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Metal Detecting Hobby Talk
   May 2022       Metal Detecting Hobby Talk News Brief                                             Volume 11 Number 147
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 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: Banned Metal Detecting:
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  • I was told in a gruff kind of way by a parks and recreation worker to leave the park, that all parks in city were being banned to metal detecting. The park employee said someone in the past had created holes in the park ground while metal detecting and the city had banned future use of metal detectors.

  • I was told last year by a park worker that I could not metal detect in their part. But I had called the park director before I went and he told me it was ok. I told the park employee that if he didn't believe me call the park director. He then said ok.

  • I was told that metal detectors may be used on DNR land or waters only for locating specific lost personal items. A special permit is required.

  • I was camping at my favorite state park for a few days. I went metal detecting and pulled up a lot of clad, on the 2nd day I was just filling a hole when one of the rangers came up. He asked me what I found, I showed him, he took a pause and asked if I had the park managers permission to metal detect. I know the rules, I read everything about metal detecting state parks. I have been metal detecting this park every summer for years. I said I did not and he took another pause and said that he would consider giving me permission to metal detect there but only at the beach. The next day I looked in the park store and there was a sign posted on the door that read "Metal Detecting is Prohibited in this State Park and Legal Action Will Be Taken."

  • I was detecting for about a half hour when a police officer walked up and exchanged pleasantries. I said I was just detecting for a few coins. The officer said, "I know I've been watching you for a while, and I like what I saw. You made two trips to the trash can and I can't tell where you have been digging. Just wanted to say thanks, and keep doing what you are doing. The problem is that someone from the Parks and Recreation Program may run you off. They don't even allow tent pegs in the ground." About a half hour later the Parks and Recreation guy shows up and I was tossed out of the park.

  • People will call the police on you just for having a detector. You have not broken any laws or dug any unsightly holes. You are just enjoying the hobby. The cops come over and usually say you need to leave or just move along. Sometimes the police are open to metal detecting and after a few questions leave you alone. However, if a park ranger comes to check out the complaint be prepared to leave immediately or get a ticket
These comments are because almost every state, county, city, and town have rules / regulations that create comments like those above and these rules / regulations put restrictions on metal detecting which result in banning.

Metal Detecting Early Years

A very early Federal act AAA-American Antiquities Act of 1906 is a very broad Federal law that addressed historical sites. However, it had little to no impact on metal detecting before the ARPA act in 1979.

In the early years, 1950s - 1980s, there were few detectorists in the hobby and no local or state laws against metal detecting. The hobby was pretty much a user’s choice of where and how to practice metal detecting on most public lands.

How Did Change in Law and Attitude Come About?

The change in attitude towards metal detecting started to take place with the passing of the Federal ARPA-Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979. This act set the stage for the establishment of federal, state and local agencies to identify and define archaeological sites as protected and making these sites off limits to many people related activities including the hobby of metal detecting.

The Federal NHPA-National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 as amended in 2000 was passed before the ARPA-Archaeological Resources Protection Act. The 1966 Act set in motion the requirements to identify structures and surrounding grounds that could be or are of historical significances and should be protected for future generations of Americans.

Following are two major Federal acts were passed after ARPA:
Each of these acts are more specific in their protection of certain human remains, lands and sites.

The adoption of these five acts at the Federal Government level put in place the ability for states and local governments to follow suit and either adopt these acts in whole as their state law or to write their own regulations and laws to complement the Federal Acts.

Examples of direct regulations against metal detecting may be worded similar to the following:

  • Metal Detectors: No person shall use a metal detector or similar device on parklands, except as provided in a written permit granted by the General Manager of the District.

  • It shall be unlawful to use a metal detector or similar device in any District Facility or Parkland without a permit.

  • Use of a metal detector in our parks is strictly prohibited.

Examples of indirect regulations that can be applied to make metal detecting illegal may be worded similar to the following:
  • Prohibited Activities Defacing or Destruction of Property: No person shall injure, deface, cut out, displace, remove, fill in, raise, destroy, excavate, tamper, or create any disturbance to property contained within the Park whether it be natural or manmade.

  • No artifact or any other organic or inorganic material may be removed from any historical area of the park.

  • No artifact or any other organic or inorganic material may be removed from any area of the park, via metal detecting or any other form of excavation.

  • It is our goal to provide as many positive recreational opportunities for park visitors as possible, and the use of metal detectors, or "treasure hunting," in the park system is not illegal. City code does not prohibit it however, it is our obligation to protect the park's resources and to ensure that damage to the park by visitors is minimized, and it is illegal to dig in any park area with any tool. Violators are subject to citation.
    With this concept in mind, park visitors with metal detectors are welcome in the parks so long as they do not do any digging. Park staff have been directed to politely ask treasure hunters to leave all digging tools outside of the park and to inform them that sifting through the top few inches of sand or fir bark in play areas is acceptable so long as they do not use any tools or inconvenience playground users. The City is, in fact, grateful for any assistance treasure hunters might render with regard to the removal of any trash or debris they might find during their hunt.

