Monthly Archives: March 2009

1 Learn Your Metal Detector – Bill Ladd

Copyright Bill Ladd 2007

Contents not to reproduced without written permission of Bill Ladd


“Learn Your Metal Detector”


By Bill Ladd

One important thing I’ve picked up along the way in this great hobby of ours is to never scoff at, or doubt the unit a fellow detectorist is swinging. This is especially true when a fellow hobbiest is carrying a detector some would consider “cheaper” or “outdated” technology. I’ve seen far too many times these wily old vets do just as well, if not better, than all the competition in the same field that day. Why? Well, as we all know, sometimes it’s just the luck of walking over the right spot. But more so, I believe it’s because the detectorist with the older unit has years of experience with his particular machine than the others. Even though his detector may not be digital, multi-frequency, or full of all the latest “bells and whistles” as some of the more expensive modern units, the user knows it. He or she knows it like the back of their hand; just knows the “sounds”. This hobbiest has trained his ears….it talks to he or she so to speak. Perhaps the other treasure hunters were trying out a new brand of detector that day in hope of attaining some kind of edge. But, new detector users often have to struggle though a tough learning curve of several hours with all of the advanced tones, notching, and digital readouts and programming common on today’s top units. Many of us feel new users need a minimum of 30 hours in the field to really grasp all that a new metal detector is trying to “tell” you. A “newbie” to the hobby may need more than twice that.

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  • March 4, 2009

In a Class by Itself – Bill Ladd

autographdaddy
Throughout my magazine stories, I often wonder why some of us have chosen treasure hunting as a hobby? It seems to me someone or something had to peak your interest in the metal detector. In one article, I went into great detail about how I got started. To a child, I think there is just something very dreamy about finding “buried treasure”. We’ve all seen drawings of the pirate with his eye patch next to his open chest spilling of gold and jewels. Movies I grew up with like “The Goonies” were based on the same premise. Nowadays, look how popular “The Pirates of The Carribean” movies are.

I imagine that starting out in this hobby while still in grade school really influenced me to want to give something back to the children today. It seems like just yesterday that I too was a child dreaming of getting a metal detector for Christmas. I feel blessed that through the hobby, I was lucky to have found valuable treasures, appeared in several newspapers, catalogs, and advertisements. I’ve also appeared on national television, and been able to tap into a writing talent that would otherwise have never surfaced. Maybe I feel exceptionally lucky and want to show young people that anyone, any age can find treasures. My success at age 13 is living proof. While in the field I always try to take the time to remove my headphones and talk to young children when they approach. I explain what I’m doing, show them some finds, and gladly let them watch. Many detectorists nowadays keep their headphones on and pretend they can’t hear them. They may consider children and other interested parties a bother. They don’t want to experience the “pied piper effect” of a gang of children in tow. This happens quite often on the beaches. But, I remember following an older guy around the schoolyard as a youngster asking questions. So, maybe I can relate to them and are therefore more tolerant toward their inquisitiveness. Images: club9a.jpg

Enjoying children, I always had in the back of my mind I would love to visit elementary schools with all my treasures. I just was never aggressive enough to visit schools or find out how to go about it. My collection had grown to museum quality proportions. Cannonballs, bullets, and colonial relics I would professionally label and display proudly in glass cases. It seemed a shame I had to keep my collection hidden in a safe, or locked up in a bank vault. I knew what it felt like to touch a piece of history like I did as a boy. I longed to have other little boys and girls experience the same magic.

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  • March 4, 2009

Found- RARE 1662 Massachusetts Oak Tree Twopence! – Bill Ladd

*Exclusive story on detectorstuff.com

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Lately, just finding time for the hobby has been very hard for me. Between starting a family and moving, detecting for me has been in form of an hour here, an hour there. When I was single, just a couple years back, I was hunting all day Sat, all day Sunday, and even a couple nights after work! Times sure have changed, and it’s quite hard when you have the “bug” and want to get out so bad…..even to coinshoot some clad.

revgold2_t2

But, for some reason it had been a pretty successful hunting season so far, and 2007 had been quality over quantity for some reason. I had opened the season with a previously “unlisted” button find at a cellar hole that I was quickly offered $300.00 for. Then, sneaking away for an hour after work hoping to find a musketball or two, I dug my first-ever gold coin!This was an 1876 British Victoria Half Sovereign. I was happy with that, and my complete attention was to arranging a new house and a baby girl on the way.

