February 24, 2011

Okay....not a lot going on here, and sorry about that. Have been spending the past few days trying to update the site so that it is more accessible and easier to use. Added the top of page menus, and also increased margins to make reading the various links easier. Given my website skills I suspect I offended a lot of experts out there, but then again, "I know what I know, and it is what it is"... I am a work in progress in so many ways. Just ask my wife......


Hope to have some useful info up in the next few days.....hang in there with me. Weather has progressively gotten better, and some rain is expected tomorrow. Hoping that, along with the warmer temps, will translate into some detecting this weekend. In the meantime if you have any info you wish to share....send it along. Great finds? Tell me about it and send a photo if possible. Want to send it to the IRS for future reference (please, a joke, okay?)


Three videos from Brian Mayer, and the "Jersey Shore Beach & Surf Hunters".... If you are interested in seeing more, go to YouTube and search for Jersey Shore Treasure Hunters. You can also link to them on Facebook . Thanks Brian....


Was chatting some more with Richard Ray, and the topic of Victorio Peak came up. Richard has a lot of thoughts on this topic, and if you are into the story and want to know his ideas and theories, email him at Some other topics and names from the early days came up as well, and perhaps I will share some of them in the near future. While I know getting older has a lot to do with it, seems the characters, stories, legends and the banter were a helluva lot more fun and more interesting way back when.

If anyone reading this is familiar with Charles McKinney, from the old Atlantic Alliance for Maritime Heritage, please let me know how I might contact him....thanks.


February 19, 2011

Okay, enough of the flak from my doing housework last weekend....overwith and done. Forget I mentioned it..please!


Got an email from John Howland, and it went like this......

You'll recall that the UK Government was about to implement some seriously anti-metal detecting/collecting amendments to the UK Treasure Act, as spawned by our 'friends' in the Council for British Archaeology. Well, our Government has told them to get stuffed and it has all been quietly dropped. Who says 'people power' don't work? But to let the CBA down lightly, in what I reckon was a face-saving exercise, our Culture Minister, says the 'economic situation' made the amendments unviable. Yeah, right!

Section 6:2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states that anyone charged with a criminal offence shall be INNOCENT until proven GUILTY, had presumably, nothing to do with the decision....?

And all this achieved without the help of the National Council for Metal Detecting. Who needs these people?

I might also mention that John included the FMDAC at the end of his message, and while I have disassociated myself from the current organization, I still think there has to be one agency, one voice, and one representative for the pastime. How many alternatives can you offer up for the NRA?


It's been great getting back in contact with Richard Ray, and being able to shoot the breeze. In case you didn't think his life as a treasure hunter was interesting, here's another part of it that not many know about.... Be sure to click "watch on YouTube"


Also heard from a few about the mention of the Thomas Electroscopes. Understand I was not endorsing it at all. Far from it... There were a great many tests and independent evaluations of the product early on, and most of them not flattering. Witnessed one being disassembled, and inside was a "rat's nest" of wires, all leading nowhere. Suspect the product has changed over the years, and I cannot vouch for it's performance today. Like dowsing there are pro's and con's, and it's an area I am not at all familiar with.


Received an email from Amy Maruso today sharing a very neat story, and one that exemplifies our family. No matter what people think of us, or what they imagine, we are just people who love what we do, and who will help anyone in need of our skills. Please be sure to check out this story.

Thanks Amy, appreciate the update and info. Be sure to check out Amy's latest contributions to Western & Eastern Treasures. Lots of good information, and ways you and your club can promote the pastime.


Took to heart some criticrism of my webwsite, and made a few changes that I hope will be more visitor friendly. On each page now you can click on the menu at the top, and go where you want. I have hopefully put all things in place, but if not, please let me know.


February 14, 2011


John Howland has uploaded the latest from across the pond via his Malamute Saloon , and I highly recommend you read it in it's entirety. While we, here in the states (or the colonies as John refers to us), like to think they have a better system there, all is not what it appears to be, and no one is more on top of the situation that John.

Of particuclar interest to me was the "Nighthawking Survey", a report that I was not previously aware of. Please sure to read John's Lies, Damn Lies and Archaeological Surveys.

John Howland
John Howland trying to be generic in his preferences

Otherwise, not a lot to report. Weather was finally decent this weekend, but I did not go beepin. I know I will get a lot of flack but I spent Saturday and Sunday cleaning the house (Jeezus, can't believe I am sharing this). Lots to be done, and Fay works a twelve hour day as an intensive care nurse, and often works over and above that. As a result I am the cook, bottle washer, maid, whatever. Had shopped early today (Sunday) to fix a great meal for Valentine's Day (Parpadelle pasta with mixed wild mushrooms) and bought flowers for the occasion, but alas, she called and is not coming home on time.... Que sera. Will share the recipe later on.


February 10, 2011

Was on the phone with Richard Ray yesterday, chatting about his many adventures, and he brought up Aztec Hoe-Money. Something that I was not familiar with, but should have been...

Years ago Richard was hired by the Mexican government to research and work the Oaxacan pyramids of Monte Alban, Mitla, Yagu and Lambityeco. He and his family were picked up by train in Laredo, trained to Oaxaca, and were treated royally for three months. Of course most everything he uncovered remained with the government, but Richard found fifty pieces of this ancient Aztec money, and did some bartering to bring a few pieces back.

Aztec money in Richard Ray's collection More Hoe-Money
One piece of hoe money
Other examples in Richard's collection

Having been to the pyramids in Oaxaca, I went back to some photos from there, and discovered that I too had taken a photo of this primitive barter. Fay and I had went to Oaxaca shortly after losing my job with Garrett. It was a trip based on a hasty "what the hell, we have the time, let's go" decision. The Aztec and Mayan culture is quite fascinating, and I would highly recommend reading anything you can about it. They were a people much more advanced that one would think given the time period.

The ruins of Monte Alban Excavating near the ruins
Photo from my visit to Monte Alban
Laying out a grid

If you are so inclined to know more about these ruins click here. If all goes according to plan Richard Ray will have his own website sometime this summer.....should be a good one. Will keep you posted.


Wish I could report a few neat finds this time around, but today we had sleet, ice and snow..... Temps tonight around 12, with wind chill around minus five. Best part? Temps this weekend in the mid 60's!! Hopefully I will get out for some fun and finds.....


Another club newsletter I really enjoy.....the Gateway Treasure Hunters Club , out of Wareham, Massachusetts. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Thanks Rick B. for a job well done.

And lastly for all you SOB's (sold on beaches) the latest from Brian Mayer, and the Jersey Shore Beach & Surf Hunters......


February 6, 2011

Way back on August 7th, here under "Latest News" (see here.) I mentioned the Electroscope, an item that, back in the mid-eighties, was the topic of a lot of conversation. Some of it good...most of it not. When mentioning it I assumed that the product was no longer available, but lo and behold yesterday I received an email from Maurice J. Manley, telling me that he owned two, and that the product was still available. He directed me to

Maurice commented "I have been using both System B and the Model 20 Electroscopes for about six (6) months and have had great success. The units are nothing more but a tool, to put you in the area of interest, at which time you use your metal detector to finish off the search. They point you in the direction in which the likely targets will be."

He also added, "At first I too was skeptical about the product, I read a lot about the company. I read a lot of negative things which almost convinced me not to buy, until I saw the Electroscopes in action. That was what made a believer out of me. So I made my purchase and the rest is commentary and history."

I asked Maurice to tell me more about his finds, and more importantly, was he associated with the Electroscopes company. His response....

