The presence of “Alkitran” or “Asphalt” (also called “Tar”) is actually a good indication that a Japanese (Yamashita) treasure was hidden around the area. To tell you, most of our successful recoveries involves dealing with thick asphalt.

What is an alkitran or asphalt?

An alkitran is a sticky colored black “semi-solid” type of liquid. Today, asphalt is commonly used for road constructions. It is an important ingredient that is mixed with the aggregate particles to create “asphalt concrete”. Aside from road constructions, asphalt is also used for “waterproofing” purposes.

Asphalt Concrete Surface


In some countries, asphalt is more commonly known as “bitumen” but in the 20th century, it was called “asphaltum” derived from the Greek word “asphaltos”. Anyway, here are the following interesting facts about the ancient applications of alkitran in the past:

1. In the early Indus community of Mehrgarh (5th millennium B.C), alkitran was used as a waterproofing agent to the baskets that they used for gathering crops.

2. Both in the ancient period of the Middle East and Greek had used asphalt for the construction of their mortars.

3. At the ancient period of Queen Semiramis (ca. 800 B.C), the tunnel that connects Euphrates to Babylon (beneath the river) was constructed with burnt bricks covered with alkitran to prevent the water from penetrating into the tunnel.

4. During the ancient Egyptian period, they actually used alkitran to embalm their mummies.

5. In the ancient East or Asia, Japan (and probably China) had discovered a method of purifying a natural asphalt by slowly boiling it. They then used it to cover valuable objects that needs waterproofing such as their samurai scabbards, golden statues and etc…

How to Distinguish Alkitran or Asphalt as Japanese Treasure Sign?

If it happens that you encountered an alkitran or asphalt from your diggings, don’t immediately derive a conclusion that it’s a Japanese treasure sign. You have to know that natural asphalts are very common in the Philippines. Thus, as a treasure hunter, it is important that you should be able to distinguish processed or refined asphalt from the natural asphalt.

The difference between them is that, natural asphalt consists of other elements such as sands, resins, fillers, asbestos fibers, pigments or limestone while refined asphalts are “pure” because it has been filtered.

Encountering the natural form of asphalt means that you just dug an “original” portion or layer of the ground. This means that the spot that you dug has never been touched or dug in the past. In other words, you dug the wrong spot and its pointless to continue digging.

Assuming that you encountered the refined type of asphalt (or asphalt concrete), this means that you are near the hidden deposit. In most cases, the alkitran itself was used as a protective cover of the item.

The Reason Why the Japanese Imperial Army Used Alkitran

Gold is a non-reactive type of element that it won’t even rust or corrode throughout time. Although, some people claims that gold gets tarnished in time but this is actually just a “discoloration” which is a result of the gold’s reaction to the oxygen around it. Since gold has the capability to preserve itself especially against rust, then why would the Japanese soldiers had to cover them with alkitran?

The answer into the question is to “preserve the physical form” of the golden treasure. You have to know that high carats of gold tends to be soft that it can be easily disfigured when dropped on the floor.

How to Clean or Remove Asphalt Off from Gold Bars

There are many possible ways on how to clean the alkitran off from a gold bar or golden Buddha statue. In fact, most treasure hunters does it in a traditional method in which they use sharp knives to scrape off the asphalt. Although, this method can damage the original form of the item leaving a lot of scratches.

For us (me and my crew), we always want to preserve the original appearance of the item. To share you the method we use, you need to prepare the following tools and materials:

– Muriatic Acid
– Eye Protection
– Rubber Gloves
– Stiff Bristled Brush
– Bucket with Water

1. Wear your Protective Gear

Before handling the Muriatic acid, it is important that you have to wear your protective gears. You should also read further safety procedures and precautions on how to properly use the product from its written manual.

2. Control the Strength of the Acid

Controlling the strength of the acid is done by diluting it with water. The proper way to dilute a water with the acid is to “add the acid to the water”. Not the other way around.

3. Submerge the Asphalted Gold Item into the Mixture

Assuming that you properly prepared a bucket of water mixed with Muriatic Acid, you can now submerge your asphalted gold item for around 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Scrub the Item with the Stiff Brush

After 2 to 3 minutes, take out the item from the bucket and start scrubbing it with the stiff brush. Once it becomes difficult for the alkitran to remove, submerge it again on the acid for about 1 minute then continue scrubbing.

5. Repeat Step 4

Repeat the step on number 4 until the gold item is cleaned.

