A TV treasure hunter from Lincolnshire is to appear in the new History Channel show airing tomorrow (March 6).
Metal detection expert Gary Drayton features in the trailer for The Curse of Civil War Gold - a new series from the producers behind the hit show Curse of Oak Island.
The married father-of-two is a regular on the Oak Island show, now in its fifth season, having found several important artefacts including a Knights Templar coin, a 500 year-old gemstone encrusted brooch, and a medieval cross also believed to be Knights Templar in origin.
This crude iron cross, deemed by many to be the most important artefact unearthed on the island, is still awaiting scientific tests on the show which reaches its much-anticipated season finale on Tuesday (US and Canada).
Gary’s Templar finds fly in the face of mainstream history which says the order of knights never made it across the Atlantic to North America.
Now his treasure-hunting expertise has been called upon for the new show - which focusses on the hunt for $2million worth of stolen Confederate gold believed to have been lost to the deep waters of Lake Michigan in the 1800s. Oak Island’s Marty Lagina is also in the new series.
Described by the History Channel as ‘one of the greatest mysteries and biggest conspiracies in American history’ - Curse of Civil War Gold is the culmination of four years’ research by treasure hunter Kevin Dykstra.
Mr Dykstra and his team follow the gold trail, from the movements of key historical figures in the Civil War, across Lincoln County Georgia to Detroit and Michigan - taking in a historic heist, a disastrous railroad accident and a deathbed confession along the way.
Gary Drayton is involved in the hunt for this national treasure - with the trailer showing him in action with this Minelab metal detector, and high-fiving another member of the team.
Speaking to the Standard, Gary confirmed his involvement in the show and spoke of his excitement treasure-hunting on Oak Island: “I will be appearing in the premier of the new series - right after the season finale of Oak Island is screened,” he said.
“I feel very proud I was able to add my name to the legend of Oak Island. I remember reading about pirate treasure as a boy growing up in the Lincolnshire countryside. Dreaming about far away islands and Spanish treasure, I never imagined in my wildest dreams I would eventually become a treasure hunter living in Florida and travelling to Oak Island.
“I now make a living selling treasure hunting books and taking people out for metal detecting and treasure hunting lessons, but I have not forgot my Lincolnshire roots and visit as often as possible with my wife and two daughters, visiting family and friends around Spilsby, Boston and Grimsby.”
Gary used to live in Spilsby, attending the Sir John Franklin School, and later had a home in Boston’s Horace Street where he worked in the fields as a ‘cauli-cutter’.
He has gained thousands of fans across the pond in America and Canada thanks to his involvement with the Curse of Oak Island show.
“I’m surprised by the overwhelming positive responses from people regarding my part in the show,” he said. “I have to keep my head down now as I get recognised all the time when I’m out and about - crazy stuff.”
Fans seem particularly fond of his accent - with many pointing to an episode where he found an old pewter spoon, pronouncing it ‘pooter’ - much to the amusement of the Oak Island team. Others love the excitable noises he makes when he unearths something of interest, and his use of terms like ‘holy shmoly’ and ‘bobby dazzler’.
Fans on the Oak Island Facebook groups write about Gary in their thousands: One said: “Gary is awesome - he needs his own show” - while another wrote: “We crack up at all his crazy outbursts. He’s a fun guy to watch on screen for sure”.
Viewers of the show have also noted how Gary has found more artefacts on the island than the rest of the team have with their millions of pounds of industrial drilling equipment.
And with Gary promising to do a ‘gold dance’ if he finds the precious metal - here’s hoping we get to see his moves on TV very soon.