Sunday, November 11, 2018

Hassled Homeowners - Permission Or Else!

As I often write, metal detecting private property depends on getting permission, and then exercising great care excavating targets once you have that permission. I don't metal detect as much as I used to due to declining health, but depending on my blood pressure, the weather and heat index, I still do spend an occasional enjoyable morning or afternoon on a permission site, listening carefully for buried treasure. I also try to be an ambassador for the hobby, keeping an ear to the ground in the general public, keeping the conversation alive in daily encounters. What I DO hear does not bode well for the hobby. As an engineer, I used to work as as a medical auditor for a medical device company, validating other suppliers were in compliance with all FDA regulations required to produce a certain device, a bone drill, for example. I did this for many years, and the very best tool I had for determining FDA compliance was not a clipboard with a checklist, not a flashlight or a was Body Language that always revealed the truth of whatever matter was at the forefront of the discussion.

The De-Evolution Of The Hobby

I'm not going into the intricacies of body language, but, it does work, and I find it a great source of unrealized truthful communication in many situations. At any rate, Patti and I usually drop hints we practice the hobby among the general public at various times and encounters, and mention our organization, The Central Florida Metal Detecting Club, during the discussion. The reaction and facial expressions are priceless. We were is a antiques shop in Sanford, Florida one day, when Patti let the other shoe drop and mentioned we practiced metal detecting for police evidence hunts, lost and found issues within the general public, et al. The shop-owners face literally fell...then she frowned. "I got this guy who calls me all the time and constantly pleads with me to dig up my yard!" She sighed and looked at the floor in anger. "Why do they not understand the word NO!" She looked up again. "This guy calls me several times a week, same request, and I told him to lose my private number a few weeks ago...but he called again yesterday!" 

So here is a random member of the public who went from happy-talk to frowning and angry words in seconds after we mentioned the hobby of metal detecting.  The hobby I started practicing over 50-years ago, has become a contentious, greed-filled pastime in so many areas, the general public looks on people who do participate in the hobby as looters, criminals, trespassers and troublemakers. And we only have ourselves to blame. A large number of dishonest hobbyists nowadays engage themselves in deception; impersonating officials or workers, sneaking onto properties the back-way from waterways and lakes, submerged under someones private dock digging coins and valuables without permission and unknown to the actual property owners, metal detecting the dead of night using night-vision technologies, or just plain trespassing...hoping to liberate valuables before they are discovered and asked to leave...what I would term Day-Hawking  We also think there is a lot more Night-Hawking going on in Florida than was previously proposed.

All detrimental to those of us simply enjoying a harmless, and so far, legal hobby of metal detecting in the search of forgotten items of history, attempting to liberate them from the matrix of time back into the light of day and the public domain. We have had little success in turning this train-wreck of a hobby around because more and more are in it for the supposed profit ("I'm gonna quite my job and buy a METAL DETECTOR, that's what I'll do!") and easy income they think it will provide. Every day we see another comment "We are THINKING of getting into this GREAT hobby...what do you suggest?" Then the same old discussion of not having much money, and what would a good starter machine would cost and WHERE is the best place to find all that gold and silver? 

I've said this before and I'll say it again...I am not opposed to more individuals entering the metal detecting hobby, but I AM opposed to more taking and less giving by people entering the hobby. In other words, several thousand more people hunting the beach with metal detectors is not going to improve the hobby any more than several thousand more fisherman is going to improve the fishing in a small pond that's already been fished out. We need to add more voices to save this hobby and try and roll back legislation intended to limit or eliminate the hobby completely, but I don't see that happening here in the United States...what I do see is more of the general public grabbing a metal detector and digging like a dog in the nearest dune, then angrily walking away if no gold or silver is found, leaving a mess and looking for a fresh flower bed to rut in; one more black-eye on the hobby. The saddest thing is you know who you are...and you just don't care. I'm off my soapbox now.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Haunted Treasure Hunting - Supernatural VLF

Most metal detectorists have met the paranormal once or twice during a treasure hunt, or as a sideline to the search itself. I've recently blogged about a "ghost car" that tried passing me, while I was on a metal detecting run to Cocoa Beach, the driver waved at me, then the car simply vanished, much to my concern and annoyance. I later found the road I had been driving on was considered to be one of the most haunted roads in Central Florida because of the many fatal accidents that had occurred. One person told me that it was "...literally a graveyard from one end to the other!"

