Hidden in the Yard
John Sims managed to save up some money and was on the lookout for a property that would allow him to enjoy his life in peace. He stumbled upon one in Tucson, Arizona. It simply seemed like a great home and John bought it immediately. He had no idea that his life was about to change forever, especially after hearing about the treasure that was supposedly hidden in the backyard of the house.
John knew when he bought the house that he would probably hear about something mysterious or creepy. He was usually not the one to jump to conclusions, but the tale of his backyard caused quite a few sleepless nights, and he chose to investigate. Of course, there was absolutely no proof that the stories were, in fact, true, but he wanted to see for himself. He grabbed his gear and started tearing apart his backyard. Make sure to read on and see what he had stumbled upon!
Buying the House
John Sims was on the lookout for a new property, and it just happened that a good friend of his was selling one in Tucson. John quickly jumped to the opportunity for a very simple reason – he knew that his friend would not sell him garbage. But there was something waiting for John that would shock him regardless.
As soon as John signed the check, and had the keys in his hands, his friend decided that it was time to tell him about the rumors. John thought that his friend was just making stuff up and that it was all just for fun. He had no idea that it would turn out to be a story that would not only affect him but also shock readers around the world!
His friend told the story to John quite fast. He was not going to let his friend live in the house and not know about it. He actually knew of the rumors for quite some time but was too scared to search for what it was, thinking it might scar him for life. It was now up to John to uncover the secret and put an end to the rumors once and for all.
John was not a coward, and since his friend was not up to the task he had no other choice but to do it himself. John could not let himself go to bed not knowing what, if anything, was hiding in his backyard. There were multiple different dangerous things that could have gone wrong, but John was determined to put an end to the rumors.
John had no idea if there was any proof regarding the rumor. However, he saw it as a risk he was willing to take. He could find something, or he simply wouldn’t. Something was rushing him to move forward, and track down the source of the rumor hiding in his backyard.
John actually asked if he could borrow a shovel, and while it was all seen as a great joke between him and his friend, John had serious plans. John knew full well, however, that a shovel would probably not be enough for this job. He knew that he needed to find some proper tools to uncover this potential mystery.
Starting the Mission
John was not going to take this task lightly. He wanted to make sure that he had everything he needed before tackling it. His heart wanted to go out there and dig up the whole backyard, but his mind had other plans. He was obviously just as excited as he was when he first heard of the rumor, but he knew he had to prepare.
No matter what, he would have to tear up his whole backyard if he was ever to find the secret. However, just knowing that something might be hiding under that grass made John not care for the appearance of his backyard at all. He had all the tools he needed now and was ready to start digging.
There was one huge obstacle in John’s way, however. Weather is quite a nuisance in Arizona, and summers reach temperatures that could melt you down. John, however, was so passionate about uncovering the mystery that he worked right through the heat, not caring about anything else than the hidden treasure.
He was digging for what seemed like an eternity with no result. He was putting in all that work for what seemed like nothing. He was starting to question his sanity and if his friend was just playing a prank on him. John was, however, a real warrior and was not about to put down the spear. He decided he would need something bigger than a shovel though.
John spent hours upon hours digging with his trusty old shovel only to uncover nothing at all. A thought ran through his head that he could have destroyed the treasure due to his excessive digging. That would mean that it was now lost forever. John, of course, had no way to confirm if that was actually the case, so he kept on digging.
John knew full well that this would be a hard mission, but he had no idea that it would be so unrewarding. He wanted to make sure that there truly was not anything hiding in his backyard and that is why he never gave up. However, he was putting in way more work than he expected, and he soon came up with a great plan on how to track down the treasure.
John went on a search for some official papers that would serve as proof that something is in fact buried in his backyard. His search led him to find the municipal documents for the area his house was built in. He scrolled through a few of them until he stumbled upon the one that was for his house. He stumbled upon the best proof he could have ever got.
There were a company Whitaker Pools which, according to the documents, built the mystery he was looking for. However, it was still a far shot, and John had no idea what in the world it was. What seemed like a company that built pools had built something underground in his backyard. Why? John now at least knew what and where he was looking for, and thus began his search yet again.
