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The Digger :Your Metal Detecting Newsletter
January 30, 2023
Welcome New Subscribers
Thank you to the new subscribers to "The Digger." Each month I try to bring new and fresh ideas and articles that pertain to the hobby of metal detecting. But each month is a work in progress and a challenge to keep "The Digger" ongoing. As I often mentioned, I try to avoid redundancy but do at times post stories or articles that were previously in past issues of "The Digger." I do this so that new subscribers get a chance to read them.
Of course, I always welcome emails, comments, and any ideas that you would like to see in "The Digger."
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“I Travel for Treasure”I have often written and talked about my old friend Dan the treasure hunter. When I met first Dan many years ago, he was in his mid-80s. Dan was a wealth of treasuring hunting knowledge. I spent hours in his treasure-hunting shop listening to his adventures from around the world. His metal detecting/treasure hunting hideaway was a hangout for hobbyists from all over the state. Dan sold metal detectors, books about the hobby, old maps, treasure-hunting magazines, and gold recovery items, like sluices, pans, and dredges. It was Dan that sold me my first metal detector in the early 1970s. I was a human sponge as I absorbed his great knowledge regarding the hobby.
Dan had found and often displayed in his shop, gold nuggets the size of golf balls. He had a claim in Alaska he visited every year to prospect. It was a claim I came close to purchasing when he could no longer make the trip due to health reasons. But, as much as I wanted that claim, raising a family, and trying to build a business at that time, did not seem to make sense. However, in looking back, knowing what gold claims are selling for now I realize I was doozy bots, as we Italians call someone that is crazy, doozy bots for not finding a way to buy that claim.
Dan also found and displayed artifacts from across the globe. Roman and Celtic coins, even ancient Greek silver coins, a Norse sword, and sixteen-century Spanish relics adorned the shelves of his shop. And each item came with a story as to how Dan located them. Dan truly traveled for treasure. He had business cards that read, “I Travel For Treasure”
To say that Dan was ahead of his time does not lend justice to the likes of Karl von Muller the master treasure hunter whom I have written about. Although von Muller was a few decades ahead of Dan, it was the adventures of von Muller, and his knowledge that inspired Dan to follow his newly formed passion for treasure hunting.
Dan handed his business card, “I Travel For Treasure” to everyone he came in contact with. He would leave it with his tip at restaurants and diners. In those days gas stationed attendants came out to pump our gas and check the oil in our vehicles. Dan would leave a card with the attendant. He handed out his cards to parents at schools when he gave talks to the children about his treasure-hunting adventures. Dan once told me that his “I Travel For Treasure” cards were given out in more than half of the states. Those cards brought Dan so many treasure-hunting leads that he had to hire people to run his treasure shop because he was away so often searching for treasure.
One evening years ago, with nothing to do, I decided to take a drive to Dan’s home for a visit. I was one of the few fortunate individuals that Dan trusted to his home. I had not seen or talked with him in approximately a year. He lived alone in the country, his cabin was surrounded by a dense forest. Dan’s nearest neighbor was a mile away. This was a side of Dan that not many knew of. Although Dan talked freely about his treasure-hunting adventures and showed his many relics to people, he was also a recluse, and never divulged any personal information. But on this night, when I arrived at Dan’s cabin in the woods, he was not there. I noticed as I walked up his driveway to his front door, that his Jeep was not parked there. And after knocking on the door and hearing the loud barks from inside from what sounded like very large dogs, a gentleman answered the door. The new occupant of Dan’s cabin purchased it in a foreclosure estate sale. It was the only information he had about the purchase. As I drove back home I was shocked to learn that Dan had moved away and that his home had foreclosed. I discovered that his treasure-hunting shop had been closed at about the same time his home foreclosed. When I contacted the bank that sold the home, and the real estate company involved, I was told there was no further information about Dan, or where he disappeared to. Being the inquisitive type I searched public records across the country in hopes to find Dan’s whereabouts. I spoke to others who knew Dan, they were as perplexed as I was as to Dan’s location. It was as if my old friend Dan, the treasure hunter had mysteriously vanished into thin air. I also used the services of a friend of mine who was a private investigator. He could find no information on Dan’s whereabouts either. But he did share one piece of information that shocked me.
“Frank, I believe your friend Dan had many aliases.”
As confused as I was about what my friend the PI told me about Dan using different names, the more I thought about it, the more reasonable it sounded. As I mentioned, Dan did have a reticent side to him. But one nagging question that has haunted me for years, and knowing what happens in the treasure-hunting community, I’ve many times asked myself. “Did Dan ‘travel for a treasure’ that ended his life?”
Dan once told me when I was unknowingly involved with some shady characters in a treasure search, we partnered on, he said, “Be careful. The cockroaches will come out of the woodwork, cut your throat, steal your treasure, and bury you in the hole they found it in.”
Like the stories and myths about treasures that Dan talked about, Dan too has become a mysterious secret.
Bottle Digging at Cellar HolesYears ago I realized that I had been missing out on opportunities to locate old coins and relics. For those of you who search around the many cellar holes, that populate the eastern states, here’s a way to increase your finds.
