Keith Wille hired to search an estate for hidden treasure in a cold war fallout shelter… The story behind this job begins over a half century ago, as do many searches with a focus on fallout shelters or hidden fortunes. From the end of World War II, mid-1940’s all the way through to the end of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s, U.S. citizens endured an era of nuclear fallout paranoia. This resulted in the rise of the survivalist mentality and furthermore the construction of the fallout shelter. A hidden fortress on your own property to protect your family, contain valuables, and preserve day-to-day supplies one would need to survive. The survivalist mentality was fueled in the 1960’s and 1970’s when the U.S. government released the Community Fallout Shelter Program. At the start of the federally funded Program, President John F. Kennedy advised the use of fallout shelters in a letter to the American people in the Sept. 1961 issue of Life Magazine
With a half century of preparation for nuclear war and the hundreds of years of U.S. history, one can only imagine the number fallout shelters, hidden stockpiles, caches, buried fortunes, and time capsules across the nation. The International Time Capsule Society estimates there are between 10,000 and 15,000 time capsules worldwide. Through my years of working with archaeologist and being hired by property owners, I’ve been fortunate enough to find a number of these historic items throughout Connecticut and along the New York border.
I was recently hired to conduct an estate search in Ridgefield Connecticut, including the interior of a fallout shelter built many decades ago. The job included locating an unknown number of silver bars weighing 30lbs each, valued at over $8,000 per bar with today’s silver prices. The search began with surveying the estate for all potential areas the silver bars could have been hidden. My search included potential hidden caches within the stone walls of the fallout shelter, features and landmarks on the surrounding property, and the basement of the main house. Coming up empty on the fallout shelter treasure hunt, I turned my attention to potential hidden valuables in the basement the various outdoor features of the estate. One outdoor feature was a stone wall bordering the driveway, which was built by the estate owner’s father many decades ago. In our ongoing dialogue throughout the day, the owner recapped a memory of his father constructing the stone wall by hand and how his father enclosed a time capsule within the center section of the wall. With the pending sale of the estate and all potential hiding places needing to be thoroughly searched for treasure, I verified the location of the unknown treasure deep within the stone wall using my metal detector, and began chipping the masonry away with a heavy-duty steel digging bar. After 30 minutes of chipping and removing stone after stone I was finally able to clear a view hole down into the center of the wall. Underneath the stone, were layers of wooden planks covering the hidden compartment and contents below. Hearts racing, we removed the planks piece by piece eventually exposing plastic wrapped containers. As we pulled the contents out one by one, it became obvious that these items were not heavy enough to contain the valuable precious metal hidden many decades ago. Starting to lose hope, we were now reaching into the bottom of the stone chamber, where one final piece of the time capsule remained. Continuing to chip the hole bigger and bigger, we were now able to retrieve the heaviest of the hidden objects from the historic cache in the stone chamber. The final piece retrieved from the chamber included a deteriorated metal box containing two handguns, with holsters, and a stockpile of ammunition! The estate search was complete with one final gift from the survivalist who wanted nothing more than his family to have access to the essentials in a time of crisis. In total, the time capsule contained 2 containers of wheat germ, 2 containers of beans, a bible, hats, mittens, a pocket knife, 2 boxes of ammunition, and 2 handguns. It was determined through my estate search that the hidden silver bars were not located on this property and the owner was able to sell the property with no secrets left behind.
“Thanks for the great job with the treasure hunt. Talk about staying focused and eye on the prize. I can’t think of anything we didn’t cover at the Estate Search. Tremendous Job.”
With 10,000 – 15,000 time capsules worldwide, could there be a lost time capsule buried or hidden on your property? Don’t waste your time with borrowing or renting a metal detector, have a professional member of The Ring Finders search your estate. Serving Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and short distances into other surrounding states, contact me now through www.TheRingFinders.com or www.metaldetectionkeithwille.com or call me at 252-775-1307.
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