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Alan White

Unknowingly finding a throwdown

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I'm aware that the issue of throwdowns has been discussed previously, but what I haven't found is a definitive statement on what should happen to logs made by finders who unknowingly find a throwdown.

Recently, while out for a long, linear walk some distance from home I found a traditional cache at the coordinates and at a place matching the hint. I logged the cache and walked on.

Some days later, the cache owner deleted my find log. He did not respond to my email though a note on the cache page says that he had discovered a throwdown and had deleted all logs from cachers who had found the throwdown.

With no response from the cache owner, I appealed to Groundspeak. Their response was that a find on a throwdown was not a legitimate find and would not reinstate my log.

I was surprised at Groundspeak's response because I was sure that the issue had arisen before and that finds unknowingly made on a throwdown would be allowed to stand. Regrettably, I can't find anything definitive on this. The best I can find is here. This is somewhat vague, and it talks in the context of a cache being disabled because of a throwdown (which this cache wasn't), but I infer two things from it. Firstly, a cache owner MAY [my emphasis] allow logs on the throwdown to stand. Secondly, the log of the person who placed the throwdown probably shouldn't stand.

The difficulty with my first inference is that it leaves the decision to the cache owner and therefore inconsistencies will arise. The second inference seems to me to be entirely reasonable, so long as the cacher who placed the throwdown can be clearly identified (e.g. because he's sufficiently unwise to mention the action in his log).

What do others think? Do you think it's right that a cacher who unknowingly finds a throwdown should be denied the find and therefore be penalised because of the thoughtless action of another cacher? If you do think it right, what suggestions can you make to ensure that a cacher finds only the cache which the owner intends him to find?

Alan (of The White Family)
 

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15 minutes ago, Alan White said:

what should happen to logs made by finders who unknowingly find a throwdown.

Nothing.

It´s not theyre fault.

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1 minute ago, DerDiedler said:

Nothing.

It´s not theyre fault.

 

 This. That’s what it says in the help centre too. But It almost sounds like Groundspeak and the owner think that you placed the throwdown. 

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If the ‘experience’ is significantly altered (e.g. a gadget cache replaced with a film pot, or a tree climb reduced to a cache at its base) then I can understand why a CO would delete subsequent logs on a throwdown.

 

Assuming that the finder had no reason to suspect that it was a throwdown, I think it’s a bit harsh.

 

Bit of grey area in between...

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13 minutes ago, Alan White said:

The difficulty with my first inference is that it leaves the decision to the cache owner and therefore inconsistencies will arise.

 

What inconsistency you may refer here?

 

Your mission as a cache finder is to please the cache owner by finding the right cache to be eligible for a find.

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13 minutes ago, Alan White said:

What do others think?

I don't think there has ever been a "definitive" rule for this AFAIK.

I would say that a find on a throwdown that is  logged in good faith by someone who thought they had found a genuine cache should be allowed to stand.  

I know situations such as you describe have happened in the past and to me it's pretty mean spirited of the CO to do it, but I don't think there's much you can do about it and it doesn't surprise me that GS are not getting involved - they seem to stand back and not get involved so much as they used to.

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

It almost sounds like Groundspeak and the owner think that you placed the throwdown

It wasn´t me, I swear :)

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Well... it could be argued that if the person finding the cache didn't know it was a throwdown, then the log should be allowed to stand.  The argument would be something like "in good faith, I found an object resembling the cache at the posted coordinates.  It was hidden in such a way as to match the hint.  In all likelihood, this is the cache and I can sign the log and go on my merry way."

 

On the other hand, if it is obvious that what you found is not the original container (as @IceColdUK illustrated), that's a different matter.  (But still probably not worth deleting the log in my opinion - the intent of the cache is to get people to that location, right?  Not micro-manage which piece of paper they sign?)

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Just now, GO Geiger said:

the intent of the cache is to get people to that location, right?

 

Here comes the inconsistency. Sometimes right sometimes not right. Caches made to get people to that location may have no problems whether there is zero or multiple throwdowns simultaneously.

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Here's the section in the Help Center about throwdowns

 

https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=38&pgid=427

 

7.11. Respond to "throwdowns"

Throwdowns are strongly discouraged

A “throwdown” is a container placed by a geocacher who cannot find the original cache.

Some geocachers place throwdowns so that they can log a find on a cache that they suspect is missing. Geocaches should never be replaced without the permission of the cache owner. This can lead to multiple containers, geocacher confusion, and disputes about whether someone is entitled to log a find or not.

