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jc_hook

If the USGS can't find it, what are my chances?

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I went looking for a benchmark while waiting for breakfast at The Cardinal Cafe in my town. LY0463 I looked all over, it looks like the South East Abutment may have been repaired perhaps causing the covering/destruction of this mark. Any guidence? If back in 1984 the USGS couldn't find it, would it be reasonable for me to find it?

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jc_hook -

 

If someone has looked for a mark in the past and failed to find it, it is reasonable to assume that the probability that you will find it is lower than if someone had looked for it in the past and found it. Though the probability is lower, it is usually not 0. (Or, you can't know the probability is zero until you've taken a shot at it.)

 

One of the more satisfying aspects of benchmark hunting is finding a mark that someone else has failed to find, especially if that someone else is from the C&GS, NGS or USGS.

 

Now, when I set out to hunt benchmarks in an area, I often will pass on marks that have been searched for and not found, especially if my time in the area is limited. However, that practice notwithstanding, I will usually make an effort to find at least one or two that have previously been "not found". If I have the opportunity to linger in an area, I will search for every mark in that area that has been the source of frustration for a previous hunter. In the past few years, I have (usually) passed on marks that have been found by other GEOCAC hunters (usually, but not always): too easy.

 

Every experienced benchmark hunter has one or more finds on his or her list that were previously unfindable by someone else. These are very satisfying finds, especially if the frustrated party was from one of the professional agencies. To find a mark that the US Power Squadron failed to find is satisfying, but not nearly as much as finding a mark that an NGS person couldn't find.

 

Will

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I'll frequently take the time to look for BMs not found in the past. This afternoon I found three that were previously not found by the NGS in 1986. This isn't typical but small victories such as this keep me interested in the hobby.

 

Curiously none of the three were that difficult to find. I guess the NGS crew had a bad day.

 

Bob

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I agree with Will and Bob. You are going to find marks that were previously reported as "not found" in your travels. It does give you a sense of accomplishment to actually find these marks in particular, as it will help others behind you in their uses for the benchmark. I have found several that were reported that way by the US Power Squadron and one this year that was reported by the USGS as "not found". Here is a link to it:

 

CQ1177

 

It's really one of those "you never know until you try" kinda things. If you do find benchmarks that have been reported as "not found" before your successful find, it will greatly benefit others if you make sure to log your find on the NGS site, so it can become a part of the official history of the mark.

 

Good luck in your attempts

 

Bobby

Edited by LSUFan

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In our book - we say "never say never". In fact we have come up with a few remarkable recoveries that have not been found by other agencies. It gives us a sense of major accomplishment and helps validate we do actually know what we are doing from time to time .LOL

 

 

To be honest, we go after every station we can. It's quite easy for us to spend and hour or two loking for one station - knowing full well, it may not actually exist. It doesn't give us a big 'tally count' at the end of the day, but whether we found it or not, we know we devoted our time and energy in the search and are just as proud of the DNF as the recovery.

 

 

Go out and give it a shot, you may be find it. If not, you've gained more valuable experience for the next hunt.

 

 

Good Luck!

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I have found about 5 that USGS did not find, each and every one was buried from 1" to one about 6 inches.

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Ok, you folks have given me new hope. I will be digging a bit (lots of broken glass and dirt. I'll tidy the place up a bit and see what turns up!

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And, then again, I think we took a look at that bridge from the west, and decided that it wasn't worth the effort. Lots of No Trespassing signs on an 'active' railway? If you can find a safe way in, go for it. I must have found some USGS DNFs, but I couldn't name them. NJGS DNFs are easier to find. :anicute:

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I have had a few USGS or NGS not founds that I have subsequently found. Probably the best example is KW0765. Sometimes I think our modern equipment--GPSr and metal detector especially, help us find marks that would have been impossible to find years ago--we can get very close to the mark location when reference points have disappeared, and then we can magically search a large area for an underground mark.

 

I am of the opinion however, that quite a few of the newer NGS not founds are actually USPS recoveries where the agency was entered as NGS. I have seen some notations of "this report was submitted by the US Power Squadron), or something similar, on a number of NGS recoveries, especially in the 1980s and later. Thus, an NGS not found may actually be a USPS not found.