"First, in response to your I involved with the Electroscopes company? The answer is 200% NO!,"

" As for me I started hunting in 1972 with a Jetco BFO that I purchased from Olson's Electronics. Not knowing anything about what was available in the metal detecting industry, I quickly bought the Jetco. A good friend then introduced me to the hobby, and I was impressed with the instrument that he had....a Compass Yukon 77B."

"I immediately returned the Jetco to Olson's, and learned of a company that went by the name of Excelceor (not sure of spelling) Electronics, and bought a unit called the Mity Mite. I soon graduated to the Garrett Money Hunter, and that machine was the real deal. It started me on my way to becoming proficient in my hunting. The one day the same friend and I went back to the shop that sold me the Mity Mite, and fell in love with the White's 6DB Coinmaster. That did it. I have been a White's customer ever since. I now own a 6DB, MXT, Goldmaster II and the Beach Hunter ID"

The Model 20 and a few of Maurice's finds

"And now for the Electroscopes.... I alread shared my feelings about the two that I own. I have found some silver coins and silver rings using the scopes. The questions is....would I have found these things without them? The answer is yes, but it would have taken a lot longer to locate them. The scopes help me cover more ground in less time, and in my mind, help me find more. I am certain I find more silver than pennies, and that I cover less ground then I would without the scopes."



Wanted to clarify my comments regarding a previous post about metal detecting permits in NYC. By adding the link to the local New York Club I implied that they were soley responsible, and that was the case. Carter Pennington, an old friend, and a member of the The Southeastern Historical Recovery Group , corrected me.... According to Carter, "it was just a group of guys in NYC that formed the Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights when the parks decide not to allow any detecting fifteen years ago. We are still in contact with the city every week."

He the added "we are still working with them asking for more parks to be put on the permit system. We send a lot of letters, make a lot of follow-up phone calls, and the constant pressure works over time"

Thanks for setting me straight Carter, and please pass on my congratulations to all in the Task Force....

If you are interested, here is the link to the program.

Sidenote: The Southeastern Historical Recovery Group is relatively new, and many of it's members were active in the First State Metal Detector Club, which disbanded back in 1990 after it's founder and president Harry Bodofsky passed away. The club was one of the biggest and one of the best back then, and Harry was a very dear friend. I miss him a great deal.......



Won't even get into detecting this time around.... On Tuesday this area was hit by an ice storm, and the temps have been in the single digits. Just to add insult to injury we received six inches of snow last night, closing more businesses and schools for the 4th straight day. They are predicting temps just above freezing tomorrow, and in the upper 40's for Super Bowl Sunday, but I suspect much of the anticipated business for this week was lost due to this stormy week. Hopefully Spring is just around the corner.....


This video is over two years old now, but I include it only to get your juices going, and to get you thinking about your next find. It just might be your best and your last.......


February 1, 2011

With the upload of the Treasure Expo photos I started receiving a few emails from those who were featured, and it sure was great to hear from them. One friend in particular wound up not being all that far from me here in Texas. Richard Ray is a treasure hunter extraordinaire, a weaver if stories, and a legend in his own right. Meet him once and you will not forget him. If I had to sum up Richard's treasure hunting life it would probably be "Been there, Done that"!

After hearing from Richard I asked him to try and summarize his many years as a full time treasure hunter (knowing him as I do, that was asking a lot). He responded with the following......

"I started treasure hunting at 10 years old with my father, who believed in dowsing and following un-researched treasure leads or stories. He never found a single thing by this method.

As a teenager, after digging holes all over North Texas and South Oklahoma, I decided there had to be another way. Although I really loved the thrill of the hunt, I had to find other methods to improve the success rate. By my late teens, I'd followed my father to many places in Arizona, New Mexico and even into Mexico. Seeing metal detector ads I convinced him to go by the White's factory in Oregon, and Gardiner (which at that time were built in his home) in Phoenix.

After graduation and marrying my high school sweetheart, Frankie, I parted ways from my father to pursue my own life and earn a living (which I'd been doing from an arly age by working in the fields and orchards).

When I took a job at a major oil field supply company in Houston, my interest in treasure hunting lingered very deep in my heart and mind. I begin reading everything about treasure hunting, modern methods and research. I decided this was the path for me. I bouoght a Garrett BFO in 1965 or 66, and that was my start with a commercial metal detector.

After some success with coin hunting, the lure of hunting old houses and historical sites took over. Likewise scuba diving became important to me. I actually started snorkling at 13 when I found several pieces of lost jewelry in the bottom of a lake while on a school field trip.

After a dive on the Confederate blockade runner Acadia, my fate was sealed as a treasure hunter. Soon every spare minute was spent hunting, diving or doing research. Even on training/school trips for my company, while the other men were at the local bar, I was at the local library or outside with my metal detector. My finds soon out weighed my job income, and the decision was made to make treasure hunting my vocation rather than an advocation.

Richard Ray & Charles Garrett Richard hunting Fort Jefferson
Richard on expedition with Charles Garrett
Hunting near Fort Jefferson, Florida Keys

Over the years Frankie and I raised five good children, several grandchildren, and I always managed to put beans on the table from my treasure hunting efforts. Expeditions lead me to a lot of exciting places and into adventures I never dreamed of.

Because of all my research and my testing all the various metal detectors, I helped a few companies develop several models. My daughter and I also produced a metal detector under the name "Phantom", and also the first multi-frequency detector. It is still considered by many to be a top of the line detector. Also about this time a couple colleges asked me to teach treasure hunting and gold recovery classes (I'd developed my own gold panning method which lead to my winning several national and international competitions.

Early ad for Richard's Phantom Detectors Early ad from Treasure Search
Richard's Phantom Detectors, early 80's
Another Phantom ad from "Treasure Search"

Starting in 1970, Ken Doe of Jess Publishing (Treasure, Treasure Found, etc.) asked me to put some of my adventures down on paper. Before long he made me "contributing" editor and regularly printed my stories. This also led to writing under different names for several magazines and newspapers as well as doing freelance stories.

searching old fort area Richard hunting Lafitte's Island
Searching around old fort
Richard searching Lafitte's island

Soon I begin writing "story lines" for a well known television show and shot a pilot for my own series called "Hunter of Mystery", which never made it to television. I did appear however on many television programs including PM Magazine (3 times), Good Morning America (also 3 times), Kid's World, Scuba World, Noonday Report, Art Pender's World, Bill Burrud's World of Adventure and several local programs. Speaking engagements took me to New York, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Chicago and well as other major cities. I was asked to be on the Tonight show where they wanted me to do a gold panning skit with Johnny Carson, also the program "To Tell the Truth" asked me to appear.

For a time in the 1980's I operated a 50ft plus boat called "The Finders Keepers, we mounted a small cannon on the bow. In another vessel we worked off Marquieses Key close to Mel Fisher's boat. We talked every day via marine radio. However, We kept our mouths shut concerning our efforts, not seeking publicity, after all we were not seeking investors. It was my policy to never talk about any major project for at least five years. The publicity received was always behind our efforts OR was about the lesser projects we were working on.

Richard using Garrett Bloodhound Richard's late wife Frankie
Richard Ray using Garrett Blood Hound
Richard's late wife Frankie, using magnetometer

My income at this time was pretty good so we decided to build a resort in Costa Rica (after a very successful hunt there). All total, I invested over half a million dollars, and six years into the project. Clearing away the jungle and hauling supplies by boat proved to be very costly (we even had to build our own boats). After ten years the Costa Rican government stepped in and passed a law forbidding non-residents from owning beach front property. That was the end of our venture. We left Costa Rica, and lost about $400,000, as well as our entrepreneurial spirit.

