May 10th, 2008
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If you haven't read Part One of Secrets of the Earth, I suggest you start there. Thank you everyone for your patience in awaiting this update. It's taken me all day because, well, I've been out fighting the newly released zombie horde. I suggest everyone stock up on shotgun shells.
I took a break to rest from digging, came inside and posted the first article, waited for Aubrey to wake up (she was already awake), get your feedback, and collect my thoughts. After a while I calmed down - around that 11am breakfast time.
Of course I went back out and kept digging - anyone who has been reading theWAREHOUSE knows that unless there was a clear case of being disrespectful to human remains I was going to keep going. But let's take a quick look at a few of the emails I received anyway (lot of comments on the first part of this article, too):
I would have to say that is the final resting place of one or more of the family's pets. I would probably stop digging unless you like skeletons.
Iím sure itís been there for quite a long time, so there shouldnít be too gruesome of remains inside if it is indeed a coffin. Hell, it may be full of money.
My immediate thought was that it might have been a pet's grave marker that the kids were allowed to put their names on a concrete cap for. Certainly, a time capsule or even a secret treasure stash made by some childhood friends would be nicer
Animal graves. Cats, most likely; those don't sound like dog names. I'd leave it be.
Before I had even gotten to where you speculated about it yourself I was thinking that it was a time capsule. I can think of nothing else plausible nor as awesome as that.
I'd try and contact a local university and see if they can send someone over to look at it and give you an idea.
I say it's a time capsule so you should dig it up! If it is a casket, use the shovel to smite the zombie within.
As a child I lived in my grandparentsí house where they raised my mom and her brothers and sister. There was a stone (made of cement) in the backyard that they had all signed and pressed their hands into, walk-of-fame-style. I think it was to commemorate them moving into that house (it was their first, before that they had lived in apartments and townhouses). Maybe this is something like that? The Coomp thing could be a nickname (Iím sure youíve thought of that already). My uncle Billís name was recorded in our stone as ďBinkyĒ, his early childhood nickname.
get it out of there. you know you won't be able to sleep if you don't find out what it is.
Keep digging. It's probably buried Treasure. Like bones.
It looks like there is also an image of some sort in the center, have you been able to take a guess at what that might be? - An image? I don't see anything - just the rectangle. Does anyone else see anything?
That thing in your backyard - it might be a pet coffin. Then again it might be a time capsule.
you could probably get on tv if you call the cops because local news stations will pick up on that. i work at one, and i know where the stories come from... police scanners.
Well, okay, those were the emails I got (earlier today. If you sent in one after I posted this story, sorry) - it definitely seems as though the general consensus is "cat grave" with a light sprinkling of time capsule. Okay, so, no chance of a baby pile in there, right? Right. Good.
So where was I?
Steeled after some food and healthy Spring sunlight, I went back out to continue digging. I started working further around the object, down each side. As I dug down I realized that I'd have to dig out too or the excavation walls would just keep filling in. So, shovel in, dirt out. In a slowly expanding and deepening swath around the object I kept making my marks in the earth.
Shovel in, dirt out. Shovel in, dirt out.
Shovel in, whanggg....
"I found second one."
"Yeah, another one."
Fairly close next to the first mysterious object was a second one! Almost exactly the same! Was this a second time capsule? A second tomb? A second marker - and if so, a marker for what? I quickly dug around this one. Yes, it's the same size. But it had different markings on it.
Look at that. Now I'm excavating a six foot hole in my yard around two huge cement blocks. But I don't know really how big they actually are yet. I have to keep digging. Keep digging. Keep on digging. Somewhere a while ago it passed noon and I didn't even notice.
Answers and problems! I found the bottoms of the objects. And I found what I initially thought were seams for the lids. More on that later. But the blocks go down at least a foot and a half and are very rough on the sides. But I haven't shown you the inscriptions on the new stone very well, have I?
I'm to the point where I have to actually clean them off now. Just brushing them isn't cutting it. I have to get the caked off and ground in dirt out of the details and see if I'm missing anything.
Here's the first one again. ANTHONY, TONY, MORRIS, FLUFF/COOMP. We know that. Or whatever "COOMP" actually is. Now the new one.
JOSIE, SARGE, VICTOR, REBEL.
JOSIE, SARGE, VICTOR, REBEL. What's that? Four totally new names. Two of them seem to be pet names - this time dog names. Rebel could be a cat, but Sarge? I don't know.
ANTHONY, TONY, MORRIS, FLUFF/COOMP, JOSIE, SARGE, VICTOR, REBEL. That's maybe five people and maybe three animals? Unless the animals had multiple names, and depending on whether or not Morris is a person or another cat.
