“Just grab my hand, and we’re going to get out of here together,” Mike told Dale as they were both gasping for air. Dale was crying at that point, and getting out of the tunnel seemed no longer possible.
At first they thought those were regular old pipes in the forest, not realizing what a terrible story lay behind them. “Dale, look!” – Mike screamed, hardly believing his eyes. – “We should leave this place as soon as possible”! However, it might have been too late…
Mike Peter and Dale Hufford are two friends who go way back. They met relatively young, and they both grew up in the same area in Baltimore, Maryland. While they were growing up, they were both inseparable, and they had dreams of seeing the world together.
During their teenage years, Mike and his family moved to another country. Nonetheless, the boys’ friendship didn’t change – it was the age of the internet, after all. So they both dreamed of being reunited again, and little did they know, their reunion would lead to so many discoveries…
After leaving the United States of America, Mike and his family moved to Lobetal, Germany. His father landed a job in the country, and they had the opportunity to move to Europe. For Mike’s father, moving to this continent was his dream, so he quickly took the opportunity once it presented itself.
“There are these huge pipes in my backyard, and we’re going to have so much fun exploring them together,” Mike told Dale on one of their calls. Dale was packing since this was the reunion they had been waiting for. After years of being apart, the friends were reunited in Germany.
The pipes in Mike’s backyard aren’t ordinary pipes because they were quite massive and buried underground. For years, nobody dared to find out where it led or where it came from, so it remained a mystery. Although, Mike’s curiosity grew and he knew he wanted to uncover the truth.
Once Dale arrived in Germany, the boys quickly sprang into action. Upon seeing the pipes, Dale said, “These are much bigger than you described. I hope we don’t get in trouble for trespassing.” The boys just laughed and continued to find the entrance to the pipes.
They knew they wouldn’t fit into the pipes even though the opening was quite big. After all, they had no idea where it even led or whether the pipes had other things inside of them. So the boys decided that they would walk further into the woods to try and locate an opening or an entrance.
Dale said, “This is such an exciting adventure. I feel like we’re a bunch of Urban Explorers.” Mike simply smiled at him and said, “I’m so glad you’re here, and I’m even more glad that we’re sharing this adventure.” Dale gave his friend a tap in the back – they were happy and excited about the things they were about to find.
After walking for a few minutes, the boys still had no idea where the entrance to the pipes might be. They were starting to go deeper into the woods, but they still had no idea whether the pipes actually had an opening or not. Dale asked Mike, “Are you sure that we’re going to find something here?”
Mike was starting to doubt his ideas at that point, and Dale could see the doubt in his friend’s eyes. Dale said, “We’ll keep looking, and I’m sure that we’re going to find something in no time.” This was the assurance that Mike needed to keep going, and he was so glad that Dale was there to support his adventurous side.
When they were about to give up, Dale stumbled upon an opening with the words “Do Not Enter” written on top. This was the entrance they were looking for, and they knew they had hit the jackpot. So they kept on going because they were so curious to see what was inside those pipes.
Mike knew that the tunnel would be dark, so he brought a flashlight. He handed one over to Dale and said, “Be careful. We have no idea what kind of things or even people are in this place.” The friends walked right next to each other, and they were ready to face whatever obstacles might be in their way.
Mike and Dale kept going, and they knew that they had to uncover the secrets that the tunnel was hiding. Although there were times when they realized that they might have to turn back, yet their curiosity was stronger. Then an awful stench tackled their senses – Dale asked, “What is that rotten smell?”
At that point, the friends were seriously starting to doubt this adventure. There might’ve been a decaying body under the tunnel because of the horrid stench that they were smelling. So Mike asked his friend, “Do you still want to go? We can go back if you don’t want to.”
As the boys went deeper into the tunnel, oxygen was getting scarce, and they both had such difficulties breathing. Dale was starting to see a figure wherever he pointed his flashlight, and he could’ve sworn that he could hear a girl laughing. Oxygen was so scarce beneath the ground that they both started hallucinating.
Dale said, “Mike, I don’t feel so good. I think I’m going to sleep right here.” Mike knew that he had to take Dale to safety – he was starting to blame himself and his stupid adventure. He said, “We’re going to find the exit, and we’ll get out of here together.”
Mike tried to look for an opening, but he couldn’t find anything. So he tried to point his flashlight in every direction to find a form of exit. Then he saw something quite extraordinary somewhere in the distance – it was something quite shiny that caught Mike’s attention.
So before he turned to find another exit, he went to where he saw the shiny object and grabbed it by its handle. He couldn’t see what it was in the dark, so he quickly put it in his backpack for safekeeping. He whispered, “I’m not sure what this is, but I’ll take a closer look in the light.”