Moreover, the most common mistake that is often committed by amateur treasure hunters is that, they are expecting to find the hidden Japanese treasure in their shiny golden form. Although, some are not covered with asphalt or alkitran but the majority of them are covered with this kind of material. And what usually happens is that, amateur treasure hunters who encounter them often either ignore or throw the items.

96 Comments to “Explaining more about the Alkitran or Asphalt”

    • Hi Sir Elmo. I would like to ask some advice about what my father dug. They found two pieces of logs forming a letter L at a depth of about 26 feet deep. When they decided to follow the edge of the logs, they encountered broken pieces of asphalts. Is it possible that this is a sign confirming that there is a hidden treasure under this spot? Please help me. Any suggestion will do.


      I would like to know the sizes of the logs that your father encountered. And, I would also like to know if they were buried in horizontal or vertical positions. The broken pieces of asphalts can be a sign provided that they are refined.

      • Hi Sir Elmo, we found a thin cover of alkitran in the stone. Is it possible that it has an item under the stone and how meters can we dig?

        • Yes, it is possible. However, it is not enough to confirm if there is a deposit. You will have to work on it and as you dig, you should be able to uncover markers which gives hints about the deposit.

    • Hi Sir Elmo. I would like to ask if the hole we dug is positive. We have already recovered a lot of old bottles and broken pieces of plates. Today, we are now at 30 feet deep where we encountered a very large rock and we are trying to break it apart slowly. Then we noticed that, the inner part of the rock consists of soil mixed with alkitran.

      Most of the signs that we encountered are rocks with triangle shapes. Some are small while others are big.


      That rock that you encountered is indeed strange. Those black contents inside the rock could be an unprocessed or raw gold. I suggest that you should read my post about ”Gold Dust Testing Method”. Use the Search Form above to find the post. Other than that, you should continue working on it.

    • Hi Sir Elmo.

      I would like to ask what is the meaning of curved 'w' sign right beside a flower sign.

    • It means, it is surrounded with traps which I think is the hidden item.

    • Hi Sir Elmo, what is the meaning of violet cement 4ft thick under 35ft of a refined asphalt.

      Please help us. God bless.

    • I suggest that you should read the topic about the types of soil used by the JIA in hiding the Yamashita treasures.

    • Good day Sir. As we going deeper digging, we found an asphalt and its has a bad smell because of that, we decided to Stop. Sir, is there a possibility that we are near to the treasures? What we will do? Thank you.

    • Be careful of inhaling that terrible smell because it could be dangerous. Anyway, there is a good possibility that you are near the item. However, it will require a lot of patience to pass through that layer of asphalt.

    • Hi Elmo good morning.

      In our digging we found a thick layer of broken asphalt then soil then asphalt. Digging deeper and we found layer of reddish brown log ends along the floor and further down, the soil was greenish blue, very fine that it looks pulverized. May I respectfully ask for your thoughts on this please.


    • Those objects that you encountered along your diggings are good signs which means that you need to keep digging a little bit deeper. However, I suggest that you should be careful making contact with the greenish blue soil because it could be contaminated with dangerous chemical.

    • Good morning Sir. I just want to confirm if it is true that the alkitran is anti-detector?

    • Sir good PM. I would like to ask what really is the purpose of alkitran? Is it true that some say's alkitran is anti-detector?

    • It all depends on what type of detector you are using. If the alkitran has some metallic particles as mixture then a metal detector can still detect. However, if you are using detectors such as dowsing rods which relies on frequency or vibration emitted by gold then it may not be able to locate it. I heard that alkitran can block frequency generated by gold from spreading out.

    • Hi Sir good morning.

      Please let us know about anonymous question, is that really true its anti detector? if yes, can you tell us how to identify if Alkitran mixed with gold? Because my friend dug a statue of king its color black and they broke the statue. Most them says it's mold of Alkitran and gold. But when they detect it using a metal detector, the result is negative.

    • Based on my experiences about recoveries, akitran is more commonly used by the JIA as an outer layer covering of the object. Anyway, the issue that you describe here is still possible but in my own personal opinion, cooking it at extreme hot temperature can separate the two mixture.

    • There is a big advantage if you hire a spiritual medium who can talk to the spirits who are guarding the treasure. I have known someone and he pointed the exact place where to dig.

    • You are right but the problem is, it is hard to find the legit once.

