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The Digger :Your Metal Detecting Magazine E-zine
April 01, 2015

I Sincerly Apologize - And "The Digger" Is Back

I should have mailed this newsletter a long time ago, and for that I am sorry. I honestly had no intention to be so lax in sending this newsletter on a timely basis as was promised when you first signed up. What happened was, I bit off more than I could chew. I was juggling my time between re-building my website, and it’s 400 plus pages, traveling to speaking engagements, writing books, and of course, treasure hunting. These are not excuses. I am just explaining that I messed up for the reasons mentioned, and I should have been more responsible with my time. Now with that being stated, if you are still with me, if you are still interested in receiving “The Digger”, then I am grateful for that. It is my intention to use “The Digger” as a reference point to what is happening in the world of metal detecting, and treasure hunting. There will be stories about lost and buried treasures, updates on what metal detector manufacturers are offering, what is happening with our rights to metal detect, and much more.

The Adventures of Clem and Clyde

I am sorry to say that the metal detecting adventures of those two whacky treasure hunters, Clem Digger, and Clyde Loop, will be no more. They’ve retired!

Please Visit My Facebook Page

Since my last issue of “The Digger” was emailed to you I have started a Facebook page. I was never one for social media. I had enough to do keeping my website and blog up to date. However, the times now call for me to throw away my old way of thinking and become more internet social savvy.

Some of the information you will see on my Facebook page will be in “The Digger” as well. The reason being, many people come to my Facebook page without knowing that I have a website or a newsletter. So I do not want those individuals to miss out on what I am posting. Frank's Facebook Page

A New Beginning

To start off this new issue of “The Digger” I’d like to post two lengthy articles I wrote a while back. The articles are about “The Curse of Oak Island“, TV series on the History Channel. They are also on my Facebook page. After you read them, you can read more of what happened between myself and the wanna be treasure hunter J. Hutton Pulitzer on that series. That link is at the end of the two articles.

Watching the recent The Curse of Oak Island story on the History channel was like watching paint dry.

As someone involved with metal detecting for 37 years, and the person who filmed and hosted the first reality, metal detecting, TV series, I thought the Oak Island series lacked excitement, was dragged out, and was short on experienced treasure hunters. For those individuals watching, with no experience using a metal detector, or treasure hunting, or for those who knew nothing about the Oak island Treasure, they probably felt like they got there money’s worth watching the show. However, for the experienced pro, this series was your typical metal detecting/treasure hunting TV series. It was all hype with no substance.

One of the things I made sure of when filming my TV series was making sure I brought excitement to the viewer. Every half hour series needed to stand on its own. I did not want to try and make something out of nothing. If we were filming, and nothing exciting happened, or we did not dig an exciting relic to film, I would not plant a coin, or an artifact to dig in order to fool my viewers. We filmed eight -ten hours a day, sometimes more so that we could get twenty-two minutes of air time. We filmed until we had what we wanted for our viewers. The Oak Island series was too long because they had to drag out the content due to the lack of new evidence for a treasure. Sorry, but hyping pieces of pottery shards, metal scraps, or coconut fibers that may lead to a treasure just does not cut it for me. The History Channel producers wanted a two season or longer show. However, to do that they needed to find something that would tie into season two. And what‘da‘ya know, here comes the Spanish cob. Before I bring up more about that cob I would like to mention something about the “expert metal detectorists” that were part of the Oak Island treasure hunting team.

Again, for the viewers who have no experience with metal detecting I’m sure they were enamored by the opinions of the expert metal detectorists. As for me, I laughed like hell.

When the expert passed his detector over an area where he received a large hit, the diver jumps into the swamp and after a few minutes pulls out two large rocks. The metal detector is passed over the area again, and no signal. “Ghost signals“, says the treasure hunting team. “I’ve never seen this happen before.” The metal detecting expert says.

“I’ve been doing this for thirty odd years says the divers. I never had a signal just disappear like this.” And then the voice over narrative goes off about how the island is haunted and these ghost signals are now a part of the mystique of the treasure.

