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Unfortunate Muggle Encounters


TwistedCube
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I had an opposite experience.  I saw a person that I assumed was a geocacher approaching a cache as I was leaving,  that turned out to be a muggle.  A muggle with a badge.  He, and his partner, both plain clothed polizia in Rome, stopped me a couple hundred feet down the road with the cache in hand and started to question me about it.  Unfortunately they were asking me questions in Italian and didn't seem to understand much English (and I don't speak Italian).  Eventually, they called a nearby street vendor who was able to translate and they were able to connect to the geocaching.com site (which has translations in Italian) and read about the game.  After 10-15 minutes I was told I was free to go.  I asked if I could return the cache and they said that they would do it.  Apparently they did as it was found a couple of times later in the day.

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Well, the most unfortunate encounter I had was this August in Menorca Island (Spain). It was not an evil encounter... Some muggle was literally sitting on the hiding spot, reading a book! He stayed there for hours! "Son, go there, grab his backpack and run..." - I said. "Really? Can I?" - He replied. "No!". I returned a few times to check the guy out. I eventually had to quit and walk away. dadgum muggle!... :mad:

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We drove 90 minutes at night for a FTF and couldn't find the cache. As I was accessing the app to see if the CO posted a hint, we got questioned by a muggle. I told him we were geocaching, and he responded: "I watched them place it. The two ladies were standing right there!"  We found the cache right where he pointed. The muggle helped us get the FTF!

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4 hours ago, TwistedCube said:

I totally want to get that shirt! There haven't been any Muggle murders by cachers... as far as I know. ; /

How would you know?  The body would be too well hidden... :P

 

I've had a few encounters with police, but they never resulted in anything much beyond "Oh, OK.  Have fun"

I've had several occasions where I've found muggles sitting on the cache site.  Most of the time I just ask them if they know about caching and grab it to show them (much better than using a mirror to look for co-ords under a bench with a lady in skirt sitting there... ).  Once or twice I walked away as the people just didn't seem 'right' to expose the cache to.

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I was once asked by a hospital security guard to leave.  I was on a hospital parking deck overlooking a highway, with a considerable drop; apparently they'd had at least one jumper and didn't want any others.  When I explained geocaching, he replied that no one had permission to hide it there and made some reference to trespassing.  I opted to depart at that point.  I don't think I got the find, and I believe it was archived soon after.

Can't say that it was an "evil" muggle, just a security guard doing his job. 

Certainly it wouldn't compare to an episode that made it to the forums about five years or so ago, where a farmer unloaded a shotgun on a cacher (I found that cache with no problems, for the record!) or another case where a man renting one property fired a "warning shot" at some cachers on what turned out to be an adjacent property and ended up hitting a kid in the leg. 

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2 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

We drove 90 minutes at night for a FTF and couldn't find the cache. As I was accessing the app to see if the CO posted a hint, we got questioned by a muggle. I told him we were geocaching, and he responded: "I watched them place it. The two ladies were standing right there!"  We found the cache right where he pointed. The muggle helped us get the FTF!

Well I'd say that is the complete OPPOSITE of an "unfortunate muggle encounter"...

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My only real "unfortunate" muggle encounter was more about odd comments or looks from strange men...usually in secluded parks.  I don't believe I need to expand on that and it's fairly clear to me what that is all about.  Comes with the territory, I suppose, when you are a solo cacher in work attire wandering a secluded park trail.

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30 minutes ago, J Grouchy said:

My only real "unfortunate" muggle encounter was more about odd comments or looks from strange men...usually in secluded parks.  I don't believe I need to expand on that and it's fairly clear to me what that is all about.  Comes with the territory, I suppose, when you are a solo cacher in work attire wandering a secluded park trail.

In a similar vein, there's a local CO who likes to hide KFCs.  That's fine, but their "definition of a KFC" is one that's "near a playground".  Wanna guess how many stink-eyes a middle-aged man gets just being in the vicinity of a playground?  I won't pursue their caches anymore--at least not without a female geo-partner.

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2 hours ago, RufusClupea said:

In a similar vein, there's a local CO who likes to hide KFCs.  That's fine, but their "definition of a KFC" is one that's "near a playground".  Wanna guess how many stink-eyes a middle-aged man gets just being in the vicinity of a playground?  I won't pursue their caches anymore--at least not without a female geo-partner.

