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Everything posted by mloser

  1. Hey, I finally took a pic I thought might be worthy enough to appear here! It is of a power plant stack and it was really just a grab shot from across the Susquehanna River when I looked for another mark. The stack is behind a power pole as that was the only shot I could get, but in retrospect that is kind of prophetic because the tower is carrying lines from the station the stack is at.
  2. This sort of thing is not without precedence--I just had a station declared destroyed as it was moved from one bridge abutment to another with no change in description. See KW0924 X154 Camp Hill, PA. Although I feel bad about there being one less benchmark in the world, in this case it is much better to have the mark destroyed than to have someone use it and have their survey incorrect. Matt
  3. Not a goof, but in my rush to find a station (I was actually driving on a cart path of a golf course, which was, luckily, closed for the winter, but was a bit nervous about doing it), I jumped out of the car to look for HOST and went to where my GPSr said to go. The mark wasn't there so I headed back to the car. There beside the car door, where I had to practically trip over it, was RM1. I paced off for the other marks and found them easily. This sort of thing should teach me to slow down a bit, but it really hasn't. I still bust right out of the car heading to where I THINK the mark is before I stop and think and often leads to a bit of backtracking and thinking when it isn't where I thought. Matt
  4. Most of these stations had a surface mark over them--a rock with a cross chiseled into it, or something like that. See Barry 1885 for an example. The bottle or jar was the underground mark, meant to be recovered in case the surface station was damaged or destroyed. I suspect they also may have been set by the surveying team for later reference by the team that put in the surface mark. In the case of yours, I would guess that whoever wanted to use the station would have to dig. The lack of any reference points on the descriptions you linked to makes it no surprise that they weren't recovered. It is funny that the two marks you list are basically the same benchmark, one set in 1845 and not found in 1875, when a new one was set, which was not found later on. One would think that the crew that didn't find the first mark would do a little better on their own. Matt Edited to put a period (.) in.
  5. You can explain the situation(s) when you log at Geocaching.com just like you did in your posting. This is just a hobby site and postings are viewed only by Geocaching members. If you want to log to NGS you will need to do some research first You may want to start by searching this forum for postings that have NGS or Deb Brown in them, as the topic of how to submit destroyed marks to NGS has been covered in depth a few times. In a nutshell, you can show a mark as destroyed only if you find the actual disk out of position--for instance, the monument has been hit by a car and tilted, or the disk has been knocked off it. If there is no disk, then the NGS will not mark the benchmark as destroyed, as there is no guarantee that you have found the exact benchmark site--just what LOOKS like it. For a building that is a bencmark, for instance the steeple of a church, if you can show that the building no longer exists at that site the NGS will mark it as destroyed. As for the train station, if the mark still exists on the structure, I would suggest getting pictures of the mark, the location on the station, the station site, and the OLD station site if possible and submit them to NGS with your reasons for saying the mark is destroyed. I just found a similar situation and am waiting to hear from Deb at NGS. I would think that a mark described like that one could be harmful if someone doesn't know the history behind it! Matt
  6. Black Dog Trackers, In two words... WELL SAID!
  7. My interest in benchmarking stems from my fascination with them when I was a kid, as well as my interest in history and the built environment. Then, there is the feeling that my work is being noticed. I post recoveries to the NGS database frequently and hope I am helping someone find a mark to use for a grand purpose (such as making sure the slope of a sewer line is proper) or helping them NOT look for a mark that isn't there. My opinion on benchmarking has been posted a number of times on this board. As for not caching, I just don't quite get the point. For one thing, FTFs in my area seem almost impossible to come by. Maybe it isn't about competition, but an FTF sure feels good in benchmarking, so I can only think I would enjoy it in caching! Second, I don't really get into the little gizmo swap that characterizes caches. I am the kind of guy who tells people not to get him birthday presents so I don't get something I don't want, so I have trouble selecting chatskis (sp) for others too. And finally, once you use your GPSr to get to the cache you are left looking around wondering what the cacher hid and where he/she might have hidden it--more of a hide and seek than a mental exercise at that point. And to be honest, I can't find stuff in my own house that I left lying around a couple days ago, so I would be really bad at finding a camoflauged film can! Maybe if I tried it I would get hooked. I seem to be that way. But for now I am satisfied hunting my metal disks, and cut squares, and copper bolts, etc. Matt
  8. I rarely come across no-PIDs. I have found a few PADH (PA Dept of Highways) markers that weren't stamped, but just one standard-sized benchmark. By Seventhing's calculations I should have found 15 by now. Guess I am only looking where I am supposed to and not wandering blindly around!?? Matt
  9. KeepOn, You are right, a number of the Geocache folks either don't bother or are wary of updating the NGS records. I did so at first only when I found a discrepency in the description, but now take the time to update all but the benchmarks recently updated. I update just about anything pre-1999. To me that is the end result of all my effort in locating or not locating a mark--to report it so that those who might use them will be better served. So if I can change a description, or show a mark last updated in 1934 still exists, or even that a mark no longer exists, I am helping someone when they go to use a benchmark. Otherwise it is just a hobby. This lets me, with small effort, take my hobby and make it useful. Very often I have been the second, or third, to a benchmark on Geocaching.com but the first to report it at NGS. Matt Edited because I hit enter too soon!
