I received a request from Francisco asking me to help him locate a metal entry door to a survival shelter that was 3 to 4 ft. below the surface in his backyard. This was a shelter that was existing on his property when he purchased it. Construction of the shelter was started back in the 1980’s and was never received a final inspection from the city. The previous owners had to seal off the entry to be able to sell the property.
Fernando had a hand drawn sketch that showed it as a cement room 9’x 9’ x 7’ approximately 4ft. below the surface. Also included dimensions from a backyard wall. It did not show where the entry door was.
I had recently purchased a magnetic metal detector unit that construction and surveyor companies use to locate property markers and buried ferrous metal manhole covers, etc. It works very well for metallic property marker stakes. These machines also can detect large ferrous metals at depths to 6 ft. plus?
I agreed to help Fernando try to find this entry door but told him I had little experience using this detector to find deep objects. It was going to be definitely better that renting a metal detector at a tool rental company.
We met at his home the next Sunday on his day off from his regular job. We did some general measurements to start with. I tool my magnetic locator and received a large 3-1/2 ft. square area signal at one end of the location. I took a four foot metal probe ( used for bottle digging ) which showed it was only 12” down. But next to that cement cap with rebar, my probe went three and a half feet down and hit solid cement ( the top of the shelter ).
The entry was actually a 3 ft. cylinder that gave access to the top of the buried shelter. I didn’t stay to see the unearthing. Fernando sent me photos, explaining the project would probably be expensive to clean out the room and get it sanitized. He will eventually restore the shelter which was always a mystery to him as he always knew it was there and never had any idea of what it actually looked like.
It was awesome to have the chance to use a new tool to help someone find a survival shelter…. I may someday have to use this magnetic metal locator to find a buried treasure in somebody’s back yard. I have had requests to do these searches several other times. I just haven’t had any successful recoveries because the treasures were not there..
I have included a few photos that might explain more than my attempt to describe my search with words.