By Paula Hendrickson
When my brother, Brice, and I were chatting on the phone a couple weeks ago he mentioned his favorite TV show right now is The Curse of Oak Island. Brice doesn’t tend to gush about things very often, so when he does, I pay attention. Later that day he texted me saying new episodes are Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on History.
Over Thanksgiving he went into great detail about how these brothers from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan—Rick and Marty Lagina—and their team are trying to uncover a centuries’ old mystery involving hidden treasure, a curse, and possibly even the Knights Templar. The curse claims seven people will die before the treasure is found; there are already six known deaths associated with the treasure hunt.
Theories abound about what the treasure is and where it might be—or if it’s even still there. The Lagina brothers have been fascinated with this privately-owned island off the coast of Nova Scotia ever since reading an article about the island’s fabled Money Pit in Reader’s Digest in 1965, the same year four people died in pursuit of the Oak Island treasure.
Shortly after reading that same article, Dan Blankenship became so engrossed with the fabled treasure that he and his wife moved from Florida to Nova Scotia where in 1967 he entered a partnership to purchase much of the island. Blankenship has spent much of the past 48 years researching and investigating the island. Now 92, he’s a partner of the Lagina brothers.
Technology has improved since Blankenship began his adventure, and the team tries new methods and equipment every season. Fortunately, real-life engineer Marty Lagina has done well enough in the energy business to help finance their quest— in a recent episode he dropped a bundle on heavy excavating equipment.
Fellow engineer and partner in Marty’s energy business, Craig Tester, brings specialized drilling and scanning expertise to the team. And Dan’s son, David Blankenship, rounds out the core team.
Last week, my sister and I came across the show and tried watching it. We were tired, and came in during the tail end of the episode so we weren’t really getting it. But at my brother’s insistence, I watched a full episode of The Curse of Oak Island the other day and understood why Brice, his wife, and kids all love it. The show is about more than searching for a long-lost treasure. It’s about pursuing your dreams at all costs—and not just financial costs.
My brother said he also likes that The Curse of Oak Island is a show the entire family can enjoy together. The kids can learn while being entertained, but it’s interesting for adults, too.
The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on History.