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The Digger :Your Metal Detecting Newsletter
November 26, 2020


"We'll Just Do A Zig Zag Through Here"

No TV show has caused me to go full doozy bots, as we Italians like to say, as much as the "The Curse of Oak Island."

For the sake of my sanity, I've tried not to comment on that show as much as I have in the past. But God almighty, I need to vent. It helps to keep me anchored to any sense of right-mindedness.

All I have is you to lean on. My wife is sick of hearing me scream at the TV when that show is on. She no longer wants to listen to my non-stop "bellyaching," as she calls it, about the incompetence and lack of common sense in the series. She says I'm drinking way too much bourbon while I'm watching it, and she tells me that even the neighbors and their pets are upset with my screaming. My neighbor's dog, a cute little thing, used to love me, now when I come near him, he tries to bite me.

I don't know. Maybe my distaste for this series is because when I had my TV series, I wanted to be sure that it was perfect and not phony in any way. I was knowledgeable about treasure hunting with 35 years of experience before I decided to film. My co-host John DeCharo (RIP pal) had the same amount of years treasure hunting. We knew what we were doing. So when I see a treasure hunting show trying to pull a three-card Monty on its viewers, it just burns the hell out of me. I guess I need to stop comparing what I did to what others are doing.

How in God's green earth did Gary Drayton become the "metal detection expert" for that show? Seriously? I've seen people with just a year's worth of experience have just as much or more knowledge than he has. Gary's been coronated as the Guru of metal detecting. Why he's so important, he doesn't even dig his finds. His digging slave, Jack, a nice guy I'm sure, digs up everything Gary locates. Jack also destroys the proper ethics behind the technique to dig up relics by hacking away at the ground with a shovel big enough to dig a grave.

So here's Gary with his trusty detector and Jack on the beach of Oak Island. Gary explains with his years of wisdom, and I'm paraphrasing. "Mate, when the tide comes in, it washes relics up onto the beach. There's no telling what's here, Mate."

Really Gary? You had to explain that to Jack. My nine-year-old granddaughter loves picking up seashells along the beach. EVEN SHE KNOWS THEY WASH UP ON SHORE LIKE MANY OBJECTS DO WHEN THE TIDE COMES IN. Sorry for screaming. Geesh!

Then Gary says to Jack, and I'm paraphrasing again. I really don't want to turn on the TV DVR, to listen to his actual words and rewrite them here. Sorry, I can't do it. My head hurts now. So Gary says something like this.

"Okay, Mate, I'm gonna zig zag this beach. It's the best way to determine where the relics are."

WHAT! "It's the best way to determine where the relics are?" Are you serious Gary?

Do you see how easy it is for me to get upset over this show?

Look, anyone with even the smallest amount of metal detecting experience knows that working a grid pattern to locate finds is 100% better than going zig-zag. And by using a grid pattern is especially beneficial if you have the time to do it. Using the Grid, you overlap each swing of your coil, and you'll miss very little in the way of finds.

Gary? You're on that freak'en island every day for four months. Why zig zag? You have more than enough time to do a grid. I thought you were the metal detection expert Guru. You should know that you Grid and not zig.

Hey I just had a great idea. How about a tee-shirt with Gary's face on it and the words "GRID DON'T ZIG?"

Then on the beach, Gary finds the ultimate tell-all to the oak island treasure.

I'm paraphrasing again.

After Jack hacks away at the ground with his man shovel and unearths the find, Gary, smiling ear to ear, says something similar to this.

"Matey, WOW Mate. IT'S A PICK."

Jack, happy as all get out and smiling ear to ear says. "Ya, maybe it was used to dig one of those tunnels that lead to the treasure."

That was about the time I moved closer to the edge. Then Gary Guru replies with an even huger smile. "Mate, you got that right Mate. Wait till the boys hear about this. Let's call them."

But the pick find orgasm doesn't end there. NO, Gary and Jack take the pick to a blacksmith shop for authentication. And, wait for it…the blacksmith says. I'm paraphrasing again.

"Ya, it's an old pick for sure."

And with that confirming statement. The smiles on Gary and Jack were priceless.

Remember, Grid, don't zig.

Use A Grid Pattern To Find More Goodies

Use a grid pattern. It's a method of metal detecting in a way that allows you to cover every inch of ground in a particular area. Do this, and you will locate items you normally would have missed by using a haphazard method of just walking and swinging your detector in any direction. By using a grid pattern, you will also locate items that other detectorists have missed. A grid pattern forces you to become more efficient while detecting. Here's how it works.

Pick an area where you're about to detect. I usually use a 20 ft by 20 ft area. That's the area I'm going to cover with my coil before I move to another spot. To stay in line as you walk while detecting, pick an object like a tree or a bush in front of you and walk toward it as you detect. When you reach that object, turn around, and find another object in front of you as a marker, and walk slowly while detecting toward that object. It's crucial that as you swing your detector slowly, that you overlap your last swings. This over-lapping of your swings is what makes the grid pattern successful. It means that you are covering every inch of ground that you're detecting. It means that you're optimizing your metal detecting skills.

Continue to walk your grid, pick out objects to keep you in line, and swing your coil slowly as you cover the grid area completely. When finished with that area, move your grid pattern to the area next to where you just finished detecting. Detect this area the same way you detected the last spot. Using this method ensures that you covered every inch of ground with your coil, and the chances that you left no goodies behind.

Now for some, using a grid pattern may seem tedious or boring. Many in the hobby would instead just get into an area and start swinging away here and there while missing areas that may hold finds. Try the grid pattern method. See if it helps to increase the number of good finds you recover.

A Piece From The Past

"In the early 1970s, "a group of treasure hunters, including C.C. Saxton of Baker, Louisianna, recently discovered an old railroad depot which was in use during the Civil War. Excavating in the old water cistern, they located a number of bayonets, guns and various Civil War paraphernalia."

"InjunWoody, in his syndicated column, remarks, 'I see where they are going to paint the hole in Fort Knox. The hole is called the U.S. Bullion Depository. It's more Bull than Bullion. Uncle Sam won't tell how much gold there is left. But what little there is can be locked in the vault whereas some years back the whole place was full of it.

Treasure Hunter's Yearbook 1970-71

And to my knowledge, to this day, no one knows how much gold is in Fort Knox, or if there is any at all.


"Folks, I've found it. If this isn't the crime of the century in Newport, then I don't know what is." Old Man Gets Mad at Older Man

100 People Hunt For Buried Treasure At Boyertown Farm

"The Boyertown Area Historical Society welcomed 100 treasure hunters to an old farm in Boyertown for a sold-out metal detecting event on Nov. 7."

"Folks came from all over. We had guests from all parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Connecticut and even Texas!" said Luann Zambanini of the Boyertown Area Historical Society. "We all had a great time."

100 People Hunt for Buried Treasure

Metal Detectorist Shows All the Gold Rings He's Found in a Local River

"Metal detecting is a pastime that can be as lucrative as it is fascinating. Case in point: in 2014, metal detectorist Paul Coleman found a hoard of 5,251 Anglo Saxon silver coins worth £1.3 million ($1.7 million)." Metal Detectorist Shows All Gold Rings

Man with metal detector finds 222-year-old coin near church

"EMBDEN, Maine (AP) — A man with a metal detector has found a long-hidden, 222-year-old coin under a few inches of soil outside a church in Maine." Man With Metal Detector Finds 222 Year Old

Stranger Helps 93-year-old Man Find Lost Wedding Band

"WESTERLY, R.I. (WJAR) - A stranger came to the rescue when a 93-year-old Westerly man lost his wedding band while doing yard work." Stranger Helps 93 Year Old man

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

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