The Treasure That Was Found on Oak Island
For 219 Years many have searched and very little, if any, has ever really been found, until now. But to tell this story correctly one needs some background information.
Hunting for lost treasure seems to be in our DNA and here is how you call tell it is part of our very own genetic make up.
- Regardless where we each grew up we “played” as children searching for lost treasure. We could hail from NYC, the Texas Panhandle, a farm in Missouri, or any country; we all as kids played hunting for treasure.
- As an adult, with childhood games and dreams set aside, we still have treasure lurking in the deep dark recesses of our minds (and I can prove it). Think about this. Almost every week we can see someone stranded on the road, or with the hood on their car up, or maybe changing a tire on the side of the road and car after car will pass and never stop to help. BUT, let the following scenario occur:
- You are driving down the highway
- Out of the corner of your eye you spy a briefcase on the side of a road, just off in a ditch maybe
- Your first thought IS NOT “Oh someone lost their briefcase” it is “I wonder if it is loaded with money?” and if you don’t slam on your brakes, you turn around as soon as you can and head back to investigate.
That very scenario is how I have come to believe the quest for hidden treasures is in our DNA. We may have never read a treasure story as a child, nor hunted for or found real treasure; but we have all experienced the above.
DNA, 2,857,698,560 sequenced based pairs and infinite combinations and it seems hunting for treasure and seeking the lost, is within and desired by each and everyone one of us. Maybe, just maybe, it is how God made us hard wired to continually search out the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How?
Maybe we are inherently wired to just know “history has been recorded wrong” by the Political Parties, Ruling Classes, the Elite and the Church and the only way a great creator could assure that one day the real truth would emerge was to seed into our very formula, our hidden owners manual, if you will; the desire for search and the thrill of the chase? Who really knows, I do not? But this idea does seem logical to me.
Now back to Oak Island and this on going 219 year old mystery.
We all know the original story, and if you don’t, just watch two episodes and it is burned into your brain – repeatedly (lol, just an inside joke), but what some people do not know is just how long it took this story, this legend, this magical story to grip the world and morph into a movement.
In a post on Facebook, I posted there were over 2700 individual published books, which either tell, re-tell, theorize or mention the Oak Island Treasure and in the years between 1800 and 2000, there were (in the United States alone) more than 44 MILLION WORDS written about the Oak Island Treasure.
Let me give you something to measure context here:
- The Bible has 807,361 words
- That means JUST IN USA NEWSPAPERS for the years mentioned above, IF you were to publish those words in tiny print and on thin sheeted paper all into one book, the story would be contained in a book 55.5 TIMES A THICK AS THE KING JAMES BIBLE!
- NOTE: this does not even include magazines nor any other countries printed words except for the USA. (Imagine the volumes such would take)
A book 55.5 times as thick as a Bible! Now that is a legacy.
What you might not also know is Canada, for 217 years of the 219 years of searching has downplayed, joked about or ridiculed all those involved in the search for the treasure of Oak Island. Yes, there have been supporters for certain areas, groups or factions, i.e., hard-core treasure hunters – but the support has been few and far between.
These points bring me to Dan Blankenship.
50 Years ago THIS MONTH (funny how this falls on the 50th Anniversary date of the story that changed peoples lives) Dan Blankenship read that well know fateful article in the Reader’s Digest. The story of Oak Island was enough to inspire and encourage an America living in Florida, to leave friends and family behind and move lock-stock-and barrel to Nova Scotia, Canada. It was then that Dan became just “another one of those Oak Island treasure hunters”.
Dan became part of the story and fabric of Oak Island, but in the process he also became the butt of hate, ridicule and mockery. It is bad enough to be, much less announce to the world, “I am a treasure hunter”, but to have the world look at you as a joke, or one wasting their life or the lives and resources of their family is brutal. Forget the back breaking labor, think of all the hateful words written.
