LATEST NEWS ENTRIES, FEBRUARY 2013 THRU MARCH 2013

March 29, 2013

FLORIDA AND THE CITIZEN ARCHAEOLOGY PERMIT

A friend in Florida emailed me about this current proposal, and thought it was worth passing along. I have tried to find details on when and how this proposal came about, but there doesn't appear to be a lot of information out there about it. This link simply suggests it was introduced by a "group of citizens in Florida". Of course Butthead in Warsaw (who now becomes an expert in all things Florida) gives credit for this proposal to "A group of artefact hunters (and amateur archaeologists?). Gotta love the amateur archaeologists quote and queston mark, especially when all the detectorists I know would never want any such tag tied to them.

As the article states "In the past, Florida had an Isolated Finds Program (IFP) that allowed individuals to collect artifacts from state submerged lands, but the program was discontinued in 2005". It is also quick to point out that "Currently, under Chapter 267 of the Florida Statutes, all archaeological materials found on state lands or submerged in state waters belong to the people of the state" (so why can't "people" living in the state have access?).

Given the source of the article it's also quite understandable that it ends with the following.... "This proposal follows closely in the wake of 13 arrests in connection with a state-wide network of illegal artifact looting from state-owned lands. The arrests drew attention to the difficulties of preventing the loss of Florida's abundant archaeological record and Native American history from unscrupulous or uninformed diggers".

When I first learned of this Citizen Archaeology Permit proposal my reaction was that it's a great idea, but then I realized this is the state of Florida, and does it even stand a chance in the state legislature? It also appears that our old friend Alan Hays is also involved again, and asking for feedback....

There are already, of course, lots of letters and statements from the archaeological community claiming foul. Might this not be a project for the Task Force?

Will be following this one for sure....

RECENT ARTICLES

Many thanks to Eddy Current for the following articles. If you are on Facebook be sure look him up, and keep updated on all things treasure hunting. Always, new and interesting articles on a daily basis. Thank you Eddy....


Shipwreck Intriques Archaeologists

Rock Turns Out to be Worth £3.5million

Snowy Landscape Reveals Ancient Remains
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TWO GUYS WHO IRRITATE ME

Hah, not the two trolls you are thinking of...sorry. I am talking about Dave Wise and Todd Hiltz, two Yankees who just keep on finding neat things, and keep pissing me off. I will, however, admit the videos they keep sharing take me back a few years, and the spots shown remind me of sites I used to hunt. I like to bust Dave's chops in particular, but he's a damn good treasure hunter (however, if I run into him again I am cutting the wire to his coil). Todd? He's an okay guy. Just never figured out how he can stand detecting with "Heavymetalnut" (Dave's alias on many forums). Be sure to check out Todd's (Hiltzy) other videos...he does a great job.



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March 27, 2013

IN SEARCH OF TREASURE

My new book In Search of Treasure will be available the first week of April, and I hope you will consider adding it to your treasure hunting library. In Search of Treasure is the 3rd update of Where to Find Treasure, but we decided to give it a new name, rather than calling it "updated" or "volume 3" etc.. This time around we've added new articles, photos, as well as new topics.

In Search of Treasure
Mary Hand

In Search of Treasure is of course published by White's Electronics, and I thank them again for allowing me to be part of their family. A very special thanks as well to Mary Hand, who has edited all my books, and is a genius at taking my scribbles and making them look so much better. Mary is looking forward to retiring this year, and I wish her much happiness. It has been an honor to know and to work with her.

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JOHN HOWLAND AND THE AT PRO ON THE BEACHES

John Howland, the archaeological community's most beloved treasure hunter, has once again decided to share a few of AT Pro tips via his latest post to the Malamute Saloon. John uses the Garrett At Pro International, but I think those of you here using the US version will still be able to gain some ground by reading about John's settings.

For all you Bubba fans out there click HERE to read more.....

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RECENT ARTICLES....

One has to wonder what the archaeological community thinks about both these recent articles.....

Medieval Knight Found in Parking Lot

Bronze Age Settlement Sells for £40,000

Thanks to Eddy Current for the following....

Curious Cat Walks over Medieval Manuscript
(Can just hear the archaeologist saying "those damn metal detecting cats!")

North Yorkshire Viking Hoard

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ARE WE STILL A FAMILY?

Used to think that all detectorists were of the same ilk. That is, we all wanted to be on the same page when it came to keeping out pastime alive and thriving. We would all come to the aid of another participant when he or she was facing attempts to limit their enjoyment of the pastime. Well, that was yesterday. Today? I am not sure.

I now sense a kind of apathy out there that says "I got mine, and the hell with the rest of you". A view that it doesn't matter if the parks in Kentucky are closed to detecting...I live in Ohio. I also sense a divide in the areas of specialization. That is to say the relic hunters are not interested in joining forces with the coinshooter because they have not yet had to face the same restrictions. They typically hunt on private land, have permission, and are exempt from any local, state or government oversight. Likewise the prospector's problems are not of interest to the beach hunter, who can so far pretty much hunt worry free.

Trying to bring all these groups together is most certainly going to be a big challenge to all three of the major national groups. At this moment they are all in the throes of waking up after hibernatng for almost a year, and it's going to take time, a lot of money, and powerful and persuasive promotions to get the attention of the individual detectorist.

Like all other worthwhile causes, it's very hard to get John and Jane Doe involved, simply because "someone else" will do it. Let's hope we are all that someone, and that we find a way to become a family again. It's that important!

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THE BLOG SITE

I hope that those of you who visit here often will find time to respond when something is of interest to you. You can do that by visiting my blog, and clicking on the comments section (Leave a Reply). If you have never visited my blog check it out by clicking on the logo below......


Don't be afraid to share your thoughts, or tell me off when I have something that annoys you. You are always welcome to jump on John Howland there too. That's what a blog is all about, and if you check out some of the replies, I do get taken to task every now and then.

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March 24, 2013

HOW I MET JOHN HOWLAND (OR HOW I RUE THE DAY....!)

I found myself looking back at some of the earlier posts on my website, and came across one that explained how and when I met John Howland. Thought I would share it again....

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I first met John back in 1985, when he and Gerald Costello, officers in the NCMD, were coming to attend the FMDAC Treasure Weekend in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Having not met either before, Fay and I stood at JFK airport, late at night, with signs, saying "The FMDAC welcomes John & Gerald".

They found us, and the meeting went fine until we left the airport. I wound up lost deep in the bowels of New York city, but didn't want to share this embarrassing situation with them. John, quickly seeing prominent city landmarks, proceeded to thank me profusely for taking them on a tour of the city right off, and Fay of course was trying hard to stifle her laughter, quite aware that I had no idea where the hell we were.

Eventually I found my way out of the city, and headed home to central New Jersey. As we drove John continued to open up, and the conversation began to get more relaxed, more personal, more ribald, and it was all I could to stay on the road. Anything and everything was fair game, including the King and Queen. One very important queston was "can we please find a place to get a beer". Fay and I still talk about that night, and how we hurt so much from laughing. The coming days were no exception.

Gerald, John and I atop the Empire State building

Since that time we have become close friends and TH'ng buddies, and any time spent in his presence will be memorable. You will leave with tears in your eyes from laughing so much, and more often than not, saying things like "how the hell did I ever find my way back home" or "how did I ever get into this predicament?".

If you care to you can email john at john.howland0007@btinternet.com.. He may not answer of course unless the topic is women, beer, scotch or fishing.

NOTE

John penned a brief update to his last post, and your read it by clicking HERE
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UNWANTED TREASURES?

Typically speaking the beaches of the Northwest United States are not noted for great detecting. The waters are much too cold for swimming or even wading. Now however they are producing interesting but unwanted treasues thanks to the Japanese tsunami of March 11, 2011.

Much of the flotsam and jetsam that is washing up on the shores have organisms attached to it (many of them unknown), and scientists are concerned about what means to ocean life down the road. Something to keep any eye on for sure.

I have always been interested in the phenomena of how and what items are carried by the currents and come ashore, and I would highly recommend the following books should you too want to know more. Who knows....could help your beach hunting on the East coast.

"Flotsometrics &
the Floating World"
"Washed Up"
"Tracking Trash"
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THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF STOUT STANDARDS

Three years ago, March 19th 2010, I started the Stout Standards website. I must say it doesn't seem like three years, and I am amazed that I could continue to BS that long and keep a few people coming back again and again. It's been fun, and I thank all you for spreading the word. A special thanks to John Howland, who has kept the Malamute Saloon going for the same length of time. I knew that adding John to the mix would bring in news from across the pond, as well as off-the-wall comments, rants, insults, shitfits and controversy (what the hell was I thinking?)....

Last February, at the urging of John Winter I also came up with a blog version of Stout Standards that has become very popular in that it allows for readers to respond. Something missing from the website. Once again, thank you all...hope you will keep stopping by.

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RECENT ARTICLES

Thanks again to Jessie Thompson for sending along the following articles...

Royal Connection for Gold Ring

A Glimpse of Anglo Saxon England

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March 23, 2013

THANKS TO ALL

Just wanted to thank you all for the comments to John Howland's The Artifact Erosion Counter post. Stout Standards had a record numbe of hits (visits), and it's great seeing so many responses because that's really what a good blog is all about. A big thank you as well to Lisa Hume MacIntyre for her professional and unbiased input. Nice to know that there are others out there who also see and understand our plight. And last but not least a big thank you to John for the lowdown on what now should probably be called the "Artifact Erection Counter".

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March 21, 2013

THE ARTIFACT EROSION COUNTER....FACT OR FICTION?

John Howland just submitted a lengthy update to the Malamute Saloon, and I would urge all of you to read it. As I'm sure you know both John and I have been taken to task many times by two archaeological blogs, one in the UK, one in Warsaw, and they both use something called the Artifact Erosion Counter (which they invented) to discredit the treasure hunter in the UK, claiming most do not report their finds to the PAS. I think you will find John's post informative, and to my mind, accurate. Hope you will take the time to read it, and also to share your thoughts and comments on my blog.

To read about the Artifact Erosion Counter click HERE
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RECENT ARTICLES

Thanks again to Eddy Current for the following articles. If you are on Facebook be sure to look up his page and subscribe. Always, always great information there.

Ring Unearthed in York Field May Have Been Royal

Treasure Hunter Homes in on Roman Treasure and Detects Site of An Ancient House

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March 19, 2013

COOK COUNTY

Had a couple of emails asking about the situation in Cook County, Illinois (see my post of February 28th), and unfortunately I have nothing new to report. Last I heard the Task Force was working with the president of the local club there to hire an attorney. As soon as I hear anything further I will be sure to pass it along....

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JOHN WINTER DUMBS ME DOWN AGAIN!

John Winter likes to remind me that he knows more about American history then I do, and at times I tend to agree, but in this case I am not sure it's because of my being an unattentive student, or because the topic falls into the area of John's expertise. In any case I will let you decide....check his latest update (and put down) here.

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IS THIS WHAT IS ON THE HORIZON?

Almost flipped out when I saw this...put my bid in this morning!

