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Bomb Squad Destroys A Cache


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There was a cache named “Chicken Lips” that was destroyed by the Edmond Oklahoma Bomb Squad. Sgt Scott Fees, the squad supervisor came to our monthly meeting and spoke to us.

 

According to Sgt Fees, here are some major red flags for bomb squads:

 

Cylindrical objects

Have some sort of end caps

Covered in camo duct tape

Black electrical tape used on it

Wires / batteries / electronic devices that might be timers in or on it

String or rope that might look like a fuse

 

The cache in question had 3 of the above. It was a paint ball tube with a black flip up end cap, wrapped in camo duct tape and tied to the tree with a black knee sock. The sock looked like black tape when viewed thru the robot’s camera. He also brought the video tape of the robot blasting the cache.

 

Sgt Fees said that ammo cans do not alarm them as much as pipe-like devices because people use ammo cans for a variety of uses to store things. An ammo can, if it is accessible, can be x-rayed. Pipe-like devices are usually destroyed because they have no other use. He said do not write something like “This is not a bomb” on the container, because someone could place it with bark covering everything but “bomb”.

 

Suggestions to avoid getting your cache blasted include: Use clear containers so they can see what is in them. Put your name and phone number on the outside so they can contact you if they are called out.

 

We talked to him about Altoids tins and 35mm film cans. He said the bomb squad would not have much interest in them but the drug unit might because they are commonly used to store and transfer drugs and money.

 

The tone of the meeting was very positive. Sgt Fees wanted to learn more about Geocaching and saw it as a very positive thing in getting families out to parks, monuments and historical sites. The Geocachers attending were wanting to help the police identify where caches were placed and how to avoid getting the bomb squad called out. Sgt Fees has been researching on the GC web-site and is planning on taking some of his officers out Geocaching so they get an idea of what is out there. They have purchased and carry a GPS unit with them on calls.

 

Things he did not see as feasible: 1. Internet access from their vehicles 2. Trying to keep a printed list of caches updated. 3. Having their very busy dispatchers look up cache information.

 

It was a very productive and positive meeting.

 

A note about an unrelated non-geocaching event; A college student playing a game got convicted by making and placing a FAKE explosive device as a joke. Both of those acts are felonies.

Edited by two left feet
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Good info.

 

I have an unrelated question, is making a fake bomb really a felony?

 

if you rob a party store without a gun, but your hand is in your pocket pointing at the clerk like you do have one, it is still considered armed robbery.

 

it's the perception, not the reality that counts.

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... Suggestions to avoid getting your cache blasted include: Use clear containers so they can see what is in them. Put your name and phone number on the outside so they can contact you if they are called out. ...

In the past, neither of these tactics have proved successful. The best way to keep your cache from being destroyed by the bomb squad is to hide it suffuciently well that muggles cannot find it.

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Good info.

 

I have an unrelated question, is making a fake bomb really a felony?

 

I won't state it as fact, but I've seen a number of "bombs" that were fakes for various reasons (usually props) and were never considered illegal. I think placing one of these items in a public venue would be considered a "Terroristic Threat" and you could be prosecuted for such. I'll have to check with out locals if I see one later today.

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I won't state it as fact, but I've seen a number of "bombs" that were fakes for various reasons (usually props) and were never considered illegal. I think placing one of these items in a public venue would be considered a "Terroristic Threat" and you could be prosecuted for such. I'll have to check with out locals if I see one later today.
I'm reminded of a time that I watched the drama that unfolded at the airport because a child packed a fake grenade in his checked luggage. As it went through the x-ray machine, the TSA screener got rather pale. He then called over his supervisor who then called the airline's ground security and airport police. The entire ordeal took about 45 minutes and the child very nearly got arrested.
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Good info.

 

I have an unrelated question, is making a fake bomb really a felony?

 

According to Sgt Fees it is and the student was convicted on both counts.

 

I understand placing a fake bomb as being a crime, but making one? You can buy the drilled out grenades (technically a "made" fake bomb) at your local army navy store. Television and movie production companies build fake bombs all the time with impunity. Any idea what the wording or exact charges were? Now I'm really curious.

 

p.s. we have one like that with a "complaint department: take a number" downstairs on one of our coworker's desk. I can't imagine trying to take it on a plane though :(

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That's the first time I have seen someone like Sgt Scott Fees step forward with specific advice. That's a big thumbs up. Sbell111 has already commented on a couple of items worth nothing. Especially about the best method is to hide your cache so it's not found by muggles.

 

Unrelated to the OP but related to the thread in general. The laws against Terrorism are broad enough to where they are starting to be used against people who are not terrorists. This should be a wake up call.

