How do you find "Leads" to Your Quest?
by Stephen Johnston
(Franklin, Ky, USA)
I've been enthralled with archeology since I was a wee lad, I know of the extensive research that must go into your work. But, there must be a certain amount of information passed from mouth to mouth. Do you receive leads in this manner?
Stan's response: OK Stephen, you are the first to force me to reveal one of my greatest secrets for success when it comes to discovering new, important sites. I said I would be open and honest in this Forum, so here it goes...
When I use the word "sites", this applies to gold, treasure, lost cities and all other mysterious or "unknown phenomena" sites.
In more than 90% of my success stories, including my greatest alluvial gold discovery of all, there is one common thread present. I made each of these discoveries by talking to a local person who knew something.
For example, the world credits Hiram Bingham with discovering Macchu Picchu. "Hogwash", I say. He didn't discover it. The local natives showed it to him. You see my point?
I have a file cabinet full of projects that I will never get to in this lifetime. All of these projects came about as a result of what someone shared with me in the field. These are mostly from local natives in remote outposts. These stories will never appear in any book or on the internet. How did I collect all of these stories and projects? There are 2 ways and reasons...
1) I have always learned the local language where I have explored (primarily Portuguese and Spanish),
2) I have always been excited to strap on a backpack and put on my rubber jungle boots. You wouldn't believe some of the physical hardships I have suffered. But in almost every case, I returned home with even more new projects than I started off with.
Yes Stephen, "mouth to mouth" information has been my greatest tool for decades!