Friday, 23 February 2018

The Curse of Oak Island S05E07


Synopsis

Two new pieces of ancient evidence found deep in the Money Pit may be proof of theories that could rewrite the history of the Oak Island mystery.

What I thought

Starting in the Money Pit again this week, 40 of the Geotech holes have been drilled, which is the full whack, good enough. We’re led to believe though that only one of those holes, H8, produced anything interesting, because little is said about the rest. The gang have called back in Irving Engineers to decide on the logistics of drilling H8 to an even bigger hole; It’ll be about a 50” hole with casing to about 200ft.

Paul Speed, a researcher, is the latest guy to visit the War Room with their theory about Oak Island. Specifically, he’s got something speculative to say about the Money Pit. He’s been thinking (as we all have) how someone could have constructed anything on the Money Pit (if they even have) and he’s centred in on a technique used by Cornish Miners. These flood tunnels by the Money Pit he believes
would have been constructed from further out, rather than straight down from source. He puts 16th century Francis Drake on the map as taking gold he’s plundered to Oak Island. Basically, although there’s no proof he went to North America, that this might be a vault that was used as a bank of sorts for a period until it fell out of use or was used as Francis Drake’s grave! Apparently, Francis Drake died overseas and was encased in a lead coffin and poured with mercury (for good measure?) but this has never been found.  This isn’t as wacky as some of the ideas I’ve heard although this guy looks rather cocky about his claims, but then, he would. Incidentally, mercury has been found on the island.
Next up, some of the boys are with metal detectorist expert Gary Drayton again, as well as Laird in Lot 26; this is the one Samuel Ball owned, who got it from Captain James Anderson, a former pirate and the guy who owned that sea chest we saw a while back. They wonder if there’s more chests in this lot area. First up, there’s a wall that they think could have been used for loading/unloading of stuff on/off ships by Captain Anderson in past. The narrator has them discovering it but I seriously doubt that’s the first time anyone has seen that wall. It’s not in great condition anyways. Then they find a rectangular depression in the ground. They want to dig it but need a permit as this is in a protected area.

Its back to St Mary’s University as the boys don their white suits once more. Dr Yang also doesn’t play game as he’s too cool for white suits. They are testing the small piece of pulp. It’s made of paper, possibly a parchment, the likes of which was used rarely and only for important documents back in the day after 15th century. Looking at the small piece of leather next and it is indeed leather (thank goodness we had those experts to help huh?) but also there’s some fibres in with it, leading the expert to suggest it might have been used as a book binding. This now leads them down the theory that William Shakespeare’s friend Francis Bacon put clues in his writings and then buried his original manuscripts on Oak Island. See how just one little mention of something can lead them down all sorts of paths? Anyhow, next up they need to find textile experts and get some date on these items.

3 days afterwards, it’s back to Lot 26 to look at that depression. They’ve got a permit but to get their destructive equipment in, they need to butcher a few smaller trees. This is heart-breaking to watch but I guess no pain, no gain. I’m sure they replant 2 trees for everyone chopped down, right? Lots of digging but absolutely nothing is found. Trees sacrificed, and a depression mutilated, all for nothing.

2 days later again, and it’s the War Room with Laird and the gang to get results of the bones via a Dr Fraser on the phone. One of the bones is from the European group, but the other is middle eastern which surprises them all, but leads to the Knight’s of Templar theory who got lots of stuff from the Middle East. Of course, it could just have fallen out of someone’s pocket hundreds of years ago …

The last few minutes are the heavy equipment arriving in Money Pit to dig a massive hole in H8.

Rating: 5/10 – Lots of talking, theories and wasted digging, but not a lot learnt about the items or bones apart form initial findings.


The gang discuss the merits of giving up on the Money Pit and creating a putting green, but first they look at H8 where they plan to dig a massive hole next.

Here's the next crazy theorist person in the War Room, although he's got a more realistic and probable theory than some of the others we've heard.

This is depressing. Yes, it's a depression in the ground in Lot 26.

This is the leather close-up. It's magnified so much that your eyes could pop. 

Noticing how picturesque the area in Lot 26 was looking with it's little cute depression, the gang set about chopping down trees and digging a pit large enough to bury that JCB in.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

The Curse of Oak Island S05E06


Synopsis

After years of searching, the Lagina's unearth evidence of what Marty believes is the exact location of the ultimate target - the Money Pit.

