Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1
Kordite

Description Or Coordinates

Recommended Posts

I was visiting Gettysburg last week and attempted to log this benchmark:

 

JV4159

N 39° 48.955 W 077° 14.082 (NAD 83)

Designation: GETTYSBURG SEMINARY RIDGE LOT

Marker Type: lookout tower

1/1/1942 by CGS (FIRST OBSERVED)

DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1942 (PLB) THIS INTERSECTION STATION IS THE LOOKOUT TOWER ON THE E SIDE OF CONFEDERATE AVENUE IN THE SOUTHERN PART OF SEMINARY RIDGE ABOUT 3 MILES SW OF GETTYSBURG. IT IS LOCATED AT A CORNER IN THE ROCK FENCE. IT IS A STEEL TOWER ABOUT 100 FEET HIGH WITH A LONG FINIAL AT TOP. THE FINIAL WAS THE POINT OBSERVED UPON.

 

The tower is as described and in good condition but the coordinates are off to the tune of two miles. There used to be a tower at the listed coordinates ("Cemetary Hill Observation Tower") but it was torn down around 1960. The described tower ("Longstreet Observation Tower) is at N 39° 47.992 W 077° 15.362

 

1/1/1990 by USPSQD (GOOD)

RECOVERY NOTE BY US POWER SQUADRON 1990 (NH) RECOVERED IN GOOD CONDITION.

 

I assume that because they recovered it, that they didn't pay attention to the coordinates and went for the description. I also assume that I should officially recover it as in good condition but note the different coordinates as per my handheld gps. I send Deb an email to that effect but given the comments about her not being around figured that someone would known the answer here.

 

Also at Gettysburg is another tower:

 

JV4161

N 39° 50.643 W 077° 14.514 (NAD 83)

Designation: GETTYSBURG OAK RIDGE LOT

Marker Type: lookout tower

1/1/1942 by CGS (FIRST OBSERVED)

DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1942 (PLB) STATION IS A 4-LEGGED STEEL LOOKOUT TOWER ABOUT 90 FEET HIGH SURMOUNTED BY AN OPEN PLATFORM WITH A SHINGLED ROOF. STATION IS ABOUT 1 MILE N OF THE TOWN OF GETTYSBURG JUST W OF THE GETTYSBURG AND HARRISBURG RAILROAD. POINT OBSERVED ON WAS THE FINIAL.

 

Originally, this was an identical tower but in 1960 the top 3/4 of the tower was removed and a new roofless platform was built. Since the benchmark was officially the finial atop the roof and no longer exists, technically the benchmark was destroyed. Since some of the tower remains, it still has some utility so I'm guessing that the condition should probably be listed as "poor" with all the appropriate changes to the description. What say you to that?

Share this post


Link to post

Kordite -

 

I would log both of these as destroyed on the geocaching site, and email Deb about each of them with pictures and the results of your excellent research. Also, it would be good to point out that the USPSQD report is in error according to your findings.

 

In my opinion on the first tower, it doesn't matter how good of condition a wrong tower is - the station is destroyed.

In my opinion on the second tower, if there's no finial, the station is destroyed, even if there's still a tower there.

Deb is the final authority on these things, of course, and you could modify whatever geocaching logs you make based on her final decision.

Share this post


Link to post

Most of the original observation towers at Gettysburg were torn down years ago. If the tower that you found isn't located where the datasheet describes, then you didn't find the station described in the sheet. Even if the tower had been moved to another location, the survey station is destroyed, since the only thing that matters is the original location, not the artifact that once stood at the original location.

 

The fact the USPSQ reported it found is irrelevant. They have been known to make mistakes before. (Despite their name, they are not a government organization).

 

You should record the fact that the tower that once stood at the location is gone and report it not found. If you take pictures of the location showing that the tower is gone, you may be able to get Deb Brown to mark it destroyed.

 

As for the second tower, you should report that one "not found" also, noting that the upper 3/4 of the tower was removed and the point observed is no longer present.

