Rick and Marty Lagina: The Last Treasure Hunters

They were hooked on the legend as kids. Now, Upper Peninsula brothers Rick and Marty Lagina could be writing a 200-year-old mystery’s final chapters on History Channel’s The Curse of Oak Island.

“Hey, you’re the guy from that show.” The voice comes from down the stairs, where a man in work clothes spattered with paint and wood stain is finishing trim work in Marty Lagina’s mammoth Tuscan-inspired winery-to-be on Michigan’s Old Mission Peninsula. Marty actually passed him 15 minutes earlier on the way down the stairs. But the time in between down and up has apparently helped him place Marty’s face.

“Oak Island, right?” the man says, now confident he’s got the right guy.

Marty halts his step in a way that suggests he knows what’s coming next. The man switches into celebrity fan mode, forgetting for a moment the work Lagina is paying him to do. He explains how The Curse of Oak Island—the History channel’s popular reality show in which Marty and his brother Rick star—is one of his favorites. How he, like millions of others, follows the Lagina brothers’ Monday night adventures in cracking a more than 200-year-old mystery of buried treasure on a wild Nova Scotia Island. Like a lot of fans, he isn’t shy about floating a few of his own theories about the mystery either. Or swinging his arm up over Marty’s shoulder to pose for a photo. And then, post-handshake, post-nice-to-meet-you, comes the question. The one that seems to be nagging the Lagina brothers these days. And the one about which people are increasingly blunt.

“So you think you’re gonna actually find something this year?”

Marty’s brother Rick’s version of that story stars a tell-it-like-it-is grade-schooler from Escanaba, who, during a presentation at her school, unapologetically explained that if she’d found as little as the guys had in six years of digging on Oak Island, she’d have given up by now. Rick admits she has a point. In fact, his best explanation as to why they’re still at it after turning up only enough to make you wonder why they still have a television show is that they’re “Yoopers—and Yoopers don’t give up.”

Prometheus Entertainment & Oak Island Tours Inc.

To be fair, the Lagina brothers did not set out to make a reality TV show. That, like the legend of Oak Island itself, more or less found them. As Rick remembers it, he was 11 years old when he discovered the classic story of buried treasure inside a 1965 copy of Reader’s Digest he’d checked out from the school library. According to the article, a century’s worth of treasure hunters had tried and failed to excavate a mysterious depression on Oak Island rumored to be hiding something of great significance.

The prevailing lore among island residents had always been that a pirate colleague of Captain Kidd stashed a fortune in the so-called “Money Pit.” Other more creative theories suggested the buried cache contained the lost manuscripts of William Shakespeare.

Early digs at the site didn’t give up anything quite so interesting. But they did produce a handful of strange discoveries that would fuel the hunt for another century: a stone rumored to be engraved with strange symbols, platforms of timber buried at regular 10-foot intervals. Every excavation attempt, though, was eventually thwarted when the mine inexplicably flooded—leading to a theory that whoever stashed the cargo had also engineered a series of booby-trapped underground tunnels to protect it. Such unforeseen events only added to the mystery—as did the fact that several of the men who had become obsessed with the treasure had died trying to unearth it.

The legend had everything two kids who grew up devouring Hardy Boys books could ask for, and they both fell hard for the story. After reading it, Marty remembers they’d play out various versions of their own Oak Island mysteries—stomping around the woods near Iron Mountain, spending the better part of three summers digging for “Indian treasure” under one particularly immovable Upper Peninsula boulder. But though they came to the legend as children, their fascination proved to have surprising durability. As young adults, they found themselves still discussing it at holiday family gatherings. They talked about making a visit to the island someday.

Rick even made a habit of following the latest developments of Dan Blankenship—a rough-and-tumble Florida man who retired from a construction business to devote himself full-time to hunting the Oak Island treasure. In the storied lineage of those who have pursued the treasure, Blankenship stands out as folk-hero type figure. Starting in the 1970s, he excavated a whole new 200-plus-foot-deep “back door” into the Money Pit with not much more than pickaxes and muscle—reinforcing his mine’s walls with a system of railroad tank cars with the ends sawn off. To Rick, it was a feat of armchair engineering worthy of its own damn legend.

Courtesy of Prometheus Entertainment & Oak Island Inc.

In the early 1990s, Rick even reached out to Blankenship, who he heard had run out of money and was looking for investors to continue the search. The closest he could get to Blankenship was his wife, Jane—who greeted Rick’s initial inquiries into coming to Oak Island simply by saying she couldn’t stop him from making the 1,400-mile trip to Nova Scotia if he really wanted to. It was invitation enough. And he and Marty, who were now in their 40s but just as curious as ever about the legend, decided they would make a pilgrimage to Oak Island.