How to handle throwdowns

Cache owners are responsible for maintenance. When you are aware of throwdowns, check if your cache is still there and remove the throwdown cache. Consider disabling the cache until you can remove the throwdown or replace the original cache. If you do not disable the cache, you may want to honor Found It logs for the throwdown. However, the geocacher who placed the throwdown does not have a strong claim to log the cache as found.

 

 

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At face value, it sounds a bit mean spirited, but some additional information is required to form a full opinion on the matter.   The question in my mind is how much time elapsed between the throwdown and the eventual action by the CO.    If the time frame is something on the order of maybe a couple of days, then I wouldn't fault the CO too much, as they would appear to be a very diligent CO, and are maintaining their Listing very aggressively.

 

If it were something like the order of weeks or months before they caught the issue, then I would have to side with the hapless Finders after the throwdown, and suggest to the CO that they need to keep a better eye on the log entries on their Listings if they want to play that game (i.e. poke people with sticks).

 

I think the question isn't so black and white, and requires a bit of nuance.

 

My 0.02

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6 hours ago, Alan White said:

What do others think? Do you think it's right that a cacher who unknowingly finds a throwdown should be denied the find and therefore be penalised because of the thoughtless action of another cacher? If you do think it right, what suggestions can you make to ensure that a cacher finds only the cache which the owner intends him to find?

On the one hand, you didn't find his cache, so he can delete your find. Big deal. One less find isn't important.

 

On the other hand, it's not very nice of him to reject you just because, for no fault of your own, you fell for some confusion at GZ. But "not very nice" isn't grounds to overturn it. When things like this happen to me, I just shrug and move on. Or go back and try to find the correct container. In any case, I accept the CO's decision. It's his cache, and I appreciate him putting it out for me to find whether I find it or not.

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4 minutes ago, dprovan said:

On the one hand, you didn't find his cache, so he can delete your find. Big deal. One less find isn't important.

 

On the other hand, it's not very nice of him to reject you just because, for no fault of your own, you fell for some confusion at GZ. But "not very nice" isn't grounds to overturn it. When things like this happen to me, I just shrug and move on. Or go back and try to find the correct container. In any case, I accept the CO's decision. It's his cache, and I appreciate him putting it out for me to find whether I find it or not.

 

On the other other hand,  deciding whether or not to delete a log in this case might be based on which choice was better for the game.  Deleting the log of someone that went to the GZ for a cache listing,  search and found a container (which, for most people, would result in a termination of the search), and signed the log, then thank the CO for placing the cache in an online log might cause some friction between the hider and finder.   Allowing the log to stand would more likely result in a better relationship between two cachers in the community.   Allowing the log to stand hurts nobody.  

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56 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

   Allowing the log to stand hurts nobody.  

 

I archived mine. Not just because of a “find” or two being a piece of signed paper stuffed into a bottle cap or whatever, but it contributed to the decision. The cache is now gone, and it doesn't “hurt anybody”.

 

… but it was rated properly, it was creative, and the idea was that you go find the cache, or go try again later, not make a Find log that you signed “something” and you're done.

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1 hour ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

...  Allowing the log to stand hurts nobody.  

 

A cache in a series we had would somehow see a throwdown regularly.  Figured they simply didn't read the hint. 

Rare here for a throwdowner to give themselves away like some we read in the "found it, didn't..." , so without even knowing we had a throwdown maybe for a while,  we let folks go.

But then we figured those throwdowners had to have made a PAF too, since they wouldn't know where the next cache was without finding it.  

 - Knowing that others we probably knew were helping someone fake it didn't make me feel all warm n fuzzy inside about this hobby. 

I wanted to be a bit more aggressive, as everyone should be able to reason that   "no need to leave the trail"   doesn't mean it's found 30' into the woods,  but the other 2/3rds was already getting enough flak over me on other stuff.    :)

 - So we'd wait for someone to finally log a "found it (how many) feet off" log and knew we needed to head out to fix it.  

I don't believe our choice really was better for the game.   It was more to just get people off the other 2/3rd's back...

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I hate throwdowns. I would have no gripe with a CO that deleted my find on one. I want to see caches as and where the CO placed them. I would have a serious gripe with the throwdowner and would, most likely, call them out on it. It hasn't happened ( a deletion) yet but it is quite likely I have found a throwdown or three without knowing it.

