When I started detecting back in the 70’s I did a lot of reading. I read books by Karl von Mueller, Charles Garrett, Roy Lagal. Roy Volker, Dick Richmond, Glenn Carson and Estee Conatser, among others. I read Western & Eastern Treasures, Lost Treasure, Treasure Found, Treasure, Treasure World, World of Treasures, True Treasure and Old West magazines. When I read I was transported to places I’d never been, and it didn’t matter that I was a newbie, in my mind and certainly in my dreams, I was a treasure hunter.
Fast forward to today…. Many of the authors mentioned above have passed on, the number of treasure magazines available today has dwindled dramatically and the ability to dream, to keep those treasures alive, real or imaginary, seems to have also disappeared. A fellow New Jerseyan Tony Conti (a.k.a. Big Tony from Bayonne) and I talk about this and still share thoughts, theories and ideas on legendary treasures, especially those back home in the Northeast.
Have I ever looked for legendary treasures? Yes I have. I and a friend, Joe Attinello (who passed away in March of this year), spent some time looking for the cave where the Doan Gang supposedly buried their loot in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and later we searched for John Ringo’s treasure, only seven miles from my house in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Did we find them? No. Did they really exist? Hard to say. What I do know is that we had a helluva lot of fun researching and looking for them, and who knows, maybe someday someone will find one or both. How cool would that be?
In the mid-80’s I was privileged to meet Mel Fisher shortly after he discovered the Atocha. He was in Atlantic City the same weekend of our FMDAC event, and Charles McKinney, Director of the Atlantic Alliance for Maritime Heritage, invited Fay and I to their event at another hotel nearby. When we entered the crowded room, there in the middle was Mel Fisher with a huge gold chain around his neck and a bevy of young gals hanging all over him.
Charles introduced us, we shook hands and while he was “six sheets to the wind”, he was still able to remove the chain and put it around Fay’s neck, whispering sweet nothings in her ear while doing it. Yep, here was Mel Fisher making a move on my wife, and all I could do was just stand there staring in awe. After all here was a guy who had a dream, one that lasted sixteen years, cost millions of dollars, took the lives of his son and daughter-in-law, and he never gave up!
Anyway, today is today, I am what I am, and life goes on. I can deal with it (well some days I can). At my age I know I will never get to look for the Lost Dutchman, Oak Island or Little Big Horn treasures, but I will remember the Doan gang, John Ringo and the night Mel Fisher was hitting on my wife…
MINOR MUSINGS & BRAINFARTS
- How long before detecting videos on YouTube wind up getting someone in trouble?
- When all is said and done don’t we just need volume, disc, and all metal?
- How many treasure hunting forums do we really need, and aren’t the same people on all of them?
- A suggestion….learn to use a probe. I predict you won’t be sorry and you won’t get your sorry ass kicked out of parks.
- Are video cameras, swingy thingys and camo now considered standard equipment?
- Whatever happened to George Payne?
- Would archaeologists be happier if the Staffordshire hoard was never found?
- Tell the truth…how many of you have found enough treasure to cover the cost of your gear?
- Ever wonder if all those tekkies who claim to have found “numerous” gold coins really did?
- Here’s hoping every metal detector manufacturer offers wireless headphones for all new models in the future. I mean the technology is not exactly new…
- I think every detecting club should ask members to save all their trash, and then at the end of the year put it in a box and deliver it to the local city hall with a “your welcome” note attached!
- Typical script for treasure hunting reality shows. “Holy cow, come here, look at his” (commercial break) and “I would say it’s worth….pause….pause….pause, a zillion dollars”
- Hate to say it but it’s hard for me to get excited about a Roosie or Merc anymore. It’s either old age or one of my pills.
- Just my opinion but I think the shovel type recovery tools are not helping our image?
- As much as I hate to admit it, those middle range targets tend to take a back seat now…hurts too much just to add to my pulltab collection.
- Why have we become such a “it’s their problem not mine” group of hobbyists? Don’t believe me? Go on a forum, tell them about your city parks being closed and see how many responses you get….
- Why do pin-pointers cost so much? I mean really, come on!
- Why can’t we get back to basics again….no knee pads, no pin-pointers, no lethal diggers, no cameras…..you know, just research and leg work? Hell, I’ll even give up my walker!
- Curious. Would your wife let you go detecting with a female club member? Just the two of you?
- Am I the only one who misses the old short, staccato-like audio responses? Seems they used to define targets so much better.
- Why do arkies blame US because THEY aren’t working?
- And finally, will Wally and Harry ever get a pair?