Nothing New in Wally World!


On Thanksgiving I shared the following great find on the Stout Standards Twitter and Facebook page…..

Pembrokeshire Treasure Hunter Unearths Celtic Chariot


Of course Warsaw Wally, a.k.a.Paul Barford, wannabe archaeologist, was upset and had to find something to discredit the find. Then again it’s in his DNA to piss and moan about anything and everything a detectorist finds or does so nothing new there.

Gobby Gossip and Dodgy Photos of Chariot Burial

I found this particular excerpt pretty much sums up how he sees things:

A metal detectorist chastises me:Paul […] The site would probably have remained undiscovered if not found by the amateur. Can’t you give the lad just a tiny bit of credit?

Not really. The point is not to discover site after site that there are no resources to deal with properly when the only threat to them are blokes with metal detectors. Get rid of the free for all that metal detectorists enjoy to engage in collection-driven stripping of the archaeological record and this problem would not exist. How many more chariot burials does this generation need? There’s the so-called ‘Arras culture ‘ to keep us busy. How many can we cope with?


Yes indeedy just leave that stuff in the ground until ‘someone’ has time to get around to it. Anything you say Wally!!

It’s interesting that Wally (Barford) continually complains about the PAS and UK tekkies yet moved to Poland years ago. He also refuses to share his credentials and one has to wonder why? Fortunately the majority in the archaeological community ignore him (along with his bosom buddy Heritage Harry). They are however always good for a laugh, just never try to share your thoughts or argue with either of them. It’s a waste of time and it’s time better spent finding the next chariot or something for them to complain about.



Jump in everybody, the water’s fine?

I used to think that the more of us there were the more powerful our voice, the more organized we’d be and the harder it would be to discriminate against us. I was wrong. Seems now that by advertising our finds, our adventures and enticing others to join our ranks we’ve created a problem of overkill or too many looking for too little.

It started with reality shows like American Diggers, Dig Wars, etc., and now it’s the self promoting YouTube videos and they’re symptomatic of another problem we’re not ready to address….the law of diminishing returns. Definiton – “A point at which the level of profits or benefits gained is less than the amount of money or energy invested.”  Folks we’re losing ground, literally!

I mention this (again) because I went to scout out a site to take my grandson detecting.  It was a small park that I had hunted before and one which on occasion would give up a silver coin or two. Now it sports a sign that says, among other things, “NO METAL DETECTORS”.  A sign that wasn’t there a few months ago. Now I’m well aware that this is just one park, one site but it’s not a “one of” kind of problem. It’s happening all over and the answer seems to be “meh, I’ll find some other place”. Yup, some other place to use your shovel, leave unsightly holes, prompting another sign.

So damn glad I got to enjoy this pastime in its heyday!!



An oldie from November 2013

The Cost of our Toys

I was bitten with the treasure hunting bug eons ago and I became obsessed with it to the point where I lived, ate and slept it.  I thought every beep was silver, and thankfully in the beginning a lot of them were.  I subscribed to and read every metal detecting magazine on the market and then read them a second time.

I continually read the owner’s manual, just to make sure I hadn’t  missed anything, kept my detector ready to go and spent countless evenings passing metal items over the search coil so I could better understand their sounds.I likewise adjusted my work schedule whenever I could so that I could squeeze in a few minutes of detecting, and started keeping very detailed records, recording what coins I had found, the dates, mint marks, the location, the weather, what detector I was using and yes, if I could remember, even the settings. I would then study these notes as  if they were dead sea scrolls. I was obsessed and enjoyed every damn minute of it.

Over the past 39 years I found a helluva lot of coins, some jewelry, a few relics, met lots of great people, got to travel to places I had only read about and spent a couple of years working for a major manufacturer. Today?  I’m older, fatter, lazier and enjoy watching you all do those very same things.  It’s a changing of the guard I suppose. Oh I still enjoy detecting, just at a less frequent and slower pace.

The investment was minimal and the returns great….

As I visit the various detecting websites, blogs and forums I can’t help but notice how obsessed everyone is today with their equipment. I know, you’ve heard me harp on this before but it baffles the hell out of me.  Detectors, headphones, coils, pinpointers, swingey thingey’s, cameras and so on.  I just wonder where in the hell you get all your money for this stuff, and if you wouldn’t be better off if you spent more time looking for places to use it.  Kinda like “all dressed up and nowhere to go“. I understand your exuberance…just that I never had the deep pockets you all seem to have.

