Robin Hood’s Arrow Found in Sherwood Forest?

Of course not. But that’s what this guy is claiming, no doubt suitably egged-on by The Sun. It probably is an arrowhead, or maybe a crossbow bolt head, and it may well be medieval in date and so is a really nice find. The coincidence of it being found in Sherwood Forest is obviously fun, but to suggest that it’s somehow either evidence of the existence of Robin Hood or that the existence of Robin Hood as an historical figure means that this is his… Well that’s just absurd. Robin Hood did not exist. He is an archetypical character from English folklore. More ‘Bullshit’ than “Bullseye”, The Sun.

Also, it certainly isn’t made of silver. I’m perplexed as to why they think it is, or how that’s relevant to the Robin Hood myth. It does look to have a blackish patina, and silver does tarnish black, so perhaps that’s why. But there is visible iron oxide rust at the socket, and it’s… magnetic. Which is how he claims to have found it. Using a magnet. Silver is famously not a ferrous metal. OK, it could be silver-plated, but a) why bother, and b) the metal looks homogenous; there’s no sign of a hammered-on outer layer.

An absolutely ridiculous story salvaged only by the fact that it’s a genuine archaeological artefact. The rest is nonsense, however. Also, who the hell proof-reads this crap? “it’s authenticity”? “Historians believe to silver arrow could belong to Robin Hood”?


No Nazi sex dolls please, we’re British.

Sex dolls are just so much less hassle…

‘Nazi sex dolls – Hitler’s blow-up ‘girls’ for disease-ridden troops

What a cracking headline. Almost too good to be true, in fact. I think you know what’s coming. It took me all of 30 seconds on Google to find good reason to doubt the story, and another two or so to find some even more conclusive evidence from there. This is the original hoax site that started it all back in 2003.

So this is an entirely made up story. How did it end up in the news having already been discredited at its point of origin – the internet? Well, as some stories make clearer than others, this is a promotional story for a new book by this chap.

His new Osprey title is called ‘Mussolini’s Barber’ – another in a series of coffee-table books full of amusing military anecdotes. I have another of his on my shelf. It’s something you’d buy for your Dad’s Christmas present, not academic research – nor is it really presented as such. Yet the newspaper articles talk about how Donald;

‘…uncovered Hitler’s secretive “Borghild Project” while researching the history of Barbie.’

To me, this implies a level of research beyond a superficial furtle on the internet, which is all he seems to have done in this case at least. I imagine things went rather like this: Osprey wishes to promote one of its new books, so contacts The Sun (or possibly issues a press release, though I can’t find one if so) with some of the more outrageous claims made in the book. The Sun, home of family-friendly smut, can’t resist the self-parody opportunity presented by a ‘Nazi Sex Doll’ headline, and runs with it as though it’s a new piece of research, rather than a recycled internet hoax.

Donald’s other claim that Barbie is herself based upon a German sex doll is also nonsense. ‘Bild Lilli‘, an 11″ doll based on a vaguely off-colour German comic strip (more here), could hardly be described as a ‘sex doll’. Not unless you have an extremely small penis, at any rate.

I rather think that there are enough genuine reasons to poke fun at the Nazis without resorting to this bullshit. Charlie Chaplin is rolling in his grave.