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Bill93

Caution about knocking on doors

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I think I've heard of this scam before, but there is fresh News story about someone who pretended to be a surveyor, got the homeowner out in the back yard, and an accomplice stole things out of the house.

 

I would hesitate to approach homeowners in that area for a while about looking for survey marks.

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May I suggest that No One go up to a home owner and say anything about "Surveying Their Property Lines", nor mention anything about "Property Lines" at all. Those are fightin' words no matter where you live.

 

A simple "I'm trying to find a survey marker" is all they need to hear. If you have the GC benchmark page print out or your NGS description on your GPSr for the person to read could also help. Be nice, be honest, be sensitive.

 

Of course you could just stay out of town, like we normally do. That is why we are going to Laughlin in April, so we can stay out of town!! :rolleyes:

 

Shirley~

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I would always suggest caution when knocking on stranger's doors. As to mention of surveys, I concur. Indiana has a state statute allowing licensed surveyors the right to enter private property for the purpose of performing a legal survey. I know of a situation here where a legal survey party was threatened with violence and had to resort to having law enforcement officers at the site while the survey was performed. Never under estimate the extent to which some folks protect the privacy of "private property".

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Shirley, I'd suggest that if a homeowner has recently heard about this scam, the mention of "survey marker" will be just as problematic as "property lines", which no geocacher should ever be mentioning anyway.

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Shirley, I'd suggest that if a homeowner has recently heard about this scam, the mention of "survey marker" will be just as problematic as "property lines", which no geocacher should ever be mentioning anyway.

 

I disagree.

I am a geocacher as well as benchmark hunter.

I am involved with a Local Survey Chapter.

 

Now I as a geocacher can not say to a property owner where his property line lays because I want to keep this geocache I am placing on his land.

There will always be scam artists in everything.

 

It is still a free country and I for one will not be limited to what I can or can not say.

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I for one will not be limited to what I can or can not say.

 

Part of living in a free country is accepting some limitation about what you can say. Or, as the late Paul Harvey used to put it: "Self-Government does not work without Self-Discipline."

 

It is common knowledge that you cannot impersonate a law enforcement officer. Likewise, benchmark hunters cannot imply that they are surveyors. Surveyors have entry rights under state laws, and it is like saying, "I can go on your land, whether you like it or not."

 

-Paul-

 

A tip worth repeating: When you must knock on a door, immediately step away a minimum of ten feet to fifteen feet. If the door is on an elevated porch, knock and then quickly go to ground level.

 

Putting space between you and the door demonstrates to the occupant that you are not a sales person, nor do you intend to "rush" the person and get inside.

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Part of living in a free country is accepting some limitation about what you can say. Or, as the late Paul Harvey used to put it: "Self-Government does not work without Self-Discipline."

 

It is common knowledge that you cannot impersonate a law enforcement officer. Likewise, benchmark hunters cannot imply that they are surveyors. Surveyors have entry rights under state laws, and it is like saying, "I can go on your land, whether you like it or not."

 

-Paul-

 

A tip worth repeating: When you must knock on a door, immediately step away a minimum of ten feet to fifteen feet. If the door is on an elevated porch, knock and then quickly go to ground level.

 

Putting space between you and the door demonstrates to the occupant that you are not a sales person, nor do you intend to "rush" the person and get inside.

 

 

Paul,

 

Good points!!

 

John

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Part of living in a free country is accepting some limitation about what you can say. Or, as the late Paul Harvey used to put it: "Self-Government does not work without Self-Discipline."

 

If you are self-disciplined you watch what you say.

There is no limitation on freedom of speech.

 

We do not have a Nation of Self-Government.

A Government of people for the people by the people.

I see no self in that.

 

The term may be applied both to the individual person and to a group or an institution. An autonomous person is, fundamentally, one able to act according to his or her own direction. An autonomous institution is one able to regulate its own affairs. The relation between the self-government of a group and individual autonomy is complicated by the need to distinguish between the collective self-government of a group and the self-direction of an individual member of that group. Rousseau's writings illustrate the difficulties involved. Ideas about individual autonomy are closely linked to conceptions of freedom. For example, to act according to my own direction may (on some views of freedom) require access to resources I presently lack, in which case to provide me with them would enhance both my liberty and my autonomy. This problem is, further, connected to notions of the constitution of the self. For example, it may be held that I am not truly ‘self ’-governing if my action is driven by powerful phobias ‘I’ cannot regulate, any more than if my actions are determined by external circumstances beyond my control.

 

— Andrew Reeve

 

I have knocked on 100's of doors over the past years and to this day have not had one problem.

The places that do are generally a Government facility.

Edited by GEO*Trailblazer 1

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I for one will not be limited to what I can or can not say.

 

Part of living in a free country is accepting some limitation about what you can say. Or, as the late Paul Harvey used to put it: "Self-Government does not work without Self-Discipline."

 

It is common knowledge that you cannot impersonate a law enforcement officer. Likewise, benchmark hunters cannot imply that they are surveyors. Surveyors have entry rights under state laws, and it is like saying, "I can go on your land, whether you like it or not."

 

-Paul-

 

A tip worth repeating: When you must knock on a door, immediately step away a minimum of ten feet to fifteen feet. If the door is on an elevated porch, knock and then quickly go to ground level.

 

Putting space between you and the door demonstrates to the occupant that you are not a sales person, nor do you intend to "rush" the person and get inside.

 

You must have read differently what Geo said, I didn't see anything there about lying to the land owner and claiming to be something he is not. If Geo feels comfortable telling the land owner the Truth about why he wishes to enter his land, (that is to look for a Survey Marker), that is what he should do.

