In Nova Scotia, Canada lies one of the most highly-sought after secrets of all time: Oak Island and its mythical treasure. Since the 19th century, many attempts have been made by explorers from different parts of the globe to locate cryptic artifacts and treasures. Get ready to read all the deets about this mystery.
The Lagina Brothers
Despite the number of lives sacrificed on the island while braving the tumultuous journey of unearthing its bounty, many skilled and talented explorers are still inspired to risk it.
The Lagina brothers have never been bothered by the horrific rumors. In fact, their interest in the island’s hidden treasure just keeps getting deeper. Find out what keeps them obsessed with cracking this ancient mystery. Just how close are the Lagina brothers to cracking the case? Read on to discover the mystery for yourself.
Obsession at a Young Age
Little did an 11-year-old Rick Lagina know that by merely flicking through a copy of Reader’s Digest in 1965, his life would completely change.
The article that struck him was about the legend of a treasure being buried on an island in the wilds of Canada. He and his brother Marty got even more fascinated when their father showed them an article about Oak Island in The Wall Street Journal.
Between the two brothers, Rick was more captivated to further investigate the buried treasure, especially when he learned that many people had tried their luck and yet failed to find it. Some of us are just more adventurous and curious by nature and such was young Rick.
He may have been youthful at the time, but he knew he had a big mission calling his name and he wasn't going to back down or give up.
Rick Lagina’s fascination with the Oak Island treasure is not a surprise, as the young boy was already a natural explorer. He had already engaged in a treasure hunt back in 1964, in his hometown of Kingsford.
In this exploration, he was thrilled to have seen a huge granite rock. As a young boy, his curiosity led him to check what was underneath, so he sought the assistance of his brother, Marty, and a crew of other kids their age in their neighborhood to move the rock. What was hiding behind it?
The Rock Was Just the Begining
To Rick's and his friend's dismay, not a trace of any valuable items was found underneath the big rock. They did find a pile of dirt under the rock, but that's to be expected right? Still, curious souls never quit, and one minor setback wasn't enough to stop Rick.
Rick knew there was something more out there in the world, just waiting for him to be the person to discover it.
A Strange Revelation
In 1796, another young boy discovered a strange depression on the ground of Oak Island. Eight years later, the Onslow Company launched a team to search the area. Why it took them so long to start the search, we will never know, still, better late than never.
After locating the strange markings, the explorers dug deep until they hit something solid. They found a buried stone tablet with an odd inscription.
After finding the stone with the inscription, there was only one thing left to do, try and decipher what was on it, of course! Experts set to work, attempting to interpret and understand the transcription. There was just one problem, they just couldn't. They most likely just didn't have the tools and knowledge to do so.
It wouldn't be until almost 100 years later, 90, to be exact, that the transcription would finally be translated.
The Tablet’s Curse
It was only in 1886 that the shocking message that was engraved on the stone was decoded. It was all thanks to a professor from Halifax. It read, “forty feet below, two million pounds lie buried.” No one had a clue what was meant by “pounds,” but you do have to admit that it sounds ominous.
Or maybe it wasn't? Maybe this meant that there was a treasure lying beneath, just waiting to be discovered?
Was the Treasure Shakespeare's?
But wait, let's talk about the treasure's origins first. Plenty of theories have surfaced. Some people, oddly, traced the source of the treasure back to William Shakespeare. Many of those who doubt the bard was real, believe his literary works were actually written by Francis Bacon. So some treasure hunters hypothesized that Bacon may have built a pit to bury his manuscripts and his earnings.
While this theory is attractive, today it is already widely believed that Shakespeare was, well, himself and not Francis Bacon or anyone else for that matter.
Marie Antoinette's Island
Another theory suggests that the hidden treasure of Oak Island actually belongs to one infamous royal lady - Marie Antoinette. The story goes that Marie sent her maid all the way to Nova Scotia in order to hide her wealth and her jewelry on the island. Rumor has it that even the French Navy was involved in the oppression but it was never confirmed.
One fact that supports this theory though, is that when Marie was arrested at Varennes, there were no pieces of jewelry or gold on her.
Pirates Of Oak Island
The list of theories goes on and on and some entries even involve the participation of pirates and sailors. Captain Kidd was theorized to have buried some of his treasure on Oak Island.
Meanwhile, others believe that when Captain Blackbeard claimed he hid something “where none but Satan and myself can find it, " he actually admitted to stashing something on the island.
More Than One Theory Can Be True
There was also a theory that suggested that Spanish sailors had hidden their treasure in a secret location on the island. While these ideas may be intriguing, there is no proof to support any of them. Still, when you think about it, there's also a possibility that more than one of these stories is true, maybe Shakspear's manuscripts lie next to Antoinette's Jewelry, which is just a few miles away from Blackbeard's hidden treasure.
However, the next theory we’re about to reveal to you is by far the most engaging.
A Sacred Treasure
One of the most intriguing theories about the Oak Island treasure relates to the alleged Masonic markings that can be found all throughout the island. The markings found seem to correspond with a masonic ritual.
Is there a chance such a ritual took place on the island? Could it be that the Free Masons have anything to do with the island, and could they have hidden a treasure there as well?
Blast From the Past
Now let's get back to 1796 when an intriguing discovery happened. Let us refresh your memory - a young boy named Daniel McGinnis was wandering around Oak Island when he saw a strange circular depression in the earth. He moved closer and noticed a tree with branches cut away.
He thought that the branches were intentionally removed so that the tree could serve a purpose: to act as a pulley. When he remembered all the pirate and treasure chest stories he’d heard over the years, the boy talked to his friends and asked for their help to investigate further.
Starting to Investigate
Determined to know more details, Daniel McGinnis sought the help of his friends, John Smith and Anthony Vaughn, to uncover whatever might be hidden under the tree. With all their might and interest, the young boys started digging, and after reaching two feet down, they hit flagstone.
But if you thought that this would be enough to stop them, you'd be wrong. This only sparked their curiosity even more.