Yep, that's what happens when someone hides a cache without considering the impact of the many different types of people that may be coming to look for it. With such a cache, "friendly for anyone with kids" would be a more accurate description, with the implication that it's unfriendly for those visiting the area without any kids. Thankfully, most of the COs in my area seem to consider this and we rarely have caches in or close to playgrounds. When there is one, the time of year we're just coming to in North America means generally poorer weather and often deserted playgrounds, which is prime seeking time for these caches. I have a list of caches that I'll be seeking in the near future on a poor-weather day due to their proximity to playgrounds or high-muggle areas and the possibility of one of the aforementioned unfortunate muggle encounters.

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Here's a snippet of a recent log... These are the most dangerous muggles I've ever encountered...

"This was my last cache hunt of the night. I arrived at about 12:15a and just as I began the hunt here comes a cop driving by. I looked over and hoped he'd continue on down the road, but of course, he just had to come ask me how I was doing tonight. When he arrived, he asked me if I was working on the water gate thingy at GZ. I explained that I was just geocaching and he seemed to buy it when he noticed that I had my GPS clipped to my belt loop. I told him the cache was within 5 feet of where we were standing. For whatever reason, he seemed a bit more skeptical of me than the first cop I had been approached by at a cache earlier in the night. I told him that I had actually already been approached by a cop earlier in the night and he asked me where. I pulled my GPS off my belt loop and brought up my map so I could figure out what street corner it was on. As I brought it up I took a step closer to him to show him my GPS screen and he quickly took two steps back. At that, I began to feel a little uncomfortable with this cop considering that I was posing no threat whatsoever and he was reacting as if I was going to try and attack him or something. I found the street corner and told him the streets. He then told me that he had heard the cop earlier in the night announce his meeting with me over the radio. Then he said "Good Luck" and left. I found the cache a couple minutes later. The funny thing is of all the urban caches I've found in all areas of the valley (good and bad), I've found most of them at night and even late at night like this one. I can't remember ever feeling uncomfortable around a homeless guy or other person roaming the streets late at night, but cops are a different story. Most of them are cool, but this guy seemed a little paranoid and almost seemed like he was looking for a reason to start something with me. The scariest was a cop that actually grabbed his gun when he saw me and started yelling at me to put my hands up and stuff about 7 or 8 years ago. A 'wrong' move, or dare I say.... if I looked different.... and I could have been shot that night. I'd much rather take my chances with a homeless guy or other street walker than a cop, but that's just me. Be careful out there night cachers!"

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I've not had any really evil encounters.  

I recall one recent one, it was an urban cache, I was looking in a hedge along a sidewalk (pavement).   A muggle asked me what I was doing, in an aggressive way.   I made up some excuse and moved on.    

Another one the cache was on private property (but just off a public path).    The landowner (or actually more of the land guardian) said I should not be where I was and asked me to leave.   He was pretty assertive and angry, but not evil.

I've had far more friendly encounters with muggles.   When muggles ask me in a friendly way, and I judge I can trust them, I tell them what I'm doing.    I've had a few cases where the muggle joined in and helped me find it.   

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3 hours ago, Wacka said:

Caches near playgrounds go on my rainy day list. Will only attempt them on rainy days or in the winter when there is no chance of ads being around.

Kids?  I'm in a place (age, infirmity) where I don't even consider caching in inclement weather/climate, so that doesn't usually occur to me, but it sounds quite sensible.

Edited by RufusClupea
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On 9/29/2017 at 3:53 PM, J Grouchy said:

My only real "unfortunate" muggle encounter was more about odd comments or looks from strange men...usually in secluded parks.  I don't believe I need to expand on that and it's fairly clear to me what that is all about.  Comes with the territory, I suppose, when you are a solo cacher in work attire wandering a secluded park trail.

Been there, done that.  Here's the tribute puzzle cache my log inspired.

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On 9/30/2017 at 11:31 AM, RufusClupea said:

Maybe it's me, but my common sense tells me that night caching in urban areas might not be the best idea. :ph34r:

On 9/30/2017 at 1:18 PM, simpjkee said:

Why?

Depending on where you are the city isn't exactly the safest place at night. If I was in a small town where there was little crime and I knew everyone, I think i'd go caching at night... But if I went caching in the slums of NYC or L.A or other large cities, I don't think i'd be inclined to night cache. Its just my opinion though.