Returning to basics we searched for and found several caches (the largest was over 80 pounds of silver dollars and half dollars). Tiring of the constant airline travel, TV, newspaper interviews and the Houston humidity, we bought a small farm in far Northeast Texas, started raising exotic animals, and dropping out of sight away from the treasure hunting scene.

In 1995 a major company asked if I would consider a temporary job for five weeks, and fifteen years later I retired from my duties as a "Nuclear Tech". My wife and my long time love Frankie passed away in 2007 due to a heart attack. A stroke hit me in 2009.

Yes I’ve been in trouble with the authorities over the years. I've been hauled into Federal Court by the US Customs Department, been hounded by the Texas Antiquities Department, but have won on all accounts. I've never been arrested nor jailed. I feel very fortunate that my vocation lead me to many states and countries. Treasure hunting is hard work, requires a great deal of study, time and dedication in order to be successful".

Richard Byrd Ray

Wow, what an amazing career and life....Thanks for taking the time to share this Richard. If you wish to contact Richard you can email him at


FMDAC.....Same ole Story

Over the past few months I've been very critical of the FMDAC and it's current slate of officers, and I had hoped that perhaps they might respond by being more responsive to their members. That hasn't happened......

There are still many asking questions, and apparently they are not inclined to give answers. Instead they have put their efforts into having another hunt this year at the Jersey shore. It's supposedly not a sponsored FMDAC event, but given it's prominence in the recent Quest, and given that the two lead contacts are the FMDAC president and vice-president, it appears this is where the organization's focus is once again.

As of today I am disassociating myself from the FMDAC, and feel certain they will be grateful for that. I will, however, always remember the early days when a lot of very good people, worked hard to make it an effective and very useful organization. Hopefully someday it will be again....


Missed the boat by not getting out detecting on Sunday when temps were in the 70's. Today? Ice and sleet, with highs in the 20's, and lows in the teens. Not expecting any change for next three days....Damn!!


Old friend Carter Pennington recently made me aware of a new club, with a great website. Be sure to check out The Southeastern Historical Recovery Group. This club was very instrumental in negoiating the New York City permit system, and I will be telling you more about their club and their efforts soon.


January 30, 2011

I have had a few emails from detectorists asking why I don’t offer a forum here, and think I need to explain again the purpose of Stout Standards.......

I decided to do a website for two reasons. First, I always thought it would be neat to learn how to build one, and I signed up for a short course in HTML here at the local community college. It was a fun class, and when it was over I decided I had to test my newly learned skills, minimal as they were.

Second, being one of those “jack of all trades, master of none” individuals, I decided my website had to be about metal detecting. It had consumed a good part of my life, and was something that I could at least feel comfortable writing about. It would also give me a reason to dig out a lot of old photos that had been hidden away.

Before I started to put together Stout Standards, I visited a lot of metal detecting websites, and I knew I couldn’t compete on the same scale. My website skills were just not that good, and I decided to come up with a very “bare bones” type of site. I wanted to tell about my background, my areas of expertise, and my other interests (as in the Poor Gourmand), and that’s pretty much it.

I thought about offering a forum, but knew that I didn’t have the time to monitor it enough, nor did I know enough about all the many areas of interest. There are also a zillion other forums out there doing a great job, and trying to compete would be a waste of time. I am also not an active participant on treasure forums because anything I might add has already been offered by someone else.

With Stout Standards I try to be fair and honest with my opinions and comments, but know that I sometimes miss the mark. If so I apologize. Yes, I am a White’s user, and a big fan of the company. They do not pay me anything for doing this, and I do not sell my books here. I receive nothing at all for my efforts....just the fun of "doing it". If you have information about your brand of detector that you would like to share....send it along. Will gladly add it if I think it will be useful to others. Also, you probably know by now that my good friend John Howland (Malamute Saloon) is a Garrett guy. No problem....another good company, and another good product. You will also find contact information for all the metal detector companies here on my site.

Not sure I explained myself that well, but to sum it up...Stout Standards is my way of keeping in touch with others in the pastime, and a vehicle for me to express myself. I have fun sharing my thoughts and ideas, and I hope you all have fun checking it out from time to time..... Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have info you would to share or if you have suggestions on how I might improve it. My email address is


Here’s another YouTube offering for you SOB's (sold on beaches)...


New York City Treasure Hunters

For all the clubs out there having problems with detecting your local parks, here is an example of what can be accomplished if you set your mind to it. This is what now exists in New York City, and all because the local clubs never let up with their efforts to change things. It's not a perfect setup, and it has limitations but it's a start, and I congratulate all those who helped make it happen. Check out the New York City Metal Detecting Permit System. and the New York Search and Recovery Club.


Procrastinated last couple of days and did not get out with the detector. If the weather holds tomorrow (Sunday) I will head back to the old home site I worked last time out. Has to be more silver there.....

Opted today to attend the "Zest Fest", sponsored by "Chile Pepper" magazine. Needless to say my stomach has a little burn now, and I will surely pay a little more down the road. Was fun however watching the Wing Stop hot wings contest. Goal was to eat all 10 boneless wings (hottest they offer)....After about five rounds it came down to four people, who would again be tackling another ten wings. The pain they were in was obvious, and I felt for them. Winner took home 47 inch LCD TV..... Frankly, even with the great first prize I am not sure it was worth it.


A photo from the past.... Can anyone put names to this motley crew?


January 26, 2011

First, many thanks for all who responded positively to the Treasure Expo photos from Paul Tainter. It was also neat to hear from some of the featured particpants, few of which I hadn't been in touch with for years..... Those were great events, and will, in all likelihood, never be repeated. Back then we didn't have PC's, the internet, Email, etc.... When events like Treasure Expo were advertised (and there weren't many on the same scale) you knew you had to be there. To be able to meet and talk to the greats, the experts, the masters, was something you never forgot, and the bonus of partying in the evening was icing on the cake (I think?). For a few days Fremont, Nebraska was alive and kicking... Thanks again Paul.


Robbie Morin (a.k.a The Dimeman) is a regular visitor to this website, and not only contributes informative material, but also cares enough to ask about my family, and their well-being. I appreciate that very much.

What I like about Robbie is that does his research, and as a result usually brings home some neat finds. He recently sent an email and added the following.........

"I did manage to get out a few hours Thursday morning before this cold front came in. Here is a picture of the "keepers" from a park the city aquired in 1952, from annexing the area, but is showing on a city map of 1939. I also dug a fork that is silver plate and researching it, was a 1923 pattern. This park is 2 1/2 miles from my house. I have a 1939, a 1950, 1952, 1958, 1962, 1965, 1968, 1972, 1978, 1982, 1987, 1992, and a 1998 city maps of Houston. It is interesting to see added streets, changed direction of streets, and freeways cutting through old sections of streets and subdivisions."

Robbie Morin Park Finds More Finds
A few of Robbie's finds from the Park....

Hope you all took notice of how many maps Robbie has of his hometown, Houston, and how he managed to locate and date this particular site. I know you get tired of me repeating this, but research is probably a good 80% of your success. Doesn't matter the detector you are using...if you are first on the spot you win! Thanks again for sharing Robbie. If you want to know more about Robbie, go to YouTube and plug in Dimeman Robbie.


Another cache of Roman coins turned up in Cumbria county in the UK, very close to where the Crosby Garrett helmet was found last May. To read more click here .


