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After tragic death of experienced geocacher - what needs to change?

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That is how I understand the current practice to work.

Posting a SBA log works the same as any other in the log type pull down menu for the user, but the site will also forward that particular type to a reviewer.

People have asked for a way to submit an SBA anonymously and let the site choose which reviewer it is sent to, but I don't think the idea has gone far.

 

NA logs are public logs same as the rest of the logs you see on a cache page. The only thing special about them is that the reviewer is notified either in some kind of queue or via email. I'm not sure of the specifics other than a reviewer is notified in such a way that s/he should respond to the log.

 

Emailing a reviewer is private like any other email. If you want to alert the reviewer anonymously, this is the way to go. Most cache listings will have the published log usually as the first log (end of page) on the listing. If the cache does not have a published log, you can look at nearby caches for the published log or email Groundspeak directly at contact@geocaching.com.

 

Thank you both very much! :)

 

I do agree with the sentiment that actions speak louder than words, but finding out how to do the action is the hard part.

 

I believe in safety. I don't believe in bubble wrapping hairpin turns and sharp pieces of curb. I believe in choices. I don't believe in ruining the fun for everybody or crying wolf.

 

To me, it seems people are either riled up about A) The thought of more restrictions (ohmigosh your cache is within 800 feet of a slight drop off!! Denied!!!) and so either the cache should be archived or not have been allowed and B), to quote from the film Boondock Saints "But, there is another kind of evil which we must all fear most … and that is the indifference of good men!" No, I don't think it's evil to not submit anything, so don't hop on me about that. This is just the most succinct quote I know of regarding "actions speak louder than words". The quote is a little extreme, but if you squint and tilt your head then you can kind of see where it applies (hopefully :unsure: ).

 

Yes, I do agree that Willimax made a choice. I can't say if he read everything all the way through or not (heck, most of the time I don't!). I think (and this my opinion) that having a night cache where the floor is missing is a little shoddy, but I suppose worse things have been suggested for night appropriate caching. Maybe he knew full well that he could fall to his death, maybe he thought things like that don't happen to real people like him. He left people behind that are upset and grieving :( Maybe the newspaper said he died geocaching. Maybe some community members are up in arms about this "geocaching" business. Maybe not. There's a lot of speculation involved and like anyone involved in any sort of community, we need to make sure we do what we can. Not bubble wrapping or going into minute details or NA'ing everything with a hint of disaster to it (you have to jay walk- oh noes!!), but just what we can. If you don't think there's a problem for normal average people, then fine. This whole thing seems rather subjective in a way anyhow. I do not think that the 30 or whatever people that didn't say anything about the floor were irresponsible or were being slouches.

 

Something, somewhere went wrong. Hopefully it doesn't happen again. All anybody can really be asked is to just watch out for themselves and whoever they are with :) Anything more rests on the individual, but at least watching our own backs is a start :)

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How is it commercial? Please explain.

The cache page is essentially a brochure for a shopping mall named Murpark, complete with the Murpark logo, which means it has most, if not all of the characteristics disallowed by the guidelines.

 

They would get plenty of publicity if someone died there. However, not the type they were looking for, I'm guessing.

 

I suppose the deleted and ignored NA logs would not look good for the site either.

 

As a kid, I trespassed plenty of times. Abandoned buildings, watertowers, posted property.. I know for a fact that there is a large difference in safety when doing something illegal and not. Being nervous with a high pulse rate and plenty of adrenaline makes you jumpy and wanting to do things quickly,as well as overreact. Safety equipment is out of the question.

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I suppose the deleted and ignored NA logs would not look good for the site either.

 

You are correct. In a lawsuit everything is discoverable including forum threads, emails, and even hand written notes. I don't know if anyone else has noticed that this thread is being groomed, but I have known for awhile. The two posts of mine that were deleted (that I know of) contained nothing at all. I had moved the info to the top of the next page to keep it current and not buried a page behind the pace of the discussion. <_< If a lawsuit were to come from this incident Groundspeak would have some 'splainin to do. :mellow:

 

It all comes down to who knew what and when to determine neglect or willful neglect. If that cache is indeed illegal locally, or at least outside of listing guidelines, and someone gets killed there, I would think it would be a slam dunk Groundspeak disclaimer or not given the monitored and quietly groomed discussion on the topic. But again, it's Germany. I have no idea how the legal system operates there. :unsure:

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I suppose the deleted and ignored NA logs would not look good for the site either.

 

You are correct. In a lawsuit everything is discoverable including forum threads, emails, and even hand written notes. I don't know if anyone else has noticed that this thread is being groomed, but I have known for awhile. The two posts of mine that were deleted (that I know of) contained nothing at all. I had moved the info to the top of the next page to keep it current and not buried a page behind the pace of the discussion. <_< If a lawsuit were to come from this incident Groundspeak would have some 'splainin to do. :mellow:

 

It all comes down to who knew what and when to determine neglect or willful neglect. If that cache is indeed illegal locally, or at least outside of listing guidelines, and someone gets killed there, I would think it would be a slam dunk Groundspeak disclaimer or not given the monitored and quietly groomed discussion on the topic. But again, it's Germany. I have no idea how the legal system operates there. :unsure:

 

i think grounspeak has pretty much covered their rear end in the TOU

 

Geocaching, hiking, backpacking, and other outdoor activities involve risk to both persons and property. There are many variables including, but not limited to, weather, fitness level, terrain features and outdoor experience, that must be considered prior to seeking or placing a cache. Be prepared for Your journey and be sure to check the current weather and conditions before heading outdoors. Always exercise common sense and caution. You assume all risks arising in connection with seeking a cache or any other related activity.

 

Harry Dolphin got it right, i stopped following this thread a while ago but its amazing to to me that its still going and that it took this long to conclude what i have said many posts ago....as sad as the whole story is, Willi was the only one that could have prevented this tragic accident, people should stop trying to blame someone else for their own lack of judgement

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I do not think that the 30 or whatever people that didn't say anything about the floor were irresponsible or were being slouches.