In conversation with other detectorists, I have found that they have admitted things can be a little off while hunting certain properties and driving late at night through "possessed" areas...highways and byways of many deaths, sorrows and loss which can take you life too if you are not careful. Beware! Here are several other stories of metal detecting the paranormal...throw another log on the fire!

I'm not going to name names, for obvious reasons...would you? But these are all true...happened as told to me. Our first story involves several friends with a permission to hunt a property in a small, Civil War era town. The house had been closed up for several years, after someone passed away inside. One of our intrepid crew had explored the interior of the property prior to the group...late at herself. She had been live-streaming the video to me while she wandered around a dusty Christmas tree which had been set up for Christmas in 1996 and still stood silently in a musty living room 20-years later. There were unexplained noises, doors moving by themselves and a general aura of GET OUT even coming through the phone. I told her she needed to leave there right away and she finally agreed. When she returned with the group a few weeks later, as they were leaving a blast of wind from inside the house almost blew them out the door!

Back in 1984, one of my regular detecting buddies had joined me metal detecting an old farm near the everglades, west of Ft. Lauderdale...a permission property that the new owner was going to raze before a new condominium was to be built later in the year. It was around 3 p.m. when we finally made it to the decaying farm. The old farmhouse was from the 1890's and was a sad broken or no windows at all. The roof had collapsed, and timbers reached skyward like broken teeth. Green mold covered much of the rotting walls. We found a few iron relics, square nails and a few V-Nickles. We were metal detecting on the west side of the house, and it was around 7 p.m. and night was was getting hard to see. My buddy suddenly started staring behind me, and said "She does not look very happy!" I swung around and in the broken window behind me, stood an elderly woman with white hair in a bun, an old fashioned white apron, and what looked like a gingham blue dress under it. A pale blue glow surrounded her, and she glared at us with disapproval. My buddy yelled at her, "What are you doing in there? It's unsafe...!!!" I looked back and the woman and the glow were gone!
We tiptoed across the rotting porch and pushed open what was left of the sagging water-logged door. My buddy switched on his big seven-cell flashlight and aimed it inside...most of the floorboards inside had collapsed, leaving gaping holes in the floor. A huge spider of some kind, the size of my hand, skittered across the bent wood. We both backed away, but I grabbed the light and pointed it toward the window where we had both seen the woman looking at us. The floor had completely caved in and there would have been no place to stand in the first place...she had been standing in mid-air!!!  A few weeks later, the place was completely bulldozed, and the remains burned. I wonder if she had looked out at the heavy equipment operator with disapproval as the huge steel blade made contact with the rotting porch? 

The last story, which happened just a few months ago, was quite a surprise to another friend who had experienced it. Coming back after midnight, along the famous "Dead Zone" on RT 4, in Sanford, Florida, my friend saw what was initially perceived as a deer trying to cross the deserted highway, but getting closer turned out to be a man wearing an old-fashioned hat riding a farm horse of some kind. My friend said it looked like a TV image...kind of grayish or bluish...and if my friend had not been going well below highway speeds, it could have resulted in a bad accident. As my friend passed this apparition, a glance in the rear-view mirror showed nothing but empty asphalt behind the vehicle.

