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Rick and Marty Lagina holding a map

The Curse of Oak Island: Your questions answered

After 11 seasons, there are are so many questions to answer about the Oak Island mystery.

Image: The Curse of Oak Island

Ten seasons in and we’re still on the hunt for answers about the elusive treasures allegedly buried beneath Oak Island. But with so many hours dedicated to the ultimate treasure hunt, questions are bound to arise, which is why we’re on hand to answer as many as we can and get you ready for the brand new season of The Curse of Oak Island.

What is the Oak Island curse?

Simply, that seven men will die before the treasure is found. Its source is unspecified, but the curse appears to have formed over the past 100 years.

How many people have died looking for treasure on Oak Island?

Some put the figure as high as fourteen, but we know of at least six already. The first was an unnamed employee of the Oak Island Association who was killed in 1861 when a mechanical drainage pump exploded. In 1897, Maynard Kaiser fell to his death while digging for an excavation company.

In 1959, four lives were lost in the same tragic incident when an operations manager, Robert Restall, entered one of the 200 boreholes he and his team had dug. Unfortunately, he hit a pocket of noxious gas (possibly naturally occurring hydrogen sulphide) and lost consciousness. Rendell’s son and three colleagues, Cyril Hiltz, Karl Graeser and Andy DeMont went in to rescue him, but only the latter came out alive.

Where is Oak Island?

Oak Island is one of the 300 or so islands that make up Mahone Bay that lies along the south shore of Nova Scotia in Lunenburg County. The area surrounding Oak Island is renowned for its outstanding natural beauty and, lately, the town of Mahone Bay has become a point of interest for tourists and entrepreneurs alike.

Who owns Oak Island?

We know that the island is privately owned and split into 32 lots. The majority of these, allegedly all but six, belong to the Michigan Group which is owned by two brothers, Rick and Marty Lagina.

Who are Rick and Marty Lagina?

Before he was famous, Marty Lagina was a mechanical engineer who made a small fortune extracting natural gas from shale - more commonly known as fracking. His brother, Rick (the one with the beard) is an ex-US Postal Worker who retired to work with his brother and satisfy their lifelong obsession with the secrets contained within Oak Island.

Is Rick Lagina married?

No, never has been. Marty, on the other hand, married his childhood sweetheart, Olivia, and the pair have two grown-up children one of whom, Alex, was the centre of some unsavory conspiracy theories that he’d died while shooting an episode. The truth is that Alex is thankfully alive and well, and returns for season ten of The Curse of Oak Island.

What is the Money Pit?

In 1799 three teenage boys, Daniel McGinnis, Anthony Vaughn and John Smith, discovered a depression in the ground, noticing the dirt was loose they began to dig until they were some 30 feet down, and this became known as the Money Pit.

What happened to Daniel McGinnis, Anthony Vaughn and John Smith?

It’s hazy, but it’s been suggested that Daniel McGinnis had as many as eight children, outlived his wife and died around 1827. All rather unremarkable but one final fact remains intriguing, Anthony Vaughan was the executor and John Smith was a witness to Daniel's will.

Has any treasure been found on Oak Island?

There are two answers to this question. As far as the Lagina brothers are concerned they’ve found some interesting artefacts, some that might be of monetary value, but in terms of treasure, no.

But one question remains, why did the three boys dig down 30 feet and then abandon their quest? Allegedly the boys discovered evidence that this hole had been used for ‘something’, so it’s not without plausibility that they too found ‘something’ and squirreled it away.

What’s been the most significant discovery on Oak Island?

The Lead Cross discovered at Smith's Cove, reckoned to be six or seven hundred years old and heralding from Southern France, was a pretty major find. For fans of the show, this makes it a contender for the Knights Templar theory - that they buried treasure on Oak Island while fleeing the unhinged Philip IV of France.

Did Captain Kidd bury treasure on Oak Island?

There isn’t one singular theory as to who could have buried their treasure on Oak Island, but one person’s name crops up regularly. Captain James Kidd buried a haul of loot in New York state (which was subsequently found) and hinted that there was more elsewhere.

Nova Scotia, like New York state, lies on the northeastern side of the Americas, so it is certainly plausible that Captain Kidd could’ve made the trip. Especially when setting aside some of the other, frankly, far-fetched theories.

Did Mary Antoinette’s jewellery get buried on Oak Island?

It’s not even a fact that Marie Antoinette gave her jewels to her lady-in-waiting, but assuming she did and said maid fled with them, why take them to a tiny island 4,817 km away? One counter suggestion is that Oak Island was a French colony, but why flee from France to another French territory? No need to worry about that, it had been a British colony for about eighty years before Marie Antoinette even lost her head.