Saturday, 19 September 2015

Deep Digger Dan Threatens to Close the PACHI Blog...


The detectorists' approach to discussing
issues connected with artefact collecting
Artefact hunter Deep Digger Dan (Daniel Holdsworth) has many admirers in the metal detecting world, primarily in the UK. He is the author of (currently) 322 You Tube films which give a picture of this metal detectorist's approach to what he does. His You Tube account alone has 197 488 subscriptions and 22 943 251 views. I'd say that makes his productions quite a major representative of British metal detecting and an opinion-forming medium. The material also forms a resource for those wanting to use what artefact hunters do and say online as a resource for studying the hobby, its social context and attitudes within it. The tens of thousands of comments posted under his videos are an important indicator of the manner in which other ("responsible") metal detectorists perceive what he is doing. 

I have mentioned his videos and commented on what I see in them on this blog a few times. The first was in response to his 208th film of 1st April last year on the topic of "Metal Detectorists V Archaeologists". I disagreed with what he was telling his viewers, so discussed the points he made. Basically, I think he misunderstands a whole load of issues. Here is my reply: "Metal Detecting Complaint" (PACHI Thursday, 3 April 2014). You might like to look at the comments published under the blog text from his supporters to see their counter-arguments before I decided to close the comments (I will re-open them if Mr Holdsworth himself wishes to engage in  proper discussion with what I said - as it says in the 'notes for comment posters' over in the sidebar, any person specifically addressed by one of the case studies I use here has the right to reply). This behaviour is what we have learnt to accept as typical of English-speaking metal detectorists. Not only do I stand by every word I wrote a year and a half ago, not a single one of the points I made in reply to the rather stereotypical arguments offered has been addressed in any manner or form by UK metal detectorists, there is zero change in any of the areas I mentioned there. Zero, the text is as true to life now as it was then.

One metal detectorist decided also to disagree with what Mr Holdsworth said ("There is no versus' " The Responsible detectorist, Thursday, 3 April 2014 - "From my experience I do not share Dan's point of view". There are still no comments at all under this text).  I referred to that post here: "Detectorbloke on Deep-digger-dullardry" PACHI Friday, 4 April 2014). The fact that I do so approvingly rather takes the wind out of DeepDiggerDan's "everybody hates us all" sails.

Mr Holdsworth was mentioned a third time where I contrasted tongue-in-cheek his use of social media with that of the detectorists' "partner" organization, the Portable Antiquities Scheme which has shown a singular lack of initiative in using these media to vigorously (instead of half-heartedly) promote best practice and debate on best practice in the UK ("Deep Digger Dan has been Invited to the PAS?"  PACHI Tuesday, 8 April 2014).

A Deep Digger Dan video which coincided with the "Nazi War Diggers" debacle was commented  upon by me in a fourth blog text here ("Deep Digger Dan Goes Nazi" PACHI Sunday, 20 April 2014). The looting of World War battlefields here on the continent for the collectables market is a subject which concerns me a great deal. I have seen the effects, both in terms of the damage it does to the natural environment of the sites themselves (often commemorated as 'places of memory' and otherwise protected)* and the items that come on the market, complete dogtags, bits of ground-dug uniform and personal items. There is no excuse for this, it is grave-robbing pure and simple. Claims from people like Craig Gottlieb that it's "preserving history" are nonsense given the variety of sources other than grave-robbing which one can use to understand ("get the feel of" if you like) the period. This is about cheap thrills and nothing else.  I argued my position, and invited Daniel Holdsworth to tell me where my logic is at fault. Seventeen months later, he still has not done that, but instead writes:
I've warned you before and I will do it again. If you do not stop this personal crusade against me you will be hearing from my legal team
Hmm, he presumably will be able to tell my readers where they can find this earlier "warning". I myself cannot recall ever hearing from him earlier, at least not under his real name.  I think that is supposed to be perceives as a threat, the notion that Mr Holdsworth has a whole "legal team" behind him is an intriguing one I will admit. Calling a "personal crusade against me" four posts on a blog with 8120 (it says) published posts on it and discussing the merits of an issue as case studies smacks of self-aggrandisement and paranoia.

