5 Hazards of Digging the Yamashita Treasure

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.

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.

View Comments (72)

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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".

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

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