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Raven02

First time Bench Mark hunter need help.

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I went out looking for a BM yesterday and the gpsr showed it to be on private property. My question is, How do you treat these BM do you leave them be? Or do you just mark them as found? Or just keep going and forget about it? I need some direction in this matter please.

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You can ask for permission from the owner. Just tell them that you are looking for "XXX" survey marker and would like find it and check on its condition.

 

Also, read the description for where the disk is located. This will give you an accurate position to search. If the Coordinates are "scaled", then the GPSr will probably take you to the wrong spot. If the coordinates are "adjusted" they will take you right to where the benchmark should be.

 

John

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Welcome to benchmark hunting in NW Ohio.

 

Many BM's are on private property, and most of the time you should gain permission to enter the property to hunt the benchmark. There might be some exceptions to that, but generally that is what should happen. I really have this adversion to attack dogs and property owners with shotguns, and try to avoid them at all costs. :ph34r: It is up to you to determine if finding that benchmark is worth finding the property owner first to gain permission.

 

You cannot mark the BM as found since you didn't find it.

 

Also, don't always believe your GPS when hunting BM's. If the coords are scaled, they *may* be way off. Read the station description to get an accurate location of the BM.

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Raven02 -

 

Hi Raven02, and welcome to benchmark hunting! Since you are just beginning to hunt benchmarks, I think things would go much better if you avoided marks on private property for a while. There are many things to learn about it, such as the difference between location-SCALED and location-ADJUSTED as GrizzFlyer pointed out. I believe it would be much better for both you and the landowner if you went there as an expert benchmark hunter after finding some benchmarks not on private property. :ph34r:

 

How long does it take to become and expert? Well, some would say your whole life, but I'd say that if you found even just 10 or 20 marks not on private property, both scaled and adjusted, then by all means get permission from the landowner and look for that mark! If you don't find it then, you might be tempted to back after finding your first 200 marks and have more techniques perfected. :ph34r:

 

One thing is to be sure to read all of the Benchmark Hunting FAQ.

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because they're benchmarks, not geocaches

not trying to be a smart-ss its just the way it is

If you look at the bottom of your cache list you should see your benchmark total

but they will not be added to your cache total

Edited by vagabond

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Welcome to benchmarking Raven02!

 

As far as a BM being on private property, if you feel comfortable enough, and have the time go and ask the property owner permission to find them. We have done this numerous times and had lots of positive experiences. We found that most of the time, the property owners are well aware of the BMs on their property. We have been escorted to many of them and even been lucky enough to get some history with a few of them as well.

 

In fact, this past summer were invited to return in late fall or early winter by one property owner so we could dig up his field and locate the BM. (We found the two RM on the edge of the woods and had the location for the actual station, which was in the midst of his crop).

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Is finding the property owner worth it? That depends on how you approach this hobby. If you are doing it casually, then finding a property owner just to get permission to find a mark may not be worth it, but if you are more involved (obsessive?) like some of us, then you won't even ask your self that question. I have been asking for permission to search on private property for years and have talked to some very interesting (and sometimes very odd) people. That includes yesterday's hunt, which took two separate visits to the department of public works for a city to get access to a mark on property they owned.

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Asked for permission Friday to go look for some marks in an oil field. The security guard was happy to let me call her boss, then after his OK, sign in with her, and then go wandering around the oil field. Did make me wonder about the advisability of that, but I guess I don't look like a trouble-maker. Glad I had my jeep. It was a good morning.

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Asked for permission Friday to go look for some marks in an oil field. The security guard was happy to let me call her boss, then after his OK, sign in with her, and then go wandering around the oil field. Did make me wonder about the advisability of that, but I guess I don't look like a trouble-maker. Glad I had my jeep. It was a good morning.

 

Nice people rule.

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Statement: Well, I guess it’s a good thing to know that this sport will never impede with troopers like you guys!

 

Asking permission is part of the hunt! One time when I asked an owner if I could locate some benchmarks on his farm, he not only showed me where they were, but I was invited to the family barbecue then in progress. Had a great time!

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Statement: Well, I guess it’s a good thing to know that this sport will never impede with troopers like you guys!

 

Asking permission is part of the hunt! One time when I asked an owner if I could locate some benchmarks on his farm, he not only showed me where they were, but I was invited to the family barbecue then in progress. Had a great time!

 

Reply: What hunt is involved when you're given a free show and tell?

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I was invited to have a couple beers and some food at one location, and had homemade potato chips as they were being cooked at an Amish farm. I declined the first (I was sweaty and tired from hammering a disk out of a destroyed railroad signal foundation, and gladly accepted the latter. At that farm I also helped an Amish youth hammer the shells off a couple hundred black walnuts.

 

I haven't said this in a while so I will reiterate it (and hopefully will NOT jinx myself). I have hunted for just short of 1,600 benchmarks and have NEVER been refused permission to hunt on private or commercial property. Granted, I haven't had to ask for permission every time--but I bet I have asked well over 100 times.

