JULY 31, 2012


Found a few slides in a box, and decided to scan a few for posterity. At least posterity for now. Who knows what the next big photo thing will be. Prints to Slides to digital, to....?

In any case no rhyme or reason for these....just a few old photos from the good ole days (as in my life)....

A great day of coinshooting
in the early 80's
Wasn't unusual for my wife
to top me when detecting
Hunting old picnic grove, where
all the coins were before 1900
Jessie Blackshire, after winning
Lost Treasure Classic, 1988
Jack Hube getting ready for
blindfold hunt, early 80's
My wife Fay hunting canal path,
Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Bob Buttafuso and Harry
Nicholas repairing detectors at
Atlantic City Hunt
Maybe they hid it here....?
Simple tools of the trade early 80's
Charles Garrett and Skeeter Yorden, FMDAC
Hunt, Atlantic City, mid 80's
Don Kendig and Charles Garrett, also AC event...
6 or more pieces of silver each
time out was the norm early on...
Promoting FMDAC at a hunt. but cannot
remember which one.....sorry

A little more about the Jessie Blackshire photo....back in the 80's Jessie was without a doubt the one to beat in competition hunts. He was fast, and he was smart. Pior to the last hunt at the Lost Treasure Classic (Tulsa, Oklahoma), they announced that the one who came away with the most "nickels" was the winner of that round. Jessie, who already had the lead, ran over to the Garrett booth asked to borrow an AT3, notched out everything but nickels, and won going away, taking home $2,000.

And I will always remember Jack Hube coming up with unique events at all the many club hunts he attended. The photo above shows him making blindfolds for a hunt. The one detecting was blindfolded, and his or her partner was not (they did the digging). He and Eleanor were terrific ambassadors for the pastime always donating prizes for the club holding the event, and most importantly their time to help out. Jack passed away a few years ago, but Eleanor is still going strong. Check out her website at Cape Cod Metal Detectors.

Lastly Bob Buttafuso and Harry Nicholas (Harry passed away a few years ago) would always come to our FMDAC Atlantic City events, and be on hand to do detector repairs, and even though they were White's trained service agents, they would fix any and all brands that needed it, free of charge. Never asked us for any reembursement either.....two terrific people. Be sure to check out Bob's site here.

The photo of Fay hunting the towpath makes me homesick for the Northeast. Miss the fall weather. Brisk fresh air, fall colors, cider, apples, donuts and oh yeah, old coins in loamy soil.....



As is always the case John Winter offered an insightful post today, and it concerns finding US dog tags. Hope you will take a moment or two to read it, and while you are at it, add your email address to the home page, and receive notice of all his updates and posts. You will never find them dull, and most, if not all, will inform and entertain.



Thanks again to Scott Clark for the following info.... Doesn't take long for someone to step in and say "Whoa, no collecting", we are waiting on the archaeologists, that is if they can get the funds, and if it suits their needs. Tired of all this....

City Under Reservoir


JULY 29, 2012


Recently Butch Holcombe, publisher of The American Digger magazine, mentioned my website, and also went on to say that I was one of the true pioneers in the hobby. While I appreciate that kind comment, I must take umbrage to it. I am most certainly not a pioneer. I didn't blaze any trails, nor did I ever enter into unknown territories. I will accept the term "oldtimer" or "old fart", but not pioneer.

I got to thinking about who are the real pioneers in this great pastime, and started jotting down names. I hesitate to share them only because I will surely leave a few out. Let me know your thoughts on this, and tell me who I left out, and who "inspired" you most early on.

Then again maybe pioneer is not the word to use here.... Perhaps hero, inspiration, teacher or mentor might be a better choice? I also could have added a lot of great people involved in the manufacturing arena, but tried to keep to those who really did it "in the field" (and yes John Howland, I know you did it in the field quite a few times, but I am talking about something entirely different).

A few names that came to mind.....

Charles Garrett, Richard Ray, Abe Lincoln, Hardrock Hendricks, Karl von Mueller, Glenn Carson, George Mroczkowski, Ken White, Sr., Roy Lagal, A. M. Van Fossen, A.T. Evans, Bob Marx, Roy Volker, Rocky LeGaye, Jimmy Sierra, Ray Smith, Bill Mahan, Ernie Curlee, Ty Brook, Jack and Eleanor Hube, Betty Weeks, Lucile Bowen, Paul Tainter and Michael Paul Henson, Mel Fisher and Karl Fismer.

Betty Weeks & Lucile Bowen
Karl Von Mueller & some bald guy
Charles Garrett & Roy Volker
Jimmy Sierra &Paul Tainter
Richard Ray & Abe Lincoln

I've read about these people, their adventures, and was privileged to meet most of them. Fascinating individuals and true pioneers....

Here again, I know I am forgetting a few others, and hope you will help add to this list, if not for any other reason, than for the fun of it. You can email me at, or you can enter a comment on my blog at



Larry Bateham emailed me the other day and shared the following..."Just wanted let everyone know what's happening. I go back to work on August 1st with no restrictions. I am taking preventative chemotherapy for a while, but only 1 day a week with 2 drugs. Everything is still good, no signs it has gone anywhere. This is just to increase the odds of nothing else happening. Had my first treatment yesterday, and I feel fine so hopefully it will continue with no problems."

Terrific news Larry, stay in touch. You have a lot of friends in this pastime who care....


Found this artilce and found it rather amusing. What a shame. Cannot imagine the tension, the feedback, the guilt and the sense of loss.....

Cognac Shattered by Customer


JULY 27, 2012


Wanted to share some good press with you all. I will be adding it to the "Who We Are" link as well.....

Heard from Butch Holcombe publisher of American Digger magazine about a mention he got in a West coast write-up. Nice read, nice plug for the pastime and Butch as well. Click here to read about Peggy Higgins, and the input Butch had in the article. Thanks to both of you for showing the rest of the world who we really are.


I was also pleased to find the following on the "Jersey Shore Beach and Surf Hunters" Facebook page about Vinnie Casablanca's recovery of two rings, and the following letter of thanks....

The Seaside Heights Beach Patrol would like to thank Mr. Vincent Casablanca for his outstanding job in helping one of our beach patrons recover her wedding band and wedding ring on Sunday July, 22, 2012. It was a great moment on our beach this season.

On Sunday the 22nd, around 4p.m., a beach patron from the Bronx New York came up to the Lifeguard Headquarters crying hysterically. She explained to myself (Captain-Rob Connor) and Beach Patrol Chief Jay Boyd that she just lost her wedding ban and wedding ring on our Lincoln Avenue Beach. We put her in one of our 4 wheel vehicles and transported her to the scene. The beach was packed and by now everyone around her was trying to help her and look for them with no success.

Chief Jay Boyd immediately called over our radios to all lifeguards if anyone has a sighting of someone with a metal detector. The lifeguard on Hiering Ave radioed back that he has someone on his beach with one. Chief Boyd asked the lifeguard to talk to the person and see if he would be willing to help out and try to locate the missing items. Without hesitation Mr. Casablanca said "ABSOLUTELY". The lifeguard explained that the missing rings were 1 mile away and he didn't care and wanted to help. Lifeguards picked up Vincent and his grandson in a 4 wheel drive vehicle and transported them to the scene.

By now there were hundreds of beach goers watching the scene. Vincent came down to the scene on our Lincoln Avenue Beach, got out of vehicle and asked a couple of questions to the woman and confidently said "I'm going to find them". I (Captain Rob Connor) looked at him and thought "who is this guy", thinking there was little chance in finding these rings. Vincent started working his metal detector around the scene and in under 5 minutes pulled out the wedding band, and there was a roar from the crowd, people were excited and the woman was thrilled. About a minute later Vincent pulled out the wedding ring and again there was a loud ovation from the crowd. The woman was excited and just hugged Vincent crying with joy. It was very emotional for everyone around the scene.

The Seaside Heights Beach Patrol again would like to congratulate and thank Mr. Casablanca for his finding of the rings from someone he never met. I'm sure this woman will never forget what Vincent did for her that day!

THANK YOU, Robert Connor-SHBP Captain

Thanks Vinnie. You did more in that one day to promote our pastime for those on the beach that day, then anyone I can remember of late. Also have the feeling all the manufacturers love you too....



