Texas Treasure Show Comes to Tyler - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/27/04 - Tyler

Texas Treasure Show Comes to Tyler

A 19-million-year-old dinosaur fossil is just one of thousands of treasures on display at the Texas Treasure Show, where metal detecting is the key to finding lost treasure.

Van Fossen has been in the treasure hunting business for more than 40 years. He started digging as a teenager and now heads up one of the largest treasure hunting organizations in the country, based right here in Texas.

"Everybody that I work with loves history," Fossen, the founder of Research and Recovery International, said. "They want to salvage it and preserve it."

His treasure hunters scatter themselves all over the globe, exploring South and Central America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

"We have to study the history," Fossen said. "We have to go out, do the job of the archaeologist, and get somebody that's scientific to go along with it."

A scientific investigation can tell the explorers if what they found can be sold to museums, collectors, or the general public. But before any of this can even happen, the exploration team needs clearance to go into a country.

"Sometimes we're wanted," Fossen said. "Sometimes it's a hard deal. But it's a case of communicating with the government or somebody that's high up in the government that wants something done."

But not all treasure is found in foreign lands. One Bowie knife was found at The Alamo right here in Texas.

The Texas Treasure and Metal Detecting Show runs tomorrow 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and Sunday 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. It's all going on at the Harvey Convention Center in Tyler. Tickets are $2. Organizers say proceeds benefit the Texas Lions Camp for disabled children. You can even take some of the treasures home, if you make a good offer.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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