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Metal Detecting Hobby Talk
       May 2019         Metal Detecting Hobby Talk News Brief                                             Volume 9 Number 110
Metal Detecting Hobby Talk Support The Hobby
I would like to point out to the News Brief readers that there are a number of organizations taking on the challenge against various types of legislation dealing with metal detecting and gold prospecting. MDHTALK's recommendation is to visit their website and give strong consideration to joining the fight. In some cases your support may be to send emails and / or write a letter to specific legislators or to provide funds to help with the fight. Here are the organizations and a link to their website.
Go to the Join The Fight MDHTALK Webpage to read more about each of these organizations


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U.K. News
U.S. Archaeology
U.S. Legislation
W.W. Meteoritic
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Event Calendar

What is a News Brief?
The news brief provides a brief look into any news event. The intent of the news brief is to provide you, the reader, with news clips on what was taking place in the hobby last month. To read the whole story select the Article Link or go to There are more news stories placed on the MDHTALK website for April the news stories listed in the MDHTALK News Brief are just a portion of all the hobby related news reported the past month.  The news Brief is now available in Adobe PDF format, there is a link at the top of this webpage. The news brief is no longer emailed; it is only available on the MDHTALK website and can be downloaded.

The Website's featured article for this month is: Thoughts on Responsible Metal Detecting
The term Responsible Metal Detecting can be found in the Code of Practice on Responsible Metal Detecting in England and Wales a May 2006 publication. However, the term Responsible Metal Detecting in the U.S. is rarely used or defined. I have used the term in a number of articles but have never really thought about what this term encompasses. This short article will be an attempt to provide some definition for Responsible Metal Detecting.