What I thought

It’s gloomy, waterproofs are sodden, as the rain comes down, yet Dan Henskee (first appearance this season!) and Jack are looking through spoils from H8, washing it down through wire mesh on a makeshift bench they’ve constructed. It’s been long hours washing through small items, most just normal stones etc, but they’ve found some more pottery with a nice blue design on white and some odd wood which they all are fascinated in. I can’t see much too unusual about it, but they’ve seen more fragments than I have.

Next day we’re off to St Mary’s University to Halifax with the bone and wood from H8 to get it scanned. Rick, Marty and Jack all dress up in white suits again as does the main expert but yet again, the computer operator is in his usual clothes. Electron microscope SEM that magnifies objects by 200x and composition material. Both items turn out to be bone! They can even see hairs and tissue; gross. Need more tests to find out if animal or human.

We’re then back with more spoils work by Dan and Jack on much better sunny day. They find a small piece of leather, possibly from a shoe. Then there’s a rather flopping paper pulp like piece of paper perhaps. It’s hard to tell exactly what it is, but it’s certainly interesting, given that this is possibly the area where that small piece of parchment was found many years ago.

Same day, we’re back in Money Pit. Apparently, they’ve done 35 out of 40 Geotech bore holes. Blimey, that was quick. Geophysics’ Mike is here. He’s putting probes down most of the holes that will read conductivity and detect items nearby. But wait, Rick is not there?! Seems he’s ill. We then get Marty to visit Rick who gets shirtless to show this bite on his back. Nasty. Both go off to doctor. It’s lime disease and he gets antibiotics for next month. Back in the Money Pit area, scans on several holes show nothing, but this time it’s hole H8 where everything has been happening recently that gets scanned. Indeed, there are disturbances down this hole at depths where the famed Chappell vault was suspected to be. After drilling to 250ft deep in hole H8, and 11 years after starting quest to find the Money Pit, the brothers declare they’ve found the Money Pit! One suspects a massive hole to be drilled now where H8 is.

3 days later, Rick is recovered and has a haircut too. In The War Room he reads out the results from St Mary’s University’s’ further tests which reveal that the bones are human and possibly two different people!

Rating 7/10 – Because we get conclusive proof of the bones being human (although we don’t know ages yet), more evidence from the spoils of H8, and positive detection in right location down H8, this is a very satisfying episode.

Jack & Dan discover more pottery from the spoils of H8.

And also find wood ... except it's not wood, it's bone!

Her'es the main controlling the electron microscope who is too cool to wear a white coat.

Before the results are displayed, the boys have to sit through an hour long Health & Safety video explaining how to wear white coats effectively.

The results are in: it's bone!

Jack watering his plants? Nope, these are more spoils from H8.

Having spent so many hours going through the spoils without any breaks, Jack finds himself wanting to eat the piece of leather.

The results of the scan down H8 show lots of stuff on the screen, none of which I had time to understand.

Marty points out that he's still using Windows 7.

The biggest shock this episode: Rick's choice in seats.


Sunday, 11 February 2018

The Curse of Oak Island S05E05

Synopsis

The discovery of a document offers new clues on the exact location of the Money Pit, and the fellowship of the dig makes a cryptic discovery at uncharted depths.

What I thought

Ricky, Marty and drilling team are back in the Money Pit. 16 of the 40 holes complete in GeoTech grid and there’s lots of wood coming up that they are sifting through like a scene out of a gold rush movie.  John Wannacott, Geophysics engineer and historian, turns up. He and his partner originally helped devise the grid of Geotech holes, which leads Marty to ask the obvious to him “Why haven’t we found it yet?” Of course, they are not half way through the holes yet and the area is littered with past excavation remains. There’s bit of debating about if all the holes are needed and the order they will be drilled but essentially, they all agree to continue as planned. That’s five minutes of basically nothing then.

Next, we’re off to Sydney! No, not Australia but another town miles NE of Oak Island where Alex, Jim and Peter are meeting Doug Crowell, researcher, who has spent a few days looking through documents donated to the Beaton Institute library from past treasurer hunter, William Chappell. I’m not sure what he was doing for last few days as all the good stuff seems to have been found today, although I expect that’s just the way it looks on TV. In 1897, it was William Chappell who believed he found a vault and the small parchment of paper before flooding destroyed location in Money Pit. There’s a lot of very decent informative documents in this institute (which leads me to ask, where have they been for the last 100 years then?) including a document written on oath from a William Blair that Chappell drilled through gold. There’s also a map that basically shows that where the gang thought the bottom of the Chappell shaft was is wrong as the bottom extended 12ft north. More holes needed it seems. Why didn’t they look at this data before they started?

