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supertbone

Interrogated by the Secret Service

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On Nov. 19 I arrived in the Washington DC / Northern VA for a quick trip. After I arrived I decided to hit a lot of the many virtuals in DC. After a couple of caches I approached the White House at 8:30 pm along E street. If you are not familiar with the caches near the White House, there are three virtuals that are bunched up in a couple of hundred feet of each other. While at "Mile Zero" (GC2E52) I was approached by one armed Secret Service member who started questioning me about what I was doing and before I could explain what I was doing he identified that I was holding a GPSr. I explained that I was using the GPSr to point me to some of the sights around DC. After, a minute we were done and I moved on to "A Wood Chuck's Paradise" (GC8347) and then 4 to 5 agents swarmed me frisked me, took my GPSr, PDA, cellphone, maps, and my drivers license. Then they proceeded to interrogate me rather thoroughly for 10 - 15 minutes on what I was doing, my background, and my purpose of visiting DC was. I explained geocaching and they asked me if there was one over the fence on the White House property. I said no and I explained the geocaching placement policy and they were cool with that. After running my background they apologized and let me go. I got my stuff back and they told me to get lost. :mad: That was the craziest experience I have had in years. I am not sure what tipped them off as I was not the only person there visiting the monuments.

Edited by supertbone

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GPSrs can be tampered with to make very accurate missles and excellent target points they are usually not allowed in major government land marks even though you werent in i can understand why they would do that. ps gpsrs are illegal in many countries expecialy near iraq as you can understand.

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... After running my background they apologized and let me go. I got my stuff back and they told me to get lost. :anitongue: That was the craziest experience I have had in years. I am not sure what tipped them off as I was not the only person there visiting the monuments.

Geocaching behavior happens to fit the much of the profile being used to identify a threat. They keyed into that behavior. The GPS was the icing on the cake. That's why they zeroed in on that.

 

You would think that after they learned that you are ok, that you are one of the Joe Citizens that this country exists to protect and serve, they would invite you to go about your business. But nope, they played the 'go away, don't pass go, don't come back' card.

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From this website:

http://www.nationalterroralert.com/suspicious-activity/

[bracketed comments are mine.]

The following should cause a heightened sense of suspicion:

 

• suspicious or unusual interest

[looking for a cache]

• surveillance (suspicious in nature)

[looking for a cache]

• inappropriate photographs or videos

[pictures of the cache]

• note-taking

[cache #3 of the day...]

• drawing of diagrams

[solving a puzzle on the spot, plus note taking looks like this from afar...]

• annotating maps

[cross this one off the list]

• using binoculars or night vision devices

 

Unusual or suspicious activity does not necessarily mean that terrorist activity is happening, but be aware of the following suspicious behaviors:

 

• Individuals acting furtively and suspiciously

[rooting about in the bushes]

• Individuals avoiding eye contact

[i wish the muggle would go away and quit looking at me]

• Individuals departing quickly when seen or approached

[Muggle! Run!]

• Individuals in places they don’t belong

[we belong everwhere that doesn't have a prohibition...but not everone sees it this way]

• A strong odor coming from a building or vehicle

[cacheing junk food, sweat, and a long hard day baking in the sun]

• An overloaded vehicle

[got gear?]

• Fluid leaking from a vehicle, other than the engine or gas tank

• Over dressed for the type of weather

[be prepared]

 

[GPSs are on the list of items to watch for person using to itendify a threat, there are other behaviors on that web page that would put geocachers on the list of people to watch for, in time they may realize that geocachers exist and put "geocachers won't don't find the box sign the log and move on, geocachers who's search pattern is too wide with no evident ground zero." etc.]

