Saturday, April 29, 2017

4/29/17 Report - Browning Machine Gun Dug By Florida Detectorist. Other Finds. Beach Conditions Remain Poor.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

 M1919 Browning Dug by Florida Detectorist.
Find and photo by Dustin P.

A lot of detectorists find World War II era shells on the Florida beaches. That used to be more common than it has been in more recent years. I've done a few posts showing dug shells, such as my 2/17/12 post. Here is a much more unusual find. This is a Browning M1919. Yes it was found by a detectorist in Florida - Dustin P.

Dustin is a Gunners Mate in the U.S. Coast Guard and works in the servicing armory that supports all of the ordnance and weapons training and supply for all of SC, GA, FL, and Puerto Rico. In his email Dustin said, That is important to know since one of the finds is a fairly well preserved browning 1919. It was the work horse light machine gun for the U.S. Military starting in WWII and Korea and was phased out just after Vietnam by the M240B. 

That is one unusual and neat find.  Congratulations Dustin!

Dustin has found other historic items in other areas of the country.  Here is more of his email to me.

I started following your blog while I was deployed in the middle east last year May 2015-June2016. I took up the hobby while I was stationed in New Orleans a few years ago. It offered some good opportunities being there sine the coast guard base in Belle Chasse had been a military base since 1742 according to the historical marker. It served as a cannon battery during the battle of New Orleans in the war of 1812 and since the base is all but abandoned except for our ordnance bunkers and a few station building I could hunt wherever I wanted. I was able to find what appeared to be an old stable from way back when. I found horse shoes, and an old hoof pick. I also found the original base layout at the library of congress website and located the old CO's house where I found some silverware, very old mason bricks, the front of a very ornate fireplace and some other things.

Dug Hoof Pick.
Find and photo by Dustin P.
Among Dustin's Florida beach finds are old deck nails, smaller square nails and possible galley stones.

Possible Galley Brick
Find and photo by Dustin P.
Thanks for sharing Dustin, and continued good luck.


I hope everybody enjoys the Treasure Hunter's Cookout today.


Nothing exciting about the beaches right now.  Here is what it looks like.

Fairly Steep Slope On This Beach.

No Cuts or Seaweed 

Happy hunting,

Friday, April 28, 2017

4/28/17 Report - Treasure Hunters Cookout Saturday. Detectors Below Cost. Antiquities As An Investment. Keeping the Joy in Treasure Hunting. Fort Pierce Beach Renourishment.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

That is this weekend, so don't miss it.  

Kellco claims they will be making the following special offer only for those attending the cookout this year.  


Darrel S. (Strickland) wanted to make sure that no one confuses him with Darrell Miklos of the Cooper's Treasure TV show.


Andre H. needs a battery compartment cover/door for a Minelab Sovereign.  If you have one that you can provide at a reasonable price, let him know at


I once did a comparison of prices for some reales and escudos as they sold years ago and then again more recently.  My conclusion was that while some did appreciate, overall they weren't especially great investments from a purely economic perspective.  Of course, most of us like history and old things, including coins, so any price appreciation is only icing on the cake.

I ran across a study on price appreciation of antiquities.  The study was written by Neil Brodie of the Archaeology Center of Stanford University in 2009.  It was published as a work in progress, but I haven't found any follow-up studies published after the 2009 article.

The article says, The belief that antiquities might prove good vehicles for investment first took hold in the 1970s (Nørskov 2002, 291-292), at a time of high inflation, when it was thought that tangible assets might hold their value better than the more traditional financial ones...

I'll jump to the conclusion.

Antiquities are not guaranteed to hold their monetary value over time. Price fluctuations are caused by uncertain supply and idiosyncratic demand. It follows that the best opportunities for profit will exist at the information nexus, at the point where information about supply can be matched to information about demand. In other words, most money will be made by knowledgeable intermediaries – the antiquities dealers. At 1975 prices, between purchase at Sotheby’s in 1979 and sale at Sotheby’s in 1997 the British Rail glass appreciated in value by £190,849 (though subject to costs of insurance and curation). From the two sales, Sotheby’s would have earned £111,179 from buyer’s commission alone, with perhaps an equivalent amount earned from seller’s commission. 

There are a lot of risks associated with investing in antiquities.  For one thing, you never know when a new hoard will be discovered that will make a certain type of item more common and less valuable.  There are also unpredictable changes in taste or demand.  For a while one type of item will be highly sought, and then it will be something else.

