Aside from the natural dangers of treasure hunting on the field, there are hazardous dangers that you need to be aware about especially when it comes to the hidden Yamashita Treasures in the Philippines. You have to know that the Japanese Imperial Army had their own engineers who carefully planned and genuinely hid their treasures. This was to make sure that no one can easily recover them.

On this post, let us discuss the 5 common hazards of digging the hidden Yamashita Treasure:

1. Poisoned Layer of Soil

Poisoned layer of soil has already been discussed a couple times in the past previous posts.

When you dig a certain positive treasure site, you will encounter layers of soil with different colors. Sometimes they smell pretty bad (like a rotten corpse of a dead animal) or very sweet (like perfume). Being exposed digging on the spot for a certain prolonged period of time, it makes you feel very hungry. If you are not wearing any boots or gloves, your skin that makes contact with the soil tends to get itchy. Those are the signs that the soil was contaminated with poison.

Anyway, if the place or site often experiences rainfall then there are chances that the poisons on those soil already got washed away. But if the place or site is often dry, there are chances that the soil is still contaminated with the poison. Thus, its best to wear your complete gear as you dig.

2. Cyanide Capsules

Some of you might have already encountered strange glasses of capsules containing some kind of liquid or powder. The most common capsule is the cylindrical glass which is divided into two chambers. One of the chamber contains the liquid while the other chamber contains the powder.

The liquid is actually a “Sulphuric Acid” while the powder is a “Potassium Cyanide or Sodium Cyanide”. When these two components are mixed, they produce “Hydrogen Cyanide” (HCN) gas. A type of gas that is invisible to the naked eyes. Once inhaled, you will have trouble breathing. In just a matter of seconds, you can feel the effect of difficulty in breathing. After one minute, your respiration stops and at about five minutes, your heart fails which means that you are dead.

These cyanide capsules are often mixed on the soil that when the digger is careless, he may accidentally hit and break them. You have to know that it is impossible to detect these capsules unless you found a sign warning about the presence of a poison trap. Thus, always be very observant and cautious as you attempt to dig. You may also want to wear your gas mask (a type of mask with respirator impregnated with metal salts) every time that you are about to dig such poisoned site.

3. Water Trap

Encountering water trap is only possible near a source of water such as the river, pond and lake. So if the location of your treasure hunting site is at a dry place then rest assured that there isn’t any water trap involve.

What the JIA (Japanese Imperial Army) engineers did in setting up their water trap was that, they dug beneath the water table during the dry season. During this particular season, the level of the water tends to go low. This allowed them to dug beneath the water table with minimal risk.

The Japanese soldiers would then dug a path for the water to flow right into the buried spot of their treasure. They will then seal it to prevent the water from flooding the burial site.

Assuming that you and your crew found a certain site with active water trap but unfortunately one of your diggers unsuspectingly broke the seal of the trap. The tendency of the outcome is that, the weight and velocity of the flowing water can abruptly break the entire seal drowning all the diggers inside the hole.

In order to avoid water traps, you have to be very observant with the signs that you encounter because they can give early warnings of dangerous traps. Aside from being observant with the signs, you also need to be cautious at all times.

Based on my experience, if a certain Yamashita treasure is found or uncovered, the water trap tends to be triggered automatically at a certain short period of time. It’s like you are given a short limited time in pulling the deposit out.

4. Dangerous B-ombs

Some THs (treasure hunters) are saying that b-omb traps are no longer a threat because several years already passed since the JIA set them up to protect their treasures. Due to this reason, it is for sure that they are already rusty and chances are, they no longer work. Unfortunately, this is a “wrong notion”.

The group of Japanese soldiers assigned in hiding the Yamashita treasures were professional b-omb experts. To prevent their b-omb traps against rust, they used “cosmoline” which was a thick type of grease intended to prevent corrosion or rusts.

There were many different ways on how the Japanese soldiers genuinely setup their b-omb traps. But in most cases, they set them up in a manner that when the object is disturbed or moved, the trap will get triggered for explosion.