$47,000 Detector
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CLUB NEWSLETTERS

I am fortunate to receive a lot of club newsletters, and enjoy reading them. I wanted to share a few here for those editors who might want to get ideas on how to improve theirs or simply to compare. While I don't pen the WET Club News anymore I still love to keep up with what is going on across the country, and thank you all for keeping me on your mailing list.

SOUTH ALABAMA HISTORICAL RESEARCH & RECOVERY ASSOCIATION

PROSPECTOR'S CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

MIDWEST COINSHOOTERS & HISTORICAL CLUB

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RECENT ARTICLES

Thanks to Jessie Thompson of the Nor'Easters Metal Detecting Club for sharing the follwing articles....

Jessie Thompson

Recovered Cache Stirs Old Heartache

Montpelier Opens to Metal Detectors

Mystery of the Lost West Point Ring

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March 17, 2013

THE WEATHER WAS GOOD AND SO WERE MY FINDS

I really hate to bring up the weather this time of year because it always pisses off my friends back East, but the temps today were near 75, and the skies partly sunny. As a result I got brave, decided to give the body a test, and get out for a little morning detecting. Surprisingly I felt pretty good. The knees weren't as bad as before and I was able to get up and down pretty well. Also on the plus side it took my lower back about two hours to start bothering me. Compared to the 30 minute expedition of a month ago, that's not too bad at all. Likewise I came home with a couple of pieces of silver....

Was using the MXT Pro with the 5.3 coil, and the silver quarter depth reading was 8 inches. I was somewhat doubtful, but indeed it was eight inches. Love this machine and the small coil.

I decided to photograph the two crushed soda cans I dug today for a couple of reasons. First both were sticking out of the ground, sharp side up (dangerous)....I then wondered, would these be considered archaeological material 100 years down the road?

An Okay Hour & Half
Sharp Edged Cans and maybe relics?
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DIALOGUE, CONVERSATION & DEBATE

Want to thank those of you who responded to my last post “If We Don’t Dig It, Who Will?”....(see blog).

Some insightful thoughts and comments, and really appreciated archaeologist Lisa Hume MacIntyre (see her bio below) sharing her thoughts and opinions. She is a breath of fresh air, and a “rare bird” amongst the typical archaeological ideologues. I hope she will find time to follow SS, and comment whenever the spirit moves her. Surely I will say something that will get her up in arms.

Lisa’s suggestion about sitting down and talking out differences is a great idea, but I have no idea how something like that could happen and if so, on what scale. Likewise, how many others “Lisa’s” are out there...those who would be agreeable to having an open mind, and yes, agreeable to lend some credence to what is we do.

Perhaps a place to start this back and forth would be a blog or website designed solely for dialogue, conversation and debate between the two sides. It would certainly have to be a joint effort, and it would have to be strictly monitored to keep things civil (damn, I might be banned from the get go). I know, I know, this is just another one of my brain farts, but I thought I would throw it out there anyway....

Lastly, I post my updates on a few (and I mean very few) forums, and once in a while a good back and forth debate begins. Never on Stout Standards mind you, but on the forum. Sure wish those of you who found the topic worthy of liking or bitching about, would take the time to respond here where the topic was started. Just sayin....

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LISA HUME MACINTYRE....A BIO

I asked Lisa is she wouldn't mind sharing her backbround/bio, and she was more than happy to oblige. Thank you Lisa....

I was born in 1959 in a small town in Southern Indiana. My mother was a stay at home mom while my father was a high school science teacher. We lived on a dirt road with our closet neighbor being a bicycle ride away. At a very early age my father taught me to love and respect nature and my dream was to become a scientist.

When I was nine years old we moved to South Florida. Life changed from country living to hanging out at the beach and malls. I graduated from Lake Worth High School in 1977 and married my high school sweetheart. By the time I was 26 I had two children and my dream of being a scientist was put on hold. During this time I worked many different jobs, mostly unskilled retail positions.

In 2003 I fell off a ladder and broke my neck. It took two years and a surgery to get my neck back to working condition. During this time of recuperation it hit me like a brick that I never again wanted to work simply because I needed a job. I wanted a career in science. With my families backing I enrolled in night classes at Florida State College in 2006.

I received my AA degree in 2010 from Florida State College with a focus in Geology and photography. I enrolled in every science class that they offered and graduated in the top 5% of my class. During my time there I also discovered one important facet about myself. I was horrible at math! I struggled through every calculus, trig, physics, and chemistry class that would be required for a biology degree. I found, however, that my anthropology class was fascinating. I made an important decision that I would switch to anthropology with a focus in archaeology.

The change was made for two important reasons. One, we must all recognize our limitations. Mine is math. Two, archaeology, although hotly debated in some circles, IS A SCIENCE! And a fascinating science at that! With the background I had acquired in the hard sciences I felt I could bring a lot to the table in the field of rchaeology.

Lisa Hume MacIntyre

I graduated Suma Cum Lade from the University of North Florida (UNF) in 2012 with a degree in anthropology and a focus in archaeology. I have a triple minor is in history, geography, and photography. My history focus is Native American Indians of Northeast Florida, namely the Timucuans and Guale. My geography minor is focused in GIS mapping which has proved invaluable in my field. My photography skills are used in photographing excavations, artifacts and features.

I have participated in two field schools with UNF in 2011 and 2012 on Black Hammock Island in which we have uncovered the Visita, Vera Cruz which was part of the Mission System in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia. I have worked on excavations at Kinsey Knoll in 2011 and 2012. This is a unique mound complex in Jacksonville, FL. Dating to 900 AD. I have been involved for three years in the ongoing project of the search for the lost Fort Caroline, a French fort first erected by René Goulaine Laudinniére in 1564. In 2010 I worked on an excavation in Fernandina beach FL that contained Orange Fiber pottery dating to 2300-500 BCE. Presently I am working on two projects that make use of GIS/Arcmap in mapping sites from GPS points and incorporating into Google Earth. I am also using SPSS and Excel software to project patterns of distribution at these sites to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of the people who once inhabited this land. I have been accepted into the GIS Masters program at Penn State. However, finances will dictate when I attend.

I am a volunteer for Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) which is a public outreach program involved in numerous projects to involve the public in archaeology projects. For FPAN I have worked on several digs involving the public. I am a volunteer at the Museum of Science and History in Jacksonville, FL. in the Children’s Outreach Program. I also volunteered for 10 years for the Sea Turtle Nesting Patrol, both in West Palm Beach and in Jacksonville, FL.

At present, a colleague and I are forming a Northeast Chapter of the Florida Archaeological Society and hope to it fully functional this year….

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. ~John Muir"

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LOVE YOU MOM

Tomorrow is the two year anniversary of my Mom's passing, and just wanted to say I love you and miss you Mom!

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HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY!

And lastly, let me wish all my Irish friends out there a Happy St. Paticks Day! Here in Dallas it's a wild one with a big parade and a day long effort by many to see how much they can drink (and puke)....not all Irish!

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THE BLOG SITE

I hope that those of you who visit here often will find time to respond when something is of interest to you. You can do that by visiting my blog, and clicking on the comments section (Leave a Reply). If you have never visited my blog check it out by clicking on the logo below......


Don't be afraid to share your thoughts, or tell me off when I have something that annoys you. You are always welcome to jump on John Howland there too. That's what a blog is all about, and if you check out some of the replies, I do get taken to task every now and then.

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March 14, 2013

IF WE DON’T DIG IT, WHO WILL?

I have always wondered why it is that the archaeological community hates us so much. We are, for the most part, honest, hard working people, who just want to enjoy a pastime. We look for coins, relics and jewelry. A few may be fortunate enough to have the time and money to look for long lost caches and buried shipwrecks, but they are few and far between.

Their pretense or apparent motive is that we “destroy” history, but strangely enough they don’t care about us finding coins or relics. At least that is what I was told when I brought up the idea that perhaps they were jealous of what we were finding. My dear friend and achaeologist of note, Paul Barford, who hides out (and I really mean “hides out”) in Warsaw, Poland, responded as follows (you have to get through the grandiose, self ingratiating, inflated, description of who he is first).

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The end of a July 29, 2012 post....

Finally I really find highly amusing [having worked on, among others, sites from the Middle Palaeolithic, a couple of thousand year old hillforts and urban sites in Poland and Norway, Roman villas and forts in England, Anglo-Saxon villages, Late Iron Age saltworks, and more recently digging in Luxor Egypt not to mention in my career working through boxes and boxes of finds writing them up for publication] to have a Texas metal detectorist suggesting that my critique of the conservation aspects of current policies on artefact hunting and collecting is due to "jealousy". Of what? Finding Barber dimes, wheaties and corroded Confederate buckles and uniform buttons? He really has to be joking".

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So, if coins and relics are okay, just what the hell is it we do that ticks he and the rest of the archaeological community off? My question is and probably always will be, “if we don’t dig it, who will?” Is it better to let that item corrode, rot and decay in the ground? Should we let it stay there until a bulldozer destroys it while constructing the new shopping center parking lot? Is it better for it to remain bured forever, or is it a matter of waiting until an archaeologist is given a grant to “dissect” that particular piece of land, and if so, how long might that take?

I completely get the local community banning detectors in the park because of holes left by a careless hunter (albeit at the expense of the caring hobbyist), but the idea that we are destroying history because we found a relic from the Civil or Revolutionary War is absurd. These items are found on private property, with the permission of the owner, and are almost always incidental drops or losses. The chances of finding any meaningful, heretofore unknown sites, skirmishes, or caches are almost non-existent, and I feel certain that if one were discovered it would be reported by the finder.

Are there detectorists who abuse our code of conduct, the law, etc...? Of course. The same can be said for the archaeologial community. I simply find it baffling that a group of people are so hell bent on taking away the enjoyment of a few hobbyists in order to preserve something that has not even been found or unearthed yet. If we had followed this line of thought, the Staffordshire hoard would still be in the ground instead of a museum!

So let me repeat. If we don't dig it, who will?

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IS THIS DUMB OR WHAT?

I've heard about all the various restrictions facing the detectorist in Florida, but I was checking out the Florida Public Archaeology Network and found this paragraph under number 12, "Can I Metal Detecting in Florida"....

"As for metal detecting in the water, all lands that are below the mean high water line are considered state sovereignty submerged lands and, while it is not against the law to possess a metal detector in the water, it IS against the law to disturb the bottom sediments. So, if something is detected, it would be illegal to dig for it".

All I can say is amazing!....?

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LATE BREAKING NEWS FROM THE MALAMUTE SALOON

Once again some late breaking news from across the pond, via the Malamute Saloon. You can find out more by clicking HERE

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NICE STORY

Wanted to share this one with you...sorry I do not remember who sent it to me. My apologies. Just a nice story, and some good PR for the pasetime....

Mini Cache Found

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March 12, 2013

BUBBA'S REBUTTAL....

John Howland contacted me yesterday asking that I share his comments in regards to a recent post by Beavis, and I honored his wish (why, I will never know). It just takes a glass of single malt (with a dash of water or course) to make him mad, and the words flow. If you are at all interested in what he has to say click HERE

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FOLLOW UP TO YESTERDAY'S POST

If you read my blog post yesterday, you surely read the comments that followed. My response to Avery Marder's comments may have seemed harsh, but I will always reserve the right to say what I want here on my blog, and don't appreciate someone else telling me what I should and should not be talking about.

