David Villanueva was born in Birmingham, England in 1951. In the early 1970s his mother bought him a copy of Ted Fletcher’s book A Fortune Under Your Feet, which inspired him to buy a metal detector – a Goldfinger BFO. The performance was very poor by current standards but it did find coins and David became hooked. A few months later he upgraded to a deeper-seeking pulse induction machine and became very fond of searching beaches, which produced plenty of modern coins and jewellery at the time. In those early days David also took an interest in other forms of treasure hunting including dump digging, SCUBA diving, and gold panning.
Following a move to Whitstable in Kent, England, David took to nearby beaches with his trusty old Pulsedec, but quickly found that the machine was not well-suited to local conditions – the Pulsedec had no discrimination and there was plenty of iron around. He changed to a locally produced C-Scope 1220B, which worked well on the drier parts of the beaches, and this encouraged him to try out some inland sites. He joined a metal detecting club and also gained permission to search a small farm, making all manner of finds that previously he had only read about in treasure hunting magazines (hammered silver coins, for instance). Having long had a keen interest in history, David started researching his locality, which led to more productive sites to search and to write about in eight books and the British metal detecting magazines – Treasure Hunting and The Searcher – which have published over two dozens of David’s articles between them.
But it was a chance encounter with Britain’s best treasure dowser, Jim Longton that supercharged David’s treasure hunting. Jim, who had already dowsed his way to a Viking silver hoard worth over £40,000 ($80,000) and well on his way to bigger and better things, taught David how to dowse for treasure with remarkable results. David, is a technician by trade and although delighted with his dowsing results, he set about trying to find out how the phenomena really worked. This led to several years of experiments with Long-Range Locators and cameras, which have the great advantage of giving visible target locations.
The result of all the research and experimentation has been an ongoing string of real treasures in the form of caches of Iron Age gold coins and Bronze Age tools as well as items of Roman, Saxon and medieval gold and silver jewellery. No less than nine of David’s finds have so far been recorded under the Treasure Act since 1998 and David also has to maintain a shelf full of trophies he is continuously winning at the Swale Search and Recovery Club.
David founded True Treasure Books in 2005 with the aim of sharing his considerable treasure hunting and historical research experience with the World, through a range of value for money books and other resources essential for your success.