 

Let me be perfectly clear that is not my intent in including those users in the bulk of the ways Willi's death could have been prevented. At least 36 users were involved before willimax arrived on scene if you count the CO and the Reviewer. Possibly more for teams with more than one member under a given username. That is not an insignificant cross section of the local community and it underlines a geocaching culture problem locally as well as globally. Who knows how many others passed on the "adventure" after seeing where it was located, so there may be more.

 

What I said is that they either didn't know to report it, didn't care, or were afraid to report it. (Mix and match individually.) You can't force anyone to care, but in a geocaching culture of safety (caring for the safety of yourself and others) there is a distinct possibility that cache would not have survived long enough for Willi's life to be cut short hunting it if it had been hidden at all. He would have never gotten the CHOICE to go there and die due to no small measure of complacency on his part.

 

Our mindset as a community needs to change toward making safety not just a priority because priorities change, but embracing geocaching safety as a core value... Which means caring for the safety of others as well as yourself.

 

For me to consider anyone of those finders a slouch, I would have to know that they personally were educated enough on the listing guidelines, local verboten areas, and that they personally CHOSE to do nothing. I will never know this, but one or more of them may and they can infer it upon themselves if they knew and did nothing.

 

The fact still remains that there were 30+ ways that Willi's death could have been avoided AT MINIMUM. In a geocaching culture of safety, when the next geocaching related death occurres, the number should not be so high. If we did our job as a community someone would know to speak up and that doing so would not give them the stigma as a cache cop. <_<

 

It will take a great deal of effort to educate folks on how and when to properly report listings that need to be addressed and possibly eliminated, but more importantly to educate hiders NOT to hide caches in places that are illegal, or without permission whether explicit or implied. More can be done right there and right now with the end result being lives saved and liability lowered.

Edited by Snoogans

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as sad as the whole story is, Willi was the only one that could have prevented this tragic accident, people should stop trying to blame someone else for their own lack of judgement

 

Completely untrue on so many levels. :huh:

 

No one person or group is to blame. That is for the local authorities to determine.

 

There IS a geocaching culture problem and it may have directly led to Willimax's death. You can CHOOSE not to see it, but that does not mean it doesn't exist. :mellow:

Edited by Snoogans

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i think grounspeak has pretty much covered their rear end in the TOU

 

You assume all risks arising in connection with seeking a cache or any other related activity.

In civil court, disclaimers do not protect a person or entity who is found to have committed gross negligence. Generally, that's the first motion to be filed. If the lawyer can get the judge to agree that deleting a NA which was posted on an illegal hide constitutes gross neglect, then whoever deleted it no longer has that blanket protection.

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i think grounspeak has pretty much covered their rear end in the TOU

 

You assume all risks arising in connection with seeking a cache or any other related activity.

In civil court, disclaimers do not protect a person or entity who is found to have committed gross negligence. Generally, that's the first motion to be filed. If the lawyer can get the judge to agree that deleting a NA which was posted on an illegal hide constitutes gross neglect, then whoever deleted it no longer has that blanket protection.

I said that in my first post in this thread. Disclaimers do not absolve liability for wrongs. They do show an organization does due diligence and can prevent punitive damages. (Clan, I am signing a disclaimer soon to make the rounds with my Police Officer nephew in a few weeks - should be interesting.)

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as sad as the whole story is, Willi was the only one that could have prevented this tragic accident, people should stop trying to blame someone else for their own lack of judgement

 

Completely untrue on so many levels. :huh:

 

No one person or group is to blame. That is for the local authorities to determine.

 

There IS a geocaching culture problem and it may have directly led to Willimax's death. You can CHOOSE not to see it, but that does not mean it doesn't exist. :mellow:

 

so if i somehow i manage to dodge the authorities and put a cache at the bottom of Niagara Falls and the only way down there is to "ride" the falls, and others have done it successfully but one person decides to go for it and gets killed someone else is to blame? :unsure:

 

 

i think grounspeak has pretty much covered their rear end in the TOU

 

You assume all risks arising in connection with seeking a cache or any other related activity.

In civil court, disclaimers do not protect a person or entity who is found to have committed gross negligence. Generally, that's the first motion to be filed. If the lawyer can get the judge to agree that deleting a NA which was posted on an illegal hide constitutes gross neglect, then whoever deleted it no longer has that blanket protection.

 

you mean that for example if the sign says "trail not maintained, hike at your own risk" means that if i fall in a crevice and die i can still sue them, correct?

 

a disclaimer may or may not be valid, it highly depends on the case

 

The courts may or may not give effect to the disclaimer depending on whether the law permits exclusion of liability in the particular situation and whether the acts or omissions complained of fall within the wording of the disclaimer.

 

the most important aspect is what state law does Groundspeak falls under, i don't see how they can be held responsible in another country under different laws.

Edited by t4e

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i think grounspeak has pretty much covered their rear end in the TOU

 

You assume all risks arising in connection with seeking a cache or any other related activity.

In civil court, disclaimers do not protect a person or entity who is found to have committed gross negligence. Generally, that's the first motion to be filed. If the lawyer can get the judge to agree that deleting a NA which was posted on an illegal hide constitutes gross neglect, then whoever deleted it no longer has that blanket protection.

I said that in my first post in this thread. Disclaimers do not absolve liability for wrongs. They do show an organization does due diligence and can prevent punitive damages. (Clan, I am signing a disclaimer soon to make the rounds with my Police Officer nephew in a few weeks - should be interesting.)

I generally sign disclaimers with a name that looks similar to my signature but not the same. I have signed Mickey Mouse on an occasion or three when a whole group turned them in together.

 

I would ride with Riff anytime or with anyone on the Asheville, NC, PD, but you couldn't pay me enough to ride with any of my local agencies. Riff might understand.

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you mean that for example if the sign says "trail not maintained, hike at your own risk" means that if i fall in a crevice and die i can still sue them, correct?

Of course. You can sue anybody, at any time, for anything. You could sue me for using proper punctuation.

