In case you missed it, the weekend of the Conway Meet & Greet one of my caches was determined by the Conway PD to be a possible bomb. The bomb squad of the Conway FD was called out and they used their robot to help determine that the cache was harmless.
The cache in question was an M&M tube, wrapped in tape and attached to a straightened out coathanger that was stuck in the ground in a bush near the sidewalk at a busy shopping center which included a gas station and a pizza place. Apparently someone at the station saw a cacher out looking for the cache and thought they looked suspicious, after they left he went to see what they were looking for and discovered the cache and called the police.
I spoke to the Bomb Squad Captain and he told me the cache was a perfectly designed bomb. He also said if it had been clearly marked with the word "Geocache" the problem would have been solved almost immediately. (I had put a sticker on it originally, but it wasn't waterproof and apparently it had rubbed off).
Some things I've learned from this experience:
1. Label caches clearly. Make sure there is no question what it is when someone finds it.
2. Get permission from EVERYONE near the cache. In the case of the shopping center I should have went by every nearby business and let them know the cache was there and they might see people looking around the area. Probably also a good idea to go by and touch base with the weekend and evening crews at the businesses as well.
3. A week or 2 before an event, alert the police about the event and let them know there will probably be a lot of folks in town looking suspicious and make sure they are familiar with geocaching.
I feel awful that this happened and it has certainly effected my caching activity. I've reevaluated many of my cache hides and disabled and archived several caches.