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14 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

On the other other hand,  deciding whether or not to delete a log in this case might be based on which choice was better for the game.  Deleting the log of someone that went to the GZ for a cache listing,  search and found a container (which, for most people, would result in a termination of the search), and signed the log, then thank the CO for placing the cache in an online log might cause some friction between the hider and finder.   Allowing the log to stand would more likely result in a better relationship between two cachers in the community.   Allowing the log to stand hurts nobody.  

Well, since the CO isn't here, I'm not that interesting in going into any details about his decision. I was talking to the OP, and I stand by my position: accepting the CO decision doesn't hurt anybody, either. Regardless of how we feel about the CO's decision, the relationship is only made worse if the OP decides to make it worse.

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On 5/23/2019 at 6:29 AM, Touchstone said:

At face value, it sounds a bit mean spirited, but some additional information is required to form a full opinion on the matter.   The question in my mind is how much time elapsed between the throwdown and the eventual action by the CO.    If the time frame is something on the order of maybe a couple of days, then I wouldn't fault the CO too much, as they would appear to be a very diligent CO, and are maintaining their Listing very aggressively.

 

If it were something like the order of weeks or months before they caught the issue, then I would have to side with the hapless Finders after the throwdown, and suggest to the CO that they need to keep a better eye on the log entries on their Listings if they want to play that game (i.e. poke people with sticks).

 

I think the question isn't so black and white, and requires a bit of nuance.

 

My 0.02

I have an evil cache, when I started getting logs saying it was easy I realized there was a thrown down. It’s hard to tell when previous finders didn’t mention why a 3 difficulty was so easy. I did deleted the logs and asked the pervious finders to relog that they got permission and they didn’t realize it was a throw down. Some actually on their own went back to resign because they wanted to experience the 3 difficulty. 

 I understand if you can’t tell on an easier cache. 

On one of mine recently someone found two caches. I quickly posted a note on which one wasn’t  mine and if they sign it after that date I would delete their log. The throwdown was retrieved  and I posted the photo of the logsheet. Two cachers signed after I posted the note. But they  never logged it. 

 

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On 5/23/2019 at 6:45 AM, arisoft said:

Your mission as a cache finder is to please the cache owner by finding the right cache to be eligible for a find.

 

The problem I have with that argument is that it's not always clear if you've found "the right cache".   Okay, sure, if the cache description says that it's a large, and you find a test trip container, it's pretty clear that it's a throwdown.   But it's not always that obvious.    A micro throwdown on a micro cache may be incredibly hard to distinguish from the original --- especially if the cache description doesn't give enough information to distinguish between them.

 

My one-and-only experience with this a number of years ago was on an urban cache.    What I found at the cache site (a hollow metal tube in an urban area) was a hidden slip of paper with a few signatures from previous loggers.   The cache size was described as "not chosen".   I signed the log in good faith.   Shortly thereafter, the CO contacted me, telling me I'd signed a throwdown, because the real cache was a magnetic nano in the pipe.    

 

Okay, maybe today, 4000 finds later, I'd know enough to suspect a naked sheet of paper was a throwdown.   But I didn't then --- especially as the use of "logs-as-caches" was still popular at that time before the Frog started requiring actual containers.    We need to remember that not everyone who finds a cache is a veteran cacher who knows all the "unwritten rules".

 

(Incidentally, this is why I'm uncomfortable with earthcaches; it's never clear to me if I've got the answers "correct" when I submit them, and I'm always a little afraid that a CO will disallow my find on the basis of me not being able to tell the difference between igneous and metamorphic rock structures.    With caches that have a log, I usually have some assurance that I've actually found the blessed thing.   But that's a discussion for another time.)

 

23 hours ago, dprovan said:

On the one hand, you didn't find his cache, so he can delete your find. Big deal. One less find isn't important.

 

Except if ...

  • You're competing in one of the Frog's latest events, which awards you points for finds, and one less find might mean that you don't get that souvenir you've been pursuing.
  • You need the find to qualify for a challenge cache (Frog-approved or not), and one less find means you don't qualify after all.
  • You're pursuing a non-Frog-endorsed, self-determined caching goal, and that find is critical to the success of your goal. 

I'm in the midst of a cache-a-day streak in excess of seven years.   (Yes, I'm obsessed.)   Part of being able to sustain that streak for that long is limiting myself to one find per day in the areas I frequent most often.   If the CO came along later and disallowed my find on their cache listing because I'd unknowingly signed a throwdown, and that terminated my streak, I'd be extremely unhappy.   

