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The Secret Treasure of Oak Island

Who buried what on Oak Island? People have searched for the answers for more than 200 years. The Secret Treasure of Oak Island by D'Arcy O'Connor is a complete history of a fascinating true-life adventure.

Like the author, I first learned of the Oak Island treasure hunt as a child happening on a story in Reader’s Digest. Now with the success of “The Curse of Oak Island” on the History Channel, practically the whole world can wonder and watch the dig on this tiny island in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.

This book, originally published in 1978, is in its fourth edition updated in 2018. It is a well-researched history of the many searchers and companies who poured thousands of dollars into the “money pit’ on the island since 1795. Several have lost their lives. And still no one knows who dug the shaft with wooden platforms at 10 foot intervals and who built the sophisticated water traps that flood the shaft at certain depths. What did they hide that required such an elaborate burial? Who had the manpower and the skill to do it?

Theories abound about the treasure. Speculation at first centered on the pirate captain William Kidd but he was eventually ruled out. Were they hiding Queen Marie Antoinette’s crown jewels? The fortune of the French Huguenots? Francis Bacon’s manuscripts written as William Shakespeare? Aliens? The devil? The plunder from Spanish galleons wrecked off the coast? The gold and silver of the Mayans and Aztecs? The list goes on.

One thing is for sure. Over the years, the island has consumed fortunes and life savings, lives, and equipment of all sorts. To date, all that effort has produced scraps of metal, masses of coconut fiber, and various trinkets.

This book is a well-written, engrossing and fascinating history. I am hoping that the current searchers, Marty and Rick Lagina and Craig Tester finally succeed.

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