“When we got to the causeway, both of us were so nervous, we were each trying to get the other to be the one to drive across,” Rick remembers. “And then, when we finally got the nerve to do it, we drove over, and who’s there but Mr. Blankenship. This very imposing man that we’ve read about is actually standing there at the other end of the causeway clearing trees. And we got out of the car, and he looked up, and he didn’t say a word.”

Not knowing what else to do, Rick said he spontaneously started to pitch in—helping push over trees that Blankenship was whipping with a chainsaw. The silent gesture, aided by a bottle of whiskey they had brought as a gift, eventually won a cautious entrée back to the house. The initial exchange of pleasantries seemed to be going better than Rick hoped. But just as he was working up the nerve to broach the subject of possibly joining in the hunt, Blankenship was unexpectedly called away on other business. He left hurriedly. And there was no mention of picking up the conversation at a later date.

“We basically got the bum’s rush off the island,” Rick says, laughing. “Don’t get me wrong, Dan wasn’t unfriendly. He just got up and said ‘I’ve gotta go,’ and ‘thank you for coming,’ and that was it.” The next day the brothers retreated back across the causeway and home to Michigan, taking with them only a vague feeling in Rick’s gut that they’d be back.

The brothers quibble over which one of them spotted the real estate ad in Islands magazine. Marty’s version of the story is that he was thumbing through the pages, killing time while on a trip in Florida. Rick thinks it might have been him. Either way, they both have the same memory of the most important details: More than a dozen years after their initial visit to see Dan Blankenship, Oak Island, of all places, was for sale.

“I remember seeing that and calling Rick and saying, ‘Hey, do you think we should look into this?’” Marty says.

He knew Rick, who had never been able to escape the orbit of the island’s mystery, wouldn’t have to chew on that question very long. They called the real estate agent’s number listed in the magazine. It turned out the island wasn’t exactly for sale. Instead, there was a plot of land on Oak Island that was about to go on the market. But for the brothers, it was a way to gain a foothold on the island and lay the groundwork for realizing a dream they had left—along with some half-finished glasses of whiskey—in Dan Blankenship’s living room.

It would take a few years, but their strategy and patience ultimately paid off. Buying Lot 25 on the island proved to Blankenship that the “Italians from Michigan” were serious. And around 2005, when one of Blankenship’s partners decided he’d had enough of the treasure-hunting business, the Lagina brothers put in their bid to buy the shares that would more or less amount to 50 percent ownership in the island, which measures shy of a mile east to west and not even a half-mile north to south.

Courtesy of Prometheus Entertainment & Oak Island Inc.

At first, their chances didn’t look good. They were competing with a Swiss developer who actually put in a higher bid. But Blankenship, who had right of first refusal on the sale of his partner’s shares, chose the Lagina brothers’ lower offer. To Blankenship, they were like him: They were treasure hunters. And with the sun setting on the now 80-plus-year-old folk hero’s chances of solving the mystery, he likely realized partnering with the upstarts from Michigan might be his last best shot.

In reality, it was a partnership that made a lot of sense. Marty, who had made his fortune in Michigan’s oil and gas boom in the 1980s, knew how to dig a hole with more than just pick axes and sawed-off tank cars. And Rick’s near reverence for Blankenship was a key ingredient in always making the veteran treasure hunter feel like the decades he’d already sunk into the search were given their proper place.

“I still sort of think of us as the upstarts,” Rick says. “And I’m still not sure we’ve won Dan over even now. You have to understand that there are aspects to treasure hunting where one tends to get very protective. It’s treasure, after all. And Dan wants to solve this thing and is looking for answers. I’d like to get him some answers.”

With larger-than-life characters, a solid backstory and a potentially history-making ending, the situation had all the makings of a good TV show. And as it turned out, it didn’t take long for an actual TV producer to notice. It was Kevin Burns—the man who’s brought you everything from the History channel hit Ancient Aliens to The Girls Next Door, E!’s reality tour of Hugh Heffner’s (mis)adventures with his three live-in girlfriends. When Burns caught wind of what the brothers were up to, he went out to Oak Island himself to ask if he could document their adventure.

The Yoopers weren’t so sure they wanted to be on TV.

“Kevin really had to talk us into it,” Marty says. “What carried the day is that Rick is a true believer in this legend. In his heart, he believes something of historical importance really happened in this place. And he wanted to get the story out.”

Courtesy of Prometheus Entertainment & Oak Island Inc.

It would be Readers Digest all over again. But on cable.

The Curse of Oak Island turned out to be that and then some. In its first season on History channel, the Laginas’ weekly adventure in treasure hunting found itself making Top 10 lists of cable programs—beating out favorites like Discovery’s Alaska: The Last Frontier, a reality show about an extended family of kooky off-the-grid homesteaders; and HBO’s McConaughey-fueled thriller True Detective. To be sure, Curse is much more like the former than the latter. Like almost all reality shows in this genre, it documents the goings-on of quirky people doing something quirky, crafting a slightly juiced-up storyline that more or less follows real events.

