10 Spooky, weird and wonderful finds in containers
1. Dinosaurs – While these dinosaurs (sadly) weren’t alive, they were a part of a historic exhibition that travels across the globe. This involves 14 actual-sized parts which collapse into containers and are re-assembled at each new destination.
Anyone who opened this container certainly had a scare the first time around and almost certainly felt like they were in a classic Spielberg movie.
2. A James Bond Car – Many find it fascinating to watch storage units be opened to see what’s inside, it’s interesting enough that it became its own TV series with Storage Hunters. One lucky soul purchased a storage unit and everything inside to find a great surprise when he uncovered a sports car which was in pretty bad shape.
The vehicle was missing all of its wheels and there was a massive dent in the roof, during auctions however, they discovered it was the original Bond vehicle from the film: “The Spy Who Loved Me”. The Lotus Espirit while it had lost its glory days was one of the biggest finds in storage history and recently sold for around $1 million in 2013.
3. Nicholas Cage’s missing comic book – For anyone that doesn’t know, Nicholas Cage is a huge geek. In 1995 he attended an auction for a very copy of Action Comics #1 which was the comic that introduced Superman back in June 1938. Cage eventually won the comic book for $1 million, but it was stolen when his home was robbed in 2000.
Jump ahead 11 years and it was found in a storage locker, when the storage owner tried to sell it he was informed by an auction expert he contacted for advice(who had coincidentally also sold the comic book to Cage in the first place) that the item had been stolen in 2000. The comic book was returned and Nicholas Cage claimed the reunion was “an act of divine providence”.
In the year 2011 someone bought a storage locker and found one of the most valuable collectibles ever: The first Superman comic. He called an expert in the field wanting to sell it. Unfortunately, this was not to be because the comic turned out to be stolen property. The expert who was contacted, Mark Balelo, happened to be the same one who had sold the book to Nicholas Cage. Cage bought it for $1 million in 1995 band reported it stolen in 2000. He was happy to get it back and termed the event “an act of divine providence”.
4. A jet engine – John Wilson purchased a storage unit in 1994 at the price of $400. He wanted to use the container as a bridge for one of his properties. 10 years passed and he never once looked inside the container as he had another use for it. Eventually, he decided to look inside and found a jet engine within. It had been used on the original HMCS Athabaskan, also included was a logbook and many other documents to make the process of selling the ship-part much easier.
Sadly, by the time John had found it, 10 years after he purchased the container it had rusted and become more damaged. This meant its value had decreased from an estimated $2 million to around $30,000. Leave no stone unturned, leave no container unsearched.
5. A leg – A storage unit was bought in 2007, one of the things inside was a BBQ smoker. When summer that year came around, the owner decided he would like to put it to good use and put it out in his garden ready for a BBQ, however, things took a turn for the worse when he lifted the lid open,
Inside the smoker was an amputated human leg. Once the police had been contacted the original storage owner (whom the leg also belonged to) explained that he had been involved in a plane crash in 2004 and that his leg had been recovered, he was planning to keep it so it could be buried with him, but he had nowhere else to put it other than his smoker. He’d lost track of payments over the years due to medical bills and had to sell many items he owned, including the set, but he forgot where he’d left his leg.
The new owner of the BBQ smoker decided that he wanted to keep the leg, which became a means of profit for him. Charging the locals to take a look at the leg, maybe even poke it. The matter was eventually settled in court when he refused to return the leg to its original owner who eventually got his leg back.
6. Radiation – Many ports will check containers in multiple ways, whether this be through scans or tests, it’s a method of making sure nothing dangerous gets in or out of the port. One of these tests took place in Italy which gave a scare to those searching. They used radiation scanners, which while measuring the output hit the highest possible level. Luckily they did this before opening the container as a means of health and safety.
Upon opening the container, it was seemingly a small bit of copper that the radiation was sprouting from. It was confirmed to be harmless, but to this day no one knows what caused the crazy radiation spike on their readings.
7. A burglar – Ronald Denis was found in a storage locker in 2011, he had planned to rob a unit eventually picking his target. He went for a local storage facility, when he broke in there were guards doing rounds who shut the door to the storage facility, locking him within it. By the time morning came around the guards finally heard the burglar and called the authorities who arrested the failed robber.
8. Music Gear – Despite having only three members, Muse are considered to be one of the noisiest bands in the world, how is this possible? The band uses apparatus which comes along with them every time they go on tour.
Every trip, the band would take with them 25 shipping containers, which on some of their tours would travel around the world. 25 trucks were needed for each container which would take around 7 hours to load or unload.
Setting up for shows during tours can begin as early as 3AM when they are on tour. The band did consider moving their goods by flight, however this would be far too costly and containers are considered to be the most resourceful means of moving instruments from place to place.
9. Bodies – Due to the nature of containers and storage facilities, while it is unlikely it’s always possible you’ll have a shocking surprise. One storage hunter in Washington, George Gennai purchased a unit hoping to find something rare and worth putting up for auction. Instead he found evidence for a crime scene.
Beneath 3-feet of clothing he found a human skull in a plastic bag. He called the police who investigated the scene further. Once the evidence was gathered and taken for research they discovered that there were DNA traces of at least three bodies.
It was discovered the DNA belonged to Barbra Bender, a 35 year-old mother along with her two sons. She was reported missing in 1980 a day after she had filed for divorce from her husband. The police eventually caught up with her husband: Mark. His new wife had stopped paying for the storage, which he had purchased to hide their bodies. Due to the failed payments it had gone to auction. He confessed to the charges and was sentenced to 80 years in prison.
10. Identity theft equipment – In Colorado, Brandon Michael purchased a storage unit in the hopes that within would lie his fortune. Instead he found hospital records, passports and bank statements. They were all categorized into bags and boxes. There was identity theft equipment inside the container as well.
The police requested he dispose of the evidence, he decided to take it to the press who got in touch with the hospital regarding the missing records which lead to the successful arrest of the identity thief who used to work at the hospital.