Howland’s Pendulum Article…Followup

John Howland’s post about dowsing (see February 4th) brought forth quite a few responses, some agreeing with him, and a few  calling it witchcraft. In any case it brought to mind the Electroscope, which is still being manufactured.

At one of the FMDAC events in the mid 80’s we invited Tom Affiliani, the founder and inventor, to give a seminar on how the units worked. While I personally was not at that particular talk I heard that a few doubtful attendees brought gold coins and nuggets, and dared Tom to find them in the room. Apparently he replied that  the situation was not right, or that it the item had to be in the ground and at a distance, etc.. Whatever the response many got up and walked out….

Mick Turrell, yours truly and John Howland, discussing the Electroscope, UK, 1986 (Howland was waiting for the beer model to be released).

Mick Turrell, yours truly and John Howland, discussing the Electroscope, UK, 1986 (Howland was waiting for the beer model to be released).

I do know that a couple of metal detector manufacturers took one or two of the products apart, to see what was inside, and the description I remember most…. “a rat’s nest of wires that went no where”.

So I am inviting anyone out there who has used one of these long range locators to share their experience here on Stout  Standards. I am not prejudging one way or the other. Just think it would be fun to hear from a user.

Lastly, if these long range locators performed as advertised, why wouldn’t, and why doesn’t every treasure hunter in the world have one in his arsenal…..?



The Blisstool detector!   A few months ago this detector was deemed to be the deepest detector on the market, and there  was a lot of chatter about it in the detecting ranks.  Now? Nada…nothing!   Here too, hoping someone who has one might tell us how they like it, and share their story here….



I still get an email or two asking what my best find(s) are, and the following is a repeat of a post I made here three years ago….

Willing to bet that most every treasure hunter/detectorist has been asked “what is the best thing you’ve ever found”, or “what is the most valuable thing you’ve found?”  Also  willing to bet that a good majority of you responded with something like “a lot of good friends and acquaintances”.  Am I right?  Well, that’s not a bad answer at all, and for a lot of  good reasons…..

First of all because it’s true. This pastime has a knack for bringing like-minded people together in a big way. There’s a need to learn more from others, a need for partnering  in the field, and a great need to band together to insure our pastime is not legislated out of existence. I think we all know as well that no one else would understand what the hell we are  talking about when we mumble things like VDI, Mixed Mode, RX Gain, Hot Rocks, Modulation and Ground Balance. And if you told someone you love discrimination……..?

Secondly, using the good friends response allows you to not make public what is no one else’s business. Blabbing about your finds can get you into trouble in  more ways than one. Not because you found them illegally but because sharing this information leads to further questions like “where” did you find it, how much is it worth, what did you  do with it, and on and on. Information that could be passed on to others, and information that could result in theft, or worse.

I know a couple of treasure hunting friends who have found  items that could put them on easy street, and they were found through hard work, a lot of research and considerable expense.  As a result they are entitled to deal with them any way they see fit,  and I understand their need for secrecy.

Now, having said all this, I will tell you about a few of my better finds…..

When I look back on all my years of detecting a great many items I dug were my “best”  at the time, and as far as value goes, it’s difficult to put a price on them. Follow along and I think you will agree with some of these…..

As for coins? Nothing can replace that “first” coin you found when you first started out. I remember mine, and I am sure you remember yours. Didn’t matter if it was a  penny, dime or quarter. It was a coin damn it, and validated your investment in a metal detector (No matter what your wife said). Believe it or not my first coin was a silver Washington quarter……

Nothing can replace the first silver coin you find, especially if it followed nothing but clad, and mounds of trash (that shimmer of silver in the hole  still makes my day, even after almost 40 years).

That glimmer of silver can still make my day....

That glimmer of silver can still make my day….

Next, was my first Barber, my first Seated, my first Bust coin, and I still remember my first Large cent, even though the date was unreadable.  At THAT time ALL these were my “best” finds.  Today if you try to pin down, and ask me to name my very best find?  It’s the one I am going to dig tomorrow….

I remember finding that first “good” ring? It was a small 14k childs ring, and I found it at a rural school near my my house in New Jersey. Over the years I found many rings, some good, some very good, and  a few great. Do I still have them? Yes, and I will more than likely pass them on to my grandkids, although they are there for that rainy day should I need them.

Interestingly enough some of the oldest finds I have are not the most valuable. I have ancient coins from the UK, and from France, a few of which are supposedly from around the  birth of Christ, but their monetary value is not necessarily high because they are not all that rare.

Detecting in Europe will spoil you for sure.  Once while hunting near the North Sea I had a Brit TH’er tell me that the coins I had in my pouch from the 1600’s were rubbish, and you know what?  He was right.  Hardly worth anything. It didn’t matter however. Finding a Roman coin, or relic from hundreds of years go will always be on my list of better finds.  Just thinking about  who last touched it, and what life must have been like in 300AD, makes it extra special.

