Bending over can be dangerous….

I continue to be amazed at how many detectorists think we should continue to bridge the gap, and find a way to work with archaeologists. Not that’s it is  not a noble effort, it’s just one that is a waste of time.

Archaeologists have no desire to work with you or me, and only see us as amateurs and impediments to their efforts. You see they have been to universities, have  diplomas, and because of that, have more credibility when it comes to “playing in the dirt”. All we can boast is years of in-the-field” experience. Likewise we apparently  have no morals, or scruples….this from a Texas A&M website:

“Treasure Hunting, always shallow, no matter how low treasure hunters can sink”

“You can say expert-treasure hunter instead of burglar if you like. Some of them do. It’s all the same to us!”

Likewise another page on this site provides a little more insight into their  fondness for us…..

When will we wake up and realize that further attempts at being accepted or understood are futile, and frankly they love it when we come groveling, looking  for acceptance. Yes I know about the few joint efforts in the past, and frankly each of those was nothing more than token on their part, or to be more to the point,  they were throwing us crumbs (“when you receive a signal, call one of us and we will mark the spot…do not attempt to remove the object“)

Years ago when I started the FMDAC I was intent on becoming friends with the archaeological community. I wrote to the various organizations, subscribed to a  couple of their publications, and we even had a couple of archaeologists speak at our Atlantic City events. Their seminars wound up being nothing more than a  promotion of their profession, and bored the hell out of everyone. No mention at all about a coming together of parties (despite my request and their acceptance  that it be the topic). That was forty years ago, and nothing at all has changed today.

If you feel that continued attempts to work with them will eventually prove fruitful, have at it. If you, do be careful what you say, what you agree to or what you sign.  I wish you luck, and please let me know how things work out. Just remember I warned you….

After pissing into the wind a few times, you learn quickly to turn around…..



Received an email from Keith Wills, and he states that while he is not 100%, he is feeling better, and thanks all those who sent him cards and emails.  He also offered the following:

Keith Wills

I am now the vice-president of WWATS as Wayne “NuggetBrain” Peterson has been moved up to President. Because of my illness I have passed on this position to Wayne, and it  has been approved by the board. Wayne is very experienced and will lead WWATS to many successes in the future. WWATS is under reconstruction at this time to make the   the organization more effective in defending your rights. Please checkout the and become a Charter Member.I also want to alert you to our biggest outing yet, February 4th-8th 2013, in Congress, Arizona. It’s going to be unlike any event you have ever attended. You will come  away with a better understanding of where we are today, and you will learn more about our pastime in the process. It will also be an opportunity to see the latest and newest  equipment for prospecting and treasure hunting. Yours truly will be there doing seminars.

For more on this big event, click   HERE!



Was asked to be a guest on The American Digger’s Relic Roundup, December 3rd, and unless they flag me for obscenity or something similiar I will be there. I will  do my best to make it a good show, and hope you will all tune in. Ask me anything you like….I probably won’t answer, but what the hell, go for it….

Anita & Butch Holcombe/American Digger Magazine

Actually I am very honored that they asked me, and while I don’t get out much anymore, I will share my fuzzy thoughts and ideas, and hopefully in the process help you  be a better detectorist. Keep in mind however that I am not a technological wizard, but more of an old fart who has been there, done that, and learned the hard way.

Thanks Butch and Anita for the invite….hope I do well by you, you are two terrific individuals….



Filed under Metal Detecting

8 responses to “Bending over can be dangerous….

  1. John H

    Bending over can certainly be dangerous, especially when on board ship and invited to look at the Golden Rivet, but that’s another story! There’s nothing wrong with working with arkies, in fact it’s a great benefit for them to use experienced users. The problem is, that metal detecting IS NOT archaeology, having its own methodology, terminology, and ethics and until they get this through thier thick skulls and ACCEPT there is another equally valid way of looking at the past, even collecting, nothing will change. Metal detecting is about recovering casual losses across the spectrum of time. It’s about collecting, preserving, even selling, those finds. Our hobby is an HONOURABLE undertaking and in the UK, detector finds are the basis academic study (via the PAS) and because of this, some on the loony fringe of archaeology have gone beserk.

    This ESTABLISHED hobby of ours is in a similar position to angling, shooting, and hunting, where some of its more vocal opponents are, shall we say, a few coins short of a hoard, proven by the propaganda they pump out. If you compare thier language and tactics in the run-up to pre-WW2 Germany, all you have to ask yourself: Would I want people such as these in power?

    It’s all a bit like asking Jews, freemasons, gypsies, and communists to work alongside the SS!

  2. John H

    If the haul from your last outing is anything to go by! You’re not surely on the side of our mutal friend in Eastern Europe? Hahahah

  3. John H

    So that’s a round of single malts?????

  4. Although our magazine encourages professionals archeologists and amateur diggers working together, we are still treated with contempt and I am growing weary of that one-way street. The archeologists are hurting themselves and history because of sheer ego. For the most part we are legitimate salvage archeologists, saving bits of history as we can before they are lost forever. If the professionals real interest was in learning more about the past, they would work with us, no matter how begrudgingly. Instead they choose to treat us as outlaws. No problem, but they should not expect cooperation from us anymore. We have done our best to help them on their digs, only to be treated as scum. Even those who use us to help them are reluctant to stand up for us because of harassment from their colleagues. Enough! I suggest that the only ones who should be helped in the future should be those willing to stand up for us and our hobby. It’s simple, archies: you help us, we’ll help you. Otherwise, why should we give bullets to someone intent on shooting us down?
    BTW: Archeologists will only dig if they can profit from it (i.e., a paycheck). How is that different from “treasure hunting”? Not to mention most amateur diggers would recoil at the thought of digging human remains, while many archies jump at the chance. So I must ask: who are the real profiteers and grave robbers?

    • Butch, thanks for taking the time to reply. Your feelings echo mine, and it’s a shame that it’s taken years of trying to finally settle on our position. We will never be on equal footing or even close to it.

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