In fact, the term “money pit” dubbed on Oak Island became lodged in the modern vernacular as the term used for “the bottomless hole of squandered debt and futile efforts”
The Urban Dictionary defines the term “money pit” as the following:
Something of value, which, for some reason or another, has continued to absorb considerable amount of payments due to its continuing failure to live up to expectations.
That idiomatic expression became solidified in the minds of the world as a direct result of the efforts conducted on Oak Island and as such the idiom has been the bane of Dan Blankenship’s existence and retelling of his life’s work.
Time always has a way of coming full circle and in time those with a passion and are driven to both dream and execute on those dreams end up proving all the doubters wrong and history will go though an adjustment period and all those what hated and ridiculed will start to act as if they supported the “nut case” from the beginning and were always backing them and “knew they could do it!” that is just part and parcel of the road traveled by those who choose to take the road less traveled. Yes, there still will be naysayers and I still maintain, “The vultures are circling”. With the huge success of the Curse of Oak Island series, and the millions of fans engaged, you can bet some opportunist newspapers, magazines and such will try to capitalize on such attention by trying to discredit the series, the participants, the island, the potential of recovery of something; you can bet stories will be coming out soon to attempt to hijack the attention. This always happens when groundbreaking things are afoot and especially when history is on the precipice of monumental change. I would be the first negative shots are fired by the very place the story began- Nova Scotia (just sit back and watch).
As for me, it is my desire to start correcting history and part of that is to share with the world what the lives of these “nut jobs and cranks and hoax masters and stock scammers” (and those are the more polite words that have been used about all Oak Island Treasure Hunters, but especially Dan Blankenship, since he has been at it the longest)
Here is the true story of Dan Blankenship and what he really is to the world and history.
In a world where we have lost touch with supporting those with dreams and have moved from “innovation to entitlement”, we have forgotten what it means to take risks and that with taking risks comes the saying; “the greater the risk the greater the reward!”
Decades ago we started the move from “dream and work hard son and make a difference” to “everyone gets a trophy for just breathing and showing up”. We have watched in the 50 years Dan has dedicated his life to a dream, to being told don’t dream because just because you exist and take up space, we all owe you.
We have been taught not to “make our way” but to “take our fair share” and while all this undermining of the true American Dream (no offense to my international friends and readers, just using a known saying – lol – see even I worry at times about offending), Dan became the living epitome of “living the dream”. Here is what the story really is:
Dan left the comfort and security of his permanent residence, circle of friends and family to pursue a dream, which stirred in the deepest part of his soul. Not many in today’s world would take such a step.
Dan left a career and you could say, a guaranteed regular paycheck, to swap it for a dream, which more likely than not, would be met with NO paycheck and certainly no guaranteed security. How many in todays world would leave a guaranteed paycheck, to pursue a dream with no guarantee of a paycheck, that everyone thought to be a myth? Not many I think.
Dan swapped a successful career for something there was no real training course for and was an occupation based only on backbreaking work and trusting your gut instincts; two things, which are no longer valued in this upside down world we live in.
Dan swapped the comforts of his wife and children (more unsung heroes in this story), and made them feel the pressure and discomforts in numerous ways that no spouse and/or parent would want family to experience; but that is what it took to pursue the dream. How many people today would take such steps? Not many, but mark my words, just like those who say, “I am a descendant of Ben Franklin” or even “Or as a Bell, Alexander Graham Bell is my ancestor” – all the Blankenship’s going forward will be proud to say “I am a Blankenship, an ancestor or relative of Dan Blankenship” and people will know they mean and are referring to Dan Blankenship of Oak Island Fame and Lore.
Dan swapped a normal life for a life where when ever you read about Oak Island and its legendary treasure, you were more than likely to read “Dan is chasing a pipe dream” and many other hurtful words. How many people who knowingly enter a career knowing they would become the butt of jokes and hate? Not many.