Likewise I have fought for years to preserve this pastime, and resent the implication that I am unaware of what is currently going on throughout the country.

That's all I have to say....

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THANKS AGAIN BRIAN MAYER
Thanks, as always, to Brian Mayer for allowng me to share his beach hunting videos. Saw this one yesterday.....


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March 11, 2013

OKAY, I AM A FLIP FLOPPER!

A few of you are gonna be pissed at me, but hey you know what? I am too old to care.

The more I got thinking about a PAS for the United States the more I realized that it would probably not be a popular program, and an extremely difficult one to put together. Tom Tanner brought up some good points in his response (see blog), and I remembered Bob Buttafuso’s remarks a while back....

Tom was right in that most all UK detectorists hunt fields, and do very little, if any, hunting of parks, schools, etc.. That pretty much mirrored what Bob said with regards to his club not wanting to join any national organization here in the states. He too said they always hunt private land (with permission) and as a result rarely face restrictions or bans, and getting his members to pay additional fees for a group they’d have very little use for would be difficult if not impossible. Then when I thought about the water hunters, the prospectors, and their need for anything like the PAS, I decided it was definitely pie in the sky and not worth the effort.

I also started to think about the process of putting together something like the PAS. It would involve treasure hunters, archaeologists, and of course the government. I don’t see the first two agreeing on anything, and it seems that nothing at all is accomplished in Washington anymore.

Also Tom's remarks about dumb restrictions also rang true, and I think the Task Force can relate to that in that they have a few parks in NYC where they cannot detect within so many feet of a tree, etc.. I can definitely see the difficulties involved working out all the finer details of any agreement between three dysfunctional groups.

Perhaps our problems are best left to the Task Force, the FMDAC or WWATS. Let them tackle the various issues on a local scale and put out fires where and when possible. I feel bad changing my mind, especially when I brought up the subject, but my common sense and past experience won out in the end. Lastly, I wouldn't wish trying to talk sense to an archaeologist on my worst enemy.

Please continue to share your thoughts on this subject...don’t let me be the one to change your mind. In fact convince me that I am wrong. Remember it's easy to comment on my blog.

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WINTER BEER

I thought the discovery of "Dig" beer was neat, but my twin brother from the UK, John Winter one upped me one, and shared his favorites. Pretty hard topping these....

Must be difficult when out visiting friends, and they ask if you would like a beer, and say sure but do you have any.... ? Never thought ole John Winter would partake of such stuff, but looks are deceiving.

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RECENT ARTICLES

Stonehenge Was Ancient Graveyard

Ancient Gold Wreath Found
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SPANISH CHICKEN AND POTATO ROAST

Haven't shared a recipe in some time, and thought I would pass this one along. Fay made it tonight it was tasty.... Many thanks to the Food Network. If you are at all interested in it you can find out more by clicking HERE

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March 9, 2013

A PAS PROGRAM HERE? WHY NOT?

I received the following article from Jim Meaney, librarian for the Massachusetts Treasure Hunting Club and thank him. Good article, and I hope you will read it....

FINDERS KEEPS? NOT ALWAYS IN TREASURE HUNTING

After reading it I wanted to share my views (like my autograph, you can take my views/opinions along with 10$ and get a cup of coffee at Starbucks).

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A quote from the above article....

"It wouldn't work here," said Chris Espenshade, a consulting archaeologist for Commonwealth Cultural Resources Group in Michigan. "It's contrary to our culture." It's the mindset of "It's my property and I'll do what I want" and an American individualism that expresses itself in "no trespassing" signs”.

Mr. Espenshade’s comment pretty sums up the way it should be because people like him are against anything resembling the PAS here in the US, and until they change their mind, nothing at all will change what it is we do and how we do it.

We are detectorists or if your prefer, treasure hunters, and we should not be discriminated against for wanting to enjoy a healthy pastime just because people like Mr. Espenshade think we are stealing history. Ironically what history we do find is history that would have rotted in the ground if not for our efforts (they know this, and it pisses them off).

While our country’s history is young compared to the UK, there’s no reason at all a PAS like program couldn’t work here when it comes to relics. If a detectorist is hunting a Civil War area site, and finds a rusty rifle, or belt plate, might they not be more inclined to share it with the local museum if they were to receive fair compensation (small as it may be)?

There are a great many detectorists who already donate finds without any monetary reward, but how many more would there be if a program like the PAS existed? And come on now...any compensation would be a pittance compared to that paid in the UK.

So it seems to me the next move is up to the archaeological community. Our side has begged, groveled and bent over backwards to work with them to no avail. The next move is most definitely theirs. We are not going away. They can continue to make accusations, bitch, piss and moan, or they can decide to accept us and work with us on a level playing field.

I, for one, am not holding my breath....

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TREASURE HUNTING AMERICA VIDEOS

A Big thank you to Roger Horrom, president of the Midwest Coinshooters for the following link. Lots of good viewing ahead ...

Treasure Hunting America Videos

You may have to type in the Captcha codes

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March 8, 2013

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY....BRING ON THE GALS!

Hope you are all on the "subscribe" list now for the Detecting Diva blog. Allyson Cohen is not just a treasure hunter/detectorist, but a damn good one. She knows what she is talking about, and can put many of you guys to shame. Don't bet her and chance it....you will be exposed, and now that she has a blog that could be disastrous.

Allyson, along with my wife Fay, were the topic of John Winter's recent blog post..."The Metal Detecting Diva & a Couple of Crazy Women" (Fay is one of the crazy ones)! She and I have been married for 46 years, and she has been my detecting partner for some time, although of late, neither of us have been able to get out as much as we once used to.

She is an avid photographer and is responsible for most all the photos in my books over the years. She keeps me on the straight and narrow (well sometimes), and constantly warns me about hanging with and listening to John Howland (a.k.a. the Malamute Saloon).

Fay finally retired last February after 46 years of intenstive care nursing, and as a result, has been driving me crazy. I talked her into doing a blog, and it has gotten entirely out of hand. The Crazy Women's Photography Club pretty much says it all. I will add however that when she is out with the crazies I can rest in peace and quiet.

I was not aware that today was "International Women's Day" until John mentioned it in his post, and not sure just how we men are supposed to handle it. We have Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, and now this. Thanks a lot John!!

I do think the pastime desperately needs to attract more gals (can just hear you all saying WHAT?), and we need to push and promote that. Why? Because we need to grow. We need to become more accepted as a family pastime. It will help our image and it's good for us all in the long run.

(And hey John Winter....we have 90 acre fields here as well, and they get hunted heavily. Totlots are not our norm....Howland hunts those).

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A BEER FOR US?

I subscribe to Steve's Sunken Treasures and found one of his recent posts pretty funny, and yesterday it became funnier because while I was out with my wife shopping at the "World Market" in Dallas, I encountered the same thing... a beer named "DIG". Be sure to check out Steve's story....

Needless to say I had to pick it up too....thanks Steve.

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BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD

To all of you who emailed about just who these two were....now you know. Check them out from time to time. Will make you aware of what we are up against, and give you a few laughs in the process. Of course if you don't enjoy fiction....

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March 6, 2013

FUNNY HOW QUICKLY THINGS CHANGE...

With regards to the Beavis & Butthead post.... Beavis has now changed his mind, and said that a few of the comments on his blog were surreptitiously posted by detectorists (yeah, right). Of course at the time he seemed to like them. One commenter suggested..“The fact any shop can sell any metal detector to anyone, regardless, is an absolute travesty.” His reply, "Of course it is".

Then finally Butthead comes to the rescue and says "But Andy, not everyone with a metal detector is damaging archaeological sites. They are used by archaeologists, meteorite hunters, gold prospectors, beach detectorists and rally token hunters, not to mention builders, plumbers and security men. Simply banning the tool is not the solution, and nobody here is suggesting such a thing".

Apparently we can only be "beach detectorists" or "rally token hunters"....?

As for Beavis's quick turnaround, I guess you could call it "changing course in midstream". I'd call it "being caught with your pants down" (and when I think of these two individuals that really grosses me out)!

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JOHN HOWLAND'S NEW CAMPAIGN!

My mild mannered, full of crap, counterpart in the UK sent along an update, and I am not sure what to make of it. Have a feeling that the Beavis and Butthead post had something to do with it...

To read about John's latest brainstorm (what an appropriate word) click HERE


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THE BLOG SITE

I hope that those of you who visit here often will find time to respond when something is of interest to you. You can do that by visiting my blog, and clicking on the comments section (Leave a Reply). If you have never visited my blog check it out by clicking on the logo below......


Don't be afraid to share your thoughts, or tell me off when I have something that annoys you. You are always welcome to jump on John Howland there too. That's what a blog is all about, and if you check out some of the replies, I do get taken to task every now and then.

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March 5, 2013

SADNESS ON TWO FRONTS

Yesterday I was saddened to read about the death of Mick Swannell, and I hope you will take few minutes to read the article that John Winter did about Mick a year ago. A tough assignment but one John handled with grace and professionalism.

Sadly this morning I learned that my good friend, my old detecting partner, the man who sold me my first detector, Joe Attinello, passed away Sunday. I recevied the following memorial tribute from his son Ron.

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Joeseph Attinello of Milford, NJ, died Sunday, March 3, 2013 at the age of 90. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Irene.

Born in 1922 in Phillipsburg, NJ, this “average” Joe, led a spectacularly average American life. As a teen, worthy of a scene in “It’s A Wonderful Life”, he saved the life of his drowning younger brother Tom, reaching down in the cold quarry water with his last bit of air, to find a curly mop of hair with his fingertips.

A first-generation Italian American, he graduated Phillipsburg high school and immediately joined the army. He naively thought he would get his wish to be stationed in Hawaii where a friend had been stationed a year earlier. But instead found himself on a ship to Africa, Italy and finally Normandy where he landed in the first wave on D-Day with the US Army’s first infantry. He then crawled across France and Belgium to the Battle of the Bulge and finally Germany.

His service was nearly cut short when fever struck in the fall of 1944. Fearing he would be treated with sulfa in the military hospital, which he had almost died from as a child, he got himself dressed and walked out into the streets of Liege. He was spotted by a young girl who took him home to her mother who over a period of two weeks, nursed him back to health.

But this war story did not end for another 40 years, when letters were discovered in his sister’s attic from the Belgian girl’s mother to his mother. They were replies to the letters of thanks his mother had written. He wrote to Liege, expecting the girl’s mother would likely be deceased, but hoped to find the daughter. The girl, now in her 50s was still there and remembered him. A year later she traveled to America and visited Joe and Irene at their home in Milford.

After an honorable discharge from the army, he began his periodic but futile struggle to leave New Jersey. He spent a year in northern California. But returning for Christmas ruined any chance of making California permanent.

In what might be called a “stakeout”, he waited at a dance hall in Easton to get a look at a friend of his youngest brother’s girlfriend. She had refused to go on a blind date with him, but he learned where she went on Saturday nights and so he waited. They were married a year later.

