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gurubob

I dont like the general public playing with my benchs

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I hope people will respect the fact that these elevated and tri points are working tools important to survey and engineering projects. I am a surveyor and there is nothing I hate more than searching for a bench only to find some idiot has destroyed it because it would look cool on his mantle. Hundreds upon hundreds of men spent hours, days, weeks, months and years establishing these reference points. I understand that these points have been published as a matter of public record but, I don't thik it was intended for this use. When you need flood plain certification or the new store in your town needs to prove its pad above flood elevations I use these very important tools to prove it. If I have to spend hours searching for a refference point so you can get flood insurance you will have to pay for it. If I have to use a different point to establish coordinate geomertry to locate your house for your title you will have to pay for it. Please keep this in mind. Protect our benches.

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Are you implying that the benchmark hunters here are destroying markers?

 

The impression I get from most geocachers is that they simply don't get the "point" of benchmark hunting. The ones who do tend to be both nerdy and respectful.

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hmmm ... i wonder if those who are finding lost BM's are a detriment also ? i feel those of us who are seeking them for fun wouldn't be the ones who are detroying them .. sorry if a few bad apples make your job harder...that's life

 

peace,

 

dddroid

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They're not your benchmarks. Get over it.

 

And we hate not finding them either. I'm trying to figure out what point you're making and am coming up empty. Are you insinuating something?

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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You mean you guys don't bring along a jack-hammer along so you can rightfully retain your finds? icon_eek.gif Am I the only one?!? icon_biggrin.gif

 

Seriously though, if this guy would have spent two minutes reading about what we actually DO do, he would realize the HUGE assest that we are. Our updated submissions to USGS can help him save the time he is paid so highly for, and in turn, possibly save ourselves (or each other) some money in survey fees someday.

 

Greg

N 39 54.705'

W 77 33.137'

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D'oh. What's Home Depo's return policy on crowbars?

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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I am not a Licenced Surveyor,or a Professional in the field....but I believe in the monumentation and Presevation of all our Historic Monuments.There are even professional surveyors who are not following the prescribed laws to the remonumentation of the original PLSS Corners. So what does this do to the system? Just because some of these do not match within the current projects. The Original Land Patents! The 2 That I have in possesion are both signed by the Presidents of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt,and President Taft. I also Have the books Abstracts back to the Louisiana Purchase.The Feoffment icon_confused.gificon_confused.gif

see: FEE. I also see that you have no logged recovered bench marks,as a surveyor In Texas, Because they did not give up their Lands are under a diffrent set of Guidelines than the rest of the Public lands States,but as far as THE PUBLIC we have a right to know where these are as well as the professionals the new technologies have made it easier to check on what is being done to a lesser degree of accuracy than we would like but I am amazed at the accuracy anyway..This fits within the Guidelines.......

When all else fails Geotry again.

 

[This message was edited by Trailblazer # 1 on October 28, 2002 at 05:25 PM.]

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ummm... think me smell troll

 

>Personally Responsible for the Recovery of .00244% of the Benchmark Database!<--watch this number!

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Gurubob

I think you can rest easy, my friend. Originally, my concerns were identical to yours and a number of other surveyors I know felt the same way, so I made it my business to monitor the activity here. If you read some of my earlier messages you will see that all of my efforts here have been devoted to informing the public of the significance of our industry and encouraging respect for it. I have found the folks here to be sincere in their interest and there are many who are genuinely interested in learning about surveying, which is very gratifying. I have seen no indication that anyone here has engaged in harmful behavior, such as collecting survey markers, and I have done my best to foster an atmosphere in which anyone doing that sort of thing would be chastised and disgraced among their peers here. About the worst thing that goes on here is that some people are careless about their method of reporting what they find or do not find, and even those people draw some criticism from the most serious participants. So lets give them the benefit of the doubt and trust that the good ones will lead the way by passing on the knowledge and appreciation of these control points to others.

 

Everybody Else

Please understand that this gentleman does not have time to read all the messages here and his concerns are legitimate. Obviously, he would not be upset if he had not experienced problems with vandalism in the past. I hope everyone here will continue to cooperate to put his worries to rest.

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Looking around and scratching head.....

