The Barnes Review, January/February 2019


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The Barnes Review





We here at The Barnes Review have long been interested in the mystery of Oak Island, Nova Scotia and the possibility that some kind of treasure was buried there by someone many centuries ago. Was it Templars? Pirates? The French or British military? Thanks to the efforts of modern-day treasure-hunters, we may be closer to finding an answer to the “who,” if not the “what,” of the mystery.


Many of the inventions we take for granted today—the alarm clock, seismometer, central heating and refrigeration, for example, were not dreamed up by modern man—but by ancient people millennia ago.


Why do the Hungarians speak a Finno-Ugric language—a language spoken only by a few far-flung groups quite removed from modern Hungary? One scholar has a theory.


Is there any credence to the Khazar theory of Jewish origins? Why does it matter where the Ashkenazi Jews come from? Even white nationalists are arguing about it today. If the Jews are, in fact, of Turko-Mongolic stock, are 95% of the world’s Jews non-Semites?


Mongolia might just be the last place on Earth you’d think of looking for the presence of an ancient white culture. But recent finds in that region indicate Mongolia is where we should be searching for our ancestors.


A movement allegedly based on peace and love, the hippie/flower child crusade of the 1960s was loaded with the offspring of parents in the U.S. military-industrial complex. Here’s the strange tale of Laurel Canyon, California and the frightening happenings there.


At first, you had to have been a slave owner to have your statue taken down. Soon it was anyone in the Confederacy—even an anonymous symbol like Silent Sam of North Carolina. Then it was Christian proselytizers like Fr. Junipero Serra, who allegedly mistreated American Indians. Today, however, the list has grown to anyone resisting mass immigration.


Recently Revisionism lost one of its greatest heroes, Dr. Robert Faurisson of France, who passed away in October. In this issue, TBR remembers the heroic scholar.


The insanity and maliciousness of the global Thought Police amazes even us. Ailing from terrible health and unending incarceration, freedom activist Horst Mahler is, according to reports, near death. But we can help this brave man if we all do our part.


Those ignorant about the WWII era think Adolf Hitler was single-mindedly infatuated with murdering every Jew he could get his hands on. But, according to one author, dealing with the Jews was low on Hitler’s “to-do list.”

–From the Editor
–TBR Editorial
–More Oak Island discoveries
–Was it Templars or Masons?
–Alleged French connection
–Missing Spanish treasure
–British military Freemasons
–The fascinating Phaistos Disk
–Hungarians and Sumerians
–History You May Have Missed
–Letters to the Editor

Personal From the Editor


It’s the small victories that keep us going here at THE BARNES REVIEW.  No doubt that the past several years have been tough, with the attacks on our ability to sell products through major online vendors like Amazon and having our payment options sabotaged multiple times. It’s hard enough for the subsidized mainstream magazine publishers to survive in these times without all those additional roadblocks, but for a small publisher like TBR, struggling every year to make ends meet, it’s even tougher.

That all being said, 2018 was a pretty good year for TBR, with prospects for 2019 looking even brighter. One of the small victories we are reveling in was making it to Volume XXV. That little miracle means we have now done what many magazines, large and small, have failed to do: Mark a full quarter-century of publishing. (For those who were there when TBR’s first issue rolled off the press, you know this is actually our 26th year of publishing, as Volume I included three issues in 1994 and all of 1995.)

So those two “XXs” and one “V” on the front cover mean a lot to us and are a tribute to those who blazed this path, some of whom were not so fortunate as to witness this milestone being passed.

But mostly it should mean something to our loyal readers who continue to renew subscriptions, send gift subscriptions, buy books and donate the extra money we need to keep TBR at the high-quality readers have come to expect. This is, in many respects, your magazine, as it is you who do all those things plus read it and try to pass on some of the knowledge contained inside to others. The saddest thing one could think of would be to have a publication that nobody ever reads. But I can tell you, from the thousands of letters I have received, you read every single word in every single issue.

