Moving into a new house is exciting, and exploring all the nooks and crannies is part of the fun. But sometimes you might stumble across something a lot more interesting than a spider. These people were just minding their own business on their new property when they found strange things in their own backyard.
10. $175,000 Worth of Weed
A man’s idea to install solar panels led to the discovery of $175,000 worth of pot. Digging around in his backyard, Mack Reed stumbled across an open vault hidden underneath a hot tub. Reed called in a technician to take a look, and it was then that he spied a bag stuffed inside. In the bag was the mother lode of weed. There were about sixty little bottles containing weed, and sealed bags with other kinds of drugs.
Mack Reed briefly considered all the money he could make from this exciting find, realizing that he could get back all the capital he used for an online business. He then decided that the person who hid the pot would most likely want it back, and he didn’t want to be the unlucky person who got in the way of them.
When Reed reported his discovery to the LAPD, they didn’t seem to take it too seriously. They even asked Reed to drive the stash to the station, as every police officer was busy. Pressing the fact that driving around with drugs in his car was a terrible idea, Reed finally got a supervisor sent to his home.
When Sergeant Legaspi finally arrived at Reed’s home, she confiscated the drugs and suggested that he remove the hatches of the vault just in case the owner came back for it. Afraid that one of his children might fall into the open hole, Reed printed out a polite but firm message and stuck it on the hatch. It read: “We found it and called LAPD. They confiscated it and are now watching the place. Sorry.”
Hearing a strange sound emanating from her backyard on a hot May afternoon, Sharon Bente took it upon herself to investigate. She was taken aback to see an eight foot alligator swimming in the pool. She immediately called her husband and he saw that the reptile had clawed a hole right through their patio screen. While the two watched, the alligator tried to lift itself out of the pool but failed, so he just continued to swim around.
Finally an alligator trapper came and was able to remove the reptile. The alligator was taken to a nearby farm, while the Bente couple put up a new patio screen. They’re probably still not sleeping as soundly as they should be, though.
8. A Ferrari
In 1978 a car in good condition was discovered buried in a Los Angeles yard. This sparked a police investigation, where it was found that the car had been reported stolen in 1974.
The story starts in 1977 with the burial of Sandra Ilene West. Unconventionally to say the least, West was not buried in a coffin. Her last wish was to be buried seated inside her blue 1964 Ferrari 330 America. West was a widow when she died at the age of 37 of an accidental overdose of pills at her Beverly Hills house. According to instructions in her will, she and her beloved car were shipped to San Antonio so that both could be buried next to her late husband. The car and its occupant were lowered into a concrete bunker with cement poured inside and over it, in the hope that this would keep people with long fingers away from the car.
Almost a year later, a group of children were playing around in the mud outside an ordinary LA home when they hit something below the ground. They flagged down a police officer, who discovered a green Dino 246 GTS buried in the yard. This gave people chills, as they remembered the strange funeral of Sandra Ilene West, but in this case the driver’s seat was unoccupied. Police found it had been bought in 1974 and stolen the same year.
However, they couldn’t figure out how the car got there. The owners of the house had only been living there a couple of months when the car was found, and were dumbstruck as to who may have buried it. It was clear that someone was planning to come back for it by the way it was wrapped in plastic, but they obviously never got the chance. The car remains unlisted on any registry, and the mystery of who stole and buried it also remains.
7. Ancient Stone
An ancient stone that was recorded in legal papers dating back to 1170 was discovered by an amateur historian after he researched the history of his own home. Stephen Davis read up on the history of the house he owned and came across a reference to an ancient stone that was thought to have marked a burial plot from the Bronze Age dating back to about 2,500 B.C.
The land was declared a common area after a case regarding the ownership of it landed in court during the 14th Century. The last reference made to the stone was in 1636 when it was mentioned in a tax document. The property Stephen lives on was sold more than three hundred years ago and currently forms part of an estate.
Davis and a friend used the documents to try and find the ancient stone. They didn’t have any real faith that they would actually find it after all this time, so they were astonished to actually discover it in Davis’ own backyard, completely covered in ivy. At the time of the find, the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England was expected to pronounce the stone a “scheduled ancient monument.”
6. Metal Door to the Past
What would you do if you discovered a metal door hidden in your backyard? The Zwick family was faced with this decision and they hesitated for ten years before they decided to get the door open and have a peek at what was inside. When the door swung open they found a metal bunker in the ground. A ladder was fastened to the side and the family saw that the bunker was flooded with water. They had found a war shelter dating back to the Cold War.
Cardboard boxes were floating around, so the family fished them out. Inside they found a stash of food and snacks, obviously meant to sustain a war-affected family should they have needed to hide away. The food included candy, raisins, syrup and other non-perishable foods.