The youngsters decided to remove the flagstone and keep digging, making it about another 30 feet down finding layers over layers of oak logs. You have to praise them for their determination, could you ever see yourself just digging for hours in the ground?
Eventually, they realized they couldn’t go any further and thought to themselves that they’d have to wait years before they’d have the ability to pursue their mission. However, this was just the start of their great adventure...
Almost a decade later, the Onslow Company arrived and dug in the same part as the three boys had in the past. With their equipment, they were able to delve down further, and after reaching 60 feet, they saw more oak logs, this time with coconut fiber and charcoal in thick layers.
Interested to find out what lay beneath, the team kept digging until they came across the stone tablet.
A Flooded Pit?
Thrilled with the discovery and imagining the rich fruits of their labor were about to be uncovered, they pulled out another layer of oak logs. All of a sudden, water started flooding into the pit. Could this mean that all of their work was for nothing?
Could this be just another decoy, meant to distract them from finding gold? The only way they could stop the flooding was to make a tunnel to let the water out.
Hitting Rock Bottom
Nothing they tried worked and the non-stop pouring of water made their mission impossible to carry out. The Onslow company realized that they could not push their search any further.
The pit was designed with a 500-foot waterway that connects to Smith’s Cove. This means water can get in freely from the sea, and any time there’s an attempt to empty it, it quickly fills up again from the endless oceanic supply.
A 45-Year Delay
This conundrum had a massive impact on the discovery of the mysterious treasure. Trying to figure out a way around it caused a delay of almost half a century in the exploration. However, even such seemingly insurmountable obstacles cannot deter explorers.
Unfazed by the challenges of the Oak Island treasure, in 1849, a new team of explorers called The Truro Company, set foot on the island. They found an efficient way to drill samples of the pit without the water being an issue.
A New Group of Explorers
After putting in the work, day in and day out, their lucky break finally came: as they were drilling, they hit the jackpot. Tada! They successfully drilled through two chests filled with coins.
They thought this was the first sign of the massive hidden treasure that was promised by the stone. There was a claim that three gold links from a chain were also discovered, but these gold links went missing and no one had an inkling of what actually happened.
A Deeper Pit
The Truro Company realized that the so-called “Money Pit” was deeper. As such, they had to keep draining the water over and over. However, as they repeated the process, they noticed something strange was happening: the level of the water in the pit was moving with the tides.
This realization led to the discovery that the entire beach was artificial; a complex construction with drains and flow tunnels beneath it. Surely this kind of effort would only be undertaken to protect a pretty hefty treasure, right?
The Storm That Ruined Everything
The Truro Company thought of creating a dam to obstruct the flow of water and dig out the treasure. However, they discovered that somebody had already attempted this when they came across an older dam. Then a storm came.
The storm created an unusually high tide which destroyed all their hard work. At this point, they were in way too deep, and the endeavor drained their pockets. Lacking the funds to rebuild, they had to give up.
The First Loss
In 1861, the Oak Island Association tried their luck at cracking the case. They poured their hearts and time into reaching an 88-foot depth in the Money Pit. They made a new shaft to stop the water from entering.
Unfortunately, the team had a devastating tragedy when the entire bottom part of the pit fell. When the pump burst, one of their members was killed. Rumors started circulating, saying that ghost pirates were acting as guards of the hidden treasure.
A Strange, Sheepskin Artifact
As the 18th century was about to come to an end, another team of explorers decided to risk their lives to try and find gold and glory. As they were in the process of investigating the mysteries that covered the Money Pit and Oak Island, they discovered a sheepskin parchment with letters printed on it, a scary artifact in itself.
But, even more, disturbing and frustrating was the fact they could not understand what it said.
Yet Another Tragedy
Still, even without knowing what the parchment meant, they still wanted to continue digging. Just as they were getting close to their mission, Maynard Kaiser, one of the team’s explorers, met his tragic death.
It all happened when they tried to lift him back to the surface. As he was being hoisted up, his rope untangled from the pulley and, tragically, Maynard fell to his death down the shaft. Was this just an accident? Or maybe a part of some island curse?
President Roosevelt's Involvement
At some point, even the late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt got himself involved in the mysteries of Oak Island. Stirred by his family’s sailing stories, he continued following the island’s treasure mystery until his death, in 1945.
Roosevelt was a member of The Old Savage Group. Even though the crew of explorers didn’t make much progress on their hunt for the island’s treasure, he continued to monitor the Oak Island attempts and developments. In 1939, he planned to secretly visit the island but it didn’t materialize due to weather and certain international issues.
A Businessman's Attempt
In 1928, a New York businessman, Gilbert Hedden, got captivated by the strangeness of the mystery following the island after reading an article about it. As an operator of a steel fabricating firm, he was curious about the engineering issues that the previous explorers encountered.
Determined to apply his engineering skills and, of course, try his luck in finding the controversial treasure, he arrived on the island with his business partner, Fred Blair. They drilled some of the shafts and discovered something more intriguing than had ever been found before. Could this pair be the key to solving the mystery?
Gilbert Hedden and Fred Blair’s decision to take on Oak Island did not disappoint them, as they became the first witnesses to the island’s newest revelations. What the pair discovered was a stone with markings almost the same as the one that was discovered in 1804 in the Money Pit. Later on, they found some old timber at Smith’s Cove that appeared to be the exact material that was used when the pit was initially built.
What the pair discovered was a stone with markings almost the same as the one that was discovered in 1804 in the Money Pit. Later on, they found some old timber at Smith’s Cove that appeared to be the exact material that was used when the pit was initially built.
An Odd Layer
Another treasure-hunting hopeful was Erwin Hamilton who arrived on the island in 1938. When he started drilling in 1939, he came across two interesting discoveries. About 190 feet down the Money Pit, he found some intriguing rocks and gravel. Upon checking them, Hamilton realized that they were foreign and that they had been placed there intentionally.