But, one sunny day recently, I sat at work looking out the window really just itching to swing my new Fisher F75. I just got it back from Texas with the updated “Jewlery Mode”, and really wanted to try it. It was supposedly “hot” on buttons and I had several fields on the way home where flat buttons had turned up in the past. As I drove, my hopes were let down. I forgot it was June and most all the farmers had crops planted. Finally I spotted one farm permission that had fields that were not yet plowed and were over grown with weeds still. I jumped out and headed for the field that I had dug buttons, and the 1821 Bust Dime that appeared in the ID-Edge advertising. But, my hopes were dulled when I discovered the weeds were so thick I couldn’t even swing a coil! I was able to get the coil down in one corner, and pounding this little bare patch produced just a drop of lead, a hook part, and a broken piece of pewter spoon.

I thought of leaving, but while walking out remembered another tiny field behind a barn. We disliked this field as every time we tried it we came up empty and it had sparse signals. The most it has ever produced was a lone Indian head as I recall. But, seeing it didn’t have as many weeds, I figured what the heck? It’s either try here or head home, and I had not swing in weeks. So, I cranked up the F75 “hot” as possible, and headed toward a really bare section. While walking, a nice signal produced what appeared to be the brass lock plate or key hole cover from a big pad lock. Flipping it over, I saw it was decorated with leaves & such and it was actually a Colonial book clasp (like the hinge things often found on a diary or bible). Cool. Now I figured I not only had an older area, but also I was not going home empty handed at least. In fact, it would look good in one of my colonial display cases.

Site Relics

Now really overlapping my sweeps and listening closely, I got a loud high tone that I thought was a beer can. But, from about 8” up came a bent piece of copper or brass. Looking close I saw it was the bent up bowl of a Colonial latten spoon. These are large flat spoons and many have unique marks and are from the 1600’s! Very cool. Now I knew I had a hot little area with some age. Just two sweeps further, up came a 1700’s pewter button from a depth of 8”. This was the type with the “hump” where the shank once was and common in Revolutionary times.

Spinning around to head back to the direction I came & begin to run a pattern, another weak signal sounded like the last button. I checked the depth and pinpointed it at 6”. I dug a large plug and felt around in the dug dirt after swinging over to see it was out of the hole. Feeling something round and flat it appeared to be just like I thought…another flat button. Yet, when I picked it up it felt super thin like no button I ever held. It was the size of a Spanish ½ Reales and looked dark grey, so maybe that’s it? But it even felt thinner than those. Gently brushing more dirt off, I saw what looked like a nice bold back-mark around a ring of dots. But, again, boy that seems very thin for a coin or button. Wait, that’s not a shank in the middle….it’s a TREE! Now I knew what I had. I recognized that oak tree right away after my friend John dug a hammered silver Massachusetts Oak Tree TwoPence a couple years ago. I noticed the “II” on the other side, and this looked almost exact, and also had apparent nice details! The date side of 1662 was more worn than the “tree” was, but I wasn’t about to complain! As a New England treasure hunter, a “readable” Massachusetts “tree coin” has been on my list of detecting goals since I was a boy. Many New England detectorists have found them, and it’s a lot like becoming a part of the “gold coin club”. I have dug a blank silver disc that matches a tree coin planchet that’s so worn away on both sides I can’t even see a thing even with a loop. So, I never even talked about it or considered myself part of the “club”.

The oak tree TwoPence types are very desirable as these are the only Mass. hammered silvers dated 1662, and considered rarer than many 1652 varieties. The date of 1652 gave these coins the look of having been struck during the English Civil War with Cromwell in power. They were produced from handmade dies, which explains their crude appearance & individuality. The wide range of die varieties is easy to see and all are cataloged with a “Noe” number. Mine appears to be either a NOE 32 or NOE 33 (large dates). These were the last of the TwoPences to be struck as the first ones had small 2’s. COINFACTS.com lists only “3-4 known”, but I’m sure there are a few more unreported in private collections. Still it’s a rare and valuable coin.