The market for any type of item can change for a variety of  reasons.  Who would have ever guessed how the internet and online auction sites would so dramatically change the market for collectible books and bottles. I saw it happen, and it only took a few years.  You usually can't predict those kinds of things.

There is also the political and cultural aspect.  Laws and attitudes can change.  Laws have been made about items made of ivory, for example.  And some judge might determine that certain types of items belong to a another country and should be returned.  It is an uncertain and risky investment class, but aren't they all.

Here is the link for the Brodie article if you want to look into it a little more deeply.


Every once in a while a phrase sticks in my mind, and I think it is something I should write about. A few days ago the phrase that stuck in my mind was, "If you do it, love it."

What that phrase means to me is that if you are going to do something, you might as well enjoy it to the max.  Don't depend upon events to make you happy.  If you are talking about metal detecting, that translates to, don't depend upon finds for all of your treasure hunting enjoyment.  Take it all in and enjoy every bit of the search, including the downs as well as the ups.

There have been times when I set goals and was determined to meet them.  If I didn't meet my goals, it affected my mood.  I was pretty grumpy when I failed.  That didn't do me any good.

If you are hunting on a beach, enjoy the ocean.  Enjoy the beach.  Enjoy those around you.  It won't make you any less effective, and it might actually help you stick it out when you aren't finding much.

In treasure hunting there will be ups and downs.  Things will go wrong.  But the one thing that doesn't have to be down is your mood.

Life is too good and too short to waste.  And when you get down to it, there is no treasure worth life itself.  Soak it in and make the most of it.


No changes in the surf.  It is calm.  We are having those nice low tides though.

Beach renourishment has begun at Fort Pierce.  Beautiful isn't it.

Beach Renourishment at Fort Pierce South Jetty Park.

I have some interesting finds to post tomorrow.

Happy hunting,

Thursday, April 27, 2017

4/27/17 Report - More On Cooper's Treasure Show. Salvage Lease Process In The Bahamas. Blog Provided Touch of Home to Deployed Detectorist.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Sometimes I wonder why I do this blog. But then I get an answer.  That happened just yesterday.

I got an email from Dustin P. who mentioned reading this blog.  He said, I started following your blog while I was deployed in the middle east last year May 2015 - June 2016... It was something that I looked forward to reading every day while I was deployed and made me feel a sense of comfort from home. 

Thanks Dustin!  I never imagined that my blog would provide that type of connection for someone deployed overseas.  Thanks for your service and your kind words.

Dustin started detecting a few years ago around Belle Chase, which had a military base since 1742.  He did his research and made some nice finds.  Now he is stationed at the Canaveral Naval Air Station and is using a Fisher F2 on the beaches around there.  Besides some of his older finds, he occasionally finds rocket parts, which he turns over to the base historian.

I received some emails concerning the Cooper's Treasure TV show.  Maybe you read my previous comments on the show.  I caught part of the second episode last night.

The readers of this blog are very informed people and I often get some great information.  I got an email from James F. who had some contact with the producers of the show back when it was being formed.  Here is what Steve told me.

A year or two ago, I got a bunch of e-mails from the producer of this series, asking about gamma ray spectrometers, knowing I had done some classified stuff for Lockheed Space Operations Corporation (LSOC); I had done some spacecraft electronics work. He asked me how far a spectrometer could sense a change in gamma radiation from Gordo's spacecraft and the answer was somewhere within 6 to 30 feet or so...anyway...not very far, given the technology of the day. He didn't seem to like that answer very much and asked me a few more questions, to which he didn't like the answers very much either. The classified communication transcripts and NASA data are no longer SECRET or even CONFIDENTIAL anymore. There is nothing remotely mentioned in any of these documents (I looked) or even the thinnest theory to support the pretext of this "show" Your feelings are correct...the whole thing is BS.

Thanks James.  All of the emails I've received concerning the show are from people who have serious reservations about it.

After viewing the short segment of the show that I saw Wednesday night, I did a little google search on Roger Miklos (who had the map that Darrell Miklos wanted), who appeared on the Merv Griffin show in the 70s along with Gordon Cooper.

You can find that Merv Griffin show online easy enough.