I suppose a more relevant question, given your scenario, would be, "Would you win?". The obvious answer is "No". In order to win such a lawsuit you would have to prove that having an unmaintained trail, and only posting a warning to keep folks aware of the possible hazards, constitutes gross negligence. By any legal definition, such an act would not meet the elements.

 

the most important aspect is what state law does Groundspeak falls under, i don't see how they can be held responsible in another country under different laws.

True. The Supreme Court is the jurisdictional body that defined gross negligence, but once you leave the United States, that definition is no longer in play. Fortunately, for those folks who like to sue people and/or corporations on a global scale, most countries which are part of the United Nations share the definition of gross negligence with us.

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Reposting this where it belongs.

 

IBTL on the Willimax thread before it hits page 20, now that it's descended into creepy voyeurism.

 

Until that I didn't think voyeurism could be creepy.

 

Wow. People dip into profiles all day long to discredit one poster or another and that's not creepy....

 

But, I show you all the face of the dead guy that many are dissing on that thread for getting himself killed to give some context to a person who can't defend himself and that's creepy. :huh:

 

Whatever... <_<

 

PS. I expected to tackle that bit of nastyness upfront on that thread, but way to go. Points for you for being nonconfrontational. Secret handshakes all around. :rolleyes:

 

Please point out the disrespect of Willimax in that thread.

 

Pointing out that he as well as you, me, and every other human being is responsible for his own actions is not disrespecting him.

 

That whole thread has been kind of creepy just because the discussion really should have been delayed for a while or the thread should have been setup to discuss the issue without bringing the particularly FRESH incident into the conversation.

 

It's still a bit disturbing to me to have that discussion about someone who just died.

 

But I don't recall anyone disrespecting him.

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Anything you do can get you killed, including nothing.

Considering the circumstances surrounding the cache that started this thread, there is a lot of irony packed into that short little sentence.

 

so if i somehow i manage to dodge the authorities and put a cache at the bottom of Niagara Falls and the only way down there is to "ride" the falls, and others have done it successfully but one person decides to go for it and gets killed someone else is to blame?

Besides you? It depends. Mostly on the financial circumstances of the victim's survivors and the quality of their legal counsel. Anyone or anything can be blamed and depending on the venue and a host of other factors, blood can actually get squeezed from a turnip.

 

If someone would fashion a raft out of bundled together strawmen and ride it over Niagara Falls, the resulting levity might counterbalance some of the negativity being expressed in this thread and the related "hidden" threads.

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IBTL on the Willimax thread before it hits page 20, now that it's descended into creepy voyeurism.

 

Until that I didn't think voyeurism could be creepy.

 

Wow. People dip into profiles all day long to discredit one poster or another and that's not creepy....

 

But, I show you all the face of the dead guy that many are dissing on that thread for getting himself killed to give some context to a person who can't defend himself and that's creepy. :huh:

 

Whatever... <_<

 

PS. I expected to tackle that bit of nastyness upfront on that thread, but way to go. Points for you for being nonconfrontational. Secret handshakes all around. :rolleyes:

 

Please point out the disrespect of Willimax in that thread.

 

Pointing out that he as well as you, me, and every other human being is responsible for his own actions is not disrespecting him.

 

That whole thread has been kind of creepy just because the discussion really should have been delayed for a while or the thread should have been setup to discuss the issue without bringing the particularly FRESH incident into the conversation.

 

It's still a bit disturbing to me to have that discussion about someone who just died.

 

But I don't recall anyone disrespecting him.

 

I didn't start the discussion. One of his grieving friends did. When is a good time to start discussing ways to hopfully prevent another geoaching death that has multiple avenues for prevention that either failed or don't exist at all? :unsure: Maybe after the next geocaching death? :huh:

 

Saying we are all accountable is not disrespect. I believe that too. I have gone further in the linked post on the quotes of this post to say I believe he may have been complacent.

 

Dude, seriously have you not read a single post that directly lays blame on Willi and nowhere else? :huh: That right there is disrespect and Willi can't defend himself.

 

Take a good look at his face. I posted it for a reason... Because he was a real person and a fellow geocacher and some of the folks reading this thread needed to be reminded of that. (BTW-The very last picture of him on his profile was too eerie to post in the context of this thread. I had to go farther back.)

 

Leave the blame game to the local authorities. I posted that early on. It does us no credit to continue to blame him. He's dead.

 

I have been outspoken in the past against the perceived cache police in my own geocaching continuum as well as this one. If things were different, maybe someone among the previous finders would have reported it. They would have never known they had saved a life, but Willi's family wouldn't be minus one at the dinner table tonight.

 

If Willi had died in Texas, I would feel even more at fault for having a hand in creating the culture of silence that probably led directly to his death. Willy took the final step but the culture of silence and swim at your own risk don't get to walk away clean.

 

Everyone of us that has been around long enough to have an understanding of the don't ask, don't tell undercurrent in addressing permission and guideline issues can take a big wet bite of that pie. I already finished mine and I don't want seconds.

 

Edit: Thanks to GeoBain for reposting this in an open forum where it belongs.

Edited by Snoogans

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It does us no credit to continue to blame him.

Actually, it might do a great deal of good. For instance, if Willi's death can be attributed to the choices he made that fateful evening, folks might come to recognize that they are ultimately responsible for their own actions, and might adjust those actions accordingly, in an effort to extend their lives. By shuffling the blame around to everybody else, including the hider, the reviewer, Groundspeak, past finders and the general attitude prevelant in that geographic region, we allow folks to continue depending on others for their safety.

 

Sometimes, blaming someone for doing something foolish can help prevent others from doing something foolish.

Edited by Clan Riffster

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By shuffling the blame around to everybody else, including the hider, the reviewer, Groundspeak, past finders and the general attitude prevelant in that geographic region, we allow folks to continue depending on others for their safety.

Of course we're mostly responsible for our own safety. At the same time, however, we also depend on others for our safety. The world isn't black-and-white. There are many shades of gray, and even some colors.