As I was metal detecting around cellar holes, I noticed many old bottles, both the broken ones and those in perfect condition that lay on the ground. There were a couple of reasons for those antique bottles to be there.
First, years ago there was no such thing as recycling. Families would either toss their used bottles, pottery, or other items in a town dump or somewhere on their property. Often, those items were tossed right into the outhouse, or “privy”.
The second reason why those bottles lay strewn across the property was that when the old homes were torn down and the building materials hauled away, many objects were scattered along the parcels, where they have remained untouched for years. Realizing what I was missing, I began to pick up the old bottles, and also began looking for the property dump site, and outhouse.
Every cellar hole, where a house once stood, has an outhouse close by. I have found numerous items not only for my collections but also to sell for extra income. Locating the dump sites or the outhouses of cellar holes is not hard to do. A metal detector will pick up the trashy areas with ease. When it begins to squeal and chatter uncontrollably, that’s when you need to begin digging. Most trash sites will have pieces of broken pottery and bottles laying on top of the ground. But as you dig down a few inches at a time, much like you would dig at a town dump site, you should begin to find more items. To help your search for the dump site on old properties, if there is a hilly area behind the property that is a good sign where the trash lay. That’s because it was easier for the family to toss the trash over the hill, and out of sight.
When searching for the outhouse, use the same technique as above. Most often the area where the outhouse was located will show signs of ash as you dig down. That’s because the family would often dump the ashes from their wood stoves into the outhouse. Here are a few items you can find in both these areas.
Old bottles of all types, pottery, and household items are often found. Not only can you find old bottles and pottery while bottle digging, but items like jewelry and coins show up as well. The jewelry and coins were most likely inside the clothing that was tossed into the dump. Over the years the clothing material disintegrated, and the coins and jewelry were left behind.
The best tools to use for bottle digging are a small trowel and a shovel. You need to be careful so you don’t break any of the old bottles or pottery that is beneath the ground. Start by carefully scraping away the top portion of the dirt. As you move around scraping away the dirt, you will eventually uncover items. You may start to see broken bottles or pottery. That’s a good sign. It means that you’ve probably located the trash area or the outhouse. Just keep scraping the dirt away and eventually, you will locate bottles, pottery, or other items. Begin to dig away the dirt in this area, go slowly, and be careful, you do not want to break any bottles or pottery. The older items are always the deepest. Trash sites or privies that have been used for years have the newer discarded items on the top of the dump.
Adding bottle digging to your metal-detecting searches at cellar hole sites allows you to discover many items that you would be missing with your detector.
A Piece From The PastAt the north end of Lake Huron is Drummond Island. The island has a rich history of hidden treasure lore. One such story is about a French fur trader that established a trading post on the island in the middle of the 1700s. As the story goes, the fur trader became mentally unfit. And during one of his unbalanced moments, he buried a cache of gold in the woods on the western end of the island. Realizing that the fur trader’s mental stability caused his fortune to be missing his family tried to get the fur trader to tell them the whereabouts of his hidden cache. However, the old timer never divulged where the treasure was buried. A few years later he died, and his gold coins were never found.
From the files of F.W. Pandozzi
Mysterious Poo Shaped Object Found in Field is Actually Viking Treasure From 1,000 Years Ago“The discovery was made by a man walking in Pembrokeshire with a metal detector” Mysterious Poo Shaped Viking Treasure
A day at the beach: ‘A haul like this is insanely rare.’“Two weeks after moving to Australia, Jacob Robbens and his partner Emma made the detectoring find of a lifetime on a busy Sydney beach.” A Day at the Beach
Bronze Treasures Found Among Sacrificial Deposits"“ARCHAEOLOGISTS EXCAVATING AT CHELMO IN NORTHERN POLAND, HAVE FOUND BRONZE TREASURES AMONG SACRIFICIAL DEPOSITS THAT DATE FROM 2500-YEARS-AGO.” Bronze Treasures Found
Ten Strangest Things Found While Metal Detecting“Metal detecting is considered a fun and adventurous activity. Enthusiasts look forward to the days when they can carry their metal detectors and head to the woods or the beach. They hope to find jewelry or historical items and anything in between. This has been the norm for many people since time immemorial. However, metal detecting has not always been a hobby or adventure to look forward to. Some people have discovered things that they wouldn’t wish to. The adventure has uncovered some of the world’s strangest things, from painted mannequins to human body parts. Here, we look at some of the weirdest findings in the history of metal detecting." Ten Strangest Thinks Found While Metal Detecting
Death Be To TraitorsFinally, after years of research and writing, I have completed my book, “Death Be To Traitors.”
And for my subscribers to “The Digger,” I am offering this book at a reduced price of just $4.95. This price is a discount of 50% off the price at my website at $9.95.
The book is a digital eBook in PDF format and contains 265 pages. So it can be read on most devices. There are no soft cover or hard book copies available.
For more information and to purchase “Death Be To Traitors”, click the following link.
We Want Your Stories and PicturesOne 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
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