Wannabe “diggers” Destroy Part of Gettysburg National Park

I previously blogged about the “American Digger” trash-TV show that features a former fake wrestler as the star of his own show digging up relics for profit and how there’s a movement via Change.org to get this show cancelled.

If you haven’t signed their petition, please do so. I’ll post the link at the bottom of the page. And, if you needed a reason, here it is:

At least 23 looter holes left behind from illegal metal detecting.

This is an image of the Spangler’s Spring area of the national park at Gettysburg where “diggers” have left 23 holes as they ravaged the site for “relics” -artifacts of the Civil War that have intrinsic value to collectors. The resources of the park belong to the public, yet these greedy individuals seek to claim them for their own. The mission of the Gettysburg National Military Park is to ensure that the resources, including artifacts, are left for future generations.

On federal land, digging, for artifacts or just for fun, can earn you a $100,000.00 fine and up to 10 years in jail. Simply possessing a metal detector on national park property can get you a $75.00 fine, even if it is stowed in the trunk of your car. And the risk of being caught isn’t slight. Over 100 volunteers patrol the park regularly along with rangers, often camouflaged, who have technology on their side. The “diggers”, therefore, didn’t just happen along. This was planned and considerable effort must have been used to avoid detection.

If you have information that can lead to the arrest or capture of these criminals, please contact the Gettysburg National Military Park at (717) 334-0909.

Also, be sure to visit Change.org and sign the petition to  Stop Spike.TV from Looting Our Collective Past. You can also visit the Facebook cause, People against Spike TV’s “American Digger” for stimulating and informative discussion on the problem of looting and “digging” in general.

In the words of Susan Gillespie, “…these shows promote the destruction and selling of artifacts which are part of our cultural heritage and patrimony.” We don’t know that the “diggers” who broke the law above took any inspiration from “American Diggers” (Spike.TV) or “Diggers” (NatGeo), but its clear that they aren’t going to be dissuaded by the shows.

About Carl Feagans 397 Articles
Professional archaeologist that currently works for the United States Forest Service at the Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area in Kentucky and Tennessee. I'm also a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Army and spent another 10 years doing adventure programming with at-risk teens before earning my master's degree at the University of Texas at Arlington.

1 Comment

  1. Born and residing in the UK with a consuming interest in all things historical. I cannot believe that US citizens permit the activities of ‘American Digger’.

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