From the Arkie’s Favorite Person…


John Howland takes center stage this time around…


They say ‘Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man’ and when the ‘hour’ came the ‘man’ was there. Recently, Roger Barbrick got all fired up, and took on ‘City Hall’.  This hobby of ours owes him a huge vote of thanks, and we are all the beneficiaries of his tenacity. He recognised a breach in the wall, stepped in and went after the ill-informed local legislators to win a major victory in protecting the future of metal detecting on Massachusetts’ beaches.

Yet again, another piece of arkie-inspired anti-metal detecting legislation was defeated, and yet again, a local authority acting on spiteful partisan prejudice masquerading as ‘evidence’ came seriously unglued.

Roger inspired thousands of detectorists to sign his petition. ‘City Hall’ backed down. Why? Perhaps the elected counsellors realised that thousands of very angry detectorists amounts to thousands of very angry votes that wouldn’t be coming their way. It’s a truism that for every vote lost, TWO have to be won to break even. It’s probably the first time the power of metal detecting votes has been marshalled in this way.

Nevertheless, the depressing element of Roger’s magnificent victory was that it happened in SPITE OF the national detecting organisations (who pocket your cash to supposedly defend your hobby) NOT BECAUSE of them. To me at least, that sounds their death knell.

Nonetheless, just imagine what a committee of ‘Roger Barbricks’ might achieve nationally!

Large ones all round!



If you have any doubts whatsoever about the sanity of some of the more vocal anti-metal detecting archaeo-bloggers’, check out a couple of the more vociferous cess-pits where the outbursts are likely to confirm your suspicions. Here you’ll learn – according to one of the outpatients — that ISIS terrorists are financially supported by anyone who collects coins or relics, which certainly includes metal detectorists. Yep, you read it right!

“The psychosis lurking in this unhinged logic illustrates perfectly the extent of their phobias and the fragile grip these people have on reality. In the terms of their warped logic then, you, your family, and anyone else who supports your hobby, supports terrorism. Arguably what’s more disturbing, is that these people are not getting the counselling they so obviously need.

On the other hand, they could simply be; repugnant, malicious, ignorant, wilfully ill-informed, and certainly ill-mannered specimens of the human race – nutters!



Over on the Peter Tompa’s excellent Cultural Property Observer blog the Washington, DC Attorney poses a question:-

“It’s estimated that there are only approximately 11,000 archaeologists in the United States […] of this small number, only an infinitesimal few seem to be active in lobbying against private and museum collecting, perhaps 50-100 or so.

“So, why all the influence? Could it be because this small group works hand in hand with foreign governments (including most recently the Egyptian military dictatorship) that offer excavation permits? Or that they are joined at the hip with cronies in both the State Department and in US law enforcement? Or that their time and efforts are effectively funded by tax or tuition dollars?  Or that lazy media outlets are all too often ready to take what they say at face value rather than actually check sources? Or, all of the above? “

Er…all of the above Peter!



Some of our critics already know and abide by Mark Twain’s celebrated quote ….

“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please”…

I’ll see y’all in the bar!





Filed under Metal Detecting

10 responses to “From the Arkie’s Favorite Person…

  1. jamie

    LOLOL You crack me up!

    Thank you for an early morning laugh.


  2. Hey Dick you said “Nonetheless, just imagine what a committee of ‘Roger Barbricks’ might achieve nationally!” We don’t have to imagine, we just did! Some of those old fogeys you speak of need to find something else to do other than making themselves look bitter. There is a new guard of detectorists and together we are making strides in the right direction. The “task force” has hardly done anything that I am aware of to this point. They’ve definitely fallen short of what I expected to see from them. You’re correct, we need to come up with an actual committee that is proactive.

    • Rob this post is from John Howland across the pond. You know the one that’s always soused…. I do agree with him however that the national groups need to be more proactive and out front.

      Right now the latest update on the FMDAC site is November 2013 and the WWATS group has now pushed back to July 15th the date for their website update. JMO but any worthwhile group or organization should have a decent website that’s informative and always current.