As someone who has followed this story for sometime, and who has read just about everything in print concerning it, I was somewhat disappointed to hear about the results of the recent expedition to find Amelia Earhart's plane, and just maybe the answer to what happened to her so many years ago. I will continue to follow this effort however, and enjoy the website of the Tighar Group.


Knew it would not be long before I heard back for Mr. Barford and Mr. Swift, and it was quick. They apparently don't like getting criticized, and I suspect that's because they monitor the responses they receive on their sites. If you prove a point or outwit them, don't expect to see you thoughts posted. Just the way they run things. In any case here is their response, tired and old as it is....

Potable Antiquities and Collecting Issues

Heritage Journal Response

I would like to think that at some time in the future this hatred for those of us who own metal detectors will come to an end, but after 35 years of trying, I have given up. Never mind that we have brought more historical and more dramatic recoveries to light....they will never see us as equals, or people who actually further and justify their positions and/or salaries.



noun, plural jeal·ous·ies for 4.

1. jealous resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another's success or advantage itself.

2. mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims.

3. vigilance in maintaining or guarding something.

4. a jealous feeling, disposition, state, or mood.


JULY 26, 2012


I spend a lot of time perusing the internet, and especially those websites devoted to treasure hunting, and metal detecting. Often lots of good informaton, and sometimes even a good laugh or two. Ulimately, however, everybody seems to be looking for that one detector, that one piece of equipment or accessory that will surely make him the most successful treasure hunter alive, and his next find the best in the world.

When I read all this I see myself about 30 years ago. I didn’t have the internet back then, but I did have all the magazines, all the manufacturer's catalogs, and I picked everybody’s brain. I was having fun, but I wanted to have more fun, and I wanted to find more neat things.

I was addicted for sure, as most everyone is, who discovers a pastime that is not only fun, but allows him to bring home more money than he left with. I will say, however, that finding old coins early on was a helluva lot easier simply because I didn’t have a lot of competition. Back then the definition of a detectorist was the "old guy at the beach", how times have changed...

Back then, no matter the model or the manufacturer I could tell you the functions, the controls, the size of the coil, and how much it weighed. I was that in to it, or maybe “fanatical” would be a better choice of words. It was also part of the excitement, the love for this pastime. I wondered and even worried, “could that other detector really go deeper than the one I have now” or “maybe that extra knob or feature was what I was missing”.

Over the years I have mellowed (okay, I am getting senile) when it comes to having to have the latest, the best or the most expensive detector out there. I don’t get out as much as I’d like anymore, I don’t have the extra money to splurge, and frankly the detector I use now (MXT Pro) does a damn good job just as it is.

I suspect the need to have the latest, and the best is the same with every pastime, or passion. After all there’s no harm in dreaming, and keeping abreast of technology, but I have this nagging feeling that while we are out there looking at specs, detector reviews, pushing touchpads, up & down arrows, increasing this, decreasing that, changing audio tones, sensitvity, accept, reject, changing fequencies, changing coils, some guy is out there with an inexpensive, “turn on and go” machine finding it all before we even get there, and all because he spent his time researching where to take it.



Regton, Ltd. always hands out the following materials to newcomers, and for that matter everyone who buys a detector from them. Suspect that is not good enough for the "always on the prowl" duo of Barfart and Swiftie, but then again they have to find a problem with every aspect of our pastime. Oh well, guess they are entitled to pissing moaning all they want. Jeezus, I hope neither is married....



A reminder that if you are a Facebook user be sure to search for the Jersey Shore Beach and Surf Hunters page. Always lots of good information, and Brian Mayer, who heads up the group, is always posting tips, suggestions and videos. Brian just got a new video camera, so look out.....


JULY 24, 2012


Apparently the recent UK series, "Britain's Secret Treasures", has gotten Paul Barford, and Nigel Swift in a shitfit, as evidenced by their recent postings. They have now become undercover agents of the highest order, secretively checking out the increased sales of metal detectors at my good friend, Nigel Ingram's Regton, Ltd. in Birmingham.

Quoting Mr. Swift...."Just how many new treasure hunters like that fellow have been created, some of them long-term? People who will be in the fields this weekend indulging in every sort of bad practice as they know no better or simply don’t care? A lot, we must presume. There was scant mention of recording finds (whaaat!!) and then only in a vague way and there was not a word about avoiding undisturbed pasture, not digging deep, how unacceptable rallies are or even the importance of keeping off certain sites.

Me thinks... They are jealous of amateur detectorists finding anything valuable and important, and they are two angry and very bitter men, who have nothing else to do with their lives, but beat down the peoples right to a pastime of their choosing. Maybe someday they will find that pissing in the wind is a waste of time. I offer their latest responses here reluctantly, but then again perhaps you are in need of a laugh today....

Portable Antiquity and Collecting Issues

Heritage Journal

I guess I will never understand why archaeologists and their like want complete ownership of anything that is buried underground, as if it lawfully belongs to them. As though they will have the time and the money to excavate every inch of earth. Seems the land owner should have some rights, and if he or she decides to allow someone else to detect their land, so be it. End of story and none of their business.

Likewise I am tired of this group painting anyone with a metal detector a thief, looter or outlaw. I suspect the real reason they hate so much is that they are afraid their light is dimming. That their ability to justify their positions and salaries is diminishing. One would think that they would be pleased that detectorists have recovered treasures that shed light on the ancient past, and that they now have a reference point for further studies and work. Unfortunately that is not the case, and we will continue to see blogs like those above whose only purpose is to berate and demean the little guy looking to have fun, and just maybe strike it rich. The odds are certainly not in his favor, but he does indeed have the right to do it and to dream.


JULY 23, 2012


Hm, July 23, 2012, North Texas. As is the norm, the temps are at or near 100 degrees, Fahrenheit. No breeze, stifling air, and lots of sweat. Miserable, pissed off, and ready to fly off anywhere in the world, as long as it's not Texas.

I used to pride myself on being able to do ALL things outside, no matter the challenge. I hunted in rain, thunderstorms, hail, snow and hurricanes, but I am humbled by the Texas weather. It has beaten me down, and then hammered me when I was defenseless. I will forever admire Texas detectorists who plod on through all this, and find treasure. Not sure what they left behind in the way of offensive site damage, but I am appreciative of their durability under the conditions. It is just brutal.

Air conditioning broke down Saturday....hottest day of the year....108. We slept on couches with over head fans and made it through the night. The repairman came early Sunday, and found a bad capacitor (thank you, thank you). We are now back in business, but worried about the electrical grid. The country is lacking in updated and effective grids, and Texas is one of the worst.

Hopefully this heat spell will pass (ROFLMAO), and everyday will be glorius. Then again I just had my fourth glass of Merlot. If you live anywhere else in the US, give thanks that you don't live here.



Thanks to John Winter for all the following articles. I am hoping this show will be shown here in the states at a later date, or at least be available on DVD.

From "The Telegraph"

Photos from Show



Thanks also to Scott Clark for the following story. I responded that this might be a new avenue for all detecting clubs. Maybe a sharing of meetings? Ask to attend one of the local historical society meetings, and tell about the pastime. Let them know that we do indeed care about history, and then maybe a turnaround invite for them to attend one of your club meetings? Just a thought....

History society hosts metal detecting club


Keith Wills is out of the hospital, back home and facing a lengthy recovery. Apparently a lot of the numbness and pain takes time, and the doctors have told him to wait it out, and that it could take a year for many of his routine functions to return. If you would like to send a note to Keith, you can send it to: 1495 FM 49, Gilmer, Texas 75644. You can also email him at

Keith can use one hand and sent along the following Carl Fismer videos. Most everyone here in Texas knows "Fizz", and I think you will enjoy these.....



I had hoped that I would be able to share all kinds of tips and suggestions here on my website, especially on a regular basis. That has not happened. Instead I find myself learning more from you and passing that on. Not what I intended but at least it's something. I have discovered that as I age, the pastime seems to change at a quicker pace, and I am having trouble keeping up with it. Not sure what I expected from the aging process, but it's seems to be working quite well.