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On Nov. 19 I arrived in the Washington DC / Northern VA for a quick trip. After I arrived I decided to hit a lot of the many virtuals in DC. After a couple of caches I approached the White House at 8:30 pm along E street. If you are not familiar with the caches near the White House, there are three virtuals that are bunched up in a couple of hundred feet of each other. While at "Mile Zero" (GC2E52) I was approached by one armed Secret Service member who started questioning me about what I was doing and before I could explain what I was doing he identified that I was holding a GPSr. I explained that I was using the GPSr to point me to some of the sights around DC. After, a minute we were done and I moved on to "A Wood Chuck's Paradise" (GC8347) and then 4 to 5 agents swarmed me frisked me, took my GPSr, PDA, cellphone, maps, and my drivers license. Then they proceeded to interrogate me rather thoroughly for 10 - 15 minutes on what I was doing, my background, and my purpose of visiting DC was. I explained geocaching and they asked me if there was one over the fence on the White House property. I said no and I explained the geocaching placement policy and they were cool with that. After running my background they apologized and let me go. I got my stuff back and they told me to get lost. :anitongue: That was the craziest experience I have had in years. I am not sure what tipped them off as I was not the only person there visiting the monuments.

:laughing:

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I work in TV news in NYC and have worked with anti-terrorism security folks in and around lower Manhattan. While your behavior is close to a general profile of suspects casing a target, it is also very likely that you chose the wrong day to be at that particular location. Security is increased to amazing levels sometimes at various locations due to whatever the latest threat information or anti-terror exercise is being executed. It is quite possible that a VIP or POTUS himself was nearby, and thus the SS was on edge. Sometimes a cellphone or digital camera held the wrong way will get the same response. It's the price we pay for free access to these areas.

Just remember, its not the GPSr or the geocache that gets law enforcement edgy, its how you are behaving. Keep smiling, don't be nervous and of course willingly explain that you are geocaching to law enforcement personel. These are the first rules of urban geocaching for us.

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Whoa, whoa, whoa. Are you telling me there are people who don't know about geocaching?

 

That's just wrong.

Edited by BlueDeuce

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Alls well that ends well.

 

I did the Mall virtuals last fall. I found Summer House in the evening. The following day I returned early to get into the Botanical Gardens. Too early, so I went over to the summer house and took pictures and just sat there and enjoyed the spot. Three different gentlemen passed through. paused, looked around, and wished me a good morning in the 15 minutes I was there. Two of them were along the walkway when I left. The Summer House is on the Capitol lawn.

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Whoa, whoa, whoa. Are you telling me there are people who don't know about geocaching?

 

That's just wrong.

 

Actually its amazing that he was the first person that got searched. other cachers must have been there way before him yet they were apparently never stopped and interogated. If they were, than the Secret Service would have known about caching and alerted their staff to understand "we're" out there. What took them so long?

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GPSrs can be tampered with to make very accurate missles and excellent target points they are usually not allowed in major government land marks even though you werent in i can understand why they would do that. ps gpsrs are illegal in many countries expecialy near iraq as you can understand.

In which countries are GPSr illegal?

 

It takes a lot of "tempering" to make a missile out of a GPSr, you probably mean that one could use it in a missile. But that wouldn't require you to go to the "target" first, cause you get the coordinates of every map, google earth or other sources.

 

I never heard that you can't bring a GPSr in a "major government landmark"!

 

Let's not start rumours about GPS receivers and Geocaching. All what a GPSr can do is tell you where you are, give me a topo map and I can do the same, especially in a urban area.

 

GermanSailor

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GPSrs can be tampered with to make very accurate missles and excellent target points they are usually not allowed in major government land marks even though you werent in i can understand why they would do that. ps gpsrs are illegal in many countries expecialy near iraq as you can understand.

 

If GPSRs are illegal in Iraq, then why are there caches over them (some on military bases).

 

Also, developing a sophisticated guidance system for a missile is no easy feat, GPS or not.

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GPSrs can be tampered with to make very accurate missles and excellent target points they are usually not allowed in major government land marks even though you werent in i can understand why they would do that. ps gpsrs are illegal in many countries expecialy near iraq as you can understand.

 

If GPSRs are illegal in Iraq, then why are there caches over them (some on military bases).

 

Also, developing a sophisticated guidance system for a missile is no easy feat, GPS or not.

