Brian J. Noggle, Treasure Hunter

As you might have gleaned from my recent purchase of Lost Treasure magazine, I’m a little interested in metal detecting. As you might know, Nogglestead abuts the old Wire Road that ran between Springfield and Fayetteville, Arkansas (actually, the whole thing ran from Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis to Fort Smith, Arkansas), which means Cherokee marched on it during the Trail of Tears and Civil War armies on both sides walked up and down it.

So I hope to find something neat on the edge of my property.

And last year, a pin fell out of my rototiller, so I went to Bass Pro Shops and picked up a metal detector to find it after panning and sifting my partially tilled vegetable garden for an hour (and found the pin in seconds where the tiller kicked it under some untilled sod).

I noodled with the metal detector a bit in the yard after finishing the tilling. When I found a signal that produced a long, straight line, I decided to have the utility companies mark my yard, since I assumed I was finding buried utility lines of some sort. They did not, but that still could have meant it was a buried propane line or a buried electrical line from my house or something else. But I know think differently.

I bought a book on metal detecting (which I’m still reading) and a magazine (more recently, which I finished reading). And today, I took my metal detector out and found my first treasure:

The Nogglestead barbed wire mine motherlode

A piece of barbed wire.

After it was the Old Wire Road and before it was just a driveway, the Old Wire Road was also a train track. So I found that, at the edge of my mowed yard and at the edge of what used to be a creekbed, the solid signal line is the bottom rung of an old barbed wire fence. I found this loose strand at another spot.

So I got a couple of hits and dug a couple of holes (messily, which is against the Treasure Hunter Code of Ethics, but it’s my yard, it’s in the high grass in the dried creekbed, and it’s no worse than the moles, groundhogs, armadillos, and other diggers have done to my actual lawn over the course of the winter), and this is all I have to show from it.

No doubt I have more to learn about the metal detector and its settings (which include more than on and off). I’ll need a lot of patience, and I’ll have to hope that I find something after I’ve excavated my entire yard bit by bit over the coming years.