 

In the story I told above, in their email to me, the CO requested that I delete my log because it wasn't on the actual cache.   Now it turns out that, on that day, I'd been in an area I don't frequent much, so I'd allowed myself to find lots of caches that day.   Deleting the log in question didn't hurt my streak (or any other goals I was pursuing), and so I did so, out of respect for the CO (who is a well-respected CO and cacher in the area).    But if that had been my only find that day, we would've had a very different conversation.

 

Sure, you can tell me that none of those goals I listed above matter in the grand scheme of things, and you'd be right.   But maybe there's some room for grace for the folks who do their best to find the "intended cache" and get diverted by a throwdown.   

 

I'm a university professor.   I give exams.   Every question I give on the exam has an "intended" answer.   There are times that students give an answer that isn't my  "intended answer", but is still a correct answer to the question I asked.   I give them credit for the answer, even if it wasn't what I intended.

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9 minutes ago, Team Hugs said:

Except if ...

  • You're competing in one of the Frog's latest events, which awards you points for finds, and one less find might mean that you don't get that souvenir you've been pursuing.
  • You need the find to qualify for a challenge cache (Frog-approved or not), and one less find means you don't qualify after all.
  • You're pursuing a non-Frog-endorsed, self-determined caching goal, and that find is critical to the success of your goal. 

That would certainly be a bummer. I'd even be inclined to beg with the CO for an exception. But bummers happen, and this is only a little different than having only one chance that day, yet you can't find that one cache. At any rate, the point is that even though it's a bummer, it's still not the CO's problem. Appeal to the CO's sympathy, but I don't think you can appeal to GS.

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As a CO I don't delete logs of visitors who accidentally found any throwdowns at my caches. As a cache hunter I don't (and will never) worry about any of my smileys if they're deleted by any CO. I may ask questions to understand the CO's position but no appeals. In my opinion, it's a game and one more smiley isn't worth the volume of negative noise that might be raised around the case.

 

Loosing a leg in a car accident is a problem. Loosing a yellow smiley in a game isn't a problem.

 

As for throwdowns, in my country two geocaching games are actually played: this one and the "national" one. It can be that there's no throwdowns at all but a container belonging to this competing game. Should anyone's claim a find in two games after finding a container belonging to one of them? (say, another container was actually missing) Probably not.

 

Also, we here have a really big headache because of drug dealers who use the same methods of hiding their stashes for their "customers". They even use similar containers sometimes. Did you know that? Many people seem to be surprised when I explain the situation to them. So, would it be fine if anyone grabs such a stash, remove pills/powder and put a logsheet inside ("ok, I found a container and it had some strange junk in it which was against the guidelines so I removed this junk (consumed it?) and added the missing logsheet, now it's OK, I acted in good faith")?

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3 hours ago, dprovan said:

At any rate, the point is that even though it's a bummer, it's still not the CO's problem. Appeal to the CO's sympathy, but I don't think you can appeal to GS.

 

Forgive me if I implied otherwise.   I certainly agree that it's completely within the authority of the CO to delete a throwdown log.   

 

I'm advocating for COs to voluntarily show some grace towards throwdown loggers.    Just because a CO has the authority to delete a throwdown log doesn't mean they have to use that authority.

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On 5/23/2019 at 8:45 PM, arisoft said:

Your mission as a cache finder is to please the cache owner by finding the right cache to be eligible for a find.

 

I see my mission as a cache owner being to provide something enjoyable for the finders. For me, deleting a log is an absolute last resort and the only time I've had to do that was when someone logged a find on my Earthcache but never sent any answers despite several follow-up messages from me. I've queried a few logs, like the find on my challenge cache logged by someone who was well short of fulfilling the challenge, suggesting they change their log to a note until they'd qualified, but they just deleted their log instead.

 

Three years ago there were find logs from two people caching together on one of my multis, which is in a deep gully with poor GPS reception. Something in their logs didn't make sense, though, and on visiting the site there were no signatures in my logbook but about twenty-five metres away was a ten-year-old archived cache which they'd found and signed the logbook on, thinking it was mine. I advised them of the mix-up, leaving it up to them as to what to do. One of them changed his log on mine to a note and instead logged a find on the archived cache, saying he'd come back to finish off mine (so far he hasn't), but the other one didn't respond and his log still stands. I removed the archived cache and returned it to its owner who was surprised it was still there after all that time as he'd archived it because he thought it'd been muggled.