Together he and Irene opened a “soda fountain” in Phillipsburg, serving ice cream sodas to teenagers until their first son, Ronald was 2 years old. Joe had studied photography and thought of opening a studio, but with their second son, Robert, on the way a steady income was becoming more important. Later a friend led him to a job in the insurance business where he worked for over twenty years.

Charles was their third son. When their daughter Ann was born, a larger house was needed. By this time they were doing well enough to spend the outrageous sum of $21,000.00 on a house in Milford. He went from insurance, to excavation, to chimney sweep, to security guard and maintenance until he reached retirement.

His interests seemed never to be satisfied. He loved fly fishing as a young man and metal detecting as he neared retirement. Whatever he did, he did it with enthusiasm.....

The most important thing in his life was his family. He always urged his children to do the best they could do at whatever it was they chose to do...

Besides his wife, he left behind his three sons, a daughter, six grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Rest in peace Joe. You were one of a kind, and a true friend.

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March 4, 2013

BEAVIS & BUTTHEAD, THE SAGA CONTINUES....

As you all know I have a following amongst the archaeological communities in the UK and Poland, and I find it difficult to be humble when such distinguished people wait with baited breath to hear what it is I have to say. Sooo, I will give Beavis & Butthead a little fodder here so they can drool all over their keyboard.

I would share their websites but you all know who I am referring to. If you don't, you haven't been a Stout Standards reader for any length of time.

A few recent comments on Beavis's site in the UK.

"The fact any shop can sell any metal detector to anyone, regardless, is an absolute travesty.”...or, "Can anyone just walk into a shop and buy a hand gun? Can anyone just walk into a shop and buy Heroin? Can anyone just walk into a shop and buy a flick knife? The answer is no to all the above because they can cause damage, so why should a metal detector be able to sold willy nilly".

Or how about this one...

"They even make metal detectors for and market them to children, especially at Xmas time which is outrageous. Tax them or ban them outright and have a short amnesty period for people to hand them in to local police stations to be destroyed, just like we did with handguns".

And if you visit Buttheads's Warsaw site you will see that he has trolled yet another American forum, and found something to piss and moan about. Another one of his "gotcha" moments.

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These two, self appointed guardians of the world, are 24/7 trolls, and have little else to do. One only has to look at their posts, their dates and times to realize that.

Their is never anything funny, uplifting or informative on their blogs. They were created to negate anything at all related to metal detecting, treasure hunting (ooh...a bad word), and they will stop at nothing to pursue that goal. Why, we are the scum of the earth, the guys in black (wait a minute, it’s now camouflage), and we are the evil doer’s. If history is left up to them we will be “history”. Mark my words....

I hear a great deal about how we have to learn to work with the archaeological community, and how we need to be part of the effort. What effort? That which they are pushing? Sorry, yours truly has bowed out of that picture. As I've said many times in the past, I am tired of the pissing match, and I am tired of hearing from those of you who think we have some chance to be in their good graces. Let me know how that works out...

The archaeologist as I see him

All one has to do is visit Beavis & Butthead every so often, and you will soon get the gist of what it is they are doing, and they are not subtle about it, as you can see from the above comments. They want to put us out of business, and this is not a hit and miss effort....it’s a coordinated one, and if you cannot see that, and want to keep groveling, fine. Just leave me out please!

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March 3, 2013

WHY THE MXT PRO?

I received a few emails about my last post, asking why I like the MXT Pro so much, and I thought I would try and respond. Remember however that I am from the old school of detecting, and the older I get the dumber my explanations.

First reason? I love knobs and switches. Not sure why, but I am not a big fan of touchpads. I understand they are faster in many instances, but when when you flick a switch, there’s no doubt in your mind you've just made a change. When you turn a knob you see can see where it's set. With touchpads you assume that changes were made, but just maybe you didn't push that pad hard enough, and maybe the change didn't happen in the software. Stupid exlanation? Absolutely, but remember this is "Stout Standards". What the hell did you expect?

Next I love the tone ID feature. How simple can it get or I get? As a coin hunter and senior citizen it's Low for crap. High for dig!

When I am out in the field I almost always set my mode switch to "Coins & Jewelry, the trac switch to "ground" and the dual control to the preset (triangle) just below nickel. After hunting for a while I try to analyze my finds, and adjust accordingly. By that I mean if I am finding too much trash I might increase the disc (dual control), and if I am not finding much of anything I will try to increase the gain. Nothing complicated there.

I have come to learn that the secret to finding anything good has always been "how much sensitivity or depth can I get without creating a lot of chatter". With the MXT Pro I start off with my gain at 3, and my threshold just a hum. My plan is to listen closely to the audio threshold and monitor the very slight increases I hear (these are the deeper and usually older targets). At that point I try to see how much I can increase the gain and still have a stable threshold. Any increase at all in the gain will also help better define the ID readouts.

Another way to get extra depth is to turn down your threshold "below" the audible level and see if you can increase your gain without a lot of noise. This is very much a trial and error thing and depends a great deal on the area you are hunting and the ground conditons.

I always concentrate on two readouts (the numerical numbers, and the graphic bars). The stronger these bars are, the more pronounced they are, the better the chances of the target being being worthy of a dig. Of course if the target is quite deep then both of these readouts may not mean anything. If the audio increase is weak or faint, and the depth reading is 5 inches or more, dig it! I will also often increase the gain (noise or not) just to see if I can improve the ID readouts in cases like this.

At times I will hunt in the Relic Mode to gain a little more depth. I set the the audio threshold to where I can just barely hear a hum, and then set the Dual Control to the first triangle (below nickel). I then watch for the numerical readouts. Remember they will be the same, no matter what mode you are in. It doesn't matter what the target description is (buckles, dimes, etc.). Quarters will still read in the low +80's, nickels usually in the +18 area, and new pennies at +55, etc..

Not sure I explained things clearly or just confused the hell out of you. If I have, just remember knobs (as in boobs) and switches....they are fun to play with.

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THE "DETECTING DIVA" BLOG!

Allyson Cohen, a.k.a. Detecting Diva and Detectorista

Allyson Cohen an old friend from back East has just put up a blog, and it should be a great one. I know for sure she can out last, out hunt me, and I suspect many of my friends as well. She also has a way with words and I love her description of what a detecting diva is. Be sure to check out the Detecting Diva and add it to your list of favorites. Allyson is also known in the East as Detectorista!! Great Job Allyson. I will be checking in often....

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March 1, 2013

WILL THIS SPRING BRING NEW MODELS OR ONLY FLOWERS?

Well,I have been trying to find out from the companies what, if any, new models might be on the horizon, but they are all being silent, which leads me to believe we will probably see a couple in the coming weeks. Just a guess however...

Not sure I can afford anything new anymore, and I sure as hell don't want anything that will go deeper than the detector I have now. It's all I can do to get out detecting without discomfort, and I don't need to spend more time on my knees than necessary. And how deep is deep enough? We are already approaching the 8 to 12 inch depth potential now, and anything deeper will necessitate a shovel or spade. Not my cup of tea, especially being a coin hunter (and to all my arkie friends out there who are reading this, and rushing to use my comments to your advantage, don't. No one really gives a crap about what you think).

The MXT Pro is my buddy!

My MXT Pro is my detector of choice right now and it can go deep. Deeper than others on the market? Dunno, but I am not about to buy them all to find out, nor do I care to believe all the BS that is offered on the many forums out there. Suffice to say I am quite happy with it, and in fact I am on the prowl for an older White's 6000di, Series 2 detector from the 80's. Call me old, senile, nostalgic, whatever....I just remember that detector vividly, and feel certain I could still find good stuff with it. It was one of those detectors that actually talked to me (well at least after a couple of drinks).

I knew that detector inside out, and I am hoping that someone out there who has one, will take pity on me and send it to me no charge (Okay, I will pay postage). It's analog, not computerized, and it is not as "cool looking" as today's models. Won't "spell" out nickel, dime or quarter, nor will it tell you the numerical readout. What it will do is go pretty deep on a dime, and if you are willing to use some wrist action, it will verify that dime before you dig it....

So,if there are new models coming out this spring that are below $500, weigh 2.5 lbs or less, have knobs or switches, I might be interested. Otherwise I am quite happy staying the course. There just comes a time when cost versus return becomes important, and that is most certainly when one retires.

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NICE EFFORT....GREAT GESTURE

Thanks again to Regton Ltd. for the following article. Terrific PR for the pastime, and we need more programs like this....

Coining It For the Heroes

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MY JERSEY FRIENDS NOT AT ALL HAPPY WITH THIS DEVELOPMENT

Large Scale Beach Replenishment

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TREASURE WAITING TO BE FOUND IN NEW MEXICO...LOVE THIS STORY

After watching this and thinking about it, I am all for it. What the hell, why not? Why not provide a lure, a challenge, a mystery, for those who come after...

Thousands Search for Man's Hidden Treasure

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February 28, 2013

THINGS LOOKING BRIGHTER IN COOK COUNTY?

Received the following comment/reply on my blog from Avery Marder, vice president of the Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights and wanted to share it here as well. You can comment or check other responses by going to my blog.

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Not so secret..just go to DetectingRights.com – we’re an open book. In the next 2 week the site will be updated with current info and features. The Task Force (it’s not a company) is a 501(c) non profit, all volunteer foundation (no one draws a salary nor stipend). Membership in the Task Force is completely FREE, we will never ask our members to pay a membership fee.

The Task Force just hired a law firm in NY to spearhead answering legal issues confronting the Metal Detecting Community. The Task Force is also interviewing law firms in northern Illinois, and will be looking for a law firm in Kansas shortly.....the three top hot spots the Task Force will be working on in the next few months. Other areas will be considered as soon as we are notified, contacted by a local club, hear about problems through web/blog sites, or from contact with members of The Task Force. The Task Force is here to protect you, the Metal Detecting Community, and we need you to help fellow Metal Detectorists in your own back yard and across the country, thank you, and join today.

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Thank you Avery, happy to hear the Task Force is back and I like the prospects of getting legal help and advice. Hope you will keep everyone updated on your efforts...

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HOLCOMBE GOES HOLLYWOOD

Was surprised to see a video on Facebook today from Butch Holcombe, publisher of the American Digger Magazine. Why? Because he finally succumbed to the fancy of putting a camera on his head. I thought he had better sense, but one never knows anymore. Apprently he likes it, and I am looking forward to "Butch Does Hollywood, Part 2".



I have shared his video with all my archaeological friends out there and feel certain they will enjoy it. Even supplied Butch's home address in case they wanted his autograph.

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TO MY TH'ING FRIENDS BACK HOME....

Threw out this tip a couple of months ago, but now you must act if you are at all interested. My old High School has been torn down, and it appears as though there might be construction on the site in the near future. If you are at all interested in finding good stuff you might want to stay on top of this.

Developer Wants 46 Lots on Former 'Haunted' Lambertville High School Property

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A REMINDER TO USE YOUR HEAD

Once again a reminder of how very much we can become a pain in the ass to the general public. If you are out of your elements, don't push it please. Losing your life is not worth any treasure out there....