 

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Hi all...first post and this topic is as near to the point as I can find on the forum.

I hid a cache in a area where dog walkers go, sometimes allowing the dogs to run without a line. On the entrance is a board that says to be careful and be at your own risk. Also that any dogs within must be insured against third parties. We have used this area for a long time and always found the dogs off the line to be well behaved and the owners very friendly. Owners with dogs not so well behaved have, in our opinion, kept their dogs on the line and therefor safe.

Stated on the cache description says enter with care, obey the rules as stated on board at the entry and if you are worried about dogs, either do not search or come back when the place is free of dogs......sense comes into play.

Well it seems not, as a geocacher was bitten by a dog and now I have been called to attend a meeting with the local authorities and the police but just to add that the geocacher logged the cache.

I will update when I have attended the authorities.

Regards to all

Josandgeo

Edited by josandgeo
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2 hours ago, josandgeo said:

Hi all...first post and this topic is as near to the point as I can find on the forum.

I hid a cache in a area where dog walkers go, sometimes allowing the dogs to run without a line. On the entrance is a board that says to be careful and be at your own risk. Also that any dogs within must be insured against third parties. We have used this area for a long time and always found the dogs off the line to be well behaved and the owners very friendly. Owners with dogs not so well behaved have, in our opinion, kept their dogs on the line and therefor safe.

Stated on the cache description says enter with care, obey the rules as stated on board at the entry and if you are worried about dogs, either do not search or come back when the place is free of dogs......sense comes into play.

Well it seems not, as a geocacher was bitten by a dog and now I have been called to attend a meeting with the local authorities and the police but just to add that the geocacher logged the cache.

I will update when I have attended the authorities.

Regards to all

Josandgeo

Unless it was an official subpoena I would not attend. You cache at your own risk.. there some here in the forums that have legal expertise and would love to chime in ;-)

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Many thanks for your reply and nice no know that there is a "backup",  somewhere here in our global "Gang".

Just to update...I attended this morning and was told that I had made the initial mistake because the area where the cache was, was in fact owned by the local authorities and I had not requested permission to place the cache there...however the official told me firstly to remove the cache and find another hide but not to worry because he had previously "Geocached" and understood and liability for the accident was not mine. The area was signposted as " your own responsibility ", the general rules of the cache said be careful and obey all of the local rules and if you have worries about dogs, then come back when the area is free of dogs or... " DNF".

All in all,  a good outcome to what could have been a really bad incident.

Regards

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3 hours ago, josandgeo said:

Just to update...I attended this morning and was told that I had made the initial mistake because the area where the cache was, was in fact owned by the local authorities and I had not requested permission to place the cache there...

Nice to see you didn't get nailed, and you learned how really important permission is too.   :)

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3 hours ago, Viajero Perdido said:
On 10/10/2017 at 0:29 PM, josandgeo said:

Well it seems not, as a geocacher was bitten by a dog and now I have been called to attend a meeting with the local authorities and the police

Wait, hold on. They're hauling in a cacher? What about the dog owner? They should be putting blame where it belongs.

From the follow-up post, it appears they were dealing with the side issue that the cache was not placed with permission.

6 hours ago, josandgeo said:

I attended this morning and was told that I had made the initial mistake because the area where the cache was, was in fact owned by the local authorities and I had not requested permission to place the cache there...however the official told me firstly to remove the cache and find another hide but not to worry because he had previously "Geocached" and understood and liability for the accident was not mine.

 

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I've been fortunate not to have any 'evil' encounters yet. Have been approached by a police officer once and by a park 'ranger' once. In both cases, they were familiar with the hobby and just said 'be careful'.  The worst muggle that comes to mind was while on a public biking/walking trail that was across the street from a residential street. We'd stopped along the trail and I was looking around one of the bollards, as I thought it might be a reflector cache. I couldn't find it and so I brought up the cache on my phone to try and find some hints in the previous logs. A woman came out of a house across the street to roll out her garbage cans and asked us what we were doing 'waiting there' and that we were on a 'private street'.  I then noticed that my bike was half off the trail, so I pulled my bike back a couple feet so that it was 100% on the trail and said to her 'sorry, we're on the public trail now. is that okay with you?'  Admittedly, I was a bit snarky when I said it.  It was a hot day and we'd had a lot of DNF's, so I was a bit irritable. The muggle just gave me a dirty look and went back into her house. I could see her silhouette through the door's opaque panels and knew she was still watching us, so I got out my water bottle and took a drink before getting back onto the bike and abandoning the search on that one.

