He found a very strange “rock” on the beach. Immediately, he thought there might just be more to it. And so, he called for help. He stood outside, watching helplessly as his house was cordoned off and quarantined.
Just a few minutes later, a man in protective gear walked out. He started reporting his findings. However, all he was able to do was stand there with his mouth hanging wide open. What was it that he had found?
Taking A Walk
This story began in the spring of 2016. Steven Whitten was walking along Middleton Sands with his wife, Viola. This was their favorite stretch of beach in Lancashire, England. This beach had breathtaking views of the Irish Sea. Not to mention, it was just a stone’s throw away from their house in the village of Overton.
While Middleton Sands is a pretty popular area for hikers and dog owners, Steven and Viola loved walking in less crowded areas. They weren’t fond of the idea of being surrounded by people when they were trying to relax.
Something Was Off
As the two were taking in the view, Steven began noticing something. He noticed a strange, acrid smell in the air. He had absolutely no idea that he and his wife were about to come across something that would change their lives.
The smell was reminiscent of a rotting fish. The couple had never experienced anything like it before. Even though the smell was putting them off, the two were eager to find out the source of it. They kept on walking. Then, they noticed a grayish lump that was slightly smaller than a rugby ball.
The couple traced the horrible smell right to its source. Washed up on the beach was a very weird and odorous rock they couldn’t recognize. It was approximately the size of a football. It seemed to have been worn smooth by the waves. What could it have been?
Reaching out, Steven touched the rock slowly and gingerly. He had previously read about strange finds in beaches, especially in that area. However, he never heard of anything similar to this being found. His curiosity didn’t allow him to walk away.
Steven examined the smell but came to the conclusion that he had simply never experienced anything like it before. The scent was very bad, but at the same time, very distinct. “It was like a cross between squid and farmyard manure,” he recalled.
Just like many others, this couple had always dreamed of the day they would strike gold and become rich. Perhaps this day wasn’t so far off after all. What started as a normal day changed completely. They never saw it coming.
The Next Step
The couple was wondering what they should do with the rock. Would they leave it there because of its awful odor? Would they take it home? The decision wasn’t an easy one. What do you think they decided to do?
Taking A Chance
This couple wasn’t ready to give up just yet. As we’ve said, they’ve always wanted to come across some money. There was a chance that the odd rock could be valuable, so they decided to take the risk. They really hoped it would be worth a lot of money. They wanted to buy a static caravan which they couldn’t afford at that moment.
Taking It Home
At last, Steven picked up the rock and wrapped it in Viola’s scarf. He wanted to ensure that it remained safe. Aside from that, he didn’t want anyone to catch a glimpse of what he had found. He couldn’t wait to go online and figure out what it was.
As soon as they got home, Steven used his scales to weigh the odd lump of rock. The reading said 3.5 pounds. This excited the two of them. Steven knew he needed some help if he was going to get to the bottom of this mystery.
Steven decided to turn to a community group on Facebook. He posted a picture of the supposed rock online. Soon enough, the post was flooded with comments to read. Just wait and see what happened after that.
Could It Be A Meteor?
People quickly responded, and many of them had very creative ideas. Some people were speculating if it was a piece of volcanic rock that came from deep in the ocean. Others claimed that the rock looked like a meteor.
The Possibilities Were Endless
An amateur meteorologist quickly suggested to Steven to try the “magnet test”. This was to figure out if it really was a meteor. The guy was convinced that he was right, but it turned out that all the people in the comment section were wrong.
“It feels like a rock-hard rubber ball, its texture is like wax, like a candle. When you touch it, you get wax sticking to your fingers,” Steven later explained during an interview. What could it have possibly been?
Panic Levels High
What was it about the weird rock that caused such a stir in the Whitton household? Once Steven held the mysterious object against a magnet, he knew it was finally the time to start panicking. We’re starting to get nervous too…
By this point, Steven was somewhat nervous to continue. He and his wife were experimenting with an unknown rock that they came across on the beach. Neither of them knew whether it was dangerous and could harm them. He had to be careful.
What Is The Magnet Test?
The magnet test is a good way to determine whether something is authentic gold. Fake gold will always attract magnets and stick to them. This little test allows people to check if what they own or found is real.
When Steven did the magnet test, he confirmed that the strange rock didn’t have any iron in it. What did that mean then? This meant that the object wasn’t a meteorite. Steven still hadn’t found an explanation for the terrible smell.
