The Money Pit on Oak Island is the site of the world’s longest running hunt for lost and buried treasure. For hundreds of years, treasure hunters have traveled to Nova Scotia to try and recover the treasure which seems to be protected by a series of clever traps. As treasure hunters have attempted to recover the bounty from the Money Pit, these traps trigger flood tunnels and flood the shaft with water from the Atlantic ocean.
This hasn’t discouraged treasure hunters though. The romanticized notion that one only armed with nothing more than a shovel and a map with a large X on it can find buried treasure has captivated people from all walks of life for a millennia. And the money pit might very well be real.
The money pit is believed to be a natural sinkhole. It was discovered at the tale end of the 18th century by a 16 year old. The Money Pit goes down at least 90 feet and no one has yet reached the bottom, however many believe riches are lying in wait. Every attempt to explore the sinkhole has been wrought with flooding and cave-ins, resulting in at least 6 deaths.
Excavations have revealed evidence of man made architectural structures and strange man made artifacts have been recovered from the pit over the years. But to this day, the treasure, if it exists, still remains buried.
Where did this amazing story of lost treasure originate?
There are a few theories.
The first states that the pit holds a pirate treasure hoard buried by Captain Kidd or Edward Teach (Blackbeard), who claimed he buried his treasure “where none but Satan and myself can find it.” Some also believe that Kidd conspired with Henry Every and Oak Island was used as a pseudo community bank between the two.
The second states it was done by someone other than pirates, such as Spanish sailors from a wrecked galleon or British troops during the American Revolution. John Godwin believed that, given the apparent size and complexity of the pit, it was likely dug by French army engineers hoping to hide the contents of the treasury of the Fortress of Louisbourg after it fell to the British during the Seven Years’ War.
Still others believe that the Oak Island pit was dug to hold treasure much more exotic than gold or silver. In his 1953 book, The Oak Island Enigma: A History and Inquiry Into the Origin of the Money Pit, Penn Leary believed that the pit may have been dug by exiled Knights Templar and that it is the last resting place of the Holy Grail or even the holy Ark of the Covenant.
So why hasn’t anyone continued to excavate the site?
The Island is privately owned, and due to the risk, the owner would not grant permits. That is, until July of 2010. Oak Island Tours Inc secured a permit to move forward with exploration of the money pit. We might finally be able to find out if the treasure on the Island is fact or fiction.