It is really quite surprising to learn that the "Nazi War Diggers" saga continues. For those who've not been following the story from early last year, I was one of a number of people who opposed the airing by Fox Network ('National Geographic Channel') of a programme called "Nazi War Diggers" (my first post on the subject was here: British "Nazi War Diggers" Filmed PACHI Wednesday, 26 March 2014). According to disturbing pre-release material, this programme would feature the filmed exhumation by amateurs of bodies from the Kurland-Kessel as well as (apparently) Poland. A number of archaeologists were instrumental in raising public awareness about the need for this sort of thing to be approached differently, and there was a public outcry, and due to the widespread outrage the production company's (Clearstory) bungled marketing evoked, the projected programme was suspended by Fox Network indefinitely on 1st April 2014.
Here is an 'Archaeosoup' video from 31st March 2014 where Andy Brockman and Marc Barkman-Astles are explaining (part of) the problem and explaining the difference between what can only be described as hoiking and proper archaeological practice and touching on the perceived breaches of responsible media practices.
Nazi War Diggers - What Should Nat Geo Learn? by Archaeosoup Productions
Since then, most of us have moved on, Sam Hardy and I are writing about other things, Archaeosoup has moved on to other topics. National Geographic on the other hand are not known to have instituted any measures (as proposed in the Archaeosoup video) to prevent this happening again, neither has the Portable Antiquities Scheme issued any guidelines to its partners related to this episode. One of the erstwhile "presenters" who was filmed amateurishly digging the War graves and featured in the trailer to the projected programme however seems to have suffered some kind of a breakdown as a result of their activities being questioned and apparently now still harbours a grudge and determined to add his own little bit to the libellous anti-Barford mythology that functions in artefact hunting circles.
On his blog on Monday, 19 January 2015, Kentish detectorist Kris Rodgers made a couple of false allegations about me [I am not linking to that post for legal reasons]. Yesterday (31st Jan 2015) he published another post in which he repeats one of those allegations [and again I am not linking to it]. He writes:
The legal team issue is in response to an ongoing investigation concerning death threats sent to me, and misinformation sold to the press. These, unfortunately are not false allegations, and again this is all I can say on the matter. However, thanks to I.P logs, and source code I am confident Paul has a lot to answer for, but we’ll let that one unfold in the future.Mr Rodgers in all certainty has nothing of the kind. Whether or not this 'investigation' which he says is still 'ongoing' (since 27th March 2014 see: "Death Wishes from Archaeologists?") is a figment of his imagination or not, his "confidence" that he has I.P logs, and source code" which implicate me in any way with "death threats" on him certainly is. The man is at best mistaken.
Likewise I have never in my life ever sold any information about portable antiquities to any newspaper - all interviews I have done are done pro bono and absolutely without any kind of fee or honorarium. Mr Rodgers is mistaken at best if he thinks he has any "I.P logs, and source code" which link me in any way to sales of information (or "misinformation") to any newspaper. In any case I seriously doubt that any newspaper would pay for 'inside information' (even if I had it) on his cancelled TV programme - he is hardly Kim Kardashian. I think at best the metal detectorist is mistaken about his own importance.
UPDATE 8th February 2015
Once again it seems we encounter the disconnect among some of those who take up metal detecting between the meaning of words and reality. Mr Rogers insists his "legal team" is still on the case of his allegations of my "death threats" and "misinformation sold to the press". Furthermore he tells us (8th February 2015 at 10:46 am) "They told me not to engage you in conversation". That's convenient, avoids him having to explain. Nevertheless he actually admitted (on 2nd February 2015 at 2:41 pm):
Looking, I think I also have your e-mail address as well. It’s popped up alongside your I.P address, on here which is handy as I can now cross-reference with the others I have RE some of my threats. Even before looking, I can tell you they don’t look similar…Nevertheless he left the original accusation that he has "proof" up unchanged.
Oh, one last note. Although I never SAID it was you [PMB: oh yes you did], Your I.P address doesn’t match the one where one of the death threats were coming from on my old blog. Reading through e-mails where ‘people’ have pointed in your direction, it looks like someones done this to make it look like you.Yes but that is not "proof", and it is not these other people who have been publishing untrue allegations claiming they have proof for them (remember Lord McAlpine). It now looks like the proof this individual has in fact are emails "where 'people' have pointed in [my] direction". Pleeease... This is just foolish. It seems to me that Mr Rodgers does not know whether he is coming or going, what is true and what is just the foggy margins of some fantasy world.
I was one of a number of people who said what we thought about what we saw in the public domain about "Nazi War Diggers". Fox Media noted the concerns raised and opinions expressed and other media sources took an interest in the case. But, despite what a metal detectorist in England is still saying, despite showing that he has nothing to back up his allegations:
I never sent any death threats, or other threats to anyone concerned, andUPDATE UPDATE 27th June 2015
I never sold any information to any newspaper about the programme or my opinions on it.
It is worth taking a look at what happened when somebody tried to discuss something else on a forum with Mr Rodgers, he just refused to talk any more and stormed off in a huff. Needless to say neither Mr Rodgers nor "his legal team" have contacted me about any of the allegations which he made which I think we may write off as the product of an over-active imagination and a desire for attention.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE January 4th 2016
A year on, and I am still waiting to be either contacted by a pukka "legal team" or to see a full retraction and apology from Mr Rogers about his FALSE ALLEGATIONS.