So here’s a New Year’s toast to you and to the possibility of an even brighter 2019—for you and for TBR—and to another year of bringing history into accord with the facts via these pages.


Just as we are getting ready to go to press in late December, we have been given a precious gift. President Trump has announced—out of the blue and against the advice of the war hawks surrounding him—that he will be bringing the troops home from Syria and Afghanistan as soon as possible. At nearly the same time, the Senate voted to order the president to rescind all U.S. military assistance to Saudi Arabia related to Yemen.

For those of you who despise war as much as we do here at TBR, it’s a special gift for the families of servicemen who worry every day whether or not their loved one is going to return from wars the U.S. government should not even have them involved in. Pulling as many U.S. troops from foreign soil as possible and bringing them home—leaving other nations to handle their own internal problems—is the best and only sane foreign policy the U.S. government should pursue in the new year. It is one that TBR’s founder Willis A. Carto (and George Washington, as well) consistently espoused in word and deed.

It’s time for Uncle Sam to bring the rest of our military men home, extend an olive branch to those nations willing to live in peace with America, stop the hawkish rhetoric and end the killing.

~PAUL ANGEL, Executive Editor


New Light Shed on Oak Island

Has the mystery of Oak Island been solved at last? Was it a secret depository vault for Freemasons?  

By Marc Roland

Thanks to “The Curse of Oak Island,” a popular television series featured by the History Channel, millions of viewers are being introduced to a mystery that has intrigued nine generations of investigators for the last 220 years.

Originally named after Edward Smith, a young British immigrant who made camp there in the late 1760s, 140-acre “Smith Island” is today connected to the south shore of Nova Scotia by a 660-foot-long causeway. Rechristened “Oak Island” about 10 years later by newly arrived settlers, it rises to a maximum height of 36 feet above sea level, and is one of about 360 small islands scattered throughout south-Atlantic Canada’s Mahone Bay.

Beginning around 1799, Smith joined fellow islander Anthony Vaughn in excavating a pit initiated by Daniel McGinnis, who had been preparing foundations for a proposed farmhouse, when he unearthed a surprise. At just two feet beneath the surface, his shovel revealed a flagstone pavement. Digging another 10 feet, he found an oak-log platform. With assistance from Smith and Vaughn, McGinnis discovered two more wood platforms, each at 10- foot levels.

As the men worked deeper, they observed that the dirt was noticeably more loose than the hard-packed, surrounding soil, suggesting it had been previously dug out to sink an almost perfectly vertical pit, its walls incised with tool marks, perhaps pick scrapes. The three laborers reached their physical limits at 30 feet down, but throughout the 19th century, increasingly sophisticated and elaborate measures were undertaken by various Oak Island investors and excavators, spurred on by tantalizing clues their labors occasionally brought to light.

Among the most intriguing was discovery of a “very large, manmade filter system taking in a considerable area of beach between high and low tide levels. It included five drains or branches, which converged to create a tunnel running into the island in the direction of the flooded shaft.” This was a deliberately engineered booby-trap that effectively prevented (as it still prevents) subterranean access to McGinnis’s so-called “Money Pit” by inundating any such attempt with prodigious quantities of sea water. “Obviously,” concluded author Laverne Johnson, “the shaft was deliberately flooded by a 500-foot tunnel, and the searchers had a much better understanding of the tremendous amount of work that some group had done on the island in the distant past.”1

The closer they examined this underground system, the more they were impressed by its remarkable sophistication that included broad mats of coconut fiber used to keep the drains from silting up. “Even today,” observes researcher Steven Sora, “this would be considered a complex undertaking. The builders had dug a 500-foot tunnel that was capable of channeling 600 gallons of ocean water per minute, complete with a filter system that prevented the basins from becoming clogged after years or centuries of operation. In addition, they further disguised their work with an artificial beach that would protect the workings of the elaborate flooding system.

