The Mystery Of The Money Pit!
(Physical evidence from the initial excavations is absent or has been lost)
Here is a basic summary of the history of the pit is as follows:
In 1795, 18-year-old Daniel McGinnis, he was observing lights coming from the island, he decided to take a walk through the Oak Island wood he discovered a circular depression in a clearing on the southeastern end of the island. Adjacent to the clearing was a tree with a tackle block on one of its overhanging branches.
Daniel McGinnis hand help from his friends John Smith (in early accounts, Samuel Ball) and Anthony Vaughan,
They then when onto excavate the depression and discovered a layer of flagstones a few feet below. On the pit walls there were visible markings from a pick. As they dug down they discovered layers of logs at about every 10 feet. They abandoned the excavation at 30 feet.
(The Picture Above Shows The Location Of Oak Island)
How The Money Pit Works
Attempts At Excaviting The Money Pit
Attempt #2: Oak Island Association & Old Gold Salvage group
The next attempt at excavating was in 1861 by a new company called the Oak Island Association which resulted in the collapse of the bottom of the shaft into either a natural cavern or booby trap underneath. During there attempt at excavating they had there first fatality during excavating, it occurred when the boiler of a pumping engine burst. The company soon gave up when their funds were exhausted in 1864.
Further excavations were made in 1866, 1893, 1909, 1931, 1935, 1936, and 1959, none of which was successful. Excavators did however pour red paint into the flooded pit which revealed three separate exit holes around the island. Another fatality occurred in 1887, when a worker fell to his death. (Six people have been killed in accidents during various excavations.) Franklin Roosevelt was part of the Old Gold Salvage group of 1909 and kept up with news and developments for most of his life.
Attempt #3: Gilbert Hedden and William Chappell
In 1928, a New York newspaper printed a feature story about the strange history of Oak island. Gilbert Hedden the operator of a steel fabricating concern, saw the article and was fascinated by the engineering problems involved in recovering the amazing treasure that is believed to be at the bottom.
Hedden collected books and articles on the island and made six trips there, he even ventured to England to converse with Harold Tom Wilkins (The author of Captain Kidd and His Skeleton Island) He believed that he had found a link between Oak Island and a map in Wilkins's book.
Hedden even purchased the southeast end of the island, and began digging in the summer of 1935, following excavations by William Chappell in 1931. In 1935 he connected King George VI informing him about developments on Oak Island.
The 1931 excavations by William Chappell resulted in it sinking a 163-foot shaft 12x14 feet to the southwest, he believed that it was the site of the 1897 shaft, close to the original pit. Once he reached 127 feet he came a cross a number of artifacts, including an axe, an anchor fluke, and a pick were found.
The pick has been identified as a Cornish miner's poll pick, At/By this time, the entire area around the Money Pit was littered with the debris and refuse of numerous prior excavation attempts. So, exactly to whom the pick belonged is unverifiable.
Attempt #4: Restall family and Robert Dunfield
Excavation by the Restall family in the early 1960s ended tragically when four men died after being overcome by fumes in a shaft near the beach. In 1965, Robert Dunfield leased the island and, using a 70-ton digging crane with a clam bucket, dug out the pit area to a depth of 134 feet (41 m) and width of 100 feet. And then removed soil was carefully inspected for artifacts. Transportation of the crane to the island required the construction of a causeway (which still exists) from the western end of the island to Crandall's Point on the mainland two hundred meters away.
Attempt #5: Triton Alliance
Around 1967, Daniel C. Blankenship and David Tobias formed Triton Alliance Ltd, and they ended up purchasing most of the island. In 1971, Triton workers excavated a 235 foot shaft supported by a steel caisson to bedrock. According to Blankenship and Tobias, cameras lowered down the shaft into a cave below and recorded the presence of some chests, human remains, wooden cribbing and tools; however, the images were unclear, and none of these claims have been independently confirmed. The shaft ending collapsing, and the excavation was again abandoned. This shaft was later successfully re-dug to 181 feet, reaching bedrock; work was halted because of lack of funds and the collapse of the partnership. In the mid 1960s, an account of an excavation of the "Money Pit" appeared in Reader's Digest magazine. Over a decade later, the Money Pit mystery was the subject of an episode of the television series In Search of..., which first aired January 18, 1979, bringing the legend of Oak Island to a wider audience.
During the 1990s, further exploration was stalled because of legal battles between the Triton partners. As of 2005, a portion of the island was for sale for an estimated US$7 million. A group called the Oak Island Tourism Society had hoped the Government of Canada would purchase the island, but a group of American businessmen in the drilling industry did so instead.
