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From Noted Author, Soldier of Fortune and Treasure Hunter JACK THOMPSON Of An Illustrated Easy-to-Follow Reference for Beginners and Experienced Metal Detectors that Includes Never Before Revealed Information about finding Lost Treasure This Book is Intended for the More Serious Minded and Intrepid Individual The Holy Grail Treasure Hunting A COMPLETE AND COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO TREASURE HUNTING FOR A LIVING Table of Contents PrefacePage 1 DedicationPage 2 IntroductionPage 3 Chapter One What this Book is not aboutPage 7 Other aspects of treasure huntingPage 8 Educating yourself - Know the LawPage 9 Chapter Two Self Survival - A serious reality checkPage 11 Consider the PossibilitiesPage 12 Keeping the dream alivePage 13 Anything in moderationPage 14 Modern Day PiratesPage 15 Boobie TrapsPage 16 Chapter Three Setting youself up for successPage 17 Cosmic InterventionPage 18 Things in your favorPage 19 Long history of lost treasurePage 20 Other unique findsPage 21 Using Google EarthPage 22 Chapter Four DiscretionPage 23 Chapter Five Different types of treasure huntingPage 25 Chapter Six Choosing a metal detectorPage 27 DowsingPage 28 Chapter Seven Hope and ResearchPage 31 Faith, Trust and DeterminationPage 32 Chapter Eight Equipment - Tools of the tradePage 34 Common Sense and SafetyPage 36 Table of Contents Chapter Nine Site Reading - Conceptual Interpretation Old Forts and Batteries37 Using your instincts39 Gidding and Plotting41 Getting the Edge42 Chapter Ten Ghost Towns and Old Homesteads43 Chapter Eleven Beaches, Shore lines, Shallow and Deep Water44 The Beach Zone48 The Hard-Packed Zone49 The Shallows Zone50 The Activity Zone51 The Deep Zone52 Cuts and Channels53 Sub-Chapter Eleven Shipwrecks and Scuba Diving56 Water hides a vast amount of treasure57 Chapter Twelve Search Techniques59 Chapter Thirteen Maps Old and New62 Summery Review64 Metal Detecting Sites66 Weather you want to pursue treasure hunting as a part time or full time venture you can now approach it with the confidence of a seasoned profes- sional Never before has there been a book like this one A complete and comprehensive guide to finding lost and buried treasure You are about to become the benefactor of more well kept secrets than you’ve ever imagined You will be able to enter the world of treasure hunting with real world knowledge of how to actually go about it My name is Jack Thompson and I’ve spent almost 50 years of my life ac- quiring this knowledge and information in tiny little bits and pieces along the way Sometimes at great personal cost It would only make sense for any of you to wonder why am I willing to divulge all of these well guarded and time honored secrets among treasure hunters? Well that’s just it Time! The one thing I no longer have an abundance of is time Besides, I’ve already had my share of success and limited notoriety After all, what else do people do at the end of their run but write a book about their exploits What’s the point of a lifetime’s work and achievement if you can’t pass it along This is why I’ve decided to let you in on all the untold secrets of this alluring world of adventure and discovery This book will reveal to you many of the proven techniques and methods that successful treasure hunters use and have kept to themselves from the very beginnings of early salvors and ancient recovery vessels to modern times This is also going to make some people very unhappy My apologies to any and all of you - Deal with it! Real World Treasure Preface 1 THE RICHEST TREASURE I ever found was my loving and devoted wife Lynn who I met on one of those rare occasions when I wasn’t looking for something Truly the very best way to find anything A real siren of the sea her sweet and melodic song lured me into her arms and have held me there to this day She has put up with my unconventional ideas and misad- ventures without hesitation or regard for her own feelings for as long as we’ve been together It is only because of her that I am what I am today Her love and loyalty throughout the years has always been my inspiration to seek out the treasures of life and see the good in people Over the years my love and passion for treasure has gradually faded and been replaced com- pletely by my love for her in what I see as my greatest find ever No amount of treasure could ever replace her importance and value in my life So for all the time we’ve spent apart, and all the time it took me to put this book to- gether and take away from you, once again I say thank you for being my wife You are truly my golden goddess of luck and good fortune and in my eyes shine brighter than any treasure I’ve ever looked upon Dedication Real World Treasure 2 Love is the greatest treasure of all I love you wife SINCE I WAS A BOY growing up in Key West, I’ve been hunting for treasure With little or nothing for a young boy to do back in the early 1960’s, the Keys did offer one particular thing: Many stories of buried pirate plunder, sunken Spanish treasure ships, salvors and ships that were deliber- ately scuttled on the reefs Finding gold dou- bloons, pieces of eight and the like always peeked my interest Heck, it peeked every body’s interest for that matter Unfortunately, there wasn’t much a 12 year old boy could do to locate any of that sort of thing until one fateful day - my father - who worked in a shipyard, brought home a strange looking piece of equipment “It’s a Metal Detector!” He exclaimed “You use it to find stuff and they were going to throw it away” “I don’t know how it works or even if it works, but you can fool around with it if you want” He said I COULDN’T BELIEVE MY EARS “A metal detector! Wow! Uhh, OK Wait a minute, what’s a metal detector?” I asked “You can find metal things like coins and rings” My dad said I had never even heard of a metal detector before but upon hearing that I couldn’t wait to try it out It only had a couple of knobs and an on/off switch so how hard could it be to figure out how to use it, right? It took some kind of battery that I’d never seen before and I tried my best to find some way to make it work But it was an effort in futility, even after rigging a power source it still didn’t work! Real World Treasure Real World Treasure “THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED” The road less traveled is also the road to riches and fame Follow the road that one twelve year old boy decided to take and find out just how far he went and what he discovered! Introduction 3 THERE WAS NO ONE who could help me with the electronics Not in Key West anyway But that wasn’t going to stop me That fact that I now knew there was such a thing as a metal detector was all that mattered and all I did was badger my father day in and day out to get me one (At this point I’m sure he was sorry he ever brought it home) Why if I had a metal detector just think of the possibilities All my dreams and aspirations were attain- able I’d be rich, recognized and well thought of in the community Buried treasure was just on the horizon It was just outside my door on the beach or perhaps in the park or some of the smaller islands and Cays I tingled with excitement and anticipation Day dreaming became a full time pass time BUT METAL DETECTORS were a hard item to come by back in those days and the Sears and Roebuck catalog didn’t carry them either “Man, if Sears didn’t have them nobody did” At least that’s what my father said I think he was just trying to discourage me or put me off once and for all Admittedly, I was a bit of a pain in backside about it But nothing was going to stop me I was determined Owning my own metal detector was my way off of this dinky, nothing to do, no where to go swamp of an island! (I wish I could afford to live there today But that’s another chapter I’m going to write in my next book: “Things I should have done!”) But