Do You Have UMOs?

I’m frequently amused and sometimes dumbfounded when I see finds shared and analyzed on social media. Finds that I used to throw away or store in a box labeled junk. Today apparently they’re all relics worthy of more scrutiny/appraisal and comments like “fantastic find” or “sweet save” (that’s hip tekkie talk😜).

These exchanges always remind me of a guest post that Joe Cook wrote for my old website. It’s a post that means a lot to me because at the time Joe penned it he was battling cancer and just barely clinging to life. He passed away in June of 2012. I think of him often.


By Joe Cook

I love reading Dick’s web site and would like to contribute more to it than the few pictures and thoughts I have had before, but because of health issues I have been pretty much unable to detect for a number of years and wondered what I could add that someone in the hobby would enjoy reading. I am not up on the new equipment so any kind of detector review was out of the question. I have never been real good at research and depended a lot on the fact that I worked construction to find sites to hunt and I never found that pot of gold to talk about even though through the years I have found my fair share of goodies.

As past president of the FMDAC I guess I could talk about problems facing the hobby but I am not even current with that and depend on Dick’s site to keep me informed (and a big thumbs up to the New York City Task Force for doing such a GREAT job!). No, I was trying to think of something that we all could relate to that I could talk about. Then I looked up on the shelf in my little man cave and saw it¦ my collection of UMOS! Unidentified Metal Objects! I have jars full of them!! We all have them, we get them most every time we go detecting.

I take and clean up the metal objects that I find that I either don’t know what they are or are items that I consider to be of little or no value. Not pull tabs or bottle caps but, well, you know, the old toy cars, old dog licenses, old gears from a watch, assorted gun shells, old buttons and pins and all kinds of unidentified metal objects or as I call them, UMOs. I put them in old Mason jars and then put them up on the shelf.

Without fail, almost everyone who visits picks the jars up and looks them over. When they ask me what it is I tell them about the metal objects that I’ve found metal detecting. Almost without fail the reply will be “Oh, you metal detect?” and that gave me the golden opportunity to talk about the hobby that I love! And many times it led to a chance to hunt their property!!

When I tell people that the items are UMOs it was an invitation for them to try and identify as many of the objects as possible, and to my surprise some of the items I put in the jars turned out to be keepers! Anyway here are pictures of a couple of my UMO jars and some of the items in them. I suggest you try to display some of your UMOs and watch how much fun your friends and family have trying to identify them!

I want to take this opportunity to thank Dick for maintaining this site for all our enjoyment. And thanks to the many fine folks who contribute to the site on a regular basis. Why not pick up the laptop and jot down one of your favorite stories to share with us all, heck it’s easy! Even I just did it!!

The late Joe Cook and his buddy Boo…



My deepest condolences….

…to treasure hunter and dear friend Michel Tocque on the loss of his wife Joelle.  Her passing was not unexpected as she had been battling cancer for many years.  Michel stated “she suffered a lot, now she rests in peace”.

Michel and his lovely wife Joelle, early 90’s

Fay and I first met Michel and Joelle in 1988 when I was director of marketing for Garrett Electronics. Michel was our French distributor and a very loyal Garrett promoter. Our friendship continued on after I left Garrett and whenever we traveled to France we always made sure to pencil in two or three days of fun with the Tocque family. They were always welcoming hosts, great fun and showed us what joie de vivre was all about.

joie de vivre over the years

Fay and I send our thought and prayers to Michel, Geraldine, Stephan and their families….




Filed under Metal Detecting

4 responses to “Do You Have UMOs?

  1. Ed B.

    Those jars of UMO’s are definitely conversation pieces. Sue and I have our own jars full of that stuff. Most people might call it junk, but we call them “Treasures”.

    As for the cancer taking the lives of those people it’s nothing short of horrible….I can relate to that, having lost my daughter two years ago this month to cancer of the small intestine. She was only 45 years old. Live your life as best you can, there may not be a tomorrow.

    • I need to find a few boxes of UMO’s that I know made through the tornado but are buried in in the garage or in storage. Pretty sure there’s nothing of value but you never know. Went through two or three not too long ago and found few goodies.

      Understand the cancer thing too Ed and you’re right about the no guarantees on tomorrows.

  2. My sincere condolences to Michel and the family.

  3. Sad loss…my condolences to your friend Michel. Cancer is indeed a monster, and the horror is real. It can come out of the blue and smite you in a week, or slowly wear you down gradually and painfully. I am so sorry for his loss, may she rest in peace.

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