He Was an Accomplished Man Before It Began
Richard Aiken is a well-respected scholar in several fields. He is a mathematician and a physician who has taught and lectured all over the world. He has a psychiatry practice in Springfield, Missouri, and has taught at institutes and universities in Zürich, Switzerland, Stockholm, Sweden, and various other locations in Europe. He has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and has written several books.
His main area of interest is in studying how a natural and healthy lifestyle can positively influence one’s physical and mental health. He advocates eating a vegan diet, which he claims is more natural to human beings, and promotes better general health. He says that “junk food = junk mood” and also promotes exercise and meditation as important aspects of living a healthy lifestyle. He calls himself a “vegan hillbilly”, and is very proud of that moniker. And with all his success, who could argue?
He Also Loved the Wilderness
He felt that part of a natural lifestyle was having a connection to the natural world. While living in Park City, Utah, he developed a love for the mountains and took many happy and successful trips to the backcountry there. “It was just so wonderful to be out in nature at a very simple shelter,” Richard told a national magazine in April 2021. “It just seemed very basic and psychologically pleasing and fulfilling.”
Once settled in Missouri, he began visiting the Ozarks. As he began to spend more time in the forested hills of Missouri, an idea began to grow in his mind. He wanted a simple cabin in the mountains where he could get away and live as simply as possible. He knew he would keep his main house for his family’s sake, but he began to think more and more about getting a cabin in the woods.
Searching for His Dream Cabin
Aiken started looking for his ideal cabin in the woods. He wanted some kind of historical cabin, and he didn’t want to spend a lot of money. He began placing ads in local Missouri newspapers. At first, he had very little luck. “Those that were in really good condition were quite expensive,” Aiken said. “Since this…wasn’t going to be my main home, I wasn’t looking to put out tens of thousands of dollars.”
Eventually, he got a call in response to one of his ads from a man named Billy Howell. Howell had a small log cabin that had been built way back in the 1830s, but it was in terrible shape. It was falling apart and filled with junk. So Howell told Aiken, "You can have it for nothin' if you haul away the junk". Aiken insisted on giving him 100 dollars for it, and the deal was struck.
Good News and Bad News
Richard Aiken had found his dream cabin, an old, historical log cabin located in the forests of the Ozark Mountains in Township 32N Range 15 Section 33, in Wright County, Missouri. But the cabin was in terrible shape. “This place was not used for 30 or 40 years and was in total disrepair,” says Richard. “The ceiling, the roofs, and everything was caved in. They even used it as a trash receptacle.”
And Howell insisted that although Aiken could have the cabin, he couldn’t keep it in the same place. It had to be moved. Richard agreed to clear out all the junk and detritus that filled the cabin, after which he would move the cabin himself. He had never done such a thing before, though. He began doing research and soon realized that the first step was to remove all the junk and debris inside and around the cabin.
It Looked Like a Pile of Firewood
When he first started working on the cabin, it looked like nothing more than a big pile of firewood. The first step was to remove all the excess debris to isolate the cabin itself. Even though the cabin was falling apart, he could easily distinguish the original wood that was used in construction from the mounds of rubble in and around the cabin.
Once he cleared the site, he realized that even though the cabin needed a lot of restoration work, it had great potential. As he remarked later, "It was two stories, with a very large 'pen' of about 21-22 feet square," and that "The material was massive white oak beams, hand-hewn and squared with half dovetail notches. Most logs were in excellent condition." On the west side there was a window, and on the east side was a hole where a fireplace used to be.
How to Move an Entire Log Cabin and Reconstruct It
Once the cabin had been cleaned out, he could see what he was up against. Many of the original planks were in decent shape, but many more, especially the ones near the bottom of the cabin, were not. He began to consider how he could move the cabin from one location to another. He couldn’t lift the entire thing whole, because it would immediately fall apart.
He realized he was going to have to dismantle it and find a way to transport the individual beams and logs. Then he could carefully put it back together in its new location, replacing whatever logs needed to be replaced, putting in a new fireplace, and rebuilding it better than ever. It was a huge task with many steps, and Richard would need some help. He enlisted a Native American friend known as "Two Bears", who was a member of the Sioux Tribe.
