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Bomb Scare
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andrewmcc
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 29 Jul 2007

Posts: 996

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:55 pm    Post subject: Bomb Scare Reply with quote

Here is an interesting story. I was grabbing a FTF of "Tri This One 2.0" last week and afterwards stopped by the owners (Lloyd Family) shop (with in site of the cache) to say hi. Lloyd Family asked if I had heard about the commotion at the park. He explained that the bomb squad had come over and blew up his cache. Lloyd Family had permission from the city to place the cache and there was a lack of comunication somewhere. Jeff has a picture of the tree damage on the archived site. http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=1475744c-5cb8-4b74-b909-4975fad5a013
I always wondered how often this has happened.
By the way Lloyd Familly's shop is with in site of 3 of his caches in Rogers he likes to get cachers to visit (he doesn't get much work done, Oh well)
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merkman
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 03 Jun 2006

Posts: 2032

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:49 am    Post subject: Re: Bomb Scare Reply with quote

andrewmcc wrote:
Here is an interesting story. I was grabbing a FTF of "Tri This One 2.0" last week and afterwards stopped by the owners (Lloyd Family) shop (with in site of the cache) to say hi. Lloyd Family asked if I had heard about the commotion at the park. He explained that the bomb squad had come over and blew up his cache. Lloyd Family had permission from the city to place the cache and there was a lack of comunication somewhere. Jeff has a picture of the tree damage on the archived site. http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=1475744c-5cb8-4b74-b909-4975fad5a013
I always wondered how often this has happened.
By the way Lloyd Familly's shop is with in site of 3 of his caches in Rogers he likes to get cachers to visit (he doesn't get much work done, Oh well)


I think this is a great opportunity for the MnGCA to shine.

1) Verify that the proper people were informed.
2) Make contact with the city officials and offer to inform LEO's on geocaching (maybe a seminar)
3) See if the procedures for a bomb scare can be updated to include logging on to geocaching.com to check for a geocache in that location.
4) Make sure the city officials know we the MnGCA are here to help in situations like this and we may be able to save them money and or embarrassment.
5) Make sure the city officals know that the MnGCA is concerned and we don't want it to happen again.
6) If the proper people were not informed... well that is another story.

This is something that on the right news day that could be escalated to national coverage.

I think everyone who hides caches needs to look at this and check yourself to make sure you CYOA if this happens to your cache.

I am going to send out an e-mail to my city officials with my cache coordinates and pictures of the containers and ask them to forward those to the proper authorities. That should take some of the onus off me the cache hider if someone decides to blow something up rather than do a little investigating.
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EPMinnesota
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 13 Apr 2006

Posts: 1941

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was one of the concerns of the Eden Prairie Park board since there had been some bomb scares in the recent past here. They felt that if they knew what/where a 6" black pog tube or a chunk of pvc that someone ran across that they would be able to identify it before taking drastic measures. EP also requires that the cache is labled on the outside so anyone running across it would have that information also.
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merkman
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 03 Jun 2006

Posts: 2032

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My e-mail to the city of Isanti.

Feel free to use this as a template if you would like.

Code:
Hi Karla,
 
I just heard that this weekend a geocache was blown up by the bomb squad in Rogers, MN.
The geocache was in a tree in a city park.
From my understanding the geocache was registered with the city but there was a failure in communication between the city officials and the local law enforcement officials.
 
This scared me a bit because I have geocaches placed in and around Isanti.
As we have spoke previously my intent with these caches is to get more people outdoors enjoying our park systems and as an added benefit to bring more people to Isanti. I would be upset if a side effect of geocaching was to cause confusion, extra cost, or hassle to the local law enforcement.
 
Is there anything you or I can do to make sure that the proper officials in Isanti know about the caches that I have placed? I just want  to make sure they check with me, you or geocaching.com to see if a suspicious container could be a geocache before blowing it up. I think it would be a significant cost savings to the city to be informed rather than spend the money to blow it up. As for my monetary losses, even-though they would be very small compared to the costs suffered by the city, the traveling items in a cache that could have come from anywhere around the world could never be replaced.
 
I would just hate to see something like this happen in Isanti.
 
I would be happy to send you pictures and locations of my geocaches placed in Isanti to aid in  identification of my geocaches before the bomb squad is called, or give a educational seminar to the law enforcement and or city officials that have jurisdiction in Isanti.
Let me know if there is anything I can do.
 
Thanks
Steve Merkling
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andrewmcc
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 29 Jul 2007

Posts: 996

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good letter Merkman
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elfdoctors
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Jun 2007

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a letter, it would also be nice to highlight that GC.com does not allow any caches near bridges, railways, airports or other possible terrorist targets. Obviously a terrorist could hide their bombs in a container with the geocaching sticker on it.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4019

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

merkman wrote:
My e-mail to the city of Isanti.

Feel free to use this as a template if you would like.

Code:
Hi Karla,
 
I just heard that this weekend a geocache was blown up by the bomb squad in Rogers, MN.
The geocache was in a tree in a city park.
From my understanding the geocache was registered with the city but there was a failure in communication between the city officials and the local law enforcement officials.
 
This scared me a bit because I have geocaches placed in and around Isanti.
As we have spoke previously my intent with these caches is to get more people outdoors enjoying our park systems and as an added benefit to bring more people to Isanti. I would be upset if a side effect of geocaching was to cause confusion, extra cost, or hassle to the local law enforcement.
 
Is there anything you or I can do to make sure that the proper officials in Isanti know about the caches that I have placed? I just want  to make sure they check with me, you or geocaching.com to see if a suspicious container could be a geocache before blowing it up. I think it would be a significant cost savings to the city to be informed rather than spend the money to blow it up. As for my monetary losses, even-though they would be very small compared to the costs suffered by the city, the traveling items in a cache that could have come from anywhere around the world could never be replaced.
 