I di- gress! OK, SO ONE AFTERNOON I was sulking and kicking dirt down at the boat yard when one my father’s co-workers yells “hey kid! - Did you ever get that thing to work?” I looked over at him He was smiling a bit and looked harmless enough so I said “no, that piece of crap! All it does is beep and hum” “That’s what it’s supposed to do kid!” He said with a bigger smile “What!” I exclaimed! “What do you mean that’s what it does” I asked “Yeah, and when you go over top a piece of metal it makes sort of a whistle or some other kind of noise I used it around here to find parts and stuff we dropped in the sand” He added Real World Treasure 4 Real World Treasure I WAS STYMIED for a few seconds I never thought of putting some- thing down on the ground and going over top of it How could I have been so stupid, so naive, so lacking in vision “Oh my god!” I thought to myself That thing could actually have been working all along ALL OF THIS went through my brain in a couple of seconds Upon bringing myself to this realization and gathering my thoughts I virtually “landed” on the poor guy So many questions pored through my head I could hardly ask them one at a time “Woah, woah, woah, kid!” He said “First of all your old man left the charging chord here I think it’s still in the shop So I don’t know how you could tell if it worked or not” He contin- ued I told him about my rigging up a power supply but the only thing I could get it to do is squeal, beep and whistle He laughed out loud much to my chagrin I WAS FEELING like a complete moron but so excited with the pros- pect that it actually worked I didn’t know what to do next The guy’s name turned out to be “Sully” short for “Sullivan” probably I would have called him “Dad” if he would show me how the metal detector worked We walked over to the shop and by godzilla, there was the charging chord “Hot Damn, one step closer to fame and freedom” I thought to myself SULLY SAID: “you go home and charge the battery, it’ll take all night, and then tomorrow bring it here on my lunch break and I’ll show you what I know” Holy cow! It was all I could do to contain myself I ran home and plugged it in with nervous anticipation and sure enough, the charging light came on! I was on my way to fame and fortune! When my old man came home (I was going to say “Dad” but for now Sully was my new “Dad”) I told him what happened that afternoon and asked why he never said anything about Sully “I don’t know” He said with a puzzled look on his face “I never new what he was doing with it I guess” The boat yard where my old man and “Sully” worked! 5 Real World Treasure HARDLY AN EXCUSE of any kind I thought Parents are supposed to know everything At least that’s what they kept telling me I couldn’t stop going into my room and checking to see if the light did anything I woke up during the night to check it’s progress several times Nothing When I woke up the light was green and a whole new world awaited me I started waving that thing over nails in the floor, change from the old man’s ash tray and anything else I ran across or over - all the time paying particular attention to the sounds and tones I AMUSED MYSELF all morning and then went over to see Sully He said there used to be a manual but it had long since disappeared Mostly what he did was just confirm what I had already learned that morning He was hardly an expert with it and told me he just responded to most any sound it made in the area he was searching We tried screws and different types of metal, springs and small parts of all kinds When I brought his attention to the different sounds it made over different objects he said “well I’ll be darned, it does make different sounds I never noticed that” I knew at that point that Sully would no longer be of any help to me Sully didn’t have the “ear” for it He was tone deaf But thanks to him a whole new world of adventure opened up for me and put me on a course that has taken me to where I am today (Not that that’s any big deal) THIS WAS MY INTRODUCTION into the fascinating world of Metal Detecting If you’re just starting out I hope it holds as much excitement and wonder for you as it always has for me But there are some perils and pitfalls along the way How you start your adventure has everything to do with how successful you will be in the end So read on, read carefully and don’t skip any important steps or be in a hurry The treasure will always be there wait- ing for you - the trick is finding it and that’s what this book is all about 6 Real World Treasure Real World Treasure 7 Chapter One What this Book is not about! The information in this book is intended for serious minded and intrepid individuals who wish to pursue treasure hunting beyond the scope of a hobby! THERE ARE AT BEST a couple of dozen books out there on metal detecting and treasure hunting and I’ve read every one of them I’ve also visited the many on-line web sites and I’ve got to say that if you combined all of that information you still wouldn’t have enough to attempt to make a living at it or even enjoy it as a hobby Any useful information has been purposely left out and what is given is comprised of useless advise like wearing sun screen and comfortable clothing What this book is not about is what I would consider everyday common sense and the natural law of “assumption” What that means is I’m assuming that you have enough sense to know that treasure hunting for a living has some drawbacks and you already know how to pack a lunch SOME OF THE RAMBLINGS and nonsense I’ve read that’s in print and actually published lends way too much credibility to the phrase “The dumbing down of America” If someone actually has to tell you not to dive into shark infested waters or play out in traffic, please find some other source of self fulfillment Filling in the holes you dig, cleaning your finds, and look- ing for treasure in your own backyard is not what your going to find on these pages THIS BOOK is dedicated to serious minded individuals who are savvy in the ways of the world, have a sense of taking risks and don’t have to be told to tie their boots I’m not trying to dissuade any one new to the sport of treasure hunting, in fact, for you beginners, this is without a doubt the best thing you could have hit upon INTREPID - DEFINITION: Fearless, Courageous, Bold, and Daring - Resolute -Determined An eye opening experience for beginners but Seasoned professionals will benifit as well Real World Treasure 8 THOSE WHO WANT to better their chances of becoming a successful treasure hunter are going to be enlightened, enthused and enriched by the secrets you’re about to discover in this book Of course other informative books on trea- sure hunting have been written, but most of them focus exclusively on one particular aspect like Coin hunting, shallow water hunt- ing or relic hunting for example And if you’re looking for dimes, nickels and belt buckles that’s fine too I AM ASSUMING of course that this is not the only book you’ve read or are going to read about treasure hunting There are some other books out there worth reading but they don’t cover the entire process and fall woe- fully short of any serious educational value They are usually dedicated to a specific type of metal detecting, visual hunting, digging in trash pits for old bottles, going to garage sales and Flea Markets or panning for gold in streams They talk about how to prepare for a treasure hunt by packing a nice picnic lunch, slathering on sun block and waiting for years for storms and hurricanes to uncover potential finds TALKING ABOUT HOW to avoid poison ivy and chiggers is not what my idea of useful information and I’m assuming you have already consid- ered the risks and rewards I’m not going to tell you about the rules all good treasure hunters should follow like filling in the holes you dig and the many benefits of doing community service This book is geared toward