In the case of The Curse of Oak Island, the narrative thread is pretty obvious: We, as viewers, are following Rick and Marty as they try to find something at least resembling treasure. But when that plotline lags—as it often does—the producers spice it up with relevant trivia taken from the ancient lore of the island. For instance, in episode one, we learn that according to legend, seven people supposedly have to die in the quest to find the treasure before it will “reveal itself.” (The creators have titled this operation The ‘Curse’ of Oak Island, after all, and that is presumably the reason why.) Six have died so far, implying that either Rick or Marty could be next. The younger brother says they did have one close call where he almost knocked Rick’s head off with an excavator, but as of yet, no characters have been killed.

Courtesy of Prometheus Entertainment & Oak Island Inc.

Both brothers are adamant they haven’t reached a point yet where the tail is wagging the dog: This adventure is still first and foremost a treasure hunt, not a television show. Marty insists there’s no script, nor are they asked to embellish things. For sure, they have to accommodate a few made-for-TV distractions they wouldn’t have to if this were just a treasure hunt—like being mic’d up all the time and doing the occasional on-camera interview to frame the action for viewers. But they both see these as small inconveniences.

Marty even seems understanding of the fact that the show’s producers have to take a few creative liberties to keep the storyline afloat. At times, it’s no doubt a challenge: In six years of digging, the most exciting things the Laginas have found are some coconut fibers dating back to the Middle Ages and a 17th-century Spanish copper coin. Not uninteresting, but not exactly mystery-solving either. Still, it’s enough to keep his older brother Rick going. And at least so far, History’s betting that it’s enough to keep viewers like the guy painting trim in Marty’s winery tuned in. After much speculation, the network is confirming Curse fans will get a season four.

But like when writers are coming off a slumping season of a popular TV series, you get the sense that Rick—who doesn’t even watch the show—feels some pressure to deliver something more substantial to viewers.

“This summer, we’re going to throw everything we’ve got into the search,” he says. “We’ve thrown everything but the kitchen sink at it and we’ll continue to adapt and persevere. And hopefully, at the end of this summer, we’ll have the answers that we all seek. We’ll be able to walk into Mr. Blankenship’s kitchen and say, ‘Here, Dan, here’s your proof.’”

Indeed, the legacy of the Laginas’ search on the island may ultimately not be what they find, but what they do if their search fails. It’s clear now that the brothers are no longer mere outside admirers of the Oak Island mystery, as they were as kids. They’ve been absorbed into the story itself—as characters, participants—and pivotal ones, capable of writing the mystery’s future, and potentially final, chapters. One of the consequences of Curse has not only been a spreading of the gospel of the Oak Island mystery to millions of viewers, but raising the island’s profile in a way that likely means the investors that follow when the Laginas leave will have more of an interest in tourism and development. And a high-end resort on the island could easily put any treasure hunting to bed for good.

Rick, whose love for this legend now spans 50 years, is particularly troubled by this possible unintended outcome. He has always been fond of describing his brother and himself as “stewards of a great mystery” more than treasure hunters, and that may prove to be more true than he ever realized. Not only in bringing some kind of closure for living legend Dan Blankenship. Not only to make fans feel like they weren’t pouring their time into a reality TV sinkhole. But because treasure or no treasure, they are now burdened with being the men with the biggest say over whether the long lineage of Oak Island treasure hunters ends with them.

I guess one might call that a curse after all.

July TVM cover



This feature on Rick and Marty Lagina was originally published in the July 2016 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.
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All photos of Rick and Marty Lagina used in this article are courtesy of Prometheus Entertainment & Oak Island Tours Inc. 

More Rick & Marty Lagina, The Curse of Oak Island

Article Comments

  • Rose McDonald

    I bought into this when I read the National Geographic article in 1965, more than 50 years ago. It was fascinating, and I started reading everything I could get my hands on.The more I read the more I realized that this was an extension of a hoax that was started a couple of hundred years ago. Fortunes have been pumped into the island, fortunes have been made by people writing books about the island, but no one ever found the fabulous treasure they believed was buried on the island. Every time someone failed, someone else made up a new myth about why they failed.
    From the first story to the most recent, Oak Island has been a colossal fraud. So, last season Rick Lagina announced that he’s planning to excavate an eighteen story hole under and next to 10X. Given that the floor of the bore-hole has a large sinkhole in it that is pumping water into 10X, I have to ask who is overseeing the engineering on this latest project. I believe in following your dreams, but at some point the dreamer has to accept the facts as they make themselves known.

  • JohnBPrice

    The only sane way to approach this project would be to accept as the key hypothesis that there is no treasure, that the money pit is a sunk hole, the various finds are just stuff left behind from previous inhabitants of the island and treasure hunters and that there is a bit of falsification of evidence thrown in to attract funding. Very soon, everything would fall into place and the ‘mystery’ would be solved to the satisfaction of all except the cranks.

