Monday, January 26, 2009

P.E.T.T.E. People for the Ethical Treatment of Treasure Evidence

I would much rather look at naked women than destroy a treasure clue. Oh, wait, I’m getting my groups mixed up.

OK, I just made up “P.E.T.T.E.” but it was for a good reason. I have recently been informed by one of our readers about the vandalism of a carved outlaw map that has been untouched for over 100 years.

This map is located on private property and apparently the vandals of the map dug several holes on the property looking for the treasure. It also seems they didn't have permission to be there. Hopefully they didn’t find any treasure and hopefully they will get caught the next time they pull a bone headed move like that.

As treasure hunters, professional or amateur, we should strive to leave things as we found them except of course if we find a hole full of treasure. Then we can leave everything like we found it except the hole will be empty when fill it back in. Did I say that right? We all hunt in different areas and if you are hunting on private property with permission, your contract usually states you will put things back to their natural state. Even if you don’t have a contract or aren’t on private property, you should always strive to make as little impact on the area as possible.

That brings us to messing with a carving or clue; that’s just plain vandalism. It also makes you an ignorant dumb ass in my opinion. There has even been a “professional” treasure hunter who has written in books about burying clues so no one else could find them. He also wrote about removing clues from a site that helped mark the location of the treasure so that no one else could locate the treasure. Now even if the treasure and the clues are imaginary, it’s still the intent that counts. If you would do it for an imaginary treasure then you would do it for a real treasure also. If you aren’t smart enough to figure out the clues and find the treasure, then leave the clues alone. Maybe someone else will come along and be able to figure it out, maybe even for you. Now, I understand the whole point of hiding or destroying clues is to keep someone else from finding the treasure but if you are that greedy and self centered then you ought to be working on Wall Street and not treasure hunting.

Treasure hunters have a bad enough reputation thanks to the archies that would prefer to keep everything to themselves talking trash about us. We don’t need any more bad press because someone is too greedy for his or her own good. As treasure hunters we should try to be better than the reputation that precedes us. We should also try to improve that reputation because it makes it easier to gain access to other property, private or otherwise, where more treasures may be hidden.

Treasure hunting is about more than just finding a treasure, making our selves rich and laying on a beach in Hawaii. Well, laying on a beach in Hawaii may be part of it. Treasure hunting is about finding answers, it’s about solving the puzzle, learning the real history and spending some time on a beach in Hawaii. Did I say that already?

Seriously, for most of us treasure hunting is not about getting rich. It may start out that way but it turns into a quest for answers. If you mess with the clues then you are messing with history. For the most part, the puzzle can’t be solved if some of the pieces are missing. Treasure hunters should take the responsibility to maintain what we find. You should know that damage can be caused by what you do, even unintentionally. You should never destroy, hide or deface anything.

Use your heads when treasure hunting, and not just to beat against a rock wall out of frustration. Be responsible in what you do. Karma will come back to bite you in the ass if you don’t!

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