 

I don't see any mark destroyers here abouts.

 

In truth, ever since I was a little kid and came across my first disk somewhere out in a park, I always thought they were interesting and important. Made me think about surveying and the technical needs of figuring out the lay of the land, etc. It never crossed my mind to destroy or wreck one of these things.

I think its safe to say that the community here (though I have only been a part of it for a few months) feels the same way.

 

66427_2400.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Jeremy Irish:

D'oh. What's Home Depo's return policy on crowbars?

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location


 

Don't know. But if you want, I can lend you my backhoe. It's much faster in pulling them out of the groun..... Oops. nevermind. Wrong thread. icon_wink.gif

 

66427_2400.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Snazz:

The ones who do tend to be both nerdy and respectful.


 

HEY! Watch it. I am not a nerd. And if you insult me again, Ill throw my pocket protector at you and cut you with my propeller beanie.

 

66427_2400.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Raouljan:

ummm... think me smell troll

 

!


 

Yes, there is a slight aroma.

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Whenever I find a survey marker, I am again reminded of the effort that went into its placement - not just the personal effort of those who set the mark and established its position, but those who developed the entire infrastructure that links the men and women with hard hats, orange vests and electronic instruments with their ancestors who used chains and 'primitive' optics, and disciplines from cartography to geodesy to mathematics.

 

I am humbled by it all.

 

Gurubob, there may be destructive individuals in this community - alas, they are everywhere. But I think here you are more likely to find people who appreciate the value and respect and honor the system of control points we seek in our 'geeky hobby' (as I describe it to friends).

 

I am sure that, of the thousands of NGS reports made so far by our group, at least a few of them have helped survey professionals. Sometimes we post updated or improved descriptions of a mark's location. (As a writer and editor, I am often puzzled by the opaque prose contained in some published descriptions.) Other times, we may save you a visit to a site which no longer exists.

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quote:
The ones who do tend to be both nerdy and respectful.

 

How did you know I was nerdy and respectful??

 

You can't be lost if you don't care where you are.

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I tell you what, Gurubob.....

 

I just started benchmarking almost two months ago. In my area, half of the marks I have searched for are NOT THERE...Granted, I may have missed some due to innaccuracy of my GPS (although I mostly rely on the datasheet description instead), and some I havent looked for as hard as I could have. I also notice that MOST of them do not have any updates to the datasheet since they were monumented....

 

But there are several that I ABSOLUTELY know that either a land developer or a township has blatantly destroyed. This pisses me off....How come if an individual is caught vandalising a mark, they can get fined, and possible jail time, yet these marks are allowed to be bulldozed out during land development? icon_mad.gif

 

Granted, if a mark needs to be removed for a new project, or to remove an unsafe/old structure, I have no problem with that. BUT the developer should be REQUIRED to notify NGS so they can reset the mark elsewhere if needed, or at the very least, update the database to note that the mark has been DESTROYED.

 

Doesnt it piss you off more when you go to use a mark, only to find it is absolutely not there anymore, than to find the occasional one that has been vandalised?

 

I know it pisses me off when I go to look for one along side the edge of a State Route, only to find it was probably removed when they did the landscaping for those stupid ponds infront of the Wal-Mart that was built there, then to go 1 mile up the road to the next one, only to find that that one was probably removed so they could landscape the easement on the inside of an expressway exit ramp! icon_mad.gif

 

Art

 

www.yankeetoys.org

www.BudBuilt.com

http://www.ttora-ne.mainpage.net/

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Cracker

I share your frustration, both as a hobbyist and a professional, but we all know what happens to anything that stands in the way of progress. After all, these points were set for the very purpose of facilitating progress, so its inevitable that many will fall, like good soldiers, amidst the ceaseless onslaught of development. The difference between that kind of destruction and vandalism is that surveyors are normally involved in development, so in those cases thay have the opportunity to set new points, replacing the ones being lost, before the destruction occurs. In the case of vandalism, there is no such opportunity and the area can be left without any control points as a result. I dont know about your locality, but in many places developers are fined for wanton destruction of control points

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Hmmm.....Sorry if I sounded hot....I wasnt, just that every time I look for one, I realise that at least half of the marks I look for were destroyed this way, and the other half look like they have not been used since they were monumented... icon_frown.gif

 

Surveytech, I appreciate your remarks (as well as yours Gurubob), and I DO understand that there comes a time when a mark needs to be destroyed, and may be too costly or not need to be reset at all.

