Sep 9, 2012

Lost Civil War Ship Washes Ashore After Isaac

Local residents find the wooden remains of a ship believed to be from the Civil War era, revealed by Hurricane Isaac after it pummelled the Alabama shore.

Aug 12, 2012

Shallow Water Diving For Colonial & Civil War Relics

Aqua Chigger strikes back .. Beau Ouimette knows where and how to hunt for Civil War relics in the shallow water streams of the mid-atlantic states.

Jul 13, 2012

Jun 28, 2012

Banditos And Buried Treasure !

                     Revisiting Arizona's Old West Ghost Towns -

Cerro Colorado, a ghost town near Arivaca, has a violent past. Started in 1855, it was a silver mine that employed not only Mexican laborers, but native Americans as well. In 1861, a cave-in trapped and killed 15 workers. Many of the remaining employees believed the mine to be haunted, and left for parts unknown. German immigrants were hired as replacements, and eventually the Mexican population returned. Maybe they thought the ghosts were gone, or they dealt with it to earn wages.

Some time later the mine operator, John Poston, was having so much trouble with Mexican workers stealing silver that he decided to make an example out of one. His foreman was caught taking silver across the border to Sonora, so John had him executed in front of the other workers. Problem #1 was, John didn’t get the information about where the foreman had buried the rest of his loot. Problem #2 was the action angered so many Mexican workers, they up and vamoosed for Sonora. This led to problem #3…Mexican banditos, upon hearing of buried treasure, destroyed the mine and killed John Poston and two others.

That’s when the remaining citizens should have tracked down Yul Brynner so he could gather up seven magnificent gunfighters. However, this did not happen. Instead, the frustrated bandits left empty-handed and the mine was rebuilt. Obviously, Eli Wallach wasn’t leading them.

When most able-bodied men left to protect Arizona from the Union during the Civil War, it left Cerro Colorado open to Apache raids. In defense, a fort and guard tower was built to protect the small mining community. Little is recorded about the goings on after that point. By 1911, the post office was closed and Cerro Colorado became one of Arizona’s ghost towns. Today the area sports some ruins and is a popular spot for hopefuls searching to find the missing foreman’s treasure.

This small mining community, like many in the Arizona Territory, had devastating perils to deal with. The fact that it survived with all that misfortune is a true testament to the draw of the almighty dollar and the men who sought it.

Jun 27, 2012

Metal Detectors Unearth Iron Age Gold & Silver Hoard

U.K. Treasure Hunters Strike Iron Age Gold & Silver!!
 From Fox News- Amateur Treasure Hunters Score $15 Million in Ancient Gold & Silver Coins                       Click Here To Read More!

May 23, 2012

U.K. Beach Hunting Expert Reviews The Garrett AT-Pro

John Howland of England offers his tips on using the Garrett AT Pro International for beach hunting on wet and dry sand. He describes his preferred settings, the use of Iron Audio, and his opinions on the detector's performance.
But as always, you should be in the habit of digging everything until you get a few hours of operation under your belt.

May 17, 2012

Shipwreck Found Deep In The Gulf Of Mexico

View video footage captured by the Little Hercules remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and camera platform during the April 26 ROV dive from NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer during the Gulf of Mexico Expedition 2012.

The dive was conducted at site 15577 – a recently mapped but never-before seen shipwreck in the western Gulf of Mexico. The dive revealed the remnants of a copper-sheathed sailing ship, likely from the early to mid-19th century.

While most of the wood has since disintegrated, the oxidized copper sheathing remained along with a variety of artifacts.

These included plates, glass bottles, guns, cannons, the ship’s stove, navigational instruments, and anchors.

This was a spectacular dive that represented a truly remarkable find. Video courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Gulf of Mexico Expedition 2012.

                   Click Here To View Video

U.K. Treasure Hunter Finds 14Th Century Golden Brooch

Click On Image To Enlarge
Shaped like a heart - and with two hands clasped together in decorative sleeves at its base - this piece of jewellery may be tiny but it was to prove an enormous find for one lucky metal detector enthusiast.     
       From The DailyMail UK- Click Here To Read More.

May 16, 2012

Minelab CTX 3030 -Discriminator Advantages

The CTX 3030 has a ton of great features, some of which haven't been seen in a metal detector before.

I really think this will be the machine of the year! My only concern would be that I hope Minelab has ironed out the "fit & finish" problems that I had with my Excalibur II.

