Doug Crowell

Oak Island Treasure Dream Job Became A Reality

Many children fantasize about what they want to be when they grow up and what their dream job would be like, but not many of them get to fulfill those dreams once they grow up. Scott Barlow is an example of a grown up who made proud the child in himself, because of a phone call he received in 2018, which changed his life. „How often does somebody call you up and say: ‘Hey, you want to be part of a treasure hunt?’“, Barlow recalls.

As many of you may know, The Curse of Oak Island is currently airing its seventh season on The History Channel, and during the most of 2019, Barlow worked as a project manager of Oak Island Tours, the company in charge for digging for the legendary lost treasure of the island. He could be seen in the show, often digging through the dirt or scrutinizing and serving survey data and historical records.

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At the age of 12, Barlow read Joan Clark’s adventure novel The Hand Of Robyn Squires, which is linked to finds in the alleged Money Pit on Oak Island off the coast of Nova Scotia. The whole story was very interesting to Barlow as he explained: „Since then, I was hooked.“

Oak Island History

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Oak Island mystery has aroused the curiosity of people around the world, and also inspired many to dream of becoming treasure hunters.

There aren’t many verified information about early treasure-related activities on the island, but the stories about it go back to the late eighteenth century.

The original story about the treasure follows a dying sailor from the crew of Captain Kidd, who decides to burry the treasure worth £2 million. All that has gained a plot twist in 1795, when four teenagers found the decayed oak-log and an unusual pulley system. After digging as much as they could and finding no treasure, they decided to give up. However, they found more tunnels around the island, which are believed to be part of a sophisticated system of traps designed to flood the main shatf with water, which would prevent anyone to get to whatever lies at the bottom.

Various items were found there over the years, including ancient coins, stone carvings, coconut fible, and a lead cross. After all those discoveries, scienties, historians, and writers have been coming up with different theories about what might have happened on Oak Island. Those theories range from pirate treasure, to Shakespearean manuscripts. Some believe that the Holy Grail or the Ark of the Covenant, have been burried there by the Knights Templar.

Several attempts to find the mystery of the Oak Island have been inspired by legends, rumors, and unproven theories. The treasure hunt have cost millions of dollars. The curse of the island states that seven men will die in the search for the treasure before it is found. To date, six men have died trying to find it.

The Arrival of Internet

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Barlow was very keen on reading and learning anything he could find about the Oak Island mystery from books and articles that were available to him. In 1990s, when the internet arrived, the informations and community of people with the same interest like his, were much more available.

After finding out about the announcement from The History Channel, about plans to air a show based on the mystery of Oak island and the search for its treasures, Barlow felt overwhelming happiness.

„Information was hard to come by, and a lot of people who do that kind of work, they don’t really make a public report every day of what they find. You were always going on bits and pieces and scraps and hearsay, and all that stuff. At least the show gives you a little insight.“

Thanks to Internet, and their mutual interest in the mystery of Oak Island, Barlow met a historian and Oak Island researcher, Doug Crowell. In 2018, Crowell decided to call Barlow and ask him to help with the treasure hunt and solving the mystery of the island. And that is when Barlow’s transition from fan to treasure hunter became real.

A year after that, the Lagina brothers, Rick and Marty, who own most of the Island, offered Barlow the project manager’s job of Oak Island Tours. Till then, the brothers had co-ordinated most of the work themselves.

The Work

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Barlow said that part of his job is to be a co-ordinator between the Lagina brothers and their partners.

„(I was) kind of the go-between guy between the contractors and the owners. It was my job to make sure everything was moving forward.“

Thanks to his unique set of skills and his knowledge about the island, Barlow is the great addition to the team. Rick Lagina agreed with that, saying: „Scott brought a valuable set of skills to Oak Island. His calm demeanour, critical analysis and mechanical expertise are invaluable. Scott proved daily he was invested, sincere and committed and we are all extremely appreciative of his participation and friendship.“

Barlow’s combination of plumbing, mechanical and electrical skills are helpful for his company Mechanical Solutions too.

Having A Dream Job

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„The work has been a challenging and rewarding experience. There are lots of days there where you leave and you’re right at the top of the world. You had a great day. Then there are other days where things didn’t turn out the way you hoped. It’s an emotional rollercoaster,“ Barlow explained.

Some days are hectic and the crew has a lot of job that needs to be done, while other days are more about brainstorming and coming up with where the next digging should take place, or theorizing about the mystery.

Barlow talked about being on the show, saying: „One of the toughest parts of the job was getting used to all the TV cameras and crews trailing along behind as you worked.“

He also explained that the viewers see the results of their efforts, but not all the things that happened before that, including days of fruitless search. However, the show has the accurate representation of the work, it is just that it is more compressed.

Barlow is very happy to be part of all of it. He doesn’t want to reveal what will happend next, because he wants fans to see it for themselves. He said: „Last year was our biggest effort yet in terms of the work done. We had some major strides forward in terms of learning things. We have (gained) a better understanding, in the last year, of some of the island than people have had ever … and of course, in typically Oak Island fashion, you find one thing and it leads to more questions.“

What Happened on the Latest Episode of “The Curse of Oak Island” Season 6, Episode 18, “Heavy Metal”

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The latest, eighteenth episode of the popular TV show on History Channel, aired on March 26, 2019. The team of Oak Island continues their numerous operations in order to find the truth and the treasures about the mysterious island, than has been drawing explorers and scientists for decades.

