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Thread: Geocache Mistaken as Bomb

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Vilonia, Arkansas
    Posts
    85

    Geocache Mistaken as Bomb

    One my new geocaches has been muggled in the worst way. Here is the cache http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache...a-bc2c2a3fec11. Apparently the Conway Police mistook it as a bomb and blew it up! Upon hearing about this, I sent an email to chief of police explaining geocaching and taking responsiblity for the cache. He sent the following response to me:

    Thanks for this information! With the national heightened state of preparedness over the past three (3) years, relating to IED’s (improvised explosive devices), police departments everywhere treat such “finds” with extreme caution. As is required for such possible serious/sensitive events, I was immediately contacted about this “emergency”: additionally our Fire Department’s Bomb Squad was tasked to respond. We all were greatly relieved when it was determined to be a harmless ammo box containing fill matter (rocks & earth) that was related to your group’s GPS hunt.



    Our comfort zone may be less taxed, as well as our budgets, by diminishing our “off-duty” callout of emergency services personnel, if each “cache” had a label affixed externally that clearly explains this GPS game, to include 24/7 contact names and numbers. I genuinely support your group’s goals of litter clean up and outdoor activities; however, to preclude subsequent diversion of Officers to set up a perimeter and/or the unnecessary calling in a municipality’s bomb squad, etc., a phone call to you or whoever would probably clear up the issue.

    Please think on this and let me know if this is plausible.

    Thanks!

    Randall

    Chief Randall Aragon
    Conway Police Department
    1105 Prairie Street
    Conway, AR 72032
    (501) 450-6126 (ofc)
    (501) 733-2111 (cell)
    cpd.aragon@conwaycorp.net
    I emailed back and stated that I would implement his recommendation of labeling the exteriors of my containers with contact info. I also informed him that I would relate this incident to the ArkGeo membership and recommend that everyone else do the same.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Conway, AR
    Posts
    1,392
    I'm glad this didn't turn into an incident. It could have turned out much worse than it did.

    Regarding the label, this is probably a good idea for caches everywhere, not just in Conway. We have decided that the best way for us to handle this is to use those bumper sticker sheets. We bought some at Office Depot today for around $10 for 14 stickers. Even though they say "water-resistant", I'm anxious to see how well it will hold up over time. If it works well, I'll upload a "generic" sticker that can be downloaded from the web site.

    Ok, so according to Mr. Aragon, EACH CACHE needs a label affixed that:

    1) Clearly explains geocaching
    2) Includes a 24/7 contact name and number

    Question: Could the contact information be a GC.com name and number? Do they even HAVE such a thing? I hesitate to put my name and number on each of my caches, although I will if it comes down to it.
    I get my directions from above.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Rolling Fork, MS
    Posts
    111
    I spraypaint on each of my geocaches GEOCACHING.COM. This is for regular sized caches. I would think that spraypainting or using one of the official GC.com stickers would be enough. They sell smaller ones for 1.50 that have a place for contact info.

    I'd THINK that an email address would be enough, but I'd find out for sure.

    Geocaching.com is a small company based in Washington State - I'm fairly certain they don't have a public phone number and if they do it's NOT 24/7.

    If the police know about geocaching now and the geocache has "Geocache" on the outside - why would more information be necessary?

    Of course, I'd do whatever they asked - this isn't the first one that's been blown up either.

    Perhaps set up a meeting with the Chief and take a couple of those GC.com stickers (the large and the small) and show that to them. I'd ask if the phone number is REALLY necessary - perhaps an email address would suffice.

    sd

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Morrilton
    Posts
    327
    Well, I can see their point of view. What's to keep someone from devising a bomb and making it look like a geocache as a cover. Having a phone number and a person to call who can explain what it looks like and where and how it was hidden makes it much more likely not to be a bomb in their eyes.

    We definitely do not need the bad publicity of police troups, fire and bomb squads being mustered for no reason.

    We'd better get the steering committee to look into this.

    Geezer.

    (For those unable to read my lips, the third paragraph was said tongue in cheek, but the first two were not.)


    Take time to smell the roses and love the grandkids.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Fort Smith, AR
    Posts
    846
    Gaddiel I already use the bumper sticker pager and have tested it and it works great. If you want I have a template that I use it holds 2 large stickers and 3 micro's fit on a sheet I'll post it here or you can e-mail me for it. I'll put it in the downloads.
    If your not living life on the edge your taking up too much space!!!!!!


  6. #6
    I had a thought. In some schools the kids carry clear backpacks and bags for safety reasons. Putting a cache in a clear container or leaving one side clear where the contents can be checked without opening may be another way to deal with this situation. A large plastic pickle or peanutbutter jar might work. Camaflouge about a two-thirds of the surface so it can be hidden and leave the other side clear so someone who accidently finds it can look in and see it is not a bomb.

    walkingshadow

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Conway, AR
    Posts
    1,392
    Quote Originally Posted by walkingshadow
    Putting a cache in a clear container or leaving one side clear where the contents can be checked without opening may be another way to deal with this situation.
    A nice idea, although I've had a hard time finding a clear container that will meet these two requirements:

    1) Non-glass
    2) Weatherproof over time
    3) Critterproof over time

    We've tried the tupperware-type container before, but as the plastic heats and cools a few times, the seal seems to start leaking. Also had some kind of animal gnaw through another one and scatter the contents all around. I've yet to find something that can equal an ammo box for longevity and reliabilty...
    I get my directions from above.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Fort Smith, AR
    Posts
    846
    Amen ammo cans rule and they are just as cheap as tupperware. Just don't forget the tupperware GEOCACHE LABEL. Isn't that right Rock Hound! I have the Template for the labels in a word format if anyone needs it to use on the Office Depot Bumper Sticker Paper.
    If your not living life on the edge your taking up too much space!!!!!!


  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Conway, AR
    Posts
    1,392
    We tried the bumper stickers from Office Depot and they work GREAT! You get 14 stickers in a package for around $10. From there, you can design your own sticker or use arkansas_stickerdude's MS Word document. With the MS Word document you can get one large and two micro labels on one sticker. That means we can get 14 full size labels and 28 small labels from each package! We will be using a Sharpie permanent marker to fill in the cache name and contact info. I think this is gonna suit our needs (and the police department's needs ) very well!
    I get my directions from above.
    View my profile

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jacksonville, Ar.
    Posts
    780
    Gaddiel, I intend to purchase the printable bumper stickers tomorrow to be placed on all my caches. I also intend to visit with our police chief on this subject this week. Like you stated in one of your earlier post, I too am hesitant to place my name and telephone number on the outside of my caches and I just wondered what information you included on your stickers. Of course, I will comply with the directives from our police department, but I hope that a screen name and email address will suffice. I'll post more after my meeting with our police chief.

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