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Sometimes, blaming someone for doing something foolish can help prevent others from doing something foolish.

 

Again, a figurative lable for the dead kid who can't defend himself. The mind boggles. Hindsight truly IS 20/20.

 

May I direct you to the OP:

 

died while attempting a cache that does not look all that dangerous. But unfortunately it was.

 

I can't tell you how many accident investigations start out something akin to this. In the distant past, the blame game worked,. Warm feelings allll around. It wasn't us. That poor fool did sumthin' stupid and got himself killt. Sux for him. But the funny thing is the same accidents continued to occur. Sometimes with less frequency, but still more often than was acceptable. Then someone decided to take a look at the at risk behaviors and culture and the perspective changed. The lights went on and accident rates dropped to near zero.

 

Our culture hasn't found the light switch and from the tone of some of the replies we'd just as soon keep the door shut so the mushroom crop will grow larger.

agfig6.jpg

Edited by Snoogans

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I didn't start the discussion. One of his grieving friends did. When is a good time to start discussing ways to hopfully prevent another geoaching death that has multiple avenues for prevention that either failed or don't exist at all? :unsure: Maybe after the next geocaching death? :huh:

 

I didn't say you did. Veit created the thread and if memory serves me correct, he is not a grieving friend but rather a cacher from the general area who was concerned upon hearing of this tragedy.

 

While he probably meant well, the timing was, in my personal opinion, a bit too soon to talk about this incident specifically. I personally feel it would have been much better if either the discussion was delayed until after family and friends had time to grieve OR it had been started without mentioning this specific incident. It could have been handled in a more general "here is a problem I see, how can we fix it" kind of way. Again, these are my own personal opinions.

 

Saying we are all accountable is not disrespect. I believe that too. I have gone further in the linked post on the quotes of this post to say I believe he may have been complacent.

 

Dude, seriously have you not read a single post that directly lays blame on Willi and nowhere else? :huh: That right there is disrespect and Willi can't defend himself.

 

I respectfully disagree. It is unfortunate that he is not here to defend himself. This is yet another reason I wish the subject had been discussed from a more general angle. But since the discussion has primarily centered around this specific incident, then there is nothing disrespectful with pointing out that the victim probably should shoulder most, if not all, of the blame for what occurred.

 

Of course, another reason this discussion is premature is the very fact that we don't actually know what happened. At the time of the OP, I believe it was the following day or very soon after and the investigation had not been concluded into the matter. I'm pretty sure that it has concluded by now and I am not aware that there are any new facts than we had to begin with.

 

But again, as has been pointed out, there is enough evidence to make a reasonable argument that Willimax should have been aware of several glaring warning signs upon arrival at the cache location. Yet he chose to proceed even given what his eyes must have seen.

 

There is nothing disrespectful in that. He apparently loved caching and apparently enjoyed this type of cache.

 

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. It does not, however, relieve that person of their own personal accountability. I see nothing dispectful in that. It's just the way life goes sometimes.

 

Take a good look at his face. I posted it for a reason... Because he was a real person and a fellow geocacher and some of the folks reading this thread needed to be reminded of that. (BTW-The very last picture of him on his profile was too eerie to post in the context of this thread. I had to go farther back.)

 

No one needed to be reminded of that. I imagine it has been at the forefront of most readers' minds as they have read and participated in this thread. We have been highly aware of how real this incident was. In fact, I would argue that this thread has for the most part been one of the most respectful, aware threads that I've seen in a while.

 

Leave the blame game to the local authorities. I posted that early on. It does us no credit to continue to blame him. He's dead.

 

You seem to want to think you are the only person who knows this is a real person; a real person who is now dead. I find it a little disrespectful for someone to act as if the rest of us are so callous as to not realize this. We are fully aware of the seriousness of this incident.

 

And I am sorry, but if you are truly concerned about safety, then it does do us credit to reiterate personal accountability and to remind ourselves that there are often glaring warning signs that we choose to ignore or that we choose to accept those risks at our own peril.

 

This is not about a blame game. This is supposedly about figuring out what needs to change. If we honestly want to figure out what needs to change, it should begin by figuring out what occurred to begin with. How can you know what needs to change if you don't take an honest look at what transpired?

 

I have been outspoken in the past against the perceived cache police in my own geocaching continuum as well as this one. If things were different, maybe someone among the previous finders would have reported it. They would have never known they had saved a life, but Willi's family wouldn't be minus one at the dinner table tonight.

 

I agree with the fact that had this cache been reported and archived that there is a very high chance that Willimax would not have died that night.

 

However, the CO climbed that structure to place the cache. The CO could have died hiding it. There are lots of legally placed caches that are dangerous. There are lots of legally placed caches with tons of warnings everywhere that cachers still choose to seek. Each and every seeker has to be accountable for what they do.

 

Archiving some illegally placed caches might save some lives. But making a proper assessment of a situation you find yourself in will likely do more to protect your own life than all the warnings posted on a cache page. I go a lot of places that have nothing to do with geocaching. I need to be my own "life police" because I can't count on other people to protect me from myself.

 

Everyone of us that has been around long enough to have an understanding of the don't ask, don't tell undercurrent in addressing permission and guideline issues can take a big wet bite of that pie. I already finished mine and I don't want seconds.

 

Again, I agree with you on this undercurrent of don't ask, don't tell. But in reality, reporting guideline violations is just a tool you can use to allow the reviewer a reason to archive the cache. But as has been noted many times, the guidelines do not speak to the issue of safety. If a cache adheres to the guidelines but has a 75% chance of killing seekers, it will still likely be published.

 

Therefore, we need to make sure we police ourselves. You can only count on yourself to protect you and yours.

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This thread is digressing and now includes too many personal attacks between cachers for us to be able to reasonably 'clean up' the inappropriate content.

 

Any more reports of this kind of behavior in this thread and it will be closed. If you cannot add to this thread without being inappropriate or without attacking fellow cachers, we will close it.

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I suppose the deleted and ignored NA logs would not look good for the site either.