So, in very, very limited time, and digging far fewer holes, I have been lucky enough to have attained two “goal coins” with my first-ever gold coin, and now my first “readable” Mass. “Tree coin”. My hunting buddies putting in far more hours are probably cursing meJ There’s still 6 months left in 2007 to dig my first George Washington Inaugural button next! (another long-time goal).

As some people know, like with my fascination with the #13, I’m superstitious and both times I hit these “goals”, I was alone sneaking in an hour after work. Boy, I’m thinking digging for entire weekends are out for the rest of the year! J

Date side

Thanks for reading,
Bill

  • March 4, 2009

1 Sunray Headphones Review – Bill Ladd

Having now been treasure hunting now for over 25 years, I can’t imagine how many sets of headphones I have gone through. Back then, there were really no companies producing “detecting” headsets like there are today. So, many of us made do with whatever stereo type headphones that we could actually get to work on a metal detector. Of course headphones sun_ray_pro_hp-front_viewmade for listening to the stereo at home couldn’t handle the riggers of serious treasure hunting.

Nowadays, the metal detectorist has a wide array of headphone choices available with fancy names and price ranges that can go over $140.00….or close to the cost of a back-up detector! Thus the casual coinshooter may get along fine and enjoy a low priced pair, and this is great. But, someone like a relic or nugget hunter using headphones usually “thrown in” with a new detector purchase will be disappointed as these headsets rarely survive getting pushed and pulled in the field.

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  • March 4, 2009

Colonial Village Treasures – Bill Ladd

1817lcMy hunting partner, Rob Fahey, and I had almost given up trying to locate a lost ghost town in a neighboring New England state. I had stumbled onto an account of “a village” of several Colonial homes abandoned for reasons unknown. It sounded very interesting, and conjured up visions of multiple detecting sites, but we kept putting it off for one reason or another. Since it was a long drive, we talked ourselves into believing that other treasure hunters had also done research and beaten us to the punch. Besides, we had other productive areas closer to home that we’d been working successfully.

Finally, one weekend we decided to take a gamble. Even if the site of the ghost town had been previously detected, we could still enjoy the adventure of locating and photographing a site that dated back to the 1700s. It’s fun to try to go back in time and imagine what life was like with no running water and no electricity. Of course, actually metal detecting at early settlements like this is the pinnacle of our quest, and I enjoy creating displays of whatever relics may surface.

Conflicting theories surrounded “The Village” high in the hills of New Hampshire, and research turned up speculations from various historians: a hamlet of Revolutionary Tories, freed slaves, people afflicted with diseases… to me, all guesses. Additional tips from a hiker brought us up the same winding dirt cart roads once used by the original settlers. Unfortunately, however, vague directions and unfamiliarity with the area led us to every path but the correct one. After going in complete circles with tiring legs, cliches like “striking out” and “can’t win ’em all” were uttered. It was now late afternoon. I looked at my watch and said, “Let’s drive just a bit farther to be sure.” I’d hate to think we were so close and gave up. Finally, we spied stone walls leading into a depression resembling a house site. “The Village!” we yelled.

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  • March 4, 2009

F75/F5 "Head to Head"

Took the F75 and F5 out for a relic hunt the last two Saturdays…I live in the Gold Country where the ground can be down right nasty. The reason I got the F5 was for a back to the F75. I know most of you if not all of you are saying how can the F5 back up one of the best detectors made in recent years. I mean the F70 should be number 2? Well I don’t want a detector that is almost the same as the F75 I wanted something that worked a bit different and ran at a different Freq! I have hunted places where the F75 seems to get stuck and I needed a different detector that would be able to step in and do the job and I trusted Fisher to create a nice mid priced unit that works for relics and turf. I love to have the control of tones. Sometimes I will just look for coins at a high tone even no I am running my disc from 0-6. So I am cherry picking for high tones which are where a lot of old coins and silver come in. Nickels and Indian heads and silver hit at a high tone Then I will start to dig mid tones and so on and then switch to maybe a mono tone and run 0 disc.