His next discovery was an odd layer of natural limestone that contained some oak splinters. As such, he believed that a layer of wood existed underneath the limestone layer. Hamilton was thrilled with his findings but reached an impasse.
The next person who wanted to come in and examine the island was Robert Restall, who, like the past explorers, was hopeful when he started his mission. Restall arrived on the island in 1959 and discovered a stone with “1704” engraved on it.
However, a horrific tragedy ended his mission and his life. Having just transferred his family onto Oak Island to allow him the freedom to pursue his expedition, Restall inhaled carbon monoxide from an engine which left him to fall, unconscious, down the Money pit.
As if this story wasn't terrible enough, Robert Restall Jr. was there, and he witnessed his father’s fall. He rushed to the pit and tried to rescue him, not knowing he will soon suffer the same fate as his father.
The son inhaled the same toxic fumes that caused his father to plummet down the pit. Once he did, Restall Jr. fell to the same tragic fate.
Two workers in the area, Karl Graeser and Cyril Hiltz, hurriedly went to the pit and tried to climb down to rescue the Restall men. However, they also inhaled the carbon monoxide and met their deaths down the pit.
This was the island’s biggest disaster: four deaths in one day. The Money Pit, it seems, was working its way up to that number prescribed in the myths: seven deaths before the treasure would be revealed.
The Next Explorer
The same year the Restall men and their workers fell to their deaths, Robert Dunfield arrived on the island. We guess he wasn't deterred by the odd deaths and the rumors that ghosts were protecting the treasure because he brought with him an army of cranes, bulldozers, and heavy machinery to dig the pit further.
He tunneled approximately 140 feet down, reaching the thick limestone layer that was previously discovered.
More Stranger Clues
Another man by the name of Daniel C. Blankenship also went to the Money Pit to dig in 1965. His efforts paid off when he found a hand-wrought nail, a washer, and a stone-shaped heart 60 feet down. While these odd discoveries didn’t make a whole lot of sense in isolation, they formed part of a puzzle that was slowly coming together.
One that would surely be answered in the future if only enough clues could be found.
The Triton Alliance
In the late 1960s, a group called the Triton Alliance was created to continue the quest for the elusive treasure. The team used heavy machinery in the hope of making significant findings and, most importantly, unearthing the treasure.
Aside from recovering some artifacts, such as a 300-year-old pair of wrought-iron scissors, the team’s extensive search did not reveal much of anything useful. However, the crew of hardened explorers refused to back down from their tough mission.
A Brilliant Idea
In 1976, the Triton Alliance came up with a brilliant idea on what they can do to try and reach a breakthrough. At this point, there was already new technology available that did not exist when previous expeditions tried to solve the case.
They sunk a Borehole 10-X steel tube into the ground. Its purpose was to lower a camera into the pit. This paid off, and the hardworking explorers were rewarded with some pretty amazing things.
The camera was lowered down into the cavity. What the Triton Alliance saw, shocked them. The images from the camera revealed an array of objects and tools suspended in the water. Leather shoes were discovered along with, to their horror, a severed human hand.
The Triton Alliance members were more thrilled when they saw three chests that looked a whole lot like the ones people like to bury treasures in. It was a truly overwhelming day for the team. While they were excited about the chests, it was hard not to be distracted by the human remains.
The End of the Search
After seeing shocking images from below the shaft, the Triton Alliance sent divers to recover the objects, but they were in for yet another surprise: none of the items they’d seen on the camera could be found. The current in the pit was so strong that it caused sand and dirt to be constantly churning, making visibility a nightmare.
The divers were basically blind in their mission to find the items. They eventually gave up… and not a moment too soon.
Another Dead End
Just minutes after the divers decided to give up and go out, something terrible happened. The shaft fell apart. The group had no choice but to abandon their excavation.
Not wanting to give up as they were keen to recover the intriguing items they had seen in the camera images, the group tried to dig up the shaft again, but just like many who have tried before them, eventually ran out of financial support.
Oak Island's Popularity
A decade after the Triton Alliance officially ended their quest for the buried treasure, Oak Island was starting to catch the interest of the general public. The mysterious island was featured in an episode of the 1979 TV show, "In Search Of… " The episode concerning the island earned the mystery a huge fan base, both locally and internationally.
With the intriguing stories and shocking discoveries about the many attempts to crack the case, Oak Island was receiving public recognition. In fact, people of all walks of life were curious about the elusive treasure and the legends that surround it.
An Ownership Conflict
With a rumored amount of 2 million pounds buried on the island, it is not surprising that conflicts would arise. In 1983, the Triton Alliance and one of their members, Fred Nolan, battled over rights on certain parts of the island. The company sued Nolan over ownership of seven of the island’s lots.
Nolan was sued for damages that greatly affected Triton Alliance’s tourist business. His company appealed in 1989 but lost for the second time. As the legal battles took over, Oak Island fell silent for over a decade (1990 through 2005). Until the Lagina brothers finally came...
The Lagina Brothers
The treasure hunt journey of Triton Alliance in Oak Island was featured in a 1965 Reader’s Digest article, the same article that caught Rick Lagina’s interest when he was just 11 years old.
In 2005, the brothers saw an opportunity to enter Oak Island when they learned that a fraction of it was up for sale at around $7 million. They invested a fifty percent stake in a company called Oak Island Tours Inc. The determination to find the treasure they dreamed of as kids still lived on in their 50-years-old forms.
As a fresh start for their Oak Island journey, the Lagina brothers integrated the modern technology earlier explorers hadn’t had access to. Rick and Marty were more than determined to get to work and investigate the island further. With the help of state-of-the-art technology, the brothers were able to search not just the fabled Money Pit, but also other unexplored parts of the island.
The flooding of the pit was no longer an obstacle as the lads had the technological means to create efficient solutions. To their surprise, their efforts revealed secrets and allies that were far from their expectations.
