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Metal Detecting Hobby Talk
   February 2021         Metal Detecting Hobby Talk News Brief                                             Volume 11 Number 131
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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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 January 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: Is Recreational Metal Detecting on the Endangered List? ---Next Step
Download to Read he Complete Article

Metal Detecting StructureIntroduction. This article is a follow up to Is Recreational Metal Detecting on the Endangered List? YES
Each year there are more direct or indirect barriers to recreational metal detecting. The result is that these barriers make detecting more unlawful in the U.S. There probably are no silver bullets or break though solutions to change this environment; just hard work by those dedicated to preserving the hobby.

This article (Next Step) will be centered on Figure #1 which highlights the Recreational Metal Detecting Community and the Metal Detecting Supply Chain. Try to keep Figure #1 in your thoughts and refer to it from time to time as you read this article.

A very important negative aspect of the hobby is that the Recreational Metal Detecting Community is very fragmented. There are no cohesive alliances between the four major sections of the metal detecting community (Figure #1). Another important missing attribute is the lack of any outreach program to bring detectorist, clubs and associations together.

There are a couple of cohesive detecting state associations but they are the exception. Developing a state association in any state should be a very high priority since they fill a communication vacuum and offer the best avenue to a cohesive strong and supportive state metal detecting community.

Fragmentation is very apparent between area clubs and the individual detectorist. Clubs generally have no contact with other clubs except though an occasional metal detecting event. Most clubs have no outreach program to get individual detectorist to join their club.

Individual detectorist feel that they do not need to be associated with any organization since they may prefer to metal detect alone. Belonging to a club or organization will not inhibit an individual detectorist desire to metal detect alone but club participation does offers many advantages and opens new opportunities for the detectorist.
Hobby Related News
General U.S. and World Wide Hobby News
  • Family claims retired fire department badge found with metal detector. Article Link
  • How Are Shipwrecks Found And Protected In United States Waters? Article Link
  • Kellyco Metal Detectors Donates 2,846 Headphone Sets to Knox County Schools. Article Link
  • Buried treasures. Article Link
  • Hidden Treasure! Medieval Gold and Silver Coins Worth Sports Car Discovered On A Farm. Article Link
  • Lost and found: The Whydah pirate ship still yields treasure and tales. Article Link
  • Can You Make Real Money Metal Detecting? Article Link
  • Archaeologists Discover a Huge Stash of Medieval Coins in Hungary. Article Link
  • ‘Curse of Oak Island’ Features New Focus As The Swamp Yields A Huge Secret. Article Link
  • Yellowstone treasure hunter faces 10 years in prison for digging up graveyard: DOJ. Article Link
  • 55 coins, some more than 2,000 years old, were found on Outer Banks beaches. This is how they got there. Article Link
  • Treasure hunters trigger collapse of historic chapel in western Turkey. Article Link
  • These acts of astonishing kindness lifted Mainers’ spirits amid the daily downer of the pandemic. Article Link
  • Meet Oʻahu’s Very Own Ring Finder, Joe Au-Franz. Article Link
  • Message in a bottle found in Still Pond Creek. Article Link
  • Cumberland County treasure hunter pushed by ‘obsession’ for finding history. Article Link
U.K. News
  • Detectorists: a sitcom about amateur archaeologists that's a bonafide heartwarming joy. Article Link
  • 6,500 medieval coins and rare gold rings unearthed in Polish cornfield. Article Link
  • Britain Revises Antiquities Law. Article Link
  • Archaeology breakthrough: Shipwreck treasure 'so valuable it’s priceless' found in Israel. Article Link
  • Could metal detectorist's Napoleonic coin find on Black Isle help write Ross-shire history? Article Link
  • Police found metal detectorists in North Dorset had class A drugs. Article Link
  • Medieval Chinese Coin Found in England Suggests a Vast Medieval Trade Route. Article Link
  • During the lockout in Britain, Britons found treasures in their gardens. Article Link
  • War coin trove linked to ancient rebellion led by Queen Boudicca found in UK. Article Link
  • Peace deal welcomed by canal angling metal detectors. 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. January Pod Cast Link
  • Archaeology and Metal Detecting Magazine present the BIG metal detecting podcast. A weekly show bringing all areas of history together with our guests, news and much more. January Pod Cast Link
  • Coin World - Numismatic and Coin Collecting January News
  • Mark Schuessler FMDAC President's POD Cast
  • Garrett Searcher January Searcher
  • Gold Prospectors Assn of America (GPAA) - News on legal issues for the gold prospecting community January News
  • Mel Fisher Salvage Update
  • Minelab January Newsletter. New Detector GPX6000
  • Prospecting and Mining Journal (IMCJ) December News
  • PLP - December Press Release
  • The Archaeology and Metal Detecting Magazine The Archaeology and Metal detecting magazine are one of the lead online sites in their genre. Offering multiple platforms for Archaeological, Historical and metal detecting news, articles, research areas and much more. January News
  • 1715 Fleet Society February Newsletter
Jewelry Returns W.W. Meteorite News
  • Flaming Green Meteorites, And Other UFOs Above CT In 2020. Article Link
  • Mysterious asteroid the size of a dwarf planet is lurking in our solar system. Article Link
North America Archaeology News
  • Scattered remnants raise questions of origin of fort along Native American trails. Article Link
  • The Lost History of Yellowstone. Article Link
  • An archaeological dig in urban Baltimore reveals a forgotten past. Article Link
  • The Archaeologist Who Collected 4,500 Beer Cans. Article Link
  • The 10 Most Astonishing Archaeological Discoveries of 2020, From an Ancient Cat Carving to the Amazon Rock Paintings. Article Link
How Are Shipwrecks Found And Protected In United States Waters? Web Link
Shipwrecks are the stuff of epic tales and imagination. Some sank in battle, some in transit. They were war machines, whalers and luxury cruise liners. Their doomed crew and passengers became legends. Rich and poor, from Gilded Age millionaires luxuriating at sea to sailors and deckhands in service to their country. But how are they found and protected in United states waters?