I still look forward to detecting, and I will continue to post here, sharing my thoughts, ancient and sometimes foreign, but if those of you who visit Stout standards tell me you enjoy it, that's all I need to know.


JULY 20, 2012


I got a surprise phone call today from Bob Sickler, my old friend from back East. We spent close to an hour chatting and getting caught up on many things, and after hanging up I felt good.

Bob will probably not like me calling him an old-timer at 60 years of age, but he is, and I use that term in a flattering way. He's been involved in just about every facet of this pastime there is. Many of you will remember his field tests for "Western and Eastern Treasures" years ago. They were always detailed, factual and extremely well written. Never filled with "flowery" praises. He gave you the good with the bad, often to chagrin of the manufacturers. Bob also is the author of "The Detectorist", which in my mind, is the best book ever written for the treasure hunter.

What did we talk about? You name it! We discussed old versus new detectors, past forays in the field, finds, and yep, aches, pains and ailments. We talked about old friends who have left us, and those that are still around. We talked about old picnic groves, loamy soil, Liberty Seated coins, and everything treasire hunting. After all that is what old farts do (sorry Bob). When I hung up the phone I was even more homesick for the Northeast.

Bob is very active on the Metal Detecting Equipment forum, and if you are interested in getting good, useful information check it out. It's a no frills, no advertising, no arguments, no sarcastic comments, great group of people. I always make sure to look at Bob's responses because he knows detectors inside out and what makes them tick.

Incidentally Bob still has a few copies left of "The Detectorist", and if you don't already have this book in your collection, I would urge you to order one. I guarantee you will find it the most informative and comprehensive book on metal detecting out there today. If you are interested go to Bob Sickler/Grahpic Designs and tell Bob I sent you. I have a sneaky feeling he would be glad to sign a copy for you.

Sidenote....A few months ago I asked a lot of people for help fighting pending legislation in Kentucky and Alabama. Bob responded with what I thought was one of the best letters I have ever read. Do you self a favor and click here to read it.

Thanks for the call Bob....enjoyed it a great deal. Thank you as well for all your contributions to this great pastime over the years...



Thanks to Neil Schwartz for the following story....wasn't aware of this. Incidentally Neil has a great website called West Jersey Detecting.

Stalking the Cooper River for Thousands of Fake Nickels



Thanks to Melissa Wise of White's Electronics for the following article......

Record Treasure Hauled from Shipwreck



Thanks to Regton, Ltd. for the following article....

13 Year Old Boy Using Metal Detector Finds 2 lb Meteorite



Still hanging around the house, avoiding the weather. Can't wait for Saturday...should be 106, and even after this heat spell breaks (which is usually the end of August) the ground will still be rock hard. We need rain, and we need lots of it....same ole crap every year here, and it get's old real quick. Fed up with this routine. I just don't get some parts of the country getting deluged with rain, and we don't see a drop. I really think it's time to "fool around" with Mother Nature.

So here I sit, eating and drinking myself to death, and writing a new book. John Howland keeps reminding me of Ernest Hemingway's motto, "write drunk, edit sober"....



If you visit my site frequently, and you want to know when there's a new update, go to my blog site (listed above), scroll down the left side and enter your email address where it says "follow blog"....whenever I update the website, I update the blog as well, and you will automatically be notified.


JULY 17, 2012


Amazed at the hype and build up about the new Minelab pinpointer. It looks very much like the Garrett Pro, and evidently will be available on July 30th. Not sure of the price, but speculation has it at around $165. I have the White's Bullseye II and like it, but I can't understand the interest in newer such products. What is it that you want them to do? They have lights, they beep, they hum, they are expensive little buggers, they're one more thing to carry, and can easily get stepped on or left behind. Call me cynical, but I can't remember having to carry so damn many extra's with me when I went out detecting. Just an apron and a screwdriver was all that was needed.

And please don't get me started on those damn cameras on you head.....


Got an email from Richard Ray saying "I'm still doing the Hyper Baric thing every day, have a couple more weeks, the wound is healing, slowly, Got a cortisone shot in my knee yesterday" Richard is also looking for a widow to move in with him and help with the care....

On the flip side I just got an email from Keith Will's wife, Rebekah, that he is now back in the hospital. Apparently since the surgery his hands and feet have not healed as expected and he is in a lot of pain. They will be doing tests to see if they can find the problem and of course a fix. Rebekah asks that you please keep him in your prayers. As soon as I have more information I will pass it along...



Sitting here staring at my MXT Pro, and wishing I had some good reason to use it. Right now I have aches and pains in places I didn't know existed, and despite the myriad of pills I have to take each day, they just seem to get worse. The weather is hot and humid, and I don't currently have a site that begs me to take it's treasures.

I look at my Gibson guitar sitting next the upright bass, and it needs a change of strings and a good polishing. Unfortunately that's about all I can do for it anymore since arthritis has taken over my hands. I remember looking at my Mom's hands and thinking how gnarled they looked, and now mine look the same. Each time I pick it up and attempt to play, I wind up getting angry, sometimes crying. When you love playing music, and then suddenly lose the ability to do it, it is depressing. I know what to do, what chord or melody to play but the fingers just don't go where they are supposed to. Basic chords are suddenly not so basic anymore....

I can very easily get depressed, and I suspect the older I get the more frequently it will happen, but I now think of Joe Cook, who battled cancer for five very long years, and I suddenly feel ashamed. Joe passed away two weeks ago, and up to the end he was always upbeat, and like he could take on the world. Last year I also lost my Mom, and two months later my sister-in-law (who also battled cancer for two years).

Joe's recent passing has reminded me that I am one very lucky guy. I am still able to see the sun rise and set each day, and find joy in a million little things. I suspect none of what I am saying here makes any sense to a lot of you, and I guess I am crying in my beer (or wine to be precise), but I feel certain that down the road you too will understand what is really imporant in life. Continue to find those treasures you seek, but don't overlook the ones right under your nose. They can be gone in an instant.....



Thanks to Roger Horrum for the following story.....I am going out tomorrow to capture and train two starlings.

Change is in the Air


JULY 14, 2012


Nice to know I am not the only one who blew a fortune in baseball cards. Got two emails from friends pretty much detailing the same mistake I made. They too just gave their collections away to younger kids/relatives, etc., and now cry in their beer.

What I neglected to say in the original post was that I decided about ten years ago to try and get back to collecting baseball cards again. I studied Ebay, websites, and all things baseball cards. My intention was to just go after Yankee cards (again), and see what I could do, and just maybe make a few bucks. Initially I had fun, but then after about six months I had a helluva lot of cards, but nothing worth much of anything.

What really amazed me is how this very innocent, simple hobby of years ago had become big business. In the 50's and 60's there were three companies (that I can remember), and today there are a zillion of them, and they don't just produce one yearly series, but many different ones. I finally gave up with this attempt, and just chalked it up to progress (or how a kid's fun pastime or hobby can be ruined forever). How sad....



Went out to the mailbox yesterday, and was delighted to find the latest edition of the "Treasure Hunter's Express", Paul Tainter's quarterly newsletter. I couldn't wait to open it up and start reading. You've heard me mention Paul many times before, but if you are relatively new to this pastime you may not know the name. I won't bother to bore you with the details of why he is a legend....I will simply ask you to use the search screen above and type in his name, and you might also check out the Photo set 15 on this site.

Joan and Paul Tainter, recent photo

When I read Paul's writings, thoughts, stories, tips and ideas, I get just as enthused as I did 30 years ago when I was reading similar things in "The Exanimo Express". Over the years Paul was part of a group that included Abe Lincoln, Richard Ray, Karl von Mueller, Charles Garrett, Glenn Carson, Michael Paul Henson, Roy Volker and Jimmy Sierra, just to name a few. His Treasure Expo's were legend, and a time where you could spend a few days, and come away with leads, stories, and memories to last a lifetime, not to mention a hangover every now and then (thanks to "Boomers" bar).

