Interview: Rick and Marty Lagina talk Oak Island

Every since they were kids Rick and Marty Lagina have shared an insatiable desire (Rick a little more than Marty) to solve the mystery surrounding Oak Island, a 140-acre island off the coast of Nova Scotia believed to be the resting place of ancient treasures dating back to the Knights Templar (some even believe the Ark of the Covenant is located there). The legends about deadly curses and glorious treasures have fascinated explorers for over 200 years. It’s been a maddening process but they are determined to see it through.

Curse of Oak Island Rick LaginaWe recently talked to the lovable Lagina brothers (Marty is pictured on the left, Rick on the right), who now co-own the island and are the subject of History’s hit series The Curse of Oak Island (Tuesdays at 9pmET/8pmCT). The Michigan-based brothers fielded our questions on if they get to the bottom of the money pit, who is paying for all of this and more.

Are we going to get to the bottom of this pit this season?
Rick, why don’t you answer that?
(Publicist interjects – no spoilers)
Rick: Let’s put it this way. Five months we were up there, and we did a lot of exploration. Let’s leave it at that, and you’ll have to tune in.

OK, I get it. In regards to just the money involved in pursuing this dream, I mean where is all this money coming from?
Boy, you managed to hit the two forbidden topics in the first two questions.
Marty: You know it’s coming from us. We’re financing it. That’s basically where the money is coming from — us.

Well, the island has a long history of people losing their fortunes – people who have sunk all their money into pursuing this — so how do you prevent yourself from falling into a similar trap?
The first comment about that, I find that very instructive because when we look back to the history, one of the things we worry about is — is it a hoax? Was the data misreported? But hoaxers don’t do what you just described. They don’t spend their whole lives there, and their entire fortune, looking. The history kind of bears out that everybody was truly intrigued, was truly reporting real findings, and that’s a very significant thing. As to how we make sure we don’t have the same fate, I’m not so sure, Rick?
Rick: What we endeavor to do is that every situation, it’s a financial risk/financial reward within the context of finances, if you will. It’s a judgment call. If you feel like you can’t make progress, of course, then you have to either abandon or limit your activities. That’s basically the parameters under which we’re operating.

I meant no offense by asking the question, it’s just like “man, let’s figure this out.” If money wasn’t a factor what would it take to drill three thousand holes on that island and solve this thing once and for all?
That’s a really good point too, and we saw it by bringing state of the art technology to bear, we figured we would figure this out in a week. [Or a summer, Rick adds]. It proves to be a formidable adversary. You’re right, others had suggested that. Dig the whole thing up. Well, there’s some limits, financial, environmental, to doing it that way. We’re trying to get to the bottom of it, believe me nobody wants to get the final answers better than us, but we made some damn significant progress, I think, this year, and some interesting revelations.

Have you envisioned coming to an end to this story? Like getting to the bottom? What do those dreams look like to you guys?
I don’t know about the dream, but of course the goal is to solve the mystery — it’s not so much of a treasure, my brother might differ a bit on that, but there is a wonderful story written there. I’d like to put pen to paper and tell that story. We asked our father prior to his passing: “Dad, if there’s real treasure on Oak Island, what should we do with it?” My father didn’t hesitate. He said, “Do good with it.” I guess that would be the end game, if treasure were involved, and I believe that there will be.
Marty: It’s such a puzzle in front of us, I think that’s as far as we thought of it. It’d be a very happy problem, I hope, if we unearth something that big and that historically important. We would have to deal with that then, I guess.

When and how often do you go to Oak Island? I know it’s over the summer season, but how long are you really there?
We spend the amount time that we can. I’m retired, and Marty still has business adventures ongoing, so he splits his time. We were there overall five months this year. Family and friends come up. Our sisters have come up with their families. Marty’s son, Alex, has participated in the process, and so have our nephews, Peter and David. They’re all somewhat invested. Not all of them believe however.