The F5 offers me tones and depth and is a fast machine with the standard coil and really holds its own in iron and trash. Give it a DD and man you may have a mini F75. On most of the targets I dug I checked them out after the F75 found them with the F5 and the F5 hit on all of the targets. Near iron or on one target under a horseshoe I found a leather belt buckle both were old and the F5 hit the same way the F75 did. Good info so dug it! The F5 is also more quite even in 0 disc and that can be a plus. I have felt that the F75 reads so much info that is in the ground that sometimes it can mask targets because so much info is flooding the machine. But if you slow down and have an ear for what the F75 is telling you then you can pick out the masked targets a lot of the time.

The F5 has a sweet spot being the coil is not a DD it has a different smaller footprint so you have to investigate the target over the sweet spot. The small 4″ BH coil was a waste of time and it would be nice to have a small coil and a DD. That would make me really happy and show me Fisher really is backing their machines for the long run. I really can not say anything for depth as of yet the places I have hunted are not places where targets sink much into the ground. But I am making a Video for youtube that will show the F75 and F5 in action. I know that Bill Ladd is making a video for the F5 so I am going to let him have first run so I can also see how a pro hunts with the F5.

I will post my finds as photos for you I did really well with the F5 even no I will hunt 99% of the time with the F75 it is nice to know the F5 is in the back seat of my SUV waiting if I need a back up…Fisher give the F5 a DD Christmas is coming??????

lcpm

· Posted by lcpm on August 20 2008 19:09:46

  • March 4, 2009

Unforgettable Experiences – NASA Tom

Reprinted from DankowskiIntelligence 4th edition site link

To purchase NASA Tom’s outstanding metal detecting DVD, click HERE

UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCES
It was one of those days where, due to life’s events and demands, I had been deprived of “time”. Detecting time. Nearly a full month since I had last detected. So, the fever was extraordinarily high, the temperature was cool and the time was finally available. Good sites were becoming increasingly sparse, but my attitude that day was: “I’m POSITIVE I will succeed”. The attitude you carry into the field can make all the difference in the world. And indeed, on this particular hunt, “positive attitude” fully validated itself.

The area was a 4 acre field in Oak Hill, Florida where I was informed a country store once stood. The store burned down in the Fall of 1920, was never rebuilt and the property abandoned/uninhabited since then.
I had detected the property twice before, fairly extensively, to no avail. Only a few clad coins were found, speculating from passer-by transient hunters. I was certain of the tip that I received in 1997 from a man of whom was born in 1911 and worked at the store in 1919 & 1920 as a helper. In fact, in 1997, it was my CZ-6a that verified a ton of charred nails in the ground, exactly where the man claimed the structure once stood. I could not successfully detect where the structure once stood because the volume of nails were excessive and anything else would be completely masked.

As I walked a path directly away from the iron nail pit, the amount of detectable
signals in my headphones diminished rapidly – to the point of virtually pure silence
about 60 feet away from where the structure once stood. Only a few very deep mid-tone trash items existed along with a few sparce rusty nail signals; exceptionally quiet soil. I recall being surprised with the silence of nearly no metal objects in the ground, yet I wrote it off in my mind as a target-poor, clear site.
Flash-forward on the time continuum to February, 2004. Armed with a new CZ-3D, a positive and demanding attitude, I went back to this pounded site. Positively knowing
there just had to be something worthwhile at this site that would be indicative of the era, I began hunting.

I started the search about 70 feet away from the nail infested area where the building
once stood. Targets were few and far in-between in this area, and mostly consisting
of sparse low-tone nails. Then I detected a very weak, nearly consistent high-tone (zinc penny) reading. In my headphones, the target sounded very deep and also large; about the size of a crushed beer can. Nearly certain it was a piece of tin or copper roof flashing from the old building, I decided to dig it out of the way anyway.
As I began to dig, I suddenly remembered that I had started to dig this exact same target in 1997, but changed my mind due to the fact the older CZ-6a read the target as a trash mid-tone at a labor-intense depth. The CZ-3D read high-tone, so I dug a 12” x 12” x 12” cube of sod out of the Earth. Sweeping the coil over the removed plug yielded nothing. Dunking the 8” coil into the hole, the detector would then report an expected large target in the bottom of the hole. Digging about another half-foot of dirt out of the hole, then sweeping the coil in the hole once again, the detector now reported many broken signals. Realizing that I had hit the roof flashing with my shovel and broke it apart, I decided to router out the hole a bit more. Dunking the coil once more, down into the Earth, I then heard only one weak, short beep. Most of my error and mess would now be in the excavated dirt pile.

