Jump to content

Poor PR: Geocache mistaken for bomb closes city streets


Russ!
Followers 1

Recommended Posts

To say that every geocache needs a sticker on it is to say that every geocache needs to be big enough to have a sticker on it. It also says that we can't do any more clever camouflaging like those in the CCC thread. Ammo cans, peanut butter jars, and Lock & Locks. Except that others have said that the containers need to be clear, so that eliminates ammo cans. Peanut butter jars and Lock & Locks it is. Wait... there are people that say that peanut butter jars could be dangerous to those with peanut allergies, and others don't like them because they once contained food, so Lock & Locks it is, I guess. Lock & Locks are pretty hard to find these days, so I guess you're right... this will put an end to our game as we know it.

Link to comment
The day held more work for the county bomb-and-arson team: A Wrightwood man found what appeared to be an explosive device while cleaning out a shed and took it to a fire station around 11:45 a.m.

 

Sheriff's officers blocked off a portion of Highway 2 and some nearby Wrightwood streets and evacuated several homes for more than two hours as the bomb squad prepared to detonate the object, according to Pam Hoffman, spokeswoman for the Victor Valley station

 

I'm always amazed that people are alarmed by objects that "appear" to be explosive devices, yet have no qualms about picking it up and taking it somewhere. :blink:

Link to comment

Seems like every now and again I see these stories. It is going to get worse as the game grows, too, if we don't start reigning this stuff in.

Based only on forum reports of news stories I have not seen a huge increase. Also being a veteran of similar threads I have learned that once the bomb squad is in motion it will be blown up no matter how small, clear and well labeled the container is. I don't think this spells an end to anything.

Link to comment

As bomb squads are becoming more educated, we are seeing an increase in the guy in charge that day checking the GC website when the object appears that it 'might' be a cache. This example shows that a few bomb squads still need to be educated, or that the folks that happened to be on duty didn't know (or care).

Link to comment
The day held more work for the county bomb-and-arson team: A Wrightwood man found what appeared to be an explosive device while cleaning out a shed and took it to a fire station around 11:45 a.m.

 

Sheriff's officers blocked off a portion of Highway 2 and some nearby Wrightwood streets and evacuated several homes for more than two hours as the bomb squad prepared to detonate the object, according to Pam Hoffman, spokeswoman for the Victor Valley station

 

I'm always amazed that people are alarmed by objects that "appear" to be explosive devices, yet have no qualms about picking it up and taking it somewhere. :blink:

 

I was just about to post the same thing.

 

If you think it's a bomb, why in the world would you pick it up and take it somewhere?

Link to comment

To say that every geocache needs a sticker on it is to say that every geocache needs to be big enough to have a sticker on it. It also says that we can't do any more clever camouflaging like those in the CCC thread. Ammo cans, peanut butter jars, and Lock & Locks. Except that others have said that the containers need to be clear, so that eliminates ammo cans. Peanut butter jars and Lock & Locks it is. Wait... there are people that say that peanut butter jars could be dangerous to those with peanut allergies, and others don't like them because they once contained food, so Lock & Locks it is, I guess. Lock & Locks are pretty hard to find these days, so I guess you're right... this will put an end to our game as we know it.

What about those clear lock & locks that have a cache sticker on them and since you can see inside the swag looks like there could be a clock or wires (those wires in there Must be connected to ear buds, right? after all it is labled as a cache)

Link to comment

To say that every geocache needs a sticker on it is to say that every geocache needs to be big enough to have a sticker on it. It also says that we can't do any more clever camouflaging like those in the CCC thread. Ammo cans, peanut butter jars, and Lock & Locks. Except that others have said that the containers need to be clear, so that eliminates ammo cans. Peanut butter jars and Lock & Locks it is. Wait... there are people that say that peanut butter jars could be dangerous to those with peanut allergies, and others don't like them because they once contained food, so Lock & Locks it is, I guess. Lock & Locks are pretty hard to find these days, so I guess you're right... this will put an end to our game as we know it.