Once the mystery was officially confirmed to exist, John came up with a new plan. A simple shovel was not fir for the job, and professionals had to be called in. He went ahead and phoned a few professionals who came to search for the mystery with their metal detectors.
Things got serious as soon as professionals came knocking on the door. The mission was now about to resume. They went through the whole backyard and found absolutely nothing. They were about to start packing up, but then a familiar sound played throughout the backyard. A metal detector finishing his path just went off.
Marking the Spots
They were out there for a couple of hours and were now able to say that they found what they were looking for. Another detector found something soon after in another spot. John was relieved because all his digging would now be narrowed down to two spots. He grabbed a trusty old can of spray paint and put a tag on both spots.
John was finally convinced that all his work had not been in vain and that there was something hidden in his backyard. He now knew where to dig. His heart rate rose yet again as he picked up that shovel and started digging up the ground. It did not take long for him to stumble upon something solid. Something that the shovel could not go through. Was it the thing he was looking for?
As soon as his shovel struck the object, John heard a metallic sound. He knew that it was not a rock. He tried digging around it, in hopes to reveal what it truly was. He was a bit concerned, however, thinking that he might have just struck against a septic tank. That would make digging a bit dangerous in the event of a burst.
He was simply pleased with this point, to have stumbled upon something. He had something to show. But he was as careful as ever because he had absolutely no clue what he had just found. He kept on digging and soon found out that it was not a septic tank or a bomb. Things were getting more and more exciting by the minute.
Opening the Lid
He stumbled upon what looked to be around the entrance panel of some sort. John wasted absolutely no time when it came to opening the lid. And that only made the whole mystery even better. John possessed a secret passage built right in his backyard. There was only one way to find out where it led to.
John collected his crew to inspect what they had found. They were all very careful and only took an occasional glimpse because they could not be sure that there was no toxic gas coming outside now. After a while, John mustered up the courage and took a longer look, and was excited to see what the lid uncovered.
A Set of Blades
He was staring at what could best be described as a set of blades that went further down in the shape of a spiral. He quickly realized that they were, in fact, a set of simple stairs leading down into the darkness. This was the thing that John had been looking for. The mystery was about to be revealed, and the treasure was about to be found.
Everybody who was staring into the abyss was now excited as ever to see what was down there. John was a bit smarter, however, and did not want to risk an injury. That is why he sat back and came up with a plan on how to tackle the task at hand.
John was no average Joe. He was a captain of the fire department he worked at and possessed a set of skills that would come in handy in this situation. He was well aware that without proper gear, anyone going inside of that entrance could potentially seriously injure themselves. He grabbed his gear and secured the place.
One thing was certain – what they were staring at was not built yesterday. It was highly unstable, and there was no way to tell if the stairs could support someone’s weight. John did not want anyone to get hurt and that is why he sat back until he had a plan in his head. He came up with one that was on the brink of excellence, but he could not follow through it alone.
A New Team
This proved to be a task that needed a team that would be fit for whatever lies inside. John picked up his phone and called a couple of his friends. He did not need only muscle power, however. He needed someone to keep an eye on them in case something goes terribly wrong.
John was very experienced and knew full well that a structure of this size would kill him instantly if it were to collapse. There was something else that needed to be done before anyone stepped foot in that hole. His friends arrived and he was now in command of a team who would listen to his every order.
Planning it Out
Everyone on the site was excited, but John was much more concerned with the safety and the wellbeing of people around him. He wanted to see what was inside, but he wanted to navigate it as well. There was absolutely no way in hell that he was going inside unprepared.
John and his friends gathered around and came up with a plan. They did not leave anything to fate, and even drew a map and the layout including with instructions. They did not know what the abyss was hiding, but they did know they had to go in prepared.
Starting the Mission
The planning stage might have taken a while, but putting it into action was a breeze. They first chose to reinforce the entrance to the tunnel. It was made quite clear in the very beginning that there was no way that the structure in place could hold their weight. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the stairs were all rusty.