At the Wat Room, Rick and Marty Lagina have a meeting with Craig Tester about the Smith’s Cove excavation. After the dye test, they must decide how to continue. They agree that they should look for the flood tunnel. They next plan to dismantle the wooden crane pad, after getting the permission to leave the dam standing.

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After the meeting, Rick joins the team at the Money Pit, to continue exploring the S6 borehole. The excavation brings out sediments and wood, as the drilling goes on. At 101 ft., they penetrated a wooden construction. They next found a hand crafted oak timber. All of this could be the debris from decades ago, when the tunnel collapsed in. To examine the excavated material, they are using a wash plant, to be cleaned and sorted according to size. This helps them look for anything precious. Glass, pottery pieces and other small objects continue to come out of the wash plant. The findings are old, and similar to those from the H8 borehole. Many pieces are new and never before seen on the island, so they take them to archeologist Laird Niven.

The next day, Craig, Rick, historians Doug Crowell and Paul Troutman, meet with Laird in the War Room. The topic are S6 pieces of old pottery and glass. One of the pieces is from between 1810 and 1840. Another, a piece of pipe, is thought to be from after 1850. A piece of stoneware could be from the early 1700s. This can prove the presence of humans on the island in those times.

Later in the day, Rick comes to the Money Pit, after Urban Equipment Limited calls him regarding S6. He puts Craig on the speaker, while the workers tell them what is going on. They tell him about the material coming up, and that at 190 feet, the drill hit limestone. The Lagina brothers are disappointed at this.

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A new day arrives, as Rick and Billy Gerhardt arrive to Smith’s Cove. The team is eager to start removing the wooden crane pad area they previously used.

Rick than goes to the Research Center to meet with Paul Troutman and Doug Crowell to discuss the Money Pit plan that is to come. The S6 plan failed unfortunately, so now they must decide on a new hole to dig. Thanks to the previous research, they decide on the next logical location. Paul suggests one area to put the next “X” on, the FG – 5.5. Everything from earlier is close to it, so something must be there.

Next, Jack Begley and Gary Drayton, a metal detection expert, explore one area for metal pieces. They try to follow Daniel McGinnis and his explorations from centuries ago, at the Lot 21. The pair manages to find two nice piece of led that is a part of something bigger, which also fit together. It has some symbols and decorations on it, and potential connections to the Tree of Life. They take it to Marty and Rick to find more about it. It is similar to the Smith’s Cove cross they found earlier. The finding is very promising and interesting, so they decide to laser-test it.

Three days later, Rick, Doug, and Paul arrive to the Money Pit area. The S6 contraption are being taken down, and will be used for the new hole. They measure where it is going to be, and name it GG1.

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Back at the War Room, Craig, Marty, Rick, and Gary find out the results about the lead artifact from Lot 21. They meet with a German scientist Tobias, who tells them that it could be different from what they expect. He believes that it had once been an art object, on which a special decorating method was used as early as 1300. The lead isotopes on it are identical tot hose on the cross they found before. Both pieces probably come from before the 15th century, which are astonishing news. A Templar connection is back in consideration. Found on opposing ends of the island, it is one of the greatest findings on Oak Island yet.

The Curse of Oak Island: A researcher and historian Doug Crowell

Even though this jovial historian and researcher don’t appear a lot, he does have a huge influence when he speaks.

In the episode Clue or False, Doug noticed some things that could prove to be prophetic.

A man obsessed with the studious demeanor.

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Doug Crowell and his partner Kel Hancock are in charge of Blockhouse Investigations, which is a team of researchers, investigators, and consultants that are described as: “We are who we are – just a great bunch of Atlantic Canadians with adventurous spirits and a keen interest in the legends and mysteries of our region and beyond.”

Doug and his team spend a lot of time investigating many historical facets associated with Atlantic Canada, “Whether we’re scouring file archives or hiking in the forest, we’re always up to something neat.”

Crowell fist appeared on the History Channel in 2016, when he was a part of documentary reality series in the episode Going for Broke. After that, he appeared in more than 30 episodes after proving himself as an invaluable team member.

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He was also the one introducing the team to the late historian Zena Halpern, a researcher from New York.

Zena Halpern had a theory that the Knights Templar, a medieval Christian monastic/military organization buried artifacts on Oak Island that have a great value. They did that in 1307 after their order was suppressed.

Some agree with his theory, and some don’t, but Rick and Marty Lagina’s team was interested enough to interview Zena and consider his ideas.

After his death, the team installed a research center on the island in his honor.

Doug is obviously the leading member of the team, and on this week’s episode someone discovered a soggy piece of dark material believed to be leather, and Dough said: “You gotta find a little leather before you find the gold!”
Be sure to tune in if you want to find out if he was right!