Revealing the Secrets of Al Capone?s Fortress West.
By Wayne Good of Accurate Locators, Inc.
Wayne in Tunnel Lookout access
Even for an experienced pro such as Wayne, the call from the exclusive Two Bunch Palms resort in California led to some exciting surprises. Would he survey the secret hideaway of Al Capone known in those gangster days as Fortress West? Using kit designed and built by his own company, Accurate Locators of Oregon and Las Vegas, his task was to locate a secret tunnel used by the mobster.
Al ("Scarface") Capone, the first Public Enemy No.1, ordered some 500 hits. Though normally associated with Chicago and the infamous St. Valentine?s Day Massacre, Capone created hideaways such as Desert Hot Springs.
By the late 1920?s Capone was a tired, slightly apprehensive man in search of a safe retreat. Elderly natives of Desert Hot Springs recall the day when a group of hard-faced men in dark suits and fedora hats got off the train at Garnet Station and starting driving across the desert. Legend tells us that these men ended their journey at an oasis, sitting on a berm rising above the desert floor and hosting hot mineral springs and two large bunches of palm trees. Within days a new legend began drifting across the valley: ?Two Bunch Palms? had become Al Capone?s ?Fortress West?.
Capone built the first permanent buildings ever erected at Two Bunch Palms - bungalows composed of large gray stones, planked oak floors, rock fireplaces, and small stained glass windows. Perched on top of the main residence sits a sentry turret, and beneath the desert sand is a tunnel system ? security measures to ensure the safety of its occupants. Stone walkways and a giant outdoor rock cooking pit were added; and the hot springs were enclosed into pools built of rock. Capone gradually built more structures to include a brothel, gambling hall and a guest cottage. Years later, it appears that a large opening in one of the guest-cottage walls was walled-in with stone and cement, suggesting a blocked access ? but access to what?
Al Capone enjoyed partying with Hollywood movie stars of the silent screen era, which is how he met his girlfriend, actress of stage and silver screen, Gladys Walton.
She had debuted in films in small parts. However, as her acting talent came more out into the open, she was given larger and more important roles in films, such as La La Lucille in 1920 with Universal Studios, as well as The Secret Gift, also in 1920. She was also given a role in Pink Tights (1920), opposite film star Jack Perrin.
The fortress became the playground of Mafia bosses and movie stars. A modern gambling casino now shared the oasis. Under the Casino is massive safe Gladys Walton had total access to whenever she needed money. Here, the hard-faced city men sat night and day watching all the roads leading to the oasis.
Legend has it that on one particular night, a gunfight erupted inside Capone?s cottage while Gladys Walton slept beside him. Capone reportedly shot and killed the would-be assassin and left a large mirror scarred with a bullet hole.
The historian of Two Bunch Palms resort is John Herbel-Walton, her first-born son. It was Herbel-Walton who, with the cooperation of the resort owners, invited Wayne Good to confirm the location of the tunnels.
Detecting at Al Capone?s front door. Wayne Good at Hideaway Cottage using 1X1M Pulse Induction coil.
On top of the main residence sits a lookout tower, and beneath the desert sand is a tunnel system ? security measures to ensure the safety of its occupants. Stone walkways to the casino were added also the hot springs were enclosed into pools built of rock.
Capone gradually built more structures to include a brothel, gambling hall and a guest cottage. Years later, it appears that a large opening in one of the guest-cottage walls was walled-in with stone and cement, suggesting a blocked access ? but access to what?
Using the Underground Imager System, Wayne found two possible tunnels leading from the Capone cottage. One tunnel heads to the Grotto and the other to the Casino.
Al Capone?s tunnel located.
Using a pulse induction locator, an anomaly was detected consisting of a large space, possibly a small room, under the patio of the Capone cottage that requires further investigation. The Pulse detection indicated a very loud metal reading.
The tunnel under the patio
Wayne has demonstrated with his advanced geophysical equipment that this secret retreat for the rich and famous has yet more secrets to be revealed.
Wayne Good is the CEO of Accurate Locators Inc.
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