A Day later, 8 new holes mapped in new area and a start on one of them, H8. Currently they are turning up wood that was painted in a black substance that they used around 1890s to protect wood from water. Apparently, it smells. This new H8 hole had seemed to have gone past an object in a void but at 200ft they don’t seem to have found anything. Then, they found small pieces of pottery at 190ft. As they call it a day on drilling further, they find a larger object in the spoils, about the size of a finger.

Marty, Dave and Gary Drayton are at boulderless beach on the north shore. They find a large iron spike. Probably early 1700s from a ship so they call up Laird who marches all the way there and basically confirms what they said. Poor chap, Why they dragged him there I don’t know. It could be a spike from a ship or a wharf. Maybe boats were offloaded etc there. Could explain the odd formation of that area.

At War Room, Laird looks at the pottery and he reckons it’s late 1700s English imitation pottery of sorts, which would just predate discovery of the Money Pit. Why’s it so deep though? The other item the size of the finger Laird says he’s fairly certain is bone! Exactly if it’s human or animal though remains to be seen. It looked like bone from day one to me, but I might have thought that thanks to the sneak peek from last week and not due to any intelligence in detective work.

Rating 7/10 – The team dig up yet another spike but in Money Pit, a new discovery on where to drill reveals pottery and bone.

Much to the annoyance of others trying to study, Alex calls his dad up to tell him about what they found.

Yet more evidence pops up to tell them they are drilling in wrong place.

Gary digs up an old spike. Let's ask Laird what he thinks ...

... "It's a spike", says Laird.

Some of the pottery from H8.

The fragment of bone from H8.


Thursday, 8 February 2018

The Curse of Oak Island S05E04

Synopsis

Danger strikes just as the geo-tech drilling team hits a possible void in the Money Pit.

What I thought

This episode can be thought of as the one dedicated to the legacy of the Restall’s and a timely reminder of Health and Safety.

We’re back in Money Pit area with those GeoTech holes being drilled left, front, centre … right, down a bit, left a bit, drill drill … etc. Terry the Geologist is still there. So far, 16 of the 40 4” wide holes to 200ft dept have been drilled systematically (there is a plan it seems) near GAL-1 and C1. Apparently, this sort of drilling is usually used to assess stability of construction for the likes of dams, bridges etc. The team believe they are about to drill holes in the area known as the ‘Chappell Shaft’; thus named with the surname of an exploratory shaft drilled in the 1930s which will lead to an original hole found in 1897 to the ‘Chappell Vaults’ where there were claims of shiny gold stuff. Just when the current drill hole hits 166ft odd, they think they’ve hit bedrock (no, not where the Flintstones live). Then, there’s a change as the drilling team report they’ve found nothing, or as they call it more technically, a void. Make that two voids, one of which is 30ft “tall”. The gang think this might be a “spiral staircase” theorised back in 1959 ish by a previous explorer. Next up, they start bringing up wood in the spills, which I’m not sure how that adds to the staircase theory but it’s interesting nonetheless. Then there’s a dramatic moment as the pressure pipe assisting the drilling breaks free, taking out one of the operator’s called Max. He’s down and injured. Looks like the worst of it is a broken wrist but it’s a moment of drama and concern for everyone. It’s also a time to take stock of general health and safety practices, which they’ve not neglected but perhaps have been a little too lax over how close people get to certain equipment.

Meanwhile, next day, Jack/Peter and the metal detector maestro Gary Drayton are off exploring Isaac’s Point once more. First up, they find parts of a toy gun from 50/60s. Uncannily, this is all related to the other theme of the episode, the Restall family.

In the War Room, the debriefing over the GeoTech holes in the Money Put is discussed by Ricky and Jim. Having learnt more as they’ve already drilled the holes, they now feel the need to modify the plan and increase the number of holes. Jack barges in to show off the toy gun. Rick thinks it might be the Restall’s boy’s gun, of which the family were there in the 60s and tragically left after the father, another son and two others died in an accident in the Money Pit. Lee Lamb, Restall Snr’s daughter, has also recently been in contact and wants to return to see the new visitor centre.

