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strange muggle interaction


wwbd
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Like many geocachers I have from time to time been approached by a civilian muggle, a security person or police officer who asked what I was doing. Every single time I just tell them about geocaching and they either reply with some interest or say they have heard of it and wish me luck or whatever. Except this time…

 

The other day I stopped at a geocache that was next to a popular chain restaurant. The restaurant is attached to a former movie theatre that has been mostly demolished except for the steel beams etc. There is a construction fence around that part.

 

When I pulled up I was really hoping that the geocache wasn’t in view of any of the windows. It wasn’t, but there was some traffic where the cache was because that part faced the parking lot where a mall is.

 

I paced around the area with my GPS for maybe 2 minutes wondering where the likely location would be before going into any landscaping etc when a car pulls up and this man rolls down the window and said he saw me looking around and asked if I was planning on blowing the building up.

Well that startled me a bit and I looked right at him to see if I could determine if he was kidding or if he was security or an employee. As near as I could tell he was just some random older man, not an employee or security, etc. and he did not appear to be kidding.

Before I could reply, he repeated his observation and continued to stare at me. I told him that I definitely wasn’t doing anything like that and at that point I kind of looked back at my GPS as if I was not interested in him. Then he starts pulling forward and says “well I’m going to go in and eat my dinner…unless you blow the place up”…all I could manage to reply with was a chuckle and “I wouldn’t worry about that!”.

 

Of course now I am picturing the guy going in and telling the manager about this and then being surrounded by cops or something so I left before that could happen.

 

In hindsight I wish I just managed to tell him about geocaching but his initial accusation just threw me off especially since I practically just got there! Why would someone jump to a bizarre conclusion like this?

Edited by wwbd
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Because the media and homeland security have us all scared and paranoid with the "If you see something, say something" campaign. He saw someone walking around taking GPS readings. He didn't know you were looking at readings someone else gave you. Probably anyway.

Not saying we shouldn't say something if we see something, but at least wait around for an answer if you're gonna ask me what I'm doing.

This is exactly why I can't stand looking for urban micros placed on private property, in full view of everyone around, with no permission. I am not in this game to be arrested, or questioned by the authorities. Or by a paranoid citizen.

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This is precisely the reason I use a bumper sticker which reads "I am up to something, but you are not in any danger, PLEASE DON"T CALL THE COPS".

It works wonders and since using it I have not been stopped once. Oh and I also wear a halloween mask. These are just a few things you can do to help the cops keep to more important areas.

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There's all kind of crazy everywhere ya go. I doubt telling him about geocaching would have made a big difference to him if the only thing he was worried about was that you might blow up the building while he was eating.

 

I had my school group out at a roadside cache beside a farm. An old codger driving his car stopped in the middle of the road, asked what we were doing. I said geocaching but he heard "deer hunting" I tried to explain but gave up - he was holding up traffic to boot!

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yeah you are probably right about him thinking I was part of a demo crew or something. His demeanor was just so odd and he had such a poor choice of words.

 

Its a darned good thing he didn't also know that you are an evil copyright violator!!!

 

:o Watch while GC send round a swat team to blow up the geotar!

 

:drama:

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Most of our interactions with the public or police have been positive, to the point that when we have an interaction with an officer we post the shoulder patch on our groups facebook page. We have even had officers and muggles assist us in looking.

 

Two events come to mind that were not so positive;

 

I was alone in a public FP that ran close to some commercial property. The cache was about 20 feet off trail, still in the FP however between the trail and the business. I was still new and it took me a bit to locate it. When I finally found it I signed the log, replace the cache and started to exit when someone from the business came up and asked "Can you tell me what you were doing?". The accusatory tone and the fact that I was in a public area, sans anyone else and a while 20 or 30 feet from the property line, still probably 50 yards from the building, the tone got my ire. Rather than say something I would regret, I simply said "Yes" and walked right past him back to my vehicle in the FP parking lot. After I pulled out, I kept checking the mirror, fully prepared to see flashing lights behind me because they called something in.

