It was in 2013 that a man went viral on the internet as he attempted to open a safe that he had found in a basement. This even reached mainstream media. It took nine months for the items found to be revealed. Was it worth the time waiting? The story started in March 16 2013 when a redditor with the name dont_stop_me_smee uploaded some pictures to the community imgur. The post said that one of his friends had moved into this property in New Zealand that has associations with drug crime. A mystery was found in the basement.
These are sinister images that show a heavy steel door. Behind this door was a safe built into the wall of the house.
The safe door had a dial lock and had been marked along its edges with some brown tape. This was thought to be a clue for the combination, but the redditor couldn’t figure out the code.
As he was so intrigued, he asked the Reddit community for their help. This kept many site users enthralled for the next nine months.
It was two years previous that a similar situation occurred when a user promised to open a safe found in his father’s casino live online, but this never happened in the end.
dont_stop_me_smee got plenty of advice on Reddit and got more than 6,000 comments on the original post.
One user worked with safes professionally and knew that the lock model was a Sargent and Greenleaf 6630. He recommended a stethoscope that was specialized in order to crack the combo. Or else to carefully drill a hole through the lock.
Other users gave their views also on the best approach they thought would work. Someone thought that because the handle had been ground off that the safe would not open even if they had the combo.
A lot of poorer suggestions were present of course, such as using jackhammers, plasma cutters etc.
Some questioned whether this was a real situation or not, so dont_stop_me_smee said “I know reddit’s history with safes,” he wrote. “If somebody comes up with a useful way to get into this thing I will try it tomorrow and post pics.”
A new subreddit was even started to document any progress. 60,000 subbed to it within two days.
As the weeks went on, the updates became less frequent and the comments began to fill with snide comments and remarks. Redditors started to feel that they were once more cheated.
Eventually on the 1st of June 2013, he reposted. This time though it was on another subreddit where he looked for support as his grandfather had passed away.
It was not until 2014 that a large development occurred. A redditor called mantisnzl had been browsing the site when he realized that these were pictures of his own basement. He had moved into this same house without knowing the back story.
Now he became part of an internet phenomenon. He started to give people the answers they wanted.
“[I was] dumbstruck,” he wrote. “[I] was sitting downstairs looking at it, drinking with mates, sucking at pool and thinking of ways to get in there. Come upstairs and there’s a picture of something in my house on the front page.”
As he discovered so many people wanted an outcome, he resolved to give it to them. He got together a borescope. Crowbar, drill and cutting blades. Within three weeks he had broken into the safe.
What was actually in there? Did it meet the hype? Sadly it did not. It was empty except for spiders and cobwebs.
Reactions online were mixed. Some were saddened at the let down while others found it humorous. An internet legacy was created.
Over 85,000 subscribers had watched the drama unfold. This also led to people around the world to try and solve similar mysteries. The original safe now stores all of the man’s liquor!
mantisnzl wrote, “After an epic cleanout, it can serve to store enough liquor to drown the despair of any one of us that was hoping for greatness within.” Well, you can’t say fairer than that.