Curse of Oak Island Season 4 is here–and this time Rick and Marty Lagina claim they’re closer to the island’s elusive treasure than ever before. Indeed, Rick calls his eight years on Oak Island a “roller coaster ride,” and long-time viewers of his show would have to agree. But what makes the brothers so confident that Season 4 will be the one where they finally hit paydirt?
For one thing, it looks like they might be putting an end to one method of exploration–and opening up all new avenues in the process. “We’re gonna do one more diver,” Rick says, in the just-released Curse of Oak Island Season 4 preview, “and, if he can’t do it, we’re done with divers.” And it looks like the machinery the Laginas are using could be the biggest the show has yet seen: “We’re gonna dig a big hole in the Money Pit,” Rick tells us, at another point, from behind the controls of an enormous excavator, “and find out what’s there….That’s where it started, and that’s where we need to make it end.”
“Nothing engages people like the search for treasure,” Marty adds. And he reflects on the island’s tangled past–and the show’s entanglement within that past. “We’re a part of history, now,” Marty says. “I’m ready to get into it.”
With that determination in mind, here’s the newest Curse of Oak Island Season 4 trailer:
As for the discontent among some of the show’s fans that it’s all speculation without evidence–or, more specifically, that History is more interested in ratings than facts? Well, Curse of Oak Island executive producer addressed that very question during a Reddit AMA promoting the show, and his response certainly got observers talking. Here’s his response in full:
Well, first of all, we never present anything that isn’t fact. In other words, if I put a period at the end of a sentence in anything I do, it has been checked and double-checked and it’s as factual as we can determine. That’s why people who watch for example ANCIENT ALIENS have to understand that a lot of that show is deliberately based on a theory, and theories are by definition speculative. Even Darwin’s theory of Evolution is a theory. The Big Bang Theory is a theory, it is not fact, although some places want to try to treat it as fact, but most religions of the world, even though they are often treated as fact, are theories. It doesn’t mean they are not true, just means that they have not been proven to be true.
But if we put a period at the end of a sentence – it means that, to the best of OUR research and knowledge, then it is true. For example, the CURSE OF OAK ISLAND is not pseudo-science or pseudo-history – it is history with speculative theory attached to it, because we don’t know what’s down there, we just know people have been looking for something for 200 years.
Look – no less than Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his 20’s, spent a lot of time on Oak Island looking to solve the mystery. And when he was president, he even thought enough of Oak Island to write a letter, which the team up there has, that he wrote during WWII asking how things were progressing and if any progress had been made. For those people who take issues with shows like ANCIENT ALIENS, I would just say that history is being written and re-written and re-discovered and re-proven every day. When I was a kid, growing up, the notion that Leif Erickson and the Vikings came to North America was considered an outrageous theory, which was later proven to be true. Bones in museums of dinosaurs, everyone thought they were arranged one way, until they found out they were wrong for all those years. So in other words, people who watch these shows have to be open to the idea that theory is as much a part of History and Science as fact.
Here’s another case in point: one of the early criticisms of ANCIENT ALIENS was that it was “colonialist.” And by that, I mean that academics took issue with that the show was suggesting that native people of South America or Egypt could not have built these extraordinary structures or had extraordinary technology, and that it was a kind of White european male prejudice that said “Oh, well they could not have done it, it must have been aliens.” Well, my answer to that is: We – meaning the show, or the ancient astronaut theorists – don’t say that aliens built the pyramids, or had that technology. It’s the people who built the pyramids who say that. Because it’s on the tombs and temples, written on the walls, from these same people whom everyone believes are the native people, they claim their technology and culture comes from beings who came from the stars. In other words, all we do on the show say is “What if it were true? What if the people who built the pyramids – who did murals devoted to Isis and Osiris and these ancient Egyptian deities, who were all supposedly coming from the sky – what if they were right? What if Moses is history? What if Jesus is history? What if Buddhism and Islam are history? What if all of these ancient cultures – Native American, hindu, you name it – they are right, and we are wrong, with our Western Science?”
A friend I went to film school with, in Boston, is from India, and he and his crew often help us when we do a shoot in India. And when I first called him, he said “you’re finally coming around.” I said “What do you mean” and he said “Well, for you, this is theory. For us, in India, this is all history.” Because in India, they don’t consider this pseudo-history. In India, they consider Ancient Aliens history.
I think the problem with too much of our educational system is that we put too many periods at the end of sentences, when we should still be putting question marks.
So: Get ready for more high-stakes treasure hunting drama and viewer manipulation controversy! Curse of Oak Island Season 4 premieres Tuesday, November 15 at 9 PM on History.
(Photo credits: Curse of Oak Island Season 4 via History)