Share this post


Link to post

RE: JV4159 - From my understanding of NGS recoveries, the description trumps the coordinates. I live fairly close to the area, and I'm pretty sure this tower is the same one I saw there in the 60's....I'd hesitate to submit as "Destroyed" (unless you have hard evidence..say a 40's postcard pic of the area w/ a different tower)...

 

...now JV4161 - that's a different story (I myself logged that one as 'found" on GC.com, but definitely wouldn't w/ the NGS..hmm maybe I should change my GC log...) ..as the description mentions...this one definitely is NOT in "good" condition (for NGS standards)...

Share this post


Link to post

..just to muck up this thread - here's another example of description vs. coordinates:

 

KW3109 - MECHANICSBURG IBM WATER TANK

KW3108 - MECHANICSBURG USN SUPPLY SW TK

 

The name & description for the PIDs are correct ...but the coordinates are reversed (and the USN tank was torn down quite a few years ago). From what I understand, for NGS recoveries you are to rely on the description as much as possible, so KW3109 exists and is in good condition (gosh I never did upload that pic..still there as of Friday), but KW3108 does not....

 

..right? :ph34r:

Edited by Ernmark

Share this post


Link to post

RE: JV4159 - From my understanding of NGS recoveries, the description trumps the coordinates. I live fairly close to the area, and I'm pretty sure this tower is the same one I saw there in the 60's....I'd hesitate to submit as "Destroyed" (unless you have hard evidence..say a 40's postcard pic of the area w/ a different tower)...

 

Since JV4159 is an adjusted horizontal control station, the coordinates trump the description, especially if the description is ambiguous. I also know that there used to be several towers on Seminary ridge, and most of them are gone now. I'm sure that if the remaining tower is 2 miles from the coordinates that are on the datasheet, then it is not the tower that was observed. Most intersection stations are observed with high accuracy, and it would be impossible for the datasheet to be that much in error. A few feet, maybe. A few miles? Never.

Edited by holograph

Share this post


Link to post

RE: JV4159 - From my understanding of NGS recoveries, the description trumps the coordinates. I live fairly close to the area, and I'm pretty sure this tower is the same one I saw there in the 60's....I'd hesitate to submit as "Destroyed" (unless you have hard evidence..say a 40's postcard pic of the area w/ a different tower)...

 

Since JV4159 is an adjusted horizontal control station, the coordinates trump the description..

 

Good point ..didn't catch that before. Longstreet Tower, which IS on Seminary Ridge does seem to fit the description, tho' ( and I think is the right distance SW of town)...I've been benchmarking down in that area for the past few weeks - I'll stop by & check some measurements & verify the rock fence..

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah, it may be that the descriptions on the datasheets were mixed up. Certainly the location of JV4159 doesn't place it 3 miles SW of Gettysburg -- it would be about 1.6 miles south of the square.

 

It's even possible that the coordinates were not transcribed properly and are wrong, and the station really was the tower on Confederate Ave. If that is the case, someone at the NGS may be able to find the original notes and correct the coodinates, however I doubt that anyone would go to that trouble, since intersection stations are no longer useful, and it wouldn't be worth the trouble of putting it through the adjustment process again.

Share this post


Link to post

Agreed. I guess to answer Kordite's question for JV4159 - the best solution would be to log the recovery ( if it turns out to be the correct tower for the description) & notate the coords (in NGS's format) in the comments..

Share this post


Link to post

I don't know how the NGS data set works, but I have a 2-part guess:

 

1. In the case of location-Adjusted coordinates, they are either within tolerance (maybe an inch or something), or they will not be seen in the database. The adjustment process will kick out (show as out-of-tolerance) any stations that are way off and the NGS will make sure the station won't get into the database.

 

2. There are no transcription errors in the case of Adjusted coordinates. The coordinates you see in the database are put there by the adjustment program or some other programs down the chain of events, without human transcription.