Treasure Hunter Found Safe Again

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AND ON THE HOME FRONT...

Not a lot to report, and not a lot of finds to report. Still trying to feel "normal" and still taking a lot of pills. Have felt somewhat better of late, but when I can finally go out with my grandson and shoot some baskets, I will know that all is back to normal. Working on it for sure....

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February 26, 2013

HELLOOO OUT THERE?

On February 14th, my post was titled "A Project for the Big 3". Then I added a follow-up on February 17th (Is it Time to Revisit Cook County), and another mention on February 19th (Update on Cook County Ban). Right after the last post I was privy to a couple of emails that I think were not meant for my eyes, but they were from one of the big 3 organizations, and it appeared as though they were going to jump in and take on Cook County. Well it is now the 26th of the month and neither of the two clubs involved, the Midwest Historical Research Club or the Will County Historical Research & Recovery Association has heard a thing from anyone.

Apparently no one is going to pick up the ball, and that's really sad. The situation begs for an organized, concerted effort, and in particular, money! Money so that an attorney can be hired (at least enough for the clubs involved to have an initial meeting with an attorney to find out what their options are). As I said before, it's not always what you know, but WHO you know, and I feel certain there are attorneys in Cook county who are familiar with the players involved in creating this ban.

The Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights has not made any changes to it's website since May of last year, but has at least $40,000 in it's coffers, and would seem to be the one group that could help, but apparently they haven't figured out a way. Then again, if you cannot find a way to say something, anything at all, to your members in 9 months, maybe that's a good thing.

I will keep you posted if and when I hear any more on this particular situation. If you care to know more of the details please see my earlier posts.....

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RECENT ARTICLES

Many thanks to Eddy Current and Ralph Smith for the following info.....

A Gold Rush Like No Other

A Nevada Recluse's $7M Gold Fortune

AT FIRST EXCITED

When I first saw these headlines I was ready to throw a party, but calmed down some after reading it. I will leave it's conclusions up to you.....

Will the Study of Archaeology Soon Become a Thing of the Past?
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THE BLOG SITE

I hope that those of you who visit here often will find time to respond when something is of interest to you. You can do that by visiting my blog, and clicking on the comments section (Leave a Reply). If you have never visited my blog check it out by clicking on the logo below......


Don't be afraid to share your thoughts, or tell me off when I have something that annoys you. You are always welcome to jump on John Howland there too. That's what a blog is all about, and if you check out some of the replies, I do get taken to task every now and then.

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February 24, 2013

UPDATE FROM KEITH WILLS(WWATS) & JOHN HOWLAND

Received the following email from Keith Wills and wanted to pass it along. It is unedited....

Folks, WWATS up to this point has been more of a Internet Organization to assist other groups with helpful ideas and suggestions to fight problems that arise in our hobbies. Now WWATS has decided to go another positive step further by becoming even more proactive in our fights to save the hobbies we so enjoy from disaster and termination. We still have some re-organizing to do yet, both on our websites and out in the field, but soon you will see WWATS most everywhere you go, even in other countries.

Keith Wills

WWATS has decided we need two websites now in order to handle the great influx of information we will be releasing so to keep everyone informed and updated to any news as it happens.

Other groups are aligning with WWATS as we speak here, rock hounds, prospectors, hikers, detectorist and more. This kind of alignment is what is needed to create a force strong enough to be heard and to make a difference. WWATS opens it's doors to any organization, chapter or group that wishes to join, cost is just one dollar a month for a three year membership per person of $36.00. Many privileges go with that membership including discounts on equipment purchases with WWATS affiliated dealers and WWATS Outings, not to mention special areas of our websites for those paying members.

Then to even be more proactive, WWATS will be aligning themselves with other establish organizations that have a legal staff and experience to get our concerns understood and accomplished.

Please go to our other website www.wwats.us and see our recent videos at WWATS Rendezvous in Congress, AZ. where we tried the prospective of a beginner and his take of being introduced to our hobbies for the first time, see the many activities that went on at this outing, and most of all the inspiring words of the vice president of PLP (Public Lands for the People) that has a very experience attorney to help us all save our rights to access public lands and keep that access to enjoy or hobbies in the future. PLP and WWATS are fighting for the same goals, think about becoming a member of both, have your words heard and keep our public lands open for our children!

Ask yourself this: "Is It Worth A Dollar A Month To Keep Enjoying Your Hobby!"

WWATS will be at the Texas Treasure Show ( LARGEST Treasure Show in America) April 13th and 14th, 2013 at Maude Cobb Convention Center, Longview, Texas. Come join WWATS at our booth and become a part of the future of you hobby! We will also have PLP applications available there.

Thank you much, Keith Wills
checkout: www.wwats.org if you care about the future of our hobbies!

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HOWLAND'S TAKE ON THE FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT DETECTORISTS

Mr. Howland added an update ot his Malamute Saloon link, and it concerns the FID, and it's current insurance policy. Good reading and something worth considering over here. Perhaps one of the big 3 will look into it...

John also talks about his sand scoop, which is a big change. Usually he is braggin about his manliness, which by his wife's account, is a waste of time. In any case if you care to read his latest click HERE

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February 22, 2013

THE LATEST FASHION IN BRITISH DETECTING CIRCLES!

Well the response was pretty much unanimous that the Pro-Tectors Detecting Vest was a little over-the-top but wait! I just learned that it's also available in camouflage. Hot damn! Now you're talking! As they say here in my neck of the woods, "might need to get me one of these..."!!

Front of vest
Back

I don't mean to be so critical (yes I do), but is that "British" camouflage? Do the woods and forests really look like that over there? Maybe it's just me, but When I look at this item I get the feeling they should also be offering a tie to go with it. A suggestion....tone down the bright green camouflage, and make the whole vest camouflage, not just the pockets.

Then again I gotta tell you, I have never figured out the camouflage thing anyway when it comes to detecting. Are we hunting squirrel or deer at the same time? Might it not be a little dangerous to be detecting a cellar hole in the woods during hunting season? Hell I would want the brightest fluorescent vest I could find. Come to think of it, might even make me look official, you know as though I am working for the city, county, etc.(hmm...now there's an idea). Now I know you all all are going to send me nasty emails about this, but hey you gotta understand...I am a Yankee stuck in the South!

While we are talking about gear, let me offer a challenge to all the metal detector manufacturers. Do not make any future models that weigh over 2.5 lbs. None, nada, zilch! It's time to think small, and start thinking of the older, more refined, wiser gentlemen like me, and while you are at it, make sure all future models come with wireless headphones. If they can make Smart phones that do everything but take care of your bodily functions, you can make detectors that are light and free of cables/wires.

Well, let's see...I just pissed off a British vest maker, every treasure hunter South of the Mason Dixon line, as well as all the metal detector manufacturers (guess I better quit while I am behind). Please understand it's just that I like to travel light when I detect, and the less I have to carry, the better. I even tried to start a nudist detecting club a few years ago, but got a lot of flack when I limited membership to gals only (but hey if by chance there are few ladies out there today who like the idea....?).

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COOK COUNTY SITUATION

Nothing new to report on this front as of today. Have asked the principals involved to keep me posted on things, and as soon as I hear any more I will let you know. Still hoping to see one of the national groups step forward and take charge.

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February 20, 2013

DO I HEAR A STIRRING?

Well, with the Cook County situation back on the front burner I think things might start happening amongst the major players. There seems to be a stirring out there. Time will tell.....

I hope that you all had a chance to read the comments from Chicago Ron and Patrick Anderson of the Midwest Research Historical Society, and especially the letter they sent to the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. I would highly recommend you and/or your club copy it, and save it for possible use or reference in the future. It is a well thought out approach to a bad situation, and it offers what I think is a reasonable compromise solution. Has it had an effect? Not yet, but the effort that went into drafting the proposal is an example of what can be done if we think things through.

Thanks again Ron and Patrick for sharing, and I am hoping you receive some help soon from one or all three of the national groups soon.

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CALL IN THE SWAT TEAM!

Found the following items today while scanning a few sites, and wanted to get your thoughts and feeback. First there is this....

Probe Leg Holster with Security Attachment and Expandable Coiled Lanyard

And then if that doesn't do the trick, or if you want to look even more professional, you could add this.

I continue to be amazed at how much extra "stuff" we need to have to be a successful detectorists/treasure hunter. Is all this really necessary? Are we out find a few coins or relics, or to look like a "Swat Team"? I know, I know, I know....I am old, over the hill and not with it anymore, but damn. Far cry from a carpenter's apron, a screwdriver and a metal detector, and when I think about everyone with camera's on their noggins it just blows me away.

I also have to wonder what gear like this does to promote our "good guy" efforts. What must onlookers think when they see us decked out like this? Let me know what you think. Me personally? I find it pretty hilarious and over the top. Then again when talking with Chicago Ron on Monday he suggested I get a plastic walker with wheels in order to get out more. Up yours Ron!!

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MEDIEVAL GOLD TREASURE

Thanks to Eddy Current again for the following video....

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February 19, 2013

UPDATE ON THE COOK COUNTY SITUATION

I received the following email from Chester Kiernicki today, president of the Will County Historical Research & Recovery club. regarding the Cook County ordinance. I am throwing this out there for the big three to jump in and help Chester out. Lots of smart people in all these groups, and hopefully they can develop a plan for him.

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Dick,

Thanks for the follow up inquiry on the CCFPD issue. We haven't made much progress, make that no progress, with the Cook County Forest Preserve District at this time. I attempted to get information from them through the Freedom of Information Act but the initial response was that I needed to be more specific in the request. This was late in 2012.

I'm at a point now where I need advice or someone to help with putting a campaign together to put pressure on the CCFPD similar to the letter writing, email, public forum other organizations have used to make the people at the CCFPD aware that the ordinance is too broad and restrictive etc..

Being the president of WCHRRA, the club is looking to me to get the process started but being self employed limits the amount of time I can devout to this effort. If I can put together a game plan, I could probably get club members to get involved to assist. The problem is I haven't planned a activist campaign before. Any suggestions you have will be appreciated.

Chester Kiernicki
President
Will County Historical Research & Recovery Assoc.
www.wchrra.org

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Chester didn't offer this, but I am providing the following information for those who care to write, but if you do, please choose your words carefully, be civil, and keep me posted of any responses you might receive. I am also hoping that the FMDAC, the Task Force and WWATS will contact Chester, and offer assistance.

TONI PRECKWINKLE, President,
Forest Preserve District of Cook County Board
536 N. Harlem Avenue
River Forest, Illinois 60305
Telephone: (800) 870-3666

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BUBBA SPINS ANOTHER ARKIE TALE

My good friend from across the pond, John "Bubba" Howland, just added another blurb to his Malamute Saloon, and of course it's filled with his love of all things archaelogical. Why he and the arkies are so close they could spit on each other (and they do, all the time). John can be crude, rude and over-the-top sometimes, but you can never doubt his sincerity and passion. It could be worse.....John adheres to the write drunk and edit sober method.

So if you're up to it you can read his latest by clicking HERE
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SURE IS QUIET OUT THERE?

