The Curse of Oak Island: Season 6, Episode 16- Detour
The following is a Plot Summary and Analysis of Season 6, Episode 16 of the History Channel’s TV series The Curse of Oak Island.
The Fellowship congregates in the War Room, where the boys inform Craig Tester via video conference of the results of the dye test conducted the previous episode. After some discussion, Marty Lagina concedes that the rust-coloured fluid discovered at Smith’s Cove is “consistent with a flood tunnel that’s plugged”. Paul Troutman then suggests that the supposed flood tunnel’s entrance might be beneath the concrete crane pad used during the construction of the cofferdam. The treasure hunters agree that they ought to explore the area beneath the crane pad, and remind each other that they will have to obtain new permits from the Nova Scotian government in order to begin this operation.
Later, the treasure hunters meet at Smith’s Cove where, under the direction of Laird Niven, they set about fully uncovering the slipway. While Billy Gerhardt gets as close to the structure as he can with his backhoe, Gary Drayton and Jack Begley search the area with a metal detector. First, they unearth a long iron object which reminds Drayton of a spear point, evoking the alleged Roman pilum tip discovered in Season 6, Episode 3.
Later, Rick and Marty Lagina and Dave Blankenship meet with Vanessa Lucido and Mike Jardine at the Money Pit area. It is revealed that, as a result of the recent collapse, the team will be unable to work in Borehole H8 for the rest of the season. Rick then expresses his belief that a shaft sunk at the terminus of the supposed Shaft 6 Tunnel will reveal items of interest.
That evening, the Oak Island boys meet in the War Room with diver Tony Sampson. The crew plans to have Sampson dive on the targets prescribed by the COGS team, which conducted a LIDAR scan of the waters off Oak Island in Season 6, Episode 14. The first anomaly is a triangular rock off the South Shore which points in the general direction of the Money Pit. The second target is a supposed anchor lying on the sea floor.
Later, Alex Lagina, Jack Begley, and Peter Fornetti head out to the first underwater target on Tony Sampson’s boat. Alex and Tony dive for the target while Jack and Peter remain on the boat, the former in the capacity of a backup diver and the latter being in communication with the divers.
After some searching, Alex and Tony come across two kelp-covered rocks which they believe might constitute the first anomaly indicated by the COGS survey. The rocks form a triangle which indeed appears to point in the general direction of the Money Pit. Legally unable to investigate the rocks without a permit, the divers ascend to the surface.
After the boat, captained by Ryan Mosher, is brought to the general area of the second anomaly, Alex Lagina and Tony Sampson make another dive. The treasure hunters quickly come across a kelp-covered object which appears to be a rock, not an anchor as previously surmised. “I think [that] if you were sensitive to disappointment,” Alex Lagina concludes in a later interview, “you would not be on Oak Island. But it’s not discouraging. We had a list to look at, we got eyes on them, and we still know more than we did this morning.”
While the diving operation is wrapped up, the rest of the crew meets with surveyor Steve Guptill at the Oak Island Research Centre. Doug Crowell explains that they would like Guptill to compile previous survey data in order to pinpoint the precise location of Shaft 6.
The next day, Marty Lagina and Craig Tester head to Smith’s Cove, where Laird Niven has fully unearthed the slipway. After the archaeologist gives the treasure hunters the green light to remove the logs that comprise the structure, the three men contemplate the slipway’s purpose. Marty optimistically suggests that it might have been used to transport chests of gold from a ship to the island.
While the three men chat, Gary Drayton searches through Smith’s Cove spoils with a metal detector and uncovers a wrought iron hinge. Drayton shows the artifact to Rick Lagina and Craig Tester and suggests that it might be very old.
Later, Marty Lagina, Alex Lagina, and Doug Crowell drive to the Ross Farm Museum in the town of New Ross, Nova Scotia. There, they meet with blacksmithing expert Carmen Legge, to whom they show the metal objects recently discovered at Smith’s Cove. Legge identifies several of the pilum-like objects as “crib spikes”- nail-like tools used in the creation of wharves, derricks, platforms, and cribbing. He then dates the artifacts from 1650-1800.
Legge then takes a look at the hinge recently discovered by Gary Drayton and declares that it is “a very old piece of iron” and “a hinge for a very, very thick door”. When prompted, he dates the object from the early 1600s until before 1800. The treasure hunters then speculate as to the object’s purpose. “I’m voting flood gate,” says Doug Crowell.
More Underwater Triangles
In this episode, Alex Lagina and Tony Sampson dove on two anomalies on the seafloor off the South Shore Cove, which were indicated by the LIDAR scan conducted in Season 6, Episode 13. The first anomaly consists of two stones which form a triangle which appears to point in the direction of the Money Pit. The second anomaly, which some had initially suspected to be an anchor, proved to be an ordinary rock.
These underwater rocks evoke the three rectangular stones off Smith’s Cove which were investigated in Season 1, Episode 2. These stones appeared to align with a similar stone on the shore of Smith’s Cove, and with the Money Pit area beyond.
Another underwater stone was investigated in Season 3, Episodes 8 and 9. While conducting a sonar scan of the sea floor off Oak Island’s southern shore, the crew discovered a perfectly triangular underwater stone which appeared to point to the location at which the mysterious South Shore Cove triangle once lay. While investigating this anomaly, which proved to be a natural rock with a potentially-artificial marking on its surface, Tony Sampson discovered a similar rock along the same hypothetical line, closer to shore.
Near the end of this episode, the crew drove to the Ross Farm Museum in the town of New Ross, Nova Scotia. There, they met with blacksmithing expert Carmen Legge, to whom they showed the iron rods discovered at Smith’s Cove, which have been variously identified as medieval crossbow bolts and Roman pilum tips throughout the season. Legge identified the artifacts as “crib spikes”, which he described as nail-like tools used in the creation of wharves, derricks, platforms, and cribbing. He then dated the artifacts from 1650-1800.
The Smith’s Cove Hinge
Another artifact the crew submits to Legge for analysis is a wrought iron hinge discovered by Gary Drayton at Smith’s Cove this episode. Legge declares the artifact to be “a hinge for a very, very thick door”, and dates it from the early 1600s to the late 1700s.