Each Log Was Meticulously Labeled and Categorized
Before he could dismantle the cabin and prepare it for transport, he knew he had to carefully mark each log and its location in the cabin. “We had to label it in a way which showed how many logs up it was,” said Richard. “What was facing east and what was facing west. The joints were so specific that you had to put them together in the same way. It’s not like Lincoln Logs that are generic.”
He developed a system whereby the location of each log would have to be carefully noted and each log would have to be labeled with the side it was on, how far up it was, and what direction it faced. He wanted to use as simple a system as possible, so he used the cardinal directions and a simple numbering system. He then affixed signs to each log that marked its location and orientation.
The Professor Describes How He Kept Track of the Location of Each Log
As he describes on his website, “Every log was meticulously labeled. The front was assigned to the north, the back, south, and the other sides accordingly although that was not their true orientation it would be exactly their magnetic orientation at the new site. The system I chose was in two directions, first the side on the north, south, east, and west, and secondly the direction that log was ‘pointed’ to. Then the order of the logs from 1 on up.”
His system allowed him to carefully note the location of each log. “For example, shown here ES 7 means the seventh log on the east side pointing at this end south.” In this way, he could dismantle the entire cabin and be prepared to reassemble it as soon as he found a new location. He then grabbed his wife and began to search for that location in the beautiful green hills.
Finding a New Home for the Cabin
The next step was to find a suitable location for a new spot for the cabin to be rebuilt. For this step, Aiken enlisted the help of his wife and family. They had up until then been supportive of his dream, but when they saw the cabin, they were a little shocked. After telling them about his plan, however, they agreed to help choose a new locale for the cabin. There were several important criteria they had to satisfy.
First of all, he knew he wanted to be near water, but the cabin had to be clear of any swampland or marshy areas. It needed to be close to water because Aiken wanted to keep the cabin traditional, and that meant no plumbing. A nearby creek would provide water for washing, cooking, and drinking. Even better, a spring might provide drinking water natural enough not to require purification.
Other Site Requirements
In addition to aquatic considerations, there were several other factors that were important in determining an appropriate site for the new location of the epic log cabin. One was aesthetics. It was important for the front of the house to have a grand, sweeping view of the surrounding land, preferably from a somewhat elevated point, for, as Richard put it, “enjoyment of the land and its flora and fauna”.
He also had the idea that he could hunt animals from his front porch and planned to install a railing at a suitable height so that rifles could be comfortably rested on them. As far as orientation, Aiken chose to build the house with the front door facing directly towards magnetic north. That way, it would be easier to ensure the cabin was rebuilt perfectly square. Additionally, the location would have to have enough trees nearby.
They Found a Site That Brought His Wife to Tears
Richard Aiken, along with his wife, began searching rural Missouri for plots of land that were for sale which would be an appropriate location for the soon-to-be rebuilt log cabin. The land was cheap because it was undeveloped and hard to build on. There was no infrastructure like electricity or water, and most of the ground was swampy and marshy. Although that’s not ideal for commercial development, it was exactly the kind of land that the Aikens needed for the new site of their second home in the woods.
Before long, he found a promising plot of land in an area in the rolling hills of the Ozarks. He brought his wife to take look and she immediately fell in love with it. As Richard recalled later, “My wife was looking around and saw this area where the site is at and she started crying because it was so beautiful.”
The Cabin Was Moving to Amish Country
The land that the cabin was to be moved to was in the middle of Amish country. Although many Amish sects settled in Pennsylvania and Ohio, in 2020 there were almost 15,000 Amish in Missouri. Most came from Switzerland and were very conservative. They spoke a little English, but mostly a Swiss dialect of German. Fortunately, Aiken could speak some German, so they could communicate that way. They wouldn’t buy battery-powered power tools, but they could use them, so Aiken provided them with some.
Many of the Amish were tickled that this outsider wanted to live on their land and build a cabin by hand using the old-fashioned techniques, so they decided to help him. A few Amish families provided him with labor and expertise, and they became an invaluable addition to the construction project. He later expressed his gratitude, admitting it would have been far more difficult without them.
