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Watch: Treasure hunt winner from Huntly goes viral

By Sarah Roger

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A GOLD hunter has put Huntly on the map after being shared across national media as the first to find a pot of gold worth £500.

Michael Barron (left) met with Dr Jonathan Bones to be filmed for the FaerieGold episodes.
Michael Barron (left) met with Dr Jonathan Bones to be filmed for the FaerieGold episodes.

Michael Barron, a lineman for SSE, whose family own R Barron & Sons florist and Barronautomotive in the town, took up the challenge to find Faerie Gold after watching YouTuber Dr Jonathan Bones online.

The Huntly man has since seen his success shared across the country online and in newspapers, and Dr Bones himself met up with Michael last week make a film about the winner for his YouTube channel FaerieGold.

The 35-year-old said, who has a two-year-old daughter Sophia with his partner Pauline, told the Huntly Express: "It's been amazing. I've had loads of people texting me after seeing the stories and views on my own YouTube channel where I posted a video showing me finding the gold.

He added: "I was a bit nervous being filmed for the FaerieGold episode, but it turned out to be a laugh. He came to my house for a cuppa.

"It was really good to speak to another gold panner and hear his stories."

The treasure hunt challenge sees pieces of pure Scottish gold hidden inside oak caskets, which are stamped with an Elven goldsmiths mark. The caskets are then going to be hidden around Scotland with a monthly episode on Dr Bones's YouTube channel, FaerieGold giving details of the challenge.

On hearing of the first challenge in July, amateur gold-hunter Michael could not resist. On Friday, July 15, he made the 70-mile journey from his home in Huntly to Glenshee in the Cairngorms after following clues by Dundee-based Dr Jonathan Bones – whose real name is George Marshall.

"I had done my research and walked about two-and-a-half miles that day, but couldn't find it," Michael said. "I sent a message to Dr Bones asking if I was close and he responded with a 'shh' emoji, so I knew I was close.

"I went back the next day to try again and had Pauline, who works offshore, on video-call with me. She was watching when I actually found the pot in a tree next to a standing stone near where I had been looking the first day."

Michael has had success finding gold in his own right too, in local rivers. He has used his own finds to make precious family keepsakes.

He said. "I've had a fair bit of success locally.

"Ever since Pauline got me a gold panning kit at Christmas, I've been determined to find enough gold to make us rings and a pendant for our daughter. It feels great to have finally done that. It's really special to have pieces of jewellery to keep forever.

The gold rings and pendant Michael commissioned for his family.
The gold rings and pendant Michael commissioned for his family.

He added: "Gold fever is definitely a thing. I drive Pauline mad with it."

Michael encourages anyone with an interest in panning to go for it.

"It's really therapeutic sitting by a river with your pan," he said. "I now go under water too with a snorkel and dry suit in rivers.

"It all started with the panning kit as a gift, and I also recommend a bag of pay dirt from goldwise.co.uk which contains gold pieces for you to practise finding."

George Marshall, AKA Dr Jonathan Bones, said: "One episode every month will be aired for the next three years. It was all about getting people outside, enjoying nature's treasures after the last few years. The challenges will mainly be in Scotland in the first year then moving to England and Wales next year."

Michael has every intention of hunting for future FaerieGold caskets.

"Other hunters better be quick," he added with a laugh.

Click to watch a video of the successful mission on Michael's own YouTube channel MrVtecturbo.

Find the monthly FaerieGold episodes here.

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