 

You are correct. In a lawsuit everything is discoverable including forum threads, emails, and even hand written notes. I don't know if anyone else has noticed that this thread is being groomed, but I have known for awhile. The two posts of mine that were deleted (that I know of) contained nothing at all. I had moved the info to the top of the next page to keep it current and not buried a page behind the pace of the discussion. <_< If a lawsuit were to come from this incident Groundspeak would have some 'splainin to do. :mellow:

 

This is not accurate. Any posts that have been removed do not meet our forum guidelines. And as this conversation is taking place on a privately-owned site, it is reasonable for us to enforce the guidelines of our forum.

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This thread is digressing and now includes too many personal attacks between cachers for us to be able to reasonably 'clean up' the inappropriate content.

 

Any more reports of this kind of behavior in this thread and it will be closed. If you cannot add to this thread without being inappropriate or without attacking fellow cachers, we will close it.

The tone of these forums would improve dramatically if, instead of shutting down threads, you shut down the people who are violating the forum guidelines. This was a great discussion until some people decided that it had gone on for too long and they started disrupting it. The whole disrupt and report routine works quite well to stifle topics they've grown bored with. If you really want to do something that has an immediate impact, please kill the IBTL thread in Off Topic. And every time someone posts IBTL in a thread, make them go sit in a corner until they promise to be nice.

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My suggestion, for what it is worth... A separate but prominent forum on safety issues, things like fall harnesses, why use them, how to use them, when they are actually useful, avoiding wildlife encounters, what to do if you have a wildlife encounter, stopping bleeding and what to pack with you for this,etc just a place to get information much the same as the forum we are in but one that addresses specific safety topics minus the comments from the peanut gallery. Anyone who is interested can go through the forum. Maybe it needs a prominent link on the main page. I know a lot of people who have never seen these forums but if they saw a prominent link they just might look at it. It won't be a cure-all because some people will take unneccessary risks no matter what. But maybe it will provide information for those who are interested and maybe that curiosity seeking will come in handy when faced with a dangerous situation. On another note, a "caution" log would be handy sometimes. Knowing the bridge from the north is washed out but the trail from the west is passable would be handy. Just an wild example but useful information none-the-less. A Caution log could be entered voluntarily by the CO or other cacher, rather than Groundspeak taking the initiative to post the warning, thereby possible bringing up a liability issue for them. Just as we can filter out certain things, we could filter out these logs if we weren't interested. Personally, I would probably filter out all the found logs just because TFTC bores me to death, but if a caution log was an option I would probably look at it just because it might be handy to know. But, no matter what happens, no one can stop a risk taker from doing something that will ultimately end their life. Sadly, it happens every day in every aspect of life. But providing a "Caution" or "warning" log type couldn't really hurt right?

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I didn't start the discussion. One of his grieving friends did. When is a good time to start discussing ways to hopfully prevent another geoaching death that has multiple avenues for prevention that either failed or don't exist at all? :unsure: Maybe after the next geocaching death? :huh:

 

I didn't say you did. Veit created the thread and if memory serves me correct, he is not a grieving friend but rather a cacher from the general area who was concerned upon hearing of this tragedy.

While he probably meant well, the timing was, in my personal opinion, a bit too soon to talk about this incident specifically. I personally feel it would have been much better if either the discussion was delayed until after family and friends had time to grieve OR it had been started without mentioning this specific incident. It could have been handled in a more general "here is a problem I see, how can we fix it" kind of way. Again, these are my own personal opinions.

 

Saying we are all accountable is not disrespect. I believe that too. I have gone further in the linked post on the quotes of this post to say I believe he may have been complacent.

 

Dude, seriously have you not read a single post that directly lays blame on Willi and nowhere else? :huh: That right there is disrespect and Willi can't defend himself.

 

I respectfully disagree. It is unfortunate that he is not here to defend himself. This is yet another reason I wish the subject had been discussed from a more general angle. But since the discussion has primarily centered around this specific incident, then there is nothing disrespectful with pointing out that the victim probably should shoulder most, if not all, of the blame for what occurred.

 

Of course, another reason this discussion is premature is the very fact that we don't actually know what happened. At the time of the OP, I believe it was the following day or very soon after and the investigation had not been concluded into the matter. I'm pretty sure that it has concluded by now and I am not aware that there are any new facts than we had to begin with.

 

But again, as has been pointed out, there is enough evidence to make a reasonable argument that Willimax should have been aware of several glaring warning signs upon arrival at the cache location. Yet he chose to proceed even given what his eyes must have seen.

 

There is nothing disrespectful in that. He apparently loved caching and apparently enjoyed this type of cache.

 

Sometimes bad things happen to good people. It does not, however, relieve that person of their own personal accountability. I see nothing dispectful in that. It's just the way life goes sometimes.

 

Take a good look at his face. I posted it for a reason... Because he was a real person and a fellow geocacher and some of the folks reading this thread needed to be reminded of that. (BTW-The very last picture of him on his profile was too eerie to post in the context of this thread. I had to go farther back.)

 

No one needed to be reminded of that. I imagine it has been at the forefront of most readers' minds as they have read and participated in this thread. We have been highly aware of how real this incident was. In fact, I would argue that this thread has for the most part been one of the most respectful, aware threads that I've seen in a while.

 

Leave the blame game to the local authorities. I posted that early on. It does us no credit to continue to blame him. He's dead.

 

You seem to want to think you are the only person who knows this is a real person; a real person who is now dead. I find it a little disrespectful for someone to act as if the rest of us are so callous as to not realize this. We are fully aware of the seriousness of this incident.

 

And I am sorry, but if you are truly concerned about safety, then it does do us credit to reiterate personal accountability and to remind ourselves that there are often glaring warning signs that we choose to ignore or that we choose to accept those risks at our own peril.

This is not about a blame game. This is supposedly about figuring out what needs to change. If we honestly want to figure out what needs to change, it should begin by figuring out what occurred to begin with. How can you know what needs to change if you don't take an honest look at what transpired?

