In the discussion about the Nazi War Diggers’ Battlefield Recovery, one of the under-currents – or counter-currents – was a defence of the programme. Any search of #NaziWarDiggers or #BattlefieldRecovery will show that those defences were few and far between. And the knowledge and motives of even those few defenders were sometimes questionable.
Sock puppets and suckers
Although the contributions of recent accounts with very few tweets and even fewer followers are suspicious, I don’t actually want to question them. They may be genuine, even if the accounts were created during the transmission of Battlefield Recovery and the users only tweet in defence of Battlefield Recovery. And I don’t want to question the knowledge and motives of the friends of the programme-makers and presenters. They may be very sincere and honourable in their loyalty.
Nonetheless, even excluding concerns about ethics, it is impossible not to question at least the defenders’ knowledge of events, because some of their arguments had no basis in reality. And if they were so ignorant of reality, it is then impossible not to question their motives. Were they misled by others? Or were they trying to mislead the public?
For example, presenter Kris Rodgers’ friend Amy @A_myJ (and the unknown “Howard Carter”) highlighted the presence of archaeologists in the episode in Poland.
‘An actual archaeologist present with the team and people are still moaning.’ ‘#BattlefieldRecovery helps uncover a poss war crime in Poland… How outrageous they didn’t think to invite a British archaeologist along!’ ‘yeah. I can’t believe an archaeologist is digging around a body while the others watch. Unbelievable #BattlefieldRecovery’ ‘An archaeologist digging on #battlefieldrecovery while presenters aren’t in the hole?! I’m aghast they allowed an archaeologist to do that.’ ‘Supervised by an archaeologist. How could they be so irresponsible?!’
‘Speak to Legenda and POMOST for facts.’
Taking her cue from ClearStory’s claim that they had ‘stayed in close touch with Pomost and Legenda and [were] discussing how [they] might make a sequel‘, Amy argued: ‘Looking forward to #BattlefieldRecovery tomorrow to see my mate in action. All done for honourable reasons. Stop spreading misinformation.’ ‘I think the key thing is to do with Natgeo and not the show itself. POMOST have issue with NatGeo not Clear Story.’ ‘Disgusted by the amount of academics slagging off #BattlefieldRecovery – do the research on the show. Speak to Legenda and POMOST for facts.’ ‘Lots of lies being spread. Watch all 4 eps before you grab the pitchforks.’
Likewise, Dave Allen @davetgoose demanded: ‘So #BattlefieldRecovery has archaeologists and Pomost supporting. I guess the critics will now stop tweeting. No more speculative comments.’ And “investigative journalist” Howard Carter @HowardCarterGo insisted: ‘Pomost viewed and endorsed the episode when originally launched by Nat Geo.’
Pomost’s Adam Białas told Northern Ephemera’s Matthew Thomas,
[W]e have nothing in common with those persons from [the] TV show who played with detectors, ammunition and bones. We[‘re] afraid that work we do every day… was shown in [an] unfair way in [the] Polish episode of ‘Nazi Diggers’ or ‘Battlefield Recovery’…. We will not cooperate with them (ClearStory/Battlefield Recovery) anymore. That is our last word in that sad case.
(Check out the full statement on Northern Ephemera.)
Pomost’s Tomasz Czabański told the Pipeline’s Andy Brockman,
Cooperation with CS [ClearStory] was a mistake from the beginning to the end. The way they show our work in dishonest way. We’ve trusted them and they misused it….
We haven’t seen the last [UK] version and we have nothing in common with CS people except that unlucky one time. That was the first and the last time we cooperated with CS.
(Check out the full statement on the Pipeline.)
What form did the contact and discussions between ClearStory and Pomost take? Unanswered letters of unrequited love?
Considering “investigative journalist” “Howard Carter”‘s statements, it seems unlikely that the Nazi War Diggers themselves imagined or pretended that Pomost liked Battlefield Recovery. It seems that Kris Rodgers believed what he told Amy and Amy believed what she had been told by Kris Rodgers.
Then again, could the Nazi War Diggers have worked alongside Pomost without gaining any understanding of Pomost’s opinion of the Nazi War Diggers’ behaviour? Has there been no direct, frank contact between the Nazi War Diggers and Pomost since the Nazi War Diggers left Poland? What were the Nazi War Diggers told by ClearStory? Did ClearStory tell the Nazi War Diggers that Pomost were considering a sequel?
Will the Nazi War Diggers change their behaviour now that their former workmates have dismissed them as badge collectors who play with metal detectors, guns and bones? Or will they just target even more vulnerable communities and sites?