70 year old camera hoax backfired!
The undersigned, all members of various WWII/Battle of the Bulge Museums, historical associations, study circles, scholars and serious military history collectors and enthusiasts, all jointly representing the Luxembourg commemorative community are indignant and ashamed that one of their own countrymen known as J.M. Irondigger on the Internet (http://www.irondigger.hpage.com and http://www.thetroubleshooters.com/80th/) is fooling the world by his treasure-hunting activities and invented stories. Moreover he is thus especially misleading, kidding and cheating on American WWII veterans who fought in Luxembourg/Belgium in 1944/45, their families as well as the American- and international commemorative community by his "sensational" discoveries and background stories, most of them hoaxes and lies.
By the way, metal detecting and treasure hunting in Luxembourg is illegal and dangerous (because of uxos) and Irondigger and his associates have thus been violating Luxembourg laws on archaeological research.All his sensational discoveries and fabricated background stories (and there have been many in the past !!) are partially built on actual original records and are only meant to make him feel important and boastful especially within the American WWII veterans associations. He is also known to serious collectors and historians to have planted war relics and let his followers find them. Thus, by even falsely appealing to sentimentalities of next of kin of KIA soldiers, he is misleading American families, many of who have a relative buried in Luxembourg. By inducing American families to believe stories built around excavated relics (such as the recent 70-year old camera with still a number of developable photos supposedly taken during the Bulge by GI Louis Archambeau(317thInfRgt/80th US InfDiv), killed in action in Luxembourg) with personal markings of soldiers actually KIA or MIA during, he is irresponsible and unmoral. There have been many people (usually active US military members) in the past to become victims of his hoaxes.
Unserious research, illegal digging and sensation story scooping by Irondigger not only negatively impacts on honorable and serious historians, researchers and collectors, but on the entire Luxembourg WWII commemorative community and the country of Luxembourg.
The recent camera story outflanks all previous hoaxes. We can prove that the developed pictures originate from the National Archives and Records Administration s US Signal Corps photographic collection several of the pictures had been published already 30 years ago in history books or displayed at museums! By publishing the photos of the US Signal Corps photographic collection without authorization, J. M. Irondigger is also infringing international copyright laws.
We do not see ourselves as prosecutors of Irondigger, but we feel ashamed by his despicable actions to fool and deceive relatives of a KIA US soldier just to make him feel important as a historian and as a professional battlefield archaeologist , which by no ways of his educational background, he is!
The undersigned who have dedicated their lives and all their time to serious historical research JOINTLY protest against the activities and publications of this individual and hope that he finally draws his consequences, closes his internet site and stops all of his actions and unserious research!
NMHM Diekirch: (www.mnhm.lu)
BoB Museum Clervaux/CEBA:(http://ceba.lu/museum.html)
GREG/Gen. Patton Memorial Museum: (www.patton.lu)
BoB Museum, Wiltz: (http://www.visitluxembourg.com/fr/adresse/museum/musee-de-la-bataille-des-ardennes-1944-45-wiltz)
Friends of Patton s 26thYD: (http://www.fpyd.org/)