 

On 10/2/2017 at 3:26 PM, TwistedCube said:
On 9/30/2017 at 8:31 AM, RufusClupea said:

Maybe it's me, but my common sense tells me that night caching in urban areas might not be the best idea. :ph34r:

On 9/30/2017 at 10:18 AM, simpjkee said:

Why?

Depending on where you are the city isn't exactly the safest place at night. If I was in a small town where there was little crime and I knew everyone, I think i'd go caching at night... But if I went caching in the slums of NYC or L.A or other large cities, I don't think i'd be inclined to night cache. Its just my opinion though.

I don't think any time of day would be pleasant to go caching in "slums".  But 'large cities' are not necessarily dangerous at night and I have often found it easier to cache in downtown Seattle at night or on holidays, since there are usually less muggles around.

I think caching in suburban areas at night is worse, since residents of such areas will be cautious of people roaming around their neighborhoods under the cover of darkness. I've found weekdays to be best for such areas, since most residents are away at work.

Edited by noncentric
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13 hours ago, noncentric said:

I've been fortunate not to have any 'evil' encounters yet. Have been approached by a police officer once and by a park 'ranger' once. In both cases, they were familiar with the hobby and just said 'be careful'.  The worst muggle that comes to mind was while on a public biking/walking trail that was across the street from a residential street. We'd stopped along the trail and I was looking around one of the bollards, as I thought it might be a reflector cache. I couldn't find it and so I brought up the cache on my phone to try and find some hints in the previous logs. A woman came out of a house across the street to roll out her garbage cans and asked us what we were doing 'waiting there' and that we were on a 'private street'.  I then noticed that my bike was half off the trail, so I pulled my bike back a couple feet so that it was 100% on the trail and said to her 'sorry, we're on the public trail now. is that okay with you?'  Admittedly, I was a bit snarky when I said it.  It was a hot day and we'd had a lot of DNF's, so I was a bit irritable. The muggle just gave me a dirty look and went back into her house. I could see her silhouette through the door's opaque panels and knew she was still watching us, so I got out my water bottle and took a drink before getting back onto the bike and abandoning the search on that one.

 

I don't think any time of day would be pleasant to go caching in "slums".  But 'large cities' are not necessarily dangerous at night and I have often found it easier to cache in downtown Seattle at night or on holidays, since there are usually less muggles around.

I think caching in suburban areas at night is worse, since residents of such areas will be cautious of people roaming around their neighborhoods under the cover of darkness. I've found weekdays to be best for such areas, since most residents are away at work.

I never really thought of suburban areas being "dangerous," but I get your point. Large cities aren't necessarily dangerous, but the rough areas are. I haven't gone city caching that much. Maybe a few times in Houston in the summer. (what is wrong with that statement?!?!) 

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As I were waiting for my flight from Düsseldorf airport (NRN not DUS!!), the one where it used to be a RAF Station, I had some time to spend and decided to grab some caches. I followed the gps on my phone into some smaller roads (there were a lot of small roads and a lot of fences) in the direction of a cache. Suddenly a really mad German came running after me, yelling in German that this was forbidden area. I understand German, but I do not speak it so well, so I'd turned around, shrugging my shoulders and said in English I'm sorry and continued talking in Norwegian as  I walked by him towards the mainroad. As I came to the gate before the mainroad, there was a sign on the gate, saying no entrance. But who coud see that as it only was visible when you came FROM the "not-allowed" area??!. But it was quite a shaky experience - and I did not try to pick that cache :D 

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5 hours ago, TwistedCube said:

I never really thought of suburban areas being "dangerous," but I get your point.

Glad you got my meaning.

I didn't mean that suburban areas are "dangerous", but that they are more prone to unpleasant muggle encounters. 

 

5 hours ago, TwistedCube said:

Large cities aren't necessarily dangerous, but the rough areas are. I haven't gone city caching that much. Maybe a few times in Houston in the summer. (what is wrong with that statement?!?!)