 

I have had owners dig up their yards for me, been given permission to hunt on land owned by companies (similar to Klemmer) without a second thought, eaten potato chips, talked to people who recalled when the mark was set and the Bilby tower stood over it, walked past a 200 year old abandoned iron foundry, seen 8 deer walking in the woods... I could go on and on. Each day's hunt usually provides me with some sight, meeting, or memory to take home with me. I touch history, talk to people, and see natural wonders I would never have experienced if I wasn't involved in this avocation.

 

Yeah, I will be out again this weekend!

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I haven't said this in a while so I will reiterate it (and hopefully will NOT jinx myself). I have hunted for just short of 1,600 benchmarks and have NEVER been refused permission to hunt on private or commercial property. Granted, I haven't had to ask for permission every time--but I bet I have asked well over 100 times.

 

Yeah, I will be out again this weekend!

 

Interesting. The first time I needed to ask permission I was refused. I wanted to log DX4789 and DX4790. I went to the front desk in the building and told the man that I am a volunteer checking on the condition of the marks. I even showed him the NGS data sheets.

 

Maybe I need to work on my presentation. Or maybe my urban camouflage.

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Regarding the hunt - I agree w/ mloser - while the solitude of standing on top of the middle of the mountains, being the first one back at that spot is rewarding, some of the experiences I've had searching w/ the landowners are just as memorable albeit in a different ways. .. I've talked with a gentleman who was there as a kid when the shiny new mark was set in 1942 and has 'guarded' it ever since, had a lady help me remeasure distances after opening a 'homemade' lid containing 1000's of little pinching ants that proceeded to crawl up my sleeve, learned all about the tracks & trains that ran past a now defunct station in a tiny town in PA. (I also walked in on a barbecue...but didn't get invited to stay..was dusk & I had a 2yr-old in tow...yeah, that must of been why). Part of the fun is that each hunt is different !

 

PS to mloser - I remember running across a log of yours somewhere (York Co.?) where you happened upon a tri-station on the border of feuding neighbors...but still managed a 'recovered in good condition' !! (a feat unto itself!)

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Ernmark,

That was KW3100 WELLSVILLE and it was a totally unnerving experience, involving two neighbors who obviously had no love for each other. One had a huge, mean dog and a bad attitude (he was the guy I ended up walking to the marks with), and the other had an array of guns and shells by his kitchen door, most likely for "hunting". Not much could make me return there!

 

More recently I stopped at an old airport and talked to the 84 year old owner. He was as paranoid as anyone could be, first because I think they had been trying to get him to close the old grass field airport in the middle of a town for years, and also because of 9-11, thinking I might be a terrorist. He even asked my name and address. Luckily I could relate to him a bit because my dad is the same age and we ended up discussing World War II for a bit. Then he let me hunt for the marks, which I failed to find.

 

68-eldo--I haven't asked for permission to get onto someone's roof. There aren't any marks like that around here. I would be surprised to get permission to go somewhere like that, although my technique would be to ask them when a good time to be escorted to the roof might be. If you get the right person you may just get up there.

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68-eldo--I haven't asked for permission to get onto someone's roof. There aren't any marks like that around here. I would be surprised to get permission to go somewhere like that, although my technique would be to ask them when a good time to be escorted to the roof might be. If you get the right person you may just get up there.

 

I did consider it to be a longshot. If I lived in that area I would try with a letter to someone in charge and ask for a time and date. If there isn't any response I would try talking to the maintenance crew, see if I could get one of them to take me up there.

 

But this is Klemmer's stomping grounds maybe he should make the assault er I mean attempt.

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Enterprising benchmarks less reluctant than I to ask for permission to go on roofs would have a field day here in Boston. There are, I'd estimate, a few dozen unsearched-for marks in and around central Boston on roofs. Anyone want to go for MY2425?

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68-Eldo: I'm not sure I would WANT to go up on those roofs. With binocs, I didn't see any parapets (those little knee-high walls at the edge of roofs). And I think one of them is pitched? I'm thinking climbing gear? And here's the real kicker - I'm not real fond of heights!

 

Anyway, they probably thought you were a security risk, or something. They had a major problem there a couple years ago just before Chistmas. A staff member (musical director) shot up some walls, baracaded himself in a room, and then shot himself. Bad scene for Dr. Schuller & the congregation.

Edited by Klemmer & TeddyBearMama

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I jinxed myself! I went to find a benchmark I had to get permission for today and was shot down. The person I talked to asked his boss, who said no, but never had the decency to call me (it is a 30 mile drive). And this is the Pennsylvania Game Commission. People can hunt for geese on this property but I can't walk 100 yards beyond a fence to find this mark. Basically I was told that if the NGS wanted to look for it fine, but just some "guy", no deal.

