The Inspiration             The Great Lost Treasure            The Steward

The Oak Island cul de sac

Before the Masonic story came along Oak Island was always referred to as being the location of Captain Kidd's treasure. It was said that an aged pirate, on his deathbed, confessed to being one of Kidd's crew and left a map marking the treasure's position on the island.   Early searchers plotted the position of the triangle  shown on the map onto Oak Island. The  map had been inverted and rotated 7 degrees to match magnetic north. From a position 404.5 feet in the bay the Antares bearing was shot.  Datum points were fixed by drilling marking holes into the rocks at certain positions to determine the position to excavate.  This layout plotted on the island was rediscovered in 1937 by a searcher of Oak Island named Gilbert Hedden.  Hedden noticed the distances and bearings between these markers were the same as the ones Harold T Wilkins had put on a 'treasure island' map in his book 'Captain Kidd and his Skeleton Island'.  Wilkins' island even looked like Oak Island.  
Unfortunately Oak Island in Nova Scotia bears a profound similarity to the way Juan Fernandez Island was drawn on old sea charts.  The story of the Oak Island treasure as told now is a thinly disguised Masonic metaphor about three youths who travel to the island and discover what is now known as the  'Money Pit'.  The tale, to be recognised, is that of  the three Masonic sojourners who, according to Masonic lore,  discover  Enoch's Vault of 9 descending arches under the ruins of King Solomon's Temple at the bottom of which is  the 'Lost Word'.   Apart from resembling Juan Fernandez Island and the shape on the monument map, there were explanations published about how the site of the Money Pit was identified that are different from the way the story is told now. It was reported in the 1862 edition of the 'Liverpool Transcript' that, 

  ‘Sometime after the arrival of these persons, a Mr. McGinnis went to Oak Island to make a farm, when he discovered the spot in question from its being sunken, and from the position of three oak trees, which stood in a triangular form around the pit.”

 The triangle or Trinity was known by those who had a copy of the map to mark the position of the treasure.

Hedden traveled to England to discover how it was that Wilkins had the same measurements in his book as the layout rediscovered on Oak Island.  Wilkins, who had found Lord George Anson's file in the British Museum years earlier,  had  been perpetrating a hoax/riddle known as the 'Captain Kidd Treasure Charts' in which he was placing real details about the lost treasure's identity.   Hedden went to interview Wilkins and  it was something of a shock to Wilkins that  Hedden had stumbled across this.  Wilkins, on the spot, made up an incredible story about being the re-incarnation of Kidd.   Hedden accepted it and went back to Oak Island. It just shows the credulity of those who fell for the Captain Kidd's Treasure Chart hoax! 

A 1932 newspaper article detailing that a treasure map was the originating cause of the search on Oak Island.  This important fact has since been removed from the Oak Island story as an inconvenient truth. 

Here, one of the original 3 searchers are even relating that their search was due to using a treasure map.

Medieval map of Jerusalem
This map is oriented so that East is at the top,  This was done so the Jerusalem Temple, here marked 'Templii Salomonis',  is at the top.   The Freemasons, who base a lot of their lore around King Solomon's Temple follow this convention orienting their maps and 'tracing boards' so that the direction East is at the top.   

Captain Allen's mysterious map
 About  1870 a man appeared in Nova Scotia searching for a treasure.  Known as Captain of 'Texas' Allen due to the Texan style hat he wore, he would hire a local boat for the summer season.  Each day he would have the ship sailed to a starting point, 44N 63W, which  about 30 miles off Nova Scotia in the Atlantic Ocean.  He would then check his position using  the sun and direct the boat to sail in a northwest heading.  Captain Allen had a map which the boats crew would peek at when given the chance.  It was described as being ancient with many lines upon it and had some words written on it in a 'foreign' language.   There was an island shown and marked on the island was a triangle  that was interpreted to be representing three stone cairns.

Captain Allen told the crew he was searching for the  island upon which was buried  a fabulous treasure.  He was a rich man and didn't care for the wealth but finding the treasure would benefit all mankind.  He conducted the search for two seasons before giving up. He gave the map and directions to a local man named Pickles.  It was agreed by the locals that the directions Captain Allen was using should have taken him to Oak Island  however as he didn't make an allowance for the magnetic variation in the area his compass heading was always slightly out and he kept missing it.