The Nascent Lake of Joyful Tears
The plot of land was located above a marshy area and had a relatively open grove with dense forests nearby. Richard began surveying the property and found the ground to be wet. He dug through some grass and found wet bedrock underneath. That meant that a new lake could be built there, fed by the marshes and held in place by the bedrock. With hard work and a little help from his wife and children, as seen in the picture, a new body of water was built on the site.
Richard named the new body of water “The Lake of Joyful Tears” after his wife’s initial reaction to the site. He was also able to find a spring nearby, and he was able to dig a well and tap into the fresh spring water. Thus, he had water for bathing and washing as well as a separate source of drinking water.
The Site Was Prepared for Construction
The next step was to prepare the site for construction, which meant clearing away a few trees and constructing the building’s foundation. Richard regretted having to cut down a few trees, including one that had a heavy branch that overhung the spot where the cabin was to go. But it was a necessary evil, and he figured the good that he would do to the land by clearing it out and forming a new lake and spring would outweigh the bad.
Still, as a naturalist, he wished he didn’t have to remove any trees, and he did so as carefully as possible. With that done, he began to construct the foundation. The bedrock that would form the bottom of the lake would also be a suitable place to construct a foundation, so after digging a little, he flattened out a small area and laid out the footprint of the cabin.
The Concrete Was Poured and the Cornerstones Were Set
To build foundations, most commonly, holes are dug on all four corners, and stones are set to form the base of the foundation. However, in this case, the ground was quite firm. As Richard explains on his website, in such a case, “the stones may be simply placed upon the ground; this was the most common way the foundations of the early log cabins were constructed. This was the original technique used for this cabin.”
He continued to describe the construction as follows: “We drained accumulated water, waited for dry weather and then started to lay the foundation upon the bedrock”. Forms were built on the bedrock itself, and a concrete foundation was poured. It was designed in such a way that a basement could be built above the foundation, and the cabin could lie on top of the basement. This would protect the cabin if the marshy land flooded.
It Was Time to Dismantle the Cabin
Now that the new site was fully prepared, it was time to take meticulously take apart the old cabin and prepare it to be transported to the new location. All the logs were carefully labeled, but still, a great deal of care was required to dismantle the structure without damaging any of the beams that were in good condition. He turned to his old Native American friend Two Bears for help.
Two Bears suggested that they remove the 20 foot long, 12” by 12” oak beams from the top down, using brute force if necessary. Richard had his doubts. "Just poke them down", said Two Bears. "But what if they break", said Richard. "If they break, that means they were too rotten anyway", exclaimed Two Bears. The method worked, and only a few beams broke. The cabin was taken apart without the use of cranes or heavy machinery.
The Reconstruction Process Began
After carefully transporting the beams of the cabin, the painstaking process of reconstruction could begin. First, floor joists needed to be installed. The original ones were not viable, so Richard and some Amish friends took a walk into the woods and identified eight straight white oak trees that they could sacrifice for the project. “Processing each one and dragging them to the site was an arduous task,” Richard recalled.
The trees were cut and trimmed, but not milled flat. They were nearly the same diameter, and the slight differences could be evened out by using shims to make the floor perfectly flat. Fieldstones were placed on the foundation and masoned to form little walls, and the eight-floor joists were placed on top of those stones and squared up. The joists were measured to lay about six feet above the foundation to leave room for the basement.
The Floor Is Put In as Construction Continued
On top of the floor joists, they used a heavy composite wood floor base, and then on top of that, they used locally milled white oak boards. The original floorboards were useless, but they could keep the floor consistent by using local wood and old-fashioned milling techniques. After the floors were securely installed, it was time to begin replacing all the original wood beams into the correct positions.
Instead of using heavy machinery, they used a simple heavy-duty material lift, which was operated manually, to lift each beam. Originally, the work was done with a team of men using brute force and manual labor, but they didn’t have the manpower to do it that way. Still, they were able to lift the heavy beams without the use of engines. The material lift used simple machine force-extension such as screws and planes that have been in use for centuries.