 

The other time, sort of like the OP, there was a cache in a park next to a baseball field. It was February, so the park was empty. The cache was obviously in a pine tree adjacent to the field. My vehicle, which has my company name all over it with the phone number, was parked in a small parking lot nearby. As myself and the two others from the group started to look, we heard a shrill voice from across the street yell "what are you doing there?", one in my group responded politely back "It's a scavenger hunt". She responded "Get away from MY tree". We ignored, however after a few minutes we realized that she had called out her neighbors and here, across the street, were 7 or 8 people standing in their bathrobes watching us, the woman yelling something the whole time. We left, deciding it wasn't worth upsetting Mrs. Kravitz to the point she called in the National Guard.

 

Our find count isn't that high, however have been doing this since 2003. In all that time, we have probably only had maybe five, including the ones above, where we have had any negative experiences. However the Mrs. Kravitz did cause one in our regular group to now start carrying GC related, self printed brochures just in case.

Edited by baloo&bd
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yeah you are probably right about him thinking I was part of a demo crew or something. His demeanor was just so odd and he had such a poor choice of words.

 

Its a darned good thing he didn't also know that you are an evil copyright violator!!!

 

:o Watch while GC send round a swat team to blow up the geotar!

 

:drama:

 

lol, no kidding!

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I wonder if it was the CO with a warped sense of humour? Or, he wanted his dinner but also wanted to see a demolition...maybe to push the button at a later date?

This is one reason I liked the printed cache sheet - we could show it whenever we were questioned, such as the time on a logging road in the back of beyond, outside a small campsite, by the security officer.

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The guy was probably the cache owner messing with you and waiting for you to tell him what you were doing so he could have a laugh with you. :lol:

 

We have a CO in the area and her Muggle Boy-friend likes to mess with cachers

 

He has quite the anti-terrorist, TSA line that he throws out in his biggest, baddest authoritarian boom box voice.

 

Have heard stories from him about cachers quaking in their boots. His idea of humor is not always appreciated. ( He rubs me wrong on his good days )

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We have a CO in the area and her Muggle Boy-friend likes to mess with cachers

 

He has quite the anti-terrorist, TSA line that he throws out in his biggest, baddest authoritarian boom box voice.

 

Have heard stories from him about cachers quaking in their boots. His idea of humor is not always appreciated. ( He rubs me wrong on his good days )

 

you might quietly remind him that impersonating a federal agent is a federal offense punishable by **** years in prison, and a fine of $****

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A couple weeks ago I was caching in a County Park on a Wednesday. It was 9:00 a.m. and my vehicle was the only one in the parking lot. There was a cache about 100 yards away, about 20 feet off a paved bike path. The cache was hidden under a pine tree that was in a small group of pines between the bike path and the road. I was standing next to the tree and just finished signing the log. I heard muffled music and glanced up in time to catch a quick glimpse of a lady jogger running down the paved path and a couple seconds later she quickly passed by with her music playing loudly from her iPod. I visually saw her for a total of 2 seconds total.

 

I continued caching in the park and was headed back to my truck about 20 minutes later. A County Sheriff pulled into the parking and up behind my truck. He asked me if I was on the bike path this morning. This started the 15 minute questioning and conversation of what I was doing. He told me that he had gotten a call that a man was hiding in the bushes. That lady has the fastest deductive mind in the world. She saw me in a public park in daylight hours for 2 seconds and determined that I was a pervert waiting for her to run by.

 

I now wear a safety vest with reflective strips on it and I put a sign in my truck window that says "I AM GEOCACHING". At times I ride a bike and there is now a sign on my bike that says "I AM GEOCACHING" and it has an arrow so I can point the bike in the direction that I am caching if off the main trail. How's that for using stealth?

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you might quietly remind him that impersonating a federal agent is a federal offense punishable by **** years in prison, and a fine of $****

:rolleyes: Somehow, I don't think that would make it very far in the legal system.

Yeah. What would be more fun is if some off duty police officer geocaching gets jumped on by this guy, shows his badge, and say he's investigating a report of a suspicious object, and if that guy knows anything about it.

 

Turn-around is always sweet but almost never happens. Still, one can dream.

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you might quietly remind him that impersonating a federal agent is a federal offense punishable by **** years in prison, and a fine of $****

:rolleyes: Somehow, I don't think that would make it very far in the legal system.

Yeah. What would be more fun is if some off duty police officer geocaching gets jumped on by this guy, shows his badge, and say he's investigating a report of a suspicious object, and if that guy knows anything about it.

