Ok, so Oak Island is back. Dan Blankenship is dead to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Dan was as dead as a door-nail.
I, and I am somewhat reluctant to admit it, know what makes a door (or any) nail dead Mr. Dickens. Because you don’t want it easily removed (you still can by inserting a wedge at the join) with a claw, which is something you never do without ruining the finish anyway, you chop off the head flush with the work or slightly recessed if you are skillful and can manage it. Bang. Nail dead. You won’t be moving it much. In classical wood frame construction spikes and pegs are used almost as often as nails until mechanically produced fasteners changed the market. Pegs became incredibly time expensive, screws nearly as much but they hold like iron and require no skill at all (if you can call something about as difficult as using the clutch on a stick a skill) and suddenly change from unobtainable luxury to cheap as dirt which it all was and it’s hard to argue that the marginal cost of sticking on a head with a welder was minuscule compared to paying a big beefy sweaty guy to bang on it a couple of times with a hammer to mash it out so spikes declined and pointy bit/flat bit nails rose and if you wanted ’em dead you had to bury the bodies yourself, right mate?
See, the problem with Clio is that her great white back will rise from the deep (this was originally a Cartnoon) and 17 Chapters into your definitive monograph on 19th Century Whaling Techniques you realize you weren’t writing about that at all, it’s really a symbolist novel about obsession modeled on the dramas of antiquity like Oedipus.
That one is important for modern Psychiatry too. Do you want to kill your Father and sleep with your Mother? Of course you do, doesn’t everybody? Remember to have your Mom/Wife Jocasta kill the kids and put out the cat before she commits suicide because you’ll just trip over it after you gouge your eyes out.
C’mon. History is fun. Everybody dies.
The mention of Dan’s funeral brings me back to the point I started from. There is no doubt that Dan was dead. This must be distinctly understood or nothing wonderful can come.
You see, there’s a ship in the Swamp.
It’s a pretty big ship, 200 feet long, 45 to 25 wide (or tall, they’re not very specific) and it’s not very deep (55′) and there’s a paved road (buried under muck and swamp and “paved” in that pre asphalt kind of way, most of the pointy bits of rock are pointed down) going straight to it.
The road is a new reveal, the ship a result of washing the data from last season’s echo test. It was first reported days before Dan’s death and everyone is acting as if it was his tragic fate to pass unaware of the big breakthrough.
I don’t believe it for a moment. The preliminary data was pretty clear there was something happening even if you didn’t have a pretty false color blot on a computer sort of shaped like a boat lying on it’s side, Dan knew about that, he was there at the big season ending Wind-up meeting where they didn’t talk about it much on camera but why telegraph your best stuff?
And besides, isn’t that the way every hero would script the end? To fall leading your troops in inevitable victory against impossible odds just as the tide turns? Bonus points for lingering long enough to get carried to the nearby outlook so your fading eyes can see your enemies flags scrambling in rout while yours advance in triumph.
And then you die and they waste a cask of Brandy pickling you so they can have a big party celebrating the fact you can’t be there. Or shove a stick up your butt, strap you to a horse, and send you out into battle again, it won’t matter to you.
In another development more significant that it seems they found a purpose built rock engraving tool that is definitely pre-industrial and might be much older. While there is a lot of carved rock on the island there are other, better places to carve rock so the question is- why is it there at all?
At Smith Cove we have a fairly firm date of no later than 1771 (Searcher Era begins 1795) on the Slipway (tree rings), not a lot of detail on the walls but there are a lot of them, like 5 so far I think, and they are (at least some of them) packed with non-native blue clay for waterproofing. The concrete wall is apparently some random thing someone planted in 1936 and never told anyone about. They also have what they think is a finger drain and are looking to chase that down to a central junction. They’ve bumped out a section of the Cofferdam at the end of the Slipway because Dan thought he saw evidence of deeper workings and there is a surprising lack of the debris normally found at construction sites, as if the area had been policed to remove traces. That’s pretty paranoid if you ask me but it’s also fairly normal for craftsmen to pitch their trash out and away so it’s not cluttering things up, however they don’t care to work too hard to get rid of it so there could be a great heap of rubbish right at the edge.
The Money Pit itself is a mess- Fresh Kills has more organization (’57 Bel Aire? Pre ’60s to the left. Radioactive Waste? Behind the used Refrigerators. Jimmy Hoffa? Oh, he’s in our special “celebrities” section- right over here sir). Perhaps they have a plan, they have the huge hole digger back and it’s like Chekov’s gun, it will be used before the Third Act.
Overall it’s a puzzle. The physical evidence points to extensive engineering just before the Revolution. Texts (and some artifacts, lead cross mined no later than 1450) indicate much earlier activity and strong Templar/Masonic ties.
Personally I can’t conceive of any treasure that will cover the expense in a monetary sense but as a real time demonstration of exploratory Archeology/History it’s priceless.