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I agree with Will and Bob. You are going to find marks that were previously reported as "not found" in your travels. It does give you a sense of accomplishment to actually find these marks in particular, as it will help others behind you in their uses for the benchmark. I have found several that were reported that way by the US Power Squadron and one this year that was reported by the USGS as "not found". Here is a link to it:

 

CQ1177

 

It's really one of those "you never know until you try" kinda things. If you do find benchmarks that have been reported as "not found" before your successful find, it will greatly benefit others if you make sure to log your find on the NGS site, so it can become a part of the official history of the mark.

 

Good luck in your attempts

 

Bobby

 

Wow! Now I'm thinking I could really make a contribution by finding the (DNF's) from the USGS etc.

 

CQ1177 STATION RECOVERY (1982)

CQ1177

CQ1177'RECOVERY NOTE BY US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 1982

CQ1177'MARK NOT FOUND.

CQ1177

CQ1177 STATION RECOVERY (2008)

CQ1177

CQ1177'RECOVERY NOTE BY GEOCACHING 2008 (BKT)

CQ1177'MARK 11-12 INCHES BELOW SURROUNDING GROUND LEVEL

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I have had a few USGS or NGS not founds that I have subsequently found. Probably the best example is KW0765. Sometimes I think our modern equipment--GPSr and metal detector especially, help us find marks that would have been impossible to find years ago--we can get very close to the mark location when reference points have disappeared, and then we can magically search a large area for an underground mark.

 

I am of the opinion however, that quite a few of the newer NGS not founds are actually USPS recoveries where the agency was entered as NGS. I have seen some notations of "this report was submitted by the US Power Squadron), or something similar, on a number of NGS recoveries, especially in the 1980s and later. Thus, an NGS not found may actually be a USPS not found.

 

So how does one go about logging it (When found) with the appropriate authority? AND would they say anything if you happened to be on private property?

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And, then again, I think we took a look at that bridge from the west, and decided that it wasn't worth the effort. Lots of No Trespassing signs on an 'active' railway? If you can find a safe way in, go for it. I must have found some USGS DNFs, but I couldn't name them. NJGS DNFs are easier to find. :laughing:

So are you in my area? Maybe we could look for this one together as I've only got 1 BM find in my list you can see I'm a BM Newbie. A metal detector might make a good planned for expence.

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So how does one go about logging it (When found) with the appropriate authority? AND would they say anything if you happened to be on private property?

 

jc_hook, there are several posts in these forums that will tell you how to log it with the NGS. I am going to post a link to a tutorial on it in our local geocaching forum, because it is the easiest for me to do.... not because I am trying to promote our club or anything. Call me lazy. :anibad:

 

This should get you started.

 

http://www.nelageo.net/index.php?topic=248.0

 

EDIT: The NGS doesn't have regulations pertaining to the benchmark being on private property or not when you submit a report to them. That said, You certainly don't want to break any laws to search for a mark (like trespassing). Use common sense when deciding if you should be in an area or not, when attempting your searches. You are not a government employee or a licensed surveyor acting in an official capacity, so you don't have the same rights they do. We are just all average "Joe the plumbers". :laughing: Personally, I usually ask the landowner permission to search for one, if it is in their yard or such. The property owner can be of immeasurable help, as noted in several of my attempts...a few of which are below for examples.

 

CQ0049

 

CQ0576

Edited by LSUFan

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The NGS doesn't have regulations pertaining to the benchmark being on private property or not when you submit a report to them. That said, You certainly don't want to break any laws to search for a mark (like trespassing). Use common sense when deciding if you should be in an area or not, when attempting your searches. You are not a government employee or a licensed surveyor acting in an official capacity, so you don't have the same rights they do.

A friend and I spent a pleasant but frustrating day driving around rural Tuolumne County, California a week ago. We were trying to find some benchmarks that were in USGS descriptions from decades ago (mostly 1945). In addition to the descriptions, we had coordinates that I had derived from topo DRGs, so we had a good idea where to look. The frustrating part was that almost every mark location was now behind a fence, either on private property or Miwok tribal land. :-( The two or three that were closer to the roads, we couldn't find (presumably because of road widening or other construction over the years). We did find a couple of unexpected U.S. DOT marks! I'd sure like to find someone from the USGS who'd be interested in searching for these puppies and tag along with him/her.

 

Patty

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I don't recall yet finding one that the USGS hasn't found, but there have been quite a few (I'd guess 8-10) that I've recovered that the NGS didn't find in the 80s, and a couple that a respected geocacher didn't find. Prior not founds are more of a challenge sometimes, but the find is even more rewarding.