 

Hmmm, I don't think this one is over yet. Perhaps I can get a letter from the NGS or ask a bit higher up at the agency. I will keep trying!

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68-Eldo: I'm not sure I would WANT to go up on those roofs. With binocs, I didn't see any parapets (those little knee-high walls at the edge of roofs). And I think one of them is pitched? I'm thinking climbing gear? And here's the real kicker - I'm not real fond of heights!

 

Anyway, they probably thought you were a security risk, or something. They had a major problem there a couple years ago just before Chistmas. A staff member (musical director) shot up some walls, baracaded himself in a room, and then shot himself. Bad scene for Dr. Schuller & the congregation.

 

You maybe right about the roof. Reinterpreting the image it does look like the roof may slant down around the edges. Google Earth can get a better look. Reading the description the marks are mounted in a cement slab which I assumed was flat. Both of those marks I believe are triangulation stations that I assume were meant to be occupied. Would they put marks in a really dangerous place like that? I understand railroad bridges because that danger can be mitigated by coordination with the railroad. But to put them where you need sky hooks……

 

Hope I was not the one to jinx you mloser. Sorry if I did.

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68-eldo,

I am thinking *I* am the one who jinxed me because I broke the cardinal rule of good luck--I mentioned it out loud. It was bound to happen, but to have gone three years and so many searches before it did made it hurt more than it should have. Still, I plan on getting to that mark. Since the "boss man" said if the NGS wanted to hunt for it they could, I may try to get permission on NGS letterhead saying they need to get a good recovery and I am the man. Carrying that letter in would be fun. I may also simply as at the top level of the Game Commission, not mentioning that I was turned down locally. Since I am sure the right arm doesn't know what the left arm is doing, or more likely, the left big toe, I may just get permission from "corporate" to look for it. Another fun visit for me!

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One phenomenon one should be aware of when examining aerial photos. The positional corrections used to make orthophotos use a digital elevation model that is keyed to the ground elevation, thus the tops of buildings or other man made tall objects are often displaced in position on the photo. So the only thing you can rely on is the location relative to the base of the building.

 

The color imagery on terraserver looks like it happens to be fairly vertical so that the displacement is small. It is pretty hard to tell what is what without seeing it on the ground, but it looks like there may be a relatively sizeable slab on the top of the particular structure and from the offsets given to the edge it appears to be reasonably sizeable.

 

From the shadows it looks like it could be on the same building as the large cross, which looks flat from the pictures I can find doing a random search of the net.

 

- jlw

 

I'll try a link:

 

Picture of my guess at the building

68-eldo,

I am thinking *I* am the one who jinxed me because I broke the cardinal rule of good luck--I mentioned it out loud. It was bound to happen, but to have gone three years and so many searches before it did made it hurt more than it should have. Still, I plan on getting to that mark. Since the "boss man" said if the NGS wanted to hunt for it they could, I may try to get permission on NGS letterhead saying they need to get a good recovery and I am the man. Carrying that letter in would be fun. I may also simply as at the top level of the Game Commission, not mentioning that I was turned down locally. Since I am sure the right arm doesn't know what the left arm is doing, or more likely, the left big toe, I may just get permission from "corporate" to look for it. Another fun visit for me!

Edited by jwahl

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mloser,

 

I doubt you'll get a helpful letter from NGS, even though the agency has expressed support for what we do.

 

One suggestion: make an approach through the game commission's public affairs office. They may have a different response if they view it as a matter of public relations. Anyway, can't hurt to try.

 

-ArtMan-

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the left big toe

..you should've been able to "....zip in - zip out - like going into Wisconsin!" *

 

Well - you can always buy your license for goose season!

 

I agree W/ ArtMan - it ain't over yet!

 

* vague reference to 80's movie

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Enterprising benchmarks less reluctant than I to ask for permission to go on roofs would have a field day here in Boston. There are, I'd estimate, a few dozen unsearched-for marks in and around central Boston on roofs. Anyone want to go for MY2425?

 

Lots of these in NYC, and even in Joisey. KU3600 Empire. Note my photo downward from the 86th Floor Observation Deck. EEK!!!! Someone actually went out there and cemented a disk into place?!?

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Ernmark,

I do like to stick to my rule of getting permission (railroads excepted--ain't gonna get it from them at all), but I have to admit I have thought about it. The problem is that the location is VERY exposed and is visible to anyone who drives by on a nearby road. This area is also very heavily visited by people who want to see the geese and other birds so I would certainly be noticed.

 

The area isn't accessible to anyone, any time either. It is past a fence (well, a wire stretched across some poles) and very clearly marked as a protected area. The goose hunting area is not near the benchmark at all so I couldn't even fake it that way.

 

Artman's suggestion is a good one and similar to what I had in mind, but added the PR twist. It may be possible for them to turn this into a story of some sort, showing how concerned the game commission is about survey marks.

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