I can’t tell you how grateful and blessed we are

001Yesterday we closed and sold our dream fulfilled homestead back in Princeton, MN.  There is something maddening about having property you can not protect and utilize thousands of miles away.  We could not pay anyone to keep our best interest so we had to sell our property there but feel so grateful that the next owner and caretaker can now bring life back into that homestead we loved so much.

The decision to move to Ohio was a quick and simple one.  We really are enjoying our piece of heaven here but the move damn near killed us.  And having our property sit vacant while we go from one con man to the next who we spent good money on continued to let us down.  Finally we just had to cut our losses and dump a wad of cash into selling this great piece of property.  It was painful.  Monetarily painful, but also emotionally painful. I have suffered many storms in this life but this one literally damn near killed both Michelle and I.

Now that it is sold and into another caretaker’s hands I really felt at ease.  This huge debt that we could not pay anyone to care take on our behalf is now all taken care of and under someone else’s watch now.  It is a bit easier to breath, and my mind has been racing with all the projects I have planned for this home in Ohio that were born and percolated there in the dream fulfilled homestead.  My mind is now again nimble to exercise my dream muscles again.  The sweet memories are now flooding back to fill the void left by all the disappointment, challenges and despair with not being able to protect and fill that homestead with life that we cherished while we were there.

We were blessed to own two homes but it is so nice to only have one now to worry about.  We were blessed to have the savings to pay the difference between the sale price and what we owed on the mortgage without having to take out another loan.  Things are going to be tight here for a while until our savings can be built up again but we can do that standing on our head.  We were able to get to this point in our life because we have always sacrificed for our dreams.  We sold our Dream Fulfilled homestead and now we are in our Bonnie Doon Homestead here in Leesburg, Ohio where if God is willing we will live out the rest of our days.  It is just a shame they can’t cache me, or bury me by the old privy when my Lord calls me home.  Yet, we have a lot of life yet to surround ourselves with here before our day is through.

Finally I feel like our feet are getting a good footing again.  I hope to share the joy with you more now that my mind is at ease.  It is hard to write, make videos and publish when you can’t protect what you are responsible for.  Now I feel I can again.

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In Response to an Inquiry to purchase my “pretty rocks”

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Honestly, all the rock here is still sharing secrets of this site or the site the glacier carved them up from. Yet, most are site specific to where they are found. My hope one day is that they will be able to be read like our own emails are read today.

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They seem to be Jesuit in origin so 1300-late 1800’s but they may just be way older. They seem to be the only remnant of the enormous civilization that was once here in North America. Agate, Flint and chert are found but they are the off casts or pieces that just did not fit their needs so they are carved into a useful memory tool or message and left for the next generation or visitor to the site. Since this site had a more modern Ojibwe and Dakota dwellers their language is found here but the Jesuit language is also found here.

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This is telling us that the fur traders, and mining was done here apart of New Spain and French Fur Trade as well as the much later British merchant interests. Do they reach even further back as well? I think they do but it is like peeling an onion since they are used and reused and every damn piece of stone up here has something intelligent carved into it.

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It is so frustrating not being able to pick one up and read it like a modern email but I pray that comes in time. I just wish I was more of a language nerd. But being an artist seems to serve me well in picking up through observation something no one wants to touch, yet there is evidence that others know this, they just don’t talk about it.



So, that is the life of a relic and treasure hunter. I have something here more valuable than gold and silver but until I educate one and all, they are just field stone that are better stacked at the end of the field to most.


Response to Lisa MacIntrye guest post on Stout Standards Blog

In response to a post on Stout Standards blog:

Lisa Hume

I applaud the post by Lisa MacIntrye where she lays out some of the fears archaeologist have with metal detectorists.  But I can’t deny the misconceptions she has with metal detectorists and relic and treasure hunters. I do agree with her that cherry picking a site of its valuable finds with no regard to the entire story found in the context of other finds on that site. The grid is merely a strategy to employ that has proven to work well if you have the resources. A relic and treasure hunter employs multiple strategies to uncover the story of a site an the metal detector is usually one of the first strategies we throw at a site as it is a good tool to tell us the lay of the land.

