Northern Michigan’s Marty Lagina: Energy Mogul to History Channel Star

Northern Michigan’s Marty Lagina goes from energy mogul to treasure hunter in the new History Channel adventure reality series The Curse of Oak Island. (Click for background info.) But before he was a reality television star, Lagina, who lives in Traverse City, channeled his impressive energy toward extracting natural gas and extracting wind in Northern Michigan. Scroll on to read our 2009 interview with Northern Michigan’s Marty Lagina when he was still but an energy mogul:

Fall 2009, Traverse Magazine talks to Marty Lagina:

Not-so-hidden, deep in Missaukee County cornfield country, two 350-foot-tall wind turbines spin their giant arms in the north wind. The man behind them is local energy mogul Marty Lagina, whose company, Terra Energy, perfected the tricky extraction of natural gas from Northern Michigan Antrim shale in the 1990’s. Five years ago—after he’d sold Terra to CMS Energy for $58 million—Lagina turned his attention to wind. His new company, Heritage Sustainable Energy, plans 60 turbines at the Missaukee site, a megawatt capacity that would make the site the biggest wind-energy producer in Michigan.

Traditionally you’ve hung with the drill, baby, drill crowd. What’s up?
We have to get off of fossil fuels sometime soon—I am sure of it because I’ve spent my life in this business. Oil and gas won’t run out, they will never run out, but as wells decline and each barrel is harder and harder to get they are going to get wildly expensive. We have a huge energy problem in this country, but you know we can solve it. It’s exciting.

Is it a stretch though—a cowboy boots, oil and gas guy going into wind?
I’ve always viewed myself as in the energy business. I believe wind power is like the Antrim shale was in 1984. There are some technical issues with it, just like there were with those wells back then. It looks like really skinny economics right now—until we get better at it.

With all that risk, how is the project financed?
(Laughs). Money out of people’s savings, that’s how it got financed. This is just a group of Michigan businessmen—half from Traverse City and half from Mount Pleasant—who took the risk and paid cash.

Assuming better technology, what’s the potential for wind power in Michigan?
With current technology we could get around 20 to 25 percent of our power from wind. There are a lot of spots in Michigan that will be commercial for wind and should be. When the grid gets smarter you could probably push it up to 50 percent.

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Article Comments

  • Sad American

    I have figured out the water system (boobie trap) The block and tackle was bait! A decoy! The system is so simple it’s brilliant! Think of the elbow under your sink. I don’t know who put it there or when but I can answer the mystery of how to get what ever is buried there. I don’t want to reveal publicly. Get me a email address or pay phone number And I will share my hypothesis. NO SHIT! I got this! It won’t cost you a thing to listen!? I can save you millions. If you find it based on my solution maybe I could get a small piece. You need to hurry I have a tumor in my chest might be nice if I could leave something for my grand kids. Think about it?

  • Ed Hellwig

    Saw an article or show on how wind mills keep pitch adjusted to keep rpm’s constant regardless of wind speed, but didn’t make a sketch. Now can’t remember how it automatically adjusted pitch of blades. Can I get a drawing or sketch? Just an old man, always interested in mechanical engineering.
    Ed Hellwig
    [email protected]

  • Crystal Cabot

    Sometimes the simplest mathematical solutions are in plain sight. The Oak trees are not indigenous to the area, so counting the rings of the trees will indicate the time the first treasure was buried. Their may be other Pirate treasures from a later date, but due to the hieroglyphs found, I believe the first treasure is indeed from the 1307 missing Knights Templar Crusader hoard. Trees can tell time, so the first step is to get the true age of the trees, as someone else mentioned. Also, in addition to being filled with water due to the Ocean rising, the tunnels most likely have caved due to bulldozing and other factors.

  • kirby calhoun

    I have been monitoring the progress of the dig. Not only do i have a theory but if it is correct it would be the single most incredible discovery of the human race history. Historically the last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago. Now if this is so then the cave of enoch could have been there because sea levels were much lower ten thousand years ago, and noahs ark quite possibly could have been built on the north american continent. This would give light to the belief that there was a golden pyramid with the name of god on the bottom of it, and an entrance to a cave would be offshore of oak island. Also the mysterious tablet the inscriptions are a form of ancient cuneiform.

    • Chris Scalone

      Your theory panned out in tonight’s episode!

  • Vivian

    Has anyone thought of sending a robotic into one of the flood tunnels to see if you can get to it that way with at least a camera.

