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What Fans Don’t Know About the Curse of Oak Island

The Curse of Oak Island is a multi-season reality television that follows Lagina brothers Rick and Marty as they try to solve the mystery of Oak Island, one of Western Hemisphere’s most intriguing mysteries. The brothers, like many before them, are in search of a hidden trove that is believed to have buried on the Oak Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia, almost 200 years ago. This trove often referred to as the Money Pit, is believed in many things — pirate treasure, Holy Grail, Shakespearean manuscripts and treasures hidden by the Knights templar. The Lagina brothers first read about the treasure trove on the island in a 1965 issue of the Reader’s digest and became obsessed with the treasure. They, therefore, decided to buy a small share in Oak Island Tours, which owns most of the island.

In 2013, Prometheus Entertainment approached the Lagina Brothers to do a reality show and the brothers agreed. The Curse of Oak Island is an American television production but first premiered in Canada on January 5, 2014, on the History network. On the show, Rick and Marty often employ the help of the father-son duo Dan and Dave Blankenship. Dave Blankenship, a permanent resident of Oak Island, passed away on March 17, 2019, at the age of 95. Over the years, the show has become a massive hit. In January 2020, almost 3.2 million viewers watched every episode of The Curse of Oak Island. In this video, we tell you some fun and interesting facts about this reality show.

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The Legend of the Money Pit

The one thing that makes The Curse of Oak Island so interesting is the money pit. The money pit first drew attention in 1795, when an Oak Island teenager saw a dent in the ground and decided to dig further. He, thereafter, found a man-made shaft lined with wooden platforms. Unfortunately, a 1960s expedition caused the overlying debris to fill the holes around the Money Pit. Thus, no one knows the exact location of the original Money Pit. There are differing theories about what lies in the money pit. While some people believe that this treasure trove contains pirate treasures, others believe it holds within itself Marie Antoinette’s lost crown jewels. Other theories anticipate the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, Shakespearean manuscripts, and a Viking ship with the money pit.

Laird Niven, One of the Top Archeologists, Brought Some Credibility to the Show

The format of The Curse of Oak Island is such that many people not convinced about the legitimacy of the show and considered it become merely a piece of entertainment. Therefore, in season four episode two titled ‘Always Forward’, the creators of the show invited Laird Niven, one of Nova Scotia’s leading archaeologists, to provide some authenticity to the ideas propagated by the Lagina brothers on the show. Laird is a known name and has been a part of various expedition trips and has unearthed many things of historical importance. His appearance, therefore, brought credibility to the show.

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However, Even Niven Has Drawn Criticism

Even though Laird Niven is one of the most popular archaeologists of Nova Scotia, he drew severe criticism after he appeared on the show. To start with, many members of the archaeological community several criticized the way Niven conducted his procedures. Many of the famous archaeologists believed that Niven used industrial equipment to move things around. Which increased the probability of artifacts and important materials getting damaged. According to Niven, since the earth around the money pit has already disturbed so much, it is highly unlikely that his methods will cause any further harm.

The Cast Crew Does Not Require Any License to Dig Any Site

As a rule, archaeologists need a license to carry our archaeological excavations. The archaeologist under whom the excavation is to take place must apply for this license and receive approval before beginning excavation. Funnily, the cast of The Curse of Oak Island not required to apply for all digging tasks separately. Laird Niven applied for a license once and that is enough. Further, Gary allowed to used metal detectors if Niven is supervising.

The Brothers Finance All Excavation Operations

During one particular interview, a journalist asked the Lagina brothers where all the money that goes into digging and treasure hunting comes from. To this, the Lagina brothers gave a rather rude reply – Rick told the journalists that discussing the finances is not something they are open to doing. If only journalists could taught to steer clear of touchy subjects! When different journalists kept pushing the Lagina brothers to answer the same question, they finally accepted that they finance their own operations.

In the past, Oak Island has ripped many ambitious excavators of their life’s earnings. When journalists asked the Lagina brothers if they worried about meeting a similar fate and what did they plan to do to avoid it, the brothers did not have any answers.

