Alexander P.

Ailsa Craig, Ontario

Thames Valley Regional Fair

The Money Pit

In 1795, 3 friends found a peculiar looking depression on Oak Island, that was absolutely man-made. Curiosity set in, and they started digging. Could it be the treasure that Captain Kidd claimed to have buried? It wasn't long before they came across further evidence to convince their imaginations. 2 feet below topsoil, they uncovered a layer of flagstones and then logs at 10 feet, 20 feet and 30 feet. As the years went by, they kept on removing one barrier after another to claim their mysterious reward. And So It Begins...

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

I was surprised by the trouble that some treasure hunters would go through and how much money they were willing to invest on something that could be a wild goose chase. Also interesting, is the idea that the Money Pit could be a huge, elaborate decoy. This makes me wonder why the people who set it up years ago went through so much trouble. Could the real treasure actually be hidden elsewhere?

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

Everyone loves a good treasure hunt, like geocaching, or visiting a garage sale or thrift store in hopes of finding some amazing thing. But, sometimes people can get too caught up in the hunt, leaving behind their life savings in hopes of finding unbelievable wealth, and the fame that comes with it. We should learn to keep our hopes realistic, our priorities in order, and be grateful for what we have in the present.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

In my life today, I accept and try to be happy with what I have. I know that people win lotteries, but I remain cautious of "get rich quick" ideas. During the time of the Money Pit discovery, people had less than we do now and they were willing to risk more to help themselves and their families get ahead. Often, that decision cost them nearly everything, sometimes even their own lives.