The Barford chronicles….

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.

Additional references:

Cultural Property Observer

The Gospel According to St.Paul Barfod



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.



Filed under Metal Detecting

4 responses to “The Barford chronicles….

  1. John H

    Bloody Hell Dick, you’re mellowing! Why, if he’s economic with the truth about metal detectorists, do you believe his whimpering about the safety of his family, if his pic is published, to be Kosher? I have photos of him and of his sidekick. I’m anxious to let anybody who wants them, have them. In fact, some already have Swifty’s pic.
    As I’ve said before, if he’s frightened for his own safety, or that of his family, he should have considered his actions and obnoxious posts before insulting all and sundry. Throw the shyster to the dogs, in the same way he’d throw our hobby, if he could, in the trash can.
    You’ve got him by the balls, don’t let him off the hook!

  2. wintersen

    Dick – you really must learn to ignore the guy and his persistent anti-detectorist propaganda. Like the most annoying and irritable red-inflamed spot he has managed to take hold and get under your skin.

    Prick or squeeze and the release of the malignant foul smelling pus will provide only temporary relief. The resultant Barford Badness you release will propagate and infect other areas with evil, more powerful and nasty pulsating boils.

    I know it’s difficult to ignore, but you must. Ask yourself if it is worth all the hassle and angst, especially when it is beginning to affect your health and well being? Now that you’ve had your say, kick the guy into touch and get on with your life. He’s not fekin worth it!

    I’ll sit back now and wait for the Waffler from Warsaw to reply with all guns blazing. He will demand my head on a platter, denounce my writings, pour scorn on my theories, but what do I care. I shall read what he has to say, smile, have another Pinot (large) and get on with what life I have left. I don’t think I’ll be replying!

    And yes … I also have that picture. 🙂

    • John, he is not affecting my health…..but he is affecting our pastime with his ongoing, one sided bullshit, and I will respond accordingly. . He nicely ignored John’s recent Malamute Saloon post about the convicted arkie, but then finds a link he likes on mine, and because it fits his purposes, he puts it out there. While he is indeed no better than a pimple on my ass I will pass on your remedy.

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