What occurred next has been the stuff of myth, legend, and speculation for the past 220 years- the trio allegedly discovered Oak Island's fabled Money Pit. The aim here is not to tell any one version of what we call The Discovery Legend, and we could fill volumes discussing the many variations and discrepancies found in the multitude of versions that have appeared in print. But we will point out, that the story was not actually put in writing until a full 62 years after the event took place. So the reader can likely see how easily the facts and circumstances of the tale could be confused in the re-telling. From the best information available, it seems that the discovery took place sometime in June of 1795 on land owned by John Smith, recently purchased from the German Protestant merchant, Caspar Wollenhaupt. And we can tell you that the discovery was made by two men and a teenager, not by three "boys", as the most popular versions of the tale tend to state. McGinnis and Smith were both grown men and Anthony Vaughan was in his teens.
As we have previously pointed out, Daniel McGinnis was properly named, Donald MacInnes, and in 1795 another significant event occurred in his life when he married Maria Barbara Seiler, the daughter of a German Protestant. The Seilers, also known as Siler and Sawler, lived adjacent to Oak Island in Western Shore and their descendants still live there to this day. The couple continued to live on Oak Island and had a typical family of the period consisting of nine children:
Accounts vary as to how long Daniel McGinnis remained involved in the Oak Island Treasure Hunt. We do know, however, that he died in 1827, in his 69th year, and his estate was modestly typical of a yeoman of the time. Daniel left half of his estate to his first son, John who had earlier struck out on his own on the mainland, eventually settling in Greenfield, Kings County. To Catherine, Mary, Margaret, and Nancy, he left the other half. The remainder of his estate was left to second-born Donald, with provisions for daughters still living at home. Henry is not mentioned in the will and it's presumed that he died prior to 1827, possibly killed in a pit collapse during the treasure hunt. McGinnis was also predeceased by his wife.
This brings us to the end of the life of Oak Island's legendary Daniel McGinnis. Please check in on our Compendium page where we'll soon have a more detailed section devoted to him. It's hoped that present-day descendants of McGinnis may see this article and have information to help us fill in the missing pieces of the life and times of this fascinating man.
Good day from the Blockhouse!
The two brothers we write about today began their quest in a more unusual way, as told to us in a newspaper article in the Aug 26th 1948 issue of the Lawton Constitution. Nevertheless, like Rick and Marty Lagina, they too invested money into the treasure hunt. Here, is the rest of their story:
"Their spirit correspondent said that the treasure had belonged to the Pervuian Incas.Ghostly go"ssip had it that a group of Spaniards left behind by the conquistador Pizzaro, had persuaded their native friends that it would be much healthier and more profitable to pack their gold and silver belongings and take it on the lam while their boss was back in Spain. They had plenty of time, for the round trip took Pizzaro from 1528 to 1531. They went up the Isthmus of Panama, according to the invisible deponent, and built some ships. But instead of sailing to the West Indies, as they had planned, they got hit by a series of autumn storms that drove them all the way to Nova Scotia. On the strength of this tip-off the brothers invested 1,000 hard and unspiritual American dollars in the digging venture in progress at the time."
It intrigues us here at Blockhouse Investigations that so many people interested in the Oak Island Treasure hail from Michigan. Besides the two sets of brothers already mentioned, we can also point to Craig Tester, Alan J. Kostrzewa, and Professor Ross Wilhelm (died 1983), among others. Wilhelm was Associate Professor of Business Economics at the University of Michigan and wrote, The Spanish in Nova Scotia in the XVI Century, a Hint in the Oak Island Treasure Mystery.
Thank you for joining us again.
Goodnight from The Blockhouse!
After researching the Oak Island mystery for a few years, you can't help but take note
of the same story elements repeated in many, if not most, of the accounts of the history of Oak Island.
Every once in a while though, a new an intriguing piece of information or folklore reveals itself.
This was the case when reading through some old newspaper articles about Oak Island, which Blockhouse Investigations recently acquired. In an article printed in the January 17th 1897 issue of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Sun, we find mention of a fort existing on Oak Island in days gone by.
"Its come down from father to son. Years ago when the country was new and few settlers here, two rakish-looking brigs dropped anchor one May day in the bay, sent men and stores ashore, and took the Island..."
A fort? On Oak Island? Could it be true?
That's something we may never know. Over two hundred and twenty years of treasure hunting has
disturbed so much of the ground in the area of the famed Money Pit, that there is little chance any evidence of a fort may be found.
"...they built quarters, raised a fort, and tunneled passages under it, connecting with the sea for holding their treasure."
What's intriguing is that a fort makes perfect sense if you consider the amount of time that the purported man-made constructions on the island would have taken to build - the Money-Pit, the tunnels, and the so-called artificial beach in Smith’s Cove, to name a few of the features thought to exist. The builders of these structures might have need for protection and shelter during their operations on the island. Surround the Money Pit with a fort, and you can work in private behind the same walls that also provide protection. This seems reasonable, and apparently verbal evidence of such was passed down in local folklore until at least the late 1800s, when it was printed in the article that you can read at the link below.
