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Help retrieving a cache from Winchester (M3)


microphonemark
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Hi!

 

This has been frustrating me no end. I'm still quite new here so I'm very open to advice, but what I need now is some practical help.

 

Recently a cache was muggled from York. It had in it the TB that I consider my 'first', and it was the first cache that TB had been in (TB1CQW5 if you're interested). Normally nothing can be done about this, but this one is a bit different because the muggle created an account on GC. I've been able to contact the user and it seems she's confused between a cache and a travel bug. She thought the idea was to move the cache from place to place (read the instructions on a dog tag and apply it to a cache).

 

I think she's highly embarrassed about the whole affair and as such is barely replying to emails. All I've managed to get out of her is this:

I have added something to the box and not taken anything out. I deposited the cache at a service station on the M3.

My wife comes from around about that area, and using her local knowledge along with Wikipedia I've discovered that there is only one service station on the M3 between J8 & J9 (Winchester).

 

So, if anyone wants a FTF on the "Winchester Service Station" cache, happy hunting! (ooh, that's an idea, I may add it as a mystery cache!)

 

Seriously though, is anyone in the area able to have a search around the area for me? I know it's a lot to ask! Just grab the whole box if you find it, it needs to travel back up north (postage is on me).

 

Thanks,

Mark <_<

Edited by microphonemark
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Wow, thanks for the speedy replies!

 

As I said, she's fairly quiet about the whole thing. From her email I actually have her work address and telephone number, it's in Southampton. I'm fairly reluctant to call though, as her emails have been sharp and to the point. Not rude exactly, but hinting at something similar. I quoted everything that she sent me regarding this cache's new location.

 

I have sent an email back to her requesting more information and apologising for any inconvenience, so hopefully she'll reply to that. I'll give it a few days.

 

I think a quiet word from a reviewer may go down well, and I'll look into this if her next email doesn't appear or isn't helpful. I don't want to scare her off by having a horde of geocachers email her at once, so I'll not publish her details here.

 

I love the thought of sending it back north via geocacher special delivery!

Thanks for the help, I'll see what info I can dig up.

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I'm just going to throw all the info I have here for people to read.

 

The cache that's missing is Moxby Walk (GCRQ27)

The log left states that the finder "Will drop off somewhere tomorrow", so I'm going to guess that it was dropped on the southbound side.

 

Would a normal driver use the fleet services? I don't think she would have been in a commercial vehicle.

 

I appreciate it's a large area though. More reports to follow.

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The log left states that the finder "Will drop off somewhere tomorrow", so I'm going to guess that it was dropped on the southbound side.

 

Would a normal driver use the fleet services?

 

Yes, it's a fairly major services, and if she was travelling from Yorkshire to Southampton then she is most likely to use the Southbound services.

 

From her email I actually have her work address and telephone number, it's in Southampton.

But her profile says Stillington, which is close to Moxby Walk - maybe she has a holiday cottage there, I certainly can't see anyone commuting from Stillington to Southampton to work in an art gallery.

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But her profile says Stillington, which is close to Moxby Walk - maybe she has a holiday cottage there, I certainly can't see anyone commuting from Stillington to Southampton to work in an art gallery.

Connections with both places evident from her business webpage :laughing: .

Edited by MBFace
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But her profile says Stillington, which is close to Moxby Walk - maybe she has a holiday cottage there, I certainly can't see anyone commuting from Stillington to Southampton to work in an art gallery.

Connections with both places evident from her business webpage :laughing: .

 

So I see, so it's not beyond the realms of possibility that she might be intending to pick it up and take it back with her.

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If you need a Reviewer to step in give me a shout, it won't be the first time I've had to track a cache moved in the same sort of manner to a vague location :laughing: The other time the cache owner successfully went and retrieved it :laughing:. It takes patience and a lot of emails with map segments and Google Satellite pictures to work out the location, and a good writen description from the person hiding it helps.

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Hey Deceangi, thanks for the offer :laughing: I'll probably get back to you about this in a week's time.

 

Well, it seems that saying I'm not going to publish her details here was a bit pointless because you've all done the detective work on your own!

 

I do hope I'm not stepping on anyone's toes over this, I mean it's not even my cache. I only know as much as I do because my bug was in it at the time.