real world treasure hunting not archeology, or looking for primitive artifacts like spear heads and arrow points Notwithstanding you need to do research on these other things as well as they are not without merit or potential value And you do not want to leave anything of potential value no matter what it is “Carpe Diem” - Sieze the Day! Real World Treasure Real World Treasure 9 THERE ARE OTHER THINGS you need to know about like; legalities concerning private property, contracts, local ordinances, state parks, federal land, treasure trove laws, third party claims and other such things This information is available and easily accessible but I’m not trying to fill up pages in a book by offering advise like “wear Dr Scholl’s insert cushions in your shoes” This book is the informational meat and potatoes of treasure hunting - mostly the meat YOU NEED to be as well informed and educated as possible in any venture you pursue full time as a means of income and treasure hunting is not an exception Professional gamblers live their lives dealing with risks, odds and possibilities But they narrow down the edge and improve their chances by learning every thing they can and factoring in a little luck Insurance companies are really nothing more than book makers (they’re called actuaries because it sounds dignified than bookie,) who calculate the odds of injury, accident or death mathematically There are other examples I could use to convince you that risk is an acceptable part of life and should be taken in stride, but I’m not trying to do that Treasure hunting involves risk, so again, what this book is not about is a promise or guarantee of success, but it will most definitely narrow down the odds and provide you with the edge Know the Law in your State regarding metal detecting and treasure hunting! INFORM AND EDUCATE YOURSELF more Real World Treasure 10 IF YOU WANT to join a treasure hunting club for whatever reason be my guest Some people derive a lot of enjoyment from it for one reason or another Will any of them share good information with you? Well, that re- mains to be seen But don’t count on it If you don’t like feeling that you’re “a bit out of the norm” and you share a certain kindred spirit with the boys in the club, I would consider that as a good reason because we are at best, an unusual bunch BUT SUCH IS NOT the intent of this book I’m not going to tell you to keep a journal, ask permission to be on someone’s property or make sure you’ve got gas in your tank One eBook I read consisted of 43 pages includ- ing the front and back cover Now I know that most eBooks are usually not more than 50 pages but this one was double spaced, used a size 14 font had huge pictures between every 3 or 4 lines of words per page, had about 6 half pages, had 6 or 7 pages of permission slips for home owners 5 pages of absolute gibberish and nonsense, 5 pages of things that don’t pertain to the USA at all and the remaining pages filled with the most useless information I’ve ever read and to top it off looks like a 6 year old put it together And all this for the everyday low price of almost 4000 Oh well - Every lesson worth learning in life costs something Even if it’s learning what not to do If anything this book is not - It’s that! You’re going to spend some money doing research You should expect to Books are re- search If you think treasure hunting is without cost and you can use a metal detector you found at a garage sale for 1000 you’re being unrealistic and need to re-evaluate your approach There are people who will argue this point but they are hobbyists not serious minded hunters This book holds many real world secrets that are worth real money and is about real world treasure hunting and metal detecting So if this is what you’re looking for - keep reading - you won’t be disappointed! A certain kindred spirit! MOST BOOKS you read will be very disappointing Real World Treasure Real World Treasure 11 Chapter Two Self survival - A serious reality check Keeping a reasonable perspective and a level head on your shoulders - gold fever is a condition not a symptom TREASURE HUNTING as a hobby is a great pass time and has it’s own rewards but making it your full time job is going to require some self analysis Questions have to asked and answered concerning your intensions and level of commitment Your individual psychological profile, personal finances, marital and family status, zest for adventure, avail- able time and so on are all questions you should ask and answer to yourself before you continue Perhaps your a daydreamer and just curious about the subject That’s fine too BUT FOR THOSE of you with true intentions, understand that treasure hunting can be a cruel mistress that can only be handled by certain types of individuals in a financial position to do so, and only you know your own limitations This is why so many metal detectors end up collecting dust in the garage It sure sounds like a good idea at the time but without a certain amount of success you will soon become frustrated, disillusioned and give up the dream THE TWO REASONS most new business ventures fail are the lack of money to carry them over until a reasonable return is realized and the lack of knowledge or education regarding what they’re doing I don’t know what your monetary situation is but I do know the information contained in this book will give you a proper education So let’s begin your education with a reality check: Is lost treasure real or is it just fantasy? Does treasure really exist? How much is it out there? Can people who are looking for treasure actually find it? What are my chances? Can you make a living at it? Let’s get Real! Think about it- Don’t quit your day job just yet Real World Treasure 12 The Lost City of Troy Trojan relic believed to be the “death mask” of King Priam whose reign ended with the sacking of the city of Troy by the Greeks lead by rival King Agamemnon along with many Greek heroes of the age like Ajax, Achilles and Ulysses Consider the possibilities! Gold Reale Pendant from the wreck of the Atocha THE ANSWER to these compelling questions is quite simply “yes!” Yes to all of them It’s not fantasy, it really does exist, there’s an abundance of it that’s not yet been found, people who look for it do indeed find it, and your chances are actually pretty good believe it or not If you want more encouragement let’s consider one famous treasure hunter by the name of Kip Wagner who doggedly searched the eastern shores of Florida’s beaches for remanence of the 1715 Spanish treasure fleet that went down during a fierce hurri- cane and found several of those ships just off the coast To this day, people are still finding gold and silver coins on those same beaches A WELL KNOWN treasure hunter named Mel Fisher (who worked with Kip Wagner for a time) and his quest for the Spanish treasure ship Nuestra Senora de Atocha brought headlines around the world How about the real life Indian Jones; archeologist Dr John Russell who’s exploits of finding and preserving the Treasures of Nineveh in the middle east have brought him fame and fortune or Dr Robert Ballard who found the Titanic in 1985 and has gone on to find many lost sunken treasure ships across the seven seas Several other famous treasure hunters are; Art McKee, Heinrich Schliemann (Lost City of Troy), Cork Graham, Mike Hatcher, Robert Marx, Lee Spence, Bob Weller, Bobby Klein, Craig Hamilton, Marty Meylach, and Tom Gurr who you may want to read about have all made their contributions as well Although these people have had local, national and world wide acclaim there are many others who have found treasure hordes and never mentioned it to anyone - ever I know this because I’m one of them Real World Treasure Real World Treasure 13 WHAT I FOUND in Key West as a young boy is something I’ve never told anyone to this day and I will take it’s secret to my grave There are treasure