Three days later it’s back to Money Pit to meet the drilling team by Rick, Marty & Craig. Max is alive and mostly well; it’s “only” a small fracture of the wrist and he’s otherwise ok. After a lesson in drilling by the narrator, we hear of a new safety measure the team will use to stop the hose from flying all over the place if same thing happens again.

Later, Lee Lamb and her brother Rick Restall return to Island. They are shown to the Visitor Centre in an emotional reunion of sorts with their display of photos and maps on the wall showing the Restall’s time on the island. They also show Rick Restall the gun they found, which he remembers losing over 50 years ago. It’s certainly a memorable moment.

Right at the end, in time honoured tradition of making us lick our lips for the next episode, we end with one week later, drilling resuming in the Money Pit and … Max is back!

Rating 6/10 - A moving tribute to the Restall family and a Health & Safety assessment make this an episode with emotion.


The spoils are really spoiling us: we've got bits of wood!

Red Alert! The pressure pipe breaks free, injuring drilling team member, Max.

Max is made of hard stuff though, taking it in his stride.

The offending part of pipe that took down Max. 
Gary the metal detector expert finds a gun. Ok., it's a toy gun.


Jim finds it hard to get excited over the interruption to a meeting to see this toy gun. ;)

The newest piece of safety equipment ensures that what happened earlier won't happen again.

Rick Restall is reunited with his toy gun, lost 50 years earlier on the island.

Lee Lamb also gets a tour of the Restall section of the visitor centre.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

The Curse of Oak Island S05E03


Synopsis

New evidence of a European presence on Oak Island exhilarates the team, until alarming news threatens to shut down the entire operation.

What I thought

Craig and Jack visit the geologist they hired to go through the spoils from the Money Pit Geotech holes who is lurking nearer with his dishes of muck and stones. These Geotech holes go up to 200ft but so far they’ve only done 10 holes out of what I think was 40 odd. All the spoils from the drill holes come down shaker bed and get checked out by the geologist. A Plastic PVC pipe goes down to keep holes intact. In an area where previous treasure hunters say they encountered a vault and then a massive metal plate, the driller is at 165ft ish and there’s fragments of metal coming up in the spoils as well as it being impossible and harder to drill. They can’t get any further on this hole, so they stick the plastic casing down. To prove he’s a geologist and enamored only with rocks, the geologist completely ignores all the excitement of the metal finds that the gang are oozing over. Lol.

Rick, Marty and Gary the metal detectorist extraordinaire are on Lot 16 again. This are used to have spoils from the money pit dumped there in the 1960s when a previous treasure hunter dug a super massive pit which later collapsed. He basically just gave up and left the spoils behind. Almost as if by magic, Dave Blankenship appears from nowhere to join the three. The first find is a broken nail, and no, not from Gary’s fingers. Then things improve remarkably as they find two coins, which Gary thinks shows Charles II’s head on. That’s about 1660 ish; 1673 they reckon one reads. We then get reminded by our narrator of Captain Kidd, pirates and a few other random theories just to fill in time and make us all lick our lips. A quick trip follows to see Dan Blankenship to show him the coins. He’s pleased. So, English were there, Spanish, who else on this island? We’ve seen coins before. We all need to see something else that’s tangible, other than coins.

Politics comes to Oak Island in the form of a Heritage and Culture letter to Rick. Back in 2010, Rick and partners got a Treasure Hunting Act from the Canadian Government to essentially do what they liked on island (and hell yeah, they have!) except in sensitive areas like the swamp, coastal areas and a few small “foundation” areas. Seems them discovering these artefacts on Samuel Ball’s land last season has stirred a few at Heritage department. Most likely watching last season on TV has given some heritage people palpitations. Rick and Marty have a meeting with that department to find out what’s up and then come back to the pub to discuss with the others. Finally, some sense it seems is coming to proceedings. The heritage people don’t like the gang digging up everywhere like they have so Rick/Marty propose hiring an archaeologist to accompanying all future digs as a way to satisfy the heritage people. Whoop! This really should have been in place ages ago! All this random digging, even though there’s been years of it before, has always worried me. The next day after, archaeologist Laird arrives, who we’ve seen numerous times assist the team in past. He’s now on board and their official archaeologist. Yippee!