Mark Jenkins, member of the Olympic Peninsula Treasure Hunters, and president of the Northwest Chapter of the FMDAC found the following on nearby beaches just after a major storm. The finds represent 8 trips to the area and the coffee can is 3/4 full of pennies. Exactly why you will find lots of detectorists taking off work after a major storm (er, you didn't hear that here). Great job Mark.....

Mark Jenkins Beach Finds

As most of you know I am a White's user, and have been for most of my detecting life. Over the years they have not only produced a quality product, but one that is long lasting, dependable and always backed up by the best customer service in the industry. I mention this now because I was reminded of it a couple of days ago when I emailed Mary Hand (Administrative Assistant to the Director of Marketing) asking if she might have a copy of Daryl Townley's "Spectrum, Better Depth & Performance", a great book, but one that is now out of print. I had received an email from a gal who wanted to get this book for her father, but was having trouble finding it anywhere.

About thirty minutes later Mary emailed that they had found a "coffee stained" copy somewhere in the deepest recesses of the factory, and would gladly sent it right out "no charge" if the customer didn't mind it's condition. Needless to say she was thrilled, and just today emailed to say her Dad had received it and was one happy hunter.

This is one small incident, one small favor, and one small reason I love the folks in Sweet Home. I could mention many other customer service examples similiar to this, but I know there are many of you who have experienced it first hand. I am proud to know many of the folks who work at the factory, and very proud to be part of the family.

White's Homepage

Let me also add that I forwarded Daryl's email address to the individual looking for his book, and he too immediately responded that while he did not have a spare copy, he would be more than happy to talk with her Dad or send off whatever information he might need. Daryl knows treasure hunting, is a standup guy, and yes, he's part of the family too!

For the record.... I have a personally signed copy of Daryl's book, and wouldn't part with it.....

Just received this email from Larry Bateham (Packrat) and thought it was important to share.....


Everyone interested in metal detecting.....

We have a bill in the senate that is intended to open all developed areas in Washington State Parks, excluding those that are designated archaeological sites. What we need to do is write the senators on the committee and ask for their support of the bill, the more letters of support that we get the better our chances for the bill to get out of committee.

All I wrote is "Short and to the point".....

Senator _________, Please support SB 5506, the bill to keep state park lands open to metal detecting. Thank you, Your Name address e-mail

Please encourage others to write also, it only takes a few minutes.

The Natural Resources, Ocean and Recreation Committee consist of the following:

  • Senator Kevin Ranker , Chairman, (most important!)
  • Senator Debbie Regala , Vice-Chair,
  • Senator Bob Morton, (has supported us in the past)
  • Senator Karen Fraser, (has stalled previous bills in committee, and they died)
  • Senator Dan Swecker,
  • Senator James Hargrove, (has supported us in the past)
  • Senator Val Stevens,

Write to one or all, but please write.....

Thank you,
Ron Sharer
President, Metal Detecting Association of Washington


January 22, 2011

Paul Tainter's Treasure Expos were legend back in the 80's and 90's, and if you were fortunate enough to attend one you will appreciate the following. I asked Paul a while back if he had any photos from these events, and damn if he didn't dig out some. As I said before, if you are newcomer to the treasure hunting pastime these photos will probably not mean a lot to you. For the rest of us...Jeez I hate to say oldtimers....they should bring back a lot of great memories.

The photos are scanned and not all that crisp, but they still evoke a time when all was well and all was fun within the treasure hunting pastime. Hopefully I have attributed the correct names to the correct faces, but if have not please let me know and I will make the necessary changes. Also, if you have any photos from Treasure Expo that you would like to add, please send them to me at I will be adding Paul's pictures to my "photo" links for posterity.

It was at Expo that you could and would meet up with all the legends of the pastime. You would learn, you would share, and you would always have fun 24/7.

Click on Photo to Enlarge

Gang at Expo Dick Stout/Bob Podrasky Michael Paul Henson
l to r: Phils Uncle, Phil Caldwell, Paul
Tainter, Abe Lincoln and Glenn Carson
Dick Stout and Bob Podrasky
Garrett Electronics
Michael Paul Henson
checking out bourse
Paul, Sondra & Michael Bernzweig Larry Hamilton Bob Marx and Van Fossen
Paul, Sondra & Michael Bernzweig
Larry Hamilton
Stan Grist and Van Fossen
Alan Canon, Compass Detectors Crowd at Expo Terry Humphries & Galen Young
Alan Canon, Compass Metal Detectors
Some of the Expo Crowd
Terry Humphries and Galen
Young, Fisher Labs

Attending Treasure Expo in Fremont was a yearly must and if you didn't happen to attend you always wondered what you missed, and in many cases, what trouble you averted. The group I remember most? The late Gary Bischke, Fred Brust, Herb Dunn and Rich Green. Join up with them, take your chances and don't even count on turning in before 4 or 5 am in the morning. Add in the local watering hole "Boomer's" and you were in a whole lot of trouble. Details to this day remain misty and purposely lost in the deepest recesses of my mind....

Click on Photo to Enlarge

Alan Canon, Carl & Gary, Outdoor Outfitters Dick Stout/Lee Pavel Lee Harris, Lost Treasure
Alan Canon, Carl Mathias
and the late Gary Bischke
Dick Stout and Lee Pavel
Lee Harris, Lost Treasure
Joe Two Dogs Inside Research Unlmited Bill Sweetland, FMDAC
Joe Two Dogs
Inside Research Unlimited
Bill Sweetland, FMDAC
John Repa & friend, FMDAC Rich Green, Hole Hog Jimmy, Paul, Jim, Michael Paul & Bill
John Repa and friend, FMDAC
Rich Green
Jimmy Sierra, Paul Tainter, Jim
Detloff, Michael Paul Henson and
Bill Smith

Charles Garrett & Roy Volker Bill Smith & Jimmy Sierra Bill Smith & Paul Tainter Richard Ray & Paul Tainter
Charles Garrett & Roy Volker
Bill Smith & Jimmy Sierra
Bill Smith & Paul Tainter
Richard Ray & Paul Tainter
Jimmy and Paul Rod Hamilton Richard & Abe Paul and Randy Smith
Jimmy Sierra and Paul
Rod Hamilton, Tesoro Detectors
Richard Ray & Abe Lincoln
Paul and Randy Smith
Richard Ray's Boot Charles Garrett inside Shop Paul and Carl Fismer Bob Pohdrasky and Dick Stout
Richard Ray's Boot
Charles Garrett & Friend
Paul & Carl Fismer
Bob Podhrasky & Dick Stout
watching one of the hunts
Jack Lowry/Garrett Bob Brewer Some of the crowd
Jack Lowry/Garrett Electronics
Bob Brewer, KGC Authority
Some of the crowd at Expo

Paul Tainter, thank you for sharing these photos..... There are surely a few people looking at them wondering what the big deal was, but you and I, and a few others know, and will always remember your Treasure Expo's. Congratulations as well to you and Joan on your newest grandaughter, Emily Grace.


I've been very fortunate to have been involved in this pastime when the treasures were plentiful, and the characters were one of a kind. Whenever I attended Paul's events I was privy to a lot of expert advice and a lot of legendary stories. What I learned was that no matter your quest, or no matter the outcome, you will have had a helluva lot of fun along the way, and you can't ask for anymore than that!

For a brief history of Paul Tainter, Research Unlimited and Treasure Expo, click here


Jessie Thompson again clued me in on a new online magazine that I think you might enjoy. Please check out the Relic Hunter


Thanks to Dan Knight, Jersey Shore Treasure Hunters, and South Jersey Metal Detecting Club for the following writeup.....great story.