The Curse of Oak Island
When the History Channel learned about the hard work of the Lagina brothers in the Oak Island mystery, the company commissioned a TV show called "The Curse of Oak Island." Aside from catering to a bigger audience, the show also helped the siblings raise funds to keep their quest equipped with the necessary resources.
The show also gave the treasure search more meaning and credibility. With its increased popularity worldwide, a lot of people were waiting for answers.
Skilled and Prepared
Though they developed their burning desire to explore the Oak Island mystery at a young age, the Lagina brothers waited for a long time to pursue their treasure hunt. And with age and wisdom on their side, they came prepared.
Marty had extensive experience with gas wells and digging, and he shared his knowledge and skills with his brother, Rick. Marty had worked at a number of different gas wells and so had spent time with a variety of engineering experts. He was able to make use of these connections, enlisting them to serve as professional counsels.
Their First Find
One of the brothers’ first projects for their show, was to dig up a swamp so that they could search further than any explorer who had gone before them. It turned out the swamp revealed their first treasure: a Spanish copper coin dated to the 17th century. This provided evidence that people from Spain had visited the island before.
Various theories and speculations were made out of the significant pieces of evidence found. One such theory suggests that the hidden treasure belonged to King Solomon.
The show enjoyed a successful first two seasons, but it was during its third season that the Lagina brothers made their most thrilling discoveries. With the help of experts who assisted them with sonar readings and in draining the Borehole 10-X, Rick and Marty eventually discovered the island’s greatest bounty so far.
They found a Roman sword and a Portuguese carving. Things got more interesting when they discovered proof that the Aztecs had explored the island in the past. Isn’t that cool?
Life’s a Treasure Hunt
In his fifties, Rick considered the Oak Island treasure journey to be an important continuation of a cherished childhood dream.
“There’s a story to be written up here. Treasure, perhaps, but it’s a truly wonderful story from a long time ago. Every day it feels like we’re turning a page of a really good book,” Rick said. Reflecting on their treasure hunt, he also added that “to me, life’s a treasure hunt. We’re all on one in our own different way, and we happen to be on a real one right now.”
The French Map
During the third installment of the show, the Lagina brothers were gifted a French map from the year 1647. The map of Oak Island was illustrated in French and had some valuable facts contained within its contours. The map indicated that an anchor, a valve, and a hatch, were in place to help explorers on their quest to find the island’s treasure.
The map also dropped hints that the alleged treasure may have come from Africa. These symbols and clues were very helpful for the Lagina brothers, giving them vital clues the past explorers had lacked.
A Bit of the Titanic
Believe it or not, the Oak Island mystery even has a connection to the historical Titanic tragedy. There was speculation that Vincent Astor contributed an incredible amount of money to the excavation of Oak Island. It was his strong conviction that led him to donate a massive amount of money as he was said to have believed that a monumental treasure really exists on the island.
Astor even hoped that they might recover the Ark of Covenant. The wealthy businessman had inherited his fortune from his famous father, John Jacob Astor IV, who died during the Titanic tragedy.
One of the many skilled and smart explorers of the Oak Island mystery was a man named Barry Fell (a terrifying name, considering the fates that befell many of the explorers who tempted the island).
Fell was a Harvard zoologist by trade and an archaeologist who claimed that the carvings discovered on Oak Island originated from the Coptic Christians of North Africa who may have visited the site during ancient times.
More than just pure entertainment, the History Channel’s, "The Curse of Oak Island," made a big difference in the life of at least one of its followers. A longtime fan was thrilled when his house was, in the strangest of circumstances, saved by the show.
The Texas native ordered an Aqua Dam (just like the one used on the show) to save his property from the harsh challenges of the flood that came in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. He must’ve been the only Oak Island fan in the area because his house was the only one on the block that was saved.
A Bunch of Tar
One lady who thinks she’s solved the mystery is Joy Steele. She claims that there are, in fact, more pits than the famous Money Pit to be found there. These pits, she claimed, were nothing but giant storage vessels for tar that were dug by the British Army to aid in the construction and maintenance of their ships.
To add legitimacy to her theory, Joy highlighted various shipbuilding sites in North Carolina that look similar to the oak Island setup and were famous tar storage pits. Could it be that the answer is nothing more than tar? We’ll have and wait for new explorers to try and find the final answer.
Read on to find out if the mystery of Atlantis has finally been solved
Probably the greatest myths of all time, the ancient city of Atlantis has truly captured the imagination of thousands. Originally, this fictional island was created to represent the antagonist naval power mentioned in the Greek philosopher Plato’s literary work.
If this writing had not contained so much truth about the human condition, it would have probably just turned to dust. It isn’t a surprise then that people have come up with explanations that could make this island a reality. Read on to know the fascinating details!
This legendary island has truly mesmerized the minds of many for thousands of years.
But what was originally just a story has now led to huge breakthroughs by professionals from around the world. These findings just might solve this mystery once and for all.
The city of Atlantis has long been the subject of intense speculation.
It all traces back to Ancient Greece as a story simply shared by Plato in 360 B.C. The story tragically ends in the loss of deities, and eventually the sinking of the city into the Atlantic Ocean. But how reliable are these ancient texts, really?
Over a hundred years later, any information linked to the myth of Atlantis was considered incredibly speculative. Though, there have been professionals, such as cartographer Abraham Ortelius, that have made significant findings. Ortelius was actually one of the first to believe that all continents were connected before eventually separating.
Ortelius shared, “Unless it be a fable, the island of Gadir or Gades [Cadiz] will be the remaining part of the island of Atlantis or America, which was not sunk (as Plato reports in the Timaeus).”
An American Theory
Like the island itself, the story of Atlantis eventually sunk into the depths of social and cultural understanding. However, a man by the name of Ignatius Donnelly revived the myth with his fervent interest. He dedicated much of his time and effort into even writing a book about it, containing extensive research.
Donnelly writes in his book, “Atlantis, the Antediluvian World,” that Plato was actually archiving a natural disaster. Was his research enough to back up this theory, though?
