While I am preparing my Year in Review post for tomorrow, I wanted to briefly note that on Scott Wolter's blog this week, Donald Ruh, the author of The Scrolls of Onteora, and an interested party in the story of the supposed Templar documents used on The Curse of Oak Island in 2016 and in the late Zena Halpern's book The Templar Mission to Oak Island and Beyond in 2017, confirmed that the hand-drawn French-language map depicting Oak Island and said to be a copy of one used by the Knights Templar in the Middle Ages is a fake. The map was part of a collection of documents compiled by a man named William Jackson before his death and 2000, and Ruh believes that Jackson was involved in some cloak and dagger secret intelligence work surrounding the documents, including a scandal in Italy involving crimes committed by Propaganda Due, or P2, a Masonic lodge that had been stripped of its charter and became a right-wing secret society with ties to members of the elite and a penchant for murder. "The Oak Island map is a fabrication, most likely created by Bill Jackson as part of an assignment by the agency Dr. Jackson worked for to intentionally set up a bad guy associated with the P2 scandal in the late 1970’s," Ruh wrote. I would need to see more proof to buy the claims about secret intelligence work (and i am not sure why Jackson's letter about it, reproduced in Ruh's blog post, looks to have been professionally or electronically typeset, despite allegedly being a personal letter from 1979), but I have no doubt that Ruh is correct that the map is a modern forgery. The most interesting part of Ruh's post, however, is not his dubious spy claims about the imaginary Spartan Agency, but rather the fact that he and Halpern fell out not over evidence or interpretation but over how best to exploit their claims in order to land the best TV deal. That is the true treasure of Oak Island.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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