Under one layer was eelgrass, and under the eelgrass [mid-19th century excavators] found a mass of beach rock, free of sand.2 To the disbelief of all, the “natural” channel was confirmed to be artificial. … In 1850, the idea was nothing short of remarkable, and served as further proof that something very important was concealed under Oak Island … no such complicated structure similar to the Oak Island Money Pit exists anywhere else in the world.3

By the 1930s, investigators there included a broad variety of notables, such as Rear Adm. Richard E. Byrd Jr., William Vincent Astor, heir to the Astor family fortune after his father died on the Titanic, plus Hollywood actors Errol Flynn and John Wayne, who invested in drilling equipment used for probing the island with test shafts. An early 20th-century financier of Oak Island research was Warren Delano Jr., whose grandson, Franklin, volunteered to shovel dirt at the Money Pit decades before he became America’s 32nd president.

FDR continued to follow the diggings until he died in 1945. “Throughout his political career, he monitored the island’s recovery attempts and development. Although the president secretly planned to visit Oak Island in 1939 while he was in Halifax, fog and the international situation prevented him from doing so.”4

While the best efforts of these serious investigators operating abundant, state-of-the-art equipment consistently failed to locate any presumed “treasure,” a large collection of pertinent, historical material was amassed over the years.

This process of accumulation accelerated with the addition of fresh finds made through the extensive efforts of brothers Marty and Rick Lagina, who purchased most of Oak Island in 2006, and thereafter began investigating it on a truly massive, thorough scale, unto the present time. Despite the magnitude of their attempt, nothing decisive has so far been obtained. Moreover, the retrieved physical evidence seems so diverse, often contradictory, no real determination can be ascertained from it. Yet, organizing these various objects and artifacts into their respective time parameters does, in fact, create some credible hypotheses, which appear to identify who constructed the Money Pit, when and why.

Subjecting the total number of collected objects to various dating processes—from radio carbon analysis of organic materials to typological classification of manmade items—a pair of time-spans stand out for the profusion of their useful finds. Comparing outside events that transpired during these epochs with their corresponding Oak Island items should discover the persons responsible. By thus regarding such dated objects as related pieces in a puzzle common to them all, the image collectively made begins to emerge through the historical record to which they belong.

An A.D. 1200-to-1300 epoch resulted from carbon-14 dating of coconut fiber matting found at Oak Island’s Smith Cove between 1969 and 1993. More recent C-14 testing by the Laginas supported a High Middle Ages period, but advanced it by an additional one hundred years to A.D. 1400. The very existence of such matting in a pre-modern context is persuasive proof that outsiders did indeed build the Money Pit, because coconut grows only in the tropics, more than 2,000 miles away from Nova Scotia. Furthermore, coconut fibers were commonly used aboard European sailing vessels from at least the late-15th to mid-18th centuries as dunnage, used to protect cargo by keeping it from moving about and damaging itself in a ship’s hold.

The world’s dominant political phenomenon between A.D. 1200 and 1300 was the famous Knights Templar, a military order originally purposed for protecting Christian pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. The Templars were named for their first headquarters atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, in the early 1100s, rising to great wealth and influence throughout the Near East and across Europe, until King Philip IV of France—deeply in debt to them and determined to seize their immense treasury—criminalized the order in 1307.

Despite mass arrests and the immolation of their founder, Jacques de Molay, seven years later, the Templars absconded with their riches aboard a great fleet that disappeared shortly thereafter. Some investigators, including the insightful Steven Sora, cited above, make a compelling case for their landfall at Oak Island, where examples of the Order of Solomon’s Temple cross pattée may be seen on a faded, old coin. Another Templar symbol—a large, equilateral triangle made of beach rock and measuring 10 feet on each side—was found in 1897.

During 1981, longtime resident and ardent investigator Fred Nolan discovered a megalithic cross on the south shore. Eleven years later, he stumbled upon a collection of large boulders suggestively shaped into a formation since referred to as “Nolan’s Cross.” More Templar symbolism at Oak Island occurs in a stone hand carved into a heart shape and found 52 years ago.

