The Story Behind The
Curse Of Oak Island
Curse Of Oak Island
Below is the cover of the January 1967 edition of "True" magazine. If you click on it, it will take you to an article on "The Oak Island Compendium," a website published principally by Doug Crowell, seen often on the TV show "Curse of Oak Island," an area historian with an amazing private library of ancient books and maps, which I was privileged to sort through in June of 2017, and also by Kelly Hancock, Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, with whom I've had some great conversations.
They tell the story of the "curse" better than I can, and so if you are looking for its origins, I say skip over to their website by clicking the image below.
But first, a few notes from yours truly that you might find of interest.
I have been thrilled to see all the postings of correspondence and reports concerning Oak Island that have been appearing on the Curse of Oak Island Photo Gallery, by Shirley Heely.
I have been very focused on my pet theory about Scots leaving something behind on Oak Island in or around 1632, thus the name of my book, "Oak Island 1632".
So far, from these new posting I've found that Gilbert Hedden, owner and searcher on Oak Island in the 1930s, wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in which he projects the date of burial at the Money Pit to be sometime between 1635 to 1645. You might note that 1635 is only three years away from my chosen date.
Here you have an Oak Island owner and significant searcher, and the only President of the United States to ever be elected for four terms, talking about treasure on Oak island. How cool is that!
When passing this on to a few of my fellow historians, I was reminded that there are two other theories that point to a similar date. I have yet to hear what they are, but you can imagine how anxious I am to know about them.
This would make four theories pointing to a similar date, and coming from four different points of view.
Coincidentally, I am now one of four Oak Island historians who have been pointing to Sir William Alexander and his attempted settlement of Scots in Nova Scotia, as perhaps the catalyst for the whole Oak Island mystery.
It is going to take a little time for all this to gel, and so meanwhile, since Shirley has made so many as yet unseen documents available, I am going to shift my focus to reading them in great detail, looking for clues that could tie this mystery together. This means I might not have a post for a little while as I immerse myself in all this detailed reading.
But before I take a working vacation I thought I'd recount my own little "Curse of Oak Island" moment, from June 2017.
I was asked to present in the war room during the first week of June and so my wife and I flew up to Halifax and drove a rental down to the Atlantica Resort where we would be staying. The rental was a beast of a truck, not that we needed it, but it was offered as it had onboard GPS. Turns out our iPhones worked just as well, but we were able to navigate using a combination of iPhone and monster truck GPS clues.
Above, it's me on the causeway with the old war room just behind me.
When I arrived, I was told that it would be a day or so before there would be time for my presentation, and that one thing they would like me to do was to visit Doug Crowell's amazing library across Nova Scotia at Lawrencetown.
And so, the day before my presentation we drove over to meet Doug and found some wonderful additional proofs of my theory, and saw some amazing ancient maps and books.
So far, so good.
The following morning I received a text on my phone that they would be calling me an hour or so before I was to arrive, so that Charles Barkhouse could give us a golf cart tour of the island.
I was excited beyond belief. I began to line up what I needed to take, and filter in the new evidence Doug had helped me find, in order to be ready at a moment's notice to head to the island.
Let's see, I better lay the truck key out on the table so I can grab it when the time comes.
The truck key.
Where the hell is the truck key?
The next hour and a half was filled with extreme disappointment and dread. We ransacked the room. No key.
We ransacked our belongings. No key.
We retraced our steps coming into the hotel the evening before. No key.
Checked at the front desk. No key.
Checked at the bar. No key.
Called the rental place for duplicates. No key.
What, no key? Nope, seems like we had the only key, and if the truck was locked, it was going to cost me $700-800 for them to jimmy the lock and get a new key made, plus I'd have to pay for the key bob.
How could this be happening, and why just as I was to go to Oak Island for my big day in the war room?
I thought, maybe the key is in the truck, so I called a local locksmith who was just then heading across Nova Scotia in my direction. He said he'd be there in about an hour; he'd get the door open and we could look around inside for the key.
Meanwhile, I talked to housekeeping. They were so gracious. They looked through the garbage dumped from the night before from places we had been at the hotel. Two wonderful room attendants tore our room to smithereens, moving mattresses, checking around the edge of the carpeting, and generally scouring every nook and cranny from our room to the truck.
I sat there in a chair, in the room, in my state of despair.
All I could think of is what it was going to cost me to get out of this predicament, and was I about to screw up my big chance at speaking with Rick and Marty, Craig and Charles, and the rest about my theories?
Then came a knock on the door.
It was the night manager who had just arrived at work and found that someone had laid a key on his desk the night before, that was found just inside the hotel door. He hadn't noticed it when he locked his office up as he left for home after his shift.
One of the room attendants had asked him, and they came together to tells me the good news. Hugs and big thank yous were exchanged as I scrambled to cancel the locksmith, inform the rental place that the key was found, and gather my stuff up to get my butt over to Oak Island.
All I could think of was all the set backs searchers on Oak Island had experienced through the years, due to what seems like an intensified version of Murphy's Law.
All's well that ends well, as they say.
First, we met everyone who is someone, except Dan, who wasn't to be out and about that day. We were taken around Oak Island by Charles Barkhouse, in the golf cart. When we returned, a Prometheus producer took us to some highly secretive places where they were waiting for a permit to dig. Then we were allowed to take the golf cart on our own and explore. Regular tours had not started yet so we had the run of the island. Everyone was so kind!
As I prepared to speak in the war room, my wife sat in the back corner hoping to witness the event. The producers told her they had never let anyone in a war room filming that was not part of the Oak Island crew, or part of the presentation, and so she left feeling quite dejected, and decided to go ease the pain by shopping over at Lunenburg.
As she reached the causeway with our big old truck rental, she heard a tap on the window and saw Rick Lagina, who had run down to stop her. He told her that he knew she had proofread my book, since he read "Oak Island Missing Links" twice, and that he had put his foot down – she was going to be in the war room, in the corner, keeping quiet, and taking no photos.
All went well and Rick told me it was one of the best presentations they had ever received. However, History Channel decided not to use it for some reason, although there is still a lot of interest from the folks at Oak Island in my theory from "Oak Island 1632" and the new items I've posted on this site, plus some still under wraps information waiting for further research and confirmation.
This time I'll hang on to the rental key!
One final note. A new war room was built just up the road from the old one, because the old one was in need of repair, and had poor air conditioning, risking all the great artifacts, photographs, and news articles that peppered the walls.
I was told that this was top secret for the moment, but by now, hundreds if not thousands of tourist have seen them both, and this fact has been posted on a few of the OI fan sites, so I am not revealing some unknown secret.
But what I am revealing is that I was the very last person to present in the old war room! I was the last man standing, in this case.
Shortly after I finished my spiel, they began taking down all those wonderful artifacts, photographs, and news articles to move them to their new home just up the road.
I may be AWOL for a little bit as I absorb all the amazing new postings, but long term, I am not going anywhere.
I've got to find the key... to the Oak Island mystery that is!