 

Yah I am really surprised that there is caching going on over there, with all the road side bombs and such. You never know what you could find! :tired:

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Yah I am really surprised that there is caching going on over there, with all the road side bombs and such. You never know what you could find! :tired:

You wouldn't know it from the news but not all of Iraq is as you see it on TV. There are large parts of the country that are peaceful. Peaceful places aren't good media stories.

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Actually its amazing that he was the first person that got searched. other cachers must have been there way before him yet they were apparently never stopped and interogated.

 

Actually - he's the first forum poster who got searched, not the first person to be searched. (Forum posters represent only a fraction of all geocachers.)

 

If they were, than the Secret Service would have known about caching and alerted their staff to understand "we're" out there. What took them so long?

 

I have no doubt that the Secret Service knows all about geocaching - I equally have no doubts that they are ensuring a potential Bad Guy isn't using geocaching as camouflage.

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...I have no doubt that the Secret Service knows all about geocaching - I equally have no doubts that they are ensuring a potential Bad Guy isn't using geocaching as camouflage.

Exactly.

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I have no doubt that the Secret Service knows all about geocaching - I equally have no doubts that they are ensuring a potential Bad Guy isn't using geocaching as camouflage.

They know. In the winter of 2001 after 9/11 a nationwide intel alert was sent to all law enforcement agencies notifying them of this game called geocaching. The alert said, paraphrased, if LEOs see people wandering around like they're lost with a GPS, crawling around on their hands and knees, reaching in holes in trees, and looking in unusual places then they're probably just a bunch of weirdos playing a relatively new internet game. That's paraphrased but something like that. :tired: The intel alert is how I found out about geocaching and became one of the techno weirdos. The alert has been put out a couple of additional times since then. So all law enforcement agencies got the alert, whether anyone read it or remembers it is something else entirely.

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Having spent time in Iraq, I can tell you not only are they not illegal but widely used. The military version has a very short battery life and are very slow to update. Garmin got me in and out of there.

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Actually its amazing that he was the first person that got searched. other cachers must have been there way before him yet they were apparently never stopped and interogated.

 

Actually - he's the first forum poster who got searched, not the first person to be searched. (Forum posters represent only a fraction of all geocachers.)

 

 

How do you know that? Are you aware of non-forum cachers who were searched? How many?

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Lessee. 729 logs in five years on that virtual cache. And a hundred logs on HV1847 (the benchmark). About a tenth of a mile south of the White House. Naw. The Secret Service has no idea about geocaching. :tired: You must have looked suspicious. :ph34r: Reminds me of my 'younger days' when I used to get frisked for looking like a hippie. (Got a flight out of Chicago delayed because I looked suspicious. And that was in 1971!)

The three virtuals at that location were unavailable due to construction when I was there. (Didn't stop people from logging them, though...)

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GPSrs can be tampered with to make very accurate missles and excellent target points they are usually not allowed in major government land marks even though you werent in i can understand why they would do that. ps gpsrs are illegal in many countries expecialy near iraq as you can understand.

In which countries are GPSr illegal?

 

It takes a lot of "tempering" to make a missile out of a GPSr, you probably mean that one could use it in a missile. But that wouldn't require you to go to the "target" first, cause you get the coordinates of every map, google earth or other sources.

 

I never heard that you can't bring a GPSr in a "major government landmark"!

 

Let's not start rumours about GPS receivers and Geocaching. All what a GPSr can do is tell you where you are, give me a topo map and I can do the same, especially in a urban area.

 

GermanSailor

Cuba, for one, although it is not a tourist destination that Americans can go to. It is quite popular with Canadians and Europeans. GPS units must be checked at the border. I think it is possible to get them into the country, but you are taking a chance there. As well, I think the caches there have enough clues that you can find them without the GPS.

 

Skisidedown.

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GPSrs can be tampered with to make very accurate missles and excellent target points they are usually not allowed in major government land marks even though you werent in i can understand why they would do that. ps gpsrs are illegal in many countries expecialy near iraq as you can understand.

 

If GPSRs are illegal in Iraq, then why are there caches over them (some on military bases).

