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Meet the Diggers

Get to Know KG and Ringy

George Wyant pretending to punch Tim Saylor  at the Big Hole location.

George Wyant pretending to punch Tim Saylor at the Big Hole location. (View larger version)

Photograph by National Geographic Channel

Published

Metal-detecting buffs Tim “Ringy” Saylor and “King” George Wyant are homespun historians who are fascinated with ferreting out interesting fragments of the past—and who like to have a little fun in the process.

As a profile in the Cedar Rapids Gazette once noted, Saylor “is not above licking a clump of dirt if he loses a bet over finding a silver dollar, but he prefers when his buddy loses and has to wear a prom dress while riding his bike off the dock into the icy Montana waters.”

“We have always had the mindset that the appreciation of history and a sense of humor are not mutually exclusive,” Saylor explains.

Saylor, a native of Iowa who earns a living writing software for insurance companies, says that even as a child he was intrigued with old coins and other remnants of days gone by. He bought his first metal detector back in the 1980s, but didn’t use it much until he moved to Montana a decade ago. “I found my old detector during the move, and decided to try it on my new backyard,” he recalls. “I found three silver coins, and I was hooked.”

Around that time, Saylor met Wyant, a copper miner who also sells seamless rain gutters on the side. “George found out that I had the detector, and because he always wanted one, called me to talk about it,” Saylor recalls. “He did that, even though we had only met a few times and really wanted nothing to do with each other.”

He’s kidding, of course. Saylor and Wyant soon began going out on metal-detecting searches together. “I first got excited when I saw that we actually could find coins—a lot of them,” Wyant recalls. One of his first finds was a 1909 Barber dime. “I was hooked for good,” Wyant recalls. Saylor similarly got the fever when they were exploring an old church and he found a silver Franklin half dollar, a silver quarter, and a 1933 World’s Fair token. Since then, they’ve found everything from buffalo nickels to 19th Century saloon tokens.

The pair eventually formed their own company, Anaconda Treasure, and launched a website that markets books on treasure hunting, “Team ATC” hats, clothing and gear, and the Extreme Metal Detecting DVD series, which captures the pair’s adventures. “We were watching DVDs that we bought on eBay, and they seemed incredibly boring and staged,” Saylor explains. “We began carrying cameras with us on all our hunts, and filmed all the greatest finds, showing our real reactions. We mixed in some ridiculous stunts as well.”

While the pair call themselves treasure hunters, it’s in a tongue-in-cheek way, since most of the bits of the past they’ve found—old coins, guns, rings, jewelry and tools—turn out to have relatively little monetary value. “It’s the thrill of the hunt,” Saylor cheerfully admits. “We don't make money detecting, but rather lose it. By the time you pay for gas, food, batteries, and gear for the hunt, you almost always lose money that day.  If you are in it for the cash, then you should find another hobby or else you are bound to be disappointed. The old silver coins we find are usually worth only $5 or $10 each, so if it were about investing and money, we would be much better off going to the coin store and just buying the coins.”

Nevertheless, they are relentless searchers, spending long days in the field and digging countless holes to find a few humble treasures, while dreaming of the rare gold coins they someday hope to stumble upon. “KG and I are like the honey badgers of metal detecting,” Saylor says. “We have never met anyone who can keep up. It’s always great when you find something valuable or interesting, but we always have fun wherever we go. Like the cliché, it’s not the destination, but the journey. Or however that goes.”

George Wyant aka "KG"

George is a graduate of Anaconda high school. He thought about going to college but figured that a hammer and a shovel fit better in his hand than a pencil. After digging ditches for four months for a local plumber, he thought maybe it was time to try college. Knowing that would entail the reading of many books, he instead went to work at a foundry and ran electric furnaces. After seven years of that, he thought about college once again. Remembering that college would require him to think really hard, he opted to work at a copper mine in Butte Montana where he remains employed today. George is an expert fisherman and hunter. In 2005, he was photographed fly fishing and published in Travel Montana magazine. In 2009, he was featured in the Anaconda Leader newspaper after being attacked by a large black bear 5 miles deep in the forest while bow hunting. (He lived.) An accomplished treasure hunter, George has appeared on ABC's Good Morning America, co-produced and co-starred in Anaconda Treasure's Extreme Metal Detecting DVD series, and is currently working with a world renowned television production company on a show for a major cable network. George and his wife Lori live in Anaconda, Montana, and are the proud parents of two girls, Emily, 14, and Morgan, 11.