In Paul's latest newsletter he shared a story about "hobos"...a word that I hadn't heard in a long while, but that sure rang a bell with me. When I was growing up in Lambertville, New Jersey, our house pretty much abutted a railroad track, and we often had hobos ring our doorbell, asking for a "bite to eat". My Mom, being the old school Italian lady she was, always obliged, usually with a sandwich, a cup of coffee and a piece of pie (not bad for just a bite to eat). I can remember looking out the window at the strangers, sitting on our porch enjoying their food, and was always fascinated with them, and what sort of lives they lived.

Not having thought much about this group of people in many years, Paul brought them back in focus, as he always does with a lot of his writings. Having been a close friend of Karl von Mueller, this doesn't surprise me. If there is one person out there today who is on the verge of finding a cache or long storied treasure I am sure it's Paul. His collection of books, writings, memoirs, maps, tales and diaries compare to none that I know of, and he is constantly adding notes to every story he's ever heard. Do not however expect to hear about it if Paul does find that big one (just a guess on my part).

If you interested in knowing more about the "Treasure Hunter's Express" or for that matter, Paul himself, email him at or write him at Treasures Hunter's Express, 335 North William Avenue, Fremont, Nebraska 68025.



Want to take this moment to wish all my many French friends and TH'ers, Happy Bastille Day! Having spent time in your homes, and having shared those fabulous Sunday meals with your family, I can only imagine how you celebrate this very special day. Hopefully one day I can, but knowing you like I do, I doubt that I could keep up with you all. I would, however, like the opportunity to try! Viva la France!!



Thanks, as usual to Regton, ltd. for the following news update.....

13 Year Old Boy Finds 2lb Meteorite


JULY 12, 2012


When I read this article in my local paper, it brought back memories of what might have been. Memories that I think a lot of you might have as well....

More on this story from CBS

When I was growing up back in the late 40's and early 50's I, like many other kids, collected baseball cards. Never chewed the gum. It was always stale and hard as a rock. I would buy these card packs whenever I could scrape up enough money, and I would accumulate, collect and trade with others so that I could eventually have a complete set. I usually accomplished that by the end of the baseball season.

I was (and still am) a very avid New York Yankee fan, and would try to accumulate as many Yankee cards as I could, never mind if there were duplicates. They were Yankees, and you could never have too many Yankee cards. Mantle, Berra, Rizzuto, Bauer, Stengel...loved them all. I would sometimes have enough Yankee cards to make up four or five sets in a given year. As I remember, there were only three manufacturers....Bowman, Topps and Fleer.

I was such a card collector that my Uncle Pat (a carpenter by trade) made me a large, dovetailed box, with a sliding top, to hold them all. I would ofen spend hours just going through my card collection, and reading the stats on the back of each. My baseball card obsession continued on thru perhaps the early 60's. Even in my later teens I never missed a chance to complete a series, and accumulate more Yankee cards.


When I entered the Army back in 1964 I would try to call home on Sundays, depending upon where I was stationed. One Sunday Mom asked, "do you still want those baseball cards under the bed upstairs? Thought maybe the neighbor kids next door would enjoy them . "My response? "Nah, give them to them....tell them to have fun with them."

I will forever remember that moment, because I now know that I gave away a fortune. When I see those Mickey Mantle cards from the 50's selling for $1,000 and on up, it makes me sick (one of the 1951 rookie cards was sold for $600,000). I remember them vividly and feel certain I probably had six or seven of all them from each year, and in mint condition. But then was then, and who knew?

I can just see those kids putting those Mantle cards on their bicycle spokes .....


Another great post from Mr.John Winter. Give it a look....interesting story, and one that garnered a few responses.



Heard from both Keith Wills and Larry Bateham, and they are both on the mend. Keith regained his walking functions, which is a big step, given that he was falling in all directions prior to his surgery. He still has not regained the feeling in his hands, and cannot do any work on the detectors in his shop. He is hoping that this will come back through therapy and time. The doctor said that his spinal cord was damaged some, but just how much no one seems to know. Hope you will drop Keith note at, or at Keith Wills, 1495 FM 49, Gilmer, Texas 75644.

Larry (Packrat) is also on the mend, and said the doc didn't want to see him for a couple of months. He has also been given the go ahead to go back to work on August 1st. Those of you who know Larry can send him a card or letter at 6423 West Montgomery Road, Deer Park, Washington 99006. His email is

Last I heard Richard Ray is also on the mend, but will find out more in the next day or so. Richard's a tough one so I have a lot of faith that he is giving em all hell at the hospital. If you want, give him a shout at



Thanks to Nigel Ingram for the following reminder.....This series will start July 16th. Hoping that it will eventually be shown over here.

British Museum to Reveal the 50 Greatest Treasures Discovered by the British Public



Found this article online, and it bothered me a great deal. Not sure what the area around the battlefield is like now, but years ago there were a lot of farmed fields all around it that you could hunt, if you knew the owner or someone else who did. I spent a few days with a friend from the Gettysburg club doing just that. To even attempt something like this is so wrong and does nothing to further our pastime.

Gettysburg Investigates Relic Hunting


JULY 9, 2012


Received a Malamute update from the Mayfly Pub, and you can find it by clicking here.

John once again shares his love for all things archaeological.....


The Texas Council of Treasure Clubs has a new name, and a new website. Please be sure to check out the Texas Association of Metal Detecting Clubs



Britain's Atlantis Discovered

Treasure Hunters Look for Priceless Keepsakes



Found out that I wasn't the only one fascinated with the Earhart dissapearance... Received a couple of emails with more info, and wanted to share them here...

Earhart's Skeleton

Video from Reuters

Boston Globe Article


JULY 6, 2012


Well, as expected I received a few emails criticizing my last post about "Who's to Blame"......

Apparently I was not aware of the many efforts going on throughout the country, and that detectorists really do care about their fellow hobbyists. I was just making mountains out of mole hills, and apparently I am over-the-hill and out of touch with the pastime.

I will agree with being over-the-hill, and maybe I am not aware of all the changes going on, but after over 35 years I am still looking for that ONE strong, affective, all inclusive, "no way you are kicking our ass" group (and that includes all you manufacturers). Hoping that before I leave this world it will show up.



The heat wave hitting the country right now is effecting our hobby big time. If you are still hunting parks and inland areas in these temps, please stop. You will be risking your health, and at the same time hurting other detectorists by leaving unsightly plugs here and there.

As for those of you who hunt the beach all the time? I hate you guys with a passion (just kidding). If you are on Facebook try to connect with the Jersey Shore Beach and Surf Hunters. Great group of people and lots of good, useful information.



Still hearing rumors about two companies coming out with new detectors this fall. One top of the line, and the other a low end model. Despite my prying and coaxing, no one is offering anything concrete on this. Nevertheless, always fun to speculate.....



Not sure how many of you have followed this but I have done so religiously over the past few years. Not sure why....the story just fascinates me, and I am really hoping this current expedition sheds real light on the subject.

I last read "Amelia Earhart's Shoe" and found it a great read, and suspect it's because of the researcher in me. Nonetheless if you have haven't delved into this story I would urge you to do so. It's a mystery, it's history, and sooner or later it will be solved thanks to the Tighar Group



I understand the fascination with forums. You can learn a great deal by listening to others involved in the pastime, and often save time and money in the process. What I don't understand is why those who frequent them always find a way to get into arguments, or be nasty with others. Maybe someone can explain that to me.

I will admit to checking out the various forums every couple of days, and I will sometimes click on a topic to see what it's about. End result? Usually something that loses it's intent five posts later.

Then there are the forum owners, overseers, administrators, whatever, who will allow insults, hateful comments, but chastise anyone adding useful information, that includes a link to their site/blog or that of a company that doesn't advertise on theirs. Come on folks, there are apples, oranges, Fords and Chevys, and guess what? In this pastime there's White's, Garrett, Fisher, Minelab, Tesoro, Teknetics and Bounty Hunter..... So there!!



Thanks to Regton, Ltd. for the following articles.....

Caseyville Man Enjoys the Hunt of Metal Detecting

Roman Coins Find Prompts Dig

After Decades Lost a Ring Returned


JULY 4, 2012


One of my favorite blogs is Scott Clark's Metal Detecting in Kentucky and I tried to respond to this particular post there but for whatever reason I was not able to. So let me do that here....

