By Tim Binnall
A legendary treasure hunter who spent over 50 years searching for the fabled fortune said to be buried on Nova Scotia's Oak Island, Dan Blankenship, has passed away at the age of 95. Originally a resident of Florida, he became enamored with the story of the alleged hidden cache of riches after reading a Reader's Digest article about it back in 1965. Reflecting on that initial moment, Blankenship later recalled telling his wife that "number one, there's treasure on Oak Island and, number two, I think I'm going to be instrumental in finding it."
Blankenship subsequently purchased a sizeable portion of the island which included the infamous 'money pit' where the treasure is thought by some to be buried and moved to the location shortly thereafter. From there, he devoted the next five decades of his life attempting to solve the mystery using a variety of methods. While the different digs failed to produce the long-sought-after treasure, Blankenship credited finding "certain clues" during that time which, he believed, indicated that he was on the right track.
In an interview with a Canadian media outlet in 2010, he marveled that "to the best of my knowledge, no one has stayed on the island and been involved in more or less the daily thing longer than I have." It was that incredible dedication to the quest that made him a veritable institution among the Oak Island treasure hunting community, where he was a beloved figure and source of considerable wisdom. In recent years, Blankenship's life took something of a surprise turn as he wound up becoming a television star as one of the cast members of the wildly popular History Channel series The Curse of Oak Island.