More cogent still was a small, lead crucifix with square hole at the top discovered in mud around rocks in the area of Smith’s Cove by British metal-detecting expert Gary Drayton. The crude religious object bears striking resemblance to a carving previously observed by Rick Lagina in a wall of the Templar prison at Domme, France. Later, the Oak Island crucifix was dated to about 1307, the same year in which the order was outlawed, its French leaders arrested in a dawn raid on Friday, the 13th of October. Because the Templars still operated their powerful, ocean-going fleet and were renowned military engineers, they not only had sufficient motivation, but possessed the transatlantic means to reach Oak Island and undoubtedly had mastered construction skills necessary to complete the Money Pit, securely placing forever after in its booby-trapped depths their treasury King Phillip “the Fair” unsuccessfully sought to confiscate.

While fibrous mats from Smith’s Cove encompass the order’s last years, that its knights sailed the Caribbean for coconut anytime between 1200 and the early 1300s seems highly unlikely, lacking, as their presence in the tropics does during that timeframe, any historical parallels or suggestions. Moreover, the iconic cross pattée and related insignia encountered at Oak Island were not necessarily left there by Templars, 700 or more years ago. Others could have been no less responsible for these images, and probably more so, because Freemasons embraced this same imagery after 1717, when the first Grand Lodge was founded in England.

Even Gary Drayton’s lead crucifix does not necessarily mean that Knights Templar landed at Oak Island, because such historic objects were and still are revered and collected by Masons, who imagine that their “craft” is directly descended from the Order of Solomon’s Temple, to which both were supposedly connected by such allegedly related heirlooms. As such, some Freemason more likely lost his early 14th-century crucifix while visiting Oak Island any time from the 18th to 21st centuries.

After all, numerous Freemasons, including Adm. Byrd and John Wayne, have been particularly active participants in excavations there for more than 100 years. In 1936, a stone found at Joudrey’s Cove was inscribed with another cross pattée flanked by the letter H, “a modification of the Hebraic letter for Jehovah,” according to Skeptical Inquirer’s Joe Nickell, “and a prime Masonic symbol known as a Point Within a Circle, representing mankind within the compass of God’s creation.”

Another clearly Masonic stone is a granite boulder found near the Cave-in Pit, in 1967. Overturned by a bulldozer, it bore on its underside the letter “G” in a rectangle (what Masons term “an oblong square”). “G denotes the Grand Geometer of the Universe-God, the central focus of Masonic teachings.”5 It is, as author Mark Finnan points out, “the most public and familiar of all symbols in Freemasonry. The presence of this symbol on Oak Island and its location in the east, seen as the source of light in Masonic teachings, is further indication that individuals with a fundamental knowledge of Freemasonry were likely involved.”

Finnan writes:

[I]t is almost a certainty that organizers of the first coordinated dig … were Masonically associated. … Successive treasure hunts throughout the past 200 years often involved men who were prominent members of Masonic lodges. Some had passed through the higher levels of initiation, and a few even held the highest office possible within the fraternity. The independently wealthy Gilbert Hedden of Chatham, New Jersey, who carried out the treasure search from 1934 to 1938, and Prof. Edwin Hamilton, who succeeded him and operated on the island for the next six years, were also Freemasons. Hamilton had at one time held the office of Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. Hedden even made it his business to inform Mason King George VI of England about developments on Oak Island, in 1939, and Hamilton corresponded with President Roosevelt, another famous Freemason directly associated with the mystery.6

Among FDR’s Masonic “brothers” was Frederick Blair, whose family had been involved in the quest as far back as 1863.