In my digging, in amidst innumerable ceramic shards and a few bits of broken glass, I uncovered a thinnish copper pipe, running near the bottom corner of the objects. Even worse, I uncovered an electrical cord directly underneath both objects. This means I can't go too hog wild in abusing the objects, any respect for anything aside. I can't damage them even though I don't think they're hooked up to anything - I don't want to take that chance. At the very least it dates the objects to, well, after the initial construction of the house. For what that's worth.
Here's what made me so excited as I was digging. I found an edge. A lip. I thought it meant there was a nice clean lid to be lifted off, lending credence to the aforementioned "time capsule" theories. Unfortunately if you look closely you can see that it's merely the bottom edge of whatever form they used to pour the top. Foul excitement! Got my hopes up. I felt like Indiana Jones for a second there.
In practical measures, what does this mean, dear readers? It means that each of these masses is a completely solid block. I was not able to find a single seam or evidence at all that the object was poured in any way but as a single contiguous dumping of concrete. If there is a cat in there, it must have been hucked in (lovingly?) as cement poured down. But I saw no evidence of any paws sticking out of any sides. Even the Mafia leaves some evidence. But no, no Kitty in Carbonite.
I've destroyed a fair section of my yard but am no closer for my efforts to finding out what they are. The thing that bothers me the most, really, is the four bolts sticking out of each one. What are they there for? Each one has been hammered over so they're no longer sticking up straight. This means they were hammered over after the cement dried.
Were they foundation bases for some sort of...stand? They're so close together that I could almost see a bench being laid across them and bolted down, but my goodness those are huge foundation stones if that's the case. Something larger? An arbor or trellis? And if something was bolted down but later removed, they must have just destroyed the thing to get it off since they certainly couldn't unscrew these bolts. Who knows? The people who put it in, that's who. I will have to try and ask my neighbors the next time they accost me in my yard.
BUT WAIT, there's some great information to corroborate at least the names on the stones, and their dates of creation. A good friend of mine (who also is a regular in theFORUM) did some digging of his own. See, he has access to some great real-estate records. He was able to find out the following information, as I quote him. I've italicized particularly important items:
ok, well...the guy you bought the property from purchased the property from a couple named Tony and Josephine , so i'm guessing that whatever the hell that thing is was put there by him. I can't find any reference to when he purchased the property, so it very well may be that he was the original owner/built the property. But anyway, that would place the age of the thing at 20 years, minimum.
As for the box (?) itself, Tony refers to the owner (he's not mentioned under any other name) and Anthony is probably the son. As for Morris...there is some random reference to Victor M (carl here: this is before he knew about the second stone!) I found, but I doubt it has anything to do with him. And no idea regarding Fluff/Coomp.
So, all that said, it's probably not a survey marker or anything of that nature. And based on it's location, I'm guessing it's been buried for a while. Remember, the deck would have been built sometime in the last 10 years - the composite wood it's made out of wasn't mass produced prior to that. And the door to the deck from the great room doesn't appear to be part of the original design - it was probably installed along with the deck. And I'm also guessing the hedge right next to the deck was planted at the same time. Given all of that, it's a pretty random spot to bury something....it would've been right in the middle of the yard.
He's spot on. He pinpointed the names Anthony, Josephine (Josie on the stone), and Victor! And confirmed the stones as being at least 20 years old. I do know that the people who owned the house before the fellow I bought it from were the original owners. So these stones are the direct handiwork of the people who built the house. And he's right that the deck and great room are much more recent additions than the original house. So, it does appear however, that they're in a totally random place in the yard. Unless they're part of something more that I just haven't found yet.
COOMP. Is it possible that it's COCMP? I tried putting CCCMD into a Roman Numeral converter, and it comes out as 1600, which is not my street number, but it's close. It's also not proper Roman Numeral notation, so I think that may be a dead end. It also looks like there might be a period after the P - so COOMP may be short for something, but I can't begin to guess what! I've put a dozen permutations into Google with no reasonable results.
So with some questions answered, many still remain. This truly is a time capsule, just not the kind we're used to thinking of. Imagine the original owners of the house taking the time and care to craft these huge slabs, the entire family gathering around as Dad writes their names into the concrete.
What's COOMP? I have no good idea. Were Rebel, Sarge and Fluff just pets? Probably. Was Morris another family member, or a pet? What were those bolts really for?
I'm fairly sure there are no zombie cats inside the blocks and that they're just solid concrete.
Until the Earth yields more clues, I think we'll have to file this away. Another hour or so of digging, and no one will ever know. Shovel in, dirt in. Shovel in, dirt in.
Except for the eight foot circle of bare dirt and fresh grass seed.
Any ideas, hypothesis? Post them below, or in theFORUM.