Treasure hunter helps Massachusetts family find $46K trove of cash hidden under floorboards
A treasure hunter has helped a Massachusetts family find $46,000 trove of cash hidden under the floorboards in their home.
Keith Wille was hired by the family to find a cash box their grandfather was rumored to have hidden. They wanted to find it before they sold the house. Cash boxes had already been found in other homes owned by members of the family.
It isn’t clear why the grandfather hid the cash box.
The family had tried hunting for the treasure for years and even hired a construction contractor to pull up some of the floorboards in the home’s attic to find it. Family members suspected that it had been obscured by insulation.
It was ultimately found in a corner of the attic obscured by other pieces of wood, serving as a false bottom underneath the floorboards.
‘The family was running out of time. They were wanting to sell the house for a few years but this rumored treasure was stopping them from doing so,’ Wille said.
Keith Wille was hired by the family to find a cash box their grandfather was rumored to have hidden so the family could sell the home
This is the moment Wille is seen opening the cash box for the first time in the video
He then counts the money, which is still marked with the straps from when it was withdrawn from the bank in 1958
Wille is seen fanning through a wad of cash that was tucked away in the attic of a Massachusetts home
Wille, a Connecticut-based metal detectorist who has been hunting treasure hunter for 10 years, called it his ‘most exciting find to date’ in a video he posted to YouTube.
‘Most of the hints and clues we had turned out to not be true. I am constantly looking beyond the information I have, looking for small things that are slightly out of place, investigating, moving on to the next one,’ he said.
It took Wille about an hour to find the hidden treasure, he says in the video. He started by reopening spots that had already been pulled up by others who had already searched for the treasure.
‘I eventually got started and turned on my metal detector and started where the two windows intersected,’ he says.
‘There was a rumor that you can see light shine through the floorboard and it was reflecting off the box.’
Wille realized that every location in the attic where the metal detector pinged, the floor was already damaged indicating others had already tried searching those spots.
‘Basically, my plan was to – if I got a good signal – mark it on the floor with a crayon and then come back, drill a hole, drop my endoscope camera down into the floor and check out what the signal was,’ he says.
‘But what I didn’t want to do is pull up all this old pine, tongue-and-groove floorboards for nothing but wires and piping. So I thought maybe it would be less intrusive to drill some holes and use the endoscope camera.’
Eventually, Wille found his way to a corner of the attic where the signal indicated the treasure may be hidden. He then started to inspect that area closer with a flashlight and decided to get out his endoscope camera to look through some of the cracks.
‘When I dropped it into probably the second or third hole, I saw something weird. It had letters and numbers on it,’ he says.
‘I realized after I focused on it, ‘oh man this is a keyhole.’ So I zoomed out a little bit and realized oh this is a box, this is a lock box.’
Wille was seen starting his search in the center of the attic where others had previously searched
Family rumors said that the treasure was buried where the light from the two windows meet
Wille eventually made his way to a corner of the room where his metal detector indicated the treasure may be
He then used an endoscope camera to look underneath the floor through a crack in the attic ceiling
The camera picked up the lock from the cash box hidden underneath the floor
A view from the video shows the lock box hidden underneath the floor of the attic
The woman then went and notified her family members that Wille was inspecting something ‘of interest.’
Wille noted that he could see pry marks from where floorboards had been removed previously.
‘So I have removed the lid, and that my friends is a lockbox hidden in the floorboards. Look at that. All these years, here it is,’ he says.
Wille noted that the lockbox was heavier than he thought it would be as he removed it from the floorboards. He said that the box had been covered with wood ‘so you couldn’t look through the cracks and see it from above.’
‘Whatever is in there, they didn’t want it to be found,’ Wille tells the homeowners in the video.
Wille said that the rumors about being able to see the treasure when light was shining through the windows was impossible because of the false flooring obscuring the lockbox.
He then shakes the box as the cash makes thudding noises inside.
‘you know what i think it might be all cash you could hear you could feel it sort of moving around in there’
The family did not have a key for the box, but Wille used a hammer and punch on its hinges to open it instead of breaking the lock.
He opened it with the family watching.
‘Oh look at that, I see 20s and I see 10s,’ he says in the video.
He adds: ‘They’re $5,000 bricks. It’s marked $5,000.’
Wille noted that he had to remove two of the floorboards in order to retrieve the treasure
The lockbox had been obscured by pieces of wood placed under the floor to serve as a false bottom
Wille is seen retrieving the treasure from underneath the attic floor, which he said was heavy
Wille poses with the treasure before removing it from the flooring
He then rifles through the box while the stunned family watches
Inside the box, Wille also found two $500 stacks of silver certificates from 1935 – which can be worth a ‘small premium above face value,’ according to the Motley Fool.
‘At least the house can be sold now,’ the woman who owns the home says in the video.
She adds: ‘Well I guess it wasn’t a figment of anyone’s imagination!’
In a post about the find to his website, Wille noted that ‘cash was packed to the lid.’
‘All denominations were in the bundles, and individual bills were dated 1934, 1935, and 1950. The date ‘December 19, 1958,’ along with the teller number, was stamped on each currency strap,’ he wrote.
Besides cash, Wille also found two $500 stacks of silver certificates from 1935
The full treasure is seen on display in a shot from Wille’s YouTube video about the hunt
He noted that ‘the purchasing power of $46,000 in 1958 was equivalent to $421,603 in 2021.’
Wille and a member of the family, identified as Karen, spoke with WFSB about the incredible treasure hunt.
‘I think it was shock. I think we were all in shock,’ Wille said.
Channel 3 spoke to a family member over the phone.
Karen said: ‘All this story you believe it’s true, you don’t know if it’s true. I’m just glad it was finally found.’ Her family has not decided what to do with the treasure.