I ran across a great story this morning that really did a lot to shine a bright light on the image of the metal detecting community.
George Singleton lost his gold University of Arkansas class ring on a golf course. He had placed this ring in his golf bag that was on a 3-wheeled push cart. A passing golf cart hit his push cart and sent it down a 10 foot slope, only to come to rest upside down in a creek. The ring ended up at the bottom of this murky creek and Singleton feared that it was lost forever. He continued to search for it over the period of a year and a half with no luck.
That is when he came across the LostMyStuff.net website. This website offers a free service that puts metal detecting hobbyists in touch with people who have lost items that cannot be found. Detectorists register with the website and note the city/state/or locale that they are willing to offer their detecting skills in. Those who have lost an item can post a lost item claim on the website, and detectorists registered in that area can be engaged to help in the search.
So the website put singleton in touch with Bob Forston, and they met at the creek on a cold Sunday morning to search for the prized possession.
Forston ended up waist deep in the cloudy creek water, swinging the coil on his Garrett metal detector. After pulling out twigs and trash for less than 10 minutes, Singleton was reunited with his lost class ring. Forston’s payment in this case appears to have just been the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction from seeing the joy of Singleton being reunited with his ring. George Singleton was quoted as saying “Their hearts are in exactly the right place”.
The LostMyStuff website is reported as having over 2,000 members worldwide currently. If you are into metal detecting, I encourage you to sign up. I did earlier this year, and have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to lend my services. Unlike other similar websites, LostMyStuff.net states “We don’t charge a fee for our services, nor do we expect a reward when we’re successful.” Some people who are reunited with a lost item will insist on you accepting a token of their appreciation. But this can also open up the opportunity to get permission to metal detect on property that you might not have otherwise had access to. For me, I think the thrill of the hunt and the satisfaction that would come with returning a cherished item would be payment enough.
I found and returned a diamond engagement ring last Summer, and I can tell you that it is a very gratifying experience to do so.