 

In conclusion (from my guessing), Adjusted coordinates are always correct (within their very small tolerance), and they always 'trump' any location description in determining a location-Adjusted mark's position in the field. Of course, if the object you find does not match the object description, the object you found is not the mark. (I'm noting here that a PID description is really in 2 parts - there is the location description of how to find the mark, and there is the object description of what the mark looks like. The concept of 'trumping' only applies to the location part of the description!)

 

Descriptions are occasionally exchanged between different PIDs - we've seen it happen, at least with reports within a PID.

 

Only in the case of location-Scaled PIDs does the description 'trump' the coordinates. This is because the coordinates are scaled from a map (probably a topo map) and could be a couple hundred feet off, but the final measurement of the description will be something like "8 feet from power pole 42B".

Edited by Black Dog Trackers

Share this post


Link to post

Wisht I understood these things better. KV3906. One of more than 100 marks set in cement in clay tile pipes along the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers, in 1914. Coordinates adjusted to five decimal points. Station reported lost in 1932 (along with most of the hundred of these.) Though this one was attached to a wooden pier. The web site that I found says that the pier was abandoned in the 1920's due to pollution concerns. It is now buried under five feet of concrete fill for a parking lot at a car dealer. The five decimal points sounds more like precision than accuracy, to me. After all, no one has logged this since 1914!

To answer the original question, I'll go for desription over coordinates any day: KV0520. Location is scaled, and .16 of a mile off! Description is very good. Found it very easily. Of course, there is a history of inaccurate sacling in Ridgewood. KV0518 is .22 of a mile off.

Share this post


Link to post

Having done some research, I might conclude that the location coordinates are correct, and the description is wrong.

 

There were originally 5 towers erected on the battlefield in 1894 and 1895. I had no idea the towers were that old.

 

#1 was a 60 foot tower on Big Round Top. I remember climbing that one when I was a kid. It has been torn down.

 

#2 was a 75 foot tower on Seminary Ridge, near the Wheatfield. This is the one that Kordite and the USPSQ found, the "Longstreet Tower".

 

#3 was a 75 foot tower on Seminary Ridge, near Mummasburg road. This one is still present in the area of the battlefield near the Eternal Peace Light.

 

#4 was a 60 foot tower at the summit of Culp's Hill. It is still present as far as I know.

 

#5 was built in Ziegler's Grove, near where the current visitor's center and Cyclorama stand. It has been torn down. The coordinates of JV4159 place it at that location, and none of the other towers are even close. I suspect that the description was written incorrectly. The tower was at the north end of Cemetary Ridge, between Steinwehr Avenue and Taneytown road.

 

There are comments that the foundations of the missing towers are still visible if you know where to look. If someone is visiting Gettysburg in the near future, it would be interesting to find the foundation of tower #5 and compare it to the location for JV4159. The GPS should lead you right there.

 

gettysburg.png

Share this post


Link to post

I'm planning a visit to the area 2morrow evening - I'll check it out (even tho' it'll adversely affect my totals for the month :wub:) . Thanks for the tower research..would've probably taken me a month or so to get around to it!

Share this post


Link to post

> #1 was a 60 foot tower on Big Round Top.

JV4157

 

> #2 was a 75 foot tower on Seminary Ridge, near the Wheatfield.

No PID, Longstreet Tower

 

> #3 was a 75 foot tower on Seminary Ridge,

JV4161 on Oak Ridge, was cut down to 1/4 height in 1960

 

> #4 was a 60 foot tower at the summit of Culp's Hill.

JV4155, still in place

 

> #5 was built in Ziegler's Grove, near where the current visitor's center and Cyclorama stand.

JV4159 according to coordinates

 

The Longstreet Tower and the tower on Culp's hill have survived because they are hidden by trees. Just the tops showing above the treetops does not disturb the skyline. The one on Cemetary Hill dominated the skyline and was removed completely.

 

I don't think the description was written incorrectly. What I think happened was that each of the 5 towers were described as benchmarks and coordinates were calculated for each of them. But when this information was placed in the database, the coordinates for one got mixked up with the description of the other. This is also why Longstreet Tower does not have a PID and the 4 other towers do. It was an administrative error.