Pillars Of Hercules
Though Donnelly’s findings were predominantly speculative, his theory was largely directed by the belief that the Atlantic Ocean was just a couple hundred feet deep.
He thought that a continent had been flooded by colliding ocean waters in the location once written by Plato – just by the “Pillars of Hercules,” which are nowadays known as the two rocks at the entry of the Straits of Gibraltar. But is Donnelly’s theory still considered reliable after over a century of scientific developments?
Donnelly’s theory shares the same location with Plato’s description of the area of Atlantis, it still remains popular among a number of today’s theorists. Unfortunately, due to better understanding and knowledge of how plate tectonics work, this theory has since been debunked by modern oceanographers.
The whole idea of the waters shifting leading to the sinking of Atlantis ultimately seemed ridiculous at this point. However, this didn’t stop theorists from expanding Donnelly’s work.
Helen Blavatsky, a Russian mystic and founder of the Theosophical Society, was amongst those who were directly influenced by Donnelly’s work. Whereas Plato believed that the Atlanteans were purely a military entity, Blavatsky believed that they were actually a more culturally rich and sophisticated civilization.
In fact, she even believed that her own race was deeply rooted in the Atlanteans, or what she called the “Root Race”. However, the Atlanteans contributed to their own downfall, engaging in one too many internal battles influenced by supernatural powers.
Blavatsky would have never imagined that her theories would create the kind of damaging repercussions they have today. After writing down her own beliefs in her book entitled The Secret Doctrine, it actually became an article of inspiration for the German Nazis. Mentioning the myths of Hyperborea, or a land that was home to a godlike race, Blavatsky contributed to the whole ideology of Nazism.
Though this was a dark turn in the pseudo-history of Atlantis, there were actually more impartial theorists that came along.
The next group of theorists actually started to contribute their own ideas of where they thought the city of Atlantis may have been located. Charles Berlitz, one of the most notable of those theorists, actually wrote several books about paranormal activity, eventually branching into the fantasy of Atlantis.
Unfortunately, his theory relied on information we could probably never have the means to clarify.
You have probably heard of the Bermuda Triangle, the notorious area where many ships and people have mysteriously disappeared. It was in this location that Berlitz theorized the Atlantis had been situated.
This belief was backed up by the ancient-looking man-made structures and walls near the Bimini coast. Unfortunately, scientists debunked this belief after confirming that these structures were actually natural rock formations.
Atlantis Is Antartica?
Charles Hapgood was the American professor who proposed another theory that had gathered just as much speed as Berlitz’s ideas did. However, what he wrote in his 1958 book, Earth’s Shifting Crust, focused more on the belief that severe catastrophes were led by a pole shift.
Although, Hapgood included a suggestion that Atlantis may have been the temperate version of Antartica. How could he have come up with such an idea?
Hapgood’s claim was that a huge mass of land, now Antartica, was displaced over time after a shift in the Earth’s crust over 12,000 years ago. He believed that this temperate region was home to a particularly advanced civilization, who he claimed could have been the Atlanteans.
However, he assumed that the people were forced to flee from the area when ice eventually covered the continent. Though, scientific advances debunked this theory yet again, forcing theorists to go back to the drawing board.
Stranger Than Fiction
Among all theories trying to explain the possibility of Atlantis, there was one that sought to disprove the city ever existed in the first place. It was theorized that the real-life event of the Bosporus Strait flooding into the Black Sea, or famously known as The Black Sea Flood, inspired the Atlantis myth.
In an instant, the catastrophe destroyed the lives of many living in the region.
Check The History Books
Amidst the vagueness, we can get some facts straight regarding the city of Atlantis by simply looking at the history surrounding Ancient Greece. It was found by historians that the story of Atlantis pretty much revolves around a group of people who existed between 2500-1600 B.C., called the Minoans.
They were the first true European civilization that built extravagant structures, making it difficult for theorists to ignore the Atlantis connection. However, something mysteriously happened to them.
Apparently, in a matter of moments, the Minoans vanished off the substance of the earth. Thus, numerous theorists have frequently observed a relationship between this civilization’s bizarre vanishing and the mysterious idea of Plato's story.
Though, late hypotheses guarantee that a seismic tremor struck the island of Thera (now known as Santorini) more than 3500 years back. Specialists trust that the tremor caused enormous waves that devastated everything in their sight. In any case, who came up with this hypothesis? What's more, how accurate is it?
Is It True?
It was Greek archeologist Angelos Galanopoulos who concocted the idea towards the end of the 60s. Albeit many trust that he should not be right basically because of the fact that the dates don't arrange, he had a clarification for this.
Evidently, when the story was first being deciphered, the defective Egyptian translation made it appear as though the occasion happened 9000 years ago when, in reality, it was most likely more like 900. Nevertheless, Angelos' hypothesis was proven wrong since Plato composed that Atlantis was near ancient Gibraltar.
Another Thera Theory
One historian who shares a comparative theory is Bettany Hughes. The specialist in traditional history trusts that there is an excessive number of similarities between Plato's record and the catastrophe that happened on Thera.
In fact, she wrote, "Plato describes the Atlantean buildings as being red, black and white – as indeed the masonry at Akrotiri strikingly was (and still is).” The record "also talks about the city encircled by rings of land – the formation of the collapsed volcano."
Location Location Location
One of the key insights about Atlantis that has been the subject of exceptional discussion is where exactly the old city could have been. J.M. Allen, a photograph interpreter, actually believed that Atlantis could be in South America – specifically, Altiplano, a zone near the Bolivian Andes.
However, it was the well-known mystic Edgar Cayce who trusted that Atlantis could be discovered near the Bimini coast. Other potential areas incorporate Southern Spain, the Azores, and even Morocco.
Not only did Edgar Cayce claim that he could heal people, but he was also believed to have an incredible ability to "connect" with people who lived in Atlantis. He was reportedly able to write detailed accounts of his "experiences" in the ancient city through his psychic powers.