 

Also, developing a sophisticated guidance system for a missile is no easy feat, GPS or not.

 

Not to mention that almost all GPSr units available to the public have a software block in them that prevents their use for things like ICBM guidance systems. The Garmin units can go above 60,000' or travel at 500 mph, but not both at the same time. If it happens, they stop reporting position.

 

The things you learn when you fly a GPSr to 100,000' on a scientific balloon...

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On Nov. 19 I arrived in the Washington DC / Northern VA for a quick trip. After I arrived I decided to hit a lot of the many virtuals in DC. After a couple of caches I approached the White House at 8:30 pm along E street. If you are not familiar with the caches near the White House, there are three virtuals that are bunched up in a couple of hundred feet of each other. While at "Mile Zero" (GC2E52) I was approached by one armed Secret Service member who started questioning me about what I was doing and before I could explain what I was doing he identified that I was holding a GPSr. I explained that I was using the GPSr to point me to some of the sights around DC. After, a minute we were done and I moved on to "A Wood Chuck's Paradise" (GC8347) and then 4 to 5 agents swarmed me frisked me, took my GPSr, PDA, cellphone, maps, and my drivers license. Then they proceeded to interrogate me rather thoroughly for 10 - 15 minutes on what I was doing, my background, and my purpose of visiting DC was. I explained geocaching and they asked me if there was one over the fence on the White House property. I said no and I explained the geocaching placement policy and they were cool with that. After running my background they apologized and let me go. I got my stuff back and they told me to get lost. :blink: That was the craziest experience I have had in years. I am not sure what tipped them off as I was not the only person there visiting the monuments.

:D Wow Now I know what not to do if I go to the D.C. area

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Whoa, whoa, whoa. Are you telling me there are people who don't know about geocaching?

 

That's just wrong.

:blink: That makes me sick

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GPS units are supposedly illegal in Belarus, which I live near to, but there are a few geocaches there.

 

I think any country that, at this point, doesn't have a geocache ...it's cause they're illegal or GPS's are illegal.

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You know, as crazy as this story is, when we went to D.C. to cache (Memorial Day weekend of all times!) I was very nervous walking around with the GPS. We didn't have any problems, but it did make me uneasy, even though we're far from terrorists. :laughing:

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I work in TV news in NYC and have worked with anti-terrorism security folks in and around lower Manhattan. While your behavior is close to a general profile of suspects casing a target, it is also very likely that you chose the wrong day to be at that particular location. Security is increased to amazing levels sometimes at various locations due to whatever the latest threat information or anti-terror exercise is being executed. It is quite possible that a VIP or POTUS himself was nearby, and thus the SS was on edge. Sometimes a cellphone or digital camera held the wrong way will get the same response. It's the price we pay for free access to these areas.

Just remember, its not the GPSr or the geocache that gets law enforcement edgy, its how you are behaving. Keep smiling, don't be nervous and of course willingly explain that you are geocaching to law enforcement personel. These are the first rules of urban geocaching for us.

 

We had a similar incident last weekend in a guardrail micro that's on the usually empty top level of the parking lot of an indoor shopping mall. Easy find for all but our luck when we get up to the empty level a police car is there who starts chasing us. Our kids were asleep in the back seat and we simply explained that going up and down all the levels helps get them to sleep and they let us go, warning that doing that is not a good idea. I learned later that that same afternoon some crackpot in Kansas City (nowhere near NY) had shot a bunch of people in a mall parking lot, so this mall was beefing up a police presence that day in case of a "copycat" or if the first act was part of coordiated terrorism (which is wasn't). So it was just an unlucky day.

 

Today we went back and no problem with the find.

Edited by HaLiJuSaPa

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GPSrs can be tampered with to make very accurate missles and excellent target points they are usually not allowed in major government land marks even though you werent in i can understand why they would do that. ps gpsrs are illegal in many countries expecialy near iraq as you can understand.

 

If GPSRs are illegal in Iraq, then why are there caches over them (some on military bases).

 

Also, developing a sophisticated guidance system for a missile is no easy feat, GPS or not.

