Two caches at GZ!
I've been meaning to throw this out here on the forum for a few weeks to see what folks thought about it...
On 1/28/10 there was a new cache called "Duck Duck Swan" (GC23E91) published in Cleburne County. I was working my way back from NE Arkansas and needed a Cleburne County cache for my county challenge, so I attempted an FTF on 2/3/10. I drove from Batesville to GZ in the wee hours of the morning and arrived around 0030. It was quite a drive on icy dirt roads and I was terribly sleep-deprived. The cache was rated as a 1.5 difficulty, "small" plastic container.
I could not initially find the cache, as the coords were inaccurate (and later changed by the CO). I expanded my search area, eventually stumbling upon the cache, which was a blue magnetic stuck on a sign. But when I pulled out the log, there was already another name at the top. However, the log was dated 11/29/09, way before the cache was published.
So, since there are no formal rules on FTF's, I just accepted my disappointment and reported to the CO my findings and his inaccurate coords. He agreed that he could be a little bit more accurate with his coords, but the log that I signed DID NOT BELONG TO HIS CACHE! In other words, it was a separate cache container in the same vicinity. Of course, I had no way of knowing this when I found it. I figured that the CO had placed the cache months previously and just waited a long time to submit for publication; while the cache was stuck on the sign, another geocacher must have seen it and signed the log, a true FTF, even prior to publication.
Two days later, someone else found the real cache and was awarded FTF by the CO. Of course I feel cheated, especially with all the work I put into it. I forfeited the FTF, but the cache owner "allowed" me to record a find.
Is that not weird? What do you think about it? Has it ever happened to you? Was the ruling fair? Do you think the cacher that found the cache two days after me should have had the courtesy not to claim the FTF? What if the guy that signed the log in November would have posted an FTF?
Well....I'm not a FTF hound and I really shouldn't jump into this... but - while you are at defining rules and etiquette for FTF's maybe you can address those FTF hounds that find a cache first but do not log it is found until many, many hours or days later.
Yes, bluesy, I've been both a victim and a perpetrator myself. On one hand, it's kind of fun to let it go for a little while to see the others squirm, but on the other hand, it's just plain cruel to let it go for too long. I like what hot~rod does: he'll post "FTF - more later" in a fair, timely fashion. And then he'll dress his log later. (That sounds creepy...dress his log). In the age of smartphones and laptops, and with all of us being smarter than the average bear when it comes to being digitally saavy, there's no good excuse not to post at least a short note in a timely fashion.
And I'm not just concerned about the FTF here. Like I said, I was perfectly willing to give up the FTF at the time I signed the log...that is, give it up to the guy that signed it back in November. But what if the CO was a jerk and just deleted my log altogether? That is the issue at the core here. I believe everyone can appreciate that, yes?
My opinion on FTF is this OVERRATED!!! That is all.
Your story is weird though. I have heard of people finding fake caches to keep them looking for the real deal, but never a case of mistaken identity.
The only time that I've found 2 caches next to each other (even considering the possibility of an active one beside an archived one) is a certain multi-cache in Little Rock, where the final cache is under the same skirt as the first cache. That really doesn't make much sense to me, since it's impossible to miss the final when you find the first one.
But in defense of the owner, a well-respected veteran cacher, I THINK the final was actually suppose to be velcro to the underside-top of the skirt, while the first one was just sitting inside. This would cause you to almost always miss the final until you came back around to it, because when you see the first one sitting there, you have no real reason to dig any deeper. But I saw them both at the same time, so just signed both of them, sorta confused at the time exactly what that 2d cache was doing there.
That's not really a similar situation as the original post, but I MIGHT have gotten close a couple times. Hot~Rod & I once set 2 caches a piece, at 2 completely different locations, within a couple hours of each other, but also within 200 feet of the other person's cache.
One of mine was approved & one of his was. I picked mine up before anyone had found it. (Hot~Rod or Chuck Walla would have been the only ones who could have, since it wasn't approved) But he (HR) left his un-approved one in place for at least a few days. (May still even be there, since I've never looked again, but I doubt it) The next day after the incident, I went & signed his and wrote in "FTF", just for meanness, since I knew it wasn't going to ever be published.
