Sunday, March 4, 2012

3/5/12 Report - Detecting TV Shows & Seven Foot Seas Predicted

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

One Treasure Coast Beach Yesterday Afternoon.

If you viewed this post earlier, you would have noticed that I changed it. It seems that the item that I posted from eBay was incorrectly identified (Thanks to Pete R. for correctly identifying the item.). I found it easier to remove the photo than otherwise make the needed corrections. It goes to show once again that you have to be careful when buying items over the internet. I don't do it unless I know the item or the seller very well.

I hope you realize that reality TV is anything but. Nobody acts the same when a video camera is in their face. Try it. Start to video your children or friends. As soon as the camera is on, they're different. That is just the reality of the matter.

The producers of reality TV have to make it interesting. They stir up, create and focus on drama. Furthermore, I'm certain the reality TV producers actually stage situations to create drama.

You might be wondering why I've suddenly turned into a TV critic. I've been receiving a lot of email about new TV programs about detecting and treasure hunting. Ed B. emailed me about a program named Digger and another, American Digger. And another person told me that a program about Odyssey Marine and the loss of the Black Swan treasure will be airing soon. Some of those programs will undoubtedly be very good, but others could seriously hurt our efforts as detectorists by presenting things in a way that promulgates common misconceptions about metal detecting. We really don't need a bunch of sensationalized crap about detectorists on TV right now.

I haven't even seen it yet, but one show that I'm already afraid will do a lot of harm is American Digger. It follows a professional wrestler, Ric Savage, as he travels around the country digging up relics on historic sites located on private property.

Ok. If I want a good dose of nothing but reality, I'd bet on a professional wrestler. Anybody skeptical? The shame is I just know that there will be people out there who use examples from this program to further restrict detecting.

If people believe that detectorists are on the beaches with heavy machinery, or using garden hoses to wash away the beach, or digging six foot deep holes, they'll believe almost anything.

Here is a link (provided by Ed B.) to an article that you might want to look at.

And here is an article in the Huffington Post suggesting that these TV shows promote looting.

Well, like I was saying, this is just what we need - more misconceptions and mischaracterizations.

Let me try to set a few things straight.

First about private property - property owners have rights. That is unquestioned. Most people, including property owners and detectorists, respect and desire to properly manage historic artifacts. I am confident that land owners and detectorists alike would more properly handle and report significant discoveries if they weren't so intimidated by the possibility of extreme penalties and abundance of overly complex and confusing laws. The Florida Public Archaeology Network admits on their web site that the laws related to detecting are confusing. People don't know what to do or if they'll have their car confiscated and be thrown in jail.

Another thing is that 99% of detectorists that read this blog detect on the beaches. And although the items they find are mostly modern era, the older items that are rarely found are not in context, which archaeologists will tell you is what is required for items to have any archaeological value.

Another thing people don't understand is that 99.9% of the metal detectors used by hobbyists detect a only a few inches deep. Detectorists are not out there digging holes you can stand up in.

There are grave robbers and looters. Everybody knows that, but to lump them in with the detecting hobbyist shows either a lack of understanding or dishonesty.

Most detectorists don't carry shovels. Most carry a trowel, like the ones I showed in a recent post, or a long-handled scoop so they don't have to bend over all the time. These guys are out there for relaxation, not because they want to participate in the most back-breaking work they can possibly find.

I challenge anyone to go out to the beach and dig a six foot deep hole in the sand. Detectorists don't do that and don't want to do that. The biggest holes you will find on a beach are usually made by children making sand castles or burying each other in the sand.

I'll leave it at that for now, but expect a bunch of attacks on detectorists after these TV programs air.

Nobody is going to make a TV program of a detectorist walking around on a beach for hours and days picking up pull tabs and few corroded pennies even though that is more the reality.

Enough of that. Sorry I have to address these misconceptions.

Treasure Coast Beach Forecast and Conditions.

The wind we had Saturday night and Sunday morning didn't do much to the beach.

The photo was taken Sunday afternoon.

The wind is now north/northwest and the swells coming in from the north. Unfortunately the seas aren't high enough to do much even though the directions are good.

Looking ahead to Wednesday, the surf web sites say we are supposed to get over seven foot seas. That is getting up to heights that might do some good. Again, other factors, such as wind direction will also have to be good.

We'll see.

Happy hunting,