Of course, these kind of incidents are few and far between, but as treasure hunters, many times we go to deserted places, now lifeless in many ways, but once teeming with people and good times and bad times and every other emotional flavor humans can have. It has been surmised that very strong human emotions, which are basically electromagnetic brain waves, can somehow "imprint" themselves on the surrounding environment; houses, roads, rocks, cars and the like. Maybe the electromagnetic signature of our machines have a disturbing effect on that element...and we see what we see...or maybe not. Happy Halloween!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Cache Hunting Part 1 - A Lost Art

Modern metal detector users...those who hit the beach, the park, and the schoolyard regularly...have one thing in common; they rarely, if ever, search out a lost cache. Many have never even heard of a cache in the first place. Simply put, a cache is a hidden stash of cash, coin, jewelry or anything of value to the person hiding it. Children are known, from an early age, to bury toys and keepsakes in their yard for future retrieval. Schools, at least in my day, would occasionally bury "time-capsules" in concrete, consisting of the many trappings of our daily American life in the early 1960's; Beatles albums, Teen magazine, (prehistoric) 4 or 8-track tapes, newspapers, 1963 school lunch menus, and the like. However, "time-capsules" were usually meant to be opened at a specific time in the future, and were rarely hidden, so they exist on the edge of the definition of a "cache." Nineteenth Century citizens hid caches regularly, as they didn't trust bankers, and wanted their stuff within easy reach and easy to recover if they needed to leave in a hurry...and without a metal detector! The basic assumption is that one in five old homes have a hidden cache somewhere...but they can be hidden literally anywhere. With that in mind I actually have searched out caches, and have friends who have also. I've found some, missed some, and I've stupidly ignored some.

An approximation of Big Chief Demolition's logo, as I remember it
Way back in 1985, my friend and fellow treasure hunter, Kevin Reilly (founder of Reilly's Treasured Gold metal detecting shop in Pompano Beach, Florida) had a good thing going with his friends at Big Chief Demolition, Inc, a now long-defunct demolition company out of Ft. Lauderdale. The cities' popular "Holiday Park" was surrounded by 1930's and 40's era homes that were falling apart, and city of Ft. Lauderdale wanted to reclaim all that land for new condominiums. Big Chief got the contract, and would pull out all appliances and anything else left in these houses, having big salvage sales to the public, before they were torn-down. That short reprieve was metal-detecting time for Kevin and I, with full permission from Big Chief for the entire neighborhood. No hassles, no police or angry homeowners; just weekends of scanning and digging...silver coins, gold rings, watches, you-name-it was coming off these properties by the handful. Kevin's Fisher 1280-X and my Garrett ADS Deepseeker were singing the song of treasure all the way. 

Mid-20th Century South Florida homes were built of cinder-block (called CBS construction) and were like small military bunkers, low and strong to withstand the violent hurricanes that visited the peninsula every other season. And a common feature was a low-slung planter box filled with dark Florida dirt, about six feet long and maybe four feet high, made of cinder block, and usually attached at right-angles to the wall of the house. The more elaborate ones had copper irrigation piping encircling the interior wall of the planter; you could water your plants by simply turning the spigot.

This was what I came upon while we were searching the yard of a soon to be torn-down house. Kevin was in the yard, down on one knee, digging the tons of wheat pennies, toy cars, and stuff. I passed by the planter wall and casually swung the Deepseeker's 8" co-planer coil over the top as I headed for the yard. A loud signal almost knocked my earphones off my head! I stopped and backed up. Once again, a very loud, almost too loud, target signal screeched from the machine. I ran the coil down the sides of the planter wall and got the same signal. I looked over at Kevin.

"Hey, Kevin, I got one heluva' signal here, man...a real humdinger!" Kevin looked over his shoulder at me. "Is that the planter box?" I nodded my head. Kevin shrugged and said "That's just the copper piping in there...don't bother with it!" He went back to digging the yard. I wandered into the front yard as well, picking up a few coins, a few lead toy cars from the 1930's with the Deepseeker. The planter box stared dolefully at my back, whispering and snickering. I finally couldn't stand it any longer, and headed back to the cinder-block planter. Carefully scanning it from all sides, I was getting somewhat of a target separation...several large targets...and copper pipe would not do that. I looked back at Kevin, who was now swearing loudly (he was a died-in-the-wool Irishman) as he'd somehow managed to almost stick his coin probe thru his hand. He was not happy about it! I yelled back at him. "Kevin, I'm getting a big signal here, and some target separation...copper pipe would not do that, right?" Kevin looked at me, his eyes reddening. "Look, Jim, it's the copper pipe...copper is a major will create a huge signal...okay?" He was fanning his sore hand, so I figured, what the heck, I'd dug a few inches into the dirt at the top of the planter and didn't find anything, so it's probably the copper pipes.

