Why can’t they solve the mystery of Oak Island off the coast of Nova Scotia?

BY Marshall Brain / POSTED May 5, 2010
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You Asked:

Why can’t they solve the mystery of Oak Island off the coast of Nova Scotia? — Chad, DesMoines, Iowa

Marshall Brain Answers:

Let’s start by reviewing the mystery of Oak Island, also known as the Money Pit – a mystery that people have been trying to solve since 1795. This article explains it succinctly and has a nice diagram:

The Story of Oak Island

You can see from that article that the Oak Island Money Pit is an incredibly elaborate construction hundreds of feet deep. It contains platforms, messages and even booby traps:

As it turns out, an ingenious booby trap had been sprung. The Onslow Company had inadvertently unplugged a 500 foot waterway that had been dug from the pit to nearby Smith’s Cove by the pit’s designers. As quickly as the water could be pumped out it was refilled by the sea.

This discovery however is only a small part of the intricate plan by the unknown designers to keep people away from the cache.

This video also provides another nice description:

Part 2Part 3

This video shows the known configuration of pit based on past excavations:

You can see from these descriptions that someone, hundreds of years ago, seems to have gone to a gigantic amount of effort in digging and decorating the money pit with all of its oak platforms, flooding mechanisms, etc.

A huge amount of effort (and money) has been expended in the hope of discovering why anyone would do this. The assumption is that there is something valuable or important buried at the bottom of the pit, but at this point, that something remains hidden.

Why can’t they solve the mystery of Oak Island? Because, until someone finds that something (a treasure, a tomb, an alien spaceship or whatever it is), the mystery remains a mystery. And either the something is not there, or it is incredibly well hidden. As more time and money is spent, they will presumably find it if it is there. If it is not there, the mystery will remain forever.

Here is one proposal for a brute force solution:

If you have never heard of secant pile walls, this page is helpful: Construction of a secant pile wall

In this approach, the pit is completely surrounded and then pumped dry so people can excavate it completely. It would be expensive, but it might help get closer to a solution.

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