There were numerous things that wanted to keep John out of the tunnel, but he was not about to give up. His heart wanted him to jump in there and risk it all, but his mind knew full well that he needed to secure the spot.
John and his crew of friends quickly reinforced the entrance to the tunnel with concrete. That was it for the outside, but something needed to be done on the inside as well. John and his friends had to make sure that whoever entered that tunnel would be safe.
It was not easy to reinforce the structure in the first place. They had set up a concrete structure that would make it as solid as possible, all whilst thinking of the potential treasure hidden inside. No matter how hard they tried, circumstances seemed to keep them out of the hole.
Constructing a Tent
The summer heat of Arizona was still in full blast by the time they were laying out the reinforcements. They were in huge danger of overheating as they were executing the plan, but they were also worried about the heat potentially damaging whatever was hidden inside. That is why they chose to make a tent of a sort, simply to keep the sunlight out of the way.
The tent was also a great way to keep themselves out of the sunlight as well. As soon as they secured the inside of the entrance they were ready to send a man in. There was still one more thing that they needed to put inside.
They got back to the drawing board and decided that they will need electricity in the tunnel. They wanted to make sure that the secret was lit up as best as possible. A flashlight simply would not cut it for them, so they decided to make it a full-scale electricity project.
As they were coming to the end of their reinforcement project, they decided to install a pipe that would push fresh air into the tunnel. It has now been more than half a century, and they were finally about to see what the tunnel was hiding for so long. John gathered up his crew for this momentous occasion.
A Slow Process
The entrance to the tunnel now stood proudly, finally fixed after so much time. John and his team were proud of what they had managed to accomplish in so little time. Not to mention the killing heat that engulfed them every single day.
This was now the moment that they all wanted to be a part of for so long. They were absolutely sure that the tunnel was now as secure as could be. They grabbed their gear and went inside. John was already thinking about what the tunnel was hiding.
As they were about to descend into the abyss, they stumbled upon something that they totally forgot about – the stairs. They were very rusty and sharp, which meant that a wrong step could cut open someone.
Regardless of the planning, they were no way that they could fix the stairs. They were not strong enough to support anybody walking in, but John was not about to let some stairs stop his progress.
No matter the stairs, John just had to enter the tunnel. He had to come up with another way, however. Jumping in would be suicide, so he chose to go with a ladder. It would gradually but surely lower him into the chamber below the stairs.
John had finally fulfilled the dream that he had from the moment he bought the house. After reaching the bottom of the stairs, he was now closer than anyone has ever been in uncovering the secret that started the rumors.
What Was Inside?
The ladder helped John immensely, and he managed to lower himself into the tunnel quite quickly. As soon as he reached the bottom, he quickly noticed that there was nobody here prior to him, for the last 50 years. He took a step further and noticed an opening in the wall, revealing what seemed to be an underground room.
John noticed upon entering that the room was in a great condition, and was as sturdy as ever. He took a stroll through the room, not knowing what he was looking at. He then walked through yet another opening in the wall and quickly realized where he was.
A Historical Place
It was no secret that John was now standing in a chamber that was made out of concrete. The walls were covered by what seemed to be fiberglass, and the state of it talked all about how long it was since it was built. The foundation might have been solid, but John knew full well that they would need to reinforce everything else.
Especially when it came to fiberglass, which is a great nuisance when it comes in contact with either your skin, eyes or lungs. Unfortunately for John, he was now staring at yet another great project that would consume even more time and money, but he was happier than ever despite that.
The mystery was finally unveiled, and it seemed that even though the previous owners might have gotten the construction built, they did not use it at all. It was now half a century old, but still as solid as ever. John thought that he would stumble upon a collapsed tunnel or something potentially hazard, but the chamber was standing strong and proving him wrong.
There was nothing in the chamber, it was just an empty room. John, however, did not need furniture to know where he was. Sure, it was built by Whitaker Pools, but John and his team knew full well that this was not a pool he was standing in.
Built during the Cold War
It took the crew no time to realize that they have just uncovered a piece of American history. This was a nuclear fallout shelter. It was built 50 years ago, which means that it was built during the Cold War, where people were just waiting for nukes to drop. The former owners of this house wanted to have a backup plan if it all went to hell one day.
