geography – Oak Island, Extending the “Alignment”, possible Great Circle?

During these days of COVID, I indulged in the guilty pleasure of watching The Curse of Oak Island – Season 8, Episode 4 Alignment, which viewed last night (1 Dec 2020).

During the episode, some “historians” advising the treasure hunters tell the team that they have identified a line starting from, the Dome of the Rock Mosque on Temple Mount, Jerusalem that runs directly along the long axis of the cross in the Jardins du Château de Versailles (France) and then along the precise trajectory to Oak Island, Nova Scotia the presumed location of buried Knights Templar treasure including the Arc of the Covenant.

enter image description here

Let me state again, I view this as a great fantastic guilty pleasure – real Indiana Jones stuff.

Avoiding my actual real work, I start playing around with Google and Mathematica.

I find the geo coordinates (longitude & latitude) for the 3 locations:

versaillesCross = GeoPosition({48.81008221499617, 2.100137383293789});
oakIsland = GeoPosition({44.5167, -64.2992});
domeOfTheRock = GeoPosition({31.778063322333196, 35.23541700515525});

Let’s find this trajectory:

GeoGraphics({Red,
  GeoPath(
   {domeOfTheRock, versaillesCross, oakIsland},
   "Geodesic")},
 GeoRange -> "World",
 GeoProjection -> "Robinson")

enter image description here

Alternatively:

GeoGraphics({Red, 
  GeoPath(
    {domeOfTheRock, versaillesCross, oakIsland}, 
    "Geodesic")}, 
  Frame -> True)

enter image description here

  • At first glance the 3 locations look aligned, but do they truly
    align?
  • Do they align on a geodesic?
  • If so, how do I determine if the geodesic traces the arc of a Great Circle?
  • What else would an extension of such a geodesic align with around the globe (other
    treasure sites)?

Seems like the way to explore this starts with mapping the GeoPath on a globe.

@whuber’s answer in How to draw a great circle on a sphere? gives a start:

 im = Import("http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/mgg/topo/pictures/GLOBALeb6colshadesmall.jpg");
 Manipulate(
 Block(
  {normal = 
    Cross({Cos((Theta)), Sin((Theta)), 
      0}, {Cos((Alpha)) (-Sin((Theta))), 
      Cos((Alpha)) Cos((Theta)), Sin((Alpha))})},
  Show(
   globe,
   ContourPlot3D(x^2 + y^2 + z^2, {x, -1, 1}, {y, -1, 1}, {z, -1, 1},
    Contours -> {1},
    ContourStyle -> Opacity(0.5),
    Mesh -> None,
    RegionFunction -> Function({x, y, z}, normal.{x, y, z} >= 0)),
   Boxed -> False)),
 {{(Alpha), 0, "Elevation"}, -(Pi)/2, (Pi)/2},
 {{(Theta), 0, "Azimuth"}, -(Pi), (Pi)})

enter image description here

But now I need to figure a way to apply the Oak Island GeoPath to it and do a comparison to see if it does yield a Great Arc and in any case where an extension of the GeoPath around the world goes.

I’ll keep nudging this exploration along myself, but will much appreciate any guidance, suggestions, solutions, or alternatives.

Maybe we can get a cameo for Mathematica on The Curse of Oak Island!