Into the woods

One day, a man was searching through the woods with his metal detector. While he didn’t really expect to find anything, his expectations would soon change. 

YouTube

Typically, the things that people hope to find with metal detectors range from gold to the more realistic discarded jewelry. But those expectations certainly don’t match what this guy found. 

Mike Smith

The man who made this find is an enthusiastic lover of history. This is in part why he loved to use his metal detector in his free time. 

YouTube

Ultimately, the beeping tool enabled him to nourish his love while at the same time providing him with interesting trinkets to study. 

Mike’s average day

Because of his hobby, Mike’s average day was much different than that of your’s or mine — unless, of course, you too are an avid metal detectorist. 

YouTube

The story goes, then, that while you or I are at the grocery store doing our shopping, Mike is out searching beneath the leaves or sand for historically interesting or valuable objects. 

Pembrokeshire, UK

To provide some context as to what you might expect Mike to find — and to show why Mike was so blown away — we can look to Pembrokeshire, UK, to see what one might typically find. 

Nilfanion via Wikimedia Commons

Pembrokeshire is a town in the Southwest region of Wales. The coastal area is home to a rich history, yielding many potentially interesting finds for the metal detector enthusiast. 

Waterlogged

On the day that Mike made his discovery, something unfortunate had happened. His usual stomping ground has been waterlogged by recent rains. This made it nearly impossible to do his metal detecting. 

Avanish Tripathi via Pexels

Still, he wanted to continue. Something in him, much as it had in previous days and weeks, told him to continue his search. And he wasn’t going to stop just because of a bit of rain. 

Another field

Because the field in which Mike normally does his searching was too bogged with water to do any fruitful searching, Mike took to another field nearby. This would prove to be the one where he made his stupendous discovery. 

YouTube

He also would eventually end up getting into problems for his find. Police, for instance, would get involved. But what did he find that led him down this frightful find.

Worth the time?

While Mike had at some point been to the spot before, searching and searching, he didn’t feel as if anything would come of it. Still, however, he felt the need to keep searching. 

YouTube

While he hadn’t found anything in this particular spot, he had some sinking suspicion that this time might be the one. And this time, he would turn out to be correct. 

Intrepid detecting

Metal detecting is a hobby that takes a certain type of person to succeed. For the most part, this is because the hobby can take you through thick and thin — challenge after challenge. 

Garry Knight via Flickr

In Pembrokeshire, where Mike is from, the weather can be particularly tumultuous. Wind, rain, and hail are common expectations on the rocky beach town. But this wouldn’t stop Mike. Not this time. 

Previous finds

What Mike had previously found in this location was nothing that you’d really want to write home about. While still inspiring and intriguing for the metal detectorist, they aren’t anything you could sell to a museum. 

ShareAlike License via Wikimedia Commons

One of the finds he’s made in this spot, for instance, was of ancient pennies. While these might not interest the laymen, they are definitely interesting to the history buff and metal detectorist. 

That unmistakable beep

As he worked his way through the field, he eventually stumbled his way across that thing that all metal detectorists want to find: an area of that ground that provides that ultimate beep. 

YouTube

But, something strange happened with this particular find. Rather than grow fainter with his steps as he walked away, the beeping grew louder. Mike thought that this was a mistake. 

To be sure

Just to ensure that he wasn’t losing his mind, Mike continued to check in areas nearby the initial beep. And, much to his surprise, the beep only grew stronger. And stronger. And stronger…

YouTube

To continue, he swept his detector over several dozens of feet in over the mushy ground. Little did he know that what he would uncover would be vast and jarring. 

A strange thought

After searching around the area with nothing but continuous beeping, a thought began to enter Mike’s mind. And this wasn’t just any type of thought. Rather, it was one of those thoughts that is difficult to believe. 

YouTube

With this, Mike began to entertain the idea of finding buried submarines, ancient buildings, several treasure chests lined up side by side. But Mike knew he wouldn’t have an answer to his thought until he started to dig. 

