Chappell vault

The Curse of Oak Island – Season 6 Episode 5 Recap


Season 6 could be the most enticing season thus far. After initial popularity, the show was criticized for the slow progress, but there were some major finds in recent episodes which glued people back to TV sets. Episode 5 has just aired, but for those of you that have just tuned in and that are not familiar with the show you need to know some basic information about Oak Island mystery.

To date, six men had died trying to solve the mystery and according to legend 7 have to die before the treasure can be found. For brothers Rick and Marty Lagina and members of their team, the keys to solving the 223-year old Oak Island mystery may be closer than ever!

So, what happened in the new episode?

In recent weeks, an ambitious seismic survey of the island has revealed a number of possible underground voids. Voids which may be connected to the original Oak Island treasure shaft discovered in 1795. So far the seismic results have guided the team to the remains of a possible tunnel at a depth of 93 feet along with evidence of human activity some 170 feet deep underground.


The team has begun drilling a new exploratory borehole in an area known as HI4, for seismic imaging detected a possible network of tunnels at a depth of 100 feet. It was while excavating in this same area last year that the team encountered an object they believed to be the so-called Chappell vault at a death of some 170 feet.

The vault, which was first discovered by treasure hunters William Chappell and Frederick Blair in 1897, was estimated to be a large 7-foot-tall wooden structure. After drilling through it, the drill bit revealed evidence of gold as well as a small piece of parchment with writing on it. Unfortunately, when Chappell and Blair attempted to excavate the vault, the tunnel they had dug filled with water and collapsed. Last year, after once again located what Rick Marty and Craig Tester believed to be the Chappell vault, the 60-inch-wide drilling caisson they were using seemed to have pushed the elusive structure lower and lower into the soft muddy ground and off to the side.

Rick said: “We have to exploit this, we have to, you know, find out the orientation because it’s certainly in close proximity to H8 and if we model it and it turns somewhere in association with the money then we are on to something.”

Meeting and Research Center Idea


As the drilling operation at the money pit continues, Craig tester joins Rick Lagina and other members of the Oak Island team in a room. They met to discuss Zena Halpern’s legacy.

In the previous episode, Rick received the shocking news that his close friend researcher and author Zena Halpern had passed away. Rick also learned that Zena had bequeathed to him the results of her life’s work including a vast trove of books and documents which seemed to connect the Oak Island mystery to activities involving the Knights Templar as far back as the 12th century.

While packing up Zena’s collection of research, Rick discovered a copy of what is known as the Cremona document – a collection of maps and journal passages reportedly authored by the 12th century Templar knight Ralph De Sudeley. it describes not only De Sudelay’s journey to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem where he claimed to have recovered priceless religious treasures including the Ark of the Covenant, but also a Templar voyage to the New World in the year 1178 more than three centuries before Christopher Columbus made landfall in North America.

Rick said: “I don’t know if this is a hundred percent accurate. I don’t write I do believe with a hundred percent certainty but it’s worth some commitment of ours to try to come to an understanding of whether not only is this relevant but is it accurate.”

He came up with a brilliant idea: “Here’s my thought we’ve now come into possession of some remarkable research, a lifetime’s worth of research, literally. To that end I propose that we establish a research center a place where we can gather the information regarding our work our pursuit of answers for the Oak Island mystery and commit ourselves to that endeavor I’d want to carry her work forward I do.”

“I believe there’s a lot more to glean from her research and who knows where those paths lead us. I think the future of that research and the legacy if you will, is in very good hands,” stated Rick.

Meanwhile at the Money Pit


Following their meeting, Craig Tester and Charles Barkhouse returned to the money pit area to check on the drilling progress of borehole HI4, a location where recent seismic scanning indicates a man-made tunnel might exist some 100 feet below.

As the sonic rig advances the drill deeper into the ground, a specialized chlorine barrel on the end will extract samples of Earth and any objects or evidence in intervals of up to 10 feet. These samples will then be carefully examined by the team for any evidence of the tunnel and hopefully any important artifacts or treasure they might contain.

The presence of undisturbed soil means that the wood the team has found is likely from a centuries-old man-made structure. The questions were raised. Could it be one of the infamous flood tunnels designed to protect a priceless treasure or might it be a tunnel that leads to the treasure itself?