The important point about Captain Allen is that it demonstrates he knew how to follow  the map;  start from the map's central datum point  ( here 44N 63W) and sail the  Antares/245 bearing to find the island. Unfortunately Masonic influences were a bit overwhelming by the 1870s and these tended to obscure the real details about their 'Lost Word'. Captain Allen had his map oriented so that what was really North was now pointing East.  To sail the Antares/245 bearing required you to then head in a  northwest direction.  

The accepted convention for modern maps is to have the direction North at the top. Freemasons however place East at the top of their maps.  This is a leftover from medieval maps of Jerusalem which placed the Jerusalem Temple (King Solomon's Temple) that on the eastern side of the city at the top of the map.

To use a Masonic map you have to then make 'North same as East', in other words turn the map 90 degrees clockwise.

Which is exactly what Captain Allen did!


 F.D.Roosevelt taking part in the Oak Island treasure hunt in 1910.

The Beale Ciphers

Another famous Masonic hoax riddle from the 19th century still baffles code breakers to this day. Known as the 'Beale Ciphers' or  'Beale Codes' it is the result of a group of Freemasons in Virginia U.S.A who thought they had found the correct 'Cerro tres Puntas' and attempted to alert others to their find.  They did so by publishing a small booklet in 1885 bearing the title 'The Beale Papers' that supposedly set out the story of how a treasure came to be buried near Burfords in Bedford, Virginia in 1819 and 1821.  

Again, the whole thing was a riddle that gave details to the treasure.   With signals in it meant to be identified and solved by brother Freemasons it was also designed to hoax and confuse all others.     It sets out a complete backstory about a man named 'Thomas J Beale' who  supposedly left a series of coded letters with an innkeeper that gave the location of a large cache of treasure.  The story expands out to relate the attempts made to unlock the letter's code when 'Beale' failed to return to recover the cache. The story tells that one of the letters manages to be decoded when the code's key is discovered to be the 1776 Declaration of Independence. The decoded letter allegedly lists the treasure.  

The Beale Ciphers are easily solved once you know what the authors were doing and why they were doing it.  Here are the pointers to understand this riddle and the message it is really giving.  Just look at it all as a late 19th century Freemason would have.

In 1885  the story would have been a bit more recognisable as having been a construct as it just incorporated its material from other sources.  Below on the left is the supposed text of the decoded Beale letter that lists the treasure.  On the right is the text from another story also popular at the time that is known as the 'Treasure Mountain Cache'.

Beale Cipher decoded letter 'Number 2' Treasure Mountain Cache story

I have deposited, in the county of Bedford, about four miles from Buford’s in an excavation or vault, six feet below the surface of the ground, the following articles, belonging jointly to the parties whose names are given in number “3” herewith:

The first deposit consisted of one thousand and fourteen pounds of gold, and three thousand eight hundred and twelve pounds of silver, deposited November, 1819, The second was made December, 1821, and consisted of nineteen hundred and seven pounds of gold, and twelve hundred and eighty-eight pounds of silver: also jewels, obtained in St. Louis in exchange for silver to save transportation, and valued at $13,000.

The above is securely packed in iron pots, with iron covers. The vault is roughly lined with stone, and the vessels rest on solid stone, and are covered with others. Paper number “1” describes the exact locality of the vault, so that no difficulty will be had in finding it.

We have deposited a large quantity of gold, calculated to be 27 to 33 million dollars in gold bars and gold dust.  The bars are packed in boxes made of pine (Colorado-red) and cedar.  The bars are 2 feet long, 2 inches wide and ½ inch thick.  The gold dust will be found in double leather hide sacks.  Each sack measures two feet long, a foot and a half wide.  They are deposited in a rock chamber surrounded by rocks in a secure manner for protection from destruction.  These deposits are different in each site. It is estimated that 27 to 33 million dollars were deposited, estimated by weight and size of each package.  In each chamber we have deposited a bottle, inside of each will be found a manuscript containing the maps showing the location where we buried this treasure.

