There are many factors and steps to becoming a successful treasure hunter, whether you're only hunting part-time or recreationally or going at it full time with all your resources. Regardless of how you are currently approaching your treasure hunting endeavors, these 6 steps are shared by all professional treasure hunters and are paramount to your own success:
Here are the first 3 of those steps:
1) Conducting good research: as you've heard me say countless times in "Treasure Trove Dreams" research is the single most important factor in ensuring a successful treasure hunt and recovery. Granted, research does not guarantee success, but it certainly places the overall odds of success in your favor. I could give you countless examples of how this step has worked for other, well-known treasure hunters, including the late, great Mel Fisher (whose research enabled him to find the unbelievably rich Spanish treasure galleon, Nuestra Senora de la Atocha).
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What sort of research are we talking about here? The deliberate, thorough, often painstaking research that covers every possible lead, validates or questions a given treasure legend, defines the key players, dates and locations, and establishes a measure of overall certainty in terms of a given treasure's existence. Good research also enables you to investigate further, to delve deeper into uncovering or solving mysteries or inconsistencies, and to pursue that treasure trove until the decision is made to either abandon the search or funnel all your time and resources into it.
2) Planning and developing an overall strategy: once you've done your research and made the decision to move forward, you must begin planning out and developing your overall strategy for searching for and recovering a particular treasure trove. I like to use a military analogy here in the sense that I view the this step as a sort of "plan of attack" phase where you lay out your approach, estimate the "troops and logistics" needed to carrying out your attack, and whether you will attack the objective (i.e., the treasure hunt and recovery) overtly or "frontally," or instead resort to "infiltration or ambush" where your approach is cloaked and hidden well away from others. Additionally, in the planning and development step you must determine whether your "forces" can sustain a "long campaign" or should focus on "hit and run" tactics. One key planning component will be accumulating appropriate maps and all relevant data.
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3) Marshalling all your resources: now that you have an effective overall plan in place, it's time to inventory and marshal all your resources. What resources? Everything from cash or financial backing to vehicles, boats, ships, aircraft, metal detectors, digging equipment, supplies, tents, fuel, diving gear, food, GPSs, you name it. In solitary or small-scale treasure hunts this resource step may be "bare bones" or limited to just a few necessary items. However, any large-scale treasure hunting endeavor will require a corresponding array of resources that can run costs up into the 10s of thousands, 100s of thousands, or even millions of dollars. Bottom line here? Large treasure searches and recoveries don't come cheap. Only you can determine what resources and just how many of those resources you will need to ensure a greater chance of success.
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In my follow-up post on this topic I'll cover the last 3 steps to treasure hunting success. Until then be safe and good hunting to you all.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Arizona's Lost Flannigan Mine (Part 3)"
(c) J.R. 2009
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.