Tim Saylor aka “Ringy”

Tim Saylor is a two-time graduate of the University of Iowa, holding degrees from that institution in both German and Psychology, has completed studies abroad at the University of Vienna, and is a certified computer programmer and web designer. The Iowa Writers Workshop is world renowned, and, as an undergraduate, Tim wrote and studied fiction at the university under Bob Shacochis (Easy in the Islands) and David Morrell (First Blood, Rambo). Tim received the German Book Prize from the University of Iowa's German Department in 1995 and the Class Third Prize for the Wiener Internationale Hochschulkurse at the University of Vienna in 1994, and he was inducted into the University of Iowa's Psi-Chi Honor Society. In 1990, Tim recorded tracks on the not-so-critically acclaimed rock band No Spokes' debut album Way Big. An accomplished treasure hunter, Tim has appeared on ABC's Good Morning America, co-produced and co-starred in Anaconda Treasure's Extreme Metal Detecting DVD series, wrote the book Treasure Hunting with Team ATC, and is currently working with a world-renowned television production company on a show for a major cable network. In spite of these achievements, he remains poor and unsuccessful, living isolated in a miner's shack in the mountains of Montana with his son Ian and his Boston terrier "Brick", where they spend their days avoiding bear attacks and searching for that elusive jar of gold and silver coins.



257 comments
Sharon Koger
Sharon Koger

I love the show because I have always been interested in history. That is what you guys do. I found a 6 lb. cannonball in my front yard and that does not happen in the city. I live in civil war territory and would love for a metal detector to be run over the area to see if there is anything else here. I have been told the cannonball is from the civil war. How cool is that?

Richard Wendel
Richard Wendel

Like the show but do they really have to scream/yell/run/and roll around on the ground with EVERY find. Gets a little old.

David Haggerty
David Haggerty

Like the show but can you stop using the word NECTAR it's getting really irritating!

Pecker Wood
Pecker Wood

KG?? YU MEAN "K-Y"....THOSE BOYS SPEND TOO MUCH TIME OUT IN THE WOODS...ALONE....

Pecker Wood
Pecker Wood

RINGY???? YOU MEAN "DINGY"....GOT HIS BELL RUNG A FEW TOO MANY TIMES!

Pecker Wood
Pecker Wood

"DIGGERS"...DIG EACH OTHER BENT OVER A STUMP.

cindy cash
cindy cash

p.s. Metal detecting is my passion! 

cindy cash
cindy cash

Do you guys ever answer personal emails. I have a request. You know my father well. Thanks. 

Linda Parker
Linda Parker

OF COURSE a little celebrating adds excitement, but all this jumping and rolling around and howling is ridiculous and sophomoric. Spend some time showing the guys replacing divots and also reminding viewers that they can't go digging without permission.  And I have done enough digging to recognize that a good half of the 'finds' depicted on this show are planted: you would never find a coin lying in loose dirt!  It needs to look solidly compacted if you want people to believe it's been buried in a pasture for 200+ years.  Try watering them in some, a day or two in advance - they'll look a lot more realistic.     

Andrew Wood
Andrew Wood

Your show is great! Two "real people", not reality show shells making a show about their passion. If you are able to get paid (regardless of amount) doing what you love, you should count yourself lucky. If it requires some over the top antics once in a while, such as screaming, eating dirt or swing from a tree, so be it. We should all remember not to take ourselves too seriously. Good for you guys and keep the episodes coming. I wish I could go out hunting with you two...I might even eat grass if I found siv or g. If you're ever in Northern VT, look me up. Thanks.

Lawrence Smith
Lawrence Smith

I do not agree with the other posts, the antics help make the show. How boring it would be just digging a hole and then no excitement. Ringy was kind enough to visit with me at his home this week. He is a great fellow and my family and I will continue to say the show is one of the better ones we watch during the cold dark winters. 

L. Smith, Montana

Kevin James
Kevin James

As a hunter myself, I WOULD really enjoy this show IF it was not for all of the 'over-the-top-over-acting'.  Please guys!  Nobody acts like that!  "Nectar" this, and "roundage" that is extremely annoying... Despite being very interested in what they might find next, I can only watch for a short while because its so obnoxious.  Please guys..Tone it down and the show would be so much better!!!

