By Jackson Cote

Keith Wille, a self-described treasure hunter and metal “detectorist,” has a motto: “You lost something. I find it.”

And that’s exactly what he did for one woman in Western Massachusetts who called him about trying to locate a cashbox potentially missing beneath the floorboards of the attic in her family home.

The treasure hunt wound up being the best of 2021 so far, according to Wille, whose operations are based in Connecticut.

After decades of rumor, treasure hunter Keith Wille found $46,000 hidden in a cashbox beneath the floorboards of a Western Massachusetts family’s home. (Keith Wille/Rediscover Lost)

“One question I get all the time is how many treasures do you think are out there?,” Wille said at the opening of the episode of his show, “Rediscover Lost,” posted to YouTube on Wednesday. “I think there are countless treasures still out there, and if it’s there, I’ll find it.”

The treasure hunt in Western Massachusetts was the product of decades of rumor about hidden loot in the 1950s home, which was owned by the woman’s aunt and uncle.

The woman’s mother moved in after her aunt died roughly five years ago, and the house is set to go up for sale soon. However, the family didn’t want to sell it without first finding the rumored treasure.

She believes the loot was hidden in the attic “a long, long time ago.” Floorboards in the space have white x- and star-shaped symbols drawn on them, piquing the family’s interest and leaving them with questions about where the cash was.

With his endoscopic camera, Wille found the cashbox in one corner of the attic.

He noticed jagged saw marks in the rafters of that section of the space, searched the floor and saw the keyhole of the cashbox. The treasure hunter then removed two suspiciously cut floorboards to take the loot out of its 63-year old hiding place.

Cash was packed to the lid of a metal box in the bundles, with individual bills dating all the way back to 1934, 1935 and 1950. The date Dec. 19, 1958, along with a teller number, was stamped on each currency strap, and highly collectible silver certificates were visible in three of the bundles, Wille noted.

The cache of vintage banknotes totaled $46,000. Wille pointed out that in 1958, the purchasing power of that amount of money would be equivalent to $421,603 today.

“We found the cashbox. So, we retrieved it. The family now has closure on the cash,” Wille said. “They can sell the house.”

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