 

I have been outspoken in the past against the perceived cache police in my own geocaching continuum as well as this one. If things were different, maybe someone among the previous finders would have reported it. They would have never known they had saved a life, but Willi's family wouldn't be minus one at the dinner table tonight.

 

I agree with the fact that had this cache been reported and archived that there is a very high chance that Willimax would not have died that night.

 

However, the CO climbed that structure to place the cache. The CO could have died hiding it. There are lots of legally placed caches that are dangerous. There are lots of legally placed caches with tons of warnings everywhere that cachers still choose to seek. Each and every seeker has to be accountable for what they do.

 

Archiving some illegally placed caches might save some lives. But making a proper assessment of a situation you find yourself in will likely do more to protect your own life than all the warnings posted on a cache page. I go a lot of places that have nothing to do with geocaching. I need to be my own "life police" because I can't count on other people to protect me from myself.

 

Everyone of us that has been around long enough to have an understanding of the don't ask, don't tell undercurrent in addressing permission and guideline issues can take a big wet bite of that pie. I already finished mine and I don't want seconds.

 

Again, I agree with you on this undercurrent of don't ask, don't tell. But in reality, reporting guideline violations is just a tool you can use to allow the reviewer a reason to archive the cache. But as has been noted many times, the guidelines do not speak to the issue of safety. If a cache adheres to the guidelines but has a 75% chance of killing seekers, it will still likely be published.

 

Therefore, we need to make sure we police ourselves. You can only count on yourself to protect you and yours.

 

I do believe this is the most thoughtful and correct response I have read in this thread. I have placed certain bits of it in bold, blue and underlined. It brings calmness and common sense back to an emotional packed thread.

 

I feel there can be nothing of value added to this thread. In the first quote these words - "While he probably meant well, the timing was, in my personal opinion, a bit too soon to talk about this incident specifically. I personally feel it would have been much better if either the discussion was delayed until after family and friends had time to grieve OR it had been started without mentioning this specific incident. It could have been handled in a more general "here is a problem I see, how can we fix it" kind of way."- was exactly how I felt about this in the very beginning. I feel this thread should be closed now and let tempers die down.

 

If someone so chooses to start another thread about "how the impact of personal safety of others can become a cache hiders responsibility and what/why and how many rules you want to implement" should be separate from this thread.

 

Please! Would a Mod please lock this thread now? Please!

 

Shirley~

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I feel this thread should be closed now and let tempers die down.

 

Close the thread as a safety precaution?

 

But everyone understands the dangers of reading this thread and posting here.

 

Don't they?

Edited by 4wheelin_fool

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Please do not ask for threads to be closed.

 

Regardless it will continue to be discussed here.

 

There has never been such a perfect storm in a geocaching related death and for those that care enough to affect change in the form of awareness the effort is already rolling and its timing is appropriate. Hopfully it will gain momentum.

 

I suspect the fear that would really want to squash this discussion is the fear of forgone conclusions that something will fundamentally change making it less fun to that person's subjective aesthetics. And guess what. It will change eventually. Most likely not in a fundamental way. At the very least the the negative cultural stigma of the cache cop will go the way of the dodo if we as a community teach our members acceptable criteria to report a cache and how to tell the difference between subjective concerns that may give rise to a warning about some percieved hazard, etc. rather than something that Groundspeak would find actionable, so the listing service doesn't have to go sifting through loads of subjective reports to find information that may actually cause a cache to be archived and in so doing possibly save a life or at least a hassle with local authorities.

 

My pulse has never once quickend in this thread and it's easy to assign an emotional quotent to the written word especially if the person reading the words gets emotional about them. There is a sense of urgency and a tactic for emphasis in my words so the casual skimmer will see them that could be misconstrued and I am probably too polarizing to be very effective with the message of reasonable change in this forum. My greatest effort will remain in my local shphere of influence. But please make note that even though I am right now top poster in this thread, others have said the same thing.

 

I hope you all understand that my personal message for greater awareness is not a knee jerk over Willi's death. I won't speak for the others that have agreed with me. It really felt like blue car syndrome leading up to this thread as I noticed and posted in thread after thread regarding geocaching safety as I stated in my feature request for a Safety Forum. His death did accelerate my thinking about how the principles I have learned about occupational safety through 16 months of almost continuous training and study plus 4 nationally recognized certifications in the field could apply to geocaching. Not to mention I had just completed Advanced Accident Investigation certification on 12/16/11 and this thread began on 12/18. Ya give a guy a hammer and he is gonna want to pound some nails especially if (he thinks) his skills can possibly make a difference to his chosen community.

Edited by Snoogans

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@Sandy: rather than threatening to close this thread, could you please either answer the suggestions that we have come up with in this thread yourself, or make sure they are answered by Groundspeak?! Thanks!

 

Also, I truly believe that simply closing this thread might be the most stupid thing GS could do. Considering the low visibility and activity of this Forum it's very possible that a lot more ideas about how to improve the site and culture will come in in the future. You can simply edit posts that you deem to be "personal attacks".

 

BTW, I'm shocked that Murpark cache is still online - so actually, even with NA logs, those caches are not being archived by Groundspeak. Why should the community report any of those caches then?

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@Sandy: rather than threatening to close this thread, could you please either answer the suggestions that we have come up with in this thread yourself, or make sure they are answered by Groundspeak?! Thanks!

 

Also, I truly believe that simply closing this thread might be the most stupid thing GS could do. Considering the low visibility and activity of this Forum it's very possible that a lot more ideas about how to improve the site and culture will come in in the future. You can simply edit posts that you deem to be "personal attacks".

 

BTW, I'm shocked that Murpark cache is still online - so actually, even with NA logs, those caches are not being archived by Groundspeak. Why should the community report any of those caches then?

 

The only 'threat' to close this thread was to ask people to stop posting off-topic and to be respectful of the content of this thread. We have addressed the general topics in this thread several times, and will not be commenting further at this time.