 

So, there still isn't a concensus on how to clear this up. For it to be useful, the coordinates need to be right but, since the coordinates are for a tower that is no longer there, even though the tower in the description is still there the coordinates are useles. I now think it should be reported as destroyed in 1960 and clearly stated in the log that the description was wrong in the first place.

 

As for the tower at Oak Ridge, I'm still tendant to describbe it as "poor" because the coordinates are still reasonably correct even though the finial on the roof is gone. I think of it as like having the disk removed but the post hole still there. Still usable if not quite as precisely.

 

I may need to wait for Deb to get back to rule on this.

Share this post


Link to post

I had previously forwarded the information regarding KW3108 and KW3109 to Cheryl Malone but it never got changed in the database. I think she is the person to do this instead of Deb. Your best bet is to send the information you have gathered to either Deb or Cheryl and let the NGS sort it out.

 

At NGS they trust us (GEOCAC folks) and I am pretty sure they will take your word for any proposed changes in description. Deb actually took my word on a destroyed disk one time because she hadn't received my pics! You can always refer them to this thread--the research and knowledge put into the 5 Gburg towers is comprehensive. I DO want to go on record as being probably the only person who wasn't the owner of the Gettysburg tower who was not in favor of its removal. It gave a clear view of the battlefields that cannot be gained from the ground, and was no less obtrusive than other development that is encroaching on the battlefields. (I once ran down the stairs of it to avoid having to look out the windows of the elevator, which has been my phobia for as long as I can remember. I took two running steps per staircase and got to the ground floor as the elevator did. I imagine that I could be heard thundering down the metal stairs on the metal structure for quite a distance.)

Share this post


Link to post

Qapla! - I made it down to the Battlefield last nite w/ the 2-yr-old in tow....first thing I did was check out the adjusted coords - been thru the area many times, but never to look for tower remains.. I didn't find much in the way of evidence - save for a depression in the grass here & there ...and MAYBE the very faint evidence of where the gravel under the legs may have been (precisely at the coord's as expected):

 

ee5b4333-1ffe-4e66-ba1f-accf05e77a10.jpg

view of area of coord's (just left of center) looking S

 

I edited my log & added pics of the landmarks in the description (i.e., rock wall 'corner' & parking 'lot')

 

...not that any of this clears up the issues w/ this PID .....but now you can take a

"Virtual JV4159 Tour"®

 

PS - one thing that I did not do was measure the street distance from the town square (circle) - If you would travel west on US 30 & turn south at the Seminary & follow Confederate Ave. to the tower (a logical route given the roads)...you could approach a distance closer to 3 miles - I ran out of time ( after looking for a few other marks) as I discovered, with a kid in the car, Ice Cream 'trumps' Description AND Coordinates ! :laughing:

 

Edit 7/2 - Kordite - would it be better to report as found poor & note the actual coords w/ the recovery? I'd hate to "destroy" a station that may? still exist. (note that the NGS Datasheet for JV4157 lists the tower at Big Round Top as a not found - which is definitely gone). I remember it said in one of the other threads that the NGS is "eternally optimistic" (like the "Federation") about the recovery of a not-found ...a disk, for example is often "not-found" unless you grab a picture of it say, laying on its side in a toppled monument... Regarding Oak Ridge Tower - I definitely agree with your assessment - still kinda there & it could have some use...

Edited by Ernmark

Share this post


Link to post

I am moving this post from another thread in Benchmarks over to this one as it is exactly the problem I was asking another benchmarker about.

 

Hi Callaway MT

It has been a long time since I went benchmarking, it is more difficult to find time to benchmark when you are a Canadian you know.

I see you went and visited this benchmark near Havre, Montana.

I see you had no luck turning up the actual benchmark but I was wondering where you actually looked ?

 

The original problem that I had was the co-ordinates did not match the legal description at the corner. I went to the coordinates posted on the benchmark page but as I pointed out in the NGS correction thread at the time, that location did not match the legal description according to the MDOT maps.