Things Were Picking Up
Steven came to the conclusion that he had no idea what he was dealing with. He didn’t even know if it could have been a dangerous object. So, he made a quick phone call. It was then that the men in protective suits came to his house.
By this point, it was obvious that Steven didn’t know what he was really dealing with. While people online were helping as much as they could, this situation was out of control. Steven needed to get help from experts, so he did just that. Just wait until you see what happens next.
Two officials came to the house and immediately cordoned it. Then, they went inside to dispose of the mysterious substance in a safe way. While this was happening, Steven and Viola were standing outside and giving the officials instructions. They waited patiently to see what would happen.
Getting To The Bottom Of It
The alleged “rock” that the couple discovered was put inside a box on their dining room table. After carefully examining it, the officials came back outside. They gave the couple the news. This completely shocked them.
At A Loss
Steven and Viola held each other close while patiently waiting to try and understand what the mystery was all about. Steven couldn’t help but think the worst. The rock was so odd looking. The expressions on the officials’ faces weren’t making things better.
When the officials told Steven that the rock wasn’t dangerous, he breathed a huge sigh of relief. It wasn’t just a piece of garbage that was thrown on the beach. However, when the officials told him what the rock actually was, his eyes grew wide. They told him they while it was extremely rare, chunks of ambergris would occasionally wash up on the shore. What is ambergris?
As it turns out, ambergris is a substance that has been highly coveted for centuries now. It’s famous for its terrible smell – “like a cross between squid and farmyard manure” – however, its smell sweetens with time. This substance has been used in perfumes for hundreds of years. Some historians have even believed that the substance is edible.
Ambergris is a whale by-product. It’s made in the bile ducts of whales and then it gets excreted. While that sounds rather gross, it’s found so rarely in nature that it’s worth a fortune to the right buyers. It just so happened that Steven and Viola came across some of it on a walk on the beach. They couldn’t believe their luck. However, there was a catch to all this.
Only produced by one specific species of whale, ambergris comes from the sperm whale. They can be found in oceans all over the world, including Britain’s coastal waters. These whales can grow to be 67 feet long and weigh more than 63 tons. While this whale’s population has increased, they weren’t always so prolific.
In the past, sperm whales were commonly hunted for their blubber. It was used to make anything from candles to soap and even machine oil or pencils. Ambergris was also harvested for its scent. Unfortunately, as many as one million whales were hunted and killed in the 19th and 20th centuries. However, in the 1980s, a ban on whaling was passed. This included ambergris.
Adding to the ambergris’ mystery and rarity, the substance is created very slowly. In fact, it takes years to produce. Not to mention, it’s thought that not all sperm whales are capable of producing it at all. Experts have said that only about 1% of the sperm whale population will produce it. Strangely enough, it’s mainly found in the Atlantic Ocean.
The trade of ambergris has been outlawed in most countries, including the United States. In America, trading ambergris illegally is only one part of a bigger ban on hunting and exploiting whales. Lucky for Steven, in the UK, ambergris is thought of as a waste product. So how much was it actually worth?
The Whittens were shocked to discover that a different lump of ambergris was found on the beach by a man in Morecambe. That wasn’t all that far from where Steven and Viola found their own. That piece was sold for an incredible $155,000! How much would the Whittens be able to make with their piece of “floating gold”?
Loads Of Cash
The piece of ambergris that was discovered in Morecambe weighed about 6 pounds. This means that it was twice the size of the Whitten’s piece. Still, that meant that their piece could sell for about $65,000! That’s a big amount of money for a piece of whale by-product. So, what did the Whittens end up doing?
Following Their Dreams
Would the couple decide to settle their debt or pay off their mortgage? Perhaps they would go into early retirement? They displayed a perfect example of “British restraint”. Steven said to the Daily Mirror: “If it is worth a lot of money, it will go a long way towards buying us a static caravan. It would be a dream come true.”
A couple from Ohio were in the midst of renovations on their new home when they stumbled upon something incredible. They had just completed the first and second stories of their home and were beginning renovations with the basement. Little did they know a surprise was in store. hey began to demolish the basement, as they hacked the plywood away. Suddenly, something caught their attention.
Demolition In Progress
They were curious about what they had found and decided to investigate further. They never in their wildest dreams expected that their findings would lead to an FBI investigation, what had they found?
The walls were being chipped away and the husband had exposed some graffiti that was spread across the entire room. Well, this was a little weird. However, this was just the start…
A House Full Of Secrets
The owner was in absolute awe as he pulled back the wallpaper which was exposing more and more graffiti, drawings, writing and lots of it Little did he know that this was the start of a series of surprising finds.
