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geocach thouhgt to be a bomb


gordieo
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For starters we have made ourselves available to the media, in addition some of our members have reached out to the OPP. What is it you would like to see us do? Please feel free to message me so we can have a detailed discussion about the amount of time myself and the rest of the executive put into promoting healthy geocaching in Ontario. I can assure you that we put a lot of our own time into landowner relations and all the other things you have pointed out in bold type.

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OK- Lets hear it. What have you done?

 

Hello AneMae, what kind of statement do you think would be appropriate from the OGA?

 

As for what the OGA has done:

 

1/ met with land managers including conservation authorities, provincial agencies and partnered with Parks Canada to offer Geocaching events and education.

2/ responded to numerous land manager email inquiries relating to geocaching.

3/ participated in conversations with cache owners and land mangers to find compromises for disputed cache placements.

4/ has a board that is active in the geocaching community throughout Ontario

5/ members have held education sessions either as part of the OGA or on their own.

6/ is in communication with Groundspeak managers and owners on how to better communicate with Ontario land managers.

7/ consulted with conservation authorities and other bodies on the creation of geocache placement policies.

8/ participated in numerous media interviews regarding geocaching.

 

We don't specifically keep a list of the activities we do as it relates to each individual land manager contact.

 

In addition the members of the OGA executive generally host events, CITO activities, participate in local events as part of their personal game play. The OGA executives are well known within their respective communities for being good goecaching citizens.

 

The current OGA executive are a hard working group of volunteers doing what we can to advance the game in Ontario. We have no authority over anyone or any organization so for the most part our activities are limited to providing insight and guidance where we can. Ultimately it is another entity that makes the rules that we all play by.

 

We are open to constructive suggestions on what you would like to see the association do to enhance the game for everyone. Have you joined the association?

 

Regards,

 

John Robb

OGA Webmaster

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That is all good stuff. Thank you. But how about addressing the Port Stanley incident. There is nothing about it on the website or twitter account. Maybe a press release would be a good start? What is being done with the OPP to address this incident? Now is the time to get pro-active on this. I have already had people suggesting to me that geocaching should be banned because of this.

 

I am concerned that there has been no public response from the OGA, other than what the president tweeted on twitter. Which actually questions Law Enforcements judgement and motives in how they responded to this incident.

If you want to have that detailed discussion just message me.

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...but once somebody calls a geocache "a bomb", they will have to assume that is what it is

Just to clarify, from a cop's perspective, that assumption is fundamentally flawed. It takes a person higher up the foodchain then 'someone' calling a suspicious item a bomb to warrant a response from EOD. Typically the sequence of events goes something like this:

 

1 ) Citizen A leaves something behind.

2 ) Citizen B, (Paranoid), sees the item, thinks it's suspicious and calls thier local law enforcement.

3 ) Initial responder arrives to assess the situation.

3a ) Initial responder determines the object is benign, and handles it.

3b ) Initial responder agrees the item looks suspicious and bumps it up the chain of command.

 

To give you an idea of scale, I've been in law enforcement since '82. The average cop responds to a suspicious object every other day. If you do the math, you'll see that's a whole lot of suspicious object complaints. In all those complaints, I had to invoke EOD three times. One was a very well made pipe bomb that was ready to go. One was a fake handgrenade that had been buried in someone's side yard for decades. I recognized immedietely that it was a fake, and told my boss as much. He still insisted EOD respond. When the EOD guy showed up, I handed it to him, he tossed it in his truck, and went back home. The third was another pipe bomb, though it was poorly made, and had been floating in a local river long enough to degrade the cannon fuse. Nature had already rendered it safe. I told my boss that I could drive it to the EOD bunker and drop it off, and once again I was outvoted.

 

The biggest stinker is that these two latest incidents occured within the last year. I was kinda proud that I could say I've responded to tens of thousands of suspicious objects over the years and only called in EOD once. I can't say that anymore.

