Monday, November 12, 2018

The Oak Island Money Pit

by Alexandra Anthony

Location of Oak Island, Nova Scotia, Canada
An article about the journey of the Oak Island Money Pit by Ashley Morgan. On the shoreline of Nova Scotia in 1795, Daniel McGinnis as a teenage boy found the mysterious hole and told his two friends John Smith and Anthony Vaughan. It is known that pirates buried treasure in that pit and McGinnis, Smith, and Vaughan weren’t the first to dig that hole. They knew that by the first two feet, because of the flagstone that was covering what they thought was the hidden treasure. But it just led to more dirt. The boys continued and followed the previous walls of the hole when it was first dug out. The tunnel wall had pickaxes impressed into the walls. The hole was decreased in seven meters of the diameter. At ten feet into the pit, they found a layer of composed wood, the wooden plate gave the pit a base and was very sturdy. When they ripped up the wood believing they would be rich, they found more dirt. Twenty more feet later, the same type of wood, and the same results. They waited several weeks before they started digging again. When they went back they dug ten more feet and it felt like de ja vu to the poor boys. They went 5 more feet and then gave up.

John Smith soon bought the land of the money pit and a man named Simon Lynds joined the hunt. Lynds family settled in Nova Scotia from Ireland, and since Lynds was a “wheel-wright,” he also got the help of Colonel Robert Archibald, Captain David Archibald and Sheriff Thomas Harris. These men got a lot further than Smith, McGillis, and Vaughan. Thirty feet in the pit and they hit another wood platform, but this one had charcoal around it. Ten feet later, another wooden plate, but this one had sap to seal the tunnel. Another ten, a wooden plate is found but has coconut fibers scattered around it. This was good signs because the crew knew that coconuts were from somewhere tropical, like the Caribbean’s. They also knew that people used coconut fibers to secure the valuable cargo. Now the men were 60 feet deep in the pit, they go 30 more feet and find a stone. The stone had strange symbols, Each character of the mysterious text consisted of a unique combination of lines, arrows and dots.

Replica of stone found at 90 feet in the Money Pit.
Photo by Ken Boehner
In 1860, the stone was translated by James Letchi. Letchi believes it says “Forty feet below, two million pounds are buried.” After that stone they went another 8 feet and hit a wooden plate again but this time a metal pole came up between the timbers. The stopped for the rest of that day. When the crew came back the pit was filled with 63 feet up with water. When the men tried to drain the pit and the water came back immediately. This pit was made to toy with whoever got this deep, so it would be difficult to dig and find the treasure. Which only meant they were getting closer. The crew had multiple ideas on how to get around the water. First they asked they hired Mr. Carl Mosher to install a mechanical pump to drain the water but since was in the late 1800s the pump failed. Then they had an idea to dig from an different angle but the water flooded back into where they were digging. The Onslow crew finally realized they failed and they gave up.  

40 years later, the Money Pit, undisturbed, came the Truro Company. Anthony Vaughan, helped create the Truro Company, with John Gammell, Adams Tupper, Robert Creelmand, Esq., Jotham McCully and James Pitblado, the Onslow Company's Simeon Lynds, Dr. David Barnes Lynds. In 1849, the Truro crew removed the water and After two weeks of digging and removing timbers and was at a  depth of 86 feet. The next day, workers found that the surface of the water had returned to 60 feet again. The Truro Company thought about trying to plug the water from spilling into the pit but it failed and they gave up. The first tragedy at The Oak Island Money Pit was the Truro company decided to install a iron steel pump to drain the water. The company had trouble getting the pit drained and the pump exploded and scalded one member and injured several others. Four years later the Truro company decided to give up the rights to the pit never went back.
More companies tried to empty the pit with more expensive pumps after pumps, the companies realized the amount of money are putting into trying to get to the money just ironic. 126 feet later they hit an iron plate and they went through debris, coconut fibers, and oak splinters. As the workers were removing the debris they found a script, that said “VI.”  The script was proven by Harvard Specialist.

Photo of parchment discovered in Money Pit by Oak Island Treasure Company in 1897 provided by Triton Alliance
Franklin Delano Roosevelt joined the wreck company and was interested in the Oak Island Money Pit throughout his years of being president. He could return because of the war outbreak in Europe. William Chappell took interest in Oak Island and found the original owner of the pit, Frederick Blair. Blair allowed Chappell to dig once again in the pit. At 115 feet to 130 feet, Chappell discovered an anchor sink, an acaridan axe, miners pick, and pieces to an oil lamp. 

The next discovery was in 1979, using a camera to look inside of the pit. There was a severed hand, a corpse, and five treasure chests. Divers looked into the pit and found nothing. The Treasure Trove Act was set in place to watch over the treasure hunts. It was really the government trying regulate the money if found. Captain Kidd is believed to bury his treasure in the Money Pit in 1699. Also theorist believe that Black Beard allegedly buried his treasures there.  Black Beard stated only the Devil and himself can find his treasures. 

Works Cited: 
Dunning, Brian. “The Oak Island Money Pit.” Ancient Mysteries, Urban Legends, November. 2008, 

Morgan, Ashley. “The Oak Island Money Pit.” 

Nickell, Joe. “The Secrets of Oak Island.” Skeptical Inquiry, vol. 24.2, March/April. 2000, 

Strochilic, Nina. “Treasure Hunt to Discover Oak Island’s Mysterious Booty.” February. 2014, 

Links for further research:
An article by Ashley Morgan that has a lot more information that I can use to further my research. Morgan tells the story of the money pit and she writes about the theories of the Oak Island. Every company that has ever put money and time into the pit is talked about and Morgan talks about the tragedies of the pit. Even the government and the president was involved with the pit. 

“The Money Pit,” by Parker Morrell is about the finding of the Money Pit and only describing the very beginning. It is an article in the newspaper in 1939, and is well descriptive. Morrell newspaper article is very descriptive and he does a good job telling the audience the excitement of the discovery of the Money Pit. 

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