The next day, I opened the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel newspaper, with a minor headline blaring (as well as I can remember it) "Demolition Workers Strike Treasure!!!" I stared at the large B&W photo of a bulldozer, parked in a field of glittering silver coins, with construction workers filling up their hard-hats with specie. I read the article, the gist of which was that bulldozer "A" demolished the cinder-block planter "B" which contained six large mason jars filled with Morgan dollars which were blown all over the site "C" and were being scooped up by the happy workers "D," which was D for dammit!!! I called Kevin and asked if he had seen the news about the silver dollar finds on the demolition site. He said he had. I asked him if he had anything to say to me at all. He was quiet for a second, then said "It sure looks like they were not copper pipes after all, aye?" First rule of cache hunting...check the target and never take the signal for granted...especially big targets. If I'd gone down a crummy six-inches deeper, I would have hit the top of the Morgan dollar cache. It's been 33-years and I still get angry with myself for not checking it. Don't make the same mistake.

Note: My good friend, and treasure hunting partner, Kevin Reilly passed away in 2012 from cancer, forever leaving a hole that can never be filled in the metal detecting community. Rest in peace my friend.

By the way, this subject was suggested to me by my friend and fellow blogger, Dick Stout and his fantastic metal detecting blog, Stout Standards. Visit him at

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Metal Detecting From Orbit - Cooper Style

 I love treasure hunting TV shows. Who, I ask you, would not like to see the underdog (us) summarily find massive amounts of wealth with raw wits and expensive gear, foiling the powers that be (them) who feel (and quite jealously, I might add) that no one should be allowed, anywhere or at any time to search for lost treasure, let alone actually finding it, and keeping it? Treasure hunting is still, even today, a starry-eyed adventure waiting to happen, if only you could get off work and search for it! And TV shows depicting the struggle of those who make it their job to do so, flourish in the ratings department no matter how long the search is. Take everyone's treasure show they love to hate, Oak Island...literally a treasure never-land...that goes on season after season, with one failure after another, and a cast of characters that continually changes more than you change your socks. But maybe they will find you wince and keep watching. It's all in good fun, right? Reputable treasure hunters spending massive amounts of cash, finding nothing at all, but getting big TV ratings! Who is fooling who here?

Other TV treasure hunting series in the gold vein (see what I did there?) like Gold Rush and Billion Dollar Wreck can and do hold my attention because there are real people here, finding real gold, having their equipment break down, digging into a hillside or facing some real danger underwater looking for real shipwrecks, which they really find on occasion. I find they have a bit of credibility, for a reality show, and the characters are interesting and sometimes even likable. 

My big irritation, though, is the Discovery Channel's TV series "Cooper's Treasure" which hangs on the premise that Gordon Cooper somehow mapped a bunch of treasure galleons in May of 1963, aboard Mercury 9, from his primitive space capsule by using some sort of "secret military sensor" installed to secretly hunt for soviet nuclear missile bases in the Caribbean. And left a notated treasure map for his short term pal, Darrell Miklos, to use after his death. Watching the show from the very beginning, it was action packed and looked like it might actually lead somewhere. But, I knew beforehand that it wouldn't...entertaining as the first few episodes were, I knew it was all bunk. How could I possibly know that? Because someone connected with the production of Cooper's Treasure contacted me before the show was produced to determine if the instrumentation aboard Cooper's spacecraft could have actually detected billions of dollars in shipwrecked treasure. Although I am a famous treasure hunter (not really), I was also an aerospace engineer involved in portions of the space program on and off for many years in the 1970's, 80's and 90's. So when they contacted me, and asked me to verify Gordon Cooper's on-board Gamma Ray Spectrometer could map treasure galleons from space, my answer was a resounding NO.

