I”ve invited my friend and fellow Templar researcher, Jerry Lutgen, tooffer a guest blog posting about his reading of the “90-foot Stone” cipher allegedly found on Oak Island. This post was written in anticipation ofEpisode 4, of Season 4,of the Oak Island showon History Channel, where rumor has it the long missing stone will be rediscovered. Jerry wanted to get his translation out before the show airs to see if he may havebeaten them to the punch. What do you think?
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December 4, 2016Many readers of this blog may have seen a recent episode ofThe Curse of Oak Island during which a local researcher named Doug Crowellpresented information relating to the so-called “90 foot stone.” This stone, allegedly from the “Money Pit”, containsa coded inscription which has received a controversial reading of “forty feetbelow are two million pounds.”
During the program Crowell also presented the La Formuledocument which has come to be associated with Oak Island and the “90 footstone.” It appears that this document wasfirst shown to the public by McGinnis family of Oak Island fame in their recentbook “Oak Island Connection.” In theirbook they explain that the La Formule document was of great importance to theirbrother Jim McGinnis who told them that this document was only part of a largerset of papers.
A quick examination of the document reveals two things. First, it uses a superset of the symbolsemployed on the “90 foot stone.” Second,as hinted at by Jim McGinnis, this document appears to have been excised from alarger document in such a way that some words or letters are missing.The reading cited above for the “90 foot stone” has beenrejected by many Oak Island researchers.Still I asked myself, what if that decoding is correct and can it beused to help in the decoding of the La Formule page. It turns out that this reading of the “90foot stone” is correct. It says “fortyfeet below are two million pounds.” Weknow this because it provides an unambiguous direct starting point that I wasable to use in developing a substitution cipher that decodes the La Formuledocument into a very intriquing set of French text. Here is the French text followed by atranslation of the French into English.La Formule”Halte neterrer pas creuser aquarante pied avec a angle quarante cinq degre la hampe a cinq centvignt deux pied a vous entre lec??reidor a un mille ….. soixante cinq piedatteinte la chambre.”
The Formula”Halt do burrow not dig at forty feet with an angle forty five degrees the shaft at five hundred twenty two feet as you enter ????????? a thousand sixty five feetreached the chamber.”
Each line in the French and English text are broken atthe same place as on the original La Formule document, as it comes to us. Because this document has been somehow excisedfrom a larger document it means thatsome of the lines of the French text are incomplete. In some cases this means that there aremissing letters and in other cases it could even mean there are missing words. In order to make better sense of what hasbeen written I have taken the liberty of completing some of the beginning and endingwords in a way that makes linquistic and contextual sense. These additions are in blue. You will see that at the end of line four andthe beginning of line five I was unable to complete the missing French words. I have done my best with this adding ofletters to make sensible French words, but clearly this is a potential sourceof error.I was aided in the process of fine tuning the cipher andtranslating the French into English by an experienced French translator. Again we have done the best we can, but giventhe inherent vagaries of translating French from an unknown time and place aswell as the potential for deciphering and editing errors in the original Frenchwe must accept that there may be problems with the resulting English.There is one other bit of broken French text at thebottom of the document. Someone has handwritten in French: “Vingt….La Valeur”which translates as “Twenty…..the Value.”What is the document telling us? Unsurprisingly, the document reads clumsily,as if in some places there are missing wordsThe first line is a bit confusing.Is it instructing the reader of the document to stop burrowing and digin another way? In any event it clearlyseems to be some kind of instructions to find a chamber. Of course, our imaginations immediately turnto a chamber associated with Oak Island, perhaps even the Money Pit.Questions?