hunters out there who don’t want the notoriety or fame just so other people won’t attempt to make claim to it Inviting the prying eyes of the IRS is not very desirable and there are always those that would relieve you of it in other ways It’s like hitting the lottery, people come from everywhere Friends, family, total strangers, investment firms, accountants, lawyers, the list is unending THOSE THAT HAVE been through it will tell you it just takes any pleasure you might have enjoyed right out of the entire experience But let’s not put the cart before the horse You’ve got to find the treasure first! You can deal with your success later I mentioned that I was going to tell you everything about treasure hunting and this is a very real part of it So the reality check goes on BEFORE YOU COMMIT yourself to anything you should know ev- erything about it including yourself There are lots of people who dream about or even practice treasure hunting or metal detecting on weekends and off hours as a hobby This satisfies most of their dreams and illusions It also keeps them level in their world where they may have a larger commitment to their family and putting food on the table Unless you’re independently wealthy or have a life whereby you are able to devote your time, money and resources to treasure hunting the reality of doing it on a full time basis starts to become very limited This is the main reason there are so few people that actually do it for a living THE ONE THING that keeps the dream alive is the distinct possibility that on any given day someone with or without a metal detector will find treasure! Many times when they’re not even looking for it It may not be a large cache of gold and silver It might not be more than a coin from more recent times The point is they found it! OTHER CONSIDERATIONSKeeping the dream alive Real World Treasure 14 It’s been lost or forgotten about but it’s been laying there just out of sight, hidden away all the while just waiting to be found (Not that long ago some lucky fisherman literally stumbled onto a chest of gold on one of the smaller cays near Key West) SO LET’S GET BACK to knowing yourself by asking some basic questions: Do you have a compulsion to seek out treasure that is an abso- lute driving force in you life? Is it one that would make you abandon your family, friends, stability, career, or any hope of a secure future? If it is Then you’ve got the “treasure bug” and I would advise you to control your urges of self destruction and abandonment and get a grip on reality No, I am not trying to discourage you, not in the least I’m telling you I’ve seen this happen and it’s not pretty DON’T LOOK AT THE WORLD of treasure hunting through a rose colored spyglass The end result can be devastating I’m telling you to find a reasonable balance with a realistic plan and goals This is an absolute must for your own salvation and survival “Anything in moderation” You’ve heard that before somewhere right? Don’t sacrifice everything for the possi- bility of nothing! I would encourage you to act accordingly within the con- fines of your own particular circumstances and responsibilities in life Being sensible, patient and moderate is an important part of treasure hunting any- way Start practicing ON THE UP SIDE I can tell you that there are individuals that seek treasure as a full time occupation and are very successful There are a number of treasure hunting, deep sea recov- ery, and other related companies that derive all of their revenues from finding unclaimed treasure They are very legitimate companies; some of which are actually traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange Don’t ever think treasure hunting is just for dreamers and romantics Anything in moderation YOU NEED TO GET A GRIP Real World Treasure Real World Treasure 15 ON THE DOWN SIDE I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you there is the possibility that you may never find anything It isn’t likely but it is a possibil- ity you have to consider and always keep it in mind It’s better that I tell you all these things up front so that you can make an informed and intelligent decision about treasure hunting for a living THERE IS SOMETHING ELSE I have to share with you: Believe it or not, pirates still exist and in fact, are on the rise They are very much active all around the world and continue their age old customs In recent times more hijackings on the high seas are occurring claiming international attention Somalian pirates have had the audacity to attack US cargo ships and hold them for ransom Imagine the fate of the many private vessels with their passengers and crews who have never been heard from again Truth be told and the devil be damned - piracy has never really ended The Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean have been their home and haunt for centuries and contrary to popular belief, they have not vanished into history Today, whether it’s drug money, rich cargo, an expensive sailing vessel or scuttling boats for insurance claims, they are constantly on the prowl THERE ARE - and I must tell you, some rather unsavory people in this business Most people don’t realize there is great competition among trea- sure hunters which has many times lead to blood shed and death Fights over treasure, salvage rights or who got there first has sent many a brave soul to his maker Those few successful treasure hunters of today are closely watched by others Their movements and activities are monitored constantly by those that would stop at nothing to claim the bounty of trea- sure including cuttin’ a few throats! What pirates? Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Some other things you didn’t want to know: Real World Treasure 16 Regrettably, I need to warn you about the unthinkable Booby traps left by people who buried or hid their goods and treasure Mine shafts have been rigged to collapse or flood by the ancient Aztecs (among others) to protect their precious sources hundreds if not thousands of years ago Be extremely careful when your digging something up If you’re not dead certain of what it is you may become just that Dead! “The two pan death trap” is the story of a man who buried his treasure in the ground using two cast iron frying pans He set the first on top of his money then took a WWII hand grenade, pulled the pin, put a rubber band around the trip lever, soaked that with lighter fluid, smashed it into a wad of plumbers putty handle towards the top, set the other frying pan on top of that and filled in the hole Lighter fluid has an almost immediate degenerating effect on a rubber band so the only thing holding the trip lever down is the weight of the upper frying pan and the dirt The neighbor, seeing him burying something in the ground waits pa- tiently for months for the man to take his annual vacation and guess what? It worked perfectly Protecting the money from the explosion and completely decapitating the neighbor I want you reap the rewards but this is also part of the reality So, if you’re still with me and you’re not deterred by the profit of doom and gloom let’s get on with it and learn how to search for and find lost or hidden treasure One last thing! Real World Treasure Real World Treasure 17 Chapter Three PEOPLE WHO DECIDE to and are able to pursue treasure hunting as a full time job must be very committed - or should be committed either one Words of encouragement and words of warning are conflicting but of equal importance when considering treasure hunting as a full time endeavour Trea- sure hunting could make you rich but I say this with the same hesitation as I would say losing your job could be the best thing that ever happened to you USUALLY when people make a dramatic decision to do something as unusual such as go to Hollywood to become a “star,” they are met with a certain negative or at least questionable response from their families