Email from Cooper's Treasure research department, asking me  to verify Cooper could spot shipwrecks from space
They were not of the Cooper's Treasure researchers then called me up, and we had a discussion about gamma ray spectrometers and the likelihood that anything aboard Cooper's spacecraft could detect lost treasure ships. I pointed out to the show's researcher, that during the Civil War thousands of tons of shipping were sunk, steam-boats and ironclads. In WWII, there were millions of tons of allied shipping, bulky iron and steel ships, sunk by German U-boats all around the Atlantic and Caribbean. Did they all show up on his map also? And Spanish Galleons, which are mostly of all-wood construction, other than the thin-copper or lead hull sheathing sporting a dozen or so iron cannon, are not particularly easy to locate, even with a modern proton magnetometer pulled behind a power boat, directly over the wreck!

Despite this information, the show apparently must go on, and it did, for a full season, and is now is in it's second season, with no treasure wrecks found...not one...or really anything else of any significance. One episode touted one of Columbus' anchors (yes, that Columbus) had been found, notated on the map, but I saw very little, if any verification or validation of that from any marine archaeologists, scholars or anyone with any kind of credentials you'd trust. Anchors are everywhere on the sea floor and it's not that rare to find one...a good friend of mine, Kathy W., found a very nice 19th Century anchor while she was magnet fishing off a dock. And without using a map made from orbit either.

Apparently in desperation, the Cooper's Treasure gang has been trumpeting now, that Darrell Miklos has discovered a UFO underwater...or maybe a USO, since it is obviously not airborne. 

Cooper's Treasure Finds Alien Spaceship
So, entertaining or not, I think a treasure hunting TV series should maintain at least a thin aura of authenticity, with some credible episodes that are not mainly a rehash of the previous rehash of the previous episode, ad infinitum. Experts who really know a lot about early spacecraft and their capabilities are as exasperated with the Cooper's Treasure premise and subsequent non-show that has followed as I am. James Oberg, an American space journalist and historian who's books and articles I have enjoyed immensely over the last 40-years or so, had a few things to say about the show in more detail than I ever could

The magic MacGuffin of Mercury 9

My solution is to re-name the show Cooper's Science Fiction Treasure. I'd be an avid fan at that point.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Search Team - Helping The Public & Police

The Central Florida Metal Detecting Club, of...wait for it...Central Florida, has spent more than a few years honing it's CFMDC SEARCH TEAM, a group within the group. Since the year 2000, when the club assisted law enforcement in finding the weapon that killed an Orlando police officer, the CFMDC SEARCH TEAM has been instrumental in searching for, and finding, murder weapons for local law enforcement over the last several decades. During the last several years, business has been good; there have been no decreases, especially in violent, crime. Although the club receives no money for assisting police at these evidence hunts, search teams have been known to get a police-supplied air-conditioned trailer parked at the crime site, as well as stacks of hot pizza for well as busy officers also taking time in supplying bottles of ice-cold water to over-heated search team members. There are very few club-snapped photos of these hunts, as police prohibit photographs of an active crime scene, but are sometimes allowed after the evidence is found.

Team members selected for this "club within the club" are selected for their, above all, integrity, expertise with a metal detector, knowledge of evidence gathering, and precisely following the instructions given by CSI personnel as to where to hunt and what to do when a promising signal is acquired. If you pick up the target and wave it over your head, not only will you not be asked ever to participate again, now your fingerprints are ON the evidence...not a good thing if it was involved in a murder!

At any one time, the CFMDC search team consists of about 15 to 20 highly experienced evidence hunters who know the ropes, techniques and seriousness of doing a professional job for our law enforcement community. The biggest advantage is the CFMDC can put a large number of experienced people on site with minimal notice, and get the job done. There are few things that can give you a better feeling about your hobby than lending your skills and expertise in metal detecting to the folks working hard to keep the public safe, and get the violent criminal element off the streets. 