Fortunately, there aren't a lot of caches in the 'rough areas' around here. There was a series where several of the caches were in 'sketchy' areas, but that series has since been archived and I'm not sure those spaces will get new caches because they are undesirable areas. I'd hope that there aren't many caches in 'bad' areas, because why would a CO want to bring cachers to such places? But an area can certainly change over time, so maybe a spot was 'nicer when the cache was placed. That has happened in my local area, where parks and other 'nice' spots have attracted homeless camps, so caching there doesn't work so well.

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A few years ago, when I was a newbie geocacher, i was exploring a natural reserve  on a river, a beautiful naturalistic place.

I got close to a birdwatching postation ( a small wooden “little room” with a door always open, used by people who take photos of birds), and decided to hide the cache nearby.

after searching a bit for a hide, I noticed a perfect place, where one wooden axis of the pier could be rotated and there was a hole which could contain a small container... so i put my cache there and... suddendly noticed that something had fallen down.

I went under the pier to see what it was, and I found a small pack... wrapped... I didn’t look inside but it was really similar to the packs of drugs used by drug traders i saw on tv.

i was really scared and I immediately removed my cache and put back everything as it had been before. I left the place and never came back again. Then I discovered that the place had a bad reputation.

Luckily i did not meet anyone... even if I found something belonging to someone else...

 

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I was bird hunting in a very remote wilderness area of northern Maine and stumbled upon an army-type metal ammo box next to a tree.  Upon opening it and briefly glancing at the contents, I quickly (and wrongly) determined that it must have been inadvertently left behind by a younger member of a family that may have camped nearby. There were no external markings on the can other than the military stamped ID “M2A1” Thinking that I might make better use of an ammo can than just leaving it to rust away, I took it with me.  Upon arriving home (a few hundred miles away) and inspecting it more closely, I found a colorful sticker inside which I was able to identify on the internet and it led me to something I had never heard of before, geocaching. Further research revealed that I was now something called a  muggler! This doesn’t sit well with me and I intend to return it to the location where I discovered it. I will be going back there deer hunting next month and will put it back. The problem is that I travelled lots of logging roads and walked many miles along them over a few days and I cannot recall the exact location where I found it. My question- is there any way I can find the person who placed the can there so they might be able to give me Lat/Lon coordinates? I won’t have any problem finding the tree once I get close. There is no identifying number or email address in the ammo can other than a notebook which I now know to be logs from previous discoverers. 

 

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27 minutes ago, mvrinc said:

My question- is there any way I can find the person who placed the can there so they might be able to give me Lat/Lon coordinates? I won’t have any problem finding the tree once I get close. There is no identifying number or email address in the ammo can other than a notebook which I now know to be logs from previous discoverers.

Great story!  I'd call this a FORTUNATE muggle encounter, because now a person with ethics who loves the outdoors has discovered our game.

Two things which might help our detective work:  First, what are some of the latest names and dates of the logs in the notebook?  Who was the very first name to log a find in the notebook, and on what date?  Is there anything on the first page of the notebook?  Sometimes owners write their name and/or the name of the geocache at the beginning of the log.

Second, what can you tell us about the location?  Do you have approximate Lat/Lon coordinates?  Name of a state forest or wildlife area?  Nearby roads, rivers or towns?

Edited by Keystone
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11 minutes ago, Keystone said:
26 minutes ago, mvrinc said:

My question- is there any way I can find the person who placed the can there so they might be able to give me Lat/Lon coordinates? I won’t have any problem finding the tree once I get close. There is no identifying number or email address in the ammo can other than a notebook which I now know to be logs from previous discoverers.

Great story!  I'd call this a FORTUNATE muggle encounter, because now a person with ethics who loves the outdoors has discovered our game.

Two things which might help our detective work:  First, what are some of the latest names and dates of the logs in the notebook?  Who was the very first name to log a find in the notebook?  Is there anything on the first page of the notebook?  Sometimes owners write their name and/or the name of the geocache at the beginning of the log.

Second, what can you tell us about the location?  Do you have approximate Lat/Lon coordinates?  Name of a state forest or wildlife area?  Nearby roads, rivers or towns?

Just wanted to add that mvrinc could look for the cache code, which is usually a 4-6 alphanumeric code that starts with "GC".  The person that placed the cache might've written the cache code on the cover of the logbook.