“Blair,” explains Nickell, “who formed the Oak Island Treasure Company in 1893, was a ‘prominent member’ of the lodge in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Treasure hunter William Chappell was another active Mason, and his son, Mel, served as provincial grand master for Nova Scotia from 1944 to 1946.”7

Could these men have invented a legend at Oak Island and perpetuated it, beginning as far back as 1799, faking Knights Templar imagery, even the Money Pit itself, for arcane agendas known only to themselves? Perhaps, but here is potentially an earlier Masonic possibility that prompted their prolonged diggings at Oak Island. It began on June 7, 1762, when an immense military task force with 21 “ships of the line” escorted by 24 other warships supplied by 168 transports carrying 29,826 men aboard 64 transports landed on the north coast of Cuba.

Opposing these formidable British and American forces were 3,850 Spanish soldiers, 5,000 sailors and marines, together with 2,800 militia, many of them suffering from deadly yellow fever. Yet, advantage lay with the defenders, who wisely withdrew to Havana after offering token resistance, allowing the invaders to assault the object of their expedition. El Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro was then the most powerful fortress in the world, rightly deemed impregnable by friend and foe alike, for a precipitous, rocky ridge into which it was embedded, invalidating every enemy approach, exposing attackers to constant return fire. The British were nonetheless confident they could overcompensate for such daunting defenses by the sheer weight of numbers.

But Morro Castle, as they called it, only needed to hold out for little more than a month, before the hurricane season arrived in full force to threaten their fleet with destruction. Also working in the Spaniards’ favor was persistence of the yellow fever, which now began to decimate the invaders. Eventually, 4,708 of them would die of the disease, nearly double their 2,513 comrades killed and wounded in battle. With tropical storms in the offing and British forces weakening through illness, time was working against them. They had to take Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro before it was too late. The fortress lived up to its forbidding reputation, braving tens of thousands of besiegers who were helplessly bogged down at its unassailable ridge, where digging approach-trenches was impossible.

One man among them knew what to do. Col. Patrick Mackellar, arguably the most brilliant military engineer of his day, had constructed movable breastworks behind which protected British artillery could crawl progressively forward to engage Morro Castle’s defenses with a concentrated barrage. Four batteries, comprising 12 heavy guns and 38 mortars, opened fire on the Spanish, forcing them to keep their heads down, while Mackellar’s engineers double-tunneled under the fort’s right bastion. On July 29, their work complete, a pair of long shafts were crammed with several hundred tons apiece of gunpowder kegs, and detonated at 1:00 p.m. The resultant explosion blew away, then collapsed almost an entire flank of the installation, opening a great gap, through which stormed thousands of British infantry.

Inside, they found one of the greatest monetary treasures in history, because Morro Castle was the collection point and repository for all the gold Spain took from South America and Mexico. It was this vast wealth that had prompted Britain’s King George III to undertake the Siege of Havana, even at the investment cost of such an expensive military operation. Estimates at the time placed the Spanish hoard at $180 million in today’s money, although historians calculate its actual value totaled several times that amount, based on known gold tonnage extracted and recorded by the Spanish crown from Middle, Central and South America during the first half of the 18th century.

What, then, could account for this discrepancy between official and historical value of the Morro Castle treasure? Perhaps because not all of it was turned over to London. The expedition had been under the command of George Keppel, 3rd earl of Albemarle, with Sir George Pocock, as naval commander, both of them Freemasons. So were Keppel’s accompanying cadet brothers, Augustus and William, including reinforcement commanders, Rear Adm. George Rodney and Sir James Douglas. Even Patrick Mackellar, the ingenious engineer who singlehandedly turned the tide of the battle for the Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro, was a high-ranking member of the secret brotherhood; in fact, the colonel probably out-ranked his own military superiors, Commander-in-Chief Keppel and Vice-Adm. George Pocock, in Freemasonry.

Most of Oak Island’s pre-1790 artifacts are generally contemporaneous with the Siege of Havana, such as a wrought-iron ruler found in 1965; carved wood, possibly a stake from a stockade, dated before 1780; a mid-18th century British axe, anchor and Cornish miner’s poll-pick William Chappell retrieved from a 163-foot shaft.