Related Book: Shipwreck: The Strange Fate of the Morro Castle by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts

Shipwrecks have been honored in story and song through the centuries, from the Edmund Fitzgerald of Gordon Lightfoot’s song to Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Melville’s Moby-Dick. Even Shakespeare had his say in The Tempest, when the spirit Ariel sings, “Full fathom five thy father lies,” to the shipwrecked Ferdinand.

About 3,000 ships and submarines of many countries are thought to be sunken in America’s national marine sanctuary waters. NOAA scientists, oceanographers and divers have discovered 400 sites – and they’ve helped find many more.
NOAA Protects The Wrecks

When the wreck sites fall in sanctuary waters, NOAA is responsible for preserving and protecting the ships and their artifacts on behalf of our country’s maritime heritage.

Some wrecks still hold the remains of passengers and sailors. Navy wrecks are protected under the Sunken Military Craft Act and foreign vessels are protected under international law as gravesites.

But all sunken ships open a window into another time and another age when ironclads fought, enemy submarines prowled the coasts and cruise ships succumbed to the deep.
How NOAA Discovers Shipwrecks

Sometimes, as in the cases of the famous Civil War ironclad USS Monitor off North Carolina, or the USS Bugara, a U.S. Navy submarine that received three battle stars for its service in World War II, we know where shipwrecks are.

The number of Allied ships sunk during World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic – discovered in a proposed expansion area of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary that lies off the North Carolina coast.

For instance, NOAA, Navy and private industry used a remotely operated vehicle, a kind of underwater robot, to locate the USS Independence, a World War II light aircraft carrier. It was part of a two-year mission to locate, map and study historic shipwrecks in NOAA’s Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary and nearby waters. The carrier is one of an estimated 300 wrecks in the waters off San Francisco, and the deepest known shipwreck in the sanctuary. NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries manages 13 national marine sanctuaries and two marine national monuments, and many of them harbor shipwrecks.

Using seafloor mapping sonar's and autonomous underwater vehicles, NOAA ships sometimes spot wrecks when they’re surveying the ocean floor for other missions, or collecting other scientific data. Fishermen may hit something on the bottom with their gear or a diver may encounter an undiscovered wreck while exploring an area.
Once a shipwreck is located, historians and maritime archaeologists enter the scene usually by a remotely operated vehicle or ROV, cataloging but not removing artifacts, and putting them into perspective so we can understand what life was like for these sailors.
Safeguarding US shipwrecks and other archaeological sites

Shipwrecks are time machines that take us back to the days of Spanish galleons and the age of steamboats, from the conflicts from the Civil War to the battles of World War II. Through its sanctuaries, NOAA is responsible for locating, assessing, protecting, managing, and interpreting the nation’s maritime heritage resources – including shipwrecks.

The distance between the wrecks of German U-boat U-576 and the Nicaraguan-flagged freighter SS Bluefields, which the U-boat sunk off North Carolina in 1942.

The National Marine Sanctuaries Act makes it illegal to disturb a site or recover artifacts within a national marine sanctuary without a permit. Only under very specific circumstances does the sanctuary issue a permit for the planned recovery of artifacts in accordance with the federal laws. Some possible reasons for recovering artifacts include protecting them from harsh environmental conditions and looting; conducting research that includes public education; making artifacts more available to the public through museum partnerships; and improving scientific understanding of the sanctuary.