Scott's blog "Who's to blame" is on the money, and a topic that always gets my attention. I guess that's because his comments align with mine, but never, ever get much further. Why? Because we are only interested in ourselves.

The metal detecting, treasure hunting pastime, whatever YOU care to call it, is facing opposition from a lot of quarters, and if we are to ever survive we need to wake up, organize and by that I mean manufacturers, the so called "national" organizations, clubs and individuals. If not we can kiss this pastime goodbye within the near future. Call me a doomsday prophet, whatever. I have tried time after time to get people interested, excited, concerned about various bills, legislation, and restrictions being placed on our pastime. End result? No one, and I mean no one gives a damn until it affects them.

The the three national organizations out there....tell us what you are doing, and what you plan to do? Forget the conventions, hunts, contests, tell us how you will start making a difference. You might study the PAS in the UK, and start looking into ways to have something similar here. It won't be easy, and it will surely take a lot of money and time, but it's a worthy effort

Will you be speaking for us in front of committees and sub-committees in Washington? Having detectorists write or email their legislators is not that effective anymore. I am also willing to bet that at most 50 people actually do it, and in some cases a few of those would be better off not writing in that they simply say things that inflame the situation even more.

How about updating your websites? I visit them daily, and see nothing at all new. Even my baby the FMDAC seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. Get rid of the 2011's 2012. Make it easy for members or interested hobbyists to contact you. If you are the president put your email out there, and the same for all the other officers. If you don't have the time to answer emails, why be involved?

To the Manufacturers... Aside from donating detectors and hunt packages, do you talk with each other, and are you concerned about the bans occuring here and there? You used to be. Remember the "MD Manufacturing Association"? What would you like to see happening here in the US? What sort of effort would make you take a second look and gain your support?

To all the clubs.... what is it that you would like to see happen? Are you content with the status quo? Betting that if you are, you won't be when a problem occurs on your turf. Do you have a liaison who communicates with any of the national organizations on a regular basis? Do you have any sort of legal fund set aside to help fight city hall if need be? You don't have to hire lawyers. No one can afford a lawyer today, but you can use that money to send representatives to the state capital if need be, or you can hire a bus and take the whole club. You can use it for flyers, petitions, etc..

To all the individual detectorists.... Do you think you might be able to take a few minutes from that forum you post on to read about a regulation or law that might affect your right to detect? Does it bother you that TH'ers in other parts of the country are facing local and statewide bans? My guess is you can't be bothered. You will say otherwise, but when push comes to shove, you will go on your merry way.

I know that all the things I mention above are easy to say and harder to put into play, but someone, some group, has to come up with a plan and something other than asking all of us to send emails. Am I angry? Yes because as I have said many times, we are all bluster and no bite. We talk a good story, but then never do anything more. We blame the government, the local officials, the archaeologists, but do nothing to counter their efforts. We leave unsightly holes in public parks, because we want to find all we can as quickly as we can. We spend thousands on equipment, but not a penny towards fighting city hall. We spend hours and hours on websites and forums, but can't take a few minutes to write a letter or send an email to help someone in trouble.

As for me.... I am unable to get out that much anymore, and a lot of what happens from here on will not affect me that much, but I still care. This pastime has been good to me, I have met a lot of great peopole, and had a helluva lot of fun. I will write letters when I can, and send money when needed. I will participate in any type of rally if it's financially and physically possible. I will support any group that shows me they have a plan, and that communicates with me on a regular basis.....

Now tell me where YOU stand and what you are willing do to do?



Bronze Age Axe Head

More on Celtic Coin Hoard

Neat Website for Coin Hunters


JULY 2, 2012


Spent the weekend thinking about Joe Cook's passing and all the good times we had. Hard to believe he is gone..... This morning he was put to rest.

His partner in crime, Bruce Hazelman, said that there was a crowd at his viewing last night, and I wasn't surprised. Joe had a great many friends, and he will be missed.


On a lighter note.....

I heard from Richard Ray, Larry Bateham (packrat) and Keith Wills, and all seem to be recovering fine. Larry had surgery for colon cancer, and the doctors think it was a success. Richard is still making his daily trips to the hospital where he spends a couple hours in a Hypoberic Chamber, but his wound is gettng smaller, and things are looking up.

Richard Ray
Larry Bateham
Keith Wills

Keith's surgery to relieve pressure on his spinal cord also apparently went well, although he is still waiting for feeling to come back to his hands and feet. That was to be expected from the type of operation he had. He will start therapy next week, and he is hoping to get back to the shop to catch up on work for customers.

Here in my neck of the woods, and apparently in many places thoughout the country, we are being beaten down by the heat. Ground is hard as a rock, and not conducive to detecting, or for that matter, any type of activity outside. At least not here. If you too are experiencing triple digit heat please be careful if you go out detecting. Fay had a patient in the hospital not too long ago who experienced heat stroke from working outside, and died shortly after being admitted (and he was a young man). This type of thing can sneak up on you, so please, please don't overdo it....

The outlook for me getting out detecting is this. Seems like every year the summer gets hotter and hotter, with the days of triple digit heat increasing in total. If by chance you are having too much rain please send it here. No questions asked!



More on the Jersey Hoard

Free Topo Map Site

Lost and Found in the Sands of Time

And last but not least, if you have a Garrett Pro-Pointer, or for that matter, any pinpointer (although John winter thinks not), you just might have a new source of income...... Read more about it here.




June 28, 2012


DECEMBER 1946 - JUNE 2012

Don’t know who Joe Cook is? Well let me tell you if you have a minute or two......

I first met Joe Cook back in the early 1980's. The Federation of Metal Detector and Archaeological clubs was in it’s infancy, and we were asking those clubs in the Northeast to attend our first organized meeting in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, unsure how many, if any would show up.

We were amazed at the turnout, and the number of people who came that day. Joe Cook was one of them, representing the East Coast Research and Discovery Association, in Northern New Jersey. He came along with Bruce Hazelman, who we soon learned was Joe’s best friend, sidekick, bosom buddy, partner in crime, team mate, and accomplice (if you ran into Joe, you knew Bruce had to be somewhere close by, and vice versa).

We continued to meet on the third Sunday of the month. The FMDAC grew by leaps and bounds, and Joe Cook was a very big part of making that happen. He and Bruce drove miles to attend the meetings, and would often stay late, getting home in the wee hours of the morning. He would contribute in so many ways over the months and years ahead.


As the years went on, Joe and Bruce became very good friends, and we enjoyed a lot of fun times. I must also mention Irene, Joe’s wife and Melinda, Bruce’s wife, both of whom also became very active in the FMDAC. We worked on conventions, went to various club hunts, and always had a great time. Melinda was also responsible for the FMDAC trip to England for the Longleat Rally, taking care of every minute detail.

Joe and Irene, FMDAC Banquet
A recent photo of Irene and Joe

In the fall of 1987 I accepted an offer to become the marketing director for Garrett Electronics, but did not announce it until shortly after the FMDAC convention that year. While I had no choice who would take over the FMDAC president’s post, I hoped it would be Joe. I knew he would be perfect for the position in so many ways. He was easy going, friendly to everyone, and knew what it took to get the job done.

It worked out that he did not get the position, but did a year later, and the FMDAC continued to thrive. Joe was also the one responsible for setting up the various chapters throughout the country, and the yearly convention or as we called it, Treasure Weekend, was held all over the country.

When Joe and Bruce would come down to the Texas Council convention they would stay at our house, and we would drive to the event in the Garrett Mobile, the van the company used for seminars, conventions, and it was like being back home. Evenings were spent chatting about the good times we’d had over the years.

When I started my website, I would get frustrated and often wanted to take it down, thinking that no one really read it or cared what I had to say. In jumped Joe with emails and phone calls, telling me how much he enjoyed it, and that were others who did too. His encouragement made the difference, and I will always be grateful to him for that. He also contributed an article here and there, one of which will be in a rewrite of a book that should be out this fall sometime.


While chatting with Joe last year I was surprised that he was also very involved in another hobby.....spark plug collecting! Joe was a member of the Spark Plug Collectors of America , and became co-editor of the "Ignitor" club magazine, and later a member of the Board of Directors. He also received a "Golden Quill" award from the Old Cars Weekly automotive journal.