The Cabin Started to Come Together
Slowly but surely, the cabin began to take shape. The beams were lifted into position one by one. A few of the beams were new replacements, but most of them were the original timber from the 1830s, and they were coming together stronger than ever. The original roof did not survive, so Aiken replaced it with new floor joints and created a second floor. Above that, a gable roof was built, which created attic space.
Aiken remarked that “The articulation of the roof elements was quite challenging,” but they were able to raise new beams into a triangular shape to further enhance the new, improved cabin. Split cedar shakes were used for the roof, and when it was time, Richard Aiken and his friends climbed on the roof to carefully lay the shingles down one at a time, carefully overlapping them and nailing them by hand using old-fashioned square nails.
In Retrospect, He Could Have Lived Without the Basement and the Roof Tiles
After construction on the cabin was completed, all the exposed surfaces were coated with linseed oil, which acts as a preservative and enhances the natural look of the wood. Richard loved the final result but might have made some changes with the benefit of hindsight. Firstly, the cedar shakes, a specialized kind of roof shingle, were extremely expensive, costing about $5000, and they won’t last forever. “Eventually it’s going to be high maintenance and start going all at once and I’ll have to replace it,” said Aiken in an interview.
He also wouldn’t have gone through all the trouble to build a basement. As he reflected, it was “something that I thought would be cool and it is, but took a lot of extra work.” It would have been easier to simply build the floor directly on the bedrock. Still, he’s glad he has the basement, as it’s cool.
A Front Porch That Doubles as an Amphitheater Stage
Aiken is particularly proud of his front porch. As a semi-professional singer (the man is a jack of all trades), he wanted a porch that could be used as a stage to have little acoustic concerts in the forest. There was a natural bowl that proceeded from the porch that could provide great acoustics to an audience without the need for electronic amplification (which was good, because as we’ve seen, there was no electricity in the cabin).
Just after the cabin was finished, he revealed his plans to a national economics magazine: “We’re going to put on some real shows and barbecue and have pretty good shindigs there.” The porch was supported by two white oak logs that rose from the foundation, and also provided beautiful views of the forests and local wildlife. That was Richard’s first dream when he first got the notion of a cabin.
He Built a World-Class Fireplace, Too
There had been a big hole in the wall opposite the porch and front door, and it was perfect for a fireplace. The original fireplace was completely gone, and the chimney had totally collapsed, so he had to start from scratch. Aiken took advantage of the opportunity to design and build an incredible fireplace that would be the envy of any million-dollar house in Beverly Hills.
He created a kind of tall, shallow fireplace known as a Rumford fireplace, originally described by Sir Benjamin Thompson, who was known as Count Rumford. Aiken took months to design it, knowing that “every little aspect of every geometric angle had to be precise,” as he put it. The fireplace featured smooth curves that allowed the smoke to follow its natural progression up the chimney. It also used widely angled and gently curved molding in the corners to better radiate heat into the room.
With All His Talent and Accomplishments, He Still Chooses Simplicity
There can be no doubt that Richard Aiken is a remarkable man. He’s a family man, with a devoted wife and three loving children. He has two PhDs, one in chemical engineering and one in mathematics. He has an MD and is a respected psychiatrist with a private practice and a university presence. He’s an author of several books on health, well-being, and veganism, and he’s an opera singer. As if that weren’t enough, he recently admitted that he “returned to competitive sports at 65 years old, multi-sport including triathlon.”
He also shared his theory about living in a simple shelter: “Simple is almost better,” Aiken said. “You can have a mansion with…all the conveniences of modern living and on the one hand, it would be just wonderful.” On the other hand, he went on to explain in his own words, it keeps you away from being in tune with nature.
What Lies Ahead for Richard Aiken
After building his own cabin, it might be hard to find something else to do that would meet or exceed the thrills and rewards of his latest accomplishment. But Richard Aiken is not a man to sit on his laurels or slow down. He’s currently working on his next book, a “hodgepodge” (as he puts it) filled with historical memories of rural Missouri, the pioneers, vegan recipes, traditional techniques of shelter construction, and more.
