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Oak Island Treasure • View topic - Clarification of facts in the 1965 Reader's Digest article

Clarification of facts in the 1965 Reader's Digest article

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Clarification of facts in the 1965 Reader's Digest article

Postby Jo on Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:05 am

Our roving researcher Joy has been busy again! She's managed to dig out (pardon the pun) a letter from M.R. Chappell in which he systematically corrects the detail provided in the famous Reader's Digest article.

I will be posting the Readers Digest article later for those of you who've not seen it. For anyone who doesn't know, the article was where Dan Blankenship first read about Oak Island and it is an often cited piece of writing as it grasped the attention of so many key players.

There's been a lot of talk recently about researching the 'real' story of Oak Island and before I post the documents, I would like to say a few words on this, if you'll allow me my soapbox moment!

In my experience of speaking with people interested in Oak Island, I have found that the Oak Island enthusiast is someone who typically fits into one of two categories.

There are those who thoroughly enjoy the story and appreciate the treasure hunt for all its excitement and romance. These are the people who don't care so much for looking into engineering plans or specifics. For them Oak Island may have been their favorite story their grandparents would tell them about as a child, or maybe they toured the island years ago and it captured their imagination.

Then I've found there is the more serious researcher. Oak Island gets under your skin and it's no wonder that so many people want to have a serious attempt at trying to unravel the facts by hours of laborious research, and a great deal of investment in both time and money.

I don't think that by being someone from my first definition who enjoys the simple story and has not done any research themselves is to say they are ignorant, just that Oak Island means different things to different people.

A great deal of the email correspondence I am involved with spans all approaches, from school children with projects, to documentary producers, even computer game designers. You'll see that each of these people have been attracted to the mystery for a different reason.

Lets remember before we rip the classic Oak Island story apart that if it were not for those romantic accounts of swashbuckling pirates and inquisitive boys out fishing, the mystery would never have attracted the attention of the Dan Blankenships of this world.

In terms of cultural history, I believe both approaches are equally valid and one cannot exist without the other.

Anyway, without further ado, here's the letter from M.R.Chappell.

Apologies it is in large .jpg format - the pdf conversion software I use is at work and as it's the weekend, this will have until next week.

Page 1 - http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t37/ ... ndment.jpg

Page 2 - http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t37/ ... ment-1.jpg

Page 3 - http://i156.photobucket.com/albums/t37/ ... ment-2.jpg

Original 1965 Reader's Digest article to follow later today...
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Re: Clarification of facts in the 1965 Reader's Digest article

Postby Tank04 on Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:47 pm

Jo,

Very well said, but you forgot another category, the fringe, kook category. Those who subscribe to theories that hang on extremely faulty research (or no research), outlandish ideas and plain old lies. Entertaining, all of them, but along with that are the sharp knives that some (many? most?) conceal under their cloaks.

Over the years I have seen them all (more to come) and have run into many people, who are as unscrupulous, malicious and devious as they come, I know you have too. The politics that arrive with all of this is enormous and at times, very unfair and much of it is bent on simple character assassination. I know poor soul, you have seen it and been an innocent party sufferer because of it and so have I. Remarkably, I believe this is actually a weird sign of success.

Being in the position I am with the Oak Island Tourism Society, I have met with hundreds of people over the past seven years at various conferences and meetings who have told me of their own projects that range from very popular local museums to other proposed museums and or community initiatives who have yet to see light of day and they experience the same things as we do on varying scales. Jealousy, malicious gossip, underhanded obstruction, lies, cheating, slander and so much more. Next time we meet, I can share some of this with you, but not publically.

I call it success because it is a barometer that you are getting your message out there and people who are not comfortable with it feel threatened, or carry useless old grudges are reacting the only way they know how. The only way to deal with it is to ignore it, take a deep breath and take your sugar where you can get it.

The "real story" of Oak Island is yet to be brought forth. It lies somewhere between the old established legends and what has already been unearthed by many intrepid researchers. None of it can ne substantially claimed to be the ultimate truth and I fear the ultimate truth will never come forth due to loss of records, private files that we will never see and the murkiness of history. I always default to my favourite famous person’s quote on this, "what is history but a lie agreed upon."

