The Curse of Oak Island

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The Curse of Oak Island
The Curse of Oak Island.jpg
Genre Reality[1]
Narrated by Robert Clotworthy
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 62
Production
Executive producer(s) Kevin Burns[2]
Camera setup Multiple
Running time 43 minutes
Production company(s) Prometheus Entertainment[2]
Distributor A&E Networks[2]
Release
Original network History Canada
Original release January 5, 2014 (2014-01-05) – present
External links
Website
Production website

The Curse of Oak Island is an active reality television[1] series that first premiered in Canada on the History network on January 5, 2014. The show features what is known as the Oak Island mystery, showing efforts to search for historical artifacts and treasure.[3][4][5]

Overview[edit]

The Curse of Oak Island follows brothers Marty and Rick Lagina, originally from Kingsford, Michigan, through their efforts to find the speculated treasure or historical artifacts believed to be on Oak Island. The series discusses the history of the island, recent discoveries, theories, and prior attempts to investigate the site.[6] Areas of interest include the "Money Pit", Borehole 10-x, Smith's Cove, "Nolan's Cross", the "Hatch", the "Watchtower" and the "Swamp".

Background[edit]

The Lagina brothers became fascinated with the island after reading the January 1965 issue of Reader's Digest magazine that features an article on the Restall family's work to investigate the so-called "Money Pit".[7] Marty and his brother Rick obtained a controlling interest in Oak Island Tours, which reportedly owns most of the island. The brothers were later approached by Prometheus Entertainment to do a reality show. Rick and Marty have engaged the assistance of father-and-son Dan and Dave Blankenship, permanent residents of the island who have likewise been searching for treasure since the 1960s.[8]

Theories[edit]

The series explores various Oak Island theories and conjectures through conversations with independent researchers. Persons featured have included Zena Halpern discussing her theory about North African gold and sharing copies of a French map of the island which she claims is dated 1347; J. Hutton Pulitzer discussing his theory of ancient mariner visitations; Petter Amundsen discussing his theory about codes hidden in Shakespearen literature and a secret project involving Sir Francis Bacon and the Rosicrucians; Daniel Ronnstam discussing his theory about the 90 foot stone being a dual cypher containing instructions as how to defeat the money pit flood tunnels with corn; authors Kathleen McGowen and Alen Butler discussing their theory involving the fabled Knights Templar treasure and an alleged relocation of historical religious artifacts to the island; and John O'Brien discussing his theory that the island contains treasures of the Aztec Empire. It has also been suggested by Zena Halpern, without evidence, that the Templars worshipped the Phoenician goddess Tanit.

Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 5 January 5, 2014 (2014-01-05) February 9, 2014 (2014-02-09)
2 10 November 4, 2014 (2014-11-04) January 13, 2015 (2015-01-13)
3 13 November 10, 2015 (2015-11-10) February 2, 2016 (2016-02-02)
4 16 November 15, 2016 (2016-11-15) February 21, 2017 (2017-02-21)
5 18 November 7, 2017 (2017-11-07) March 6, 2018 (2018-03-06)

Production[edit]

Having started in 2014, The Curse of Oak Island is currently in its fifth season. On August 2, 2016, it was announced that Nova Scotia Business Inc. approved $1,271,546 in film funding for the production of the 4th season.[9] In October 2017, a fifth season was announced, which began airing on November 7, 2017.[10]

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (2014)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Original air date Viewers
(millions)
1 1 "What Lies Below" January 5, 2014 (2014-01-05) 2.53[11]
Brothers Rick and Marty Lagina now own most of Oak Island. Determined to resume the search for treasure on the island, they explore an abandoned shaft called Borehole 10-X and use water pressure to pump material to the surface. They find a tiny piece of metal.
2 2 "The Mystery of Smith's Cove" January 12, 2014 (2014-01-12) 2.35[12]
A scuba team that includes Marty's son Alex Lagina dives Smith's Cove and finds what are claimed to be non-indigenous coconut fibres and anomalous stones. Meanwhile, more metal fragments and cat bones are found in the slurry from 10-X.
3 3 "Voices from the Grave" January 19, 2014 (2014-01-19) 2.33[13]
As Rick and Marty Lagina begin working to drain a swamp, they are visited by a woman who lost her father and brother to a tragic accident on Oak Island.
4 4 "The Secret of Solomon's Temple" January 26, 2014 (2014-01-26) 2.72[14]
A visitor to the island presents Rick and Marty Lagina with his theory about where the treasure on Oak Island is located and the idea that the Menorah might be among the treasures for which they are searching.
5 5 "The Find" February 9, 2014 (2014-02-09) 2.97[15]
The team digs in a shallow muddy swamp and finds what appears to be an antique Spanish copper coin. A diver is later sent into the swamp and finds no additional objects.