We hope you found this Oak Island story as thought provoking as we did.
Goodnight from The Blockhouse.
This was no different on Oak Island, as evidenced by the following news stories published in 1897, shortly after the death of Maynard Kaiser, as reported here . After Maynard Kaiser's untimely death on Oak Island, work halted when reason gave way to fear that the vengeful spirit of Captain Kidd would claim even more lives.
While this is not the first, or the last, purported supernatural happening on Oak Island, it is one that had material world consequences for the company heading the current recovery effort. Blockhouse Investigations will recount more of these stories soon.
Goodnight from The Blockhouse!
Donald MacInnes, United Empire Loyalist
The term "Loyalists" refers to American colonists who remained loyal to the British Crown. Many of them served under the British during the American Revolution (1775-1783). Loyalists settled in what are now the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Ontario.
-Library and Archives Canada
Historical records in Nova Scotia's provincial archives tell us that Donald MacInnes of Anson County, North Carolina served as a captain in the Loyalist Militia during the American Revolution. They also tell us, that by remaining loyal to the British Crown he lost everything he owned and at the end of the conflict he was forced to emigrate to Nova Scotia as an evacuee from the newly formed United States of America.
An extract from the Memorial of Donald MacInnes, United Empire Loyalist, attesting to his service to the Crown and the losses he suffered because of it during the American Revolution. A 'memorial' is a statement of facts as part of a petition. In modern terms it's roughly equivalent to a compensation claim. Loyalist Claims AO Vol 101 p.181, McInnes, Donald, Nova Scotia Archives
At this time, we are not exactly sure of where in the former Thirteen Colonies MacInnes was evacuated from but we pick up his trail again in 1783 among the discharged British regiments at Port Roseway (now Shelburne), Nova Scotia.
In 1784, we find a Donald McGinnas purchasing a town lot in Shelburne. Also in 1784 we see a Donagh McEnnis as part of the Chester Grant. In 1785 a Donald McInnis is granted 200 acres of land in the Port Hebert Grant. At this point in our investigations we feel that we are dealing with the same man whose name was spelled differently, as was common at the time. Regardless of some ambiguity caused by spelling and some dodgy record-keeping, which can be reasonably expected during an exodus, we are led to conclude that Donald MacInnes entered Nova Scotia through Port Roseway in 1783. We are continuing to research and investigate to clear things up the best we can.
Nonetheless, we do know for certain that on , March 3rd 1788, Donald MacInnes purchased Lot No. 27 on Oak Island from James Sharpe for £7 5s. On the 4th of May 1790 he paid £7 for Lot No. 23 from Hector McLean, an uncle of John Smith. The next May in 1791 he bought Lot No. 27 from Alexander Pattillo, for £6 .
In the 1791 Poll Tax he is listed as a farmer on Oak Island. Three years later, in September of 1794 he bought Lot No.1 from Alexander Pattillo, for £6. The same year he is once again listed on Poll Tax records as living on Oak Island as a farmer.
In tracing the steps of Donald MacInnes from his boyhood on the Isle of Skye, his coming of age during the turbulent times of the American Revolution, and his arrival here in Nova Scotia as a Loyalist refugee, we now find him living on Oak Island in 1794- the year before the "Discovery of the Money Pit". And that's where we'll stop for today. In the next installment we'll look at the 1795 discovery and Donald's life after the event that would make him a figure in legend and fable for over 200 years.
I hope you enjoyed reading about Donald MacInnes and seeing for yourself primary source documents that are normally locked away in dusty archives.
Be sure to come visit us again.
Until then, good day from the Blockhouse!
Maynard Kaiser was born sometime in 1847 to parents David Keizer and Anna Elizabeth (Eliza) Borgelt (Borgal), who were married in 1845. He had a brother, Nelson (born 1846), who is interred at Oak Grove Cemetery near Kentville, Nova Scotia. Sometime around 1876, Maynard Kaiser married Annie McDade. Together, they parented up to 7 children. It is reported that one child died from scarlet fever during a voyage from Scotland to Nova Scotia and was buried at sea. Originally from the Gold River area, at the time of his death, Maynard Kaiser was said to have left behind a wife and 5 children at their home in Indian Point, near Oak Island.
The Death of Maynard Kaiser
Since our research is ongoing, rather than offer speculation regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of Maynard Kaiser at Oak Island, this article will simply share the information that we have collected through our own investigation into this interesting subject.
Chronology of events
Maynard Kaiser’s death at Oak Island took place during a period in which there was a dispute between federal and provincial authorities over the responsibility for record keeping. During this period, only limited records were kept, usually by the church or local authority. Despite exhaustive research, an official record of Maynard Kaiser’s death has never been found. There is, to date, no record of a grave site existing for Maynard Kaiser anywhere in Nova Scotia.