Think we need to add another word to the definition of detctorist and treasure hunter, and that word is apathetic! I say that because no matter the problem area (Cook County, Florida, Kentucky), we apparently have just decided to give up and accept the status quo. While Stout Standards is not a preferred website to many in the pastime, I do know that those who oversee the three national groups check in here, and I am extremely disappointed in their inability or refusal to respond, if only to tell me to "stick it where the sun don't shine".

If indeed they are too busy with other things then perhaps they are too busy to run the groups they supposedly represent. Some of the comments/responses I received on the blog site about the joining of forces were well thought out, detailed, and deserve some consideration, but apparently those that can use this type of help are not interested.

I have come to the conclusion that each of these organizations wants to go it's separate way, although their members have no clue what that is. I also know it's easy for me to sit here and criticize, especially since I am not involved in any of these groups, but I have heard from others who want to know what is happening as well, so I am not alone.

It's now mid-February, nine months since the last post on the Task Force site, and the FMDAC site has finally returned, though it still lacks updated information. And whle I have heard great things about the renewed and revived WWATS organization, their latest website update is from November.

Here's hoping my constant criticism and harping pisses them off sufficiently enough to get them off their asses and respond to their membership. In the meantime I guess we will have to be satisfied with the status quo flavored with a lot of apathy....

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A VIDEO TO GET YOU THINKING

This video has nothing to do with treasure hunting, but I do hope you will watch it. It's very important, and I feel certain you will agree....

Midway
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THE BLOG SITE

I hope that those of you who visit here often will find time to respond when something is of interest to you. You can do that by visiting my blog, and clicking on the comments section (Leave a Reply). If you have never visited my blog check it out by clicking on the logo below......


Don't be afraid to share your thoughts, or tell me off when I have something that annoys you. You are always welcome to jump on John Howland there too. That's what a blog is all about, and if you check out some of the replies, I do get taken to task every now and then.

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February 17, 2013

IS IT TIME TO REVISIT COOK COUNTY?

Want to share this video again, in hopes that maybe we can help the folks in Cook County, Illinois. This is not a new issue or problem, having started in the spring of 2012. This well done video by Treasure Fiend just brought it back to life.



Here is the legal mumbo jumbo that Cook County put out. After reading it I cannot help thinking that they had the input of an archaeologist when drawing up this ordinance. The length at which they go into detail is over powering, and OBVIOUSLY aimed anyone with a metal detector. Let me also direct you to the Will County Historical Research and Recovery Association website, where you can read more about this ordinance. Click on their legislative news link.

Again this is not a new issue, and maybe nothing can be done, but just perhaps a blitz of emails/letters/phone calls, WITH the help of the three national groups might get the ball rolling. Let me also suggest that the Task Force contact someone from the Will County club, and offer financial support so they might at least talk to a local lawyer, who is knowledgeable about the Cook County system, it's workings and it's cast of characters (sometimes it's not what you know but WHO you know). The Task Force has $40,000 in it's coffers (given to them by Minelab), and I would think this initial legal contact would not put too much of a dent in their bank account.

I think the above video speaks volumes about this situation, and it's just not right that the the TH'ers in Cook County should be singled out as the bad guys. Thanks Treasure Fiend for bringing it to our attention again.....good job.

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EDDY CURRENT'S NEW FACEBOOK PAGE

If you are a Facebook fiend be sure to check out Eddy's page....lots of great information there. You can find it by simply plugging in his name in the search area, and look for this logo....

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WASHINGTON CONTACT INFORMATION

Found this website and wanted to share it. Straight forward info on how to contact your respresentatives in Washington....

CONTACTING MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

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February 16, 2013

MAYBE IT'S TIME TO BACKTRACK?

About the only thing that has changed over the 35 or so years of my involvement in this pastime is the internet....an extemely valuable learning tool, and a very good method of communication. Something that should have pushed metal detecting into the limelight, and something that should have helped promote it's values. As of now only the latter is lacking...

The internet has produced websites, blogs, forums and it has also helped create a divide amongst our ranks. It's been a vehicle for anyone and everyone to share their opinions, their views, their biases, their off-the-wall comments, all without much fear of reprisal. Easy to say things there, and not have to suffer any consequences, and yes I am guilty of this as well.

What amazes me is that the internet, and all of it's parts has not helped us to form a more perfect union. If anything it has hindered that effort. In the 80's, while trying to get the FMDAC going, I had to rely on the United States Postal Service. All my communications were type written, sometimes copied, but always mailed. Just the way it was....

Amazingly, the responses I received were always enthusiastic, contagious and it was easy to bring everyone into the fold. Today, you would think it would be even easier, but apparently it is not. In fact it seems to be much harder. No matter what you post on the internet, someone is out there to shoot it down (and yes I sometimes do that). Seems the more we advance, the more we shoot ourselves in the foot.

I will continue to preach the values of uniting, and I am quite aware that the internet has negatively affected that goal. As long as we have this type of back and forth, no one will ever have to stand before the court of common sense or offer practical ideas and solutions.

Maybe we need to backtrack and do it the old fashioned way....sitting at a table, face to face, eye to eye. Not sure what the answer is but for all the great tools we have at our disposal, we seem to be all over the place, with no direction, and no definitive plan. Correct me if I am wrong....

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JOHN HOWLAND ON HUNTING STONE WALLS

John Howland is a member of the South Jersey Metal Detecting Club, despite living in the UK, and often offers up an article or two for their newsletter. In the most recent issue is the one he shared here in September of 2010, and I thought it was worthy of a repeat. To read his take on stone walls click HERE

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AUSTRALIA VISITS

Suddenly getting a lot of visitors from Australia? Not sure why, but if you happen to be one of them please comment on the blog

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WHAT BETTER TIME TO POP THE QUESTION?

Thanks again to Eddy Current for sharing the following article. Love it.... My kind of way to do things.

A Wedding proposal in a Muddy Field

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February 13, 2013

A PROJECT FOR THE BIG 3....

Ron Guinazzo (a.k.a. Chicago Ron) shared the follwoing video on Facebook, and I wanted to post it here to reenforce what we've been talking about here over the past week. I also want to congratulate "Treasure Fiend" for putting together this video, and for starting the effort, a.k.a.the fight. Notice all the trash that he collected and who get's banned? The guy with the detector.....



As I said before it's time to be proactive, and this might be a good starting point. Hopefully one or all three of the "supposed" national organizations will get on this, and find out why this happened, and if there's more to this story let us know....

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ANOTHER REMINDER

I hope that those of you who visit here often will find time to respond when something is of interest to you. You can do that by visiting my blog, and clicking on the comments section (Leave a Reply). If you have never visited my blog check it out by clicking on the logo below......


Don't be afraid to share your thoughts, or tell me off when I have something that annoys you. That's what a blog is all about, and if you check out some of the replies, I do get taken to task every now and then.

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February 12, 2013

YOUR CHANCE TO BEAT ME UP!

Just wanted to remind those of you who visit Stout Standards that you can share your views on any of my posts at any time. To do this simply go to my blog , and click on "comments". I am still receiving responses to my unification post of February 7th, and just received a few good responses on the Electroscope/Blisstool blurb. Be sure to check them out....

It's encouraging to know that there are those who take the time to look at the older posts and comment. The blog was started for exactly that reason. I know I am very opinionated, very vocal on certain issues, and probably irritate the hell out of some of you, and if so the blog is where you can beat me up.

Also if any of you would like to do a "guest" post about an issue, let me know. Will give your request serious consideration. Unfortunately the pay stinks, as in nada, zero, zilch, and nothing at all....

OKAY, MOVING ALONG FOLKS...

After receiving many comments and ideas about the coming together of the big 3, we are back at square one. Keith Wills, "former" president of WWATS finally responded about his groups committment to joining forces, but as for the other two? Nada. Nothing.....

Honestly, when I posted my thoughts or suggestions for this kind of coalition, I was pretty confident there would be a lot of feedback, and pretty confident the principals would not respond. Call it pride, self assurance, egotism, hubris, whatever.... It's the ole "we can do it better" rising to the surface. Admitting that maybe we didn't quite live up to expectations is hard to swallow. It means you failed those who were counting on you.

I intend to keep this topic alive, and will nudge, needle, and probably piss off those who supposedly pretend to lead, until they actually do what they promise. An organization that claims to represent the masses in a particular area needs to utter a few words here and there, NOT disappear from view for almost an entire year. Why they couldn't communicate in some manner, if only to say we are having problems, is beyond me. You can only click on a link so many times and see the same thing, or not find anything at all to finally say "the hell with it".

Lastly, to the "big three"....I cannot see where any of you can survive on your own, or that competition between you all is good for the pastime. Swallow your pride, make an effort to meet "FACE TO FACE" and talk. That's all....TALK. You may be surprised to find out that you have more in common than you thought?

Then again there are many of you who subscribe to the "leave well enough alone, and don't stir things up". To you I say, just wait, it's only a matter of time....

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FOLLOWUP ON THE BLISSTOOL

If you read my last post you may remember my asking for comments about the Blisstool metal detector. I had a one response from a Steve D., and appreciated his input (See comments for February 10th).

While perusing the internet I also found the following video and wanted to share it here....Please keep in mind this is from May of 2012.


Since that time I have not heard much at all about the Blisstool, but I am still hoping to hear from more users, and will keep you posted. This is not a knock on the product. Just that the Blisstool was so high on everyone's list, and now there's very little mention of it. My guess is that it's a pretty good machine that just never got the coverage or advertising it deserved.

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YARD SALE TREASURE

As an old baseball card collector I found the following article of interest..... Maybe I need to start checking out yard sales more!

Rare 1865 baseball card, bought for $100, sells for $92,000

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February 10, 2013

HOWLAND'S PENDULUM ARTICLE

John Howland's post about dowsing (see February 4th) brought forth quite a few responses, some agreeing with him, and a few calling it witchcraft. In any case it brought to mind the Electroscope, which is still being manufactured. At one of the FMDAC events in the mid 80's we invited Tom Affiliani, the founder and inventor, to give a seminar on how the units worked.

While I personally was not at that particular talk I heard that a few doubtful attendees brought gold coins and nuggets, and dared Tom to find them in the room. Apparently he replied that the situation was not right, or that it the item had to be in the ground, and at a distance, etc.. Whatever the response was, many got up and walked out....

I do know that a couple of metal detector manufacturers took one or two of the products apart, to see what was inside, and the description I remember most.... "a rat's nest of wires that went no where". So I am inviting anyone out there who has used one of these long range locators to share their experience here on Stout Standards. I am not prejudging one way or the other. Just think it would be fun to hear from a user.

Mick Turrell, yours truly & John Howland discussing the
Electroscope, UK, 1986 (Howland was waitng for the
long range beer model)....

Lastly, if these long range locators performed as advertised, why wouldn't and why doesn't every treasure hunter in the world have one in his arsenal.....?

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AND WHATEVER HAPPENED TO....?

The Blisstool detector! A few months ago this detector was deemed to be the deepest detector on the market, and there was a lot of chatter about it in the detecting ranks. Now? Nada...nothing! Here too, hoping someone who has one might tell us how they like it, and share their story here....