Your Program Isrediculous
Your Program Isrediculous

Kudos Karie I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion . Ok filming two guys walking around with metal detectors is lame enough alone how entertaining can that be? So they throw in all the contrived excitement and ridiculous acting (over a bottle cap) and expect the viewers to be drawn into that to see what tchotchke they will unearth next, as if that is not enough in itself they pull grade school stunts on each other thinking maybe the viewers will tune into see what whacky antics KG & Ringy will be up to this week, give me a break Nat Geo I am surprised that you would even let this tripe pass the pilot phase What happened to all the brilliant thought provoking , stimulating, educational programming you used to air like NOVA, COSMOS, 125 years of brilliant educational media and it has come to this? Please restore some dignity to your fine name and remove this from your line up or at least make it tolerable have you ever viewed History Detectives? This program could be so much better with just a little bit of THOUGHT.

charles Wallace
charles Wallace

I can't believe this is Nat Geo. These two need to be gone and replaced by more mature adults. Maybe they have a future on the comedy channel. Please do something with the behavior so I can enjoy the show.

charles Wallace
charles Wallace

I enjoy the  show itself, but the yelling, jumping around etc...are too much. The child like behavior will probably keep me from watching the show. Why must they act like two children? If they were to act more proper the show would be better to watch. please quit doing cartwheels and rolling on the ground etc... Show some respect for what you are doing and the location as to what may have occurred there. Their behavior reminds me of two small children sneaking their dads metal detector out. Love the show. Hate the behavior.

Mark Stewart
Mark Stewart

Love the show but cannot stand the generic beeps, it's all the same! How hard would it be to put microphones into the equipment to add to the authenticity. Please it's so annoying the way it is!

Karie Manton
Karie Manton

I just watched the Gettysburg episode and I am dumbfounded.  

Seriously Nat Geo? Rolling, cartwheeling and yelling like a couple of demented children, across the sacred ground where thousands of men died?  Betting on Lincoln penny finds?

This is like watching Beavis and Butthead with a hobby. The archeologists appearing on this train wreck should be embarrassed and Nat Geo just lost a lot of cred with me.

Let these buffoons take their metal detectors to a school playground somewhere and concentrate on finding ID Bracelets and jacks.

Your Program Isrediculous
Your Program Isrediculous

I don't understand how Nat Geo allows these morons to even be remotely associated with what used to be an interesting and educational channel they are loosing a viewer, is this crap going to spill over into National Geographic Magazine also?

Your Program Isrediculous
Your Program Isrediculous

Your program with it's contrived drama and excitement when you supposedly find something is ridiculous please tone it down ,I watch just for laughs as how stupid you guys look trying to act out authentic excitement, worst acting I've ever seen . Try a different formula, every dime a dozen reality tv program can't be acted into American Pickers or Meteorite Men success it's just plain dumb .

Lisa Kidney
Lisa Kidney

My husband and I love watching the show so much that we started digging for ourselves. How can we send you a video to show one of our findings? It thrilled us that's for sure!

G. D.
G. D.

KG and Ringy use the Garrett AT Pro metal detectors. 


At first I thought their "enthusiasm"  was over the top, but now I enjoy each and every one of the Diggers shows. I put myself in their place and I'd be just as excited as they are, I just wish my finds were as noteworthy as theirs. Let's just say that they are safe on the show and I won't be taking their place any time soon.  KG and Ringy, keep up the good work all the while exposing new people to the metal detecting hobby. You are true ambassadors to the metal detecting world. Thanks.

John Shaner
John Shaner

What kind of digger do you use on your show? I really like your show I love to dig myself haven't found much but I don't really care I have fun doing it. I don't like the Harassment that you get here but I guess some people don't know any better. I don't see anything wrong with you showing a lot of enthusiasm about what you do. I think I would if I were in your position.

Keep up the good work.

John

Mike Gallivan
Mike Gallivan

Boy there really are some pointy headed geeks that post comments on here. Probably have nothing better to do but criticize from behind the keyboard. I'm sure they eat the same thing at the same time everyday also. Loosen up and enjoy the show. KG and Ringy are having a great time with a great hobby and even educating us with some facts about the area where they are hunting. Maybe if you aren't so wound up tight as a drum you won't be as constipated.

