Locating The Treasure Vault At Oak Island, Nova Scotia,

By Dennis Lang,

Here is how I believe the structure was built, why it was built that way, and where the ‘treasure vault’ will be found. Whether there is anything of value remaining in the vault is another matter.

The structure was built as a sort of bank, with a secure vault that nobody but the builder could access. First, they excavated a central vertical mineshaft, the one commonly called the money pit shaft. Then, they selected three locations for flood tunnel openings around the island, each location a point in the ocean and below low tide level, where each location remained hidden from view from either of the other locations. The workers digging the flood tunnels would only know the location of the one tunnel they were building, and only the ‘owner’ would know the location of all three tunnel entrances.

A cofferdam was constructed at each flood tunnel entrance location, where a vertical shaft was constructed into bedrock, from which a nearly horizontal flood tunnel was constructed to intersect the central vertical mineshaft on the island. Each of the three flood tunnels intersected the central vertical mineshaft at a different elevation. To dewater the structure one would need to relocate the entrance of all three flood tunnels. The three flood tunnels and central vertical mineshaft could all be constructed at the same time. Some surveying and mining skill was required to ensure each of the flood tunnels would intersect the central vertical mineshaft, and at different levels.

Now, anyone in their right mind would not construct such an elaborate or expensive structure just to bury treasure or valuables in seawater, a point that seems to have been overlooked by treasure hunters to date.

From the base of the central vertical mineshaft, where the lowest of the three flood tunnels intersects it, another tunnel was constructed leading upward to a chamber located above high water level, some distance away from the central vertical mineshaft. This chamber then is the bank vault, the high and dry treasure vault.

After the valuables were placed inside the vault, the central vertical mineshaft was backfilled and the structure reinforced where the two uppermost flood tunnels intersected it, so that the backfill would not plug the entrance to the vault tunnel when the flood tunnels were dewatered at some future time. The entrances to the three horizontal flooding tunnels were backfilled with porous materials to prevent infill of the tunnels over time but to allow passage of seawater for flooding of the tunnels, the cofferdams removed, and the ocean would do the rest by flooding the structure.

When the structure was built, say, in the 1700s, and for a long time thereafter, the only sure way to regain access to the treasure vault would have been to relocate the entrances to the three horizontal flood tunnels, reconstruct a cofferdam at each entrance, reopen the entrances and dewater the three tunnels. Then, by entering the horizontal flood tunnel that intersected the central vertical mineshaft at the lowest level, one could access the lateral tunnel that leads upward to the treasure vault. Only the builder knew the locations of the flood tunnel entrances. The central vertical mineshaft alone could not provide access to the vault. Hence, the facility was secure.

In the 1700s, the designers of this underground bank would have had no expectation that anyone would ever be able to locate the vault by non-intrusive geotechnical means, since such means did not exist and would not for centuries. Today, however, the nonintrusive geotechnical technology does exist whereby large underground cavities can be located, where they appear as anomalies compared to the surrounding material. Thus, the vault can be located without excavating the central vertical mineshaft. And, since the vault is located above high tide level and is not subject to flooding, as is the main shaft, excavating and opening the vault is easily done.

I believe it would be worthwhile focusing on locating a chamber some distance away from the central vertical mineshaft, a chamber located above high water level, as a reasonable location for a treasure vault, rather than working to open the bottom of the central vertical mineshaft. I simply cannot imagine anyone going through the trouble to construct an elaborate bank vault with multiple flood tunnels to protect its entrance and then be satisfied to bury its valuables in seawater. Therefore, I think that the location of a chamber above high water level some distance away from the ‘money pit’ shaft is where the treasure, if there is any still there, will be found.

It’s a pity that so much damage has been done to the central vertical mineshaft in an attempt to recover any valuables that still remain secured by this elaborate bank-like facility. However, treasure hunters to date have done precisely what the designers intended, that is, they have been looking for the treasure vault in the wrong place and in a way that they could never gain access to the vault.


Dennis Lang – 16 August 2011

Published Today September 13, 2011

Please keep the idea’s coming concerning the oak island money pit at: keith_ranville@hotmail.com