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MY BEST FINDS

I still get an email or two asking what my best find(s) are, and the following is a repeat of a post I made here three years ago....

Willing to bet that most every treasure hunter/detectorist has been asked "what is the best thing you've ever found", or "what is the most valuable thing you've found?" Also willing to bet that a good majority of you responded with something like "a lot of good friends and acquaintances". Am I right? Well, that's not a bad answer at all, and for a lot of good reasons.....

First of all because it's true. This pastime has a knack for bringing like-minded people together in a big way. There's a need to learn more from others, a need for partnering in the field, and a great need to band together to insure our pastime is not legislated out of existence. I think we all know as well that no one else would understand what the hell we are talking about when we mumble things like VDI, Mixed Mode, RX Gain, Hot Rocks, Modulation and Ground Balance. And if you told someone you love discrimination........?

Secondly, using the good friends response allows you to not make public what is no one else's business. Blabbing about your finds can get you into trouble in more ways than one. Not because you found them illegally but because sharing this information leads to further questions like "where" did you find it, how much is it worth, what did you do with it, and on and on. Information that could be passed on to others, and information that could result in theft, or worse. I know a couple of treasure hunting friends who have found items that could put them on easy street, but they were found through hard work, a lot of research and considerable expense. As a result they are entitled to deal with them any way they see fit, and I understand their need for secrecy.

Now, having said all this, I will tell you about a few of my better finds..... When I look back on all my years of detecting a great many items I dug were my "best" at the time, and as far as value goes, it's difficult to put a price on them. Follow along and I think you will agree with some of these.....

As for coins? Nothing can replace that "first" coin you found when you first started out. I remember mine, and I am sure you remember yours. Didn't matter if it was a penny, dime or quarter. It was a coin damn it, and validated your investment in a metal detector (No matter what your wife said). Believe it or not my first coin was a silver Washington quarter......

Next of course nothing can replace the first silver coin you find, especially if it followed nothing but clad, and mounds of trash (that shimmer of silver in the hole still makes my day, even after almost 40 years).

Silver still makes my day

Next, was my first Barber, my first Seated, my first Bust coin, and I still remember my first Large cent, even though the date was unreadable. At THAT time ALL these were my "best" finds. Today if you try to pin down, and ask me to name my very best find? It's the one I am going to dig next time out....

I remember finding that first "good" ring? It was a small 14k childs ring, and I found it at a rural school near my my house in New Jersey. Over the years I found many rings, some good, some very good, and a few great. Do I still have them? Yes, and I will more than likely pass them on to my grandkids, although they are there for that rainy day should I need them.

Interestingly enough some of the oldest finds I have are not the most valuable. I have ancient coins from the UK, and from France, a few of which are supposedly from around the birth of Christ, but their monetary value is not necessarily high because they are not all that rare. Detecting in Europe will spoil you for sure. Once while hunting near the North Sea I had a Brit TH'er tell me that the coins I had in my pouch from the 1600's were rubbish, and you know what? He was right. Hardly worth anything. It didn't matter however. Finding a Roman coin, or relic from hundreds of years go will always be on my list of better finds. Just thinking about who last touched it, and what life must have been like in 300AD, makes it extra special.

A few of my very old finds from across the pond

One very special find was a gold locket and chain found in a picnic grove in rural New Jersey. The photo inside was still recognizable. It was of an older lady and there were three initials on the back side of the locket door. I have always wanted to somehow return it to her family, her descendants, but I could not find a way to do that. I still have it, and look at it from time to time....

So,there you go, a few of my best finds, and a few of my most memorable... Nothing earth shattering, but very, very important to me because they all came with a story. One that I will never forget, and oh yeah, the people I met along the way? By far more valuable than anything I ever dug up.

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TODAY'S OUTING

While the Northeast was hit with a blizzard yesterday, the weather here was sunny and near 70 today. I decided to head to my favorite school and see if I could find a treasure or two. I got out of the pug bug, put on my apron, grabbed my MXT Pro, headhpones and digger. Walked about sxity feet to get to the field area, and my lower back and legs were hurting big time. Gave it ten minutes, cried some, pissed and moaned a lot and headed back home....

Not sure what the answer is, but for all the damn pills I am taking (not to mention the cost) I am getting tired of trying...

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February 9, 2013

AND NOW I KNOW!

A frequent visitor and commenter on Stout Standards is "Bill from Lachine", and he loves John Howland, and his classless commentary. I finally discovered why. Bill forwarded a photo of himself, and it suddenly made sense...

Bill and Friends....

Jeezus, talk about "birds of a feather". Howland also has a few photos like this (well at least he showed them to me). I was amazed at how in all the pictures he always had black socks on, wore black glasses with his nose looked big? According to Bill the above photo was taken a few years ago in Vegas, and all the gals are Playmates (I have no idea what that means?).

For the record Bill is an administrator on the Canadian Metal Detecting Forum, and Lachine, in case you wonder, is in Quebec, Canada....

Thanks for the photo Bill. I will admit it's difficult picking you out of the crowd....

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A GOOD FRIEND AND TREASURE HUNTER HAS LEFT US...

Was sorry to hear of the passing of Larry Armstrong. Larry was always working to promote the pastime, and used to attend events all over the country. He was very active in the FMDAC, WWATS and AMDA, not to mention being an avid supporter of detectorists rights in and through aligned organizations such as GPAA and PLP, etc.. RIP Larry....

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THE FIRST TEXAS COUNCIL TREASURE SHOW

I continually come across papers that were mis-filed, and today I found the following. A yellowed and aged memoir of yesterday....

My attendance and participation in this event was to present the FMDAC to the Texas Council and ask them to join our effort. As I remember a good many clubs did join that day. The event was well organized and it was fun seeing familar faces in another setting. If I remember right Ken White, Sr., paid my expenses so that I could spread the word about the FMDAC. Mr.White (who passed away in April of 1991) was always encouraging me to keep the ball rolling, and I will forever be grateful for his help.....

This year's show will be held April 13th and 14th in Longview, Texas. For more information click HERE.
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NO RESPONSE FROM THE PRINCIPALS TO THE "COALITION" IDEA

Well we had over 34 responses to my post of February 7th (see here), but disappointingly, not one from the three "so called" national organizations (I know they all saw the post). I was really hoping to get their thoughts, opinions, etc. on my ten point plan, but alas it was not to be. Guess we will just have to keep checking their progress (or as has been the case of late, lack thereof).

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HERE ON THE HOME FRONT....

Most exciting thing to happen here was Barnum got a new bed! Barnum (a.k.a. Big Jake), as I am sure you know is my best friend, and I would go so far as to say my only true friend. He follows me all over, despite the fact that he is blind and deaf. I can leave a room, and hear his paws padding right behind me. For whatever reason his old bed was not doing the job any more. Not sure why, but suddenly decided he wouldn't lie in it. I looked at it (it sits here on the floor of my office), and I had agree it was pretty pathetic. In any case Big Jake lucked out and is now a happy camper (and I am a pretty lucky guy to have him).

Me & Big Jake
In his new bed doing what he does best
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FORUMS ARE BECOMING RIDICULOUS

Visited one of the most popular forums this morning, and discoverd one of the hottest topics was how difficult it was to find ammunition? Is this a topic fitting for a metal detecting website, and is it any wonder we are viewed looters and robbers?

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ANOTHER REMINDER

I hope that those of you who visit here often will find time to respond when something is of interest to you. You can do that by visiting my blog, and clicking on the comments section (Leave a Reply). If you have never visited my blog check it out by clicking on the logo below......


Don't be afraid to share your thoughts, or tell me off when I have something that annoys you. That's what a blog is all about.

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February 7, 2013

CAN SOMETHING LIKE THIS WORK?

Got thinking about the various "national" groups out there, and how they are all trying to revive their efforts, and wanted to throw this idea out there, and see what kind of feedback it generates...

  1. All three groups (FMDAC, Task Force & WWATS) set a date to meet to and discuss a "definitive" coming together or joining of forces. (IMO three separate groups will not work.

  2. The end result must be ONE national organization with a new name, (two words that come to mind..."Alliance" and "Coalition") with balanced representation from all three groups.

  3. Next, come up with a do-able, and effective plan of action on how to move forward.

  4. Next, set up a date to meet with and present your plan to the manufacturers, magazine publishers, distributors, and anyone else whose livelihood depends on the continuation of the pastime.

  5. Present your plan, ask for their verbal support, as well as financial and material support.

  6. The NEW organization MUST be a full time group, with paid employees (at least two or three)

  7. Have a website that is attractive, informative, constantly updated, and that allows for members to have input and ask questions. (NOT a forum, but a question and answer type format).

  8. Increase dues to $30 a year for all members, and perhaps allow clubs to join with members paying $15 or $20 each (set aside a percentage for a "Legal Fund").

  9. Forget organizing chapters for now. They have not worked out and apparently just created more problems.

  10. Hold a yearly convention/hunt/meeting, but make sure it pays for itself, and that it includes a meeting where membership can participate

Please understand this just MY idea, and I know it there are a zillion ways to add to it or change it. I offer it as food for thought. A few of you have already offered ideas, and I would be inerested in hearing from others, especially from the major players in the FMDAC, WWATS and Task Force.

Lastly, let me be on record with the following because I know the rumors will start.... I want absolutely nothing at all to do with any efforts to organize a national group. I have been there, done that, and there are a lot more knowledgeable people out there who know what's going on today. I do not. I am 71 years old, quite happy here, sitting on my ass, drinking wine, pissing off the arkies every now and then, and stirring the pot (as in this post)!

COUPLE TIDBITS FROM ACROSS THE POND

Thanks to Regton and Eddy Current (a.k.a. Serge Coil) for the following articles....

New Faces and New Finds

Artifacts From Oldest Known Museums

Hoard Now Declared Treasure

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February 6, 2013

CAN WE EVER COME TOGETHER AGAIN?

With the recent renewal of the FMDAC, the attempted revival of WWATS, and recent rumors that the Task Force will resurface soon, I hope that all will look at the possibility of joining forces, being proactive, and taking on the big cheeses, and by that I mean state and national legislatures.

This came to mind the other day when I discovered that one of the FMDAC's appearances before a Senate Sub-Committee back in 1987 was actually out there in cyberspace. It's a long and boring read, but it's there, in it's entirety, mispellings and all (I am amazed at how those who documented these hearings kept their jobs). The book I received on that one hearing is 1475 pages long, and it too is filled with mis-spelled words.

The bill in question at that time was the California Desert Protection Act of 1987, an attempt to declare thousands of acres of the Mojave desert as a Wilderness Area. A label that would have prohibited off road vehicles, prospecting, metal detecting, gem hunting, etc.. Because the Prospectors Club of Southern California asked us to help, we encouraged our members to write to their congressmen, and we personally made it a point to be part of the sub committee hearings in Washington, D.C.,in order to have our voice heard.

I was able to speak thanks to Chic Hect, Senator from Nevada, who was an ally and someone you could call when you needed more information about what was going on in the nation's capital. Frank Lautenberg, from New Jersey, was another such friend. Back then it was much easier to get through to your elected representatives, and we didn't have email. Today? Impossible! Senator Hecht passed away in 2006, and Frank is still doing his thing on behalf of New Jersey.....

