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The Untold Truth Of The Curse Of Oak Island's David Blankenship

In 2014, History debuted "The Curse of Oak Island," a unique reality series that centers on the supposed mysterious riches of Oak Island and the hopeful crew in search of it all. At the head of this excavation are brothers Marty and Rick Lagina. For nine seasons, fans have continued to tune into the adventures of the Lagina brothers and their team as they continue to try unraveling the countless questions Oak Island offers. But besides the sibling duo, the show features quite a memorable cast, including David "Dave" Blankenship. Often causing History to censor his stream of swears and expertly carrying the Blankenship torch on the island after his father's death in 2019 (via Sky History), David is a refreshing addition to the Oak Island team.

While David's unfiltered talking and hardworking nature has made him a beloved fan favorite, when it comes to knowing more about his private life, we'd probably have an easier time locating that legendary Money Pit. David doesn't often engage in any social media, and the few interviews we've seen him in usually stick to facts about the series. The man likes to keep his personal life more hidden than the secret riches he searches for. Still, we've unearthed some interesting tidbits about the treasure hunter. So, with that said, let's delve deeper into the untold truth about Blankenship.

David had been treasure hunting on Oak Island way longer than the Laginas

History's "The Curse of Oak Island" might serve as many viewers' first introduction to the mysterious location and what treasures and artifacts it may hide. But the island has a long legacy of hopeful treasure hunters besides the Lagina brothers. People have been searching on Oak Island for over 200 years (via CBC), with the Lagina brothers probably serving as the latest prominent hunters on the island. But before the two started their search in 2006 (via Sky History), David and his father, Dan Blankenship, had already been on the quest.

David joined his father Dan on Oak Island in 1972 (via History YouTube channel). Not only is David a longtime resident of Oak Island, but he has worked in some capacity searching on the island for multiple decades. It's little wonder why, when the Lagina brothers began their search, they decided to partner up and include David and Dan on the show, as their expertise about the island proves to be invaluable. Dan knew so many secrets and myths about the island, and obviously, he passed down some of his knowledge to David, as it isn't uncommon to occasionally see him answering fan questions about the island's history alongside Rick and Marty.

David's link to Oak Island is partially due to Reader's Digest

In 1965, Reader's Digest published an article titled, "Oak Island's Mysterious 'Money Pit,'" which was a piece that detailed the supposed legendary riches hidden at the Nova Scotia location, and the lineage of hunters after it (via Oak Island Treasure). Some fans may already know that the article caught the eyes of a young Rick Lagina and ignited a lifelong obsession. Yet, Rick isn't the only member of "The Curse of Oak Island" crew who found himself transforming into a real-life treasure hunter thanks to the words of the article's author, David MacDonald.

David Blankenship can also trace his work and residence on the island thanks to the article. Although, unlike Rick, his link to the piece is more indirect, and it's all thanks to his father, Dan. David's father Dan also read the same Reader's Digest article, quickly deciding to leave his life and contracting career in Florida behind for a chance at locating that elusive Money Pit (via History). David eventually followed his father up to the island, but as we'll soon learn, he only chose to do so after hitting a low point in his life. Still, if not for that article, David wouldn't have wound up on Oak Island at all.

David came to Oak Island after going through a divorce

David keeps a tight lid on any huge details about his personal life. It's even unclear if he's currently married, or how many children or grandchildren he possibly has, if any. However, surprisingly, he once revealed that he'd been married before. Unfortunately, the marriage didn't end too well for him, and at that point, his father also thought David wasn't doing too great in his life. So, looking out for his son, Dan asked David to work on Oak Island with him.

Speaking in a special introduction spotlight via History's YouTube, David bluntly said, "I'd gone through a divorce, and [my father] thought I was a drunk, so I come up here to spend 30 years." The elder Blankenship may have thought a fresh start on Oak Island was the perfect way to get his son out of a slump. We don't know if David was initially thrilled about joining his father when he decided to make the trek to the island in the early '70s. But David did make it known in the same video that he currently enjoys being a resident on the island. Notably, he expressed his happiness about the lack of neighbors.

He suffered a horrific construction accident

On "The Curse of Oak Island," David has shown off his persistent nature and a penchant for working with his hands. Per History, as Marty points out, David has been working outdoors his entire life, and on the series, he puts much of the crew to shame with his impressive work ethic. What's even more amazing about this is the fact that David pulls this off despite suffering a horrific injury that would probably sideline most folks. As most fans probably notice on the show, David is often seen walking with a limp, and this is due to a previous construction accident.

In 1986, while working as a steelworker, a crane cable snapped and wildly thrashed. It caught David by the knees and violently threw him into the crane's cab, which was approximately 46 feet away from where he was standing. As he crashed, his hard hat strap pinched an artery and caused him to suffer a stroke (per Mysteries of Canada). The event is recounted in "The Curse of Oak Island: Drilling Down," which states that David had to perform rehab and relearn how to walk and talk. Despite his recovery, David still has lasting injuries from the accident in the form of nerve damage. It has paralyzed the left side of his body, and it's why he walks with a noticeable limp.

There may have been tension between him and the show's producers

In Season 8 of "The Curse of Oak Island," fans quickly noticed that the show lacks any appearances from David. His absence from the series led to much speculation, including information about his health, especially as the show dealt with production while the world grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic. In early 2021, a special behind-the-scenes episode of "Drilling Down" aired (via History), which centered on the whereabouts of David. It's in this episode that David officially announced his retirement. After spending so much time working on Oak Island, and in light of his father's death, David decided to officially retire from the treasure hunting business to spend more time with his family.

The episode indicates that David's departure is entirely amicable and he's leaving on good terms. However, reports of tension with the show's producers the previous year tell a different story. Allegedly, David made a now-deleted Facebook comment explaining that he quit over what he believed to be the show's producers ignoring his father's legacy on the island. In addition, David reportedly shared similar thoughts on the perceived slight against his father with the site Mysteries of Canada. If the tension between David and the producers of "The Curse of Oak Island" is true, it's not too far-fetched to believe that it may have also played a factor in his decision to leave the show.