  3. Whilst I’d happily stake-out all anti-metal detecting arkies over an anthill and smothered in honey, don’t for one minute imagine I’m anti-arkie per se! Look at the superb job that’s being done in the UK with the PAS, despite the insults they too, have to bear from the ‘gobby lobby’. Look at the many friends we have in the US, and in the likes of forward thinking types such as Lisa MacIntyre especially.

    Co-operation and mutual trust is moving forward and that’s precisely what the ‘anti’s’ are trying to derail. Just take a look at their blogs and websites – pure bitterness, spite, and sixth-form politics.

    In a last desperate throw of the dice to smear you and this hobby — and to some extent any arkie who supports collecting — these minority weirdoes are embarked on a gutter campaign. They are mostly anti-US, anti-UK, anti-Semitic, anti-democratic, with an axe to grind to compensate for their failures in life. Ghastly people. But like death and taxes, they’ll always be with us even though on the loony fringe of things.

  4. Bob Sickler

    Metal Detecting simply is a recreation like mountain biking, hiking, and all the others that play in the dirt. Fact is we as detectorists (at least the responsible ones) leave public and private lands better than we find them. Too bad we can’t all save our dug trash and collect it nationally to dump at the front doors of our detractors.

    When you get one person like Roger affronted who intelligently does something about it the right way, it attracts like-minded individuals to join in, then we have power. Nothing like a little public scrutiny of those would restrict us to change minds. If more were done on this kind of public level in the form of petitions and 6 o’clock news, we won’t need organizations. There seems to be only a select few in any organization I’ve ever belonged to that actually do the work. Too many people like to sit back and see others do it for them. Roger did the work, but this time we all joined the fight. The internet and blogs like Dick’s make this possible. Hats off to Roger, Dick and John!

    • Well said Bob and thanks for the kind words. I must say however that Roger made sure his petition was publicized widely, not just here. The number of signatures was outstanding.

      I don’t know what the answer is…individuals or organizations, but we better wake up because these local and state issues seem to be popping up all over the place. I am still wondering what happened to Cook County and Louisville?

  5. Lisa MacIntyre

    Nice, as usual, John. I truly do not understand those that choose to infuriate and isolate instead of education and compromise. Ego can be a powerful aphrodisiac. Maybe that is my problem. When it comes to archaeology I have no ego. I became one, honestly, for the love of uncovering the past. I know, without a doubt, there are people out there that know more and have done more. Why would we not want to share in this wealth of information? Why would we not want to join forces, if for noting else, to ensure information is recorded and shared? I see the point of both sides. Not everyone is a responsible detectorist. Just like not every arkie is responsible. So instead of working together to ensure things are done properly each side shuts down the other? Each side slings insults and rears that ego to say they are better. Absurd! You could teach me as much as I could teach you.

  6. Lisa:

    Well said, just don’t expect any Christmas Cards from Europe!

    Great strides have been made and the UK’s Portable Antiquities Scheme is a world leader. It is so successful that the tiny but malicious, ‘Gobby Lobby,’ is working overtime to undermine it, along with the people who work in it, the British Museum who administers it, and to insult the Field Liaison Officers(mostly arkies themselves) who operate it.

    One prominent ‘Gobbyist’ is known to us both. Unlike you, he is cagey about his qualifications, employment history, and who fires the bullets made by those with an even lesser grip on reality, but who’re still fired with the same hatred of detectorists and arkies who collaborate. As with any undertaking, odd-ball moaners, whingers, and opponents, are always be present. Thankfully their latest tirades claiming Middle East terrorism is part financed by coin and relic collectors, puts the ‘Gobbies’ out with the birds for all to see.

    I guess you are amazed that no-one from your profession has slapped-down these clowns who’ve served only to tarnish all arkies as having the patina of anti-Semitism, anti-US sentiments, pro-authoritarianism, and an anti-democratic outlook, all of which pales by comparison to what they have said about me!! Perhaps it’s simply best to ignore them? We need to move on and to leave these desperate people whining in the gutters.


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