By Doug Crowell - Blockhouse Investigations - Nova Scotia
Borehole 10X has received a lot of attention during the last couple of seasons of History Channel's Curse of Oak Island television series, as everyone waits to hear the final answer on whether or not treasure or evidence of original works will be found down there. We want to take a look at 10X for another reason. As one of the more recent shafts dug on Oak Island, what can it tell us about the soil conditions above bedrock? Back on February 21st, we published an article called Does Science support a man-made flood tunnel on Oak Island?
In that article, we spoke with John Wonnacott, who outlined the reasons why he felt that the glacial till that makes up the east end of Oak Island resists natural water flow through the soil and is unlikely to have natural voids within the tightly compressed till, and therefore makes the existence of the much sought after man made flood tunnels much more likely. It occurred to us that reviewing the reports filed with Triton Alliance during the digging of the 8 foot wide 10X Shaft might reveal more information on what the soil conditions are really like on the Money Pit end of Oak Island. Afterall, the 10X Shaft was dug from the surface to bedrock, some 181 feet below. Sure enough, we found a wealth of information, as reported by a man who spent many years working on the project alongside Dan Blankenship. You might be familiar with this man from the TV series. His name is Dan Henskee, and from his reports, we have created the illustration below, directly compiled from his descriptions of soil types, depths, and water conditions during the dig.
"We never found any significant horizontal flow of water at any depth from the surface down to bedrock at 180 feet."
- Dan Henskee, February 21st 1997
"By the 155' depth, we were using a 'pavement breaker' to break up the 'marl', which was too tough to be broken up by the 'clay cutter'."
- Dan Henskee, December 9th 2008
Dan Henskee's observations on the soil conditions at the 10X site, and the lack of a water problem while digging, right down to the very bedrock, certainly seem to support the idea that the glacial till in this area of the island does not allow for a strong flow of water naturally. The Money Pit is only 175 to 180 feet away from Borehole 10X, and slightly downhill. What can we infer about the Money Pit and possible flood tunnels from what we have found in the reports on the construction of 10X? Let's let Dan Henskee have the last word on that...
"I consider it probable that there is an open tunnel in the limestone having its 'floor' at the 166' depth, corresponding to the 158' depth in the Money Pit region, which is the depth at which would have been resting the bottom of the presumed chest from which the parchment was brought up in 1897. We know from our own experience that the ideal depth range for safe excavation in the limestone is from 160' depth to 166' depth. That would be above the sandy material we found between 170' and 180', and below 15 feet of tough material which would probably not cave in even if no shoring were used! We actually used a pneumatic pavement breaker to excavate in that material, since the lighter pneumatic spade could not break it apart fast enough! In previous centuries, the material could have been excavated by physically-fit labourers using not the modern 'garden variety' picks that we see for sale in hardware stores, but rather somewhat shorter, somewhat heavier picks having somewhat shorter handles than the ones we are used to seeing. Because the limestone contains many discrete pieces, the excavated places would look rough and rugged and would appear to an intruder to be very unsafe, which would be just fine from the point of view of people who were leaving treasure there. I note in passing that Erwin Hamilton could not say for sure whether a certain cavity in the limestone was natural or artificial. That is very likely to have been a result of the rough and rugged appearance I have mentioned, since the cavity itself was almost certain to have been man-made, the natural formation seeming to be completely void-free.
- Dan Henskee, 1997
So there you have it. Henskee has made the same observations as John Wonnacott has posited in our previous article. This glacial till is not apt to have voids in it unless they are man-made and it does not allow a strong flow of water through it naturally. It gives those who demand real evidence for man-made workings on Oak Island something to ponder.
Thanks for reading, and goodnight from The Blockhouse!
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.
Views expressed in these blog posts are our own. The views of those that comment are their own.