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cache in graveyard - is that OK?

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I'm not going to turn this into a flame war but I can assure you are 100% misinformed on all accounts. In fact, pictures were posted both on this forum and the iscga website showing exactly that. The pictures even ended up being used by a congressional committee in Columbia regarding the banning of geocaches in SC for the bill H3777. So to say the pictures don't exist is simply wrong. They do.


Because of those pictures, geocaching.com decided to do the right thing and banned and archived all cemetery geocaches in South Carolina.


I saw the damage myself being done. An example was a micro that was hidden under a stone near a gravesite. Guesss what? Every single stone within a 40 foot radius was picked up or forced out in order to find that cache.


Now most geocachers don't do any harm & I don't think any intended to do harm. But the ban done by geocaching.com was the right call.

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I'm not going to turn this into a flame war but I can assure you are 100% misinformed on all accounts. In fact, pictures were posted both on this forum and the iscga website showing exactly that. The pictures even ended up being used by a congressional committee in Columbia regarding the banning of geocaches in SC for the bill H3777. So to say the pictures don't exist is simply wrong. They do.


Nobody denies the photos exist. What they actually portray is however subject to debate. Ceips and her minions tried to pass them all off as geocachers showing disrespect in cemeteries, when in fact a good number of them weren't even taken in cemeteries. I think the most damning photo was the shot of a GPS on top of a headstone. The horror!

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I personally think the subject of caches in cemeteries is a little touchy, but in MY opinion, I cant see why.


Whenever I visit a cemetery, whether to look around, take photographs, letterbox, or whatever, I occasionally - gasp - step on a grave! Its often hard NOT to - they are kind, of, um.. close together.


I know that when Im no longer here, I could care less who's tromping over where Im buried, as Id rather have a stranger viewing my stone than to have been forgotten. (Maybe Ill have the first stone with the Groundspeak logo and a screw off cache IN the stone! Would be sweet wouldnt it??)


Hey, if ya gotta go - why be a buzzkill?


Again, I UNDERSTAND not placing caches UNDER stones, or NEAR graves, but I dont think cemeteries should be off limits, particularly if the cache is educational, or shows the visitor something interesting, or something to reflect on.

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I just posted my answer to the query on another forum post, the same question, something of the same sorts of answers. It is obviously a topic for which there is much disagreement.


IMHO..... For what it is worth, and for that matter everything that has been posted to this point should be taken as a persons HO and not much more.


There are those that feel that geocaches anywhere is a bad thing. There are those that believe that certain places at certain times are okay, etc., etc.


There will always be those on either side of the fence (outside and inside) of the cache in a cemetery issue. This is the major issue that makes this topic difficult.


I posted to the other forum post that I have spent many years in cemeteries. My job was to show respect for the families of the deceased; not the deceased, but the families of the deceased. Whatever you believe, whatever religion you follow or practice, whether you do or not, I believe (and please correct me if I am wrong) the dead don't care about their remains, they are beyond that, and it is for the living that these places exist.


Now, how do we show respect to the living. If it is a public graveyard it is taken care of by someone, that someone has been placed in charge of maintaining the cemetery, the grounds keeping, the headstone maintenance, the rules and regulations regarding visiting/parking/etc. They are given that task by both the governmental agency that controls these cemeteries and the families (by default) who have their loved ones interred there. It is the responsibility of the cemetery superintendent/grounds keeper to insure these interests are taken care of. If they say yes, then yes. If they say no, then no.


The only thing that I believe that those of us who hunt for caches should do is spend more time in the cemetery then the time it takes to go into a cemetery, find a cache and get out. To begin with, if you need a reason to follow my suggestion, it will be less obvious that you are "hunting" a cache. But more to the point, when taking ones time you will find that there is much to see in these cemeteries, old and new, large and amall.


If you've ever had the privilege to visit Arlington Cemetery you will see tourists, visitors, next of kin, funeral parties, honor guard, presidents and privates all in the same place. Those that inter their next of kin there understand that while they will be grieving there will be school children walking up the hill to see the Lee Mansion, the Memorial Amphitheater and the Tomb of the Unknowns, Joe Louis, Metger Evers and Robert Kennedy.... I think that we can all agree that it would be wrong to not have visitors there; I think all can agree to that. But at the same time, those visitors take a pause when they hear three cracks from the far end of the cemetery, the end down near the Pentagon where the newer burials take place. It is here that heroes from Iraq find their final resting place. It would be wrong not to go and visit.


At the same time, those High School students, the thousands of them that go there, must be reminded, continually, where they are. If you've been there have you heard "It is requested that all visitors maintain a respectful....." ? It is a reminder that is repeated numerous times a day during the summer. Those who visit during the winter months have a different perspective. Those who stand overlooking the Potomac on those cold winter nights have a much different perspective.


Show respect, do not disturb, learn and leave understanding something new. I don't think that anyone can find fault in that. And if a geocache placed with permission of the responsible parties, respectfully incourages visitors, reminds people of the places where the fallen lie, perhaps it is for the good.


Just a thought from one more humble citizen/cacher...

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Nobody denies the photos exist.


I do.


Anyway, the pictures of folks laying gravestones, in graves, holding skulls, selling artifacts on ebay, painting gravestones and more never saw the light of day as they never existed.


The main reason I deny they exist is no one has seen them. If these photos existed, then they most certainly would have been used to present their case in public. If they existed, where are they?


As you said, the photos that were presented weren't what they were purported to be. Even their "flagship" evidence of grave desecration was fabricated from a log by a sheriff's deputy and written on a cache owned by a highway patrolman. You know, little details that were conveniently left out.

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About the only caches in cemetaries I've seen have been virtual caches. There's a couple of VCs in a cemetary in my hometown Lincoln NE. Both were related to famous Nebraska people that made history in their own ways.


They were High Voltage by Beemerdad (GCC963) and A Song in His Heart by NevaLP (GCB88C). Both caches were interesting finds and the historical aspects were informative.


Common sense tells me if you put in a micro or a virtual cache in a public cemetary, that's ok. But any cache bigger than a micro would be tatamount to digging up a gravesite. Be sure to check with the people in charge of the cemetaries what their policy is regarding placing caches. And of course, if you happen to be in the area where a gravesite service is taking place, please keep a respectful distance from them. Or if you were walking or driving along a lane in the cemetary and a funeral procession comes along, step aside / pull over and show some respect. People will remember you for doing that.


I'm sure the majority of the geo-cachers will be respectful. It's the few oddballs and thrill seekers that are spoiling our good image to the general public. Thanks.

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