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Relic Hunting Contest!!!! What an outrage. - General Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Fri Oct 27th, 2006 05:01 pm
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MAubrecht
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I can't even put this into words. In a nutshell...

Local historical land in Virginia has been fought over for years...
Local developer leases part of it for a "Relic Hunting Contest"...
People come in from out of town...
Dig holes and trenches everywhere...
Group that finds the most relics wins a trophy...
Group leaves...
Holes and trenches remain...

Here is the link. Stafford Lakes LP (also known as K&M Properties) appears to have leased access to Crow's Nest to a group of out-of-state relic hunters who have over 150 relic hunters swarming on Crow's Nest today and through the weekend, digging up and carting off its historical artifacts. Please attend a press conference at the main gate to Crow's Nest tomorrow, Saturday, October 28th at 10:00 am to express your outrage at this destruction of the historically-significant and environmentally-sensitive peninsula. See the Save Crow's Nest website for more details: http://www.savecrowsnest.org/



 Posted: Sat Oct 28th, 2006 01:29 am
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javal1
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Mike,

Couldn't agree more. Irresponsible relic hunting has always been a pet-peeve of mine. I'm glad you posted that URL, and I would encourage others to go there to get the scoop. There is such a thing as responsible relic hunting, but this is NOT it. When private property is involved, there are times when RH can be a help rather than a hinderance - relics are uncovered, but not removed, appropriate authorities are called, documentation is achieved, etc. This travesty is none of that. I have to read the page closer, but there has to be something the Civil War community can do. Time is short it seems, so if folks wish to get outraged about something, I second you in saying this should be it. I'll try to do my part, but for those in the area....you need to be there! It's this weekend,and I fear possibly too late. If you're in the area, please stand up for the rest of us!. Thanks for pointing it out Mike.



 Posted: Sat Oct 28th, 2006 07:46 pm
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MAubrecht
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Thanks. It really hit the fan this morning. Here is an article update in the FLS:

http://www.fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2006/102006/10282006/232727



 Posted: Mon Oct 30th, 2006 12:16 am
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Harry
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I was hoping that some of these "relic hunters" would find some well-placed C-4.



 Posted: Mon Oct 30th, 2006 03:06 am
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ole
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Well, folks. This is the way it works. If you want something to happen or not happen, you take your butt out there and you drag along as many others as you can get. Then you present your argument. If it doesn't come out your way...that's the way it works. If it does come out your way...that's the way it works.

Observing and posting complaints doesn't cut it. Hats off to those who acted. And three cheers -- at least.

Ole



 Posted: Mon Oct 30th, 2006 12:03 pm
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javal1
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Not everyone can actually be there to object to this outrage. While I'm sure many of us would love to "get off our butt" and be there in person, we have readers from all 50 states and a dozen countries. The fact that they're not able to be in a certain location doesn't mean they have no right to comment or express their opinion. What some may see as "observing and posting complaints" is actually serving the purposes of both notification and activism. That's the way it works.



 Posted: Mon Oct 30th, 2006 04:40 pm
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ole
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Guess I should have been clearer.:shock: I had intended to give credit to those who did participate in shutting down the relic hunt, not to chide those who for obvious reasons couldn't be there.

Ole



 Posted: Mon Oct 30th, 2006 04:54 pm
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javal1
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Aahhh... then we agree :D I too commend those in the area who are able to fight this battle. Mike A.: do you have any details on the historical aspects of this land? Civil War relevance?



 Posted: Mon Oct 30th, 2006 06:22 pm
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HankC
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Has this property been un-farmed, un-mined and un-timbered since the Civil War?

If so, it is, indeed, unique...

 

HankC



 Posted: Mon Oct 30th, 2006 08:36 pm
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javal1
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Hank and all:

Mike Aubrecht is having problems logging in (which we're working on), but he sent me an e-mail which answers my question and perhaps Hank C.'s as well. [url=http://www.savecrowsnest.org/about_crow's_nest.htm]http://www.savecrowsnest.org/about_crow's_nest.htm[/url]

Hmm....can't seem to get it to link. Just copy and paste the URL above.



 Posted: Tue Oct 31st, 2006 02:34 am
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MAubrecht
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No problems signing in from home Javal. Its the office that's not cooperating.

Thanks for posting that link.



 Posted: Tue Oct 31st, 2006 07:18 pm
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HankC
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What part of eastern and northern Virginia wasn't encamped upon, marched over or fought on?

I'm leery of local preservation activists who play the 'civil war' card. Constantly crying 'wolf' hinders and dilutes other preservation efforts.

Is the Crow's Nest a nice green area that deserves preserving for it's ecological and natural elements? Probably so.

Is it site significant to our understanding of the Civil War? probably not...

 

HankC



 Posted: Tue Oct 31st, 2006 11:55 pm
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ole
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Artifacts are of no use if they are not collected and shared. However, the idea of an unsupervised horde descending on a field and indiscriminately digging up whatever kinda gives me chills. Do it in an orderly fashion, document every piece. Who knows what information that would produce? Without that discipline, there is no information. Even if there is no new information, the chance that there might have been is, at least, anticipated.

Ole



 Posted: Wed Nov 1st, 2006 08:42 pm
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Harry
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ole wrote: Artifacts are of no use if they are not collected and shared. However, the idea of an unsupervised horde descending on a field and indiscriminately digging up whatever kinda gives me chills. Do it in an orderly fashion, document every piece. Who knows what information that would produce? Without that discipline, there is no information. Even if there is no new information, the chance that there might have been is, at least, anticipated.