One thing I found was the following link to an article talking about Roger attempting to get a salvage lease for a project in the Bahamas a few years ago and complaining that a multi-million dollar contribution was be required.  That article was more interesting to me than the TV show.  Here is the first three paragraphs.

The Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation (AMMC) chairman yesterday denied that underwater salvage/exploration licence approvals were being tied to multi-million dollar donations to preserve historic Bahamian sites.

Courtney Strachan’s denial came despite Tribune Business possessing a January 22, 2013, letter to one salvage licence applicant, in which he promised to “personally pursue” Prime Minister Perry Christie for an approval if the latter was able to secure a $22 million donation to the Historic Bahamas Foundation.

In the letter, shown here on Page 1B, Mr Strachan tells Key West-based applicant, Roger Miklos: “Further to our meeting and discussion (January 22, 2013), you are prepared to show good faith by securing a commitment for a donation of $22million to the Historic Bahamas Foundation.”

Here is the link if you want to read the rest of the article.

The article seems like it might provide some insight into how things are done in the Bahamas.

On the TV show last night, Darrell visited the Houston Space Center, which reminded me of the time many years ago I sent my parents to Space Academy at Huntsville.  It was really a big hit with my dad, who is now deceased.  Probably the best thing I ever did for him.  My mom still talks about meeting John Glenn there.  Unfortunately they didn't come back with a treasure map or file on UFOs.

Back to the Cooper's Treasure show.  At the end of episode 2 when Darrell, who appears to live in the Melbourne, Florida area, jumped off his boat  and right onto a completely visible steel wreck and swam around holding a Vibra-tector in his hand like an over-grown lolly pop and claimed that the wreck validated the chart.  Anyone could draw an arrow on a chart and go out and jump on a wreck.

I probably spent too much time talking about this show.  It does have a lot of Florida connections and touches on things that interest all of us.  I don't know what the general population thinks of the show, but I received several emails about the show.  So far, Darrell Miklos is coming off very much like what he called his father - "a flim-flam man."

We are all interested in treasure hunting, but the last thing we want to see is a hoax that reflects poorly on the hobby and the industry of treasure hunting.


The surf is small but we are getting some good negative low tides on the Treasure Coast.  That could open up a few good opportunities.

Happy hunting,

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

4/26/17 Report - Metal Detector Damage That Can Be Prevented. Artifacts Left Behind After Inca Attack.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Detector Showing Poor Maintenance and Serious Damage.

Yesterday I started a post in which I was talking about why you might want to keep old metal detectors in good working order.  I mentioned the dangers of salt water.  Above is a good example of the damage that can be done to a metal detector by things like wind driven sand and salt spray and splashing water.

Notice the corrosion around the knobs and toggle switches.  Also notice the sand in the speakers.  The headphone plug is also vulnerable.

The best conditions for metal detecting can be the worst conditions for your detector.  The wind can be blowing sand and salt and the water can be splashing off of steep cliff faces.  Even knowing all of that, you can be caught by surprise.

There was one time that I was wading not much more than knee deep water in a calm bay and a single wave surprised me and splashed up onto my detector control box (not the detector shown in the pictures).  While I mostly use submersible detectors, I was not using one on this occasion.  The very small amount of salt water that splashed onto the control box was noted by the manufacturer and voided the warranty even though the detector worked fine for many years to come.

Closer Look At Some of the Corrosion.
The damage to the detector shown in these pictures is extreme and severe but happened with normal but heavy usage.  Obviously much needed maintenance was not done.

Most of my detectors are submersible.  Submersible detectors are better protected from the dangers of salt water environments, although even submersible detectors need to be rinsed and properly maintained.  If you work salt water beaches at all, wind driven sand and salt spray is enough to require periodic maintenance.  Salt and sand seem to find their way into the smallest cracks and crannies.

A lot of people complain about detector rods freezing up.  My experience is that all detector rods used on salt water beaches or in the salt water will freeze if they are not maintained.  Rinsing and working them occasionally should prevent that.  While I hear a lot of complaints about the ATX rods, I've had no trouble with them and prefer that type of rod to the others that I've used.

Some people seldom change their detector settings.  I advise working all knobs and switches once in a while even if you don't change your settings much.  I think it helps keep things in good working order and helps you identify any signs of deterioration early.

Even if you get salt water in your control box, rinsing it out with an electronics cleaner can save the electronics.

WD-40 or other oils and cleaners can be a good idea for various parts of your detector.