Although the Excalibur II is a wonderful underwater metal detector, I was extremely disappointed with some of the small issues that came up on my machine and my Treasure hunting partner's Excal II as well.

I expected a lot more out of a $1200 Metal Detector when it comes to build quality, lets just hope that its not a problem with the CTX 3030 ? ..

May 15, 2012

Minelab's New CTX 3030 Metal Detector

Minelab's New State Of The Art, All Weather-Go Anywhere (Including Underwater) Metal Detector
                                                   Click Here For More Info!

Apr 13, 2012

Hoard Of Roman Coins Found In UK

                 A hoard of 33 rare Roman coins has been found in a field near Hebden.

Colne man Mick Wilson, who had been metal detecting with his friend Colin Binns, of Skipton, made the startling discovery on May 29, 2011.

 The 33 silver Roman dinari, dating from 30AD to 170AD, were found nine inches below the ground’s surface.

 Now Mr Wilson has been designated as the finder of the treasure by coroner Robert Turnbull during an inquest in Skipton.

 “I do a lot of detecting in the Yorkshire Dales,” said Mr Wilson, who has been metal detecting since 1981.

“Colin and I have been doing this for a long time, and although we always find something, this was my best find ever.” Mr Wilson, who works as a polytunnel manufacturer, said the hoard of coins, which is currently being valued by the British Museum, could be worth between £3,000 and £5,000.

 Mr Binns said: “It’s likely that it was buried there for safekeeping by a legionnaire. Many of these men would have settled here after they finished in the Roman army.”

 In the past, Mr Wilson has found axeheads and spearheads dating from the Bronze Age, Roman brooches and a solid silver Roman eagle, which was valued at £1,675.

 Mr Wilson said he recorded all of his finds with the Liverpool Museum and Craven Museum had shown an interest in displaying the 33 Roman coins.

 just love the history and finding things that are over 1,000 years old,” said Mr Wilson. “I also love the scenery of the Dales and I know a lot of the farmers.” He said if he made a valuable discovery, half of the proceeds from the sale of the “treasure” went to the farmer and he and Mr Binns split the other half.

 “A lot of people call us treasure hunters, but many people never find a treasure. However, I do know people who have found items valued from £20,000 to £1 million. But you have more chances of winning the lottery than making such a find.”

Apr 12, 2012

Jupiter Florida Treasure Finders Hope To Strike It Rich

Jupiter Florida Treasure Hunters Close In On Spanish Treasure Wreck

With the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's demise capturing the world's attention this week, present-day explorers are focused on making their own heart-stopping discoveries.

One group on the hunt is Florida-based Jupiter Wreck Inc., led by Dominic Addario.
For the past 25 years, Addario has been at the helm of expeditions to recover what he believes is a 1600s Spanish shipwreck off the eastern coast of the Sunshine State.
His interest was piqued in 1987, when two surfers who’d fallen off their boards mentioned to him that they’d seen a cannon half-buried underwater.

Addario was running daily boating trips, not treasure hunting, in those days. "We had no idea that was a whole shipwreck there," Addario told BusinessNewsDaily. "Within the first week, we discovered four more cannons and lots and lots of coins."

In the following weeks and months, the Jupiter Wreck team unearthed cannons, cannon balls, muskets and thousands of coins. That set the stage for a quarter-century quest to recover the rest of the debris.

"Once you start researching everything, it makes it even more exciting," said Addario, who says the best part is the emotional rush of putting his hands on something that had been lost for 400 years. "It is almost better than sex."

Jupiter Wreck's expeditions consist of six-member teams working with a number of vessels, skiffs and specialized equipment.

At the heart of the operation is the Motor Research Vessel named Enterprise, a 65-foot foil-assisted aluminum catamaran. The boat is equipped with unique undersea mobile excavation and sand bypassing and transferring technology.

"There is still so much more to explore," Addario said. "Every time we dive, we find something new."

In addition to their finds early on, Jupiter Wreck has uncovered thousands of silver and gold coins and a 78-pound silver bar, all of which Addario believes come from Spain's San Miguel Archangel, a boat thought to have shipwrecked off the coast of Florida in 1659.

"There is no question in our minds it is a Spanish ship," Addario said.  All of the coins are [dated] between 1652 and 1659."

Addario believes the actual wreckage is buried 45 feet under the ocean's floor.