  1. Rick and Marty I love your show. It would be an amazing find if you do come across this tricky adventure, I love I’m Ireland which has plenty of hidden treasures so, if you don’t find anything or you do find something remember to start a new show in Ireland as the people here would love to work with two wonderful brothers like you.

    Best of Irish luck to you both.

    Darren Kelly Dublin Ireland

  2. Rick and Marty
    I watched a few shows in particular was the overton stone , I Know waht the 4 dots are around the Templar cross

    • Hi Rick and Marty,
      I love your show and have been studying all the clues, I live in Justin Texas. One clue I think everyone has over looked, The 8 pointed cross stone which was a symbol in ancient times for Sol 3 star marker in the Templar trinity map and it shows what the ultimate sun star Sol 1 should look like, which is an apple. Please for me send a few of your partners to apple island to the center of the island with metal detectors and or ground penetrating radar, that is where the treasure is. Oak island I believe is a decoy, and the treasure will be 2 meters down.

  3. What a great real life adventure for you two brothers (and best friends) to experience together and share with the world!!!! I believe there’s something very important down there!!! Nobody especially 300 plus years ago would create something so elaborate and detailed as a hoax. I lean more towards Templar than Pirate. One big question I have is that if you find the arc of the covenant, what are you going to do with it???? It maybe more dangerous than finding it was and that might be the reason it’s down there in the first place!!!! I’m sure you’ll proceed with caution and not something apocalyptic!!!! I wish you all the best of luck and Safety!!! Happy hunting, Make History Happen!!!!!

  4. Rick and Marty,
    My wife and I have been hooked on your program since the first episode. You have created an intelligent, exciting real-life adventure and produced the best thing on television. You all are to be commended for your tenacity and following your passion. I believe you will find a great deal of treasure and will do “Good things” with it!
    I am a free-lance illustrator in Denver and would be proud to donate my services to you should they ever be needed.
    All the best to all of you! Be safe. Make history.

    We’ll be watching,
    Frank Pryor

  5. If it where me I would freeze the whole area where you want to dig 20 ft. round three hundred
    ft. deep you then could drill and blast or use steam to melt the ice and pump out the could also freeze the booby trapped channels. we used this method back in the 70’s you can E mail for more info.or remember me if you use it and are successful. Thanks love the show.Ray

  6. if they mined fools gold from the island where are the mine entrances at. just a thought but if smiths cove is man made it could be hiding the mine opening where the treasure was brought in. the coconut fiber is keeping the opening clear if you have a wooden box sealed the sea water may always have been there to keep people out.

  7. Love your show & thank you for sharing your adventure with the public. Fascinating story! Pray you find an all important treasure!

  8. 1) I love the show. I’ve loved oak island since I was a young boy, and when I heard you guys were doing a show about it I was like FINALLY!!!
    2) Im not going to tell you how to do anything, its not my money so I’m sure you guys make the best choices you can with the resources you have. With that said:
    3) I, personally, don’t believe in any of the Templar/Shakespeare/Aztec/whatever else theory. If it’s anything it’s more than likely just some Pirate or the British or Spanish etc… I think looking at Templar stuff is a waste of time, however I get that it makes for good discussion and good TV… And who knows, maybe in totally wrong, which would be greater than anything I could have imagined, but I seriously doubt it. And:
    4) now that you found that shaft, it seems to me the best thing would be to just dig there. Spend your resources on where the actual money pit is believed to be. 10X is great and all, but why not go to the original hole, or what is believed to be. I think virtually anything but digging where the haden shaft or w/e its called, is going to be a waste of time and money. Make a 10x hole where the pit is. Finally
    5) I know how much easier it is to say this than it is to do it, so with that said, happy digging, and I hope to god you find out what it is, because it could be one of the most significant finds in modern history. Oh and I think you should have a donation box on your website, or a website. People world wide love what you’re doing, and more than a few would love to contribute.
    Good luck!