 

Back to the sequence of events:

 

4 ) Supervisor responds.

4a ) Supervisor determines the object is benign and handles it.

4b ) Supervisor acrees that the object is suspicious.

5 ) Supervisor activates EOD.

6 ) EOD responds.

7 ) Object goes "Boom!".

 

We choose not to change our behavior, continuing to hide caches.

We cannot change the paranoid mindset of a huge percentage of our populaton.

The only part we can hope to change is numbers 3 & 4, through education.

 

I even made a handy flowchart describing the process:

 

a61fac90-f84e-40b7-b10f-8ff3bef29dfd.jpg

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That is all good stuff. Thank you. But how about addressing the Port Stanley incident. There is nothing about it on the website or twitter account. Maybe a press release would be a good start? What is being done with the OPP to address this incident? Now is the time to get pro-active on this. I have already had people suggesting to me that geocaching should be banned because of this.

 

I am concerned that there has been no public response from the OGA, other than what the president tweeted on twitter. Which actually questions Law Enforcements judgement and motives in how they responded to this incident.

If you want to have that detailed discussion just message me.

 

If you are that concerned, pick up the phone and call the OPP ERT team.

 

You say people are suggesting a ban to you. That tells me you are having dialogs about it. Why aren't you have a dialog with police?

 

You are quick to point fingers in this and other threads. Here is an opportunity for you to do something positive for the geocaching community.

 

Pick up the phone.

 

.

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I am the Secretary of the Ontario Geocaching Association and I hardly think we are doing nothing. What the president tweets about on her personal twitter page is her business and there is nothing unprofessional about it. The OGA does not find anything about this situation amusing, nor have we ignored it. I find your post downright offensive we put a lot of VOLUNTEER man hours into what we do and we don't take any of it lightly so your claim is completely out of line.

I agree. Both the president and secretary of the OGA do an outstanding job. The president is entitled to her personal opinion. The secretary has responded to your post with utmost professionalism. I would not have been so diplomatic.

 

I found the cache that was blown to smithereens a few months ago. The container would(should) not be mistaken for a bomb. Hidden under a pine tree. No power source. No electronic board. No target. The liftbridge is a short(+-200 feet) distance from the cache location. I thought the area was a public area(small parking lot).

 

Yes law enforcement needs to treat unknown packages as if they are a real threat. Our safety depends on it. My OPINION is that cooler heads should have prevailed. In other words blowing up an assumed bomb to get rid of it that close to a vital bridge and tourist railway station was not the best option. And no I am not an expert on the subject.

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This is a very important subject that should be discussed.

 

As geocachers, it's good that we're talking about ways to prevent things like this from happening in the future and figuring out what to do if it does. Everyone's insight is important, and opinions will vary, but please be respectful, even if you don't agree. I truly believe everyone whose posting here has the best of interest of geocaching at heart, even if their opinion of how to make that happen differs.

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I truly believe everyone whose posting here has the best of interest of geocaching at heart

 

I will just respectfully say that I believe you have incorrectly assessed the situation.

 

It is an important topic. Most of the respondents have participated in good faith, but not everyone.

 

I will also say that about a year and a half ago the moderating staff allowed a very similar type of poster to run freely for much longer than he should have been allowed and it ended very, very badly.

 

Please take note of what is going on now and nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand.

 

The mods are very willing to censor threads for some very silly reasons. Please deal with this very serious problem in a like manner.

 

Thank you.

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I truly believe everyone whose posting here has the best of interest of geocaching at heart

 

I will just respectfully say that I believe you have incorrectly assessed the situation.

 

It is an important topic. Most of the respondents have participated in good faith, but not everyone.

 

I will also say that about a year and a half ago the moderating staff allowed a very similar type of poster to run freely for much longer than he should have been allowed and it ended very, very badly.

No one truly knows what others are thinking, but it's important that people are heard and allowed to express their opinion, especially with something important like this.

 

People like to argue over lots of different things, some are serious and some not so much. This is serious because things like this can impact all cachers.

 

I try to see the best in everyone and hope that when people post, they do it within the guidelines and without personal attacks against each other. If not, then those situations will be delt with when they arise. My hope is that doesn't need to be done.

Edited by Skippermark
Edited for typos
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Maybe a press release would be a good start? What is being done with the OPP to address this incident?

 

What do you suggest the OGA should say? I see in another post that you are meeting with the OPP, what will you say to them? Maybe that is the kind of content we should have on the website.

 

The President of the OGA contacted the OPP when she became aware of the incident. Follow on dialogue will follow. I suspect if we have something to report publicly it will happen after conversations with the authorities.

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I did, yesterday. Meeting scheduled for April 3rd with the OPP.

 

Well I see they were in a hurry to hear what you have to say on our behalf <_< .

 

I'm curious though: What makes you feel as though you are qualified to be speaking to the OPP on behalf of the geocaching community at large? More specifically, I wonder how some random Joe such as yourself thinks it might be a smart idea to wander into the police station to talk shop when we have an overseeing administrative group in Ontario (OGA) chock full of far more experienced cachers than yourself who'll respond to these incidents? You are neither the cache owner nor a representative of a caching association so I can't fathom why you think this is something you need to be involved with to the level of a personal meeting on your own with the OPP.

 

Speaking personally, based on some of the things I've read from you in these forums, I wouldn't want you representing me for squat, and I imagine that I'm not alone. Let the proper people take the lead on this endeavour and just be patient on the sidelines while you learn a thing or two.

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I did, yesterday. Meeting scheduled for April 3rd with the OPP.

 

Well I see they were in a hurry to hear what you have to say on our behalf <_< .

 

I'm curious though: What makes you feel as though you are qualified to be speaking to the OPP on behalf of the geocaching community at large? More specifically, I wonder how some random Joe such as yourself thinks it might be a smart idea to wander into the police station to talk shop when we have an overseeing administrative group in Ontario (OGA) chock full of far more experienced cachers than yourself who'll respond to these incidents? You are neither the cache owner nor a representative of a caching association so I can't fathom why you think this is something you need to be involved with to the level of a personal meeting on your own with the OPP.

 

Speaking personally, based on some of the things I've read from you in these forums, I wouldn't want you representing me for squat, and I imagine that I'm not alone. Let the proper people take the lead on this endeavour and just be patient on the sidelines while you learn a thing or two.

 

You mean several months, 110 finds and 102 forum posts isn't enough to qualify someone as a caching guru and world-wide advocate for the game?

 

The concern is appreciated. In spite of what may appear as flippant responses to the situation on the cache page, Facebook, this forum and other social media, the local caching community at large is deeply concerned about Wednesday's events as they will ultimately shape the direction of the game going forward. Humour though does make things easier to deal with and that's what you're seeing seeing here. I think what we're witnessing here is a situation where a person doesn't yet know how much they don't yet know. Quoting GC.com guidelines for everything and going off half-cocked isn't going to make any situation better, in fact, it may well make things worse. Open yourself to the idea that there is much to learn...and perhaps you may just learn it from those that know...

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If you are concerned about how I will represent you- don't be. I am going to represent myself, and the interests of some of the other community groups I am involved in. As a community leader I wear many hats around here. Despite what you think you know from the forums, I can assure you there are many more different and experienced perspectives as to where I am coming from. Caching is (a rather enjoyable) hobby for me, but I don't presume to represent all cachers. But, as Skippermark has mentioned- I also have the best interest of Geocaching at heart.

 

I would suggest that if the local caching community has concerns about this meeting they personally contact me to discuss them. Most probably have my contact email, and there is always GC.com private messages. There is lots of time before April 3rd to discuss things. I am open to it. Not sure if others are though??

