first question is reliable identification of the fibre, then building upon that a combined identification and dating of the material.

Found in the RV Harris collection at NSARM is a series of letters about 30 years apart pertaining to this fibre. The first letter is the original report from the Smithsonian which identified the material as coconut, then about 15 to 20 letters to other institutions asking for a sample to be identified. All were unable to conclusively identify the sample. The final letter (many years later) is once again from the Smithsonian confirming the earlier findings.

Modern day science not only allows for C-14 testing, but also for scanning electron microscopes. During July and August 1995, Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institution conducted an investigation at Oak Island. A part of their investigation was to gather and test material thought to be coconut fibre.

They obtained two samples, one sample was provided by Dan Blankenship, the other was dug from the beach by Dan Henskee while observed by the WHOI staff. They also gathered a sample of seaweed from above the high tide mark and subjected all for C-14 testing.

Summarizing their C-14 results confirmed the sea weed was modern and the two others corresponding to Beta Analytics age range. With that said, they write “This seaweed sample was fibrous, and resembled what some may perceive as coconut fibre.” Commenting on the sample obtained by Dan Hanskee they write “Unfortunately, the fibre was heavily decomposed, consisting of only about 5% carbon by weight, a low percentage for most vegetative states.”

WHOI then subjected the samples to a Scanning Electron Microscope and recorded the images. WHOI then sent copies of the images along with parts of the sample to Dr Zona (Fairchild Tropical Garden, Miami) and Prof Natalie Uhl of Cornell University. WHOI labelled these two as palm experts.

Both Zona and Uhl were unable to positively identify the samples.

Dr Zona's letter on 9 January 1996 is very interesting. Dr Zona observations compared to three parts of the palm, he notes
-fibres do not look like palm based leave fibres.
-possible stem fibre however unlikely because the belief is the fibre was not in an anaerobic deposit.
-Maybe the husk fibres of a coconut; however, they do not compare against their specimen.

Dr Uhl writes in an email of 14 December 1995 “The SEM photographs of the transections of the fibres do closely resemble the configuration of the fibrous bundle sheaths in some palm stems. It is not possible to say definitely that these are palms, just they could be”.

So here we have two experts who cannot positively identify the sample.

There is no question relating to dating the samples; however, there are serious concerns with positive identification.

The investigation of coconuts and palms does not end here. Key information is the date range and is a good place to start with a historical investigation into the coconut palm.

Without having to extend this reply into a new post, coconuts were introduced by Europeans from India to the Atlantic coasts of Africa and South America and to the Caribbean.

Sauer JD (1971) A re-evaluation of the coconut as an indicator of human dispersal. In: Riley C, editor. Man across the sea. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. pp. 309–319.

Feel free to google this information about the coconut migration, there is much information to be found online including original Portuguese and Spanish letters detailing this very thing.

Given the C-14 dating, this proves beyond a doubt the material could not have naturally been deposited into the ocean (falling off the tree), and washed up on the shores of Oak Island. Simply put, it did not exist on either coast of the Atlantic at the time of C-14 dating.

One other possibility of course is for the fibre to have arrived on Oak Island with the assistance of man. All we know for sure is the C-14 dating which says the fibre could have been deposited at anytime after. The closer one approaches the C-14 dates to suggest that was the time of deposit by man, then one must start proposing alternative history as an explaination.

The other possibility of course is for the fibre not to be coconut or palm related, merely something local which “resembled what some may perceive as coconut fibre.”
The post Revolutionary history of Oak Island is a complex web of lies and partial truths to sort through.