 

I am going to get a chance to recover some very interesting Montana benchmarks next month along the 49th parallel in Grasslands National Park. ( I hope so but the wife really doesn't know yet!!!)

 

That benchmark in Montana still bothers me a little whenever I think about it, like a thorn you can't quite extract. Is it worth attemtpting to correct the description and the legal so they match the co-ordinate or vice versa. Here is a link to the conversation regarding this strange error in the NGS database.

 

Thanks Callaway MT

Share this post


Link to post

Wavector, Follow the written description even though the coordinates are adjusted. There was a thread in the forum sometime ago about benchmarks with adjusted coordinates being some place other than where the coordinates said they should be.

 

Since the description puts the benchmark 1 mile north of the given coordinates where the stated section (35) is located, that is where I'd try if there is no indication of the mark at the given coordinates. If you can locate the cross roads then measure 50 feet south of the east-west road & 50 west of the north south road. This should get you close to where the station should be located. Also look for a pipe with a cap on it as the RM for the station mark. "REFERENCE MARK - STANDARD BLM REFERENCE TABLET STAMPED ---52 RM 1945 37 --- ON IRON PIPE 16.1 FT. FROM STATION, S 01 DEG 41 MIN E."

 

Good luck,

 

John

Share this post


Link to post

I've never heard of one being off a few feet, or wrong for any other reason than data entry. I had one with an obvious problem at MH0702. NGS determined that the coordinates of a different point in the USGS list had been entered with the description of the disk location, and made that PID non-published.

Share this post


Link to post

I would still like to hear any more comments on this mark in Northern Montana, it really would be nice to know if there is any chance I could find it if I looked where the description said to look ?

It was described this way in the conversation at the time:

 

you have third order geodetic triangulation that does not match the BLM section corner it is supposed to be at

 

I know CallawayMT and mloser went and had a look at this as they published a "possibly destroyed" log but I can't really tell from the logs if they searched two locations or one. If the description is a bust then looking there would be a complete waste of time woiuldn't it.

I think the conclusion at the time was that the coords could NOT be wrong and it had to be the description. When I was there ground conditions were bad and I only had a chance to search the coordinates and I will be passing through this area again soon, any chance, should I look?

Share this post


Link to post

All I can say on this one is use the coordinates to find the location. Vague descriptions can drive you crazy.

 

Once you get to the site you are going to have to search the area for the mark. Descriptions change over the years, roads disappear and many things seem impossible looking at it today. It could be buired several feet or it could be gone. The ideal way would be to use RTK GPS which could get you within a few inches to look, baring that you need luck.

 

Has anyone gone to the local courthouse or where they keep land corners records to see if any local land surveyor found and used the section corner? Thats what I would do.

Share this post


Link to post

wavector -

 

Well if CallawayMT, Square nail, and mloser went looking for a mark and didn't find it, I would not even bother going there! :grin:

 

Those guys are all expert and very experienced benchmark hunters!

Share this post


Link to post

Wait wait! I didn't go looking. I just posted a map and aerial photo of the suspected location. From looking at the aerial photo I would say there will be little to go on in looking for that mark. There are simply NO landmarks to measure from. It appears to be in the middle of a field.

Share this post


Link to post
Wait wait! I didn't go looking.

 

Sorry mloser, I don't know why I put your name in there, it actually was Square Nail who went looking with CallawayMT.

 

The problem with this benchmark is not a vague description, the description is based upon a start at the town of Box Elder, this town has not moved. The description can no longer be followed directly as the road is no longer straight north and south but there is no problem locating the correct place, the legal description of the land and the description driving distances match up perfectly.

The described location does match the BLM Corner, if you follow the description you end up at the exact legal corner referred to, the NE of 35. The problem I discovered is that the coordinates in the database do not take you to the NE of 35, they take you to the NE of 2, this is one mile away.

There really is nothing to throw you off in this description and the land described is the correct section corner according to the MDOT maps and the BLM.

