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One of my most favorite treasure legends is the mystery that surrounds Oak Island, Nova Scotia, in fact Beast and I have been passionate about the “Treasure of Oak Island” since we were youngsters. My personal library, some of my most prized items in such library, are the various documents, books, maps, reports and treatise on the subject of Oak Island.
Who would not be fascinated with the history that surrounds Oak Island? Mystery, Booby Traps, Ancient Symbols, Ghosts and Scary Lights, Numerous Expeditions, Numerous Failures, Numerous Deaths and vast Lost Fortunes and Crushed Spirits make up the formula that has enabled the Oak Island Mystery to endure for several hundred years.
With that said – have you watched the History Channel unscripted documentation of the adventure of brothers Rick and Marty Lagina?
Two brothers, not only forever connected through blood relation, but possibly something even stronger – THE ADDICTION THAT IS TREASURE AND UNSOLVED MYSTERY!
The l0ve of between brothers and the strength, the TIE OF TREASURE, can be within families is something Beast (my Alpha Team Leader for ExpeditionHistory.org TreasureForce) is something we are intimately connected with between each other. For those of you who may not know, 50% of the TreasureForce Team members are actually my family members. Additionally, when Beast and I were kids (6 and 10) we found our very first treasure – a safe from a robbery dumped in a river and loaded with cash! That adventure changed Beast’s and my life forever and we were INFECTED and ADDICTED, just as the brothers Lagina.
But before I dive into (the pun is intended) analysis of Oak Island and i’s curse and engaging mystery, let me make a few needed points:
1. To Rick and Marty – THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for having the passion, brotherly love and fortitude to dare to take on this grand adventure! Millions of people around the globe, who love treasure, treasure legends and compelling mysteries are rooting for you two to make a historic “FIND”. Many people are living your dream and passion with you, albeit through their television sets; and that “living vicariously through your adventures” is something sorely needed in a world in crisis and flooded with bad and depressing news. The two of you and your combined dream help people realize there are dreams out there to be dreamed and adventures to be had, are worth pursuing and worth sharing and daring.
2. To History Channel and Kevin Burns – thank you for taking a risk on the Lagina’s and their adventure. In a world with so many nonsensical programs, taking the leap and providing programming such as this, brings out the hopes and dreams of many treasure and history hunters all over the world!
Now, lets take a look at the “Mystery of Oak Island” and set our passions aside and analyze this “as if” this was our own money being spent on attempting to avoid the Curse and solve the Mystery.
MORE SPECIFICALLY, let’s look at this from a non-emotional BUSINESS STANDPOINT:
When Oak Island was first “discovered” gold had a strike price of $20 an ounce, and is now $1250 an ounce (a 6200 percent increase in value from time of the possible “treasure cache deposit” forward to today’s gold value). In looking at the “costs” in the same way, one must take into account the “real and accurate” investment that has been made in the various attempts to recover what ever is buried on Oak Island.
There really is no way to put a “cost” figure to the initial efforts of McGinnis’ and friends, but we can begin to get a gauge on the “cost” when we analysis the start of professional operations starting with The Onslow Company, then the Turo Company, the Oak Island Association, the Oak Island Treasure Company, on to Blair, Hedden, Restall, Dunfield, Trition, and numerous others (too numerous to list here) all the way up to Rick and Marty Lagina. Needless to say the investment in this adventure has been enormous.
Gold first broke the $20 an ounce mark in 1920 ($20.68) and it did not break the $40 mark until 1969 when it topped $41.28, that means the combined attempted before 1920- which may have had an estimated combined investment of $3,000,000 in real dollars during those combined time periods. (some accounts record as much as $6,000,000 past dollars, some less, but we are using a middle of the road figure for this exercise)
Now for the huge lump in the throat:
In today’s dollars, this equates to $187,500,000 dollars. Hard Dollars. Those hard dollars can can be equated many ways:
A. From the time of initial McGinnis discovery in 1795, $856,164.39 a year has been thrown at the Mystery of Oak Island. That’s a average of $856,164.39 a year for 219 years, TWO HUNDRED NINETEEN YEARS!
B. From initial discovery the cost “down the hole” per day (working days only) of $3397.48 . That is figured at 252 work days, IF one could actually work in that environment all 252 days (but one cannot due to weather conditions). This $3397.48 is an ongoing daily work day cost for a RUNNING TWO HUNDRED AND NINETEEN YEARS CONSECUTIVE.
C. From initial discovery the real “daily cost” – this meaning the actual days one can work on the site effectively is: $6794.96 per day, since 50% of the time is lost to inclement or winter weather operations. $6,794.96 PER DAY FOR TWO HUNDRED AND NINETEEN CONSECUTIVE YEARS.
D. Better said: since the first man made artifacts were found at a depth of 31 meters, then the cost per meter of the operation has been $6,048,387.10. $6,048,387.10 per METER DUG!
E. That’s over $2,000,000 dollars per foot dug to that depth
F. $1,339,285.71 per acre searched (if you use the total acreage of the island, but we know this search has been focused much much smaller than that)
G. And finally, $31,250,000. per KNOWN life lost in recovery (there is no way to know loss of life before 1795 or how many- if any- died during construction.
Realistically, the costs are even more when one takes into account, land cost, human costs, sweat equity and more. This is indeed a massive MONEY PIT.
So, in professional modern treasure hunter standards (Cacheology – the professional discipline of “for profit” lost history and lost treasure recovery, which incorporates Archaeological methods and documentation to the recovery attempts) one always has FOUR FIXED FOES.
What are the FOUR FIXED FOES?
1. Environment – Cannot change that one. The treasure is where the treasure is and one has to deal with it no matter what.
2. Weather – Cannot change that one either. The weather will be what it will be and many times will get more dangerous as one gets close to recovery and you have to deal with it no matter what.
3. Time – You can manipulate this one. No, you cannot change time or morph time, but you can set operation standards as to how much time is allotted and how much time is focused on a particular function or endeavor.
4. Money – this is the final foe and you can manipulate this one as well. In fact, time and money work hand in hand. Remember at the rate of $6,794.96 PER DAY FOR TWO HUNDRED AND NINETEEN CONSECUTIVE YEARS, there are ALWAYS been a time and money measurement clock running along side the continual retelling and shaping of the Oak Island Mystery.
Environment – Weather – Time – Money, those FOUR COMMON FOES still come into play with Rick and Marty, regardless if they own the island.
We have all seen the pictures of all the individuals pursue this mystery of Oak Island. Photos of smiles, holes dug, equipment used, timber removed, holes punched and water logged areas. But at the same time, IF you compare those pictures from the history of the island to the TV series of today, we also see that Oak Island can suck the life and years out of the people that dare attempt to crack her secrets.
One can never replace the time element involved. So really, the only controllable element at Oak Island is all a function of MONEY.
Now, at first glance, one might think I am saying “spending more money” when in fact I am not. One can foolishly spend money (as I have done before) and one can wisely spend money (as is the rule on ALL our operations now). With finds, discoveries, solved clues and decoded messages – one can always find MORE MONEY for the pursuit.
So the real issue is how do you spend your money and thus spend your time.
Granted, the title of this article is somewhat provocative – “Oak Island Curse” or “Oak Island Kluge” and for those of you needing a definition of KLUGE: