Dear Mr. Barford….

Not sure if any of you have been following this ongoing battle of words, but I have responded to Mr. Barford’s latest comments (which, if you are interested, you can read here). It will surely mean another anti-detecting  tome from him, but I intend to ignore him for a while. It’s so tiresome pissing in the wind….


Dear Mr. Barford,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and beliefs on my blog. I know how busy you are….

I choose not to bore you with a lengthy reply. I actually have a family life, and have things to do today. I know that might be hard for you to understand.  Hope you will forgive.

Let me begin with one of your statements….

“I do not think anyone has a “hatred” of “those of us who own metal detectors”. (note the insertion there of “us” who own metal detectors). I for example  have no issues with those who use them in airports, schools or government offices, I have no issue with looking for lost change or jewelry in the sand of tourist beaches,  their use in gold seeking or meteorite hunting in the desert, or those that use them as part of a systematic archaeological survey.”

First, I appreciate the fact that YOU, out of the goodness of YOUR heart, have given permission to allow all the above detector uses, but YOU, thankfully,  are not the final say in how “those of us” who own detectors can pursue our interests.

Next, if I understand you correctly (which according to you, I never do), what you do not approve of is anyone owning a metal detector finding anything other than  those items you listed above, no matter if they are doing it legally (i.e. with permission of the landowner, etc.) Here again, this is not your decision to make,  and frankly none of your business.

Why are such random discoveries by detectorists not appreciated? Does that not offer you and the rest of the archaeological community an opportunity to perhaps  explore further and learn more? Does that not contribute to your country’s historical heritage?

You also say “What I absolutely detest (and what this web resource is about) are the lies, deceits, evasions, deflections, false logic, and mental short  cuts promulgated by almost everyone engaged in supporting and encouraging artefact collecting in any form”.

Well, once again, who are YOU to determine what is  deceit, evasion, deflections, false logic, etc., and please, I really don’t care either about your pedigree,  your papers, your past work, or your  “holier than thou” attitude.

I know you can reference instances, where artifacts have been stolen, exported, sold, etc., and are there bad guys out there? Well, of course!  There are good and bad in every field, even the within the archaeological community. There are also a whole lot of decent, honest people as well, and they have the right  to pursue their pastime, and the right to dream of finding that one treasure that just might change their life for the better. The odds are heavily against  it, but they do indeed have that right!

Lastly, Mr. Barford, archaeologists will never, ever find all that is decaying and rotting in the ground, especially sitting on their ass, waiting for a  government grant and you know it. What bothers you and Mr. Swift is that others are out there, enjoying themselves, participating in a pastime they love, and  every once in a while they get a few good headlines. I can understand how that must make you feel, but get over it. They deserve it….

Life is much too short Mr. Barford to be so bitter. Lighten up, smile and enjoy the day. Tomorrow may never come. That’s why I am going out detecting today  with or without YOUR permission.

As always, your good friend from Texas……

Dick Stout


I have sent this to Mr. Barford. Whether or not he shares it on his blog remains to be seen. He is somewhat reluctant to share anything detrimnental to his way of thinking…



Filed under Metal Detecting

2 responses to “Dear Mr. Barford….

  1. Robbie

    This is mostly for Mr. Barford, and his comments about metal detector users.

    Unless an archaeologist has X-Ray vision or a crystal ball, there can only be assumptions of what might be found when excavating. Why would archaeologists be so against detectorists who would be glad to donate their time, so they dig and find items much quicker?

    All detectorists do NOT destroy historic locations (trees, plants, buildings) just to find things to sell for profit or put in a collection. Just as all archaeologists don’t take from what they find at digs, and sell for profit or to add to their collection.

    Why shouldn’t I be allowed to search for coins and jewelry in a public park,school grounds or any other public area? All the detectoristis I know ask permission to search private property, and abide by the code of ethics.

    I don’t know much about the PAS and metal detecting in the UK, so I won’t comment about that anymore. And Mr. Barford, who seems to have limited knowledge of metal detecting and archaeology in the USA, should please do the same.


  2. Paul Barford likes the world to revolve around him. The more he protests the less serious he is taken by the academic world.
    He bounces around the internet looking for his next victim, he can then harass and attack in his blog, then cries foul if someone blogs him back.

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