Responsible Metal Detecting is to:
  • Know and Follow the Law.
  • Gain Permission.
  • Apply the Metal Detecting Code of Ethics.
  • Join a Metal Detecting Club and National Metal Detecting Association.
  • Understand the Potential Cultural Value of Your Find.
  • Volunteer Your Services to the Hobby.
Download to read the Complete Article
Hobby Related News
General U.S. and World Wide Hobby News
  • Franklin Farm Association defends metal detecting events. Article Link
  • The Great American Coin Hunt Has Arrived. Article Link
  • Looting at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park opens window into 'mud larkers'. Article Link
  • Column: The curse of the series that refused to end, 'The Curse of Oak Island'. Article Link
  • Gary Drayton, The Curse of Oak Island’s Crew Luckiest Member. Article Link
  • Treasure hunter finds antique gun while working in his own yard. Article Link
  • 5 things you need to know before hitting the sand and surf in Myrtle Beach. Article Link
  • Metal detectors find long-lost gold bracelet in Central Kootenays. Article Link
  • The Curse of Oak Island recap: The team finds a new structure in Smith’s Cove, an old coin in the swamp. Article Link
  • Coins, guns and toothpaste tubes. Article Link
  • Reward offered for return of Civil War headstones stolen from Bulls Gap cemetery. Article Link
  • Treasure Hunters. Article Link
  • Forty years of metal detecting hunts. Article Link
  • Man who found woman's 66-year-old ring identified. Article Link
  • Canning man finds old penny on property. Article Link
  • Worthington man explores local history through unique hobbies. Article Link
U.K. News
  • Barrow metal detectorist speaks for first time about 'most unique find'. Article Link
  • What is it like to strike rich while metal detecting? Article Link
  • Hoard of more than 550 rare gold and silver 14th century coins worth an estimated £150,000 are dug up by a group of amateur metal detectorists. Article Link
  • Anglo-Saxon silver mount found in south Shropshire is treasure. Article Link
  • Metal detectorist unearths stunning £15,000 gold hat pin from 1485 which may have belonged to King Edward IV. Article Link
  • Metal detecting rally on the hunt for ancient treasure. Article Link
  • Metal detector enthusiast unearths treasure trove in field near Frenchay. Article Link
  • Deadline approaching for Treasure Act consultation. Article Link
  • Treasure hunter strikes gold as he finds coin worth £4,000. Article Link
  • National Museum of Ireland recovers Bronze Age axe found through illegal metal detecting. Article Link
  • Man seriously injured after confronting group nighthawking on his land. Article Link
  • Metal detectorists claim new Treasure Act will see them shortchanged. Article Link
  • Treasure: 'Blundered' fake gold coin found near Woodbridge. Article Link
  • Brexit, 293AD: Immaculate gold coin worth 100k emblazoned with face of rebel Roman who took Britain out of Empire is discovered by an amateur metal detectorist. Article Link
  • Masquerade: How a real-life treasure hunt obsessed a nation. Article Link
  • NMI recovers Bronze Age axe found through unlicensed metal detecting. Article Link
  • Toby Jones would find a Detectorists return “hard to resist”. Article Link
  • Cadbury cans Freddo campaign that encouraged kids to risk breaking treasure laws. Article Link
  • Schoolboy discovers long-lost 1,000-year old stone monuments from ancient kingdom. Article Link
Other News Sources
  • American Digger Relic Roundup. For diggers and collectors of history. An hour long program every Monday Night at 9:00 PM eastern standard time. Join your hosts Butch Holcombe, Jeff Lubbert and Heath Jones as they explore the past. Learn more about Metal Detecting, Treasure hunting in all it's forms, and the preservation of history. Hour Long Programs
  • American Mining Rights Assn is not a gold club but rather an advocacy group for miners and public land users to preserve and maintain their rights as they pertain to access to their public lands. April News
  • Coin World - Numismatic and Coin Collecting Coin News
  • Gold Prospectors Assn of America (GPAA) - News on legal issues for the gold prospecting community April  News
  • Prospecting and Mining Journal (IMCJ) News
  • PLP -Public Lands for the People Website
  • 1715 Fleet Society  May Newsletter
Jewelry Returns
  • Hero 'treasure hunter' finds woman's beloved rings she lost at the beach after issuing a desperate Facebook plea to find them. Article Link
  • Wichita man finds 1986 class ring in Lawrence-Dumont rubble, returns to owner. Article Link
  • 'Absolute legend' finds woman's treasured rings lost on beach. Article Link
  • Leap across time. Article Link
  • Kiama wedding halts mid-ceremony for lost wedding ring. Article Link
  • It Wasn’t My Wedding Ring. It Was My Only Ring. Article Link
  • Treasure hunter discovers long lost Hardin Valley Academy class ring. Article Link
  • Lost and found: Montgomery woman’s jewelry recovered in Opelika lake bottom. Article Link
North America Archaeology News
  • Archaeologists Seek to Find Relics at National Park Site. Article Link
  • Archaeology Site Looted at Lewis and Clark Historical Park. Article Link
  • Archaeologists Seek to Find Relics at National Park Site. Article Link
  • Explore the Spiro Mounds With U of A's Archaeology, 3D Virtual Reality Team. Article Link
  • Uncovering the past at Chimney Rock. Article Link
  • Declassified U-2 spy plane photos are a boon for aerial archaeology. Article Link
W.W. Meteorite News
  • The moon is losing 200 tons of water a year to meteorite strikes. Article Link
  • SPACE BLAST Moment huge meteor explodes over Russia as locals fear plane on fire or alien invasion. Article Link
  • See the weekend meteor that lit up the sky in North Florida, Georgia. Article Link
Looting at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park opens window into 'mud larkers'
'We investigate something and we tend to destroy it if we go too far'
By Katie Frankowicz, The Daily Astorian 
Web Link
When looting at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park in March turned a protected archaeological site into a mud pit, digging — specifically illegal digging — was already on the minds of some park staff.

The Daily Astorian had published an article about self-described “mud larkers,” amateur archaeologists and treasure hunters who use metal detectors to find historic artifacts.

Superintendent Jon Burpee, concerned by the response to the hobby, drafted a letter to the newspaper.

“While I share their enthusiasm for our local history,” he wrote, “I would like to echo the guidance to call ahead to understand what restrictions may be in place.”

The national park was established by Congress to protect natural and cultural resources, he continued.

“These resources do not belong to any one individual, but to the entire country and future generations.”

