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For Geocachers who worry about muggles watching them


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Let me start off by saying that the YouTube video I included in this post has absolutely nothing to do about Geocaching specifically. However I think you will find some similarities between the video and Geocaching when it comes to the human element of an unsuspecting public.

 

The video is about a man in the New York City area who was so fed up with his bicycles getting stolen that he filmed a short documentary on just how easy it was to steal a bicycle in a crowded downtown area. To perform the experiment he used his own bicycle, locks, and tools. Notice how the public reacts to his attempts and then imagine if that bicycle was a Geocache. This video should shed some light for any Geocacher who thinks that every muggle is constantly watching them.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

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Let me start off by saying that the YouTube video I included in this post has absolutely nothing to do about Geocaching specifically. However I think you will find some similarities between the video and Geocaching when it comes to the human element of an unsuspecting public.

 

The video is about a man in the New York City area who was so fed up with his bicycles getting stolen that he filmed a short documentary on just how easy it was to steal a bicycle in a crowded downtown area. To perform the experiment he used his own bicycle, locks, and tools. Notice how the public reacts to his attempts and then imagine if that bicycle was a Geocache. This video should shed some light for any Geocacher who thinks that every muggle is constantly watching them.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

 

heh that's why car alarms don't work. what do YOU do when you hear a car alarm? If you're like me, you completely disregard it. As far as muggles are concerned, you're probably less noticed in a MORE crowded city than in a small local area where people can tend to be nebby. 9 out of 10 people probably don't care in the least if you're looking around in the bushes.

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There are muggles, then there are muggles. In large cities with a population of panhandlers (beggars) and homeless people, people tend to avoid eye contact and mind their own business. You could probably pick your nose while dancing around naked and no one would see or care. This is the mind-set of the people in the video.

 

If he were to try that in front of a busy supermarket in a small town he'd have the police on him within minutes. People may not know everyone in the town, but they've at least seen everyone, so strangers stand out.

 

To relate this to geocaching, the more people who know each other in an area, the more you have to worry about someone watching you and muggling the cache when you leave. This is a generality, and I'm sure there are exceptions.

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If you want to blend into the background for an urban cache, just dress like this:

 

istockphoto_380529_female_construction_worker_2.jpg

 

The best way to be ignored is to look like you are supposed to be there. I have never went to this extreme, but when was the last time you saw someone in a hard hat and thought "why are they there, what are they looking for?"

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The best way to be ignored is to look like you are supposed to be there. I have never went to this extreme, but when was the last time you saw someone in a hard hat and thought "why are they there, what are they looking for?"

Hah... I keep a hardhat, clipboard, and reflective vest in my truck for work :) I've never worn the hardhat (hardhats are rarely required unless you're on a job site, and you'd look silly wearing one in a park), but I HAVE used the clipboard and vest as muggle camo.

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The bolt cutters would be a little suspicious, but if I saw someone in safety glasses, ear protection, and gloves, boldly using a grinder plugged into a lamp post, I guess I would assume they had a right to do what they are doing. Even the hacksaw might not raise to much suspicion.

 

However, if I were in a big city and saw someone, apparently, stealing your bike. It is unlikely I would approach the person. But I would call 911.

 

The odds of the police getting there in time would be remote, but the citizens of many places have indicated they do not want citizens protecting themselves, let alone others.

 

As to Geocaching, I have a hardhat that I have put a Geocaching logo sticker on. (looks pretty official. :) )

With the hat, my yellow safety vest, and a clipboard no one ever gives me a second look. Very much like teald024's picture.

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I've given up any coy disguises or cute excuses. I've found that the vast majority of sheeple don't see what they aren't looking for, generally disregard most of what is going on around them, assume that anything they aren't tending to is none of their business, generally don't want to get involved in anything outside their comfort zone, and usually will not question anyone that even remotely looks like they know what they are doing. About the only time I worry about muggles is when I'm messing with an ammo can sized container (or thereabouts) in a place that may dray some suspicion. Like today I did an ammo can just BARELY inside the edge of some bushes right next to a busy parking lot. THAT one I was pretty careful with.

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My one question about the video, how obvious was the guy filming? If people could see him (and it looks like the police did) they may discount what the object of the film was doing.