  • Treasure hunters observed digging in the park or otherwise damaging park resources will be informed that they are breaking the law. If they continue to break the law, park staff will contact Public Safety.

Today’s Metal Detecting Situation:

Today, the result of these five Federal acts is that more and more local cities, towns, schools and counties are closing their public land to metal detecting. The type of regulation that is being put in place against metal detecting can be either directly related or indirectly related to the metal detecting hobby.

Since the adoption of the ARPA-Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 archaeologist have been hired at almost all levels of government to identify archaeological sites and to get regulations and laws passed to protect archaeological sites. During the past 20 years this has taken place at a rapid rate in the U.S. Archaeologist have also contributed to a negative attitude toward detectorist that has permeated all levels of government and the public at large.

Keep in mind that metal detecting hobbyist do not have a voice in Federal or State governments. There is not a strong metal detecting association in the U.S. that can represent metal detectorists. However, there have been cases of hobby support by local metal detecting clubs in some communities. This is rare but it does happen.

Another contributing factor is that many detectorists do not practice good target recovery methods on public grounds. This has caused many cities, towns and counties to create laws or regulations that impact metal detecting on non-related archaeology sites. (parks and beaches in general)

Never bring shovels, spades or any digging tool that should only be used in a garden to recover a coin target in a park.
Tools of the trade to recover a coin target are: 10 inch- ¼ inch shaft screw driver, 6-to-8-inch knife, a drop cloth and an electronic pin pointer.
Also carry a bag or apron where you can place trash that is recovered while metal detecting.

What Can Be Done?

Manufacturers, distributors and dealers must step-up and provide hands on training for every new detector sold before it is taken into possession much like when you purchase a fire arm. In most states to purchase a fire arm you must first go to a class on safe and proper operation. Strong manufacture involvement is a requirement not just a pamphlet but hands on how to practice the hobby correctly and safely. Individuals who metal detect must take ownership for their behavior and practice Responsible Metal Detecting while out 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.
Here are links to a self-certification metal detecting class:
These small steps will not do away or improve the current metal detecting environment in the U.S. but may slow the change that is currently taking place which is to eliminate the use of metal detectors on public property.