January 18, 2011

Was great seeing family back East, and good as well to return home. As I was driving the back roads of Hunterdon County a lot of old sites passed by, and while they were covered with snow, they still had me wanting to stop and give 'em a go. A might too cold however for this hunter.....


When I got back I was happy to find a new update from John Howland in the Malamute Saloon, and as I expected he took Nigel Ingram to task. Just mention someone from his neck of the woods, and he will have a story or two. Gotta warn you though John.... I have a lot stored in the recesses of my mind that would get you in a lot of trouble so don't get any ideas!

Bubba also shared one of this better recipes this time around, and while it may sound isn't.

To read John's lastest offering go to the Malamute Saloon or click here

Jim Meany once again forwarded lots of great info to his club members, and he always remembers to include me in the mix. Always neat stuff, and I want to share the following photography sites with you. A lot of of us are getting involved in photography, and I thought you might find these useful, especially if you are photographing your finds. Jim is a member of the Massachusetts Treasure Hunting Association . Thanks Jim..

Mark Goodman Photography
Tabletop Studio
Camera Jim's Guide to Ebay Auction Photography


Found the following video on YouTube, and thought it was worth sharing. Nicely done...and be sure to have your sound on......



Within the Research link on this sight I mention Arcadia Publishers, and I want to mention them again. They have some of the best local historical publications on the market. This photo is only a sampling of what is available to us here in the Dallas area....

Acadia Historical Publications
Just a few of the Arcadia publications for the Dallas, Texas area

These books are filled with lots of very old photos, as well as historical information. To see if they are available for your area visit Arcadia Publishing . Then type your town or county in the search box, and you are on your way.....


I want to thank all of the many club newsletter editors for keeping me on your mailing list even though I haven't written the Club News & Views column for some time. It's always fun to see what's going on all over the country, and I often pick up a tip or two here and there. Hope you will keep them coming. This time around let me share the following from the Mid State Metal Detector Club .


Paul Tainter (Treasure Hunter's Express) recently sent me a bunch of photos from the old Treasure Expo days, and I will be working to get them posted sometime later this week. While many of you may not remember those events, there are many of us who will never forget them. Hope all you old timers will check back for the fond look back. They are scanned photos, and I will be working to show them in the best possible way. Thanks very much Paul.

Just a couple of the many photos to come......
Some of the gang from Treasure Expo
Some of the ole Expo gang...
left to right: Phils Uncle, Phil Caldwell,
Paul Tainter, Abe Lincoln and Glenn Carson
Welcome from Ames, Iowa
Ames Welcome Sign


January 16, 2011

Just a brief blurb to say I am now back in Texas, and will be uploading some info either tomorrow or Tuesday..... Hope you will check back


January 10, 2011


Over the years I have stayed in touch with many of the original FMDAC group, and two very special to me are Archie and Rosalie Ray. Rosalie was the first FMDAC treasurer, and Archie was our first legislative chairman. They now divide their time between Baltimore and Florida, but always find time to drop a line here and there. While home over the holidays Archie managed to dig through some old photos, and passed along the following. Archie has promised to forward more over the days ahead.
Rosalie/Archie Ray London FMDAC Christmas Party mid-eighties
Rosalie/Archie, FMDAC trip to the UK
Rosalie & Archie Ray/FMDAC Christmas Party, mid-eighties

Archie, Rosalie and I, Longleat Castle Archie and Rosalie with friends, AC
Arch, Rosalie and I, Banquet Longleat Castle
Rosalie & Archie Ray with freinds, Atlantic City

Archie Ray and his many treasures
And my favorite. Archie calls it "My Life in Metal Detecting"

For those of you who go way back, Paul Tainter (Treasure Expo/Exanimo) has also promised to dig out a few of those photos from the good ole days. Stay tuned....



Mentioned a new site couple of days ago, and managed to detect it Saturday.... Two old homesite(s) close together, and both dating back to around the turn of the century. Came home with 2 Mercs (1926 & 1940), corroded V-Nickel (1909) and 2 Indian heads, both unreadable dates. Nothing left of the two homes but a couple of trees, and foundation remains, and given the proximity of this site to my home I was surprised to find the soil to my liking. Almost like back East. Not a real great day but was happy as a pig in....

Recent finds


Tana Allen from Kentucky sent me something that I think you all need to read. Please do me and yourself a favor and do just that....thanks Tana for taking the time to put this together, and for the photos. Appreciate it very much, and glad things worked out like they did....

"Always ask permission' has been one of the most often stated comments I've heard since I began metal detecting. And getting shot at has been joked about many times over. But after what happened to me the other day- it is no longer a laughing matter.

One of my favorite places to hunt is an old homestead built in 1865, where I found my first copper, an 1833 Large Cent. The house is vacant, with windows broken out and tendrils of ivy making their way inside. I had asked and received permission from the owner, a cantankerous old fellow, who'd lived there nearly his whole life, but several years ago moved to a retirement community. I've talked with him several times and enjoy his stories, as he is quite a character. I even crashed his 90th birthday party at McDonalds. The last time I saw him, he fondly told me that I can use my 'geiger' and go digging there anytime I want".

Tana's Old Homesite Tana Allen
The 1865 Homestead
Tana Allen

Well... a few days ago I was hunting the front yard when he suddenly drove up, parked 50 feet away and got out of the car with his shotgun. Before I had a chance to say anything, he fired right above my head! He was cursing up a storm and then aimed directly at my face, squinting through the scope. He demanded an explanation for trespassing. It all happened so fast, I was in shock and all I could think about was my two young sons not having a mommy.

It was a cold day and I was bundled up, so it dawned on me that he didn't recognize me. I pulled off my stocking hat to reveal my long strawberry blonde hair and yelled "NO!!! Mr. Smith!!! It's me, Tana!! I'm just metal detecting!!!" He lowered his gun and looked like he was about to faint. Needless to say, he was apologetic- and I gave him a piece of my mind. He explained that he had over-reacted because his house had been looted again recently.

The last time I'd been that scared, I was face-to-face with a black bear that I'd just startled out of sleep, his belly full of sweet oats that he'd looted from my grain tent (I was a campjack for a hunting outfitter at 12,000 ft elevation in the Rocky Mountains)...

Long story short, I'm sharing this to let you all know that the danger of getting shot at is REAL. To ask permission and even check back with a property owner, if it's been a while since you last hunted, is the lesson that was driven home to me the other day.

Tana's Large Cent found at Homesite
Large Cent found by Tana at homesite in question


A big thank you to my good friend John McCann for sending along this news video. A great story, and something that happens all the time, but hardly ever gets a mention. Thanks John for making me aware of it, and thanks also to Brad Bieler, the detectorist featured, and to Channel 8 News here in Dallas for running the story.


Another thank you to Ron Guinazzo, otherwise known as "Chicago Ron" for sharing his latest video. Ron is another detectorist who makes yearly trips the UK, and hopefully this will be just the incentive you need to plan a trip. You won't be sorry. Ron is a member of the Midwest Historical Research Society, in Chicago.

Heading northeast end of week, and next update might be later than normal. I will however be checking my email, so keep the stories and photos coming.


January 6, 2011

Got an email, Happy New Year's greeting, from Jimmy Sierra, and he commented "it seems like just yesterday that we all got started in this hobby of the "Lunatic Fringe", as we are referred to in England" (John Howland, is that right?). He also offered "I wrote my first book on detecting in 1978, and I am now ending my 32nd year as a White's Distributor". As if that didn't make me feel old enough he added "My tours to England celebrated our 20th anniversary this year and I just turned 80. I am thinking of retiring one of these years when I get old enough".

