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Another Bomb Scare – Update January 8, 2010

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Geocaching, In the News/Blogosphere.
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1 comment so far

Not moments after publishing the last one did I find other mentions of the story.  I’m sure the WPT ID will be all over the forums so you’ll have to go there to gawk and leer.

The cache in question is Archived and it lasted a whole month.  It apparently is not the first time the area has seen a Geocache as a bomb threat.  That’s too bad.  Here’s the other stories:

  • CBS 7 News – the cacher “may face charges”.
  • PermianBasin360 – they at least get a slightly better description of Geocaching and sound advice at the end

Folks, I don’t enjoy calling attention to these things but they are instructive.  If you’re going to place and hide Geocaches some common sense has to be in order.  A little muggle strewn action with my cloak of invisibility is fun sometimes but think about the muggles for just a minute.  They’re not blind and we all (muggles and players) act stupid.  This kind of thing is going to happen.  It will never go away but we need to do a better job minimizing it.

Do we need to rehash “the incident” in 2008, the Don’t Do This! series or any of 10 other bomb scares?

No?  Good.  On with ye.

And Happy, Safe Caching!

Another Bomb Scare for Geocaching: Midland, TX January 8, 2010

Posted by kinzuakid in Forums, Geocaching, In the News/Blogosphere.
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1 comment so far

I saw this newspaper link on the forums. (link opens to the newspaper site).   Somebody dropped an LPC in a shopping center and it was called in as a suspicious package.  Some of the comments on the article concerned me, so I wrote in…

Kinzua Kid

To the tens of thousands of families who who enjoy Geocaching as a game, a way to see the great expanses of the globe from a new perspective or as purposeful exercise this kind of scare is a tragedy.  It puts the activity in a terrible light that doesn’t at all reflect Geocaching’s true character.

At this moment there are over 900,000 Geocaches hidden around the globe, a great many in country or places that will take your breath away.  A good hike or side trip with the kids to learn more about historical monuments, see the natural view or just test your puzzle solving skills outdoors against other players is a good thing.  It gets people outside together, using their brains, exercising their bodies, cleaning up as they go, learning more about their local geography/geology…

…and it’s free.  Anyone with a GPS can join in.  For the price of movie tickets for 4 a whole family can enjoy the hunt for “treasure” together for years on end.

Geocaching is a good, clean and cheap outdoor activity that benefits the whole community and it is always supposed to be kid friendly.  In this case the scare could have entirely been avoided with a little more forethought and communication.  It is unfortunate but the Geocaching community will have to endure a little more rigor over this.

In my area (Southern California) it is not uncommon for law enforcement, park services or other land management officials to be consulted and informed about Geocaching by the players.  As players we all want to avoid these misunderstandings and I am sure by now the Midland police have been in contact with the Groundspeak/Geocaching contacts to find ways to avoid a third incident.

A lamp post skirt cache bomb threat is not the best introduction to the game but I do hope it will not tar all of the local Geocachers with a negative stigma.

I think I’m being hopeful on that last one, but one has to hope.  If you want to see the comments on the Geocaching forums, click here.