A tunnel leading to the money pit? This may sound strange to some people, but there is a strong possibility that this is exactly that. A lot of things happened at Oak Island in the past.

The Tunnel

In 1861, a team of treasure hunters attempted to reach the bottom of the original money pit and avoid the flood tunnels by digging an adjacent shaft down to a depth of 118 feet. From there they began tunneling some 18 feet east in the hopes of finding an entry from underneath the floor of the suspected treasure chamber. Unfortunately, as the team dug closer the tunnel known as “Shaft Six” started flooding with seawater halting their efforts. Just several days later, workers reported hearing a series of horribly loud crashes below leading to speculation that the money pit had collapsed, scattering tons of lumber and possible treasure across a deep flooded debris field.

Rick talked about this curious site: “Shaft six, at the time they dug it, they knew exactly where the original money pit was. We can find, we can track it back to the original location of the money pit and there it is.”

Because the location of shaft six has been lost for over a century, finding what appears to be evidence of an old searcher tunnel could be an exciting breakthrough. If the Oak Island team can determine which part of the shaft they have discovered it would help them pinpoint the exact position of the original money pit!

Having reached a death of 128 feet some 10 feet below the bottom of shaft six the Oak Island team sees little purpose in continuing to dig borehole here. Instead they will choose another drill site in an effort to find the elusive 19th century searcher shaft and the tunnel that should lead them to the original money pit.

Reinforcement Arrives

as a new day begins on Oak Island Rick Marty and members of the team welcome the arrival of a very timely addition to the island. Irving Equipment Ltd, the company which for the past three years has become a valuable partner in nearly all of the team’s major excavations, has humped arrange for one of its affiliates Kent homes to temporarily donate one of their prefabricated residential dwellings to the island. It will serve not only as a library to house the records of Zena Halpern but also as a research center for people interested in Oak Island and its history.

Rick greeted their partners, saying: “I’m very grateful myself I think that Oak Island is a very special place and as part of that we welcome Irving as part of the Oak Island story.”

And the guys from Irving are eager to be here: “Thank you very much for the opportunity to be a part of this. Anything we can do on our end will gladly help support you on that great site.”

With the new Research Center in place Rick Lagina and Charles Barkhouse are joined by fellow Oak Island enthusiasts Doug Trowel and Paul Troutman. They have come to help unpack the vast collection of research materials, most of which Rick has recently inherited from his late friend Zena Halpern.

Rick tells people more about the benefits of working here: “One of the greatest things about folk Island is you meet interesting wonderful captivating people and this commitment, this passion, this desire to learn it changes your life.”

Lot 21 Reveals Its Secrets

As work on the new research center progresses, Jack Begley Peter Fornetti and metal detection expert Gary Drayton head to Lot 21 located on the western side of the island. It was while searching this same lot just three weeks ago that Gary, accompanied by Rick, made one of the team’s most astonishing discoveries to date – a gold-plated brooch which was later determined to be as much as 700 years old!

A badge possibly from the cap of an 18th century French military officer’s uniform? But if so, what is it doing on Oak Island? And could it have some connection to the gold brooch discovered in this same area earlier this year? It appears that the more team discovers, the more confusing it gets are more possibilities are opened.

New Digging Site

Later that same day, Rick and Charles along with Craig tester and Dave Blankenship are over to the Money Pit site where the team from Choice Drilling has already begun working on the new hole IJ 5.5. This is quite a promising location and the team hopes that they will not walk out empty-handed.

Rick is pumped up about starting to work here: “Hey guys I’m absolutely interested in drilling this position called IJ 5.5.”

Two years ago, in an effort to locate the original money pit, the Oak Island team excavated a 40-inch-wide exploratory shaft which was named in honor of Rick and Marty’s parents George and Ann Lagina. It was while searching the spoils from this hole, which was done to a depth of 160 feet, that the team made a number of significant discoveries including a gold-plated 18th century British military button, a 300-year-old iron rose spike and a mysterious metal hinge, believed to have come from some kind of large box or vault.