Forced hand

Because of how big of a find Mike thinks he had stumbled upon, he knew he had to start digging. So for this, he went to retrieve his shovel. This trusty shovel would be the only thing that brought him his potential prize. 

YouTube

As Mike grabbed the shovel, his hands began to shake. He didn’t know what to expect. Was he going to find evidence of Atlantis? Buried treasure? Maybe the coin collection of an ancient magistrate? Only digging would let him know. 

Digging

So Mike began to dig. Tremors aside, he could bury the shovel swiftly into the ground, remove the dirt, and start again. His eagerness was the greatest motivation, propelling him downward at rapid speed. 

YouTube

He knew that in the back of his mind something beneath him lay waiting to be discovered. The question was what it was. But no another question began to creep in: for how long would he have to dig?

Deeper

Mike had dug several feet by this point, but had to keep digging. The metal detector noises had only grown louder by this point, so he had to be near. His ambition grew — as did his stress. He was dying to know what lay beneath. 

YouTube

So Mike kept digging. Round after round of back-breaking work. But after he continued to dig, something phenomenal happened: he struck a piece of what appeared to be metal. He cleared away the dirt and found something amazing. 

Metal

After having cleared the dirt, Mike realized that he was looking at metal. He cleared away as much dirt as he could to try and pull the thing up. But, to no avail, the thing would not budge. He kept trying, but still no movement. 

YouTube

Mike was at a loss of what to do. Does he keep digging? Exactly what was it that he found? The thoughts swarmed in his brain as he tried to make a decision. Eventually, these thoughts simmered and he knew — he must continue. 

Strange

After more dirt was cleared and Mike had dug more around the object, he became increasingly perplexed. The object, more than before, looked light and easy to move. Why, then, was it not moving? 

YouTube

What could it be that was keeping this rusty piece of metal down in the ground. Whatever it was, Mike only grew more eager as his anticipation and curiosity swelled within him. He started to dig more furiously. 

Connected

Now, Mike had cleared away so much dirt that he got a clue as to what the object was — or, at least what it was doing. What he found was actually connected to something else, something bigger. 

YouTube

So now, it appeared as if one heavy metal object was connected to another. The question now would become this: how much digging would he have to do to know what it was connected to, or to get enough leverage to move the thing around? 

Feel

As Mike cleared away more dirt, he realized that the connected object looked a little familiar. What he did next is only natural: he moved his hands on the thing, trying to feel for what it might be. 

YouTube

It didn’t take long before he began to realize. His hands felt links, one connecting to the next, connecting to the next. With this, he began to get excited. He thinks he knows what he might have found connected to the other object. 

The chain

What Mike had discovered was a chain. Makes sense, right? The only dilemma now was to find out what exactly that chain was attached to. He knew it was metal, he knew it was large. But what on Earth could it be? 

YouTube

To find out, Mike did the unthinkable: he started to tug. While the chain would not budge previously, he had now dislodged a sufficient amount of dirt to move the thing around. Now his aim was to find what it was attached to. 

Nighttime

Unfortunately for Mike, something had happened during the time that he was digging. He had been too excited and eager to realize that the day had become night — that he had lost the light he needed to uncover this exciting find. 

YouTube

For Mike, then, what he was doing would have to wait until the morning. So, he put down his shovel, gathered his things, and packed up. A good night’s rest might help him with the task he faced tomorrow. 

Nightmares

As Mike got home and readied himself for bed, he couldn’t contain his excitement. All he wanted to do was keep digging. I mean, who wouldn’t? What happened, however, was that once he slept, nightmares would creep in. 

YouTube

Would other people discover what lay beneath the chain? He had told his best friend about the find, so the feelings of suspicion were tangible. Would his friend betray him? These were all thoughts that had entered Mike’s head in his sleep. 

Thinking positive

As Mike tossed and turned in bed, he had some recurring thoughts. First off, he had remembered that in Pembrokeshire people had once unearthed an ancient burial site. The find has massive anthropological significance. 