Some questions for the reader to ponder
Certainly, the death of Maynard Kaiser at Oak Island has raised some interesting questions. As we continue our research, we invite the reader to form their own questions. As new facts surrounding this story are revealed, we will continue to update you. Should the reader have some information they'd like to share to help answer some of these questions, please let us know. Until then, we hope that you’ve learned something about this little-known story.
As always, we bid you a good night from The Blockhouse.
Newspaper reports concerning the death of Maynard Kaiser
Every good treasure mystery starts out with a legend. In the case of Oak Island it's the tale of the 1795 discovery of the "Money Pit' by a trio of colonials named McGinnis, Smith and Vaughan. And as legends tend to do, this story has evolved and changed through the re-telling and addition of embellishments, to a point where it's increasingly hard to separate the fact from fiction. In fact, today it is very difficult for researchers and enthusiasts to tell how much of what I call, "The Discovery Legend" is true because so many people have told the story differently over the past 220 years.
The Discovery Legend in it's most basic and elemental form, generally includes these main motifs:
Today we're going to talk about the real Daniel McGinnis, historically and biographically. But in order to do that we must first address one very important aspect of the Discovery Legend that effects the entire story as we know it today in its most popular form; the "three boys" motif.
The most common versions of the Oak island tale most always mention specifically that the trio were, boys, lads, or teenagers at the time of discovery. But historical and genealogical records tell us that this is just not true. Even today's hit TV show, The Curse of Oak Island, produced by The History Channel, continues to proliferate this popular romanticized version of the story. But, in fact, both Smith and McGinnis were grown men in 1795 and Vaughan was likely in his later teens. And, interestingly enough, they actually lived and worked on the island.
So now that we've addressed that issue let's talk about "McGinnis". The surname itself is one of many spelling variations of the Scots, MacInnes. And the given name, Daniel, seems to be an Anglicization of the Scots Gaelic name, Domhnall ; which is also Anglicized as, Donald.
"Daniel McGinnis" was actually a man named Donald MacInnes and from historical documents and family records we have learned that he was born in 1758/59 on the Isle of Skye. We also know that in 1773 he emigrated to North Carolina with his parents when he was around 14 years of age. That would make him 37 years old in 1795, at the time of discovery.
extract from a 1785 document attesting to Donald's service in the North Carolina Loyalist Forces during the American Revolution and revealing information about his age and place of origin
From primary source documents, such as the one pictured above, and family records we are able to piece together the story of a young man who picked a side during the American war for independence and in doing so, lost everything he had.
When the American's won their freedom, Donald arrived in Nova Scotia among the thousands of Loyalist refugees that came to make a new home here.
And that's where I'll sign off for today readers. I'll bring you more on Donald MacInnes in two more installments.
So drop by the Blockhouse tomorrow for Part 2 when we'll discuss Donald's arrival in Nova Scotia and, his life up to the time of the 1795 beginning of The Legend of Oak Island.
So until then friends, good afternoon from the Blockhouse!
As much as we'd like to continue our work to bring you relevant, interesting and factual information about Nova Scotia's fascinating Oak Island Mystery, it seems that almost hourly another fantastic claim is made that requires our attention.
This time it seems that a rock on Oak Island contains carvings made by ancient Roman mariners when they allegedly visited the New World some 1,800 years ago.
Who is making this earth-shattering claim? Yep, you guessed it. Once again self-styled forensic-historian and expert-on-everything, J.Hutton Pulitzer. We're not going to analyse and discuss this latest history-changing snippet from Pulitzer's arsenal of flaccid facts which includes, a fake Roman sword, traditional logging tools and First Nations rock drawings. Anthropologist and blogger, Andy White, has done a fine job of debunking this latest debacle in a post on his blog earlier today.
In his blog the anthropologist and friend of Oak Island Compendium, reveals that an observant member of a popular Oak Island social media group decoded the symbols in Pulitzer's petroglyph by simply rotating the image by 180 degrees to reveal, quite clearly the name, Harold.
Among the various inscribed stones on Oak Island, which are said to contain cryptic clues to the treasure mystery, there are numerous examples of grafitti etched by former residents, treasure hunters and visitors over the mystery's 220 year history.
It seems that Pulitzer has stumbled upon an image of one of those stones and, in his hurry to gain recognition in his new-found role as a 'forensic historian', forgot to examine it from all angles. A common mistake for an amateur we are told, but one of monolithic proportions if you actually release your erroneous interpretation with much public fanfare- especially hot on the heels of a list of other forensic failures.
We don't know if ancient Romans ever made it to the New World. But one thing we do know is, HAROLD wuz here.
Good afternoon from the Blockhouse!
By Doug Crowell
In 1949, Rev. A. T. Kempton sent Oak Island treasure hunter Frederick L. Blair a letter. That letter changed the landscape of the mystery, introducing what is purported to be the inscription that was etched on the Money Pit's 90 Foot Stone.
