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OAK ISLAND Treasure Pit / Money Pit

If I told you that there was a buried treasure on Oak Island just off the coast of Nova Scotia, you might believe me.

After all this area of North America was a favorite stomping ground for pirates in the 18th century.If I told you that the treasure was buried in a deep pit, you might respond, “Of course, that was it to make sure no one but the pirates found it”.But what if I told you that the treasure pit was, to date, almost 200 feet deep, protected by an elaborate set of booby traps (underground channels to an ocean beach over 500 feet away), has been the subject of countless excavations since 1795, costing millions of dollars, and the death place of six treasure hunters, and they still haven’t found the treasure…  If you answer: “That’s the treasure pit at Oak Island”, you are correct!  The History Channel now has a TV Series called The Curse of Oak Island Treasure.

Oak Island Nova Scotia  Treasure Money Pit

Oak Island Treasure Money Pit

The story of the Oak Island treasure pit is fascinating and complex.

It is a story of mystery, greed, controversy and very little humor. The Oak Island treasure has been sought by many individuals and corporations for over 200 years.  It has attracted all strata of explorer from: the three teenagers who first discovered the site; to 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, but was discouraged when he found the search rights belonged to a company owned by fellow actor John Wayne.

The story of the Oak Island Treasure Pit has been written about in numerous books.  To date the treasure has not been uncovered, but tantalizing glimpses of what are purported to be part of the treasure have been reported. The following are a sample of some of the theories on who buried the treasure on Oak Island:

  • the most popular theory is that of the early 18th century pirate Captain Kidd, who frequently visited the region of Oak Island 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 that the treasure is the original works of William Shakespeare/ Sir Francis Bacon buried on the site in the late 16th century. This theory is based on the evidence of 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 and were said to have been smuggled to Louisburg (north of Oak Island in Cape Breton). Since Louisburg was frequently attacked by the British when the French owned it, the jewels were considered unsafe and were transported to Oak Island.
Oak Island money Pit

Oak Island money Pit

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

Excavation of the Pit has never been successful because of the booby traps which were set to protect it. In the mid-1860s, 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 wetness 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 was 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 had been installed as a booby trap to protect the treasure.

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

In the over 200 years that adventurers have searched for the Treasure Pit of Oak Island, they have encountered oak log platforms every ten feet or so to the thirty foot level. From there, a drill probe used in 1849, encountered multiple layers of charcoal, putty and coconut fibre.  At the 98 feet level, 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 that there were, below the 98 foot oak chests, layers of wood and iron, a 30 foot layer of blue clay (a hand-worked watertight mixture of clay, sand and water) , a seven foot deep cement vault at 153 feet and an iron barrier at 171 feet.

Early on in the hunt for the Treasure, an inscribed stone (which has been lost over time) 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 as follows:

Oak Island Stone Inscription Translation

Oak Island Treasure Stone Inscription Translation

Today, Oak Island is owned by two individuals who still search of the treasure of oak island.

Written by

Author of Mysteries of Canada

34 Responses to “OAK ISLAND Treasure Pit / Money Pit”

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 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 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 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”.

[…] reveal info and find the "money pit?" If you're not familiar, you can look up at wiki or…-treasure-pit/ The show is awful, btw, moves way too slow and drags many episodes over very little progress. […]

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 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

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 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 :
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

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