The diggers who hit the park near the Netul River Trail used metal detectors to find and remove historic artifacts — a potential federal felony. They left behind nine deep holes and when they dug away at a riverbank, they also damaged a rare plant community.

The park does not know who was behind the crime, and these kinds of cases are notoriously difficult to solve.

Chris Clatterbuck, resource program manager at the national park, sees one positive in the whole situation: “There’s a growing awareness throughout the community of what ethical metal detecting is.”

He added, hopefully, “The person who did this probably just didn’t know the rules.” ‘Dirt fishing’

Don Kelly was dismayed when he heard about the looting.

“It really upset me that people would desecrate historical sites,” he said.

Kelly, an Astoria native, has been mud larking — he prefers the term “dirt fishing” — for 50 years. He is the administrator of the Facebook group Northwest Artifact Recovery Team and prides himself on a careful, conscientious approach to the hobby.

Research is always the first step before he starts digging, he said. Many of his hunts take place on private land. He doesn’t sell what he finds, hauls away any trash and fills in the holes he makes before he leaves.

“All the people I have dug with are respectful of our laws and code of ethics regarding metal detectors,” Kelly said, adding that illegal digs hurt the people who follow the rules.

Kelly worries a dig like the one at Lewis and Clark could begin to limit where he and others are allowed to dig in the future.

“A true ‘detectorist’ is not just a coin and jewelry hunter, but one who loves history and preserves it before it is gone forever,” he said.

However, park staff say some amateur diggers may be damaging more history than they are saving. Small items can tell big stories, but when people pull them out of their context, jumble them with other items in shovel-scoops of dirt, or even toss them aside because they’re not obviously interesting, those stories are lost.

It’s a lesson the park learned the hard way. Hard lesson

In the early 1940s and ’50s, professionals dug where they believed the original Fort Clatsop was located.

“They were using heavy machinery to do the excavations,” Clatterbuck said. “They never sifted the dirt.”

Decades later, more advanced technology designed to pick out abnormalities in the ground found the scars of this trenching. It is possible the rough work by earlier archaeologists destroyed a chance to see the fort’s original foundation.

“Now, in modern archaeology, you take it very slowly, layer by layer, and as you put the dirt through these screens you can find smaller objects — like a trade bead, for example — that can be incredibly important,” Clatterbuck said.
The amount of the wreck visible on the beach at any given time shifts with the sands and the tides, but one rusting end of the barque is always prominent and presents a tempting — but dangerous — jungle gym to visitors looking for a more dramatic photo op.

Metal detectors can be used on most Oregon beaches, but it is illegal to dig or use a metal detector in Fort Stevens State Park and around the shipwreck.

“From time to time folks do some kind of amateur investigations (in the park),” said Justin Parker, the park manager. With the Iredale, “our biggest concern with that is we don’t want people trying to take pieces of it home as souvenirs.” Buried treasure.

Farther south, Ben Cox, manager of the state’s Nehalem Bay Management Unit, has not had to deal with illegal digging in the three years he’s been in charge. However, the legend of buried treasure at Neahkahnie Mountain caused plenty of headaches in the past.

“The lore passed along to me paints a vivid picture of people poking potholes probing for plunder — with zero respect for cultural and natural resources,” Cox said.

There is no proof the treasure ever existed, but native stories, rocks inscribed with strange marks and a centuries-old shipwreck on Nehalem Spit fueled rumors for decades. Neahkahnie got the moniker “mountain of a thousand holes” because of the intensive treasure hunting.

An executive director of the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum told Portland Monthly in 2011 that the legend was a ploy by Manzanita to “entice new residents to buy land in the area.”

Today, Cox and rangers avoid talking about the legend, not wanting to trigger would-be treasure seekers.

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park has worked with outside groups to professionally investigate artifacts in the park. In 2015, a team from the then newly-formed Maritime Archaeological Society made detailed measurements and drawings of the remains of a wooden boat, partially submerged in a creek on park property.

Part of the boat’s story — a 1920s gillnetter used by dairy farmers to haul product to market long before the national park arrived — is about where it rests now. For other vessels in Clatsop County, the society has chosen to simply document rather than push for excavation.