In the meantime there is one thing I think we can all (99%) agree upon. Your web site, in the Oak Island world, remains the best, most open and friendly one in existence and you can take full credit for it being so with your patience, guidance, openness and most importantly, credibility you have earned.
Curator, Explore Oak Island Display,visit: http://chesterbound.com/Oak%20Island/ex ... Island.htm
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Re: Clarification of facts in the 1965 Reader's Digest article

Postby FutureProspect784 on Mon Dec 15, 2008 12:12 am

Jo,

I agree with Tank, very well said. And also, thank-you to Joy for another great find!
88’s

FP

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Re: Clarification of facts in the 1965 Reader's Digest article

Postby mutakwe on Mon Dec 15, 2008 1:20 am

Hi,

Just a small little footnote or morsel here or there, F.P., thank you, I am lucky to be able to read M.R. Chappell's letters, and hope that I can pick out some to share with everyone too.

I may get a chance to go out tomorrow and see what plunders may be waiting to be found.

Have a great evening, P.S.....I can't wait to see Jo's article so I can compare M.R.'s stated corrections.
Joy
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Re: Clarification of facts in the 1965 Reader's Digest article

Postby Jo on Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:50 am

Sorry for the delay - I got caught up with Christmas shopping on Saturday (nightmare) and making Sunday lunch (tasty).

Here's the pdf version of Chappell's letter - http://www.oakislandtreasure.co.uk/arch ... ndment.pdf

Scanned version of the Reader's Digest to follow later when I get in from work...I PROMISE!!

Thanks for all the kind comments Danny :) It's great to feel appreciated.
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Re: Clarification of facts in the 1965 Reader's Digest article

Postby Jo on Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:41 pm

Here are the scans from the Reader's Digest article. They're in .jpg format at the moment but I'll create some .pdfs tomorrow. In the meantime, here you are!

Pages 136 - 7 - http://www.oakislandtreasure.co.uk/arch ... igest1.jpg

Pages 138 - 9 - http://www.oakislandtreasure.co.uk/arch ... igest2.jpg

Page 140 - http://www.oakislandtreasure.co.uk/arch ... igest3.jpg
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Re: Clarification of facts in the 1965 Reader's Digest article

Postby Jo on Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:05 pm

As promised, here's the full article in .pdf format:

http://www.oakislandtreasure.co.uk/arch ... digest.pdf
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Re: Clarification of facts in the 1965 Reader's Digest article

Postby Tank04 on Tue Dec 16, 2008 2:46 pm

Jo,

It is exciting to read this again, and even with it's obvious errors, I can certainly understand why Dan Blankenship was intrigued by this story, enough so he travelled to Nova Scotia from Florida "to take a look" as he once described it to me.

I can't tell you how many times over the years this article has been mentioned to me by various parties as THE article that inspired them to read more about Oak Island. Many people feel compelled to tell me how they first heard of Oak Island and it is interesting to note the generational gaps and the media through which people discover this story.

People of second world war generation often cite this very article while later generations often tell of hearing of it in school. Later and not that long ago, a new wave of interested parties arrive here at our doorstep after reading what I consider to be a well done article in the famous Rolling Stones magazine of just a few years ago. I can’t imagine how many more curious parties will descend upon us after more documentaries are made and released, treasure hunting begins and the inevitable land slide of interest should Oak Island Tours Inc. discover something of value under Oak Island’s scarred old hide.

Reference to Oak Island as uninhabited (a hotly contested issue), “Tony” Vaughan , “Jack” Smith, McInnis being only 16 which was pretty well proven by Kelly Hancock (right here on your web site) as being not so, are hall marks of a great story and debate will rage on for decades.
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Re: Clarification of facts in the 1965 Reader's Digest article

Postby D'Arcy on Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:09 pm

Jo:

The best line with respect to that issue of the Reader's Digest (of which I still own an original hard copy) and which did indeed initially lure Dan and others into the Oak Island treasure hunt, came from Janie who once remarked to me (with tongue only half in cheek): "Sometimes I regret that (January 1965) morning that Dan (then a successful 42-year-old Miami building contractor) saw the story in the Digest. I remember he showed it to me at breakfast. I should have torn up the article then and there!"

But luckly she didn't, for no one has contributed more in terms of their time, enthusiasm, and back-breaking energy to this riddle than Dan Blankenship (with Janie always by his side) during these past 43 years.

D'Arcy
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Re: Clarification of facts in the 1965 Reader's Digest article

Postby Jo on Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:08 pm

Tell Janie I found it to be thoroughly soft and absorbent!

;)
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