Cofferdam Construction

Early the next day as the team from Choice Drilling continues the operations at borehole IJ 5.5 Rick, Charles and Dan check on the progress of the massive steel cofferdam being constructed at Smith’s Cove.

In order to construct a cofferdam, both wide enough and deep enough to encircle most of Smith’s Cove, the team from Irving equipment limited has employed a process known as “sheet piling” which uses a powerful hydraulic hammer to drive 40-foot long steel sheets up to 25 feet deep into the seabed. Each of these pilots weighing some 5500 pounds will interlock together to form a 525-foot-long watertight barrier which, when finished, will allow the Oak Island team to fully drain and then excavate the approximately 12,000 square foot area. If successful, the team may be able to find not only important historical artifacts like the mysterious LED cross but also the entrance to the booby-trapped flood tunnels system which sends ocean water to the money pit area.

Later that day Marty Lagina his son Alex and local archaeologist Laird Niven arrived for a meeting at the new Oak Island research center. They have been invited by Gary Drayton and researcher Paul Troutman to inspect Gary’s most recent discoveries on Lot 21.
This has been an interesting site for years.

French Influence

Last year, Oak Island researcher Doug Prowl presented the team with information taken from a centuries-old ship’s log. in it was the detailed account of a failed French naval expedition in 1746 led by the Duke D’Anville a descendant of a family connected to the Knights Templar. The log also documented the construction of what was described as a deep treasure shaft dug on a wooded island and then filled with millions in gold and precious artifacts.

Could this French military batch, which Gary believes dates back to the 1700s, be physical evidence that the Duke Danville actually came to Oak Island? Is it the same Duke Danville whose ancestors were believed by Zena Halpern to be key players in the Oak Island treasure mystery?

Author’s Note

As the drilling of borehole IJ 5.5 continues, Randall Marty and Rick Lagina take a phone call.

For nearly two decades, acclaimed author Randall Sullivan has been investigating and writing about the Oak Island mystery. Two years ago, he paid a special visit to the island in order to conduct research on a book.

“Just imagine if the ghosts in the 19th century could see this one which he intends will be the most comprehensive and authoritative ever written about the 223-year-old treasure hunt,” said one of the brothers. Wouldn’t that be splendid?

When asked about the recent happenings and finds, Marty had this to say to the author.

Marty: “I’ll say this they’re probably the most puzzling finds that’s for sure, the most significant ones around we think are the human bones. I mean even for a skeptic like me it’s just hard to come up with a plausible reason that those things are that deep underground. And then we have that very strange medieval cross. I think those are the two biggies to the year.”

He continued: “I don’t really see a connection between those two other than drawing the obvious conclusion that’s something rather extraordinary happened here it’s an island of what-ifs and possibilities then it continues to remain so.”

Rick praised the author: “Randall Sullivan’s clearly an Oak Island aficionado and the fact that he’s now writing a book, I very much look forward to reading it. I’ve always believed that the oak island story is quite remarkable and I hope he doesn’t justice.”

Final Check-Up

Later that same day, Rick Lagina joins Craig Tester, Dave Blankenship and Charles Barkhouse as they head to the money pit to check on the progress of borehole I J 5.5 – a hole which they believe intersects a 157-year old searcher tunnel know as shaft six. if their assumption is correct the team should be able to locate not only the original money pit but also what they hope is a massive underground debris field.

And to finish the episode, Rick had this to say:

“There’s no question that today there’s some excitement in the air certainly anticipation if there’s something to be found in the money pit. It’s in the tunnel that connects shaft six to the original money pit and the hope is that this is indeed THE location.”

Whether that’s the location or not, the fans will have to wait for some more time to find out. Either way, this was a fun episode and that research center would truly be beneficial for the brothers and the other team members.

What are your thoughts?

The Curse of Oak Island Season 6 Episode 3 Recap


Oak Island has been hiding a treasure for more than 200 years. So far, the Lagina brothers have found a stone slab strange symbols carved into it, mysterious fragments of human bone and a cross,which origin may stretch back to the days of the Knights Templar.

To date, six men have died trying to solve the mystery and according to legend 7 people have to die so that the treasure can be found. It is a day of great anticipation for brothers Rick and Marty Lagina and the other members of their Oak Island team. In case you missed the new episode, here is what happened!