I swept the dirt pile and heard my multiple errors. I decided to remove each piece of roof flashing out of the dirt pile, one at a time. In a visually induced adrenaline depleting experience, the first target was a Indian Head penny. Then a ‘V’ nickel. Then another Indian Head penny. Then ANOTHER ‘V’ nickel. Then a Barber quarter. Then 3 more consecutive Indian Head pennies. Coin spill of era! -The dirt pile was now sans metal. BUT, the hole still had one more weak signal. In my unsuspecting, haphazard digging efforts, I had no idea of the critical information as to the exact depth of which these coins were at, but now I would be much more cautious.

Much success comes from being intuitive to specific soil signatures; a critical part of detecting intelligence. Fortunately, the one remaining target was not in the loose dirt in the bottom of the hole, rather, it was deep in the sidewall of the hole. Sweeping the coil from the surface of the Earth, the target was not detectable due to excessive depth. It was only detectable with the coil deep down in the hole and to the West sidewall. I decided NOT to scrape out the sidewall, rather, I would carefully dig another
plug from the surface of the ground and meticulously ascertain an exact depth of where the target was at. At exactly 16”, I yielded 2 more Indian Head pennies stuck together! These pennies were located about 14” away (outward) from the main spill. Realizing I was in a large field in the middle of nowhere, I knew I could ethically dig a moon crater and no one would care. So, I removed 10” of top soil in a 4 foot radius. This labor intense effort yielded yet another Indian Head penny at 16” deep. Physically exhausted, I covered my hole and returned home. Carefully cleaning the coins, I analyzed each one with heavy scrutiny.

The newest coin was a 1908 ‘V’ nickel. Although somewhat corroded, it was nearly mint-condition new. I surmise the coin spill took place in 1909. All of the other coins seemed to support this datum. The country store was built in the early 1880’s and had seen nearly 40 years of service. Sixteen inches = 1909 strata soil. Hmmmmm. If not for a large target coin spill, I would have never detected these coins individually.
It was not until July, 2004 (5 months later) when I realized that I should try the 10.5” coil in the remote areas surrounding the once-standing structure. I had ‘written-off’ the area as undetectable as the wanted targets were at inaccessible depths. The large coil would give up to 15% more depth in Florida’s mineral-free soil if used properly; however, I was fairly certain this would not be enough of a depth boost to ascertain success. Needing 16” depth capabilities on single pennies and dimes would be asking slightly too much from the large coil. It is a normal occurrence for the 1909 soil strata to be at a 16” depth in Florida; in fact, it is actually categorized as “stable soil conditions” in this tropical State.

I arrived on site in the early morning and after a hard rain. As long as iron targets were not abundant, the wet ground would help detecting
capabilities slightly. For a good starting
point, I began detecting right at the infamous
coin-spill spot. The ground seemed to ‘come alive’ quite a bit more with the larger coil. With the 8” coil, the ground was silent. With the 10.5” coil, the headphones became busy with targets. Because of the era of the site, my intent was to recover all mid-tones and high-tones (everything that was non-ferrous). Most of the mid-tones would turn out to be crushed buttons, suspender clasps and fired shotgun shell casings.

Within the first two minutes of detecting, I received a very deep high-tone signal, less than 5 feet from the coin spill spot. This particular
signal was so weak that if I were to raise the coil about 3/4” above the target, all intelligible data would be lost. Being careful not to damage the target and also to ascertain a exact depth measurement, I found ANOTHER mini coin spill. At 15-1/2”, I recovered a 1917D Walking Liberty Half Dollar which was almost directly on top of a pair of Standing Liberty quarters; a 1919 & 1920. The 1920 quarter was almost completely Uncirculated with nearly full mint luster. To date, this is the best condition quarter I have ever recovered. The 1919 quarter was About Uncirculated. I believe that I can safely say that these 3 coins were lost in the Spring of 1920.