 

About a week ago, I hiked with my dad to find one that's been nagging me for over a year. It was a 1.8 mile hike in along an inactive rail line, but we recovered one that was not found by the NGS in 1985. There's a whole string of 1985 "not founds" in this area that I really have to wonder if the report was more a "not looked for." :anicute:

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I've found a few that have gone unfound by professionals. I kinda think a lot of them were also 'not looked for', as it might've been raining or something and the agency just did a drive-by recvoery so to speak.

 

This one ME1569 FORKED was my most recent, 20 years after a USPSQD no find. It was a tri-station but still a tough find (even with good coords) because the grass was so thick and wet, let alone the disk is no longer flush. No witness posts remain as described.

 

ef742c8f-cab2-49c1-b4de-dac58d871d52.jpg

 

I was bummed to not find the RM's, though. I measured but didn't have a prod or anything; I'm thinking they're still there beneath that thick grass and dirt.

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This one ME1569 FORKED was my most recent, 20 years after a USPSQD no find.

Ah, USPSQD. That explains that. :) Remember, they got brownie points from their group just for submitting a report, whether it was a Found or Not Found. So there was an incentive to do cursory "drive by" recoveries just to rack up points for...well, whatever they got for their accumulated points. Power Squadron hats and t-shirts? In fact, given that they aren't submitting recoveries to NGS any more, I've been wondering when NGS will remove their "agency" code from the recovery form.

 

Although in all fairness, some of them did a good job. It was probably a Power Squadron member who found HR0846 in Yosemite, which required chopping a U in a fallen log to find the little bugger.

 

Patty

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Do not despair!

 

Here's one that was "NF" by both USGS and the USPSQD. Since it was an easy "drive-by" recovery next to a driveway on top of an uncluttered granite exposure, it's likely that neither one of these previous reporters actually visited the site.

 

Around here, I find evidence that over half of the Power Squadron reports are erroneous, apparently entered by people only to garner some kind of "points" from their organization. I hate that.

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The USPSQD reports vary from NF = 'didn't look' to Good = 'wrong object' to many accurate, excellent, and difficult recoveries. Most of the ones around here seem to be pretty good. I always was frustrated by the fact that they did not submit updated descriptions or other info besides the check box. But since they are history, I hope the good searchers among them discover GEOCAC and join us here.

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Here's one that was "NF" by both USGS and the USPSQD. Since it was an easy "drive-by" recovery next to a driveway on top of an uncluttered granite exposure, it's likely that neither one of these previous reporters actually visited the site.

As I mentioned earlier, I could believe that about the Power Squadron reports, since they're hobbyists. But do you really think the USGS folks would be so sloppy? I guess even professionals can have bad days, but I'd find it more likely that there was a legitimate reason why they couldn't find it in 1979. Not that I can guess what that reason would be; the mark looks easy to see!

 

Patty

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A mark on a bridge abutment that wasn't found by ANYONE, is probably not there due to reconstruction/replacement of the bridge. That's a pretty obvious, location. Perhaps it was just too subjective to say 'The bridge appears to have been replaced.' I would probably attempt to look for it just so I could confirm the previous DNF, but you never know...

 

On the other hand, previous DNFs of marks in less obvious locations always get my attention. It is very easy for a mark to have been obscured by brush/plant growth thirty years ago, but today the bushes have died off and the mark is plainly visible. Sometimes the mark was recovered thirty years ago, but the bushes are in my way today. Dang bushes!

 

As for the Power Squadron...some of the DNFs are laughable, but sometimes the recoveries are spot-on, with helpful notes! My understanding is that they could accumulate points by performing community services, and earn lifetime memberships with enough 'Brownie Points' to their credit.

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I didn't really know why the US Power Squadron checked on benchmarks, until reading about it here in this forum. That is interesting. I easily found one this year, that at first glance I thought had a dnf log by the US Power Squadron, but it was actually one by the USPS (US Postal Service). :ph34r:

 

Does anyone know why they would hunt for benchmarks........or is it just a hobby thing for them too?

 

CQ3259

Edited by LSUFan

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USPS is a boating org, from retired Navy,CG to the average yacht owner as members. Boating requires knowledge of navigation. USPS members helped NOAA with updating navigation charting and things like that. USPS is in education of boaters. Reporting on bench marks was a way for their members to get involved in a service hobby that also benefited the boating community by updating control information. Prior to them starting this back in the 70's the only org's looking for marks were state and federal agencies and then only on a need to use basis.

Edited by Z15

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USPS is a boating org, from retired Navy,CG to the average yacht owner as members.