5. Suspended Rocks or Soil

Suspended rock or soil is a type of JIA trap that already caused countless number of injuries and even death among THs in the Philippines. In fact, I had an old friend who went digging all by himself during the rainy season. From that point onwards, he never came back making his friends and family worried. A search and rescue operation was immediately set out where they found him dead caught under the bottom of a huge rock.

You have to know that suspended rock or soil could collapse at any given period of time. Thus, the best way to avoid it is to put timber support against them.

Risks and Hazards

Moreover, most traps used by the JIA in hiding their treasures are quite impossible to detect. So as a TH, dealing with all those kinds of traps is the risk that you should be willing to take.

72 Comments to “5 Hazards of Digging the Yamashita Treasure”

    • Good day Sir. I would like to ask something about our project that we did in our backhoe operation. We encountered a very bad odor similar to a dead rotten animal. Is it possible that the backhoe broke the poison trap? Is our site positive? Please help me because I am a complete beginner.

      Thank you and more power.


      That terrible odor can be a good sign but it is not good enough to confirm if your site is positive. You need to find more signs.

    • Hi Sir Elmo. My father found a sign consisting of three screws aligned which are embedded on the surface of a rock. There are also engraved scorpion sign and a left hand. The shape of the rock is like a door.

      I need your help to translate the sign. Thank you Sir.


      The three screws represents the hidden deposits while the scorpion sign is a warning about poison trap. As for the left hand, it means “1 foot” distance from the deposit.

    • Hi Sir,

      We have an excavation going on. This happened after my father found a concrete arrow 4 feet in the ground. After a few third eyed people confirming our suspicions, we had a scan done. This came out positive for 15 tonnes.

      We started digging manually for 4 weeks. Different types of sand encountered layers of sea shells and concrete like sticks in the ground. We are now 37 feet down and encountered 2 big rocks in clay and sand. These rocks are covered in oyster shells and other shells.

      There is one rock at the edge of the hole that looks like an arrow. It looks like it is deliberately shaped. On the side of this rock, we found bits of burnt wood and what looks like coffee beans. Can you share with me your thoughts on our current find?

      We will continue to 55 ft as advised by the scan we had. Thanks!

    • Okay, continue digging down up to 60 ft deep. If no further interesting signs are encountered then I suggest that you should re-assess the signs that you discovered especially those that you found from the surface.

    • Good day Sir Elmo, we were told by our grand parents that our family house was a Japanese Camp and at front was a flag pole. As a matter of fact, the original dinning table is still being used daily of our clans and it can sits 28 people. In short, we have scanned our lot now and the scanner saying that the area is loaded of possible treasures.

      To include, I had a multiple dreams that my late mother trying to point me the location of the treasure. My question is, can we go ahead and make it a good project with caution? and if you have any recommendation on what to expect.

      Thank you Sir Elmo.

    • Sure, I think that it is an interesting project. Anyway, other than the equipment that you used in scanning the area, I suggest that you should also explore for signs as they give a lot more accurate hints about the location of the deposits.

    • Hi Sir, I would like to ask if clam shells, woods, alkitran are positive signs that there's really deposit? There's also a rock with a mark of arrow pointing down at the 40 plus feet? What's the meaning of that Sir? Are we near to the item? Thank you so much.

      I would really be happy if you would reply and give us an idea because this is our first time.

      Thank you Sir. God bless.

    • Yes, they are good signs which are "path guides". They are telling you that you are digging on the correct spot. Thus, keep digging.

      Regarding about the distance if you are near the item, there are no signs here on your comment that you listed that can tell if you are near it.

    • We have found caves near our town in India where we found a 1883 Dutch Notes in that cave. There are three wells in that caves. We got there would be a treasure in second well. There is huge water in that well.

      We used water pump and dried that well, now we started digging in that well after 2 ft digging the white gas is liberating from ground.

      What's your suggestions about this?

    • That white gas could be methane gas which is highly dangerous for your diggers. My suggestion is to use an air blower.

    • Sir what is the best thing to do when the item is already near? Is there a possibility that the items are dangerous because poison might mixed with the items?