  • Hi Sir, we found sign of boxes on a big stone. When we dig under the big stone, there we explored a cave but at last we found two round shaped small stones and one cylindrical shaped small stone. I think these are the symbols. If you like then I can send you some picture. What should we do further?

    • I suggest that you keep on exploring the entire cave paying attention for any possible markers around. And yes, I am interesting to take a look at those cylinder stones. You can take photos of them then send or PM into my FaceBook Page Account.

  • Sir Elmo, we found compiled black stones same like a size of gold bar 8ft below the ground. My question is that, are the items we found gold?

    God bless Sir.

    • It is possible but to make sure that you really found gold, you should try breaking those black stones apart so that you can check the inside if its really made of gold.

  • Hi Sir Elmo good day. Can I ask what is the difference between the pure and natural alkitran?

    • The pure is more refined because it has undergone some stage of processing.

  • Hi Sir, what is your FB? I will send some picture.

    • Scroll to the top most and you should find there a small FaceBook icon.

  • Hi, Sir can we know you FB?

    • Look for the small FB icon at the top just below the Search Form.

  • Hi Sir Elmo,

    Good day. I saw an alkitran which I dug but it is very thinly embedded on the ground. Is this a sign that there is a treasure under?

    • That look so strange but it is not yet sufficient enough to say that it is a legit marker. So my suggestion is to continue digging down further if you are able to uncover more additional signs.

  • Hi Sir Elmo, good evening. As we uncover the alkitran on the big stone, we found a hole and the size of the hole is one ruler wide. Is that a sign that the item is under the stone?

    • Yes, it is possible but there is also the possibility that it can be on the sides or inside the rock itself.

  • Hi Sir Elmo, I found a triangle sign in the big circle stone. What is the meaning of triangle sign in Yamashita treasure?

    • Is this marker connected to the sign that you mentioned on your previous comment? Anyway, this sign refers to a certain three corners.

  • No Sir Elmo, I found the triangle sign on the other Barangay. The triangle sign is placed on the big circle rock. What does it mean in Yamashita treasure?

    Thank you for your suggestion.

    • This could mean that the deposit is hidden at a certain corner of that big circle rock. Try to inspect the sides of that rock because there is probably a sign there that will tell you which side of the corner that you are going to work on.

  • Sir, good morning. I just want to ask if the asphalt alone contain gold? Thanks.

    • In most cases, the JIA often use asphalt to coat gold items such as gold bars and the golden Buddha.

      • Sir, I doubt that the asphalt/carbon are coated with some amount of gold or
        or I say colloidal?

        • No, its the other way around. Alphalt is often used as a coating for gold.

          • Sir, I tried to soak in Hydrolic acid the asphalt stone and broken stones that it looks like soil with color red. On the following day the broken soil change the color into white and it was not reacted like forming bubbles. Unlike in the ordinary soil that was reacted which shows bubbles. What does it mean by changing the color? And why is not reacted with acid? Thanks again for your answer.

          • I am not sure as well. Maybe it turned into while gold. Anyway, that was an interesting test. You should also try vinegar because I think it has a stronger acid content. If there will still be no reaction then it means something.

          • Sir, can you help me to identify some items of JIA on their colloidal items. Thanks again.

          • Sir, I have seen yellow bamboo and using the detector (AKS), I tried to scout the surrounding of bamboo and the detector gave a good signal. For sure, can you help me where to start digging? or can you share your experience with the bamboo situations? I confirmed also that the bamboo is only a positive marker. Thanks a lot.

          • Yes, you are right. Bamboos are often used as a marker to indicate that the site is positive. Thus, in order to confirm that your site is really positive, you should be able to discover other signs around.

          • Sir,

            May I ask regarding the AKS underground detector accuracy? or do you have any ideas about this or it is also good instrument for treasure hunting?

            Thanks and more power.

          • This detector is really bad. Do not waste your money.

          • Sir,

            We dig a well borrow at a rice field at 2 feet. The center was already rotten but the four corners is still in the good condition. I observe also that the plain sheet in well borrow is very hard. We dig it up until 10 feet and nothing happened but we encountered only 2 small stones. We wonder why there is well borrow in that area (rice field). Anyway, Sir is there any possibility in the area? By the way, from the said area, there are buried gold that they had dug up.

          • Yes, there is a possibility. But since you mentioned that somebody already dug a buried gold on that same area, the person might had recovered the main deposit or simply the give-away. So you might want to do some investigation trying to ask about how much gold did they recovered. If it happens that they recovered only a few pieces of gold items then it means that what they found was the give-away and the main deposit remains hidden on the area. Anyway, you should try to explore more around the areas for any possible signs that could give some useful hints.