 

Back on topic. It's not just materials, it's location. Those who seek to cause harm have to place their bombs where harm will be caused. This should be a no brainer, but I think europe is ahead of the USA on this since they appear to have less problems with caches being blown up. Caches are placed to draw people to spots, locations, and hide styles. They tend to be placed where there are less muggles. The reason to hide an object is vastly different when it comes to geocaching and terrorism.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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Good info.

 

I have an unrelated question, is making a fake bomb really a felony?

 

According to Sgt Fees it is and the student was convicted on both counts.

 

I understand placing a fake bomb as being a crime, but making one? You can buy the drilled out grenades (technically a "made" fake bomb) at your local army navy store. Television and movie production companies build fake bombs all the time with impunity. Any idea what the wording or exact charges were? Now I'm really curious.

 

p.s. we have one like that with a "complaint department: take a number" downstairs on one of our coworker's desk. I can't imagine trying to take it on a plane though :(

 

We had the opportunity to bring caches in to have Sgt Fees comment on them. One of them was a black tube with an old digital multi meter attached with a couple of capacitors glued to each end and the test leads running into the tube. He posed for a picture holding it up in one hand and holding his handcuffs in the other. I think his message was clear.

 

However he did not go into any further details about the case since this was just an aside and not the real topic. But it does bring into question why you would make such a device since you can NEVER do anything with it. This could also be a local law.

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Back on topic. It's not just materials, it's location. Those who seek to cause harm have to place their bombs where harm will be caused. This should be a no brainer, but I think europe is ahead of the USA on this since they appear to have less problems with caches being blown up. Caches are placed to draw people to spots, locations, and hide styles. They tend to be placed where there are less muggles. The reason to hide an object is vastly different when it comes to geocaching and terrorism.

Actually, one of the things Sgt Fees brought up was the incident of a glass jar in a creek bed, that when kicked exploded. So when we mentioned location, he wasn't too receptive to the thought that a remote location would be considered OK.

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There was a cache named “Chicken Lips” that was destroyed by the Edmond Oklahoma Bomb Squad. Sgt Scott Fees, the squad supervisor came to our monthly meeting and spoke to us...

 

...The cache in question had 3 of the above. It was a paint ball tube with a black flip up end cap, wrapped in camo duct tape and tied to the tree with a black knee sock. The sock looked like black tape when viewed thru the robot’s camera. He also brought the video tape of the robot blasting the cache.

 

...Another note; It was not a geocacher but a college student playing a game that got convicted of making and placing a FAKE explosive device as a joke. Both of those acts are felonies.

Thanks for sharing this information. However, I have a question or two, based upon statements in your post. At the start of your post, you wrote that the device which was destroyed by your local bomb squad was a cache named "Chicken Lips". However, in your closing comment, you wrote: "Another note; It was not a geocacher but a college student playing a game that got convicted of making and placing a FAKE explosive device as a joke. Both of those acts are felonies."

I am confused. Are you saying that the device mentioned in the first sentence was NOT a geocache, but rather a fake bomb placed by a college student? Or is your last sentence discussing an entirely different situation, one which you had not referenced earlier?

 

Thanks!

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Actually, one of the things Sgt Fees brought up was the incident of a glass jar in a creek bed, that when kicked exploded. So when we mentioned location, he wasn't too receptive to the thought that a remote location would be considered OK.

My 'urban myth' detector just spiked.

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Suggestions to avoid getting your cache blasted include: Use clear containers so they can see what is in them. Put your name and phone number on the outside so they can contact you if they are called out.

I think it would be better to put his name and phone number on the cache.

 

There's a lot of great info there, but that's a dumb suggestion. I'm no more inclined to put my personal information on a cache than he is.

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There's a lot of great info there, but that's a dumb suggestion. I'm no more inclined to put my personal information on a cache than he is.

 

So put your geocaching handle and email address on it. A big green friendly GEOCACHING sticker goes a long way to keep someone from freaking out and calling 911 when they find something suspicious in the park.

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Good info.

 

I have an unrelated question, is making a fake bomb really a felony?

 

I won't state it as fact, but I've seen a number of "bombs" that were fakes for various reasons (usually props) and were never considered illegal. I think placing one of these items in a public venue would be considered a "Terroristic Threat" and you could be prosecuted for such. I'll have to check with out locals if I see one later today.

 

This makes sense. In fact, I have made many "bombs" in my day, most of which were used to remove stumps.

 

Pretty sure making a bomb is totally legal, not to mention a fake one, placing that in a public area and crying wolf, that is an altogether different matter.

 

I was being silly at first, but I was suprised some people think making a fake bomb is itself illegal. No wonder we are losing our rights so fast in this country.