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If you are concerned about how I will represent you- don't be. I am going to represent myself, and the interests of some of the other community groups I am involved in. As a community leader I wear many hats around here. Despite what you think you know from the forums, I can assure you there are many more different and experienced perspectives as to where I am coming from. Caching is (a rather enjoyable) hobby for me, but I don't presume to represent all cachers. But, as Skippermark has mentioned- I also have the best interest of Geocaching at heart.

 

I would suggest that if the local caching community has concerns about this meeting they personally contact me to discuss them. Most probably have my contact email, and there is always GC.com private messages. There is lots of time before April 3rd to discuss things. I am open to it. Not sure if others are though??

 

Please don't go maverick on this, AneMae! It is very important that you do this as a group, so that the authorities don't get a mixed messages. Act as one. That, more than any other reason, is why we HAVE local user groups.

 

I just spent a few minutes skimming through the other threads that you have started here, and my takeaway from all of that is that you would be doing yourself a huge favor to attend a few events and get to know your fellow geocachers face-to-face. I really think that would affect your experience in very positive ways.

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I would be more than willing to meet my local cachers. Not to sure if an event for me is a good idea- they would probably tar and feather me- and I hate to be out numbered. But if a few wanted to meet privately over coffee to talk things over, I might be open to it. To date, they have all chosen to ignore me. Yes, I can understand why, but ignoring issues does not make them go away. They know how to get a hold of me.

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I would be more than willing to meet my local cachers. Not to sure if an event for me is a good idea- they would probably tar and feather me- and I hate to be out numbered. But if a few wanted to meet privately over coffee to talk things over, I might be open to it. To date, they have all chosen to ignore me. Yes, I can understand why, but ignoring issues does not make them go away. They know how to get a hold of me.

 

Why would they "tar and feather" you, and why would they all want to ignore you?

 

But more importantly... PLEASE don't go this alone! VERY bad idea! All you are going to do is confuse the powers that be. They need to see geocachers as a unified group! You will be doing harm, I guarantee it, if you go this alone.

Edited by knowschad
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I'm sure there must be a guideline preventing us from tar and feathering someone :rolleyes:

 

Consider this a formal invite to my event http://coord.info/GC3BD3B maybe you can come out and see what it is we do for our community and the environment. You can meet many of the OGA executive and talk to us about your concerns. Sometimes in emails and forums the tone is lost and it can get ugly quickly. I think it would great for you to have your say in person. Now that this topic has been completely railroaded lets steer it back on course.

 

Mrs T.

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AneMae,

I'm sending this to you here because I've been advised not to have private contact with you due to some of your comments to me via email. So in the last email you sent to me you stated that we have a lot in common because of your service to the community and so on. Well I don't doubt that you have served, but in light of that I would ask you to stop and think about what your action are leading to.

 

As far as the community wanting to tar-and-feather you, what have you done that would make them feel that way. If as you claim you have only been working for the good of the group then they should be looking forward to welcoming another helping hand. Only if you have been working against them would they resent you. You don't shun allies, and you only try to stop your enemies’ action because they are destructive to your cause. Think about that.

 

Why have YOU created this rift? Why don't YOU want to fix it? Why are YOU running counter to what the rest of the geocaching community is doing? Take a good look at yourself and not at anyone else. Do you think that in the past 12 years none of these problems and issues has come up before?

 

You think I'm your enemy. You think that I hate you. Nothing could be further from the truth. If I didn’t want to help you; if I didn’t want you counted as a fellow cacher why would I be talking to you now? You seem to a have very honest heartfelt passion for geocaching. If that can be focused in the right way you can and will be a great aid to our geocaching community and to our mutual pastime.

 

You ask me if I love caching. Yes I do. That's why I'm posting this. Please stop hurting the thing I love. Please start being part of the solution and not part of the problem.

 

Go to an event. Meet your fellow cachers and allies. Then together turn and face your problems.

 

Robert

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aneMae, I have challenged you in many of the threads you've participated in or started. I don't harbor any ill will towards you. You ruffle feathers but that's because it seems like you approach issues as black and white. I tend to see most things as different shades of grey. (or is it gray?)