A few finds from the UK

A few finds from the UK

One very special find was a gold locket and chain found in a picnic grove in rural New Jersey. The photo inside was still recognizable. It was of an older lady and there were three initials on the back side of the locket door. I have always wanted to return it to her family, her descendants, but I could not find a way  to do that.  I still have it, and look at it from time to time….

So,there you go, a few of my best finds, and a few of my most memorable… Nothing earth shattering, but very, very important to me because they all came with a story. One that I will never  forget, and oh yeah, the people I met along the way? By far more valuable than anything I ever dug up.



While the Northeast was hit with a blizzard yesterday, the weather here was sunny and near 70 today. I decided to head to my favorite school and see if I could  find a treasure or two. I got out of the “pug bug”, put on my apron, grabbed my MXT Pro, headhpones and digger. Walked about sxity feet to get to the field  area, and my lower back and legs were hurting big time.  Gave it ten minutes, cried some, pissed and moaned a whole lot and headed back home….

Not sure what the answer is, but for all the damn pills I am taking (not to mention the cost) I am getting fed up, old age or not….



On my website I am continually reminding people of this blog so they can respond to my posts. So at this time let me remind those of you here to  check out my website.  It is similar but has a great many more photos, articles, and other items of interest.



Filed under Metal Detecting

10 responses to “Howland’s Pendulum Article…Followup

  1. Harryjn

    I’ll be darn…In reading ‘MY WEBSITE’ I have just the same just issues.

    78 years old and still do not give up. Biggest fear is that if I fall I can not get up without help. I go anyway.
    Harry N.

    • Harry I can’t even seem to get to that point. And if you ask John Howland he will tell you many times when I fell and could not get up…..unfortunately he was down there with me.

  2. Steve D.

    Dick, as far as the the Blisstool (BT) goes I was on the short list to pick one up as they became available.I thank my lucky stars it took too long to come about. Many hunters had the opportunity to see demo’s of the BT in operation on local beaches up and down the Jersey Shore and they all for the most part were very impressed. I know of several good hunters in South Jersey that had the BT out scouring one perticular beach for Big 8’s.
    The demostractions were very selling. But once in the hands of a new user it became fustrating. While I have hunted side by side (beach) with my Sovereign GT to help another hunter learn his BT. Either he or I would find a target and the other would check it out. This was helping his learning curve.But I was able to find targets he could not hear? The BT seemed to like to false and he was never able to set it to both see a coin and chain at the same time. During one of the demo’s here in NJ several items were place in the sand, of all the detectors present only the BT could locate the sm gold chain.That was till a wave moved it and it was lost forever?
    What seemed to plague many new users. They could set it to see a chain but it would not sound on a coin at that setting and vice versa! The US importer of the machine took the time, met with a several hunters and gave hours of personal instruction.This is a real credit to BT. Of the hunters I know that had the BT during the intro,none had the BT more than a month, one for 3 months. All were refunded in full. I have since met a hunter that just loves his and I rarely see him not hunting the beach without it. He does well for himself. It just may have been others had not giving the time to learn the new type detector? I myself just added a few more gold rings to the pile and bought the CTX 3030 instead. I am happy I did.

    • Steve, thanks very much for taking the time to comment…

      From what I can gather it was promoted to be a deep seeking beach machine, and the most of the buzz about it came from the East coast. Here in Texas, and elsewhere I never see it mentioned.

      Will be curious to see if can any feedback from those using it to coin hunt or relic hunt.

  3. Dick, the E-scope hasn’t changed at all, still a dowsing rod chocked full of wire and other useless junk. It’s not alone by any means, there are lots of worthless LRLs out there. As a teenager with very little money and equally little sense I durn near bit on one. Many years later I decided that, since no one else had, I would expose these things for what they are. I’ve now obtained over 30 LRLs and write reports on what I find in them:

    The reports are fairly entertaining if you never bought an LRL, depressing otherwise. Besides the E-scope Models 20 and 301, I also have a “System B” awaiting its demise.

    • Thanks for reenforcing my beliefs….I remember seeing the inside of one and it was interesting, baffling and funny at the same time….will check out your site. Sounds interesting. Is thta “B” the Beer Model that my friend John Howland was waiting for?

  4. Nigel

    Hi Dick, I too was one of the attendees at the FMDAC meeting eagerly awaiting the Electroscope demonstration (out of morbid curiosity) we also had one of the models in our showroom for two years, permanently switched on, the battery life could only be quantified as “unbelievable” which summed up the unit quite well. I see Mick was test firing it at John that day, it’s an Electroscope Mick not a phaser & lastly Dick is there really a beer model coming ? I may also be interested.

    • Hi Nigel, thanks for the input…. Don’t think Mick was trying to phase our John. If he did he would have no one to drink with. Also If you read Carl’s comments above, the “B” model just might be the beer model Howland has been waiting for?

  5. Dave McCarthy

    Oh my … W.C. Fields would have loved this product. “There’s a sucker born every minute”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.