YouTube

Mike had wondered if he had discovered the same thing. Perhaps he just made a major discovery that would help advance the field of archaeology. Only time would tell, however, as he still had to wait until morning to return — which is exactly what he did. 

Haunted

Mike had another few disturbing thoughts. He had known, for instance, that Pembrokeshire has a reputation for being haunted. Many abandoned locations had scarred many people senseless. This worried him — a lot. 

YouTube

What Mike had not realized, however, was that some of his worst nightmares were about to come true. He was about to come face to face with some of the most cryptic secrets of his hometown’s past. 

Morning

Finally, the morning came and Mike knew what to do. Immediately, he got out of bed and made himself breakfast. He knew that he’d need to be well-nourished on this day. He still had much digging to do, and would need to be adequately prepared for what he found. 

YouTube

What Mike didn’t expect, however, was that his find would eventually merit the attention of the police. He didn’t know that what he was going to find might make or break him. This was it. When he made it back, the chain was bound to hold tremendous mystery. 

A new find

This time, however, once Mike made it back to the chain, he found something different. When he reached down to pick up the chain, he noticed something new. This something new was an unexpectedly smooth surface. 

YouTube

As he cleared away more dirt, he realized that the thing was even smoother than he thought — like the head of a man that had been balding for a thousand years. Even though it was rusty, it was also reflective. He cleared away even more dirt. He was shocked. 

The unexpected

As Mike continued to dig, he soon realized that he would have to call the police. What he found was never anything he would have expected. Now, the grounds were such that he had to call them immediately. 

YouTube

Mike was at a loss. What he had found near the chain was both haunting and dismaying. Still, however, the find could have provided significance — he just didn’t know how. The only recourse was to phone the police. 

Discarded parts

What Mike had found was human remains — in effect, bones. While not anything too jarring, he didn’t know whether these bones were recent or old. All he knew was that he had to call the police. 

YouTube

Was Mike now out of his depth? His element? Mike surely thought so. But still, his curiosity about the chain and what it leads to was insurmountable. He still had to know. So would he keep digging?

An alternative

Before Mike contacted the police, he decided to phone the National Museum of Wales. Given that his find might be of archaeological significance, he felt that they should scope out the sight before anybody else. 

YouTube

This was wise. If the police were involved, they could have performed digging in a way that might harm nearby artifacts. The find needed a careful aggregation of hands. The National Museum was the most likely to provide that. 

When they saw it

Mike led the museum excavators to the sight. And once they saw it, they were blown away. Given that they had the tools to discern the importance of the find, they knew more than Mike the significance. 

YouTube

So, they started excavating. And the more they dug, the more they found. Brilliant would likely be how they described it. And brilliant it was. Never before had anything like this been discovered in Pembrokeshire before. This would change everything. 

Wheels

As the excavation continued, more and more amazing finds were unearthed. The archaeologists had found an ancient set of chariot wheels, for instance. These had at one point been used by carts to pull along goods or people. 

YouTube

The site was Celtic in origin, giving even more significance to what they were finding. Each discovery was greater than the last. But the finds did not end there. Something else waited for them to find. Something big. 

Bronze, gold, and silver

As they continued to dig around, they found more and more stuff. Each of these things were of drastic archaeological significance. It was so mind-boggling that even the scientists were induced to balk. 

YouTube

Round after round of significant find made everybody more excited by the day. What else would they find if they kept digging? Surely they couldn’t find anything more valuable than what they were currently finding, could they?

The burial

What the chain had revealed, then, was an ancient burial ground — a Celtic burial ground. It was so phenomenal that it had provided him with find after find of amazing significance. Never before has something been found like this where Mike is from. 

YouTube

While Pembrokeshire has had archaeological finds before, none of them would amass to the same value as what Mike had uncovered with his metal detector. He had found, in other words, the find of a lifetime.