I dont have a problem with that part of it.

I just wish someone had notified the NGS so they could update their database.

 

I have only come across a few datasheets for my area that have any notes on the datasheet after the marks were monumented, or that have been updated since the early 70's.... icon_frown.gif

 

Makes me even wonder if any in my area are even used any more.

 

Art

 

www.yankeetoys.org

www.BudBuilt.com

http://www.ttora-ne.mainpage.net/

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is about as hard in most cases as opening the Yellow Pages to the construction section.

 

From what little experience I have, there are three major, and several minor uses that surveyors have for benchmarks. Some have been superseeded by dopler gps, others have not.

 

The primary uses that I am aware of are Road construction, including substructures such as sewers storm drains and water mains, Property borders, and Land/Water management. Some of the minor uses include Weather stations (which is why NOAA is involved) Building construction, and as noted by guru earlier flood plane determination.

 

You may also have a county surveyor, not the canvaser type, as well as businesses in your area that strictly do surveying.

 

Depending upon the size of the community you are in, you may have one surveyor within 50 miles, or you may have a couple dozen in the local white pages.

 

Your yellow pages may even have a section devoted to surveyors.

 

-Rusty

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I think we all have the same thoughts on this, sorry to be defensive.Here is one good example where the bench mark was saved only its under a house,but still there. GF0939 Monett Mo. since the 1972 visit by NGS one of the monuments has had the brass cap removed the Azimuth mark was obliterated by recent construction and a survey pin that does not show that they removed the azimuth mark.We all have the same goals only different ways of going about it.And yes there are those who wish to destroy things in every community,Citizen as well as Professional!! Everybody looses from this kind of behavior.Lets all keep up the Good work and Honor those who have brought us this far.By our good deeds..... icon_eek.gif

 

When all else fails Geotry again.

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Cracker

Thats an interesting point you make about the fact that many of these points appear unused. There are many very remote points that have been seldom if ever used, but they remain highly valuable, since they are generally the only points of their kind in such remote areas for a very long distance. If civilization ever reaches those areas, they will become precious to surveyors. Remember, in the past they had no way of knowing for sure where development would occur and where it would not.

 

I would not go so far as to say that any markers need to be destroyed, but in some cases it is simply inevitable. Many of these destroyed points have been reset in nearby locations by local surveyors, usually in discreet locations, since they have learned over the years that vandals cant destroy what they cant see. You are right that NGS has not been actively replacing points since the 1970s, but local surveyors have picked up the slack and now have the most up-to-date records in their local files.

 

Rusty is right about the uses of these points that he lists. Construction engineering is now the main use for these points. The points were originally set primarily to enable uniform mapping of the entire country. None of these points, however, are obsolete due to GPS. They all remain highly useful, even after the rise of newer technology. In fact, triangulation stations are typically used to anchor new surveys done with GPS.

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I've only searched for a handful of markers before returning to caches but was surprised to find one marker obliterated as a result of a park renovation. The marker was the ball atop a venerable water tower. What now stands in it's place is an unfinished fountain. This leads me to 2 questions:

1) Was permission sought to destroy the marker?

2) Does the fountain remain unfinished due to the late discovery of the illicite destruction. icon_rolleyes.gif

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The fact is that when a surveyor, NGS or otherwise, uses an existing object as a station, there is no change in the status of the object, since NGS is not vested with the power of eminent domain. In other words, NGS has no right, and no desire for that matter, to mandate that the object must remain undisturbed forever. The owner of the object still has every right to tear it down whenever they see fit. Of course, a prudent surveyor will choose an object that he thinks is likely to remain in place, but like everything else in this world, there can be no guarantee, and the surveyor must entrust his work to fate. While these kind of points established on objects, known as intersection stations for the method by which they are created, are very useful as long as they last, they are decidedly less valuable than markers on the ground, since they cannot be occupied by a surveying instument, such as a transit, theodolite or tripod mounted GPS. So the destruction of such an object is of far less consequence than the destruction of a triangulation station.

