The two brothers, Rick and Marty Lagina, believe they’ve solved the riddle surrounding the enigma of Oak Island. The question everyone wants to know is if there was buried treasure and did the island give it up!
The two brothers worked hard and spent much of their lives trying to learn of the mysteries of Oak Island, but it was to no avail. Then, their last attempt bore fruit. Overall, A&E, a television network, chose to chronicle the efforts in a documentary called The Curse of Oak Island.
These brothers were obsessed with the island, causing them to spend a lot of money to fund their excavations and locate the treasure. Fortunately, the television show helped to bring in more investors, so they had the funding needed for their treasure hunt.
The show ended up moving through two seasons without a discovery from the Lagina brothers. During the third season, that all changed. While they drained a hole, they found artifacts like a ceremonial Roman sword. This suggested that the Romans were in North America before Christopher Columbus.
At the end of season three, they had unearthed many artifacts, leading them to feel that they were on the best track. As season four started, they wanted to identify one of the interesting items they found – a handmade copy of a French map.
Zena Halpern is an expert in ancient seafaring and a historian who helped them. They ended up dating the map at about 1647. It had the words “valve,” “anchor,” and “hatch” on it, suggesting that the hidden treasure might be from Africa.
The treasure hunters also found what appeared to be one section of a book. It seemed like a bookbinder, something that held paper together. Therefore, the brothers thought there could be manuscripts that were waiting to show their secrets to the bigger picture.
Along with the bookbinding, they found a piece of parchment made of animal skin. Some speculated that it was linked to William Chappell and Frederick Blair, who had been involved in an island investigation. It was dated at about the 15th century when only the wealthy could receive or send letters.
Famous Money Pit
A few gold pieces were found on Oak Island in the 21st century. While the Truro company excavated, they ran into trouble when the sea filled the hole. Eventually, they had to stop because they ran out of money. That area was dubbed the money pit, which claimed a life while trying to drain it.
Many people explored the island in the 20th century, and each company hoped to be successful and wasn’t. President Roosevelt was obsessed with the island and was part of the exploration group. It’s said that his team wasn’t successful and couldn’t fund more excavations.
Interest in the pit never stopped, even with all the failures. The mystery was kept alive by people like Irwin Hamilton, who cleared a shaft and found wood and rocks that were alien to the area. This confirmed that something was underneath.
Rick and Marty were in good company. The team had skills, experience, and knowledge and were sure that the island might give up the mystery. Craig Tester (Marty’s roommate in college), Dan Blankenship, and his son David formed part of the team.
Father and Son
Dan Blankenship was the famous Nova Scotia hunter and was often called a “living legend.” He left his contracting business for Oak Island. Overall, he’s been pouring his life into unraveling the mystery. His son followed in his footsteps, and now they both help their dream move along.
The Wild Idea
It had been hard to get water out of the money pit in the past. Therefore, Craig thought about freezing it, and the Lagina team liked it. That way, it was easier to excavate.
The Lagina Brothers
Since childhood, the brothers had been budding treasure hunters. Therefore, it was a matter of time until a treasure hunting mystery beckoned to them and had them pursuing it as hard as they could.
10 Years Old
At just 10 years old, Ricky Lagina was living in Kingsford. He ended up finding a granite boulder and tried to find out if treasure lay beneath. It was a momentous occasion, even though he found nothing.
These brothers wanted to buy a stake in the island to pursue their dream. They did so in 2006, buying about half of the Oak Island tours. Dan Blankenship owned the other half and was part of the team. Both knew that they had to collaborate with everyone.
Longer Than They Thought
Marty was cautious and didn’t want to jump to conclusions when they made the initial discoveries. However, evidence suggests that some significant events happened further in the past than they imagined. However, he couldn’t help but be optimistic.
How It Started
The first indication of treasure on Oak Island happened in the 18th century. Daniel McGinnis was a young boy and found unnatural scarring on one of the oak trees. He thought it was from a rope and pulley system. Then, he saw a 5-meter depression and thought something was buried there. He told his friends, and they started a decades-long excavation.
A few years later, the Onslow Company attempted to finish what those three friends started. While their efforts weren’t successful, they did find a table with writing on it. Finally, after a century, it was translated.