 

Obviously, not every size container can sport a label such as nano. Most ''bomb" size caches containers, tubes, ammo box etc. certainly can without effecting their camo. Labeling the caches is actually part of the hiding guidelines. A real concern in these types of events is regardless of who is at fault etc, this kind of stuff has a tendency to piss off the PD, and worry non players which does not make them cacher friendly. You get enough 'concerned' people then the game will be changed.

Link to comment

Comment link at the bottom of the article suggested this cache: GC3867A - Good Eats of the HD #7

 

If the shop owner doesn't know what it was, does that mean that proper permission was not given? Should Brindsy be held responsible for the cost of the bomb squad call-out?

 

Also, should T&J+AJT be allowed to log a smiley on a blown up cache?

 

According to the maps, the cache was not hidden in the parking lot, but in what appears to be a vacant lot next door (still does not imply permission, of course) http://binged.it/tBPTMm But even if it were hidden in the parking lot with permission, the owner of the nearby store may not be the one that would give permission. Very likely he is only renting the space. Or maybe one of his managers gave permission but didn't think it was important to tell the owner. Too many things we don't know to go making assumptions.

 

For those of you that think this is something new, or that its going to be the end of our activity, you only need to do a forum search. This is one of those regularily scheduled topics, pretty much on time.

Link to comment

There was a cache a few years ago kind of like this. It was hidden in one place, but the last seekers didn't put it back correctly and it rolled out into the open and caused a scare.

 

I'll look it up when I get back. My memory of it is spotty. But I do know it's possible to hide it correctly with permission (doubt this one had permission though) and have it roll into someone else's property.

Link to comment

seems also someone logged a find on the blown up cache

Were they part of the bomb squad? That has happened before I think.

 

Also noted that some of the surrounding micros seem to be missing... coincidence?

eg. the one over to the west a bit (forget the #) something about law enforcement.

 

Doug 7rxc

Link to comment

Once the police and bomb squad are on the scene is a sticker or stencil on the suspicious container really going to matter?

If it says 'dangerous' they are probably still going to blow it up.

If it says 'box full of kittens' they are still probably going to blow it up.

They are not going to add personal risk to themselves (and I don't blame them a bit) based on the writing on the suspicious package. They are going to treat it as a threat until it is not capable of being a threat.

Link to comment

Once the police and bomb squad are on the scene is a sticker or stencil on the suspicious container really going to matter?

If it says 'dangerous' they are probably still going to blow it up.

If it says 'box full of kittens' they are still probably going to blow it up.

They are not going to add personal risk to themselves (and I don't blame them a bit) based on the writing on the suspicious package. They are going to treat it as a threat until it is not capable of being a threat.

 

We've seen reports here where the cache owner himself was standing right there say, 'here, let me show you', and they blew it up anyway. You're right that once the call has gone in to the bomb squad, there generally isn't much that is going to change the future. We've heard of film cans, defunct microwave ovens "plugged into" a fake outlet on a tree, and even a highway traffic counter box blown up. Nothing wrong with taking precautions, but odds are good that they will be futile anyway.

Link to comment

Nothing wrong with taking precautions, but odds are good that they will be futile anyway.

 

You don't think, perhaps, that once past the precautionary stage, just a bit of "Ooh, we get to blow something up!" sneaks into their decision making, do you?

Heavens no! It is more like "Okay, we know what this thing is, but this is an excellent opportunity for some training and showing the taxpayers we are doing a service in in very dangerous job."

Link to comment

Nothing wrong with taking precautions, but odds are good that they will be futile anyway.

 

You don't think, perhaps, that once past the precautionary stage, just a bit of "Ooh, we get to blow something up!" sneaks into their decision making, do you?

 

The cynical side of me would love to agree with you, but honestly, I don't believe that is the reason. The real reason is protocol. There is an established protocol that must be followed. Very few in the chain of command have the power to give permission to depart from that protocol. Once the machinery is set in motion, there isn't much that can stop it.

Link to comment

Has anyone heard of the aftermath of these procedures? Has the CO ever been fined or do they just give them a slap on the wrist. I hate to have one of mine blown up. I keep looking at mine to see if someone would ever mistake it for a bomb.