 

:blink:

 

Uh,change that to ALL caches are ON mil bases.The last thing the boys need to be doing while outside the wire is look for a cache in indian country,and they know that as well.If the Muj saw them messing with a cache,they'd probably wire it for the next finder or post a sniper.Not a good caching experience.

 

I've looked at most of the caches for Iraq and none that I've read indicate that any of them are outside the wire.I'd be surprised if they did put one outside the wire.VERY surprised.

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GPSrs can be tampered with to make very accurate missles and excellent target points they are usually not allowed in major government land marks even though you werent in i can understand why they would do that. ps gpsrs are illegal in many countries expecialy near iraq as you can understand.

 

If GPSRs are illegal in Iraq, then why are there caches over them (some on military bases).

 

Also, developing a sophisticated guidance system for a missile is no easy feat, GPS or not.

 

:ph34r:

 

Uh,change that to ALL caches are ON mil bases.The last thing the boys need to be doing while outside the wire is look for a cache in indian country,and they know that as well.If the Muj saw them messing with a cache,they'd probably wire it for the next finder or post a sniper.Not a good caching experience.

 

I've looked at most of the caches for Iraq and none that I've read indicate that any of them are outside the wire.I'd be surprised if they did put one outside the wire.VERY surprised.

 

That seems to violate the rules of cache placement.

Caches may be quickly archived if we see the following (which is not inclusive):

 

-Caches on land managed by an agency that prohibits geocaches, such as the U.S. National Park Service or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (National Wildlife Refuges)

-Caches that are buried. If a shovel, trowel or other “pointy” object is used to dig, whether in order to hide or to find the cache, then it is not appropriate.

-Caches that deface public or private property, whether a natural or man-made object, in order to provide a hiding place, a clue or a logging method.

-Caches placed in areas which are highly sensitive to the extra traffic that would be caused by vehicles and humans (examples may include archaeological or historic sites).

-Caches hidden in close proximity to active railroad tracks. In general we use a distance of 150 ft (46 m) but your local area’s trespassing laws may be different. All local laws apply.

-Caches near or on military installations.

-Caches near, on or under public structures deemed potential or possible targets for terrorist attacks. These may include but are not limited to highway bridges, dams, government buildings, elementary and secondary schools, and airports.

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As for me I want all caches in a hostile area inside the wire. I don't have time to look for a Geocache while I am looking for an explosives cache! While I am in the wire let me enjoy what 'down-time' I have. Thanks to the reviewers that check to ensure I will be safe while looking for a Geocache while deployed, engaged, and destroying the enemies ot the United States of America in close combat and allowing them to be placed on the Forward Operations Bases(FOB's).

 

GeoDrill

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There are caches located on military installations in the US like the one near the Patton Museum at Ft Knox. It's open to the public.

Having caches located on base in certain locations around the world is a lot safer for our people than outside the wire. Anyone complaining about those caches being on a military installation in those certain countries wouldn't be walking around outside the wire looking for caches. If anyone wants to complain about them being on a military installation then they're free to go to those countries and place all the caches they want outside the wire if it means that much to them and they feel like they want to maintain them.

If caches on base will give the guys some down time and give them some entertainment then no harm.

Good luck Geodrill. I've got several very close friends over there now from my old unit.

Stay safe.

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There are caches located on military installations in the US like the one near the Patton Museum at Ft Knox. It's open to the public.

Having caches located on base in certain locations around the world is a lot safer for our people than outside the wire. Anyone complaining about those caches being on a military installation in those certain countries wouldn't be walking around outside the wire looking for caches. If anyone wants to complain about them being on a military installation then they're free to go to those countries and place all the caches they want outside the wire if it means that much to them and they feel like they want to maintain them.

If caches on base will give the guys some down time and give them some entertainment then no harm.

Good luck Geodrill. I've got several very close friends over there now from my old unit.

Stay safe.

Thanks but I am not over there yet but I expect to be there early next year and am looking to find as many caches that I can as long as they are safe. I am looking forward? :ph34r: to getting back over there if nothing more than to say. I got a cache in Iraq and have the pic to prove it!