I also found one of my current caches, the Belleville/Danville airport one, before it was even published & signed the FTF on the log anyway. I was there to hide a cache & noticed there was already one there. However, I found out later that it had been placed by ApacheScout several weeks prior & wasn't published because of a rule that the reviewer later decided didn't apply.
Apache told me to just publish it under my name, which I did, and it's still there....original container too. But I did scratch out my previous FTF log, since it was now mine.
P.S. I personally LOVE FTF's, although I won't make a special trip over 20 miles or so to get one ..... unless it's one that I can do the first night with a decent chance of beating another cache to it. The little things that many cachers say they don't care about, such as milestones, FTF's, goals, & seeing how many you can find in one day ..... to me personally is icing on the cake. Those are just "niceties" which make the enjoyable sport of geocaching even MORE enjoyable.
We've all eaten a nice chocolate cake. Well, the "cake" itself (the regular 'ole caches) is great, no arguing that. But the "icing" (the FTF's, etc.) is always the sweetest part.
pshelto, I comprehend your view. There was a time I poo-poohed FTFs, then I got interested, worked to get one, then another....and now I personally think it is one of the most funnest parts of the game. I usually get a big laugh out of it even when I don't win the gold. The thing that makes it fun is the quality of the competitors--edieo, IRBH, ORR, HR, AS/SZQ, astrodav, specialteacher, gingerose, dexterjg, QC, rklmbl, AFM, TMJ, etc., not to mention the occasional n00b that surprises all of us. Now, with this new AGA Monthly "To Do List" challenge, we're taking it up a notch by broadening the area of the competition. I can hardly wait! And you know what? There's not even a physical cache you can slap your "FTF!" stamp on! (That is, unless one just happens to become available at the right time and meets the AGA judges' criteria). It's just kudos and silly bragging rights over a friendly competition, another level to a game where the the players and rules change.
What I don't understand is the intense dislike of the FTF sub-game that many geocachers make abundantly clear, almost bordering on vitriol. I was on the Groundspeak Forums just the other day, and I discovered there is a new geoacaching magazine that has been published. It is named "FTF" but it involves all aspects of caching, not just FTF. It is clearly just a catchy title. But I'm afraid they've already lost a lot of customers, judging from the anger coming from the anti's. I never hear anyone bashing another player because he likes virtuals, or puzzle caches, or multi-caches, or Earthcaches, or nanos, or this level of difficulty or that level of terrain. So why are so many cachers disgusted with FTF hounds? I guess its the same reason why the rest of the class hates the smart kid--they assume he's looking down his nose at them, sucking up, or both. And I can tell you, as the former smart kid, it hurt my feelings to learn that someone else thought I was a snob or a suck-up. And when I got to college and realized there were other smart kids, sure there were some gunners (and they were mighty welcome to go for the glory), but there were also some very wonderful people who were just plain better at the game than me. And for them, I have nothing but praise and respect.
Now, I hope we can all be friends. And any dude who picks Rorschach as an avatar must be one cool human being.
ASTRODAV--interesting stories! I like the double skirtlifter cache(s). If it were properly velcroed, that would make for quite the confusion and discovery.
And I, too, would have signed HR's cache, just for fun.
As far as the cache in question from the OP, neither I nor the CO have any clue who placed it. He is not aware of any archived cache that had been there previously, nor does he recognize the signature on the log from November. The person who placed the cache hasn't 'fessed up. And don't think it hasn't run through my head that the CO might think that I just put it there myself. But why would I sabotage my own FTF? If I had just wanted a simple find, I would have just driven to Heber Springs and not ten miles down an icy road in the middle of the night.
Just a thought, but could the cache you signed may be listed under TerraCache or one of the other cache sites?
Excellent consideration. I'll research the possibility. Who knows, I might get a smiley on another caching site? (Can you claim both?)
Man those spammers are persistant