Mr Holdsworth, you published some views on the relationship between artefact hunting and collecting back in April last year. I believe you owe your readers some proper answers to the points I raised about what you said (see above). Far from being on"a personal crusade', the comments section of my blog  are open to you to publicise your response.

Mr Holdsworth, you have a damaged Nazi helmet in your home (says so on an August 2015 post on  DDD forum) which you now say you accepted as a gift to wear to town (see above). I think the whole thing totally inappropriate and can be seen as something which brings metal detecting and detectorists into disrepute. Far from being on"a personal crusade', the comments section of my blog  are open to you to publicise your response.

Please Mr Holdsworth: "Come on, Get in!". Tell us about that legal metal detecting in Germany and Normandy too please.

* On Saturday on a family walk I was disgusted to see that one of them had been digging through some clumps of delicate and protected plants in the forest to the northwest of Warsaw which is full of WW2 sites and material. It's not whether the holes are "filled in" that is the problem, metal detecting is illegal in the national forest because it damages the environment, both natural and historical.

UPDATE 20th September 2015
I have just come from watching episode two of the dubbed Nazi War Diggers (more of that later) to find a comment from an irate Deep Digger Dan who seems to think free speech is only something he has, that he personally is endowed with some kind of divine rights and powers to close down public interest websites and avoid discussion of what he himself publishes in the public domain. One of the films I discussed earlier shows him playing the role of an officer "ordering" others about, now he wants to give me orders about what I can and cannot say and how. This is what he said (20 September 2015 at 03:41) under my post about "Deep Digger Dan Goes Nazi" saying what I think of his use of Nazi paraphernalia:
I have tried to be nice. Now I am ordering you to remove those images and any others of myself from your website. This is a blatant infringement of my copyright material and if not removed within the reasonable amount of time of 72 hours I shall be taking the necessary steps to have your website closed down. Your choice.
I choose free speech Mr Holdsworth. The Nazi in the helmet you are shown wearing and declaring you'll be walking around in the streets of Flamborough wearing could not do that, and died for it. Do please put it on when you go to visit your "legal team", just so they too get the answer to that question with which I ended my text in April: "just what kind of people are these metal detectorists?"

Dear reader, please go and read the original post which Mr Holdsworth wants to "disappear" (along with all the discussions here of Syria, Egypt, the numismatic squabbles in the US, and other heritage matters on this blog) just because he cannot cope with something he did being criticised. Remember "Nazi War Diggers".


The comments section, Mr Holdsworth, are still open for you to present your side of the issue, and tell us about your foreign detecting ventures. Why can't you just address the issues raised?

28 comments:

Deep Digger Dan said...

Mr Barford, is there any chance you can make it to Berlin within the next week as l will be there detecting legally and would love for us to meet up for a video debate on all your issues so l can answer them in person. I know the answer will be no but this is my offer to answer all your questions, video our discussion and happily spread it to the world. I even invite you to come metal detecting with me and my two friends on our 100% legal permission for a day. I doubt you will approve this comment because there are no rocks for you to hide behind on my permission. Unfortunately you will not see me digging up any graves or bones as l never have but l would like nothing more than for you to come along for a day and meet me face to face. You are a terrible representation of archaeologists and l would like nothing more than to prove that to the entire metal detecting/archaeology community and show you for the man you really are. Be a man and take up my offer. I will be there for 7 days.

Unknown said...

You're a sad piece of humanity Paul. It sickens you to see someone gain notoriety and fame, so instead of going and doing something notable on your own, you attack and criticize others in order to get attention. The little boy that doesn't care if he gets good attention or bad attention, as long as everyone is looking at them, right?

christopher kaulback said...

Dan is good person. You are not

Unknown said...

