The Curse of Oak Island has been running since 2014, documenting Marty and Rick Lagina’s attempts to discover treasure and artefacts on a mysterious isle in Nova Scotia, Canada. And in that time, there have been many, many theories about the place, delivered by people who are either experts in touch with the mysteries of history and the occult… or conspiracy-minded crackpots. We make no judgement as to which people belong in which basket.
The secret to stopping the Money Pit from flooding is… corn
True fans of The Curse of Oak Island and its surrounding lore will know that the Money Pit was designed by past geniuses unknown to flood with seawater anytime a likely treasure-hunter comes close to a sweet find. Well, according to a translation of a cypher on a stone found on the island, there’s a simple solution to this vexatious problem: corn. Fill the tunnel with corn kernels, and the floodwater won’t be able to muck up your plans! It’s so obvious once you hear it, eh?
It’s all connected: William Shakespeare, Sir Francis Bacon and the Rosicrucians
Aficiandos of secret history are drawn to the Rosicrucians like kittens to milk, so those semi-mythical esoteric spiritualists were bound to turn up in conjunction with Oak Island at some stage. Petter Amundsen doesn’t stop there, though – his theory also takes in Sir Francis Bacon and hidden messages in Shakespeare’s work. It’s an impressive series of conjectures, and if it’s actually true… well, the world just got 23 per cent cooler. (If you want to know more – and who wouldn’t? – his book is available.)
The Freemasons hid some of their vast riches in an underground vault
If it isn’t the Rosicrucians, it’s the Freemasons. Not content to shape the entirety of human history by pulling strings behind the scenes, they also apparently spent some time on Oak Island. Here, according to the theory, they built a secret vault and filled it with the treasure that the powers of the day wanted to strip from them. Still, even that’s more reasonable than the idea that the Knights Templar hid the Holy Grail and/or Ark of the Covenant here (if you want to feel insane, please read this review of that episode).
Pirate treasure everywhere, so let’s all have a share
If you listen to some people, it sounds like there are chests full of plundered booty scattered all over the world’s sea-girt landmasses, just waiting for a bright-eyed adventurer with a crumbling map and a sturdy shovel. In the case of Oak Island, Captain Kidd is supposed to be the man who buried his loot for the Lagina brothers to dig up. Which is like saying Treasure Island is all true… but since these rumours first started in the late 1700s, it’s probs not, hey.
Marie Antoinette’s jewellery is here for some reason
She may not have actually said “Let them eat cake”, but did King Louis XVI’s bride have her precious baubles sent to Nova Scotia before she copped the guillotine? Well, no, but nobody is seriously arguing that. However, the actual theory is that her jewellery collection was split up in the wake of the French Revolution, and some of it sailed across the sea to Oak Island in the company of one of Marie Antoinette’s maids. Why there? Why not.
The Curse of Oak Island airs on Monday, 8 July at 8:30pm on SBS VICELAND. Stream it any time after that at SBS On Demand.
It's our 100th episode! Inspired by that magic round number, we're looking at movies you can stream at SBS On Demand, which have achieved the elusive 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. We also look at whether Russell Crowe makes a convincing turn as Roger Ailes in the new weekly drama series about the rise and fall of the Fox News founder, 'The Loudest Voice'.
We have just watched episode 7 of The Handmaid's Tale season three, which is called 'Under His Eye'. In this episode: June escalates her risky efforts to find Hannah, and her efforts have tragic consequences; Emily must face her past crimes as the ongoing international diplomatic crisis becomes more complicated; and Serena and Fred contemplate their future in Washington. This is a gruesome episode that shows how efficient Gilead has become at killing people, and boundaries are coming down in the best and worst possible ways. We recap and speculate about what comes next, and feature an interview with the episode's director and show executive producer, Mike Barker, who gives fascinating insight into making The Handmaid's Tale, as he prepares to shoot that creepy tango scene.