As a writer, one could go on and on and talk about what Dan gave up to pursue this dream of dreams which had the odds stacked against him (169 years of pre-existing baggage and ridicule), but there is a greater lesson to be learned here.
As I have traveled the United States these last few days there has not been an airport, coffee shop, gas station or grocery store where that has not been several people who has stopped me and say, “Hey you’re on Oak Island!” Even entering one line heading through airport security, where I dress weird enough to begin with, I noticed several TSA Officers gathering, looking at me and even pulling their drug-sniffing dog over to where I would pass through the line.
Naturally, I have learned when I pass through airports with my HOLDSTER not HOLSTER under my arms, which holds my cameras, recorders and small scientific equipment; I am going to have to address “what is that rig under your arms?” So I prepped myself for the usual answers and my ever-standing joke “my ass just does not look good in a fanny pack, so I wear my fanny pack under my arms”.
So here I come getting ready to either be shifted to another line or having to pull out my current State Department ID and explain who I am and why I look the way I do. As I drew closer their faces seemed just a little too stern for me, but as I got mere inches away, the lead Officers face broke into a huge smile and he said “I love you on Oak Island!” Come to find out – THEY ALL – were huge fans of Oak Island and it was regularly the topic as they did their thankless job checking passengers by the tens of thousands each day.
In all the fans I met while on the road and the countless photos and selfies we took together so they could show their friends and brag to their friends they watched the show with, there was ONE RESOUNDING COMMON MESSAGE.
We as a family or group of friends gather and watch Curse of Oak Island.
This occurs for three reasons:
- Great Story
- Great People
- And the most fantastic executive producer/writer to ever-put together engaging and authentic television programming – Kevin Burns.
Now for the real lessons learned:
Dan Blankenship being not willing to give up, led this dream to morph into this incredible television series. This incredible television series has families gathering together and friend gathering together to discuss a great story, a passionate legend and to join in something which is great, clean, upstanding family entertainment which is not centered about goof-balls, antics, made up drama, missing teeth, foul language and general TV buffoonery. We have learned to come together again in homes and share and engage and rendezvous over something special about a regularly scheduled TV event.
Millions of people, thanks to the stick-to-it nature of Dan following his dream, how now witnessed it is okay to dream and is okay to dare to dream big! Not too many shows out there now which support dreaming YOUR OWN DREAM. They all seem to promote dream about being someone else, or having what someone else has, versus “make you own dreams come true”.
Dan not giving up has shown the world it does take a team, all with different expertise to be willing to work together to get to the end game. In a world which features bitchy housewives, backstabbing each other to get more attention or contest shows which teach a message of “get people to like you, and then use those people to get the one you don’t like voted off the island and when you are one of the last few, then ditch all those other bastards at all costs, because its about you baby!”
As Marty coined “The Fellowship of the Dig” is a real phenomena and that feeling has extended into TV households around the globe where people gather with refreshments and snacks and gather in their own form of fellowship our team calls “Digging the Fellowship of the Dig!” No much TV programs these days stand for such a great, inspiring and wholesome message.
GET OUTSIDE AND EXPLORE
Dan and following along on TV have shown getting outdoors and exploring can be both exciting and healthful. One could easily attribute the sharp mind, wit and body of Dan’s 93 years to all his physical activities on the Island. One, when watching the Curse of Oak Island, can clearly see the “hunt” has kept him sharp. Dan remembers all the facts and is an incredible walking encyclopedia of knowledge. This I attribute to his constant reading and research in the pursuit of solving this Oak Island Mystery. How many things on TV promote outdoor activities and mind engaging research? Not many – if any.
