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Oak Island Money Pit Treasure

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If I told you that there was a buried treasure on Oak Island. An Island just off the coast of Nova Scotia. In a spot called The Money Pit, would you believe me?

After all this area of North America was a favorite stomping ground for pirates in the 18th century. The treasure might be buried in a deep pit, nicknamed The Money Pit. That was to make sure no one but the pirates found it.

But what if I told you that the Oak Island Money Pit was:

  • Almost 200 feet deep.
  • Protected by an elaborate set of booby traps and underground channels to an ocean beach, over 500 feet away.
  • It has been the subject of countless excavations since 1795, costing millions of dollars.
  • Six Money Pit Treasure Hunters have died looking for it.
  • And all they have found so far is remnants of earlier searches.

If you answer: “That’s the Oak Island Money Pit Treasure”,  you are correct!  If you are wondering where is Oak Island, read our article Where is Oak Island.

Oak Island Money Pit Treasure Novia Scotia Arial Image

Oak Island Money Pit Treasure

The story of the Oak Island Money Pit Treasure is fascinating and complex.

The History Channel now has a TV Series called The Curse of Oak Island Treasure.  It is a story of mystery, greed, controversy and a little humor. The Oak Island Money Pit has been sought by many people and corporations for over 200 years.  It has attracted all types of explorers.  There were the three teenagers who first discovered the site. Franklin D. Roosevelt, a former US President, whose company Old Gold Salvage group searched in 1909. To the swash-buckling actor Errol Flynn, who wanted to search Oak Island in 1940.  He was discouraged when he found the search rights belonged to a company owned by fellow actor John Wayne.

The story of the Oak Island Money Pit Treasure has been written about in many books.  To date the treasure has not been found, but tantalizing glimpses of the treasure have been reported. The following are some of the theories on who buried the treasure on Oak Island:

  • The most popular theory is the early 18th century pirate Captain Kidd, who often visited the Oak Island region for rest and relaxation, and to repair his ships. He seemed to have a habit of burying part of the treasure he plundered far and wide.
  • The most bizarre theory is the treasure is the original works of William Shakespeare, that Sir Francis Bacon buried on the site in the late 16th century.  This theory is based on evidence from a piece of parchment paper brought up from the pit by one of the treasure hunters.
  • Equally strange is the theory of the crown jewels of France, which went missing in 1791.  The jewels were smuggled to Louisburg, (north of Oak Island in Cape Breton).  Since Louisburg was often attacked by the British when the French owned it, the jewels were unsafe and transported to Oak Island.
Oak Island Money Pit Picture

Oak Island Money Pit

The theories go on but no one knows for sure the origin of the Oak Island Money Pit.

Excavation of The Money Pit has never been successful because of the booby traps that protect it. In the 1860’s, while excavating at the 90 feet level, the treasure hunters encountered soggy ground. This was not too surprising because the Pit was only 500 feet from the coast line, and high tide of the ocean was about at the 32 foot level. At 93 feet the water was more pronounced. At 98 feet they struck an extra hard surface. They took the rest of day off and the next morning found that the shaft of the Pit filled with sea water to the 32 foot level. We now know that the miners had inadvertently opened a series of channels to the beach, which were a booby trap to protect the treasure.

Many attempts have been made over the years to discover how the booby trap works. Coffer dams were built on the nearby beach, thought to be the source of the water flow, but to no avail.

In over 200 years that adventurers have searched for the Treasure in the Oak Island Money Pit, they have met oak log platforms every ten feet, to the thirty foot level. From there, a drill probe used in 1849, encountered multiple layers of charcoal, putty, and coconut fiber.  At 98 feet a spruce platform guarding two oak chests containing loose metal pieces (pieces of eight?) was discovered.

But the discoveries do not stop there.  Continued drilling, in 1897, found there were, layers of wood and iron. Then a 30 foot layer of blue clay (a hand-worked watertight mixture of clay, sand and water).  Then a seven-foot deep cement vault at 153 feet, and an iron barrier at 171 feet.

Early in the hunt for the Oak Island Money Pit Treasure, an inscribed stone was found face-down in the Pit.  There have been various interpretations made of the inscription.  Below is a drawing of the inscription:


Stone Inscription of Oak Island Money Pit

Stone Inscription of Treasure on Oak Island

The most commonly accepted translation is:

Oak Island Stone Inscription Translation

Oak Island Treasure Stone Inscription Translation

Today, The Oak Island Money Pit Parcel is owned by two individuals who still search for the Treasure of Oak Island.