 

I've also been informed by Mrs. microphonemark that the Fleet services are normal services near Fleet. For some reason I discounted them as services and thought they were just for lorries etc. Oops! I really should listen to her more when it comes to matters of the south of England.

 

I'm annoyed that I drove down the M3 a week ago and could have picked this up if I'd known back then. Oh well, all fun and games!

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Thanks everyone for the supporting replies!

I'm going to give the muggle a few days to reply, then I'll pass it over to a reviewer for dealing with. I'd much rather it come from someone with experience in these matters, but I thought it could be resolved with a couple of quick emails from myself.

 

Looks like I'm being ignored again though! :laughing:

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Thanks Nobby! I saw your name a few times last week when I was in the new forest. When it wasn't on the cache listing I was visiting it was your stamp in the log books :P I had a great visit, thanks for making it all the better with some caching to be done.

 

Well, I finally have a location for anyone who feels up for a rescue mission. I will copy and paste the email I received this morning in it's entirety.

Fleet services in Costa Coffee

So that means it's either been re-muggled, is currently sitting in lost property (best hope) or has been blown up by the bomb squad!

 

Anyone able to call/visit the Fleet services and ask about lost property? It was lost on the 29th August or thereabouts, and I have a description. It's a 1 - 1.5 litre white plastic sandwich box and does have a geocaching sticker on the top (can't confirm that it is the official green one). I don't need to say this, but it contains a notebook, kiddies toys and a disposable camera. (let's not bombard them with people trying to claim it though, one person only please!)

 

This is way more exciting than a normal trad hunt! :P

 

Thanks a lot everyone. You've all been ace.

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Sorry - looks like it was a dead end.

 

Checked the lost property office southbound at fleet services on the M3. No recored of it being handed in. The lady in the office checked anyway but couldn't find it. BTW - there doesn't seem to be a Costa Coffee (there is a "coffee prima" or something like that)

 

regards

 

Keith

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This is exciting stuff. :lol: Can't wait to see if this has a happy ending. I've got visions of this cache box concealed in a big indoor pot plant!

I note you said it had a sticker on the top.

I'm guessing that there was not one of those notes inside explaining what it was and to leave it alone if found by accident... Unless this Muggle didn't read it of course... :laughing:

 

Fleet Services has an email address (Found it on the Welcome Break website). You could try mailing the management and explaining what happened.

 

fleet.rdm@welcomebreak.co.uk

Edited by careygang
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Sorry - looks like it was a dead end.

 

BTW - there doesn't seem to be a Costa Coffee (there is a "coffee prima" or something like that)

 

 

BUT... there is a Costa Coffee at the Winchester Road Chef services (the one between J8 & J9), at least according to this website, and roadchef.com

 

Just what I was thinking, if this Muggle was dumb enough to take the cache to start with, perhaps she got her Services mixed up. They're not that far apart. After all, there are only 2 Services on the M3, not like it was the M1 or something too complex.

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OK, I realise that we want to keep this Muggle cooperative if at all possible, but as a last resort, how about telling her that the local press have picked up on the story and much as we want to keep it quiet, if she cannot be of any further assistance in recovering this item then we are going to have to use the local press to try and get it back.

 

This of course would entail her details being released as the person who so foolishly moved it.

If of course she could be of further help in recovering the container then we can continue to keep it out of the press.

 

I'm sure local TV news magazine would run it. I don't want to hijack this thread so let's not have lots of opinions back on this. Just keep it in mind as a last resort to recover the cache. <_<

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Tell him just the purses will do then. Ask if they're waterproof.

 

I did think last night that it's way more likely she got the name of the coffee shop wrong rather than the name of the services. I'm just picturing the coffee shop in Fleet - there'll be a potted plant or something in the corner with a box stuffed behind it!

 

Because it hasn't shown up in the services I don't think our muggle is going to be of any further help to us. The trail seems to have grown cold at the services and because it's been a good three weeks since it was dropped there I don't think it's going to show up now. I'm sorry it's ended this way, you've all been fantastic.

 

I now open this thread to crazy ideas and wild gesturing.

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The more I think about it, I think we going at it the wrong way.

If I found something in some woods/footpath and I had no idea what it was, thought it should be moved around, I wouldn't then leave it in a coffee shop. I might however leave it NEAR a coffee shop. I suspect that she hid it outside the shop somewhere.