    • Lawrence M Wolfe

      I would hate to say that if I was the brothers I couldn’t drain that swamp. just put several 6 inch pumps in that thing and it should drain. it would take a monster hole pouring back into the swamp to not be able to drain that darn thing.

  • milburnschmidt

    Its starting to look like a bigfoot search. Lots of Hype tune in next week cliff hangers and nothing. No body,chest or tunnel in the hole Blankenship swears he saw and that sums up the enchanting oak island story. We can hope something is there but its turning into another axemen,hoffman gold mine or geezers in search of the duutchmans gold edited reality show.

    • Dan Lac

      You have both a treasure hunt AND a TV show happening at the same time. The hunt is what it is. Some days you find stuff, some days not. The TV show needs something to air, if nothing was found that week, then what do you air? Entrance: people with “technology” and people with “theories” not to forget “adventures” in the swamp/woods/etc.For some of us viewers, it’s all good fun, but for those with money in it, it’s harrowing and heart breaking to say the least. For my part, if I had buried “treasure” there, I would have returned for it and the pit would be empty. Unless: 1. I was hung from the highest yardarm for piracy, 2. I found my demise in a mutiny aimed at returning to get the treasure, 3. I sank with my ship in a storm/attack, 4. I was foiled by my own booby traps…Whatever happened there, too many people knew for the secret to be kept. How to keep the secret? Lock the most people in the ships hold until anchored off Oak Island so they have no idea where they are. Then, after the work is done, you let them out again when you’re well out to sea. You then kill off those who sailed in and out of Oak Island, save for the main people involved. Anyway, that’s how I would do it, and I’m sticking to my story!

  • Ungowa

    Absolutely the worse show on TV. What a borefest. I would rather watch paint dry. Another case of someone with too much money and too much time on their hands. Big egos.

    • Ms. Pooks

      I just watch it for the beefcake anyway.

  • Reno Nevada

    I find myself fascinated by what I would do and where I would go to solve the mystery. I am allowed to think and ponder. For me that is the value of the show.

  • I have been to the island. My fascination is more about how they go about the exploration. Some in the past have used brute force, and the Laguinas seem to approach it more scientifically. I think their carefulness will give them advantage. Meantime, I will enjoy learning the process in case I become a treasure hunter some day.

  • Robert

    I believe that the island was a Ruse/mousetrap for where the treasure is really located. This falls in line with the mystery of S.W. Erdnase. And coincidental to the secrets this book is releasing, is the common theme, “hidden in Plain sight”. I was able to name and claim this land via GoogleMapTeam. After camping on this “Hill of Dreams”, for 3 weeks in field research, I was only able to dig about 7ft down. And when a fire truck sirened by and you could feel the vibrations from the dome, I knew that Oliver Holmes poem called The Chambered Nautilus was all true. I’ve been blogging this entire mystery on FB under the name Wendell G. Mortimer if anyone is interested. And let’s me make myself clear. I wasn’t looking to solve Oak Island, I was looking to solve the mystery of Erdnase. The information clashed, magicians are to egotistical to buy it….so….
    ….I’ll try my luck here.

    I was escorted off the property by The Colonies PD. They could not give me much info outside that a Mr. Jin held the lease and didn’t want me up there. I found what I needed to know, and 6 months later, no one has contested my claim…nor my Naming of that property to SWErdnase Park.


  • Robert

    Here is additionally added info to support my prior post. And must know that Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr was somewhat obsessed with Treasure Trove laws which really wouldn’t do any good for Canada. I’m willing to share if you’re willing to team.


  • I was really into the whole concept when I started watching last season, but now I just want to know the bottom line – was any significant “treasure” found? 🙂

    • kobalt staub

      I think they already found the treasure, that TV show IS their treasure, dragging it to no end is the proof that there’s nothing to be found but high paying sponsors for that show. Idiots like us waiting for them to find yet another piece of black smelly piece of wood IS the money making treasure.

      • Ms. Pooks

        The real treasure is at home with your loved ones ’cause when they are gone that is the only thing you truly want back. Put effort into them.

  • GregoryJTopliff

    To the Curse of Oak Island Show


    Dear Lagina Brother’s,
    Why hasn’t the island been scanned by Lidar? I put down how it works below from Wikipedia. The show has wasted a lot of time on the ground when they could map the whole island and the outskirts off the shoreline to see what was there under the foliage centuries ago.
    Airborne lidar (also airborne laser scanning) is when a laser scanner, while attached to a plane during flight, creates a 3D point cloud model of the landscape. This is currently the most detailed and accurate method of creating digital elevation models, replacing photogrammetry. One major advantage in comparison with photogrammetry is the ability to filter out reflections from vegetation from the point cloud model to create a digital surface model which represents ground surfaces such as rivers, paths, cultural heritage sites, etc., which are concealed by trees. Within the category of airborne lidar, there is sometimes a distinction made between high-altitude and low-altitude applications, but the main difference is a reduction in both accuracy and point density of data acquired at higher altitudes. Airborne lidar can also be used to create Airborne lidar [edit]