The boys had been walking for minutes, and they still couldn’t find the exit they were looking for. During that point, Mike started to feel uneasy, and Dale kept on hallucinating. It was probably due to the lack of oxygen, but they both knew they needed to get out of that tunnel.
They kept on walking until they started to see an opening – it wasn’t the same opening they entered into, but it was good enough. While they were staring at the light, they both decided to rest and sit for a bit. Now they knew where the exit was, so they felt like they could rest.
As they were both sitting, Mike noticed that Dale was starting to grow weaker and weaker. He said, “Hey, man, you have to get up. We’re almost out of this tunnel, so you have to get up.” Dale was still conscious, and he tried his best to get up, but it was evident that he was tired.
It was as if they were running for their lives, and Mike knew he had to drag his friend out of there. The adventure he planned to explore the pipes took quite a different turn, and it slowly became somewhat of a horror show. Thankfully, they both got out of the tunnel safely.
As soon as they got out of the tunnel, Mike and Dale dropped to their knees and simply lied on the grass. They were both so ecstatic to be breathing fresh air again compared to the horrible stench they had discovered underneath the pipes. Dale said, “I can’t believe we’re not dead.”
Mike told his friend, “I don’t think we were going to die down there, but that was pretty close.” Their little adventure took a miscalculated turn, and they knew that they weren’t going to go anywhere near those pipes again. Although Mike realized that he did take a little souvenir from his time in the tunnel…
The boys were still outside the tunnel when Mike realized that he had taken a little souvenir. So he reached for his backpack and grabbed what he thought to be a useless piece of metal. He said, “This can’t be real.”
It turns out that Mike reached for a solid 500g bar of gold, and he couldn’t believe what he was staring at. He told Dale, “Pinch me and tell me I’m not holding a solid gold bar in my hand.” Dale was still out of it, but he said, “That really is a solid gold bar in your hand.”
In the distance, Mike and Dale were starting to hear some dogs barking, and they knew that it might be the police. So they kept the gold bar in Mike’s bag and ran as fast as they could. They needed to go back into the safety of Mike’s house, where they could safely hide their little treasure.
Dale closed the door behind him and said, “That was a close call. Let’s not do that again.” Mike laughed and told his friend, “You would have to drag me to get me back in there.” They both laughed at that remark, and they both looked back at the adventure that they’ve been through that day – it had been a crazy ride.
Upon further research, the friends learned that the tunnel they explored was part of the Lager Koralle. It was a naval intelligence school founded during World War II, and once the war ended, it became abandoned. Still, there were quite a few war memorabilia left inside the tunnel.
Today, the Lager Koralle is largely forgotten by the general public, so it was a surprising discovery on Mike and Dale’s part. They had no idea of the historical significance of this hidden bunker, but they were glad they got to experience it. We doubt that they’ll go back there, though.
One morning, Dale asked his friend, “What are you going to do with the gold you discovered from the bunker?” Mike was still unsure, and he had no idea what he was going to do because such a huge discovery was life-changing. However, he knew that he couldn’t keep it for himself.
Mike answered, “I think I’m going to surrender it and try to find its real owners.” So the pair called the authorities and surrendered the gold bar they discovered at the Lager Koralle. One of the policemen said, “This is such a massive discovery. You did a good job in surrendering this gold to the authorities.”
The authorities inspected the gold bar that Mike found at the Lager Koralle, and the experts were still stunned. The serial number on the gold bar couldn’t be read because someone had scratched it out in the past. It looked like somebody prevented the gold from reaching its real owners.
When the experts tested the gold bar, it was said that it would’ve been worth around USD 18,000 today. If the real owners didn’t show up, Mike could keep the gold because he found it. Deep inside, Mike knew that he wanted to keep it because that amount could potentially be life-changing.
The miscalculated adventure that Mike and Dale went on was life-changing, but it was also pretty dangerous. Had they not found the exit in time, they could’ve run out of oxygen and died in there. The most terrifying part is that nobody would find them there unless they searched for something in particular.
Still, the boys had no regrets, and they said they would do it all again. Dale said, “It was the adventure of a lifetime, and I’m so happy I spent it with Mike.” After years of being separated, the friends’ reunion was nothing short of extraordinary.
Mike and Dale’s story is both brave and reckless – after all, they were now dubbed as Urban Explorers. It shows that sometimes, you can find treasure in abandoned places, but you have to look deep within.
It really was the adventure of a lifetime for these two boys, but they admitted that it was their first and last exploration. Sometimes, it’s always best to stay out of sketchy places.