Jimmy and I 1986 Jimmy hawking his wares
Jimmy and I, circa 1986
Jimmy hawking his products at show.

Jimmy is an amazing guy, and indeed I don't think he will ever retire. He's a man who still works at his craft, and is still looking for that next big one (and he's found a few). If you have given any thought to detecting the UK I would urge you to look into Jimmy's DiscoveryTours. Trust me, finding coins from before the birth of Christ will only whet your appetite to return again and again. If you go on one of Jimmy's trips tell him I sent you, and that he still owes me $20.

Jimmy's first emmy award role (2008)

I also recommend you check out Jimmy's great products at Jimmy Have a few and love em.....


A little aside about how you might find a new site to hunt.... Took my car into a local repair shop today, and got chatting with the owner. He has lived in this town for some time, and I shared with him my love for metal detecting. I also asked if he knew of any old places that might produce a few neat finds. He begin spewing forth suggestions, ideas, specifics, and before I left I had a new and potentially very productive site to detect. Amazingly it was right under my nose.


Jessie Thompson ( Nor'easter's Club ) once again kept me up-to-date with things at the US Mint. A new three coin set is available commemorating Yellowstone National Park, and looks like a very affordable investment. The collection contains one uncirculated quarter each from the United States Mint facilities at Philadelphia and Denver, as well as a proof quarter from the United States Mint at San Francisco. Cost is $14.95. For more information visit the United States Mint website.


While on the Facebook site I noticed a new logo for Regton, Ltd., along with it a few new videos and this photo of a young Nigel Ingram. Had to share it here, and offer up a then and now comparison

Early Nigel, cute and looking very innocent
Today....? If you only knew.....

What do you think John? Should we cast a little more light on the Nigel we know........?


Thanks to Brian Mayer again for making me aware of the following videos. They are well done, fascinating to watch, and as Brian said, sure get the juices flowing....


January 1, 2011

Welcome to 2011. Hope it's a great one for all of you. I won't get into resolutions at all. Too easy to make, too easy to break.....

Robbie Morin (a.k.a. Dimeman) put together a followup video to his research on Camp Logan (near Houston), and I am happy to share it here. Robbie has taken a site he detected and turned it into another passion, and I love it. No matter how much you hated history when you were in school, finding items from long ago will suddenly make it interesting again. How many times have you found an old coin, piece of jewelry or relic and wondered how it came to be in that area? Who lost it and under what circumstances?

If you aren't familiar with Robbie's Camp Logan effort, you will find more herein under October 7th, 2010 and September 11, 2010 .

Robbie also has other TH'ing videos out there, and to see more go to YouTube and type in Dimeman Robbie.


Just received the year end "Treasure Facts Annual" from Lost Treasure, and wanted to thank Mike Keid for the kind mention in his article "Don't Forget Your Coffee". It's an excellent article,, and offers up a lot of tried and true tips for every detectorist

Mike ends the article..."Visit Dick Stout's site at He has a knowledgeable detecting "non-forum" style website, which I call the Reader's Digest of detecting. It includes articles, stories, photos, antidotes, and invaluable information." Never thought of this endeavor in those terms, but I take that as a compliment. Thanks again Mike, appreciate it......

Mike also mentions another site, and it too is one I visit frequently. It's Dankowski Detectors, and I recommend it highly.


Brian Mayer from the Jersey Shore Treasure Hunters shared the following Youtube video via FaceBook and I really like the way it's put together.......

Brian thanks for bringing this to my attention. If you are a beachunter and on Facebook be sure to keep up with the Jersey Shore Beach & Surf Hunters .


If you live near the Jersey shore I would like to recommend the Surfer's View. This site has a lot to offer the detetorist.... Live cams, weather forecasts, events, a forum and it's FREE! Give it a look.

Now on to some football......enjoy the day!


December 29, 2010

Received a Christmas greeting via an email from Michel Tocque this week, and he had to rub it in by attaching a couple of photos from a Roman dig he and Roget (his brother-in-law) are working on with local archaeologists. It's near Plerin in Brittany, and they are turning up coins dating from about 50 BC. (How can I possibly get excited over the next wheatie, or Merc?)

Michel has promised to keep me posted on this particular dig, and when he does I will pass the info along to you. Hoping to see Michel and his family again in 2011.

Roman site, from about 50 B.C.
Early Roman site near Plerin/Brittany, France
Roman Coin
Roman coin from approximately 50 B.C.
Michel detecting Roman Site
Michel at the site...

Michel has become a "go to" guy in France when it comes to assisting archaeologists, and I am proud to call him my friend. He knows the country, it's history and is a detailed researcher. When you add in his lovely wife Joelle, his gourmet talents, his crazy bother-in-law Roget, and his ability to find the best red wines I've ever had, what more could you ask for....?

Joelle & Michel, Bon Appetit
Roget & Michel....have a feeling
the archaeologists might not call again
if they saw this photo (Halloween 2008).....

Also received an email from Rick Dean in Alabama, telling me about his latest find. An 1848-0 Seated Half dollar, and it appears to be in great shape. Sure beats any of my older halves... Rick continued "I found this half dollar at a 'hunted' out site at a church built in the 1970s. I've found many CW bullets there, and had a hunch some old silver would be nearby. Was also fortunate in that I had my video camera with me, and you can use it video if you like. Sorry I said crap couple of times."

"I've been metal detecting for about nine months and I realize I'll probably never find anything as good. To me it means so much more than just a half dollar, and I see you can understand that. The history of our coins is such an important part of our country and culture. I agree that they don't 'make them like they use to". Rick's machine of choice is a White's MXT.

Rick's 1848-0 Half Reverse
1848-0 Half Dollar
The Reverse

Thanks Rick for passing this along, and please don't apologize for saying a bad word here and only has to peruse this site to find much worse. Isn't that right John?



It's been a strange but good year for yours truly in that I haven't been out detecting as much as I would have liked, but that is my problem and no one elses. I need to get some enthusiasm and seek out a few NEW sites. End of story. The old places still give up a gem or two but that's about it. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself, and start doing some research. There are treasures to be found, and I need to get about finding them.

I want to thank all of you who have contributed to my site, and all of your who have taken the time to visit over and over again. Needless to say I would not continue it without you.....

And a giant thank you to John Howland, my very good friend from the UK, who has continually sent me articles, happenings and recipes via the Malamute Saloon . We go back a long way and I am indebted to him for a great many things. Thank you John (and no, I don't want to know how many beers I owe you).

early find
Hope you all have a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year!


Search Coil Windings/White's Electronics

December 24, 2010

John Howland, my pal, my treasure hunting friend, member of my drinking-team and the UK's saddest representive, has added to he Malamute Saloon, and I found his latest contribution interesting and something that offers food for thought to us all here in the colonies....

Hope you will the time to read John's words about the Minute Men UK.


Also, because it's Christmas, let me add this... Over the past few months I have characterised John as a half-wit, a drunk, a foul-mouthed, uncouth, tastless individual and at times saying these things bothered me. Now I think it's only fitting that I own up, and say....."IT'S ALL TRUE"!


If you are in the midst of a cold, nasty winter, but still thinking about detecting, here are a few things that just might keep you motivated.

