Detecting Dish - 2nd Interview

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05-08-2014, 08:28 PM
Post: #1
Detecting Dish - 2nd Interview
(This post was last modified: 05-09-2014 04:37 PM by NjNyDigger.)
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Very special guest today, diggers! Aside from being a friend who gave me fantastic advice about this hobby many years ago, he is a TRUE treasure hunter extraordinaire. He has been hunting for decades, is an accomplished author (both treasure hunting books & non), and believe it or not, was one of the first detectorist's to have his own metal detecting reality series, of which he's not only the star, but, also the creator & producer. A no B.S. kinda guy. A straight shooter who's been involved in trying to protect our hobby's rights for many moons now, I'm pleased to introduce, Frank Pandozzi.

***On behalf of Mr. Pandozzi, there will be an exciting contest, as well as a special offer to all Treasure Classifieds members, at the end of this interview***

Before we get into the nitty gritty, Frank, as we always want to know, how did you get involved in this wonderful past time of metal detecting?

Joe, thanks for taking the time to interview me. I wish you the best of luck with your new website. From the looks of things, you will do well.

I got started in metal detecting back in the early 70’s. I was always fascinated with history, have always been a voracious reader, and was always kind of a questioner of things. I began devouring metal detecting magazines and after a year or so I finally broke down and bought my first detector. It was an ACE 150, and it still hangs on the wall in my garage.

As I mentioned in the intro, you're the creator/producer/star of your own detecting show. This is a mighty hot topic now. A lot of hunters feel very strongly, both for, and against, these types of programs. I've seen a number of your show's episodes, and it's radically different, dare I say, better, than what's on the boob tube. Your thoughts on the topic?

Thanks for the kind words re: my TV series, “Exploring History's Treasures.” We were the first to produce a reality, metal detecting, TV series. I actually started filming our metal detecting adventures years ago, before YouTube was even in existence. About fifteen of us from throughout New York State would meet twice a year to go detecten. We would research areas, get permission, and spend a weekend just metal detecting, and drinking beer. I filmed everything. It was a great time.

One day when I was editing a video I had shot the thought came to me to produce for TV. It had not been done before. I knew the market was there because everyone, for years was asking for such a show. Things began to fall into place when I met Ryan Prucker of Imagelight Productions. I met Ryan when I was doing a radio show for a book I had just published, “North Side Story.” The book was nothing about metal detecting, but instead a story about my growing up on the North side of Syracuse NY. I learned that Ryan was a master at videography and film production, so I threw my idea about a metal detecting, TV series right at him. He loved it from day 1. The rest is history as they say.

Of course I am biased, but I do not like the way the new metal detecting, TV series are being filmed. For one, I think they are too corny. Too much “Juice” and jumping around when they find something. Nor is that reality. That is pre-planned. And the finds? Some are planted. I’ve edited hundreds of hours of video and I can tell where a section is pieced together. I know why they do this. Producing TV is expensive. Believe me I know. I paid for everything in my productions. The new shows can’t afford to shoot 10-12 hours a day hoping to find something relevant to show the viewers. So they seed their finds to speed up the show, and make it look interesting.

We used to film from sun up till sun down often times getting just 20 minutes of reality for TV. I paid for all day shooting, to get 20 minutes of airtime. But it was all real, reality. No BULLSHIT, like what you see today.

I knew we had something when after the first airing our forum became over loaded with thousands of positive responses. The bandwidth had to be upgraded at least twice per week. By the end of the 3rd week of EHT (Exploring Historys Treasures) airing, we had almost 10,000 subscribers and many more people pissed because they wanted to sign in but could not.

This question is going to be a constant in our interview series, as I feel it is quite important. Based on your hunting experience, would you say we miss more good targets due to masking, or, from desirable targets being beyond the depth range of current technology. Obviously, it's a bit of both, but, in your opinion, what's the bigger problem?

Why most people miss good targets has nothing to do with technology. Sure, many people on the forums swear that they have the best detector, the deepest detector, the best discrim technology, etc, etc, etc, and they insist it’s the detector that is needed to find the goodies. That is bs. I use a $200 detector, I won’t mention the brand because I am a dealer and may sound biased, but I often out perform many who have detectors that sell for $800 or $900, and more than a thousand dollars. It’s not the detector that counts, it’s the person who operates that detector that becomes important to locating great finds. It’s not the detector that finds stuff. It’s the person who uses that detector that finds the goodies.

