Explaining more about the Alkitran or Asphalt

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.


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.

View Comments (96)

  • Anonymous says:
    • Daisybelle Cubillas says:

      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.

      • Rock n roll says:

        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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Bryan Sam says:

      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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

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

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      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.

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