    The main constituents of airborne lidar include all points, ground points, digital elevation models (DEM) and digital survey models (DSM). The points and ground points are the vectors of discrete points while DEM and DSM are interpolated raster grids of discrete points. The process also involves capturing of digital aerial photographs. In order to interpret deep seated landslides for example, under the cover of vegetation, scarps, tension cracks or tipped trees air borne lidar is used. Air borne lidar digital elevation models can see through the canopy of forest cover, perform detailed measurements of scarps, erosion and tilting of electric poles.[19]

    Airborne lidar data is processed using a toolbox for lidar data filtering and terrain study software. The data is interpolated to digital terrain models using the software. The laser is directed at the region to be mapped and each point’s height above the ground is calculated by subtracting the original z-coordinate from the corresponding digital terrain model elevation. Based on this height above the ground the non-vegetation data is obtained, which may include objects such as buildings, electric power lines, flying birds etc. The rest of the points are treated as vegetation and used for modeling and mapping. Within each of these plots, lidar metrics are calculated by calculating statistics such as mean, standard deviation, skewness, percentiles, quadratic mean etc.[20] models in shallow water.[18]

    • Lawrence M Wolfe

      i’m pretty sure they did that last year

      • The Government already has this on file on Micro film .

    • Debra Lee

      I believe people have done everything possible and told them everything needed, but for some reason they ignore it, it’s so frustrating! I was so sure they would be the ones to find it, that was when the show first came on, now I’ve lost all hope in them. I don’t want to but they just keep focusing on one spot, the same spot everyone’s tried for yrs and yrs. I want them to find something so bad, I’m still waiting for one of them to get out of tunnel vision!!

  • LibsAreLikeLocusts

    Granted, I get a kick out of the quest, but its time to find more than woodchips in drilling cores. The 10x hole has proven to be a bust as the formation at the bottom was formed by natural erosion of the limestone.. proven by the diver Chatterton last season.

    Dig up the money pit and let this rapidly becoming boring show, and the Oak Island mystery end.

  • Marilyn K

    This story could be interesting, but the writing “style” ruins it. There are numerous incomplete sentences, making it difficult to read. I like this show and admire the sense of adventure, curiosity and unrelenting quest of this team. They deserve better than this writer, Lou Blouin, delivered.

  • Sheri

    The Curse of Oak Island will never end!!! IF, they find any treasure on the island they will have to deal with different countries laying claim to the treasure and the Knights Templa is not going lay down and let there treasure go. the courts are in the future

    • Dan Lac

      An ancestor of mine had a brother named John Mellanson who left Boston on a ship of pirates. They kidnapped Migmah indians in Nova scotia and sold them off on islands near Africa. Someone mentioned the Money Pit gold was from Africa, I’m pretty sure John and company buried that African gold in the Money Pit on the trip back home. Maybe I should make a claim on the treasure… ;op

  • Joe Scales

    It’s easy to buy into the notion of treasure on Oak Island, and folks have been doing so for over a 150 years. But it’s also easy to do independent research, and for that you can start here at Richard Joltes’ site:


    Treasure on Oak Island has always been a hoax, and that hoax is being further promoted by the Laginas, Prometheus Entertainment, and most importantly, Oak Island Tours, Inc. The television show has always featured Prometheus’ rogues gallery of frauds, sophists and scammers; very few of which have any sort of real education or credentials who further this hoax for their own notoriety and financial gain. Each episode the narrator outright lies in distorting history, alleging legend as fact and ignoring the true geology of the island which ruled out such nonsense as flood tunnels back as far as when this hoax began.

    Seriously. If you can visit Joltes’ site, read the articles and check the sources, and still come back with a sound argument for digging for Treasure on Oak Island, I’m all ears.

  • Marc Riley

    Why not stop trying to dig it, why not float it. Try drilling at an angle in the money pit that wouldn’t encounter a flood tunnel, then pump salt water underneath the whole thing and try to raise something.

  • Harley

    There’s no treasure there the United States government took thermal and sonar scans of the island except natural geological formations such as caves sink holes and ect anything that can be found on that island or around is probably due to the ocean currents pushing things that have been under water for years and in some cases hundreds of years in that direction and things started to wash up there and get covered by other debris getting pushed in the same direction a lot like the Caribbean islands except in the Caribbean Sea we know for a fact there gold coins graveyards of ships and rum god I love rum lol… the knights templar built everywhere they went there history and buildings are the only treasure left on oak island and this is the cold facts of oak island love the show tho but it makes me laugh if I had 2million to pour into a crazy ass treasure hunt it would be deeper into the South American jungles FYI 60% for the country is unexplored and documented wow it’s 2016 that’s crazy makes you ask why?