Every artist's conception of what the 90 Foot Stone looks like has drawn upon the 39 or 40 symbols as depicted in Kempton's letter. This set of symbols has become known as the Kempton Cipher, though he never claimed them as his own. He was also an historian who lectured, among other topics, on Nova Scotia history. In 1909 he asked a minister he knew to find him someone who could write a good account of the Oak Island Mystery, as he had intended to publish it in a book he wanted to write. The minister had found a teacher in the Mahone Bay area of Nova Scotia to write up a account of the story. Rev. Kempton paid the clergyman for this story.
Though most people will recognize the now famous symbols that were provided to Kempton in the account he commissioned, many have never read the narrative that accompanied the cipher symbols. The story given to Rev. Kempton is a variation of the Oak Island Story not often told. Here it is, with minor edits for readability (our grammar checker insisted), for your reading pleasure:
Of Oak Island, so far as I can learn from reliable sources, old records, and old people, these are the facts. The island lies close to the main land, on North West part of Mahone Bay, N.S., near the mouth of the Gold River. Some 16 miles from the inner run of vessels sailing along the coast. The bay is studded with islands, and Oak Island is nicely sheltered from outside view. It is not a half mile from the main land. One and a half miles long, three-fourths of a mile wide. The top is about 80 to 85 feet above the level of the Bay. Has still some fine oak trees on it and two good farms.
About 1792 some German people settled on the main land, near the island, and the beautiful island clothed with large oak trees soon attracted attention.
In 1795 one of these old settlers sauntering about the island came to a spot among the oaks on the highest part of the island where the ground showed plain signs of having been worked over for quite a space as all was level – no cradle hills, and in some places white clover was growing in profusion. Of course, this seemed strange to him and on his return to his home he mentioned it to his family, and a neighbor and they made a special visit to the island to examine more closely. While looking the ground over, one of his sons, a lad of 15 looked up and to the surprise of all, there suspended from a large limb of one of the giant oaks was a heavy block, such as are used for hoisting, and boy like, he went up to examine. But the block had evidently been there a long time, for as soon as he began to handle it, the ropes that held it to the limb fell into pieces and the block fell to the ground. This block and the condition of the ground, led the men to think that something must have been buried there, as the level ground and the white clover were unusual and oak trees do not generally bear such acorns and what could be buried there unless it was “some pirate’s money”.
This led to the first diggings for buried treasure in the summer of 1795. They found that the ground had been dug over 12 feet one way, and 8 feet the other and evidently filled in as when some 8 feet down they came to a broken shovel handle, and at 10 feet they found pieces of plank, and at 15 feet or 16 feet found an old hat, and at 20 feet some more plank. These things encouraged them on. But, as they had their farm work, and fishing to attend to they could only work occasionally, but during the summer and autumn, went down about 30 feet. and then found the work so heavy that they left off for the winter. During the winter one of the families moved away, one of the men died, the pit filled in somewhat, and nothing more was done until 1801 when a Dr. Lynds of Truro, N.S. became interested in the matter and formed a company. The old people say that Dr. Lynds became interested through a paper that was brought to light in a peculiar way. Somewhere in Virginia there lived a very old man, who on his sick bed, told his son, himself a man of 70, where in an old sea-chart, he would find a piece of paper that might reveal some buried treasure, on an island somewhere up north, that the old man’s father had helped to bury with many others, who had been compelled to work under armed guard, under the pirate Kid. This old man had joined Kidd’s Company to save his life and after working a long time the treasure was buried at great depth on an oak covered island. And when the hole was nearly filled up, he and another man, fearing they would be killed when the work was done, decided they would endeavor to escape. And one stormy night mid rain and a gale of wind they made their way to shore, swam to the main land, and wandered on and on. After sometime his companion took sick and died. But after weeks of suffering, he saw a small vessel and was taken on board and found his way down south. He drew as best he could a rough map of the island, and part of the bay, and wrote out some few particulars of the burying of a lot of treasure. The grandson of this oldest man found the paper, and after father’s death endeavored to interest some people in the matter, so as to help him look up an island such as the one marked on the old faded paper. In some way Dr. Lynds heard of this paper, and from some source got an outline of the old map, and found that Oak Island compared quite well to the rough sketch on the old paper. This Company formed by Dr. Lynds went down some 60 feet. and on the way down found pieces of broken tools, and pieces of plank and board. When about 60 feet down, one evening one of the men who had been using a crow bar when knocking off for the day went to drive the crow bar into the ground to let it remain for the night, and in driving it down struck something that gave a hollow sound. So they must know what that was, and hoe and shovel soon were busy and in a short time they dug out a strong iron hooped cask. This was treasure, as it was very heavy. Of course all was excitement. Instead of knocking out the end of the cask and taking its contents by the bucketful, in the excitement they sent the Boss and three others off to Chester 5 miles away for stronger rope so as to hoist it out in the morning. When morning came, those on the island were surprised that the other four had not returned with the rope, as they were not in the shanty. But when they went out to the pit, they found the new rope, the cask had been raised, rolled down to the shore, and by the marks on the sand they say it had been put in the boat and boat, cask, and the four men were gone. But after some thought of giving up, it was decided that all this hole had not been dug so deep merely to bury this one cask, and there must be further down, so they dug on. When down some 78 feet they found a piece of boar with the rough outline of something cut on it that looked like a calf or lamb, but no one seemed to know what it meant until one said “it looks like a young goat” and another said “why a young goat is a kid” and another said “That must mean Kidd the pirate”. So they concluded his treasure was below.