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Re: Charing Cross

Postby wayward on Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:09 am

Thanks for that report n4n, it was very helpful. It would have been great if Woods Hole had positivily identified the fibres. It would seem if they had proven them to be coir, that would in turn prove some type of vessel had landed a cargo on Oak Island.
This doesn't change my premise though, which has the artifacts discovered at Jerusalem stored on Cyprus for a time. Both Cyprus and Palistine traded with India and other Indian Ocean nations at the time, and India was the largest producer of the product. Don't worry about the content of your post, this is all related to my Charring Cross thread.
Can you tell me where the idea of this being coconut fibre came from in the first place?---Bill
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Re: Charing Cross

Postby n4n224ccw on Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:42 pm

The introduction of coir into the story of Oak Island is worth of a closer look while paying close attention to when it is mentioned, who mentions it, and where it was found. A not there during one excavation, then there for another excavation.

Recall this material was originally reported as a type of Spanish grass....

To save some time.....

Alfa \Al"fa\or Alfa grass \Al"fa grass"\, n.
A plant (Macrochloa tenacissima) of North Africa; also, its
fiber, used in paper making.
Esparto \Es*par"to\, n. [Sp.; cf. L. spartum Spanish broom, Gr.
?.] (Bot.)
A species of Spanish grass (Macrochloa tenacissima), of
which cordage, shoes, baskets, etc., are made. It is also
used for making paper.


You may also wish to view the following link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esparto

Cheers
The post Revolutionary history of Oak Island is a complex web of lies and partial truths to sort through.

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Re: Charing Cross

Postby wayward on Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:38 pm

Seemingly not known as a packing material, I would wonder how Spanish Grass appeared on Oak Island. Also, the material found was still identified as an organic growth after some 800 years (I actually premise 700) in a damp environment. This in itself does not seem possible, whereas the coconut fiber as Coir is known for resisting decomposition. I'm not arguring n4n, just have these questions is all.---Bill
btw, what do you mean by who mentions it and why?
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Re: Charing Cross

Postby wayward on Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:41 am

Just a quick question, why wasn't a complete dna analysis done on the coconut fibre, does anybody know? Perhaps too degraded? just curious.---Bill
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Re: Charing Cross

Postby n4n224ccw on Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:26 pm

The date of coconut fibres or anything else organic cannot be used alone to determining when (if any) 'original work' was done. If work was done during the 12th, 13th, or 14th centuries, then other test results should be consistent with this time period, but unfortunately they are not.

WHOI dug several test pits on the south shore beach area, specifically two pits in the beach barrier separating the sea from the swamp. WHOI discovered and readily identified various peat and small tree branches found at a depth of 11ft. The peat was C-14 date at 2000 years before present time.

These results do show that organic materials will keep their integrity over a long period of time when cut off from an oxygen supply due to a thick covering of clay.

Additionally these results do show the beach barrier was created via natural processes and from this we can deduce an accurate rate of relative sea level change. This will give some weight as to when 'original work' may have been done.

Knowing the rate of relative sea level changes around Oak Island, we can calculate sea levels over the last 2000 years. When we combine this information and apply it to the finger drains found in Smith's Cove, as surveyed and detailed by Fred Nolan during 1959, we can easily see the entire top portion of the central collector (or vertical shaft) was fully above the high tide mark in about 1550; thereby rendering the entire system air locked. This is to say, if the structure was built before 1550, then it could not have been a flood system as it would not function. Likewise, if the structure is part of an intentional flood system, then it must have been built after 1550 because that is where the water level would be required for it to function. It must be noted that around the year 1550, a mere trickle of water would be entering the vertical shaft during high tide. Accounting for the height of the drains at the junction with the vertical shaft, so the entire system would be flooded 24/7, add another 220 years of relative sea level increase, 1770. When accounting for the overburden above the drains, add another 60 years, so 1830.

A Yarmouth investor from the 1860s observed the drains. His testimony suggests they are not that old because there was still a free flow of water coming out which caused eddy currents to form above the outflow during low tide. This free flow of water flies in the face of silt deposits accumulating in the cove over the centuries. Additionally one must wonder why he described the finger drains having a triangular cross section (closed at the top), when later observers said they were box shaped (open at the top)?

Continuing with hard data results, if one gives weight to the C-14 results of wood samples found underground, this too suggests a post mid 16th century construction.

