The No. 1 rule of treasure hunting is to roll with the punches. Things almost never go as planned and when they go sideways, you’ll need some backup plans. Dealing with Oak Island, there’s an endless number of variables that can go wrong, forcing you into another plan of attack. Enter Season 8 of The Curse of Oak Island. While it could have been one of the biggest and best seasons yet had the searchers’ original plans played out, the global pandemic forced a detour. Thus, there were a record number of artifacts unearthed this past year, but it was mostly a tease.

The season began with a letdown, as plans were delayed by two months due to COVID-19, shifting everybody into “What do we do now? mode. Instead of building upon the successful discoveries at Smith’s Cove from last year, the crew decided upon a number of smaller activities. While staying socially distant, one group drained The Swamp and unearthed an ancient cobblestone pathway. Another continued drilling boreholes in new locations, seeking the Money Pit. And still another excavated Samuel Ball’s Lot 26, all the while there was plenty of successful metal detecting.

After digging 400 holes in the Eastern area, the crew finally realized they’ve been looking in the wrong area, moving their primary location to the Western side of the island.

700 objects were reportedly found this year, which is twice as many as the previous year. The highlighted artifacts include a double-bolted latch, a gold-colored knob, a British naval officer’s button, a lead bag seal, a ringbolt, oxen shoes, broken bits of pottery, coal and a whole lotta wood. The encouraging items include the remains of not one but two underwater wharfs, as well as a stone pathway that splits into different directions (But where do they lead?). And by the season finale, “The Silver Spooner,” science fact gets real, as multiple wells are tested for elevated alloy levels of silver. Water samples prove the metal is nearby, but sediment samples prove they’re not found within this borehole. So close, but yet so far…

Hard data is hard to come by on Oak Island, and data collecting most likely would not have been possible during a non-COVID year, when other activities would have received more attention. So,┬áis the team really getting any closer with their search since last year’s hunt?

“I think if we look at each other, honestly, we’re more confused than we have ever been.”

The Money Pit’s location is only a portion of the 225-year-old mystery. It could be located around borehole C-1. It might be somewhere close to OC-1. Or, it might not. Underground voids have been discovered. Portions of tunnels are believed to be found during one dig, disappearing in subsequent nearby holes. And after eight seasons of filming this treasure hunt on the History Channel, it really isn’t clear that Rick and Marty Lagina have actually gotten any closer to finding any top-pocket finds. There’s definitely more questions than answers whenever scientific evidence is unearthed.

Lots of things are obviously happening behind the scenes, but it seems like the GPS coordinates are not being recorded for major discoveries. If I was pouring millions of dollars into this never-ending search, I would make every attempt to record any and all information in order to return to the successful spots for future searches.

“Is it possible that for 200 years, people have not looked in the correct area for the Money Pit?”

A whole lot has happened on this island throughout the years and there aren’t any written records for any of it. But, if you were hiding something valuable, you wouldn’t keep any records for someone else to find your valuables, right? For the most part, the team is learning the truth via trial and error, seeking credible evidence and many “ah-ha moments.”

Season 8 may be known for the set-up, because next season’s proposal includes “The Big Dig.”

Stay tuned, acorns.