I know this post is waaayyyy off topic

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I hope this doesn't stop people from caching there. 30 minutes of interrogation by the secret service hardly seems like a deterrent :-)

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I hope this doesn't stop people from caching there. 30 minutes of interrogation by the secret service hardly seems like a deterrent :-)

 

As far as I'm concerned I'd be more likely to visit the cache if I knew I was going to get harassed by the Secret Service. It makes for heck of a good story to tell people.

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Also, developing a sophisticated guidance system for a missile is no easy feat, GPS or not.

Sure, it is.

 

First, you tell this guy there are 72 virgins ...

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GPSr units available to the public have a software block in them that prevents their use for things like ICBM guidance systems. The Garmin units can go above 60,000' or travel at 500 mph, but not both at the same time. If it happens, they stop reporting position. The things you learn when you fly a GPSr to 100,000' on a scientific balloon...
Tell us more about this scientific balloon that exceeds 500 mph?

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I hope this doesn't stop people from caching there. 30 minutes of interrogation by the secret service hardly seems like a deterrent :-)

 

As far as I'm concerned I'd be more likely to visit the cache if I knew I was going to get harassed by the Secret Service. It makes for heck of a good story to tell people.

 

If I had to do it all over again, I would. I have nothing to hide, have no criminal record, and I don't associate with known terrorists. It would have been better to have gone in a group, gone during daylight hours, or worn something else than mostly black :) . I hold no grudge, in fact I laugh about it and hold it as a badge of pride (I got busted by the man for caching!). If people are able too they should check out the virtual s in DC, especially the ones near the White House.

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I would like to point out that what do you need a GPSr to mark a target when you can go onto google earth and get the coords?

 

Also geocaching only exists because someone opened their eyes and said wait a minute, the error we are introducing into commericial GPS is not enough to protect a target from a nuclear weapon or other weapons of mass destruction, the original reason for the error.

 

I am glad to see the secret service doing their job. Although I can't imagine a terrorist being that obvious when marking a target at least they are letting everyone know and any potential terrorist they are watching. Its good you have no hard feelings. You shouldn't.

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I would like to point out that what do you need a GPSr to mark a target when you can go onto google earth and get the coords?

 

 

I would like to point out that what do you need a google earth to mark a target when you can go onto geocaching.com and get the coords?

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I'm weird, but that sounds like fun. What caches were those?

 

I first noticed some agents when I was at GC440D but they didn't seem to notice me. Then I went to GC2E52 which is 200 feet away and then I first spoke to an agent who asked me what I was doing. This guy was in all black police/military gear and was hiding in the shadows and he was packing some serious heat. We talked cordially for a minute, he seemed fine with everything and went about his way. Then I walked to GC8347 which is 100 feet from GC2E52 and then they swarmed me.

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I'm glad taxpayer money is being used well...frisking geocachers what else would you want secret service to do?

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I visited all the sights and many of the Virtuals around DC last summer. The only time I was searched was when we went into the museums. We walked past quite a few heavily armed police and secret service agents as well but never had a problem.

 

e9b2a176-969a-4073-8de6-0f0e683d67c5.jpg

 

Heck I took this picture of this guy at the capitol, no one ever said anything, they must have been bored the day you went.

 

Or maybe the fact it was 98 degrees out when I went and it was too much work to interrogate people when they could just sniper em from the White House roof if they acted too suspicious..

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I was in DC in May and "grabbed" as many of the area virtuals as I could. The very first night we were there we went to the White House virtuals and "found" them with no problems from any LEOs.