Article Name
Oak Island Money Pit Treasure
Can you solve the Mystery of The Oak Island Money Pit? Check out the Engraved Stone Tablet that was found in the Money Pit.
Publisher Name
Mysteries of Canada

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54 Responses to “Oak Island Money Pit Treasure”

By Kat - 29 September 2016 Reply

Some Atlanteans buried a treasure there before the islands sank. It will be found.

By DUNCAN MCLEAN - 21 July 2016 Reply

Back in the 60’s I read the same Reader’s Digest as you two did In it was the story
of Oak Island and the Money Pit. It all seemed so simple…Just dig down and retrieve the Treasure…Not quite so ! One night near the end of August Not sure of the date…in the
late 60’s I was over at the PNE here in Vancouver and actually met The Restall Family.
They were just finishing up their run here with an act called “The Ride Of Death” Not sure of the name. They told me they were going back to Nova Scotia to the Oak Island Treasure and find it..How about that!

My opinion is this. There is no treasure in the Money Pit. There never was. It was all just a clever ruse. a misguiding as it were or misdirection so you would look in the wrong place

Think back to when this all happened..1600’s there was no machinery to do all this.
No one is going to bury such a treasure in water and booby trap with such a complicated system.

Besides how were THEY going to retrieve the treasure LATER

If there is a treasure and there probably is it is buried in vaults or tunnels at the North end of Oak Island and above tide level.Look at the highest point of land

Good Luck!


By Marlene - 9 June 2016 Reply

can you get on the island? or anywhere near where the show beening done?

By tom - 14 October 2016 Reply

normally you cant go on the island its privately owned but in the summer they give tours of the island and the stars of the show are there for you to meet and to do the tour. there is a small museum and gift shop there as well.. i did the tour last summer and i enjoyed it except it was a hot day.

[…] about the enduring elaborate mystery of an apparent treasure buried in a complex system of booby traps on Oak Island  Nova Scotia (north of […]

By Alexis S. - 28 April 2016 Reply

how many people have died from the money pit?

By Hammerson Peters - 7 May 2016 Reply

Six so far, I believe.

By Scott - 15 April 2016 Reply

The thing is someone went thru alot of trouble to do all of this. Plus water levels back then where much lower which means this was a hide out and they could walk in these side caves back then where now they r under water. I think its a good design. They have radar now that can see thru the ground. Satellites that do the same thing. Thats how they found smaller building under sand in Egypt. Give me a metal detector and I would walk every inch of ground even where the water level was which is probably 200 feet or more from shore now which I bet no one has checked for clues. The side shafts are probably vents where they burned fire inside the caves an probably while they find charcoal in the shafts like ghe phymids. They ways to drill and be safe. Hardest part is getting equipment to the site. They are trying to search without damaging the island at the same time. Look off shore with detector underwater where water levels where at that time. I bet u find clues. Or pay me to do it. I’d do it for free if I could. 100,000$ I would start there all year around until I found what I or there where looking for. Any clue could help. Look off shore. Email me the owners of the island info an I will tell them myself.

By Anonymous - 7 April 2016 Reply

Maybe there could be nothing there. MAYBE. My friends and I think there’s nothing there since they haven’t found anything yet

By Serena - 7 February 2016 Reply

What if there is no code on the plaque? If you just simply read it as is.

Group 1,2&4 is the moneypit/swamp and location of the floodgate and chambers

Group 3&8 is about nolan’s cross?

Group 5-7 are about the chambers and floodgates?

By Marko - 6 April 2016 Reply

I know how to get two it, but it will cost arount the million plus mark.

By Robert - 23 January 2016 Reply

If you need clarity in the water of the money pit 10X i recommend that you use a floc agent to precipitate the particulate. Then simply vaccum the bottom of the hole clarity will improve 100 percent.

By Don Ouellette - 14 January 2016 Reply

I have an alternate thought about getting to the bottom of 10x without the use of any divers
Have some one involved with the show contact me

By Tom stuban - 13 January 2016 Reply

I think they dugout a long deep canal and sunk a ship full of treasure and covered it up.

By Derick - 29 November 2015 Reply

people 200 years ago are not smarter than the people and the technology of today there simply is nothing there!!! people r wasting there time with all that, they will never find anything.

By john - 23 November 2015 Reply

If I want to find the source of where water is coming from I put dye into the water and force it backwards once it’s found block it … another thing that I would do is use under ground explosions to cave the tunnels in..

By Capt X - 6 December 2015 Reply

It was already done. Blown with no success.