Morgan Fairchild

On the day that I was scheduled to speak (along with many, many others) I met Archie Ray (Legislative Chairman for the FMDAC at the time) and his wife Rosalie (FMDAC treasurer) on the train. I left from Trenton, New Jersey, and they came on in Baltimore. We had lunch with Charles McKinney, president of the Atlantic Alliance for Maritime Heritage (another allied group), and then headed to the hearings.

When we arrived there were TV cameras everywhere, and we couldn't figure out why. Archie joked "guess they knew you were coming". We soon found out the reason. Also speaking that day was Morgan Fairchild and Shelley Duvall (friends of Senator Allan Cranston, who was sponsoring the bill).

Must say they both were worth more than a few looks, and sitting at a table with them was not an unpleasant experience.

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A little aside....after the hearing Morgan Fairchild came up and whispered in my ear that she'd like me to join her for dinner in her room that night.I explained that I had a long trip home, and would get in touch at a later time (At least I thought it happened, but Archie assured me it really didn't....).

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There were also many allied groups speaking that day, and I hope that someone from the three current national groups will take the time to go through the list, and see if they are still around. They can be found by clicking here and scrolling down to the list of those speaking that day.

My statement and supporting documents from White's and Fisher Lab's can be found here if anyone is interested. There were also supporting documents from most all other manufacturers but they do not appear as they were sent later.

I know I am beginning to sound like Scott Clark now, but for any group to truly represent us, they must made up of be full time, dedicated, paid employees. We can no longer depend on phone calls or emails. I hate to say this but these tactics have become passé. Proactive today means in your face, live representation, and no if, ands or buts, and we must join forces with other similar groups...

If a local park is closed in Indiana...you look into it, find out the reasons, talk to the local club, and if it's something that you think was uncalled for, or that TH'ers were penalized unfairly, you send money to hire a local attorney. I can tell you from our efforts to open Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, a local attorney, with the knowledge of how the local political system works, can make a helluva difference.

If it's a state sponsored problem, you follow the same procedure, but make sure your voice is heard, not just through emails, phone calls and letters, but by personal visits to those pushing the legislation or to those that can help, in an effort to have your voice heard, and if necessary, to offer a counter proposal, a compromise that might satisfy both parties....

Our pastime can survive, and we can even thrive, but there needs to be a heroic and monumental joining of forces if that is to happen. That means, all the wannabe national organizations, all the clubs, all the individual TH'ers, and most importantly, all the manufacturers. We, who were part of the early FMDAC efforts, were able to do things, and make things happen without a lot of money. It was easy back then because we had unity, a purpose, a goal, the manufacturers support and the drive to get things done....

Now, can we do it again?

A FOLLOW UP TO THE ABOVE...

Twenty years later I was working for Border's Books and Music in Dallas, Texas, and one of our regular customers...Morgan Fairchild!! She came in often, and sometimes would spend time in our cafe, enjoying a coffee, etc.. One day I got up the nerve to ask her if she remembered that day in Washington, D.C., and amazingly she did.

She was easy to talk to, and yes was still so very easy to look at, but funny, she never mentioned the invite to dinner?

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February 4, 2013

HOWLAND AND THE PENDULUM

John Howland, proprietor of the Malamute Saloon just posted an article about dowsing, and I will be interested to see what sort of responses he gets. It's an area that isn't talked about much, and I am somewhat mixed in my beliefs. I know the old coat hanger thing works (I have witnessed it more than once). I have never tried dowsing a map however, but it might be fun to give it a try, especially given my current situation.

My mentor and first partner, Joe Attinello, was a strong believer, and had many stories to share about his experiences. Wish I could remember them. Perhaps I can give him a shout, and see if he is up to telling them again. Joe is now in his late 80's, and not all that excited about the computer age and the internet.

If you'd like to add your two cents worth to this topic, or if you have had experience with dowsing, please comment on the Blog.

To read John's latest click HERE or click on the Malamute Saloon link above and scroll down to today's date.

LATEST JOHN PUNOLA ARTICLE

Received the most recent Western & Eastern Treasures magazine, and there on the cover looking just as dapper as always was my good friend John Punola. John and I go back a long, long time. Aside from writing for the magazine for many years, we are also both New Jersey natives, and have shared adventures over the years.

John's latest article was of particular interest to me in that it was about a site that I had hunted years ago, and had not given much thought to of late.

Lewis' Island is separated by the Delaware Canal and Delaware River in my hometown of Lambertville, New Jersey. It was a place where I spent many afternoons swimming with my friends (and every once in a while imbibing a few spirits in the evening). During the late forties and early fifties maybe a hundred people would line it's banks during the hot summer months.

It was also home to the Lewis Shad Fishery, and every evening the boats would go out, lay the nets, and then slowly bring them in, with hundreds of fish jumping and flipping all over the place. That was of course IF the shad were running. The shad runs varied from year to year, and sometimes the catches were not as abundant as in previous years. Today the tradition continues, and if at all possible, do yourself a favor and make it a point to attend the yearly Lambertville Shad Festival. Lots of activities, entertainment, as well as lots to eat and drink.

John, as usual, did an excellent job writing the piece, and in the process, found a few goodies, including two silver dollars. I must admit to not finding much of anything way back when I hunted the island. Oh well, you win some and lose some. If you are a WET subscriber I hope you will find time to read this excellent article....

Also wanted to give a shout out to Robbie Morin, whose fifth article is also in this month's WET. It's titled "A City Park with a Past". Geat writing here too. Robbie is friend of mine and hails from the Houston area. He also has a book out now titled "Find More Silver Coinshooting Parks and Schools". Most everyone here in Texas knows him as "The DimeMan....

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TWO INTERESTING ARTICLES FROM EDDY CURRENT

Sunken Spanish Treasure Found Off Florida Keys Enlivens Auction

DNA Confirms Bones Are King's

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February 2, 2013

LOTS OF VISITS BUT VERY FEW RESPONSES

For whatever reason I have lots of visitors to both my website and my blog, but find that hardly any of you care to comment on my posts or those of others. Not sure if it's shyness, a reluctance to argue a point or that Stout Standards is just one of those places to check out and then move on....

I really thought that Mark Schuessler's letter might evoke more responses, especially from current FMDAC members, but that did not happen. Likewise I thought Scott Clark's response (on blog) would raise a few eyebrows, but that was not to be either.

I can track my visitors by town or location, and have a pretty good idea of who you are, and wonder what is it that I can do to get you to participate?

Remember that what you read here is pretty much the same thing that I put on my blog. Why have both? Because this website has been up for close to three years, and I do not want to lose the information, photos, articles, etc.. It's been a lot of work, a lot of fun, and because it's my baby, lousy code and all. The blog allows for comments, and back and forth dialogue.

I hope that those of you who visit here often will find time to respond when something is of interest to you. You can do that by visiting my blog, and clicking on the comments section (Leave a Reply). If you have never visited my blog check it out by clicking on the logo below......


Don't be afraid to share your thoughts, or tell me off when I have something that annoys you. That's what a blog is all about.

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SPANISH COIN MISSING

Interesting article from Eddy Current. Eddy has become a source of information lately, and shames me in that he finds articles from here in the states that escape my notice. Thanks Eddy...appreciate it.

Billings Woman Hopes for Return of Spanish coin
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JOEY ORTEGA AND HIS LATEST VIDEO

My friend from back East Joey Ortega has a knack of putting together a good treaure hunting video and this is his latest. Never thought I would see the day when a camera on your head would be a prerequisite for metal detecting, but then what the hell do I know? In any case, thanks Joey for putting this out there. Some nice finds (hope you spring a leak in your waders next time out!)


You can check more of his handwork by clicking HERE
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ANOTHER VIEW OF "THE DIGGERS SHOW"

Someone sent this to me, and I have forgotten who. I apologize profusely. I always like to credit those who contribute, but my mind is blank. Hoping whoever it was will forgive me....

An Arkie View of the New Digger's Show

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FEBRUARY NOT SHAPING UP AS PLANNED....

February's detecting schedule is not looking all that encouraging. The weather is great, and ideal for it, but so far on my calendar is a stress test next week, and after that something called an ABI and Sonogram. Likewise I added another damn pill to my collection in the hopes that I can fix a new problem. I have long wondered if the pills themselves might my problem, but the docs and my wife have pretty much told me that all my body parts would fall off instantly if I stopped taking them....

As Garrison Keillor once said "I'm so old that whenever I eat out they ask me for money upfront!"

So, to all my friends who are out detecting, finding neat things....may you find nothing but pulltabs, and if you are in the water (Brian, Joey,etc.) may you find shit loads of sinkers!

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The British government has intelligently resorted to rewarding their responsible detectorists rather than prosecute them. They financially compensate the landowner and detectorist for the value of the find so it can be preserved for public view for ALL to appreciate and learn from. If the item has been found not to be a major significance, they allow the finder to simply keep what they found. A fair system we should adopt in the USA to get significant finds into daylight more quickly. Without this cooperation we shorten precious time in which great discoveries can be made. Conventional archeology in the U.S. today cannot compete with powerful swift commercial land development. Wait long enough and nature has a way of reclaiming historical artifacts permanently. Punishing a people's recreation is not the means to making great strides in archeology.

However, not all archeologists are our detractors, at least not the progressive few. Significant history changing data was gathered at the battle site of Little Big Horn because a few forward thinking archeologists realized they could work with detectorists and harness our skill for the good of all. In effect, they made their own occupation easier, faster, and promoted good will instead of destroying it. The volunteer detectorists I'm sure made the project significantly less costly as well. Many of us, myself included, would be honored to serve on any project like that. This was a small step in the right direction, why is there not more of this happening today?

In summation, I hope these words help to convince everyone we need to work together and not waste time rescuing our history. When I became sixteen years old, I started in metal detecting because I knew my family's financial resources would never support the extended education necessary for my life's desire of becoming an Archeologist... Now you know why our "recreation" is so important to everyone.

— Robert H. Sickler

Author, "DETECTORIST, A How-To Guide to Better Metal Detecting
COMING SOON ON PBS...

Last October Scott Mitchen had the pleasure to preview Bob Kreipke’s film called “America’s Ancient Industry,” at the Ancient America conference in Marquette, MI. This film tells the story of the millions of tons of the purest copper on earth mined possibly even up to 10,000 years ago. Fifteen years earlier, Bob Kreipke also did a film on Scott retrieving logs that ended up being the focus on the Ford Motor Company’s Board Room.

Kreipke’s film produced with Janine McFadden will start on PBS January 3rd at 8:00 p.m. and on January 4th at 12:00 p.m.(this is the Marquette, MI market). Check the PBS website for listings in your local area. This tells a great story and parallels some of what Scott Mitchen has actually been finding for some 15 years in the Lake Superior region. In the next few year’s I.E.’s discoveries will be featured on major networks around the globe.

Again, check your local PBS listings for Bob Kreipke’s film and stay tuned for upcoming shows about International Exploration's discoveries and articles...

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