This topic has come up a lot over the last few years, and now just might be the time to tackle the issue head on. Dr Roger Bland, head of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, has been awarded the Archaeological Institute of America's Metcalf lecturership for 2012, and will be spending a few days here in the States. By clicking on this link you can view his speaking schedule.
Perhaps the two or three "national" groups who represent our pastime might try to arrange an interview with Dr. Bland to explore the possibility...? Would seem a shame to let this opportunity pass. Just a thought....
If you are not familiar with the Portable Antiquities Scheme do yourself a favor and check out their WEBSITE. The following is a basic outline of how it affects detector finds in the UK.
There are several different stages to the valuation process. Below are the basic steps of the Valuation and acquisition process. There can be variations to this and throughout the valuation process we provide the opportunity for interested parties to participate, whether by providing your own private valuation, providing comments or even donating their share of the find towards the museum which wishes to acquire the find(s).
The basic steps:
My good friend Jessie Thompson sent along the following newspaper blurb, and wanted to share it here. The Nor'easters Treasure Club in Stamford, Connecticut has been around for some time, and it's members are, without question, terrific ambassadors for the pastime. Give their site a look....you will be surprised.
Against my better judgement I decided to give the Spke TV show, 'American Diggers', another look last night. Not sure why....maybe I was thinking it couldn't be any worse than the first episode. Boy, was I wrong! What continues to baffle me are the story lines or plots involved. So far they have looked for items miners dropped in Alaska, and last night they were in Detroit, looking for items the auto workers may have lost years ago. Huh?
The overacting, the "staged" drama, the "supposed" monetary return on their finds....? Absolutely stupid, and once again I felt embarrassed that I was actually sitting there watching it all. Won't happen again....
Hopefully Spike TV will pull the plug on this show, and the faster the better for all of us....
Thanks to Regton, Ltd. for the following article. I love the concept of the show, and the end result should be enlightening and a lot of fun as well.
I am sharing the following video because I love animals, and hate those that abuse them or ignore their needs. It has absolutely nothing to do with metal detecting or treasure hunting, and if you don't want to watch it, fine. It's just one of those videos that got to me, and reminded me what treasures Fay and I have in our two pugs, Barnum and Mollie....
There are still many, many homeless dogs and cats out there looking for a loving home, and I hope you might think about bringing one into your family. You won't be sorry.....
Apparently there's still an outside chance that Kentucky HB352 might be released from committee and sent on to the House for a vote. Please take a few minutes and go to the Task Force site for all the latest information. Your one email just might make a difference.
Thanks also to Roger Horrum for passing along the following article and photos.... Very vivid reminder of just how bad this war really was!
My good friend John Winter turned over his blog for a day to a detectorist from Canada, William McDuff, and I urge you to read his comments. It's titled "Detecting for Profit". William wrote a nice piece and the comments that followed were also on the money. You can read his blurb by clicking here.
Do yourself a favor as well and check out John Winter's blog daily... lots of good stuff!
Not a lot to report on the home front. Felt somewhat better yesterday, and hoping today is a repeat (long story and not one I care to share right now). The temps are now in the low 80's and ideal for detecting, esepcially after last weeks big rain. Hopefully I can get out once or twice this week for some detecting and some exercise. In the meantime good hunting to all of you, and keep me posted on your finds.
Drum roll please!!
Time spent? 45 minutes. Treasure found? Four cents (all new), one clad dime and one silver dime. Other items found? One extremely bad back! As best I can figure I was working for $2.00 an hour, not including gas and 'Tylenol' (On a side note I love the tone ID on the MXT Pro).....
Was looking through an old Arcadia book this afternoon, and decided to mention this series again, and NO I do not get kickbacks or commissions from this company (wish I did). They just happen to publish books that can be extremely valuable in my (and your) research efforts. The one I looked through today covered my old haunts in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, and it brought back very vivid memories. I could almost imagine myself back there detecting again.
Arcadia publications are loaded with old photos of towns, cities and counties. Don't look for a lot of detailed printed history. Do look for a lot of great ideas of where to detect next.
Heard yesterday that the Kentucky bill HB352, which was to allow for detecting in state parks, was essentially dead in committee. Eddie Black I am so sorry!
If you check my site regularly you already know I have decided not to get involved in any legislative efforts in the future. Instead I will simply say that whatever prohibitive regulations we face in the future will be well deserved. The greater majority of detectorists out there don't give a damn about anyone but themselves. I used to think there was some sense of brotherhood and camaraderie amongst our ranks. I don't any more!
If and when you find your parks closed to detecting, don't bother asking for help. Deal with it yourself. The others who might be able to help are still hurting from your lack of involvement when they needed it.
Am I bitter? You bet! I have heard your bluster way too many times, and witnessed your silence when it mattered most.
Well last night I sat down with a glass of red to watch the premier of "American Diggers" on Spike TV. As I expected it was pretty bad. In fact it was worse than I had imagined. If I remember right there was a Jim Carey movie titled "Dumb and Dumber". American Diggers can best be described and dumb, dumber and dumbest.
Not sure where to start with my criticism, and maybe I should just tell you not to waste your time watching the rest of the episodes.....?
First the main characater, Rick Savage, should have stuck with wrestling. Acting, and that's all it was, is not his forte. Then again if you were looking for someone to act stupid, he did a pretty good job.
The first episode took place in Alaska, and you would think that perhaps they there were there to strike it rich...find gold. Nope. They were going there to see what the miners from the gold rush era might have dropped....? Who came up with that idea? Of course it was snowing (added drama), the ground was fozen (no problem), and they weren't exactly greeted with open arms by land owners.
Probably the worse part of the show was when they started digging items like a bear trap, an old saw blade, an auger and an old gold pan. From my perspective they might have been worth $50 total (if you turned them in for scrap metal). Instead they fetched (as in "far fetched") almost $6,000 (What a bunch of BS..). Jeez, come on Spike TV, how stupid do you think your viewers are? No, never mind, I am afraid of the answer....
I wish I could offer some hope to those of us who really enjoy this pastime, but the preview of next week's show looked even worse. Rick and company were in a big city housing development using a jackhammer to find their next treasure.....
Folks if this is reality TV, I prefer fantasy. At least I know it's make believe. American Diggers is contrived, fake, phony and not at all flattering to our pastime. The only consolation is perhaps the fact that since the show was so bad, no one will bother to watch the rest of the episodes, sparing us any further embarrassment.
In case you missed it you can view the entire episode here. Don't say I didn't warn you....
On the flip side of the coin the National Geographic show "Lucky Muckers" was excellent. Ron Guinazzo, a.k.a. Chicago Ron was at his best, and was a terrific representative for what it is we do. The show was professionally done, fascinating and I came away feeling a little smarter for having watched it. My only disappointment is that it was a one time only show.
Thanks National Geographic and thanks Ron....job well done!
Well tonight I am planning on watching "Chicago Ron" poke around in the mud of the Thames, and tomorrow night I am "reluctantly" planning to watch the Spike TV show "American Diggers". Two shows that appear to be miles apart, but I will respond accordingly after viewing both of them. The previews tend to favor Chicago Ron...
The National Geographic show was terrific, and Chicago Ron was a natural. Thanks Ron for showing the world the "real" side of what it is we do.....
As you probably know I bitch incessantly about the lack of rain and the arid conditions here in my neck of the woods. Well in the last 12 hours we received 5 inches of rain, and I was loving it. Not sure if it's old age, but I love a rainy night (might make a great song title?) and I slept like a log for the first time in a long time. I am now anticipating hitting a couple of those supposedly "hunted out" sites to see what, if anything, the rain might have scared up.
No matter how hard I try to stay active and all knowing about this pastime I think I am being left by the wayside. I don't get out detecting as much as I'd like thanks to a lot of physical ailments, and when I do I just don't have that enthusiasm I used to have. I tend to think if I were back East I wouldn't feel this way, but who knows.
I check out all the related websites, forums, blogs and I am amazed at some of the finds being shown. They put me to shame, and nudge be back a little more each day. I wish I knew if my growing lack on enthusiasm is based on my not getting out as much, my medical problems, or if it is just a matter of feeling my age. I prefer not to think it's the latter.
In any case I want to somehow rekindle that spark I used to have (a better word might be obsession). I lived and breathed metal detecting, often to the point where it sometmes interfered with my life, my job and my family.
Today I need something to kick start the process. Something to get my ass in gear. If anyone out there has an answer or a solution, please let me know....
Today marks the two year anniversary of Stout Standards. Not a reason to break out the champagne, but amazing given my limited attention span to so many things. I really had no clue what to expect when I started the website, and who would have guessed that I would still be pissing off archaeologists two years later. In any case I thank all of you who do check in here routinely. I know who you are, and appreicate your friendship (even you Barford).
Thanks also to all the many websites and blogs who were kind enough to put a link to Stout Standards. Hope it didn't scare away too many of your readers...
Somehow I knew that I took the archaeological community to task I would have a very quick response from John Howland. As you already know it's his favorite topic. The following blurb came in immediately after my update yesterday. To read Bubba's take on all this just CLICK on his photo (and YES that's really coffee he is drinking).
As I expected Paul Barford responded to my criticism with his own, and you can read his comments here.
He points out that I should have been aware of previous posts or stories on his blog, and I will plead guilty. I didn't have time to go over 2,800 of them and instead did a keyword search, using terms like positive, harmonious, socialable, fun, partnership, compromise, joint-effort,etc., and when nothing came up, I went on my way.
In any case you can decide for yourself. Certainly read more while you are there, but let me offer a challenge. See if you are able to find one post where Mr. Barford does not refer to us as something less than honest.
While reading his very lengthy response I found myself getting bored, somewhat lost, and was quickly reminded of an earlier post I made last month. I then understood....
Please note that Mr. Barford put the number (1) after the heading of his response. Suspect it's his way of saying there's more to come, and a way to get someone to visit his blog again. Whatever... I have come to the conclusion that trying to work with the archaeological community is not worth the effort and a total waste of time.
Now, Mr. Barford, feel free to poke around 'Stout Standards' all you want. Perhaps you will find more grammatical errors, and oh yes, as you kindly pointed out before, I know my website is not all that professional. Of course you can bring up that again if you wish.....after all it is another "gotcha" opportunity!
After my anti-archaeological diatribe of yesterday, I received an emaill from Nigel Swift of Heritage Action. He wrote to defend his position and that of Mr. Barford. In fairness I am sharing his email here in it's entirety.
Dear Mr Stout,
I see you've described me on your blog as a bird of a feather with Paul Barford.
For your information I am a retired, bearded grandfather, very reminiscent of Dick Stout and John Winter. I enjoy ornithology and Dickens and eat very few babies.
Based (I suspect) upon a much greater familiarity with him and his views than you enjoy, I do not recognise your characterisation of him. He passionately opposes the damage caused by looting and unstructured depletion of the archaeological resource as well as all those that do it, profit by it or pretend it isn't happening. So should every decent, civilised person. He has never, ever said he objects to regulated, ethical metal detecting that doesn't deprive society of it's right to know all it can of it's history. Against that background, which you are free to check at your leisure, your remarks do you no credit although I recognise they are based upon what you have been told not what you have deduced through detailed research.
Please be aware that I am broadly aware of who the archaeologists that are said by your informant to disagree with Paul are likely to be. They are tiny in number and have vested interests. The idea that most British archaeologists oppose what he says is a fantasy widely held by those who wish it were so. Believe me, it is not so. Why on earth would it be?
As for Heritage Action, we are mostly not archaeologists, just unpaid amateurs with a love of heritage and absolutely no axes to grind or irrational attitude towards metal detecting. I have spoken to hundreds of metal detectorists in my time and attended various detecting events. Some are friends. Some (invariably those that behave well with respect to their obligations to society) agree with our broad views and aims. However, like Paul, I object most strongly to what MOST British metal detectorists are doing to our heritage under the voluntary system that applies in our country. By what possible measure can we be criticised for that? I will tell you: on the basis of an outrageous calumny that you have passed on to your readership.
It is this: that our erosion counter counts rubbish that is dug up instead of just recordable finds. Not only is that a complete untruth but it is a knowing one since the briefest scan of the text on our erosion counter makes it abundantly clear (eight words in from the start!) that we count just recordable finds (http://www.heritageaction.org.uk/erosioncounter/) It is also a hugely damaging one since it falsely represents metal detecting in Britain as virtually harmless rather than massively damaging in net terms. Are you prepared to put the record straight by publishing this letter?
Finally, I am sure you and I would get on well if we met in a pub. However, through illness and early retirement I have been studying heritage matters including metal detecting in Britain for ten years and it is my honest opinion that it needs to be regulated so that it is done in such a way that society doesn't lose out in net terms. At present, I see it as mostly not acceptable. I think it would become you to be less certain my views are ill-founded until you know a lot more about them. So here are some of our articles on the subject. http://heritageaction.wordpress.com/ethics-acquisition/ (Try the two articles about Mumbo, Schroedinger's jumbo, for starters.)
Nigel Swift, Chairman, Heritage Action, http://heritageaction.wordpress.com/
In response to Mr. Swifts email.... I have been involved with all this for over 35 years, and aside from the Portable Antiquities Act nothing much at all has changed over the years with regards to the animosity between the archaeological community and the treasure hunter/metal detector user. Are there a few "bad guys" who give us a bad name? Of course. Are their "bad guys" in your midst? Of course there are. So......what next? Are you certain you have the ability, the time, the resources, to find and recover all of what remains?
I have more thoughts on Mr. Swift's comments, and will follow-up in a day or two. Mr. Barford, I am sure, will be responding via his blog , but I also invite him to share his thoughts here if he so chooses.
Today is a very important day in the world. My good friend John Howland turns 65. Happy Birthday John!! I am somewhat upset in that he has a very good bottle of scotch he will be opening, and I am so far away. He has promised however to save a drop or two for our next get-together. While I have serious doubts this I have noted this on my calendar.
Somewhere in Warsaw, Poland is a man whose only purpose in life is to inaccurately describe and destroy anyone who uses a metal detector. You will understand by visiting Paul Barford's site. It’s been said he sits in a room, blinds drawn, and spends every waking hour perusing the internet looking for anything he can to fulfill this goal.
His posts, or tirades if you will, are filled with nothing but negativity of the highest order, and I have started to feel sorry for him . What I find amusing is the number of posts, the lengthiness of them, and ultimately the lack of follow-up comments or responses? Apparently the joy is in putting them out there, not in finding support.
From what I have heard Mr. Barford is well known throughout the archaeological community as a misfit, an outcast, and someone best not to associate with. Trying to find anything uplifting on his blog site is futile. How is it that one individual can be so intent on trying to damage the character of others he doesn’t agree with? He claims to be an archaeologist....you know someone with a "degree", someone more educated than we are, and yet his tirades paint him as an off the wall egotist and a bringer of doom? It's quite easy to find others out there who agree as in this article from August of last year.
I decided to share his blog here because it's important we understand people like Mr. Barford whose only goal in life is to paint us as pot robbers. Beware however, he lurks on a lot of our metal detecting sites, looking for that next writeup, that next negative characterization, that next attempt at spreading lies. Ultimately what we must remember is that he is a lonely man in search of acceptance here in the normal world. Thank you Mr. Barford for checking in on me every day. I am happy to give you something to think about and pleased that you enjoy my site.
The following video is fitting after the above blurb. It's from the UK, and the text that introduces this video is as follows......
"Paul Barford continually criticises metal detecting for it's erosion of archaelogy. Heritage Action has it's erosion counter. Neither takes into account the amount that is dug up that is rubbish, they claim that all finds are good finds. This video of one of our Metal detecting rallies in Suffolk, England shows things as they are. Most finds are disguarded rubbish. This four day rally saved some good bits of our history from the plough, but please bear in mind that the people on this rally are amoungst the best detectorists in the country, they know thier machines and how to use them. A total of 1200 man hours gave us the finds that you see at the end of the video. All finds have been recorded but will not be released to the PAS for 5 years at the landowners request."
In case you are curious about Heritage Action, it is a website run by a close associate of Mr. Barford, Nigel Swift. You will see from this forum exchange, they are birds of a feather!
Recently discovered the following site, and wanted to let you know about it. I especially love the photos, and if you are looking to improve yours, there's a nice section on how this TH'er does it. Do yourself a a favor and check out Crusty Metal Detecting.
I've discovered that getting older has it's benefits, but it comes with a price. For example....I find myself analyzing everything now, trying to make saner and better decisions, but at the same time damning the time I have to spend doing it. Spur of the moment stupidty was so much easier.
It's been almost two years ago that I started this website, and my intentions were to share my experiences, photo's and all things metal detecting. I haven't really accomplished all of this yet, and not sure I ever will. I have bouts of amnesia, aches and pains, and ongoing fits of laziness. There are ideas and projects in the deep recesses of my brain, but the road out of there has become somewhat clogged. I've "Googled" this problem, but so far have not come up with a good explanation.
Way back when, as in when I bought my first metal detector, I was a loner. Not necessarily because I wanted to be, but because there were not all that many hunters in my neck of the woods. Every once in a while I would see one at a local school or park, and would always stop and BS with them. What a joy, sharing my fun with someone else who actually understood my obsession. Instant bonding!
Today you can find a zillion people detecting, and you can actually "Google" them up. Find their locales, their clubs, find out what detectors they use, and even see their photo. You can find websites, blogs, videos and games all about treasure hunting, and you can chat yourself to death on the forums (or get insulted if you upset the status quo in any way). What more could you want?
Back in the mid 70's if you wanted to get in touch with someone you had to either write them (as in paper and pen) or call them (as in pick up the phone). Today, you can email, text them, or chat real time and see them, as in Skype. If you have just come home from detecting, you can post your finds online and get instant ooh's and ah's, and at the same time tell the local thief what you have and where you live.
You can also now turn on your TV and watch treasure hunters dig up all kinds of things and sell them for a quick profit. Yep.....so easy, anyone can do it. At least that's the impresson one gets from watching the previews. Personally I have yet to see any of these shows, and not sure I will. The previews pretty much tell me all I need to know. Apparently "reality" TV is what turns everyone on today, even if it isn't reality at all. I have painfully waded through shows like Storage Wars, Billy the Exterminator, Swamp People and afterwards found myself feeling considerably less than human.
Today we are bombarded with so much media it's ridiculous, and while it would seem to be a better time, to me it is not. I find there's too much overload (of which I am certainly a part), too much clutter, too much competition, and way too much bullshit to wade through. Understand now, that this opinion is coming from an old fart who often has one too many glasses of red wine, and who doesn't get out detecting as much as he'd like.
So what is the answer? I really don't know, but my latest plan is to ignore the hard parts, and do what comes naturally. Excuse me while go and pour another glass of red.....
There are a few websites and blogs that I dutifully check out each day with great anticipation. One of my very favorites is John Winter's blog from the UK. John is an editor for the Searcher magazine, and is extremely knowledgeable about all things treasure hunting. I love John's blog because he sometimes offers up a personal touch, or something that is a nice diversion from the "I dug down three inches and there before me was the glint of gold" bullshit.
Knowing that John usually updates his blog at midnight (UK time) every other day, I checked in tonight at 6pm my time, and was disheartened to read his latest. I hope you will take the time to read it here. Please take note of the response he received from a forum here in the states.
If anyone took the time to check out John's blog, they would know that it is not in anyway commercial, but assuming that it is the case, was the response he received indicative of who we are? I would like to think not, but I can also say that I too have been dealt with in a similiar manner on a few forums. Because of that I do my best to refrain from posting on them, and given the lack of caring responses to requests for legislative support, I pretty much ignore all of them now.
I know I will receive a few sarcastic and rude emails but that's okay. I know the majority of my treasure hunting friends are caring, and courteous individuals...
John Winter, please continue to share your knowledge, your experience, your insight and your great gift of writing. I know for certain that you are appreciated by many, and hope you will forgive the rudeness of a just a few ugly Americans....
Had a phone call from a friend who asked why I was suddenly taking a back seat with the legislative situations, and I want to explain.....
First I do care about what is going on throughout the country, and I do care about all the various roadblocks being thrown at us. I do not however want to spend my time here writing about House Bills, Senate Bills, committees, sub-committees, nor do I care to spend time trying to decipher the intent of what the wording in a bill really means.
We have, at the moment, three national organizations who supposedly represent us or want to represent us. One receives monetary support from a manufacturer, one from members yearly dues, and the third pretty much relies on donations. "Stout Standards" receives nothing and asks for nothing. I am 70 years old, and over the past thirty some years I have done my part when it comes to fighting city hall. It’s time for someone else to take my place.
Hope that makes sense....
Received a care package this week from Dick Tichian, a fellow New Jerseyite, and good friend of many years. Included with goodies from the Garden State were a few 35mm slides. They were from an event that took place almost 40 years ago (damn do I feel old), and a great example of taking advantage of the moment.
In the mid 70's interstate 95 was being completed, and as such was going to dissect Philadelphia, the "City of Brotherly Love". Keenly aware of the city's long history, detectorists from around the area seized the opportunity, and detected the construction sites whenver possible. It was a grand ole time for the members of the South Jersey Metal Detecting Club, and as you will see from the following photos, a very productive one too.
I know there a are others out there who have photos from this time frame, and if you do please email me at Disc440@tx.rr.com and let me know. I would love to scan them for my collection and promise to return asap. I even think I have a few buried somewhere in boxes, closets and in the recesses of the "twilight zone".
I know these photos maybe fodder for those looking to label our efforts less than honest, but all of the items found were recovered "after" archaeologists had finished their studies, and were destined for the landfill and oblivion.
Another very good source of information is METAL DETECTING AND COINSHOOTING IN KENTUCKY
Just received another update to the Malamute Saloon via the Mayfly Pub, John Howland's home away from home. As usual, his fondness for all things archaeological, shines through. For what it's worth he can hurl insults at pretty much anyone, including yours truly. It's become an ongoing ritual to see who can offend the other more....
So, if you want to read this foulmouthed, stupid arse's comments, just click on the Mayfly sign....
|American Savage Ready To Dig For Cash|
Reminder to everyone here in the lone star state....this weekend the Texas Council of Treasure Clubs is holding their annual treasure show in Bryan, Texas. The event will be held at the Brazos Center, and should be a good one. For more information click here.
Hoping to get out some this week with the MXT Pro especially with the weather being so great, but I first need to get one more ailment out of the way.
If you are interested in what's going with all the various legislative situations go the various national group sites. i.e., TFFMR, FMDAC, WWATS, etc... At this time I am tired of it all, and don't want to deal with it.
With the sudden onset of treasure hunting TV shows I am beginning to think we are becoming a little too pompous for our own good. It's okay to have an air of swagger, but there is also a point when arrogance takes over, and I think we are there. I have noticed it when checking the various treasure hunting forums, and it just keeps getting worse. Everyone is a treasure hunting expert, and if you dare to question that, you are hastily filed under "amateur" or "stupid".
A few forums also have "cliques" of like minded (sometimes not bright minded) individuals, whose only purpose is to be obnoxious. Bring up the word archaeologist, and you will be amazed at the various adjectives offered, a few of which are new to the dictionary. Often their screen names and avatars are an indication of what is about to come forth.....
I am also beginning to wonder about all the validty of some of the finds I see posted on the internet. Certainly metal detector technology has improved a hundred fold over the years, and that there are a lot more hunters out in the field, but I am becoming skeptical. I am not alone in this regard either. I certainly have no proof that they are faked or manufactured, but it piques my interest when a certain few individuals seem to be finding all of them. Please, no offense meant here....just an observation on my part. Hope I am wrong!
The internet is a wonderful thing, and it provides a great service to us all, especially when it comes to fighting oppressive legislation. It can however also be a vehicle for our downfall if we let it. Maybe I am being overly suspicous or overly paranoid, but we seem to be shouting more and speaking less.
Yes I know, I am from the old school, when the internet was just a dream, but I also remember reading Karl von Mueller's books, and remember the few chats we had. He was a character for sure, but he was also a very saavy and wise man. In his "Treasure Hunters Manual, #6" he offered the following....
And my favorite KVM statement.....
I love the very last comment...."all so somebody can have a trinket on their mantelpiece". To that I say "and all because someone wants to store it in a drawer, out of sight". Jealousy is a wonderful thing isn't it?
Went out Friday for a little detecting, but came home skunked, as in "nada"! Back was hurting, and that didn't help the frustration either. Then I went out to the mailbox and found the latest issue of Paul Tainer's "Treasure Hunter's Express", and it made everything okay. I came in, poured a cup of coffee, and spent the next half hour reading, reminicising and feeling a helluva lot better.
Those of you who go way back, know Paul, the Exanimo Press, and the yearly Treasure Expos (see photo set #15). The old Treasure Hunter's Express was in newspaper format, and was something you could pick up at anytime, often years later, and still find something to pique your interest. Today's format is smaller, and only comes out quarterly, but no less as interesting, and a great read.
If you are interested in subscribing, you can email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just received the following email from Eddie Black. Please read it, and more importantly try to attend. Numbers might make the difference, and given the years he has put into this, he deserves everyone's help.
I need your help! Maybe Tuesday of next week I will need several people to go to the capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky, in support of our SB (Senate Bill) 105 which will be voted on in the Senate. When that happens it will then go before the House. Our bill is on it's way! Praise the Lord!! Let me know if you think you can go. I can take some of you in my van. On Monday the 5th I will know the actual date. Senator Seum's office will call and tell me. Yours in Christ, Eddie Black.
You can call Eddie at 1-502-448-7665, or 1-502-938-0197(cell phone). You can also email him at MBLACK448@insightbb.com.
I have a box of old photographs from when I was growing up in New Jersey, and one of the photographs recently caught my attention.... See if you know why? It's from 1946, and it's a photo of my Dad and I on the beach in Atlantic City.
Thanks to Scott Clark ( Metal Detecting Kentucky) I found Tony Stevenson's blog, Detecting Saxapahaw. It's excellent, and already on my daily favorites list. Check it out and be sure to read his most recent post concerning the Reality Shows. It's exceptional well written, and thanks to him for allowing me to post it in the "Who We Are" section of Stout Standards.
I had a couple of emails asking me what I meant by my statement “I am worn out and tired of all this crap. I am taking a break”...
Metal detecting is fun. It’s a hobby. It’s a pastime. Nothing more! It is however a hobby that I want to see continue as I know it, but nothing is more frustrating, time consuming, depressing, or irritating than trying to keep up with all the efforts aimed at putting an end to it.
I've always felt a need to share these problem areas here on my website, simply because if one or two detectorists read about them, respond to them, and pass the information along, then my effort will have been worth it. The past month, however, has been wacky with the situations in Alabama, Kentucky and Florida, and the less than flattering TV shows now airing. Seems like we are being hit from all sides.
I think about what we do, and what we are facing today with regards to all these regulations, both real and imaginary. We scan a coil, hear a sound, dig a hole, and find something metal. Such a simple process, yet we are looked at as less than honorable. What is so threatening? Is it because we might find a penny, nickel, ring or something worth a dollar or two? If we don’t find them what will happen to them?
As you kow I can get very angry, and if you look at some of my recent responses to legislators, you will see I was sometimes "over-the-top" with my choice of words. At this moment I am tired of doing that. It's now your turn.
At 70 years old I just want to go detecting, share a few stories, articles, jokes or fun things that people send me. Maybe even tell you about a great pasta recipe. When I started my website I wanted it to be something that would allow me to stay in touch with others, and most importantly, something that that would be fun. Right now it's become a chore!
In the future I might post a brief mention of current problems, but will leave the details up to others who are more on top of things. Linking to them will now become the norm.
Please be sure to write the Senators in Kentucky and ask them to approve this bill. You can do this in one fell swoop by visiting the Task Force link. When writing please be courteous, ....Eddie has spent years trying to get something like this approved. We don't need to ruin his effort.
When writing I highly recommend you visit Scott Clark's great blog. He has a sample letter that you can use or edit as you see fit. His approach is one of non-confrontation, and he offers a lot of useful information that the Senators may not have thought of. To view Scott's letter click here.
Eddie and Scott...We thank you!
John Howland always finds a way to make a statement at the most appropriate time, and his latest is no different. Whenever the word achaeologist comes up, it sets off a slow burn in the man's crawl. To read his latest, unedited, unkind, tactless, uncensored and uncouth remarks, click on Bubba's NOSE in the following photo....
Thanks to Ken Christenson for the following article.....yet another stupid, oppressive, law and one that needs to be reworded or eliminated.
Received some correspondence about this bill, and a few said that it's not as bad as we are saying.... Not sure I agree with that. My concern? How will it be interpreted? How will those chosen to enforce it understand it, and how will they react. Likewise a bill like this didn't come out of nowhere. It was surely designed with a purpose, and Senator Hays was just the vehicle. We need to find out who the "paying or contributing party" is, what their purose is, and how Senator Hays got involved. Difficult, but not impossible....
Interesting that Senator Hays' first reaction to all the responses he received on Facebook was to say "Calm the Panic...not meant to eliminate detecting". If so Senator it should be very simple to insert that into the current bill. Then shortly after saying that he deleted all our comments....
As I sat here this morning readying this update I got an email from Eddie Black. It reads as follows...
As of 2/27/2012 Dr. Miller and myself (Eddie Black) met with Senator Dan Seum (R) and testified before the Economic Development and Tourism Council to open up the Kentucky State Parks to metal detecting.
The vote was cast and was accepted with a majority vote!
The State Commissioner's Office has now agreed to meet with us (but is dissatisfied ) with the bill because it allows (us) too much latitude! They want us to compromise. (We the people) are to yield to their demands not the other way around.
I am concerned that the meeting is a ploy to stall the bill and keep it from going before the Senate floor for a vote. This was done before: and of course; the bill was frozen in committee thus making us wait till next year. We are now into our third year to try to get the right to metal detect. If the bill is changed by the Commissioner's Office we will lose again and will have to try again next year. All efforts are being made to progress and get this bill on the floor and then on to the House. We started with (Senate Bill) SB 6 then SB 81 now SB 105.
I personally don't want to fool around with the State Commissioner to let them get a foot into this door again. If the Senate session is closed by the end of April we will have to start from scratch all over again in 2013.
Your ongoing support will be needed when reaching the House.
We need you to call your House Representative when this happens so we can get the votes needed to move forward!
We also will be meeting with the Legal Liaison with Louisville Metro Mayor's Office today 02/28/2012 to see about getting into the Louisville Parks. We'll see what happens.
They (Louisville Liaison) were at the Senate meeting to watch what happened and now know there is no Law in Kentucky against metal detecting in the Kentucky State Parks. Amazingly, the Liaison is now willing to talk to us. The claim was the City of Louisville was only following the same law as the state!
Yours in Christ,Eddie Black
Just found out that the state of Florida is on the fast track with a bill that could be very detrimental to our pastime. Thanks to Butch Holcome for passing the information along. While I have not read every detail, I offer the following link for all of you to read and digest.
I doubt seriously that Senator Hays came up with this bill on his own, and I would love to know what group or organization was involved. Also, what they might have contributed to his coffers.... Lastly, what's bothersome about this bill is how it got as far as it did without anyone in the treasure hunting community being aware of it....
The following citations pretty much sum up the goal of this bill.....
267.12 Research permits; procedure.—
(1)The division may issue permits for excavation and surface reconnaissance on state lands or lands within the boundaries of designated state archaeological landmarks or landmark zones to institutions which the division shall deem to be properly qualified to conduct such activity, subject to such rules and regulations as the division may prescribe, provided such activity is undertaken by reputable museums, universities, colleges, or other historical, scientific, or educational institutions or societies that possess or will secure the archaeological expertise for the performance of systematic archaeological field research, comprehensive analysis, and interpretation in the form of publishable reports and monographs, such reports to be submitted to the division.
Any person who by means of excavation either conducts archaeological field investigations on, or removes or attempts to remove, or defaces, destroys, or otherwise alters any archaeological site or specimen located upon, any land owned or controlled by the state or within the boundaries of a designated state archaeological landmark or landmark zone, except in the course of activities pursued under the authority of a permit or under procedures relating to accredited institutions granted by the division, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, and any vehicle or equipment of any person used in connection with the violation is subject to forfeiture to the state if it is determined by any court of law that the vehicle or equipment was involved in the violation. Such person shall forfeit to the state all specimens, objects, and materials collected or excavated, together with all photographs and records relating to such material. The court may also order the defendant to make restitution to the state for the archaeological or commercial value and cost of restoration and repair as defined in subsection (4).
Also received the following information from a close friend in the UK, and think it's something for all of us to reflect on. I don't like the tact taken here, but from what I have been reading on the various forums, etc., we kind of knew this was coming....
How all this plays out is anyone's guess, but with the situations in Florida, Alabama, Kentucky and now the potential fallout from these shows, it should give us a reason to pause, take a deep breath and, and in my opinion come up with a unified plan. We need to draw a line in the sand, find a cause and all come together. How that happens I don't know, but if any of the national groups now on the scene can offer some direction, some clarity to all to all this, the time is now. Writing letters is not enough.....
A lot of great finds are being made every day on the Eastern seaboard, but Diane Toogood's is special. Diane is a good friend, and a member of the South Jersey Metal Detecting Club, a group that I am very fond of, and proud to be associated with. When I heard about it I asked her to tell me more, and here is her story.....
Here in N.J. we have had one of the mildest winters that I can remember. So my friend Janis Stuart and I decided to hit the beaches. When we got there it didn't look that great but we did find a few places where there were lower spots, a few shells, pebbles and a little bit of a trough running down certain parts of the beach.
We decided to go to a certain beach that we hadn't been to in a very long time....lots of sand and miles to walk. The weather was really nice. It was about 49 degrees and sunny. The thing I love about hunting in the winter time? The lack of crowds, and you can take your time. If one beach doesn't produce you just drive to the next one. This however, being one of the bigger beaches, we didn't feel the need to travel.
We had been detecting awhile, and I asked Janis where she wanted to go, she signaled to the left. I told her that I would catch up with her because I started to find a few coins where I was hunting. Well she took off to the right instead, and was about 2 blocks up from me. When I was through searching the area I was in, I walked up to where she was and said to her, "Well we might as well stay here. I don't want to have to walk back that far. Besides I haven't been up this way in a very long time".
We detected from the top of the tide line down to see if there was any kind of pattern going, and to see if one part of the beach produced better. It was tough going. There weren't that many targets to be found. I was daydreaming, thinking of the last time I found a gold coin, and suddenly got a signal. It was a quarter. Then I got another signal that sounded kind of funny. I dug it and dumped it out. When I reached down to put the sand over my coil I saw the sight of gold!
I wiped off the coin and saw a face unbeknownst to me. I then turned it over and it said 20 francs. Well I didn't get too excited because it was a foreign coin, and a few of them are indeed gold colored. I walked over to Janis and said, "I almost had a heart attack. I found this coin and I thought it was gold". She asked me what the date was. I turned it over and there was a date of 1851.
Well Then I got excited. I started to freak out, and I said this has to be gold. Since we weren't finding much of anything else, we decided to go home. On the way home I called my husband and told him about the coin. He looked it up and called me back and said, "It is 90% Gold and it was indeed a gold coin. He then said...."drive carefully".
Well I found my first gold coin at the beach, and now my second one there as well. This is absolutely an awesome feeling and I hope there are more finds like this out there for everyone to find so they can experience the rush I got!!
If you think Diane had a great day, you ain't seen nothing yet. The weather here has been pretty good of late, so I went out Sunday with my MXT Pro for a little fun. Spent all of 45 minutes, and then my back kicked in (or maybe I should say out), and had to pack it in. In any case, eat your heart out everyone.....
Have to say with all my recent aches and pains 45 minutes was petty good. Also felt good to just be outside. Hoping maybe to get out today again for a little beeping.
Added the following map site to my "Links" page, and thought I would share it here as well. Haven't fooled with it much yet, but it looks interesting....
If you log on to my Latest News link and see tomorrow's date, it's because I have quite a few folks overseas who visit Stout Standards (hard to believe huh?)
Was looking for a particular book on my shelves the other day, and came across one I had forgotten about. Tucked away in between larger tomes was a 3x5 book titled "Bluff Your Way in Archaeology" by Paul Bahn. I had to laugh because I remember receiving it from John Howland (who else?) years ago. He told me to read it to better understand the archaeological community. While supposedly written "tongue in cheek" a lot of it is right on the money, in my opinion!
Given the current roadblocks we are now facing here in the US, I decided to skim the pages again, and before I knew it I had finished the entire 62 pages, laughing the entire time.....
"It is especially easy in this field to pass yourself off as an expert, full of impressive and esoteric knowledge, because it is filled with obscure terms and exotic names and places. Even if the general public has heard of them, it is almost certain they will know little or nothing about them. Thus a minimum of homework will go a very long way".
"It is therefore child's play to give the false impression of being informed, and few will dare to challenge your facts of your hypotheses".
"I takes very special qualities to devote one's life to problems with no attainable solutions, and to poking around in dead people's garbage: words like 'masochistic', 'nosy' and 'completely batty' spring readily to mind. This is why eccentricity is a hallmark of the profession. So is an addiction to alcohol. You can wryly attribute this fact either to the need to drown one's sorrows in the face of unattainable solutions, or simply to acute embarrassment at practising an inherently ridiculous and often futile profession".
"You can recognise an archetypal archaeologist from the beard, curved pipe, shapeless sweater or T-shirt, and sandals or hiking boots - and that's only the women".
Typical jargon or conversation: "The notion of structural contradictions resulting in societal change relates to the operation of causative variables at a different epistemological level from that assumed in analysis of interlinked variables and entities, resulting in morphogenic feedback processes." (a.k.a. a lot of bullshit!)
"The simplest way to find sites is to ask somebody who knows where they are. The smart bluffer should be aware that the most important sites are not found by archaeologists at all-instead they are found accidently by farmers, quarrymen, construction workers, or aerial photographers; underwater sites are discovered by fishermen and divers; caves have been found by pot-holers, children, even dogs and professional tomb robbers are far more adept at finding ancient graves than any archaeologists. However it is the latter who investigate the sites and who get all the publicity and the kudos".
"The particular area where they choose to work is supposedly selected in order to answer questions of specific relevance to their research interest. In practice the real reasons involve some or all of the following factors: (1) the climate (2) the presence of a lover (3) swimmng facilities (4) the local booze...."
Paul Bahn is a well known British archaeologist, and contributor to "Archaeology" magazine. From what I can see online there have been a couple of updates to this book. Might be a good one for all of us to read so we can better understand "those who proclaim to own the earth".
We would like to thank all of those that have supported HB 54 . It has passed through the House of Representatives. We would like to extend a very special thanks to Dr. Jim McClendon, the bills sponsor in the House. Without your continued effort it would not have passed. Now on to the Senate. Thank you to Cam Ward our sponsor in the Senate. We now need everyone to support HB 54 in the Senate. HB 54 is the same thing as SB 81. HB 54 specifically protects all Native American burial grounds. We have the support of the Alabama Indian tribes, the Alabama Department of Tourism and Travel, Museums and Historians. We ask for you to continue to write letters of support to the Legislators, both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Even though it has passed in the House it may have to go back there once it passes the Senate.
You can email the Senators by visiting the Task Force Website. Be sure to follow their instructions by right clicking and pasting in the "To" area in order to get all their emails included.
Back on February 1st, here under Latest News, I shared a story about a successful ring find by Danny Brown, of the Pelican Resarch and Recovery Club, in Baton Rouge, Lousiana. If you remember, the 2 carat ring was quite dirty having been lost in a pile of ashes.... Well Danny just sent me the following photo of the ring after it was brought back to life by a jeweler.
The owner of the ring donated $100 to the club in appreciation of Danny's efforts in locating the ring. Just another good story, and one that will hopefully help everyone down the road. Thanks again Danny....great job.
Thanks to Jim Meany of the Massachusetts Treasure Hunting Association for the following news item. Looks like we will be waiting a long time to find a dollar coin here in the US. If only the would take the paper bill out of circulation.....
After posting Eddie Blacks comments two days ago I waited to see if any mention of it might show up on any of the many forums out there. So far....absolutely nothing. I called Eddie to see if he had any response from anyone, and his reply? Only one. Mike Smith, from Arizona sent him a copy of his letter supporting his bill.
Not sure what I was hoping for but thought perhaps someone, anyone, might respond or at least offer some feedback. I know that a few of my contacts sent my alert to their detecting friends, and felt certain that within 24 hours at least 500 detectorists would be reading about Eddie's plight, and that a few would contact him. Didn't happen....
I understand that coming up with a solution to a problem like this is extremely difficult, but I am beginning to have doubts about our ability to accomplish anything. It’s apparent that we have money to spend when it comes to attending hunts, often driving hundreds of miles to do so, and we have plenty of time to boast about what we found, and what experts we are (just visit any of the forums in case you have any doubts). So let me ask you....would you donate $20 to help Eddie obtain an attorney? Would you drive hundreds of miles to participate in a protest or rally?
I think I know the answer to both questions....no and no! So where does that leave Eddie, and more importantly, the entire pastime? To quote an old Peggy Lee song "Is That All There Is?"..... Is just writing a letter all we are capable of, and if so, how many letters do you think the Kentucky legislators received in support of SB105? I don't know for certain, but my guess is not many at all. We like to talk big, but when it comes to important issues like this we are all bluster and BS.
I could have posted Eddie’s plight on all the forums myself, but as you know the responses I received in the past were almost non-existent. I thought just perhaps someone else would have taken it upon themselves to post it after hearing about it. Guess I was being naive, or maybe we were all just too busy.....
I am still hopeful that something positive will happen in Kentucky, and for that matter in Alabama. I am still hoping that Eddie wins his battle, and all the detectorists in Kentucky come out winners. I am hoping someone or some group out there will make the difference. Time will tell, and with it perhaps the survival or demise of our pastime.
Speaking of Kentucky, Scott Clark, a.k.a. Pocketspill just posted this on FaceBook. Talk about irritating....
"Irony. KY State Parks are off limits to metal detectorists. The law doesn't even allow for permitting/certification, like other states. Yet our governor signs a Kentucky Colonel honor to metal detectorist Robert E Bohrn for discovering (with his detector,) and subsequently helping to preserve, an African American Civil War Burial Site in South Carolina. If he'd found the same site in Kentucky, he'd have been fined and possibly even imprisoned."
Metal Detectors in KY Lands: "Let it rot in the ground before allowing metal detectorists to find and report it."
Couldn't agree more Scott. Just amazing!
Just heard from Eddie Black about the situation in Kentucky, and I wanted to share his response, word for word.....
The SB105 Bill is frozen in Committee. I have called Senators Seum and Hornback to see why, and neither have called me back. The committee is simply waiting for the reading of the bill to bring it to the Senate floor.
The Parks Dept. is refusing any calls from the public about Metal Detecting. The City Police is enforcing the Park's Policy using the 164.720 KRS law (Entering Rock Shelters) as their reason for keeping us out.
The Mayor is backing his Department. as well. The media did an article but did not represent our side very well. It is not going well so far....
In order to get help, we are told by the Police officers, and others that we must get a ticket or be arrested to get it to the court system to fight it. I simply can't afford the cost of bail, lawyers.,court costs and depositions. One attorney told me that 3 hours of research was too expensive just to see if they would take the case. The problem with this is: the ticket or arrest will not state that we are metal detecting, but are trespassing a policy or breaking the Archaeological or Antiquities Act, or we are digging without a permit. They are very careful not to state that metal detecting is the real issue.
There's no law in the state of Kentucky against metal detecting. I have gone before the Senate committee to make sure. The state only has a policy against it; not a law. I hope this is some help. It certainly isn't much to shout about....
All efforts to do anything seems to be hitting a block wall. I have been fighting this issue since 2005. Our club is down to about six active members. We have a lot of verbal support but that is not enough, and I am running out of ideas.
Yours in Christ, Eddie Black
I find this situation deplorable, and there just has to be some way to help Eddie. He is a fighter, and I hope someone out there can offer some hope. I don't get a lot of traffic here on Stout Standards, but maybe those of you reading about Eddie's plight could share it with your friends, on forums, clubs websites, etc.. Let me also send a shout out for help to the FMDAC, WWATS and TFFMDR. It's a chance for you to show your might. If you need more info and can help in any way, please call Eddie at 1-502-448-7665, or 1-502-938-0197(cell phone).
Thanks Eddie for keeping the fight alive....I don't care how many great finds you've found over the years, you are an expert in my mind and the epitome of what a treasure hunter should be!
The following clip is a preview of the forthcoming National Geographic special "Treasure on the Thames". It's premiering today in the UK, and March 20th here in the states. Looks like it should be a good one....
Of course it features "Chicago Ron" (Ron Guinazzo) who is no stranger to those of us who are used to his fantastic finds. Check out his website here. You just might pack up your detector and retire after looking at all he has found. Ron has been a long time member of the Midwest Historical Research Society in Chicago.
Found out there's a more affordable Deus out now, and it's called the Lite. There more information here on Regton's website. Hoping the manufacturers over here are checking out the design. Would love to be free of wires and dead weight....
I graduated high school in 1959, and was one of 40 in the senior class at Lambertville High School, in Lambertville, New Jersey. A small class, a small school in a small town. Growing up in the fifties was the best, and I will never forget my classmates, my activities and yes, those escapades that landed me in trouble more than once. It was an age of innocence, and I have always been grateful I grew up in that era. Not sure I could survive being in school today....
Lambertville High Scool was first built in 1854, and was last used as a school in 1960. A fire has since destroyed it, but the memories, and in my mind the treasures are still there. Not sure what kind of access is available now, but I will always remember the field just above the school. Lots of football, baseball, extra curricular activities, and in my mind, surely a lot of treasures. I have no idea of whether the field remains or not. Google Earth tends to show it overgrown, but I wonder....? The following documentary brings back memories of classrooms, teachers, and that part of my life that was the best of times. It also saddened me.....
Reading John Winter's blog has become a daily routine for me, but his most recent post embarrassed me. Embarrassed me because it was something I should have beem aware of. It's a fascinating piece of US history, and it took a Brit (can you imagine that?) to make me aware of it. Do your self a favor and read this fascinating piece about Alexander Graham Bell.
Click here for the whole story.
Great post John...thank you.
You would think that with the pastime gaining more popularity the number of good finds would start to diminish, but in fact it seems as though they are increasing by leaps and bounds. I have seen finds lately that boggle the mind. Gold rings, jewelry and rare coins of all denominations. While it certainly has something to do with the technology of today versus what we had early on, it also has a lot to do with the amount of time detectorists spend searching. Even in retirement I cannot put in the hours and hours that many apparently do today.
Likewise detecting overseas has become routine for so many Americans that it's become a yearly must do. All of my longtime friends in the UK are amazed at what Americans are finding there, and more amazed at the price they pay to simply have the opportunity. A few have even suggested that some of the finds must be planted by the tour companies to encourage a return trip. I haven't got an answer, but with the reality TV shows about to hit the scene, one can only wonder what will surface from here on out, and how it will all affect the pastime as a whole.
JW sent me this article, and thought it was a great story. So great that I am heading out to the local Home Depot to buy a couple of trees.... Will let you know how I fare.
My very good friend Michel Tocque is currently battling colon cancer, and my thoughts and best wishes go out to him. In spite of this setback he is still hunting every opportunity he gets. He recently emailed and asked if I could locate an old Tek ST detector. He sent the following photo, and while it looks somewhat familiar I haven't a clue. If you have one for sale, or know of someone who has one, please let me know. You can email me at Disc440@tx.rr.com. Thank you....
Was recently made aware of a forthcoming TV reality show titled “American Digger”, and wanted to share my concerns....
At first glance it might sound like a fun show, and maybe it will be for some, but I worry that it will do more harm than good. Yes, there will be metal detectors involved, and yes we will see treasures being recovered, but what about the methods, and what about the lasting perception of our pastime?
“American Digger” follows the American Savage team, led by former professional wrestler-turned-modern- day relic hunter Ric Savage as they scour target-rich areas, such as battlefields and historic sites, in hopes of striking it rich by unearthing and selling rare pieces of American history".
"After pinpointing historical locations such as Civil War and Revolutionary War battlefields, Savage’s first task is to convince reluctant homeowners to let his team dig up their property using state-of-the-art metal detectors and heavy-duty excavation equipment. The team will then sell any artifacts found for a substantial profit by consulting experts and scouring the antique and collectible markets, but not before negotiating a deal to divide the revenue with the property owners."
Perhaps I am being overly concerned, and perhaps I will see things differently after watching the show. I hope that's the case, but right now I think this series has the potential to hurt us more than help us. Time will tell....
Saw this photo posted on the Regton Facebook page, and thought I would share it here..... what a motley crew!
Aside from being asked constantly why I don't offer a forum here, I am also asked why I don't participate more in those that are out there. So, let me try to explain (once again), and hope that what I say doesn't start a volley of nasty emails....
First of all I understand the necessity of forums, no matter their subject. I get it! I have visited hundreds over the past few years, and frequently find very useful information. Nothing like talking to an expert, a.k.a., those more involved. Need an answer? Google your question, and you will almost always find it. I am amazed at the kindness of those who participate in forums to answer questions, asking nothing in return. I suspect the subject is a passion, and they get satisfaction out of helping others. I have been helped by many....
I have also visited a few forums where I was subjected to sarcastic, mean and in my opinion, uncalled for responses. Sometimes it was because I simply posted my question or comment in the wrong area. Other times it was because I wasn't a member of the "clique", or because I apparently wasn't on the same level with the self proclaimed experts who dominated the forum. Other times I watched back and forth heated arguments filled with hate and ridicule, and guess what? These were usually the most popular with regards to longevity.
Then there are the "off topic" links. You know, where you can diss someone's religion, political beliefs, ethnicity or social status. Will someone tell me please, what possible good can come from links like that, and what better way to drive away first time visitors? The internet is a wonderful thing, but it's also a place where one can say anything, and in the process hurt others. No need for facts. Just say it, and those who agree with your comment will be sure to join in, and pass it along. Do I have strong political beliefs and opinions? You bet I do, but I do not offer them on my site or on treasure hunting forums.
Lastly I am continually amazed at the number of posts some forum members have made over the years, often numbering in the thousands. How many minutes or hours did that take? Most all of my recent visits to forums have been to inform those there about a problem area that existed, and where timely responses were needed, as in the recent Alabama and Kentucky bills. Last time around, on three of the largest forums, I received well over 125 views and only one response. Apparently one can spend hours chatting over the backyard fence about coils, pinpointers, sorting coin rolls, dumpster diving, which camera to put on their head, and what silver coin they found that day, but cannot spare ten minutes to shoot off an email or write a letter to help a fellow detectorist.
