Thursday, 27 March 2014

Worth Reading on "Nazi War Diggers" Metal Detecting Show

Call of Duty mod
John Roby, 'We don’t need a TV show about looting Nazi battlefields', Digs and Docs March 26, 2014

The National Geographic Channel International (the U.S. version of which previously brought us the program Diggers) has greenlighted a show called, no kidding, Nazi War Diggers, which it, apparently un-ironically, refers to as a ‘factual series.’

Sam Hardy, 'Urgent ethical and legal questions for National Geographic, ClearStory and their Nazi War Diggers', Conflict Archaeology March 26, 2014.

Rather noteworthy is that after this text was published, the threads to which it links disappeared from the metal detecting forum: "The requested topic does not exist". I suspect that is not a coincidence and rather puts the "Nazi War Diggers" in an even worse situation. Why have these texts been removed if nothing wrong was being done - and the two removed threads contained that information supplied by the participants in the event?

... and then the video disappeared from the National Geographic website, together with all the comments from members of the public condemning what they saw there. It remains to be seen whether the TV company replace it tomorrow by one showing the work of the detectorists and Nazi relic dealer in a better light than this talentless hoiking.

Detectorbloke has noticed:

Gone is the Mr Gottlieb's quote that  “I feel that by selling things that are Nazi related and for lots of money, I’m preserving a part of history that museums don’t want to bother with”. now he says "I'm an historian and a military officer. Where other people see fields and trees, I see a battlefield I see fighting positions. I see fields of fire.".
What is new though on the website is an awfully muddled account of "responsible metal detecting". It is not at all clear to whom that is addressed and where it is applicable, and why going out on a known battlefield with buried human remains improperly prepared to deal with all its problems is at all "responsible". Disturbingly, it also mentions that the National Geographical team was working "with" groups that had licences to excavate and exhume, but over here the permits have to be for specified persons and projects, and the wording of the text on the website makes this quite unclear. I think we should be able to see the permits.   


Detectorbloke said...

the thread was removed 2 minutes after addicted asked for it to be removed. As to why he asked i guess may have something to do with what he may have been going through.

Paul Barford said...

What he (says) he was going through is much the same as myself, Nigel Swift, Paul Blinkhorn and others have been going through for discussing artefact collecting.

But then, have you actually SEEN any of these threats from "archaeologists" anywhere? I've looked in the places he mentions (the ones that are accessible to me) and can see nothing of the kind.

It ereally sounds a bit of a far-fetched story. Archaeologists are dismayed and angered by this, but can you show me a SINGLE comment from an archaeologist which is a personal attack on the metal detectorist (Kris and not the other three, one of whom deals in Hitler memorabilia - are they getting threats, or just this one team member? Why?)

But what has happened by them removing the forum thread is they've removed the one place where he was able to answer critics.

Oh, and the NatGeographic, faced with total condemnation of what it shows, took down the video. So it was up for a day and a half...

They've put up a bit on "responsible detecting" which is garble-garble muddled. BUT it says they were working "with" organizations that had licences, NOT that they themselves had the licences which if that is the case could mean that the work was illegal. I think we need to see those licences online.

Detectorbloke said...

Yes I was just posting about the changes which I noticed before I just read your comment!

I imagine if someone was going to be dumb enough to make a threat they might at least be clever enough not to do it in a public forum as Kris seems the easiest to contact privately.

Paul Barford said...

But what he actually said is they were on "My detecting youtube, Facebook and Twitter. My bass lessons youtube, Facebook and Twitter. My personal blog youtube and twitter and Facebook" . I've looked there and there is nothing there. As I say, show me where they are and I'll join you all in condemning them.

Also if these people are "dumb enough.." do they start off: "hello, I am an archaeologist, and I [.... whatever ...]"? How does he know they are "archaeologists"?

This really does not sound too real to me, is not the truth that he was surprised by the amount of criticism, and he's not getting his back slapped like tekkies do:
"well saved M8! LOL"?

But then what did he expect signing a contract with an American TV company eager for sensation to go digging a raggedy hole right in the middle of a place where there are human burials and start hoiking out the bones of the recent dead? Was he born yesterday?

Detectorbloke said...

Whatever has happened it's a mess for sure.

Maybe as time passes we'll get some answers.

Anonymous said...

The "answers" can only comprise attempts to whitewash and justify. How can there be answers to the plain fact that nearly 200 archaeologists from all over the world were moved to condemn what they saw in the strongest possible terms? "Oh it's OK, that was a bit of a mistake, the rest was done by the book"?

I'm still waiting for "Responsible Detectorists" or any detectorists or detecting forums to say "we've written to Nat Geo saying pull it". No, they have to be given a chance to show black is white and make their money. And all the forums have all gone underground on the subject.

It's detectorists in general that are coming out worst in all this. Silence is complicity. And for why? Because "we are a club". No they aren't, they are people that own machines. What a pathetic reason to protect those who use them badly!

Unknown said...

Surprise, Surprise... I have just complained...this is not entertainment...!!??!!

Detectorbloke said...

Interesting as yesterday I came across a petition to pull the programme. I debated about whether I should sign it or not. I didn't.

I don't know why. Addicted had asked me to trust him but against that there was a huge amount of evidence that the programme was garbage.

I weighed it up and I didn't sign, maybe it has got something to do with being a 'club' of sorts.

Paul Barford said...

Mr Broom: Surprise, Surprise... I have just complained...this is not entertainment...!!??!!

Mr Detectorbloke, I think you will find the petition was fro another natGeo metal detecting programme of much the same ilk - it seems they have a hard job learning in the US.

Unknown said...

Sorry Paul...the surprise, surprise element was generated towards someone who wanted to post on my blog suggesting that I was merely "jumping on the bandwagon". I'm not... I feel strongly about this. The activity of exhuming someone's remains is a activity for professionals that should be carried out with dignity and respect... It is not entertainment in any way, shape or form...!

Paul Barford said...

Sorry to you, there was supposed to be a comment under the quote, but it seems to have vanished.

Good on you for complaining. I wonder what would happen if you started a thread on a "responsible metal detecting forum" near you and said that and suggested others might like to do the same. What do you think would happen? (In reality I suggest you do not, because we both KNOW what would happen...). THIS is the key issue here, that the four (and there was more than just one guy in that video) had not the faintest idea of any of this, which is why the criticism seems to have caught them off-guard. It is a result of a lack of discussion of standards and acceptable and unacceptable conduct (and that is not conduct just in the eyes of archaeologists - members of the general public were critical too).

Detectorbloke said...

Ah yes you were right, general digger programmes now including this one.

David Knell said...

Well, I felt a bit sorry for NGCI after all the flack they've been getting, so I knocked up a flyer to help them out ...

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