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Oak Island: New book digs deep into Freemason ties to treasure mystery
Review: Oak Island Odyssey: A Masonic Quest, by Scott Clarke
A book that began as a personal search for author Scott Clarke’s birth father turned into a real-life quest surrounding possible hidden treasure in Nova Scotia, its lesser known history and the workings of secret societies within.
Since the early 1800s, theories surrounding Oak Island have focused on a deep pit discovered on the South Shore island and the possible reasons for its existence. Throughout the years, certain relics found in the pit and on the island have added to claims connecting it with lost Shakespearean manuscripts, pirate treasure, the Knights Templar and more.
In his new book, Oak Island Odyssey: A Masonic Quest, Clarke details over 20 years of his own research for the truth behind the legends surrounding the island. During his research to learn about his birth family, Clarke’s personal ties to the secret society known as Freemasonry are revealed to him.
As a Royal Arch Mason and 32-degree Scottish Rite Freemason myself, I can say that what is uncovered through the research in this book is certainly a real-life search for treasure, family and history untold.
Laying out insightful research that goes beyond informing the avid Oak Island enthusiast, Clarke sets his book apart from others with new information about Freemason ties to the island. Clarke’s primary goal is to show who is responsible for the activity on the island prior to 1795, the year three local boys found a strange depression and started digging.
Clarke begins his story with the search for his birth father, leading them to reunite. Clarke then learns of his own family connections to Oak Island, tracing roots directly to the Sinclair clan of Scotland, which has long been associated with the island.
While doing genealogical research, Clarke stumbles upon further family connections to the island; this time, however, it is to the original treasure hunters on the island. “I truly felt at times I was meant to go on this intriguing and at times mystical quest and solve the Oak Island mystery,” writes Clarke.
Digging with his mind instead of shovels, Clarke searches the history records, joining well-known Oak Island treasure hunters of the past, many of them Freemasons, including U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Clarke details his encounters and findings after receiving access to records at the Nova Scotia Archives, various Masonic lodges and the private archives at the Nova Scotia Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.
Oak Island Odyssey: A Masonic Quest offers a unique approach by not only proposing new theories from years of research, but also from the perspective of a Freemason, as Clarke was initiated into the mysteries of Freemasonry in 2008.
The book also gives readers a glimpse into the current hit television series, The Curse of Oak Island. Some of Clarke’s research, such as locating a sea chest whose owner had ties to George Washington, predates important finds on the television series and Clarke himself has appeared on the series showcasing his ideas. Rick Lagina, one of the stars of the show, wrote the foreward, adding credibility to Clarke’s theories and his connection to the island.
Freemasonry’s connection to Oak Island has been detailed before. What is new in this book is Clarke’s research detailing the heavy involvement of Freemasons on Oak Island prior to the discovery of the so-called money pit in 1795 and well after. From his findings, Clarke also suggests a connection to Freemasons in higher Masonic orders now known as the Royal Arch and Scottish Rite. Clarke details possible connections to a shipwreck, Templar influence and more, while suggesting the buried structure on the island may have a more meaningful and direct connection to Masonic rituals than some could ever have imagined.
Clarke, who is now a 32-degree Scottish Rite Mason himself, outlines a clear sequence of proposed events and suggests the answer to the legend may lay somewhere in the origins and secrets of Freemasonry. If these claims are true, they could change what we know about the early history of Canada’s formation, while adding important context to the organization known all over the world as Freemasonry.
The real treasure is in the journey and the knowledge found, explains Clarke. “Of course, if the Fellowship does unearth a priceless holy relic, like the Holy Rood or the Ark of the Covenant, or even just a cache of silver ingots from the Conception, I think I’d be pretty happy,” he writes.
Clarke may leave a loose end or two and allow for further follow ups, but by doing so adds to the potential for others to investigate his theories.
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