NOAA protects shipwrecks for other reasons as well. Sometimes, the sunken vessels scattered across the U.S. seafloor could pose an oil pollution threat. Many 20th-century wrecks still have their fuel tanks and possible pollutants intact. Containing those pollutants protects the sanctuary and its ecosystem.
One of NOAA’s sanctuaries, Thunder Bay, contains shipwrecks that represent a cross-section of Great Lakes maritime history. The cold, fresh waters of Lake Huron have provided a favorable environment for shipwreck preservation, though waves and ice have damaged some shallow wrecks.

A NOAA-led expedition to study marine archaeology in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands found the wreck of Two Brothers, a New England-based whaler captained by George Pollard. Pollard captained doomed whaler Essex, whose story of drifting on the open ocean and cannibalism found its way to Herman Melville, who used the incident as fodder for his classic novel, Moby-Dick. The wreck was found 600 miles northwest of Honolulu, in Papah?naumoku? kea Marine National Monument.

On subsequent dives, researchers also found some of the Two Brothers equipment – blubber hooks, harpoon tips, lances, and cooking pots. The wreck site was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places, the official list of the nation’s sites worthy of preservation.

Related Book: Shipwreck: The Strange Fate of the Morro Castle by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts

Mallows Bay is most renowned for the remains of more than 100 wooden steamships, known as the “Ghost Fleet,” which were built for the U.S. Emergency Fleet from 1917 to 1919 as part of America’s engagement in World War I. Their construction at more than 40 shipyards in 17 states reflected the massive national wartime effort that drove the expansion and economic development of communities and related maritime service industries.
Event News
Metal Detecting & Gold Prospecting Events.
Now is the time to start planning and getting your club's 2021 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.

Check out your event before going it may have been postponed or canceled.

Add Your Event Information Here
  • February 05, 2021 (Three Days)
    Duisenburg, California
    2021 Backhol Push Dig @ Duisenburg
    LDMA-Lost Dutchman Mining Assn
  • February 12, 2021 (Three Days)
    Quartzsite, Arizona
    21th Quartzsite Gold Show
  • February 19, 2021 (Three Days)
    Stanton, Arizona
    2021 Backhol Push Dig @ Stanton
    LDMA-Lost Dutchman Mining Assn
Select here to View the Complete Event
Details for February
  • February 20, 2021 (One Day)
    Longview, Texas
    9th Annual Piney Woods Relic Hunt
    East Texas Treasure Hunters Assn
  • February 27, 2021 (One Day)
    Galveston, Texas
    39th Annual HARC Open Beach Hunt
    Houston Archeology Recovery Clubs (HARC)
  • February 27, 2021 (One Day)
    Apffel Park, Galveston, Texas
    Clad Halves & Token Prizes hunt
    Texas Assn of Metal Detecting Clubs
Yellowstone treasure hunter faces 10 years in prison for digging up graveyard: DOJ Website
A quest for treasure has led a Utah man into serious legal trouble.

Rodrick Dow Craythorn, 52, dug up graves at Fort Yellowstone Cemetery in search of riches, and now he has pled guilty to excavating or trafficking in archeological resources and injury or depredation to United States property.


Craythorn’s formal admission was entered on Monday, Jan. 4, at the U.S. District Court of Wyoming, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

The avid treasure hunter was allegedly found digging in the preserved cemetery in Yellowstone National Park between Oct. 1, 2019 and May 24, 2020. He was reportedly in search of Forrest Fenn’s buried treasure.

Fenn, a New Mexico art dealer, had announced in 2010 that he buried a chest filled with gold and jewels in the Rocky Mountain area. His announcement inspired treasure hunters to seek out the chest for over a decade.


"The hunt for the Forrest Fenn treasure was often viewed as a harmless diversion, but in this case it led to substantial damage to important public resources," said U.S. Attorney Mark Klaassen in a press statement. "The Defendant let his quest for discovery override respect for the law."

Before Craythorn pled guilty, he was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sept. 16. His plea was accepted by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl.


Craythorn is scheduled for sentencing on March 17 at the Ewing T. Kerr Federal Court House in Casper, Wyo.

Excavating or trafficking in archeological resources has a financial penalty that can be up to $20,000 and could also mean a year of supervised release, according to the Department of Justice. Meanwhile, injury or depredation of U.S. property has a financial penalty of up to $250,000 and potentially up to 10 years of imprisonment and three years of supervised release.

Forrest Fenn, seen here posing at his Santa Fe home, in 2014, had first devised the idea for a treasure hunt following his cancer diagnosis in the late 1980s.

Forrest Fenn, seen here posing at his Santa Fe home, in 2014, had first devised the idea for a treasure hunt following his cancer diagnosis in the late 1980s. (Luis Sanchez Saturno/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

The Fenn treasure was found in June 2020 by Jack Stuef, a 32-year-old medical student from Michigan, according to Outside magazine.

Fenn passed away in September at the age of 90.

"It was under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains and had not moved from the spot where I hid it more than 10 years ago," Fenn wrote before his passing, on his website Dal Neitzel, which has since been deactivated. "I do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot."
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