Approximately 7 feet away from this spot, I received an even weaker high-tone signal. This particular signal was within 1% of the detectors maximum depth capabilities, as the coil could not be lifted 1/10” above the ground, or the target would be completely lost. The target sounded like ground chatter, but it was repeatable ground chatter and in one specific pin-point location. At 15-1/2”, I recovered ANOTHER 1917 Walking Liberty Half Dollar. And four feet to the West of this spot, I recovered ANOTHER Half Dollar at 15-1/2” depth, again. This time it would be a heavily worn 1908 Barber Half Dollar. That’s 3 Half Dollars and 2 quarters ($2.00 face value) in less than 10 minutes; a record-breaker for me.

It is such a rare occurrence that soil conditions are so clean and clear, so as to allow unconditional maximum depth capabilities on targets at such extreme depths with no target masking – which would prevent the detection of these deep coins. I am quite certain that all of these coins were lost in a moments time, by the same person. And $2.00 in 1920 was more than one days wages for many folks.

I continued to hunt for an additional 6 hours and had no further success. I should have turned the detector off and went home after the 1908 Barber Half Dollar.

Hindsight! In retrospect, I recovered only large coins of substantial mass and coin spills. Smaller coins; dimes, pennies & nickels are less than half the mass of a large Half Dollar. In fact, a dime is exactly 1/5 the mass of a Half Dollar (by no accident). And at 15-1/2” 1920 soil strata, 16” 1909 soil strata, and a suspected 17” 1890 soil strata, all of the smaller coins are still perfectly safe, deep inside the Earth awaiting a future generation, deeper technology metal detector. Current technology is preventing anyone from ever accessing these coins. I sure would like to rent a Bobcat and scrape off the first 13” of topsoil in a 200 foot radius surrounding where the building once stood, and detect the sight all over again. I suspect there are approximately 200 coins (pennies, nickels, dimes & quarters) still remaining in the ground at this particular site; lost during the period from the early 1880’s to the Fall of 1920. The older gentleman of whom gave me the tip; the knowledge of where to hunt, had since passed away sometime after 1997. It would have been a deep honor to share any/all of these finds with him, as this specific place on the Earth was much a sacred part of his memorable life. — Godspeed.

  • March 4, 2009

1 Paid in Cache! – NASA Tom

*Reprinted from NASA Toms site site link

To purchase NASA Tom’s outstanding metal detecting DVD, click HERE

About 4 weeks ago, Mike recommended a park in Titusville, Florida that we should hunt. I am an extremely positive person, yet I complained to him about something that I have always preached the exact opposite about. My complaint: I have never passed by this park without seeing at least a minimum of one THer hunting this park. I pass by this park every day after work so I think I could safely say that this park has been hunted over 1000 times. Mike had just purchased the identical top-of-the-line Fisher detector that I have and after some schooling in my test garden and validating the new detector, I accepted his offer to hunt the park. In a short period of time, Mike and I would come to realize the importance of my test garden. The park is about 110 years old and consists of approximately 10 acres of land. Upon arrival to the park I analyzed the soil conditions and rendered 9 of the 10 acres undetectable for various reasons. I knew that only about an acre had potential to produce. In time, this proved to be correct. Mike wanted to watch my techniques for a few minutes before he commenced. In 4 minutes, I pulled 3 mercury dimes at the 10.5 inch calibrated depth mark (graduated shovel). Mike was done watching! He put me to work in one area and he went to another area. In just a few minutes he came running over to me with an 1888 Indian. A few hours each day and several days later, this particular acre produced 3 Indians, 2 Buffaloes, 37 Mercurys, 1 Washington, 1 standing Liberty, 2 Walking Liberties, and several dozen early wheats. Ironically, nothing came out of the ground from 0 to 8 inches. This credit goes to all the other THers. Everything was at the extreme fringe capabilities of these detectors. Mike was startled with the performance of his new detector. Of course, we work “by-the-book” with the coil parallel to the ground lightly scrubbing the grass, slow, methodic, overlapping sweeps and if the natural landmarks are poor, we even use colored plastic spikes to segment small areas at a time, never loosing track of property.