No, LSUFan is correct: CQ3259 really does have a report from the U.S. Postal Service. See the report details. NGS's abbreviation for the Power Squadron is "USPSQD," not "USPS."

 

I, too, am curious about the Postal Service recovery. I haven't seen one before, either.

 

Patty

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USPS is a boating org, from retired Navy,CG to the average yacht owner as members.

No, LSUFan is correct: CQ3259 really does have a report from the U.S. Postal Service. See the report details. NGS's abbreviation for the Power Squadron is "USPSQD," not "USPS."

 

I, too, am curious about the Postal Service recovery. I haven't seen one before, either.

 

Patty

 

Well that's about as odd as a hog in a tu-tu!

 

'Neither rain, nor steep terrain, nor dead of night will stay them from their appointed recoveries'

 

:grin:

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Well that's about as odd as a hog in a tu-tu!

 

:grin:

 

AZcachemeister, evidently you've never been to a family reunion down here in Louisiana. :grin:

 

There is another dnf recovery effort by the USPS that I am going to recheck on today in the same area. I already looked one time, and it seemed that the objects on-site were contradicting the description in the official NGS report. It didn't seem possible to be south of the rightaway fence, then north of the witness post......since the fence is south of the witness post. I didn't have a compass with me during my first attempt, and will see if that changes anything. (although I thought I knew which way was North, especially with an East-West running Interstate beside me)

 

CQ3260

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USPS is a boating org, from retired Navy,CG to the average yacht owner as members.

No, LSUFan is correct: CQ3259 really does have a report from the U.S. Postal Service. See the report details. NGS's abbreviation for the Power Squadron is "USPSQD," not "USPS."

 

I, too, am curious about the Postal Service recovery. I haven't seen one before, either.

 

Patty

 

OK, I was just using USPS as short for the power squadron and missed the fact that he was asking the postal service.

 

Maybe they did recon for a location of a new Post Office or other bldg. Or the could have been getting position on such bldgs to know the exact locations etc. I know when we (at DOT) had consultant contracts we often searched for geodetic control to estimate the cost of the survey. Then we would spec that all control had to be tied to NGS datum and then provide them with information on what marks we recovered so they know what we expected of them. Otherwise, left to their own means they would do something not to our standards. Had to spell it all out in detail in the contract. We had consultants turn in estimates for running levels from 5 miles away when in fact there was a BM right on the project that they over looked or maybe they just tried to pad the costs?

Edited by Z15

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I'm still thinking it was Power Squadron. AFA probably filled in USPS rather than USPSQD. When I fill in GEOCAC it takes my word that I'm with GEOCAC. And it fills in the whole name below automatically: Geocaching in my case and US Postal service for AFA. So, most likely, it was a typo by AFA.

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I'm still thinking it was Power Squadron. AFA probably filled in USPS rather than USPSQD.

Yeah, that could be possible, although the U.S. Postal Service is on NGS' official contributors list, so evidently they have actually submitted recovery reports. As "Z15" noted, they could have been surveying for a new post office.

 

I don't know when NGS added the Power Squadron as a "radio button" choice. If it was after 2002, then these reports from "AFA" in 2002 could have indeed resulted from him/her typing "USPS" into the agency field because there was no USPSQD radio button available at that time.

 

Patty

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Well that's about as odd as a hog in a tu-tu!

 

:)

 

AZcachemeister, evidently you've never been to a family reunion down here in Louisiana. :)

 

There is another dnf recovery effort by the USPS that I am going to recheck on today in the same area. I already looked one time, and it seemed that the objects on-site were contradicting the description in the official NGS report. It didn't seem possible to be south of the rightaway fence, then north of the witness post......since the fence is south of the witness post. I didn't have a compass with me during my first attempt, and will see if that changes anything. (although I thought I knew which way was North, especially with an East-West running Interstate beside me)

 

CQ3260

 

Nope, I have yet to set foot in your lovely, historical state!

If I ever do, I'll be certain to wrangle an invite to a reunion, if possible!

 

I have seen contradictory information in descriptions, too. Just recently, the 1985 to-reach instructed us to drive south for 0.6 miles...on an east-west road! The turn off the diagonally running highway would be to the southwest, but the side-road immediately 'straightened-out', and ran E-W.

 

More than once I have had to pause to concentrate while visualizing just where the 'southwest corner of the northeast abutment, xx feet east of the centerline' might be. :unsure:

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