    • Harley


    • Andey McFarlin

      Reading this gave me a headache. Have you not heard of punctuation?

  • Daniel Taylor

    Too bad people are looking for the wrong reasons, greed. The fact that majority of the hunters are there for financial reward and not looking for the truth which would be game over. I could care less about how much treasure found. The most important thing is about the holy grail or the Ark of the covenant. There is no amount of money that could compare. Finding this item(s) is game over. Finding GOD or christ’s partial cross or even the grail is the end all be all. I wish I was there and was actually part owner. I would tell he whole crew you can have the gold I want the grail or ark if its there. The people of this world will know the truth. There is only one god and/or there was a christ. Now lets all correct these man made religion and give god his due. Sorry for the rant but this is soo important.

    • the one

      There is nothing there that wasn’t left there by the treasure hunters over the years. Everything the Lagina brothers found were leftovers from other hunters… They will run out of money like all the rest.

  • Andey McFarlin

    I am not expecting them to find anything of significance, but it’s fun watching these brothers play in the dirt. LOL

  • Bruce

    Rick and Marty,you have alot of doubters out there. Some say its greed, some say its just hype to be on tv. I was a combat engineer in the Marines for 12 years and i can tell all the haters out there that getting all that heavy equipment on site and running it cost a lot of money.Alot! But I am gonna give you the benefit ofthe doubt. On the premise that this quest is on the up and up I’m going to share a couple of ideas with you. I dont know if you read this stuff but i hope you do. Number 1,this whole thing boils down to math and a little knowledge of geography. You have been going on the premis that triangle markers and past digs are the way to go. First,triangles point in three directions.So if they line up see how else they line up. Im gonna work my way from the swamp to where the treasure is if it is still there. According to you there are 5 tunnels that meet to flood the dig site. Going with this assumption, you block off the swamp at low tide, find the tunnel and pump as much grout in there that you can. That will prevent your dig from backfilling on itself. Then you do it on the other side. When its all capped off, you pump out the hole and see what you have. I haven;t heard one contractor on your show,talk about grout. It’s not new. Now lets talk about about number2. If and when someone buried treasure there, first and foremost whoever was in charge of the project had to have extensive knowledge of tunneling, ventilation,physics for the booby traps,a geologist and had to either keep a really good secret or he trusted those poor tunnel rats with the location and know where not to dig to spring a trap if they came looking for treasure. There has been over 40 sites drilled looking for treasure and nothing. The signs are right in front of you. The ground you have been digging in is clay based. The water table is not that deep. From where you are presently digging, you need to get a surveyor, run a straight light from your dig sightsee how the markers correlate and go to the other side of the island. You will find that if the treasure is still there.shale will be your friend. Drill some pilot holes, do it symmetrically so you can put it on a spreadsheet cause i know you guys are all about data. Crunch the numbers and if it is there you got it! These conclusions come from my knowledge of geography,moving masses amounts of soil for bridge abutments ,knowing that the site i built my bridge will hold 100 tons to cross M-1 Abrahms Tanks. Also physics wasn’t taught back then and for example with the 90 foot, which opened a flood tunnel there are a few questions. As an engineer we also set booby traps. A lot of times working with little but a lot was expected.With the technology that has been used to date,even if that stone wasnt removed the tunnel would still have flooded.Negative pressure would have moved it and with a miraculouss watertight seal it would be only a matter of time when the opposing force of the water overtook the soil in front of it. That is another reason why you are on the wrong side of the island. Even the people who set those traps couldnt overcome them. Its a decoy. I dont know if its hype or not but i would love to share some knowledge with you guys to find the treasure. Something else to think about, but who does history say buried it there and who does history say retrieved it if at all. That plays a huge part in the equation, depending on who it will tell who and if they had the capacity to pull this off. Food for thought, any man can dig a hole, but illiterate seagoing men told to just dig. Fr0m all the schematics you show on tv it almost looks like the tunnels from an ant colony.Closing note:Those tunnels and traps were not meant to be breached.All they did and this was their intention is to steer whoever away from the treasure. Ande They succeeded.

    • Joe Scales

      Flood tunnels were ruled out by geology back in the 1800’s shortly after this hoax was concocted. The very notion is ridiculous.

  • Bruce

    Rick and Marty,I really hope you read this stuff. To add to my earlier post i have a recommendation. If you do decide to go to the other side of the island, take core samples behind the tree line. I would also check the waters off that side of the island for deposited shale off the beach. Something that is out of place. The fill had to go somewhere. The reason to check past the tree line is that the natural root system would take over and conceal the dig. Over time it would look untouched. Pick a starting point and do a 180 sweep of pilot holes.Again to use as data.Secondly remember that when this was supposedly buried alot of those trees weren’t there. If they pulled this off they would have had the hindsight to look ahead. I know its easy to say do this and do that but I really think you cant go wrong to at least entertain the idea.Even if all you do is drill the holes,your no worse off.