 

I will confess that I didn't read ALL the replies to this thread as my eyes started getting a bit buggy, so I don't know if any actual LEO's responded. I can speak, as an LEO, that once I learned about geocaching, NOT FROM ANY INTEL BULLETINS, it shed a whole new light on all those "suspicious person" calls I've been sent to over the years. As a geocacher and a cop, geocaching activity is about as close to "textbook" suspicious behavior as I've seen. Added that the cacher has a gpsr, or camera, or both just adds to the perceived suspiciousness. Citizens who don't know about caching, will call about ANYTHING. As I've read in other threads, I suggest you keep a copy of the geocaching notice to non-players, be completely honest and open. The "I'm not doing anything wrong, you have no right to stop me" response to a cop will get you nowhere fast! Understand they/we're doing our jobs and if you've got nothing to hide, it should be no bid deal. One last thing. The Secret Service cannot afford to blow off a geocacher and not investigate. Maybe it was a bit overboard, but the consequences of not doing their job are much greater than most LEO's. Stay safe.

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This is a quite ironic posting for me. Last summer/fall (?) my sister and I were doing the virtuals in DC and went for the same cache (Mile Zero) and got stopped by secret service (possibly police officer) 60 feet from the cache. President Bush was expected to be heading by the area shortly (riding in his limo) and for some reason that section of the park was off limits. The guy said we could go in as soon as the president went by and could look from a distance but not walk the additonal 60 feet. I found it ironic that I could stand right next to him and crowd him and know the president was driving by, but couldn't go see the plaque I needed to see. Still shake my head on that one. I still have not been able to get back for that cache and the one 73' away.

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We had a similar incident last weekend in a guardrail micro that's on the usually empty top level of the parking lot of an indoor shopping mall. Easy find for all but our luck when we get up to the empty level a police car is there who starts chasing us. Our kids were asleep in the back seat and we simply explained that going up and down all the levels helps get them to sleep and they let us go, warning that doing that is not a good idea. I learned later that that same afternoon some crackpot in Kansas City (nowhere near NY) had shot a bunch of people in a mall parking lot, so this mall was beefing up a police presence that day in case of a "copycat" or if the first act was part of coordiated terrorism (which is wasn't). So it was just an unlucky day.

 

Today we went back and no problem with the find.

 

Why in the world would you do that? I've been approached by LEO 4 times so far. Each time I was honest and told them exactly what I was doing. It's not illegal to geocache. I find it a generally bad policy to lie to LEO.

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GPSr units available to the public have a software block in them that prevents their use for things like ICBM guidance systems. The Garmin units can go above 60,000' or travel at 500 mph, but not both at the same time. If it happens, they stop reporting position. The things you learn when you fly a GPSr to 100,000' on a scientific balloon...
Tell us more about this scientific balloon that exceeds 500 mph?

 

Actually, the balloons never go that fast. Some GPSr's are blocked above 30k or 60k regardless of speed, but the Garmin eTrex line is as I stated above, so they never stop reporting because I never exceed both limits at the same time.

 

The ballooning community has tested lots of units for the block, since the GPSr going out tends to get your expensive payloads lost in a hurry.

 

I've had balloons reach 120 mph when they hit the jetstream, an 100+ mph is easy during the initial drop after the balloon bursts at altitude. There isn't enough air for the parachute to work up there (or have air resistance slow it down), so it drops like a rock until it gets back to around 30k.

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Citizens who don't know about caching, will call about ANYTHING.

 

It's called paranoia. I'd bet trying to find a contact lense while holding a purse would look suspicious to a lot of people. Who knows if they're planting a landmine? :)

 

But seriously, they obviously knew you had a GPSr, and they thought it was a threat. Uh, yeah... why? As has been said, Google Earth will already give you the co-ordinates for the White House, so why plot it? Maybe Google isn't accurate enough? GPSr on the ground would be better, right? Perhaps, but GPSr's are accurate to within a few feet, and probably CAN have their software tampered with it to make it more accurate, but still the question, why? You're not firing bottle rockets. They're nukes, people. 2 feet. 100 feet. Just drop it nextdoor and half the city is still in a sad sate.

 

All in all, a GPSr is no more threat than a stone. If you have the know-how to build a nuke, I'm sure you can build yourself a GPS guidance system.

 

On a more humourous note (yeah, as if nukes aren't hilarious), this is my first post. There's a button below this text field that says "Guided Mode Off"... man, I hope this post doesn't miss the forum by a few feet :) Just in case, "Hi to all in Korea!"

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