The next day, apparently, and Rick, Marty, Gary and Laird are at Lot 24. This is where they found those artifacts last season related to Samuel Ball. Uh oh, there’s some trees in the way, which means Marty is let loose with a JCB. Poor trees. Guess they aren’t important Could have been worse, at least it wasn’t Jack! The area would be nuked if he had the JCB controls. So, Gary goes searching. What do we find? A Spoon bowl, 18th century. Ok, that’s definitely a spoon. Then there’s a lump of iron, which could have been for anything, before we find a bit of a plot. No, I mean pot. Things all add up to someone having been here at some point living. When they lift up another stump of a tree, there’s organised stones everywhere, causing Laird to blow his top and shut down any further digging. Rejoice for Laird! This guy is what they needed from episode 1 season 1 to be there lurking and checking everything out. Laird thinks this could be foundations for a house or wall. It’s something though for sure. He’s also got lots of red tags scattered over the area as if it’s a crime scene. I love this guy!

Rating 6/10 - Some 17th century coins aside, a possible house where Samuel Ball lived and some welcomed stringent archaeological presence on site, this episode makes steady progress towards some answers.

Finding more change than from a vending machine, there's two more 17th century coins this week.

Lots of muck, stones and ... wait ... metal ... come out of one of the holes in the Money Pit.

It's just random metal though. From previous digs perhaps?

Laird arrives on Oak Island to bring some organisation and sanity to all the digging this lot do.

Woodhenge? No, it's an area cleared of young trees in order to ... DIG!

There's a spoon lurking beneath a stump.

Laird can't take anymore and calls time on the JCB.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

The Curse of Oak Island S05E02

Synopsis

Evidence of a possible pirate presence on Oak Island mounts when a treasure chest from the 1700s is revealed.

What I thought

After the opening bumper episode, it’s back to 40 minutes this week, and also, the original narrator is back! Although I liked hearing the other guy, the “normal” chap really makes things sound more mysterious and dramatic than they may be, although he does bring up a lot of drivel too. I guess History channel is having some fun with us.

This week is all about the Lagina boys first big summer job, and their main focus of this season; the money pit. Or, more precisely, finding the money pit, as they don’t know exactly where it is within this open area of gravel they built up for the heavy machinery. Last year we’re told they spent $2 million on those 3 large holes in this pit! Yikes. I’d want more for my money if I spent that much but it makes you wonder just how much money they have! Anyhow, it’s all about the “geotech” method and those 40 6” holes they are going to drill over a grid to about 200ft in depth in order to find the original money pit. Strangely, Marty says there are 38 holes to drill in their interview segment a few seconds later. lol. Terry, a geologist, is also on hand to look at the cores that will come up from the 40 holes. On the first few holes they find some charcoal, which fuels our narrator into all sorts of conspiracy theories, from if it was the old method used to push smoke up from mining chambers and the air down, or from the original beams of the money pit that was reported, or perhaps some boy scouts that had a camp there in the 1950s and burnt some marshmallows over a campfire. I made that last one up by the way. Suddenly, C1 blows its top like a waterspout as it pours, what they taste is salt water, everywhere. Seems these new holes and C1 could be connected, which given they are only metres apart, isn’t too much to imagine really. It does mean no diver will be going back down C1 anytime soon as they won’t see anything due to the silt being dragged up in the water. Although, to be fair, it’s not like we usually can see much down these holes on a good day, is it? 

There’s a couple of road trips this week, first with Ricky, Marty and Craig Tester heading off to St Mary’s Uni to get that spike tested from the GAL1 spoils that they found last week. The three all put on white scientist like coats as they sit down with an expert and her assistant, whom doesn’t seem to bother with a coat for some reason. After looking under a sophisticated piece of equipment at a section of the spike at magnitudes we couldn’t even imagine or make head or tails out of, the expert gives her opinion; the spike ... is old. Thanks for that!

The second road trip is partaken by the younger generation; well, Alex, Peter and the older Charles plus historian Doug who summoned them to do this trip. He’s been researching Lot 26 on Oak Island from the depths of various archives and come across a descendant of Capt James Anderson (not the English cricket bowler) who sold that plot to Samuel Ball: the former slave who got rich very quickly on the island. The gang head there as if they are expecting the descendant to have met the Captain in person, but he does have some fantastic information for them, not least the captain’s sea-chest! Wowzers! It’s full of old documents and is absolutely delightful. The gang read a couple of parchments which say that the captain was a mason (cue a conspiracy alert by the narrator again) and a less interesting document of the captain buying a boat called ‘Betsy’ which the narrator goes off on one by linking it to the one ship beam they found in the swamp. Yes, it’s a ship, and yes, it was owned by someone who had a plot on the island, but it’s one heck of leap to make tangible proof that it’s the same ship.