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For those who absolutely must have their very own "benchmark" marker ([perhaps as a coversation piece), here are a few suppliers. The prices are modest and they will even stamp whatever text you'd like at an additional charge.

 

Surv-Kap

Berntsen International

 

The "Collectors Corner" on the Berntsen is especially interesting, with various replicas of notable markers available.

 

gpslouis

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I think many or most benchmarks carry a warning that tampering with monuments is a punishable offence. This should be enough to discorage most vandalism. There are probably more benchmarks destroyed by construction of new roads, etc. than by individual goofballs. Overall, you are more likely to benefit from others looking for these benchmarks. If you need to find one, you can now look to see if anyone else has found it. If it no longer exists, you will not have wasted your time. I notice that in the past, the US Power Squadron has gone out looking for benchmarks to see if they still exist. What's the difference if Joe Public wants to do it too?

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quote:
Originally posted by Raouljan:

ummm... think me smell troll


Nope, he's legit. I've found one of his caches (archived).

 

Gurubob, I understand your concern. However, I believe that the vast majority of benchmark hunters on this site are just as interested in preserving them as you are.

 

25021_1200.gif

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Broken Arrow

You are correct that many brass caps inform the visitor that disturbing the marker is a felony. Im also quite sure you are correct that far more markers are destroyed by construction than by vandalism. However, these facts are irrelevant, since there is no way that one can legitimately compare accidental or inadvertant destruction to deliberate destruction. When a marker is destroyed in the process of building or rebuilding a road, bridge, school, hospital, etc., that is a shame. But when a marker is destroyed because somebody feels like it would make a neat souvenir, that, as you have noted, is a crime. Perhaps the most important contribution geocachers can make to the preservation of our control network is to help reinforce this distinction by sharing their acquired knowledge of the significance of these markers with everyone they meet while benchmark hunting, thereby promoting respect for these points, which represent the accomplishments of several generations of surveyors.

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survey tech :

 

The only thing I can compare your statement with is having a road sign installer asking us not to drive to geocaches because someone might run over one of his sign.

 

Myself, I fail to see what your trip is wanting to have us drop this pastime. I have used

hundreds of these items scattered all over the Northwest as a forestry tech for the USFS and when just out and about in the mountains, and there have been times I wished someone else had taken the time to hack through the undergrowth and found this dadgum thing. If you ever get over to the "wet" side of the Cascades or Coast Range in Oregon or Washington, you can not believe the understory we can grow out here. When you get out

on the hillside, kick a hole in the side hill to have a flat spot to stand on and you are not able to extend your arm straight out to the side because the mountain is there, that’s steep. As USFS tech, We did all we could to protect these points as well as the Township and Range section markers, it is way to hard to try and replant one in the right location.

 

I just located a disk in Washington State that I will have to list as a find and destroyed because when I first found it, it was fine. The next time by, only thing left sticking out of the new driveway is the top of a T-post and about half the sign. It would not have taken much effort to have moved the driveway over ten feet and missed

the point all together. Now, If a point is going to be destroyed like the above mentioned point, Could I have them just rip it out of the ground and keep it a souvenir seeing as it will no longer be usable??? Would this be a crime and should it be reported as such?? It seems to me when a point is going to be destroyed in a planned manner, should not the person(s) or entity destroying the point have to pay a professional - such as youraself? - to install a replacement point??

 

Just my nickels worth.

 

TTFN, logscaler.

 

"It is late hence this line, or two, or three."

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Logscaler

I appreciate your attitude of understanding and respect for the value of survey markers of all kinds, which is exactly the kind of attitude I have attempted to promote in my messages. I hope geocachers, by sharing the knowledge they have gained through this activity with those they meet along the way, may help to prevent incidents of needless destruction, such as the one you mention.