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BTW, I'm shocked that Murpark cache is still online - so actually, even with NA logs, those caches are not being archived by Groundspeak. Why should the community report any of those caches then?

 

Why?

 

 

It offers an absolutely perfect shopping experience. Just because the cache is illegal to access, as per many of the logs, shouldn't mean anything. Groundspeak has assured us that illegal caches get archived, right? :D

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Well, they made it sound like that in this thread, but in the end, obviously don't take any action once caches do get reported. I don't understand it at all.

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BTW, I'm shocked that Murpark cache is still online - so actually, even with NA logs, those caches are not being archived by Groundspeak. Why should the community report any of those caches then?

 

Why?

 

 

It offers an absolutely perfect shopping experience. Just because the cache is illegal to access, as per many of the logs, shouldn't mean anything. Groundspeak has assured us that illegal caches get archived, right? :D

 

Groundspeak volunteers review Needs Archived logs -usually- monthly. The NA logs posted on that cache page are less than one month old, but we will check in with the local review team.

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@Sandy: rather than threatening to close this thread, could you please either answer the suggestions that we have come up with in this thread yourself, or make sure they are answered by Groundspeak?! Thanks!

 

Also, I truly believe that simply closing this thread might be the most stupid thing GS could do. Considering the low visibility and activity of this Forum it's very possible that a lot more ideas about how to improve the site and culture will come in in the future. You can simply edit posts that you deem to be "personal attacks".

 

BTW, I'm shocked that Murpark cache is still online - so actually, even with NA logs, those caches are not being archived by Groundspeak. Why should the community report any of those caches then?

 

Viet,

 

Is it possible for you to go there and make a first hand report and/or talk to the property owner and the local authorities that are mentioned quite often? Failing that is there someone in the nearby geocacher network willing to do that? :unsure:

 

A firsthand report would carry the greatest credibility.

Edited by Snoogans

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Well, they made it sound like that in this thread, but in the end, obviously don't take any action once caches do get reported. I don't understand it at all.

 

To be clear, one of the ways that we receive reports from cachers - or non-caching community members - is directly. When something is urgent - and it is reported directly to us via email or phone call - we take the appropriate action. You can consider this particular cache as reported directly. If it was discussed earlier in this thread, that was missed.

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@Snoogans: I don't feel like hitchhiking to Austria right now just to check out a cache that is obviously placed illegally ;-)

 

@Sandy: as others have pointed out before, there was a NA log years back on this cache and the cacher who posted it was ridiculed. Other than that nothing happened. How you could have missed the discussion about this cache in this thread, but picked up on me posting "disparaging" comments about GS, or other miniscule problems in this thread...and even edited and deleted posts in the process is beyond me.

 

Another suggestion: GS should hire maybe 5 people to simply go through ALL NA logs that were posted in the last years and do a quick review of the cache pages in question. Obviously the process of NA has not been working and if that's the road the community should take to get rid of "illegal" caches, GS as the listing service needs to make sure it is.

Edited by veit

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Well, they made it sound like that in this thread, but in the end, obviously don't take any action once caches do get reported. I don't understand it at all.

 

To be clear, one of the ways that we receive reports from cachers - or non-caching community members - is directly. When something is urgent - and it is reported directly to us via email or phone call - we take the appropriate action. You can consider this particular cache as reported directly. If it was discussed earlier in this thread, that was missed.

 

When I get a moment I'm going to ask a non-caching coworker to see if they can quickly find a way to report a problem directly to Groundspeak. I'll time them and report back.

 

I will also bring a laptop to the next event I attend that has wifi and get some newer cachers to find a way to make an urgent report with no guidance. I'll time them and report back.

 

This could be very interesting and worthwhile.

Edited by Snoogans

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Groundspeak volunteers review Needs Archived logs -usually- monthly. The NA logs posted on that cache page are less than one month old, but we will check in with the local review team.

 

Now there's something about the Groundspeak process I can add to the cause and effect. I didn't know that.

 

The cache near where Willi died:

Tanzstunde

Hidden : 11/10/2011

 

It was actually published on 11/14 and FTF'd that same day. From what I see (I could be wrong) Willi died between 12/12 (the last find) & 12/14/2011 since the first note about his death is on 12/15/11 and the cache was archived the next day.

 

Even IF the cache had been reported through the cache page SBA log, with that 30 day window, the listing service's process might have proven inadequate to bring the listing down before Willi got the coords and chose to hunt it. That would would certainly be true if the review process for the month had taken place that same day. Food for thought. :mellow:

 

 

Thought about it. All the more reason to have a user friendly, anonymous report button on cache pages (just like on this very post) that will instantly go to a review team for quick action.

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Absolutely. And also more reason to give us a "Warnings"-log type, so we can warn other cachers of dangers before a reviewer gets around to the queue some day. BTW, nothing wrong with that in my mind - after all they are volunteers. However, it is a problem in the entire setup of the process. 1 month is too long - GS should probably have a few people on hand who react quicker than that to NAs.

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Well, they made it sound like that in this thread, but in the end, obviously don't take any action once caches do get reported. I don't understand it at all.

 

To be clear, one of the ways that we receive reports from cachers - or non-caching community members - is directly. When something is urgent - and it is reported directly to us via email or phone call - we take the appropriate action. You can consider this particular cache as reported directly. If it was discussed earlier in this thread, that was missed.

 

When I get a moment I'm going to ask a non-caching coworker to see if they can quickly find a way to report a problem directly to Groundspeak. I'll time them and report back.

 

I will also bring a laptop to the next event I attend that has wifi and get some newer cachers to find a way to make an urgent report with no guidance. I'll time them and report back.

 

This could be very interesting and worthwhile.

 

From a real-world example I can tell you it will take less than 24 hours from an issue being noted to having the cache archived.

 

One of my early caches turned out to be on private property (my bad). The property owner found out about it after some cachers were approcached by a security guard while they searched for it at night. The next day they contacted Groundspeak, and the local reviewer had it archived by the time I got home from work.

