Stories had been in existence since the 1600's that Captain William Kidd had buried a hoard of treasure to be found on an island "east of Boston". Legend told of a dying sailor in the New England Colonies who confessed to being a part of Kidd's notorious crew, but he never named an exact location for the hidden booty.
The three individuals who initially suspected treasure on Oak Island must have considered that they could have been on the verge of discovering Kidd's lost bounty.
Skeptics claim that Kidd spent little time near Nova Scotia, suggesting that he could not have devoted enough time to construct the money pit. An original chart of Kidd's was dated 1699, a time when he would have only been 20 years old.
It seems unlikely that Kidd would have accumulated a large bounty at such a young age. However, it is known that Kidd did bury an amount of treasure on Gardener's Island near the eastern end of Long Island Sound, but the Governor of New York quickly seized this.
Rich New Jersey businessman, Gilbert Hedden made a link between the money pit and pirates when exploring the island in 1936. He discovered a large triangle of beach stones laid out in shape of a rough sextant, which pointed in the direction of the pit.
Fascinated by his find, Hedden researched pirates' activities in the Nova Scotia area. Using charts printed in a book by Harold Wilkins entitled 'Captain Kidd and his Skeleton Island' Hedden learned of Kidd's exploits. He even consulted the English born author who was unable to help, having only seen Kidd's original charts just once and since had drawn them from memory.