  • Good day Sir. Aside from many surface signs in my area, there is a thumbs up sign near some other signs. It is a closed fist with the thumb up like the FaceBook thumbs up sign. Would you have a meaning for this? I can send you a pic through your e-mail. Thanks.

    • It is a marker confirming that the area is positive of hidden treasure deposit. Thus, keep exploring the site for any additional signs that can tell more about the exact location of the item.

  • Hi Elmo,

    Can you gave me some idea where to buy a Bristar Silent Demolition Agent? because the contact number they put on the book (General Yamashita Dream Book…) doesn’t work anymore. I tried a lot of times contacting those number but sadly it doesn’t work no more.

    • Try searching for Bristar’s Company Website and directly contact them instead.

  • And one thing Elmo. Can you gave me your FaceBook account? Thanks anyway.

    • You can find it under under the Contact Page found on the top most navigation bar.

  • Sir, can you help me what to do with the jar they had found? The jar contain powder colored white? What do you think is it? Thanks for response.

    • That powder needs to be tested if it contains something valuable. If not then that jar that you found is probably a marker.

    • Sir, can you help me on what kind of test I would do for the white powder for confirmation. Thanks a lot.

      • Perhaps you can try mixing muriatic acid and observe the chemical reaction. If it bubbles then it has no value but if nothing happens then it might be something valuable.

  • Hi Sir Elmo, we found a black like sand particles underneath the hole. We dug up and there is a cover of very thick cement. Is there a possibility that there is a treasure on that area. Also there is like a suspended cover which we are still trying to break in to get inside. Thanks.

    • The answer to your question is “Yes”. Those thick cement as you describe are man-made which means that they are there with a purpose.

  • Sir, please help to interpret the things we encountered in my digging site;

    1.) on 4ft, there is a dried leaves but it wasn’t in the decomposition stage.

    2.) as we continued digging in the 6ft, the soil change into sand.

    3.) in the 6ft, there is a dimension of about 2ft by 1ft where in the sand soil can only be found.

    4.) we stop there because of time travel for our going home.

    5.) anyway our digging site there was incident that the Japanese killed the 5 persons because of the boxes that the guerrillas stole from them.

    Sir, is it possible that our digging site is positive? Thanks for your responses and more power.

    • Basing from those details that you have provided, it is still hard to confirm if it is positive or not. Anyway, I suggest that you should also pay attention to the rocks and observe for markers on them. There can also be objects like bottles, wires and etc…

      • Sir, it is a continuation.

        1.) hence, I told you that we stopped in the 6ft. In the 6ft we encountered itching our skin. The itching starts when perspiration occurs in our skin. Maybe there is a cyanide in the soil because we have seen the powder in the area.

        2.) we had seen holes that I believe serves as an exhaust fun for the items. When we tried to examine the possible entry point of the holes, we determined that it is started under the big stone. On the side of big stone, the unique filed formation of small stones is present. Thus, trapped the dirt materials for entry and it was made for not to close the exhaust fun.

        3.) we continue digging until 7ft, we observed that the soil is very easy to dug-up and still no big stone. On the surroundings, a lot of big stone we can seen.

        4.) we stopped on 7ft but we observed that the soil is very soft to dig-up and in our feelings there is an vacant space going down. The unusual sound of vacuum we heard every time the stones contact with our digging round bar.

        Sir, please help me. Thanks.

        • You have to be careful about experiencing those sudden skin irritation because once you have it, we may never the time when it targets your immune system that could lead to your death at a certain later time in the future. Since you even claim that you encountered those power capsules, these are deadly objects especially when you accidentally broke most of them.

          The exhaust is a good thing. You have to know that it is actually natural that it is harder to breath as you go down deeper into the ground or tunnel. So on cases like this, blowers are used to pump air inside the hole.

          If the soil is loose or it is so easy to dig then that is a very good sign in which you need to continue digging.

  • Hi Sir Elmo

    Where can I buy a good gold detector? I’m living in philippines.

    • Gold detectors aren’t really effective tool for treasure hunting purposes. I would best suggest that you should go for metal detectors instead.

  • What is meant by the rectangle black dice that we dig accompanied by different ammunition of JIA?

    • It represent the number of deposits enclosed in boxes. So if there are three pieces of them, then it means that there are three boxes. The ammunition also has a meaning where it tells about distance and direction. If there are ten ammo, it could mean a distance of 10 feet.