I do a lot of Farmsteads because I have no interest in city folks and find the Pioneer Spirit that our nation has lost needs rekindling. So this is an example of what I throw at a site to recover its many stories.


First, I walk the site and photograph it paying special attention to trees, landscape and stones. Being able to read these three aspects will reveal where you need to spend your time quickly.


Second, comes the metal detector to see how well I read the landscape in step one. This is an exhaustive step because it is not just a merry romp but instead multiple approaches that also employ a grid strategy. These sites are also metal detected in different seasons and weather conditions as humidity in the air and soil really aid or inhibit results. Some strategies employed are the following: A. A test the intuition approach where you go where you feel you will find something. All targets especially those of note are gps located and photo documented in all these steps to reveal later their relation to other finds as the story reveals itself of the site. B. The Grid strategy is repeated North to South, then East to West and diagonally in all directions. C. Seasonal revisiting the site strategy to do all the above over again especially on plowed fields because with each turn of the plow the landscape changes and it is a whole new ball game.

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Thirdly, The above strategies only cover above ground and down anywhere from 4 to 18 inches if you are very lucky. But it is those 4 inches that will inform you where you need to dig deep to recover the rest of the story. The third step is to dig deep, privy, dump, foundations, rock formations, and in areas where the number of finds at 4 inches is great enough to inform you that there maybe something to help tell your sites story below.

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Fourth step is a continual step of research that actually is never ending. With each find you find a new path to research and with every challenge your site throws at you a new need to find a solution through research. This could be a conversation with a local elder to hours and hours scouring the internet for that one photo that confirms your gut instincts. There also is a need to understand the historical context the site endured along with its residents. Again, a never ending step that is never set aside.

Kathryn "Kat" Catlin and Christiane Campbell, UMass Boston Historical Archaeology graduate students, use the Måla 400 MHz GPR antenna

Fifth step is one of resources that can not be afforded.  It is that Ground Penetrating Radar and all the great gifts of technology that is out of my reach.  One day I pray I can afford this technology but what if archaeologists offered this technology to the relic and treasure hunter to find middle ground and join us in a joint venture on a site rather than trying to become our masters?

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The Sixth Step is Innovation where you think outside the box and take strategies and methods in desperate other lines of work and apply them to overcome challenges you are facing in the field.


The Seventh step is a thick skin and a sense of humor as you will be inundated with those that are only set on destruction rather creation because of their own inadequacies and tunnel vision.  Have fun with it but don’t let it take up your valuable time.

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The bonus to all of this is that we do not rely upon tax dollars and agenda’s but our own. We share what we legally can share for others to learn from and are readily available to assist others learn this craft and art.

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The way I see it is that the relic and treasure hunter has made archaeology as we know it today redundant. The tell tale sign of this is their use of the government and law to limit our access yet we still out perform and if unregulated we could share more of what we are finding without the fear of being criminalized or have our finds ripped from the hands of the rightful owners, that is the land owner and the relic hunter depending upon their agreement.

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The issue we have with archaeologists is that they bring nothing to the table in their current structure. I envision a relationship where archaeologists instead realize their role of assisting with ID, documentation and research rather than dictating and criminalizing those of us that are out performing them to no cost of the tax payer but benefiting the land owner, themselves and the community as a whole as we recover the stories and history no archaeologist would bother to dirty their hands or facade of credentials.


The Lost Payroll-1862

Easter Drive with Michelle 049


A Minnesota Story

In 1862 a troop of soldiers where transporting an army payroll from Fort Snelling to Fort Ripley. Near Blue Hill Township, they were informed by a dispatcher of a nearby Indian uprising and were ordered to bury the payroll and proceed immediately to Mankato. Only the paymaster and one other soldier knew where the payroll was buried, and both were later killed. The treasure’s location remains unknown.

There is also this slightly different version of the Fort Snelling – Fort Ripley gold story. It was told to the writer by Aaron McDonald of Zimmerman in 1978. His version indicated that the soldiers had made contact with some Indians just north of Elk Lake along Battle Brook. This would place the location of the event in Baldwin Township.

