WYSIWYG (sometimes)…

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A little ‘food for thought’ to start and then I want to recommend a great addition to your treasure hunting library…

Skill or Sleight of Hand?

One of my favorite FB pages is called Metal Detecting, the Original No. 1 Detecting Group. Recently Adam TJ offered the following:

“How sad it is when people post things that found 3 years ago saying they just found it with their new machine , equinox !!!! I’m not going to say nothing bad about this machine but it’s ridiculous and shameful when they do this. Last week I saw a friend do this on a equinox page, then today another friend did the same thing. I have seen 3 videos on YouTube of fake finds, and in one of them you can clearly see the moment when recording stops and then restarts and suddenly a Silver coin appears. I don’t know but I have never seen such things happen when a new metal detector came out. It’s like there’s a competition of who has the best machine but it’s disgusting when they post things they found with their old detector saying they found it with Equinox !!”

Now forgetting the Equinox is this sort of thing really going on? Is this treasure hunting 2018? I’d like to think not but I don’t really know because I don’t  frequent that many online metal detecting sites. I do know that years ago one or two members of the club I belonged to always had “knock your socks off” finds month after month after month…key date coins, two-cent pieces, trimes, gold jewelry and other items that you just didn’t run across that often. Members would look at each other, smile, shake their head but no one ever questioned or called them out. Of course today with social media you can not only impress your fellow club members, you can wow the world!

Curious to hear from you on this. Is this sleight of hand really happening? Have you called someone out on it?



I was going to label this update for old-timers only but then realized that the following is useful reading for everyone. I’m talking about Randy Bradford’s volume II about Karl von Mueller and the “National Prospector’s Gazette & Treasure Hunters News”. It’s titled “Ask Exanimo” and it’s the second of a four-part series of KVM’s writings.

“Ask Exanimo” was a column in the NPG (volumes 6 thru 12) where Karl answered questions sent to him from treasure hunters. He shared his experiences, library and personal connections covering every aspect of the pastime…detecting, research, prospecting, maps, caches and treasure tales/legends. Volume II is nothing but treasure hunting Q & A and a lot of the info is still useful today.

Randy tells me that he’s already finished the manuscript for volume III and hoping to send it to the publishers in the not too distant future. It will cover Karl’s major stories, cover features, etc. and will be much larger than the first two volumes.  Volume IV will center on “Tips for Prospectors” as well as dowsing.

You can order both the new 2nd volume as well as the 1st from Randy direct at 1427 Shawnee Street, Leavenworth, Kansas 66048. The books are $20 each plus $2.66 S&H. You can also place an order by emailing rbradford1@kc.rr.com. or calling 913-683-9426. (They’re also available from Amazon).

If you are a KVM fan you will love this second edition. It’s Karl in all his glory…


I used to communicate with KVM via phone and mail back in the early 80’s and later on coaxed him to write a couple of articles for the FMDAC newsletter, The Quest. I finally got to meet Karl in 1988 at the Lost Treasure Classic in Tulsa, Oklahoma and spent an evening listening to his stories. Never met a more interesting tekkie….

With Karl von Mueller,Tulsa, Oklahoma 1988





Filed under Metal Detecting

23 responses to “WYSIWYG (sometimes)…

  1. It is called greed. There is a lot of it going on. I also see people getting prizes for clubs, only to keep it for themselves and give one to their friends. Everything is competition. This is one of the reasons I left a metal detecting club that I started. I could go on with other things but I won’t. I now enjoy teaching people how to detect at my Detecting shop.

    New machines is another issue. Everyone has to have the best and to show off with their friends. This year I have been using my 28 year old Whites Eagle II SL 90. It has been a great year for me. I hunt with 2 main people and there is no competition among us. We are just glad we each find things from years past. We are happy for each other. I own a Whites V3i too but it has stayed in the truck for the most part. I started doing videos of my finds so others can learn.

    I enjoy reading your posts Dick. Keep up the great work and thank you for being a mentor for myself and others out there. I plan to detect as long as I can. I use this hobby to get my thoughts away from this Leukemia that I was diagnosed with in June. Take Care and God Bless

    • Kenny I suspect all pastimes/hobbies have their share of phonies/frauds, whatever…I just think it’s gotten worse now that we have social media. I guess too we shouldn’t be surprised and just need to ignore them and move on. The new machine thing is pretty funny in that tekkies will never say “I should have saved my money” or “this is not really any better than my old detector”. Hard I guess to admit that you fell for the hype.

      Thanks for the kind words Kenny and I’m sorry to hear about the leukemia. Keep battling! I’m not religious but sending my very best vibes.

  2. William McDuff

    I guess in today’s world everyone is trying for their 5 minutes of fame. If they’re faking it in the end they are only short changing themselves in my humble opinion.
    Regards + HH
    Bill from Lachine

    • Bill I agree. Kind of like the golfer who spends 30 minutes hacking around in the woods and says “mark me down for a birdie” when all is said and done.