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Thank you for your assistance. The closest town would be Eustis, Maine. The roads I primarily travelled are the Beaudry Road, Appleton Road and Lowelltown Road. There are many unnamed logging trails that fork off these roads and it may be along one of these that I found it. The area that I was in is known locally as the Merrill Strip.  I have attached images of the first and last pages of the log. I do not intend to be imprecise but please know that this is a very remote area.

54CFE20A-766C-4861-9475-2C127B972EA7.jpeg

6EE83BEA-DE01-4179-860F-DA4CFF263E06.jpeg

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8 minutes ago, mvrinc said:

Thank you for your assistance. The closest town would be Eustis, Maine. The roads I primarily travelled are the Beaudry Road, Appleton Road and Lowelltown Road. There are many unnamed logging trails that fork off these roads and it may be along one of these that I found it. The area that I was in is known locally as the Merrill Strip.  I have attached images of the first and last pages of the log. I do not intend to be imprecise but please know that this is a very remote area.

Looks like there are a lot of caches in the area, and the names on the logs are very similar across most of the caches in the series.

Because the cache was an ammo can, then I think the cache was this one:  https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC5ZJP9_k-loon-72   Other caches in the series are Micro size, but this particular one is a Regular size, which is how ammo cans should be categorized.

Do these coordinates look like where you found it?  N 45 30.125  W 070 38.600   Looks like it's along a road/trail that leads to Beattie Pond.

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12 minutes ago, mvrinc said:

It is definitely in this area but Beattie Pond appears to be of substantial size and I did not see any body of water any where near that large. I may be wrong and I may have missed the pond. Also it was much closer to the road where I parked my truck. 

You could contact the cache owner via their profile page.  They may be able to identify the type of logbook and/or ammo can to confirm if what you found matches what they placed.  It's also possible that that cache is supposed to be here, N 45 29.515  W 070 38.379, instead of the coords I noted earlier. The cache owner can tell you exactly where it should be.

The cacher that was first to find (FTF) the cache on 8/15/2015 had FTF'd numerous caches that day.  However, most of the caches they found are categorized as Micro size.  The "Loon #72" cache is the only one they FTF'd that day that is categorized as Regular size. 

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17 minutes ago, noncentric said:

It's also possible that that cache is supposed to be here, N 45 29.515  W 070 38.379, instead of the coords I noted earlier.

As a reviewer and forum moderator, I have a heightened duty not to spoil a puzzle cache solution.  So, I won't do that.  I just felt like quoting this sentence.  ;)

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That’s it! The second Lat/Lon is precisely where I found it. I parked my truck at the fork in the road and found it to my left after flushing a bird out of the brush while returning to my truck. Thank you very much. I will return it to its proper location in mid-November. I will also post an entry in the log confessing my transgression and apologizing for my short-lived career as a muggler. I may even give geocaching a try as I have discovered some pretty astounding things while roaming the woods that might be of interest to others. Thank you all for the help!

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17 minutes ago, mvrinc said:

That’s it! The second Lat/Lon is precisely where I found it. I parked my truck at the fork in the road and found it to my left after flushing a bird out of the brush while returning to my truck. Thank you very much. I will return it to its proper location in mid-November. I will also post an entry in the log confessing my transgression and apologizing for my short-lived career as a muggler. I may even give geocaching a try as I have discovered some pretty astounding things while roaming the woods that might be of interest to others. Thank you all for the help!

Cool.  If you look at the caches in that area on the Geocaching.com Map page, then just want to mention that the blue question mark icons do not indicate cache locations. Those are 'mystery' caches that require some level (extremely easy or very hard) of 'solving' to derive the actual cache location. The green box icons are actual cache locations. Have fun and thanks for being so conscientious about replacing the cache!

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12 hours ago, mvrinc said:

That’s it! The second Lat/Lon is precisely where I found it. I parked my truck at the fork in the road and found it to my left after flushing a bird out of the brush while returning to my truck. Thank you very much. I will return it to its proper location in mid-November. I will also post an entry in the log confessing my transgression and apologizing for my short-lived career as a muggler. I may even give geocaching a try as I have discovered some pretty astounding things while roaming the woods that might be of interest to others. Thank you all for the help!

I'm glad my thread was for the better!

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