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  • March 4, 2009

Thomas J. Dankowski Bio – NASA Tom

Reprinted from DankowskiIntelligence 4th edition site link

To purchase NASA Tom’s outstanding metal detecting DVD, click HERE

Biography: Thomas J. Dankowski

Born in 1962, Thomas J. Dankowski is presently employed at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, currently working with NASA’s Space Shuttle program and the assembly of the International Space Station. With the utilization of visual and navigational landing systems, he has been training astronauts and cosmonauts how to land, for the past 15 years. Previously, Thomas was a Naval nuclear powered fast-attack submariner.

Thomas purchased his first metal detector in 1972. Then, in 1973, he found his first ‘significant’ find; a rare 1856 Flying Eagle U.S. one cent coin. At the age of eleven, he sold the penny for $700.00 and never told his parents. From that point forward, he was “hooked” into this wonderful hobby of treasure hunting. With this specific experience Thomas claims: “This is where I learned money-management. It took me 2 years to spend the $700.00. Grateful for this positive incident, however, I regret selling such a rare coin – as I no longer have ‘proof’ in my custody with this key-date coin”.

At the time of this writing (July 2002) Thomas has accrued 30 years of detecting
experience. It has simply been a fanatical hobby for him, until recently. In more recent events, Thomas has helped locate murder weapons for FBI and police departments
who have all but given up on feudal searches; helped NASA locate metal items in certain, specific projects; located iron spikes and nails in lumber logs entering industrial saw-mills; located a projectile/bullet in a gunshot victim for an ambulance crew (pin-pointing accuracy took on a new meaning!); Found the usual domestic-dispute “lost” wedding & engagement ring sets; located a ‘misplaced’ buried cache for an individual; and the list goes on.

Thomas’ primary treasure hunting interests are finding the extreme depth older coins. A good relic hunt occasionally piques his interests. Thomas claims that launching Space Shuttles is his hobby and that treasure hunting is his profession. He has trained hobbyists and professionals how to use a metal detector in a wide variety of applications. Frequently, Thomas gives educational lectures at seminars and local treasure hunting clubs. He has written many ‘very technical’ articles pertaining to the hobby, produced a professional training video, and works with Fisher Research Laboratory R&D department on current production and future metal
detector concepts. — Who knows, using a metal detector on Mars to find mineral deposits and metals might be in our space programs future!

  • March 4, 2009

1 Love is Deep! – NASA Tom

*Reprinted from NASA Toms site site link

To purchase NASA Tom’s outstanding metal detecting DVD, click HERE

Love is Deep!

Thomas J. Dankowski
Unedited version
Published in Western & Eastern Treasures, March 1999

Treasure 'Left Behind' by other THers Just how important is depth? Why do objects sink at different rates? Ever hear statements like, “gold is so-o-o-o elusive”? Read on; I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the knowledge of basic physics.

There are so many misconceptions about these questions that I feel the urgency to clarify these questions. I too have heard gross statements/fallacies/misconceptions AND coming from reasonably intelligent people to boot! If there is one word I want you to remember out of this article it would be, without fail, DENSITY! For the hobbyist it’s moderately important. For the amateur or the professional detectorist it is critical.

Recently, I went to the beach to perform a comparison test between two leading brand detectors. My test target was a woman’s simple gold band of medium thickness. I had about 35 inches of thin dental floss tied to the ring so I would not loose it. I dropped the ring on the wet sand (holding on to the floss), set my shovel down, placed the headphones on my head and set the controls of the detector. Now, I was ready to dig a measured depth hole in the sand to bury the ring. When I looked down at the ring, it was gone! As I held the floss with only a slight amount of slack, I watched the ring sink slowly to a depth of 23 inches before it stopped sinking. Why did it sink? What made it stop sinking? Was this an unusual, unique circumstance? This couldn’t be a better example to demonstrate the principles of density. First, gold is a very dense material in relative comparison to other items we have here on earth. For a better understanding of density here is a correct illustration. Take the new United States clad dime. It weighs 2.27 grams. Now look at a United States quarter-eagle ($2.50 gold piece). It is nearly identical in diameter and thickness compared to the United States dime. In fact, it displaces the exact amount as the dime. But, the quarter eagle weighs 4.18 grams. That’s nearly twice the weight! The gold piece has nearly twice the density as in comparison to the clad piece. Now, which identical size coin do you think would sink faster? ! !

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  • March 4, 2009