  3. Avery Marder

    This ia not a new story !
    Back when I was a new TH’er, some 25 years ago, there was a well known hunter who would also always have the best find of the month. Everyone in the club knew he was purchasing these choice coins from a relative who owned a coin shop.
    They’re only fooling themselves and people are not impressed, just laughing at them behind there backs.

  4. Ed B.

    I’m sure that the “sleight of hand” is going on regarding the “NOX” because some folks are trying to show the rest of us that they made a wise purchase when in fact they are finding out that their new machine isn’t really any better than what others are using. Buying coins and then posting them as finds is certainly going on and as a long time coin collector and detectorist I can say that I’ve been suspicious of a few individuals on forums and one in particular in a coin club I belong to regarding their finds. I’ve called out a few but in a round about way. Fisherman lie about the “big one” that got away…….detectorists lie about the ones that didn’t.

    • The only person I’ve had to justify detector purchases to was my wife, and that was usually “after” she found out the price, LOL.

      “Fisherman lie about the “big one” that got away…….detectorists lie about the ones that didn’t.”….love that Ed, thanks.

  5. wendell

    Sad that someone would be obsessed to the point they would post fake finds, I just don’t have time to detect right now and my joy is just getting out and doing some dirt fishing, not engaging in foolishness. I thank you for posting the information about KVM and would like to purchase some of these volumes . I always enjoyed reading his books.

    • Wendell, these NPG volumes may wind up being the only source for a lot of Karl’s writing. I just wish I hadn’t lost my TH’ing library.

    • Randy Bradford

      Wendell, don’t hesitate to contact me at: rbradford1@kc.rr.com

      I have copies of both volumes on hand and would be happy to hook you up. Trying to finish Volume 3, seems like editing and indexing is much more time consuming and tedious I’m afraid.

  6. “…some folks are trying to show the rest of us that they made a wise purchase when in fact they are finding out that their new machine isn’t really any better than what others are using.” Boy, Ed B’s got that right!

    The problem is, the gullible, and the newbies all get taken in by this excrement. Another problem is where an ‘honest’ field test – either good or bad – appears in a magazine; it’s not unknown for retailers and manufacturers to threaten the publisher with a withdrawal of advertising revenue if more of the same continues, or have the tester banned from writing further field tests. Some magazines can’t exist on their cover prices, so advertising revenue is paramount. Ethics? Yeah, right!

    Oh, did I ever tell you about that 1913 Liberty Head V Nickel I found back in ’86. Is it worth anything?

    Keep smilin’

  7. Well, I gotta say, I have noticed NOXious posts of this kind. And I’ve got to say ALSO, I’ve never before seen an entire subculture form around an, at best, rushed-through-design-and-production machine that, in my view, was not worth the “buzz” created by the Social Media Engineering boys. Newbies are especially susceptible to this sort of thing, although not always. I have noticed a lot of preening and grand-standing in both Facebook and YouTube along the lines of “FIRST TARGET BY MY NOX IS SILVER!” or “MY NOX FINDS WHEAT CENT!” like these are somehow testimony to it’s 21st Century prowess. Say What?!?!?! Like no other detector is capable of finding a silver coin or wheaty, which is laughable, if not somewhat sad, in a pathetic way. I have good friends in the detecting community who have fallen for this foolishness. One of my pals told me “It’s got the fastest processor made!!” Well, that may be, but find me a human being who can physically tell the difference between microprocessor speeds while detecting in the field, and I’ll show you a steaming pile of…well…you know. As said earlier, I have seen that sort of thing, someone topping out with amazing finds from week to week; finds that in 50-years of metal detecting I rarely, if ever came across. I do believe the Equinox is probably on par with most machines in it’s category, but some sort of significant advance in technology, it is most certainly not. Any machine that you cannot replace the battery without sending it back to the manufacturer to do so, or you have to personally print the entire manual, or don’t get a battery charger with it for it’s re-chargeable battery, gets a big red X in my book of metal detectors.

  8. Oh geez Dick, you really struck a chord with me here. There’s a guy in my club who, no matter what hunt we go on, or how sparse everyone’s finds are, he always has the top find, or close to it. I’ve hunted with him on several occasions, and when hunting together I’ve never seen him find anything–nothing–nada–zip… It took me a few years to catch on to it, then I started watching him. In the middle of a hunt, he always suddenly disappears, and when he reappears some time later, he’s got a reale, a pocket full of silver or a nice colonial copper (and they are always in great condition too).
    He never stays for the full hunt, he sweeps in, collects his little bit of glory, and he’s gone again until next time. Everyone thinks he’s a super, duper ace detectorist, but I’m pretty sure he’s a total fraud. No, I’ve never called him out on it, and I wouldn’t, but I do think its pretty sad.

  9. It’s Tuesday, August 28th and….

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