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Our appearance to non-cachers
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5709

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:41 pm    Post subject: Our appearance to non-cachers Reply with quote

This topic just came up on a different mailing list that I'm on, and thought it was both interesting and appropriate.

As cachers, I think we need to continue to keep in mind what our actions look like to the uneducated.

The recent bomb scare that was posted today is one example.

Read this. Pay real attention to "The following should cause a heightened sense of suspicion" about halfway down. Sound like someone you know?
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Last edited by Pear Head on Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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pfalstad
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Feb 2006

Posts: 1015

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Our appearance to non-cachers Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
Read this (from Homeland Security).

Not that I disagree with your point, but this isn't an official government website. Other than the broken image links, my first clue was this text:

"But then you notice that the person is only taking photos of the locations surveillance cameras, entrence crash barriers and access control procedures. Is that normal for a tourist? Not."
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Jonas
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 30 Nov 2005

Posts: 672

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knowing myself, I would be more suspicious of someone standing around looking over their shoulder or scanning an area for people than I would of someone crawling in the bushes with an apparent purpose. I think peoples perception of someone crawling in the bushes looking for something is that the person is either nuts or lost something and is mostly harmless but someone standing around looking for people to leave looks like he is about to do something bad.

That is a general observation that I think is true for most adults. For kids I think it might be opposite, they are more likely to look themselves in the bush you poked around in but would not pay attention if you waited around for a few minutes.

In a previous job I had to review video recordings of thefts and most serial thieves perfected that, they never stand still but try really hard to walk around looking like they have a purpose and then quickly perform their act and leave. They never stand still looking around, because that is the sign most people find suspicious.

-Jonas
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Arcticabn
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 30 Nov 2003

Posts: 1846

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The point about how we look is valid.

The points that the web site make are valid and are not original. They are the same point that the government posted after 911.

In both cases it is still up to us the cacher to figure out how to continue to play our game without causing undue concern to the rest of the public.

Just remember what you do and how you look may have nothing to do with this game either.
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pfalstad
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Feb 2006

Posts: 1015

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jonas wrote:
Knowing myself, I would be more suspicious of someone standing around looking over their shoulder or scanning an area for people than I would of someone crawling in the bushes with an apparent purpose.

I agree. I found a cache near a school once, and I was standing around looking over my shoulder a lot waiting for the landscaper to leave. He called 911 and pretty soon I had 3 cop cars pull me over.
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Jonas
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 30 Nov 2005

Posts: 672

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pfalstad wrote:
I found a cache near a school once, and I was standing around looking over my shoulder a lot waiting for the landscaper to leave. He called 911 and pretty soon I had 3 cop cars pull me over.


Ouch, I did something exactly opposite once. We were a group that found a cache attached magnetically under a handicap ramp. Just as we were logging the cache, a person working at the establishment (a dance hall) came out and stood around outside the entrance. We left with the cache in hand to return later. We returned an hour later and now he was standing talking to a security guard. We returned yet an hour later and the guard was still there but now a long line of people were standing in line on the ramp waiting to get in. We had to leave town so we decided to just wait for the guard to go back inside the building and then went and rehid the cache, literally under the feet of the people in line. They sure looked curious but they could not care less, they were all dressed up waiting to hit the dancefloor and this scruffy guy playing with the stair was the least of their concerns. Cool And no, we were not last to find.

-Jonas


Last edited by Jonas on Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NeoAddict
Geocacher


Joined: 29 Feb 2008

Posts: 189

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's probably the one big reason I don't enjoy caching in urban/suburban settings where visibility is high. Especially in 'high risk' areas where homeland security would be more interested in why I would be snooping around there.
I stick to the woods.
In situations where I'm visible (busy city parks, etc.) I do my best to "take in the view" or "examine some plants" in the general cache area. If someone is curious about what I'm doing, I'll simply tell them I'm on a scavenger hunt using GPS. I haven't had to explain myself yet, but I'm sure that day will come.
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dornole
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Apr 2006

Posts: 467

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really prefer woods for the same reason. There is only so much talking on a GPS "cell phone" one person can do. I'm not good enough to find a micro in that amount of time. I'll go early on a weekend morning if I have to look somewhere. Usually there are enough in the woods to keep me happy though.
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timewellspent
Geocacher


Joined: 19 Mar 2008

Posts: 708

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pfalstad wrote:
pretty soon I had 3 cop cars pull me over.


And they let you go? Laughing
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NeverSummer
Geocacher


Joined: 20 Feb 2009

Posts: 99

PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Our appearance to non-cachers Reply with quote

pfalstad wrote:
Pear Head wrote:
Read this (from Homeland Security).

Not that I disagree with your point, but this isn't an official government website. Other than the broken image links, my first clue was this text:

"But then you notice that the person is only taking photos of the locations surveillance cameras, entrence crash barriers and access control procedures. Is that normal for a tourist? Not."

Shame it feeds into so much fear. And not that I disagree with your point either. It is a very good rule of thumb to not be suspicious.

In the case of that school scare, I'm unsure who thought it was a good idea to hunt a cache near a school during school hours...even with the permissions to place it. I'm not getting close to a school during student hours if I don't attend or work there. Having worked in schools, I know how we dealt with those situations, and it was always with suspicion.

...agreed on the "not a government website". That site, unfortunately feeds fear.
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Draconisdax
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Nov 2007

Posts: 982

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of how geocachers look...

Out caching this morning in the Rochester Area with Knowschad...as we approached a cache we saw someone step out of the bushes...do a couple circle and step back in...(we just knew what was going on, but it was intersting to see)...

As we got closer, it was Rabbit007 looking for a cache...we joined in on the hunt...happy to say we found it...but, still it was an intersting reminder...
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knowschad
Geocacher


Joined: 20 Jun 2005

Posts: 471

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 6:35 am    Post subject: Re: Our appearance to non-cachers Reply with quote

pfalstad wrote:
Pear Head wrote:
Read this (from Homeland Security).

Not that I disagree with your point, but this isn't an official government website. Other than the broken image links, my first clue was this text:

"But then you notice that the person is only taking photos of the locations surveillance cameras, entrence crash barriers and access control procedures. Is that normal for a tourist? Not."


What? You mean our government is NOT using Ads by Google to help offset the tax burdens of keeping a website up? LOL!
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5709

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another bomb scare in Oklahoma. At the rate these people are going they'll get caching banned there in no time.

http://www.enidnews.com/localnews/local_story_163154943.html

For those that haven't cached in the state, local restaurants are favorites (in particular the newspaper stands in front of them). The only places I'm aware of permission being granted is with the Cracker Barrel Stores - I think they have permission at a district level for those.
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pfalstad
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Feb 2006

Posts: 1015

PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
Another bomb scare in Oklahoma. At the rate these people are going they'll get caching banned there in no time.

Regular Cache Icon SmuarB
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spinowner
Geocacher


Joined: 25 Nov 2004

Posts: 588

PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a thread from the Iowa Geocachers Organization forum...

http://forums.iowageocachers.org/viewtopic.php?t=1988
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