 

How else can you explain to the landowner why you wish to enter his property? You ARE there to locate a benchmark, after all! It is how you conduct yourself and interact with the landowner that will determine whether or not you will be allowed to try and recover the benchmark you are searching for.

 

As to stepping back from the door, I would be wary of anyone that steps back more than the 3 feet it takes to be able to open the outer (screened door) door.

 

Don't allow paranoia to overcome common sense.

 

John

 

Tip: Act friendly, not like a professional doing their job, this is only a Hobby! It is for the fun of it! Who knows, you may just convert another person into a benchmark hunter!

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If you don't feel confident enough to interact with a property owner, stay with the marks along public rights-of-way. Just watch out for traffic!

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After a couple of years of hunting that usually involves needing to ask permission for property access, I find Paul's "step back" suggestion a very good one. Particularly with cramped landings or elevated front porches, I go up, ring the bell, and then turn around, descend the stairs, and wait. This seems to result in more people (particularly women who are home along during the day) being willing to open the door and talk to me. I would guess that refusals to let me hunt on the property are very rare, perhaps 1 in 20 attempts. Having a copy of the Datasheet and/or a Google map of the location (and mark) also helps a lot to establish why you're there and where you need to go. People are generally very interested to help.

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I also agree with stepping back, and I typically do it. I don't always go to the bottom of the step, bit I DO step back so that they can see who I am and that they know I won't rush the door when they open it. I must have an honest face--my success rate is 100% in getting access to private property. My only turndowns have been my own state government (I suspect the mark is damaged or destroyed and the manager of the state property doesn't want me to see) and an ATV park who would gladly let me ride an ATV all over their property for $400/year but is not willing to let me ride a bike on the trails to look for marks (before you think it, neither money nor safety were mentioned as reasons for refusal).

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Mannerisms is a key.

The way you present yourself is very important and there are certian things you can do to represent yourself as non-threatening.

 

Crossed hands in front of you.

Yes Sir, ma'am and the likes.

 

Mannerisms are those unique little gestures and movements we make that set us apart from those around us. They are ingrained into our subconscious and we rarely realize we're doing them. Often we learn these traits from a beloved caregiver or other influential people in our lives.

 

These little idiosyncrasies can be used to give our characters more depth and human appeal. They can also be used as a clue to unraveling a mystery. A villain who breaks twigs whenever he/she is standing near a tree or shrub can give themselves away by the minute pieces of broken wood left in their wake. Or as a poignant remembrance in a tale of loss; a woman always stacked her shelves with the labels facing out and her surviving spouse cannot open the kitchen cupboards without weeping.

 

Rounding out a character involves more than just relating their conscious actions. What do they do when they're nervous, happy, scared, bored or angry? Does the antagonist crack his knuckles right before he becomes violent? Does the protagonist twirl her hair between her fingers when she's concentrating? There are a wide variety of mannerisms.

 

1) tapping a foot

2) chewing the inside of the cheek

3) biting fingernails

4) greeting everyone with a hug or handshake

5) a quick smile in greeting or nervousness

6) a toss of the head

7) lowering the eyes flirtatiously or timidly

8) running fingers through hair

9) snapping fingers or cracking knuckles

10) blowing breath out through the mouth in exasperation

 

These are just a few to help you think about your own idle gestures and how you can incorporate them into your work.

 

Mannerisms can also help to identify the current mood of your characters. An angry character who does not wish to show her anger through voice may still inadvertently give her mood away by her actions.

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This happened to a friend of a friend.

 

He was always gathering apples to use as bait for deer hunting and whenever he would see an apple tree in a yard where the apples were all over the ground, he would go knock on the door and offer to clean them up. He spotted a yard full of fallen apples one day and he knocks on door of this older house but no one answers. He starts to leave when the door opens a little and he sees an elder lady (90's). He starts to ask permission when she suddenly collapses onto the kitchen floor. He enters the house and cannot revive her and calls 911, she was DOA. He must have frightened her, at least that was the conclusion of the police. I don't think he goes around offering to clean up apples anymore.

Edited by Z15

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Yeow! What a tragedy. What does your friend look like, by the way? :sad:

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Yeow! What a tragedy. What does your friend look like, by the way? :laughing:

 

Always wears camo jacket, hat etc, beard and in his 60's.

 

Btw-He is a fuel oil service driver so he comes in contact with many home owners.

 

The elderly can get really shaken up by people. Once we were on the street looking for a section corner that had this garage corner (near the ROW) as one of the references. When I was directing one of the guys to the correct corner I spotted the curtains moving in the house. I had knocked on the door earlier to get permission to enter the yard (no fence and corner lot) but no one answered. Well we got our location and were digging on the ROW of street when a police car pulled up. He said the home owner called and was all excited about people around his house. I showed the officer exactly what we did and told him I knocked on the door but no once answered although I was certain there was someone home. He said the owner called to 9-1-1 that someone was coming into his house. The officer went and spoke with the home owner who refused to come out of the house. After about 15 min the officer came back and said, just be careful as that person is very paranoid and that this is not the first time they been called to that residence over a similar occurance.

Edited by Z15

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How about just following common sense and approach the door as you would want a total stranger to approach your door. I carry my "work packet", consisting of the Datasheet, GC PID sheet and a Google Earth or Bing aerial, to "show & tell" the property owner what I am wanting to do. I've only been doing Benchmark Recovery for a month or so and have got one property owner interested enough to start his own notebook. This is an interesting hobby if folks know what you are doing.

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