and piers “You’re What?!” They ask Just saying the phrase “I’ve decided to become a treasure hunter” to most people evokes questions about your sanity and sound judgement making capabilities So be prepared This pursuit is so out of the ordinary that most people just can’t get their head around it It’s fantasy not reality to them Which means in turn that you don’t live in reality! SO GET USED TO IT if this is what you decide to do I can tell you from personal expe- rience and a lifetime of naysayers it’s one of the hardest obstacles to overcome That is of course until you find something Now you’re for real You’ve got credibility You may have celebrity status These same people now think there might be something to this treasure hunting thing It doesn’t take much It doesn’t have to be a large cache of treasure or a horde of gold reales Just one little thing Why? Because now the fantasy has become the reality simply by a “show of proof” Setting yourself up for success Treasure Hunting- The last Frontier! Real World Treasure 18 If ONE LITTLE THING is found, that in itself is proof positive that other things can be found That’s it! And the same principle should tell you the same thing Be assured that finding treasure is not a pipe dream People find it all the time weather they’re looking or not You’ve heard the old saying: “I’d rather be lucky than skilled” Well luck is definitely a factor in life We even call some people “lucky” They always seem to be there when something good happens So, what is the luck factor? CALL IT what you want kismet, luck, good fortune, fate, cosmic coinci- dence, favor of the Gods, whatever Luck may be intangible, but it cannot be denied It happens, it’s real and therefor exists And in the same vein of logic, so does lost treasure To accentuate the posi- tive side of looking for lost treasure let’s discuss why the odds might be in your favor Weather or not you believe in things like univer- sal, spiritual or natu- ral law they do indeed exist Just like the word “pseudoscience” is used in this book there are things in the world that can’t be proven but at the same time can’t be denied either Here’s a secret for you: The power of positive thinking works Don’t ever doubt it It’s better explained and understood if we break it down into THREE PARTS: THE FIRST PART being “focus” You must focus on the finding aspect by increasing your awareness of the world around you and particularly your immediate surroundings Heightened awareness is part of developing a “trea- sure hunting mind set” THE SECOND PART is a universal law referred to as “the law of at- traction” When you visualize yourself being surrounded by treasure you will attract it into your life It’s a simple statement but it actually works Cosmic Intervention?Do you believe in astrology,card reading or mediums? Well here’s some rather interesting and helpful information! MEDITATION - CHI (q’i) - FENG SHUI - CLAIRVOYANCE - INTUITION ? Real World Treasure Real World Treasure 19 THE THIRD PART is what’s called a “spiritual law” that works in harmony with “what ever you focus on, you will attract” and in doing so will further develop the treasure hunting mind set by believing in yourself I’m not one who believes in mystics, psychics, palm readers or the possibility that God is going to lead me to treasure, but in this business you would be wise use anything and everything that might help! It’s a powerful combina- tion BUT THAT’S CERTAINLY NOT the only thing you’ve got going for you Shear numbers - Your largest asset The amount of treasure that’s been lost and forgotten about is beyond numeric calculation There are so many factual accounts of people finding walls full of coins, treasures in the attic, personal caches of gold, army payrolls, lost mines, sunken Spanish trea- sure, bank robbers’ booty, train robbers’ takin’s, gang- ster loot, pirate plunder and so on, that volumes of books have been written on the subject BUT HERE’S THE GOOD PART; most estimates based on what’s out there and what’s been found are to say the least very encouraging There are billions of dollars in currency that are not accounted for And that’s just currency Think about that! This kind of information will help you develop a mind set This is the beginning and essential building block of setting your- self up for success MORE MONEY has been lost and hidden than there is in circulation today Try to think in those terms Better yet try to imagine from the time the first coin was pressed (which is believed to be the Lydian electrum trite minted by King Alyattes in Sardis, Lydia, Asia Minor which is now present- day Turkey, c 610-600 BC,) until now how many coins have been minted, and then lost, buried, hidden or sunk to the bottom of the ocean Here’s a good example of spiritual law: Two equal and opposing armies face each other on the field of battle Which one wins? - The one with the superior attitude Why? - The power of positive thinking! 20 WE COULD NOT conceive the number of wars and battles that raged in every corner of the globe or the raids that were made by foreign invaders in far off lands Hos- tile hordes of barbarians, Roman legions and armies of unknown origins have killed tens of millions of people from antiquity to modern times all over the world IN THIS COUNTRY alone from the time of it’s earliest settlers to present day think about the battles and skirmishes with the explorers who encountered the savage Indians and met their end and the many wars that occurred throughout our brief history All of these events are con- tributory to the enormous amounts of personal and gov- ernment treasure that’s been lost FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES of people fleeing invading armies or attacks by rival tribes have had to hide and bury their valuables so they wouldn’t be taken Soldiers buried their pay and armies buried their payroll to avoid its capture by the enemy There are so many case scenarios why people buried their personal treasures it staggers the imagination What’s more, many of them never returned to collect it Done in by villains, consumed by fever, killed by wars, shanghaied or put in jail themselves, their treasure still remains right were they left it FROM Stagecoach hold ups to Lost Dutchman Mines, Mexican Bandits, Moonshiners, Rum Runners, Stick Up Artists, Train Robbers (and the list goes on,) all have hidden or buried treasure and for one reason or another never come back to recover it Treasure can virtually be anywhere No matter how the landscape has changed or how much time has gone by someone’s treasure big or small can be right under your feet This is a real possibility You can’t rule out or discount any location Grasping the concept The world has a long historyof lost treasure Th e L ost Te m pla r T re as ur e ha s n ev er be en fo un d! Real World Treasure Real World Treasure Real World Treasure 21 Other unique finds THOSE WHO ARE ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR TREASURE ARE MORE LIKELY TO FIND IT! ODDS ARE there is as much chance of a treasure being under your swing set as there is anywhere else There’s no way of knowing but math- ematically the odds are the same People as a rule buried things no further down than arms length That doesn’t sound like much but guess what - it’s still just out of the average present day metal detectors range Isn’t that a kick in the head And all of this is just on land What’s been lost at sea is so beyond human comprehension that Professor Steven Hawking (world-re- nowned physicist and mathematician,) couldn’t venture a guess If it was reported that one Spanish treasure ship went down you can bet there were two or possibly three Their manifests deliberately misreported the amount of gold, silver, precious gems and other valuable items they were carrying It was always twice as much or more Thousand of ships have gone down without being reported who