Anyone who’s ever watched The Goonies has dreamt at least once of finding buried treasure. For brothers Marty and Rick Lagina, they’ve spent years trying to make that dream a reality.
Since 2014, History Channel’s The Curse of Oak Island has followed the siblings’ expeditions of Oak Island, a small private isle located along the south shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. It’s long been rumored that priceless historical artifacts, including Marie Antoinette’s jewels and several Shakespearean manuscripts, are buried within those 140 acres.
Scroll down for more information about the mystery surrounding Oak Island and whether there’s any truth behind the curse.
Is The Curse of Oak Island real?
Frankly, we don’t know if the curse is real, but plenty of people believe it to be true. The curse, which is said to have originated more than a century ago, states that seven men will die in pursuit of the Oak Island treasure before it is found. So far, six men have perished in their search to find the fabled riches.
The earliest known account of treasure-related activity on the island appeared in print in 1856, though tales of the land’s hidden wealth began spreading via word of mouth in the late 1700s.
In 1909, future president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, began following developments related to the Oak Island mystery and even planned a visit in the ‘30s, but ultimately never made the trip.
Actors John Wayne and Errol Flynn (who was most famous for his swashbuckler roles) were also fascinated with the story and each invested in a treasure dig.
What treasures have The Curse of Oak Island stars found so far?
Despite their many efforts, the Lagina brothers haven’t found much. In one site, Rick uncovered an antique brooch made of copper and gold that was at least 500 years old. Though he initially believed the gem embedded to be a ruby, it turned out to be garnet.
The duo also unearthed a lead cross that was made between 1200 and 1600 A.D., several coins dating back to the 1800s, and various bone fragments.
"I’ve never been involved in something so gratifying, because everyone wants you to succeed," Marty told Michigan Today in 2017. "Whether it’s treasure, I’m not sure. My brother remains convinced that there’s something there."
For fans wondering if the siblings get to keep whatever they find, Marty explained in a 2015 interview with History, "The treasure trove license says that the government gets 10 percent, except that they get all artifacts, and an artifact is virtually anything. An artifact means man-made. So there’s a little bit of fuzziness.
"By way of example, at this very moment, everything we found last year resides in the Nova Scotia Museum right now," the engineer shared. "I think, given the history of the relationship with the Canadian government, that if some great treasure is unearthed they’ll treat us fairly."
Some explorers strongly believe that the Ark of the Covenant and the loot of convicted pirate Captain William Kidd still reside somewhere on the island.
Watch new episodes of The Curse of Oak Island Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on the History Channel.