Is it Possible to Escape from a Water Trap?

Many treasure hunters in the Philippines and some other countries actually encounter the dangerous and infamous “Water Trap”. This kind of trap is very common in the Philippines which was setup by the Japanese Imperial Army in WW2 to protect their hidden looted treasures from anyone who attempts to recover them.

Sad to say that it is impossible to escape from a water trap especially when the diggers got caught by surprise while inside the deep bottom hole that they dug. Even if the diggers are good swimmer, the walls will most likely collapse. As a result, the victims will get drowned and buried at the same time.

Most Japanese treasure deposits in the Philippines that were hidden nearby sources of water such as rivers, creeks and streams have a very strong possibility that they are equipped with water traps. So whether you encountered a dangerous sign or not, it is best advised to proceed with extreme caution on such sites.

How the Japanese Imperial Army Designed their Water Traps?

Based on my own experience, the Japanese soldiers will first dig a hole until they are able reach the top surface of the water table. Once done, they will create a pathway from the water source leading it into the hole that they dug. The image illustration below clearly explain the whole setup.

What usually happens is that, most diggers dug their holes in this manner illustrated by the image below, the water pit has been slightly broken which continuously fill-up the bottom floor of the hole. But at least, the diggers are safe on this kind of situation.

The most dangerous scenario that already took several lives of treasure hunters is shown in the image below. As you can see, the gap of the wall between the hole and the water trap is very close. At any given period of time the wall may collapse.

The proper way to avoid the water trap and successfully recover the deposit is illustrated by the image below. Dig the hole then tunnel your way through into the item.

Recovering an Item from a Broken Water Trap

Unfortunately, some of you had encountered a water trap that got broken and flooded your hole. No matter how many water pumps you use, they are still no match against the continuous water that are being accumulated from the bottom floor. How would you handle this kind of situation? Is there still hope to recover the item on this kind of situation?

Gladly, there is still hope.

In order for this method to work, you need to find the source or the pathways of the water that has been directed into the hole that you dug. This really involves a lot of work and time because you will be doing trial-and-error in locating the water’s pathway. Anyway, those diggers who first encountered the water from the hole may be able to give a hint about which side did the water first came out.

Assuming that you found the pathway, you need to seal it off. You can use bag of sands, rocks or any objects that can possibly block the water. When it’s done, you can now pump out the accumulated water from the hole that you dug and you may now continue digging it.

Moreover, once you got caught by a water trap it’s impossible to escape from it. So the only means of escaping such danger is to learn how to interpret signs particularly the “danger signs”.

View Comments (22)

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      Sir Elmo. We found a carved human face, a man with horns raising both of his hands above with a female behind him. Surprisingly, we found four dead remain near the corner of the female. What does it mean? Is this related to Japanese hidden treasure? Are we near the chamber?

      Other than those signs, we also encountered many other symbols like turtles, fish, owl and sea lion. We also came across different colors of soil and even went through a water trap.


      Does the human face figure have eyes? If it does then simply follow the direction where it is staring at then that will be the digging spot. The figure of a man raising his arms symbolizes “joy” or “celebration”. The reason why he has horns is that, the hidden treasure is tainted with so much blood which involved a lot of killings and sacrifices. In short, “it is a devil’s work”. The female behind him signifies “happiness” and “wealth”.

      Those dead remains that you uncovered are definitely human sacrifices which means that you are dealing with a large hidden deposit. Although, there might be some intervention of spiritual entities guarding these precious items.

      Anyway, my advice is to continue working on it. Dig deeper from the portion where you uncovered those dead remains.

    • I'm treasure hunter, thank you for all your help?

  • Anonymous says:
    • Wondering says:

      We have been digging for about 70 feet below the ground using five submersible pumps (3 horsepower 100 feet heat) costing Php 27,000.000 per pump. Our analyzer has a gadget which is a PMR-2. Around this depth, we encountered three layers of materials. The first layer was a sand, second layer was a cemented gravels and third layer was a cemented boulders.

      Right now, we are trying to open up a drain stone because our analyzer said that he could drain the water which allows us to retrieve the item. There is a very huge rock right in front of us similar to a turtle head. At the back, there is an X mark on it. Any comment about it Sir?


      It is indeed very challenging to find a way to get rid of the water but if you succeeded, this will provide a clear path into the location of the hidden item. Anyway, the huge rock that bear the shape of a turtle head with X mark on it means that the item is nearby, specifically just around the corner.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Sir Elmo. Thank you for your illustration. Sad to say that our digger accidentally broke the water trap in our site and flooded the hole that we dug. We used water pumps even submersible pumps but the water over powered them.

      During the night, we often hear noises coming from the hole. It is like a flood where the walls are collapsing. Anyway, by seeing your illustration, I think that we are near the object.

      Sir, is there a possibility that the continuous flow of water collapsing the walls can affect the object to sink deeper? As of now, we stopped digging because of the large volume of water coming out. Thank you in advance.


      To answer your question directly, yes the object can sink at a deeper portion or even move at a different spot.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      Good day, Sir Elmo! I had a project last year where we encountered the difficulty of controlling the flow of water. We dug the hole for approximately 35 meters deep and the water suddenly came out. This actually happened when one of our workers accidentally removed two basketball sized rocks embedded on the pinkish colored sands mixed with concretes and pebbles.

      We strived so much to contain the water flow by using three sets of 3 horse power submersible pumps but until now, the water remains at a level where workers cannot continue their diggings.

      Our operation has been dormant for over 2 months now. May I please have you opinion regarding about this situation of ours. Thank you very much Sir Elmo. This is Jhun C. from Pagadian City.


      You have to find a way on how to divert the water. Another method is to dig a different route.

    • Anonymous says:

      Amounts of magnetite will turn the water blood red. Magnetite used by many to mark a site as it is dowseable.

    • Thanks for the share.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      Good afternoon Sir Elmo. Can you please give us an enlightenment about why the water we are digging right now became reddish in color? One of out digger told us that it can be a human blood. If this is true then what does it mean?

      Thank you and God Bless.

    • It is unlikely to be a human blood. Anyway, why not try to follow the source to find out. I am not really sure about this, but it might lead you to something that might be so interesting.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Manny Salamangkero says:

      Treasure trap. In most common cases, especially deposits hidden near an old tree or rice field, they are protected with traps. There are two sources, 1st and 2nd levels. There is a tube which is like plastic. Once it goes near the location of the item, the piping are changed into hard cement. As it goes into the treasure deposit, it goes around the 4 corners using elbows which connects the pipes. The pipes are covered with rocks which are fixed in a way that when you removed them, leaks will come out. So if you encountered such water trap, immediately put the rocks back until the water stop and then revise your plan on how to deal with it.

    • Thanks for sharing this information. Even I don't know such tricky design of a water trap.

  • reden miranda says:

    Sir Elmo good day!

    Is there any possibility of danger under the deposit or underneath the deposit because as of now, we are almost near the target but we very cautious as they say there are always something that comes together with target items? Is it possible Sir Elmo, such as poison or explosive?

    • Yes, its all true. Many treasure hunters have already fallen in this kind of situation. So when it happens that you uncovered the item, the more that you need to be cautious and try to proceed as safely as you can.

  • reden miranda says:

    We are being puzzled about what we found as of now. We encountered some big clams and shells and the sand from brown to gray color and now finger coral sands. Below is a pile of fat coral rock and arranged like a man made wall. Its wet as of now. Some water are present while digging up steel chiseled bars.

    • Keep it up. Those objects are interesting markers.

      • reden miranda says:

        Thanks a lot Sir Elmo, i'll be in touch!

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