Paper towels, candles, a telephone directory and even a garden hose were also found, all with the original ’60s packaging. The Zwick family had found a portal to the past. After all the excitement of the find, they donated the goods to the Neenah Historical Society.
5. Mystery Object
Digging for worms in their backyard led two Kitchener sisters to something mysterious. They dug up what appeared to be a shiny rock. The object almost glowed in a blue color and was as big as the sisters’ heads. At first they thought that the object was part of a meteorite that fell in the region the month before. However, earth sciences professor Phil McCausland disagreed, saying that the visible layer of the object should have been much darker if it really was part of a meteorite. He also stated that most meteorite remains are found on top of the ground or just inside it, never deep in the soil.
So a gem expert, Gary Winkler, was contacted and asked to analyze the object. Winkler found that it was definitely not a gem of any known kind. He also speculated that the object was not of natural origins but that a person deliberately buried it. The mystery remains, but the sisters are planning to sell the object should it turn out to be something of great value.
4. Human Remains
The residents of a brand new home in Yuba City, California got a little spooked when their family dog scratched a pot out of the ground that contained human remains. Police and anthropologists descended upon the house to investigate the find, and decided that the discovery may the remains of a religious ritual. After a routine search of the property, other artifacts such as doll fragments and unexplained objects were also discovered that tie in with the remains.
The owner of the dog, Nathaniel Oberman, told police that he wasn’t too concerned when his dog dug up what looked like the head of a porcelain doll, but got freaked out when he saw the pot with a skull in it. Oberman also confirmed that machetes and coins were found. It remains a mystery as to whose remains they were and who buried them.
3. Woolly Mammoth Bones
John from Iowa and his two boys were picking blackberries in the thickly wooded area on their property in 2010 when one of the boys thought he spotted a ball in the distance. Upon getting closer to the object John saw that it was no ball, but was in fact a bone sticking out of the ground. He started digging and eventually produced a four foot femur. He took the bone to the University of Iowa, where it was identified as belonging to a woolly mammoth that lived during the Ice Age. Fossil experts undertook two digs on John’s property and discovered foot bones as well as rib bones.
Even though it’s not that unusual to find mammoth bones in Iowa, it’s very unusual to find an entire skeleton. The head is still missing, and John is allowed to keep the bones until all of them are found.
2. Mastodon Bones
Renovations to a backyard pond in Hyde Park, New York turned into a full scale excavation after the owner discovered a large bone at the bottom. Larry Lozier was dredging the pond so he could make it deeper when he came across the bone buried in mud. Thinking it might be a bone from a cow or horse, he loaded it onto his truck and drove around with it for a few days. He even took it to a barbeque and his friends took a look at it. No one believed it could be from a mastodon until Lozier called Dr. Christopher R. Lindner, who took a drive to his Hyde Park home to take a look.
Lindner immediately saw that this was an ancient fossil bone and arranged for an excavation to take place on the property, centered inside the pond where the first bone was found. Family and friends also took part, digging up a few small bones here and there. However, it was the experts that dug up a pelvis and lower vertebrae. A couple of days later, with the help of a backhoe, the mastodon’s skull was found.
Lozier is now the proud owner of up to ninety mastodon bones. As soon as all the bones are found, they’re likely to become a major exhibit in a newly planned museum. It’s thought that the nine foot tall mastodon died in the pond twelve thousand years ago after getting stuck in the mud.
1. Aboriginal Skeleton
It’s not everyday that the discovery of an 400 year old skeleton costs a family $5,000. Ken Sauve discovered bones in the yard while trying to create holes deep enough for fence posts. Thinking the bones belong to an animal, Ken quickly forgot about them. When his wife Nicole pressed the issue, they kept digging and eventually unearthed the skeleton of an aboriginal woman.
Forensic anthropologist Michael Spencer investigated the site and found that the woman was in her mid-twenties when she died sometime during the 1600s. He analyzed the teeth of the skeleton and determined that the woman was part of a community that hunted and fished for a living. Spencer is convinced that the woman was a descendant of the merchants of the Ojibwa trade network.
The Registrar of Cemeteries instructed Nicole and her husband to find an archaeologist to assess the rest of their backyard, but they would have to cover the costs themselves. The bill stood at $5,000, and appealing to the mayor of their town reaped no results. Their Member of Provincial Parliament, Bob Bailey, read about the couple’s find and financial woes and advised them to declare the bill an undue financial restraint, which would possibly get the Registrar to reimburse them. In the meantime, the skeleton was moved to the nearby Aamjiwnaang First Nation Cemetery where a traditional ceremony was performed.