were carrying inconceivable riches in their holds The numbers are staggering but irrelevant Why? - Be cause to put it in a nut- shell, we have barely found a fraction of what’s been lost I think a conservative es timate of possibly 1-2% would be an exaggerated number and this just applies to what would be considered large treasure hordes You must also understand that finding the right “penny” with the right date and mintmark could theoretically set you up for life (A 1943 copper penny minted in San Francisco is worth about 80,000) THERE ARE OTHER unique finds that can produce the same results Don’t limit your thinking in this arena to finding caves full of stashed Templar treasure And, let’s for now, keep our thoughts in realm of reality and strong possibility at least So what’s the lesson to be learned here? - There’s no shortage of lost treasure believe me, and simply put; those who are actively looking for treasure are more likely to find it THE LUCK FACTOR comes into play by the fact that you are putting yourself in the realm of possibility, circumstance and favorable conditions Even numerically you increase your odds of finding something simply be- cause you’re looking for it IF YOU’RE DOING proper research you have put yourself in a certain geographic location or area That, in and of itself dramatically increases your chance of discovery This all sounds very simple but when you put all of these things together along with some modern technology like the internet, a good metal detector or side scan sonar you are very likely going to be suc- cessful in your search HERE’S a little known secret for you: Using Google Earth, a Los Ange- les-based musician named Nathan Smith thinks he’s found a lost treasure ship that sank in a river somewhere north of Corpus Christi during a hurri- cane in 1822 Technology has played a major role in finding lost treasure and this is just in the last couple of years Think about it Add Google Earth to your arsenal and use it for all it’s worth where ever you can You will be amazed and astounded at what you can find Real World Treasure 22 Although the river has changed course over the years Smith thinks he can clearly see where the ship lies now partially on dry land The farmer who owns the field would not give Smith per- mission to dig the site and Smith is seeking legal access through the courtsThe Spanish or Mexican Barquentine lies somewhere in this Google photo Favorable Conditions Change your luckChange your luckChange your luckChange your luckChange your luck YOU’VE HEARD the phrase “discretion is the greater part of valor” I’m sure Well in this business you must be able to act with discretion If you can’t keep a secret you’re in trouble already This is a short chapter I decided to include in this book because of its essential observation Al- though you may have never heard of me per say, our circles are small and quiet, and as I’ve said, some treasure hunters choose not to be in the lime- light but remain anonymous enjoying the rewards of their adventures and the pursuit of the next one DISCRETION is a valuable asset in this business Don’t be too quick to tell someone about your finds no matter how small It opens doors that you will wish you had left closed A good example is world renowned trea- sure hunter Mel Fisher who was sued by the State of Florida by which they claimed to have ownership in his discovery of the Spanish treasure ships Nuestra Señora de Atocha, the Santa Margarita, and the Henrietta Marie ( the latter was actually a slaver) THESE SHIPS were found miles outside of Florida waters and if you can believe it, these greedy bureaucrats and politicians were going to try and sidestep hundreds of years of well established international maritime salvage laws to get their fat, sweaty corrupt little hands on it They lost - this time! But it took 7 years, 141 hearings and went all the way to the Supreme Court to do it Mr Fisher still had to agree to give the State of Florida 20% of everything and first pick of what he found Real World Treasure 23 Chapter Four Discretion - The order of the day in this business! Shakespear’s Sir John Falstaff claiming “discretion to be the greater part of valour” in the play Henry V Real World Treasure SPAIN HAS LAID CLAIM to the discovery of three Spanish ships (one called The Black Swan) by noted treasure hunter Dr Robert Ballard and the discovery ship Odyssey’s crew, claiming that they are of Spanish heritage and therefor any of it’s treasure belongs to Spain Now let’s not lose sight of the fact that the Spanish tortured and decimated the indigenous people of central America like the Aztecs, Incas, Myans and anyone else who got in their way - stole the gold from them in the first place - sold any survivors into slavery and terrorized the Caribbean for many years in their unquenchable thirst for gold Greed, averice and the lust for gold makes people and countries do very unsavory things even in the light of world news coverage UNFORTUNATELY these types of big discoveries are world news events and hard to keep quiet, but any find no matter how large or small can be contested and therefor held by authorities for an indefinite period of time until litigation has run it’s course There are other incidents but you get the gist of what I’m trying to tell you Whenever anyone asks “where did you find that?” The answer should always be given with the utmost discretion: “I found it in my backyard” Or something to that effect If I am going to pass along this sensitive information you must have an appreciation for it THIS KIND of information is important Don’t put yourself in someone’s cross-hairs Be “discrete” in your treasure hunting activities There’s nothing worse than finding something and then have to give it up! Real World Treasure 24 On July 7, 1521 Hernando Cortez and his conquista- dors ransacked and burned the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan destroying thier temples and killing the men, women and children in thier quest for gold and silver Tenochtitlan The end of a dynasty “PERCEPTION IS REALITY” This phrase has never applied to any- thing quite like treasure hunting There are as many different types of treasure hunting as there are perceptions about the word “treasure” Nature’s Trea- sures for example are things like seashells and driftwood, that some people think are absolutely priceless and beyond value on a monetary scale Beach- combing has for hundred of years been one way of treasure hunting for many people looking for seashells, artifacts, gold and silver coins and so on But we’re not talking about this kind of treasure hunting We’re talking about the real deal Pirate plunder, Military payroll gold, private stashes and fabulous hordes of untold wealth NEVER THE LESS, there are a few other types of treasure hunting worth noting: There are hunters who look for meteorites They’re extremely valuable and some museums have paid millions for them no bigger than a stone Some search for dinosaur bones and shark’s teeth Again very valuable Panning and mining for gold and silver, Shipwreck and underwater treasure hunting attract some people Relic hunting is it’s own category with subcategories that are broken down even further to specific kinds like war relics, ancient historical relics and artifacts, religious relics and others And let’s not leave out the Urban Treasure Hunters who are not seeking any one particular thing but many different types of treasure or valuable artifacts URBAN TREASURE HUNTING is a very broad and diverse type of modern day treasure hunting adding and melding many aspects archeology, architecture and geography to exploring a city’s hidden under belly, dark passages, back alleys and history as a whole Real World Treasure Real World Treasure 25 Chapter Five There are many different types of treasure hunting Making a Choice COIN SHOOTERS, Beach and Shallow Water hunters and Locating