Here is another great lost ring story. With all of the hot summer weather we have been having, the water hunters have been harvesting rings like corn!
Tom Becker and several of his friends have been hitting Lake Michigan beaches as often as possible. One of the most crowded beaches on southern Lake Michigan is at Warren Dunes. On a hot July 24th, and by the time Tom showed up with his detector, the crowd was already thick. He no more than got out of his truck when he heard a story that had already spread throughout the crowd! This report was of a $10,000.00 platinum and diamond ring that had been lost! As Tom walked down to the beach, other treasure hunters filled him in on the details.
A deputy Sheriff had been called into the search and he had recruited a person with a metal detector. After this first hunter received some details of the minutes leading up to the loss, he started hunting. It seems that the ring simply dropped from its owner's finger as she sat in her beach chair.
Later, Tom was to learn that this first hunter was rather put out by being asked to help and he seemed rather annoyed by the whole thing. He was barking out instructions that the chair be moved because it was affecting his detector. Before he gave up the search, the beach chair and other valuable land marks had been completely shuffled around, making the precious ring even more lost!
After the first hunter gave up the search, yet another detector operator offered his help. The search went on and on with no success.
The crowd of onlookers had begun to murmur some of their baseless theories, which only added to the victim's grief. One commented, "The first hunter found the ring and slipped it into his pocket." Others felt that he found it, but moved it out of the area only to return for it later. There were other hurtful and baseless theories which brought the ring's owner to tears. Instead of finding good Samaritans to help her, she started to look on these treasure hunters as predators or opportunists!
Tom walked a long distance down the beach with his detector in-hand to the location of the lost ring. The lady was easy to pick out from the crowd because Tom could see by her face she had been crying. She looked at Tom carrying his detector, but she did not make eye contact and quickly looked away. It was easy to see that this lady had been doing some serious crying and her movements were like one who had slipped into a serious state of depression.
Tom approached the lady and asked if he could help. Having already given up and partially convinced that her lost ring was now stolen, she said, "Sure". . . after all, what could it hurt. Tom quizzed her on where she was sitting and how things were arranged. Again she started to cry as she explained that everything was rearranged several times!
With no clear place to begin, Tom took his Fisher 1280-X with its large 10 ½ inch coil and just started sweeping the ground. The ring's owner continued to pick up her gear with every intention of leaving both the beach and her ring for the long drive back to Chicago. In her mind, the ring was gone forever. As she thought over the events of the day, as if in a trance, she heard Tom speak, but she was not really hearing his words.
Once again Tom said, "Is this your ring?" She looked at the ring and for a second thought that this was just part of her daydream. No! This is real! "Yes," she told herself, it was indeed her ring! Instead of answering Tom with a verbal yes, she threw her arms around the treasure hunter and started to cry yet again, but these tears were different!
Tom told me, " The lady kept hugging me and hugging me. Then she stepped back and looked at the ring then started hugging me some more! What really made me uncomfortable was that her husband was looking on with a big smile! After the hugging was over, the lady started digging through her purse looking for a reward. As soon as I realized this I stopped her. The only reward I want is a picture of the ring so that I can show it to the club in our Find of the Month contest."
It has been Tom's dream to find a really great ring worth some big bucks. Well, actually in the last two months, he has done just that. . . twice! And in both cases he returned them. His friends on the Internet detecting forum, where he hangs-out evenings, have started teasing him by labeling him a 'do-gooder'. He shared with me how uncomfortable he is with that term. I told him that he should wear that as a badge of honor. What this world is so desperately in need of today, is more 'do-gooders.' Great job, Tom!
RETURN TO THE MANY FACES OF TREASURE HUNTING