 

The problem here is that the coordinates take you to the NE Corner of Section 2 not the NE corner of 35, it is one mile away. Not only that, the coordinates are clearly one mile away from the described location, 10 miles North of Box Elder, not 11 miles as clearly stated in the description. The description does take you to the correct land legal and the description jives with everything else, the coordinates do not jive with the description of the legal land and do not match the description's driving distances. I searched the coordinates.

 

Now I know Callaway's log says that the mark is likely destroyed but they didn't make any comment about the 1 mile error between the coordinates and the description so I am not sure where they focused the search. As I originally noted, my plan was to search the boulder piles near the location and try and find the mark in the boulder pile, I am pretty sure it will be in one of the nearby boulder piles but here is my problem, do I search the boulder piles near the legal corner where the description says to go or do I search the boulder piles near the coordinates ? If I find the cap in a boulder pile would it be alright to keep it ?

 

When I orginally pointed out this problem in the forums the conclusion was that there was a major problem here and the only agency that appeared to be correct was the BLM. In early August we are going to be passing through this area and I am wondering, is there any point in searching the location described, it is one mile away from the coordinates.

 

Which boulder piles should I search if I do get there ? Thanks for any comments or insight.

Share this post


Link to post

Go with the coordinates.

 

It is easier to make a mistake of 11 vs 10 miles when reading the odometer, than it is to get the ADJUSTED coordinates off by exactly a mile. Then the guy looking at the map comes up with section 35 as a result. He probably had no way to know the section except by the road distance.

 

The topo indicates there once was a road running straight north to intersect at NE sec 2 to fit the description except for the extra mile. The topo shows a benchmark at NE sec 2 with the right elevation give or take a datum update. The elevation matches the contour lines. Gotta be.

 

The NGS doesn't show any other disk within a couple miles. It seems unlikely the USGS set one a mile away to get mixed up with (like the case of MH0702 I referred to above).

 

I'm betting that Calloway searched at the coordinates, not at 11 miles, and searched for the reference mark as well. That means your chances are pretty slim and I wouldn't detour very far for these odds.

 

It wouldn't hurt to take a quick look at NE sec 35 since the topo shows remants of a road there, too, but the elevation is wrong, the coordinates are wrong, and the map looks less like it had a decent crossroads in 1957.

 

If you find a disk out of place, you are supposed to send a photo and explanation to Deb Brown. If she agrees it is destroyed and reclassifies the data sheet, then they don't seem to mind you taking the disk, since that prevents it from getting mistaken for one the right location in the future. Don't take a disk that some potential user might possibly think was in a useful position and isn't classified as destroyed.

Share this post


Link to post
Wait wait! I didn't go looking.

 

Sorry mloser, I don't know why I put your name in there, it actually was Square Nail who went looking with CallawayMT.

 

The problem with this benchmark is not a vague description, the description is based upon a start at the town of Box Elder, this town has not moved. The description can no longer be followed directly as the road is no longer straight north and south but there is no problem locating the correct place, the legal description of the land and the description driving distances match up perfectly.

The described location does match the BLM Corner, if you follow the description you end up at the exact legal corner referred to, the NE of 35. The problem I discovered is that the coordinates in the database do not take you to the NE of 35, they take you to the NE of 2, this is one mile away.

There really is nothing to throw you off in this description and the land described is the correct section corner according to the MDOT maps and the BLM.

 

The problem here is that the coordinates take you to the NE Corner of Section 2 not the NE corner of 35, it is one mile away. Not only that, the coordinates are clearly one mile away from the described location, 10 miles North of Box Elder, not 11 miles as clearly stated in the description. The description does take you to the correct land legal and the description jives with everything else, the coordinates do not jive with the description of the legal land and do not match the description's driving distances. I searched the coordinates.

 

Now I know Callaway's log says that the mark is likely destroyed but they didn't make any comment about the 1 mile error between the coordinates and the description so I am not sure where they focused the search. As I originally noted, my plan was to search the boulder piles near the location and try and find the mark in the boulder pile, I am pretty sure it will be in one of the nearby boulder piles but here is my problem, do I search the boulder piles near the legal corner where the description says to go or do I search the boulder piles near the coordinates ? If I find the cap in a boulder pile would it be alright to keep it ?