What It Said
One self-claimed expert believed that parts of what was written said, “40 feet below, 2 million pounds lie buried.” Some have actually taken that to confirm that there was a treasure buried on the island. Was it true, though?
Oak Island was also the staging ground for wild theories. Some theorized that the treasure was Marie Antoinette’s. Others felt that Francis Bacon and Shakespeare left manuscripts. Regardless, most theories captured the imaginations of people, though none were confirmed.
The Wooden Shaft
The Lagina brothers found the wood-lined shaft, and they think it was built in 1805 by the ones who first located the Money Pit. In fact, they have discovered about 600 historical artifacts since they began their adventure on Oak Island.
A significant find inside the pit was a human bone. They speculated that it was from someone with Middle Eastern ancestry. Another bone was found to be of European ancestry. Through his research, Marty hypothesized that they were from the Knights Templar.
Master Locator, Gary Drayton
Gary Drayton was a fun addition to the Lagina team. He has been dubbed the “metal-detecting ninja” from those who are familiar with the work he does. He’s often regarded as someone who can find things others can’t on the show.
A Remarkable Find
He’s definitely had to put his skills to the test and use them for the team. Before The Curse of Oak Island ended its season five series, Gary and the Laginas ended up finding something quite remarkable.
Gary and the brothers found something significant enough to rewrite history. The small cross had a hole at the top and was dated to be between 1200 and 1600. There was also a stone with Greek letters, reminding Rick of a Templar prison.
A Templar Connection
The artifacts seemed to fit the context of theories connecting Oak Island to the Knights Templar. The show claimed that if proof was established that the members were in North America seven centuries ago, it could change the world’s history.
The Phoenician Goddess and the Templars
Zena Halpern, the historian, proposed another option for the cross’s origins. She said it could depict the Phoenician Goddess named Tanit. That may mean the Templars revered the goddess of health and fertility, which might turn history on its head.
From there, more theories cropped up, and they seemed preposterous. One explanation of the origin of the cross was proposed, too. It could have been used as a way to smuggle gold. How is that possible, though?!
Jack Begley claimed that the cross was covered in lead. However, when it was scraped away, gold was underneath it. He says that the group might be still in Smith’s Cove, or it might have been transferred there in the past.
The Rhodolite Garnet
One discovery the brothers made is a stone about 400 to 500 years old. The rhodolite garnet features a raspberry color, and some say it confirms the connection to Marie Antoinette. Rick Lagina claimed that they deserved a pat on the back because they found treasure.
Theories of Origin
However, the rhodolite garnet could have come from various places. The Marie Antoinette connection is just one of the theories surrounding the origin of the stone. From the design, some feel it’s linked to the Masonic Royal Arch and High Priest.
The Laginas don’t care if the show is renewed for a sixth season. They are more focused on untangling the mysteries of the island and finding hidden treasure. Matty Blake hosts an after-show about their team and claims that they are sure to keep making tons of discoveries.
The Laginas still have discoveries that rack up. They found another strange stone with interesting carvings on it. This indicated that it wasn’t an average stone. Craig, the team’s drilling expert, thought they looked like Roman numerals.
At this point, the entire team agrees that whatever is found around the Money Pit should be investigated thoroughly. That was a sound decision because later, they learned something startling about this stone.
A Viking Connection
They brought the stone to their lab and ran relevant tests on it. Overall, they subjected the item to scrutiny and hypothesized that the evidence suggests that there was a Viking presence on the island at one time. Then, another piece of evidence popped up.
The team’s discoveries weren’t limited to parchment and stones. During their work, they found tubular objects that appeared unnatural for the environment. They confirmed that they were man-made when they talked to Laird Niven, an archaeologist. He said they were “tube plates.”
A Hidden Vault
The team also unearthed a structure underneath, which was angled to suggest that it was man-made. They were perplexed and wondered if it could be the Chappell Vault, which they believe contains treasures. However, nothing is known about it yet.
Exploring the island has been great for the brothers, but they’ve also made a lot of money from the TV show documenting the treasure hunt. In fact, the Laginas own part of the island, and the public is interested to find out what they unearth, too.
It’s no surprise to anyone that the Lagina brothers are worth millions of dollars. In fact, Rick has about $2 million to his name, and Marty has about $50 million, so they’re both well-to-do.