The search team is also involved in finding and returning lost items to the general public in the Central Florida area at no cost whatsoever to the owner of the lost item. Again, Search Team members are selected for their honesty, integrity and expertise with a metal detector.The club gets many relayed requests from metal detector dealer, Kellyco Metal Detectors, in Winter Springs, Florida to help frantic folks who have lost irreplaceable, rings, necklaces, and bracelets to recover them. From a bejeweled platinum crucifix lost on a six-acre working farm, to a platinum engagement ring lost in a septic tank...the CFMDC Search Team will put as many man-hours in as possible to locate and recover the items. Many times, despite repeated searches, and sometimes trying to recover a target by pawing through piles of wet, "fragrantly" steaming sewage, some items cannot be found...those are the times we feel inadequate to the task. But every CFMDC SEARCH TEAM member who has been in on any search for a lost item can talk the talk, because each and every one has walked the walk!  

If you have lost an item or need experienced evidence hunters in the Central Florida area who's services come at the cost of a pizza...cheese or half-pepperoni...and most usually nothing at all...leave the CFMDC a message on it's website. Central Florida Metal Detecting Club Peace and good health!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Fake Finds - Fibbing and A' Ribbing

Over the many years of metal detecting, treasure hunting and all that, I've run several times (maybe more than a few) into the phenomena we all used to call "Fibbing and A' Ribbing." Basically this consists of someone pretty much lying thru' their teeth about what they have found and where they have found it. Many years ago, early 1980's,down in South Florida, a lot of us would get together at Kevin Reilly's treasure hunting shop "Reillys Treasured Gold" to "chew the fat," and bring out our finds. 

Now of course, certain guys (not that many gal's in the hobby then) could not use a metal detector properly if their lives depended on it, (they were not the easiest machines to master) nor could they pin-point worth a dang with the old concentric co-planer coils, and basically collected pop-tabs by the barrel-load to make aluminum necklaces out of for their pets...or whatever they did with em' at the time.

So, some of these guys, on occasion, would pull out a nice Indian Head penny and pass it around to oohs and ahhs, or wave a shiny gold wedding band or silver ring. Now. there was a lot of stuff to find then, without the roaming hordes of metal detector operators that NOW wander the shore, vacuuming up every dot of metal anywhere. You could easily, on a good day, pull a half-dozen gold rings from the sand. But not everyone could.

How do you get the respect you want in a group of treasure hunters if you ain't finding treasure...or haven't found treasure yet? Answer: you buy or borrow some and present it as the real thing! Instant street cred...wallah! And what good is street cred you ask? You get popular...people want a winner on the team, on the hunts and on the prowl. If you are a producer, you get invited to go where the experienced treasure hunters go. Never underestimate street cred! But you have to be "experienced" treasure hunter was proudly passing around his coin finds, in their protective sleeves, when someone noticed one of the paper protectors had a price and coin shop logo printed on the border.

This happens a bit in Social Media today, I's not rampant, but you can pick it out if you look close. We had a guy on several FB Metal Detecting groups quite a few years ago who, each weekend, posted amazing and valuable jewelry chains, wedding bands and diamonds galore. When he was questioned about it after the up-tenth time, as his "finds" were always set against a jewelry store-type display with not a speck of beach sand anywhere, his temper flared and he threw angry comments about jealousy and envy across the group pages. He left the groups in a huff, but it was discovered later that he worked in a jewelry store in Miami. What a coincidence.

But really, who cares? So what, you say...they are making fools out of no one but themselves, right? Well maybe, but I think it is wrong because you are deceiving other folks, either new to the hobby or new to the area, into thinking that fabulous and valuable finds are made like taking candy from a baby. Every experienced beach hunter, treasure hunter, or coin-shooter knows it takes hours of detecting, research and, mainly luck to make those enviable finds, and is not the piece of cake they are trying to make it out to be.