In their digging they came to charcoal, planks, putty, and coca nut fibre. But the most important thing they found was when about 90 feet a stone 3 feet long, 16 inches wide with this inscription cut on it with much care, as the cutting was said to be very distinct and protected by pieces of board carefully laid over the inscription.
The stone was taken to Halifax, and a number of people tried to read the puzzle. At last an old Irish School Master made this out of it.
This stone was kept in Halifax for years.
When down between 95 and 100 feet one morning on going down to work, 84 feet from the top the tub struck water and they found the pit was filled to within 84 feet of the top with salt water. So, of course, they concluded it came from the bay. They also found that it rose and fell with the tide outside, so they knew it was useless to try and bail it out, and after a time the thing was given up by Dr. Lynds and his company. Nothing more was done until 1849 when another company was formed, with quite a fund to work with. They dug down in a new place, as the old pit had caved in and was partly filled. Their plan was to go down to the depth indicated by the inscription on the stone, and then tunnel over towards where they thought the treasure lay. They went down more than 130 feet and tunneled over towards the treasure and then bored through the soil with a large auger, and after some time struck oak wood, and bored 8 inches through the wood, then struck sheet iron, and then struck gold. So they concluded that the treasure was enclosed in a case of 8 in. oak timber lined with sheet iron and having struck gold felt sure of success. But before they had tunneled through the water burst in upon them and this shaft or pit was abandoned, and in 1850 they sunk one on the other side of the old Dr. Lynds pit thinking that possibly the water would not trouble them there. But they met with the same discouraging results and gave it up.
In 1863 another Company was formed with improved apparatus, steam umps, etc., etc. They went down in a new place 136 feet and then tunneled over and struck the side of a box of 8 inch hewn oak wood bored through 8 inches of wood, struck iron and then gold. Great preparations were now made to take it out and word was sent to all the shareholders of the Company to come to the taking out of the treasure and the division of it. There was great stir and commotion when again the water filled in, rising to the same height in the new pit – 84 feet from the top. Thou there was sore disappointment, yet there was the certainty of treasure there, and that there must be an abundance of it. So the next thing to do was to find the drain that led from the bay to the treasure and admitted the salt water. A large amount was spent in digging at different parts of the island to find the drain and after a long search two men found down under the stone and gravel and sand – the accumulated was of years some cocoa nut fibre, and West India grass. This removed, there were large slabs of a blue slate stone such as old farmers used as hearths to their fire places and were only found away near the South west entrance to the bay 10 miles away. On raising some of these flat stone, there was a drain filled with water, some two feet wide, and more than two feet deep, nicely walled up on the sides, without question, the work of men’s hands. A chip cut from an old drift log lying near, marked with one man’s name with red chalk, and thrown in, was carried into the island, and in a short time was found floating in the water in the pit. The drain was found to lead from a small cover up into the island. The next thing to do was to close up the drain. Pump out the water and then take out the treasure! This all seemed the easy thing to do. The drain was carefully filled with clay at several places and soon the water ceased to flow in or out and soon the pumps lowered the water in the pit. The day was set when the treasure would be reached and taken out, when lo! from some other source the water rushed in again to the same level. Then the work was to find this new drain as the first one was found to be all closed. But after weeks of toll in all directions, the work was a failure and reluctantly the thing was given up.
Nothing more was done until 1896 when a new company was formed with a fund of $60,000.00. This company sank one pit 145 feet when water broke in and they sank another some distance away to the depth of 155 feet and were planning to tunnel over to the treasure when again the water rushed. In the meantime two other drains were found and closed. But from source the water in and the work was given up. This summer another company took up the work and are there now. I enclose some clippings from the late papers as you will see. H. L. Bowdoin of New York has charge of the work now."
- unknown school teacher
We hope that you enjoyed reading up on the origin of the symbols that make up the 90 Foot Stone Cipher, and the little known story variation that accompanied it.
If we accept that the widely referenced cipher symbols that originated from this story as correct, what weight, if any, should we give this story as a whole?
Stay tuned for more interesting and little-known information about A.T. Kempton and his connections to the Oak island mystery.
Goodnight from the Blockhouse!
By Doug Crowell
This past Friday night, Blockhouse Investigations could be found in a little place called Smith's Cove, examining (ok, we admit we waved it around a little too) a Hercules hilted sword replica, almost identical to the sword shown in the Swordplay Season 3 Episode 11 of Curse of Oak Island (COOI). Before we go any further, we have to clarify for the record that the Smith's Cove that we visited was not the one on Oak Island, but the one found in Digby County, on the opposite coast from the island. David Cvet, president & founder of the Academy of European Medieval Martial Arts had graciously allowed us to inspect the Hercules hilted replica in his collection.
