Guest Post: Mission #5: Last Chance


It takes a loving wife to put up with a man. We always seem to be the cause of some innocent mishap. Josh’s situation was no different. He had already lost his first wedding ring while net fishing. His better half managed to forgive and forget that one, but how would she handle number two?

Josh was one month from finishing up an internship at a petro-chemical company in Texas City when he felt the urge to do some net fishing, one of his many hobbies. Josh is not the kind of guy to make the same mistake twice, so when he got down to the water’s edge behind the dike, he slipped off his ring and dropped it into his back pocket. He fished a few different areas and went home. When he remembered his ring, he searched in his pocket and found nothing but a hole in the bottom, big enough for a ring to fall through. How was his wife going to handle this one?

After a few weeks of considering his options, he was getting desperate for help and time was not on his side. After his last internship meeting on August 15th, he would be driving back home to Atlanta and wouldn’t be returning. Josh’s desperation drove him to creativity and he posted his cry-for-help on a few popular metal detecting forums, even including a reward of one-hundred dollars.

On Sunday August 13th, two days before Josh would be leaving the state indefinitely, Mr. Schreckengost, a member here at dirtjournal, saw one of Josh’s posts and fowarded it to me knowing that I was close by. Of course, my schedule is wide-open at the moment so I was happy to give it a shot. Today was the only opportunity that we could meet so it was all or nothing. In a few hours, he would be leaving for Atlanta and we wouldn’t be getting a second chance.

I met Josh in Texas City at 2 PM and we drove across the dike to his fishing spot. Upon arrival, he couldn’t believe what he saw…

Heavy machinery had been moving earth around where he had been fishing, and possibly where he had lost the ring. Fortunately, they hadn’t yet progressed to the area where he had put the ring in his pocket, the area where it most likely fell out. He showed me where he took the ring off at the waters edge (which was now mud) and where he had walked and where he thought it might be.

I loaded my custom Coin & Jewelry program and began to search, carefully scanning every inch of sweepable area. I wasn’t going to take any chances so I dug targets down to an inch-and-a-half in case it had been stepped on and pushed into the ground. I checked and rechecked the small six-foot by four-foot strip of tall grass where he had taken the ring off. I dug some trash items but no ring. After becoming somewhat comfortable that it wasn’t there, I walked back up the narrow path that was littered with large scraps of metal debris and surrounded by waist-high, jewelry-devouring weeds. I was really hoping the ring hadn’t taken the plunge there, or we would have little hope of finding it.

I scraped a tick from my ankle after climbing the narrow path and worked my way around a large bush (pictured above), checking the depth on every non-ferrous target. The grass here was thick and about ankle-high so I was certain it wouldn’t be buried, even after a month. I dug a few targets anyway, just in case. The sweat was now steadily dripping from my face and I was becoming more concerned that this was a lost cause. I was getting closer and closer to the dirt-line which would be useless to search beyond. The dirt had been pushed around so much that it could have easily been a foot deep, assuming it hadn’t been scraped away.

Five feet from the edge of the dirt line, I got another pull-tab hit (+28/+30) but this one pinpointed very small and very shallow. I pushed the grass out of the way with my foot and saw the glint of white gold.

After we were able to shake off the intial excitement of recovery, we talked for twenty minutes about detecting. It’s something he would really like to get into and I gave him a general idea of what to expect. I pointed him in the direction of the forum so hopefully we’ll hear from him soon!

Editor Note:
This article was originally posted at:
This article has been approved for re-publication by the author.

Author: Tim Herschbach
I’m relatively new to metal detecting. It’s always been something I wanted to do but the cost has always been the issue. My first detector was a cheap garage sale machine that I played around with in the front yard a few times when I was 13 or 14. It was good at finding large chunks of pot metal. Yay for me. However, this past June, I went with my parents to Colorado for a week of vacation. For some reason we started looking for a metal detector store because it sounded like fun. Dad had always had his eye open for a metal detector but being the stingy goat that he is :D, he would never actually buy one. Well, a u-turn and an impressive sales pitch later, and we were driving away with a new White’s E-Series DFX. I know I couldn’t wait to get it running. Dad was still wondering how he had been talked into it.

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