by Doug Crowell - Blockhouse Investigations - Nova Scotia
There has long been an argument over whether the supposed man-made flood tunnels on Oak Island are real or not. Those in favor of such structures point to the physical indications that had been found at various times over the history of the search, like finger drains and an artificial coconut filtration system in Smith’s Cove. Opponents to the existence of the flood tunnels point to the geology of that part of the island, and posit that it is simply natural fissures in the bedrock or overburden which cause the flooding, with no man-made work required other than the digging of a hole.
When the topic of geology enters the debate, it is time to turn to science for an answer. For science, we here at Blockhouse Investigations turn to men or women of science. Better yet, should those individuals already be very familiar with the Oak Island mystery and the physical island itself. We sat down with John Wonnacott this past weekend and he enlightened us on a few facts about Oak Island that we are sure you are going to find really interesting.
Mr. Wonnacott (he prefers John) began his career as a military engineer in the Canadian Armed Forces, overseeing engineering and construction projects, and rising to the rank of Major by the time he finished serving. He has worked as a field engineer on such private sector projects as the Alaska Highway Gas Pipeline project, and managed construction projects for JD Irving Limited. He was awarded the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers’ Award for Engineering Excellence for his work as Deputy Project Manager for the Diavik Diamond Mines north of Yellowknife, Canada. He met David Tobias and Les MacPhie about 20 years ago, and this led to a deep interest in all aspects of Oak Island. David Tobias and his wife Pearl became his friends, and he spent many hours reading documents, talking over theories and making new investigation plans with Les and David. Back around 2000, John conducted an excavation at Oak Island, which resulted in the recovery of several pieces of the U-shaped structure built at Smith’s Cove. In recent years, John has done some work to assist the Lagina brothers in their on-going investigations, and he is currently working with Les MacPhie and Danny Hennigar on an important Oak Island project.
John has graciously agreed to share some of his insights with us and we are extremely fortunate to gain his knowledge and experience in both engineering and Oak Island. We know that he has already opened our eyes with some of his island insights and we are sure that you are going to really enjoy hearing what he has to say about some components of the mystery.
Doug Crowell: When Kel and I sat down with you for a chat this past Monday, you surprised us by stating that the flood tunnel or tunnels on Oak Island are most likely real. Can you elaborate on this for our readers?
John Wonnacott: I would like to mention some common engineering properties of the soil that covers part of Oak Island – and some basic physics – to explain why I am convinced that there must be a manmade Money Pit and at least one Flood Tunnel approximately where they have been believed to exist.
DC: By all means, please continue!
JW: There is not much hard physical evidence regarding Oak Island that an open-minded, skeptical person would accept without question; but here are a few points that I think we can all agree with:
DC: I would agree with that. Oak Island is like a huge pincushion of boreholes in the Money Pit area.
DC: So what was found in those boreholes to convince you that man-made structures exist?
JW: Glacial till.
DC: Now I am curious indeed.
DC: How does glacial till prove flood tunnels?
JW: Glacial till is a type of soil that is common in Canada. It consists of an unsorted mixture of sand, gravel, cobbles, boulders, silt and clay, that was deposited by glaciers. In many cases, including at Oak Island, thick glaciers lay on top of the till for many centuries, causing the soil to be heavily compressed. Because till has so many different size pieces of soil, the voids between pieces are filled with smaller and smaller pieces and because it is often very heavily compressed, it is a dense, impervious material that water cannot even seep through, except in very small quantities over very long time periods.
DC: So the weight of the glaciers, sitting on top of the soil for a long, long time, compacts that soil so tightly that it is water tight?
JW: Yes. Glacial till is so reliably impermeable, that engineers often use natural till deposits as water-tight barriers when designing dams etc.
JW: That’s because glacial till does not form deep, permanent cracks that could conduct ground water. It’s soil that would shift and move if water was moving through cracks, so if any cracks did form, they would naturally seal themselves. If there was ever a large cavity in the till soil, it would naturally collapse over time.
DC: So this applies to the Money Pit side of Oak Island?
JW: It does, and that said, no drill hole in the Money Pit area has ever found cracks, natural cavities or porous zones in the till.
JW: By the way, you might think that glaciers must be so cold that the soil beneath them would be frozen - so that liquid water could not be squeezed out of the till by the weight of the ice - but that is not usually the case. Ice is a decent insulator, and with glaciers, at a depth of somewhere between 200 and 300 meters there is liquid water along with the ice. So when thick glaciers lie on the ground, the soil beneath them is unfrozen.
DC: If the glacial till doesn’t naturally allow water to run or seep through it, how did the Money Pit flood?
JW: I can answer that by explaining what I believe, and the easiest way for me to do that is to get you to cast your mind back to the time when the first of the Searchers excavated at the Money Pit. Where did the water come from, that flooded them out once they reached about 100 feet below ground surface? There are only three possible situations to consider:
DC: Very interesting John. This may change the way people think in regards to the flooding.
JW: The way I see it, it does not matter whether there was a Money Pit or not. When the first Searchers dug down about 100 feet and were flooded, the water had to have come from a Flood Tunnel. It does not make any sense at all, for a man-made Flood Tunnel to exist without there being a Money Pit that was dug to at least 100 feet. And it does not make much sense either, to have a Flood Tunnel unless the Money Pit went somewhat deeper than 100 feet. So I believe there was a Money Pit and a Flood Tunnel. How else can anyone explain the water?
DC: Thanks for the great insights from a scientific and engineering perspective John. We really look forward to our next interview with you, and the research you are going to share.
We here at Blockhouse Investigations hope that you find the implications of what John Wonnacott conveyed to us, in the above interview, as thought provoking as we have. As John has stated that glacial till is water tight and self sealing, and since it is what the Money Pit was created in it, and is surrounded by it on all sides, including the bottom, then this suggests that water could not have found its way into the shaft unless a man-made water delivery system had been created for that very purpose. Many of us may have assumed that those who point out that water can move through fissures in the anhydrite bedrock had a legitimate argument to counter the idea of flood tunnels, but maybe we didn't know the rest of the story until now.
Stayed tuned, because John hasn't finished surprising us with science yet.
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.
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