Stone Triangle Location

Stone Triangle – Bearings and Location?

As I had stated in my book, I was not in possession of a detailed survey plan of Oak Island. An accurate survey of the Island with key markers etc. would have been very welcome indeed. If you have read my book then you will have seen that I have included NO images. The only extra element to the Geometry was an outline sketch of the Island and its only purpose was for a “visual” alignment.

I was very interested in aligning the Geometry to the Island images available but I had found that there were too many variables impacting such an alignment for it to be a really worthwhile exercise in pinpointing the Money Pit. Nevertheless, I have produced images using Google earth that gives at least some visual understanding of the Geometry and the Eastern end of Oak Island.

Below I will take you through a range of variables to show you what I mean by that, using Google earth. Google themselves state that their application is not up to a “survey” standard, so it is not possible to utilize it to the level of accuracy that I would have wanted, but it can be a visual “indicator” of the geometric alignments with features of Oak Island.

Camera Angle

The angle from which a satellite or aerial photograph is taken has a huge effect on trying to measure anything to scale or to place anything within that image. Within Google earth for instance, there are a number of historical images available for viewing Oak Island, but only the 2011 image is in a near vertical orientation to the Island. The other images are taken from a side view, angled down at the Island. The below image clearly illustrates this. This difference in camera angle of the 2013 image creates a lot of difficulty in attaining accurate measurements or connecting known elements in their correct positions, visually that is. Read an article in Wikipedia, “Orthophoto”, if want some good insight into how correct image correction for accurate mapping is achieved.

Oak Island Shoreline

I had captured a series of images of Oak Island, one for each year, from the available Historical Images. These were captured from the same position and elevation that then allowed me to overlay them and to compare their individual characteristics with each other.

This image capture process meant that the Grid of longitude and latitude lines were perfectly aligned, but what I immediately found was that the individual images of the Island varied in alignment.

In the following image you can see that I focused on a number of large boulders around the shoreline. The boulders in one image were aligned differently when compared with the other images. I have illustrated the difference by plotting the boulders with a black dot. The variation in position was anywhere up to approximately nine feet and in slightly different directions from each other.

It was after seeing the differences in the images that I realigned the images to place the boulders on top of each other. I found that all of the key boulders aligned very closely, certainly with less than three feet variation. This told me that the perimeter of the Island was based on the same geodesic model from year to year and that the placement of satellite imagery within that perimeter was actually varying.

In aligning the boulders the longitude and latitude lines were now displaced but it provided a good indicator of the differences in image alignments between the years.

Buildings and Roads

It was also clearly evident that the images of buildings and other features varied in actual positioning within the Island outline from one year to the next. The differences were both in distance and also in the angles/direction of alignment from each other. In the below image the pink lines indicate where the individual images of the island are stitched together to form the overall island image. This in itself produces variations in the alignment of the buildings with images of different scale and variations in positioning.

In the above image, the near vertical image from 2011 is compared to that of 2013. As you can see there is a clear difference in the origin angle of the photographs and this has a measureable result in the placement of the buildings on Oak Island.

In the previous image of “Positional variations” I have inset an image in the top right hand corner. This image has the coastal boulders aligned and the white lines reveal the variation in the small building placement. The distance to the small building varies by up to fifteen feet but, more importantly, the angle of direction between the boulder and the building is anywhere up to two degrees different.

This sort of variation is very significant if you are wanting to align to objects or points within the Island perimeter.

I had been wanting to provide a visual alignment of the Geometry but with such large differences the best I good hope for was an approximated position. The Geometry is tied to the shoreline and thus has a consistent point of reference, it was the buildings, Money Pit area, roads etc. that varied in their image positioning from year to year. The Geometry is accurate but not the imagery.

2011 Historic Image

The only image that could offer any degree of accuracy was the 2011 year. It is the closest to a vertical position and as such has minimal distortion when compared to the other years. With the elevation of images, angles of the photographs looking towards Oak Island, and the clarity of imagery, the 2011 year is certainly the best.

The Google earth application is very accurate, but what I needed was an accurate two dimensional map of the Island. Google earth is a three dimensional application that conforms the images to an underlying spherical geodesic model, not a flat plan. Having a highly accurate perimeter to the Island was the best I have, and all that I actually need.