Attempt #6: Oak Island Tours Inc
It was announced in April 2006 that partners from Michigan had purchased a 50% stake in Oak Island Tours Inc (As I mention before), for an undisclosed amount of money. The shares sold to the Michigan partners were previously owned by David Tobias; remaining shares are owned by Blankenship. Center Road Developments, in conjunction with Allan Kostrzewa, a member of the Michigan group, had purchased Lot 25 from David Tobias for a reported $230,000 one year previous to Tobias selling the rest of his share. The Michigan group, working with Blankenship, has said it will resume operations on Oak Island in the hope of discovering buried treasure and the mystery of Oak Island.
Then in July 2010, Blankenship and the other stakeholders in Oak Island Tours Inc. announced on their website that the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources/Tourism, Culture and Heritage had granted them a temporary Treasure Trove License, allowing them to resume activities until December 31, 2010. After December 2010, the department repealed the former Treasure Trove Act and replaced it with a new "Oak Island Act".[The new Oak Island Treasure Act came into effect as of January 1, 2011 and allows for treasure hunting to continue on the island under the terms of a licence issued by the Minister of Natural Resources.
As you have seen the problem with the Money Pit is that every time someone tries to dig down they accident trigger a booby-trap which with lead to such things as flooding of the shaft that they are currently working on. So who know's what could be at the bottom of it, there are a number of ideas to what is at the very bottom.
One theory is that the pit holds a pirate treasure hoard buried by Captain Kidd or possibly Edward Teach (Blackbeard), who claimed he buried his treasure "where none but Satan and myself can find it" Some also hold to the theory that Kidd conspired with Henry Every and Oak Island was used as a pseudo community bank between the two.
Another theory proposes it was dug to hold treasure but that this was done by someone other than pirates, such as Spanish sailors from a wrecked galleon or British troops during the American Revolution. John Godwin argued that, given the apparent size and complexity of the pit, it was likely dug by French army engineers hoping to hide the contents of the treasury of the Fortress of Louisbourg after it fell to the British during the Seven Years' War.
Marie Antoinette's jewels
There is a story that, like most others regarding the island, lacks adequate archival sources, or any quoted sources at all, which places the priceless jewels of Marie Antoinette (which are historically missing, save for some specimens in the collections of museums worldwide) on Oak Island. During the French Revolution, when the Palace of Versailles was stormed by revolutionaries in 1789, Marie Antoinette instructed her maid or a lady-in-waiting to take her prized possessions and flee. Supposedly, this maid fled to London with such royal items as Antoinette's jewels and perhaps other treasures, such as important artwork or documents, secreted away either on her person (one variation suggests sewn into her underskirts in the case of the jewels, though fails to mention artwork) or as her luggage; it is even said she was perhaps assisted by the remaining officers of the French navy during the uprising at the queen's behest.
The story then goes on to say that this woman fled further afield from London to Nova Scotia. Through the royal connections she would have had during her service to the queen at Versailles, she managed to contract the French navy to help construct the famed 'pit' on the island. This theory (as noted) lacks recognized documentation other than that which is folkloric in nature, involves the French navy, which (during the Revolution) had an uncertain level of authority, and would place the construction of the Oak Island structure very close to its initial discovery by Daniel McGinnis in 1795. Whether such a complex engineering effort could have been completed in that small space of time is questionable, though no official date of its construction exists. However, other theories do suggest the structure is French and naval in style.
Still others have speculated that the Oak Island pit was dug to hold treasure much more exotic than gold or silver. In his 1953 book, The Oak Island Enigma: A History and Inquiry Into the Origin of the Money Pit, Penn Leary believed that English philosopher Francis Bacon used the pit to hide documents proving him to be the author of William Shakespeare's plays. Author and researcher Mark Finnan elaborated upon this theory. The theory was also used in the Norwegian book Organisten (The Organ Player) by Erlend Loe and Petter Amundsen. It has also been asserted that the pit may have been dug by exiled Knights Templar and that it is the last resting place of the Holy Grail or even the holy Ark of the Covenant.
Mark Finnan in his book Oak Island Secrets noted that many Masonic markings were found on Oak Island and pointed out that the shaft or pit and its mysterious contents seemed to replicate aspects of a Masonic initiation rite involving a hidden vault containing a sacred treasure. Joe Nickell identifies parallels between the accounts of Oak Island and the allegory of the "Secret Vault" in York Rite Freemasonry, similar to the Chase Vault, identifies many prominent excavators as Freemasons, and suggests that the accounts explicitly include Masonic imagery.
Pictures Of/From The Money Pit
Videos Of The Money Pit
History Channels Account
3D Video Of The Shaft