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I won't state it as fact, but I've seen a number of "bombs" that were fakes for various reasons (usually props) and were never considered illegal. I think placing one of these items in a public venue would be considered a "Terroristic Threat" and you could be prosecuted for such. I'll have to check with out locals if I see one later today.
I'm reminded of a time that I watched the drama that unfolded at the airport because a child packed a fake grenade in his checked luggage. As it went through the x-ray machine, the TSA screener got rather pale. He then called over his supervisor who then called the airline's ground security and airport police. The entire ordeal took about 45 minutes and the child very nearly got arrested.

This reminded me of when I was a young lad, back in the mid-70's. My Mother, sister and I were catching a flight from Montreal to the UK (heading to Scotland). As we rushed through the airport, my metal lunch box containing some toys I wanted to bring with me (cardboard cutouts, toy cars, and a metal snub-nosed revolver cap pistol - I kid you not) sprung open as we were on one of those conveyor walkways, spilling the entire contents onto the conveyor. We gather it all up and then made our way through security and onto the plane. I had the same metal lunchbox with the same contents coming back. :drama:

 

I was too young to remember if my Mother was questioned about it, but the lunchbox did go through the x-ray both times, and I still had the cap gun when we arrived home.

 

Scott

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This reminded me of when I was a young lad, back in the mid-70's. My Mother, sister and I were catching a flight from Montreal to the UK (heading to Scotland). As we rushed through the airport, my metal lunch box containing some toys I wanted to bring with me (cardboard cutouts, toy cars, and a metal snub-nosed revolver cap pistol - I kid you not) sprung open as we were on one of those conveyor walkways, spilling the entire contents onto the conveyor. We gather it all up and then made our way through security and onto the plane. I had the same metal lunchbox with the same contents coming back. rolleyes.gif

 

I was too young to remember if my Mother was questioned about it, but the lunchbox did go through the x-ray both times, and I still had the cap gun when we arrived home.

 

Scott

 

Common sense was much more common back then. :drama:

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I'm glad to see you have a good relationship with the local police. You might want to suggest to the Sgt. that while the dispatchers may be to busy to check a website perhaps he could make a call to someone at the police dept. who does not work in dispatch. Checking a website might save them from having to blow up every suspicous object.

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I am pretty sure it isn't the MAKING of the fake bomb as much as calling and saying....... I placed a bomb at such and so place.

I would equate that to yelling FIRE in a mall or theater where there is a crowd, only to be tracked down and procecuted when there is nothing burning, but 5 people been trampled in the stampede to get out.

 

I have always liked the clear plastic tupperware boxes with camo tape. But then again one of mine got melted in a burn off and the other was muggled after the ff. :unsure:

 

Have fun.

 

Karen

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I'm reminded of a time that I watched the drama that unfolded at the airport because a child packed a fake grenade in his checked luggage. As it went through the x-ray machine, the TSA screener got rather pale. He then called over his supervisor who then called the airline's ground security and airport police. The entire ordeal took about 45 minutes and the child very nearly got arrested.

 

Just a few months ago I had a similiar experience. Some 15ish year old kid (who should have known better) was traveling alone and had packed his realistic looking black water gun in his carrying on. The orange tip had been painted over to black. I happened to have been just a couple folks behind him and had to wait in line while it was all investigated. His mother was called to return back to the airport (while we still waited) and the kid was handcuffed. The shutdown all of the security gates at this point too. Eventually they agreed not to arrest the kid but he was not allowed to fly. I wonder if his name is on that 'permenant security risk do the cavity search check' list now?

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After attending that meeting I had to scrap plans for this cache:

 

Cache Photos

:rolleyes:

 

<inserting tounge firmly in cheek> Oh, I think you should try it. Take it to the local police station and show it to them and tell them you want to place it in a park. They'll love you so much you'll be on TV that night and on the front page of the newspapers the next morning. You'll be (in)famous <extracting tongue from cheek> :P

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If somebody can get me a link or the waypoint number, I can add this cache to Bomb Scares and Other Fun Stuff.

 

If this list proves anything, it demonstrates that something like this can happen to just about any cache. The recepie for a cache becoming a bomb scare pretty much begins and ends with some unknowing person calling it suspicious. It therefore follows that no cache is immune because paranoia runs deep sometimes and law enforcement is going to error on the side of safety whenever a suspicious package is reported to them. This fact of caching life should be considered whenever hiding a cache.

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According to Sgt Fees, here are some major red flags for bomb squads:

<snip>

He said do not write something like “This is not a bomb” on the container, because someone could place it with bark covering everything but “bomb”.

 

 

Ah, good thinking. After all, bombs hidden in the woods ALWAYS say "bomb" on the container.

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I think europe is ahead of the USA on this since they appear to have less problems with caches being blown up. Caches are placed to draw people to spots, locations, and hide styles. They tend to be placed where there are less muggles. The reason to hide an object is vastly different when it comes to geocaching and terrorism.