The Florida sun and heat can also cause damage.  The sun and heat can weaken plastic parts.  I had a lot of trouble with the plastic parts on a White's detector breaking.  It wasn't an old detector either.

Replaced Ear Phone Attachment.
Plastic parts on both the rod and ear phones broke.  I replaced the ear phone tab by making a new one from the metal of a soda can.  The rod was repaired by using a small section of PVC pipe.

I like to have more than one detector with me but I seldom do because I don't like to leave a metal detector in the car in the hot Florida heat.   I also don't like to leave anything good in the car because of possible theft.  That does happen on the Treasure Coast.  I saw some broken glass in a beach parking lot no long ago.  I reported other break-ins at the same parking lot before.

Dennis S. wrote and reminded me to mention the damage that can be caused by leaving old batteries in a metal detector.  Leaking batteries damaged one of his detectors.  I'm sure that many of you have experienced the same thing.  Don't leave batteries stored in your detector when you are not using it for a while.  Thanks for the reminder Dennis.

My main point today is that the beach is a tough environment for metal detectors, but with periodic maintenance you might be able to keep your metal detector working for many years.  The pictures I showed today show extreme and severe cases, but they do show what can happen.


Here is an interesting article.

Treasure trove of bronze and copper reveals incredible speed of flash Inca invasion

Bronze jewellery, stone tools and intact pottery were abandoned as the native Colla people fled...

Bronze Chisel Left Behind by Colla.Source: See link below.

Here is the link for the entire article.


I have some good emails and other things to talk about tomorrow.

The weather is beautiful on the Treasure Coast.  The air was cooler this morning after the front went through.

The surf is small, but we're having some nice low tides.

Happy hunting,

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

4/25/17 Report - Old Detectors Can Be Useful If Kept In Good Working Order.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

An old metal detector is not always a useless metal detector.  I have metal detectors that are three or four decades old.  Most don't work anymore but a few do.  Those that do work are handy.  Not only can an old detector serve as back up for when your newer detector might need repairs or be otherwise unavailable, but an old detector can have some especially useful feature or operating characteristic that makes it the absolute best choice for some particular situation.

You have to know your old detector very well to make best use of any special feature or operating characteristic, but if you do know that old detector very well, don't forget about it when the appropriate situation arises.

Some old detectors might have notch discrimination or surface blanking, for example.  Surface blanking is not a common metal detector option, but I have one old detector that had that feature.  You flipped a switch and the detector would not give a signal to any large surface targets.  You might use a feature like that when the ground is littered with junk but you only want to pick out smaller deeper targets.

The same old detector offered both notch reject and notch accept.  You could select a high and low range to discriminate out and accept only targets falling between the two..  You could narrow the notch accept range down to accept only a very small range or objects.  That could be useful when you have a specific target, perhaps a specific ring of a particular size and composition that you want to find.  Of course with detectors that have a meter, you can look for targets giving a specific meter value.

Most often the desired feature offered by an old metal detector is not a setting or option accessed by a switch or knob but just an operating characteristic of that detector.  For example, I had one detector that seemed to have a very good response to small platinum rings.  Another detector worked well around iron and did a good job of detecting gold through iron junk.  And another worked well around electrical interference from electric lines.

Of course you can get a brand new detector with all the advertised fancy features, but your new detector might not have that one feature or operating characteristic that you want for a particular situation, while one of your old detectors might just do that sort of thing very well.  If you used your old detector for years, you might trust it for the job because you know exactly how it will work for different situations.

If you never got to really know your old detector, including all of its settings and peculiarities and its strengths and weaknesses, you'll probably never choose an old detector over a brand new detector, but if you have an old detector that you really mastered, you might choose to take advantage of that old detector for special situations.

Since I've found that old detectors can be useful as well as fun, I also believe it is worth taking good care of your old detectors so that you will have them if you need them in the future.   In order for an old detector to be useful for years to come, you have to maintain it and keep it in good working order.

If you use your detector on an ocean beach, you should realize how important it is to protect your detector from salt water.  A good submersible detector should make that job easier, but even submersible detectors require maintenance.  You are probably aware that they should be rinsed with fresh water after they have been submersed in salt water.  Even good submersible detectors may have parts that  can corrode.

I'll continue this post some other time.  That is all I have time for now.