Now, I will agree that technology can help the detectorist find better stuff, but only if that person understands the basics of metal detecting first. You stick an expensive detector with all the bells and whistles in the hands of a novice, and I can almost guarantee that person will quit the hobby within a few years. I’ve seen it happen over and over.

Honestly, my best finds have been found with a $200 detector. That is because I understand how my detector works, and I understand the layout, and the make up of where I am hunting. Research is a priority with me. I never swing my detector until I have researched and researched again an area. I don’t care if it is an old Spanish Cave, a ghost town, a French & Indian War site, an old logging camp, or a KGC treasure. And if anyone is familiar with my TV series, they would understand what I am talking about.

Masking does happen. But not if you clean up a site. I go back to many areas 15-20 times. I dig out everything until the goodies show up. You don’t need an expensive detector to do this. This type of detecting is just plain common sense detecting. But many are too lazy to try it. I’ve used every major metal detector on the market, and I guarantee masking is still a problem no matter what the manufacturer promises. Sure, some high end detectors do a better job of reading between the finds in the ground, but you will still have some masking. Especially in high trash areas.

And I am sick of the “my detector is deeper than your detector” argument. You don’t need to go beyond 8 inches to find the goodies. And most detectors with the right tuning will get that depth. My best finds have been consistently between 3- 8 inches. And these finds date back to the Roman and Viking era. Now, if we are looking for buried caches, and our research shows we need to go a foot or more deeper, then we bring in the heavy artillery.

If our members don't know, you're also a metal detector dealer. What are the trends now in terms of what your customers are mostly buying? FBS machines? PI units? Quicker detectors for iron work?

The detectors that I sell today are mostly for the beginner. Very little technology, ease of use, lightweight. Again, I won’t mention brands because that would be unfair and sound like a sales pitch to your readers.

I think the trend is continuing to move toward technology that leads to better iron discrim. Although the technology has been better, manufactures of MD’s know that iron is the biggest complaint from users.

As for FBS vs. PI units? I see both systems still being sought after.

BTW, I would like to make this statement re: metal detecting purchasing. BUYER BEWARE.

There are dealers that will try and take advantage of you. Especially if you are new to the hobby. Some will entice you to purchase, by giving away cheap, added bonus specials. They will throw in a junk pocket knife, and the blade breaks when you try and use it, or sharpen it the first time. I know because I used to review this junk. Or they will give you a detector cover that tears apart in a year. Maybe they will offer you a subscription to a magazine as well. BIG DEAL! After the first year, you pay the subscription price. I’ve seen cheap compasses given away that actually shows south as true north. Its all JUNK. Beware.

There are good dealers that offer great bonuses if you buy from them. But you need to shop. The competition between metal detector dealers is expansive, and sometimes greedy and deceptive.

Based on the episodes I saw of your series, you don't strike me as a typical park hunter, or beach guy. Rather, you tend to do a lot of research, and focus on sites more historical in nature. Any trusty research tips or strategies you can impart to our members?

Joe you’re right. I don’t do parks or beaches. I have been fortunate enough to travel to places, and see things that would turn back history 3000 years. There is not a week that goes by where someone does not contact me about some strange rock carving, or cave, or word of a cache hidden on their property. I research and investigate those areas, as well as my personal sites I find on my own.

There is no secret to doing what I do. Research is the key. I may spend 100 hours or more of research on one treasure, and 8 hours on searching. If nothing is found, it’s back to another 50 hours of research, and then 8 hours of actual searching.

I am fortunate that I am a voracious reader. I can read a 400 page book in an evening. My library has close to 2000 books on history, buried treasures, secret societies, symbols, and the French & Indian War, The Revolutionary War, and Civil Wars. My file cabinets have more than 3000 pages of notes on everything from President Washington’s travels during the revolution, to the travels by the Egyptian’s through America 3000 years ago.

You need to read, read, and read a lot more to become successful at treasure hunting. Research and reading. It really is that simple, but taxing for many. Too many in the hobby complain that they don’t find good stuff. I guarantee it’s because they are too lazy to do the research first.