He continues to teach about veganism, especially as a self-described “hillbilly”. As Aiken explains, “You take a hillbilly, you think of all these good old boys up there hunting possum and whatnot — killing animals. That’s not what we’ve done most of our existence as primates. We’ve primarily have been eating plants.” In many ways, Richard Aiken encourages us to go back to our roots, to enjoy a simpler, happier life even in these modern times.
Richard's story is quite inspirational but took a heck of a lot of work. So unless you're like Richard, you might prefer getting lucky and taking what life gives you. Like this next story... This couple decided to renovate their house, and that's when they happened upon an incredible hidden treasure within their walls...
Couple Discovers a Forgotten, Hidden Fortune Inside of Their Home After Breaking Their Ceiling
In October 2016, Imgur user branik12 took to social media to share his incredible story. He had made a discovery that would change his life, and he knew he had to tell the world about his unbelievable luck.
It all started with some innocent home renovations... Branik12 and his family had been living in their home for a few years, and over that time they had been doing their best to leave their mark on the place. Branik12 was in his mid-30s at the time and a keen DIYer, so when he began the renovations he was focused on completing the project. That would all change with the discovery of some mysterious and dusty boxes...
Stripping the Walls
The basement was going to be a major part of the operation. The pair intended to strip it back completely, even taking out walls and redoing ceilings to create the space that they had in mind.
Therefore, it was with a feeling of excitement that branik12 first descended the stairs with his tools to begin the transformation. The first step was to strip all of the old wallpaper off the walls. It's a long and tedious job, and branik12 was looking forward to getting it over and done with. He was, however, surprised and a little spooked by what he found on the walls underneath.
Branik12 was getting intrigued as he uncovered more of the original surface of the walls down there. It seemed that the walls had been exposed for a while at some point in the house's history. The surfaces were covered in scrawling writing and pictures rather than the plain brick that he had been expecting.
The first areas that he uncovered seemed innocent enough - names, cartoon drawings of faces - maybe the kids had been allowed to use the walls as chalkboards. But then, the theme started getting darker. Branik12 was uncovering what looked like swastikas. The house had been built at about that time...
It was a little unsettling, but certainly, nothing to put branik12 off of the work at hand. With all the walls stripped and the chalky faces watching on in silence, he knew it was time to begin the really fun stuff. He was about to start removing the old ceiling.
Gritting his teeth, he set to work. The plastic sheeting was up to protect the rest of the house, and branik12 could get going on taking down the old ceiling, piece by piece.
A Mysterious Find
Then, suddenly, everything changed. The removal of the ceiling was revealing the rafters upon which the floorboards of the next level were fixed. Not generally super exciting, but as one particular piece fell to the floor, branik12 realized that he had stumbled upon something that he wasn't expecting to find in the cramped space.
As the dust cleared, he could make out a box in the ceiling. It was wedged up in the rafters. By shining a light onto it, he could see that it resembled a tin lunch box and that it was green. All thoughts of plasterboard and wallpaper fled from his mind as he stared at the mysterious find.
Shooting the Evidence
This was the point at which he thought about documenting the story. Who knew what could be inside that case? No doubt, branik12 thought, it wasn't going to be buried treasure, but it was definitely more interesting than ceiling renovation, and well worth a few photos ready to be shared on the internet.
His curiosity, coupled with disbelief, had already compelled him to pull the case from its hidey-hole before cameras had crossed his mind, so branik12 hurriedly stuffed the case back while he went to get his camera. From that point on, he took a photo of every stage of the discovery.
And a Banana for Scale
With the box's hiding place documented, branik12 grabbed it again, took it outside, and laid it on the bed of his truck. His excitement mounting, he called his wife over to participate in the grand reveal. The box looked even more mysterious with the bright light of day showing up all the dust, attesting to the length of time it must have lain hidden.
Everything stopped at that point while the family searched for a banana, a tried-and-tested Imgur method of adding scale to the pictures they were taking. But hey, a nail brush does just as well, and curiosity was beginning to bite hard. They couldn't wait any longer to open the box.
