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Seven Very Unexpected Storage Unit Finds

Watch the show Storage Wars or attend a storage auction yourself, and you'll find that plenty of valuable items get left behind in storage units. Of course, a lot of junk gets left behind too. Purchasing a unit at an auction can be risky, but it can also be financially rewarding and a lot of fun. Sometimes things even take a turn for the stranger. Here are seven fascinating storage unit finds that truly surprise. 

An Authentic Treasure Chest

Many people find treasure in storage units, but few people find real treasure chests. Don and Laura Dotson from Storage Wars once purchased a unit that included a 16th century pirate's treasure chest. It was one of the most envied finds on the show because it was both unique and very valuable. True to its name, the chest really was full of treasure. The couple found old Spanish coins inside, and the chest and coins were sold together for $500,000 after being authenticated by experts. 

A James Bond Car

A Long Island man got the surprise of his life in 1989 when he found a covered car inside a storage unit that he'd purchased for less than $100. The man didn't recognize the white sports car, which had a dented roof and no wheels. It had been covered in blankets and had no insignia that seemed notable. The man and his brother strapped the car onto the back his truck and started the drive home. 

It wasn't long before other drivers told him via CB radio that the car he was transporting was from the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me. The car was one of eight submarine vehicles produced for the movie. No one knew how or why it ended up in Long Island, but that didn't bother the man who bought the unit. He got a handsome reward when Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, purchased the car at auction for nearly $1 million. 

A Stack of Stolen Identities

A Colorado storage unit buyer was in for an unpleasant surprise when he discovered that his unit contained something criminal instead of something valuable. The man found hundreds of personal documents including medical records, social security numbers and more. He even found a printer and evidence that the person renting the unit had been manufacturing fake IDs. Concerned by the find, the man approached the police. 

Surprisingly, the police department wanted nothing to do with the case and asked the man to dispose of the sensitive documents himself. He went to local media instead, and the police were pressured by the public to investigate. The illegal ID maker was eventually identified and arrested. Unfortunately, she was working with the storage facility's owner. Remember that it's important to choose a storage facility with excellent security protocols and friendly, trustworthy staff. 

Previously Unheard Michael Jackson Tracks

You wouldn't think that a famous musician's early recordings would end up in an auctioned storage unit. One lucky buyer discovered that sometimes the impossible does happen. He opened a storage unit he'd purchased only to find unreleased recordings of Michael Jackson that had been owned by his father, Joe Jackson. The songs were recorded at a time when Jackson didn't have a recording contract, which meant that no studio could release them. In all, the unit contained about 250 tracks. A young Jackson recorded many of those tracks with R&B legend Tina Turner. 

It was an amazing find for both the unit's lucky bidder and the world of music. The buyer was especially lucky because most types of audio recordings made prior to the introduction of CDs are at risk for damage from very high or very low temperatures and humidity. If you're planning on storing old audio or video recordings, invest in a climate-controlled unit that will help protect your items from extreme temperatures and moisture.

A Real, Live Burglar

Most people who rent storage units use them to safeguard possessions that they don't have the space or desire to store at home. Not everyone who visits a storage facility is there to drop things off though. In 2011, a Missouri man decided that he could make some easy money by breaking into a storage unit and stealing valuable items. An attentive security guard saw the man on camera and locked the unit's door from the outside. The guard alerted police, who were able to apprehend the suspect with ease. 

If you're considering renting a storage unit, remember that security is important. At MySpace Storage, we're proud to have an attentive staff that monitors our facilities and surveillance cameras. We know that your belongings are important to you, and their safety is important to us. We make identifying potential thieves and other hazards one of our top priorities.

A NASA Rocket

The hosts of the TV show Auction Hunters made an out-of-this-world find in a Miami storage unit in 2011. As they packed up one of the units they'd purchased, they found a NASA rocket and countdown clock. The pair took the items to a space memorabilia expert to see if they'd found authentic items. The expert was able to authenticate the countdown clock, but the rocket was actually just a well-made model. The clock had been part of a discontinued NASA project and had long been forgotten by the space agency. 

Acquiring the unit cost the show's hosts about $1,500. While the rocket might not have been authentic, both it and the countdown clock eventually sold. The finders made a profit of about $1,000 on the find. 

Michael Jordan's Recruiting Letters

Michael Jordan is a basketball legend, and he's a serious businessman, too. That's why it was a surprise when a storage unit buyer found a number of documents that had been owned by Jordan himself. Among the items were Jordan's college recruiting letters and at least one other document that had been pivotal to his career. Basketball memorabilia collectors were thrilled to see the items up for auction. The unit's buyer netted about $50,000 from the find. He said he hadn't expected much when buying the unit at auction but was pleasantly surprised by the very valuable contents.