I am a fan of some of DDD's work. But find some of things he does out there. I do believe detectorist should worked with the professional and learned community of archaeologist. Im sure DDD makes more income from YouTube than he ever did selling relics. I dont believe relics should be removed from a site unless they hold no value or educational purpose, only of we are in danger of loosing them. I leave relics at site for the property owner to care for. This drama between you and DDD makes for good reading. I dont hold DDD's view against Archaeologist so apologize for the actions of a few uneducated folks who do not see the value of doing things right if they must dig relics. I also did not see the problem with the relics he dug as museums are filled with them. i don't think relics of that kind should be sold, but i am guilty of buying era coins many years ago before I understood the hard work that goes into Archaeology. DDD has lost one viewer. The e begging done in the name of charity is not entertaining and puts a bad tone on my hobby which I love. But attacks on Archaeologist is unacceptable. I also wonder if grave sites are being disturbed? My hobby does not condone this. Only archaeologist have a license to disturb the dead. I truly hope this all gets worked out and is not used as a tool to further limit and make my hobby illegal. Thank you for your time and comment. Bringing this to my attention so I can distance my self from such questionable antics not accepted in my detectorist circles.

Paul Barford said...

Mr "Unknown" (sic): You are not making much sense in your two comments above. You use the detectorists' eleventh stock mantra "you are only writing like that because you are jealous". Save it for your forums "Unknown". I write about the issues surrounding portable antiquities collecting, because I see issues here. If you don't, it's not my problem.

I suppose I could run competitions with donated "prizes" which could require participants to subscribe/like first and also become "notable". But frankly I am quite happy here in my own little corner of the internet. On the contrary, this is my place and I am perfectly happy if the only people who come here are those that want to know something about the issues. And people do, and those who think deeper about them will take note that there is NEVER a proper answer from your side.

Mr Holdsworth is welcome to present his further reflections in the comments, but if all he is capable of is threaten and attempt to censor, that will be noted too.

Please sign your real name under any further posts, or I'll not be accepting them. If you have something sensible to say, there is no reason to be anonymous. Thanks.

Paul Barford said...

Comment posters please see the "note to comment posters" (http://paul-barford.blogspot.com/2010/12/note-to-comment-posters.html) It is there for a reason. I am not accepting any more anonymous posts from time-wasters. Have the courtesy to let us know from whom we are hearing. Thank you.

Unknown said...

How do know he hasn't got permission to be in the areas he digs in you don't basically you have some illegal digging in your area and you are looking for a scapegoat to be honest I found you posts about ddd quite slanderous and you personally should really rethink what you are saying
If ddd has got the relevant permission for sites he digs he is legally allowed to metal detect them would you say these slanderous words about him if he found something of national importance reported and recorded in the correct manner and filmed it for his fans
You pal should shut up and concentrate on your own job instead of spouting this vile rubbish about him and metal detectorist in general

NORTHWEST METAL DETECTORIST said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NORTHWEST METAL DETECTORIST said...

How do know he hasn't got permission to be in the areas he digs in you don't basically you have some illegal digging in your area and you are looking for a scapegoat to be honest I found you posts about ddd quite slanderous and you personally should really rethink what you are saying
If ddd has got the relevant permission for sites he digs he is legally allowed to metal detect them would you say these slanderous words about him if he found something of national importance reported and recorded in the correct manner and filmed it for his fans
You pal should shut up and concentrate on your own job instead of spouting this vile rubbish about him and metal detectorist in general

Paul Barford said...

Hmm, Mr "Northwest" (That's not your real name is it?), I do not know whether you actually READ anything written here. I assume you have not, since there is nothing whatsoever on that topic on this blog (you are confusing me wiv the metil tectrists oo got it rong M8). There is no "slander" here. Go away and learn how to punctuate please. Mr Holdsworth is welcome to comment here and show those permits, I'd love to see them.

bob todd said...

Jealousy is a very ugly thing Paul ..Dan does a great job with what he does and is a very popular guy...is that what your problem is because you aren't ? Why dont you grow up and try taking a leaf out of Dans book and conduct your self with a bit more self respect and dignity....who knows eventually someone might even like you !!

bob todd said...