  • Sir, good morning.

    Can you help me explain the bad odor that we smell in our digging site? We are at 11 feet but in the 4 feet, skin irritation we encountered and on the 11 feet a bad odor we smell and it seems that there is hole going downward and the soil is very loosen and easy to dig up. The smell is some how like a decompose of body of person.

    Hoping for your response. Thanks.

    • Be careful inhaling that kind of gas. In most cases, such gas is so lethal so try to find a way to completely leak it out so that you can safely push through.

  • Hello Sir Elmo,

    We are now at 90 ft., our only sign upon digging is a rotten small pieces of woods, leaves, sand, different color of soil, shell and a cement wall.

    We, already broke the 2 cement cover. 1 cover from 35 ft. the second was 60 ft.

    Sir, how many feet should we dig in before we reach the target?

    Thank you. Need help.

    • In most cases, you should already encounter the chamber or the storage box of the deposit behind those cemented walls. But the way how I see it, your project is quite more complex because you have encountered two. What I am thinking is that, there could be three or even more. So I really have no answer to your question unless you can find or encounter other signs particularly those that are engraved or shapes.

  • Hi Sir Elmo,

    We’ve been digging for about a month and we’re on the 40 to 45 feet down. We’ve encountered broken jar pieces and scissors on the 25 ft level. On the 30th level, water start to flow on the site. And now on the 40 to 45 ft level, we encounter a layer of asphalt that can’t break by a jackhammer and a backhoe. Is it possible that we are on the exact spot? I can send pictures if you would like to see.

    • You have to make sure that you are not dealing with natural or undisturbed layer of asphalt. If not then you really have to break through that layer. With regards to your question, I think that you are currently on the correct spot. However, you should always be aware that there could be a sudden change of direction.

  • Hi Sir, I would like to ask something. We are digging also a treasure. After we dig 2 meters of soil and other types of soil that we move out the next soil is sands but we got a 3 meters deeps of sand that we move out then after the there are now water coming so we stop, is that a trap? But our detector dictates that is the exact location of the treasure, Is the treasure under that water if so how many meter long until the treasure? What we gonna do now do we dig other location near the treasure then tunnel it through the exact location?

    • Yes, that is probably the water trap. It is really hard to deal with the water trap. Anyway, I really could not tell how many meters more before you can reach you target. However, there is a very good chance that you are near since you have triggered the water trap.

  • Sir I will ask, we dig at 22 feet we found alkitran mixed on big rock and mixed sand and gravel and have a 2 inches crack. In the north position a huge big concrete asphalt mixed to the surface and there are hole near in west position. The earth and big rock mixed with alkitran is separated in the surface at 22 feet its not original anymore and smell chemical like dead animal or human dead. The hole we see a smoke bad smell an we run because so bad smell almost 1 hour later stop and then we never go back. After a 2 weeks I have a dream I see big box and 14 people around the 2 girl was smile to me 1 is around 16 years old and the other 1 is a 7 years old girl the other was crying. Please help me how to find where they are.

    • You should go back and continue digging what you have started before. However, make sure that you are no longer able to smell that bad odor of something.

  • Sir, we encountered they called alkitran. What is the meaning of it?

    • If you encountered it as a layer under the ground then it means that you need to pass through it.

  • Hello Sir, I also ask for treasure hunt in 20 feet digging stone I see tree body in the rock with alkitran in around the tree.

    • You have to try and break that stone.

  • Hi Sir

    We were digging a hole in an attempt to find hidden treasure as indicated by the detector we bought in China. At 30 feet, we dug out human bones. At 50 feet there was this strange smell, at 70 feet, soil will make our skin itchy
    Before we start our digging everyday, we let our blower ran first for 30 mins in order to let that foul smell be exhausted before we go down the pit to start working again.
    We reached 100 feet and we found a pile of cut stones. Stones used are with pyrites.

    We finally reached a black concrete surface at 110 feet but we are struggling with the presence of water. Every time we strike the black flooring a vibrating sound can be heard. Just like that of a gong. We stopped because it might explode. The black cement is like an asphalt that is very hard but when exposed outside the pit, it will disintegrate. Its like an asphalt mixed with a fine brown sand like a sugar.

    Can you tell us about the vibrating sound and the asphalt like cement?

    • Those cement and asphalt is like a treasure seal. Thus, you need to find a way on how you can get through it.

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