Crash sites are popular places for detectorists. They’re interesting for many reasons. They may have a historical value if you’re interested in the aviation history or the world war 2…
You may also find rare original squadron emblems badges or some pieces that you can sell on eBay, or some remains of a UFO (if you believe they exist).
Anyway, crash sites are good spots when you can swing your metal detector and have some fun.
How to find crash sites to metal detect
The easiest method is to use Google, metal detecting, wreck chasing and aviation archeology forums. You can find a ton of information about crash sites that you can metal detect. Or you can search in this database.
Veterans and military historians can share with you many locations. They will also give you helpful information about the area and you can learn a lot from their experience. They may also go with you to the site to give you a hand.
In addition to that, they may help you get a permission to metal detect (if it is required) since they’re historians or veterans and they have good relationships with the officials and the army.
When plowing the fields, airplane wreckage could emerge. So make sure you ask farmers if they found something in their ranches.
Locals are a very important source of information they can tell you about the crashes they witnessed.
You can take a look at the official records of the sheriff’s office, the fire station, and the local museums.
If you know other sources of information, please share them with us in the comment’s section below.
Tips for detectorists
In many cases, crash sites are located on private property like farms. So obviously, you should always ask for permission.
As I said in the previous paragraph, war historians can help you locate aircraft wreckage. In return, it’s good to help them find some metal pieces they need for their work.
Think about sharing some of your finds with the local county museum or some of the schools in the area (it may be a good subject for history class).
You can also help local schools to visit the site for field trips. It’s a good opportunity to tell them about the history of the area and to show them some of your findings.
This way you’ll contribute to the history, you’ll get a good reputation (and the detectorists community too) and getting permission to metal detect in public and in private properties will become easier. And maybe you’ll be invited by the locals to detect their yards and farms.
For commercial aircraft, you better wait for a few years until the public memory disappears. The longer the better. You don’t want to bring back unpleasant memories to anyone.
If you find personally identifiable items, send them to the victims’ relatives. Again, this is a good thing to do. Moreover, detectorists will gain a good reputation.
Some perceive hunting airplane wreckage like metal detecting in cemeteries, But others have no problem doing that as long as the bodies were recovered and buried somewhere else.
However, you could, in some cases, find human remains especially in military aircraft. Report this to the cops.
Military aircraft may be loaded with unexploded bombs (UXB) and bullets. They were left underground for more than 50 years. So they’re unstable and dangerous.
You have to be careful and stay away if you doubt the plane contains such hazardous material. You can know that by checking the official records that contains info about the plane’s cargo.
The wreckage can be distant from the plane’s body. The scatter pattern of aircraft wreckage depends on many factors like airspeed when the crash happened.
If it exploded in mid-air, you’ll find debris all over the place. and it hit the ground in one piece, the debris will be close to the main part.
Crash sites in the UK
If you want to metal detect airplane crash sites in the UK, you need a permission from the ministry of defense in addition to the written permission from the landowner if the wreckage is located in a private property.
In the UK, you could find German, British, American and other planes that flew during the Second World War.
All of the crash sites regardless of the nationality of the airplane are under the protection of the 1986 military remains act.
Obtaining a license takes months. It’s recommended to apply for one at least three months before you start digging the site.
You should do some research, tell them about the crash location, the fate of the crew, and all the information you can gather about the crash area.
They will compare the info you’ve given them with the official records. And because there were planes from different nations that flew in the UK, officials would have to contact foreign authorities and ask them for info about the crash site.
They need to know some important data about the site before giving you the permission to metal detect.
Checking the official records will let them know if human remains are still there and if unexploded bombs are present in the location.
If this is the case, you won’t be allowed to use your metal detector in the crash site.
The boring thing about this activity in the UK is that you don’t own the items you recovered. They belong to the British ministry of defense.
It doesn’t mean that you always have to hand over all of your findings to them. However, you’ll be asked to list the items that you found on the site. And they’ll decide. They may take them all or they may let you take them.
But certain items will certainly be taken from you. Personally identifiable items that belong to the crew will be given back to them if they’re still alive or to their families.
The official documents and stuff that the army thinks they have a historical value will be also taken from you. And some of them may be displayed in the royal air force museum.
For more details, you can check this pdf.
Metal detecting UFO crash sites
If you believe that UFOs visited earth and some of them may have crashed, you may want to locate their wreckage using your metal detector. Roswell is a popular site to visit.
But, I think you’re wasting your time. Because their spaceships could be built from unknown alloys that your machine won’t detect.
Second, the army certainly got there first and took the part to the famous Area 51 to test them.
Finally, I don’t think these things exist from the first place. Finding a unicorn is easier than finding these imaginary things.
If you find anything. It’s probably going to be some US army buttons or some rivets of flight jacket plus some tiny parts of underdevelopment secret aircrafts
Happy hunting anyway, conspiracy and alien theory lovers!