 

My point is that these forums aren't completely reflective of the community at large. We look at our monitors and type on our keyboards and we can't properly grasp tone, or intent. Meanings get lost and the teachings get tossed and we don't know what we're going to do next. We wait for the sun but it never quite comes... Oops. Sorry. A little Dan Fogleberg just creeped into my head.

 

You are obviously intelligent. You are obviously passionate. Take the time to meet with your fellow cachers. I think both you and they will be pleasantly surprised.

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I did, yesterday. Meeting scheduled for April 3rd with the OPP.

 

Please, I beg of you, cancel the meeting. You come across as far too much if an alarmist to represent geocaching. Please leave it to the OGA, that already has an established rapport with the land managers. Just because you don't know what has been done, doesn't mean they aren't doing something. It isn't necessary for anyone to report to you what is done. But I do not believe you should be the one representing geocaching. You are afraid of too much, and I feel you would be a detriment to our hobby. So, please, I beg you, cancel the appointment.

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I dispute that many resources were "wasted" in this situation. Some, but not tons. All the officers who responded were getting paid their regular pay whether they were sitting in a coffee shop or blowing up a geocache. So, forget that costing anything extra. The robot was sitting around doing nothing, so no wasted money there. The gas to get there and the cost of the bomb is about it. Also, if this website decides to acknowledge a ban on geocaching by Ontario, another site will go up that will allow any geocache to be listed where ever anyone puts it. I respect law enforcement folks, but if they aren't going to listen when people tell them what a geocache is, then by all means, use up your time and effort to blow the cache up. Everything worked the way it's supposed to: the LEO's overreacted (which I like - overreaction shows they truly care about public saftey) and people still hide caches. One day the two will come together for an understanding but unti they get sick of wasting their time (and some money), they should continue to blow up caches. So, officially I have to say: HAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

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I dispute that many resources were "wasted" in this situation.

I see your dispute and raise you one "Not quite". B)

 

For most departments, their EOD unit is comprised of the officers spread all throughout the agency. They are trained, certified, assigned to the unit and issued a pager, then put back to work at their regular duties. I can't think of a single agency that has a fully staffed EOD, 24/7. When a device is located, and it is determined that EOD needs to take care of it, a page is sent out activating the team. The guys responding to the page come from all shifts. Those few who happen to be on duty will need to be temporarily replaced by someone else, so their assigned area is covered.

 

It is almost certain that overtime is being paid out for every person on scene, except the initial responder.

 

Figure half a dozen guys, at about 6 hours each.

 

Whether that extra expense was a waste depends on how you view the scenario.

 

But pretending it didn't cost the tax payers a healthy chunk of cash is naive.

 

And laughing about it is just plain ignorant.

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I do not know if many of you are aware of this, but Groundspeak provides free premium memberships to law enforcement agencies and parks and recreation directors/managers. This is a way that they can be aware of local placements of caches and maybe prevent the high amount of EOD calls.

 

I have plans in the future to put together a presentation to our County Sheriff and any deputies that want to attend. My plans are to bring in the presentation, brochures that are provided by Groundspeak, and an assortment of Geocaches that I have placed and samples of others that I have found in our county. Not to mention a list of caches that are already in place. Ready with this information and an open forum for the Deputies to ask questions, should provide us with a good working relationship.

 

I also have plans on taking this information to the local parks and recreation director. I have talked with him already and he is looking forward to seeing the information.

 

Same thing with another local nature center in a neighboring county with a larger area, that already has more caches. I have already talked with this director and he is real interested. He is mostly waiting for a good internet connection and he wants the premium membership. We have also discussed a future CITO event.

 

I think that if we as Geocachers, present the information to the local authorities and recreation departments, it could benefit our hobby. Maybe even work with the local tourism board to promote the highlighted points in your area.

 

Like we say in my profession of Emergency Medicine, being proactive versus reactive is the best action.