Two part question. Your website on ghost towns is fantastic! Can I ask how/why you were interested in that particular facet of hunting? Any advice on locating & detecting these types of places?

Thanks again Joe, my site has been a work in progress for years. There are close to 400 pages.

I enjoy that kind of detecting because it gets me deep into the woods. I love the outdoors, and because I love the history behind the first settlers here in the east.

As for advice on how to find these areas, especially those ghost towns in the east, I think the best way is for anyone interested to visit my website and begin with the first page, or watch my “Ghost Towns of the East” TV series. The old towns are everywhere. You just need to do the research, again, there’s that word, and find them. Many are on private property, so you need to ask for permission.

Best or most meaningful find from over the years?

My best or meaningful find? WOW, there have been so many. And some of them, even my wife doesn’t know what they are. Lol

I know you've had quite a few dealings with archeologists. Can you explain what brought you into contact with that group, and what your experiences were, in general?

Ouch! The dreaded Archy’s. A thorn in my side they were. The Supreme Diggers of Dirt. They basically have a license to steal. I can keep going, but I won’t.

It began when my first metal detecting TV show aired in NY State. The Archy’s saw the show and blew like volcanoes. Some of the quotes from them were, I have them right here from a newspaper article.

“Television treasure hunters pilfer property to dig up coins and relics. And as disgusting as that is. They showed their viewers how to do this.”

“Treasure hunter Frank Pandozzi thinks he is a modern day Indiana Jones.”

“So called treasure hunters loot and steal our nations history.”

“Treasure hunter Frank Pandozzi and his co host of a new TV show destroys fauna, and uproots trees and shrubs, as they search and dig for artifacts.”

“We will stop this show. You can bet on that.”

Of course, we did nothing that even remotely resembles their accusations.

By the time my series was in 50 States, and also watched in S. America, Canada, and parts of Europe, the Archy’s were mounting a massive blitz on my company. They tried suing me in court. But, my lawyers kept telling them I was not breaking any laws, and that the Archy’s needed to show proof that I was pilfering and looting. You see, we filmed on private property with the permission of land owners. I have the signed contracts to this day. The Archy’s were just blowing smoke up their own asses. And then I turned around and countered sued the Archy’s. That’s because the idiots, to show how bad we were in their eyes, copied my TV series, without my permission, and sent it off to Archy’s across the country so that they could step up their lawsuits against me. But my copyright infringement suit finally shut down their efforts to close my production company. You see, they really are not that smart.

Oh, and as for me stealing our nations history? I can tell you the real looters are the Archy’s. I have hundreds of documented pages of Archy’s stealing artifacts from digs, and placing them in their own private possessions. If they ever want to screw with me again. I’ll hang their asses!

Let's be blunt, our hobby is under attack in many respects. What's the cause, and more importantly, what's the solution?

Our hobby IS under attack. The cause is the elitist mentality of Academia, and beauracracy.

Academia, professors, especially Archy’s, and anthroplogists, many teachers, and administrators have an agenda. That agenda is to continue to teach, or to indoctrinate our young, and anyone else who they can hypnotize with their rhetoric, that history should be taught and or discovered by a select few individuals. Those individuals being the above mentioned. That is the elitist mentality that originated back in 1906 when Progressive President Teddy Roosevelt illegally signed into law ARPA. The Archaeological Resources Protection Act gave the power to dig artifacts to only a select few.

The solution is to nationally organize, by paid subscription, millions of outdoors men and women to fight back the insidious control of our lands and our right to dig history. The power has always been in the masses. Unfortunately, organizations like FMDAC and WWATS, where I was a State Director, charge very little in subscription fees. The money they take in barely covers the cost of their annual hunts. An organization that takes in millions of dollars vs. a few thousand a year is much more powerful. This way, such a large organization would be able to pay the State retainers for attorneys and lobbyists to help fight against our freedom to enjoy our hobby, the outdoors, and out lands. The cost for a State lobbyist is approximately $5000 per month. A non-profit organization would be the best way to expand this idea. That way, private donations could also be added to the subscription fees.

A lot of folks in our hobby feel that the U.S. should implement something similar to the antiquities board that they have on the other side of the pond. The idea is that it would help document/preserve finds better, while at the same time, giving us a clear, written code, which would protect our rights. What say you?