It was getting dark when the soldiers buried the two saddlebags of gold coins under the roots of an oak tree. The soldiers whipped the packhorse, sending it off into the night towards Fort Ripley. The Indians thought the soldiers were escaping and followed the packhorse. Meanwhile the soldiers escaped and returned to Fort Snelling.

A fire burned through the area later that year and when the troop came back in the spring they were unable to find the gold. No one can confirm the absolute truth of the above legends. The information on which they are based was handed down verbally through several generations of people. But there appears to be sufficient consistency to believe that they are more fact than fiction or imagination. There probably was a sizable amount of gold buried in Blue Hill or Baldwin Townships and, from what we can surmise; it is probably still there today.

From: “There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills” by Sherburne County Historical Society

Don’t Fall Prey to a “One Trick Pony” Approach to Hunting Relic and Treasure

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The metal detector industry geared it’s products from early on to focus on the coin shooter.  This was very successful in order to sell their metal detectors but it is truly only the first step into hunting relic and treasure.  The “coin shooter” seeks to find unintentional dropped coins.  They improve their percentages by hunting sites where great numbers of people congregated with money in their pockets knowing that there will be a certain percentage of coins dropped and lost.

This beginners step in hunting relic and treasure relies upon a vast number of individuals crossing over that site and being careless with their valuables.  It is simply a numbers game that relies upon the constant that where ever people are, there will be evidence left behind.  This constant is utilized with all of relic and treasure hunting.  Where ever people are, there will be evidence of them.

Now, don’t get stuck and simply believe that when you master being a coin shooter you have reached the pinnacle of relic and treasure hunting.  Because you have simply only mastered the first step into relic and treasure hunting.

Coin shooting relies upon the unintentional dropped valuable.  The next step into relic and treasure hunting is taking on the hunt for the intentional placement of valuables in caches.  This next step takes you from highly traveled parks, beaches and public spaces into the country side where that farmer hid his life savings in fruit jars, or that outlaw cached his ill gotten gains to recover once the heat was off.  It also includes military caches and peoples caches of valuables and relics that may include wisdom and their story cached away for coming generations or the initiate to recover.

While the intentional cached relic and treasure is a totally different animal to hunt.  Simply knowing the settings on your metal detector is not going to guarantee your success.  You will still have to know your tools, metal detector settings and you will have to increase your grizzly arsenal so that whatever the site throws at you, you will be able to discern and find the treasure and relic that you seek.

Depending on the age of the cache, you will have to understand ancient tools used to set the cache site.  You will have to understand dowsing rods.  You don’t have to use them, but you have to understand how iron, metal and stones can be found using dowsing rods.  Yes, you can find foundations and metal with dowsing rods.  You can also find water.  Knowing how to differentiate the metal target from the underground water source is important.

One tool that I have to really learn better is how to navigate with a compass.  The older the cache site, the more low tech or ancient tech you will have to rediscover.  Tree carvings, trail trees, thong trees and rock carvings and rock formations will have to be a new language you will have to master.  The Spanish or Jesuit mining and Kings road signs, symbols and code you will have to understand.

The hours of research and interviews you will have to undertake increases with the deeper you get into hunting relic and treasure.  If you think that making sure your batteries are charged is all you have to do to jump in a car to go out to the public park to hunt you are just sampling relic and treasure.

You will have to learn how to dig a dump or privy.  You will have to learn to tell the goose from the greenery.  You will have to learn that each site is unique and yet one site will lead you into another.  If you just throw your non coin finds in a bucket and never question and research what they are, you are not diving deeply into relic and treasure hunting but only sipping or cherry picking.  You will not be able to tell the sites story.

In order to tell the sites story you have to dive in deep to relic and treasure hunting.     Please don’t fall prey to the “one trick pony” approach to relic and treasure hunting.  Get Grizzly with your Temerity and dive into the deep water of relic and treasure hunting.  Fill up your Grizzly Arsenal of knowledge and tools that will allow you to tell the sites story and find the relic and treasure you seek.

Tree bumps and blemishes

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This is a new wrinkle in the quest to uncover the information hidden in the greenery on these sites.  This is an old site I was revisiting its documentation after discovering the woodpecker holes could be understood using something similar to morse code  and a cipher I was excited to run across.  The same method could probably be used here on this tree, but I thought I should ask the readers here if they have ever ran across similar growths and blemishes on trees on their hunt sites.

