Oak Island, or Swiss Cheese Island…stop the digging!


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.

a few more holes and Oak Island may sink! Swiss cheese.... only Oak Island is like most of the NE, if you dig you hit WATER.  Period.  No need for a dowsing rod.

a few more holes and Oak Island may sink! Swiss cheese…. only Oak Island is like most of the NE, if you dig you hit WATER. Period. No need for a dowsing rod.


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,
Signifying nothing.

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.

Oak Island looks like an elephant,  WHITE elephant sometimes.

Oak Island looks like an elephant…

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).

Sometimes it seems more like a white elephant than anything else....more money please!

Sometimes it seems more like a white elephant than anything else….more money please!

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!

Pirates did not have this technology. Really.  Even with hundreds of slaves, you need some machinery.

Pirates did not have this technology. Really. Even with hundreds of slaves, you need some machinery.

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.

How pirates bury treasure.

How pirates bury 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.

Snow knows where to find treasure.  I just bought 15 of his books used, and a reading shows me where Sinclair treasure is buried!

Snow knows where to find treasure. I just bought 15 of his books used, and a reading shows me where Sinclair treasure is buried!


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!

Just a hint, it has a great treasure name!

Just a hint, it has a great treasure name!



4 thoughts on “Oak Island, or Swiss Cheese Island…stop the digging!

  1. Chip says:

    Among the many theories of what may buried there are manuscripts proving that Roger Bacon wrote Shakespeare’s plays and- not the Ark of the Covenant- but the Holy Grail! (Where’s Indiana Jones when you need him?). I should give you a private review of my slide show on this bizarre place sometime.

    • kittynh says:

      would love to see that. I find the new show hilarious, because who would store anything in a wet hole deep in the ground? The show gives as facts many things that I’ve never heard of before. Where did the legend of 7 deaths come from?

  2. DJ says:

    You might like all my research material on the subject. I’ve given lectures on the myth and nonsense behind the MP legend for years now. http://criticalenquiry.org/wp/

  3. dale Collins says:

    Absolutely right,as a British qualified Chief marine engineer,who still remembers how to do basic calculations,how were ”pirates” or others in the day ,able to tunnel accurately,500 feet, from the bottom of a deep shaft,to arrive up into a cofferdam,you might need to know some basic Trigonometry,at least. As for ”Shakespeare documents” in a wooden chest,good luck with that,keeping the water out,at a depth of 60 feet below sea level,equating to a sea water pressure of 26 P.S.I.and therefore 130 ton upward pressure on the platform at 90 feet level. What nonsense! By the way,by calculation, ”2 million pounds” of gold,either in coin or bar form,weighs around 12 tons. You might lower it into a shaft,via a tree branch, but only little by little..There were no water pumps,until around 1850,s,meaning the only way this project could possibly have been done,if you wanted to recover what you had buried there,was to dig another tunnel to arrive a few feet below ground level, and above sea level,and take a compass bearing,and measurement,so that later,all you had to do,was stand atop the filled shaft,take a compass bearing,measure out a known radius,dig a shallow slit trench,and recover your loot the easy way,as simple as that.This is the only possible explanation,for the whole story to have any logic whatsoever! A further point,of observation,there could be no ”in-penetrable” iron plate existing,at the 126 foot level. Are we expected to believe this would still exist more than 100 years later,continually exposed to salt water,which is an electrolyte? not in my marine experience I can say with some confidence! Unless of course,it was very thick,but even if 1/2” thick,and to cover a 10 foot dia. hole,it would weigh half a ton.More like a layer of hard bedrock was struck! Still,it is a great story with enough holes in it to drive a truck through. Dale Collins.

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