David Cvet teaches Medieval Marital Arts in Digby Nova Scotia.
Interested in learning to sword fight? Check out the academy website at www.aemma.org
Mr. Cvet is very knowledgeable in medieval weaponary, and he tells us he bought his replica "Roman" sword during a visit to the Pompeii Museum 12 years ago. He could not recall if he bought his replica on the museum's premises, or outside of it, but he referred to the shop as a Craft shop, which is basically a type of gift and souvenir outlet. At the time of his visit to the Pompeii Museum, David tells us that he did not see an original version of this sword on display, however, most museums do not have room to display their full collections. We have an inquiry into the Pompeii Museum in Naples Italy, for which we are awaiting a reply at the time of this article. While we wait, let's consider a couple of possibilities regarding the origin of these replicas. We asked Mr. Cvet what features to look for in an original sword when compared to these replicas (like the sword shown on COOI S3 E11):
"Swordplay", the 11th episode of Curse of Oak Island's third season aired earlier tonight in Canada, and the Oak Island Tours Incorporated partners had their "Roman" sword tested and those tests returned results that identified it not as a Roman era sword, but a replica with a creation date of no earlier than 1880. Research is still being conducted to determine if these replicas fit into the first or second possible origin scenarios as stated above. Thanks to Mr. Cvet and the curator of the Middle East department at the Royal Ontario Museum, who pointed out a link to the replica sword that best matches the "Cvet" sword [ https://www.ancientsculpturegallery.com/gladiator-sword-from-pompeii-museum-replica.html ] we are that much closer to solving the mystery of the origins of these replicas. One thing has become clear after tonight's episode of Curse of Oak Island and the research being done by many individuals who care about spreading accurate history, the idea that the "Roman Sword" found in Nova Scotia, and presented on Curse of Oak Island tonight, is anything other than relic from the 1880s or newer is 100% laid to rest.
Cvet Sword Data
We weighed and measured the "Cvet" sword and have sent the data to anthropological archaeologist, Andy White, who has been diligently working at comparing multiple replicas of this sword in order to try and determine the origin of their design. You can follow Andy and his rebuttals to the Roman sword in Nova Scotia is 100% verified claims of self-styled history heretic J. Hutton Pulitzer at the following links:
The Cvet Sword as seen by Blockhouse Investigations in Smith's Cove, Digby County, Nova Scotia on Friday, Jan 22nd 2016.
Width of hilt (Hercules Club: 76mm (2.99 inches)
Length: 43.4975cm (17.13 inches)
Blade width: 40mm (1.57 inches)
Blade thickness: 4.8mm (0.19 inches)
Thickness at shoulder near the hilt: 8.6mm (0.34 inches)
Weight: 1.245kg (2.75 pounds)
Goodnight from the Blockhouse!
By Doug Crowell
In our last blog post on January 22, we revealed that the “crossbow bolts” found on Oak Island, embedded in a log, and purported to be of Roman origin by J. Hutton Pulitzer, are more likely to be logging pike points. Today Blockhouse Investigations hit the road bright and early on a trip to Liverpool Nova Scotia, a town a little further down the coastline from Oak Island. Along the way, we picked up George Johnston, who until recently was the communications director for Oak Island Tours Incorporated. Our goal was to obtain detailed photographs of an antique logging pike that we feel best illustrates the design of the pikes that were likely used on Oak Island.
Why would logging pikes be used on Oak Island? Great question! Simple answer.
A sawmill once operated on the island.
In 1944, Clarence James Beamish bought several lots on Oak island, including the properties of George and James McInnis (descendants of Money Pit Discoverer Donald Daniel McInnes). This gave Beamish ownership of most of the western end of the island, including the part were the Blankenships live now. Beamish established and operated a sawmill on the island, and also built several cabins that people could rent. Triton Alliance (predecessor to the partnership of the Laginas, Tester, and Blankenship) had this to say about the sawmill in a tourist pamphlet, “Welcome to Oak Island”, that they produced:
"Mr. Clarence Beamish built the saw mill in the early 1900's, using reinforced steel to strengthen the concrete pillars. As the bay is very deep, and wide enough to turn a ship around at the end of this island, it was ideal for large ships of the time to bring their cargo of logs to the island. The mill, however, was not popular with the local people who had to float their logs across the bay, then make arrangements to transport the cut lumber back to the mainland. The causeway, of course, did not exist at that time. Mr.Beamish and his family eventually left the island due to harsh winters and settled on the mainland.
Several small cottages were built on the island by Mr. Beamish from logs sawn on Oak Island. Five or six of these cottages were hauled across the ice in the winter by horses and now comprise "Lockie's Cottages" in Mahone Bay.”