Jealousy is a very ugly thing Paul ..Dan does a great job with what he does and is a very popular guy...is that what your problem is because you aren't ? Why dont you grow up and try taking a leaf out of Dans book and conduct your self with a bit more self respect and dignity....who knows eventually someone might even like you !!

NORTHWEST METAL DETECTORIST said...

I think you should learn to spell and also where is your authority to ask for permits to be produced are you the metal detecting police you are starting something that dan Is going to end I know he will start legal proceedings against you if you do not stop this rubbish you are spouting about him I have read your blog and basically you have nothing he detects in Germany not Poland and as my group is planning a dig in Germany I have been asking him for advice and he has pointed me to the relevant authorities I am sorry if your English is rubbish now you have live in Poland for so long you can't even read English properly

bob todd said...

Hmm seems as though you dont have the balls to publish any negative comments then

Paul Barford said...

To Deep Digger Dan. As you can guess, my work commitments do not make it possible for me to get to Berlin in the coming week.

>>You are a terrible representation [sic] of archaeologists and l would like nothing more than to prove that to the entire metal detecting/archaeology community and show you for the man you really are.<<
That makes me feel really "invited". Well worth the trip to Berlin that'd be! (I really have a thousand and one ideas of how to spend time in Berlin more profitably). Surely the issue is not how "nice" or photogenic I am, but of what detecting/collecting best practice is and is not.

I actually have been a number of times with detectorists working legally in Poland as well as the UK (on my sites too) so I really do not need the experience of going out with three more, but thanks for the invitation. In any case, I doubt you'd have time to organize a permit for me at such short notice. Which part of Berlin is your "permission" in?

But you have my comments in the post of 3rd April (I'll make it a Friday Retrospect post to make it fresher), why not just make a video (if video it must be) answering them? Or you could just write the answers.


Paul Barford said...

Bob Todd, detectorist eloquence and persuasion at its typical best.

TAKE A GOOD LOOK at this behaviour, for these are precisely the sort of people the PAS wants to grab more and more millions of public quid to make into the "partners" of the British Museum, archaeological heritage professionals and to whom they want us all to entrust the exploitation of the archaeological record. Take a good look and decide what you think about that as a "policy".

Unknown said...

Stop being a hater Mr. Barford. Come on, get in!

Brad McCartney said...

Paul Barford, you limey prick, I for one are against you for the way you treat Deep Digger Dan. I enjoy his videos and I support him. Stop your Childish Behavior Your not going to win.

bob todd said...

Get your facts right Paul i am not a detectorist i am just a guy who hates people who think they are sperior to others because of their position and class, you think you are better than all of us and that in your mis guided opinion are doing something to undermine the archaelogical records....how stupid do you think we are ? As has been said previously if Dan found something he thought was of interest he would inform the right authorities , who are you to suggest other wise ? You don't know him personally so back off before it bites you in the ass

Stacey Weston said...

I see a lot of videos coming out of Eastern Europe where people are grave robbing (as you put it).I have seen no evidence of Dan Holdsworth taking part in any such acitivities and i dont understand how you can have any concrete proof to the contrary.I feel it must just be your personal opinion maybe?Why dont you concentrate on the videos coming out of Eastern Europe where proof of "grave robbing" is obvious? Or are these people to close to home for you?I also dont understand why you single out Dan Holdsworth when he does nothing that other dectectorists dont do? I cant help but feel that your negative attitude and campaign without tangible proof is only going to end negatively for yourelf.Your campaign against him seems childish and without proof could be called slander.Mr Holdsworth in my opinion provides entertainment and conducts himself in a manner that does not deserve this kind of attention at all.As for damaging the enviroments he searches in,if you notice on a great deal of his videos he is an advocate of digging and replace the turf correctly and despises anyone who does not.I feel if i was the recipient of your Bullying i would be seeking legal advice.I hold no malice toward yourself but wish that you would stop your actions towards this man and concentrate on your job and your own life.Thankyou. PS I am not a metal detectorist myself.