Joe and his collection of spark plugs, and automotive memorabilia

Joe had a great many friends in the field, and he enjoyed inviting them to go detecting with him. Larry Cooley and Lee Caldwell from Texas were two, who took him up on it a few times, and the stories I would hear were hilarious. I will try to share a few later on.....

Larry Cooley, Mike Race, Lee Caldwell, Bruce Hazelman and Joe Cook....what a crew!

Okay, one short one.....

Texas 2, New Jersey 0

One year (1985?) Joe and Bruce decided to come with Fay and I to the Texas Council Convention, in Bryan, Texas. What a trip! Laughs from meeting at the airport in Newark to leaving the same airport four days later. We were treated to a great deal of Texas hospitality as well as Texas humor....

Try to make a long story short.....

Joe, Bruce, Fay and I were invited by a couple of officers from the Texas Council to hunt Port Sullivan, a ghost town, the day before the convention began. We arrived at the site and met up with Mike Orts, Bob Nichols and one other friend, whose name escapes me now. There was a drop box at the gate where we met, allowing detectorists to hunt for a fee. We dropped in our money, and were ready to start hunting, when Mike Ort’s phone went off (remember this was long before the cell phones of today).

Mike answered “Dr. Orts”.... Joe, Mike, Fay and I kinda looked at each other, not realizing that Mike was a doctor. We could hear a faint voice on the other end, but were unable to discern what was being said. Mike continued “well, listen I am entertaining friends from the Northeast, and really can’t come in right now”. Then he said “How bad is this patient?”

Next.... “I understand it’s very serious, but I just can’t break away right now. Who is this patient anyway, and where is he from?” After a short pause... “New York? A Yankee? Call somebody else, I am not coming in” and he calmly put the phone back in his pocket.

We couldn’t believe what we had just heard, and didn’t know what to say. Mike finally looked up and said, “Well, let’s get going here and see what we can find” heading down the rough road into the scrub and mesquite. Joe, Bruce, Fay and I just looked at each other, completely torn about what we should do, or say.

Pretty soon, Bob Nichols gets out of his truck, laughing so hard he was holding his stomach.

Then it hit us! We had been had big time and didn’t know it. It was Civil War payback. The South had risen. It didn’t take long for this story to make the rounds at the convention either.

While hunting that day Bruce found a few strange pieces of metal, and promptly asked the resident Texans what they were. Their answer “POS, hold onto it....” Bruce did as asked, and when he came to the convention the next morning he brought his pieces and found out what POS really meant.... “a piece of Sh*t!”

We promised that some day we would get even......

Joe knew that eventually his illness was going to get the best of him at some point, but he kept battling, literally for years. During this period he took the time to document his metal detecting adventures with with Bruce. The result was a book called “The Famous Bruce and Joe”. I have one, and feel very honored to have received it. There were very, very few copies printed, and despite my constant plea to offer it to the treasure hunting public, he wanted it to be for just a few close friends.

The stories in this book are many and varied, and I feel privileged to be included in a few. At the end of the book, Joe signed "Dick, I hope you enjoy reading this half as much as I did writing it! Thanks for helping get me so involved!....Joe"


Joe was in touch pretty regularly the first part of this year, and then suddenly about two months ago, the emails and calls stopped. I suspected that things were taking a turn for the worse, and indeed they were. Joe was in a care center for a while, the hospital for a brief time, and came home Sunday, June 24th. He passed away Wednesday June 27th, at home and with his family. The way he had wanted....

I know there's a helluva lot more stories about Joe in the recesses of my old brain, and they will emerge sometime. When they do I will share them here.

It's been extremely hard to write this, and I apologize if it's somewhat rambling and disjointed. I loved Joe, and will miss him. I owe him a lot....and will always cherish the great times we had. Someone recently said "good friends will never leave. They will always be with you". In Joe's case I know that to be true....

Rest in peace Joe, and good hunting.....


Joe, Fay, Me and Bruce/Tx Convention
Bruce, Mike Orts and Joe/Texas Convention
Mike Race, Sue Thompson, Joe Cook
and the late Betty Weeks, FMDAC event
Joe and his wife Irene/FMDAC Banquet
Jimmy Sierra, Sue Thompson and Joe
The late Ed Olding, Joe and Mike Race
Bruce and Joe ready for some BBQ
Wendy Dellaqula, Mike, Rosalie Ray, Joe,
Cliff Steffens, and Bruce, AC Hunt Crew
Joe and the late Betty Weeks
Joe, hunting park, New York City area
Lee Caldwell, Joe, Larry Cooley
and Joe's kids, Amy and Nina
Alan Holcombe, Marketing Manager
White's Electronics, Bruce and Joe
Joe, mowing, Bruce, detecting
Joe and Bruce heading off to church
Daughter Amy and Joe
Lee Caldwell, Joe, Larry Cooley and Mike Race
hunting the parks in New York City......
Larry, Mike, Lee, Bruce and Joe,
great friends from all over the US
Joe hunting a park area in Bryan, Texas
Joe and Bruce in front of the old Garrett
Factory on National Drive, Garland, Texas
Mary Penson of Garrett explaining to
Joe just how Texas fire ants work.....
Irene and Joe at home, 2012
Joe and his best friend Boo
The love was mutual....
Joe's last time to detect
Joe and his daughter Nina
Joe, doing what he loves best
and at peace with the world
Joe finds them and Nina recovers them


In Memory of Joe Cook


June 27, 2012


It's with a very heavy heart that I mention the passing of Joe Cook, former president of the FMDAC, and most important a very dear friend. Joe died at home this morning, the way he wanted it to be. I will pass along more information as I receive it. I will also share more of my association with him soon. Right now it's hard to even type this.... Rest in peace my friend.

Joe's last hunt with daughter Nina
Joe and his buddy Tuck
Happy hunting in peace



John, the magnificent, Howland has spoken, and this time on a broad scale. His latest Malamute Saloon entry is a good one, with a good article on "Old British Coppers" to the Garrett AT Gold detector, and yes even the "Warsaw Shroud". A few photos grace this update as well. Give it a look by clicking here....

And oh yeah, more funnies.....



Just recently read an article about the reality show, "House Hunters", and guess what? It's a set-up, a phony.....a lie. What a surprise? (See story here.)

I bring this up because of the shows, "American Digger", and "The Diggers", which most of know are fakes as well. It appears that Diggers (National Geographic) will be on the air again this year with a new series. I, personally have not viewed an episode of this show, but from what I hear it is somewhat better then American Digger, but that isn't saying much.

I also heard from a close friend that National Geographic was seeking help from a couple of archaeological/historical groups to improve the show's accuracy and legitimacy, but after they looked at the website of the show's featured participants they backed out.

I am very disappointed in the National Geographic Channel (especially after the "Lucky Muckers"), and hope they find a way to show our pastime in a more realistic light this time around. If not, I think it's time for all of us to react with emails, letters, and perhaps even a boycott of the show's sponsors. Time will tell...



If you have read Dan Brown's, The Da Vinci Code (and cannot imagine you haven't), you will love John Winter's lastest blog Masonic Detecting Finds. Great writing, and part two is still to come....

Thanks John for continually posting informative, and useful information....


Thanks to Regton, Ltd. for the following news item.....

Jersey Pair in 30 Year Search for Iron Age Coins



June 25, 2012


Medical problems seem to be affecting a lot of my detecting friends, and it's not fun having to pass this type of information along, but by the same token I know a lot of you who follow Stout Standards know these people personally as well.

My friend Richard Ray has been battling Necrotizing fasciitis...a very serious affliction, and has been traveling to the hospital daily, spending a couple of hours in a hypoberic chamber, as well as being treated at home. He did tell me things were improving some, and the disease did not get into his blood stream.

Hope you will all keep Richard in your thoughts and prayers, and if you want to send a get well wish, send it to: Richard Ray, 600 FM 994, Naples, Texas 75568.

If you have been around this pastime for a while you surely know who Richard Ray is. If you don't click here. He is, without doubt, a pioneer, and a legend in the treasure hunting world....