  • Clean your detector's housing and coil, take the batteries out, and store it.
  • Make it your goal to find and locate NEW places to take your detector when the weather breaks
  • Spend some time at your local Library and become friends with the reference person there.
  • Join the local Historical Society. Absolutely a must.
  • Find out where the senior citizens hang out in your town or locale and then pick their brains.
  • Drive the back roads in your area, looking for possible sites/clues.
  • Take the Internet for all it's worth, and put in every imaginable key word you can think of that might relate to your area and treasure.
  • If you are not now a member of a club, seek one out in your area, OR how about starting one?
  • Clean your keepers from 2010, and if valuable, put them in a safe place.
  • Clean your clad, cash them in, and purchase a key or semi-key coin that will increase in value.
  • Check out a few of the research links I have posted here.
  • Reread the owner's manual that came with your detector. Then read it again.....
  • Spend a few evenings bench testing your detector, especially if it has an ID readout.

  • "Lastly, at this very special time of the year, remember that the finest treasure in life is already yours. Spend time with your family, your friends and remember there are many who are no so fortunate. Whatever problems you may have are very minor compared to others. Enjoy this Christmas, give thanks for all you have, and I hope your next big treasure is just a beep away.....



    December 19, 2010

    Have Fun
    Happy Merry Y'all

    Not a lot to report today. The holidays are here and it's hard to do much else but enjoy them. It's that time of the year when you can say the hell with eating healthy foods and indulge yourself. At least that's the excuse I use....

    Also have to say that Christmas brings out the nastiness in shoppers. Having worked retail for many years I am amazed at how desperate people get when they are looking for that perfect gift for Uncle Albert. The frenzy, the panic, the rudeness, and the impatience is at an all time high, and for what? I am willing to bet that the gift you busted your butt to find will be forgotten about two days after Christmas. Am I Scrooge? Probably, but folks relax. Enjoy the season for what it's supposed to be, and spend it with family, friends, good food and drink. Gifts you can buy any time of the year.....



    Heard from a few of you about my recent state of the pastime ("My Two Cents Worth" below), and thought I would follow up with this to clarify where I am coming from....

    When the FMDAC begin way back in the early 80's we were unique in that no other “national” effort to unite the pastime was in effect. As a result many clubs and individuals "wanted to belong", and we grew mightily, both in size and strength. Everyone saw the need to come together, and we accomplished a great deal.

    We hired lawyers in Philadelphia and got the city of Philadelphia to open Fairmont Park (largest city park in US) open to detecting. We traveled to Washington, D.C., to speak before Senate and House sub-committees to tell them where we stood on legislation that was aimed at curtailing our pastime.

    We invited our counterparts from the UK and Canada to attend our meetings and conventions, eventually resulting in the formation of the World Council for Metal Detecting.

    Today, almost 27 years later, the FMDAC is still here, but in my opinion a mere shell of what it used to be. Membership is down and they seem to be satisfied with that status quo. Yes, they still have a yearly convention of sorts, but attendance is very low compared to the early years, and if you are looking for a current update from the officers forget it.

    As for the other two “national” organizations...much the same thing. Yearly hunts/conventions and not much else. One website has not been updated for a couple of years, and the other merely promotes it’s next "biggest in the world" event.

    So what is the answer? For starters I would like to see the FMDAC communicate with it's members, and state just what it is they are hoping to accomplish from this point on. Save for Mark Schuessler’s updates and alerts on pending legislation, there is nothing to entice new membership, and no effort to lure back those who have left over the years. Next, how about taking the money that is typically paid to officers for travel to the convention, and pay it to them for travel to Washington, D.C.? (A couple of phone calls can get you an appearance before congressional committees.) How about putting together a bargain priced trip to the UK for some detecting, and/or to attend a NCMD Rally? Then offer a discounted, second chance membership to those clubs who left over the past few years?

    FMDAC members at the Longleat Rally, Bath England
    FMDAC members at the Longleat Rally, Bath England, 1986

    Regional differences, personality conflicts were and still are a concern for this FMDAC, the pastime in general, and we need to find a way to end them. Over the years I often hear about how we should be like the NRA, and I too echoed this when I started the FMDAC. Today we argue among ourselves about who has the best hunt, the biggest convention, etc.. That’s what takes center stage, and frankly most detectorists don’t really give a damn about either. They want someone to represent them and lead.

    Today many echo “we don’t need to belong to an organization, we can find out all we need to know on the internet. Just read the forums, club newsletters, and blogs.... To some extent that is true, but what is missing is that feeling that one organization or spokes group is out there taking care of us. I still think that is extremely important.....

    Lastly, I find it amazing that today we have all the technological tools to bring people together quickly. email, the internet, video conferencing, you name it, and yet we cannot seem to come together as a cohesive group. Whether that happens from here on out is anyone's guess, but I sure would like to see it, and why not bring back the World Council?


    Got an email the other day from Brent Thompson, treasure hunter out of Lousiana, asking me to critique and review his book "Metal Detecting Louisiana".... I might add that as of now it's only available on CD, not in printed form. That's in the works for 2011. Brent was kind enough to send me a copy, and I was very impressed. "Metal Detecting in Louisiana" is loaded with photos, and offers up a lot of good relic hunting tips. If you are a relic hunter I highly recommend ordering a copy. A few chapter headings: Getting Started, Camp Sites, A Confederate's ID Tag, The Cannon Ball, The Token Field and Those Hunted Out Sites.

    Brent Thompson
    Brent Thompson, author of Metal Detecting Louisiana

    Brent has been detecting for seventeen years, and has been retired for five. He has lived in the Baton Rouge area all his life, hunts along the rivers and bayou's, and is an expert when it comes to local history.

    The CD costs $12.00 plus $3.00 shipping/handling. To learn more or to order the CD go to Metal Detecting Louisiana


    For all the newsletter editors out there, check out the latest from the Yankee Territory Coinshooters from Hartford, Connecticut. It's a great one!


    Funny aside....

    When scanning the above group photo from Longleat I came across the following photo, and it brought back a situation I will never forget. When we all arrvied in England, we were met at the airport and taken by bus to our hotel in Bath. Everyone, and I mean everyone was beat from the jet lag. We quickly checked into the hotel, and had to prepare for the World Council Meeting, and our banquet at Longleat, allowing no time for a few winks.

    Arriving at Longleat with our driver, John Howland
    Yours truly, John Howland (driver extraordinaire), and Sam Abramo, FMDAC attorney

    John Howland (Mr. Pub himself) had arranged to pick up Fay and I, Sam Abramo (our attorney) in his little ole Citroen so that we could attend the World Council meeting prior to the banquet. We all got in and immediately fell asleep. A short time later I opened my eyes, saw us careening down the "wrong" side of the road at break neck speed, around a sharp bend, and almost died then and there. I remember shaking Fay, screaming at her to wake up, only to suddenly realize that we were in jolly ole England where the bastards have no idea of which is the right side of the road to drive on. We laughed our butts off, and later learned that Bubba Howland had been practicing for the evening at the local pub all afternoon. One of those trips from hell...

    It's been said that John's Citroen died a natural and normal death outside a pub.....


    December 13, 2010


    With the new year coming up it sure would be nice to see a few of the "national" organizations gather up steam, and start being pro-active. It might also behoove them to seek each other out to compare notes, discuss differences and start working together. Seems the internet has left a lot of treasure hunters feeling they are on top of things, when in fact they are really not. Save for Mark Schuessler's work and constant updates on oppressive legislation, these websites have become stagnant, and in some case very outdated. If we are to continue to enjoy this pastime, those leading the cause need to step up to the plate and indicate their willingness to take on the task at hand.