Companies that find metal objects like boundary markers, tools, equipment parts, water and gas lines, cable and electrical wires The list goes on and there are probably some I’m not aware of but there are many to choose from Different kinds of treasure attract different kinds of treasure hunters But which ever kind of treasure hunting you choose really doesn’t matter or define you as a human being as long as it fulfills the zest for adventure and the thrill of the hunt YOU MAY CHOOSE to engage in only one or all of the aforementioned activities but for the moment we’re trying to narrow down the choice of metal detectors You can expand your horizons as you go We will explore all these different types of treasure hunting more in depth as we go on but for now just be aware that there is more than one kind and the words “treasure hunter” are very general and non-defining Most treasure hunters refer to themselves as “coin shooters,” “wreck divers,” or “relic hunters” Rarely have I ever heard any real world type refer to themselves as a “treasure hunter” Real World Treasure 26 Not all treasure is found where you might think - This was found at the bottom of an old well with an underwater camera The box has long since rotted away but you can still make part of it out Think outside the box Real World Treasure Real World Treasure 27 Selection - Choose your weapon! EVERY DAY new technology impacts and changes our lives It changes the way we think, live and perceive everything from recreation to work and leisure It has also influenced the engineering and design of metal detectors and even though fundamentally the concept of operation is still unchanged, they’ve come a long way since I first used one Although the basic design remains ergonomically similar, there are now more types and models with so many features and functions they almost require a degree to operate with any proficiency But you’ve got to start somewhere CHOOSING A METAL DETECTOR, like choosing the type of treasure hunting your going to pursue, takes a considerable amount of time, money and research It is an infinitely important choice because what you’ve chosen to do will dictate your choice of which metal detector(s) to use So let’s explore the types and uses of metal detectors First a little history: The first metal detector was developed by Alexander Graham Bell in 1881 It was an electromagnetic devise he called “The Induction Balance” It was a crude and hastily built unit for the purpose of finding an assassin’s bullet lodged deeply in dying president James Garfield IN 1925 GERHARD FISCHER invented a portable metal detector Fischar’s model was first sold commercially in 1931 and Gerhard Fischar was behind the first large-scale production of metal detectors Basically, they use electromagnetic induction to detect metal There’s a bit more to it than that, but that’s basically how they work Chapter Six Different Types of Metal Detectors are used for different types of treasure hunting Bell checking the sensitivity of one of his early designs with a bullet Real World Treasure COMMON REFERENCES to the different types are VLF (Very Low Frequency,) VLF/TR, (TR standing for Transmitter Receiver,) PI (Pulse Induction,) BFO (Beat Frequency Oscillator) and Induction Balance The BFO and TR metal detectors were once very popular but are no longer being made The BFO detectors are still manufactured but they are usually made very cheaply and not used by serious treasure hunters The VLF metal detec- tor is in essence a motion detector It is by far the most common detector type used and the preferred choice is a VLF/TR motion discriminator that has a silent search feature These detectors can control the trash and mineral- ization simultaneously BEYOND these various types they divided into categories: (General or All Purpose,) (Beach, Surf and Water,) (Gold Metal,) (Relic Metal,) (Profes- sional Land and Water,) (Two Box Deep Searching,) (Long Range Triangula- tion,) (Deep Process or Ground Penetrating Radar,) (Commercial and Industrial,) (Mag netrometers,) (Side Scan Sonar - used as a substitute) and there may be more but I think this just about cover them More to the point is you must do the required amount of research prior to spending what could be thousands of dollars for a piece of equipment that may not suite your particular needs Some metal detectors are best suited for land, others for beach and surf, some are completely submersible down to certain depths, some are designed for locating gold or other precious metals, some made for relic metal, others more suited for jewelry and coins THERE IS ONE other type of detecting and metal detector rarely men- tioned These treasure hunters are referred to a “the quiet profiteers” and this particular method is called “Dowsing” Contrary to popular belief dowsing is not just about finding water This lesser known type of detecting has suc- cessfully been used to find treasure, oil, underground springs, boundaries, metal, mines, minerals and other hidden things Dowsing for dollars? 28 Real World Treasure Real World Treasure 29 THE ART of using the “L” Rod, Forked Twig or the Rod of Jacob as it’s been called is something that would be thought of as a pseudoscience at best but let’s consider the facts Dowsing is the earliest form of treasure hunting dating back to the time of Moses and Aaron producing water from the rock (Exodus) Dowsers are engraved in ancient Egyptian stonework, and on a statue of a Chinese Emperor dated around 2200 BC IN THE MID 16th century one famous dowser found over 150 large deposits of iron, gold, silver and other minerals but was subsequently arrested by the Church for practicing the “black arts!” There was a book written on it later that same century but any reference to it seems to have died out after that Probably due to the Church condemning it as part of the occult and the work of the devil Science gained accreditation and the Church softened it’s position during the renaissance and dowsing became so widely used that entire societies were devoted to its uses and potential Albert Einstein himself performed some amazing feats with different types of dowsing devises GOVERNMENTS, industry, Armies and individuals still use dowsing to this day as a dependable method of locating things During the Vietnam War dowsing skills were taught to Marines to find land mines, booby traps and underground tunnels occupied by the enemy They are living testament and validation to the practice of dowsing All right, so we know there is a lot of equipment out there to help you in your search From a tree branch to satellite technology and every type of metal detector you can imagine Still the ques- tion remains - which one do I choose? ONE REASON that there is still so much treasure left to find is that most people don’t appreciate the process They don’t follow procedure or take appropriate measures to insure their success Proper selection of the right equipment is part of the process The Renaissance Real World Treasure BE THANKFUL that most people have never known how to go about finding treasure They stumble about spending inordinate amounts of money, time and effort only to meet with failure, so they give up and go back to whatever they did or something else All the better I say That leaves more for the rest of us to find I can’t pick out a metal detector for you anymore than some floor walker working at a sporting goods store can What I can tell you is that all the information you could possibly need is on the internet in abundance A never ending stream of information that may confuse and confound you in the beginning but will assure the correct choice of a metal detector in the end YOU CAN’T DO ENOUGH RESEARCH when it comes to choosing your most important tool As far as using a metal detector, which ever type you choose, I expect you to become profi- cient with it before you venture into the realm