Lifestyle & Human Interest

Mysterious Safe and Note Found in Field Belonging to Farmer


There’s something irresistible about the chance of discovering treasure.

It’s a pirate trope. It’s what drives people to buy lottery tickets despite the low chances of them winning. It’s what spurs scavenger hunts and metal detector purchases.

And it’s solidly behind this safe that was found abandoned in a farmer’s field in Barre, New York.

“At first light this morning, Kirk Mathes found this safe in one of his fields on the corner of East Barre Rd. and Rt. 31,” the Town of Barre, NY Community Facebook page posted on Aug. 13.

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“The note states: ‘If you can open this, you can have what’s in side’. Nobody knows yet who placed the safe there.”

Kirk Mathes, the farmer whose land the safe was found on, claims that it’s not his own handiwork.

“Some wise guy or kids,” he suggested as culprits when speaking to WHAM-TV. “We got some crazy kids here in Barre. Real jokers, so I guess it’s a mystery as to how it got there.”

When the spectacle was initially spotted, Mathes was out of town. Curious passers-by saw the safe and its invitation and went to work, despite the fact that it was on private property.

“They took a sledgehammer to it, and they knocked off the dial and handle,” Mathes said. “And they worked on the hinges, kind of beat it up.”

“My friend and I were there and almost got it open but someone called the cops on us so,” commented one woman on the community’s Facebook post, saying they’d brought a crowbar and a sledgehammer.

Others responded to her comment, doubting that she was really that close and informing her that she’d been trespassing. Mathes said police showed up and sent the would-be treasure hunters packing.

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The safe, easily weighing several hundred pounds, had to be moved with heavy equipment, and Mathes had to work to get the safe to his barn.

While people are begging to know what’s inside, Mathes has a different take on the whole thing.

“My personal feeling is to leave it as a mystery,” he said. “If you open it, the show is over.

“In these times, with the virus and the politics, it might give people a chance to set their problems or troubles aside and have a lot of fun talking about it.”

There’s talk of the item eventually being displayed in a Town of Barre museum. But for now, the safe will disappear as quickly as it appeared, keeping the contents shrouded in mystery.

“I don’t know where we’re going to hide it,” Mathes told the reporters, “but as soon as you leave, we’re gonna.”

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