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Scouts Hope to Locate Unknown Graves

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GLADSTONE, Mo. -- There are 102 unknown graves in the Big Shoal Cemetery in Gladstone. After looking at the Census records and other documents, historians believe there are at least 62 other people buried there.

On Saturday, a group of scouts used ground penetrating radar to help locate the graves.

"What we're looking for are anomalies underground," said Mark Deschepper with Construction Solutions.

When they see a change in the soil, they interpret what it is. The scouts help to mark potential graves with flags and then use GPS to keep track of all the coordinates.

Austin Barker is working to become an Eagle Scout and chose Saturday's project to benefit the community.

"I decided to do this one because it preserves history," Barker said.

There are a number of Veterans from wars that date back to 1812 buried in the cemetery including some of Clay County's earliest settlers.

"These are our roots," said Erica White with the Gladstone Museum. "These are the people who settled here. They were here first. They were here when it was an untamed wilderness and they're very historically significant to the area."

Not far away from all the latest technology, Luke Newport used the old school method of dousing rods to locate the graves. Newport said he had his doubts but found his results matching up with the radar results.

"Some places there are flags where I've looked," Newport said.

The process using old and new technology is in an early stage. Next, the data will be studied and hopefully in the end, 62 graves currently unaccounted for, will be found.




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