RETIRE AND LIVE YOUR DREAMS
Dan is officially retired and one knows Rick is retired as well; yet here are two men who exemplify that one can still pursue their dreams into retirement. A segment of the population clearly ignored and considered by most to have served their purpose and should be on their porch and in a rocking chair, now get to see men (with an average age in their sixties) chasing a dream and living a full life. Now that story has become cool. TV always gravitates to the young and the twenty and thirty something’s willing to play and act a fool on TV to get ratings. That is not the case with Curse of Oak Island. Mature men chasing a dream and the unequivocal leader being 93 years young! Now that is a shining example and how many TV shows reflect such today? Not many. My own father is 83 years young and leads our Base Camp Team on all our expeditions. There is tremendous value in old age and earned wisdom.
NEVER GIVE UP AND WORK HARD
Unscripted TV shows and producers love to stage junk to add drama, not Curse of Oak Island, but more important the show is all about “Hard work and NEVER GIVE UP!” Now there is a grand message for all to see, hear and learn. In a society which is getting further and further away from hard work and with advertisements and glossy magazine adds selling “instant gratification”, Curse of Oak Island is about “patience and determination” and the value of such. Now, how many things today teach the lessons of never give up, Work hard and persevere? Not many IF ANY!
These examples could just go on and on, but you surely see my point. Treasure Legend aside, there are numerous benefits to society – specifically TV viewers- are gaining from watching the Curse of Oak Island.
There are many unsung heroes of Oak Island; two, which should be recognized, is Janie, Dan’s late wife and his son David that you see in the series. Janie stood side by side with Dan and supported his dream and although she has passed, one can only imagine she is watching over Dan and Dave and seeing the difference in the world they are making and she is proud and can surely feel “treasure or not, my guys are making a difference”.
Dave, working arm and arm – hand in hand with his father, also had to endure his share of ridicule and jokes, but he stood solid with Dan as well. Dave deserves as much credit as Dan for giving his best years to this dream and for working hard towards solving this amazing mystery.
For me, this year Season Two Finale – the most important payoff was the shows vindication of both Dan and Dave which came from the irrefutable scientific and visual proof of something monumental and game changing at the bottom of 10x. But even a more amazing point is DAN USED ANCIENT DOWSING to find the spot for 10x and his instincts and gut where correct.
There may not be a final, final answer our immediate gratification society wanted for the season finale, but we all now know in our gut, Dan was right all along. To see Dan’s reaction and to hear his words and to share that moment with him there on the Island was one of the highlights of my life . Yes, there will be many who still say and think nothing was found, but I was there and tend to know more than most, and I still firmly believe Oak Island is the “tipping point” in changing history as we have been sold”.
Now for the haters and those who have or still mock or ridicule Oak Island and specifically Curse of Oak Island. Those people will always around and they will never go away. Why will they not go away? It’s simple.
Even if you witnessed us bringing up something like the Ark of the Covenant or the bones of Mary Magdalene LIVE ON TV, the haters will still hate and you know why they will still hate and naysay?
DNA. Yep, DNA as I stated at the beginning of this article. A certain code in DNA that allowed Dan to chase the dream and never give up and it is a section of DNA that makes haters perpetually hate and naysayers always naysay. It is just the way they are made. The most fantastic finds in history will not change that. Watch how people comment in social forums and you will gain great insight to their genetic make up. It is very telling.
In closing, Dan has outlived all his original haters in the media who made the term “money pit” take on a life of its own and have a negative connotation. But Dan stayed the course and that is all that matters and is what we should celebrate and honor.
As I sit here writing this article on Martin Luther King day 2015, I have come to realize what I have known since I first read about Dan Blankenship, got to confirm once I met him (along with the honor to work shoulder to shoulder with him), Dan is a treasure himself.
Dan Blankenship and what he stands for is something to be aspired to by all. He is a rare breed of man, which society is not making many more of anymore. I for one VOTE for all of us to push for “Dan Blankenship Day”, a national day of remembrance where we honor the dreamers, the ones who made waves, bucked the system and proved thinking out of the box can be meaningful to mankind.
Dan and Dave Blankenship are two of the amazing and irreplaceable treasures found on Oak Island. Can I get an Amen?