Season 2 (2014–2015)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Original air date Viewers
(millions)
6 1 "Once In, Forever In" November 4, 2014 (2014-11-04) 2.60[16]
After dating the Spanish coin they found last summer to 1652, brothers Rick and Marty Lagina return to Oak Island and begin searching the swamp again. Two men perform a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance test in which they present a map of ground voids and metals under the ground.
7 2 "Return To The Money Pit" November 11, 2014 (2014-11-11) 2.15[17]
The team drills in the area of the money pit but is unable to drill through the underground material. A visitor shows them alleged evidence that the treasures from King Solomon's Temple could be buried on Oak Island.
8 3 "The Eight-Pointed Star" November 18, 2014 (2014-11-18) 2.23[18]
A treasure hunter presents a theory that Phoenicians visited the island 2500 years ago and left behind the ark of the covenant. Rick and Marty Lagina unsuccessfully look for evidence to prove it while also trying to locate the original Money Pit.
9 4 "The Breakthrough" November 25, 2014 (2014-11-25) 2.15[19]
A tree stump in the swamp is examined. Core samples extracted by drilling are discovered to contain rocks and wood.
10 5 "The 90-Foot Stone" December 2, 2014 (2014-12-02) 2.46[20]
A visitor comes to the island suggesting that he has discovered a secret method of getting to the treasure. He claims that Francis Bacon has left behind instructions to the effect that the "flood tunnels" can be disabled by pouring corn into the money pit. The team declines to test the theory and instead visits a masonic lodge. The team searches the swamp again and finds nothing.
11 6 "Seven Must Dye" December 9, 2014 (2014-12-09) 2.90[21]
Rick searches for man-made flood tunnels without success; Marty and John visit Europe to track down a lead.
12 7 "The Trail of the Templars" December 16, 2014 (2014-12-16) 2.47[22]
While work begins in the swamp, Rick and Marty travel to Scotland to investigate more corn-related theories about the money pit. They are also presented with a theory that Oak Island is a copy of King Solomon's Temple and that the entrance to the Money Pit is in the swamp.
13 8 "X Marks the Spot" December 23, 2014 (2014-12-23) 2.72[23]
Rick and Marty search the swamp for an alternate entrance into the Money Pit, without success.
14 9 "A Dangerous Dive" January 6, 2015 (2015-01-06) 2.59[24]
Rick and Marty take a team of divers to Oak Island.
15 10 "The Big Reveal" January 13, 2015 (2015-01-13) 3.06[25]
Rick and Marty use sonar to map out the bottom chamber of the 10-X borehole.

Season 3 (2015–2016)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Original air date Viewers
(millions)
16 1 "The Hole Truth" November 10, 2015 (2015-11-10) 2.26[27]
Rick and Marty search for underground tunnels on Oak Island and prep borehole 10-X for a dive.[26]
17 2 "Pipe Down" November 17, 2015 (2015-11-17) 2.56[29]
Prep work for a dive in borehole 10X continues while the team simultaneously searches the area near the Money Pit for shallow treasure.[28]
18 3 "Time to Dig" November 24, 2015 (2015-11-24) 2.60[31]
Rick, Marty and the team go shopping for excavation equipment, investigate the location of a possible Knight's Templar treasure and search for the original location of the Money Pit.[30]
19 4 "The Overton Stone" December 1, 2015 (2015-12-01) 3.05[33]
Work continues to locate the Money Pit while the team investigates a stone with purported Portuguese carvings.[32]
20 5 "Disappearing Act" December 8, 2015 (2015-12-08) 3.22[35]
The team completes preparations for a dive expedition down borehole 10X by investigating the shaft with a camera.[34]
21 6 "Carved in Stone" December 15, 2015 (2015-12-15)[37] 2.47[38]
Rick, Marty and the team investigate rocks on Oak Island. A researcher visits the island and claims that the Aztecs may have visited the island in the past.[36]
22 7 "The Missing Peace" December 22, 2015 (2015-12-22)[37] 3.40[40]
Rick and Marty welcome long-time rival Fred Nolan into the team.[39]
23 8 "Phantoms of the Deep" December 29, 2015 (2015-12-29)[37] 3.30[42]
The team conducts a sonar sweep of the waters surrounding Oak Island and begin digging on Fred Nolan's property.[41]
24 9 "Columbus Day" January 5, 2016 (2016-01-05)[37] 2.79[44]
The team preps for a dive of borehole 10X. They also listen to a theory about Christopher Columbus visiting the Island.[43]
25 10 "Silence in the Dark" January 12, 2016 (2016-01-12)[37] 3.11[46]
Difficulties are encountered during the dive to the bottom of borehole 10X, the team further investigates Fred Nolan's property and an alleged Roman sword found in the waters off Oak Island is presented to the team.[45]
26 11 "Sword Play" January 19, 2016 (2016-01-19)[37] 2.82[48]
The team has the Roman sword investigated and find that it is a modern reproduction. There is an unproductive search for treasure north of the Money Pit.[47]
27 12 "Voices from Below" January 26, 2016 (2016-01-26)[37] 3.17[50]
The team dives to the bottom of borehole 10X. In a separate investigation, a cavity is found far underground near the Money Pit.[49]
28 13 "Secrets and Revelations" February 2, 2016 (2016-02-02)[37] 3.41[51]
The diving investigation of borehole 10X concludes with nothing found. Relatives of the original Oak Island treasure hunters present a gold cross which is said to have come from the treasure.

Season 4 (2016–2017)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Original air date Viewers
(millions)
29 1 "Going for Broke" November 15, 2016 (2016-11-15) 2.62[53]
The team agrees to turn focus over to the Money Pit and review what they have collected. Researcher Zena Halpern presents a handmade copy of what she claims is a French map from 1347 of Oak Island. The map shows locations for a "hatch", a "valve" and an "anchor" on the Island. A theory is presented based on a purported decoding of a cipher that Joab at the time of King David transported the Ark of the Covenant to North Africa from which it was later transported onward by the Knights Templar from the then-Portuguese town of Safi in Morocco to Oak Island.[52]
30 2 "Always Forward" November 22, 2016 (2016-11-22) 2.66[54]
While preparing to excavate the Money Pit, the team investigates an 18th century well on mainland Nova Scotia. The team brings in an archaeologist to inspect a hole on Dave Blankenship's property which they think is a potential "hatch".
31 3 "Swamp Things" November 29, 2016 (2016-11-29) 2.97[55]
A piece of rock with scratches is found, before the team revisits the swamp for another look and finds very little.
32 4 "No Stone Unturned" December 6, 2016 (2016-12-06) 2.95[56]
Part of the team unsuccessfully attempts to track down the '90-foot stone' in nearby Halifax; while the first excavation in over 50 years begins in the Money Pit.
33 5 "Bullseye" December 11, 2016 (2016-12-11) 2.82[57]
A new theory that Inca gold is buried on Oak Island is offered, albeit without evidence to support it. Meanwhile the team supposedly inches their way to the alleged target in the Money Pit.
34 6 "Circles in Wood" December 20, 2016 (2016-12-20) 3.44[58]
A few coins are found on the island, a long way from the money pit. The money pit search for the 'Chappel Vault' ends in failure so a new target is set for 170ft C-1 shaft in the Money Pit area.
35 7 "All That Glitters" December 27, 2016 (2016-12-27) 3.68[59]
The swamp is drained and searched with a metal detector revealing an old spike. Object not dated. C-1 Dig Site is drilled to target depth of 170 ft. where previously inserted camera may have seen something shiny and gold colored.
36 8 "The Mystery of Samuel Ball" January 3, 2017 (2017-01-03) 3.43[60]
A tiny amount of evidence is offered supposedly linking an 18th-century slave to the mystery.
37 9 "Echoes from the Deep" January 10, 2017 (2017-01-10) 3.35[61]
A camera sent down 10X confirms the divers impression that there is nothing there of note, undermining the camera's operators previous assertion that they were 90% certain there was a chest there. Some of the team are in denial about this and insist there is still some point in exploring 10-X further on the basis that Dan Blankenship has spent so much time on it, it must be the key to the alleged puzzle.
38 10 "About Face" January 17, 2017 (2017-01-17) 3.04[62]
Divers are sent to the bottom of borehole C-1. Nothing is found. A rock fifty miles from Oak Island is examined. The team decides to do a new examination of borehole 10X.
39 11 "Presidential Secrets" January 24, 2017 (2017-01-24) 3.20[63]
The new examination of borehole 10X concludes. Equipment failure delays excavation of a new hole. Rick heads to the Franklin D. Roosevelt library to learn why the late President was interested in Oak Island.
40 12 "Hyde Park & Seek" January 31, 2017 (2017-01-31) 3.15[64]
A cofferdam is built at Smith's Cove and the beach is excavated. The team debates where the "money pit" might have been.
41 13 "One Of Seven" February 7, 2017 (2017-02-07) 3.24[65]
The team attempts to decode a cipher and concludes that they only possess 1/7th of the cipher. Rocks are found at Smith's Cove. The investigation of the cove is halted for the year. A man from Arizona claims, without any evidence, that several hundred tons of gold are hidden in tunnels near Oak Island.
42 14 "Sticks and Stones" February 14, 2017 (2017-02-14) 3.20[66]
Rocks are examined on Oak Island. Pieces of wood are carbon dated. The third excavation on the island this season reaches bedrock with nothing found. The team decides to dig another hole.
43 15 "Blood is Thicker" February 21, 2017 (2017-02-21) 3.79[67]