Ghost signals from a metal detector, as those of us in the know understand, are quite common. They are not some mysterious, unexplained, phenomena as the metal detecting experts on the show tried to have us believe. Why didn’t the metal detecting experts pass the detector over the rocks after they were pulled from the swamp? If they were experts, they would have known that “hot rocks” are everywhere.

I would have thought that Kellyco, the expert was wearing a Kellyco shirt, would have had a little more knowledge and understanding what to do when signals suddenly disappear. Now, about that coin.

The Spanish cob that was found, and the way it was found leads me to questions. First, the coin was located in a swamp. It was a huge swamp also. For those of us who have been detecting for many years in unusual places, let me ask you this. What is your chance of locating a coin, any coin, in a large swamp, especially within a few minutes of turning on your detector? Is it really possible for a coin, lost 400 years ago, to still be lying on the top of a swamp? I don’t think so.

Also, if the coin was lost by a Spaniard why was the Spaniard walking through a swamp when there was enough dry ground to walk on. Oh by the way, there is no treasure in that swamp. But why I say that is for another day.

Just before that coin was found by the expert, there was footage of a zoomed in shot of the experts head and headphones. It was a telling sign to me that something interesting was about to happen. And then, voila, the Spanish coin emerges. But you never see the cob actually pulled from the swamp. The film crew was filming in front of the expert and focusing down on his hands as he moved debris looking for the coin. However, as the expert locates the cob you could not see him remove it from the ground. That’s because there was a large bush in front of him. The bush was just tall enough to hide his hands. He then stands up, showing the coin. I would like to know why the producers did not film, in plain view that coin being found. They certainly had enough chances to do so. Every view of that expert detecting, and probing the ground were clear shots, except when he actually found the coin.

I said earlier the producers wanted a two season series or more, but in order for them to bring the series back they needed a tie in to the next series. They needed something exciting to bring the viewers back for a second year, and up to the point of finding that coin, there was nothing exciting that happened. Was the coin planted then found by the expert only to bring viewers back? Or, if the cob was really lost, so what. One Spanish cob does not mean there is a treasure on Oak Island. I have located Spanish coins that date just as old as the coin found on Oak Island, so have others. All it means is it dates the area as to when it was inhabited.

I’m sure many viewers loved the show. But for me, I felt cursed for watching The Curse of Oak Island.

Did The Oak Island TV Producers Read My Comment?

The second season of The Curse of Oak Island aired a few nights ago. After the first show was televised last season, I felt compelled to write what I thought of the first episode. My critique was not kind to the production. I said what I said because I believe that reality TV shows today, especially the series that show metal detecting, have become more a sideshow than an authentic production. And once again, in my opinion, the second season of The Curse of Oak Island, is living up to the false sense of reality that was produced in the first season.

What struck me as being strange about the first episode of this season was the fact that the producers seemed to concentrate their efforts on the silver cob coin that was found in the swamp last season. My reason for stating this is because in my comment last season I made a reference about the way that coin was located. I believed the coin was planted by the producers, or by one of the participants. Below is my comment re: the coin.

“The Spanish cob that was found, and the way it was found leads me to questions. First, the coin was located in a swamp. It was a huge swamp also. For those of us who have been detecting for many years in large areas, let me ask you this. What are your chances of locating a coin, any coin, in a large swamp, especially within a few minutes of turning on your detector? Is it really possible for a coin, lost 400 years ago, to still be lying on the top of a swamp? I don’t think so.

Just before that coin was found by the expert, there was footage of a zoomed in shot of the experts head and headphones. It was a telling sign to me that something interesting was about to happen. And then, voila, the Spanish coin emerges. But you never see the cob actually pulled from the swamp. The film crew was filming in front of the expert and focusing down on his hands as he moved debris looking for the coin. However, as the expert locates the cob you could not see him remove it from the ground. That’s because there was a large bush in front of him. The bush was just tall enough to hide his hands. He then stands up, showing the coin. I would like to know why the producers did not film, in plain view that coin being found. They certainly had enough chances to do so. Every view of that expert detecting, and probing the ground were clear shots, except when he actually found the coin.”