    My old friend John Howland just posted up a great read on how to find and search Roman sites. In this article he comments "the thrill of handling a newly found piece 1,800-years on from its loss never wanes", and I can attest to that. While I get excited about finding old coins here in the colonies, nothing compares with detecting the European countries. John also shares a few of his finds via some photos. "Thank you Bubba! How many pints is that now that I owe you?"

    John on a Roman Site
    John, in between pubs.....

    Not a lot going on here in the Lone Star with this TH'er. Little cold right now, and we have not had rain now for almost three weeks. With the holidays it's not looking real good for any major detecting, but then again I hear from some of my good friends back east, and they are into snow so I guess I shouldn't complain....


    December 9, 2010

    Received an email from a friend informing me of the passing of Jim Alexander, a detectorist of many years, and founder of Alexander Enterprises, in Houston, Texas. I met Jim when I was Marketing Director for Garrett Electronics, and he was one of our distributors out of Houston, Texas. Our relationship was not a long one in that I left Garrett after about two years, but what I do remember about Jim what that he was a real gentleman, and a man of many talents. Rather than try to tell you more I will leave you with this tribute. Rest in peace Jim....


    Posted a comment on a forum the other day about treasure magazines. The original poster has said, in so many words, that whatever there is to say about metal detecting, has already been said. A statement somewhat true, but I took exception. First there is the newcomer, who for the most part, has not read any of the material out there. Secondly, reviewing anything you are interested in can never harm, and only help.

    Magzines are like the owner's manual that came with your detector. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone back to mine, and gleaned something new from it. Today, after all these years I still enjoy the TH'ing magazines, and always find something of interest. As one of my old detecting pals used to say, "they are great john material."


    On the subject of magazines, I was going through a few older ones last week, and found myself reminiscing. The covers, the articles and in particular, the products took me back to a time when all was good...... Here are a few that really brought back memories. Click on each to enlarge.

    WET Contributing Editors, 1980's First of Washington Updates

    (Left) Early 80's Western & Eastern Treasures ad about contributors to the magazine, most of whom are still on board....

    (Right) The Washington Update column was a first for Western & Eastern Treasures, and it continues today, with Mark Schuessler doing a phenomenal job. In my mind it's one of the most important features in the magazine. Bob Sickler, author of "The Detectorist" did the artwork for the early column pictured above.

    Charles Garrett Ad, early 80's Arnold Grieve, Compass Ad

    (Left) Back cover of old magazine showing Charles Garrett with all the items available from Garrett Electronics. Think he was dying his beard then because it sure doesn't look like that now..? (Just kidding Charles..)

    (Right) Another back cover shows Arnold Grieve and his many finds. Most all the manufacturers ads back then (and there were many) featured photos of TH'ers with their impressive array of finds. Arnold was one of the very few detector dealers in New Jersey way back when and a great guy!

    Garrett AT4 Jimmy Sierra promoting the hip mount

    (Left) The above ad for the AT4 brought back some memories for sure. When I first went to work for Garrett the Grand Master was introduced, the first computerized detector for them. As a result our catalog that year went from the folksy type to the hi-tech type, with each page featuring one large photo of each detector. The gal who modeled the AT4 in this ad, and in our catalog, was extremely attractive, and many hobbyists wanted to know more about her than the detector itself.

    (right) The Jimmy Sierra ad for the 6000D hipmount. Hipmounts became very popular at the time, and I still wish they were promoted again. I know some manufacturers still offer kits to make their models hipmounts, but I liked the fact that White's redesigned the actual control box to allow the user to view the meter. Could be still be done today in my opinion....

    Lost Treasure FMDAC Cover My First Glamour Shot

    (Left) Lost Treasure's great cover shot of the FMDAC Treasure Weekend event....

    (Right) My first "glamour shot"....World of Treasures magazine, 1983. World of Treasure was a bi-monthly magazine, also published by Peoples Publishing (Western & Eastern Treasures)....


    Received a couple of emails about treasure hunting in Europe, and what type of laws and restrictions might someone face in the various countries. First if you interested in traveling abroad, do it. Detecting in Europe is something you will never forget. As to the specific laws, they vary, and the best I can suggest is to check the NCMD website, and click on the EU Laws tab. Better yet try to link up with another detectorist in the country you are visiting.


    December 4, 2010

    Just received my latest "Western & Eastern Treasures" magazine, and immediately saw my good friend John Punola on the cover....still looking spry after all these years. Checking futher he had penned an article about a site I had recommended to him a few months ago. After moving to Texas 22 years ago I offer up a few suggestions for friends still living back there. The article "Plessey Revisited" was about the very first site I ever detected, and one that I went back to, over and over again. Year after year it gave up a great many silver coins, and a lot of other goodies as well. It was the basis for the first magazine article I ever wrote, "My Favorite Hotspot", World of Treasures magazine, December 1983.

    John Punola 1980 John Punola 2010
    John Punola field testing Wilson
    Neuman models, circa 1980
    John today hunting the Plessey
    field, topic of recent WET article

    Plessey field, was named after the manufacturing plant just adjacent to it in Frenchtown, New Jersey, my old hometown. Over the years community celebrations, carnivals and circuses were held at this site, and it was also the home field for the Frenchtown High School football team in the 40's and 50's. It is still in use today, providing soccer and baseball for the locals. Plessey was one of those sites I knew would give up some silver, and it never failed me. I remember many of my trips there, and wish I could go back.

    John took my advice, and was fortunate to take home some silver as well, proving you can never hunt out any site. Look for John's Article in the latest issue of WET......


    Also received my the latest "Treasure Hunter's Express" newsletter, and as usual it was filled with lots of great information. Paul Tainter never fails to keep my enthusiasm going, and always offers up a few tantalizing leads. His lead story was titled "Book is a Four-Letter Word", and the gist of it was that there's still a lot of very useful information to be found in print, some of which has not found it's way to the internet (I agree as well). Paul also outlined how he records the treasure leads that are of interest to him, and how he follows up on them later. Paul and Karl von Mueller were close friends over the years, and it's obvious in how he tells a story.

    Paul & Joan today
    Paul & Joan today....

    Most anyone who has been involved in the pastime knows of Paul and Joan Tainter, and remember the many "Treasure Expos" held over the years. If you were worth your salt you found a way to be there year after year. All the treasure hunting legends came, simply because they wanted to.... Seminars, hunts, manufacturer displays, lots of tall stories and a lot of wild and crazy times happened every year in Fremont, Nebraska. (Won't embarrass Paul with the name of the local hangout....) Those were the good ole days for sure....

    If you are interested in subscribing to the Treasure Hunter's Express, email Paul at and tell him I sent you....


    Was going to post a photo of all the silver coins I found at the Plessey site (see above), but decided not to. I used to keep all my silver coins in 2x2's, and I would grade them as per the Photograde Standards of the day (which I still like), and just didn't want to pull them out my yearly notebooks. In any case while going through a couple of these early books I came across two Commemorative coins that I had found, and wondered if any of you have had the same good fortune. One was the Stone Mountain Commemorative of 1925, and the other, a Booker T. Washington, 1946. I always wondered how these were lost in that they were not common coinage back them.....? Just proves the point that you never know what the next signal will be, so if in doubt, dig!!


    As a follow up to Master James Hyatt and his recent find (see November 17 entry) I offer this.......

    Lastly just wanted to share another great club newsletter with you.... Check out the Gold Coast Treasure Hunter's Tinfoil Times


    Click here for the