He has faced some challenges, including a legal battle with the state of Florida over the wreckage and the site. While courts have named Jupiter Wreck the shipwreck's custodian, they have also granted the state permission to restrict Addario and his team from using any machinery to dig up sand to find the rest of it.

"This has been going on for 24 years," Addario said of the frustrating legal battle.

While Addario said the items he has recovered are worth millions of dollars, he adds that finding the ship, or possible ships, below the ocean's surface could reveal a treasure trove of ancient remnants.

"The payoff could be enormous," he said.
Already, though, Addario said the quarter-century voyage has been well worth it.

"I am real proud of what I have accomplished," Addario said. "It has just been one adventure after another."

Students Discover Sunken Treasure In Oakland Lake

Click On Image To Enlarge
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — An 11-year-old trawling the waters of Lake Merritt for garbage as part of a class cleanup project recovered two bags of treasure instead.
The bags filled with antique jewelry, gold and silver chains, pocket and wrist watches, and other valuables weighed about 15 pounds each and were submerged in a few feet of water, said Richard Bailey, executive director of the Lake Merritt Institute, which runs cleanup programs at the 140-acre lake.
Bailey waded out to retrieve the sacks Thursday after the student was unable to lift them out of the water with a net. One of the bags had "Wells Fargo" stamped on it.
"We've had some unusual things, but this is really pretty unusual," Bailey told the Oakland Tribune.
Bailey said volunteers usually come across plastic bags and other litter although he told the San Francisco Chronicle that adult volunteers previously found a couple of kilograms of white powder, a sawed-off shotgun and an Uzi rifle.
Students have previously found clothes, cellphones, tennis balls and wallets, according to school officials.
The jewelry and other valuables found Thursday were turned over to police, who have not had a chance to check them against a list of stolen items, the Tribune reported.
A call to Oakland police by The Associated Press on Friday was not immediately returned.
The student was among a class of sixth-graders from St. Paul's Episcopal School that goes out to the lake every week as part of a cleaning and community service project.

Mar 29, 2012

UK Treasure Hunter Finds Roman Silver Ring

She was the Roman goddess of fortune and good luck, and now she’s set to smile on a Leeds treasure-hunter. This gem-set silver ring – thought to feature the goddess Fortuna – was found by metal detecting enthusiast Andrew Diamond in a farmer’s field in Micklefield.

Now the 2,000-year-old trinket has been declared official treasure, and is set to grace the collections at Leeds Museum. And once it has been valued by a committee of the British Museum, its finder and the landowner of the site where it was found will split a reward worth the market value.

A Leeds treasure trove inquest heard the ring dates from the Roman era, and was made between the first and third centuries AD.

 The silver trinket features a full-length seated female figure looking to her left, and a bezel-set oval orange gemstone. Coroner David Hinchliff said the figure was possibly Fortuna.

 The inquest heard Mr Diamond – a metal detector for 20 years – had stumbled on the find while detecting in a field in Micklefield in August 2010. He told the inquest in a statement that he had been out on the recently harvested field, with the permission of the landowner, when he came across a “conductive” object.

 He dug several inches into the ground and found a silver ring. The find was examined by archaeology experts from the British Museum, who confirmed Mr Diamond had unearthed a Roman gem-set ring.

Mr Hinchliff said he was satisfied the find “does constitute treasure” and it will now be handed over to the appropriate authorities. Amy Downes, from the West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service, said the ring would now be a valued by a special committee of the British Museum, and the market value paid to the finder and the landowner as a “reward”.

Under UK treasure laws, gold or silver objects which are at least 300 years old when found can be classed as “treasure” and officially belong to the Crown.

Deep Sea Treasure

Billions In Platinum & Possibly GOLD

Feb 18, 2012

Banking On Sunken Treasure

Mark Gordon, chief operating officer and president of Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc., talks about plans for the excavation of the wreck of the British warship H.M.S. Victory. He speaks with Deirdre Bolton and Zahra Burton on Bloomberg Television's "Money Moves."

eBay Boo-Boo Nets Lucky Buyer $26K

Man Buys Safe On eBay With $26K Inside!

Jan 13, 2012

Sunken Treasure's From The Atocha Set For Auction

The 1622 wreck of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha, a Spanish ship laden with New World gold, became the fixation of a chicken farmer turned deep-sea diver named Mel Fisher.
He searched doggedly for the treasure for 16 years
(and tragically lost his son and daughter-in-law when a salvage boat capsized during the search).