This type of treasure must be accessed by digging parallel to not into the hole.
Intelligence versus greed.

No chance of success now, sorry.

Descendant of privateers….

By Jim Green - 22 November 2015 Reply

Anybody that hides treasure does so with the intention of using it in the near future. It just doesn’t make any sense to dig the enormous quantity of tunnels suggested in lore and then abandon the whole works. People are just too greedy for this to be believable.

By Derick - 29 November 2015 Reply

thats excatly right man theres nothing there.

By mike - 19 November 2015 Reply

i admire and think its great to look for treasure but this is clear as day what going on here…..these are natural tunnels running under the island all of them are filled with sea water…gfoing in and out with the tides…anything down there has washed in form tides moving…small amounts of debris possibly small amounts of silver gold rtc may be there from tides,,,,but no way did they dig down 150 feet to bury treasure hundreds of years ago

By john sawyer - 17 November 2015 Reply

nice to see someone trying to get to bottom of this mystery. I would gladly donate my time if you could get me there. Hope this discovery changes world!!

By Bill - 16 November 2015 Reply

dig at the spot with the tunnel that is closest to the soil

By Jen - 15 November 2015 Reply

I’m just curious as how this island is owned? It is part of Nova Scotia which is part of Canada. Even if somebody were to pull up old treasure or historical items I would think they would belong to the Canadian government and they would go to a museum. No?

By Nick - 25 November 2015 Reply

Anything found on oak island is allowed to be kept by the treasure hunters. With the exception of anything deemed to be an artifact in which case it belongs to Nova Scotia. Of course anything of significant that would be found will be an Artifact so therefore it will belong to Nova Scotia. Although the government has said the people who find such artifacts will be treated fairly what ever that means. Presumably the artifacts would be bought by Nova Scotia at a reasonable price for both parties since we are such nice people here in NS

By andy - 5 December 2015 Reply


By Brad - 7 November 2015 Reply

I have been quite enthralled with this show myself. Though i think its just for the thrill of watching a bunch of monkeys dance around an island with childish dreams of an almost certainly non existant treasure.

And rest assured, there is no such thing as reality tv. If you buy for one second that after hundreds of years they were able to find coconut fibers and an old pirate coin just sitting on the beach, then you should probably put on a big red nose and go ride your unicycle around the island with the rest of those circus clowns.

I agree with one of the other posters on here they seriously need to cut down on the constant 5 minute recaps. Starts to feel like a waste of an hour when you only give us enough material for a 15 show.

I am very curious to see how they end this series though im sure the final line of the final episode will read something like this “it looks like the secrets of oak island will remain a mystery”.

By Ken - 29 October 2015 Reply

Color the water in the pit and use air pressure to displace the water in the pit.

By Jean - 18 October 2015 Reply

Visited there in the late1990’s . Found it interesting as a fairy tale , but could not buy into the Treasure Hunting story

By greg firestone - 4 September 2015 Reply

for one i would go Diagonal like they done under the Hudson bay and another i would do the die test when the time of year the tide was puling out and was drawing the water out like a drain i be-leave the celestial moon works whith the tide i have other ideas but im just a Firestone with a head full of ideas

[…] of course, the promise of a buried treasure. You can read some pieces of the story here, here, or here. There’s also a show on the History channel that chronicles the ongoing search for the […]

By John - 19 July 2015 Reply

I have been following the oak island mystery for many years and have been very interested in what is really under the island if all of the speculation of the fabulous treasure of the Knights Templar, captain kid,or what ever the speculative findings. I myself hope that there is a very significant find that will change the minds of all the doubters over the years saying there is nothing there but a waste of time,money and lives. Here’s hoping that what is uncovered the world is ready for good luck guys all the best

By Bonnie - 17 January 2016 Reply

I agree with you. I hope that it is a fabulous treasure, and the the Laginas find it soon. I have been following the mystery since I was a child, and am now in my seventies, and I cannot pass over until the mystery is solved….roflol….so I do hope that they hurry…lol.

By roch - 27 March 2015 Reply

is it me or the first in the stone incription is in correct. I don’t know why but the mistakes seem obvious. the firt word is not Forty.each symbol representsa letter and seems to represent the same letter. EX: %=o

So how can the first word in here be Forty when the symbols do not match the amount of letters? I believe the decyphering is wrong.

By Den - 7 May 2015 Reply

In reply to (roch-27 March 2015)
I believe that the second symbol in the first word was an error and was cancelled out. The cross lines are short and not parallel, this is inconsistent with the rest of the symbols which are more symmetric.Even though the error seems a bit foolish
it could be possible.

