Hay Bale Wedding Ring Found! – Waukesha, WI

  • from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

When Waukesha, Wisconsin resident John Harstine realized his wedding ring was missing late in the evening of March 7th, his mind went into overdrive retracing his movements that day. Where had it gone?

An electrician by trade, he called the client where he had been working but there was no sign of the ring in that vicinity. John checked his work van with the same result—no ring. He recalled that his wedding ring was fitting loosely. He had planned to get it resized. Now it was missing and he fought the feeling of regret deep down in his heart.

John’s wife happened to see my car the next day in Oconomowoc, about 20 minutes away. She noticed the signage in my window, “Lost Ring? Call Paul!” My accompanying phone number and QR code prompted her to take a picture of the car. The chance encounter with my vehicle turned out to be providential. John called me the next day and we reviewed his timeline of activities.

The evening of the loss, John recalled throwing some hay bales down for the horses he was feeding. As he described the situation, it seemed highly probably that his wedding ring may have flown off his hand with the hay. Did one of the horses swallow the ring? The thought was not comforting.

We arranged to meet on location at the farm the following evening. On arrival, John showed me the stalls, the hay in storage and how he had pulled the bales down and thrown the hay into feed nets for the horses. We also went outside to the corral and met Abe and Saul who were happy for the company and attention. But when I saw the size of their pasture, images of an extended night of searching flashed in my mind. The search was definitely a long shot. The possibilities, almost endless!

To begin, I chose an XP Deus detector with a small High Frequency coil, one that responds well to gold rings. It would ferret out the smallest signals in the confines of the horse stalls. But there was a heavy presence of metal inside the building requiring careful analysis and adjustments. It would be a matter of elimination, of systematically ruling out where the ring was not located.

As it turned out, I didn’t experience a long, cold night of searching through horse manure in a vast pasture. John’s ring appeared right where he threw the hay bales two nights before!

John’s smile tells the rest of the story! But you know, I can’t help but wonder. Was it really just by chance that I was in Oconomowoc that day?

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