 

As to the OP's situation, I suppose there are other factors that might have been taken into consideration. Was the original cache missing? How long had the throwdown been there? How long had the CO known about it? Was there anything in the logs that suggested a throwdown? How long was it from when you logged your find until the CO deleted it?

 

On 5/24/2019 at 2:39 AM, dprovan said:

On the one hand, you didn't find his cache, so he can delete your find. Big deal. One less find isn't important.

 

Probably most of the time you're right, but I can't help thinking of the cache I did two weeks ago for my 1000th find. It was a seven hour hike through rugged and mostly trackless terrain and a most fitting T4.5 cache for me to notch up that milestone. But what if the CO went out there in three months time, or a year, or three years, and discovered that the cache we'd all signed was a throwdown? I think I'd be pretty peeved if he deleted my log. Even worse, my 1001st find, a 1.5/1.5 urban cache, would then become my 1000th - oh the shame that would bring! I'm pretty sure it wasn't, though, as the logbook had signatures and comments in it going right back to the FTF, and the CO is a good mate so I doubt he'd delete my log even if it was, but, well, what if??? There are always two sides to a story.

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Even finding what is clearly a geocache container at/near GZ which doesn't match the cache page doesn't necessarily mean a throwdown. I've found many caches over the years where the CO doesn't say what the container is or used a different (usually smaller) replacement and never changed the description (Arguably, if a regular is permanently replaced by a micro the CO should archive the old and submit a new.) It's easy for a Finder not to be aware they're finding a throwdown. 

 

I've also found difficult caches the easy way. The locked container was left unlocked or the lock was broken. It fell out of the tree. The tricky camo is gone. It was left out in the open. Should the CO delete my Finds because it wasn't as intended?

 

A throwdown that a CO doesn't want needs to draw an immediate Disable log.

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7 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

A throwdown that a CO doesn't want needs to draw an immediate Disable log.

Assuming the CO knows that there has been a throwdown, of course.

 

As a CO, I would delete the log of the person who left the throwdown, and anyone caching with the person who left the throwdown. They knew they didn't find my cache.

 

But while I would let later finders know that they found a throwdown, I would not delete their logs.

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I have been on both sides of this.  One of my caches had a throwdown that I wasn't aware of until a finder mentioned that a film container should not be a regular cache.  Going to the site I found my cache in good shape and the throwdown about 20 feet away.  Removed the throwdown, and swapped out the log in the real cache.  I could not determine who had placed the throwdown as the bogus log had several logs for my cache over several months.  The real log had several good logs as well.  Rather then penalize finders that may have in good faith signed the throwdown I let all finds stand.  I also started checking monthly for online logs that were not supported in the cache logs.  Over the next year I  found two on line find logs that were not supported by the cache log. I sent nice emails to these cachers who both deleted their finds.  

 

I was also the victim of a throwdown find.  I had a log deleted as the container I found at GZ was a throwdown and the CO felt that my write up did not seem to match their cache.  I wrote a email to the CO saying that I felt my log should stand as I had found a container at GZ that did sort of fit the cache discription but that what ever the CO decided was OK with me. The CO kindly   allowed me to relog the find.

 

PS I hate throwdowns! but don't think it's right to penalize cachers who in good faith find one. 

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14 hours ago, captnemo said:

PS I hate throwdowns! but don't think it's right to penalize cachers who in good faith find one. 

 

And that's the key - in good faith - sometimes that can be hard to determine, and other times it's easy to figure out (as a CO, that is).  

 

As cache seekers, we've signed and claimed finds on caches where it seemed to be a throwdown but we found nothing else and there were several signatures already on the "new" log in the new container, no mention in logs of replacement container by the CO or anyone else.  We've found two containers at GZ, one an obvious throwdown, and one the obvious original - we sign the original and place both back in play (unless we know the CO, then we keep one container and leave the original).  If we don't find anything, we log a DNF, and sometimes take photos and send to the CO to verify we were looking in the right place. 

 

There are too many grey areas (as a CO) to absolutely determine if any signature on a throwdown is made in "good faith" - even the FIRST on what looks like a throwdown (our signture in one case) was made in good faith, as the previous log said it was replaced "with owner permission", yet that finder neglected to put his signature on the scrap of paper in the film can that he placed. The next finder would see what LOOKS like a throwdown container, a scrap of paper, and only our signatures ... logged by US in good faith ... but without reading previous logs might look suspicious.