The Cofferdam Construction

It was the first day in the construction of an enormous 525-foot long cofferdam at Smith’s Cove, one of the most intriguing and mysterious places on the island.It would just gradually start coming together over the next couple of days. When completed, the confer dam will effectively wall off ocean water to the comb.


Using a powerful hydraulic hammer approximately 120 interlocking steel sheets will be driven some 25 feet into the ground this will allow the water to be drained and then the entire area searched for important clues. And these are the clues that might help the Laginas solve a two hundred and twenty three-year-old treasure mystery. It may also help them locate an elaborate system of booby-trapped flood tunnels that afforded searchers from exploring the so-called honey pen, located some 170 yards away.

“Every time Smith’s Cove has been searched in the past it’s been just an earthen cofferdam more or less similar to the bladder system we used last year. And there’s so much seepage under there through the sands and the gravel and whatever underneath there that was working in constant flooding. So this time we’re gonna drive sheet piling no 23 feet and interlock it that should stop the bulk of the water, “said Marty Lagina.

What is realistically the closest timeframe to when we start being able to dig an excavated Smith’s Cove?This is one of the questions raised and answered by the team. One of the members said: “This year, we’re anticipating about three weeks work from the time we started today until we can probably turn it over doodles right on schedule basically and then we can get started and see if there’s anything else hiding down in Smith’s Cove”

Journey that would pay off


As the team from Irving Equipment Limited continues with their operation at Smith’s Cove brothers Rick and Marty Lagina along with Craig Tester, Dave Blankenship and Charles Barkhouse are travelling some 2,300 miles west of Oak Island to the City of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

They are on their way to the headquarters of Eagle Canada, a geophysical exploration company which over the past two weeks has conducted a major seismic imaging scan of the money pit site. This revolutionary process involves the detonation of literally hundreds of explosive dynamite charges. These charges send powerful shockwaves down into the earth which are then measured and recorded, allowing for the creation of a virtual three-dimensional map which in turn could reveal the precise location of everything from old searcher tunnels and booby traps to underground treasure vaults.

Included in the seismic scanning operation was another search area known as the mega bin located some 600 feet north of the money pit site. It was here in the early 1970s that veteran treasure hunter Dan Blankenship and his company, the Triton Alliance drilled some 40 exploratory bore holes searching for tunnels that Dan believed were connected to the money pit.

“We’re going to get a look at the seismic results which were very excited to see,” said Marty, while Rick added: “I do have high hopes for them being able to see vertical structures. We have our own little version of what that might be. You know, mental image of what that might be but in any event this is the first time we might get some scientific imaging of what’s going on under growling both at the money pit and over there on the hillside.”
When Jeremy started showing the results, the entire team was sitting at the edge of their seats: “There’s your megabit right there,” he said.“This is definitely the largest anomaly in this data set so far. It’s roughly 50 meters long so you’re in 150 to 175-foot length. The distance between the top and the base is 7 to 12 feet.”
“What’s interesting is things are draping on top of it so it is a confident structure whatever it is,” Jeremy pointed out. He was asked whether that was consistent with a chamber with a roof and a floor. And his answer was positive.

Anmind-boggling discovery

A 175 foot chamber located at a depth of approximately 50 feet – it sound weird, don’t you think? Could this discovery finally be the proof the Laginas and generations of other treasure hunters have been trying to find for more than two centuries? The man-made structures really do exist beneath the surface of Oak Island. This was something the Laginas have been searching for years. It is a breakthrough discovery.

A large void low at a depth of 160 to 170 feet and adjacent to the c1 and h8 bore holes that Rick and Marty dug in the money pit? “That’s where a lot of odd stuff came out of!” said Rick.

The Oak Island team found compelling evidence of what they believed to be the so-called Chappell vault, the 7-foot tall wooden box first discovered by William Chappell and Frederick Blair in 1897. It was while searching the spoils from this same hole that the team also made a number of incredible discoveries, including pottery bits of parchment and leather bookbinding and even pieces of human bones, which when tested or determined to be the remains of two individuals one from Europe and the other from the Middle East. Each was estimated to be more than 400 years old.
Unfortunately when the team attempted to penetrate the suspected vault with a 60 inch wide drill the object was pushed into muddy ground. Could this large chamber located near the h8 shaft be were the elusive Chappell vault is now located?