Hobby Related News

General U.S. and World Wide Hobby News
  • Long-Lost Medal Honoring Revolutionary War Hero Sells for Record-Breaking $1 Million. Article Link
  • Unearthing Albert: How a Virginia metal detectorist dug up a piece of Columbia County history. Article Link
  • Area volunteer treasure hunters group helps police solve crimes. Article Link
  • Stolen 22 Years Ago, Two Priceless Charles Darwin Notebooks Mysteriously Returned in Pink Gift Bag. Article Link
  • SHORE PERSPECTIVES: Tom Kellam reflects on the history beneath our feet. Article Link
  • New book chronicles collecting coins from shipwrecks. Article Link
  • Underground history: Southwick man’s passion is buried treasure. Article Link
  • The Curse Of Oak Island Member Fans Are Getting Tired Of Seeing. Article Link
  • Myth or reality? 6 legendary lost treasures supposedly hidden in Utah. Article Link
  • Magnet fishermen find handcuffs, firearms, and bottle caps in Detroit River. Article Link
  • Ross Kemp: Shipwreck Treasure Hunter documentary reveals secret of slave ship discovered off Plymouth coast. Article Link
  • Metal detectorists damaging Adelaide Hills ovals but only discovering coins — and sprinklers. Article Link
  • Revolutionary War general medal could fetch $500K at auction. Article Link
  • Cannonball found on Florida beach might be from 1700s. Article Link
  • Mystery Surrounds 17th-Century French Artifact Found In South Jersey. Article Link
U.K. News
  • 1,290 fourth century Roman coins discovered in Switzerland by amateur metal detectorist. Article Link
  • Solar farm ‘blocking King John treasure quest’ claim. Article Link
  • Family of WWI hero whose medals were stolen in a burglary 30 years ago are overjoyed as metal detectorist unearths 1914 Mons Star that he lost during post-war picnic at beauty spot Article Link
  • Lincs detecting treasure trove goes under the hammer. Article Link
  • Norfolk metal detectorists' finds could be treasure. Article Link
  • Roman coins treasure found in Wiltshire go on display. Article Link
  • Bronze Age axe heads found in Wiltshire field. Article Link
  • Essex Magnet Hunters find hidden treasures in Brightlingsea. Article Link
  • Edinburgh treasure hunter unearths 700-year-old coins whilst helping environment. Article Link
  • Man left heartbroken after losing late wife's wedding ring. Article Link
  • Museum display celebrates a life of metal detecting. Article Link
  • 5 times people have discovered hidden treasures in Norfolk. Article Link
  • Grandma married for 49 years in shock after losing wedding ring at beach. Article Link
  • Novice metal detectorist stopped by police for Roman treasure hunt at protected site. Article Link
  • 10-Year-old Finds Medieval Priory Seal Within Minutes of Using Metal Detector and Gets $5,000 For it. Article Link
  • Metal detecting enthusiasts came together to host a special dig to raise money for an Inverness charity. Article Link
North America Archaeology News
  • Redlands Historical Society to display hidden treasures. Article Link
  • The City Archaeology Program Brings Boston's History to You. Article Link
  • Recreation and archaeology jobs available on the Plumas National Forest. Article Link
  • The History Beneath Us. Article Link
  • Forest Service now hiring for recreation, archaeology positions. Article Link
  • Four years and 500,000-plus artifacts later, Peabody Institute of Archaeology wraps up inventory project. 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. April 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. April Pod Cast Link
  • Coin World - Numismatic and Coin Collecting May News
  • Garrett Searcher April Searcher
  • Gold Prospectors Assn of America (GPAA) - News on legal issues for the gold prospecting community April News
  • Mel Fisher Salvage Update
  • Prospecting and Mining Journal (IMCJ) April News
  • 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. April News
  • 1715 Fleet Society May Newsletter
Jewelry Returns
  • Louisiana Couple Helps Find Lost Items Using Metal Detectors. Article Link
  • Fisherman finds wedding ring a week after it falls in the Liffey. Article Link
  • Stockport couple's lost engagement ring found by metal detectorist. Article Link
W.W. Meteorite News
  • Did an interstellar meteor hit Earth in 2014? Article Link
  • A military memorandum adds to the mystery of an interstellar meteorite. Article Link
  • Your guide to the 10 best meteor showers of 2022. Article Link
  • Loud meteor explosion shakes Indiana with surprise boom. Article Link
  • Starfall: Finding a Meteorite with Drones and AI. Article Linkkk

Event News

Metal Detecting & Gold Prospecting Events.
Now is the time to start planning and getting your club's 2022/23 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.
  • May 06, 2022 (Two Days) Yoakum, Texas Little treasure show & open hunt Cuero Area Detecting & Fresh Start Church
  • May 14, 2022 (Two Days) Columbus, Ohio Gold & Treasure Show GPAA
  • May 15, 2022 (One Day) Hoyt, Kansas Open National Hunt Topeka Treasure Hunters
Select here to View the Complete Event

Add Your Event Information Here

  • May 21, 2022 (Two Days) Music Pier, Ocean City, New Jersey 12th Annual Hunt SpECRDA - East Coast Research & Discovery Assn
  • May 21, 2022 (One Day) Raidersburg, Montana Annual Rick Radke Memorial Metal Detector Hunt Headwaters Chapter of the GPAA
  • May 27, 2022 (Three Days) Stanton, Arizona Mining Event - Push Dig LDMA-Lost Dutchman Mining Assn
  • May 27, 2022 (Three Days)
    Richland, Washington
    34th Treasure Hunt
    Southeast WA Assn of Treasure Hunters (SWATH)

Myth or reality? 6 legendary lost treasures supposedly hidden in Utah
This story is sponsored by Siegfried & Jensen. 

The mystery and intrigue of buried treasure is something that captivates most peoples' attention. Hollywood has capitalized on this fascination with films like "Indiana Jones," "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "National Treasure," but you might not know there could be real-life riches buried right here in Utah.

From abandoned mines to lost Aztec gold and Spanish treasures, Utah has its fair share of legends. Whether they're true or not has yet to be determined, but one thing is for sure — these stories are sure to get you out the door to do some digging!

The gold at Blind Frog Ranch
Some Utah treasure legends are so popular that they even have their own TV show. "The Mystery at Blind Frog Ranch" on the Discovery Channel chronicles the treasure hunt for Aztec gold at Duane Ollinger's ranch in Vernal. And while that may sound like a tame premise on the surface, the show has been full of enough twists, turns and unsolved mysteries to merit a second season.

According to local legend, the land is "cursed" and full of treasure. Ollinger, along with his son Chad and others, is determined to find the alleged treasure in seven underground caves on their 160-acre ranch — but the hunt proves to be more dangerous than they thought.

While they've yet to find gold, viewers have been fascinated by the discoveries they've made in the meantime. So far, they've recovered several items, including a bracelet and some coins (which turned out not to be Aztec gold), and a box full of rocks and strange metal.