Okay, there you have it. I know for sure I will get a lot of negative feedback about my comments, and who knows, I might even get banned from a few forums. I hope that's not the case. I will continue to visit all the treasure hunting forums to keep abreast of this and that, and I will continue to share what I think is important to the pastime. I am not one for small talk, and never have been. It's just not me... I frequently have trouble talking to others in person, often thinking to myself, "Jeez, just get to the point, please!" Now I am not making excuses. Just wired differently I guess, and just who I am. So please forgive me for not "hanging out" with you all every single day.... carry on.
John sent me his latest archaeological "love story", and once again he tried to hold back his true feelings, but alas, it just wasn't in the cards. I am beginning to think his hatred for the opposition must hark back to his childhood, and something that happened at an early age. Unfortunately we will probably never know....
I have known for sometime that John was a big fan of Ernest Hemingway, and while doing a little reading on my own I suddently discovered why....
If you hurry you can read his "drunk" writing by visiting the Malamute Saloon or by simply clicking here
Richard Ray sent me a note the other day along with a couple of photos..... he said, "Here is a mystery for you. I was detecting out by the elephant's feet formation near the Four Corners area. and found these seven silver bars (I sold two). They have strange markings front and back, are about 1 1/2 x 3/4 inch and weigh approximately 1 ounce each. I've been told several theories but nothing concrete. Good luck....
So....let me post these photos for all to see, and if you can shed any more light on his finds please let him know. You can reach Richard at Doubloon8@aol.com
Jeff Lubbert commented "A little ring set I found for a wonderful couple yesterday. It was a bit chilly, 17 degrees, but luckily the search lasted only about 30 minutes. The couple had purchased a metal detector and also rented a metal detector to try to find the ring. Unfortunatly without the experience on using a metal detector they had no luck in several hours of searching. They found me and I recovered it in about a half hour."
Be sure to check out this groups website at The Ring Finders.com
It finally happened. After hating me for being home every day, Fay has finally retired. Her last day was yesterday, and as such, was my "last day of peace and quiet"....
Seriously....My wife has worked as an intensive care nurse for over 46 years, and is without a doubt one of the best nurses ever. I not only say that because she is my wife, but because she has been recognized for her abilities, knowledge, and most importantly her personal caring, or as they call it, her "bedside manner" over and over again.. Likewise those who worked with her over the years will also tell you that!
I could go on and and on bragging about her, but suffice to say I am very proud of her, and look forward to spending more time in her company in the days, months and years ahead....
As I always do each morning I checked to see if John Winter had posted anything new on his blog. Just as I was ready to click on the link I got a call from him via Skype, telling me about his "one second after midnight" post. He was calling to make sure I watched the video shown there in it's entirety. He thought it would be a great video to share with everyone on this side of the pond, in that it was a good example of how the detectorist and the archaeologist can work together in harmony.
After watching the "Avar Graves" I very much agree, and have added it to the "Who We Are" link. Please take the time to watch the following video in it's entirety, and save it somewhere on your hard drive. It's well done, and an example of what mutual respect can do for two opposing sides....
I often peruse the many metal detecting forums, but seldom post. Mainly because I can seldom offer anything new or useful to the conversation, and sometimes because I am just not into small talk.
One topic and one constant I have noticed however is one that I can relate to. It’s the instant success one has after receiving his or her new detector. In other words if it’s new, and you paid more for it than the last model, it will always be better. I know that doesn’t make a lot of rational sense, but I can vouch for the validity of the assumption. I have experienced it many times over the years.
If you have been detecting for any length of time you know what I am talking about. The box arrives at your doorstep. You anxiously open it. You spend the first evening putting it together, reading he manual....often twice. You check it out at the dining room table, and you pass coins, rings, bottlecaps and various other items under the coil. You adjust the discrimination, the sensitivity and watch the readouts. You drool and you look forward to tomorrow when you can take it to that site that you gave up on.....
When you finally do get to take it out you slow down to a crawl because it’s a new machine, and you need to take time to understand it. Eventually you dig a couple of neat finds. An old coin, perhaps a ring or a very old relic, and in doing that you have validated your decision to purchase that particular metal detector, and you have validated your ability to discern the difference in all the others on the market.
Was this the correct assumption? Were you really that brilliant or were you merely lucky that first time out? Here is my theory....
Did you find good things because you had a new metal detector, or did you find good things because you slowed down, listened more carefully, and “knew” you would find the better stuff? I tend to gravitate toward the latter.
I have always been a believer in the power of positive thinking. Way back when I used to literally “sneak out” to detect I would come up with any lame excuse I could find. Won’t go into detail (or get myself in trouble), but there were days when I would go detecting, often fibbing once in a while (okay, often), and come home with nothing in the pouch. I did however come home feeling guilty.
The better excursions were always after I had performed the “honey do” tasks, and when I had a clear conscience. I wasn’t out there scanning my coil wondering what kind of flak I was going to receive when I came home. I was detecting without a deadline or a fabricated excuse, and this became the prerequisite for all my in-the-field trips from there on.
So having said this I am waiting for all the major manufacturers to send me my new detector. I did, after all, just recognize the need of every detectorist in the US to go out and purchase that newest model in your line. If you don’t have my address please email me, and I will gladly offer it.....
Have been wondering of late if we are really making any progress in our fight to keep the pastime alive. Over the past few weeks we have witnessed the one man fight by Eddie Black to open the parks in Lousiville and all of Kentucky, as well as the introduction of two new bills in Alabama that would more clearly define the definition of an artifact. While these two efforts have rightfully received a lot of attention I suspect there are many others facing restrictions across the country without much hope of winning. So my original question remains....are we making progress or are we just sitting here waiting for the verdicts to come in?
I have contributed by writing the legislators involved, but is that really enough? Is that where it ends? Write a letter, and say "well hell, I did my part" and move on? I have a gut feeling that this is probably the norm, and if so, we will eventually come out on the short end. As I write this I feel certain there has to be more we can do. What that "more" is needs to be defined and addressed by all of us, and we better do it soon.
Our dilemma has always been the lack of money, legal assistance and any kind of substantial clout. We will never be the NRA, nor we will ever be an organization that local and state governments fear. We are much too small in numbers, and much too splintered to be that effective. Somehow we must find a way to affect change, and while I applaud the efforts of the Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights, the FMDAC and WWATS, they must find a way to join forces. We need to find a way to fund legal efforts, hire lawyers, lobbyists, and whatever else it takes. Their ultimate success however will ultimately be up to you, me and everyone else who owns a metal detector....
Was chatting with Danny Bernzweig at MetalDetector.com yesterday, and he told me about their being featured in a TV news story in the Boston area. He then emailed me the link and wanted to share it here. Great plug for a great company, and good PR for the pastime. MetalDetector.Com has been around for a long, long time (in the early 80's the name was Detector Electronics), and I met up often with Danny, Michael and their parents, David and Sondra. Fun times for sure..... The slide show on their site brough back a lot of memories.
If you live in the Northeast, or for that matter anywhere in the country, be sure to check out MetalDetector.Com for your future needs. You won't find a more honest or knowledgeable dealer/distributor anywhere.
Be sure read John Winter's blog post titled "Archaeological Experts, Matthew Boulton and Charles 1st"....love it.
John Winter, John Howland I, speak daily via Skype, and I highly recommend the program to you. A very inexpensive way (as in free) to share thoughts with someone quickly.
Chris Altmann, treasure hunter and member of the EARTH club in Rome, New York, has written a book, and knowing Chris it will be a great one. It's called "From the Ground Up", and I would urge you to get your order in now. For more information please email Chris at email@example.com.
Received the following UK info from Nigel Ingram at Regton, Ltd. Great place for your detector needs in the UK....
This month's online edition of "Lost Treasure" featured a great article about a great club. The Nor'Easters Treasure Club has always been a favorite of mine, and the article is very deserving. Hope you will check out the feature here. Congratulations guys.
Received an email from Eddie Black yesterday titled "The Rant", thus my heading above. Eddie has been fighting hard to open the parks in Louisville, Kentucky, and is the individual behind the bill (SB 105) now being considered in the Kentucky Senate. Here, in his words, is why he is fighting so hard....
I want to address the ban on metal detecting. I would like to comment on the Article done on Feb 3 2012. By Channel 11 reporter Maggie Ruper.
The first thing I want to address is the statement made By Assist. Parks Director Marty Storch:” We try not to be confrontational. Has something escalated? I don’t know”.
I have been approached by parks workers three times before the policy, and have been threatened with physical harm personally throwing me out with two witnesses with me at the time, and with being arrested as well. I have been in contact with the parks Security officer (Mr. Mauney) and was told there was no authority from the parks workers to do so. How can the parks not know there is no confrontation? Are they hiding the facts? There was no law or policy at the time.