Rick Butler
Rick Butler

I agree with the comment below.  These guys are a team but all I hear is "Look what I found", "I have an engine part here", "I found the best piece".   What happened to "WE".  There is no I in team.

Ted Carlson
Ted Carlson

I have never written about a NatGeo show before, but feel compelled to do so, now.

One word describes KG.....INFANTILE!!!!

I tune in during the last five minutes to see what they discovered, but the rest of it is, frankly, much too painful to watch. I sorta feel sorry for his kids, having a parent who acts their age.

Please have your producers back off KG's moronic antics, and make him act like an adult.  If your intended audience is ten years old, or less, put the show in with the cartoons during the daytime.  Way  below NatGeo standards.    



b. wilson
b. wilson

A really Great Show Idea , Go to shanksville Pennsylvania , I am sure you will find plane wreckage there no matter what anybody says that there was no plane.you might find the Black Boxes, it will make a good show. Very High Ratings many Millions of people want to know what you will find.
it will be the highest rated show ever!!!!!

Florence Hindes
Florence Hindes

I am 13 and I LOVE watching Diggers. I have a metal detector and love going to Bayou Jean Lafitte to look for Lafitte's treasure. I want to actually meet the guys and detect with them. 

Roland Sager
Roland Sager

I watched the show where they were looking for the German Aircraft that crashed in Indiana.  I wonder if any one else noticed the control stick identification plate that KG found had the initials KG on that tag just like it was meant for him to find.

Mike Gallivan
Mike Gallivan

@Linda Parker If you read the captions at the beginning of each show, it states that KG and Ringy were invited which means they have permission. It does show them replacing their divots. Its also only a half hour show. Since you claim you have been digging for a long time, don't you get excited when you find something significant or is it not "cool' to show some emotion?

Pecker Wood
Pecker Wood

@Andrew Wood  GODDDDD DAMMMMMMMMM...BROTHER ANDY....HOW THE HELLL YU DOIN? WHENZ THA FAMBLY REEONION? LEMMEE KNO..!

Aaron Gwinn
Aaron Gwinn

@charles Wallace I disagree I think they are funny .( some times  ) don't try to change them because you think they are immature .that's who they are .

Aaron Gwinn
Aaron Gwinn

@Mark Stewart how about this they shouldn't use their headphones . I think that would be much better . I use my headphones all the time because I don't want to bother people but they are doing  a show so I think that it would be in the best interest ie. the viewer not to use them.

Your Program Isrediculous
Your Program Isrediculous

Kudos Karie I agree wholeheartedly with your opinion . Ok filming two guys walking around with metal detectors is lame enough alone how entertaining can that be? So they throw in all the contrived excitement and ridiculous acting (over a bottle cap) and expect the viewers to be drawn into that to see what tchotchke they will unearth next, as if that is not enough in itself they pull grade school stunts on each other thinking maybe the viewers will tune into see what whacky antics KG & Ringy will be up to this week, give me a break Nat Geo I am surprised that you would even let this tripe pass the pilot phase What happened to all the brilliant thought provoking , stimulating, educational programming you used to air like NOVA, COSMOS, 125 years of brilliant educational media and it has come to this? Please restore some dignity to your fine name and remove this from your line up or at least make it tolerable have you ever viewed History Detectives? This program could be so much better with just a little bit of THOUGHT.

Your Program Isrediculous
Your Program Isrediculous

Oh are you having trouble comprehending the sentences Mike because the punctuation is off ? That's a shame. I am dyslexic and have cerebral palsy, you want to start bashing that also? I graduated from R.I.T. and was a technical engineer with Eastman Kodak for 35 years living in New York, and didn't realize that your hometown of Buffalo was in North Korea. It's called free speech Kim Jong. I'm sitting here laughing at all of your bashing and insults that you throw at the numerous people who don't agree with your opinion of a lame reality tv program. Grow up and leave the people to their opinions. Any 6th grader has more social skills and respect for other people than you are showing the world.

Mike Gallivan
Mike Gallivan

@Roland Sager I was just going to post that! I did notice that KG was on the plate! I was sure that one of the guys would have noticed and mentioned it. Ya beat me to the punch!

Your Program Isrediculous
Your Program Isrediculous

More child like attempts at insults. How sad of a person you must be. Can't you understand the general consensus of the posts here quit your attempts at insulting people you don't agree with. You and every one here is entitled to their opinion with out judgement. This is the USA Gorbachov.