Paul Humphreys, Author at The Ring Finders

Lost Wedding Ring Found! – Cedar Grove, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

When it comes to rings, the North American Great Lakes rank high as ring-eating monsters. And Lake Michigan gulped down yet another precious love token the week of June 24th when Petersburg, Illinois, residents Joe and Alissa Bilyeu were vacationing at Amsterdam Park near Cedar Grove, Wisconsin.

Somewhere during the construction of a sandcastle, Joe’s platinum wedding ring was slurped off his hand into the abyss of sand and water. A frantic search proved fruitless. The couple departed for home with heavy hearts at having lost the precious token of their recent marriage.

I received a text message from Joe asking if I might conduct a search. My work schedule prevented doing so immediately; the soonest I could make the 63 mile drive from my home in Waukesha to Cedar Grove was late on Friday. My wife, Kathleen, came along for the ride. Upon arrival at Amsterdam Park, Lake Michigan was pounding the shoreline with waves approaching 3’ high. Only faint traces of Bilyeu’s sand castle remained. The throbbing deluge had nearly obliterated all signs of it.

First I checked the shoreline dry sand. Then I switched machines and bracing myself against the waves I began searching the lake bottom with my trusty Minelab Excalibur SCUBA detector. After nearly an hour working against the punishing rollers a faint signal in chest-deep water invited excavation. But the wave action quickly filled the hole making it necessary to work quickly to gain on the target. At last, the Lake Michigan Monster was forced to relinquish its treasure; Joe’s platinum ring lay safe in my sieve.

I quickly texted a photo to Joe in Illinois. His response? “Holy Cow that’s it!! OMG thank you so much!!” And arrangements were made to send the ring back to its happy owner.

Thanks, Joe, for the awesome privilege of retrieving your ring. It’s just one more ring the Lake Michigan Ring Monster won’t get to digest. May your ring’s story continue for many, many happy years together.

Heirloom Ring Found! Oak Creek, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

On Sunday afternoon, Cedarburg, Wisconsin resident Jessica Rauh was visiting friends in Oak Creek. A benign game of volleyball turned into an all-out search-and-rescue operation when Jessica’s gold heirloom ring slipped off her finger, vanishing in the grass. Despite the best search efforts, the ring eluded recovery. That’s when Jessica found me on The Ring Finders Directory and telephoned. Would I help?

Within minutes I was on the way. Upon arrival, Jessica led me to an area under the volleyball net—marked off by sandbags. It didn’t take very long to pick up the telltale signal of gold and I plucked the ring up from its hiding place.

Jessica, I’m so glad you have your precious ring back on your hand! May its story continue for many years to come.

Lost Wedding Ring Found! – Oshkosh, Wisconsin

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)


Early Friday evening, Amanda Nachtwey and her husband were visiting friends at the Ford Festival Camp Grounds in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, home of Country USA’s annual music festival. As they were walking along Amanda felt her loose-fitting wedding ring slip off her finger. It vanished somewhere into the sodden grass, mud and puddles along the roadway, the result of earlier heavy rains. Despite searching feverishly for nearly three hours, the ring seemed lost forever.

Having searched for and successfully recovered a ring for another client two years ago at the same Festival Campground, when Amanda notified Security of her loss, she was given my contact number at The Ring Finders. It was about 9:00 at night when I received a call from Amanda. Would I come right away? I made the 80-mile trip and was met by a security guard at the camp entrance who marshaled my clearance and transport to the site.

For all you metal-detecting buffs out there, I chose to use a state-of-the-art XP Deus wireless detector and probe. It has become my machine of choice for high-trash areas. And the wireless probe was invaluable.

I extracted several pieces of aluminum, some bits of foil and a pull-tab from the muck and water. Amanda hovered close by with a flashlight in hand and so I handed each of these metallic bits to her to keep as “souvenirs.” At last, I felt the ring in my fingers and sloshed it about in the puddle to remove the mud. Then I placed her husband’s love token in her hand saying, “And here is another souvenir for you!” Tears and hugs followed!

Amanda, may your ring continue its story for many, many happy years!

TESTIMONY: “We are so thankful for you taking your time on a Friday night to get us our ring back!… We are so blessed and thankful for the services you provide!” Amanda Nachtwey – Oshkosh, WI

Lost Wedding Rings Found! – Milwaukee, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

The evening of May 20th ended on a sad note for Milwaukee residents, Preston and Johannah St. John. Johannah’s wedding rings took flight into the night behind their new home, disappearing into the thick foliage. The means whereby the rings went airborne shall remain shrouded in mystery or just left to the imagination of the reader. Despite crawling on hands and knees, Preston and Johannah could not find their love tokens—the rings seemed lost forever.

A quick search on the Internet pointed Johannah to a fellow Ring Finder in the region. He contacted me with the details the next morning and after a quick phone call a search was arranged that evening.