 

When I orginally pointed out this problem in the forums the conclusion was that there was a major problem here and the only agency that appeared to be correct was the BLM. In early August we are going to be passing through this area and I am wondering, is there any point in searching the location described, it is one mile away from the coordinates.

 

Which boulder piles should I search if I do get there ? Thanks for any comments or insight.

 

Wavevector,

 

I'm sorry that I had not noticed your post earlier, but I don't frequent this forum and I have been all over the place working lately.

 

SquareNail and I only searched for this mark at the coordinates listed. As I stated in last year's posting, I do not believe that this mark was anywhere, but at the adjusted coordinate position. They had to turn angles from known positions to establish the lat and lon on this corner, those have been adjusted and checked over the years; most likely they were right on. The description leaves a lot of room for error.

 

We both had metal detectors and searched hard in the area for the corner and also the RM's to the GLO corner mentioned. The whole area is heavily changed and farmed, I believe that the marks are probably laying in a rock pile somewhere, or out in the field in another location. There were crops in the ground and it is possible that we missed buzzing it up; and there is always the chance that it is one mile north. I don't think so, and so did not go looking there.

 

Good luck,

CallawayMT

Share this post


Link to post

I just had a experince with a 2 BM's NOS in my area in which the 1975 description puts you in the wrong place. It appears they dropped off a the last leg of the "to reach". One I found because its in a massive rock ourcrop and the only one in the area but the scaled position was way off. The other mark I have no idea where it could be from the descrption, it has the same scaled position as the mark I found. There is nothing in the area that fits the references.

 

Not only did I have problems but another gov't agency reported they could not find them in 1998.

 

Give the corrdinates the benefit of the doubt, they are 100% more reliable than any decription.

Edited by Z15

Share this post


Link to post

what if you change the NE corner of 35 to the SE corner of 35, does that make the descrption fit?

 

STATION IS LOCATED ABOUT 12 MI. DUE N. OF BOX ELDER AT THE SE. CORNER

OF SEC.35 T.32 N., R. 13 E. There should be a coma between ELDER and AT, as written is seems the box elder is at the NE cor of 35

 

The SE of 35 is the NE of 2, one and the same corner and right on the townline T31N/T32N

Edited by Z15

Share this post


Link to post
there is always the chance that it is one mile north. I don't think so, and so did not go looking there.

 

Thanks Callaway!

 

I searched the same area that you guys did but I am not an experienced searcher and have no tools beyong my probe. I never got to the actual corner that is "described" but I did the best search I could at the coordinates and found/saw nothing.

I am still going to come back here and look again but I think I will focus on rockpiles that are near the coordinates.

I see Z15 mentioned changing the legal to make the description fit but the decription doesn't work at all without multiple changes. It is the wrong number of miles and the wrong legal. I think this description should be changed and the data sheet should also be changed. The " number of miles driven" was checked in 1959 but never could have been correct. From coordinates the corner is either the NE of 2 but I think you also mentioned that the SE of 35 is also a possibility. Given the obvious error of a mile in the description I would lean to the NE of 2 as the correct land description, I will concentrate on rockpiles near that location.

 

I was surprised to see that this description checked out OK in 1959. That 1 mile error is further compounded because the wrong legal land desciption is included in the description. If there is a process to correct the description it really should be corrected don't you think?

 

At the time I pointed out the problem with this Corner one benchmarker said it appeared to be a major bust by several agencies. I can tell you that it still bothers me a little bit since I have only found a few bench marks and in my opinion this size of error in a survey database is significant, especially as it is tied to a legal description which appears to be incorrect. Without a handheld GPS this description would be very hard to shoot down because it is correct in all particulars and according to the datasheet it has been checked out, it is just a mile away from the point being described by coordinates.

 

I won't waste any time looking at the actual coordinate location as I think that your search was probably much better than mine but I hope I can find it in a rockpile near there, I might even knock on few doors and talk to some of the oldtimers who might remember the way the road used to be.

