Robert Cargill Finds “Virgin Rock” Where Jim Barfield Claims Copper Scroll Treasure Should Be

A few months ago I wrote several blog entries on Jim Barfield, a retired fire investigator from Oklahoma who was claiming to have discerned the true meaning of the Copper Scroll, an ancient Hebrew text (Dead Sea Scroll 3Q15) that supposedly records the burial place of some lost treasure, but which has proven difficult to interpret. Barfield, who has no formal qualifications in the field, declined to reveal either his methods or his conclusions, but he assured the world that experts he had spoken to had all been both convinced and shocked at the simplicity of his explanation. Barfield also made extravagent claims about what the treasure actually was, declaring that the Ark of the Covenant and other items from the First Jerusalem Temple (destroyed centuries before the Copper Scroll was inscribed) would be found.

Credulous hacks lapped the story up, with puff pieces on local media and in the Jerusalem Post. Christian Zionist groups such as the Jerusalem Connection meanwhile declared that this was a further sign of God’s favour towards modern Israel. Barfield also reportedly gave a presentation to a group of Oklahoma state senators, who agreed to support his efforts with funding and letters to Israeli officials. Barfield packed his spade and video camera and headed off to Israel to join a dig, and gave a number of reports as to how the investigation was going on his website. The sequel was inevitable: Barfield returned empty-handed but unfazed, explaining that all that was needed was to dig a bit deeper (the Jerusalem Connection concurred with this).

One sceptical voice was that of archaeolgist Robert Cargill, who has now visited the site at Qumran where Barfield was involved with digging and given his report. As he explains in his distinctive lower-case blog:

i met up with yuval peleg, the district archaeologist in charge judea and samaria, who personally dug at qumran. yuval told me that jimmy barfield never even so much as touched a trowel. his group never dug a single spade of dirt. they were merely observers – that’s it. peleg said as soon as he saw jim barfield claiming to ‘lead an excavation’ for the copper scroll at qumran, he told them to stop making the claim…

As for Barfield’s claim that archaeologists should have dug deeper:

yuval showed me to a probe that he dug at a place where mr. barfield insisted there was buried treasure. peleg needed to dig a probe, so he used it as an opportunity to show barfield he was mistaken. the result was exactly as mr. peleg expected: there was nothing. and to prove it, mr. peleg showed me the probe he dug…there is nothing but virgin rock. mr. peleg probed along the wall for the presence of a lower water channel near the locus 138 miqveh. barfield assured peleg that he would find treasure there…there was nothing beneath the surface but untouched rock.

4 Responses

  1. If there was something of value found in Apartheid Israel, rest assured it was purloined from another nation or people.

    Like the Dead Sea Scrolls….

  2. As you wish, oh Great One.

  3. Maybe someone wise beyond their years could explain why Israel isn’t a nation consisting of wealth stolen from others?

    First, they’d have to explain why the UN established Israel out of another people’s homeland, when they had NO statutory authority to do so. And since the initial grab of 55% of Palestine, the Israeli’s have stolen another 25% plus and are engaging in more land thefts in the West Bank?

    There’s also numerous articles about Israeli spying, stealing business secrets and military technology. When David Brooks of the NYT brayed that Israel is becoming another Silicon Valley, which might be true, but whose proprietary info and software are they using?

    Israeli Spying in the United States

    Scratch a counterintelligence officer in the U.S. government and they’ll tell you that Israel is not a friend to the United States.
    This is because Israel runs one of the most aggressive and damaging espionage networks targeting the U.S..

    Israel’s spying on the U.S., however, is a matter of public record, and neither conspiracy nor theory is needed to present the evidence. When the FBI produces its annual report to Congress concerning “Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage,” Israel and its intelligence services often feature prominently as a threat second only to China. In 2005 the FBI noted, for example, that Israel maintains “an active program to gather proprietary information within the United States.” A key Israeli method, said the FBI report, is computer intrusion. In 1996, the Defense Intelligence Service, a branch of the Pentagon, issued a warning that “the collection of scientific intelligence in the United States [is] the third highest priority of Israeli Intelligence after information on its Arab neighbors and information on secret U.S. policies or decisions relating to Israel.”

    In 2004, the authoritative Jane’s Intelligence Group noted that Israel’s intelligence organizations “have been spying on the U.S. and running clandestine operations since Israel was established.” The former deputy director of counterintelligence at FBI, Harry B. Brandon, last year told Congressional Quarterly magazine that “the Israelis are interested in commercial as much as military secrets. They have a muscular technology sector themselves.” According to CQ, “One effective espionage tool is forming joint partnerships with U.S. companies to supply software and other technology products to U.S. government agencies.”

    Allegations of widespread trojan spying have rocked the Israeli business community in recent years. “Top Israeli blue chip companies,” reported the AP in 2005, “are suspected of using illicit surveillance software to steal information from their rivals and enemies.” Over 40 companies have come under scrutiny. “It is the largest cybercrime case in Israeli history,” Boaz Guttmann, a veteran cybercrimes investigator with the Israeli national police, told me. “Trojan horse espionage is part of the way of life of companies in Israel. It’s a culture of spying.”

    This article was written before the Iragi invasion of 2003:

    U.S. Arms Sales to Israel End Up In China, Iraq

    The real danger comes in Israel’s habit of reverse engineering U.S. technology and selling to nations hostile to U.S. interests. Israel’s client list includes Cambodia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the South Lebanon Army, India, China, Burma and Zambia. The U.S. has most recently warmed up to India and is now in fact competing with Israel for arms sales there, but the other Israeli customers remain dubious at best.

    Yes, Israel is a land of uncommon wealth….. from other countries.

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