If you read about the Beale Ciphers today you will find the name is given as 'Thomas Jefferson Beale', but nowhere does this appear in the 1885 pamphlet,  the name is only given as 'Thomas J Beale'.  This  occurred as the name got  unconsciously expanded in the retelling due to the little trick of the authors inducing readers to assume it by
 mentioning the Declaration of Independence that was, as everyone knows,  drafted by Thomas Jefferson in 1776.  The important number for solving the mathematical part of the riddle is 76, really the factors 7 and 6 being written together.  Of course you know Hermes Trismegistus wrote  42 books of  arcane knowledge about  6 subjects. You'll also find 7 and 6 written on Marie Hautpoul's gravestone also for the lost treasure mystery known as Rennes le Chateau.  As everyone knew 7 x 6 is 42, the magic cipher of latitude that Freemasons were trying to fathom back then.  'BEALE' itself is just the reversal of the first two letters of the hebrew alphabet; BEthALEph.

Thomas Jefferson himself is the clue to all this, a surveyor by trade he had a home in Bedford County in Virginia.  In 1813 he surveyed a group of three hills  there known as the Peaks of Otter to determine if they were the highest mountains in the United States.  They weren't the highest but it was found they did have a unique feature.  The three Peaks of Otter, comprising of Sharp Top Mountain, Harkening Hill and Flat Top Mountain, form a near perfect equilateral triangle.  Could this be the 'Cerro tres Puntas', the 'Hill of Three Peaks' that  Freemasons thought were shown on the monument map and were the location for the lost Ark of the Covenant?

The mathematical riddle to be solved is in the section shown in red in the text above of the 'decoded letter' above. The giveaway is that it states  'the first' and 'the second' being the two values to be extracted for latitude and longitude (remember everything is based on the map).  The signal being given is the Coniunctio, the 'addition of the opposites', as it states gold and silver. Recognise the symbolism?  

Simply add the opposites of gold and silver together and divide the total by the key number of 76.   Here are the worked formulas with the symbols for gold and silver added for clarity.

This gives you the position in the Atlantic Ocean for the map's central datum point.    By following the 245 degree Antares bearing you will head towards Bedford, Virginia and find eventually what they thought was the 'Cerro tres Puntas' marked on the map, the three Peaks of Otter.  

The author's motive and strategy is disclosed by the final two paragraphs of the story’s narrative that tends to be left out of shortened modern recounts.  They were trying to alert other Freemasons they had found the Cerro tres Puntas.   


 “I anticipate for these papers a large circulation, and, to avoid the multitude of letters with which I should be assailed from all sections of the Union propounding all sorts of questions, and requiring answers which, if attended to would absorb my entire time, and only change the character of my work, I have decided upon withdrawing my name from the publication, after assuring all interested that I have given all that I know of the matter, and that I cannot add one word to the statements herein contained.

The gentleman whom I have selected as my agent, to publish and circulate these papers, was well known to Mr. Morriss; it was at his house that Mrs. Morriss died, and he would have been one of the beneficiaries in the event of my success.   Like everyone else, he was ignorant of this episode in Mr. Morriss' career, until the manuscript was placed in his hands.   Trusting that he will be benefited by the arrangement, which, I know, would have met the approval of Mr. Morriss, I have left the whole subject to his sole management and charge.   It is needless to say that I shall await with much anxiety the development of the mystery.”

James Beverly Ward (a Freemason), who as the ‘agent’ arranged the publication of the booklet and whose name appeared on it, acted as the contact point and filter. A letter from anyone believing the Beale Cipher story to be real and claiming a solution would just be disregarded.  

It seems their strategy did work and this led to them eventually being informed of the error of their ways by some other Three Point Brother more knowledgeable of  locational clues than they for there are no references to any searches for the treasure on the Peaks of Otter.

The Beale Cipher though is just the most well known version of the story of the lost treasure being on a mountain.  Another version, this one from 1903 and placing it on South Mountain in Vermont, has a lot more recognisable components in its makeup.

Next, the Captain Kidd's Treasure Charts hoax perpetrated by Harold T Wilkins and colleagues.


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