 

well, in that case, am glad I found your parking lot one before it ever got blown up. I think a few customers would love to just use it for target practice instead, would be cheaper.

Link to comment

Parking lot caches are a bad idea. There's a bomb squad list (can't remember where now) - most of the caches on the list are in a parking lot or a few steps from a parking lot.

 

But this wasn't a parking lot cache, from all appearances. Check out the aerial view. It was found in a parking lot, but not hidden in one (still looks like a sucky hiding spot to me, but that's beside the point)

Link to comment

Parking lot caches are a bad idea. There's a bomb squad list (can't remember where now) - most of the caches on the list are in a parking lot or a few steps from a parking lot.

 

But this wasn't a parking lot cache, from all appearances. Check out the aerial view. It was found in a parking lot, but not hidden in one (still looks like a sucky hiding spot to me, but that's beside the point)

 

I'm seeing it in a planted area in the parking lot next to a restaurant (Caliber Fitness is off to the left out-of-frame):

 

6609734561_20a5816c81.jpg

Edited by Leon R
Link to comment

Parking lot caches are a bad idea. There's a bomb squad list (can't remember where now) - most of the caches on the list are in a parking lot or a few steps from a parking lot.

 

But this wasn't a parking lot cache, from all appearances. Check out the aerial view. It was found in a parking lot, but not hidden in one (still looks like a sucky hiding spot to me, but that's beside the point)

 

I'm seeing it in a planted area in the parking lot next to a restaurant (Caliber Fitness in off to the left out-of-frame):

 

6609734561_20a5816c81.jpg

 

Now, that's strange! Here's where Bing maps put me! I wonder if that place wasn't built when Bing took the picture?

 

scrap-1.jpg

 

Edit: Yes, that's what happened. The restaraunt in your picture wasn't even built when Bing took that photo. You can see the buildings on the left and right of this vacant lot in the Google Map aerial photo.

Edited by knowschad
Link to comment

Parking lot caches are a bad idea. There's a bomb squad list (can't remember where now) - most of the caches on the list are in a parking lot or a few steps from a parking lot.

 

But this wasn't a parking lot cache, from all appearances. Check out the aerial view. It was found in a parking lot, but not hidden in one (still looks like a sucky hiding spot to me, but that's beside the point)

 

I'm seeing it in a planted area in the parking lot next to a restaurant (Caliber Fitness in off to the left out-of-frame):

 

6609734561_20a5816c81.jpg

 

Now, that's strange! Here's where Bing maps put me! I wonder if that place wasn't built when Bing took the picture?

 

scrap-1.jpg

 

Edit: Yes, that's what happened. The restaraunt in your picture wasn't even built when Bing took that photo. You can see the buildings on the left and right of this vacant lot in the Google Map aerial photo.

 

Interesting. The building with the squarish blue roof seems to be the one at the back of the parking lot in the Google Streetview image. They sure build business plazas fast these days.

Link to comment

 

Now, that's strange! Here's where Bing maps put me! I wonder if that place wasn't built when Bing took the picture?

 

 

Edit: Yes, that's what happened. The restaraunt in your picture wasn't even built when Bing took that photo. You can see the buildings on the left and right of this vacant lot in the Google Map aerial photo.

 

Switch to Arial view in Bing and magically the parking lot appears.

Link to comment

Now, that's strange! Here's where Bing maps put me! I wonder if that place wasn't built when Bing took the picture?

 

 

Edit: Yes, that's what happened. The restaraunt in your picture wasn't even built when Bing took that photo. You can see the buildings on the left and right of this vacant lot in the Google Map aerial photo.

 

Switch to Arial view in Bing and magically the parking lot appears.

 

The Pictometry images from the Bird's Eye view is dated 2010!

Link to comment

Parking lot caches are a bad idea. There's a bomb squad list (can't remember where now) - most of the caches on the list are in a parking lot or a few steps from a parking lot.

It is not so much that a parking lot cache is a bad idea, it has more to do with the selection of the container. Mirco containers would be better in a parking lot because they are not going to be seen by accident by non cachers. Just like a large cache is better in the woods so that the vegitation is not trampled by caches looking for nanos in the woods. People just neede to think before they decide on a container.