“If it is real it could answer a lot of stuff it could explain where we pushed that vault down to, you know, if there’s a cavity over there that has been breached then maybe that’s where the stuff went. Maybe it is the bottom of the old money pit,” confirmed the Laginas.

Forming a New Strategy


In Alberta, Canada brothers Rick and Marty Lagina along with members of the Oak Island team have just been given the startling information that seismic scanning has revealed the existence of underground points in the money pit area, voids that appear to surround the borehole known as H8.

A flood tunnel located at a depth of approximately 100 is what they believe they have come across. They started discussing what the best way was to use the data but one thing was for sure – they were ready to explore.
While Rick Marty and members of the team eagerly make their way back to Oak Island Jack Begley, Gary Drayton and area geophysicist Mike West head to the beach on lot 26 located upon the island’s South West Shore. They have come here in hopes of finding historical artifacts like the gold covered brooch Gary and Rick Lagina discovered just one week ago and which was estimated to be as much as 700 years old.
They covered the ground with metal detectors which had different characteristics and therefore, they made a detailed search.

A Bit of History

During the American Revolution in 1783, Captain James Anderson was a privateer who pledged his allegiance to the United States. However, after being given command of his own ship called the Betsy he became a spy for the British and fled the US taking his ship and the valuable cargo it was carrying with him. Facing charges of treason levied by then-governor Virginia Thomas Jefferson Anderson escaped to Nova Scotia where he purchased lot 26 on Oak Island.

Back to it!

To assist them in their search Mike will use a metal detecting device known as the E/M 61. Unlike conventional metal detectors which are generally limited to an average scanning depth of between one and three feet, the E/M 61 is equipped with powerful transmitter and receiver coils allowing it to sense metal objects buried up to 20 feet deep underground. It also features a GPS device which will allow the team to record the exact location of any targets too deep to be dug up by hand.

And what they found was a spike.The spike was believed to date back to 1700s and it came from the ship. Could have been part of a dock or boat slip once used by Captain James Anderson? But that was not all they found…
They have also come across a hook.The hook used for unloading cargo from ships and found on land once owned by the 18th century pirate captain James Anderson!


The James Anderson Recall

Last year, members of the Oak Island team traveled to the home of Steve Atkinson a direct descendant of James Anderson where they were shown one of the infamous Buccaneers. Just in addition to the chest was a ring of four mysterious keys.Could the hook that the team has just found on lot 26 be evidence that at least one of the legends concerning Captain James Anderson is true? Was the potential treasure from the ship buried all over the island?

The Meeting

As another Sun sets on Oak Island brothers Rick and Marty lagina have called a meeting in the war room. They are eager to share with their team the incredible results of the seismic testing that they received earlier that day from the technicians in Calgary.


Money Pit Rumors

Over the years there have been many Oak Island theorists who believe that the money pit was constructed as a decoy designed to thwart the efforts of would-be searchers and keep them from finding the actual treasure vault. It was their belief that after the money pit was done and then booby-trapped with seawater another more secret tunnel was constructed which branched off from the fabled shaft and then led to a treasure vault located safely above sea level.

“I have always felt that the theory proposed by others that the money pit was dug as deep as could be dug at the time and then there is a tunnel that goes off from it somewhere and in a relatively shallow depth that created a chamber underground. And that makes so much sense because it would be absolutely no way to find that with 300 year old technology unless you knew where it was,” said one of the brothers.

Could the shallow anomaly as indicated on the 3D seismic map and located some 600 feet north of the money pit be evidence that this incredible theory is true?Afterwards, the team designed a simple strategy and they shared the roles. Once again, everyone knew what to do, so they were on it.