Got a note from Rebekah Wills, Keith's wife that he is undergoing surgery today for a pinched spinal cord in his neck. A very tedious and serious operation. If all goes well Keith will come home tomorrow, have a cast on his neck, and no voice for serveral days. He will also have to undergo therapy. The surgery is being done at the Good Shepherd Hospital in Longview, Texas.

Rebekah asks us all to keep Keith in our prayers, and also asked that if you can visit him at home, to please take him for a walk to keep up his strength. She will be holding down the fort (as in shop). Keith is owner/operator of East Texas Metal Detectors and another well known pioneer in the pastime.

If want so send a get well card please send it to: Keith Wills, 1495 FM 49, Gilmer, Texas 75644, and to check on him please call 903-918-1890 (Rebekah's cell).

Get well Keith and hurry back out in the field....a lot of friends counting on that!



Totally unrelated to metal detecting..... Our two daughters took us out yesterday to see the show "Jersey Boys" at the Winspear Opera House here in Dallas, and it was fantastic. Highly recommend it to all of you. If you are not familar with it, it's about the life and times of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Great music, and extremely well done.

The show really made me miss New Jersey and this sign in the lobby rang so true. Loved it.....

No matter where you are from, if you have the chance, go see this will not be disappointed


Would like to tell you about all the great finds I've made, but I have not been out, and the weather is not helping.... We are officially on the normal summer schedule as in this forecast. If it's a normal Texas summer we won't see any change until about September. Boy do I miss New Jersey.


June 21, 2012


Just got off the phone with Larry, and it appears all went well with the surgery, and other than feeling sore, he sounded great. Larry will be in the hospital for maybe another five days. If you are interested in sending a card, or in calling him (he will probably shoot me for this), he is in room 427, Holy Family Hospital, 5633 North Lidgerwood Street, Spokane, Washington 99208. Phone is (509) 482-0111. After that you can contact him at the address I listed yesterday...



Hope you also will find time to send a card or note to Joe Cook at:

Joe Cook
c/o Barn Hill Care Center
249 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860

Joe cannot accept phone calls, but I know he will appreciate hearing from you....


June 20, 2012


Seems like there must be something in the water.... Got an email from Larry Bateham, and he is having surgery today for colon cancer. Larry is a member of the Northwest Treasure Hunters Club in Spokane, Washington. If the name doesn't ring a bell think "Packrat" because that is how he is referred to and known throughout the country. If you are not familar with Larry read the following article I did for "Western and Eastern" a few years back.

Larry is another one of those guys who will give you the shirt off his back, and hope you will all keep him in your prayers. According to Larry the prognosis is good, so let's cross our fingers that it works out that way. Those of you who know Larry can send him a card or letter at 6423 West Montgomery Road, Deer Park, Washington 99006.

Good luck Larry....we're are pulling for you my friend


June 19, 2012



June 18, 2012


Was surprised to get an email (via Chicago Ron's site) from Dan Sivilich, an old friend from New Jersey, and the early days of the FMDAC. Dan, at that time, was a member of the Deep Search Metal Detecting Club.

It's been years since I talked with Dan, and apparently nothing has changed....Dan has always been involved with the metal detecting/archaeological community, building bridges where he can, and is still working hard at it. He now lives in Syracuse, New York, and is part of an organization called the "Battlefield Restoration & Archaeological Volunteer Organization"(BRAVO for short). While Bravo is new to me, the organization has been around for some time.

Members of Bravo (Dan is 5th from the right)

I will always remember Dan keeping me on the straight and narrow when the FMDAC was just starting, with regards to how I should approach the archaeological community, and when I needed to change wording in a story or program. Dan was the consummate authority on all things historical. Nothing has changed.....

It was great hearing from him, and if any of you have questions about the various battles that took place in the Northeast, be sure to contact Dan via the website. The group is currently working with National Geographic on cleaning up the "Diggers" TV series.

Found this mention about the Bravo group.....

Sidenote......Doesn't surprise me that Dan's son just got his degree in land surveying, and his daughter just finished her PhD thesis in Battlefield Archaeology. Congratulations Dan....



Scott Clark, detectorist and owner of the Metal Detecting in Kentucky blog, passed along some good news. Yahoo recently noted The Best 5 Missouri State Parks for Summer Tent Camping, and the word "metal detecting" was included. Thank you Scott and thank you Missouri!

Note to the Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights, World Wide Association of Treasure Hunters and the FMDAC.... Maybe this is something you could start working on with all the states?



Robbie Morin, my friend from Houston, is always quick to take me to task for needing motivation. He keeps sending me photos of his finds, reminding me that the silver is there....I just need to get off my arse.

Robbie's recent finds from hunting an old German Gun Club site that was used from the late 1800's up to the 1940's

Robbie, thanks for urging me on. I will get even with you one day.....


If I keep repeating this plea it's because I want to hear from Joe Cook via the phone or an email. He is currently in another tough part of his battle with cancer, and hope you will send him a card or note just to say he is in your prayers and/or you are sending good vibes. Please, for me!! His address is:

Joe Cook
c/o Barn Hill Care Center
249 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860

As we get older we all face challenges that are difficult, and while I new old age was sneaking up on me I didn't want it to sneak up on my closest and dearest friends before me. Joe Cook will always be at the top of the list, and I want him around a while longer. Thanks...


Last evening...


When will we get serious about our pastime, and will we ever be a real family?

Whenever I have that third or fourth glass of red wine (like now), I get "reflective" (sounds better than "pissed"). I got thinking of all the thousands of detectorists, the many websites, forums, clubs, organizations and yes, the manufacturers. Whether or not we realize it we are all dependent on one another, and right now we are all going in different directions.

Today posting anything of importance online with regards to restrictive regulations or laws pretty much results in total "who cares". Asking others to make an effort to help an individual fight city hall, or even a serious illness? Pretty much the same response. What amazes me, and pisses me off, is that we spend hours on the internet talking about what coil works best for a particular detector, or whether or not someone left holes in the park, but when push comes to shove....we really don't give a damn about each other.

Funny thing is I know that just posting this is a waste of time, but I will anyway. Not the first time I've tried to throw this out there. This pastime has changed a lot over the past ten years, and I worry about it's ability to continue to be a viable one? I think we better wake up and SOON!

Okay, I'm done, my glass is empty. G'night.....


June 16, 2012


I am finding it hard to excited about detecting right now. Weather is hot and humid (welcome to Texas), and I feel constantly exhausted for no apparent reason. Need to find out what pill out of the seven I take each day might be causing this. Then again when I look at the side effects of each they all look the same. I feel like a pill head, and sometimes wonder if I stopped taking them all if I might feel human again. On the flip side I have a lot to be thankful for so forgive this brief moment of bitching and self pity.... Just need a kick in the ass I guess.



Thanks to all my usual sources for the following tidbits....

17th Century Ring Declared Treasure

Archaeologists Unearth Battle of 1777

Sarah Struck Bronze

60 Iron Age Coins Found

Homeless Man in Texas Awarded $70,000 in Cash/Gold



Tomorrow is Father's Day, and I hope you will take time to thank him, and tell him how much you love him. My dad passed away ten years ago, and I think of him every day.

If you are fortunate to still have your dad with you, do something nice for him. Don't wait until it's too late to show your love. We tend to get caught up in so many unimportant and trivial things that we forget those that mean the most to us.



Just a reminder to those of you who know Joe to send him a card or note at the following address..... He is battling hard, and I know he will appreciate hearing from you.

Joe Cook
c/o Barn Hill Care Center
249 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860


June 13, 2012


As many of you know Joe Cook has been battling cancer for many years, and is now in a tough stretch. Joe was the president of the FMDAC for many years, and a great friend, not just to me, but to a great many in this pastime. Hope you will take a minute and send off a card or note, and keep him in your prayers.... As a favor to me, do it asap.

His address is:

Joe Cook
c/o Barn Hill Care Center
249 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860

Keep fighting Joe, we're in your corner......