Other wild claims he made included the bizarre idea that Atlantis would "rise" again in the 1960s and that there were archives of Atlantis information stored under the Sphinx in Egypt.
Missing The Point
After continental drift became an uncontested fact, scientists have repeatedly questioned the work of Plato and whether or not Atlantis really exists. One scholar named Julia Annas said, "The idea is that we should use the story to examine our ideas of government and power. We have missed the point if instead of thinking about these issues we go off exploring the seabed."
This was considered a wake-up call to many Atlantis theorists who subsequently had to reassess their research techniques.
In the modern age, the enigmatic quality of the story of Atlantis captured the fascination and imagination of millions, with the concept of an underwater city in a variety of mediums.
Many films have revolved around the myth, like the animated film Atlantis: The Lost Empire by Disney and the documentary Atlantis by Luc Besson. Additionally, the myth was used in the comics stories of Marvel and DC. However, it was actually the search for the ancient city that has sparked the greatest interest.
Original Or Not?
The originality of Plato's works surrounded much debate. Many believe that he borrowed from the history of Gyges’ allegories and ideas. Although, others theorize that he was actually inspired by a variety of sources, such as the invasion of the Sea Peoples and the war of Troy.
The only possible inspirations for Plato at the time were real-life events like the destruction of Helike in the fourth century BC. However, there are still those who insist that his work was entirely original.
Was It The Mayans?
Many scholars eventually proposed a theory that was frightened by the masses. Mesoamerican theorists like Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg and August Le Plongeon elaborated detailed theories to suggest that either the Mayan or the Aztec civilizations had something to do with the creation of Atlantis.
The former traveled to the region in the 1800s and had what he thought was sufficient evidence after translating Mayan texts such as Popol Vuh.
A Huge Risk
Due to his unconventional theories, the reputation of Brasseur De Bourbourg has been greatly tarnished. This was mainly because he suggested that the Mayans were descendants of a people called the Toltecs, which he claimed to be the superior race that created Atlantis.
Though his depictions provoked and entertained the general consensus, scholars found his work purely speculative and deeply rooted in fantasy. Distinctly contrasted to these theories, one person's findings have recently been more credible.
In recent years, there have been few and far-reaching concrete claims to the city of Atlantis. One exception was in 2015, when Michael Hubner, a German computer expert, theorized that Morocco was potentially home to the ancient ruins.
After collecting information from Plato's accounts and highlighting all the areas within a 3000-mile radius of Athens, Hubner’s search eventually led him to the North African country. Although, one might wonder what could have led Hubner to such an undirected country…
What made Hubner's work so unique was that Hubner used computer technology to calculate where Atlantis could be, unlike others who would usually choose their location first and then build evidence around it.
In fact, he took 51 attributes of the depiction of Atlantis by Plato, such as being close to the sea, outside the "Pillars of Hercules" and having elephants. All 51 boxes were ticked by the country of Morocco. It was only two years later, however, that archeologists have made the most serious discovery to date.
Archeologists have recently discovered an ancient city that many theorists believe could actually be Atlantis in their amazing breakthrough. Though, one detail was completely unexpected- it was located in the Pacific Ocean. New aerial photographs show clearly Nad Madol on the island of Pohnpei.
The team of researchers who traveled to the site found that the ruins were originally built over a lagoon. But what distinguishes this archeological site from the others? And why was it linked to the city of Atlantis?
Could It Be Atlantis?
What fascinated people most was that this newly found site had tidal canals and walls around, similar to what Plato wrote all those years ago. Nan Madol's structures are supposed to be constructed from 750,000 tons of black rock.
Interestingly, the name Nan Madol means "spaces between," which directly refers to the canals that flow through the ruins. Atlantis or not, it's an incredible finding...
The research team's leader is a man named Mark McCoy. According to the proud archeologist, the discovery was an incredible game changer, despite speculations of it being or not being Atlantis.
McCoy shared, “It now looks like Nan Madol represents a first in Pacific Island history. It was the seat of political power, the center of the most important religious rituals, and the place where the former chiefs of the island were laid to rest.”
Raiders Of The Lost Tomb
McCoy and the team investigated one of the graves in which the chiefs were buried. In this way, they could determine a clearer date for the original construction of the ancient town. McCoy said, "With the results described in our new paper, [it] can now be compared to other islands in the Pacific and societies around the world."
These findings are truly phenomenal contributions for further research into Atlantis. But who lived in this city, anyway?
Nan Madol may not be Atlantis, but then again, no confirmation is given that it is not. And even if it isn’t, this doesn’t change the incredible features that this team of archeologists has in uncovering something this special.
These discoveries encourage researchers to double their efforts to finally find the ruins of one of the most mysterious wonders of an ancient civilization– the Atlantis. Who knows, perhaps it's already been found, and we just don't know.
Now, we move onto other groundbreaking discoveries. The Giza Pyramids are no less than an architectural phenomenon and have disturbed historians for thousands of years.
A group of archeologists, however, found new evidence that once and for all solved the mystery.
Finding The Truth
Over the years, the legends of ancient Egypt captured the imagination of millions, with many people dedicating their lives to revealing the truth of these mysterious pyramids.
Many of them have theorized how the magnificent structures were created, with the three main arguments about whether the blocks used to build them were lifted, rolled or dragged to their planned place. There was one group of people, however, who had the most convincing theories.
The Most Reliable Information?
Herodotus’s accounts of the construction of the pyramids are actually still considered to be some of the most reliable documents surrounding the subject, despite being written more than 1,600 years after they were built.
Although Egyptians have collected information long after the era, it is the most useful information we have ever known. Over time, however, many critics have become increasingly skeptical of his work, as they believe that it only gives one dimension to a multifaceted story.
Best Of The Best
For a long period, there were certain details that many Egyptologists and historians agreed on regarding the historical context of the building. The general consensus was that the Pharaohs ordered the building of the structures and hired the most respected architects and engineers of their time to supervise the preparations.