    • There are huge chances that the items are already mixed with deadly poison so you really have to be careful. The best thing to do is to wear a gas mask and gloves as you try to proceed.

    • Sir, Is there really an equipment that can easily see a deposit gold bars in an area like x-rays or any kind of machinery? Thanks.

    • Currently, there is none that is available in the commercial market. However, there are some information websites claiming about the existence of a Satellite Detector that can scan underground layers similar to an x-ray machine. But, this Satellite Scanner machines are restricted for public use. Only the top secret authorities or organization are allowed to use them and their purpose is not for treasure hunting but for military espionage, specifically for discovering underground hideouts.

    • Hi Sir Elmo

      May I ask for your good advice sir and hope for your reply, my colleagues and I was digging for possible site in my grandmother's backyard as we were digging I encountered several layers of soil brown, dark brown and black soil when we reached around nine feet, me and my colleagues experience hot temperature and hard breathing.

      Is it a that the item is near and a possible poison traps are included with the item? Hoping for your reply.

      • It can be carbon dioxide overload while breathing underneath.

    • I suggest that you read my post about the different types of layers used by the JIA as treasure signs.

      The part where you encountered hot temperature and hardness of breathing is a clear signal that you are near a deadly trap. If you proceed further, the harder you will be able to breath. But with regards to your question, the answer is likely "yes".

    • Sir, my uncle has been told by a shaman that their is a hidden treasure in our grand parents area and also pointing out where it is. At about 1 ft, we found a hole that has coal in it, the diameter of the hole is about 1.5-2 ft, in the hole also have a shaped stone. As we continue digging the hole is getting smaller and end around 5-7 ft.

      What is your advice Sir.?

    • I think that there is a change of direction. It is actually important that they should have observed for signs as they dug the hole. Anyway, I suggest that they should double check the rocks that they dug out for any possible markings on their surfaces.

    • Good Day Sir! Is it possible that a property might have deposits of war-loots by the JIA? When I was still a kid, a group of Japanese came to our property and asked if we are willing to give up our property. And in return, they will provide us with shelter and informed us that whatever they will find beneath our property they will not share even a single piece for us.

      I have been busy this year of 2016 trying to find answers, as far as I remembered when I was still young. An old man told my late grandfather that, "Why not try to dig underneath your house? When the war is almost over", I saw JIA forces killed 5 men (diggers) beneath the Star Apple Three.

      Years past, National Power Corporation had a project in my grandfathers place and asked my lolo if they can dig in the vicinity for treasure. But, my lolo refused. Sir, is it possible through this accounts that our property might be positive with the JIA war-loots or the the so-called (YAMASHITA TREASURES)?

      Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Good Day Sir Elmo! We had dig about 55 ft. And we already encountered different kinds of soil that you have saying, when we are digging about 30 ft. The water getting high, it almost higher than us but when we get 40 ft. The water dried buy itself after we take out the hard cement mixed the gravel and sand and also rocks.

      When we are digging about 55 ft. the water became cold and it so clear as well as deeper that us. Can you tell me your thoughts about it Sir? Are we now near in the item or what?

      Thank you and looking forward for your response!

    • Sir, what is your comment when we discover like back of a sea turtle stone at approximately 1.5 meters. My question is this a sign that there is is a deposit underneath on the rock formation?

    • Good day. Please help me on my project, at 5 meters we found out a green empty bottle, at 7 meters we found a big rock its like a snake head and had a 3 big holes. At 11 meters, we encountered the bad smell at 19 meters to 24 meters, its all big rocks color brown black and blue. At 25 meters, all the soils or sands are black. Now, we are about in 34 meters.

    • Hi Sir, I'm Bea. My friend is currently working on a supposed treasure. They already found items like several backs of a turtle, starfish, a shape that resembles like a small foot.

      Moreover, they already dug a hole so deep that they are almost running out of hope to continue digging. In relation to that, they noticed that the components of the soil on the spot where they are digging is better when wet because it is fragile when dried. It tends to crack into powdery like substance and they are already 58 feet down the ground. Just to give you a background on where they are located, they are near a huge body of water (river) approximately 400 to 500 meters.