Really? Have the government implement such a plan? Look what the ARPA law has done. Why would anyone in their right mind want another beauracratic entity directing their right to enjoy the hobby. BTW, that antiquities board you speak of is not without its faults. There are many unhappy campers on both sides of that fence.

Our detectors mean a lot to us. In some ways, they're like children, or loved ones, to many of us. We spend so much time with them, get so much pleasure from them, etc. I know guys who have 20+ machines! Any particular fondness for a model you've used, or still use?

As I mentioned earlier, I use an inexpensive $200 detector. The reason why is because it forces me to listen to the changes in signals, and to focus more on things like gridding an area, swinging the coil level to the ground, and over lapping each swing. I use “all metal” mode quite a bit, and I dig everything. That is, until I get tired. Then I switch to some discrim. So why do I need an expensive, bells and whistles detector if I am not going to use all of the technology. It’s like going from a simple flip phone to a Smart phone. If you don’t wanna video, take pictures, or surf the net with a Smart phone, then stay with the flip phone. I have high end detectors for personal use, but rarely use them. I do change coils quite a bit. Like I said earlier. It’s not the detector that finds stuff. It’s the person who uses that detector that finds the goodies.

What direction would you like to see manufacturers go towards, in reference to different/added abilities on the detectors of tomorrow?

I would like to see the manufacturers continue to work on lightweight detectors. Some of the newer models over the past few years are becoming heavy and uncomfortable to use, especially for the older generation. In addition to the weight issue, I have no idea why certain manufacturers, in all of their wisdom, try to design fancy detectors with top heavy displays that cause arm fatigue. I don’t need a detector with a display that is the size of a loaf of bread and it sits high, perched on a useless mount that's also too big. Cut away that extra size and waste, and reduce the weight, even a few ounces less would help.

How exactly did you come to star in your own detecting show?

Haa. Me a star? Thanks Joe! Although I must admit, I was pretty good. Lol.

So why me? Because I knew what I wanted in a TV show. And in order to get the results, the lead person had to understand what it was I wanted to portray. I would have had to do a search for that person, which could have taken me months. Then there was the issue of cost. I funded the entire series. I paid for the filming, editing, the travel costs, the cost for film, supplies, and even the cost to air the series. If I had to pay for someone to be the host, I would have never been able to mange that. I did get investment money, and some corporate sponsors to help with the funding. But to pay someone at TV rates per series was way too expensive.

I must ask...a lot of long time detectorists, such as yourself, were around in the good ol' days, when competition was much less, and there were great targets to be found only a few inches deep. Can you speak to what the hunting scene was like, say, 20 or 25 years ago?

When I started 37 years ago there was much more silver in the ground. The competition was very little. Now I’m talking about parks and schoolyards detecting. I started in parks and schoolyards to learn the hobby and to learn my detector. I just looked at a spreadsheet I kept of my finds in the early years. My first year, I found 7 silver dollars, and 167 merc’s, and of course, my share of pull tabs and other goodies. I no longer hunt parks and schoolyards but I know from my customers and people who know me from across the country, who hunt in these areas, and they complain there is no silver. The silver of course has been found, not completely though. There are a few silver coins, and old jewelry to be located. But you need to work harder for them. Where I detect, there is no competition, and there never was. That is why I stopped hunting parks and schoolyards 36 years ago.

I hunt sites that date back to the 1700’s. Some sites go back a few thousand years. I never dug a coin or relic deeper than 8 inches in any of those areas.

Let's daydream a little. If you had the opportunity to hunt any spot, where/what would it be. England? Old homestead?

Joe, I’m liv’in the dream now. Honestly. I’ve been to places and have seen things that many do wish for. And, I’m not finished yet. I’ve talked to Archy’s who have not seen what I have seen, or dug what I have dug, and that, btw, is another reason why some Archy’s hate us. They don’t get the funding to dig. So they become jealous of us.

I have areas to go to, and will continue to pursue them. My research never stops, and I am fortunate to have many people write to me asking to visit areas near them that may hold treasures.

I’m not interested in England, or any other country because there is so much uncovered, and false history here in the U.S. that intrigues me.