Stone Triangle Location

The actual location of the apex of the Stone Triangle is a very simple issue. I had noticed very early in my research that the Eastern end of the Island was encapsulated within a 1800 feet by 1800 feet square grid consisting of 360 foot squares. This grid is directly resolved from the cross axis CAB of Nolan’s Cross and is independent of the longest axis DAEF. This gridding neatly fits three sides of the Island in this area and its symmetry with the Island was probably the first spark of interest that I had found.

It is quite simply derived from extending the 360 foot division of the Cross axis. The slope of the Cross arm is 30 degrees, a value consistently recorded.

Google earth is not at fault!

In the below image you will see a red line drawn North to south through the Money Pit area. This line is curved AND straight!

In Image 1 I have focused the view central to the Western end of the Island, this results in the straight red line taking on a curved appearance because the Google earth application is doing exactly as it was intended, mapping a three dimensional model, not two dimensional.

In Image 2 you can see the exact same line but the viewing focus is directly overhead of the Eastern end of the island. The elevation profile shows the gradient underlying that line but because when I am viewing from above then the line appears straight.

I images 3 and 4 you can see the actual differences that are produced in these images. This means that if you take a screenshot anywhere except directly above your target region then you will have some distortion being produced as you move to the side of that central focus area. This is not so apparent as you are using Google earth, but when you capture screenshots from differing focus points AND elevations it certainly becomes very clear.

This is the primary reason that I give no real importance to the “visual” alignment in so far as accuracy is concerned, there has to be some distortion present. If you capture an image at one geographic point then other areas of the same image will be distorted.

This is a primary reason I was interested in the consistency of the perimeter of the Island. It displayed the most consistency in its shape and measurements.

For me, a perfect world would be a flat plan of the Island with all key elements that I was interested in being accurately placed. As I stated in my book, an accurate ground survey is what I see as the best place to start. I believe the geometry is correct but applying it to distorted images is only an “indicator” of position.

To locate the Stone Triangle was a very simple step of doubling the distance CAB to extend to Point G in a South Easterly direction and to also extend the distance of AD by doubling it also. This arrives at Point H. Note that this is a simple extension of distance at right angles to the Cross axis, NOT following the direction of the longest distance of the Cross, DAEF. More on that later.

This exercise forms a long rectangle 1080 feet by 290 feet, that defines Point ST (Stone Triangle) on the Southern shoreline. The distance from the Centre of Nolan’s Cross to the Stone Triangle is 1118 feet, an interesting value if you  know your history!

As simple as that.

Ad Triangulum

Below is a very busy diagram with a lot of interesting information.

The triangle H,ST,M6 has some interesting properties. In researching I had found that the area of geometry known as Ad Triangulum (discussed in my book) had some common ratios appearing, 0.866 and 1.15. This triangle displays these ratios.

Also, the distance from Point H to Point R is 540 feet. It was a simple step to reflect this triangle and so form an equilateral triangle with sides of 1080 feet.

The distance from ST to Point R is 935.307 feet, this happens to be three times 311.769 feet, which in turn is the distance R to M6.

All of these measurements, angles and ratios had correlations to Ad Triangulum, and I interpreted this as a support for the Stone Triangle position.

1931 Aerial Image of the Stone Triangle

It was after I had completed my book that I came across two pieces of media that actually showed the real Stone Triangle. One was the Leroy A Crooks film of 1939, and the other was an aerial photograph from 1931. (Links below)

They provided details of the Stone Triangle in situ and with more detail than anything I had seen before. The obvious step was to relate the images to current Oak Island satellite images.

I had two key reference points. My geometric position of the Stone Triangle with the actual Stone Triangle in the photograph, and the erosion evident in the 1931 photograph.

Shoreline Changes

It was clear that the southern shoreline had change over the years, erosion being a key element. De-forestation, re-forestation, clearing of land and then regrowth. A major contributor was the constant pumping of water from the Money Pit area as searchers endeavoured to reach deep underground. The 1931 photograph clearly shows this in an area I describe as a watershed region.