Stuck In The Ceiling
It became noticed that there was some type of object lodged between the subfloor and the ceiling. As he went a little closer he saw that the object was stuck between the rafters, placed perfectly in fact. He had to solely grab the object and lodge it forwards, as he pulled it towards himself…
Found Something Strange
The homeowner was not so aware in the beginning and not very attentive. He kept on and cleaned the area around him as he went along. However, he did document each and every step which became very useful in the long run.
Some of the walls had already partly been destroyed as he began to break them down further. As he continued on, he came across this truly remarkable discovery. Turns out the object was a suitcase!
Waiting For The Reveal
It was green and grey, it had clearly been hidden with intentions of never being found. As he managed to lodge it free he realized it was incredibly heavy. Why would a suitcase of that size be so heavy?
One Heavy Suitcase
He felt a bit eary and somehow knew to be careful with it. He was feeling rather hot and bothered with excitement, what hidden surprises could possibly be in the suitcase? He took a couple of deep breaths and continued.
The Big Reveal
He called his wife and told her about his discovery. He did not want her to miss out on what could be inside. Secretly, he also wanted her to be there in case something may have gone wrong.
What Could Be Inside?
After all, someone had gone to some serious lengths to hide this green suitcase and why? As he waited patiently for his wife’s return, he inspected the suitcase and was still astonished at just how heavy it was.
Big Dreams In A Little Suitcase
The suitcase was rather small, but the mystery was huge, maybe what was inside it would be too. He simply pondered and wondered what could possibly be in this random suitcase. He thought it must be of value and importance if it was hidden so carefully and so strategically.
Maybe It was Nothing
He was still in disbelief at what he had found, it was pretty crazy. He genuinely needed to find out what was in this suitcase! The instant his wife arrived home- he explained what he had found.
It must have felt just like the holiday season, he was about to unwrap a surprise he knew nothing about. The couple huddled together and there around some ideas of exactly what could be inside this treasure chest.
Would it be money? Jewels? Gold? The couple had low expectations and thought maybe it would just be filled with old collectibles, like sports cards or something. They were wrong, very wrong and in awe at what they had found…
Unwrapping The Mystery
The couple opened he suitcase said by side, nothing seemed unusual at first. They found stacks of wax paper, they were rectangular shaped. At this moment, they still did not have an inkling of what was actually hidden in the suitcase.
Full of Money
It was only as the par removed the bundles that it all started piecing together. The couple began unwrapping the wads and removing the wax paper. They had finally come to the real contents, what was it?
Speechless Over The Money
He peeled off the waxy material bit by bit. When it suddenly became clear that they were looking at money! The bag had been hiding tons of $20 bills, it was packed with wads just like that one.
So Much Cash
As they inspected the bills closely they realized that they were really old. They simply could not believe the amount of money they had in front of them. Questions started to roll in, who, how, when?
And More Money
“These are all twenties! There may be a couple thousand here! We are freaking out at this point,” the husband later told the journalists. “This doesn’t happen to us! What do we do? Where are the cameras?”
They were totally excited o unwrap all the bundles and see exactly how much was in the bag. Were all the bundles the same thing or were some more valuable than the one they had just discovered? They were taken aback as they stared at the bundles.
At First, It Was Funny
They prayed that they would find the same thing in all the other bundles. They eagerly carrier do unwrapping the additional bundles. However, there were not $20 bills but $50 and $100 notes instead.
“The second package didn’t have any twenties. It was all fifties! What is going on here? There could be 5 grand here! Wait! The third package is 100s! This is out of control!” he said later on. Their minds were racing and they had tons of unanswered questions.
Dating The Cash
This husband and his wife had just found stacks of money in their home, in the beginning, they thought it was rather funny. It soon became known that was actually no joking matter. Seriously, where had this money come from and who had put it away so mysteriously?
From the 1950s
Where had this money originated? The notes indicated that they were hidden ages ago, they dated back to the ’20s and ’30s. How many years, decades had it been since that era? And what was the value of the cash?
A Pleasant Surprise
As they looked into the matter further, it became known to the both of them. All the factors involved, the money and the suitcase were both very old. However, the couple still wanted to find out more details about the money.
They Had A Normal Life
They took out the bundles from the suitcase and found another clue to answer their questions, a few of them at least. A newspaper was spread out at the bottom, it was dated and the couple just looked at the paper and each other in amazement.
The date was written in clear print: 25 March 1951. The paper was from a newspaper named the Cleveland Plain Dealer. It was a paper that was from those times and really old. The couple were in utter shock.