It is expensive to excavate and restore historic vessels, but there is also the thought that, at the very least, a boat is documented and listed with the state. Maybe in the future, someone else will come along with the resources to go through the long, difficult process of a full excavation.

But Chris Dewey, the president of the Maritime Archaeological Society, said you can’t avoid disturbing a site in the end.

“That’s always an issue with archaeology,” he said. “We investigate something and we tend to destroy it if we go too far.”

For this reason, the park had documented the site that was looted at Lewis and Clark in detail and probed small sections but never fully excavated it. The items at the site date back about 100 years and do not include any native Clatsop artifacts.

The people who dug at the park in March not only removed artifacts, they also destroyed the story those items might have told.

Clatsop County is steeped in history and the national park is not alone in dealing with would-be archaeologists.

Fort Stevens State Park is home to a historic military site, as well as the skeletal remains of the Peter Iredale shipwreck.

Like other shipwrecks in Oregon, the Iredale is a protected archaeological site. It is also a popular destination for tourists and, like the bunkers, outbuildings and Fort Stevens itself, it is right there in the open.

“Because of those lessons where we’ve seen, ‘Oh, if what they did 50 years ago wasn’t the best and it damaged the site,’ we ask, ‘Are we doing anything that, 50 years from now, people will look back and wish we hadn’t done?’”

A trade bead found next to a fragment of porcelain only made in a certain era and found in one layer of soil tells a particular story. That same bead, hastily excavated and jumbled in a pile of dirt next to a modern-day plastic bag — not so much.
Event News
Metal Detecting & Gold Prospecting Events.
Now is the time to start planning and getting your club's 2018/19 hunt information on the web. The sooner it is out and available to the metal detecting community the greater the chance for people to see it and give your event some consideration.

Select here to View
the Complete Event Details for May

Add Your Event Information Here
  • May 04, 2019 (One Days)
    Huntington, Oregon
    2019 Open Detector Hunts: Kids to Pros at Blue Bucket
    LDMA-Lost Dutchman Mining Assn
  • May 04, 2019 (One Day)
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    32nd Annual Hunt
    Tidewater Coin and Relic Club
  • May 04, 2019 (Two Days)
    Fort Worth, Texas
    2019 GPAA Gold & Treasure Show
  • May 11, 2018 (One Day)
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    2019 Spring Hunt
    Gopher State Treasure Hunters
  • May 11, 2019 (One Day)
    Perris, California
    2019 Annual Roundup
    Riverside Treasure Hunters Club
  • May 14, 2019 (Five Days)
    Athens, Michigan
    2019 Digger's Dirt Party: 5-Day Common Dig Outing at Athens
    LDMA-Lost Dutchman Mining Assn
  • May 17, 2019 (Three Days)
    Richland, Washington
    31th Treasure Hunt
    Southeast WA Assn of Treasure Hunters (SWATH)
  • May 18, 2019 (One Day)
    Pageland, South Carolina
    Carolina 2nd Coin & Token Shootout
    Sandhill Metal Detecting & Relic Club
  • May 18, 2019 (Two Days)
    Emporium, Pennsylvania
    5th Annual Metal Detecting Hunt
    Dirt Digging PA
  • May 18, 2019 (Two Days)
    Ocean City, New Jersey
    10th Annual Hunt Cloud Nine Hunt
    ECRDA - East Coast Research & Discovery Association
  • May 18, 2019 (Five days)
    Athens, Michigan
    2019 Swing Dancing Detector Hunts: Kids to Pros at Athens
    LDMA-Lost Dutchman Mining Assn
  • May 19, 2019 (One Day)
    Hoyt, Kansas
    Open National Hunt
    Topeka Treasure Hunters
  • May 25, 2019 (Two Days)
    Sapulpa, Oklahoma
    48th Annual Indian Territory Treasure Hunt
    Indian Territory Treasure Hunters Club
  • May 25, 2019 (Two Days)
    Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada
    20th Anniversary Southern Ontario Hunt
    Rainbow's End MD Assoc, Thames Valley MD Club, Canadian Heritage Seekers & Chatham MD Club

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