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The Digger :Your Metal Detecting Newsletter
January 26, 2021

The December Issue of "The Digger"

The December 2012 issue of "The Digger" was not delivered because I had problems with the mail service host. By the time the problem was resolved, December had passed. With that said, here is the January issue of "The Digger."


John’s Dream

During my years of searching old properties, I have seen many family cemeteries. I also find them to be interesting. There is a lot of history in the few lines that are inscribed on the headstones. Here is a story regarding a family plot my detecting pal John (RIP my friend) and I came upon years ago. We were deep into a dense forest. Our goal was to locate an old town that was in existence in the early 1800’s. After two hours of hiking through thick scrub brush, climbing hills, walking across creeks, and fighting the mosquito’s and black flies, we saw no evidence of any ghost town or cellar holes in that area.

As he usually did, John said he wanted to take a break and lay down for a few minutes beneath the overhanging limbs of a hundred and fifty plus-year-old oak tree. It was hot and humid, and the shade from the tree would offer John some needed relief.

I decided to search the area a bit further to see if anything visible may lead to an old town or cellar hole. After half an hour, I returned to John, who was sacked out beneath the old tree. It was also getting late in the day, and we needed to hike out and back to John's truck. I woke him up, and he proceeded to tell me that he had a strange dream. To this day, every time I think of his dream, or when I tell this story, I get goosebumps. This is John’s story regarding that dream.

“I saw an open field. Inside that field was a home. The home was of the 1800’s style we see in this area. The cellar holes we metal detect around were the foundations of those homes. I heard a bell ringing from the direction of the house. I could see a woman dressed in early 1800s clothing standing on the front porch of the home. She was ringing a large bell that hung from the ceiling of the porch. As she rang the bell, she was calling the name Jason.

Jason. Jason. She called out as she rang the bell. And then I saw a young child running toward the house. And then you woke me up Frank.” I remember kidding him and saying, “I’m surprised you weren’t dreaming about food.” John loved to eat. He didn’t care what kind of food he ate. One time when we were metal detecting all day, we ran out of candy bars. So John ate half a dozen large dog biscuits that were in a box for his dog Cubby. “Frank, these chicken biscuits aren’t bad,” he told me.

As for John’s dream? Neither of us paid much more attention to the dream, until we decided to search around the cellar hole for another half hour.

“Even if it’s dark when we walk out, all we need to do is follow this creek downstream, and that is where I parked the truck,” John said.

I agreed. Ten minutes later, we came upon a single grave marker. We had not seen the grave earlier. It stood in a patch of tall grass and shrubs. The grave marker was small. But the inscription was legible. It read:

OUR BELOVED JASON 1805 - 1815.

We both stared at the name, “Jason.” It was the name of the child in John’s dream.

“Frank, this is spooky,” John said. “

As he said that, I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck begin to stand up.

“I don’t know about you,” John said. “But I’m leaving this place.”

My answer was, “Lead the way. I’ll follow you.”

Metal Detecting Permission and Getting to Yes

Asking for metal detecting permission to search a private property works best when the property owner is made to feel special. You need to be honest and caring when you approach the property owner. The person will most likely pick up any sign of a pretense, and your chance of getting a "yes" will vanish like a popped bubble. And just like any good salesman knows, if you can get the prospect to believe they are the one making the decision, without feeling pressured, the better the sale.

I try to talk to the owners when they are outside. It's a lot harder to walk up to a door as a stranger, knock on it, and expect to have a conversation with the property owner about their property in today's world. Years ago, I did that all the time. Rarely was I not welcomed.

If there is a home or a farm that I want to search, I will continually drive by on different days to try and catch the owner when he or she is outside. And then, as I walk up smiling, this is what I say.

"Hi. My name is Frank Pandozzi. I'm sorry to bother you. But I was driving by and noticed your beautiful, older home." If the property owner acknowledges my name and my honest opinion about their home, then I continue. If they tell me to get lost, I leave graciously. Otherwise, I ask them, "what year was the house built?" I wait for the answer. And then I ask.

"How long have you lived here?"

The idea of asking questions regarding the property is to show interest and respect. You'll never get a yes to search if the owner does not feel that you're genuinely interested in their property. Be sincere, be honest, and show excitement about the property.

