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The Secrets of Oak Island

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Author Topic: The Secrets of Oak Island  (Read 403 times)
Christiana Hanaman
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« on: June 02, 2012, 12:38:22 am »

One investigator, Ron Rosenbaum (1973, 154), discovered that among Harris's papers were “fragments of a Masonic pageant” that were apparently “designed to accompany the rite of initiation into the thirty-second degree of the Masonic Craft.” The allegory is set in 1535 at the Abbey of Glastonsbury, where the Prime Minister is attempting to confiscate the order's fabulous treasures. But one item, the chalice used at the Last Supper-the Holy Grail itself-is missing, and secret Masons are suspected of having hidden it for safekeeping. The allegory breaks off with them being led to the Tower for torture.

Given this draft allegory by Harris, it may not be a coincidence that some recent writers attempt to link the Holy Grail to Oak Island. They speculate that the fabled chalice is among the lost treasures of the Knights Templar, precursors of the Freemasons (Sora 1999, 180, 247-251).

In any event, the evidence indicates a strong Masonic connection to the Oak Island enigma. Others have noted this link but unfortunately also believed in an actual treasure of some sort concealed in a man-made shaft or tunnel (Crooker 1993; Finnan 1997; Sora 1999; Rosenbaum 1973). Only by understanding both pieces of the puzzle and fitting them together correctly can the Oak Island mystery finally be solved.

In summary, therefore, I suggest first that the “Money Pit” and “pirate tunnels” are nothing of the sort but are instead natural formations. Secondly, I suggest that much of the Oak Island saga-certain reported actions and alleged discoveries-can best be understood in light of Freemasonry's Secret Vault allegory. Although it is difficult to know at this juncture whether the Masonic elements were opportunistically added to an existing treasure quest or whether the entire affair was a Masonic creation from the outset, I believe the mystery has been solved. The solution is perhaps an unusual one but no more so than the saga of Oak Island itself.

    Atlantic Advocate. 1965. Article in October issue, cited in Crooker 1978, 85-86.
    Blankenship, Dan. 1999. Author interview, July 1.
    Bowdoin, H. L. 1911. Solving the mystery of Oak Island. Collier's Magazine, August 18. Cited and discussed in Harris 1958, 110-120; O'Connor 1988, 63-66.
    Bunson, Matthew E. 1994. Encyclopedia Sherlockiana. New York: Barnes & Noble.
    Creighton, Helen. 1957. Bluenose Ghosts. Reprinted Halifax, N.S.: Nimbus, 1994, 42-59, 118-120.
    Crooker, William S. 1978. The Oak Island Quest. Hantsport, N.S.: Lancelot Press.
    --. 1993. Oak Island Gold. Halifax, N.S.: Nimbus.
    Duncan, Malcolm C. 1972. Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor. Chicago: Ezra A. Cook, 217-265.
    Faribault, E. Rudolph. 1911. Summary Report of Geological Survey Branch of the Department of Mines. Quoted in Furneaux 1972, 110.
    Finnan, Mark. 1997. Oak Island Secrets, rev. ed. Halifax, N.S.: Formac.
    “Freemasonry.” 1978. Collier's Encyclopedia.
    Furneaux, Rupert. 1972. The Money Pit Mystery. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co.
    Hamill, John, and Robert Gilbert. 1998. Freemasonry. North Dighton, Mass.: J. G. Press, 228, 241, 245.
    Harris, R. V. The Oak Island Mystery. Toronto: Ryerson.
    Hunter, C. Bruce. 1996. Masonic Dictionary, 3rd ed. Richmond, Va.: Macoy.
    Lester, Ralph P. ed. 1977. Look to the East! rev. ed. Chicago: Ezra A. Cook.
    Macoy, Robert. 1908. Illustrated History and Cyclopedia of Freemasonry. New York: Macoy.
    Masonic Heirloom Edition Holy Bible. 1964. Wichita, Kansas: Heirloom Bible Publishers.
    Morris, W. J. Pocket Lexicon of Freemasonry. Chicago: Ezra A. Cook, n.d.
    Nickell, Joe. 1980. Uncovered-The fabulous silver mines of Swift and Filson, Filson Club History Quarterly 54 (October): 325-3445.
    --1982a. Barbados' restless coffins laid to rest. Fate, Part I, 35.4 (April): 50-56; Part II, 35.5 (May): 79-86.
    --. 1982b. DISCOVERED: The secret of Beale's treasure, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 90, no. 3 (July): 310-324.
    --. 2000. Canada's mysterious maritimes. Skeptical Inquirer 24(1), Jan./Feb.: 15-19.
    O'Connor, D'Arcy. 1988. The Big Dig. New York: Ballantine.
    Preston, Douglas. 1988. Death trap defies treasure seekers for two centuries. The Smithsonian. June. 53-6

Joe Nickell
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Joe Nickell, Ph.D., is Senior Research Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) and "Investigative Files" Columnist for Skeptical Inquirer. A former stage magician, private investigator, and teacher, he is author of numerous books, including Inquest on the Shroud of Turin (1998), Pen, Ink and Evidence (2003), Unsolved History (2005) and Adventures in Paranormal Investigation (2007). He has appeared in many television documentaries and has been profiled in The New Yorker and on NBC's Today Show. His personal website is at
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