Mel Fisher's Treasures Treasure salvaged by the Fisher team from the Atocha and the Santa Margarita, Spanish ships lost in 1622. In 1985, the Fisher team came upon a large portion of the wreckage.

click on image to enlarge
The treasure they've extracted since then is worth some $500 million, the Fishers say. A fraction of that is about to go under the hammer at a Philadelphia auction house. Three large silver bars, two small gold "finger" bars and one gold disc that went down with the Atocha will be featured in Freeman's Jan. 25 Fine English & Continental Furniture & Decorative Arts sale. (Items from the sale are on view at the auction house's Philadelphia headquarters starting Friday).

The silver bars range in weight from 39 to 87-plus pounds, $15,000 to $45,000 in price. The gold is far lighter, ranging from four to 14.5 ounces at an estimated $8,000 to $30,000 apiece. The items were sold once before: In 1988, Christie's auctioned off part of the Atocha treasure, raising $2.6 million.

 In the early 1600s, the Spanish monarchy dispatched armadas regularly to stock up on gold, silver and gems from the Americas to help fund its army. The Atocha was one of several ships that fell prey to Caribbean hurricanes en route home from Cuba and sank off what would become Key West, Fla.

On the Atocha, 260 people drowned and about 70 tons of treasure were lost.
(The other ship, the Santa Margarita, ran aground.)

                                                         Mel Fisher's Treasures 
                                              An emerald ring found by the Fisher crew. 

 Mel Fisher's heirs have stayed in the family business and continue to mine the Atocha wreck and several others.

Two Florida museums, the Mel Fisher Center and Museum in Sebastian and the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, always have Atocha objects on display. In June, the Fisher crew came ashore with an emerald ring that Mel Fisher's grandson Sean says was recently appraised at $1.2 million.

 The most valuable portion of the ship—the stern castle, where the onboard nobility stashed their personal artifacts and spoils—still hasn't been discovered. Betting on new technology, the younger Mr. Fisher predicts that part of the ship will be his team's by summer or before, with dives happening almost every day. "As long as the weather's good," he says, "we're on the site."

Rachel Wolff, Wall Street Journal 

Jan 9, 2012

Lost Treasure Under The St Augustine Sand

Bob Spratley has a lot of secrets.
He knows where to find 20 shipwrecks around St. Augustine, he can find gold and silver buried beneath the sands of local beaches, and he discovered one of the sites of the nation’s most notorious slaughters.
“He found the Matanzas site, the massacre site,” said John Powell, living history interpreter at the Fountain of Youth. “Bob is beyond a metal detectorist. Bob is touched by God.”
Spratley has been hunting with a metal detector for 41 years. Research, skill and maybe a little luck have led him to shipwrecks, Spanish outposts and historical sites that archaeologists wish they knew about.
His collection contains thousands of relics, and the walls of his home read like a museum: 16th century Spanish and French gold coins and weapons, buttons and buckles, crosses and amulets, cannons and guns.
“It gets in your blood, and once it gets in your blood, you’re a victim,” he said, a Spanish silver piece of eight worth $35,000 hanging from his neck. “If you want a collection like this, you dig everything.”
Spratley protects his collection with coded log books of his finds and shares information only with trusted sources. He doesn’t tell archaeologists where he finds things because, as he says, he doesn’t want the sites to be roped off, he doesn’t want the history he uncovers to be put on a shelf. Archaeologists and treasure hunters don’t work well together, he says, because archaeologists see treasure hunters as a danger to historical preservation.
For Spratley, finding treasure is not the only goal. Hunting down the secrets of history is a passion that runs parallel to metal detecting.
His hobby has led him all over the country to go detecting and into his home office for countless hours of research and study.
About 20 years ago, Spratley began researching the Matanzas site where, in 1565, Pedro Menéndez de Aviles slaughtered hundreds of Frenchmen under Jean Ribault somewhere near the site of where Fort Matanzas stands today.
The hundreds of French who died on those beaches left behind coins, buckles, and weapons. They left their stories in the sand.
Hundreds of years later, metal detector in hand, Spratley began to uncover what he believes is the site of the slaughter. It took about 15 years for him to find the site, he said.
History books say that Ribault’s men were slaughtered near the Matanzas inlet, that’s why the name means place of slaughters. Spratley says he thinks he has found the exact location of the massacre.
“That’s why I say it took place here. You find weapons,” he said as he held a Spanish crossbow bolt from the 1500s on a local beach, what he says is the massacre site, just after dawn.
Spratley made clear that the location of this dig, like the other sites, is to be kept a secret.
A nor’easter had blown through and sifted treasures closer to the surface a couple of weeks before the hunt. After a quick briefing from Spratley, a select group of his friends and acquaintances scoured the coastline, speckling a stretch of sand with scoop holes. Within 30 minutes, treasure surfaced.