I am theorizing that they scarred the bark and maybe even utilized insects or some external agitant placed under the skin of the bark to assist the growth blemishes where they were needed.  The other code found carved on the trees suggest this was an intentional and not just natural as other trees of the same species are not affected.  Also there is a pattern that is evident with the naked eye.

There is enough duplication on these sites that we don’t have to have an answer for every bit of information present, it makes life easier but it is not necessary.  It just bugs me to no end that I can’t just apply a strategy or cipher to this abnormality and be able to discern it as a part of the mirage or something of this sites reality.

I guess this is what makes cache site relic and treasure hunting so enjoyable.  You are always learning and growing with each new wrinkle.

Apophenia, essential tool for the Relic and Treasure Hunter

As a Christian, artist and relic and treasure hunter, I pride myself on teaching others to see in new ways, think outside the box and to shed light into the darkness.  This is one of those subjects in relic and treasure hunting that I feel I need to shed some light upon.

Estes Brook Hill 172Skeptics, Sentinels, anarchists, outlaws and simpletons try to throw out the “psychological disorder” terms like Apophenia and Pareidolia to attempt to silence the information getting out on how to see “the goose in the greenery”.  They rely on the stigmata of the terms to dissuade research and conversations on the subject.  Why?  Because it is key to unlocking these cache sites that are found all across this nation and if they can keep you from using this tool in your grizzly arsenal, then it will severely handicap you in finding the treasure you seek.

It is much like Temerity.  Temerity only appears foolish to those that will never attain or embody the characteristic.  Well, you will never find relic and treasure intentually cached to be recovered at a later time unless you fine tune these tools.

Yes, Apophenia is a relic and treasure tool that can be developed even in the most linear of thinking minds to distinguish the goose from the greenery.  A great example of seeing what others don’t and if they do they don’t follow through with it or are bullied into setting their observations aside.  A lovely British student utilizes her Temerity to become the leading expert in the world on WW2 Tree Carvings.

“WW2 tree carvings and bark grafitti unveil private lives from the past”

“Chantel Summerfield, an arbolglyph reader from Malvern , Worcestershire, 24, said: “You can walk down the streets and see the carvings on the trees and not think anything much of it but when you actually look into it it tells you an awful lot.

“I’ve followed many of the First World War soldiers’ carvings from trees that once stood a few miles behind the front line on the Western Front, through to finding their graves in Commonwealth War Graves cemeteries.”

Those that deny the very existence of their fellow man utilizing this ability to hide the goose in the greenery are simply ignorant or just enslaved to someone else’s agenda.

Leonardo Da Vinci, a genius in many fields of study had this to say about this effective tool of observation:

his notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci wrote of pareidolia as a device for painters, writing “if you look at any walls spotted with various stains or with a mixture of different kinds of stones, if you are about to invent some scene you will be able to see in it a resemblance to various different landscapes adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, plains, wide valleys, and various groups of hills. You will also be able to see divers combats and figures in quick movement, and strange expressions of faces, and outlandish costumes, and an infinite number of things which you can then reduce into separate and well conceived forms.”[11]

In order to master and perfect this tool of observing not only the natural world around you, but to discern the hidden goose in the greenery there are many examples online and off that you can train your eye and brain to venture where few have the temerity to go.

However, this tool is only as good as any other tool in your grizzly arsenal of tools to hunt and find relic and treasure.  If you don’t know how to use your metal detector, you will not find the treasure for which you seek.  It is the same with this apophenia gift that you develop.  Remember on any sight, but especially cached sites there is one question we must continually answer and test:  “Is it the goose or is it the greenery?”  or “Is it the mirage or the reality?”

Every cache site is created to look ancient, to blend in with the natural and provide a simplistic cover story to protect the relic and treasure cached away.  So you are going to run into a higher percentage of mirage than you will find in its reality.  For example a 1920-30’s bootlegger will cache his property or his neighbors so that if anyone does notice something is out of place, it will appear like it was a remnant of the past dwellers of the location.  They will try to make things look as if the natives that the land was taken from had left some remnant of their civilization behind in rocks, tree carvings or landscaping.