Ole

Exactly. Unfortunately, too many relic hunters haven't got a clue about how to properly conduct an archaeological dig. They seem to be more concerned with obtaining that artifact and then letting it go to the highest bidder on eBay.



 Posted: Thu Jan 4th, 2007 06:26 am
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Hellcat
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Hey, this is a great idea. It teaches a very valuable lesson, that historical context means jack as long as you can get a trophy. And of course those sponsoring this hunt might get to keep what's found so they can sell it at auction with cheap labor discovering it for them. Yeah, brilliant, let's loose any possible chance of discovering new elements to a battle. And developers don't have to worry about whether or not archeologists can halt development for a time while they dig for artifacts. After all, the area has already been so badly tampered with that it no longer holds any meaning.

Sorry folks if you actually took my above comments as serious support for the "contest" mentioned in the initial post. Meant to be the sarcasm I actually felt at reading the description.



 Posted: Sat Mar 17th, 2007 04:23 am
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2nd. LT. Chapman
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I'll help you put it into a "nutshell", I was there. First of all no one digs trenchs and holes are filled in. Most holes are a few inches deep unless some folks find a hut, then it can go several ft deep but it will be filled back in.

There have been bulldozers in there and they did leave holes but they were brought in by the landowner at an earlier time.

The land in question is private property that some tree huggers seem to think they have some claim to. Still, it is private property. This particular hunt was set up by a man who has hunted relics there for 20 odd years. He was the "middle man" and the person he was dealing with was a former employee. This was unknown to the organizers, but that is no excuse. In any case, relic hunters do no harm to the land. At least this bunch didn't. There are some lowlifes who sneak into parks and onto private lands under the cover of darkness and without permission but that is another story.

A responsible relic hunter is a person who love's history and manages to save a bit of it. There is something called the "sink rate" of any land and in some places relics just get too deep to find but on rocky, clay hills this is not the case, relics are near the surface. Lead minnies and some larger brass items are still in decent condition in some places but in many places buckles etc are really rotting away. They need to be saved if possible. I came away from that hunt with a bullet in a tree limb that was laying on the ground. IF I had not found it the wood would have rotted completely away and just left the bullet, what good would that be? As far as iron... it is in worse shape by far but can still be salvaged for a collection. I also found a hammer from a flintlock.

So... people go onto private property, with permission, (I admit, in this case, there was an error but nothing came of it), use metal detectors, find some relics, clean and preserve them, and add them to a collection. What is the problem?? These collections eventually either are sold or donated to museums. I will never give mine to a museum, I will loan it to them but museum tend to sell stuff when they need cash, they cannot sell a loaned collection. You see, the vast majority of people who go to all the trouble it takes to hunt and find relics are people who really love history.

This stuff about digging trenches and leaving holes is a lie someone told you.

Personally, I will never attend another planned hunt, it's way too much trouble for me. I have local sites on private property, with permission where I find all sorts of minnies, buttons, buckles, etc. One property has been especially good to me where I found among all the other stuff a Sutler's Token, issued by D.J. Church, there are less than 10 known to exist. This one is hard to read but you can still make it out. I don't know how many more years in the ground it would have taken for it to become nothing... it is a thin as a piece of paper now.

Tell me, what good would come of leaving it in the ground?

As long as hunters are within the law... there is no problem.

 

There are other links.

This is the group that sponsored the hunt you reference: http://www.thetreasuredepot.com/ check out the relic forum to see what is being saved by these people you think are so bad.

There is also Findmall which is another good group: http://www.findmall.com/list.php?30

 

Don't be so quick to judge when your source is a group with a political agenda. This group, the savethecrowsnest people, came right out and told us that they really didn't have a problem with what we were doing, they knew we were not harming the place. It is part of a bigger issue... they want to take this man's property and they took the opportunity to try and make it look as if the owner is irresponsible by misrepresenting what the hunters were doing.

The three biggest collectors here in Atlanta over the past 50 years donated their collections to the Atlanta Historical Society and the AHS now boast's the largest CW collection in the country, bigger than Gettysburg. If they had not collected the stuff it would not be.

 

J



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 Posted: Sat Mar 17th, 2007 06:33 am
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susansweet
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I agree JDC , That and buckles and buttoms. hmm wouldn't those come off uniforms.  Sounds like grave robbing almost .   But then I am interested in honoring the fallen not digging up their possessions. 



 Posted: Sat Mar 17th, 2007 02:28 pm
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Johan Steele
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Unfortunately there is really probably so much more to the story.  I have seen both sides of the extreme.  A friend belongs to a metal detecting club; their rules are as stringent and as responsible as any archaeologist.  But that said clubs are probably a dime a dozen and any idiot can buy a metal detector at Wal Mart.

There is no standard and nothing to check people w/ loose morals... while peer pressure has an effect judging from the amount of stolen relics on ebay it is not enough.

My own view is that most relic hunters are little better than grave robbers; but that is a gut feeling and not fair to those who act w/ care and respect.  I have no doubt there is more to this story... on both sides and I would not be suprised if the media is less than honest in its reporting.



 Posted: Sat Mar 17th, 2007 10:33 pm
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I too see both sides of this issue, as I read thru the posts I found myself in agreement with everyone.

I encountered one of these hunters once. He was a volunteer Ranger at Gains' Mill. I was the only visitor there on that day and he approached me, we got to talking and it turned out he had recovered some relecs from the 14th NY Heavies at Cold Harbor. My gg uncle served and died in that regiment. He had pictures of the relics which he gave to me for which I was and am grateful.

Dennis Conklin



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