Link to comment

:ph34r: Yes, always mark your containers. Whenever I place a BOMB that might be mistaken for a cache I always clearly mark it as a BOMB.

Thankyou and HAVE A BIG BANG FOR NEW YEARS! :laughing:

My geography teacher told us this story of him going a mission to Northern Ireland for the Mormon Church and he and his partner had this box full of Books of Mormon, so on the tape all around the box they wrote BOM and the box was turned so it read BOMB (when it really meant BOMBOMBOMBOM kind of thing). I forget what happened, but there was really a scene with missionaries trying to get to their car and save their books :laughing:

 

Once the police and bomb squad are on the scene is a sticker or stencil on the suspicious container really going to matter?

If it says 'dangerous' they are probably still going to blow it up.

If it says 'box full of kittens' they are still probably going to blow it up.

They are not going to add personal risk to themselves (and I don't blame them a bit) based on the writing on the suspicious package. They are going to treat it as a threat until it is not capable of being a threat.

 

We've seen reports here where the cache owner himself was standing right there say, 'here, let me show you', and they blew it up anyway. You're right that once the call has gone in to the bomb squad, there generally isn't much that is going to change the future. We've heard of film cans, defunct microwave ovens "plugged into" a fake outlet on a tree, and even a highway traffic counter box blown up. Nothing wrong with taking precautions, but odds are good that they will be futile anyway.

I think the bomb squad is rather paranoid about people opening things. I mean, what if (and yes, the "what if" game is never ending and doesn't ever get us very far) there was a mad bomber pretending to be a cache owner and opening a bomb disguised as a cache? It'd be a terrible snafu to have some incident like that, or to ignore something that looks like a cache and isn't and then an innocent bystander gets hurt. I don't blame the bomb squad or police officers for being suspicious or paranoid about things. It probably keeps them alive.

Link to comment
Geocache stickers on the outside of the cache is important.

 

Note sure if that would do any good. A bad guy can order stickers just as a real geocacher can.

 

I just did a camo lock-n-lock but left a small "window" uncovered on the side so that someone can look in and see the contents with the help of a flashlight.

Edited by Clayshooter
Link to comment

If a bomb squad will blow up a traffic counter I doubt anything a geocacher can do to their cache will deter a determined bomb squad. It all depends on the first responder. If it is Clan Riffter he will whip out his gps, take a look, and "kewl, a new one" and the "bomb" threat is averted. If it is Barney Fife, he will kick it up to the Sargent, who will kick it up to the Lieutenant, who will then call the Captain. The Captain will not take a chance and call out the bomb squad. At this point something is going to go boom.

Link to comment

Parking lot caches are a bad idea. There's a bomb squad list (can't remember where now) - most of the caches on the list are in a parking lot or a few steps from a parking lot.

It is not so much that a parking lot cache is a bad idea, it has more to do with the selection of the container. Mirco containers would be better in a parking lot because they are not going to be seen by accident by non cachers. Just like a large cache is better in the woods so that the vegitation is not trampled by caches looking for nanos in the woods. People just neede to think before they decide on a container.

 

The Good Eats parking lot cache was a micro. I don't know exactly what it looked like though.

Link to comment

It's the geocachers that need educating, not the bomb squads. Marking a container GEOCACHING should have NO BEARING on rather the bomb squad believes it's a threat or not.

 

Case in point... Let's say someone is a terrorist.... They want to place a bomb... So they build one and just slap and geocaching sticker on it... and the cops just leave it alone......... bomb blows up......

 

Enough said......

Link to comment

It's the geocachers that need educating, not the bomb squads. Marking a container GEOCACHING should have NO BEARING on rather the bomb squad believes it's a threat or not.

 

Case in point... Let's say someone is a terrorist.... They want to place a bomb... So they build one and just slap and geocaching sticker on it... and the cops just leave it alone......... bomb blows up......

 

Enough said......

 

That has been said many times. However, I have my doubts that international terrorists are most likely not really aware of our little game. Not saying that it *couldn't* happen, but I'll probably win the lottery before you see that scenario come to pass.