We're getting some better tides now, even some negative tides, but the surf is still small.

Happy hunting,

Sunday, April 23, 2017

4/23/17 Report - Traveling and Metal Detecting. Hard Cases and Other Issues.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I always enjoy detecting new places, so when I travel I like to have a detector.  I used to take my detector with me when I flew, but after 2001 airport security became more of a hassle and I started shipping my detector and associated items ahead instead of taking them on the plane.  Some people still take their detectors on the plane and say it isn't a problem.  I remember back in the day, a lot of the time airport security had no idea what my detector was but they weren't very concerned about it.

Iowa Steve wrote to me about the Cooper's Treasure TV show and mentioned the hard metal detector carry case they used and wondered where to get one.

I still have a nice case that I got with my Fisher Aquanaut 1280 many years ago and it can be used for other detectors even thought it fit the 1280 perfectly.  There are, however, cases made specifically for many metal detector models.

Below are some examples of hard carry cases.

Obviously not all cases will work for all detectors.  Detectors like the ATX fold up and can fit in a more compact case.

You might want to modify some of the foam inserts if you want to use a case for another type of metal detector.

You can purchase hard carry cases through online metal detector retailers or sites like eBay.  eBay offers a good variety.

Prices generally range anywhere from close t0 $70 up to around $200.  I'd check the detector manufacturer web site first.

If you don't have a suitable case around and don't want to buy one, I'm sure an old vintage suit case and some Styrofoam and padding would work.  Wouldn't look so cool though.  If you don't have any of the old hard suitcases around the house, you can find them for almost nothing at thrift stores.

If you detect when traveling, there is also the matter of bringing finds back.  Most small items such as coins or buttons  are usually not much of a problem.  However other finds, such as the grape shot that I found, can be tricky.  I have left items like that behind because I didn't want to take a chance that it might be considered an explosive, which could have resulted in a fine of over $100,000 or worse.  It wasn't worth the risk so I just left it.

International travel can be more problematic because of customs, which can apply to items that you acquired, no matter if they were purchased or acquired otherwise.  You could explain how you found an expensive diamond ring or gold coin with your metal detector, but there is a chance that might get sticky.  You could also get into issues of cultural heritage, just to name one other kind of possible problem.

You might decide for any of a number of reasons to ship certain types of finds, in which case the shipper can take care of clearing customs and paying duties.  They'll charge a fee.


I know some of crews that are going to work leases this year along the Treasure Coast are still waiting for the weather to improve.

This was one rainy day.  It finally stopped.  We really needed the rain though.

The surf got up to three or four feet, but I haven't had a chance to check out the beaches.  The surf is supposed to decrease again over the next few days.

Happy hunting,

Saturday, April 22, 2017

4/22/17 Report - Cooper's Treasure TV Program. Pirate Mucknell and His Ship.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

There is a lot of publicity for the new TV series Cooper's Treasure.  I didn't watch the entire first episode.  It seemed hoaky somehow to me.  Maybe it was just me.

It starts right off the bat with the title, which in my opinion was poorly chosen.  As soon as I see the words "Cooper" and "treasure" linked, I think of D. B. Cooper, not Gordon Cooper.  Then the first half of the first episode (which is the part I watched) seemed like a real stretch.

Anyhow, it is something worth checking out.  Maybe it will actually turn out to be good.  So far I don't have a good feeling about it.

Here is the link for more information about the show.

Thanks to Chrisopher P. for that link.


While conducting research on another topic, I found an interesting book.  It is about the pirate John Mucknell and the search for his ship.

Wikipedia says Mucknell was a commander in the East India Company.  He became the leader of a band of pirates that commanded seven ships from around 1644 to 1651.  The flagship was his 44-gun East India Company ship, the John.

A shipwreck hunter, Todd Stevens, believes he found the wreck of the John and wrote a book about the adventure.  The title is Pirate John Mucknell and the Hunt for the Wreck of the John.

You can read a free preview online by using the following link.


The Big Questions of Life.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

That is eventually replaced by, "What do you do."

After that, on those very rare occasions when someone cares enough to ask, the question is, "What did you do."

Then they ask, "Did you take your pills."  And you ask, "What day is it."

It doesn't take long.


The surf is supposed to pick up a little tomorrow.  The wind hasn't been coming from the right direction and the surf has been only two or three feet most of the time lately.

Happy hunting,