      Are there any chances that the treasure is already within reach or should they change direction or totally stop the treasure hunting?

      Thanks and Best regards,


    • Boss Elmo,

      How to work when diggers encountered poison substances that made it very hard for the workers to continue? They feel suffocated and experience hard breathing. Any antidote for this? Is ginger a good antidote for it.

      I appreciate your advice thanks a lot. I am looking forward for your reply.

    • Dear Sir Elmo, you have provided Solomonic wisdom to our countless reader. Thank you so much. May God bless you.

      Meantime, I have a query about some traps that I encountered in my search for the treasure. My questions are these:

      1. What are my remedies in case poisonous gas or substance are found? Do I have to break it and let it evaporate?

      2. Indeed water trap is there. What are you going to do? Shall we use de-watering, lets use submer-pumps or what other option do we have?

      Kindly Sir Elmo…

    • Dear anonymous, in many instance, Sir Elmo has advised the readers to be very careful in dealing with poison or gas however you may term it. In our case, we engaged a bomb expert to deal with the problem. What we did was to break those ordinance and let the gas evaporate naturally. However, this may take time. Its better than being exposed to danger. Second, we sometimes break it along the water to be pumped out by the submer eventually.

      Second, is the water trap. What should you do first is to examine the amount of water flowing out of those outlet. Then, apply the submer based on the horsepower which should be higher than the amount of water inflows.

      In our experience, there is no other practical way to deal with the water except submer. Other means are so expensive if not eyesore since it may caught the attention of curious outsider which eventually result serious unnecessary problem. You can try also, sealing the source of water by applying quick cement. Hope this will help.

    • Thank you for providing those answers. Better answers than what I can deliver.

    • A remain of a molave tree was found in the middle of two big stones with 3 roots pointing south and southwest 240' in particular. 16 ft away, we dug and found a hole measuring 11 in diameter and 7 in deep. Going downward, we found shells of various sizes. From the shells, we follow the 240' southwest direction making 11 steps. There, we found 3 different roots of molave tree again in different sizes.

      Digging at the center of that 11 steps, we found a foot shaped stone. We continue the digging until we reached 7 feet and from there we found an arrow pointing downward. We follow the direction until an additional 5 feet then we found a something like close concrete door. As we start opening the concrete, we found a breast like stone with 3 holes in it. 1 pointing east, the other pointing north, and west point is the other one. Since the close passage pointing west we follow its direction.

      After many curves inside, in perfect north direction inside the cave, we found a concrete b-omb form of concrete. We decided to stop for this time because we don't know how to interpret and we don't know what to do.

      Sir is it a real bomb? Its 2 ft more or less in length in the middle of that concrete blind passage.

      Thank you for your help.

    • If it is a form then the chances is low but if it is engraved then it is a hundred percent dangerous. Anyway, regardless of the situation, you still need to continue. Traps were placed there by the JIA to prevent individuals like us treasure hunters from easily recovering them. So if you gave up then you won't be able to succeed. Dealing with such kind of trap is a part of being a treasure hunter.

    • Hi Sir,

      Several treasure hunters can testify on my house. He is telling have positive big deposit of treasure but the problem, we told that have some poison gas and bomb deposits on their sites. That is why we don't want to try to dig them because we need expert persons to make it.

      Please can you help me Sir? I am looking forward for your advice.

    • When it comes to poison trap, you will stay safe as long as it does not make physical contact into your body. While, when dealing with a booby trap, you can use metal detectors to give you the early warning to proceed with extreme caution.

    • Actually Sir Elmo, most of these ideas I got from you. I just apply and improve it. Indeed it was so hard but the result was worth sacrificing for Sir. We found and saw the stuff. Soon I will be contacting you for further discussion.

      Respectfully Sir – Jun Agusan

    • It's a pleasure learning from what I share on this blog. Congratulations on your finds and keep up with the good work.

  • Good noon! Sir Elmo!

