“Why are you a Professional Treasure Hunter?”

“How did you become a Professional Treasure Hunter?”

“Can you become really rich being a Professional Treasure Hunter?”

Ask any member of our TreasureForce Teams, whether they be part of Team Research-Team Recon or Team Recovery, and you will find the three questions above are the most common questions asked when someone finds out what we do for a living.

Of course, it’s Team Recovery (the actual team that sets foot on the ground in the last stages of treasure hunting to actually take the final steps to pinpoint a treasure and start the recovery process), which gets all the glory.  Especially since these are the team members who are there when the magic moment occurs.  That MAGIC MOMENT is the first glimpse of that long awaited confirmation of the Treasure.

So, needless to say our Alpha Team, Bravo Team, Delta Team and Base Camp Team get the most glory.  But, put 100 people in a room, or rush a Team Recon or Team Recovery member to a local emergency room and watch the whole hospital floors staff come visit the patient who is a Professional Treasure Hunter.

“WOW, You are a REAL Treasure Hunter?”

It just falls from every person’s lips.  And you thought the Doctor was the most sought after person in the room.  You know what I mean.  Go to a party and when someone finds the Doctor in the room, everyone starts to probe and ask questions trying to find out IF they “have something”.  Poor Doctor gets dragged to the corner, just so some bloke can whip out his…. well, “show” the Doctor his problem, oozing spot.  Don’t believe me this happens, well just as any Doctor you know.

It’s different with a Professional Treasure Hunter.  Once all the commotion stops, then every one and I mean EVERYONE, has a treasure story they have heard, that they want to retell and then they want YOU to confirm IT IS REAL.  As for all of our TreasureForce Teams, we love collecting the stories and when you do tell us YOUR own stories, we really are listening and storing those bits of data in the back of our minds.

But, the key here is for us to NOT FLATTER ourselves that “we do cool work that other people couldn’t do.”  That’s just not true.  It’s a choice.  As my saying goes:

“Life is like a Lottery.  If you’re not IN, you can’t WIN!”

Being a Treasure Hunter is a CHOICE AND HUGE COMMITMENT!  But, first you have to make the CHOICE to become one.  If you want it, you can make it happen.

The rest, such as the skills, the techniques, the huge discoveries, the small discoveries and yes, the massive disappointments -ALL COME in time.  But first is CHOSING to do something different.  But, you want to know what the single biggest choice is?  Here you go – I am able to reveal the HUGE SECRET to being a Treasure Hunter:

“Are YOU willing to sell and gamble EVERY SINGLE ASSET and thing of value and tradable for cash, to BET it on a DREAM of riches that at best, the only verifiable odds are 50/50 and most of that comes from gut and intuition?”  Or maybe a little more closer to home put this way:

“Are you willing to take your life savings, retirement accounts, investments, child’s college tuition and every spec of cash you can muster to walk out in the jungle, mountains or desert and hope you find that long lost treasure in the 6 weeks you have allotted?

Oh, I almost forgot.  You have to quit your job and lose your steady paycheck since your company is NOT going to let you off for six weeks and then you have to figure out a way to postpone all your bills and creditors and “hope” they will let you “pay them later”, of course, all this WHEN AND IF you make the HUGE FIND!

Does not sound so exciting when the reality is set out for all to see.  How about this reality?

  1. Our Team Research – that’s the TreasureForce Team Members who do all the behinds the scenes work in musty archives and libraries and such, for an average of THREE to FIVE YEARS before we ever set foot on a potential treasure location.  That’s equal to waiting 5 years to get your REAL paycheck.
  2. Our Team Recon – that’s the TreasureForce Team Members who are the first Team Members to set ground on the potential treasure site and have to pain staking search ground foot-by-foot, local records, courthouses and such for any FORENSIC SHRED of REAL PROOF that the people, places and things are REAL in any given treasure legend.  Team Recon may make 2 to as many as 6 trips to a town, location or geographic area just to try to PROVE UP a treasure Legend and this can take from 1 to as many as 3 years to accomplish.  Now, combine that with Team Research that means that Team Research has now been waiting up to 8 YEARS and Team Recon has up to 3 YEARS invested.  That’s a long time for the BIG PAYDAY.
  3. Team Recovery – THE ROCK STARS OF THE TREASURE BUSINESS. The people, who get all the attention, fan fair and glory.  They ONLY go to the treasure site when Team Research and Team Recon have signed off on the Expeditions and proven up the treasure legend.  Then, in most cases Team Recovery has 6 weeks to bring home the bacon, since we are usually fighting the elements and the seasons, not to mention dangerous elements and hostile environments.