As they tugged on the strings tied around the small tin container, the family discussed what could be inside. The box wasn't heavy, so it seemed that gold ingots might be out of the question, but there are some very valuable pieces of paper out there...
Old baseball cards? Unmarked banknotes? Even something as prosaic as recipe cards would still be fascinating to rummage through. It didn't have to always be about money, they reminded each other, preparing for the practically inevitable disappointment that they were sure they would feel when the lid was finally raised.
Opening the Box
At last, the string was undone, and the lid was being flipped. The couple held their breath as the inside of the case came into view. Their expectant grins faded slightly into moues of puzzlement as the contents were revealed. At first glance, it certainly didn't look like a secret treasure!
Lying in the lunchbox were three roughly wrapped packages. They were long and thin, and the wrapping was decades-old waxed paper, maybe an attempt at waterproofing the contents. The packages had been stuffed untidily into the box, and nothing but faint markings could be seen through the opaque paper, providing no real hint as to what it contained.
A Day Like Any Other
Branik12 reached into the box and took the three mysterious wrapped objects out, laying them on a table for closer inspection. Looking back into the container, he noticed that the bottom was lined with newspaper. He picked that up also, unfolding it to glance for interesting articles that might explain what was hidden and why.
The news that day, however, seemed like that of any other day, with nothing shouting out at him. He did take the time to note the date, wondering on Imgur later with his readers whether it could be an accurate measure of when the case had been hidden under the floorboards.
The Color of Money
Now it was time to turn their attention to the packages lined up on the tabletop. As the sunlight shone straight on the wrapped bundles for the first time in decades, the family could see that the lines dimly perceived through the waxed paper looked very much like the color of money.
Branik12 and his wife looked at each other in amazement. Could this be what it looked like? If that were three stacks of banknotes sitting there in front of them, then how much could it be worth? The tension was so high now that they could hardly bear to open the bundles and find out!
The Stash - Part One...
Branik12 and his wife reached for the packages, trading guesses as to how much might be there. Squinting through the opaque covering, they thought that one bill they could see was a twenty, but it seemed too much to hope for that the whole stack would be the same denomination.
The renovation works were completely forgotten by this time. The excitement was reaching fever pitch, and as the first package was unwrapped, and the contents discovered, the family even forgot about documenting the process. Adrenalin took them over as they gazed at the notes they had spread across the table.
"These are all twenties! There may be a couple thousand here! We are freaking out at this point," branik12 wrote on Imgur when he posted the photos they finally remembered to take. "This doesn't happen to us! What do we do? Where are the cameras?"
The whole situation was so unreal that the family started to look around for the candid cameras, convinced that they were the recipients of a prank for TV or YouTube. Every single one of the notes was indeed a $20 bill, and there were dozens of them. The couple took a few minutes to catch their breath before turning to the next bundle.
Part Two - Fifties
It seemed like too much to expect that the other packages would contain the same values, although, at the same time, ridiculous to think that they didn't! Slightly wild-eyed at this point, branik12 started to unwrap the next bundle. His heart was hammering in his chest as the paper fell away from the uncovered banknotes.
"The second package didn't have any twenties. It was all fifties! What is going on here? There could be 5 grand here!" was the next exultant post that the Imgur followers read. Here, the writer took the time to apologize for not documenting the actual opening. "Our excitement overwhelmed us," he wrote.
Part Three - Hundreds!
So now, only the third package remained. With trembling hands, the couple peeled the waxed paper off. What they saw left them speechless, gaping at each other in shock. "Wait!!!!" branik12 typed wildly to the waiting readers. "The third package is 100s!!!! This is out of control!!!"
The adrenalin was pumping through their veins now, so we'll forgive them for the multiple exclamation marks. After all, they had just found a small fortune hidden away in their home. But, even in the rush of excitement, they couldn't help but wonder what the money was doing there, and how this story might end.
A Whole Lotta Dough
With all the notes laid out on the table before them, it was time for the family to assess the situation. "What do we do now?" branik12 posted as he recalled the sense of wonder that they were feeling. "Is it ours? What is it worth? I can't put this on Imgur!"