 

Yes, there are thousands of former markers now serving as paperweights and ornaments all around the country, mostly on the desks and shelves of engineering and surveying professionals. However, these markers were victims of accidental or unavoidable destruction, which is an inevitable aspect of development. This was foreseen by those who began the control network in the nineteenth century. It was anticipated that local professionals would expand the network and perpetuate it by replacing markers, which has indeed occured as expected. So it is not a crime to save a disk found lying amidst construction debris or to remove and keep one that is about to be bulldozed, once it has been replaced, usually by the surveyor in charge of the project. Of course, the removal or demolition of any marker by a private party, such as a homeowner building a new driveway, as you pointed out, without first informing a surveyor or engineer, thereby providing an opportunity for the point to be replaced or an alternative location for the driveway to be proposed, is unfortunate, but not a crime unless done willfully, which is the distinguishing element of vandalism

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To all: I am a Land Surveyor in Tennessee and being so I do understand Survey Tech's concern about benchmarks being removed and/or destroyed, but the people who are into geocaching and benchmark recovery may possibly be our best ally in maintaining our treasured benchmarks. I don't know how old you are (Survey Tech) but if you have ever tried to find some of these benchmarks just based on the descriptions (must of them from the late fifties and earlier) you would appreciate the value of what these guys are doing. Personally I say "Thanks". Thanks for giving me a starting point to check to see if someone has found a benchmark instead of driving all over the state just to find out that the monument was destroyed and then start all over again. But along the same line as Survey Tech was saying, ALL GEOCACHERS, PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE FACT THAT THESE MONUMENTS ARE LIKE GOLD TO SURVEYORS. Once again Thanks,

Mike McCulley, RLS, Tennessee

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This is an interesting topic that has made a great point, to respect what we find. I think I speak for all that we are not here to destoy but to enjoy. Half the fun is getting to the mark and enjoying the wilderness. I am a rookie at this and I am just begining to see the enjoyment. Makes me want to work for NOAA!!! (Any openings) icon_smile.gif I want to contrubute to the recovery, there are alot to find!!

 

Get out There!!!!!

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Team brew-crew:

 

Like you, I am new to this, but for heavens sake, it never even occurred to me that I should go out and rent a front end loader to go dig up all the benchmarks I'm planning on displaying in the airplane hangar I've got in my backyard.

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Just as an aside to this 'we can destroy the marks' talk:

 

Yesterday I found a mark that was burried under about 4" of mud, then another 6" of foliage. I cleared it all out for my pictures - perhaps helping a future surveyer find the mark. Perhaps being the key word - hasn't been used in long enough for 10" of crap to get on top of it. Geocachers are not benchmark destroyers, we are benchmark admireres!

 

Juanbob icon_eek.gif

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RLS, welcome aboard! I haven't seen your log on before so excuse me if you've been around a long time. It's really great to get another survey professional on the board that's willing to help the novices. Survey Tech has been guiding us along here with great info for a long time now and has really helped a lot of us understand what we are seeing and what some of the esoteric surveying terms mean. He has been a real fan and helper of our effort.

 

This whole thread kind of bothered me because there was an insuation by GuruBob that wew were finding and destroying these markers for our own entertainment. As should be quite clear by now, nothing can be farther from the truth. The folks here have been excited about this project and have a great respect for the work that went into establishing this system. We frequently have the time and desire to go looking for the tough ones and guys like Rogburn have found ones the pros have listed as not found.

 

Other than GuruBob we have had great support from the Survey professionals who participate here. RLS Glad your here! Thanks Survey tech!

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Hmmm, very odd discussion, but since I've been involved in either seeking or researching so many benchmarks lately due to the TEAM KFWB GPS caches, I find this interesting none-the-less.

 

I doubt that geocachers would be defacing, removing, or destroying benchmarks, but anything is possible.

 

*No offence to engineers*, but I have run across a few uptight ones lately, all related to geocaching.

 

canadazuuk

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I know geocaching is an exciting sport/hobbie. It is world wide and has many fans. Would I say geocachers are the general public... NO. Although, very curious and assuming, the response I've recieved from this posting have been very mixed. In general the response has been negative.

These benchmarks are not toys and I don't begin to assume that geocachers are out searching them down to destroy them. However, activity around benchmarks leads to curious minds wandering on top of them. People without the first hand knowledege of the importance of these points see only an old disc thing that would be cool in a private collection.