Although, it was the slaves who were ordered to do hard work. Another popular belief has something to do with the building techniques that were implemented.
Once again, research on the matter still wasn’t as simple. Theorists had conflicting ideas about the conditions under which the pyramids were constructed. However, many share similar details, particularly some of the techniques which the builders believed to have used.
The main similarity is the idea that workers meticulously used a copper chisel to carve boulders. The final product was then dragged and lifted when the supervisor found it fit. Though, is there any chance it wasn't the Egyptians? Could anyone else have built them?
The early signs regarding who may have built the pyramids can be traced back to Biblical times wherein the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, written in the book of Exodus. While this suggests that the Hebrews might have been ordered to build the pyramids for the Egyptians, historians will quickly address this misunderstanding.
Although the Giza pyramids were built about 2580 BC according to most archeological research, the Israelites were not slaves until the 13th century BC. Yup, these numbers don’t seem to add up.
Secrets Of The Sphinx
Although there is an enormous amount of evidence that it was the Egyptians who built the pyramids, there are still signs that they could have actually been built long before the Pharaohs. In fact, authors and historians Gerry Cannon and Malcolm Hutton believed the Sphinx had to be cut out of natural rock.
"You can’t carve a rock when it’s under sand" said Cannon. He added, “When it was not under sand was about 12,000 years ago and the Egyptians weren’t there.”
Was It Really The Egyptians?
These findings could mean that the old structures were much older than originally anticipated by archeologists and that an earlier civilization could have built the pyramids.
Cannon said, “Nobody knows who was there 12,000 years ago. It had to have been done by a civilization that was more advanced than any of us.” Of course, the wild theory of the pair was quickly shot down by Egyptian authorities. This does not mean, however, that there weren’t more logical theories circulating.
Pyramid Of Power
One of his generation's most respected Egyptologists, Miroslav Verner, theorized that a hierarchy had to be established to create the pyramids. He trusted that there were probably more than 100,000 men divided into a variety of teams with different purposes.
Additionally, more divisions were made related to individual skills. The theory meant that those who built the pyramids had roles that were organized in a pyramid style. But the intricacies of the Egyptian operation still went on.
Yet another Egyptologist by the name of John Romer believed that careful planning led to the construction of the pyramids, to the point that the builders have probably drawn up an actual life-size plan.
He said, “Such a working diagram would also be used to create the pyramid's architecture with unrivaled precision by any other means.” Romer also estimated the construction was probably 14 years from beginning to end. Although, another man took this inquiry to the next level.
In modern times, a modest man named Mark Lehner is one of the most important people in the quest for the truth behind the pyramids. The experienced Egyptologist and his team have compiled one of the most detailed studies ever carried out with some fascinating new theories.
Lehner thinks that people were involved in the construction of the pyramids somewhere between 14,500 and 40,000. But actually, he did not realize how vital his role in this search would eventually become.
The catalyst that launched this abundance of evidence came back in 1954 when archeologist Kamal el-Mallakh led a team and discovered a boat that they thought was left for the use of Pharaoh Khufu.
The remains of the boat have been restored and scanned to determine its origins, including its wooden planks. Remarkably, the findings showed that they were sewn together. So what was the actual purpose of this ship?
Sailing To Heaven?
It was in 2500 B.C. that servants sealed the ship in a pit at the Great Pyramid complex. This enabled Pharaoh Khufu to use the necessary tools and grave goods in the afterlife.
Although this is not confirmed, the vessel is called a "solar barge," a ship designed to take the resurrected king with Ra, the Sun God, on his eternal journey. However, most theorists believe it was due to another reason.
Down To Earth
Since the signs indicate that the vessel was already submerged in water, theorists believe that it was already used to escort the mummified body of the king to his resting place. It was either that or Khufu used the ship as a mode of transport to holy places while he was still alive.
Whatever the reason, the Khufu ship is considered one of the most important findings in Egyptology's history. But recent developments have greatly altered this.
A particularly fascinating truth that was recently revealed about the Great Pyramid is in fact within the ominous structure. Recently, after intensive scanning, scientists found a mysterious void deep inside the pyramid.
Above the Queen's chamber is a 30-meter gap that looks like a kind of corridor or transport system. Though the exact purpose of the void is still unclear, there are still some theories about what the void might have been designed for.
What most people may not know is that the Great Pyramid actually has a sophisticated interior. As of today, it is believed that there are three recognized chambers; the lowest one built within its bedrock, the chambers of the Queen and the King, and the exterior complex that speaks for itself.
Giza consists of two mortuary temples to honor Khufu, while there is also a “satellite” pyramid and a series of tombs around it.
Power Of The Nile
It may make sense that the Pyramids of Giza could have been built so close to the Nile because any civilization would find being close to a source of water to be an advantage.
It is believed, however, that there was a much more spiritual reasoning behind this placing. Supposedly symbolizing the realm of the dead, the Pyramids of Giza were located on the west bank of the Nile, exactly where the sun sets.
Cooler On The Inside
It is indisputable how the Egyptians actually were ahead of their time. This can first be seen in the finding that the structures were constructed using a ball and socket mechanism to prevent earthquake damage.
Secondly, the pyramids were built so accurately that, although the harsh arid heat would be on Egyptian structures, the temperature inside the pyramids remained cool at 20 degrees Celsius.
What Came First?
In the main chamber of the Great Pyramid, there is a granite coffer. What appears to be an entirely normal feature of this type of structure is actually something extraordinary. The reality is that the coffer is, in fact, a finely carved granite piece.
It was not possible for the Egyptians to fit the large piece through the passage, suggesting that the Great Pyramid could be built around the coffer instead of the other way around.
One of the greatest mysteries around the Great Pyramid is the mortar which was used to "glue" the blocks. The truth is that no archeologist has traced the origins of this mortar or the material used to make it to this day.
