As mentioned before, I am a Civil War enthusiast and enjoy learning of the courage and bravery of the Civil War period. With respect to land owners and the past, I have relic hunted in the past. This encounter occurred January 1993 in Fauquier County Virginia.
My hunting partner and I obtained permission to relic hunt this particular field for 1 day only. The temperature was 18 degrees on Sunday morning and we had to hunt that day regardless. With a heavy frost on the ground we started hunting for relics at approx. 0700.
We headed off in opposite directions so the machines would not interfere with each other. A while into the hunt I was finding some nice confederate relics as was my friend. As a general rule of thumb, before digging a hole, I look around in order to prevent any practical jokes such as being pecked on the shoulder with a long stick and being scared.
Well, I started digging a hole and WHAMM! Something hits me on my right ear knocking my headphones and two hats off my head. The impact was enough for me to see stars. Once I regained my composure (30-45 seconds), I jumped up ready to hand my friend some choice words and he was about 200 yards from me with his back toward me. So I made the short trip to him and asked what the hay he was trying to do. He was ignorant of my situation. We traced my steps back in the frosted field to examine the area for an explanation. We did not observe any other foot prints around my location, nor did we find any objects that could have been thrown. The nearest area where a person could have hidden was about 100 yards away in the direction of the impact. We concluded birds of prey do not have young that time of year so they were not protecting young. And there were no feathers left behind from a hard impact.
So our deduction is an upset soldier not wanting me in his area gave me a little attention. The item I was trying to retrieve at the time was an experimental exploding rifle minnie ball which is still my favourite artefact due to this story. After many years to analyse the encounter, I still believe someone was trying to get a message across. Let me know what you think.