Perhaps that Aztec treasure will show up eventually, but the only way to find out will be to tune in!

The Treasure of the Golden Jesus
The so-called Treasure of the Golden Jesus sounds like something you'd see on an Indiana Jones film, but it's supposedly hidden somewhere between Escalante and Boulder. According to one online forum, a party of Spanish soldiers fled Mexico in 1810, looting and robbing valuable possessions along the way. One of those items was a three-foot-high solid gold statue of Jesus. (Hence, the name of the treasure.)

No one knows for sure what happened to all of the treasure the Spaniards were carrying, but legend has it that the group buried it in a cave in the Boulder-Escalante region. People have reported "mysterious markings" on Fifty Mile Mountain, as well as several Spanish artifacts that could add some validity to the story.
Myth or reality? 6 legendary lost treasures supposedly hidden in Utah

Butch Cassidy's buried treasure
Famous outlaw Butch Cassidy certainly had his hands on plenty of riches throughout his storied career as a bank robber and some of it is rumored to be right here in Utah. Cassidy and another cowboy named Elza Lay stole approximately $8,000 from an unloading train in what's now the ghost town of Castle Gate in Carbon County on April 21, 1897. The two robbers took off on horseback to Robber's Roost, cutting telegraph lines along the way so that no one could spread the news of the robbery.

Legends of America states that "[t]he outlaw loot was never recovered and many believe it was hidden by the gang somewhere near Robbers Roost located along the Outlaw Trail, in southeastern Utah."

The Lost Josephine Gold Mine
Longtime Utah residents may be familiar with the legend of the Lost Josephine Mine, which was purportedly full of Spanish gold and silver. The mine was established by Spanish Jesuit priests in 1650 but abandoned in 1680, never to be found again.

But in 2013, Summit County resident Gary Holt claimed to have discovered it. The mine Holt found was located by Hoyt's Peak in the Uinta Mountains. He also claimed to have extracted $30 million of something he calls goldcite, which is actually a form of fibrous calcite.

But Tom Flanagan, a local Forest Service archaeologist was skeptical about Holt's discovery.

"If we had those kinds of gold mines in the Uintas, I'd be a rich man," Flanagan told The Park Record at the time. "A lot of treasure hunters will map on a natural solution cavity and try to purport that it's a historic or ancient mine and then try to mine it."

Holt stood by his claim that it's the long-lost mine, but beyond the goldcite, no one's found any treasure to date.

The Montezuma hoard
For 500 years, people have heard about a possible treasure buried in Kanab. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico in the 1500s, Aztec Emperor Montezuma offered Spaniard Hernán Cortés gifts to keep the peace, according to Visit Southern Utah. If you know your history (or if you've seen "Pirates of the Caribbean") then you know that this led to Cortés' thirst and obsession for riches. He pillaged the town of Tenochtitlán for gold and silver, killing and torturing many Aztecs in his path.

To protect Montezuma's treasure from the Spaniards, legend says that thousands of Aztecs took it and fled north, possibly to southern Utah. After hiding the treasure, the Aztec warriors sacrificed their slaves to watch over it for eternity. Neither Cortés — nor anyone else — has found the treasure to this day.

Utah locals believe it lies at the end of a tunnel below Three Lakes pond in Kanab. Much like in the movies, however, the purported $3 billion worth of treasure appears to be cursed.

The Dream Mine
Unlike the other legends and myths on the list, this one isn't about a treasure that was buried long ago — it's about a mine that will supposedly be filled with fortune and riches in the future. The Dream Mine in Spanish Fork came about when John Hyrum Koyle claimed to have a spiritual vision in 1894 about an abandoned mine in a nearby mountain, says Jay M. Haymond for Supposedly, the mountain would eventually be filled with enough treasure to support members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when Christ returns to the earth.

Atlas Obscura reports that Koyle was called before a disciplinary council to either sign a statement saying his claims were false or be excommunicated from the Church. Though he signed the statement, Koyle later claimed he was forced to do so by the Church and was eventually excommunicated.

However, even after Koyle's death, the Dream Mine saga lives on with the Relief Mine Company. While they've halted work on the mine itself, the company is still active and sells stock in the Dream Mine.

What happens if you find buried treasure?
Before you grab your metal detector and get too excited about amassing hordes of wealth, you should probably know that the only thing you'll gain is bragging rights if you find the treasure mentioned above.

According to the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, any "archaeological resources" you find on the land of the state are government property. This includes just about anything over 100 years old. But if the thrill of the hunt is enough, get out there and start exploring!

Of course, the locations of some treasure could be on private property and you will likely be prosecuted for trespassing if venture into those areas.

Metal Detecting Hobby Talk