We're geocachers, surely we can have a good poke around near the coffee shop (whichever it may be) to see if its there. I do however also realise that 3 weeks is quite a long time for something to just be somewhere when its hiding place might not be as well thought out as it could have been (unless she had an obvious pile of sticks/stones with her)

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I think it’s about time one of our dear reviewers stepped in with an email to this obdurate bint who, if she would stop being so up herself, could actually resolve this situation one way or the other. She has registered with Geocaching and as such isn’t immune to an email from the top.

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I don't know. I'd love for you to be right, but I just don't think so.

The problem is that I don't think any thought has been put into it's relocation at all.

 

There's the fact that the laminated sheet in the cache has been ignored and the instructions on the travelbug followed. The fact that she logged the bug as discovered before moving it and didn't read it's instructions to not leave Yorkshire. The fact that I know at least two people sent her a friendly 'first contact' email to welcome her when she signed up and got no reply.

 

My guess is that it's either in that shop and re-muggled or it's never been anywhere near that shop, is still in Yorkshire, and I've been told it's there so that I'll hit this dead end and give up. I don't think it's *hidden* in the coffee shop, but that's certainly an option.

 

Her email said "Fleet services in Costa Coffee" (my emphasis).

 

I don't think she's talking to me anymore though, so I might ask Deceangi to have a quiet word?

 

edit: Jerryo got there just before I did, but that's two votes for involving a reviewer and a note of support from Deceangi further up the thread. I don't know if she even gets the emails sent from the website's contact form or just doesn't reply to them, but I suggest emailing her in the usual way.

Edited by microphonemark
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As reviewer emails sent through GC's contact a player facility have a topic title, if you email or PM me with her user name and contact email address. I'll see if a quiet approach to obtain a description of where the cache was left will work.

 

If this approach fails I must ask that no further attempt is to contact the lady in question as it will be obvious that the cache has been trashed <_<

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As reviewer emails sent through GC's contact a player facility have a topic title, if you email or PM me with her user name and contact email address. I'll see if a quiet approach to obtain a description of where the cache was left will work.

 

If this approach fails I must ask that no further attempt is to contact the lady in question as it will be obvious that the cache has been trashed <_<

 

Oh dear.

 

There I was trying to picture a local TV reporter doing a bit on Geocaching whilst sitting in the Services Coffee Shop, explaining how this poor misguided soul had been so daft as to do what she did...

This has been one of the most interesting threads for ages, a pity to see it wind down <_<

Of course, Services aren't always the most cleaned places. Perhaps it's under a bench seat in the corner of the coffee shop, or buried in those lightweight stone chipping that seem to be in all indoor pot plant tubs. I wish I lived nearer; it seems such a challenge (I supose this isn't really a ploy by the coffee shop to increase custom?) :rolleyes::rolleyes:

Edited by careygang
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As reviewer emails sent through GC's contact a player facility have a topic title, if you email or PM me with her user name and contact email address. I'll see if a quiet approach to obtain a description of where the cache was left will work.

 

If this approach fails I must ask that no further attempt is to contact the lady in question as it will be obvious that the cache has been trashed <_<

 

Thank you, that's exactly what we needed. I'll send the info.

I'd agree with Deceangi on the last point too, nothing more to be gained through further contact if this doesn't work.

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Ok folks I've made direct contact with the person involved, if I fail to receive a reply within 7 days I will have no choice but to consider the mater closed and the container lost :D. As I have advised in my email that if no reply is received no further communication will be made with her, so would ask everyone to respect that statement.

 

So fingers crossed :D that a positive result is achieved, as I'd like to keep a 100% record on recovering wandering caches :D

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Thank you all so much in trying to retrieve my cache. I'm sorry I've not been more active in the search. I've not cheched my emails for ages. It's so great to see the huge effort being put in by fellow geocachers.

I hope the cache is found but the liklyhood seems quite remote. fingers crossed though.

 

Swubb (Owner of Moxby walk)

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I'm sorry to say that having received no reply to my email, I can only presume that the container is permanently lost :P. It appears that swubb will have to replace Moxby walk with a new container.

:)

Oh dear. Well it was more interesting than just being muggled and thrown to the wind.

 

A great pity that the muggle was (presumably) too embarrassed by their actions to help put things right.

:P

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