Thursday, 26 February 2015

PACHI PAS FOI: the PAS Forum and the Topic of 'Planted Finds' Being Avoided by the PAS Again

Commentary on the material placed in the public domain as a result of a PACHI FOI request from the British Museum from the PAS hidden forum

Topic D: The Planted Fibula (8th November 2013):
David Williams gives a link on the forum to a Surrey Mirror article about a planted brooch 'found' on a rally. I'd written about what the article said and then asked the archaeologist dealing with the find for information on the type of brooches involved:
There will be an article in the next Searcher. Paul Barford has already picked up on this but all I've done is refer him to the next Searcher - which he won't see.
You almost imagine him tittering as he typed that. Remarkable. Dr Williams is justifying himself like a naughty schoolboy, "all I've done is..." ("don't mention the war, I did it once but I think I got away with it!") and then taunting that I'll not be able to find out more (we see this type of perverse enjoyment of the feeling that these professionals have hidden something from an enquirer in the Drost/Milliongate thread too).

What on earth is the guy writing about that I'll not "see" the Searcher, does he think I live on the moon? True enough the Institute of Archaeology here does NOT get the Searcher, but I did more than "see" it.  Let us note though that he does not say that I wrote asking for details on the two fibulas mentioned and I considered his reply unprofessionally "dismissive". I had discussed this incident and some of the implications, including for the integrity of the records of the major rallies which the PAS had attended previously in the immediately adjacent area and used as showcases for their "partnership". Perhaps that is the problem. You will note that there is absolutely no discussion of the implications for the PAS of this affair in the posts forwarded to me from the BM, just the superficial issue that it was being discussed but Williams assuring fellow professionals that he'd managed to throw me off the trail.

That is not the end of the story, there was a further development in the case of one of the brooches (of which Dr Williams once he'd decided to be a little bit more professionally-archaeological informed me), but I believe this is not in the public domain.  This complicates the story even more and raises other questions of how FLOs vet finds, but that question was not raised on the PAS forum in November 2013.

What was discussed in the thread was the reaction of the metal detectorists (Katie Hinds 8th Nov). This was followed by the reaction (11th November) of Dr Williams "Oh Gawd!!" to this text on my blog: 'Focus on Metal Detecting: Conspiracy, conspiracy... "Dirty Tricks Incident" - NCMD'. But look what is happening. My post relates what is going on over on a metal detecting forum. Why did Williams not supply PAS 'partners of metal detectorists' a link to the MD forum? FLOs very rarely it seems do any of their outreach through the existing forums of their "partners", they just talk about them behind their backs on their hidden forum.

Vignette: planted

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