Now comes the REAL test to being able to wait it out or beat the time and financial clock.  What do I mean the “time and financial” clock. Well Team Recovery (Alpha Team, Bravo Team, Delta Team and Base Camp Team) has a FIXED time clock and fixed operational budget to pull off the score.  It usually looks something like this:  $750,000 operational expedition budget and 35 days (remember you are not hunting the actual travel days to and from a site).  So, Team Recovery is clicking away at $ 21,428.57 dollars a day.  That means if you go 25 of those 35 days with no results then $535,714.28 is GONE with NOTHING to show for it.

Doesn’t sound so sexy and sane now does it?  I didn’t think so.

If you worry about your spouse when you are gone or your kids when you are incognito and incommunicado for 6 weeks – then being a Professional Treasure Hunter is NOT for you.

If you cannot walk away from that weekly “tit” called the “paycheck” then you can’t be a Treasure Hunter.  You will flat go NUTS with a capital N.  The worry and emotional burden is huge.

I always tell anyone who ask “ Can I go out with you one time on a Treasure Hunt?” the following, but unfortunate canned answer.

“  If you can eat beans and rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  If you can sleep without a shelter over your head. If you don’t mind rattlesnakes snuggling up to you to keep warm at night and if you can wipe your ass with cactus, THEN you make be able to make it and survive IN BASE CAMP.”  Yep, that part only sums up base camp.  The actual tactical and forensic work is dangerous and truly hazardous to one’s health.

(If we meet in person, look at my hands and arms and ask to see all the bits and pieces and tips I have left out in the field or had amputated off thanks to the working environment.  Yes scars can be cool to show, but long before they are cool to show off to a younger crowd ———–reminds me of the Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw when they are getting drunk and comparing scars and war stories——they are horrible wounds and reminders of the dangers and they have to heal and you to survive to even be a scar in the first place.)

The point? Being a Professional Treasure Hunter is a lifestyle more than an actual vocation.  You have to WANT all the things that just come along with being a Treasure Hunter.  Like the wispy cactus that works it way into your genitals while in the field and then they BUST out UNANNOUNCED hurting like hell 6 months AFTER you have left the field and they have hardened up INSIDE your system.  And that’s some of the more docile things that can get a hold of you in the field.

You have to be ready for anything, willing to take chances with everything from money and security to your very life. You always must be willing to stretch your limits and find new personal boundaries.  You must have tremendous self discipline, but IF your PRIMARY motive is to get RICH FAST, then you are better off inventing something, starting a company or getting in somewhere with huge stock options.  Treasure Hunting is not for you.


Great fun.  Always exciting. History making. A total disaster waiting to happen.  Exciting. Always unpredictable.  Exciting. Never what you expected.  Murphy’s and Moore’s Law SQUARED. Exasperating, exhilarating, blood curdling, pecker hardening (and unfortunately due to stress – pecker softening), test of abilities, test of agilities, test and act of faith and the most AWE INSPIRING environment you could ever work it.  I mean, how did our forefathers hack they way across American with crude tools and no technology?  I mean, just that alone is AWE INSPIRING.

Now I didn’t mean to dampen your spirits in any way or function.  I just really want to set the record straight.  The other day I watched a “treasure hunter” on TV and they were all excited over a civil war gun barrel they found deep in someone’s backyard.  You bet is it exciting to find history in ones backyard.  And sometimes finding history is the only payoff.  Why? Well, as I counted it, there were 8 people on this Treasure Hunters Team and two homeowners who all get a share in the find of the civil war gun barrel.  In the real world, that barrel will bring $10 on ebay in the current state it’s in and that means the individuals got $1.00 each for their efforts.  Not to mention, $400 in fuel, $600 in expenses and $200 or so in equipment cost.  In all, the real team members PAID OUT $1200 dollars or $150 each to go on this backyard treasure hunt.  Net result – $149 lost per person BUT still exciting and still recovering history and that is some times the ONLY PAY OFF.

Now that I just wee-weed all over your dreams. How about this?

Work 3 years, spend a cool million and find $300 million.  In any book that’s odds of 300 to 1 and in stock market terms it’s a 300% a year pay off. Or getting back paid $100 million for each year you put into it.  Now there’s a pay off when the stock market has scraped by at the following rates of return:

2011              2.05

2010            14.87

2009            27.11

2008            -37.22

2007              5.46

2006            15.74

2005              4.79

2004            10.82

2003            28.72

2002            -22.27

2001            -11.98

2000            -9.11

Opps, I forgot – it is going to take you 10 years to get the total treasure out of the ground.  There are those pesky numbers again and I will save that for another post.


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