Link to comment

Comment link at the bottom of the article suggested this cache: GC3867A - Good Eats of the HD #7

 

If the shop owner doesn't know what it was, does that mean that proper permission was not given? Should Brindsy be held responsible for the cost of the bomb squad call-out?

 

Also, should T&J+AJT be allowed to log a smiley on a blown up cache?

 

The first sentence in the short cache page is "Try to be stealth about this one, especially in the day time and on weekends! "

 

That's code for "I absolutely, positively, do not have permission for this Geocache to be placed where it is". :P

Link to comment

It's the geocachers that need educating, not the bomb squads. Marking a container GEOCACHING should have NO BEARING on rather the bomb squad believes it's a threat or not.

 

Case in point... Let's say someone is a terrorist.... They want to place a bomb... So they build one and just slap and geocaching sticker on it... and the cops just leave it alone......... bomb blows up......

 

Enough said......

But how many would try and list it on GC.com? And if they did, do you really think the police/EOD will be part of the FTF crowd? So it makes sense to have the EOD check for a cache listing - that would lessen the chance it being a bomb.

Link to comment

It's the geocachers that need educating, not the bomb squads. Marking a container GEOCACHING should have NO BEARING on rather the bomb squad believes it's a threat or not.

 

Case in point... Let's say someone is a terrorist.... They want to place a bomb... So they build one and just slap and geocaching sticker on it... and the cops just leave it alone......... bomb blows up......

 

Enough said......

 

That has been said many times. However, I have my doubts that international terrorists are most likely not really aware of our little game. Not saying that it *couldn't* happen, but I'll probably win the lottery before you see that scenario come to pass.

While I don't believe someone would post a cache on this site that was a bomb, I still think caution prevails with the bomb squad. I mean, some dude in Afganistan might not know or care about geocaching, but maybe someone like Timothy McVeigh would. Again, totally unlikely, but just because it's so impossible doesn't mean we should write it off.

 

It would be nice if someone had enough time to look and see if the cache has a listing, but that's probably the last thing on their minds. I would guess that they're probably bound to do something once they're called in :(

Link to comment

It's the geocachers that need educating, not the bomb squads. Marking a container GEOCACHING should have NO BEARING on rather the bomb squad believes it's a threat or not.

 

Case in point... Let's say someone is a terrorist.... They want to place a bomb... So they build one and just slap and geocaching sticker on it... and the cops just leave it alone......... bomb blows up......

 

Enough said......

But how many would try and list it on GC.com? And if they did, do you really think the police/EOD will be part of the FTF crowd? So it makes sense to have the EOD check for a cache listing - that would lessen the chance it being a bomb.

 

It is a silly idea, as I've already said, but as far as listing the fake geocache "bomb" on this website... that would not be necessary, and is not the point, unless the point was to bomb a geocacher. The idea of gpsblake's post was simply to make a bomb look innocent by applying a geocaching sticker.

Link to comment

It's the geocachers that need educating, not the bomb squads. Marking a container GEOCACHING should have NO BEARING on rather the bomb squad believes it's a threat or not.

 

Case in point... Let's say someone is a terrorist.... They want to place a bomb... So they build one and just slap and geocaching sticker on it... and the cops just leave it alone......... bomb blows up......

 

Enough said......

 

That has been said many times. However, I have my doubts that international terrorists are most likely not really aware of our little game. Not saying that it *couldn't* happen, but I'll probably win the lottery before you see that scenario come to pass.

While I don't believe someone would post a cache on this site that was a bomb, I still think caution prevails with the bomb squad. I mean, some dude in Afganistan might not know or care about geocaching, but maybe someone like Timothy McVeigh would. Again, totally unlikely, but just because it's so impossible doesn't mean we should write it off.

 

It would be nice if someone had enough time to look and see if the cache has a listing, but that's probably the last thing on their minds. I would guess that they're probably bound to do something once they're called in :(

 

First, thanks for taking the time to try to understand my horribly convoluted sentence! :lol:

 

But as for checking the cache listings, Moose Mob paints a slightly more hopeful picture in his post above: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=287832&view=findpost&p=4933173

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 1
×
×
  • Create New...