  10. Neos, I was just kidding witcha. Although I don't have any desire to geocache, there are obviously a lot of you who do, and I was referred to this site by a local geocacher. I can see why people enjoy geocaching, but my current obsession is with benchmarks. You enjoy yours... I'll enjoy mine.
  11. To me it is about finding them, not getting museum quality photos of them. I have to admit that sometimes my pics don't turn out as well as they should--the designation is not always visible, but the pic IS evidence that I have found it, and that is all I am really concerned about. Matt
  12. Lost, I need to know--was it where I described based on my research? Also, if the description has changed you might want to submit a new description to NGS. Matt
  13. I remember looking for benchmarks when I was a kid, but searching based only on an X on a topo map proved futile. My first GC.com mark was on 1/28/04 and was one I had previously found for a school project I was helping my daughter with. Found = 278 Not Found = 144 Destroyed = 16 (not all submitted to NGS however) Notes = 19 Found percent = 66% which has stayed pretty consistent for the past couple of months too.
  14. Moral of the story-QUIT GEOCACHING! Had to have a poke at ya there.
  15. The topo map shows a benchmark NNW of the location of this one. It is possible that the coordinates are that far off. The coordinates place the mark at Town Wharf Way but the topo shows a BM where the description indicates, at Clairemont and Clark Point Rds. Use that part of the description as a start and see if anything else remains. From the aerial photograph there appears to be a house and some trees in the area the description indicates the mark is located. You may have to do some measuring, but I think if the driveway is still there you can pace off and find the rock outcrop in the yard. Matt
  16. dadgum! I went and logged that virtual cache and cluttered up my caches with ONE find. Matt
  17. I never tried ExpertGPS because USA Photo Maps gives me everything I need and it is fast. Just to show you everyone has an opinion!
  18. Just as fun??? HA! It is much more funner than geoaching! And you will learn a lot about the area you are hunting in too! Keep up the good work. If you want any help just ask on this board--you will get some great responses. One early tip from me--don't rely on your GPSr to take you to the marks. Use it to get you close, then read the description and follow that to get to the benchmark. Matt
  19. Were you between the tracks? Actually, I doubt if anyone who stole the disk would bother to pick up two witness posts--they don't look as good on a shelf as a benchmark does. I think your benchmark may be a victim of a derailment that crushed the posts and it. I would suggest a metal dectector but near railroad tracks you will just pick up hundreds of hits from discarded spikes, tie plates, brake shoes, etc. To me the key items are that the mark is between the tracks southwest of the switch, in the Wye, and that it is not where the coordinates indicate, at least not precisely. You might be able to find what looks like a piece of rebar sticking out of the ground or mashed into the ground where it should be. You would also find pieces of (probably) white plastic from the pipe if it was broken. Measure carefully. There is only one spot where the measurements from the north track and south tracks are exactly what are specified. I take a number of pink-painted huge nails--spikes but not railroad spikes to mark my measurements one at a a time until they converge where they need to. Matt
  20. I found one triangulation station that was entirely within a small graveyard. Wolf. No ghostly affects on the images though. Matt
  21. Tupperhunter, That is an odd one. The most obvious anomally is that it is not in the location noted on the map--the coordinates are the same as those for Y 29. It is described as being 300 feet southwest of Y 29, which I see you found. If Y 29 is just east (or northeast if you are being picky) of the wye switch, then the mark in question is inside the wye, and the description notes that--it is 31.5 feet southeast of the main track and 36.1 feet northwest of the spur track (that is the southeast leg of the wye). Although I would not really want to measure 300 feet with my 100 foot tape, I would do that if measurements inside the wye didn't pan out. I am also guessing, from looking at the Topozone map link from GC.com and USA Photo Maps, that there may not be tracks there any more, but you should be able to determine about where they used to be. If you cannot figure where the exact rail was, try to find the center of the track area and add half the distance between rails, (half of 4' 8 1/2 ") and measure from there. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- ..Where I think.................../ ..........it is ------->...O....-- .................................../ ...............................-- ............................./
