Guess Who Put Down His Beer?

Howl5Finally, a word from across the pond. Had thought perhaps John  Howland was on one of those extended beer binges, but he claims not. Anyway, here’s John’s 199th contribution to the Malamute Saloon!

You couldn’t make this up!

“I keep coming to your blog but never see information on how to find treasure, and please can you show pictures of what you find,” writes a Stout Standards enquirer. Huh? Pardon me?

It never ceases to astound how some people actually believe there is a shortcut to success in this game. ‘Marcus’, the aforesaid enquirers, might just have well asked, ‘how to play golf,’ or, ‘how to catch bass,’ or ‘how to score with women.’

It also depends on how you define ‘treasure’? For some, it’s finding nickels, Dimes, and quarters. For others it’s uncovering relics, or jewellery; but for many, ‘treasure’ means simply being out there in God’s great outdoors enjoying the hunt and the sense of anticipation and camaraderie treasure hunting with a metal detector engenders.

If you have to ask the question on a blog, ‘how do I find treasure’, you’d be better off selling your metal detector and taking on board trumpeter Louis Armstrong’s advice that, “If you has to ask what jazz is, then you just ain’t got it.”


Richard III, England’s last Plantagenet King –

With due pomp and ceremony, the bones allegedly those of King Richard III (2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485), dug-up on 24 August 2012, under what was believed to be the Church of Grey Friars (now a car-park), are to be laid to rest in Leicester Cathedral. But, are they really his bones? Have archaeologists made history’s most monumental cock-up? Certainly some experts believe so.

Carbon dating tests, according to author Dominic Selwood, date the bones to between 1430 and 1460, and 1412 and 1448. “These dates,” he wrote recently in the Daily Telegraph, “Were then adjusted with a statistical algorithm because he ate a lot of fish, resulting in a new range of 1475 to 1530. Really you might as well stick a finger in the air.”

Selwood remains unconvinced, inasmuch that the expected male-line DNA is not present, meaning that either the bones are not Richard’s, or that the Plantagenet blood line was broken by illegitimacy.

Foremost Richard III scholar, Professor Michael Hicks, calls into question Leicester University’s assertion that a 99.999% certainty exists of the bones being Richard’s, pointing out that all anyone can be sure of is that the bones belong to someone having the same female-line DNA .

Historian, Nigel Jones, takes another tack that even if the bones are Richard’s, there should be no homage or burial ceremony of a Holy nature for a man who he describes as a “psychopathic serial killer who eliminated his imagined enemies: friend and foe, adult and child.”

The infamous ‘Princes in the Tower’ murders were doubtless choreographed by Richard III when he had the young princes, Edward, and Richard, smothered by hired assassins. His equally notable victims include the last Lancastrian monarch, Edward VI, who Richard is reported to have strangled with his bare hands while Edward knelt at prayer.

Others on his murderous shopping list of victims included Lord Hastings; Henry Stafford the 2nd Duke of Buckingham; Lord Rivers, and Sir Richard Grey, among others.

The question that must be considered is can we believe what archaeology tells us, or has this find of bones subsequently attributed the English king, little more than worthless hype posing as fact at a time when archaeology was trailing in the wake of a series of fabulous, headline-grabbing, detector-found hoards.


Is it likely, doubters ask, that archaeologists would gild the lily? Indeed, are their methods accurate? Well, they certainly have ‘form’ on both counts. One has only to look at the Council for British Archaeology’s tacit but shady approval of the now widely-discredited embarrassing ‘guesstimate,’ known as the Artefact Erosion Counter (AEC) , a cocktail of fabrications and falsehood; effectively the modern-day version of past cock-ups such as the Hitler Diaries debacle, and the earlier Piltdown Man fiasco.

Is the heritage safe in the hands of archaeologists? Maybe not, but who guards the guards? Inevitably, archaeology must come brought under greater scrutiny and control rather than allowing the dog’s breakfast of the AEC kind to run wild, thus bringing archaeology into even greater disrepute. Perhaps the PAS needs to be extended to curb the excesses.



“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters”….. Albert Einstein

I’ll see y’all in the bar…



1 Comment

Filed under Metal Detecting

One response to “Guess Who Put Down His Beer?

  1. Show me the money….What I don’t believe you…..I know you know where the next hoard will be found 😜

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