AII it takes to fill the mailbox, it seems, is a little controversy. Between our editorial comments about the ANA and our article about the Black Sea Hoard, we've managed to generate a little activity in the "pen and ink" department. Most of the response to our Black Sea Hoard article was favorable
We did get a substantial rebuttal from Dr. Flegler, which we certainly expected, but have decided to endure the inevitable criticism and not publish it. In summary, he claims: 1) the dental technicians don't exist; 2) no individuals with or without connections to dentistry have been jailed; 3) dental drills are too big to engrave the lines found on Mesembria coins; 4) a dental drill lacks the ability to produce the "fine, sharp detail" seen on hoard coins; 5) it is "impossible" for the metal to have come from silver coins of the 1930's; 6) "ridges arc not at all unusual on genuine ancient coins"; 7) five laboratories in Europe analyzed the coins and came to identical conclusions as Dr. Flegler; 8. Dr. Regier knows all about the origin of the Black Sea Hoard, and those who "transferred·' the coins out of Bulgaria; 9) there is nothing unusual about random die linking in coins of Greek colonies of the Black Sea region; 10) Dr. Flegler denies acknowledging that there are fakes in the hoard, he instead says there are fakes o/the hoard; 11 ) Dennis Kroh has "changed his mind" and believes the coins held by Heritage are authentic; 12) There are "many coin dealers, including many that advertise in The Celator. that accept the hoard as genuine and offer the coins for sale"; 13) Dr. Flegler has effectively demonstrated that all of the observations made by your editor over the past three years are erred.
He also pokes a little ridicule at provincial Lodi, Wisconsin, and accuses us of being "ethnocentric" because of a reference to Sozopol, Nesebur, Burgas and Varna as "rather obscure muse ums". Further, because I suggested the possibility that coins in the Varna and Nesebur museums might be from "salted" finds, I am accused of questioning the integrity of Dr. Ivan Karyotov, "one of the most respected numismatists in eastern Europe." Finally, Dr. Regler points out that Bulgarians "have a level of numismatic scholarship that would put most of us Americans to shame."
There you have it, the condensed version. If you want the whole story, and probably a lot more, call Dr. Stanley Flegler at (517) 353-9430, or maybe you'll be able to wait and read it on the front page of a numismatic tabloid.
I recall, now with amusement, an event that occurred some twenty years ago. A friend and I were standing-tall before a stern Air Force Colonel, who was not at all happy with the current state of affairs. The Colonel said to my friend, "Captain, how long did it take you to get this stupid?" After reading Dr. F1eger'sresponse, I remembered all too well that feeling of twenty years ago, and what I thought of that pretentious Colonel
As far as I am concerned, the arguments have all been made. I have never claimed to be any smarter than anyone else in detecting fakes. As a matter of fact, I am not particularly well qualified to pass such judgements. I have stated the case as I see it, and Dr. Flegler has stated the case as he sees it. Ne 'er the twain shall meet.
There are some things in this world that we have come to trust and rely on. Science is one of them. I sincerely hope that among the readers of these lines is an impartial, qualified, and objective scientist who will find a way to set the matter to rest.
On the subject of the ANA, I was heartened by the number of readers in agreement with my assessment of the situation on the hill. I expected that the dealers would be singing Amen, but a lot of collectors were in the choir too! Evidently, there are a lot of collectors who really feel deeply about the personal re wards of this hobby. There are a lot of them who want to see things the way they used to be. We can always hope and dream! Speaking of dreaming, Brian Brown sent us a remarkably sensitive poem which was apparently inspired by our comments about the joys of collecting. You'll find it in this issue, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
On, a sadder note, it seems that the postal system has done it to us again. Several reports have come in from our overseas subscribers indicating that the September issue fell out of an airplane or was stolen by the International Federation of Fish Wrappers. Hopefully they'll be found, because we don't have many extras! We've been placing the date of shipment on our U.S. distribution and starting this month we'll also place it on our overseas shipments. Maybe that'll help keep the postal workers on their toes. We appreciate your patience
We're off to London for COINEX this month, and then will be visiting the numismatic departments at the University of Tubingen in Germany and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. We'll be back in two weeks to hear your point of view!