If you are intereseted in the latest Minelab detector, you can read a field test in the latest Searcher magazine (and they now have an app available for all you techies). To find out more click on the app logo below, and connect to John Winter's site, with details on this latest issue. Sounds like a good one....can't wait till mine arrives.


June 11, 2012


Yo Bubba:

Many thanks for the brilliant write-up.....and yes there was a modicum of English hospitality involved, apres hunt. After a long day in the great English wind and summer rain, we adjourned to the zillion-year old costal pub in Worth Matravers The Square and Compass, home to some of the finest real ales to be had anywhere in this Sceptered Isle, where another attraction aside the excellent ales is a dedicated museum inside the inn itself displaying many great metal detecting finds.

The ale of choice was a potent concoction called 'Stingray' - luckily, neither I nor my pals from the colonies were driving, that task falling to Regton's Grand Fromage, Nigel Ingram.


Waylon (another pseudonym)

PS. Feel free to print the above to redress the balance that I have been known to drink lemonade. Pics attached. r., Nigel Ingram(Regton), Henry Tellez, Steve Moore and Brian McKenzie (Garrett Electronics)
(John and Jack not in the photo, and I think I know why....)

June 11, 2012


Was reading through the latest Garrett newsletter today, and low and behold there was a photo of John Howland, proudly showing off an early copper he found. Then later on, I later found a video of him explaining the AT Pro, and his partner in crime, Jack Dey, doing the same with the Ace. All I could think was, "doesn't Garrett know better?" Don't they know these guys will say and do anything for a buck (or better yet, a pint).

Watch these, and keep in mind that both of these guys can usually be found at a pub, 24/7. I am wondering how many takes it took to get these videos fit for public consumption, and amazingly I didn't hear one "F" word throughout.

John Howland and Jack Dey (trust me, that they're not drinking coffee)......

I can see I need to cross the pond soon, and get them familar with a couple of White's detectors. I know they are pissed most of the time, but never to this extent....


Thanks, as usual, to Regton, Ltd. for the following news articles....

World War II Shipwreck Found

62 Pound Gold Nugget Found

Iron Age Gold Bracelet


June 9, 2012


Thank you Mr. Howland for once again gracing this website with your presence. I realize how how hard it is to keep beating up on the archaeological community, and I appreciate your dogged, ongoing, determined effort. For some unknown reason the words just seem to roll easily off your tongue and onto the keyboard.

Too read John's latest thoughts, click on the Malamute Saloon above or merely click here....





Brain Surgeon Botches Proposal

Connecticut Ring Returns


June 7, 2012


After spending time talking with John Howland and John Winter via Skype, I feel like I know their lairs, their offices (well, okay at least I know John Winter's). Howland's varies somewhat with books in the back ground one time, and bottles in the background other times (as in the Mayfly Pub).

Skype is a terrific program in that you can see who you are talking with, and group conversations are possible. I enjoy these chats in that we can talk and share ideas, as well as tell it like it really is. Howland can sometimes look a little piqued, or a little under the weather, but having known him for some time, I understand the various differences. John's condition, whether sober or pissed, in no way interferes with his ability to make us laugh.

I once spent a few minutes perusing John Winter's office as he passed his webcam around some, and I was impressed with his very professional, studious and efficient work area. Although I try hard to make mine look that way, it just doesn't come close. His is also a separate building in back of the living quarters (I'm envious).

I think everyone one has to have an "office", a "hideaway", a "sanctum", where you can hibernate, think, bitch, curse some, and fart as loud and as often as you want. A place where you can be by yourself, away from the rest of the family, and where you can just be YOU.

Here's a few photos of my hidey hole, where I am prepared for tornadoes, alien invasions, the plague, tidal waves, tsunamis and swarms of locusts. John Howland, please take note of the empty decanter in the last photo. It was filled with Glenfiddich single malt not too long ago. Then suddenly the source dried up?



Stumbled upon this video, and wanted to share it. It's well done, and while it might not be as dramatic (as in phony and stupid) as American Digger, it is something I would love to see turn into a regular TV offering. I don't know Spencer or Jason, but they need to get an agent. Great job guys....



Just got an update from the Malamute Saloon via the Mayfly Pub, and will have it posted in a day or two.....


June 4, 2012


Have been checking out the metal detecting forums, and saw where a few people were not all that happy with their recent "top-of-the line" purchases. Both the newest Minelab and the Blisstool detectors were not quite meeting their advertised hype. Apparently the CTX3030 has instances where it will simply shut down, and other times where it freezes up. Likewise the Blisstool apparently is not all that user friendly, and takes some getting used to.

While the latest detector technology has long since by-passed my train of thought, I can relate to these unhappy, rush to be the first, customers. Having worked for a major manufacturer I know the need to get a product on the market quickly and in a timely manner. Yes, field tests are done, models are sent all over the world, and kinks are worked out, but the ultimate test comes when they are sent out in huge numbers, as in that golden day when the marketing department says "this is it!".....when all the ads, field test results and promotional events are scheduled.

I became the marketing manager for Garrett starting in 1988. Just in time for the release of the Grand Master, the company's first computerized detector. It was sent out to many of our knowledgeable testers, and of course all of us at the factory put it through it's paces. It was a good machine without question. Next a release date was set to coincide with the marketing department's plans....after all, what good is your newest and best detector if no one knows about it.

Well the big day came, we had a backlog of orders, and we were on top of the world. Then after about two weeks or so we started getting complaints. The Grandmaster was unexpectedly shutting down....going dead. We heard from our distributors, our dealers and of course our customers, and we started seeing them come in for repair. Our distributors started referring to it as the "Grand Disaster".

To make a long story short, the engineering department literally worked night and day, as did everyone else at the factory, and finally found a tiny clip in the battery department would sometimes lose contact with the battery pack. Solution a slight physical bend in the clip, and that took care of the problem. Corrections were made to all the models being sent out, and the Grand Master wound up being an extremely popular model

It's taken me much too long to figure it out, but I no longer need to have the very latest, the very best product on the market. No matter my obsession with the area of interest, be it metal detecting, computers, guitars or cell phones, (I certainly learned it the hard way with computer operating systems and programs). My theory now is give it six months to a year, and then if all seems well, go for it.

Metal detector manufacturers do not throw out new models before their time. They do however put them out on the market, knowing full well that then, and only then, will they really know how good they are. Knowing that, you can be ahead of the game with the latest and the best, or you can be the first to really put it through it paces. It's the chance you take. Either way you will win....only one of you just might have to wait a little longer.

As for me, my MXT-Pro is getting smarter every day


Well Chicago Ron now has his own channel on YouTube. What's next? I figure a reality show, a Ben and Jerry ice cream named after him, and a bobble-head doll. Wish I knew how this guy manages to spend his whole life metal detecting, finding neat things and pissing off everyone else who even tries.




As for me I am hoping I might get out and do a little detecting in a few days. Just finished a rewrite of one my learlier books, sent it off, and the weather forecast calls for a chance of rain over the next three days. All things considered maybe I can finally have some fun.....knees don't let me down now.



To all you manufacturers..... If you are going to charge well over $2,000 for a detector, can't you at least include a "printed" owners manual? I understand it's cheaper for you to put in online, but it is not convenient for the user to read through it when he is watching TV, eating breakfast, lunch or dinner, or turning in for the night. Stop being so damn cheap!


June 1, 2012


I received a letter the other day from my friend John Punola, sharing his experience at the Atlantic City hunt. Along with a photo, John also included an article he recently wrote for the Boating on the Hudson magazine, just one of the many publications that he writes for.

If John's name is not familiar to you, it should be. He has been a contributing editor for Western and Eastern Treasures now for many, many years. John is also the author of "Fishing New Jersey Trout", and frequent contributor to many of the various fishing publications back East.

I wanted to share his latest article with you. I enjoy reading anything about the Civil War, and found this one very interesting..thanks for sending it along John .

"Canadians In Our Civil War" by John Punola

If you are interested in any of John's writing, or ordering his books, you can email him at



Not a lot to report this time around, but some interesting articles and videos. Forgive me for not crediting the sources.... They more than likely came from Regton, Ltd., Jessie Thompson, or Ron Guinazzo....


Buried Iphone Returned to Owner

British Museum Restores Helmet



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