We can infer from this narrative that the sawmill was a busy spot, and had to handle many, many logs. Therefore it is not unrealistic to state that logging pikes were utilized on the island. In fact, it is highly unlikely that pikes weren’t used. Which brings us back to the road trip we took today. Arriving in Liverpool, we met up with Eugene and Bob Conrad, two brothers who had worked in their father’s saw mill growing up. Eugene stills owns a few of the logging pikes they used in the mill. It was quite educational discussing the pike with Eugene and Bob.
When asked what a logging pike is used for, Bob responded, “Push, pull, or roll a log”. Sure sounds like something useful around a saw mill.
Then for the question we really wanted an answer to; Are the “Roman” Crossbow Bolts found on Oak Island actually logging pike points? Eugene was quick to answer, “Without a doubt, it is a Peavey Point. The point stuck in the tree weathered better than the end, which likely corroded away from exposure.”
*Note: Peavey is a brand name, but is often used as a general descriptive term for logging pike points.
Eugene’s opinion that this Oak Island artifact is a Peavey Point, is in agreement with the Hants County woodsmen that brought it to our attention this week.
How likely is it that a Peavey Point would pull out of a Pike?
Do these pike points ever get stuck in a log and get pulled out of a pike? “I have personally seen points pull out of a pike”, said Eugene. “Pikes can dry out, allowing the point to become loose”, Bob explained.
In the image above, we take the pike that Eugene gave us (thank you!), and disassemble it so that you can get a better idea of how it is constructed. Note how the collar and bands apply pressure to the wooden handle that the pike point is inserted into. As long as the wood doesn’t dry out, the point is held firm, but if the pike happens to get too dry, there is not enough tension to keep the point from slipping out when the pike is pulled back, leaving the point stuck in the wood. Obviously, on Oak Island, they were moving logs in and out of the water as logs arrived to be milled.
It occurs to us that the pulley found by Rick Lagina and Jack Begley on the beach in the recent episode of Curse of Oak Island may also be from a logging operation.
Referred to as a Logging Skookum. Without seeing better images, or the actual pulley, it is impossible to say.
Bob Conrad made another interesting observation about the Oak Island point. When moving logs around with a pike, there is often repetitive prying motions, which can cause the shaft of the point to bend somewhat. When we examine the Conrad's antique pike, we see a bend in the point's shaft.
The Oak Island Point does indeed exhibit a bent shaft as seen below.
Joy Steele, author of the book “The Oak Island Mystery Solved”, was kind enough to allow us to use an image from her book, which originated from the same Tourist Pamphlet as the narrative about the sawmill earlier in our article. We have added a red circle around the site of the sawmill.
Does the Oak Island Point pre-date a 1940's Saw Mill?
Possibly, but there is a rich history of logging and log handling on Oak Island. Multiple attempts at finding treasure on the island, involved the sinking of many shafts, all of which required timber for cribbing. Work logs in the Nova Scotia Public Archives document trips to Frog Island to cut trees for use in constructing shafts on Oak Island. Vintage photos show logs stacked on the beach, waiting for use. In fact, two of the first settlers, Daniel and Anthony Vaughan (father of the Anthony who co-discovered the Money Pit) owned land on Oak Island and ran a lumber operation in the area. This excerpt from a license granted to Daniel and Anthony to cut trees is evidence of this:
We would like to point out that this document (circa the later 1700s) also exhibits the symbols used to mark trees for the King's use only. The broad arrow is a constant, while the other two symbols can vary. Do we find here a clue to the origin of the strange symbols found on the trees in one version of the Money Pit discovery story?
A Point to End On
Our investigation into the "Roman Crossbow Bolts" has led us to our conclusion that these points are nothing more than logging pike points (Peavey points). While it is easy to believe that they might be military in use (logging points, and points for military use do follow the same basic design), we have cause for logging points to have been in use on the island, with far greater probability than military points and these points exhibit the expected wear and damage experienced by used logging points. One final point. All grantees on Oak Island had to improve their lots in order to keep them. If they failed to make improvements, the land would be given to someone else. Valid improvements were quarrying of stone, infilling of swamp land, and clearing of forests. Every grantee landowner on Oak Island (and the mainland) was obligated to log their lots. Logging pikes were likely as common to find amongst their tools as a hammer or shovel.
Goodnight from the Blockhouse!
P.S. Our sincere appreciation and thanks for the gift of the pike Eugene!
Yesterday we brought you the details on some evidence that has come to light that casts serious doubts on the claims of former TV personality, J. Hutton Pulitzer, and the Ancient Artifact Preservation Society, that a tiny iron object fount on Oak Island, Nova Scotia, is an "ancient Roman crossbow bolt". We also showed you how it most likely has a more rational and logical identity as the point, or 'pick' of a handled tool used in forestry called a peavey.