of this book There are some finer points to learn with their use like: proper swing techniques, gridding an area, search patterns, tone interpretation, volume, ground dis- crimination, gain, threshold and others But you will learn how to use most of those things when you buy a metal detector, the rest you will learn from this book The first thing you have to do is decide on what type of treasure hunting you’re going to do before you can even begin to look at metal detectors So let’s put firsts things first and finish the book before you do anything else Prepare yourself for the journey You’ve got to have a travel plan before you buy a ticket right? You also need to know what you’re going to do be- fore you buy a metal detector 30 Real World Treasure 31 I’VE WARNED YOU, I’ve tempted you, I’ve encouraged you and now I’m going to tell you something else you may not want to hear: “Treasure Hunting is a full time job!” Yes, you read that right “A job!” (This is where I will lose many of you) “A job!” “What?!” “Nobody ever said any- thing about a job!” First of all, if you can’t deal with frustration and disap- pointment you’re not going to be a successful treasure hunter, period You will spend most of your time in the field not finding anything (Right about now is when most people lose interest and put their metal detector on ebay) But for the rest of you intrepid enthusiasts who just can’t get enough disillu- sionment, disappointment and discouragement, our journey begins I’D BE DOING you a disservice if I didn’t impress upon you how important research is in hunting for trea- sure If you want to be successful you will be spending the majority of your time doing research Fundamentally the rest is not that difficult I read somewhere that finding treasure with a metal detector is easy; “All you have to do is locate it then put your metal detector squarely overtop of it” That’s an under statement to say the least but there is some truth in it RESEARCH IS ABOUT homing in on the most likely location so you can do just that, not stumbling around wasting time You are trying to achieve a balance of time spent searching and success Efficiency is what counts You want to limit the amount of time you’re in the field looking and increase the number of items you’re finding It’s a simple concept but nobody ever tells you about it This is why it’s so important to become “one” with you metal detector Your skill with that piece of equipment is all important It keeps you from wasting valuable time in the field Making more finds will greatly improve your self esteem and confidence in what you’re doing Chapter SevenHope is good - Research is far better It’s a simple concept - But nobody ever tells you about it Real World Treasure Real World Treasure 32 PRACTICING YOUR SKILLS and honing your talents will put you head and shoulders above your competitors and reading this book will do the rest Mel Fisher spent about 10 years searching for the Nuestra Señora de Atocha and each morning he met the new day and dealt with the previous day’s disappointment by saying; “Today’s the day!” He always main- tained a positive outlook But he didn’t keep his dream alive by just hoping he would find it, he spent years researching in the Spanish ship- ping archives in Seville Spain and any and all other information he could get his hands on He begged, borrowed and promised God knows how many investors, who knows what, to achieve his goal THE POINT IS, it was his endless resolve, dogged determination and positive attitude that eventually brought him success He didn’t have the advantage of today’s technology either Imagine the vast amount of ocean bottom and area he must have searched without satellite imagery, side scan sonar or a robotic submersible apparatus Even with the loss of his son Dirk and Dirk’s wife Angel along with two others who drowned during the search and more obstacles than you can imagine, he stuck to his dream He was an inspiration to treasure hunters everywhere SO IF DETERMINATION is not one of your strong suites stop now, close the book, turn on the television and watch “Pirates of the Caribbean” or something Just don’t pursue the actual job of treasure hunting please! The type of individuals who can accept and embrace this way of life are built of a certain timber They are built for endurance They are structurally sound They never lose sight of the dream They are the true treasure hunt- ers Research will always be the key element in setting the course for your treasure hunting expedition Having faith and trusting your instincts are good qualities but research is always first and foremost Go ahead - Have a whack at it You have to have fYou have to have fYou have to have fYou have to have fYou have to have faith and trustaith and trustaith and trustaith and trustaith and trust your instincts your instincts your instincts your instincts your instincts HOW MANY TIMES have I seen a would be treasure hunter go into a sporting goods store and ask a sales person which metal detector to they should buy “Are you kidding?!” Ask a sales clerk to determine your success or failure! The very idea that someone has not done adequate research first to deter- mine what type of treasure hunting they’re going to be doing and then dug deeply into the amazing array of metal detectors and their specific uses destines them to failure from the start I told you not to skip ahead in the earlier chapters That’s because this is a process THERE ARE PROCEDURES and steps that must be followed if you want to have any success Weather you’re a beginner or self proclaimed expert if you follow the steps and procedures outlined in this book you will enjoy a significant amount of success (By the way, someone wrote there is no such thing as a treasure hunting expert and I’m inclined to agree) The difference between an “expert” and a “successful” treasure hunter is that the latter works at it twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and they always start with research Real World Treasure 33 Success - It’s a process Research has its own rewards “““““TTTTTodaodaodaodaoday’s the Day’s the Day’s the Day’s the Day’s the Day!”y!”y!”y!”y!” - Mell Fisher- Mell Fisher- Mell Fisher- Mell Fisher- Mell Fisher Real World Treasure Real World Treasure 34 Chapter EightEquipment and tools of the trade wHAT’S Required and WHAT’S Optional Are you going to need sani-wipes or a tourniquet? AS FAR AS INVESTING in a business is concerned; aside from wash- ing windows, delivering newspapers or cutting lawns which would be minimal yet profitable for some enterprising individuals I can’t think of any other businesses with this kind of potential you can get into for such a small investment I can’t count a vehicle because just about everyone already has one So buying a metal detector is about it At least at the entry level of treasure hunting not too much is re- quired (Entry level being more of a hobbyist) MOST OF the other things you might need are usually lying around the house Coolers, buckets, containers, trowels, shovels, hats, bug spray and that kind of thing are in everyone’s household arsenal So let’s consider that one all important piece of equipment: “Your Metal Detector” Your metal detector is your most valuable asset It’s a tool not to be taken lightly or chosen without careful consideration If you are going to do something to this level of commitment you better have spent your last dime and any money you could borrow on your metal detector(s) The quality of you equipment will likely determine your success or failure Don’t skimp on any of your equipment for that matter YOU MAY NEED a 4x4 wheel drive vehicle, boat, scuba gear or a mag- netometer, it depends on your choice of interest and direction you’re taking You may need more than one type of metal detector Research the manufac- turers and their products Go to the many forums on the internet, join a local tre