Finally, metallurgical analysis of all those metal fragments thought to be from original construction suggest a post 1750 manufacturing date with increasing probability as one approaches the year 1800 and beyond. These metal fragments could not have been deposited prior to being manufactured or to exist prior to known manufacturing methods which resulted with their unique metallurgical properties.

C-14 results merely indicate when the organic material started to decay, not when it was deposited. Measurable and known rates of relative sea level changes provide a date range to indicate when the drains of Smith's Cove could have been built, with the caveat for this structure to be a flood system. All of the metallurgy suggests a post 1750 date.

All things considered, science suggests a posts 1750 construction with increasing probability towards the year 1800.

Removing the metal from association with original construction, so as to fit one's theory, and attributing the metal to a searcher's efforts has far reaching implications.
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Re: Charing Cross

Postby wayward on Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:56 pm

Hi n4n,
You mention when work was performed and I assume you are referring to the money pit. My own premise or premise's have nothing to do with any work being performend on Oak Island, other then unloading vessels and transporting goods to another location. Any work performed under my premise would only consist of anchorages and dockages, all gone by the period of the money pit. I am not denying a possible hidden something on Oak Island but it is not a part of my theory's, although I suppose it could be, depending on what is discovered.
My premise is a Templar appearance in mid 1308, and the coconut fiber theory works very well with that assumption. If indeed coconut fibers were documented as being dated to sometime prior to the 13th century and on Oak Island it would come close to proving a european operation witin that time period. I also premise that the templar Grandmaster Jacques de Molay, when ordered by Pope Clement V to return to France from Cyprus in early 1307 he along with 10 vessels and 60 knights left Cyprus with artifacts discovered in Jerusalem, these in turn were taken to La Rochelle France, all in all a common theory. Before leaving Cyprus though it would have been necessary to pack any fragile artifacts to protect them from damage. At this same time and even earlier Mediterranean countries including Cyprus and Jerusalem were trading with Arabian and Indian countrys that used Coir for packing, not only on vessels but also wagons. I am positing (at least until I know better) that 2nd hand Coir was readily available at the time, and would have been used as we use 2nd or even 3rd hand packing today. Because of my premise's I am very interested in the alledged coconut fiber on Oak Island. I believe I have read every post on the subject on this Forum, but I am sure there is more information available on the subject and that is what I am hoping for. I appreciate your replys and welcome any and all responses.---Bill
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Re: Charing Cross

Postby n4n224ccw on Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:22 pm

Far beyond the reaches of this forum can be found many interesting articles which argue against any transatlantic voyage by proper KT during the early 1300s. Ship designs of the day had them barely able to endure storms of the Mediterranean. They could hold the Atlantic coast during calm weather but beyond that they could not survive storms. The European ships of the day were not very large at all and is best illustrated by sacrificing fresh water stores for additional passengers or cargo. There are some texts which detail these ships were limited to four or five days at sea due to fresh water capacity. Additionally, ship designs of the period did not suit them for tacking into the wind, a sailing technique that was required for an east to west northern transatlantic crossing. This sail design and method did not come into play for Europeans until the early 1400s. Finally, navigational methods of the day rarely had a ship beyond the sight of land, save instances when leaving one port in the direction of another port by using a star as guidance.

It is not until the early 1400s when Portugal, with the assistance of Iberian Jews and Moors, took the lead on ship and sail designs, along with solving the mathematics required for beyond horizon navigation. This of course was the ability to only solve for one's latitude and only gave one the ability to return home.

An early 1300s direct transatlantic crossing seems beyond the technical reach of any European during the 1300s. One could suggest a blind sailing course and hope for the best; but the real hope would be in eventually returning home. Hypothetically suggesting such a trip did occur which resulted in gaining the North American coast, in the absence of an ability to know one's latitude, how does one revisit the site? The Portuguese who were at the forefront of navigation during the 1400 and 1500 and who possessed good charts and navigational instruments still needed known land markers to confirm their latitude. Read about the function of their Padrao markers.