 

Only you know for sure if your signature on a logsheet is in good faith; when/if a log is questioned by a CO, defend your find (or not, as you choose), accept the CO's decision, and move on.  I think it's very rare that legitimate logs get deleted due to throwdowns.  It's much more common that they are never even questioned.

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6 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:

 

And that's the key - in good faith - sometimes that can be hard to determine, and other times it's easy to figure out (as a CO, that is).  

 

As cache seekers, we've signed and claimed finds on caches where it seemed to be a throwdown but we found nothing else and there were several signatures already on the "new" log in the new container, no mention in logs of replacement container by the CO or anyone else.  We've found two containers at GZ, one an obvious throwdown, and one the obvious original - we sign the original and place both back in play (unless we know the CO, then we keep one container and leave the original).  If we don't find anything, we log a DNF, and sometimes take photos and send to the CO to verify we were looking in the right place. 

 

There are too many grey areas (as a CO) to absolutely determine if any signature on a throwdown is made in "good faith" - even the FIRST on what looks like a throwdown (our signture in one case) was made in good faith, as the previous log said it was replaced "with owner permission", yet that finder neglected to put his signature on the scrap of paper in the film can that he placed. The next finder would see what LOOKS like a throwdown container, a scrap of paper, and only our signatures ... logged by US in good faith ... but without reading previous logs might look suspicious.

 

Only you know for sure if your signature on a logsheet is in good faith; when/if a log is questioned by a CO, defend your find (or not, as you choose), accept the CO's decision, and move on.  I think it's very rare that legitimate logs get deleted due to throwdowns.  It's much more common that they are never even questioned.

If I have any doubt I would let the log stand.  I also have never deleted a log without contacting the cacher first.  I still hate throwdowns.

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On 5/24/2019 at 1:02 PM, Team Hugs said:

I'm advocating for COs to voluntarily show some grace towards throwdown loggers.    Just because a CO has the authority to delete a throwdown log doesn't mean they have to use that authority.

The problem is that the CO isn't in this conversation.

 

On 5/25/2019 at 12:07 AM, barefootjeff said:

Probably most of the time you're right, but I can't help thinking of the cache I did two weeks ago for my 1000th find. It was a seven hour hike through rugged and mostly trackless terrain and a most fitting T4.5 cache for me to notch up that milestone. But what if the CO went out there in three months time, or a year, or three years, and discovered that the cache we'd all signed was a throwdown? I think I'd be pretty peeved if he deleted my log. Even worse, my 1001st find, a 1.5/1.5 urban cache, would then become my 1000th - oh the shame that would bring! I'm pretty sure it wasn't, though, as the logbook had signatures and comments in it going right back to the FTF, and the CO is a good mate so I doubt he'd delete my log even if it was, but, well, what if??? There are always two sides to a story.

I'm not seeing how that would be dramatically different than the cache simply being missing. Sometimes the greatest plans fail. (*shrug*)

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19 minutes ago, dprovan said:
On 5/25/2019 at 5:07 PM, barefootjeff said:

Probably most of the time you're right, but I can't help thinking of the cache I did two weeks ago for my 1000th find. It was a seven hour hike through rugged and mostly trackless terrain and a most fitting T4.5 cache for me to notch up that milestone. But what if the CO went out there in three months time, or a year, or three years, and discovered that the cache we'd all signed was a throwdown? I think I'd be pretty peeved if he deleted my log. Even worse, my 1001st find, a 1.5/1.5 urban cache, would then become my 1000th - oh the shame that would bring! I'm pretty sure it wasn't, though, as the logbook had signatures and comments in it going right back to the FTF, and the CO is a good mate so I doubt he'd delete my log even if it was, but, well, what if??? There are always two sides to a story.

I'm not seeing how that would be dramatically different than the cache simply being missing. Sometimes the greatest plans fail. (*shrug*)

 

Had the cache been missing, I'd have just logged my DNF, given myself a few days to recover from the hike and gone off to do the fallback cache I'd chosen for the milestone, but I wouldn't have had that option if my log on the one I'd claimed in good faith had been deleted months or years later.

 

Edit to add: that actually happened on my 400th, with the cache I'd intended getting having been muggled, so I ended up doing another I'd picked as a fallback.