Storch said they are enforcing Kentucky law. The Kentucky Revised Statute, KRS 164.720 Why did he in part quote it; instead of writing the whole law? Why was the beginning of the law addressing what the law was; left out? ( Entering Rock Shelters) Are the city parks Archaeological sites? Then if they are, how did the city build and dig and bulldoze and backhoe and put in sewer lines and drainage pipes and buildings without getting the permits from the state? Were they not designed to recreate in, to bring the community together, and build a unity from all walks of life? Is it legal to leave off part of a law to make it look like we are law breakers? Why was this particular law used anyway?
As used in KRS 164.705 to 164.735, unless the context otherwise requires:
1. “Archaeological site” means any place where articles of value in the scientific study of historic or prehistoric human life and activities may be found, such as mounds, earthworks, forts, mines, burial grounds, graves and village or camp sites of Indians or any aboriginal race or pioneers.
2. “Object of antiquity” means a ruin, monument, relic, bone deposit, artifact or any product of human workmanship of Indians or any aboriginal race or pioneers. “Department” means the Department of Anthropology of the University of Kentucky.
How all of a sudden did our public parks become Archaeological sites?
Storch says”We’re just trying to preserve and protect (our) parks”.
My question is: Who are (we)? What are you preserving them for, and who are you protecting them from? Are not the parks for the public? They do not belong to the parks (WE) Department! These parks are used by the public, and not to be mandated to; from the (WE). The parks dept. has rules ( Chapter 42 Parks and Cemeteries) for the public use. Why try to place a policy using the KRS 164.720 to suit your personal endeavor, and to displace people who use metal detectors? Shame on you!!!
Why did you make a policy, make our children criminals, and turn off tourism to our cities? What is wrong with our children going to a tot lot and find a coin with a metal detector? What is wrong with parents or grandparents taking time to go to the parks, and having a family to play together? Shame on you!
The parks dept. has used the statement that we are saving the parks for future generations. Which generation do you give permission to us the parks? My grandfather is passed away. My father is passed away I am now the oldest of my generation and I have a son and a grandson. Pick out one of these as I would like to have the freedom to use (our) parks before I pass on! Shame on you!
Why was the policy put in force anyway?
I will tell you why. Mr. Heitz and I talked on the phone before the policy was put in and I asked what was the real reason for the push to get us out of the parks and his answer was “because of you”. I asked what that meant? Mr. Heitz said “It’s because you went over my head” and went to the Mayor and also went to the State as well” I admitted I had done that. He said because I had done that He was going to put in a policy to stop me. He did that in Feb. 2009 Shame on you Mr. Heitz for using your office for personal reasons! Why don’t you check out” Color Of Office” to see what law you have broken!
The parks have been razed and rebuilt so many times that if there were any relics or antiques it would be a miracle if any have survived the equipment that have been in the parks over the years. Please reconsider your stance against the public.
There is no law in Kentucky or in Kentucky Parks against metal detecting. I stood before the Senate Committee to find out and the Senate committee confirmed that. That is a fact! The public has certain rights for the persuit of happiness and no one has judicail rights to prevent that. Check out “Color of Law” Our rights have been violated by the officials of this cities and you don’t seem to get it!
The public has a right to know !
Thanks once again to Scott Clark, a.k.a "Pocketspill", for sharing the following. Scott is a detectorist living in the Lexington, Kentucky area, and is very active there fighting the parks issue in Louisville. He's also a member of the Central Kentucky Research and Recovery Team (also in Lexington). Please note this article was written in 2007, but it's contents are an indication of how well the truce between the archaeologist and the detectorist is working in the UK.
Scott also has a terrific blog/website, and I recommend you check it out and add it to your "favorites" Lots of good info. Just click here.
Received the following link from my friend Scott Clark, and thank him. Let's try to act immediately on this article and post comments. Just look below the blurb and share your thoughts. Please be courteous when you respond....
You've heard me say how much I miss detecting back home, as in New Jersey, and this best describes why..... The first Google Earth photo is where I used to live, close to the intersection of Springhill Road and Horseshoe Bend, Kingwood Township, New Jersey. The second photo is where I live now. Can you understand why I feel this way now?
Finally decided to sell my 1796 large cent coin, and posted in on Ebay. I was somewhat leery, but after reading how auction houses had put the screws to a few others I decided this was the best route. At least I had some control over it. I set a minimum price based on what I had seen other similiar coins like this sell for, and was not disappointed. I wound up somewhere in the middle of the range...
John Winter's blog has become one of those I check well over ten times a day in hopes that a new entry has been posted. I found out, after talking with him today, that he actually times his uploads to the precise second. That is when he finishes his blurb he saves it, stays up late, and watches the clock until it's exactly one second past midnight his time (one second past 6pm my time) then hits the launch button. Jeezus, only the Brits could be that anal....
Nonetheless John's latest entry is another interesting story, and one to be added to my "Who We Are" link. John's ability to share a story like this is unique and I can only wish to become that kind of writer. Of course now that he has allowed me to share his story I owe him a sloe gin and lemonade....his choice of drink.
The following has been in all the newspapers and on all the various newshows. Will be interesting to follow this effort as it progresses.....
Apparently there was a minor glitch on the Taskforce site concerning the ability to email all the various senators and representatives in Alabama...this has now been fixed. If you wish to send off a letter supporting HB54 and Senate SB81, click here
Received the following information from Danny Brown, editor of the Pelican Pouch, newsletter of the Pelican Relic and Recovery Association. Nice story, nice ending, and another feather in the cap for all of us. Thanks Danny and Robert!
I know everyone loves to hear about a good metal detecting find, but it's even better when you can find something for someone else that is especially near and dear to them...
Yesterday, a Mr. Adams called to ask if I could help find his wife's white gold 2 carat diamond wedding ring that had been lost about a month ago. His young grandchild somehow got his wife's jewelry bag, took it outside, and managed to scatter jewelry all over the large country yard while playing. The couple didn't even know it had happened until the next day when the Mrs. Adams accidentally found a watch and other jewelry in several areas of the yard. Luckily, the couple's steady searching over the next few weeks allowed them to find everything - that is, everything except her 2 carat diamond engagement ring. It had been in the bag with her matching white gold wedding band, which was found during their search. The husband, who is a deputy sheriff, then happened to see one of our club's newsletters and contacted me.
I asked club member Robert DeBate to help, and we went this morning to search for the ring. Mr. Adams had marked areas in the yard where the other jewelry had been found, and had even gridded the area with string. Unfortunately, one large area had been used as a burn pile area both before and after the ring had been lost. It was mostly bare dirt and contained a good deal of metallic trash.
Robert put a small coil on his Fisher 1266 and dived into the trashy area. I decided to give my very old and trusty Golden Sabre with notch discrimination a try. I took the matching wedding band and notched it within the accept mode. That would allow me to hear ONLY the ring. I began at the edge of the search area and worked the grid pattern toward the burn area. Reaching that area in about 10 minutes, I got a loud signal just about in the middle of the burn area. I looked at the ash-covered ground, but didn't see anything at first. Then waving the detector over the spot, I came to barely make out the outline of a black circle in the ashes. It was the ring, completely blackened from a fire, but otherwise in perfect shape.
Needless to say, Mrs. Adams was thrilled, as were Robert and I. She said her first order of business was a visit to the jeweler to get the ring cleaned and polished back to its original look. She and her husband will attend the club's next meeting to show off the ring, and issue an official thank you to the club and our hobby. The ring will be a feature in our February newsletter.
Below I have attached some photos. The first photo is of the blackened ring. The large stone on the top is 1-1/3 carat. with shoulder and side diamonds on both sides that bring the total weight to 2 carats. The second photo is Mrs. Adams holding the ring, and the third photo is of me, a very happy and satisfied hunter, holding the ring.
I can only hope that you enjoyed your day as much as Mr. and Mrs. Adams, Robert, and I did....
Danny Brown, Pelican Relic and Recovery Association, Baton Rouge, LA.
After working on Danny's post above I started thinking about all the good press we have been receiving, and decided to add a link to Stout Standards called Who We Are. It is a work in progress, but my thought is that if you or your club are having to fight city hall, be it local or on the state level, you will be able to find data here to help in your efforts. I will search through all my postings, and list data I have received concerning the good we have done and continue to do. Things like rebuttal letters, emails, newspaper articles, and correspondence from those that I am in contact with. Basically anything that promotes that area of our pastime that our opponents tend to overlook, forget or ignore. We are a proud group, and we need to let others know.
If you have anything you think will help in this effort, I will be glad to add it here.....let me know! You can find this new link at the top of each page listed as "Who We Are". To check it out quickly click here