I look at the price of today’s detectors, pinointers, headphones, diggers, shovels, cameras and I am amazed. In the dark ages all I had to worry about was whether my detector had fresh batteries in it and where I would take it.  I had a cheap pair of headphones, a screwdriver and carpenter’s apron, all of which probably cost me around $25.  I was also pretty damn good at recovering a coin without leaving a trace and miracles of miracles, I didn’t have a pinpointer.  Okay, okay, so maybe once or twice I had to replace the apron.

I am guessing here, but I am willing to bet that most of you reading this have spent “at least” $1,000 on your equipment…if not more.  I also understand that times have changed, and that there’s a zillion other pastimes where one can spend the same amount of money and more.  I also think that Tiger Woods would still shoot a pretty good round of golf with a set of clubs from Walmart.

A couple Nike quotes come to mind…

“You don’t always get what you wish for, you get what you work for”   and  “just do it!”




Filed under Metal Detecting

32 responses to “Nothing New in Wally World!

  1. Bob Sickler

    Dick… Is that the “Archeologists are number one symbol”? 🙂

  2. Ed B.

    Regarding Jump in, the water’s fine, and the swelling of the ranks of people who are getting into this hobby. Not only are there too many but the crowd of newbies in many cases makes me cringe. I watch some of their dumb YouTube videos and can’t believe the size of the holes they dig, or how much they’re amazed at finding a zinc penny with their “NOX”. Some/many are just going out there with virtually no knowledge of what they’re doing. Then I watched my candidate for “biggest dope of the bunch”….don’t remember his name but he was hunting and using his pinpointer. Suddenly, the thing started making a “funny” noise and he had no idea why. Then he turned and “spoke” to the audience asking for someone watching to contact him if they knew what might be wrong with his pin pointer and how he’s only used it for a month and it’s not working properly. This latest metal detecting “expert”/ video star had no idea that it was beeping in a way to let him know that the battery needed to be replaced. You can’t make this stuff up !

    • Ed you’d have to know the “small” park I’m talking about to understand….I’m pissed about it.

      • Ed B.

        There’s a small park a few miles from my home and as you enter there’s a sign that says “Metal Detectors Prohibited In The Park”. A sign of the times…..

      • Yup, it seems they no longer use the “no digging” term and specifically target us now…sad.

    • john taylor

      Yes!..I am constantly amazed at the number of people who have “discovered” the hobby, yet as I attempt to stay “engaged” in it by actually hunting for stuff, I continue to be perplexed by the fact that I see absolutely “NO ONE” in the field! (w.t.f!) I say to myself where did all these supposedly new “recruits” go?..honestly,I travel all over (due to the fact) I am able to do so, (retired) don’t run into anybody, which I have to admit I don’t mind at all (less competition )but I digress. Wherever they are(maybe on you tube in their own back yards?) is a darn good place for them since they are NOT tearin’ up real estate getting sites closed down!


  3. njfella007

    I believe the shovel thing is a false flag. Thankfully, while I havent gotten booted from too many places over the years, at the few I have, sometimes I was using a lesche and sometimes I was using a digger. Other hunters have told me the same. The bigger issue is NOT filling in one’s holes, regardless of what implement is used. However, IMO, the NUMBER ONE reason for the bans is thus…

    There’s simply too many of us now, and the added visability forces municipalities into having to address the issue, which they didnt have to in the 70s & 80s, when they just looked the other way because it was only an odd ‘eccentric’ or two they’d come across every so often.

    Due to our ever-growing presence, coupled with suspicious behavior calls to the police, the occassional unfilled holes that are left behind, and other factors, it backs officials into a corner, and pretty much forces their hands into instituting all types of ridiculous ordinances.

    To use an analogy, look at what’s going on with the current immigration matter. For many years people have been coming here illegally. 99% of those never met with any type of penalty. But now you have CARAVAN fulls looking to come in by the thousands. Uh oh! Since the numbers are becoming greater, and their visability has increased 1,000 fold…

    You guessed it…the entire issue is suddenly under the microscope, and you know precisely how it’s going to end.

    Once something benign & harmless starts to become a centerpiece of controversy, most of the time, that’s the beginning of the end. A few examples…

    Gold panning has been outlawed in many states out west.