    I have a question on my digging? Last 2015, in Tresa Tizal, at 50 ft, we encounter refined or man made alkitran or asphalt. It was concrete and I use big hammer and pointed steel or sinsil. Other said we are near the object. 3 ft of concrete refined asphalt, I dug. My question Sir Elmo is, how many feet of refined asphalt left to go the object? Former miners and it is at the point the center of object! How many left of refined asphalt before object? Now I work as a construction worker and as a warehouse man. Thanks Sir Elmo!

    • Continue following the refined asphalt as it will lead you most likely into the chamber where the item is hidden.

  • Sir Elmo, we dig at at hill and we encountered a concrete starting 1 meter down and almost everything to present 25 ft. There is a hole of cement forming a heart almost 8 inches diameter downward for approximately 1.5 meters. My concern is that, what is the meaning of the hole forming heart? We found engrave arrow from the stone, shoe formed by stone and mostly triangle stones but we don’t notice where they are pointing out. In short, we are losing the direction. Sir can you help us? Thanks.

    • The heart which is in the form of a hole from the rock confirms the main deposit. However, the other succeeding markers that you encountered such as the arrow and shoe could mean, a change in direction. Since you didn’t paid attention to where they are pointing at the, my best suggestion is to continue digging. And if it happens that you reached the original layer of the ground, then that’s a signal that you are lost.

      • Sir Elmo, can I have your email add because I want to show a picture from our site.

        • Send it to my FaceBook page account. My account is accessible from the small FB icon at the top just right under the Search Form.

  • I have a site of treasure here and I want to know how I get it.

    • My site of treasure here in Philippines is that I saw a pyramid at the top of falls. From the pyramid 20 meters is another sign. I saw a triangle and it is like a baygon cathol engrave at the big black stone. All of that is what I saw in the area.

      • Basing from those signs that you discovered, it means that the deposit is hidden under the water which can be very hard to retrieve if you do not have the equipment. Anyway, I suggest that you explore your site for more signs which can give us a hint about the exact location of the item.

    • Tell me about your site especially the signs or symbols that you have encountered. I might be able to help by trying to interpret them for you.

  • We dug up to 5 ft at Gavutu Island in the Florida islands in the Solomon islands for possible Japanese hidden treasure and found small stones like pebbles. The ground we dug upon is soft and the surrounding parts are hard soil. What could this be?

    • Those small strange stones like pebbles are definitely markers that tells you to take notice on that spot. Since you have dug it for only 5 feet deep and the soil is soft, this means that the spot has been dug before. Thus, it is possible that something could be buried deep under if you attempt to continue digging further.

  • Sir, what could be the meaning the sign of Letter y with a dot on the side of it?

    • That is one of the most common signs around that is so easy to interpret. The letter y means an intersection of something. This can be an old trail, river, tunnel or pathways. As for the dot, it represents the hidden deposit. Thus, it overall means that the treasure is hidden right exactly at the intersection. If the dot is on the right side, it means that the item is on the right side of the intersection and vice-versa.

  • Sir Elmo, good day.

    I have been scrolling over your articles for a couple of times, not found topic on Deep Well.

    May I asked Sir if it is true that deep wells are JIA signs or reference points? If so, what is the compass bearing and distance from the center of the well usually? We have found well at 1 meter distance from a creek. Folks told us that the area was once a JIA camp. Please Sir, I’m waiting for your reply. Thank very much.

    • Deep wells can be the hiding spot of the treasure itself or it can also be a reference point. If it is the hiding spot then basically, you have to dig the well. But when used by the JIA as reference points, they plotted the site with treasure map. Indicated on the treasure map is what can exactly reveal the compass bearing and distances that you need to know about.

      • Thank you very much Sir Elmo. Unfortunately we have no map. But, we will wait for your related postings on this matter. I’m so sorry, I’ve posted 3 times this question before but, I can’t locate where are those. Please don’t mind to reply the other. Thank you and may God Bless us all.

        • If you have no map then the only way to do it is to explore the entire area for every possible markers and signs that you can find.

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