Edited by barefootjeff
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Many thanks to all who replied. It's good to know that the general view is that the log of someone who unknowingly finds a throwdown should stand. I think it a shame that Groundspeak doesn't have a definitive policy on this. While I'm generally not in favour of proscriptive rules about what is, after all, just a bit of fun I do think that a role of a listing site should be to provide rules to protect members from each other and to arbitrate in any disputes.

I've been caching for nearly sixteen years and ten thousand finds and have never had a log deleted nor have I felt any need to delete a log on our caches so this event was a surprise for me. I've occasionally declined to claim a find in such circumstances as finding a damaged cache and the logbook isn't present, or where the owner has permitted me to log a find even though I haven't signed the logbook for some reason. This works both ways, of course, and I'm quite content to claim a find on this particular cache because I know that I found a cache and couldn't know that it wasn't the one the owner placed. The cache will still be included in my statistics because I maintain those in GSAK, not least because I use other listing sites and my Groundspeak stats alone don't have the full picture.

The owner of this cache has spoiled the enjoyment for me (yes, I blame the cache owner, not the person who placed the throwdown). I'll therefore avoid any caches placed by the same owner as I'm disinclined to search for caches owned by someone who is so keen to delete logs he doesn't like. For me, caching is just a pastime to take me to interesting places and to break up long walks; I've never understood the desire of some cachers to turn it into an Olympic sport.

Yes, if I'd placed, say, a D3/T4 then I wouldn't be happy if someone found a micro at the base of a tree and assumed it was my cache. On the other hand, if I found a micro instead of the listed regular then I'd think little of it. Cache descriptions and attributes (in the generic sense) can't be relied on, and there's nothing in the listing to suggest that I hadn't found the "right" cache. The subject cache is D2/T1.5 so hardly a great challenge, yet the cache owner says he became aware of the problem because many finders were reporting a QEF, Not me, as it took me quite a while to find the container I found. My log was deleted a couple of days later. Apparently the real cache is in the same tree as the one I found, just slightly higher.

I don't agree that my caching mission is to please the cache owner; I'm not seeking anyone's approval, just my own enjoyment. Surely cache owners place caches for the enjoyment of others? Deleting logs isn't likely to result in a pleasant experience for the finder.

Why do I see an inconsistency? Because not having a definitive rule on the subject means that some cache owners will delete logs on throwdowns, others won't. Groundspeak doesn't care either way, yet runs various competitions and gives various awards for caching activities. Those awards have to have certain rules and those rules have to be seen to be fair and be upheld. Also inconsistent is Groundspeak's internal approach: the public guideline I linked to and L0ne.R quoted above suggests to me that unknowing finders of a throwdown should keep their log; but the private response I received from Groundspeak made it clear that under no circumstances do they consider a log on a throwdown to be "legitimate". Groundspeak needs to make their public position clear and unambiguous. A contribution to this thread would be a good start.

I don't know how much time elapsed between the placing of the throwdown and my find. I don't recall how many logs were on the log sheet and it's not something I pay much attention to. The log probably wasn't blank because that is something I would probably have noticed. I've checked my offline logs in GSAK (which wouldn't have been affected by the cache owner's deletions) and I can't see any there that describe leaving or finding a throwdown, but I keep only the previous two years' logs in GSAK.The listing has been there since 2007 though the cache has been replaced more than once.

Thanks again for all the views. It's clear that most cache owners wouldn't delete logs unknowingly made on throwdowns. It's a shame that some people choose to spoil the game for others, but that's life.

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I think this says it best.

 

On 5/23/2019 at 3:27 PM, L0ne.R said:

How to handle throwdowns

Cache owners are responsible for maintenance. When you are aware of throwdowns, check if your cache is still there and remove the throwdown cache. Consider disabling the cache until you can remove the throwdown or replace the original cache. If you do not disable the cache, you may want to honor Found It logs for the throwdown.  However, the geocacher who placed the throwdown does not have a strong claim to log the cache as found.

 

As the CO I'd hold it against the throwdown party and anyone who was clearly with them at the time, but no one else.  And I'd get a little irked if a CO deleted my innocent find on what later turned out to be a throwdown.  A CO has the right to delete finds on a throwdown, but...come on.

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3 hours ago, Alan White said:

I think it a shame that Groundspeak doesn't have a definitive policy on this.

 

They do have a fairly definitive policy: 

 

Quote

7.11.... If you do not disable the cache, you may want to honor Found It logs for the throwdown.

