On January 27th, I wrote an article on the process used to help me find my first Civil War Plate. In the last paragraph, I set my next goal using the same process. Here is the exact text from the last paragraph of the article:
“So now I’m working on creating a vision of digging a Confederate button. As before I’ll collect information from those that have dug one, practice on samples, and create a video image in my head with as much detail as possible. And we’ll see what happens…”
Well what happened is, two months later I dig the ultra-rare Confederate Block “I” infantry button, Tennessee style “puff rim” shown above. Many detectorists in this area have hunted for years in Middle Tennessee without finding one. I was stunned. Middle of a back yard with a bunch of other relics from a camp or picket post.
An interesting thing to note is that shortly after I found the Martingale, I found a US Belt buckle – my second plate. So the first envisioning process seemed to net me two plates and not one. Go figure.
This is For Real
Knowing the nature of the internet, the first thing I’d like to clarify is that my finds are 100% real I know there are a lot of people out there on blogs and YouTube and forums that are perceived to “find” planted items or post items they didn’t dig at all. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I “swear on a stack of Bibles” that every single find I post is one I actually dug. I am telling you this, because looking at my own finds, I don’t think I would believe them if I were you. For example, I’ve found 11 buttons in the past year, and three of them have been rare: A Confederate block “I” button, a Federal “R” Rifleman button, and an early militia eagle button. Fortunately I have witnesses for all but the early militia button, which doesn’t have a shank, and though rare, is not the most unbelievable of the three. Practically the entire Middle Tennessee Metal Detecting Club witnessed me digging the Eagle+R button in Triune, TN. This is another great reason to not detect alone. Anyway – if you are calling BS on my finds, please come down to middle TN and detect with me. Maybe we’ll find something awesome or not, but I guarantee it will be fun and whatever we find will be real. I’m like everyone else. Some days I hunt 8 hours and am lucky to find a bullet or a silver. But I hunt enough, research enough and am aggressive on permission enough to the point that I’m on good sites. And this is where the “good stuff” comes from.
It was a beautiful Saturday. I detected two yards with just awful results. The first yard was in a great spot, big and on a hillside, but very trashy and I walked away empty-handed. The second yard had been hunted to death in the past, and had very few targets of any kind. At 2:30 pm, I literally thought “I’m in danger of getting skunked today. I haven’t even dug a bullet.”
The third yard had a big front yard which was ok, but the medium-sized backyard was absolutely loaded with stuff.
This is not Magic Wishing
I’ve had a couple of readers write to me and question whether you could “will yourself” to find something. One of the best detectorists in Middle Tennessee drove it home though. Johnny Pryor said “It’s a mindset. Not a mindset of wishing you would find something, but the mindset of doing all that is necessary to put you in the right place at the right time.”
This is why this envisioning process works, and is not the same as wishing we’d win the lottery. Why? Because in order for it to work, you have to be in position for it to work. This process is simply harnessing the unused portion of your mind to make something specific happen that is unlikely to happen otherwise. So what are these prerequisites then?
You have to Do the Work
This is why this is an “expert” tip and not a “beginner tip”. You have to have the skills to convert. Permission skills, research skills, and detecting skills. You need to detect regularly and detect hard, master a good machine, and know how to dig tough targets such as deep keepers and iffy targets in trash.
You Have to Be in Position
You have to be in an area where it is possible that the finds you are envisioning can be found. When I found my Martingale and US Plate, and the “I” button, I knew I was in a place where they were definitely out there.
I think it is certainly possible to use this envisioning process without both of the above prerequisites, but I am uncertain of how long it might take.
So what I’ve been doing is trying to harness the “unused” portion of my brain (hold the jokes please) to augment my skills and help me find specific items on my bucket list. Specifically:
1) Select an item you’d like to find. I prefer to be as general as possible to attempt to make it happen as quickly as possible. “Any Civil War Plate” “Any Confederate Button” are the two I’ve converted so far this year.
2) Research the items you’d like to find and practice detecting samples if possible
3) Collect every detail you can from detectorists you know that have found the item you wish to find. Depth, sound, signal, environment. What did it feel like? Every little detail helps.
4) Create a vision in your mind of digging the item, in as much detail as possible. You have to be able to see it, just like a memory. What did it look, sound and feel like. Picture it all dirty in your hand just out of the ground. Feel it in your grip. What did it smell like. The more detail the better.
5) Replay the vision/advance memory in your head as regularly as possible. Every day. Before hunts. Before you go to bed.
6) Work to find the object via research and permission in the right places. You’ve still got to find the object. This process isn’t magical. It is just giving you a huge extra edge.
April 2, 2015: I’d like to find any US Gold coin. I am going to use the same process I used for the plate and the button, and again – no guarantees – I’m going to work hard and see what happens. Best of luck out there!
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers as to why this process works. But it works for me, and I appreciate it. And it’s not crazy if it works.
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