 

Thanks for the info Callaway.

Edited by wavector

Share this post


Link to post

As others have pointed out, we have many resources at our disposal that the folks did not have in the 1950's Chief among them for hunting marks with Adjusted coordinates is the GPS receiver.

 

In the box score of the NGS Datasheet for TK096, it shows a reference object "TK0495 SQUARE BUTTE APPROX.17.6 KM 1620251.8"

 

You might either find TK0495 and get a reading, or trust the Adjusted coordinates for Square Butte as printed. Either way, if you get those coordinates into your GPSr and use the "Go To' or similar function, it should tell you if you are the correct distance and direction from TK0495 when you are at the described location or at the adjusted coordinates for CORNER. The azimuth appears to be the more reliable of the two, since the distance is given as "APPROX."

 

It seems unlikely that the adjusted coordinates will be wrong, but that is a way to check.

Share this post


Link to post

That works!!!

I am using Mapsource and using the Distance/Bearing function it matches very clearly. The Mapsource program reports that the distance to Square Butte (using the coordinates from the datasheet) is exactly 17.6 kms at a bearing of 162 degrees, this matches the coordinate information for TK0496 very closely. The distance shown by Mapsource between the coordinates and Highway 87 is approx 16.3 kms which is very close to 10 miles and not very close to the 11 miles mentioned in the description.

The description states that the mark is 49 feet SW of the crossroads, this really leads me to believe that the CORNER referred to is the NE of 2, not the NE of 35 because if the SE of 35 was intended then the benchmark would likely be 49 feet "NW" of the crossroads, not "SW" of the crossroads.

In my initial confusion I noted that the NE CORNER of 2 is the NE CORNER of 35 if you use the Torrens System, I am not so sure that it is relevant, it appears that when this benchmark was recovered in 1959 the same errors were overlooked or were made again by the surveyors doing the recovery, the 1 mile error is there.

The description and the legal land information included in the description for this CORNER benchmark are very likely wrong.

This error is compounded by the fact that the description recorded for TK0496 is correct in every regard except that it takes you to a location that is 1 mile away from the coordinates. So if you follow the description you do end up where you are supposed to be, at the NE corner of 35, but there is no CORNER benchmark there and it is likely that there never was a benchmark at that corner.

If I wished to point his out to someone at the NGS how would I go about doing that ?

Is it normal to correct mistakes of this magnitude in the NGS database ?

 

The primary reason that this BM still bothers me a little is that the error is almost impossible to find without a GPS. The description is bulletproof until a simple coordinate check shows things one mile out. The description cannot be used to find this mark at all nor does knowing the legal land description offer any help. If you had no GPS you would be snookered on this one for sure.

 

Thanks for all the insight and help that I have received from everyone. I still intend to go visit this benchmark again with the intent of finding that boulder, it is likely in a boulder pile near the NE corner of section 2.

Share this post


Link to post

 

If I wished to point his out to someone at the NGS how would I go about doing that ?

Is it normal to correct mistakes of this magnitude in the NGS database ?

 

The way that I know to report have the correct information in the datasheet is when you are satisfied that you have everything in order and either find the mark, the disk in a boulder pile, (or, perhaps, the disk in its correct location), make a recovery report to NGS with your observations.

 

Of course I have not been there to see the lay of the land first hand, but I might still hold out some hope of finding it still in place. From the photo you posted, it looks like you can project the intersection of the n-s crossroad fairly accurately. Then you have a reference to find the 49 feet SW of the crossroads to start searching for the boulder. Because the disk is described as "STANDARD USGS TABLET STAMPED ---CORNER, 1957 VABM 2790--- CEMENTED IN BURIED BOULDER FLUSH WITH THE GROUND." I would not completely give up on the mark without some probing to see if there is a boulder there, only covered when the crossroad was taken out.

 

For information on making recovery reports, see the pinned topic "NGS Forum FAQ."

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 1

×
×
  • Create New...