  • Bruce

    This is my third post and then i wont bother you anymore. But i feel very strongly about this. Listen if you want or delete.Its your choice. The whole legend is a good story. You guys may not find anything, but you will be known as the ones who tried one way or another.You know they say it could be Captain Kidds treasure, which is possible but i doubt the ones who buried it didnt live much longer after that. Some say it was Shakespers writings. Highly unlikely. From looking at all the shows and data i would say if its there, you;ll find it around 75 feet. Good luck guys and if anything i told you please email me. I would be interested how close i came. Remember shale is good for reinforcing walls. Its on site, you can fit it and it can be an insulator. You can also dig it up and move it to where you need it. Just saying. Good Luck Guys.You know im reading these other posts and all these guys are talking about all this high tech shit. I guarantee if you read my posts and think about them you’ll see its actually cost effective and productive. You havent found the treasure yet so how could you go wrong. Good Luck Guys. Oh by the way dont dig an 18 story hole next to 10x its not a good move. The treasure isn’t 18 stories deep and its not next to 10x

  • Bruce

    Ive been reading the other posts and you really don’t have a following that believes in what you are doing. You cant blame them, nothing has turned up. I know you probably have a contract for the season and probably more,but unless you find something soon,your show is gonna be a bust. The problem as i see it is that you are working with 40 year old information. Alot can get jumbled in a mind over 40 years. Listen,if there is anything there it is in a rock cave. No deeper than 75 feet. Also remember there was no heavy equipment back then. Now granted this is all conjecture on the premise that anything was actually buried there. And who says it hasnt already been retrieved.You may find the site minus the fortune, but if that were the case at least you could say we found where it was. So you still have alot going for you so i would push on. I can tell you from personal experience,if your gut says go big, go big.You can’t lose especially how far you have gone, see it through. Im behind you.

  • Rickman2k

    I believe in Oak Island. Like many other’s who read the Readers Digest story, I believe there’s treasure there, and lots. Would love to goto Oak Island but that’s pretty much out of the question, I’ll have to just keep my imagine going and think of things I’d do if I were Rick or Marty. I’ll continue the believe in the story and I hope to see the day treasure is finally found. If you don’t believe in the Island, go find something else to bid your time, for me, I’ll stay here !

  • Absolutely correct. I told myself from the beginning I’d watch the first couple of shows and then read about it when they find whatever and then go back and watch the last show.
    I didn’t fall for it from the beginning.
    With age comes wisdom.

  • Mark Dobzuzinsky

    This is becoming a search of finding investors and others that can come up with something of a new theory , there has not been anything of real value not even a hope. The only thing you can count on is next weeks show, who is financing the search the Lagina’s of the history channel, there is no w at the show can continue unless someone is putting in money the investment involved now is enormous this looks like someone is building a city with the each with the equipment that is on the Island now.

  • Doe

    My brother sells an acoustic technology that can help you guys to determine the integrity of the ground you are working on, giving you a bit more assurance to know whether it is safe for your divers. If you have any interest in understanding it, since he’s the mechanical engineer of the family (and we are east coast) please let me know and I’ll put you in touch with him.
    [email protected]

    • Ronald Russman

      Can it find voids in the ground at a distance?

  • Monty Burns

    I was really hoping they would find something but I think it’s pretty obvious that they are chasing a myth. I’m just wondering how they are going to end the series if they don’t find a thing. I’m sure they will play on the fact that they had fun, met a lot of people, etc. I just hope no one gets injured before it’s all over as Rick is not very safety conscious. On that note, doesn’t anyone on that show believe in wearing gloves?

    • kobalt staub

      Why would they end it? it’s making money with the TV show

  • Ronald Russman

    I believe that the chamber is still there if not the treasure. I suspect the island was used secretly as a treasure vault far back into antiquity. There was this fellow from ancient Greece who built magical devices for the religious temples like jars that seemed to change water into wine and organs that would play when the wind blows. Knowledge for turning a tunnel into a protected vault.
    His name was Hero. The basis heat transfer and fluid flow principles he applied are the basis of many of our important devices today.
    Perhaps there is a tunnel system which includes at least two entrances, a large empty void below the rest of the cave and a high point small enough to serve as the vault with two access points large enough for passage but small enough to be sealed off by a loop seal. One passage between the main entrance and the loop seal is terminated near Smiths Cove by loop seal where the box drains were found. When the seals at the main entrance were breached, the sea pressure over came the loop and filled the main access tunnel with water but the treasure stayed high and dry behind another loop seal and perhaps a bulkhead.
    At the other end of the tunnel, there is a back door, two valves (flat rocks) and a drain. This provides a contingency to block the flood tunnel and drain the remainder into the void below. Then it would be a simple matter to remove the valuables.
    There are known natural voids beneath the island
    The pit was marked in an obvious way possibly drawing interest to the opposite side of the Island
    The multiple wood barriers were air tight and redundant enough to guaranty an air seal
    Smiths Cove has a box drain
    A French map shows the location of a hatch and valve

    I can imagine these guys show up with two or more ships, they disassemble the treasure ship and it’s never seen again. Then they use the materials to modify the cave into a system with the above features. I would suggest that the Island was known in high circles as a safe place. Even when dry it contains lethal levels of poison gas and could only be accessed if one knows the proper place to open vent holes. They would be hard to find. I see a vault protected by about 75 feet of ground, poison gas, 10 or more air tight bulkheads and the Atlantic Ocean. What do we have that they didn’t? Horsepower. Anyone else see what I see?