  9. Hello. All I hope you get this and truly consider what I am proposing.
    If you put a cap on 10 x. And pressurize the 10 x. If you.seal the top force air down it will force the water out. Then the air will cause bubbles. But just in case the shaft is not airtight, put a smoke bomb and watch for smoke. You will be able to go down in the chamber when it is dry. If you spray the rusty steel with this stuff called Flex seal. This will guarantee an airtight seal. This will be the safest and cheapest way. Trust me there is no other way besides digging it up. But you want have to. Please contact me at 6195204704 my name is Marty Stenger. Remember me when you bring up the treasure.

    • Also the ark of the covenant was found on the temple mount. 66 ft below the center hole where the cross held Jesus. Jesus’ blood ran down a crack in the rock and dripped on the ark. Thus bringing old and new testament together. Also there has been rumors that there are more than one ark. But the ark that Aaron made is most likely the one they found. There is a full documentary on Youtube. Happy hunting. Marty out.

  10. dear sirs , i would love to contribute to your funds. would love to be and oak island acorn. why don’t you offer a official oak island acorn certificate for a contribution of $ 100 or more. i would love to feel that in a small way i’m part of it. let me know how i can send you money. norm

  11. I teach environmental science in the Boston area. My class and I for three years take time every so often to go over what your whole group has been doing by watching a particularly interesting episode on the history website. We find it fascinating and we really appreciate in your answers that you are keeping as much of the environment in mind while still searching for the treasure. I wish we could take a field trip up there!

    We wish you the best of luck and be safe.

  12. Hi
    Just wanted to say I love your show. Wouldn’t it be something if the whole world were watching as you find the Holy Grail?
    Send a robot into that hole!

  13. One more thing to post—the two wooden beams in 10-X and the other “old wood” are called “Kingposts” and are used today even to anchor
    winches and/or block & tackle on one end of tunnels and high slopes to drag heavy skids and sleds, containing heavy objects in which wheels would just sink into the earth. I also suggest to use a coffer-dam in the 3 places in which the dye showed when pumped into 10-X to shut off the source of
    water to 10-X and other various tunnels, or just dig up and seal the entrances for the water and then use high volume-low pressure pumps to suck the
    holes dry. For the Money-pit, use a coffer-dam to set the bracing for a caisson to be lowered by steps and added to as you dig down to the vault.

  14. I personally would offer an IRobot model ( the military IED ) which I would purchase and offer to them free of charge–in the chance that I may come up to Oak Island sometime and stay a few days ( my funds only) to look around and get their feel for the challenge.. Their Grand-
    Adventure is catching like a wildfire all over the world–7 out of 10 people that I have talked to know and follow “Oak Island ” on the History channel.
    There are other manufacturers of robots of course, I am currently looking into various models with the features I think should be included such
    as fully sealed, a minimum of 2 color cameras with one auto-focus and one operator focused, two manipulated arms with grabbers, several lights,
    capable to tow a high-strength steel cable with fiber-optic and control systems for a distance of one mile plus a fully charged separate battery for emergency power–perhaps a sonar system ? They have enough to buy as it is and I have enough funds to allow for this but I am not rich by any means— I just believe in them and what they are doing! Plus it would save a life too—a diver could get caught alone down there—–>>>

  15. Un saludo a los dos hermano,veo su programa los marte no me lo pierdo,estoy loco por que encuentre ese Tesoro,pero yo creo que en los tiempo que escondiero este Tesoro, no existia maquinarias para abrir un hoyo tan profundo,como lo hisieron,tan profundo y con tuneles pasadisos por dentro,tiene que haber una entrada cecreta en la isla,donde estas personas escondieron el Tesoro, como decir una vena dentro de la isla
    Donde caminaban con antocha para poder ver dentro y a la ves seguro que notaron varios tuneles dentro de la isla,en sus entrañas quiero decir

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