Lastly, we’re back to Isaac’s Point with Gary the metal detecting expert who has been warming up for his famed gold dance for several seasons now. He’ll have to wait longer though but at least he always unearths finds when he goes a searching, and he’s at it again as they finally go to the coast portion of this area where most of the winter’s storms have done their damage. His first find is a musket ball (pre-1850s he says), which is a good starter for 10. Next, his oldest find this season, is a quarter of a coin. It’s not been damaged by the random digging by the spade but deliberately back in 1600-1700s as he believes it’s a Spanish Maravedis which used to get chopped up into pieces in an early example of loose change, when people didn’t have the right money. He’s so excited he almost does a jig and calls up Rick and Marty. This could be the earliest coin found on the island, and evidence that people were on the island at least a hundred years before the original money pit was found.

Rating 6/10 – Some significant discoveries this week, and possibly some of the oldest finds, but it’s all spread thinly over a lot of filler.




The boys all dress up in white coats, even though the computer expert nearby doesn't bother.

This is closer that anyone wants to get to a spike.

A fascinating parchet regarding Capt James Anderson (in terms of age) which should be in a museum.

Balls! Musket ball, in fact.

It's not pieces of eight, but it is probably old.

C1 does it's impression of Old Faithful.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

The Curse of Oak Island S05E01

Synopsis

Peril strikes during a daring dive as brothers Rick and Marty Lagina double down on their efforts to locate the original Money Pit.

What I thought

We’re back! After what seems like months (it has been actually) we’re back after another winter of discontent in Nova Scotia with an episode packed full and bursting to the seams with ... minutes. Yes, it’s a whole hour and 19 minutes of juicy recaps, tens of different camera angles to show you the same thing and our resident treasure searchers constantly turning their heads to look at something. But wait – what’s this – there’s a new narrator! What on money pit earth? Blimey. What did they do to the last guy? Anyhow, at least the new chap isn’t that annoying but has a heavily American/Canadian accent this time, when I’m sure previous years they gave us a British voice? I dunno, my memory is rubbish and it’s hard to recall the previous season, let along them actually finding much last year. Oh wait ...

Rick is driving back to Oak Island with Jim as his wingman who informs him that the Island is a disaster. I could have told him that. Anyhow, it’s even worse now because there’s been successive storms that have destroyed roads and levelled trees. It sounds grim. It’s certainly not as the messenger of doom described but it’s not good either. The road on the south coast joining one part to the area of the money pit is gone. Quicker than you can drill another hole in the pit itself, the storms have turned a road into a beach, and not one you’d build sandcastles on. It’s literally a road to nowhere in many respects. It’s time to call in Billy with his heavy machinery as he has less than a week to get that road back before more heavy drilling dudes turn up to work on the Money Pit again. Get to it Billy!

Within ten minutes of the episode we’re back in the War Room. It’s like we’re all together again for Christmas or something. That room just needs a nice log fire. There’s more turning of heads than chatter in this meeting as they call up Marty on the Skype to update him on what we already know about the road. Apparently, also, the plan this year is to not do anymore drilling holes big enough to chuck a diver down, but smaller holes – lots of them – like, 40 of them. If it’s not safe beneath their feet, it certainly won’t be after those holes go down. With these 40 holes they hope to locate the original money pit – unless they are completely the wrong place, that is. Anyways, there’s even worse news to come as we learn of the deeply sad news of the sudden death of Craig Tester’s son. Much like the death of Mr Nolan last season, this is a pretty upsetting few minutes to witness. I feel for everyone involved, especially the Tester family. This did get me thinking though that we’re told every episode that the legend of 7 people dying before the Island reveals its secret and we’ve lost 6 already but yet we lost Mr Nolan and no one said that was number 7. It’s of course not the time to bring that up on the show but it does make you wonder if the deaths for this legend to be true must actually be when actively in action searching for treasure. Certainly, sadly, lots of people, more than 6 have perished in relation to Oak Island over the years. Hopefully, not many more.