 

If the cache wasn't disabled by the owner, then I'm surprised that GCHQ sided with the owner. 

 

3 hours ago, Alan White said:

(yes, I blame the cache owner, not the person who placed the throwdown).

 

I disagree. Throwdowns are wrong on multiple levels and you've experienced one of the consequences.

 

3 hours ago, Alan White said:

I've never understood the desire of some cachers to turn it into an Olympic sport.

 

I get the disappointment of having a log deleted. But an alternative is  to log it as a note to record that you visited that spot.

 

 I bet 95% of people who leave throwdowns wouldn't leave them if they couldn't record a find (on something they didn't find). For them geocaching is a game/competition/sport. They value numbers and smileys (and maybe grid filling and challenges), otherwise why log a "find" on a cache they didn't find. If it's altruistic, meant to help the owner/community, then they should prove it--don't log a find (and he should maintain what he left behind including removing the throwdown container when the cache is archived for lack of owner response). 

Edited by L0ne.R
clarity and typo
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2 hours ago, Alan White said:

I don't agree that my caching mission is to please the cache owner; I'm not seeking anyone's approval, just my own enjoyment. Surely cache owners place caches for the enjoyment of others? Deleting logs isn't likely to result in a pleasant experience for the finder.

 

I Finland, we have a law that states that if you buy a stolen object, even in a good faith, you will lose the object to the rightful owner without compensation.

 

Sometimes people may think that copying music is not stealing because the rightful owner doesn't lose anything.

 

Think about these situations. They are something where all participants will not be satisfied about the outcome. The same may happen with throwdowns but situations may be totally different case by case. There are different kind of caches, owners, finders and situations.

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Slightly off topic, but I wonder, if finding a not genuine container is considered not legal by GS and its legitimization depends on a cache owner, why signing a not genuine logbook is considered legal? Furthermore, if "I could not find a container so I placed my own to claim a find" is bad, why "I could not sign a logbook, so I added my own to sign it and claim a find" is good and even encouraged? If ANY service unaccepted by a cache owner would be strictly forbidden from the start, the number of throwdowns would be the same?

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4 hours ago, Alan White said:

I think it a shame that Groundspeak doesn't have a definitive policy on this.

I think you missed the bottom line. GS does have a definitive policy, and it goes against you: any latitude is at the discretion of the CO. They try to encourage COs to be forgiving, but they leave the final decision to the CO, nevertheless.

 

4 hours ago, Alan White said:

The owner of this cache has spoiled the enjoyment for me

No, you have spoiled the enjoyment for yourself because you're mistaking the claim of a find on-line as the point of the game. The find count is just a reflection of what's happened, not a thing of importance in itself.

 

4 hours ago, Alan White said:

(yes, I blame the cache owner, not the person who placed the throwdown).

This is really the worst part. How can you not blame the person who dropped the throwdown? If they hadn't left a fake cache, worst case you wouldn't have found anything, so you'd be in exactly the state you are now after the CO told you you hadn't found the right cache. But another possibility is that you would have found the right cache because you'd keep looking. The person that dropped the throwdown is the one person you can blame for what happened. The only gripe you have against the CO is that he didn't give you any leeway when you were caught by the previous seeker's ugly trick. You have to blame the person who placed the throwdown even if you insist on being angry with the CO, too.

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Unknowingly finding a throwdown, well, I expect I've done it (but I wouldn't know,  would I ? )

I might feel mildly  irritated if my innocent log on one was deleted, but I'd live : one less smiley, so  what.  I was there , I had the experience, move on.

 

What I really would like was if widespread log deletion on throwdowns  by C.O.s changed the view of many cachers  from

'A throwdown, how helpful, now I can log the find '  to 'A throwdown,  what thoughtless idiot left that ? '

Which attitude would eventually filter through to the throwdowner, and persuade them to stop.

 

I had a found it log on one of my caches a few months ago, saying , couldn't see it, hedge overgrown, left a replacement. Disabled the cache as soon as I got the log, explained anyone finding the throwdown would have their log deleted, and sent a message to the throwdowner asking them to remove both find log and throwdown, with a link to the relevant guideline. I had no reply, but the log was deleted,  and when I went to check on the cache I saw no throwdown. That cacher probably thinks I'm an awful person and stupidly rigid about the rules, but at least they now know not to drop replacement caches whenever they feel the urge .

Well, not on my caches anyway ...

 

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