The final excavation of the season leads to the discovery of scrap metal pieces, a washer, several hex nuts and a button. Season finale featured McGinnis gold cross, iron spike, and other artifacts evaluated by antiques appraiser Dr. Lori Verderame (Ph.D. - History of Art and Architecture).


Note: This episode aired as a 2-hour special.
44 16 "Drilling Down" February 28, 2017 (2017-02-28) 1.72[68]

The team is interviewed at the end of season. The wood from borehole 10-X is carbon dated as being from 1670-1780. A new cipher is decoded leading the team to once again believe that there is a "hatch" somewhere on the island. The team wants to continue searching the swamp. The team proposes pumping borehole 10-X dry to enable yet another round of searches. The team wants to search more of the Island with metal detectors in the future.


Note: This episode is a special.

Season 5 (2017–2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Original air date Viewers
(millions)
45 1 "Forever Family" November 7, 2017 (2017-11-07) 2.95[69]
A diver is sent to the bottom of borehole C-1. Mud is recovered. A nail is found in an old spoils pile from GAL-1. A copper coin is found in the woods near Issac's Point.
46 2 "Dead Man's Chest" November 14, 2017 (2017-11-14) 2.98[70]
The sea chest of a captain who lived in Nova Scotia in the 1780s is examined. Salt water starts coming out the top of borehole C-1. Another copper coin is found on the island.
47 3 "Obstruction" November 21, 2017 (2017-11-21) 2.85[71]
Two old British copper coins are found in the woods. The Province of Nova Scotia requests that an archaeologist be on site on Oak Island as an adviser to the treasure hunters. Part of a metal spoon and round rocks are discovered under tree stumps. Based on the rocks and the spoon pieces, Marty Lagina concludes that "something must have happened here". A small piece of scrap metal is found in the mud brought up from one of the new boreholes being drilled in the "money pit" area.
48 4 "Close Call" November 28, 2017 (2017-11-28) 3.36[72]
Drilling below bedrock, the team discovers a void in the rock. A hose on the drill detaches resulting in a worker falling backward and suffering a minor injury to his wrist. Drilling is halted for over a week. A toy gun is found in the woods and the team launches an investigation of it. Lee Lamb and Richard Restall visit the island. Richard Restall is identified conclusively as the owner of the toy gun.
49 5 "Bone Dry" December 5, 2017 (2017-12-05) 3.16[73]
An iron spike is found on the beach. Some small pottery fragments are brought up from one of the boreholes. Two human bone fragments were recovered and sent in for testing.
50 6 "Remains of the Day" December 12, 2017 (2017-12-12) 3.01[74]
A piece of leather is found. Rick Lagina has headaches and a rash. He is later diagnosed as having lyme disease. The team intends to have the previously discovered human bone fragments carbon dated.
51 7 "The Lot Thickens" December 19, 2017 (2017-12-19) 3.13[75]
A theory is presented that Sir Francis Drake is buried on Oak Island in a vault with gold treasure. It is suggested that the lack of any records documenting Drake travelling to Canada is proof that he must have travelled to Canada. A theory is presented that the scrap leather piece found is from a book binding. A patch of ground is excavated and nothing is found.
52 8 "Dan's Breakthrough" January 2, 2018 (2018-01-02) 3.31[76]
The team discovers a horseshoe, a piece of shot and another coin. It is discovered that one of the words on the Zena Halpern map is the name of a French family (Rochefoucauld) who participated in the Crusades. The team presents an unsupported theory that Samuel de Champlain was ordered to incorrectly map Nova Scotia to hide Oak Island by Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons at the direction of Rochefoucauld family. The team decides to send several members to France for further investigation of the theory. The testing on the human bone fragments (found in episode 5) indicated that they dated in a range from 1682 AD to 1764 AD.
53 9 "The French Connection" January 9, 2018 (2018-01-09) 3.02[77]
A small pottery fragment is found on Lot 24. It is determined that the rocks found in Season Five Episode 3 are not consistent with the foundation of a house. The team theorizes, without evidence, that there must have been a "watchtower" on Lot 24. In France, the team establishes that there is no connection between the Rochefoucauld family and the Knights Templar. A Zena Halpern map is examined again and it is determined that the English translations of the map done to present have been incorrect. The team looks at cave carvings in France and consults an expert in the Knights Templar. The team observes a pattern in part of a cave carving that they claim is roughly similar to an upside-down image of the Rochefoucauld family coat of arms and conclude that the family must be linked to the Knights Templar. They find a carving of a multi-armed cross and offer an unsupported theory that it is a representation of the "Tree of Life" and that it is the same as Nolan's Cross on the island. A theory is presented that the cave carving may represent an "earlier version" of the "Tree of Life". Based on the information discovered in France, the team concludes that the Oak Island swamp should be excavated again.
54 10 "The Signs Of A Cross" January 16, 2018 (2018-01-16) 3.34[78]
Eight pages of what is alleged to be a transcript of an incomplete log of an unnamed ship are presented. It is claimed, without any evidence, that the log is from a French ship which participated in the Duc d'Anville Nova Scotia expedition of 1746. More wood, a bone and a metal spike are brought up from a borehole in the money pit area. The shaft excavation reaches an obstruction at 170 feet. A small lead cross is found at Smith's Cove. It is theorized, with no supporting evidence, that crosses with an attaching loop at the top were used by members of the Knights Templar and that this lead cross dates from the years 1200 to 1600.
55 11 "Moving Targets" January 23, 2018 (2018-01-23) 3.32[79]
A spoon handle and a piece of brass are found at Smith's Cove. More pottery fragments, another bone and small bits of leather are found in the material brought up from borehole H8. The team debates the location of the "Chappel Vault".
56 12 "A Key to the Mystery" January 30, 2018 (2018-01-30) 3.25[80]
The team gains access to Fred Nolan's survey maps of the island but have difficulty interpreting them. A folding metal key is examined. Searching for a local dumpsite, the team digs a trench on Lot 12 near the former house of Fred Nolan. Pottery fragments are found in the trench.
57 13 "Unhinged" February 6, 2018 (2018-02-06) 3.32[81]
More pottery fragments and a metal hinge are found at the Nolan dumpsite. A part of the swamp is drained and a wooden stake is found. Zena Halpern is shown a picture of the lead cross and claims it is not a cross, but the symbol of the Phoenician goddess Tanit. She further makes unsupported claims that the cross is around 3200 years old (dating to 1200 BC) and that the Knights Templar worshiped Tanit. The drilling of the latest borehole encounters an obstruction at 75 feet.
58 14 "The Templar Connection" February 13, 2018 (2018-02-13) 2.34[82]