We concede that, yes, it could easily be mistaken for the pointy end of a weapon or projectile, if that's what you really want it to be. In carrying out investigative methodology in support of our own assertions, we too found a number of close matches among the multitude of google images of weaponry available. But not surprisingly we also learned that another closely related tool used in logging, the 'pick-pole' or 'pike-pole' is a direct descendant of the millenia-spanning weapon also called, the pike.
Our little historical research team here at Blockhouse Investigations and Oak Island Compendium, is busy working on a report that we will bring you tomorrow showing all the evidence we have compiled in relation to forestry and agriculture on Oak Island that would explain the presence of peavey and pike pole picks. We will also bring you more exciting photos of peaveys that were used, and are being used right, here in Nova Scotia.
Peaveys are named after Maine blacksmith, Joseph Peavey, who invented the device in the 1850s as a modification to a traditional tool called the "cant hook". They are used to push, pull, roll and position logs both on land and in the water.
The province's forestry industry has a long history spanning centuries and was most productive during the Golden Age of Sail from the 1840's to the 1880's when thousands of wooden ships were built from Nova Scotia timber and ship's masts were in high demand. But even before that, timber from the region was used by both the French and English colonials for building and repair materials to keep their naval and merchant fleets afloat.
Nova Scotia's pulp and paper industry that spans a period from the 1800s to the present day, also meant that many local men and boys would head for the woods each day with a peavey on their shoulder.
Have a few astute Nova Scotia Woodsman halted the Roman Legion from storming the beaches of Oak Island with a casual observation that the "Roman Crossbow Bolts" as identified by J. Hutton Pulitzer are nothing more than common Peavey points, native to the North American logging industry?
Where else would you expect to find lost lumbering pike points than sticking in logs?
These photos were sent to us just hours ago by Nova Scotia resident, Eugene Conrad, of Liverpool. Thank you, Eugene. We appreciate your contribution.
If your daydreams are filled with Roman soldiers, I suppose you could trick yourself into believing these common tools are crossbow bolts fired by Roman Soldiers, but that doesn't get the wood in and ready for winter.
As if the epic debunking of the 'ancient Roman sword' wasn't enough, Blockhouse Investigations has learned that yet another piece of "history-rewriting evidence" put forth by former Texas TV personality, J. Hutton Pulitzer, may also not be what he says it is.
This morning a story broke, not in the mainstream media, but characteristicly for Pulitzer in yet another obscure web-based news site, The Epoch Times.
The article by blogger/ reporter, Tara MacIsaac, included photos and drawings of an object that Pulitzer claims to be an 'ancient crossbow bolt' from ancient Rome, found on Oak Island, Nova Scotia. We'll bring you more on the story itself later but for now let's just cut to the chase and deal with the object.
We can now tell you with a high degree of certainty that this object, the next which Pulitzer expects to 'rewrite history' is likely just a common and mundane part of our real history.
Yes folks the object, as a keenly observant Nova Scotia woodsman recently and casually remarked, is a "peavey point." The earth-shattering crossbow shot heard round the world has been muffled by the fact that Pulitzer's projectile may be no more than the removable point, or 'pick' of a hand-tool found in abundance in rural Nova Scotia, even to this day!
Boy is he gonna be "peaved".
Here is the best photo of the object that, to our knowledge, exists.
And here is a photo array of examples of a "peavey" which is a common device used in logging to push, roll and position logs. Take particular note of the removable "points" or "picks" embedded in the end of the device.
We can hear all the woodsmen and farmers go, "Aaaaaaah! Yup."
According to our initial research these points are also found on another common logging device called a 'pick-pole' and in parts of Nova Scotia similarly, a "pike-pole'.
It's late and we want to get cracking with further investigation into this matter.
Be sure to check back with us tomorrow as we develop this story and provide you with the best and most accurate details.
Good night from The Blockhouse.
Welcome to the launch of our new endeavour, with a mandate to be an informative website about the Oak Island Mystery and Treasure Hunt, past, present, and future.
We have invested thousands of research hours into collecting and studying the wealth of source materials archived in various museums, universities, public archives, media sources, and private collections from all over the world.
It is our wish, and our goal, to share our collection with you, in hopes that future researchers can benefit from, and build upon, the time that we have spent building a complete picture of the Oak Island Mystery. It is not so much our goal to assess or evaluate the theories pertaining to Oak Island, as it is to provide easy access to the fact and fiction pertaining to the island.
It will take many hours of work to migrate our collection onto this web site, so please visit as often as you like, to see how we are progressing. In the meantime, we will be blogging about our current investigations, insights, and discoveries as we go. There are many interesting developments to share with you!
It is our hope that you will enjoy our Oak Island adventure as much as we have.
Make sure to check out our Top Links to Oak Island information.
From The Blockhouse
is published by Blockhouse Investigations and oakislandcompendium.ca
in Nova Scotia, Canada
Editors and Chief Correspondents
Kelly W. Hancock, CD
John Wonnacott, P. Eng.
All material and images published herein, unless otherwise credited, are copyright of Blockhouse Investigations and oakislandcompendium.ca and may be reproduced by permission only.
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