 

I thought the same thing. It's kinda like those adventure shows depicting epic struggles in the wilderness when you know there is a camera crew filming.

 

I looked at that guy with the hack saw and bolt cutters and I don't think it looked very realistic. It was more like someone who lost the keys to their lock. I suppose this is my own stereotype but he didn't act or look the part of a crook at all to me.

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Today was really the first time I have had to worry about muggles. On 3 out 4 caches, there were people around. The 1st one was done with no problems, but on the 2nd cache, a group of people taking a break near the cache called out its location before we really had started looking. On the 3rd cache, a city employee stopped and asked if we were geocaching and then went and got the man who was "honored" by the naming and placement of the cache. On the 4th cache, a homeless woman asked what we were doing crawling all around a fountain near a library/bookstore and when we tried to explain, she got bored and left. And then a library employee walked by and asked what we were doing and after we told her, she was excited about geocaching. After that though, we decided to say we were fountain inspectors. Never did find the cache and found out later it had been muggled.

 

I do like the clipboard and vest idea. It looks very official!!!

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Near my house we have a park the kids love to play at. They noticed that there was an unassuming corner of the park that seemed to generate a lot of attention by people. It wasnt untill after we started geocaching and I did that multicache with my daughter that it hit her why people were always looking around a fenced incorner of the park. she just kind of wrote them off as wierd and just avoided them.

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That's why you never should shout "Help" when you are in danger, but it is better to should "Fire!" instead...

 

Greetings,

Hans

 

If you yell "fire" in the USA and there is no fire.. you will be ticketed for inciting a riot. (and people might get hurt fleeing) Not a good thing to yell fire.. you want people to hear "FIRE" all the time and block that too from their "Alert.. warning... danger.... fight or flight human reaction. Just like car alarms, nobody would pay attention.

 

There are lots of ways to be safe while caching.... but that is another thread(s).

 

edited for spelling.

Edited by Team FIREBOY
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Being safe from muggles, is the point of this thread.

However, the point was that the general public simply responds [better] to "fire" than they do most other things (a fire has a greater threat factor to the larger population, than a single victim mugging)...cite me for starting a riot - if it will save me from being mugged, or worse, than I'll gladly pay.

Edited by JeepinCalifornia
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Being safe from muggles, is the point of this thread.

 

NO, the original thread was about MUGGLES in general.

It did not become about safety until weedboer posted his/her reply.

 

The reason people respond better to yelling "FIRE" is most people are smart enough to not yell the word "FIRE" unless there is truly a "FIRE". IMHO if people heard "FIRE" being yelled frequently they would begin to tune it out just like when the hear "HELP" yelled or a car alarm going off.

 

A person yelling "HELP" is a request for help from someone. An individual plea that the person hearing the "HELP" be screamed can choose to or not to respond to. Same as hearing a car alarm going off.

 

Upon hearing "FIRE", people panic and act immediately because of ADRENALIN being pumped into their bloodstream due to the sympathetic/parasympathetic reaction to their OWN safety issues. See Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs or go read a book at the library about neurotransmitters and how they mediate the human's response to perceived dangerous situations. FIREFIGHTERS have to fight the urge to leave a fire that they are fighting because of the flight aspect of the fight/flight response. They train to have a stronger fight response.

 

Go ahead and yell "FIRE" when you find yourself in a dangerous situation. You will either pay a lot of fines for citations and/or lawsuits brought against you by victims who got hurt trying to flee or you will be thought of as "The Boy/Girl Who Cried Wolf" If my husband, the firefighter, gets hurt while responding to a FALSE ALARM I certainly would sue the person who caused the false alarm to be called. Negligence on the false alarm caller's part causing harm to another vs. responsibility for your own actions and safety.

 

There are other threads about safety while caching... please go read those too.

 

Sorry about this being off topic. I just hate it when people misuse the word FIRE because they are not paying enough attention to safety while out caching or elsewhere and end up finding themselves in a dangerous situation.