[…] least in Canada, they served a common purpose. Did they bury any gold on Oak Island, or was that the work of the Knights Templar? Were the Vikings involved? The mystery may never get […]

By davontay - 5 February 2015 Reply

can they use a sumarine

By Kay - 28 March 2015 Reply

No! It’s way to small?!?!?!?! It’d be impossible!!!!!!

By Kim - 29 January 2015 Reply

The boyfriend and I got addicted to this show after the first episode, BUT one thing we would like the editors or whomever to do it cut out all the repeats! It takes like 5-10 to recaps what happened on the last episode and then after every commercial it repeats everything that happened before the commercial. I feel like there could be so much more to be filled in those spots.

By Highlander - 17 January 2015 Reply

Interesting show,BUT they are looking in wrong spot,also they forget about the tides.

By Cassie - 14 January 2015 Reply

I am totally fascinated by this show and the mystery of whether or not there is a treasure. But if there is, how did it get down there in the first place? Thinking of a treasure chest with gold in it must have been extremely heavy. So how was it deposited 200+ plus years ago without machinery? It must have been dry in the first place if there were boards, wood, etc. detected in the area or vault of the treasure. There would have been no one in that era with scuba diving equipment or machinery to deposit it. Might the sea level have been that much lower then? And if there are any written documents by famous writers that are submerged in this “treasure,” they surely have disintegrated in the water. It would be hard to think that any chest or box would be water-proofed back then, therefore, I would imagine ruination. So, just wondering what I missed.

By Josh Donison - 12 January 2015 Reply

I’m wondering, does the message mean 2 million BRITISH POUNDS, or 2 million POUNDS of GOLD? Answers or thoughts would be appreciated. 😉

By mark - 10 February 2015 Reply

Bro…. 2 mill pounds of gold 0.o lets go get ourselves some treasure

By Jim - 5 January 2015 Reply

There is actually no hard evidence that anything was buried at Oak Island by anyone. Instead, over time, stories have been concocted that everything from the Ark of the Covenant to the Crown Jewels of France to pirate treasure to Knights Templar religious treasure to revealing who William Shakespear really was. All of this started after someone saw lights on the island at night. No maps, no historical record of any kind exist to substantiate any of the claims. Besides, how in the world would someone have been able to physically do this so long ago? People will go to great lengths to find treasure and this is an extreme case. A stone inscribed with mysterious symbols supposedly translated to Forty feet below, two million pounds lie buried?? What language, translated by whom? It, of course, has been lost, if there ever was a stone. I’m sorry but I just don’t buy any of this.

By Ken - 28 March 2015 Reply

You ask how someone would be able to do this hundreds of years ago, well, if you think about it, the Egyptians, Aztecs, Incans, Mayans and so many others did some pretty amazing things back then.

There is a beach on this island they call “No Boulder Beach” where there are no stones or rocks anywhere. All the other beachs have stines and rocks. It wouldn’t take too much work to haul those stones/rocks and build dams, then pump the water out so they could excavate down, build that wooded/concrete chamber, fill it with artifacts and then bury it back up.

As they bury the hole they also put in place the booby trap water piping, place all that coconut hair over the inlet holes to the piping, then cover it all back up with sand and rocks from the excavations. Remove the stone/rock dam and viola….hidden treasure.

By ken thomson - 3 January 2015 Reply

i believe the american with the clamshell and he crain dug out the money and hauld the tresure back to the usa and back filled the hole . chek out his holdings ,land wealth, he got and family.

By mr.wILSON - 2 January 2015 Reply

Hey, Sheet piling would not work, it is inexpensive but the problems with it is within an in an area full of boulders, wood, and possibly and artesian well, it would cost way too much money and never get to the depth needed, to do a project such as you speak would involve drill rigs more specifically foundation drill rigs. A BG 40 made by a German company called Bauer. This drill can drill caisson walls, which is basically concrete walls. Caisson walls prevent water from flowing past them. that is where sheet piling fails. It also retains the water with in the area which you can pump out with dewatering systems. Also to do this job on a large scale as you say they should and of the depth of this job you would have to have install tie back anchors to keep the walls up. If you were to try this with sheet piling as soon as you cut the hole its a lot of time and very complicated to stop the water flowing through the hole. but with a caisson wall it is easy because you put a grout bag on the tie back strand and fill it. This is an expensive method but it is the best for the task you ask………But say you take a BG 40 and drill a hole with the same tools it would a caisson. You 900mm casing which is over 3 feet in diameter, which you can fit a human in. You take that and drill next to shaft 10x or any other location they believe is the lost treasure and boom you have a safe and practical shaft. These machines are expensive but these are the safest and most practical ways. like they say if you are going to do something, do it right the first time!…and what’s the cost of a machine for the greatest treasure find in the world! also here is a youtube clip of a Bg 40 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1lqXTYJat0