So, reviewing other people's amazing metal detecting finds is fun, legitimate finds especially, poser finds not so much. But still, how would you know? I have many friends in the hobby that DO make amazing finds, after much hard work and field look at their muddy, sunburned face, dirty clothes, and dazed look, will tell you the whole story. Finds framed by pickup truck beds, resting on a metal detector control panel, still in a dirt-walled hole, or on someones sand-covered finger are pretty much the real deal. Finds sporting brightly-colored magazine-ad backgrounds, not so much.

Stay safe, make good recoveries!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Minelab CTX 3030 - The Arrington Chronicals

I've been metal-detecting since 1965, a good 50-years plus in the hobby. In that time, I've read a lot of books on the subject, met a lot of people who knew what they were doing, and those that didn't, and done a good bit of treasure hunting myself. Now back in the day, nobody called themselves a detectorist...that was coined (excuse the pun) from a British TV show of the same name. Reality imitating Art again. We came in two varieties back were either a coin-shooter, i.e. just a casual plinker digging lost coins, or a THer, i.e. a treasure hunter, researching, locating and finding lost treasure of the serious kind; lost Civil War payrolls, shipwreck coins, hidden caches and anything of great value. And we learned a valuable lesson was not your metal detector that finds the's you and how you use the tools of treasure hunting. Of course, a $2500 machine is gonna be much more capable than a $29 metal detector you find at a local Big Box store, despite arguments I always hear to the contrary...usually from the $29 detector owners, that they are "...just as good!" in much the same vein as Lear Jet pretty much trumps a little Cessna 152 in speed and altitude, plus the fact Cessna 150 owners are experienced enough not to argue the opposite...not to put too fine a point on it.

One of the most expensive detectors you can own is a Minelab CTX-3030. A top-of-the-line machine considered by many to be a professional grade detector. It sports a color screen, target displays consist of double, two-digit numbers denoting the target's Ferrous content and Conductivity rating. A 12-47 comes in usually as a silver quarter, a 01-43 indicates a silver dollar, and a 35-45 indicates something IRON. The machine can display more than one target at a time under the coil, has a built in GPS, runs on 28 different frequencies simultaneously, and is waterproof. Whew!
Ken Returning A Lost Gold Engagement Band

A friend of mine, and fellow CFMDC member, Kenneth Arrington, is what we used to call a Master Hunter with this particular machine. Kenneth had a long dry spell between jobs as a water plant chemist, and rather than sit on his you-know-what, hit the beach, park and everywhere in between during his job search. He spent from 12 to 14 hours daily using the Minelab CTX 3030, developed techniques and search patterns that made him some glorious finds during his hunts. A lot of them he displayed on our club Facebook site, Central Florida Metal Detecting Club group, and a lot of other metal detecting groups.

In between his finds, Kenneth has made himself useful in the local community, finding and returning WWII dog-tags lost in the mid-1940's to the still-living wife of the now-deceased solider, and was written up in the local news. He, along with his wife Karen, also found a lost engagement ring for a frantic groom, who thought his marriage was over BEFORE it had even begun!

A lot of folks became extremely impressed with the finds Kenneth was making and came to a somewhat erroneous conclusion...that the MACHINE was responsible for the finds! As a result, there was a plethora of CTX 3030 purchases made based on that assumption. Of course, there is no doubt it is a stellar detector, but without the dedicated knowledge and experience, you are gonna be angrily posting bottle-caps and few pieces of foil instead of gold rings and silver jewelry. As a result, many folks started requesting advice from Kenneth. He didn't mind giving a few pointers, but with Kenneth hard at work again on a new job, his time has been limited and questions getting more complex.

Water Chemist, and detectorist, Kenneth Arrington in his natural environment

His amazing finds here in Central Florida continue, as a dedicated treasure hunter, and artifact hunter, his skill levels are yet to be surpassed with the Minelab CTX-3030. Kenneth has also offered to give personal lessons on the machine, disseminating some of his hard-won knowlege, so if you are interested, and live in the Central Florida area, give him a holler at and see if you can get on the training roster!