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To bring this thread more on topic... right now there are four bicycles parked in front of my apartment complex, and three of them aren't even chained down. None have been messed with after almost two weeks. I guess that highlights the difference between the prevailing mindsets in urban and rural areas- out here (rural Mississippi), I've had friends who have had the cops called on them for walking down the sidewalk in their own neighborhood and "looking suspicious" to a concerned neighbor with nothing better to do than stare out the window all afternoon. Ditto for cachers hunting in neighborhood parks in broad daylight. And it's not unusual for both cops in town to respond to the call, since there's not much else going on. Usually the officer just laughs about it, or makes a comment to the effect that they get such calls from a particular address all the time, but have a duty to check it out just to be sure.

 

After two years of living in an area where it seems that the driver of every other car waves as you pass them, it really strikes me when I travel through some areas how strangers you pass on foot or on the road actually go out of their way to avoid eye contact or to pretend like you don't even exist. I'll always remember my first light pole cache in suburban Nashville back in 2003, where I carelessly lifted the cover and made a horrible screeching racket. I thought I'd given the location away to passerby, but was amazed that people walking less than 20 feet from me didn't even turn their heads.

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There was an article in our local paper about people stealing copper wire from light posts and selling the wire as scrap. They were stealing it during daylight hours wearing a hardhat and safety vest (trying to look official). I doubt the police would buy your story about geocaching.

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That's why you never should shout "Help" when you are in danger, but it is better to should "Fire!" instead...

 

Greetings,

Hans

 

If you yell "fire" in the USA and there is no fire.. you will be ticketed for inciting a riot. (and people might get hurt fleeing) Not a good thing to yell fire.. you want people to hear "FIRE" all the time and block that too from their "Alert.. warning... danger.... fight or flight human reaction. Just like car alarms, nobody would pay attention.

 

There are lots of ways to be safe while caching.... but that is another thread(s).

 

edited for spelling.

 

You incite a riot and get a ticket? What jurisdictions have that policy? J-walk..get a ticket, that makes sense. Cause a riot? That seems just a tad lenient to me. :anitongue:

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That's why you never should shout "Help" when you are in danger, but it is better to should "Fire!" instead...

 

Greetings,

Hans

 

Ya, that I'll work. You shout fire and everone runs like heck the other way. I'd advise against that approach when seeking relief from 'danger'. What ever danger might be composed of. :anitongue::rolleyes::anitongue:

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I doubt the police would buy your story about geocaching.

 

If you are in fact geocaching, and wearing a hard hat and vest, the police may check you out, but would buy your story.

Wearing a hard hat and vest is legal, you are not trying to impersonate anyone official. If you are caching in an area where there had been some problems, and a cop saw you, he very well may question you. But most cops, like most people are not fools. The most likely scenario would be to check you out, and find out what you are doing. As neither Geocaching, nor wearing a hard hat and vest, are illegal, the likelihood of anymore happening is remote.

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Wander around with your cell phone to your ear and no one notices when doing caches in busy areas... for those that are a little more outdoorsy... A camera is a wonderful thing! No one pays any attention to you at all! :ph34r:

 

I was searching for cache in a rural park when I heard some people coming so I whipped out my camera. They saw me and then procceded to tell me all about this one really beutiful area up in the mountains that I could get lots of great pictures. They just would not shut up and leave. (I was too polite about it just going "huh huh, yeah" etc.) Icould have been halfway to the next cache had it not been for them yaking away for half an hour.

 

John Z. Doe

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Wander around with your cell phone to your ear and no one notices when doing caches in busy areas... for those that are a little more outdoorsy... A camera is a wonderful thing! No one pays any attention to you at all! :ph34r:

 

I was searching for cache in a rural park when I heard some people coming so I whipped out my camera. They saw me and then procceded to tell me all about this one really beutiful area up in the mountains that I could get lots of great pictures. They just would not shut up and leave. (I was too polite about it just going "huh huh, yeah" etc.) Icould have been halfway to the next cache had it not been for them yaking away for half an hour.

 

John Z. Doe

 

See, your cammo worked.

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Wander around with your cell phone to your ear and no one notices when doing caches in busy areas... for those that are a little more outdoorsy... A camera is a wonderful thing! No one pays any attention to you at all! :blink:

 

This is probably OT, but, in certain parks, walking around with a camera, especially a professional-looking one with a telephoto lens, can cause certain individuals to clear out very quickly :ph34r: sometimes leaving the entire park for yourself. Anyone who's done a fair bit of urban caching knows exactly who I'm talking about.

Edited by DavidMac
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