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PIECES OF EIGHT!

 

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POOJA PRIYADARSHINI | Issue Dated: April 22, 2007
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PIECES OF EIGHT! The phrase would remind most of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, Treasure Island, where Captain Long John Silver’s pet, Captain Flint – the talking parrot – would chant “Pieces of eight!” the moment treasure was discovered. Not very far from this legendary world of pirates and sea-farers, there has been a long drawn debate on the possibility of the existence of a similar island, somewhere near the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, replete with a colossal cache buried in its bowels thus. Although the Oak Island has been subjected to the world’s longest and most expensive treasure hunt, and also one of the world’s deepest and costliest archaeological excavations, it still remains ‘Canada’s best known mystery’.

Legend has it that in 1795, a man called Daniel McInnis came across an abrupt, shallow scoop in the ground, right above which hung traps from the branch of an oak tree. Ensnared by the legends of pirates and amassed treasures that abounded in the area, he brought two of his friends on to the same site the next day, and expecting hoarded wealth in the shaft, started fanatically digging the ground, but all in vain! After almost a decade later, the trio united with a businessman, Simone Lynds, and resumed their excavations, only to find layer after layer of clay, charcoal, coconut husks, oak panels and finally – a flat stone! The cipher stone, as it was later identified, bore indecipherable inscriptions on it, which were interpreted by innumerable cryptologists as, ‘forty feet below lie two million pounds’.

The notorious pirate, Edward Teach or Blackbeard, said that none but Satan and he knew where his treasure lay buried. Although tales of death, greed, sorrow and insatiable desire dwell in the crevices of the hidden chambers where the money pit lies, it doesn’t deter the seeker of mammon.
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017