Wedding rings belonging to Sussex, Wisconsin residents, Mark and Shandell Geyer were lost in an overgrown tangle of burdock bushes, vines and raspberry canes at the end of their garden. To make matters worse, the remains of a long forgotten chain-link fence lay partially buried in the mud next to a high-voltage electric cable. These conditions were a metal detectorist’s worst nightmare.
I received an email from Mark asking if I might help. He had rented a metal detector but the conditions proved futile.
My first search attempt was in the dark. After a few hours, it was clear to me that the area would need to be systematically cleared of the growth and metal debris. I arranged a second visit, spending the better part of an afternoon and evening pruning away the brush and extracting old metal pipes, fencing and rubbish. Once cleared, I was finally able to detect the area and adjust the settings on my XP Deus metal detector to minimize the electrical interference, but in the end I had no rings to show for my efforts.
Another week went by while Mark cleared yet another section of brush. I returned a third time to sweep the area. Mark’s hope was reflected in his text to me when he wrote, “Third times a charm!”
When a sweep of the newly exposed area failed to bring the rings to the light of day, I began to seriously entertain the idea that the rings may have been lost elsewhere. Construction of a new house close by threatened to cover the search location with dirt and rocks. The rings would be lost forever if that were the case. As impossible as it seemed, two faint signals on the perimeter of the construction site invited further investigation. And amazingly, Mark’s ring first came to light and then about 8 feet away Shandell’s ring appeared in the muck.
With the precious rings in my pocket, I explained to Mark that the rings were definitely not in the area we had cleared. The disappointment was visibly apparent in his face. While walking towards the construction site, I relayed how I investigated a faint signal beneath a partially buried sediment barrier. Then, pulling the ring from my pocket I said, “This was all it was!” Mark was speechless. I then told how another very faint signal beneath the newly bulldozed dirt pile some 8 feet away prompted another dig. “But,” I explained as I pulled the mud-caked love token from my pocket, “it was just Shandell’s ring!”
Perseverance pays. It was like Mark said, “Third times a charm!”