Monday, 16 December 2013

Focus on UK Metal Detecting: Benefit Fraud and Fenland Out-of-Place Finds.

From the "Detecting in England" Forum, Wayne in Minnesota, writing on Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:21 pm about "The problem with Yanks are: They are OVER paid OVER Sexed & OVER Here".
I have M[etal] D[etected] with a USA based MD tour company in England once in 1994. Within six hours of leaving the airport I was in a field finding ancient coins. For the next two days I was in MD heaven. Finding in just great condition 12 Roman bronze coins, plus a Greek and [a] Byzantine coin dating form 200BC to 500AD all in the same Fen area field! Plus 3 of the Roman coins had Antioch Syria mint marks! I wanted to report this great archeological discovery to British Museum, that Greeks, Romans & Byzantine occupied this site in for over 700 years. What is more amazing, the Fen area was under sea level till the 1600s.
he then recounts that when he started asking questions (as one might) about how those coins got in the field, he was moved to another field where the finds stopped. Antioch on the Orontes is in fact in Turkey (Antakya) and coins struck there are rare as British finds. It seems pretty clear that this field was being seeded with coins probably bought as a bulk lot from a Turkish source. Worse is to come, Wayne continues. 
I was the only person on the tour. So the guide paid some of his buddies to take me MD. The next 10 days I was with from 1 to 3 guys for a total of 6 different chaps. All of who were on the dole, but working nights as successful Night Hawks. (I did not do any illegal MD with them). All have found multipliable hoards. With my own eyes I've seen bags full of over 5,000 Roman denarius from about 175AD and about 600 sesterius of Gordianus III in the process of being cleaned. One the chaps found a Celtic gold coin a few days before, and the police stopped him so he swallowed it. Nobody in the group wanted to touch it (sic). I had a great time with them and learned so very much about finding rich sites that have worked well for me.[...]
The gentlemen "on the dole [unemployment benefit]" were not only 'working' as nighthawks, but if they were being paid to accompany Wayne, they were working illegally in the day too. How much benefits fraud goes on in the UK metal detecting community I wonder?
 One of the Night Hawks had a court date for illegal MD. Most had some problems with the police. All did there MD on schedule sites and farms at night. When I was with them they did nothing illegal or unethical.
Of course not. Wayne continues on the same theme:
An American I meet here in the USA and two of his friends paid the main tour guide outside of the tour company $2,500. USD EACH!! to find the good stuff at night. All did find at lease one gold coin form the early 1500s (I saw some of the coins)
"Robbiephoto" (Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:34 pm) says
"[I] feel sorry for you lads coming over here and having to rely on these people as one other fella said seeding the fields just for you americans i have heard alot of this thing going on".
Wayne also comments on John Winter's blog.

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