So always test what you are observing with what you are actually finding as you dig.    All the wonderful stone and tree carvings are meaningless if you can’t test them with finding what they are telling you should be there.  Remember, what is above is also below.  So if it isn’t then you have found the mirage, and not the reality.


Indian Trail Tree, Thong Tree, Treasure Trail Tree

Easter Drive with Michelle 049

Michelle and I ventured out for a drive on Easter to capture our Grizzly Backyard as the Migratory birds are now finding their way back and the snow is slowly recessing to replenish our fertile soil.  I could not help but drive past the hunt site I will no doubt spend the majority of my time on this grizzly hunt season.  Pictured here from the road because I do not have permission to hunt this neighboring property is an old Indian Trail Tree.  It sits along the same trail that runs through my hunt site.

Do you see the tell tale elbow’s on this tree as it was manipulated with thong and tie down?  It also has manicured evidence that is rather recent in the terms of the era’s this site stretches back into.


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This photo is a nice close up of the eye of the Bird motiff that permeates this cache site.

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This tree is unique because it points out a number of trails.  It “V’s” into two distinct trail tree markers and there is a curious limb placed over the top creating a shield or King’s Trail symbol that can be seen in the negative space between its branches.

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In our area here that highly suspect for micro caches and old trails these trail trees will catch your eye as you drive down our back country roads and main highways.  No doubt these tree markers were utilized on the old Red River Ox cart trails that are now our major highway arteries.

You will also find these trees out in the middle of no where.  Iron is usually laid down near these to give you a lay line to navigate as you hunt.  Since these trees served as the corner store bulletin boards of early footpaths, there is a whole host of information to be gleaned off the barks of these trees, buried around these trees and on the trails leading from these trees.

If you don’t know your Indian trail trees, thong trees or treasure trail trees, you better make a point to bone up on them quick.  This is just a great example of knowing the landscape you are hunting.

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I took this panoramic to illustrate how the trail tree blends into the landscape.  If you never knew trail trees existed you would never see it in this panoramic as you drive to and from your destination each day.  But if you are in the know, your trail trees will begin to jump out at you as you drive your daily grind or just out driving back country roads scouting your next hunt site.  Remember, we only hunt properties where permission is granted and when we hunt those sites we throw the whole Grizzly arsenal at it until we recover the story that we can share.

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Join me on the Quest to discover the secrets of the Dog Stone Tablet

Above you will find the photosynth of my documentation photos of the Dog Stone Tablet I found on a site I will later disclose.  This site has been hunted yet as this stone will reveal the true treasure may yet to be discovered.  I chose this stone because it falls into my “Tablet Stone” criteria and it is a site that has been metal detected, and the whole of the grizzly arsenal thrown at it.  Yet, will this stone alone reveal that there is more to this site that I have yet to discover?  Or will the information on the stone confirm what was found?  I suspect both will reveal themselves.  And if your willing to join me on this quest I will reveal what was found and help both of us through this stone and its hidden secrets the best that I can.  I am offering this quest and experience so that others like yourself can begin probing history right in your own Grizzly Backyard.

I will post this up here and as we get folks interested I will reveal the back side of this stone in another photosynth so you will have the whole picture.  Then as discoveries on the stone mount I will reveal what corresponding finds were found or go hunt the area looking to see if I missed what this stone is telling us is there.

This is your opportunity to learn and grow from the comfort of your laptop and become apart of a hunt that is still ongoing.  Now this site does not get visited by myself that often as I am just now researching the clues recovered after the initial hunt.  I have bigger fish in the pan right now cooking, but I thought this would be a great place to start this journey with you so you can have access to what I do daily here.  In providing this opportunity I hope that more people will join me hunting their own grizzly backyards recovering and probing history.  This is  hat the Grizzly Groundswell is all about, inspiring a groundswell of people getting Grizzly to take ownership of our combined and shared history, make better decisions today knowing what our history actually was so that it will lead us into a much brighter and promising future.

I have posted this on both ProbingHistory.com and GrizzlyGroundswell.com as well as on Facebook. Please “Like” and comment to join this quest below on either of the two sites or on the facebook post.

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