By Neal McLaughlin - 20 December 2014 Reply

I believe that there’s nothing of value down there. It probably a diversion that is meant to keep treasure seekers from an other location. If the owner of the so called treasure would want to retrieve it he would not have given clues about it location. It would be in a completely different location with easy access. The direction of the search is way to complicated to achieve to anything. But it serving the purpose.

By Andy - 14 February 2016 Reply

Finally, someone that makes sense. People back then always thought about the future and not so simple minded people such as our century. The gold could’ve been there but it wasn’t left there more likely stored there for their future family generations because I believe at the time of when it was taken away the people in power wanted this wealth, I’ve watched other documentaries that I think relate to the wild goose chase for the gold. I’ve been researching the history

By Carl - 9 December 2014 Reply

With the cost of all the drill rigs etc. Have you considered just running down sheet piles and clam or vacuum out the inside. They are installed with a large vibrator on a crane. That way the sides would remain safe to work right up to the money pit. You could concentrate on just the money pit and you could easily control the water. And when you are done there just pull the piles and move them to the next area and start over.This is a easy system to use and in the end likely the cheapest way to do it

By Shane - 4 December 2014 Reply

They should drive steel casing like same as used all over island to look inside Vault now that they drilled through the vault ceiling and look inside with camera, When there is confirmation of ANY contents drive a similar but larger steel casing, large enough for a man to fit.
FIRSTLY, have a bottom ‘plate’ fabricated so that it could be dropped in and sealed off if/when water becomes a danger, obstacle then they have ability to drill relief holes for the water to rise out of the ground then re-route the water via discharge hose out to sea, IF it’s fresh water, (when they drilled they appeared to hit an ‘artesian well’ which is almost impossible considering their surrounded by trillions of gallons of salt water and there are known feed tunnels for the ‘water traps’ protecting treasure. Although they tasted it and said it was frash and seemed ‘brackish’ but saltwater would be filtered after traveling through 120 ft of earth 20 of which is charcoal one of best water filter substances imaginable) saltwater would mean they hit ‘water trap’ and will have to dam the inlet find the inlets for water traps and seal them off.I believe that their ‘DYE’ idea will make that idea and ability to seal main shafts and not all the “fingers” that feed traps much easier.
If the water CAN be stopped within their budget AND/OR the ‘laws’ which I’m sure exist as far as digging in ocean and on or around the island GREAT.
If it CAN’T be stopped continue with the casing approach so that once entry can be made into the vault a man/men could go down with a diving helmet.The casing approach would allow the ‘vault’ to be entered without the risk of large open pit digging and subsequent collapse from a water trap being released and possibly killing the 7th person needed to fulfill the “curse”
You may ask HOW to drive that large of a casing down and be clear of all the dirt and mud encountered, simply used a very large dredge pump and ‘liquify’ the contents of casing and pump it out, any large rocks, lumber etc encountered could be removed by hand using the ‘elevator’ they would obviously need to move a man up and down the shaft easily.
I for one CANNOT wait to see what they find down there the fact that the core sample they pulled up which matches the descriptions of the vault all the way back to 1897 to the inch and drawing the clay, concrete, wooden beams, it’s all just a matter of getting a glimpse inside and then choosing method to retrieve the priceless cache’ of gold, writings and precious artifacts.
ONCE verified that treasure INDEED DOESN’T EXIST most likely Canada or someone with endless pockets will come in to retrieve the items with precision,speed and efficiency and most likely damming the coves that feed traps and dig down to the vault and even more daunting the HUGE metal object that lies below. I CAN’T WAIT.!!!!
Metalmanpa @ ya whoo

By Sebastien - 30 November 2014 Reply

Then you should watch this amazing show : http://www.history.ca/the-curse-of-oak-island/
They dig with machines, but it’s full of booby traps!

By Fletcher - 16 November 2014 Reply

Hi I also have been interested in this since I read the same article. I do believe that I have a way to solve this. Call me at 7742696809.

By Martin - 16 November 2014 Reply

cant they dig it with machine or use robot that can dive