These were all important questions, and the family decided to seek legal help before they did make the adventure public. Once they had done so, it was great fun for them to watch as the internet took hold of the story and ran with it, splashing their good fortune across the globe.
Not Just Any Old Banknotes
It turned out that the family really had stumbled across a fortune. When the couple inspected the bills they found that some of them weren't regular money. Included in the stash were some rare bills, and branik12 had to do some research to ascertain exactly what he was looking at.
There were brown notes. There was a gold certificate. There were even some star notes - special bills printed to replace faulty currency - that had hardly circulated. All the bills were dated between 1928 and 1934. It was time to get an expert in to value the find, and a lawyer to investigate whether it classed as theirs or not!
Paying the Mortgage
The lawyers investigated, and it was decreed that the money was theirs to keep. "We are boring people," branik12 confided to his enthralled Imgur readers, "and have been dumping our extra money to pay off our mortgage. That is where this money will go too."
And so, boring life crept back. The adrenalin high wore off after around a week, and branik12 started thinking about getting back to his renovation project. After all, he did have a basement with only half a ceiling...
Anyone for Seconds?
But the house wasn't finished with shocking its incumbent family yet. No sooner had he begun taking down more of the ceiling when he came across a second box. It was lying on the plasterboard just as the other had been, and it looked like it was a matching pair.
Branik12 got his camera out again quickly and took a snap for Imgur. "What is this?!?" he captioned it, "Another box! This is amazing!! No way! The first one was unbelievable, not this is just getting crazy!" What's more, he was certain that he knew what was going to be in this one without even opening it.
Working Through It
Unfortunately for him, his wife was still at work when he made this discovery. He was going to have to wait for her to get home before he could open it up. This was a tall ask for our boy, as this time, he could see through a small vent on the box's side, and it was clear what the contents were.
This time, as he had to wait anyway, branik12 set the box aside and continued tearing down the ceiling in the basement, not without a certain hopefulness that there might be even more boxes stashed among the rafters!
The Waiting Game
It proved to be a fruitless search - there were no more lunch tins to be found. But at least the ceiling removal was finished! Wiping his hands clean, branik12 could return to the box that was burning a hole in his imagination. "I can see cash through the vent," he told Imgur.
And this box was twice as heavy as the last. That made for some pretty sweet maths in branik12's head as he sat and stared alternately at the box and then at the clock, willing the hours to pass and his wife to return.
The Lord of the Lunchbox
Passing the time cleaning the lunch tin until it sparkled, branik12 jokingly refers to the find as 'his precious' as he obsesses over it. He briefly considered bringing the banana nail brush back for continuity, but he had had some complaints from his followers that it was a bit small for a true scale!
Finally, he heard his wife's car in the drive and rushed out to tell her the news. In no time, they were bending over the lunch tin as they opened the lid. The container was indeed full of money, this time packed so tightly together that it filled the entire space.
Packing It in
This time, nearly all of the banknotes were twenties. Included in the tightly packed treasure trove were more rare bills. The happy couple added it to their previous findings and got to stacking it up to work out how much they now had.
It was like a dream come true as they piled up the like notes. They were building multiple stacks worth $10,000 each! The rare bills were separated so they could be valued and sold on, and gradually the pile grew even bigger as new money poured in from the sales.
A Very Satisfying Trip
Twenty or so of the notes had value over the face value plus grading cost. Ten were worth four times their face value! After these were sold, the total value of their amazing hidden treasure came to roughly $45k! Now, they could make the deposit into their mortgage account.
Branik12 and his wife packed up all the notes once more and headed off to the bank. "I seriously had to make an appointment and sit there and watch them count it all out," he recalled to the waiting Imgur readers when it was all over. "It was great fun!"
A Life-Changing Opportunity
The Cleveland family could hardly believe their luck. They had gone through all the right channels and made sure that they consulted an estate lawyer about the legalities of claiming the money. Although they had to pay taxes on their find, they had deposited enough to virtually pay off their mortgage.
With the lump sum in the bank, the family's house would be loan-free by the next year. And they were already looking to the future. With the renovations complete and their bills paid, they decided to move abroad and make their dreams a reality!