Previous Smith’s Cove Excavation Attempts

In the early 1970s Oak Island treasure hunter Dan Blankenship played his own attempt to excavate Smith’s Cove and locate the flood tunnels which he hoped would lead him directly to the fabled treasure vault. Unlike Laginas, he constructed a large copper dam around Smith’s Cove made of large boulders packed with earth unfortunately harsh weather plagued his efforts. And before he could locate the flood tunnels Dan’s cofferdam was washed away but not before he made an amazing discovery.

Located just off shore and some 10 feet underground Dan found the remains of an elaborate wooden structure. Because of its unique shape Dan dubbed it the u-shaped structure although its intended purpose, as well as the identities of those who constructed it,has remained a mystery.

The Sonic Drilling

Later that day as work continues at Smith’s Cove, Rick Lagina along with his nephew Peter Fornetti, Craig Tester and other members of their team gather at the Oak Island Visitor Center.They’ve scheduled a meeting with representatives a drilling company that specializes in a process known as sonic drilling.

Unlike regular air or mud rotary drilling which uses powerful drill bits to literally grind beneath the ground,the sonic one uses vibrations to create a high-frequency sound which can literally pulverize obstacles. It has been used to extract samples of earth and objects from areas as much as five hundred feet deep.Everybody was excited to see it being put in use.

“I’ve always been against just guessing. I mean the whole point of the seismic program was to find anomalous features underground in the money pit well they’ve targeted an area that’s worth investigating and thus we’re gonna drill it,” said the Laginas, referring to the idea of scanning the ground.

Using last year’s geo-tech grid as a reference, the team has decided to dig their first hole at a location known as D6. Here, they hope to find not only a possible system of tunnels some 100 feet deep but also a 30-foot wide chamber at a depth of approximately 170 feet. It is also in this chamber that the team hopes it will locate the mysterious Chappell vault in which bits of gold and a piece of parchment was recovered more than a century ago shortly before it sank further beneath the ground.

After collecting samples at intervals of up to 10 feet, the samples are transferred into plastic sleeves for thorough inspection of any potential artifacts or treasure.And the team hopes to find interesting items. Are there any?


Why Finding Wood Matters?

While examining Spoils excavated from borehole D6 at the money pit Oak Island partner Craig Tester and geologist Terry Matheson have just made what they believe could be an important discovery.And it was wood they found! Is that a wood from a tunnel? But from which year it is? Could it be little more than the remains of a searcher tunnel one of the dozens that had been dug on the island over the years or could it be physical evidence from an original underground structure one that may have been put there centuries ago? Why the people who came to the island looking to hide an incredible treasure?

“This is the heart of that anomaly right where we’re drilling a tunnel, could be there, it could have been one of the other tunnels coming off the money pit we’ve encountered what we believe to be a tunnel in an area or we got a target based on the seismic data but we don’t know what that means it could be original work, we don’t know, and that’s what we’re trying to decipher. It’s exciting. It can’t be just a coincidence,” says Rick.

A Crossbow

The discovery of a possible tunnel directly connected to the money pit offers exciting news for the Laginas and members of their team. It means that the seismic data they received was able to accurately pinpoint the existence of a structure located some 93 feet below ground. It also means that as they continue to drill down deeper the team may also be successful at finding another critical proof- the one which they believed might contain the legendary Chappell vault. As the sonic drilling operation continues in the money pit area, Jack Begley,Gary Drayton and Mike West returned to lock 26, property that was once owned by the 18th century pirate and privateer captain James Anderson.

While searching for artifacts on lot 26 located on the island south west shore, the three of them have made a curious discovery – they found a crossbow. But the team is not quite certain how it got here. Dating back to as early as the seventh century BC the crossbow was a powerful long-range weapon and favored for its accuracyand ability to pierce through heavy armor. They were also widely used by individuals of high status throughout the militaries of medieval Europe until they were replaced in the 16th century by gunpowder firearms. Could what Gary’s identified as a possible crossbow fault really be evidence that members of the Knights Templar visited Oak Island centuries ago?

After examining it, it is believed that the crossbow dates back to the 1300s or perhaps even earlier. It was the discovery everyone love and it will motivate them for a further search.

Following a week of intriguing revelations and exciting new discoveries Rick, Marty and the Oak Island team are convinced that they are closer than ever to solving this 223-year-old mystery. When will they find the Oak Island treasure?