Stacey Weston said...

I see a lot of videos coming out of Eastern Europe where people are grave robbing (as you put it).I have seen no evidence of Dan Holdsworth taking part in any such acitivities and i dont understand how you can have any concrete proof to the contrary.I feel it must just be your personal opinion maybe?Why dont you concentrate on the videos coming out of Eastern Europe where proof of "grave robbing" is obvious? Or are these people to close to home for you?I also dont understand why you single out Dan Holdsworth when he does nothing that other dectectorists dont do? I cant help but feel that your negative attitude and campaign without tangible proof is only going to end negatively for yourelf.Your campaign against him seems childish and without proof could be called slander.Mr Holdsworth in my opinion provides entertainment and conducts himself in a manner that does not deserve this kind of attention at all.As for damaging the enviroments he searches in,if you notice on a great deal of his videos he is an advocate of digging and replace the turf correctly and despises anyone who does not.I feel if i was the recipient of your Bullying i would be seeking legal advice.I hold no malice toward yourself but wish that you would stop your actions towards this man and concentrate on your job and your own life.Thankyou. PS I am not a metal detectorist myself.

Unknown said...

Some like a bunch a of little kids arguing

Traci Hyatt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Traci Hyatt said...

Karma is a Bitch! You will reap what you have sown Paul....

Paul Barford said...

Stacey Weston may not be a metal detectorist herself, but seems to have the same problems with reading as those who are and defining what it is we are discussing. It is precisely because what this popular "ambassador for the hobby" does is no different from what other detectorists do and say, that some of his videos are treated here (alongside a number of others through the years) as a case study. That, and the attitudes of his supporters (see the haters' comments here) is why in my opinion videos like this deserve attention. I really see no reason why you cannot just answer the points made instead of a constant stream of pro-Dan hatred and threats. That is no way to "defend the hobby" in a public forum, instead I am pretty sure many onlookers will perceive it as showing detectorists and detecting in a very poor light and vindicate what I have been saying all along.

Ryan McKee said...

Paul Barford....the "archeologist" without a PHD. Calling DDD a grave digger and thief is absolutely slanderous and defaming. You obviously watch enough of his videos to know what he does and what he's been through, with people like you. There are several apology videos on youtube addressed to DDD and I'm eagerly looking forward to yours. You sit on your high and mighty education and demean others. You're nothing but a school yard bully. None of your other blogs have comments Ive noticed, and since picking on Dan, you've gained some notoriety. So it appears that you're using this opportunity to get the fame that you couldn't achieve as an archeologist. Its pretty obvious that you're not very well liked, even in your own field, by your own peers. I better NEVER see an archeologist use a metal detector!! Plus, Id like to note that you like to go after the people that use the machines, yet, havent seen evidence of you going after the metal detecting manufacturers. Is it perhaps that you're afraid that someone with equal intellect will put you in your place?! Most likely. I guess its easier to take the low road and trash people that you perceive as beneath you. You're a despicable human being sir. I certainly hope that DDD isnt truly bothered with your slander and continues to be the great ambassador of human kindness and generosity that he is. He doesn't need the negative attention that you crave so much. Pathetic little worm.

Ryan McKee said...

I'm not a metal detectorist either, but I whole heartedly support Deep Digger Dan.

Unknown said...

Paul, I'm with you on the whole thing over DDD and the German helmet, I think its wrong. I've been reading through this vlog and I've noticed a lot of salty fanboys and girls using the whole "jealous" card or saying that you're a hater. Mind you I wouldnt worry, that logic is commonly used by people with an inability to understand the concept of free speech, I dont see you doing anything wrong. As for deep digger dan, He comes off as a nice guy in his videos, I'm sure he probably is in person, but, the way he responds to anyone that disagrees with him, I find quite vile, mainly because of the threats and intimidation that he tries to use to his advantage. Also, his misunderstanding of copyright laws really irritates me, unless of course he understands them and is just trying to disregard them in a poor attempt to scare you into taking any content involving himself down.

 
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