    Several NJ towns banned trick or treating past 8pm this year, because residents said it’s a nuisance.

    In certain townships throughout the country, kids actually need to obtain permits to operate a lemonade stand!

    Again, once concerns or objections are raised over a matter (regardless of how trivial), the debates begin, and the bans & restrictions are sure to follow.

    The old saying “There’s strength in numbers” isnt always the case. In fact, those numbers can oftentimes lead to ruin.

    • “The old saying “There’s strength in numbers” isnt always the case. In fact, those numbers can oftentimes lead to ruin….”

      Right on the money Joe and who’s doing anything about it? My guess is there won’t be much of a metal detecting pastime five, ten year from now.

    • njfella007

      *Edit: In my previous post I meant to say that gold DREDGING has been banned, not gold panning. Though, the way things are going, I wouldn’t be surprised if panning was too far behind either.

      And John brought up another good example of an innocent hobby which has been villified because of its dramatic growth surge coupled with the few idiots who ruin it for everyone else, drone flying.

      As to what can be done, not sure anything can at this point. Money aside – which I believe is the best form of protection – due to the law of diminishing returns we’ve been speaking about, would it even pay? This is just my opinion, but it would kind of be like putting $5,000 worth of repairs into a $1,500 car. Nonsensical.

      I am by no means a pessimist. I don’t think the hobby is totally doomed here in the U.S. I believe it will carry on for a good while to come, albeit in a more restricted capacity around the country. But without a doubt, the best years have definitely passed us by.

      I am glad to be in what I call the 3rd wave or generation of this hobby, which I am sure will be the last good/productive window in this pursuit.

      If I was a detectorist 20 or 30 years from now, I’d exclusively hunt beaches, or pack my bags and move overseas. Those are the only bright spots I can forsee on the horizon.

  4. There’s idiots in every hobby, pastime, or undertaking, even archaeology, who balls it up for everyone else. Look at drone flying. It’s a fun and harmless pastime, yet some of their number fly their drones in and around commercial airports endangering aircraft.

    The answer to why Wally lives in Poland can be found in the Preface of his tome about the history of the Slavic peoples. It makes, in my view, stomach-turning reading.

    Loved that comment about the pinpointer mysteriously sounding off.


    Dick you have my sympathy. In the UK we aren’t allowed to dig in the local parks due to local bye laws. It’s a shame because there’s probably a lot of lost change and jewellery to be had. When it comes to places to dig I confess that I embarrass the wife and ask her friends or work colleagues (I have no shame) a number of whom also happen to run farms.(A lot of our farmers scrape by and have second jobs) This has resulted in me obtaining permission on a number of plots of land of varying sizes and more than enough to keep me occupied and for which I’m very grateful.
    If you ever come to the UK I’m sure they wouldn’t mind a guest coming along and I’d be happy to learn from a veteran. :):)

    • John would love to take you up on the offer but I’m afraid overseas travel for me is not going to happen anytime soon. Forgetting the flying time, neuropathy etc., the costs are prohibitive. Having trouble just meeting my monthly obligations as it is.

  6. Yep…I cringe a few times a day with the normal “new member” on our metal detecting FB group with their cheery “We are NEW to the hobby and me and my wife are EXCITED to join in this great hobby and are looking to LEARN about this great hobby!!!” I can immediately see they think they are going to derive some sort of income from this GREAT hobby. Which of course they are not.

    Members that should know better get in the game right away, recommending the newbies buy a $7 Harbor Freight wide-blade garden shovel, a “dig everything” mentality, and a “Welcome To Da’ Hobby!” doormat. I mentioned on a group once that far too many were now in what was originally…and for good reason… a low-key hobby, causing a lot of bad feelings and competition among the practitioners. Of course, one of the regular group “clowns” had to pipe up that they were not afraid of competition…bring it on! So now we have a chariot race, where anything goes…trespassing, night-hawking, impersonation of police officers and power-line workers, and dishonest lines about “…looking for my grandma’s lost wedding ring!” and generally sneaking around. We got one guy who boats in along the shore of a lake, then scuba dives toward the shore underwater, then proceeds to metal detect below private docks, then brags about all the booty he finds, with full-color pictures, while the rest of us law-abiding folk drive away if an area or park is posted or a NO DETECTING sign is planted at the entrance.