  22. elcamino brings up a valid point--submitting a NOT FOUND on GC.com is perfectly acceptable, to me at least, even if you have just glanced at the area. It is only your reputation as a benchmark hunter with us other benchmark hunters that is at stake. Submitting a NOT FOUND to NGS suggests that you have gone through all means possible to find the mark. I have quite a few circled on my maps that I plan on returning to when the hunting is better--fall or winter when brush and weeds are down, when the property owner is home, etc., etc. I won't mark them NOT FOUND until I am sure I have searched everywhere. That isn't to say all NOT FOUNDs are hard. When you look for a mark that is supposed to be on a "wooden bridge" and you find a concrete structure built in the 1990s, you can be pretty certain the mark is not there (although, yes, I do look--PA monuments on bridges are set on the abutment and sometimes the bridge has been rebuilt atop the existing supporting structure). Any yes, the USPSQD NOT FOUNDs are ripe for the plucking. I make a point of looking for their NOT FOUND marks and probably have found about 1/4 of them. KW1319 is a fine example of how easy it can be to convert a NOT FOUND to a FOUND. I paused my car where I thought this one was to let my son look out the window and was surprised to see a witness post staring me in the face!. USPSQD gets credit for marks reported, not marks reported FOUND. That said, there is at least one USPSQD member in my area who has done a great job and I haven't caught him (or her) in a false NOT FOUND yet. Matt
  23. To follow up on what 2oldfarts said, to me there are many aspects of this hobby that make it enjoyable. One of those is to help the NGS in keeping their database updated so that the marks can be found by someone who needs to use them, as opposed to us hobbyists, who just find them for fun. Others here have mentioned that surveyors rarely bother to update their finds--they are too busy using the marks and doing their work to bother. So I get satisfaction in helping the next person to look for the mark find it if something has changed. Even a report that the mark was FOUND since 1934 or whatever helps them to realize it is still there. As for NGS checking the GC site, first of all, NGS rarely looks for the marks it lists, so it does not check GC.com at all. NGS is an agency in charge of the marks but without the manpower to manage all of them. They count on other agencies, firms, and individuals to keep the datasheets up to date. Local surveyors, for the most part, have not heard of GC.com and would probably not bother to check it before looking for a mark. I agree that if you feel uncomfortable reporting to NGS you should not do so, but to me that is like eating my cake and leaving the icing. One of the reasons I don't geocache is that I don't see a point to it that is bigger than myself. With benchmarks I get to explore, challange myself by researching local history and land areas, and then, help someone by reporting (to NGS) what I did. It feels great to be the FTF (first to find) on GC, but even better to log a mark with NGS that hasn't been reported since 1886! Maybe someone who hesitated to use that mark in a survey will decide it can be of value to them because I proved it was there! Granted, when I take up a hobby I do so somewhat obsessively, so why should this one be different?! Take all that for what you will. Do this to your level of interest and enjoyment. My only wish is that you do it honestly and as accurately as you can. And have fun of course! Matt
  24. Rogbarn is right: The sheets on Geocaching.com are a few years old, so head to The NGS Datasheet Page, choose DATASHEETS, select PIDS and enter the number you found when you looked it up on Geocaching.com (KY1115 in my example above). Check the datasheet to make sure the status hasn't changed. Matt
  25. You may want to report the find to NGS so they can update the description sheet. There are a number of guidelines for reporting to NGS, but for the most part a benchmark should be reported if its status has changed (my favorite example is where I can turn a "not found" mark into a "found" but I have done the opposite), it has not been reported in a while (suggestions range from 1 year to 20 on this board. I typically use 10 years or so as my basis), or the the description has changed enough that a new description would be beneficial to recovery. Yours has not been reported since it was set in 1965 so you may want to go to: NGS Datasheet Page and look for SUBMIT RECOVERY. Use Other as the agency code and fill in GEOCAC. The rest is self explanatory. One warning: Do not undertake NGS submission lightly. Your information will be used by future parties looking for the disk. Any errors will affect their ability to find the mark, so be careful and accurate. In the case of a "not found" submission, be completely certain that the disk cannot be found. I usually only submit a "not found" when I am certain the disk is gone, for instance, the bridge it was on has been replaced, all my measurements tie exactly to a spot there is no mark and I have made sure directional information is not wrong (sometimes even the submitting parties get their Never Eat Soggy Wheaties wrong!). I consider finding these marks a serious challange, so when I say it ain't found, it really ain't gonna be found! For more about NGS reporting search this board for NGS or Recovery. Good luck, and remember--be accurate! Matt
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