Treasure, death and a severed hand

I was reminded today of the 'Money Pit' of Oak Island, probably the longest running treasure hunt in history, and the most mysterious...

For all you archaeologically-challenged readers out there, prepare to be enlightened.

Oak Island is a small island off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. While exploring the island (1765), 16-year-old Daniel McGinnis discovered an old oak tree bearing marks caused by a rope and tackle system. Beneath the tree was a depression in the ground and Daniel believed he had stumbled across the location of buried pirate's treasure. Young Daniel had discovered what is now known as the money pit, and to this day, whatever lies at the bottom of the pit continues to elude discovery... and six people have died trying to recover it.

In a nutshell... the money pit is 200 foot deep manmade shaft, constructed centuries ago in such a way that recovering its contents would be an impossible feat. What lies at the bottom was never meant to be retrieved, buried in a shroud of mystery and death.

I have previously written about ancient booby traps, and the money pit is extraodinary in this regard. Whoever designed it, dug sloping tunnels from the vertical shaft which joined the ocean. When the digging got deep enough, the shaft was flooded by ocean water, and has been so ever since.

The existence of this flood trap was confirmed by the discovery that the beach of Smith's Cove, located some 500 feet away from the pit, was completely artificial. Ingeniously designed for the sole purpose of flooding the pit if anyone ever got close to its contents.

How many men would it take to create an artificial beach? I dare to ask. What could possibly be so valuable? Experts can only surmise.

In 1970 one group bored a hole 90-metres from the site and found several artificial cavities. They lowered a camera down the borehole and saw three chests a severed hand, and a body.

The plot thickens, the death-toll mounts, the facts provide more questions than answers, and no one is really that much closer to discovering the treasure than young Daniel McGinnis was over 200 years ago.

Double-click the clip below for doco about the money pit

Click here for Unmuseum's excellent Oak Island article (with pictures!).
Click here for Wikipedia's Oak Island entry.

Now that you're 'Indiana Jones alter-ego' appetite has been whett, feel free to peruse my other posts on crazy archaleogical finds...

The real Temple of Doom
Giant boulder booby traps
Cave of the giant crystals


Katie said...

what the youth pastor does in his spare time...


Loving it!