There are many aerial and satellite images of Oak Island available online that give a visual indication of this change. The road on the southern shore is a modern feature and appears to have stabilized the area with new growth on its southern edge.

The website has a number of them in the Gallery page that gives a good timeline of the Island in recent decades.

The watershed region was quite well defined and consistently present in many images that I have seen. This watershed region gave definition to the size of the 1931 image as I aligned it to the Stone Triangle position. The big surprise is that the Stone Triangle is not a 10 feet sided triangle! To match the watershed region AND the Stone Triangle meant that the triangle was actually some 40% larger. With a possible variation of maybe 10% or even 20% I would have considered such an error as being produced through trying to match different images, but this was a significant difference.

The base of the triangle actually provided a “scale” for the photograph. This difference in size provided a measurable clue. If the Stone Triangle was ten feet then the distance to the Money Pit area was only about 185-190 feet! It could not be ten feet.

I accepted this larger size as being correct and found an explanation for why the triangle has been described as ten foot. On page 161 of my book I had raised the question that maybe the triangle was actually 14.5 feet, and now I am certain it is. More on that in my next article.

In the following pictures you can see the 1931 image in relation to the shoreline and the watershed region. The seaweed on the shore gives definition to the shape of the shore but it is very dependent on the tides and even the season of the image capture.

The height the plane was flying at, its flight direction and the actual camera angle would all have an effect on the distortions present in the 1931 aerial photograph. As depicted below, the field of view is altered by these factors with the field of view in the captured image being shortened, and thus the measurable distance between objects is shorter. Even allowing for this, the dimensions of the Stone Triangle could not be only ten feet.

As illustrated, a viewing angle of 40 degrees results in a large difference in distance when compared to a vertical viewing position. Whilst the angle the photograph was taken at is not this extreme it is still a factor when trying to align the image to represent a vertical photograph.

Correct ortho-rectification would require more images from different angles and data on camera angles etc.

Is Nolan’s Cross correct?

The typical representation of Nolan’s Cross is two lines crossing at 90° with the slope of the cross arm at 30° from True North and the longest length at 60°. I had recently come across some information that this may not be correct! That there is a slight deviation from this clear cut geometry of the Cross. From this information I calculated what effect it would have on the alignment to the Stone Triangle position, and with obvious interest if it impacted the overall geometric alignments I had uncovered.

The information indicated a 0.4° variation in the longest length of the Cross pattern, but not the shorter Cross axis.

In the below diagram you can see that the CAB line is at 90° to that of AD. This was the alignment that I used for the 360 foot gridding and Stone Triangle apex location. But, the line AEF was 0.4° different.

I looked at all options that may change my geometry of aligning the Stone Triangle and the Money Pit. Should the cross axis be 59.6° then the Stone Triangle would be in a slightly NE direction of 5.6 feet and the Money Pit location would be 8 feet to the NE and also about 5.5 feet further North. Almost directly North of the Chappell shaft. I did not see any evidence to confirm this so I consider the original geometric alignment as being valid still.

Why a 0.4° difference?

Why would there be a 0.4° variation in the longer slope? Intended? I looked at this and did find one, very speculative, correlation! This is Oak Island and so anything is possible!

Using the angle of 59.6° as a heading I measured a distance in Degrees, commonly done in the past by Mariners over long distances. The distance I selected was the distance of Oak Island from the Equator, 44.513°. This bearing and distance arrived in the center of Paris, France.

That was interesting, but what could be near the Paris center that was the intention of such an alignment?

The Knights Templar castle site was about 59.61° but its distance was just over 44.52° distance.

At 59.62° and within a few hundred feet of 44.513° distance was Pont Neuf on the same Island as the Notre Dame Cathedral. This point is also about one mile and at 60° to the Templar Castle site. I had never heard of this site and was surprised to find it was the execution site of Molay and other Templar Knights.

Could such a correlation be interpreted as a statement of “origin”? Interesting speculation at best.

Read about a possible French Connection in the article “A French Connection“.

One thing is certainly true, the Stone Triangle is very different from the simple geometric configurations found elsewhere online. Many similarities, but very different and far more interesting.

Wikimedia Commons


Leroy A Crooks 1939 film – Jo Atherton – Youtube