As luck would have it, rain fell in torrents all day, turning the ground into a soggy mess. But just as I pulled into the St. John’s driveway the clouds seemed to sense the urgency of the hour, took pity on us all and turned their showers elsewhere. The search was made all the more challenging by the presence of iron trash and a large cast iron pipe buried in the ground. To ferret out the signals of small gold rings amidst a ferrous cacophony made me glad for my discerning XP Deus detector. Soon the first ring, a fine band, came to light. A half hour later and some 30 feet away, the solitaire similarly cried uncle.

I was making my way back to the car when Johannah appeared. Her body language and facial expression betrayed fast-fading hope. At first I played the part of a futile search but then her pained disappointment was too much for me. I opened my hand to reveal, first the solitaire, and then the band. Tears and a hug followed. Gotta love this hobby.

Thanks, Preston and Johannah, for letting me recover your rings! As for just how they took flight… that shall remain our secret.

Unique Wedding Ring Found – Greendale, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Greendale, Wisconsin resident, Nick Galante, was moving furniture with his son on February 10, 2018 when his one-of-a-kind wedding ring went missing. There was a lot of snow covering the ground as well as on the rented U-Haul truck. Nick was putting his gloves on and taking them off as he worked to clear the vehicle and so was concerned that his ring may have slipped off his finger in the process.

I received an email from Nick late that same evening but since I was away on business in Canada I was not able to conduct a search until nearly two weeks later on February 22nd. The ring could have been lost at any one of three locations where the truck had been loaded and unloaded. There was little hope it could be found.

Nick’s loss was acute. The heavy 14k yellow gold wedding ring encapsulated a ½ Real Spanish silver coin dated 1783. The coin was one of many retrieved from the wrecked Spanish ship, El Cazador, which sank in the Gulf of Mexico in January 1784 after it was overcome by a winter storm. The ring’s uniqueness coupled with its sentimental value made the ring irreplaceable.

I intended to follow Nick’s truck route and eliminate each location beginning with the U-Haul pick up center. Amazingly, it was there that the ring, obviously flattened by a vehicle’s tire, came to light where it had been crushed into a crack in the pavement.

Still, Nick was thrilled to have his cherished wedding token back again. He hopes an experienced jeweler might be able to restore the heirloom; if so, the coin will have yet another chapter to add to its illustrious history. I’m so glad to have found your ring, Nick, even in its damaged state. Here’s hoping it can be fully restored. If so, I look forward to posting a follow up photo.

Lost Engagement Ring Found! Greenfield, Wisconsin

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

In the wee small hours of December 18th, Lindsey Ernisse’s gorgeous engagement ring went missing in the vicinity of a busy apartment complex in Greenfield, Wisconsin. She and her fiancé, Michael Perry, searched and searched in the darkness. They scoured the driveway between the parking area and the entrances to the building but without success. The next morning, even with the help of a rented metal detector, the ring remained in its hiding place. The detector only emitted a cacophony of squawks and chirps; proof that the ground was full of all manner of metallic material. It seemed certain Lindsey would never see her ring again.

A search on the Internet turned up my profile on The Ring Finder’s website. I learned of the loss when I received an email from Lindsey asking if I might help. We arranged to meet on location that same afternoon.

For nearly four hours I searched the probable locations until late in the evening. When it became dark, I used a headlamp and a metal-detecting probe to scour the shrubs and bushes. The next morning I returned to the site and continued searching an area well beyond where the ring was thought to be lost. I sent Lindsey a text message telling her to keep her fingers and her toes crossed and not to lose hope.

After a couple hours I heard a wisp of a signal in my headphones. The tone was consistent with that of 14-Karat gold. And so I investigated. When I parted the grass, a glimpse of a silver loop appeared and my first thought was that someone had lost an earring. But when I lifted it from the turf, diamonds appeared. There was no mistaking it; it was Lindsey’s ring!

I’m so glad I was able to find your engagement ring, Lindsey! May its story continue for many, many happy years to come. And thank you for your generous reward!

If you, or someone you know, lost a ring or some other item of jewelry, give me a call. I have been detecting since 1976 and would love to put my experience and equipment to work finding your lost item. Even if it went missing years ago, chances are, it may still be right where it was lost waiting to be discovered.

Lost Platinum Wedding Ring Found – Elkhart Lake, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Nick Mitrani was visiting in Wisconsin from Long Island, New York, when his platinum wedding ring went missing. It happened while doing some geocaching around Road America, an internationally acclaimed motorsports complex and one of America’s longest road racing circuits. Located in the picturesque rolling, wooded hills of Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine district, Road America is also home to geocaching adventures, a technology-driven scavenger hunt of sorts using a GPS (Global Positioning System).

Nick had stopped at several historical roadside markers when he realized the ring was no longer on his hand. Despite renting a metal detector and returning to the locations where he had stopped, the ring eluded his best search efforts. It was nowhere to be found.

I received a text message from Nick the next day asking if I might help. We arranged to meet early the next morning. After an hour and half drive I arrived at the prearranged location just as the sun was making it’s appearance in a clear sky over Lake Michigan. A heavy frost nipped at our bare fingers and weighed down the fallen leaves and bent the tall grass.

