by Bradley Keyes
from ActiveMind Website
What lies at the bottom of the Money Pit?
Imagine yourself walking through the trees of a wooded island rumored to hide buried pirate treasure. Suddenly you come across a depression in the ground. It's roughly circular and there's a tree standing above it with a branch that has been cut and appears to have been used as a pulley. Your imagination is fired and hope soars. You run off to get your friends and digging equipment.
You and two friends return the next day, shovels in hand, ready to claim your prize. The digging is easy. The dirt loose. Only two feet down your shovel strikes rock. As you clear the dirt away you find a neatly arranged layer of flagstone covering a circular area 13 feet in diameter. You pry the stones out, expecting treasure but there's only more dirt.
You begin again. Digging down 8 more feet with no luck. Suddenly you hit wood. This is it. You scrap away the dirt only to find a platform of oak logs covering the pit. You pull out the logs and resume your digging.
Ten more feet and still nothing. Finally, you strike wood. This MUST be it. As you clear the area you find another level of oak logs. Now you know there's something valuable here. Why else would anyone go to so much trouble? Now 20 feet below the surface you heave to again. Another 10 feet. Another set of oak boards. Disappointed, you and your friends decide that you can't go any further alone. You leave but vow to return to retrieve your treasure.
Now imagine that it's more than 200 years later. The pit has been explored to more than 150 feet. The treasure, if any, that was buried is still there, protected by an ingenious booby trap that floods the pit with sea water anytime someone gets close.
Group after group after group have tried to solve the riddle. Neither brute force nor technology have been able to overcome the problems. Six lives have been lost and millions of dollars spent trying to uncover the secrets of what has become known as the Money Pit. Still, no one knows what lies at the bottom, who built it or why. There are numerous theories but little proof.
This is the story of Oak Island, Nova Scotia, one the most frustrating and intriguing mysteries of all time.