Had To Contact The Authorities
Besides from that, it was a local newspaper and obviously from that town. The couple were ecstatic with their new find and amazed. However, the question was still, exactly what was the value of the money was in the current currency?
More Things To Uncover
The couple were in shock that they had gotten so lucky. The next incredible aspect was that a few of the bills were star bills, meaning that they had never actually made it on to markets. These bills were from more than 7 decades prior.
What a great find! They were both surprised and amazed, they contacted a lawyer so that they can further evaluate how much the money is worth. The lawyer said that the estimated value of the cash on today’s market was $23,000.
Back To Work
After a long week filled with celebrations, lawyers and simply recovering from their astonishing find, the couple decided it was time to get back to normal day to day life. They were ecstatic but it had to come o an end at some point. However, the couple did not know that there was more in store…
And Here We Go Again
Regardless of finding such a surprise, a valuable one too, they had to complete their renovations on their home. This DIY genius was once again in total disbelief when he stumbled upon another suitcase that was awaiting in the ceiling…
Heavier Than The First
The husband was home alone once more when he found the second suitcase. He was in disbelief and riddled with excitement. How had he missed the second suitcase when he found the first one? He anxiously awaited his wife’s arrival, to open the next suitcase.
The New Suitcase
“This was a wild ride for us, and I hope you all enjoyed it, too,” the man explained when he wrote up on Reddit about the story. “We are boring people and have been dumping our extra money to pay off our mortgage, and that is where this money will go too.”
Same But Different
He once again had his camera in hand and captured everything. He never thought that he was going to find another surprise little did he think in the same place as before. Naturally, he became more curious.
The Search Continues
Could it be that even more mysteries were hidden in the walls of their home? Well, they also could not just leave the basement in its destructive state. They made the decision to keep looking and see what they could find.
A Bigger Fortune
Little did they know that their next find would lead to the FBI’s involvement. The couple wanted to finish up on their renovations, thus, they decided to continue with the process. I mean the house was certainly not going to fix itself up.
The Wait Is Over
As soon as his wife walked through the door the pair scurried to open the suitcase. Just as the first one was, it was packed with cash. This couple’s luck was on a streak that’s for sure, the value of this suitcase was even more…
What Else Was Hiding Here?
Little did they know that there was more than cash this time around. When the husband got back to work for the second time, he found another hidden surprise. This would be the third time, what could possibly be in the third case?
What They Found There
After finding treasure not once but twice they were extremely enthusiastic about their next find. Although this suitcase was different, it did not hold wads of wax paper or wads of money, but something else…
The Final Count
They simply wandered if they were going to keep finding more and more of these as they continued renovating. He had a strong feeling that whatever he did find would be just as valuable if not more. And so o0nce again he waited for his wife to come home.
This bag was identical in appearance to the last one and this made him think that it might have the same condiments. He wondered and waited, as soon as his wife arrived home they burst it open.
Finding Hiding Spots
This case was neatly packed with money. They could not believe it. How much money could it be now? They had to know if anything else was hidden in the house. This amount was way larger than their first find!
He Felt Nervous
The couple truly could no understand where this luck had come from. Would they be even luckier? Once again it was appraised and they learned that this case was valued at $45,000. The couple had run into a proper fortune.
What Else Would They Uncover?
They were in utter disbelief, they were over the moon with excitement. This made them even more determined to keep searching and keep going with their home improvement tasks. They were eager to see if there was more that could be discovered.
Another Big Mystery
The changes in the basement were underway but they could not help but suspect that maybe elsewhere in the house was a hiding spot. Well, their next find would lead to the FBI’s involvement- they really never thought it would go this far.
Full Of Secrets
They were fully aware that the house was covered in mysteries and surprises, ones they simply had to reveal. They thought and thought about where their next spot to look would be, where else could something be hiding in the house?
A Secret Door
The excitement from the previous find had just subsided, the couple were once again working on their home and this is what had led them to find a strange door on the second floor of their house. They had always wondered what was behind the door. As they opened the door they felt strange about what they saw.
Tearing Down The Door
The door was supposedly covering where the water heater was, the realtor had told them it was nothing special. Their guts said otherwise, they felt that it was the perfect hiding place, if something valuable were to go anywhere it would be there.
He Found More Mysteries
So, the couple decided they would take a look. Their instincts were correct and they had found the biggest find of all. As they opened the small white door it became crystal clear that their realtor was not only deceitful but a liar.