While a direct transatlantic crossing is out of the question, a UK – Iceland – Greenland – North America trip was within a 1300 century European's ability. This route was used by the Vikings for about 200 years and is the suggested route for Henri Sancto Claro's supposed trip towards the end of the 14th Century. This would of course mean our out KT possessed exclusive knowledge of this route while other Europeans and their contemporary Orders did not. There were no maps pointing this route, only experienced navigators using the stars for their course.

Fortunately the records from Iceland and to a lesser extent a declining Greenland colony do survive to this day. There is no mention of a KT fleet arriving in either location or any foreign fleet arriving which would be the case, should an event like that have happened. In any event a visit like this during the early 1300s would have been mentioned because supply ships were on the decline and were failing to come every year. Additionally one needed permission from the King of Scandinavia to visit both colonies as was the practice to monopolize trade. We can see in the record for unauthorized Bristol traders visiting and Iceland and the diplomatic problems which resulted from that.

The absence of a record, where a record should reasonably exist is troubling. Perhaps the KT had a member who knew which stars to follow from Bristol to Iceland, to Greenland, then to North America?
This of course would suggest the English knew how to navigate to North America during the early 1300s, but is not the case. Perhaps the KT picked up an Englishman for the UK to Iceland leg, then a Scandinavian for the Iceland and beyond leg? If that were to be the case there is no record, especially for obtaining the services of someone in Iceland.

Either way, the KT would have needed different ships than those they supposedly departed LaRochelle for ships worthy of the UK/Iceland/Greenland/North America voyage.

'Processus factus contra Templarios in Scotia, 1309' details the trial of Knights Templar in England, Scotland and Ireland. This document survives to this day and gives credible testimony to indicate any KT who landed on English, Scottish, or Irish shores would be been arrested.

Considering the hearsay secret departure from LaRochelle happened in October and when combined with a supposed cargo of immense value, this should suggests these folks would have been more cautious or prudent and not subjected themselves to the mercy of the sea.

An absence of supporting documents does make a theory difficult to defend, but it does offer exploring other ideas to their final conclusion.
The post Revolutionary history of Oak Island is a complex web of lies and partial truths to sort through.

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Re: Charing Cross

Postby wayward on Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:14 pm

I have devoted a whole chapter called "Templars at Sea" in my upcoming book, and I must say that my premises are far different than your own. For one thing the 13th century Templar Galleys followed venetian design from whom they had even bought many vessels. These ships were quite seaworthy and worthy of a transatlantic crossing following Viking (Norse) routes. You forget that the Knights Templars had many houses in Scotland and actually had a commandery less then 3 miles from lands of the Sinclairs. Knowing that Norse Vikings and Templars, two large groups of warriors co-existed within the same small country and even in some cases (which I could detail) a very short distance from each other for almost 200 years, it would seem very unlikely that they never had any interaction. I believe you are also incorrect on the idea that the Vikings had no maps, certainly a line on a paper existed, today a map detailing these routes could be drawn on a bar napkin. As for latitude measuring, that came into use during the 13th century with the cross-staff which I have used a version of and found it to be very accurate. Another point you brought up is why didn't we hear about these men passing by the Viking outposts? We didn't even believe the Norse themselves went to North America until 1960 when L'Anse aux Meadows was discovered by Norwegian explorer Helge Ingstad, who used Viking Sagas, originally only oral, as his maps. One other point is that I don't premise a direct La Rochelle to Nova Scotia voyage, beginning in September of 1307 as that would seem to be foolish. I instead premise a winter on the western isles of Scotland, 1307-1308, they may have been arrested in 1309 but not 1307, as a matter of fact only two Knights were ever arrested in Scotland and those by the English. I don't know if I answered all of your questions as I am kind of skimming, but you get the idea, and I can't write my whole book here.
btw, I probably should mention that I believe the Portugusese learned much of their navigation skills from the Templars, who in turn learned from the Muslims, at least IMHO.
But this is not getting me answers on the Coconut Fibers
Last edited by wayward on Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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