A history of the Knights Templar is presented along with speculative theories about how they might have been involved with Oak Island.


Note: This episode is a special.
59 15 "Steel Trapped" February 20, 2018 (2018-02-20) 2.99[83]
Independent researcher Kathleen McGowan Coppens offers an unsupported theory that the lead cross was part of a necklace used by Templars to smuggle gold. She also claims that the country of Canada was named by the Templars after the town of Sarlat-la-Canéda in France. A rusty keyhole plate is found in the woods. On examination, the exposed surface of the drilling obstruction at the money pit appears to be rocks and clay soil. The borehole later fills with water. The team arranges for a diver to go down the borehole.
60 16 "Seeing Red" February 27, 2018 (2018-02-27) 3.02[84]
An excavation is done at Smith's cove and wood is found. The team plans for further excavations at Smith's cove next year. A button claimed to be from the 1700s and an old jewelry fragment are located by metal detector.
61 17 "A Family Album" February 27, 2018 (2018-02-27) 1.98[84]

The episode includes accounts of activities on the Oak Island by the McGinnis family, descendants of Samuel Ball, William Chappell's family, the Restall Family and the family of Robert Dunfield. The Blankenship/Nolan disputes on Oak Island are discussed. The episode ends with a short history of the Lagina brothers' interest in Oak Island.


Note: This episode is a special.
62 18 "Amazing Discoveries" March 6, 2018 (2018-03-06) 2.89[85]
The gem in the Jewelry fragment found on the island is a Rhodolite Garnet stone of small value. The drilling obstruction in the "money pit" borehole is determined by divers to be a granite boulder.

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]