I would also like to point out that the subject of preserving benchmarks and/or destroying them for personal gain had not been addressed in forum. Sorry but, I want it to be known that willful destruction of these valuble survey markers happens. The more everyone is aware of this fact the more everyone can help to prevent destruction.

ICBM... I think some of you may understand why publishing(Internet)coordinates to these points could possibly be a threat to National Security.

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quote:
Originally posted by gurubob:

Sorry but, I want it to be known that willful destruction of these valuble survey markers happens. The more everyone is aware of this fact the more everyone can help to prevent destruction.


 

How would we prevent destruction by being aware that some people suck? It's not as though we plan to stand watch. I'll make sure to pummel the next person I see stuffing a benchmark in their loot bag. Fair enough?

 

quote:
ICBM... I think some of you may understand why publishing(Internet)coordinates to these points could possibly be a threat to National Security.

 

You can buy the CD from the NGS and download the coordinates on an FTP site. Terrorists target large landmarks that have some meaning to Americans, not brass markers imbedded in concrete. If they're not sophisticated enough to download free information it's hard for me to see them as a threat.

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location™

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I know from personal experience that it is possible to prevent at least some inadvertent destruction of benchmarks, though obviously not deliberate destruction, through increased awareness of the significance of such points. Particularly in cases where property owners are unaware of the presence of markers on or near their land, informing them can often increase their respect for the points, turning them into protectors rather than potential destroyers of the markers. On the topic of national security, although GPS does have military applications, I have to agree that only pananoid conspiracy theorists and other such outriders on the lunatic fringe could be foolish enough to imagine that benchmarks have any relevance at all to our national defense or that benchmark hunting poses any threat whatsoever to our national security.

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Our Nations Security is always at threat,what I mean is that there is always that threat.But the GPSr,Offensive/Defensive Weapons Systems capabilities are beyond your imagination,Even if they did get correct coordinates the DOD has the capabilities to manuvure the readings to lead the "ENEMY" into a trap,imagine that....our civilian coordinates are skewed as well for the reason of the fact The America Military always has the upper hand.Yes alot of these benchmarks relate from Military Preparedness from Thomas Jeffesons purchase of Louisiana so we could defend our Nation from shoreline to shoreline, the Beggining of the Coast and Geodetic Survey.....up to the present Space Station Reflectors placed to align the laser aboard the Space Shuttle,for mapping purposes,they have to know exactly where they are and use the GPSr for their guidence systems.and on and on and on..... icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif Be Prepared, "Always ready to go in a moments notice" Still to this Day....

 

When all else fails Geotry again.

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"I think some of you may understand why publishing(Internet)coordinates to these points could possibly be a threat to National Security."

 

Nope still don't see it. I do have some ideas but the ngs database is down right now. Wait a sec I did find a couple. HV4165, HV2017... But any off the shelf map software will get you there, turn by turn in most cases. So I still fail to see it.

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quote:
Originally posted by Cholo:

quote:
Originally posted by Raouljan:

ummm... think me smell troll

 

!


 

Yes, there is a slight aroma.


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These marks are part of the public domain.

 

Only cuations I would mention is;

 

*Don't trepass

*Don't report mark to NGS if you did not find it. I have found so many that the US Power Squadron for expample that were reported as not found but were in plain site. They were just confused by road changes etc.

*Be carefull digging in areas where utilties may be present. You a responsible for any damage and that could run into a great deal of money if its telephone or gas.

*Use extreme caution around major highways, many states require permits to work along the highways, mainly for safety reasons, yours and the travelling public.

*Stay off of railroads! There are federal laws against RR trespass and they RR's take a dim view of trespassers especially since 9-11.

 

enjoy the hunt..

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I am a surveyor looking for benchmarks in my area and would indeed appreciate the help in finding them.....not to destroy but to use in my profession....then I'm gonna dig it up and put it on my mantel without even cleaning the dirt off. No not really. New to geocaching and hope to find every benchmark in Johnstown.

 

*****ing about it wont stop idiots from wrecking anything......like a priest whinning to all the people in church about attendance....dont yell at me, I'm here....yell at the ones who didnt come........or wrecked your benchmark if that be the case.

 

Matt

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