    • Joe Scales

      The “flood tunnels” were revealed to be naturally occurring underground channeling of ocean water as part of the Windsor Formation beneath. Geology and science have explained this over 150 years ago which Robert Dunfield most recently confirmed in his geological surveys which were buried until 2003. But if you’d rather believe in flood tunnels built hundreds of years ago that outlast modern infrastructure to guard the world’s greatest treasure buried by idiots who left a tackle block over the dig site… well, tune in to this garbage next Tuesday, brought to you by Oak Island Tours, Inc., to witness more vile falsification of history on a channel now known for only such abominations.

      • Jose

        If you don’t believe in the treasure, then don’t watch it. I find it entertaining that you took 5 minutes out of your valuable time to post your 2 cents on something that you don’t believe in.

        • Joe Scales

          It didn’t take five minutes. Perhaps you think and type slower than others.

      • Patrick Breen

        Great Wall of china, the pyramids of Egypt, Derinkuyu’s Massive, (Ancient Underground City), Hypogeum of Hal-Saflieni, The Ancient Marib Dam (Worked for 1,000 Years), Pumapunku (Made of Bizarrely Complex Interlocking Stones), Gobekli Tepe (Built Before Humans Knew How to Grow Food) etc.. Those ancient structure built way back then will be here long after our “modern” buildings that you seem to think need no “daily” maintenance are long gone compared to structures erected thousands of years ago suffering absolutely no maintenance for at least a minimum of 500 years maintenance free. Try walking away from any further work or maintenance on the seat tower, let’s see if it’s still standing in a thousand years! News flash, it will not even be recognizable as a building or man ever stood on that ground!
        .. If you filled your head with as much intelligent knowledge as you do cynicism and have all that room in there of any and all lack of ancient architectural history you may be able to sit at the grown up table some day..

        • Joe Scales


          Perhaps your feelings are hurt having fallen for the lies and misrepresentations the Curse of Oak Island television show puts forth each week. Take last week for example, when Rick claimed that proving the “box drains” existed would prove the “flood tunnels” existed. The box drains on the island already have been shown to have existed, but they did not travel from the beach to the nearly two football field length distance all the way to the money pit. No, they were never part of some extravagant booby trap design. They were likely the remnants of an old salt works.

          Richard Joltes discusses this, and other myths behind this contrived hoax. You are certainly welcome to learn for yourself how this television show has distorted history and science since its inception:

          And for a more pointed look at the box drain/salt works theory:

          Now prove you can sit at the grown up table by doing some real research. Then try to come back with an argument accordingly in defense of this hoax you seem to embrace. Ultimately, there is no rational, historical, scientific or factual basis for even the notion of treasure on Oak Island.

  • desert

    I have a comment for Rick and Marty…I notice a lot of talk about the curse of Oak Island, I am not sure that I 100% believe in them, but I can’t say I don’t, they are mentioned in the Bible…but what I am writing about is that I believe the 7th man has already died…The man that found something on the drill bit and tried/or did sell it and tried to buy the island..then died 2 days later…..if that isn’t a prime example of a curse , I don’t know what is, the man stole from the island, his compadres and his shipmates…and the island got him…I too read the 1965 Readers Digest article and have also been fascinated with Oak Island, I spent 3 days thinking about it when I read the article and came up with what I thought was a solution to the flooding, however, by that time the pit had already been ruined and flooded…anyway, tho I believe the curse if fulfilled, I still suggest caution as the Island is a dangerous place and normal safety needs to be strenuously observed imho..I hope this makes sense and give you some relief over the thought of the curse…I pray for your success, and safety for all of you involved, May God bless your endeavors….!

  • Greg Hood

    Why don’t you have the anouncer on so we can see his ideas?

  • David Lorenz

    This message is for Rick Lagina , Please contact me at this # 815-307-6186 Dave Lorenz from Chicago……

  • Sean Mason

    There is NO treasure. It is gone. Knights Templar were and are Gods very agents on earth. Maybe it was their task to deliver the word of God to north America. The cryptic writing may be Book of Mormon. They arrived in the dark ages, when the plan was to elevate America to Gods chosen and be a light unto the world. It is gone and not of man. Therefore, God does not allow such value to fall I to the hands of man. Let alone – fools!

  • Digger

    What? No myNorth articles about Oak Island adventures in 2017? Shame, shame. Back to work….