Once I get the property owner to speak freely, I move on to my interest in history. This is another key to getting metal detecting permission. So I'll say.

"I love the history of this area." Again I'm honest.

"I enjoy finding old relics from the past with my metal detector. I bet quite a few old relics are lying beneath the surface of this property. Have you ever thought about what kind of history is beneath your property?"

That last question is essential. I want to know if the property owner gives any hint of interest in what items may be hiding below the ground. What they tell me is a lead to the direction of my next question.

Suppose they say something like this. "Well, I never thought about that. But I'm sure that would be interesting to know."

That's a great answer. It's one that I want to hear. A statement like that now allows me to say this.

"I think it would be exciting to see what's in this ground. I'd love to find some relics. Would you give me permission to metal detect your property? When I'm finished detecting it, you'll never know I was here. I fill in all holes, which are no larger than a few inches in diameter. And of course, because it's your property, you get the first choice on what I find."

Most often, when using this approach, I get a yes. That's because the property owner admitted to me they were interested in what items could be there. This kind of questioning points back to what I said earlier. The property owner is feeling good about me, and he or she decided to say yes without feeling pressured.

Of course, there will be times when you're going to get no when asking for permission. However, the more you practice by asking, the easier it becomes to get to a yes. And, if you treat the property owner and his property with respect, you'll end up with referrals of other properties to search.

I’ve had many property owners give me their neighbor's, friends, and family member's names after I searched their properties. They felt comfortable with me, and they knew I was honest, so they had no problem offering up names of other property owners. And once you get a referral like that, it’s almost a sure thing you will be able to search those properties as well. That’s because you were already trusted by someone they know.

Also, some property owners will let you keep everything you dig. Of course, that's great! Others may want the items you find. If that's the case, and they want everything, which in my experience does not often happen, be respectful and give them the finds. After all, it is their property.

There are so many private properties to search. Ask for permission, and don't be afraid of getting a no for an answer. Remember, with every no you receive, your one step closer to getting a yes.

A Piece From The Past

"A minister is using a metal detector to build a college fund for his six children. Rev. John J. Costas, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Blackwood N.J., combs parks, old homes, farms and even the city dump, looking for metal and glass which can be converted into dollars. In addition to coins, jewelry and miscellaneous items of value, he has found antique bottles worth approximately $3500. "The best places to hunt I've found so far are the beaches of New Jersey," says the pastor. "That’s where the action is.”

Treasure Hunter's Yearbook 1970-71

Lost Temple High Class Ring Found, Returned 50 Years Later

“TEMPLE, Texas — A lost Temple High School ring was found 50 years later and was returned to its owner. For two Temple men, 2021 started off on the right foot and they both believe it's a sign that this will be a good year.” Temple High Class Ring Found

Hampton Beach Metal Detector Detective Finds Rings - And Owners

“HAMPTON – Brian Knowlton said every time he finds a lost ring at the beach with his metal detector he always makes a good faith effort to find the owner and reunite them with their lost valuable.”

Hampton Beach Metal Detector

Michigan Treasure Hunter, 'Beach Better Have My Money'

“Ace Covey is his name and being the 'Lakeshore Janitor' is his game. When beachgoers have left for the day, Ace and his metal detector find what you lost.” Ace Covey

Two Amateur Metal-Detector Enthusiasts Remains Of Ancient Pagan Warlord

“The warrior's burial was found alongside a host of ancient luxury goods, indicating that he was of royal status.” Two Find Pagan Warlord

We Want Your Stories and Pictures

One of the excitements we get from metal detecting is seeing what kind of “stuff” others are finding. Not only do we enjoy seeing the items found, but many of us like to hear the stories about how those finds were located. So, let’s see your “stuff.”

Many have posted pictures and brief stories of their finds at my website. It’s easy to do. You basically create your own webpage with a picture or pictures, and a brief story of how you found the items. Once your page is posted, others will be able to view your page, and make comments. You will also have your own url link to the webpage you built. Use that link to post to Facebook, Twitter, or Pintrest and share with others.

So show your “stuff.” We want to see the goodies! Stories About Your Finds

Back Issues

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