Touching history
Butch Holcombe is the editor and publisher of American Digger magazine, a magazine for relic hunters and metal detecting enthusiasts. He came from Georgia for the hunt, and he got lucky.
“Holding hands with history,” Holcombe exclaimed as he held a freshly unearthed, possibly 16th century Spanish buckle in his hands. Holcombe is used to hunting in Georgia for Civil War relics, he said. Finding anything from the 19th century is exciting. But this, this is from the 1500s.
“I love holding something that old,” he said, staring at the buckle in his palm. “Touch of Spain, wow.”
Quickly, the hunt continued. Headphones went back on, legs lurched forward and detectors swayed from side to side. There were more discoveries, and, as with most hunts, there were some duds mixed in with the sand.
“Bob, what’s this?” Jerry Solomon from Dallas, Ga., asked as he held up a sand-coated object.
“It’s a penny,” Spratley said after a glance.

‘Amazing’ finds
Spratley acts as historical interpreter for most of the finds on the beach, but he sometimes seeks out help from other sources, archaeologists, professors, and antiquity experts. One source is John Powell, living history interpreter at the Fountain of Youth. He is a archaeological conservationist and military weapons expert of the Spanish period.
Powell spent some time flipping through pictures of Spratley’s finds in a parking lot near St. George Street. He identified the relics in the pictures almost immediately.
“I’ve avoided digging for myself,” Powell said, dressed in colonial Spanish garb as he leaned on the trunk of a car one afternoon.
Powell has worked in antiquity since he was 8 years old, he said. He metal detects, but uses his expertise to help Carl Halbirt on some digs. He avoids treasure hunting to preserve his relationship with the archaeological community, but also helps Spratley.
“I know Bob very well. I help him to identify what he finds,” he said. “He comes up with things that are absolutely amazing.”
In addition to the Matanzas site, Spratley has found Spanish campsites, he said.
Powell’s interest in the finds are reproduction — having molds made from historical finds like jewelry that can be recreated and worn by himself and other historical re-enactors.
Later on during the hunt at the Matanzas site, Spratley shouted. He had made the find of the day.
He nudged back a layer of sand to reveal a bronze Caravaca cross, probably 16th or 17th century.
Typically carried by monks or priests for religious purposes, the cross was named after the southeastern Spanish town of Caravaca de la Cruz and has been associated with miracles, he said. People other than monks or priests used the Caravaca cross for good luck and protection. Finds like the cross are what add an element of controversy to treasure hunting. This isn’t someone’s lost Rolex. This is a historical relic.

Not stealing history
“People frown upon us because they think we’re stealing history,” Spratley said. “We’re not. We’re displaying, showing people.”
Spratley said he loves to share the treasures he unearths, but on his own terms. In particular, he likes to share history with children. He has been to local schools, including Middleburg High School, where he displayed a conquistador helmet, signal cannon, olive jars and other relics.
The goal is to let kids hold history and get inspired by it, he said. “I let the kids hold it, even though it’s priceless,” he said about the relics. “That’s the future of history is the kids that are in school today...If just one goes on to study history, it tickles me to death.”
Spratley doesn’t sell anything of historical value, he said. He sells lost rings, watches and other jewelry to support his hobby, which he took up full time after retiring as a real estate broker in 2004.
Spratley has collected a trove of secrets after 41 years of metal detecting, and a storeroom full of treasure that he worries about how to preserve now and after he’s gone. After coming back from Vietnam, detecting was a way to get back into society and deal with anxiety. Treasure hunting has been a hobby, a passion and a pain reliever throughout the past four decades.
After Spratley found the Caravaca cross on the beach that day, he put his detector down for awhile. He wanted to give the others a chance to dig up something big. It’s not all about the treasure, he said. For Spratley, the relic hunter, the most valuable thing he’s found is intangible.
“Freedom,” he said, “to be able to do what I want and share it with people.”

Tools of the trade – the basics
■ Metal detector-waterproof (a good one): $1,000 & up
■ A long handle sand scoop: $110 to $150