Paranoid in Poland…

Well my good friend Paul Barford, a.k.a Warsaw Wally, is crying both crocodile tears and foul at the same time with his most recent blog post titled Metal Detectors on Sale. Seems he’s equating the number of detectors for sale on Ebay to an ever-increasing number of new participants. Wondering if it ever occurred to him that a few of these detectors are for sale because detectorists have dropped out?

Preceding that post he went on about another make-believe theory, the AEC, or what is known to he and his bosom buddy Nigel Swift as the Artefact Erosion Counter…. a wild ass, “see if it sticks on the wall” idea or method of counting how many artefacts UK tekkies don’t report. If you are to believe this cockamamie concept everyone with a detector is a night hawk and a thief.

This latest effort to make changes is because more and more academics are now embracing the PAS and the idea that working with detectorists is the way to go. 

Poor Paul….


Hot As Hell!

How are you dealing with the heat? Here in my neck of the woods we’re setting records. Yesterday it was 108, today they’re projecting 110 and that’s the temp, not the heat index. Welcome to Texas…


An older post from 2016…


Next, I want to respond to an email from Don, who thanked me for my blog and wished he could be a professional TH’er too…(picture me ROFLMAO).

Sorry Don, I am NOT a professional treasure hunter/detectorist, and I don’t know anyone who is. I did work for Garrett at one time, but my job title was “director of marketing” and my daily task was to promote (okay push) and sell metal detectors, not use them. Sure I did get to field test products and travel some, but the bottom line was literally the bottom line, as in profit, as in dollars and cents.  I was not being paid to dig coins or relics.  So now you know the rest of the story……

This post from 2014 is appropriate here….thank you Stan Shoemaker.

A Professional Treasure Hunter…to be or not to be!

On his Detecting US History Facebook page my good friend Stan Shoemaker posted the following:

“I’d like to take a moment to share how I feel about a few things about this hobby. First and foremost it’s strictly a hobby to me, to get me out and about in the woods or outdoors in general.  I personally have never met or even heard of a Pro detectorist. I’ve met and detected with folks who conduct themselves in a professional manner, but are merely enthusiasts the same as I.

Stan “the man” Shoemaker

I feel Detecting has been evolving as of late with new technologies available such as smart phone’s, sports camera’s, GPS and so on, but at its core it’s still just a pastime. There are those that spend a little more time than others doing it for various reasons but are still just enthusiasts like everyone else. I bring this up because I see so many folks claiming to be professional detectorists, and my question is, what qualifications does one have to have to be a professional detectorist? Is it years in the hobby? That can’t be because I know folks that have done it 20 years, that I wouldn’t be on the same property with just so I won’t get blamed for the damage they leave behind. Is it the amount of finds? Quality of finds? That can’t be it because I also know folks that have detected for less than a year, that have had mind-blowing finds.

My point is, as a long time detectorist recently said, it’s not “rocket science”! This is in no way meant to slight anyone in the hobby but meant more so to warn new detectorists that anyone who claims to be a pro in this hobby, and you haven’t seen them on TV, to be careful following where these folks may lead you. Being humble and asking questions will take you further than following those that think they know it all. I’ve been an enthusiastic detectorist for many years and still ask questions and still learn many new things about the hobby daily. Just what’s been on my mind…..”

Stan Shoemaker


First let me say that I agree with Stan. Today’s technology aside, the internet has made it easy for a lot of people to claim professional status, not just in this pastime but in every walk of life.  Why I bet you didn’t know I was a “professional lawn mower guy” in my younger years and while I’ve done my best to hide this, I am also now a “professional wine drinker”.  No need to congratulate me…I am a humble guy.  In fact I am a top-notch, “professional humble guy”.

I have to say in all my 40 years of detecting I have never met anyone who was a professional, in he sense that they made their living swinging a coil.  Now there are certainly professional “treasure hunters” out there who have scads of money, investors and equipment, but even they are few and far between. They are also almost always heavily indebted to investors who seek a quick and reasonable return on their money.

Anyway you too can become a professional ‘anything you like’ online. I mean hell go for it.  Be whatever your little heart desires, but it might be nice if you backed your claims with statistics, not photos, videos or bullshit. As Joe Friday used to say “Just the facts, ma’am”….

Now because I doubt all this doesn’t make it so. If you just happen to be a professional detectorist, let me know and please share your story. I and I know many others would love to hear it. I mean you just might be able to entice a few others to quit their day job and join you. In the mean time I would urge you all to take what you see (as well as what you hear) on the internet with a grain of salt.

One more secret…were you aware that I am also a “professional archaeologist”?  Yep!  In fact Wally and I were in the same fraternity….Phi Kappa Crappa!




Filed under Metal Detecting

8 responses to “Paranoid in Poland…

  1. They’re all running for cover now, with egg all over their chops, following the anti-metal detecting brigade’s matinee idol, Sam Hardy’s ersatz data and methodology having been roundly and academically savaged by six eminent internationally-respected archaeology scholars: –

    “As Hardy states, ‘metal detecting is far more destructive than archaeological excavation’ (2017, p. 2). We argue that such a categorical statement is fundamentally wrong.”

    Make no mistake…that’s humiliation par excellence and fully deserved, with the ’eminent six’ proving what this hobby has been claiming for years.

  2. Can’t believe that…some do! Don’t forget, what comes our way first usually ends up in the colonies. Anyway, there’s a few Brits who read and enjoy your stuff.

    Stay cool!

  3. Jeez, ain’t that the truth…some don’t even pay their debts….twenty bucks. Ya follows ma drift?

    I know that when (in AC) she said “how would you like somethin’ you’ve never had before” and I said “what is it this time cholera” and you said, “loan me 20 bucks, I’ll chance it, pay yer back later” I was shocked.! Shocked!

  4. wildheartwandrs

    Covered the gamut in this one, Dick. Warsaw Wally obviously needs to get a grip. Has he ever considered that some people are simply selling an old machine to upgrade to a new one?

    As for the heat, just remember: According to that one yahoo, global warming is caused by…wait for it…body heat! And no, sadly, I’m not joking.

    Stan’s comments are spot on. Webster’s defines “professional” as someone who makes at least part of their living, aka money/compensation/payment, at whatever endeavor is being claimed. In that sense, there are actually a few folks out there who could claim this. And — not oddly, to those of us who know them — they are NOT the people claiming to be pros. I tell people I employ professional ethics when I hunt, but I’ve never claimed to be a professional metal detectorist (nor will I ever), even though I made about 10-15% of my income so far from my metal detecting for beginners guidebook. That whole claim is meant to boost egos and nothing more. There’s no “there” there.

    And if you haven’t ever tasted Stan’s peach moonshine, you are missing one of the true earthly delights. Thanks for the great post.

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