Also within the War Room, the gang decide to use the storms destruction to their advantage and have one big bonfire. No, they don’t think that, but instead call upon The Metal Mickey Metal Master himself, Gary Drayton. If the surface has been disturbed, then so might Gary ... by gold. We then find Gary and a wingman at Isaac’s Point on the far bottom right of the island in woodland, which is an odd place to go looking when the waves would have disturbed the outer regions, not in the woods. Sure, trees have come down, but Gary isn’t anywhere near them to start of with. He wants to metal detect where no one has before, which also isn’t what the gang suggested. Anyhow ...

Back in the Money Pit and we’re at C1 where they’ve called in Camera Guy Jeff who has a 360 degree camera. Well, it’s a camera that can turn 360 degrees. Down they go into C1 looking for inspiration, a clue, hope, a sixth season and a shiny gold object that we’d seen before. It’s crystal clear down C1 after 9 months of nothing happening down there. It’s a joy to actually see something, even if it’s just rock. I hope they stay away from the bottom and all that silt. Oh crap, they want to look at the bottom. Thankfully they can zoom in from a distance. What’s that? Close up of their faces and close ups of an object which they are convinced is manmade but from my untrained eyes could be a small piece of seaweed.

Back at Isaac Point and Gary and his wingman find an old 1900s Axe head just under the ground before eventually picking up what they think may be a coin ... or not. We’re not actually any clearer on this metallic object even by the end of the episode as it’s never mentioned again.

Two days later and the gang are going through spoils from GAL1 which were dredged up mechanically last year. Emotionally we’re joined by Craig and Jack, as well as Marty and Alex. Within these spoils later in day, Gary, and some of the boys locate a metal spike. Now this is a decent size and later referred to as a rose head nail, possibly from 1700s when the almighty expedition on the Money Pit last happened. It’s not overly exciting, but it’s significant in their hopes to find out where the heck the Money Pit was before the site was nuked by the last team to actually do any work there back in the 1970s. One nail though and they call it a day.

In the War Room and we have a right old party with diver Mike Huntley, Jeff the camera guy and Frank a video expert in the room with some of the main Oak Island gang. They use Frank’s technology to enhance the video from the earlier camera in C1 and the older video of that shiny gold object. I’m not impressed with the enhancement which leaves things still highly ambiguous to me. Let’s face it, the team were going back down C1 regardless of this video enhancement.

Sure enough, it’s time to dive into C1 once again. Down goes Mike Huntley on his chair now that South Road is restored to get all the kit to the Money Pit area: paramedics and a decompression chamber. It doesn’t take long until poor Mike can’t see Jack down there. Which is probably because he’s up top. No, I jest, not that Jack but nonetheless it soon becomes impossible to see anything once Mike is in the “cave”. Using inspiration, Mike decides to get out of chair and go on foot; everyone seems to agree. Because, that’s not going to make the silt worse, right?? Hmmmm. Mike starts chiselling away at some metal he says is in the wall. Seemed like a waste of time to me, when he only had less than half hour to get down there and then get the hell back up. Sure enough, he gets no where and ends up scooping up lots of sediment into a bag. He’s out of time though and so once on ground has to go into decompression chamber for 71 minutes. Yikes. After he’s confirmed to be ok, they look through the bag contents which contain ... drum roll ... muck. Yup, can’t see anything but dirty earth stuff. They also find nothing with a metal detector but will wash the contents up and have another look later.

After a trip to 90 year old Dan Blankenship’s house to chat about Money Pit plans and show off that nail, it’s into the War Room for the last time this episode. Marty says they’ve had a “Great Start”, which makes me think he should be a politician because his positive spin on things is amazing. It’s not been that fantastic in my opinion but after taking time out to look back on Drake Tester’s time on the island, we’re left with a solemn end to the opener. It’s tough to see everyone so cut up over the sad loss of Drake.


The ‘Coming Soon’ bit at the end promises a HECK OF A LOT! We see a massive stone lifted up, a cave, a sign of the Knights of the Templar, a key and a box being opened! Will it be as exciting and significant as it promises or another season of treading water? 

Rating 6/10 - A decent feature-length opener that once again promises the world.


Metal object or seaweed?

It's a coin!

Technology makes the video look ... slightly better.

Poor Mike stuck in decompression chamber after spending time bring up a bag of muck.

A 1700s nail?

Sad news about Drake. Oak Island goes on in his memory.