I first became aware of Paul Barford back in January of this year when a friend emailed me to say that I was becoming world famous, referring to the fact that Mr. Barford had discovered my website, and took exception to a few comments I had made….
After reading his comments, and perusing his blog, it was apparent that he was a “self annointed” savior of the archaeological community, except that I could find very little to back that up. From what I gathered many archaeologists wanted nothing to do with him, and I suspect that might be because he lacked any credible credentials, at least none that I can find.
His blog states “British archaeologist living and working in Warsaw Poland. Since the early 1990s a primary interest has been research on artefact hunting and collecting and the market in portable antiquities in the international context”. No degrees mentioned, no schools listed, just that he is a British archaeologist (in Poland?).
After doing a little investigating, and after talking to other TH’ers, the lack of definitive information could very be because he has a lot of enemies, and listing such information might be useful to them. He is considered a “full time troll” by the treasure hunting, metal detecting community, and his entire life has been spent cruising the internet, looking for anything and everything he can find to share on his blog. Mind you he will only choose those comments or topics that fit his purpose (that of slandering anyone that uses a metal detector), and rarely, if ever, will he link to the “source” site because then anyone reading his comments might see the entire, unedited story.
When you go to his blog (and I encourage you to do that because it’s an example of what happens when people lose touch with reality), be sure to note the number of posts, the dates and times (3,692 posts since 2008). You will see that he has nothing else to do with his day, or for that matter, his life. Note too that there are literally no responses to his posts, because he refuses to share opposing views that are contrary to his beliefs.
I once posted a rebuttal to one of his “anti” detectorist outbursts here on Stout Standards and inserted his photo. I very quickly received an email asking that I take it down because he and his family had been threatened. He also claimed that I somehow stole the photo….I did not. It is out there, and in the possession of others Mr. Barford, and will indeed surface eventually. In any case I took pity on his family and removed the photo.
Over time I discovered that Paul Barford has no friends except a one Nigel Swift (whose photo I also have), who like Barford, has a similar blog, aimed again at all things anti-metal detecting. You may occassionally find a comment from Mr. Swift on Barfords blog, and vice versa….you know the old adage, birds of a feather, etc… I try to understand why they spend their lives looking for material to discredit what it is we do, and I cannot come up with a suitable reason, other than they are lonely, bitter, and vindictive individuals.
Mr. Barford’s first response to my website was when he picked up on a photo of my very good friend Archie Ray kneeling behind some of his many finds. Barford’s response:
“Recently posted on the Stout Standards anti-preservationist metal detecting blog of US metal detectorist Dick Stout there is a photo of a somewhat dated living room decor and heaps of metal detected artefacts, etc.. Note the need to describe the living room (even though I mentioned if was an older photo). Just one of those subtle and obnoxious ways PB has of insulting others.
Then recently he ran true to form again when he talked about the late Ron Scearce, one of John Howland’s friends. Referring to a photo of Mr. Scearce he stated:
“The funny story is published on a blog accompanied by a vintage-looking photo of an old man in a run down conservatory with a grin on his face, and a spade in his hand, and in front of him on the table a scatter of metal detected items. Where did they come from and where are these objects now?” Here again his use of adjectives is obvious……
Again, I urge you all to spend time reading Mr. Barford’s blog postings. It will make you more aware of the kind of people out there looking to curtail your pastime (be sure as well to visit his bosom buddy Nigel Swift’s Hertiage Journal). The pupose of both sites will be obvious to you, and would be comical, if not that the two gentlemen (and I use that word lightly) are obsessed and serious about their hatred for anyone using a metal detector. Not informed mind you, but obsessed and serious. You can try to respond to their posts. but they will most likely not share your comments unless you agree with their views. Funny how that happens…..
Paul Barford visits my blog and website frequently, and has now taken to “cherry picking” a few of my links and topics to suit his needs without revealing the source. Of course that may be because he doesn’t want anyone reading his blog to know how others view him. Understandable of course….
Initially I found him somewhat amusing, but today I have no fondness for the man nor do I pity him any longer. You reap what you sow! There are ways to fight the battle, and still come off as a respected opponent, but for whatever reason he has chosen not to take that route, and as a result is hated and despised by those in metal detecting pastime, along with many in the archeological community. They too view him as off-the-wall, fanatical, and over zealous in his ongoing crusade against the detectorist and the treasure hunter.
Paul Barford, I will not post your photo (at least not yet) out of concern for your family (if you indeed have one other than Nigel Swift). I would suggest you think long and hard about why people despise you so much, if not for your own good, then for the good of your family. They deserve better.
NICE FINDS FROM NEIL IN NEW JERSEY
My friend Neil Schwartz always seems to piss me off, and I will get even with him somehow, someday. His research efforts are impeccable, and his finds back them up…. here’s an example.
Be sure to check out Neils website West Jersey Detecting, it’s a great one.