Buried Treasure and Pirates and Stuff

When I was around the age of 2 or 3 (maybe 4), my parents moved temporarily to an area outside of Austin, Texas.  We lived in a very small travel trailer that I called “Neverland” (from Peter Pan).  Dad was working for some company that had assigned him there for a short time – I think it was most likely Texas Instruments, but I’m not really sure.  And while he was at work, mom was stuck with a small, very active little girl who asked a lot of questions, apparently.  In her attempt to stave off insanity, she taught me to read.

And what a world that opened up!  I read everything I could get my hands on.  Newspapers (the funny pages).  Cereal boxes. All of it.  I don’t remember not being able to read something.  As a young child, I would lose myself in books – I could sit in the busiest place and not be bothered by anything around me while I was reading.  This “skill” also worked in later years when I could pretend to read and actually listen to the adult conversation around me.  The adults by then were used to me “not paying attention to anything” and I could pick up on some marvelous details.

One of the books that I poured over was an old hardback book called “This Baffling World” by John Godwin.  It had so many stories about “unexplained mysteries” and I read it ALL. THE. TIME.  Spontaneous human combustion.  The Marie Celeste.  ESP.  The Loch Ness Monster.  Magic Men in faraway places like Pakistan and Iran (hey, this was in the ’70s.) But the best story – the most intriguing one in the entire book – was The Oak Island Enigma.

Oak Island    Treasure map


Ever since I could read this story, I have wanted to visit Oak Island, Nova Scotia.  I don’t know why it caught my attenion as much as it did, but it did.  Three young boys are playing in the woods in the 1700s and find a queer looking depression in the ground. Being boys, they start digging for treasure.  And a few feet down they find a layer of stone.  But nothing underneath.  So they keep digging.  10 more feet and they find a layer of planks.  You know they had to be really excited at that point, and so they kept digging.  Every 10 feet, they’d find another layer of planks.  And still no treasure.  But they were hooked, and so have been many others since.  So many people have looked for this buried treasure that the location is known as The Money Pit.  And me being the tom-boy I was, wanted so badly to go dig for treasure.  The theories of what is buried there are incredible – from the Knights Templar, the Masons, Pirate Gold, secret documents from William Shakespere and Francis Bacon.  The whole story is just short of ridiculous, but it has intrigued people for generations.

Throughout the years, the book would resurface at the house, and I’d read it over and over.  When my oldest began to read, we happend to get some things down from the attic, and found it again.  He enjoyed it as well.  But over time, things to put to the side and forgotten.

And then in 2012, we were vacationing in Colorado, and I happend to catch an commercial for a new show on the History Channel – The Curse of Oak Island.  I couldn’t believe it.  A new company headed up by two brothers from Michigan had purchased a good bit of the island and were working with one of the long-time treasure hunters, and the History Channel was going to produce a documentary about their progress.  It’s now in its 3rd season, and there have been a lot of discoveries, but still no treasure.  But this fired up my imagination again, and in the back of my mind, I still wanted to visit Oak Island and see The Money Pit for myself.

Fast forward to 2015 – and I receive a brochure about some training in Boston for work.  I wasn’t really interested in the training or Boston at the time, and my boss really thought it would be good for me to take.  I said no a few times, until he mentioned the magic words:

“You know.  Oak Island is really close to Boston.”

I didn’t believe him.  And then I looked it up.  Within the week, I made reservations for the class and started badgering the family to go with me.  Husband wouldn’t do it.  Youngest child thinks I’m nuts.  But the oldest…said it sounded like fun.  (He really just wants to visit another country where it’s legal to drink alcohol at 19).  And now we’re booked.  At the end of August, I’ll fly out to Boston for a two-day class at Cape Cod.  And on Friday, Matt will fly out from Dallas and meet me at the airport, and we’ll travel to Oak Island. Squee!!!  We only have one day, but we’ve scheduled a two-hour tour of the island on Saturday, and then will tour Halifax, and then head home early on Sunday.

It’s a crazy, wild trip.  No one I know flies to Nova Scotia for one day.  But I have wanted to do this my entire life, and this was the best opportunity I was ever going to get.  (This is how we become like our crazy parents, isn’t it?  Oy vey).  So get ready, Nova Scotia!  I’m coming for you!

Countdown – 66 days!


About Michelle Barton

Things I find myself asking or saying in everyday life.
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