Looking out 10 or 15 years, what do you think is on the horizon for our hobby?

Down the road, unless we stand up and fight I think we will have more restrictions placed on us. One of the biggest problems now is the massive land grab by the government. Millions of more acres are going to be taken over by the government. Those land grabs will have restrictions to our hobby. Hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and even boating will be involved as well.

We are at a tipping point in America. What is happening in our hobby is a microcosm of what is happening in this country. Many people see the negative impact of Big Brother, not only on the hobby, but with our over-all freedoms as well. Yet, many sit on their hands while they are complaining.

I’m not being a defeatist here. I believe in America and it’s people to do the right things when change is the answer. The problem is, who will have the energy, the determination, and the skill, to lead the way. As Thomas Jefferson once said;

“One man with courage is a majority.”

Frank, thank you VERY much for your time! You have a wealth of information available for detectorists of all stripes, from your websites, to your books & DVD's. Can you please share where our members might go to check out your stuff, and what's available?

Thanks again Joe. Your questions were honest and interesting for me, and I hope that your readers were interested enough in my answers to stay to the end.

Also, if I may, I’d like to tell everyone to stay tuned by visiting my Facebook page often. I will be announcing something very exciting that will happen during the next few months. I believe it will be a first in the hobby.

In addition, my book, “Death Be To Traitors” will be published by year end.

Thanks again Joe!

For more information about me, my TV series, and my Ebooks, they can visit;

***All members who like Frank's Facebook page (above), will be entered to win a FREE copy of one of his metal detecting ebooks. A winner will be drawn at random, and will be posted by Sunday evening, May 11th.***

***Frank is offering special episodes of his metal detecting show, "Exploring History's Treasures" (normally $22) for just $10, for all Treasure Classifieds members. Simply make your payment through PayPal, and use the email address - - to receive this terrific offer. Again, just put $10 as the price, and mention this forum in the "Notes" section. You will get a link directly from Frank within 24 hours, allowing you to download & enjoy the episodes on a laptop or desktop computer.

I saw the series years ago, and it is fluff. Watch it and see what REAL treasure hunting is. Learn about research. History. And yes, unlike the phony tv shows, they dig some junk too, just like the rest of us, lol. Believe me, it's a HELL of a series Yes

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NjNyDigger, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since 2013.

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05-08-2014, 11:04 PM
Post: #2
RE: Detecting Dish - 2nd Interview
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Great interview! Thank you.

Always on the lookout for machines I haven't tried. Buy, sell, trade.
Also have pull-tabs and bottle caps for sale... $1.00 each. Tongue
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05-09-2014, 12:34 AM
Post: #3
RE: Detecting Dish - 2nd Interview
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Excellent interview.  I love no nonsense attitude.  

Great job Joe.

SLCdigger, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since Oct 2013.
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05-09-2014, 12:57 AM
Post: #4
RE: Detecting Dish - 2nd Interview
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Great read!  Thanks!Yes
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05-09-2014, 03:08 AM
Post: #5
RE: Detecting Dish - 2nd Interview
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Great interview. How many more do you have planned.

Coin killer, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since Mar 2014.
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05-09-2014, 01:14 PM
Post: #6
RE: Detecting Dish - 2nd Interview
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You did it again Joe Great interview!

proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since Aug 2013.
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05-09-2014, 07:01 PM
Post: #7
RE: Detecting Dish - 2nd Interview
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First thing I have to ask is: Does anyone live in NY whose name doesn't end with a vowel? Happy

Very enjoyable converation. I wish Frank had books dealing with the ghost towns of the WEST as well. I don't do facebook so I'll have to find another avenue to acquire some , like spending money which I don't do either.

Dusty, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since Aug 2013.
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05-11-2014, 10:01 AM
Post: #8
RE: Detecting Dish - 2nd Interview
(This post was last modified: 05-11-2014 10:08 AM by Steveo.)
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Very nice interview enjoyed the reading

Sorry tried to like franks facebook page but the link doesn't come up right

Steveo, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since Jun 2013.
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05-18-2014, 06:44 AM
Post: #9
RE: Detecting Dish - 2nd Interview
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Nice interview

Boots, proud to be a member of Treasure Classifieds Forum since Jul 2013.
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