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I dispute that many resources were "wasted" in this situation.

I see your dispute and raise you one "Not quite". B)

 

For most departments, their EOD unit is comprised of the officers spread all throughout the agency. They are trained, certified, assigned to the unit and issued a pager, then put back to work at their regular duties. I can't think of a single agency that has a fully staffed EOD, 24/7. When a device is located, and it is determined that EOD needs to take care of it, a page is sent out activating the team. The guys responding to the page come from all shifts. Those few who happen to be on duty will need to be temporarily replaced by someone else, so their assigned area is covered.

 

It is almost certain that overtime is being paid out for every person on scene, except the initial responder.

 

Figure half a dozen guys, at about 6 hours each.

 

Whether that extra expense was a waste depends on how you view the scenario.

 

But pretending it didn't cost the tax payers a healthy chunk of cash is naive.

 

And laughing about it is just plain ignorant.

 

The OPP ERT team is comprised of officers throughout the region. In this case, Southwestern Ontario. Each officer is assigned to a detachment in a regular role, and as noted by CR above, respond to a pager for ERT call outs. In addition, the ERT team is chartered with a number of other duties including search and rescue.

 

With respect to the April meeting, at least one OPP officer in SW Ont is a geocacher and a passive observer to these forums. By the time Ane Mae meets with someone they will be well aware of his background and participation in the various threads.

 

.

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With respect to the April meeting, at least one OPP officer in SW Ont is a geocacher and a passive observer to these forums. By the time Ane Mae meets with someone they will be well aware of his background and participation in the various threads.

 

Thank Frog for that. When dealing with angency that large one person could do far damage very quickly then they could ever do good.

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I am the Secretary of the Ontario Geocaching Association and I hardly think we are doing nothing. What the president tweets about on her personal twitter page is her business and there is nothing unprofessional about it. The OGA does not find anything about this situation amusing, nor have we ignored it. I find your post downright offensive we put a lot of VOLUNTEER man hours into what we do and we don't take any of it lightly so your claim is completely out of line.

 

Just ignore the one who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

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Stop Caching? "Move to another country"

C'mon- Lets be serious for a minute, how about some ideas on what can be done to avoid, or at least minimize these types of situations.

I'll start- (Before and after incidents happen) How about we open the communication lines between police and the local geocaching organizations/individuals.

Both sides could probably use some education from each other about what works, how things work and what doesn't fly.

Wether it be formal of informal some type of partnership may go a long way. It could not make things any worse.

Just a thought to get us started.

 

I appreciate your optimisim, but if the officials were in any mood to cooperate, they'd poke the coords into Groundspeak and find out exactly what it was. More than likely if their procedures allow "geocaches" that are reported as suspicious containers to remain in place, there'd be a rash of bombs with geocache stickers on them. Not sure there is much the community can really do about this, aside from avoiding muggle rich environments. Once somebody reports a suspicious package the wheels are set in motion and even the reporter most likely cannot stop them.

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Once somebody reports a suspicious package the wheels are set in motion...

Not quite. See above for a flowchart referencing the issue.

Someone reporting a suspicious item is an almost daily occurrence for most cops.

It's fate is generally decided by the first responding officer and their supervisor, not the caller.

If they elect to bump it up the chain to EOD, it's at that point that the cache is likely doomed.

Of the tens of thousands of suspicious objects I've responded to in the past few decades, only 3 got bumped up.

Of those three, only one really needed to be. The other two got bumped by someone higher up the foodchain.

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There are many thousands of urban geocaches hidden in North America, which generate a million or more instances of people in public places acting suspiciously, hiding and retrieving hidden containers. Only about a few dozen each year get reported as a possible bomb. The ratio of possible threats, versus the amount of suspicious traffic reported is actually extremely low.

 

It really exposes the fact that if there were bombs hidden somewhere, there would only be a tiny chance of them being discovered. :ph34r:

Edited by 4wheelin_fool
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