Strozier details GPR work to Lions Club
Before 2007, Len Strozier was a pastor. He was leading a church in Covington, Georgia but got tired of leading the parish of more than 1,200 people. After retiring from ministry, Strozier started working at Cox Funeral Home in Manchester, Georgia, where he was given three cemeteries to manage.
To determine which grave spots were still available, Strozier mapped out the cemeteries, which led to him creating Omega Mapping Services in 2007. In his 13 years at Omega Mapping Services, Strozier has found thousands of unmarked graves in cemeteries in 18 states and has been contracted to find both treasure and military cargo buried in the ground.
On Wednesday, Strozier was the guest speaker at the West Point Lions Club.
“The evolution was natural because of that cemetarian passion,” Strozier said. “I enjoy going to cemeteries and looking and feeling the history.
You can read the markers and remember the era. There is something about that lights up my spirit. I just started measuring cemeteries with a measuring wheel and a large piece of paper, and I was able to do that successfully until this other man told me about ground-penetrating radar. Another man introduced me to GPS, and that took the measuring wheel and paper out of my hands.”
For his entire life, Strozier has always been a fan of cemeteries, even essentially learning how to drive in Rosehill Cemetary in Macon, Georgia.
“I engaged the heritage of what goes on at a cemetery,” Strozier said. “I engage the history, the topography and the architecture and develop camaraderie with the people who work in those places. They are important, essential places that we prefer not to ever go there.”
Strozier started his business by finding unmarked graves in numerous cemeteries, running from almost 100 acre lots to just a few plots. One of the toughest cemeteries that he visited was in North Dakota. At the cemetery in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, Strozier found more than 400 unmarked graves of children.
The local priest informed him that the church used to be a convent and the local townspeople would bring sick children to the convent to receive aid. Children that died were buried in the same area of the cemetary more than two centuries ago.
Strozier also found a cemetery in Atlanta on a golf course with 86 burials. Fortunately, the burials were behind the fifth green and was out of play.
Omega Mapping Services also will work for cities. With his ground-penetrating radar, Strozier can find pipes and wires that are connected to buildings.
“You’re able to see valves and where the gas line comes in,” Strozier said. “That saves a lot of concern if you have to do any type of maintenance on a property.”
Strozier was on retainer for the city of Americus in Georgia, where he mapped more than 40 different sites in his three-year stint.
“I was able to show them where all the pipes were located, so they could maintain them as well as they could,” Strozier said.
There were several instances where Strozier was able to save the city several thousands of dollars during his time there.
Strozier is currently waiting for the History Channel and the Shenault Helicopter Museum for his next big job.
In Lafayette, Louisiana, there is a cache of WWII equipment buried somewhere underground
“In 1943, they buried a lot of hardware — trucks, tanks, jeeps, tool boxes and 12 P-40 fighterplanes that are still in the crate, which are worth about $5-7 million dollars apiece,” Strozier said.
The equipment was buried in 1943 after the generals at the time scrapped a plan to send the cache to China to battle Japan during WWII.
He has also had a chance to search for treasure.
A private investigator contacted Strozier recently about an old story from Dahlonega, Georgia. The story is that during the gold rush, a man returned from California with enough gold for 700 gold coins.Unfortunately, after a sawmill accident, the man died, but the coins were buried on his property.
Strozier has found the house and has searched six of the 16 acres to find the gold pot. He has not found the pot yet.
“I hope that we find it.
It would be incredible if we find it,” Strozier said.