In the episode 4 of season 6 of the Curse of Oak Island, Rich Lagina with Peter Fornetti went to the home of the late Zena Halpern in long Island, New York. After arriving he got the research files Zena had left to him.
While going through the files he found a booklet called the “Cremona Document”, which according to him was the basis of Zena’s research. Later on it is explained that this document was found in the 1970s in a church in Cremona, Italy and contains documents by, in part, 12th Century Templar knight Ralph de Sudeley. To be specific these documents talk about treasured found under Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and a voyage across the Atlantic to North America that happened in the medieval times.
The Cremona document was first seen in Zena Halpern’s 2017 book The Templar Mission to Oak Island and Beyond: The Search for Ancient Secrets: The Shocking Revelations of a 12th Century Manuscript
The first half of Zena’s book describes the life of a mysterious character named Dr. William D. Jackson, who’s an American researcher with rumored connections to a secret U.S. intelligence agency. His story reads like Dan Brown novel, filled with secret societies, mysterious warnings, coded messages and once lost journals which were written in invisible ink.
His story starts on a summer day in 1968, at that time Jackson and 3 of his friends went fishing on Bannerman Island in the Hudson River, which is located around 50 miles north of NYC. On Bannerman Island you can find a big Scottish-style fortress which was built by, or with his money, Francis Bannerman VI in the early 1900s. On the fishing trip Jackson came to the idea to steal a stone ornament for his wife’s garden.
A year had gone by and his son while playing in that same garden broke the top off the stone ornament which led to him discovering a strange brass object engraved with mysterious symbols. All these events led to Jackson arriving in Cremona and buying a collection of manuscripts which were supposed to be transferred to the Vatican Library in Rome. These manuscripts are the Cremona Document.
The first part of documents look to be the lost writings of the founder of the Kings Templar. They talk about a 12th Century exploration of Jewish catacombs under Jerusalem. After overcoming some difficulties the knights discover a lost Gnostic gospel, the lost gold of King Solomon and the bones of John the Baptist. In that same chamber are scrolls that describe a cross-Atlantic voyage to the “Land of Onteora” and a couple of devices used for navigation.
Most of the Cremona Document is called “A Year We Remember” and is basically the lost journal of Ralph de Sudeley which describes the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean with the help of King Valdemar I of Denmark in 1178. There he finds a matriarchal tribe of goddess-worshipping Welshmen and after some time he gets his hands on some 1st Century documents which lead him to go back to Jerusalem and discover the Ark of the Covenant and other treasures under the ancient city of Petra, which is located in Jordan today.
In her book, Halper says that the legitimacy of the Cremona Document is supported by the fact that a Vatican librarian verified the originality of Ralp De Sedeley’s signature, but this also brings doubt because the common form of personal authentication at that time were wax seals. The English translation of the Cremona Document is also filled with modern words and phrases and all in all things that aren’t from the period of time which seriously dampens the authenticity of it. According to Zena the Cremona Document seems to be fake.