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Online Treasure Hunters Find Lost College Ring

By Annie Potasznik & Joel Thomas| CBSDFW.COM |
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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Joel Thomas
Joel is an Emmy Award winning journalist with more than 15 year...
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FORT WORTH(CBSDFW.COM) - Since 1967, the only time George Singleton took of his class ring from the University of Arkansas was on the golf course. He would carefully tuck it in his golf bag while on the links.

But one day, a passing golf cart bumped Singleton’s bag, sending it and the ring down a hill.

“The ground slopes down about 10 feet to this creek and my bag started rolling on that little 3-wheeled cart and my bag did a perfect end-over; ending up perfectly upside down in that water,” described Singleton.

His prized ring sank to the bottom of the murky creek, lost forever in Singleton’s mind at the time.

“I was really distraught about it,” said Singleton. He continued to search but after a year and a half, Singleton started to lose hope of ever finding his ring. That is until he came across a website, which links so-called ‘treasure hunters’ such as Bob Forston to people like Singleton. The two linked up and on a cold, Sunday morning, Forston helped Singleton look for his ring.

(credit: CBS 11 News)

(credit: CBS 11 News)

“I said ‘that’s where it is; it’s right there,'” Singleton told Forston as they stood by the creek. Forston wasted no time waving his metal detector over the water; standing waist deep in the cloudy creek.

“I pulled all the twigs away and worked my way down in there and I started to hear a signal,” said Forston. “It probably took me three or four scoops, you know, to get enough trash out of there where I could get closer to it.”

Then, seemingly just like that — Forston saw a glimmer of metal in the murky water and said, “Man, that’s a ring! It was a good feeling,” laughed Forston.

It took him less than ten minutes to find the ring, according to Singleton. Forston and other volunteers refuse payment for finding treasures. Their pay off, other than the thrill of the hunt, are the smiles from those who have lost something near and dear to them.

“Oh, it’s great; a great feeling. One of the best feelings in the world — better than money,” said Forston.

There are currently more than 2,000 volunteers like Forston who offer their ‘treasure hunting’ skills via lostmystuff.net. The website started with one person in Houston who enjoyed using metal detectors as a hobby.

“Their hearts are in exactly the right place,” said Singleton, who’s more careful with his ring now when he takes it off.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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