  • Debra Lee

    Why do they all keep focus on that one spot? I believe that when treasure was buried that they had to have left a back door and easy access back in, such as the one the woman pointed out to them. They do seem to overlook everyone’s expertise on this island doing nothing with that info! They’ll continue to hunt and hunt because they want to do it their way!! Where’s that getting them?


    Following your show on TV in episode 4-12, 4-13… You had something translated from French to English. You had the word Islande (something near to that word) I am French, watched the entire series, and that word to me is closer to Cinquante followed with CINQ that you translated. So Fifty five should be the answer in my book. Hopefully that can help you, or make sense in your Quest!!!

    Possible combination would be :

    1. 25 – Vingt Cinq

    2. 35 – Trente Cing

    3. 45 – Quarante Cinq

    4. 55 – Cinquante Cinq

    5. 65 – Soixante Cinq

    6. 85 – Quatre-Vingt Cinq

  • Scott Bows

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9966f1fac9ece58b9e693e6fec0d718cbcfc6a82d6bc50936c718c1694f2a774.jpg I’m watching S4/E15 and these guys have a Spanish coin and a railroad spike and are claiming they came from a Spanish galleon! It’s a freaking railroad spike and if they claim it’s to small to be a railroad spike they are full of BS! Railroad spikes come in various sizes!

  • Tim Gman

    They will find something soon

  • Dan Lac

    Propose solutions. Always the best way to go.

    1. Water clarity problems in 10X and C1: chemical water clarifier (precipitant) can be bought by the barrel and fed into the cavities via a pipe fed by a topside pump to prevent wastage of product in the vertical shafts. Diver can then vacuum floors of said cavities for artifacts.
    2. Diver in V3 can ascertain orientation of Chappel tunnel so a line can be drawn topside from V3 across field with the same orientation. Step 2: return offshore from the money pit to put buoys on each of the 2 triangular stones. Step 3: walk along the V3/Chappel tunnel line until you reach the point where that line intersects the line of sight to the 2 buoys. On that spot drill a bore hole into the Chappel Vault.
    Why? Chappel sr told Chappel jr where his bore hole into Chappel vault was and how to locate it using surface land marks. Chappel jr’s tunnel was at the same depth as Chappel’s vault and Chappel jr will have oriented his tunnel at the vault, but water had it’s day. Good luck!

  • Cláudio Viola

    The Mystery that challenged generations!

    The TREASURE OF THE “TRINDADE” was protected for a long time by mysterious circumstances that hindered its location. So close and at the same time, so far from men, became legend and remained hidden in the darkness, waiting for a light to come at the right time.

    In the XXI century, a historical saga of nearly two hundred years continues to unfold in Island of Ilhabela, São Paulo, on the coast of Brazil. Their precursors, still unknown, traced the outlines of a great mystery that has puzzled archaeologists and researchers around the world.

    In 2010 a new character is involved in this epic quest to solve the riddle of the Treasure of the “Trinity”, but he didn’t expect for the great challenges that he will would face, revealing each of his steps and the amazing results of their studies.

    Based on real events, the book “Ilhabela and the Treasure of the Trinity” is a rescue of historical facts that gave rise to one of the greatest enigmas of our time and triggered an extraordinary adventure in search of treasure.

    SEE THE MAP at: https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesouro_da_Trindade

    And see more in:

  • Dan Lac


  • Paul Newmanskip

    Why has their not been an ERT Survey of the money pit and the area leading to the security water tunnels? [email protected]

  • Ms. Pooks

    You can’t find anything if you don’t dig around.

  • kobalt staub

    Personally I would pay to see the last episode where they finally find something… or nothing and since i’m an old cheap bastidge I KNOW it will never happen and I will keep my money. This thing will drag for ever till they decide “we’re done” or “we’re out of money” or the one who wanted this the most dies. When they stop getting sponsors they will find a way to end this (like someone else said) BigFoot search.

  • Nita Shafer

    .Made for TV Drama. Boring

  • Roger Edwards

    I have found some mason treasures. I’m trying to get them to the right collectors.

  • Roger Edwards

    I can’t seem to get my pictures to show here but I’ve found a mason site including a stone with a X with a hook and compass and rule carved in the rock

    • Roger Edwards

      Not sure how to handle this