While digging an exploratory borehole, dubbed H-8t, investigators retrieved two human bones, one of which had some soft tissue and hair still attached to it. Both bones underwent advanced DNA sequencing at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, where, according to Dr. Timothy Frasier, an associate professor in the Department of Biology, “one of them is from what is called ‘group H.’ It’s actually the most common group found among Europeans. And then the other bone comes from what’s called ‘group T,’ which is a group that has ancestry in the Middle East. So, kind of Iran and Jordan.”8

This Middle Eastern specimen suggested a Knights Templar connection to some researchers. But its date spread from A.D. 1682 to 1736 places it between 368 and 422 years after the immolation of Jacques de Molay, in 1314. Moreover, most European, ocean-going vessels of the 17th and 18th centuries were staffed by crewmen from virtually every corner of the known world; hence, someone from the Middle East serving aboard a British or Spanish vessel of the time would have been far more usual than extraordinary.

More relevant to events in Cuba was the Western European skull fragment’s low date of 1764, just two years after the Siege of Havana. Because both fragments were found together 162 feet beneath the Earth’s surface, they were not likely provided a formal burial, but more probably fell to their deaths down into a deeply excavated shaft.

These material finds associated with early British visitors are underscored by pre-1790 coins found at Oak Island, such as the Spanish 11 maravedi found at Smith’s Cove by students from Philips Academy in Andover led by Peter Beamish in 1965, and an 8 maravedi taken from the island’s swamp, 48 years later.

“After the discovery of America in 1492, copper maravedis were, along with silver reales, the first coins minted for use in the new Spanish colonies and were given a unique design to denote their status as colonial money. … The danger and cost of making the shipments led to the establishment of mints in Mexico.”9

While Oak Island’s 11 maravedi dates to 1598, its 8 maravedi was minted in 1652. As such, both are eligible samples of the Morro Castle treasure seized by Keppel and his fellow Freemasons during the Siege of Havana. This supposition was reinforced with the 2017 discovery of two British farthings among spoils from Robert Dunfield’s Money Pit excavation during the 1960s at Lot 16, and tentatively dated, respectively, to 1673 and 1694. In 2013, Oak Island’s skilled metal-detector operator discovered a badly worn copper coin, probably British, from the 1700s. The following year, he unearthed five more identifiably British coppers dated from the late 1600s to early 18th century at various beaches around the island. Another coin he found in 2016 was a British penny minted during the reign of George II, in 1743.

“Detecting on Lot 23, formerly owned by freed slave Samuel Ball, Drayton found a significant amount of evidence to suggest a British military encampment had once occupied the site.”10 Drayton himself concluded, “I also found flat buttons, musket lead, grape-shot and other signs of a British military presence on Oak Island. Unfortunately, I cannot reveal other items recovered in the area that made me come to the conclusion the site was a 1700s British navy camp or encampment.”11

When Oak Island’s dated objects are viewed within their historical context, a coherent narrative begins to unfold: It begins with the foundation in 1717 of British Freemasonry, an affiliation of ritualistic, fraternal organizations, whose alleged agendas involve the confidential exercise of political influence. While its public representatives have always insisted their only goals include universal peace and brotherhood, critics continue to accuse some powerful Masonic lodges of covertly organizing international subversion for the ultimate purpose of replacing individual liberty with a one-world tyranny.

During the first half of the 18th century, Freemasonry flourished and spread beyond England to the European continent and North America, especially among aristocrats and upper-class gentlemen, who allegedly embraced this ceremonial doctrine as as means by which they might supplant monarchies—which tended to accumulate power entirely unto themselves—with a global plutocracy, the rule of high finance, in which a moneyed elite enjoyed supreme rule. However, the “Spread of Grand Lodges” from 1725 to 1750 stalled and declined, as general suspicions of their motives developed among both government leaders and common people. “By 1747,” writes Freemasonry historian Dr. Andrew Prescott, “the Grand Lodge felt unable any longer to parade in public.”12

Freemasons worried that their ultimate proscription seemed inevitable. Two years before the official beginning of Freemasonry, some of its founders agitated a Jacobite rising in the north of England and in Cornwall, followed 30 years later by another Jacobite rebellion in Scotland. Freemasons allegedly instigated Sweden’s so-called “Dalecarlian” insurgency during the mid-1740s, the Panaquire uprisings of 1748 in Venezuela, and were even said to be involved the following year in Malta’s slave rebellion. By inflaming unrest wherever distressed social conditions allowed, these alarming disturbances—whomever was behind them—aimed at the replacement of traditional government authorities. Masons were specifically blamed.

