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10 Fascinating Amateur Metal-Detector Finds

Remarkable and Intriguing Discoveries From the U.S. and Canada

Ford Model T

Ford Model T (View larger version)

By Patrick J. Kiger

Published

1946—Underground Stolen Money: Using a mine detector borrowed from the U.S. Army, postal inspectors uncovered $153,150 buried in the backyard of a deceased postal employee who had stolen the money years before. The loot had been stashed in jars and cans inside a length of stovepipe, and buried nine feet below the surface.

1952—Uncovering Pirate Treasure: Massachusetts-based treasure hunter Edward Rowe Snow, on a visit to a small island off the coast of Nova Scotia, used a metal detector and old charts to find eight 18th-Century Spanish doubloons and parts of a skeleton that was still clutching the coins in its hand. The treasure was believed to have come from a Spanish galleon captured by pirates in 1725.

1966—Lost Gold Mine: In Texas, a group of treasure hunters using metal detectors reported that they had rediscovered the lost San Saba gold mine, which had been abandoned by the Spaniards in 1758 when they were overrun by Comanche Indians.

1966—Buried Model T: In Detroit, a group of people, includinga man wielding a metal detector, unearthed what appeared to be a Model T Ford that a man had buried in his backyard back in 1926, to preserve it for posterity.

1974—High School Lost & Found: In Florida, metal detector enthusiast Roy Lloyd found a 1926 high school class ring with the initials “M.B.” in four inches of lake-bottom sand. He eventually located the ring’s owner, Miles Baker, who had lost it 48 years before at the city’s pier.

1974/1975—Conspiracy Fuel: Richard H. Lester, an amateur treasure hunter, used a metal detector to find a bullet on railroad property in Dallas, near the area where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The FBI eventually determined that the bullet was of a different type than those known to have been fired by alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

1976—Live Ammo Near the Schoolyard: In Alabama, metal-detecting enthusiast James Garigues, who was searching near a middle school for old coins, found a live .75 millimeter tank shell, which officials believed may have been a World War II souvenir. The shell was successfully removed by a military demolition crew.

1984—Battle Wounds: An archaeology volunteer wielding a metal detector found a finger bone wearing a ring at Little Bighorn, where Lt. Col. George Custer’s troops were wiped out by the Sioux in 1876.

1997—Confederate Shell: In Virginia, two young boys using a metal detector unearthed a live Confederate Army artillery shell in their grandfather’s backyard.

2008—Golden Chalice: Mike DeMar, diving off Key West, got a hit on his metal detector that turned out to be a gold chalice from a Spanish treasure ship that sank in 1622.

15 comments
Lonnie Caldwell
Lonnie Caldwell

A few years ago, I found a Civil War bullet and part of a brass chevron from someone's uniform. These were found in the Memphis, Tn. area.

Lonnie Caldwell
Lonnie Caldwell

In West Memphis, Arkansas a local treasure hunter used a metal detector to unearth a small brass canon.  The area had been used by both the North and the south for encampments and was sometimes flooded by the Mississippi river.  It was probably left behind when the river flooded once more...

Michelle Cummings
Michelle Cummings

It would be great if amateur metal-detector fans could join the team for fun. A fan from close to the dig site could drop by just for a fun dig. They could tell of what they have found during their digs.

Jack Polensky
Jack Polensky

I Like the diggers show because they find bits of history others have lost and I laugh with the guys when they go off on a tangent ,it's about having fun . If people don't like the show DON'T WATCH  .

Tina Brantley
Tina Brantley

I love KG and Ringy. But the show is starting to get a tad boring. As a female Im not in to War stuff All the time. I like them, but here lately thats all you are showing. I like the Old house and old towns. Can you mix it up a little and please dont start just war shows. Thanks

Shawn Montgomery
Shawn Montgomery

I love the show and have just gotten into metal detecting. I agree with some of you that the guys are a little wound up but starting out I too get super excited no matter what I find. Other people can compare it to hunting, fishing, or whatever floats your boat. It is a great thrill because under that plug you don't know what you will find. I like the show because it's real the stuff isn't planted and it's true to real life a lot of what you find is useless junk or trash but when you get that first big item it makes it all worth it. I plan on getting my kids involved when they're older it's a fun hobby, teaches them some history, great for exercise instead of playing video games and watching tv only to rot their brains. I suggest spending the cash and investing in a quality brand detector don't waste your coin on the cheap one's on ebay they are worthless. I use Garrett they are worth way more than they're weight in gold.


Keep up the good work nat geo. How about a show called panners or gold prospecters. Which is just as much fun. Same concept you never know what you will find. Gold, silver, diamonds, emeralds, many other gems and precious stones. Maybe hit that mother load !!!!

William SR Shenette
William SR Shenette

You have to dig every signal I have a Garrett Ace 250 I have 2 coild a smaller one then the larger one I founds tons of stuff I love Metal detecting it awesome. Do I do it for The Ratings ?. Heck No!

I do it for the fun and the Exercise that I get and I enjoy doing it.

Pierre-Luc piché
Pierre-Luc piché

KG and Ringy are awesome ! They feel the historical value in each and every simple find ! Keep going, keep opening mouth, i apreciate all those "this could be" cause this is the spirit of the archeo or historian. Just imagine if they don't put all this energy to the show. Long live to the show and the hosts !


Pierre-Luc

Jerry Watson
Jerry Watson

I don't believe "King & Ringy" do the show for the ratings.  They do the show because they love what they do.  Personally, I like the show and all the commentary and banter between the two of them.  They are always saying "this could be" in reference to finding a heel under John Waynes porch, or a horseshoe where George Washington was, and it is entirely possible.  For all the "haters", don't watch, or come up with your own show.

Gordon Phillips
Gordon Phillips

this is a very interesting concept for a show.... Everybody likes to find valuables, however the two hosts make Diggers almost unwatchable.

By overselling every piece of metal they find only leeds to disappointment once the true value is revealed.

These two hosts need to switch to De-Caf and take a valium or their careers on TV will be short lived.

Like i said this is a great show with the exception of the Hosts.

"KG come here i found a Pirates coin from 1644 ohh no wait looks like an old coke bottle cap"

claud pipkin
claud pipkin

The car pictured above is a "1914 4-cylinder Mitchell roadster"...............

claud pipkin
claud pipkin

Don't think the car pictured is a Ford Model T..........However I can't as yet identify the make and model.

Robert Story
Robert Story

Fascinating idea for a show but the adolescent bravado and talking heads are tiresome.

Stephen S.
Stephen S.

Robert, You must have watched the same shows. Watching the guys and gals find treasure is interesting, but do they have to open their mouths?. Example of stupidity.. "This horseshoe is from George Washington's horse."  Another example of stupidity... While searching under a house where John Wayne once lived, the guy states that a piece of boot heel beloged to John Wayne.