 

Turn-around is always sweet but almost never happens. Still, one can dream.

Since I assume all of us who Geocache have computers. I think it would be a neat idea to get a sheet of printable business cards and print out a description of Geocaching.. What it is.. And while talking to the curious muggles, and even LEO's. Hand them your Geocard :)

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yeah you are probably right about him thinking I was part of a demo crew or something. His demeanor was just so odd and he had such a poor choice of words.

 

Its a darned good thing he didn't also know that you are an evil copyright violator!!!

 

:o Watch while GC send round a swat team to blow up the geotar!

 

:drama:

 

I'm completely lost. Waht are you guys talking about?

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yeah you are probably right about him thinking I was part of a demo crew or something. His demeanor was just so odd and he had such a poor choice of words.

 

Its a darned good thing he didn't also know that you are an evil copyright violator!!!

 

:o Watch while GC send round a swat team to blow up the geotar!

 

:drama:

 

I'm completely lost. Waht are you guys talking about?

It's a spun-out reference to the discussion going on here.

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Like I said in my original post, usually i just tell the person the truth if asked. I've even walked over and told someone I thought might be a little concerned about my activities. The closest I've personally ever come to misrepresenting myself is just saying "it's a scavenger hunt". This guy used a poor choice of words to quiz me and it just threw me off so I just clammed up and decided to leave.

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you might quietly remind him that impersonating a federal agent is a federal offense punishable by **** years in prison, and a fine of $****

:rolleyes: Somehow, I don't think that would make it very far in the legal system.

Yeah. What would be more fun is if some off duty police officer geocaching gets jumped on by this guy, shows his badge, and say he's investigating a report of a suspicious object, and if that guy knows anything about it.

 

Turn-around is always sweet but almost never happens. Still, one can dream.

Since I assume all of us who Geocache have computers. I think it would be a neat idea to get a sheet of printable business cards and print out a description of Geocaching.. What it is.. And while talking to the curious muggles, and even LEO's. Hand them your Geocard :)

 

My Mom works at a print shop, so for a Christmas gift she made up geocards for me with my butterfly emblem on them. They are great to hand out when the curious gome to chat.

Link to comment
you might quietly remind him that impersonating a federal agent is a federal offense punishable by **** years in prison, and a fine of $****

:rolleyes: Somehow, I don't think that would make it very far in the legal system.

Yeah. What would be more fun is if some off duty police officer geocaching gets jumped on by this guy, shows his badge, and say he's investigating a report of a suspicious object, and if that guy knows anything about it.

 

Turn-around is always sweet but almost never happens. Still, one can dream.

Since I assume all of us who Geocache have computers. I think it would be a neat idea to get a sheet of printable business cards and print out a description of Geocaching.. What it is.. And while talking to the curious muggles, and even LEO's. Hand them your Geocard :)

 

My Mom works at a print shop, so for a Christmas gift she made up geocards for me with my butterfly emblem on them. They are great to hand out when the curious gome to chat.

 

Are you thinking of something a bit like this?

 

gc-card_500_3.jpg

 

Available from: Groundspeak's shop.

 

MrsB :)

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Yes. That was the idea. A nice little card to had to any LEOS or muggles who were wondering why you are wandering :)I had one muggle that i ended up talking to for quite a while. He was really interested after i explained to him whta it was all about. So I think a created a convert :)

you might quietly remind him that impersonating a federal agent is a federal offense punishable by **** years in prison, and a fine of $****

:rolleyes: Somehow, I don't think that would make it very far in the legal system.

Yeah. What would be more fun is if some off duty police officer geocaching gets jumped on by this guy, shows his badge, and say he's investigating a report of a suspicious object, and if that guy knows anything about it.

 

Turn-around is always sweet but almost never happens. Still, one can dream.

Since I assume all of us who Geocache have computers. I think it would be a neat idea to get a sheet of printable business cards and print out a description of Geocaching.. What it is.. And while talking to the curious muggles, and even LEO's. Hand them your Geocard :)

 

My Mom works at a print shop, so for a Christmas gift she made up geocards for me with my butterfly emblem on them. They are great to hand out when the curious gome to chat.

 

Are you thinking of something a bit like this?

 

gc-card_500_3.jpg

 

Available from: Groundspeak's shop.

 

MrsB :)

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