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Groundspeak volunteers review Needs Archived logs -usually- monthly. The NA logs posted on that cache page are less than one month old, but we will check in with the local review team.

 

No, your last statement is not true. The first and original NA log that came from a local cacher is several years old and has not been commented upon by a reviewer.

 

Moreover, in my area it is quite common that NA logs (even multiple ones) remain with no reaction for several months. As most of them only concern inactive caches, this is not a big issue from my point of view, but I just mention it for the sake of completeness.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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From a real-world example I can tell you it will take less than 24 hours from an issue being noted to having the cache archived.

 

One of my early caches turned out to be on private property (my bad). The property owner found out about it after some cachers were approcached by a security guard while they searched for it at night. The next day they contacted Groundspeak, and the local reviewer had it archived by the time I got home from work.

 

My response in a new thread to keep from taking this one off topic.

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@GeoBain: I feel the post you linked to is absolutely on topic and am happily surprised that you are reconsidering the Warnings logtype :-)

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@GeoBain: I feel the post you linked to is absolutely on topic and am happily surprised that you are reconsidering the Warnings logtype :-)

 

As has often been the case in this thread, you only read and commented on the point supporting your agenda. Here is the final post before the thread was locked.

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Well, yeah, I only read the two opening posts - the others had not been posted at the time. Oh, and I did read them in their entirety and found them to be on-topic for this thread, so I let GeoBain know. I don't understand why that other thread was locked, but then again I don't understand many of the things going on here.

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I don't understand why that other thread was locked

 

Basically question asked and answered and Sandy was nice with her suggestion. ;)

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I'd like to submit my application for the challenge of reading this thread.

While doing so, this was my favorite post:

 

 

you mean that for example if the sign says "trail not maintained, hike at your own risk" means that if i fall in a crevice and die i can still sue them, correct?

 

 

No, T4e, if you die, you will be unable to sue them.(since you had to ask)

 

 

 

This thread is digressing and now includes too many personal attacks between cachers for us to be able to reasonably 'clean up' the inappropriate content.

 

Any more reports of this kind of behavior in this thread and it will be closed. If you cannot add to this thread without being inappropriate or without attacking fellow cachers, we will close it.

The tone of these forums would improve dramatically if, instead of shutting down threads, you shut down the people who are violating the forum guidelines. This was a great discussion until some people decided that it had gone on for too long and they started disrupting it. The whole disrupt and report routine works quite well to stifle topics they've grown bored with. If you really want to do something that has an immediate impact, please kill the IBTL thread in Off Topic. And every time someone posts IBTL in a thread, make them go sit in a corner until they promise to be nice.

 

This is one I wanted to comment on.

I think the reason they leave the IBTL thread open is it serves a good purpose to Groundspeak.

The moderators can't read every single thread, but collectively we do.

So the moderators can keep an eye on which threads are having issues and turning into problem threads by reading that thread.

I'm sure it's a big help to them, and therefore to the community.

 

 

To the issue in general here:

 

It is a sad thing that happened.

We can all die doing anything, or nothing, as someone pointed out.

 

Yes, we all need to place NA on caches on private property, but that's won't stop the deaths. We all die, and as Knowschad pointed out, if it wasn't caching, it may have been "his time" and he may have died in a car wreck.

 

We all die.

We also all make errors. That cannot be avoided. It is part of being human. We all make mistakes. Comes with the territory.

 

Yes, Snoogans, we know you're a safety officer.

But you seem desperate to "do something" here.

 

It is an unsafe world. We can't make it safe. We just can't.

We can't stop ourselves from making errors and mistakes, so we certainly can't stop others from making them either.

 

Yes, we should do what we can, but you've got to let this one go Bro.

I put in a lot of NA's myself, when needed.

But we can only do so much.

 

It's a tragedy that happened. But as long as we've got millions of people caching, it will happen again. That's just the odds. that's just reality.

 

Do what you can, then let go of the rest. That's all we can do.

Go make yourself a cup of hot chocolate and chill.

You couldn't have saved this guy. Maybe it was his time. Maybe no one could have.

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Yes, Snoogans, we know you're a safety officer.

But you seem desperate to "do something" here.

 

It is an unsafe world. We can't make it safe. We just can't.

We can't stop ourselves from making errors and mistakes, so we certainly can't stop others from making them either.

 

Yes, we should do what we can, but you've got to let this one go Bro.

I put in a lot of NA's myself, when needed.

But we can only do so much.

 

It's a tragedy that happened. But as long as we've got millions of people caching, it will happen again. That's just the odds. that's just reality.

 

Do what you can, then let go of the rest. That's all we can do.

Go make yourself a cup of hot chocolate and chill.

You couldn't have saved this guy. Maybe it was his time. Maybe no one could have.

 

I'm grounded firmly in reality and not the least bit desperate, but you're partially right:

 

Ya give a guy a hammer and he is gonna want to pound some nails especially if (he thinks) his skills can possibly make a difference to his chosen community.

 

There is a problem with our culture. I am just as much a part of it as anyone else. More so because I have been around longer. This horse has been led to water. I'm fine with leaving it there. It will drink if it gets thirsty.

 

We may never see such a perfect storm in a geocaching death again and yes, even if we all took up the cause for increased awareness there would still be the occasional death and some serious injuries. No, we can't make the world safe, but we can make our culture safer. We can.

 

I don't need to chill, because I'm really not hot under the collar about the icy reception some of you are giving the message I have for this culture that we are all responsible for.

 

I am doing what I can. I won't let it go because I know it's the right thing to do and there are a few others that agree... And that lets me know I'm not too far off the mark. But I can tone it down if I need to.

 

I get that Willi is beyond helping, but I refuse to accept the fatalistic view that this accident just happened or it was his time. I certainly won't accept it the next time if the circumstances are similar. That cache should never have been hidden. I don't think anyone disputes that. The dispute lies in the assertion that more than just Willi and the CO were involved in his death. It's a hard pill to swallow. It may sound PC to those that oppose/loath that practice even more than I do. That would be an incorrect assumption.

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