What tools do we need to find things buried underground? Our most important tool is often information.
A few years ago, we got a call from a fellow who needed help finding something buried underground. It was an interesting journey from start to finish that ended up being a tough lesson in locating buried targets.
We’d like to share The Parable of the Golden Wheat and what happens when underground locating turns into an investigation mission.
A man called and said he needed help locating an old oil tank buried underground. Thirty years before, he and his dad had filled the tank with 10,000 pounds of wheat and buried it on their 100-acre property.
That’s right. This man and his father filled a fiberglass oil tank with food supplies and buried it underground.
We know what you’re thinking, “Who buries wheat underground… in an oil tank?” Well, preppers do. These guys were preppers before prepping became mainstream, and now, thirty years later, he couldn’t find the food on his 100-acre ranch, so he called us to help.
(*Please note: Enhanced Scanning does not endorse the use of old fuel containers for food storage or the mixing of fuel and food supplies in general. We aren’t doctors, but that just doesn’t seem safe.)
When we arrived, he gave us the details. He said it was a fiberglass tank with a little bit of metal below the lid. He told us it was only about half-full, so there was an air gap in the tank. He hired us for four hours, so we went to work.
Some things you should know:
We weren’t too concerned about the water because it was still a desert after all. Since we knew there was an air cavity, we decided that we’d use our GPR to go out and look for a large air pocket underground.
We immediately noticed the location he wanted us to scan was where the ranch’s drainage was. So, out of the whole area, this was the most water-saturated point, making our job a lot more challenging. We still felt the GPR was our best bet to find this food tank buried underground, given what we knew.
But after three and a half hours, we hadn’t found anything. We asked the owner if he thought it could be anywhere else, but he didn’t know where else to try. We figured our best bet to locate the tank at this point would be scanning for the metal around the lid.
At first, we assumed the metal around the lid was some mechanism for keeping the tank shut. Our technician thought we might be able to find the metal with a bit more information. When we asked about the metal, though, the customer started acting a bit… strange.
He skirted around answers and stopped making eye contact, suddenly very secretive. A little flustered by our insistence, he finally said, “Fine. If you must know…” He looked around and hushed his voice before continuing. “If you must know, they are precious metals.”
We tried to hold back a laugh and said, “Oh, so there’s gold in there?”
“Yes, and a little silver, too,” he whispered. “But I don’t really care about it. I want it for the food, okay?”
We were shocked and a little unsure of our next move. This new information changed the nature of the search.
The thing with finding underground items or targets is that you need the right tools. And in our line of work, sometimes information is our biggest asset. If we knew there were silver and gold in this buried tank, we would have brought a completely different tool called a soil conductivity meter.
With just 30 minutes left of search time and only a low-end magnetometer in tow, we couldn’t locate those treasures buried underground. Had our customer been completely transparent from the beginning, we would have brought the right tool and had a much better likelihood of finding the targets.
It was a hard lesson for the customer, but what can we say? Having the right tools is paramount with underground locating. That’s why it’s so important to share all the details of a project before we get started.
We don’t care what your story is. We don’t care what you have buried underground (as long as it’s on the up and up). We just want to be able to do our job well. Make sure to share all the details with us so we can bring the right tools to successfully locate whatever your buried “treasure” might be.
If you need help finding things that are buried underground (even fuel tanks full of food and gold), contact us today.