Could it be that the producers read my above comment, and felt they needed to verify and authenticate that coin to show that in fact it was located in the swamp? Perhaps, and here is why.

First, any treasure hunter/metal detectorist who has experience knows that a coin that has been in the ground for a hundred years or more will show signs of wear, corrosion, patina, etc, especially a coin made of copper or bronze. Silver coins retain there character better than the other metals. We do not need an expert, as was just shown during the second series of The Curse of Oak Island, to tell us that the coin has been in the ground for hundreds of years. Those types of coins, as rare as they are to be found, are in fact found by amateurs with metal detectors. I have Spanish cobs I located. That coin could have been brought to the show by many different people in the industry. The fact that the producers had to verify and authenticate the cob by an outside expert, was just a way to cover up their misleading reality show. They knew that there are those of us who have years of experience and knowledge in treasure hunting/metal detecting, who are on to their game.

In addition, I want to go back to a comment I made in my first post about the show last season.

“The Spanish cob that was found, and the way it was found leads me to questions. First, the coin was located in a swamp. It was a huge swamp also. For those of us who have been detecting for many years in unusual places, let me ask you this. What is your chance of locating a coin, any coin, in a large swamp, especially within a few minutes of turning on your detector? Is it really possible for a coin, lost 400 years ago, to still be lying on the top of a swamp? I don’t think so.

A couple of issues are the size of the swamp, and the cob itself. I had the same questions in my first comment last season.

How many of you have walked into an expansive area with your metal detectors in hand and within minutes found a rare coin?

How many of you have found in an expansive area a rare coin, and then moved to another completely different area, or just stopped searching? Wouldn’t you stay in that area and concentrate your search by gridding off that area? That is not what the oak island searchers did last season.

How many of you have ever found a rare coin in a swamp?

What do you think your chances are of finding a rare coin in a swamp?

And if you did find a rare coin in a swamp, was it on top of the swamp?

Those of you with experience know the answers. And those of you, who understand where I’m coming from, know that The Curse of Oak Island is a complete fabrication and misleading TV series. There only intent is to gain viewers and ad dollars.

Without that coin being located, the show would have lost its appeal episodes ago. The plant of that cob was needed to keep the viewers attention. Now, about the participants and their knowledge re: the cob.

There are questions I have about the participants and whether or not they knew before hand that the cob was planted. Who knew, and whose idea was it to plant the cob in the swamp? I don’t know for sure, but I have my ideas which I will not go into just yet.

Now let’s assume I’m wrong about the cob being planted in the swamp. Let’s agree that the cob was found exactly the way the episode was filmed. If so, I still have questions.

Why would the producers make such a big deal about that cob being located on the island? For me it would be a nice find. But the coin would not suggest to me that the treasure was definitely buried there.

That island was a stopping off place for hundreds, maybe thousands of years by visitors sailing from Europe. It is also known that the Sinclair family lived on the Island during the late 1500’s and early 1600’s. Any of the above visitors or inhabitants could have lost that coin. But to retain the interest of the viewers the producers felt that it was necessary to fixate on that cob, and how it must lead to the treasure.

And then there are the telltale signs of scripting.

When the diver is in the swamp, you suddenly hear one of the brothers, who are in the boat, yell something like. “Oh, he’s on to something?” Really? How did the brother know that the diver was “on to something“? The diver was below the water. I think the producer, in order to keep interest in the diver, told the brother to say that. And then, what’da’ ya know. The diver brings up a log. WOW! A very old log. This, according to the participants is exciting. The old, oak, log is exciting because it could mean that it’s another clue that a treasure is buried in the swamp. That’s because oak trees do not grow in swamps. Really?

If reality TV wants to win back their viewers they need to do a better job of producing real reality, rather than fictional reality.

Did The Oak Island TV Producers Read My Comment about the cob, and then back track to cover up their scheme? I don‘t know.

I believe the brothers intent to locate the oak island treasure is for real, but for me, the show does not pass my common sense test.

Here is where J. Hutton Pulitzer decided to trash me for making an opinion about the Oak Island series. Hutton Has An Opinion About Me

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