The only thing scientists know for sure is its chemical composition. Though they couldn't reproduce the composition, it is believed to be harder than the actual stone.
Two of the most common theories are at completely opposite ends of the spectrum. The first theory is worldly in nature, suggesting that the void acts as a "construction gap" and a platform for builders to move from one part of the building to another.
However, the second theory suggests that it was the path between the chamber of the King and the chamber of the Queen. This could also suggest something else.
In one way or another, hardly anyone seems to be able to resist the attraction of the Giza Pyramids. Most people fall into one of two categories: a qualified Egyptologist who is determined to unlock the truths of these mysterious structures, or someone who has Egypt on his bucket list to visit Giza in particular.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is without a doubt the biggest reason why Egypt can attract more than five million visitors a year.
Throne From Space?
A Milan Polytechnic professor believes that a throne carved from a meteorite is stored deep within a secret chamber in the Great Pyramid. Since the dagger of King Tut was found in 1922, it has been well documented that the Ancient Egyptians used meteoric iron.
"In these texts, it is said that the pharaoh, before reaching the stars of the north, will have to pass the ‘gates of the sky’ and sit on his ‘throne of iron’," said Giulio Magli.
Pyramids In Pop
The Pyramids truly captured the imaginations of millions and inspired many artists to use them on a range of platforms in their work. Many films used the Pyramids as the background for some of the most iconic film scenes, including The Mummy, Lost Ark Raiders, and Stargate, to name a few.
There was also the animated musical The Prince of Egypt, which drew heavily from the perspective of the Bible around the time of Ancient Egypt.
Be Our Guest
One of the latest developments has shed new light on Ancient Egypt's overall culture. University College London researchers have evidence that the Egyptians would only enter the pyramids if they had guests.
According to Professor Sidney Colliver, “Recently unearthed papyrus rolls dating from 2400 B.C. confirm that most Egyptians of the time went to the pyramids of Giza once as a kid and thought they were pretty cool, but seldom returned to the majestic tombs unless they had a buddy visiting who had never been there before.”
Grand Theft Pharoah
One of the misfortunes that prevented Egyptologists from getting a full picture of what it was like to live in the Pyramids was their historic illegal activity. Apparently, "all the pyramids were robbed" by the New Kingdom, according to authors Briar and Hobbs.
It is also thought that stone was taken at some point, serving as a slope to the foundations of the Great Pyramid. Unfortunately, numerous robbers broke in towards the end of the Old Kingdom.
Man With A Plan
Remarkably, Mark Lehner made many pyramid-related discoveries. His team found a working town known as " The Lost City" by the archeological community. He also found what originally seemed to be a nearby port, making it clear that the region was much more integrated than previously anticipated by the masses.
Lehner also believes that pyramid workers could have lived on the ramps they used to build and park near the site.
Discovery Of The Century
When an ancient papyrus was found in a cave in Wadi al-Jarf in 2013, a remarkable discovery was made. They are the oldest of their kind ever found, from just over 4,500 years ago.
The hieroglyphic text revealed details of the construction of the pyramids that archeologists and historians had only previously speculated on. They now had substantial proof that confirmed an old mystery. So who uncovered this game-changing artifact?
Pierre Tallet was the person who made this notable discovery. After finding the ancient papyrus, he deciphered the hieroglyphics for almost half a decade and worked out exactly what was written there.
"Since the very day of the discovery, it was quite evident that we have the oldest papyrus ever found in the world," he said. He knew with his amazing find that he had changed the face of Egyptology. But what was the actual truth behind this amazing artifact?
The Diary Of Merer
An ancient Egyptian named Merer wrote an intricate text describing how the Egyptian workforce behind the Great Pyramid was made up of an incredible number of skilled engineers. According to him, these workers used boats to transport more than 170,000 tons of limestone from Tura to Giza down the Nile.
This finally served as the first written account in history for Egyptologists. But there was another astounding detail that makes this engineering wonder even more impressive.
Man Made Canals
The other incredible thing Merer wrote about was a complex channel system. The pyramid engineers built the series of canals to make the transport of materials as quick and efficient as possible. These canals connected directly from the Nile to the area on which the pyramids were built.
Where then did the materials come from exactly? Merer not only painted a clear picture of the building techniques but also revealed the important figures behind the project.
The Pharoah & The Vizier
The Diary of Merer actually revealed a great deal of important and fascinating information about the king's reign (2600 B.C.), Pharaoh Khufu. His half-brother, " the noble Ankh-haf," was also his Vizier and his supervision of the construction of the Great Pyramid was confirmed.
The text suggests that it was Khufu himself who instructed the engineers to decorate the Pyramid with Tura limestone, his soon-to-be tomb. But it was someone else that helped realize the dream of Tallet.
Most Recent Development
This indirect and collaborative effort was finished by Mark Lehner. Lehner and his team found the lost waterway in Giza, which only adds credence to the details in Merer’s diary.
Lehner said, "We’ve outlined the central canal basin which we think was the primary delivery area to the foot of the Giza Plateau.” Now researchers have three key sources of evidence to prove the origins of the Pyramids with the Diary of Merer, the Khufu ship, and now the lost waterway.
The Undisputed Truth
Tallet, Lehner and the others have therefore been able to verify a list of important facts that have only been heard for hundreds of years. Most importantly, the Diary of Merer confirms that the boats and canals played an integral role in the construction of the Pyramids of Giza.
The two most important materials of the structure, granite and calcareous, were also brought from Aswan and Tura respectively. What do these details mean for Egyptology 's future?
The Future Of Egyptology
These three separate findings are strongly linked and seem to add a new level of significance to the theories that Egyptologists such as Herodotus, Gerry Cannon, and Miroslav Verner have developed over the years.
Despite these pioneering findings, the search for the hidden truths of ancient Egypt continues. It seems, however, that some of the deepest secrets about the Great Pyramids have finally been unlocked, inspiring archeologists to duplicate their efforts and unravel the next major breakthrough in Egypt.