After checking two of the geocaching locations, we were well into searching the third when a promising signal in the thick, ice-laden grass invited further investigation. It was Nick’s ring!

It takes a GPS in the hands of a skilled user to search for and locate caches. But it takes a metal detector in the hands of an experienced user to search for and locate missing rings. If you have lost a ring or some other sentimental jewelry item, contact a member of The Ring Finders today. Even if your property was lost a long time ago, chances are it can still be found.

Thanks, Nick, for the opportunity to hunt for and find your ring.

Lost Wedding Ring Found! – Oak Creek, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

A young Michigan couple, Ryan and Jess Knapp, were visiting in Wisconsin and enjoying an evening’s fun with their son, West, at Oak Creek Parkway Park. But then Ryan’s black tungsten wedding ring disappeared. A thick bed of woodchips in the playground seemed the logical place to search. Ryan looked late into the night using the flashlight on his cellphone but his efforts proved futile.

Early the following morning I received a text from Ryan asking if I might assist. We arranged to meet at the park that afternoon. I arrived an hour earlier than anticipated and so began a systematic search of the kid’s playground area using an XP Deus wireless metal detector and probe. Initially, the usual coins, pull-tabs and foil were all that turned up. However, just before Ryan and Jess arrived, a signal from underneath the playground’s monkey bars invited further investigation—it was Ryan’s wedding ring!

For me, the best part of any search is the moment when I get to hand a ring back to its owner. The smiles tell the rest of the story!

If you or someone you know has lost a ring or other sentimental jewelry item there is a good chance it can still be found. Whether on land, in water or snow, don’t lose hope! Even rings that have been lost for many years are no match for today’s technology, experience and kindness.

Wedding Ring Found! – Lake Beulah, Mukwonago, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

Jumping off boat docks runs a very high risk of removing rings from one’s fingers. I mean one moment the ring is there snug and happy on your finger and the next thing you know, slurp, the lake monster sucks it off and swallows it whole. It’s not fair!

There ought to be warning signs posted on piers to warn would-be-jumpers about this potential hazard. Maybe such signage would have prevented Milwaukee resident, Juan Garcia, from jumping and losing his beautifully crafted 14K white-gold wedding band to the ring-slurping, ring-swallowing monster of Lake Beulah, near Mukwonago, WI.

Juan contacted me the other day to inquire if I might search for his ring. The nature of the search required that no discrimination be used on my Minelab Excalibur detector and so I was prepared for the usual accumulation of ferrous metal that tends to accumulate around boat docks like flies on a carcass. We are talking steel washers, screws, nails, bolts, wire, tools, etc. And I was not disappointed. Eventually, however, Juan’s ring appeared in my scoop! One very relieved owner couldn’t get it back on his finger fast enough! A good sign, I thought to myself, that all’s good at home.

Thanks, Juan, for the privilege of searching for and finding your ring. So glad we were able to get Lake Beulah to cough it up for you. Thanks too for your generous reward.

And so the moral of this story if there is one, is this. Be sure to read the warning signs that are absent from boat docks before you jump off them. Just imagine they exist. They read, “Jumping off this dock with rings on your fingers may be hazardous to your marriage;” or something along that line. But if you or someone you know just didn’t see the sign, contact me. We might be able to coax the ring-swallowing lake monster to burp it up.

TESTIMONY

Thank you Paul again for your service. I have been married for 14yrs now. I was devastated when I lost my wedding ring and it was hard to think about living life without my original wedding ring. Now I can pass my original wedding ring onto my boys. Thanks again. God bless. — Juan Garcia

Wedding Ring Found! – Williams Bay, Lake Geneva, WI

from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

It is too bad Golden Retrievers don’t retrieve gold, gold rings that is. If they did, then Chicago resident, Adam Katz, wouldn’t have called me.

Adam jumped off the family’s boat pier into Lake Geneva the other day to join his Golden Retriever in a short swim back to shore. When the pair emerged, Mr. Katz’s rose-gold and platinum wedding ring was missing.

I arrived on location and first assessed the depth. While the water was over my head in some places, the search was do-able with snorkel and mask and with the help of a weighted dive belt. It also helped that the water was unusually clear that day.

In the next four hours I extracted an assortment of fishing lures from the lake bottom and twice untangled myself, and my detector, from yards of abandoned fishing-line. A pair of trophy-sized Large-mouthed Bass visited me on several occasions; they seemed to be smirking whilst I dealt with the evidence of fishermen whose valiant attempts to catch them had clearly been foiled. But finally it was my turn to smirk.

Adam’s ring came to light from its hiding place among one of the many clusters of aquatic plants. “Aha! Caught you!” If you had been on shore you would have heard those words trumpeted from my snorkel.

Thanks, Adam, for the privilege of searching for and finding your gorgeous ring. Thanks too for your generous reward. I also enjoyed meeting your beautiful canine swimming partner.

I’ve been thinking; maybe there’s a way to train Golden Retrievers to fetch gold rings; now wouldn’t that be something! In the meantime, if someone you know has lost a ring give me a call. For them at least, I might become their golden retriever!