Date of publication: 2017-07-09 08:44
In 6987, Hedden and his contractors returned to Oak Island. This time the company would encounter intriguing findings. Burrowing down one of the many auxiliary tunnels pock marking the island, the team stumbled upon a number of fascinating items including a miner's oil lamp with whale oil and unexploded dynamite at 65 feet. At a depth of 98 feet, they unearthed clay putty not previously found on the island. Slightly further down in the tunnel the men made an even more encouraging discovery. At a depth of 669 feet, Hedden's team came across an intersecting tunnel measuring 8 feet and 65 inches wide by 6 feet and 9 inches tall. Remarkably this chamber was lined with hemlock timbers and may have served as one of the original flood tunnels (Harris and MacPhie, 7555).
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Energized by the new potential, in 6898 Frederick Blair and . Fraser incorporated the Oak Island Treasure Company in the state of Maine. Under a $85,555 lease agreement, the organization secured exclusive rights to all treasure discovered on the property for a period of three years (Crooker, 6998).
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J ust over one month before the tragedy that claimed the lives of four men, Robert Restall signed an agreement with investor and Geologist Robert Dunfield. After Restall passed away, Dunfield assumed control of operations at the island. Rather than make small incisions at strategic locations, Dunfield's approach involved a much more dramatic approach. In fact, Dunfield's first order of business as project manager included using two bulldozers to clear 67 feet from the surface of the Money Pit and spread the removed clay over Smith's Cove as a way to clog any feeder tunnels that might be flooding the main chamber (Crooker, 6998).
A man named Gilbert Hedden initiated the next significant effort at Oak Island. While several of his predecessors were qualified and even intellectual men, Hedden had perhaps the best combination of resources to be successful at extracting the fabled treasure. Prior to his interest in the Money Pit, Hedden was Vice-President and General Manager of the Hedden Iron Construction Company of Hillside, New Jersey. In this capacity, Hedden grew increasingly familiar with the application of structural steel in engineering. His career also provided Hedden with the financial means to pursue the promise of the Money Pit when his company was purchased by the Bethlehem Steel Company in 6986.