After more research, the crew found out that Whitaker Pools started constructing nuclear shelters instead of pools because there was nobody in the market for a pool at the time. John and his crew stumbled upon a piece of their history, but it was actually not the first shelter uncovered in his area.
After a bit more research, John found out that he was not the only owner of such shelter. Tuscon area is actually one of the most famous ones, and they are quite common there. It is not strange, considering that everyone wanted to protect themselves during the Cold War.
If you were living in that age and time, you were considered to be most generous if you had your own shelter. It meant that you were looking out for your family, and considering all the threats that the Cold War was throwing at those people, it was quite a smart investment for them. The Tuscon area actually had quite a few more secrets to show.
Tucson is actually hiding much more than the nuclear shelters. There were 18 ballistic missiles placed there as well, with the ability to travel between continents. They were 110 feet long and 10 feet wide and had the ability and power to destroy an area 900 square miles around the impact.
This means that the nuclear shelters were built alongside the hidden missiles. People of Tucson did not know of this, and the government did not mention anything about it until half a century after the Cold War was over. John was left wondering if there were any missiles still hidden somewhere in Tucson.
John quickly learned that every single missile was disabled back in the 1980s. However, alongside the missiles, the nuclear shelters were also being widely destroyed as they served no purpose. John had a shelter that remained, and it left him wondering why someone left it and did not choose to destroy it.
John’s shelter was dating back to 1961, which was actually the peak of the Cold War tensions. It was at that time that the Cuban Missiles Crisis was also making the news. John had a piece of history literally buried in his backyard. The uncovering of this shelter quickly spread around the town, and John was now dealing with the backlash that came with popularity.
What to do?
John, like many others, would choose Reddit as the page where he would break the news with the world. Reddit did its thing, and John was famous in no time. John was very proud that he was able to uncover something so great but knew full well that there were others like him out there. After some research, he found out that there were others in Tucson with shelters like his.
There was not much to do, but to figure out how to fill up the shelter. There were numerous different recommendations on the table, including a wine cellar and a cigar bar, but John ignored those. He had a better idea in his head. He began collecting Cold War relics and used the shelter as a museum. But he needed help for that as well.
This would not be an inexpensive thing to do, so John created an account on GoFundMe, and started a campaign. He said: “Hi, I’m John and I need some help restoring a vintage Fallout Shelter that I have uncovered in my back yard.”
John was not asking for too much money, as it was not in a bad shape, to begin with. The stairs and the entrance still needed fixing, however, and John needed the money to make it as safe as possible. His campaign was successful, and he managed to renovate the structure from top to bottom.
John could not sleep for days after his friend told him about the rumors. He wanted to know what it was immediately, but even in his wildest dreams, he was not expecting to uncover a nuclear shelter. But now that he had it, he was not going to let it fall apart either. He turned it into a Civil Defense Museum.
When his research was complete, and he knew for certain that the shelter was built during the Cold War, John wanted to know more. He wanted to know what was going on in people’s minds at the time, and why they chose to build such structures. That is why his heart would simply not let him turn it into anything else than a museum. He started collecting items from the time of the Cold War and decorated the shelter with HAM radios and Geiger counters. He even has the sanitation kits and water supply barrels.
It only took 430 shares for John Sims to have enough money to finish his project. He wanted to get at least $2000, but when money started flowing in, John quickly realized that people wanted to see it done perfectly.
All the funds that came from the campaign went into the construction of new stairs, as well as better reinforcement of the whole structure. Going into the shelter below was now safer than ever before. Every step of the journey was documented so that people who donated would see that their money did not go to waste.
Finishing the Project
The stairs were the main obstacle, and John wanted to make sure that they were done perfectly. To make it all even safer he decided that they would be twice the width of the original ones. They were also implemented into the wall itself.
After the stairs were in place, and sturdy as ever, John was able to carry on with the renovation of the shelter. It is now filled with Cold War memorabilia and is a spot where you can sit down, and just enjoy the great piece of history. People did not stop donating to his project, and he was able to turn it into a great museum.