 

That's very true. A cache i n a scenic but remote spot is much less likely to get the officials excited than a cache near a government building, bridge or airport.

 

GermanSailor

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One of my now-archived caches was blown up by a bomb squad a year or so ago. I talked with the park people but never had to deal with the police. It was an ammo box, pure and simple, that got me. It was in a very public place and had actually lasted there over a year before the trouble. I replaced it with a plastic container and all was well until the the hiding tree was cut down.

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Common sense was much more common back then. :laughing:

 

Yes.. now school kids stand outside for 3 hours while bomb sniffing dogs check a building after some kid writes "Boob" on a bathroom wall. (Pottstown PA, 2003)

 

 

I take it that the teacher and the cops are all graduates of the public schools there. Perhaps PA needs to raise taxes or start a lottery to get more funds into their schools.

 

 

 

From skimming this thread the solution is clear. The best way to keep caches from being blown up is to

 

EDUCATE THE LOCAL BOMB SQUAD.......

 

I have a plan to do just that in Houston. I've been actively working on this for several weeks. I'll be sure to post the results .......

Edited by Snoogans
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Each local caching group, should start a law enforcement themed TB with the intent of making rounds to every police station and sheriff department and taking pictures with officers at their HQ. When a geocacher moves the travel bug, they can also educate the authorities on the sport (calling it a sport is still funny to me, I also play golf another non-sport). This way law enforcement agencies will learn more, and may be less prejudiced about people lurking in alleyways, carrying munitions cans or walking around grave yards at odd times.

 

It appears to me, geocachers would be a valuable resource in aiding law enforcement in finding children lost in the wilderness or finding meth labs or marijuana crops. Imagine if the police invited your local cache crew to walk from one side of the woods to the other looking for a lost child or some type of contraband. Unlike normal people (yes walking .75 miles through mud, ticks and lime disease, to find McDonald toy filled ammo cans, hidden in the hallows of trees is not normal), cachers could use coordinates to organize the search and cover the area more effectively.

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Yes.. now school kids stand outside for 3 hours while bomb sniffing dogs check a building after some kid writes "Boob" on a bathroom wall. (Pottstown PA, 2003)

 

Well, there's your problem. The authorities brought a bomb sniffing dog to a boob scare. The end result is those poor children and their parents were falsely told there were no boobs on campus when clearly whoever wrote the warning had some knowledge of the danger posed.

 

Fer shame.

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Back on topic. It's not just materials, it's location. Those who seek to cause harm have to place their bombs where harm will be caused. This should be a no brainer, but I think europe is ahead of the USA on this since they appear to have less problems with caches being blown up. Caches are placed to draw people to spots, locations, and hide styles. They tend to be placed where there are less muggles. The reason to hide an object is vastly different when it comes to geocaching and terrorism.

Actually, one of the things Sgt Fees brought up was the incident of a glass jar in a creek bed, that when kicked exploded. So when we mentioned location, he wasn't too receptive to the thought that a remote location would be considered OK.

 

You have to keep things in perspective. Bombs can be found in remote locations. Rural highways are on the list of terrorist targets, entirly because they are rural. Even so the reasons to hide a remote bomb and the reasons to hide a remote cache are different.

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Yes.. now school kids stand outside for 3 hours while bomb sniffing dogs check a building after some kid writes "Boob" on a bathroom wall. (Pottstown PA, 2003)

 

Well, there's your problem. The authorities brought a bomb sniffing dog to a boob scare. The end result is those poor children and their parents were falsely told there were no boobs on campus when clearly whoever wrote the warning had some knowledge of the danger posed.

 

Fer shame.

 

I was in the high school the other day for a meeting and while there the school was locked down. "Code Red". The teacher went and shut the door and said "we have to stay in the class room".

 

The annoying thing wasn't the code red. It was the 100% complete lack of information as to why I'm being detained in a class room. Information lets you prepare. Perhaps to meet your maker, or perhaps to move your freaking chair away from the view of the doorway window so a quick scan by a gunner would reveal an empty class room instead of 'targets'.

 

When the meeting was over we ignored the code red and just left. Again good information would have perhaps had us stay, but since we knew nothing, we didn't know they had anything real either.

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deleted until I learn how to link

 

 

To post a link:

 

When you click reply, above the text window is a small blue and green globe. click on this and a popup window opens. Type in or cut and past the url of the website and click OK. A new window opens where you can type the title or name you want click OK again and it will add the appropiate html to the text box.

 

Like this link to a search I did on how to create a link.

 

Click preview post to see how it looks before hitting add reply.

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Nice of you to help Ironman, but I think he was joshin' ya - see his website here! :laughing:

I guess you are right as a quick search found this reply of his that has several links in it;

 

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