Clearly, Freemasonry had entered a life-threatening crisis, from which salvation could only come with immense wealth capable of buying the necessary influence in high places. The greatest single concentration of riches on Earth at the time was under lock and key at Cuba’s Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro, repository for all the confiscated gold and silver of the Inca and Aztec peoples. George Keppel, 3rd earl of Albemarle, and other powerful Freemasons with access to King George III stressed the military necessity of knocking out Spain’s most important naval base in the New World.

There was additionally the economic incentive of acquiring Morro Castle’s gigantic deposits to help fund Britain’s ongoing and over-long Seven Years’ War. Its rising costs generated escalating taxation, resulting across the empire in social discontent as serious as armed revolt among American colonists. With the capture of Havana’s incalculable treasure in 1762, the modern equivalent of $180 million was duly dispatched to George III. Perhaps no other monarch throughout history had ever been gifted such a huge infusion of wealth in a single package, so he was not likely to suspect that the crown was actually shortchanged.

By precisely how much, one might be able to determine if he tabulated contemporaneous figures recorded 250 years ago and since preserved at Madrid’s Colonial Library, though given the considerable tonnage of native gold and silver artifacts the Spanish entirely melted down for recasting into their coinage, the Freemasons’ haul was probably at least the equal of the king’s portion.

To hide their colossal swag from him, they sailed with it to sufficiently remote Nova Scotia, where Freemasonry had been established as long before as 1738. Twenty-one years later, the government in London made land there available to Anglo-Saxon settlers.

During November 1760, two years before his success at Morro Castle, Patrick Mackellar had been appointed chief engineer at Halifax, Nova Scotia, less than 50 miles from Oak Island, just when a large part of the island was granted to three English families. While his men were digging their gunpowder tunnels that would decide the Siege of Havana, Oak Island was officially surveyed and divided into 32 four-acre lots. These developments put in place by British authorities resemble nothing if not preparations for receiving the Morro Castle treasure transported to Mahone Bay by Commander-in-Chief Keppel, Vice-Adm. Pocock or Rear Adm. Rodney, Freemasons all, as was Mackellar.

His high skills as perhaps the leading military engineer of the time were commensurate with the boobytrapped Money Pit he built, and into which the colonel installed the Spanish hoard. There it lay undisturbed and otherwise unknown for the next 25 years, until British Freemasons returned in the late 18th century, as suggested by an English copper coin, possibly a half penny, found at the site of an old wharf on the shoreline, and minted in 1770.

Another surface find at Oak Island was a Mexican 1 real of 1788, but an even more revealing coin dated to the previous year was a Carolus IV Stuber. Its portrait depicts Karl Theodore, duke of Bavaria, where he disbanded the Illuminati. The Illuminati also has allegedly conspired to control world affairs by masterminding events and planting agents in government, thereby gaining power and influence for the establishment of a New World Order, as envisioned by Adam “Spartacus” Weishaupt.13

After founding the Illuminati on May 1, 1776, he “modeled his group to some extent on Freemasonry, and chapters drew some of their membership from existing Masonic lodges.”14 The Carolus IV Stuber coin found at Oak Island appears to have been dropped there by an Illuminati member or even a Freemason—a refugee from Duke Theodore’s proscription of 1787 who helped retrieve the buried Morro Castle hoard. It was used to purchase political support for the distressed fraternal order and rescue its supporters from impending criminalization. Prescott explains:

This drive to enhance the social prestige of English Freemasonry received a body blow in 1797-98 with the publication of works alleging that Freemasonry had been used as a cover organization by Jacobin elements promoting the French revolution. … But [British] Freemasonry received a further body blow with the realization that Irish rebels had used forms of Masonic organization in organizing the Irish rebellion in 1798. Spies reported to the Home Office on proceedings in Masonic lodges, in Leeds. A lodge in Brentford was accused of plotting to assassinate the king. The government proposed banning all meetings behind closed doors, which would have outlawed Freemasonry. Eventually, following a dramatic debate in Parliament, an exemption for Masonic lodges from the Unlawful Societies Act of 1799 was hastily patched up.15

Largesse—spread thickly and generously from the former Morro Castle hoard among businessmen, clergymen, generals, admirals, politicians and purveyors of public information—was at last beginning to have a beneficial effect on the public perception of Masons. Freemasonry had been saved by the treasure of Oak Island.

If adherents of the secret brotherhood have always been good at anything it is knowing how to keep a secret, which may explain why many, if not most—certainly, a disproportionate number—of men involved in the Money Pit quest for the last 220 years have been Freemasons. They believe that at least part of the Cuban loot still lies in its deep subterranean, cunningly contrived stronghold. What they do not appear to know, however, is its precise location, judging from their continued failure to find it. The secret seems to have been too well kept, perhaps at some higher degree of initiation, where only the Masonic cognoscenti are able to determine when and how it may be disclosed, if ever.


1 Johnson, Laverne. Revealed: The Secret of Oak Island. ( island01.html)

2 Eelgrasses are marine flowering plants with long, ribbon-like leaves, growing in coastal waters and brackish inlets. Typically forming along shorelines within intertidal zones at tropical or semitropical regions, beach rock is a friable-to-well-cemented, sedimentary rock that consists of variable mixtures of gravel-, sand- and silt-sized sediment cemented with carbonate minerals.

3 Sora, Steven. The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar. Solving the Oak Island Mystery. VT: Destiny Books, 1999.

4 Roosevelt, Franklin D. “White House Letter–August 24th, 1939.” Heritage Auctions. Article to be found at

5 Nickell, Joe. “The Secrets of Oak Island.” Investigative Files. Skeptical Inquirer. Vol. 24.2, March/April 2000.

6 Finnan, Mark. Oak Island Secrets, rev. ed. Halifax, N.S.: Formac, 1997.

7 Nickell, op. cit.

8 “Small Bone from Human With Middle Eastern Ancestry Found Buried on The Curse of Oak Island.”

9 Red Trifecta. “The Mysteries of Oak Island: The Coins of Oak Island,” Aug. 12, 2018. Article at ( of-oak-island-the-coins-of-oak-island/)

10 Ibid.

11 Prescott, Dr. Andrew. “Masonic Papers: A His tory of British Freemasonry, 1425 to 2000.” Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry. Article to be found at

12 Trifecta, op. cit.

13 Although writers for mainstream public information lightheartedly dismiss dread of secret societies as the foolish eccentricity of dotty conspiracy theorists, many prominent scholars and statesmen have regarded Jewish influence on the underground Illuminati movement far more seriously, as the following excerpt from a published article on the subject by Winston S. Churchill makes clear: “This movement among the Jews is not new. From the days of Spartacus Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxembourg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States), this worldwide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilization and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the 19th century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.” Illustrated Sunday Herald, February 1920.

14 “The Illuminati: Do They Still Exist? Apparently for Some,”

15 Prescott, op. cit.

MARC ROLAND is a self-educated expert on WWII and ancient European cultures but is equally at home writing on American history and prehistory. He is also a book and music reviewer for the PzG, Inc. ( and other politically incorrect publishers and CD producers. Roland has written dozens of articles for TBR. To review them, access the yearly author/subject index found in the back of each year’s November/December issue of TBR.

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