The Lagina Brothers Wanted to Dig up the Entire Island

At one point, Rick and Marty were considering digging up the entire island to find the treasure. However, they decided against it for a variety of reasons. To start with, digging an entire island is a taxing job that requires a boatload of money. Further, digging the entire island would be bad for the ecosystem and the environment. Thus, the brothers would never be able to get permission to carry out the excavations legally. However, many people believe that the brothers do not dig up the entire island as it would just end the show and the money they earn from it.

Their Families Don’t Share Their Obsession

Although this one is not common knowledge, it’s not exactly a shocker. Let’s face it, the Lagina brothers invested considerably in Oak Island and devote their time to searching for hidden treasure – of course, like all hidden treasures, there’s no guarantee it’s even there. Ricky once said that their family is definitely invested, but not everyone shares their confidence in what will come of the search.

It’s Not All Sunshine and Roses

Irrespective of whether you put much stock into the ‘curse,’ there are definitely a few things that don’t add up. And at times, some events and their timing seem downright spooky. Like when Matt Chisholm, a producer, reportedly passed away mysteriously right after getting a tip about an ancient, masonic map.

Chisholm given a tip by the great-granddaughter of a Top Masonic Grand Master in Nova Scotia. The tip about a secret Masonic Shrine hidden on the island, which held a secret room where the map kept. The case of his death becomes yet stranger if you believe sources that claim he was on his knees and appeared to be praying when he died, which is especially weird considering he was not religious. Also, let’s not discard the fact that Chisholm’s passing was the show’s seventh death. And as per the ‘curse,’ seven would have to die before the treasure could found. In any case, it is almost six years now, and we’re still no closer knowing what happened to Chisolm.

The Producers Are Tight-Lipped About the Death of Matt Chisolm

Matt Chisolm’s untimely death was quite a cover-up. None of the producers or those from the cast made any announcements or public statements, which is very odd. At the least, there would be an “in the memory of…” episode in such a case, which points to suspicious behavior. Many speculate the producers know more than they let on, but refuse to disclose the details of Chisolm’s demise. This is further supported by the fact that journalists have trying to contact them for details over the years but to no avail.

The real question is whether the producers’ silence is driven by the fear of an actual investigation into Chisolm’s death or the fear of ratings dropping. When the news of his death finally became public, there were subtle hints of a drug problem. Of course, there is no way to tell whether these insinuations held any truth.

No Work-Life Balance for the Lagina Brothers

The Lagina brothers take their search so seriously that they often spend a lot of time on Oak Island, even when they’re not shooting. Among the two, Rick spends more time on the island since he’s already retired, whereas Marty is working. Marty is also a producer in the show since he has invested considerably; his net worth is estimated at around $40-100 million, which he has amassed from his several businesses. He owns Mari Vineyards in Michigan as well as Heritage Sustainable, a wind turbine company. The brothers’ families often accompany them as much as possible. These guys are not among those to vouch for work-life balance.

The Laginas Are No Archaeological Experts

The Lagina brothers are passionate and 100% invested into the mystery of Oak Island, but they’re no archaeological experts. Their lack of expertise in the area puts a new spin on it because maybe qualified archaeologists could have provided more insights into the myths, findings, and artifacts. But from the viewers’ perspective, their lack of expertise adds to the show’s charm; it makes The Curse of Oak Island relatable. It’s like two average Joes deciding to try their luck on a treasure hunt (albeit an extremely long and expensive one).

Moving On

Despite the many hurdles in the way, the Lagina brothers have persevered and will continue to do so in the coming seasons. There are many more plots slated for the seasons to come. Including discovering the map Chisholm found, the King Baldwin Coins, and a stone 90 feet deep in the Money Pit.

The Curse of Oak Island is a fascinating show with all the right elements for mystery, intrigue, and suspense. One of the factors that contribute to the show’s popularity is that it aims to solve a mystery others have been trying to uncover for over two centuries.

Did we miss any interesting lesser-known facts? Let us know in the comments; we’re always happy to hear from you. For more interesting facts, like and subscribe to our channel, and don’t forget to hit the bell icon to stay updated on our latest videos.

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