I would just hate to see something like this happen in Isanti.
 
I would be happy to send you pictures and locations of my geocaches placed in Isanti to aid in  identification of my geocaches before the bomb squad is called, or give a educational seminar to the law enforcement and or city officials that have jurisdiction in Isanti.
Let me know if there is anything I can do.
 
Thanks
Steve Merkling


While I think this is a nicely worded letter, I am not yet convinced that it'd be a good idea to send it. We may raise "new" concerns when we don't have to. How often does this really happen? I've only heard a couple of cases.
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Marsha and Silent Bob
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 6261

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
While I think this is a nicely worded letter, I am not yet convinced that it'd be a good idea to send it. We may raise "new" concerns when we don't have to. How often does this really happen? I've only heard a couple of cases.

I have never been one to promote individuals contacting parks departments that might not be aware of the horrible dangers and evil that caching promotes.
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merkman
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 03 Jun 2006

Posts: 2032

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:

While I think this is a nicely worded letter, I am not yet convinced that it'd be a good idea to send it. We may raise "new" concerns when we don't have to. How often does this really happen? I've only heard a couple of cases.


If I were a park manager and the bomb squad came to my park to blow up a suspicious container that I knew nothing about.
1) I would try to find out why the container was placed there.
2) I would ask the LEO's to prosecute to the full extent of the law.
3) I would ban geocaching on all the parks I managed. End of Story.

If I were a park manager and the bomb squad came to my park to blow up a geocache that has been bringing visitors to my park, etc.
1) I would find out why the bomb squad didn't contact me the park manager before blowing up items in my park
2) I would apologize to the geocacher who placed the cache.

I feel the time of lurking in the shadows is over.

Geocaching IS a viable sport/hobby/addiction that has benefits that far outweigh the risks, and we need to promote it as such.
We need to inform the officials about our sport.
We need to take a proactive approach to promote it.
We don't need to take a reactive approach, and then try to convince people that they should allow something after it has left a bad first impression.

In any authoritative role it is far easier for them to outright ban something that has caused an "incident" than to risk the incident happening again.
To that regard it is far easier for them to over look an incident if they knew why the “suspicious container” was placed there in the first place and it added value to their park.

Let's get them on our side BEFORE something bad happens.

That is just my opinion.

If the FBI ever comes knocking at my door at least I will have the e-mail to explain why I left the “suspicious container”
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merkman
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 03 Jun 2006

Posts: 2032

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

elfdoctors wrote:
In a letter, it would also be nice to highlight that GC.com does not allow any caches near bridges, railways, airports or other possible terrorist targets. Obviously a terrorist could hide their bombs in a container with the geocaching sticker on it.


I guess I really didn't mention that at in the beginning however this letter is to a city official that I have spoke to in person about geocaching and she is open to the idea of geocaches in the city parks.

I would not recommend sending a letter to someone you haven't made contact with previously. I also would not recommend hiding a cache on land managed by someone else without talking to them in person, showing them what you are going to hide, and letting them know why you are hiding it.
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merkman
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 03 Jun 2006

Posts: 2032

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marsha and Silent Bob wrote:
I have never been one to promote individuals contacting parks departments that might not be aware of the horrible dangers and evil that caching promotes.


Who is responsible for placing a cache?
An individual or an organization?

If organizations were willing to take responsibility for the caches placed by their members then they have the right to dictate who should contact the land managers. But as it stands right now cache placement is the individual’s responsibility and liability. With the limited resources this organization has, reality dictates that the individual has to contact the land managers.

It is my hope that the organization can teach cachers the proper way to go about contacting land managers. I don’t think the current don’t ask don’t tell policy promotes responsible geocaching.

Just my opinion.
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Lloyd family
Geocacher


Joined: 29 Aug 2007

Posts: 25
Location: Rogers

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="merkman"]
bflentje wrote:


If I were a park manager and the bomb squad came to my park to blow up a geocache that has been bringing visitors to my park, etc.
1) I would find out why the bomb squad didn't contact me the park manager before blowing up items in my park
2) I would apologize to the geocacher who placed the cache.


The park manager was very upset that nobody contacted him about what was going on. He would have stopped it on the spot. A stand up meeting was conducted for all involved to educate them on Geocaching. He supports this, he said the volume of usage goes up. This park is one that is not very visable to most, it is out of way and Geocaching promotes it's use.
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CamoCacher
Geocacher


Joined: 05 Dec 2005

Posts: 1391

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Bomb Scare Reply with quote

merkman wrote:



3) See if the procedures for a bomb scare can be updated to include logging on to geocaching.com to check for a geocache in that location.


Interesting idea but say they did this and then one time it turns out its not a geocache and it is a bomb and it blows up first. Nope I'd rather they blow my cache up instead of taking the time to verify if it is real or not. In these case time is of the upmost importance. Remember in most of the stories in the past the cache has been placed at or very near "high target" items, i.e. bridges, etc.

Tho on the other hand I always have to wonder, esp in this case, why would a bomber put a bomb in a tree in a park. What would that do when they could hit other high target areas?
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Kitch
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 18 May 2003

Posts: 1286
Location: SSP,MN

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interested in what they used to neutralize this cache.

Whatever it was didn't seem to do that much damage to the tree.
If it was an ammo can I'm sure it wouldn't have done much.
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Lloyd family
Geocacher


Joined: 29 Aug 2007

Posts: 25
Location: Rogers

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cache was a camo taped Centrum vitamin container. It is not a big deal to lose the cache but I don't like the negative paranoid attention.
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