'The Curse Of Oak Island' Recap: 03/31/2021

Post by: Rick Ellis 31 March, 2021

We are now beginning episode twenty of the eighth season of The Curse Of Oak Island and not to be spoiling any discoveries this week, but the title of this episode is "Fire In The Hole" I know that the episode titles for the show tend to be very literal. But I am assuming there won't be an actual fire in a hole at some point in this hour.

The episode uncharacteristically begins in the War Room, where the team is hearing an update from Rick on the progress in the swamp. The latest estimate on the length of the stone path that has been uncovered so far is 460 feet. He also tells the team about the mysterious foundation that had been discovered along the path the previous day. And the fact that the foundation seems to have some sort of unexplained voids large enough for someone to stick their arm completely inside.

One theory about the foundation revolves around a farmer named Anthony Graves. His house and farm were originally located not far from the site of the foundation. Graves had purchased most of Oak Island in 1857. And while he was never known to have conducted any treasure hunts on the island, local shop owners on the mainland reported at the time that he sometimes purchased goods using old Spanish silver and gold coins. So could Graves have discovered some of the Oak Island treasure and then hidden it in the walls of this newly discovered foundation?

Later that morning, near the swamp, archeologist Miriam Amirault and Rick and Marty's nephew, David Fornetti, continue investigating the mysterious stone foundation. As they dig, David finds charcoal mixed in with some of the stone foundation wall. The location of the charcoal and the look of the surrounding soil suggests either it was the result of the building burning down or perhaps it was the location of a large hearth. But the confusing thing is that if was the site of continued burning, then where are any of the remnants of what we burned. There are no artifacts, which is confusing to the scientists.

Meanwhile, about 50 yards to the south, project manager Scott Barlow, metal detection expert Gary Drayton and heavy equipment operator Billy Gerhardt are searching the stone pathway for valuable objects and artifacts. They uncover a few pieces of wood that were placed under the stone pathway, presumably to keep the stones from sinking into the mud. With any luck, a carbon dating of the wood might lead to a more precise estimate of when the stone pathway was constructed.

At the same time, drilling continues at the so-called "money pit" area. The team is still chasing the tunnel they discovered at the 86-90 foot level and the next hole will hopefully continue their streak of hits. This hole is named CD-7 and it is just east of their previous holes. Charles Barkhouse and Terry Matheson continue to examine the soil in the core borings for any wood or evidence of human activity. But they've reached 91 feet and there is nothing to report. 

Later that afternoon on Lot 26, metal detection expert Gary Drayton along with treasure hunter Michael John are investigating an area near the foundation that used to belong to Samuel Ball. They are hoping to find more clues about how the 19th-century landowner mysteriously became one of the wealthiest men in Nova Scotia. The first discovery is a very small ox shoe, which appears to be quite old. 

Back in the war room, Craig Tester and Marty Lagina are trying to decide what to do next with the drilling operation. They could backtrack and try and find the buried tunnel again. But Craig suggests maybe drilling one of the sites found on the Berringer survey. Paperwork had been found by a historian that showed a company named Berringer had conducted a survey about 30 years ago that examined the ground with low-frequency radio waves. The survey found four spots in the Smith's Cove and money pit area that suggested they might include non-ferris metals - which could be gold or silver. Given the short amount of time left in the season before winter comes, Marty agrees that drilling at one of the Berringer holes might be the best move at this point.

Later that afternoon, Jack Begley and Charles Barkhouse have traveled 50 miles away from Oak Island to the farm run by blacksmithing expert Carmen Legge, who has proven in the past to be very good at identifying and dating objects found by the team on Oak Island. They brought the small shoe found the day before on Lot 26. Legge identifies the shoe as being Scottish and dates to between 1610 and the 1740s. 

Back at the site of the stone pathway in the swamp area, archeologist Miriam Amirault discovers shards of brightly colored hand-painted pottery near the pathway. It's more evidence of human activity, but as is always the case on Oak Island, it provides more questions than answers.

Later that day, the team gathers in the War Room to hear from Craig Tester, who has the results of testing done on the pieces of hand-cut wood found underneath parts of the stone pathway in the swamp. The first piece dates from 1489 to 1654. That dates back to as much as 300 years before the discovery of the money pit. 

And that's the end of this episode, which was a bit of a letdown after several weeks of big finds. But I'm sure the tease for next week's episode will be filled with optimism.

The tease shows Gary Drayton finding some object he thinks looks "military." And there is a discovery made somewhere - maybe the swamp? - that Carmen Legge dates back to the 1400s.

See you next week.

Last modified on Wednesday, 31 March 2021 03:04