The Stakes Are High
Much has been made about a stake found in 2017 in the Oak Island swamp. The obvious length and condition of that stake is at odds with the written record concerning the stakes found by Fred Nolan.
In 1983, Fred was interviewed for a magazine article, which also included an interview with Dan Blankenship. The article appeared in the May-June issue of a magazine called "Equinox." I have also heard that it appeared in the "Saturday Evening Post," although I have yet to see that version.
The article was entitled "The Pit and the Perplexities," and it was written by journalist Virginia Morrell.
Below are scans taken from that article. Note that quite a bit of information concerning the stakes was underlined in this very long article. I did not do this and so that points to the fact that someone else besides me was looking into the nature of these stakes.
We'll begin with a short clip from the interview with Dan:
This is exactly what the author of the article did. Here is Fred's response:
Below is an image that would much better represent what the stakes actually looked like, based entirely on the magazine description. This size was also agreed with by a man who actually saw the stakes and studied them for years. It is not my intent to argue with the TV show, as I deeply respect the efforts they are making, and appreciate their support of my books. At the same time, I don't like loose ends or conflicting information, and I try to go right to the best source, in this case that being Fred Nolan.
Not only are the dimensions given in the article different than what has been shown on TV, but Fred also addressed the age of the stakes.
Fred's remark that the stakes were dated to around 1700 coincides with a carbon dating report, which shows a stake being carbon dated to 1700, plus or minus 80 years. This full sized scan can be found on the website:
The apparently erroneous date of 1575, plus or minus 85 years, has been given, and yet there is another carbon dating report from the same website that shows a collection of wood pieces that may or may not have been placed where they were found by human hands, which do date to 1575, plus or minus 85 years.
Above is a photo of what is believed to be the pieces of wood that were tested for the following carbon dating report.
In addition, I have communicated with a man who actually saw the stakes in Fred's museum and he agrees that they were only about 30 inches long. He said that he studied them for several years and concluded that they might be from some type of salt collection apparatus built in the swamp/cove, in order to provide much needed salt for the local fishing industry.
Fred naturally called them surveying stakes because he was a surveyor. I've wondered if they could be an early form of a belaying pin from a shipwreck in the cove. Belaying pins were only just starting to be used in the early 1600s, and there is no evidence as to what they originally looked like. Today's pins are highly refined and turned on a lathe. This theory may not hold water, and I am not insisting on it, just throwing it out there.
I can only conclude that, somehow, some confusion has arisen over the true nature of the stakes, and that is my only purpose in posting this analysis, so that the true nature of these stakes can be explored without starting off on the wrong footing.