    We get people posting a rusty bottle cap, asking if anyone can identify the kind of whisky bottle it came from. Really? I mean really??? If someone finds a SILVER dime nowadays, it seems that the ABC NEWS satellite van is on the scene interviewing the lucky detector operator. Really??? I am also glad I participated in the Golden Age of Metal Detecting…because it’s become the Zinc Age of Metal Detecting currently. I’m off my soapbox now.


    Sorry to hear that Dick. If I find that pot of gold or get a lotto win I’ll fly you over all expenses paid. You never know………………………….

  8. Don

    Where I live I used to hunt older school yards and was always fortunate to find many silver coins. But the “powers that be” have totally ruined this part of my hobby. In the 80’s I was very heavily into coin hunting. Quit all together in the 90’s. So, I put away my trusty Garrett ADS3 until November 2000 and purchased a Garrett GTAX 1250 and was enjoying a renewed interest. On the second trip to a schoolyard that I had hunted for several years, I was approached by a police officer that reminded me of a German SS officer from WW2. Bless his heart. This policeman had a total lack of common sense and approached with his hand on his service weapon. He then informed me that I was on “private property and even students weren’t allowed there when school was not in session”. That encounter with an officer not smart enough to recognize what I was doing really messed up my thinking. Went home and removed the batteries and put the detector in a closet. It set in the closet until March 2017. 17 years is along time but the detector was ready to go again. I’m finally back hunting again. Now I only hunt COE lake swimming areas with a permit. Yes, the good old days of detecting have come and gone. At least for me it has.

    • Yup Don those old schools were goldmines, as were the parks but now, forget it. I was and have always been a coin hunter and I think it’s why I’m so down on things now. Thanks for sharing and good luck.

      • Don

        Thanks for your reply. Used to also hunt for civil war relics. Now the area I hunted in back in the 70’s and 80’s is off limits because of hunting clubs that are controlling it. I can do without relic hunting but I sure like hunting swimming areas a lot more. I always tell my wife I’ll bring her back a diamond ring. She’s still waiting.

      • You’ll find it Don…just keep at it. Have a great weekend.

  9. cachingcentral

    When we compare the cost of equipment, it would be helpful to include the cost of all goods in the same discussion. How much was your car back then, your home and your annual salary? That might put the cost of the hobby in perspective with something quantative. If you want, let me know the year and the cost of the new detector in that year and I’ll do the leg work on the comparison.

    • David understand your point but what I have trouble with is all the extra’s today. Expensive recovery tools (trowels, shovels), pinpointers, video cameras, editing software, etc.. We’ve taken a simple pastime and made it a major endeavor (or at least we’re tying to).

      On the other hand if you have disposable money to spend it’s none of my business.

  10. Kenneth Weldon

    Dick are you trying to say people have gotten away from the Karl Von Muller methods, which still work I might add? I’m detecting (no pun intended) a little bitterness Dick. Believe me I know, understand, and have similar feelings. But what if this new generation was exposed to old Karl? The new generation doesn’t know how to research and yet with the internet almost anything is exposed. You might consider me nuts but when I retired I bought 100 acres I expected would produce Seminole Indian War, Rev war and Civil war relics on. I used my retirement savings. After all isn’t retirement supposed to be fun? I hunted it for 9 years and found relics as expected based upon a lot of research. I sold that property at a profit two weeks ago and the next day was looking for another piece. No you can’t keep going back to the same park and expect it to yield something regardless of your grid pattern. I’ve dealt with similar cops who were butt holes and that only motivated me to quit park hunting and look for plantation sites and such. Just change your venue. Just like these advertised relic hunts, do the same yourself as a participant or research one to your own good. It was hard for me to get into research but it can be an enjoyable past time. I owe it all to dear old Karl.

    • Ken, not bitter, just old dammit. I need to find someway to get enthused again. I envy you with land purchase but 100 acres is just not in my future. Hell 100 dollars isn’t in my future.

      I agree with you that sooner or later that park, that site will dry up and therein lies the problem and it’s one that will affect the manufacturers as well but for some reason they don’t seem to be concerned. Hunting today has pretty much become a rural thing and everyone is a relic hunter.

      As for Karl, he was fun and had a lot of good ideas. Not sure how he would be viewed today. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts Ken. Don’t be a stranger here.

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