December 8, 2015 by kittynh
I have to admit to the guilty pleasure of watching woo TV. I enjoyed “Finding Bigfoot” until they just simply kept NOT finding Bigfoot and didn’t change their methodology or even try in a location for more than one night. It was obvious to everyone watching what they team was doing wrong. It just became boring to watch them do the same mistakes over and over again. Even Bigfoot hard core believers became angry, lamenting that this team would take over a territory already covered by other more serious Bigfoot groups, film some stuff in night vision, and leave. One night does not make a Bigfoot investigation.
Looking for Bigfoot is often like waiting for paint to dry. The local group here looks at a lot of field cameras, they get up on cold mornings and walk trails looking for footprints, and they discuss new strategy and the possibility that (gasp) there just might not be any Bigfoot locally. All in all it’s mundane but dedicated work. Looking for something that might not be there has to be fairly routine and dull if you are doing it right. At least it would seem routine and dull for a TV audiences.
This is the problem with the TV show that I am currently enjoying, the “Curse of Oak Island”. I’m familiar with Oak Island from the articles in Skeptical Inquirer by Joe Nickel. He’s even drawn a beautiful map of the island. His articles hint at a Masonic link, but my own feeling is the mystery of Oak Island isn’t even that interesting. My own feelings are reflected in this quote from Shakespeare:
It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
The supposed found artifacts are missing, so they can’t be viewed today. The story of the original block and tackle found by young boys over a pit has expanded into a complex system of booby traps and tunnels concealing some magnificent ,and perhaps supernatural, treasure.
This makes for great TV. The story started as simply pirate treasure. I wondered why any pirate wanting to conceal treasure wouldn’t take down the block and tackle that indicated to the young boys where the treasure was located. This made me think these were really dumb pirates. There is nothing like leaving your tools and rope in plain sight, even though you spend weeks, months, years building this complex treasure hiding area.
I won’t go over the many explanations for all the objects supposedly found. Joe Nickel does a much better job explaining all this in his article. The TV show though has to play up everything it can, as it’s honestly a pretty boring show without the added drama of the paranormal and mystery (much of which is easily explained by Nickell).
How do you look for and find buried treasure? You dig. Oak Island should be called Swiss Cheese Island. People have been digging and tunneling there for over 200 years. Of course one can always dig some more. Draining a swamp is also an interesting plan. Dumping dye into a hole and seeing where it comes out was also of interest. It didn’t come out anywhere, unlike the reported past experiments. This brings up the question of how many other past stories about searches and exciting finds are also fictional?
To keep the TV show interesting and not just “let’s dig a hole!”, the Oak Island crew has gone to France, because that’s a good way to find treasure in Canada? Every person with a weird theory or method of finding treasure has been invited to be on the program, and their wacky ideas given serious screen time. Ark of the Covenant, why not in Canada in a wet bobby trapped hole that no one had the technology to build at the time? Weird sonar technology that shows what’s buried beneath the ground? Let’s hire someone to dig a hole!
The worst is the narration. If you are told ONCE each program you are told TWICE and THREE TIMES and at any point they can fit it in “LEGEND SAYS 7 MUST DIE BEFORE THE TREASURE CAN BE FOUND! ONE MORE MUST DIE!” What legend? No one ever tells the viewer when this legend started or anything about it. Who said this? It’s stated as fact, not fantasy or lore. These new treasure hunters basically have to have one more person die before they can find anything. A ritual sacrifice might be nice, but instead they just keep doing dangerous things. Someone is obviously going to NEED TO DIE. But it’s fine as then they can get the treasure.
There is much made of a former treasure hunter who basically just bulldozed and dug up where the original money pit was located. Yes, that’s what treasure hunters should do. You dig, and if you don’t find anything you go “well there is nothing here.” Even a friend who is a firm believer in the money pit as a treasure says “I was obviously recovered long ago.” In fact, the original scene the original finders of the money pit came upon could be that of pirates that were recovering their treasure. Why take down the block and tackle if you are recovering your treasure? There is every reason to hide it if you are placing treasure in the ground, none if you are digging it back up!
Still, woo TV is about watching the idiocy and making fun of it. Much like a ball game where you point out bad plays, the Oak Island show is just fun. The problem with this season is they are really seeming to have a hard time keeping it interesting. They’ve been to Scotland and France. They’ve had several crazy conspiracy theorists and odd technical people on. They are spending a lot of time this season bringing old pipes and such out of a large hole previously dug, which supposedly has a dead body and box at the bottom. But, watching people haul rusty pipe out of a hole is bad TV. It’s how treasure hunting is done, you have to make the hole safe for someone new to go look, but it’s boring and tedious. The big excitement was a pipe that slipped out of it’s mooring. Wow. Time for the narrator to talk about “ONE MORE MUST DIE!”
Much like Bigfoot now being touted as an alien, because disappearing at will appears to be the only way to explain how he has not been found, Oak Island is now touting the treasure as not only paranormal (cursed) but of such importance that someone built huge booby traps and spent more money and time constructing the hiding place than normal treasure could be worth. “Let’s spend years and have in hundreds of slaves to build a complex system to protect this booty.” Pirates didn’t work like that. So the only explanation is Ark of the Covenant or alien bodies or the entire ancient library or Alexandria. Who knows?
I’m not saying there isn’t something interesting buried on Oak Island. What I am saying is that digging it up is routine and boring. It’s hard work . It’s commitment and a lot of money, but it’s not good TV. Unless you throw in a narrator that keeps talking about a legend that is never explained, and woo types that muddy the story even more.
I also have a wonderful suggestion for another island that could be the site of the Ark of the Covenant. It’s far more plausible, and the only difference between that island and Oak Island is the Oak Island story took off. This other island has a direct proven tie in to the Sinclair family, supposed caretakers of the Ark, and has mysterious buried treasure that has not been found. It’s all about which story got more play over the years. My island suggestion is from the once very popular Edward Snow. Reading his books I was “Well heck, that’s where it’s buried” (with my paranormal woo hat on). I’ll do a blog post about another island just begging to be dug up, with a much more believable treasure history than Oak Island.
I just want a cut of the profits, from the TV show if not from the treasure!