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  1. #2661
    Springer to Elk Park, NC/Andover to Katahdin
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    This sheds some new light on the subject:

    http://thebollard.com/2016/07/04/m-i...a-t-no-escape/



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    I am not young enough to know everything.

  2. #2662
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthMark View Post
    This sheds some new light on the subject:

    http://thebollard.com/2016/07/04/m-i...a-t-no-escape/



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    no it doesnt

  3. #2663

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    Little bit more detail on extent of her inadequacies is all.

  4. #2664

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    It did resolve the mysterious phone call to the Stratton Motel. Had that call not occurred, perhaps the searchers would have embarked on a wild goose chase.

  5. #2665
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    I find the bollard article very well written. There seems a bit too much info about the site, but still informative. Seems that she shouldn't have been hiking as her ability to self rescue was nonexistent, however that's not something that prohibited her from hiking. It's just something that one should consider when determining whether to hike or not. The search & rescue was a magnificent effort but was probably flawed and poorly executed, though it's hard to case blame especially since she was the primary person responsible for her rescue. The lesson learned is that if you're not in shape for the hike it's probably best to avoid it as the rescue may not be effective. Perhaps it's just a case of someone pushing themselves a bit to far. Either way the family has found peace and may they cherish her efforts.

  6. #2666

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiptoe View Post
    It did resolve the mysterious phone call to the Stratton Motel. Had that call not occurred, perhaps the searchers would have embarked on a wild goose chase.
    Yes we finally understand exactly what that was about. I imagine the Warden Service felt it wasn't necessary to explain their dismissal of the call before but we all sure would have liked to know why.
    AT02, LT 03-04, BMT05, NPT06, Haute Route07, Abol Ridgerunner 07/08, EBC Nepal trek 10

  7. #2667
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    The (hopefully) final Bollard article is its usual heavy handed self with insinuations that Gerry was a pill popping victim of a poorly orchestrated SERE intervention. Though its somewhat public knowledge now, there wasn't really a need to detail the stratton motel callers identity when that parts of the articles emphasis is on false leads and how it effects investigations. I'm not sure theres any evidence she filled certain prescribed prescriptions, and I've been scolded by wiser folks that her medical history really isn't any of our business and thats very true.

    With all the mention of SAR near the end of this thing, try to remember the small but important distinction between SAR and the Maine Warden Service (MWS) that directs SAR operations here in the state of Maine. In other states its a whole different (and probably better) ballgame, but here a few men call ALL of the shots and there should be no blame placed on the overall SAR search. Those volunteers are amazing people both here and in other states and other parts of the world.

    Also, sorry about the smoke and mirrors game a few of us have played regarding information. Some of us knew she had a journal and many other things long before the medical examiners, foia file etc came out but really wanted to respect the family and in many ways it really didn't matter anyway. I think what matters is Gerry, closure, and all of us learning what we can to minimize something like this from reoccurring.

    but i will point out that if you are going to take it upon yourself to go searching the woods for a lost person, you shoudlnt discount the possibility that they could be off trail and perhaps somehow incapacitated in a location in which it would be very easy to get oneself unlost. i think you have to assume that ability may not exist, no matter the terrain. i would think any professional SAR shoud, and probably does, approach these things in that manner. i highly doubt anyone said "naah dont look there, if she got lost there shed be able to find her way back to the trail."
    Ya Tdoczi its a good point. Almost always SAR does do this. The basics of SAR 'rule out' the obvious very early on. This wasn't done. You stick to the basics, you stick to the facts, you find them. Walking the AT, even a few hundred feet either side, is a paltry effort on the decision makers side to find her in a hasty search manner. Creating other scenarios and assuming too much causes speculating a SAR effort entirely out of a logical search area. The eyewitness accounts were quite clear imo, but too much credit to Gerrys abilities, despite almost all of the interviewed Jane, family, etc saying otherwise launched a search well outside what the facts showed.

    The Bollard does touch on a small and a little bit new point that adds a jurisdictional issue to Gerrys conundrum. We kinda thought this already, but the information shows the MWS was reluctant to search the SERE base area evidently because of jurisdictional reasons. I have a hard time with that because I think the Duty To Act supersedes the aforementioned, but in todays litigious environment its not surprising.

    Fred - Good stuff there man

    Someones heading up there soon to plant some wildflowers and pay respects. I might end up with some GPS coordinates that almost any device can use to help anyone that wants to pay their respects. I can't recommend trespassing on a Navy base and keep in mind its illegal. May Gerry RIP

  8. #2668

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    For those interested, Northwoods Law just aired its episode about finding Gerry : https://www.animalplanetgo.com/north...aw/homecoming/

  9. #2669

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    Thank you EE for alerting us. I had been forgetting to check the tv schedule. It was very sobering to see her effects.
    AT02, LT 03-04, BMT05, NPT06, Haute Route07, Abol Ridgerunner 07/08, EBC Nepal trek 10

  10. #2670
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    I have been reading the threads about Gerry Largay for years now, and I have never commented - but I've been thinking about this, and felt that this comment would be helpful for some to understand what may have happened:

    Geraldine Largay was taking the same medication for ten years every night to sleep. I'm not going to mention the name, as people can figure it out by reading articles. It is a type of medication which has VERY SERIOUS withdrawal effects if one is physically addicted to it, and abruptly ceases taking it. With long-term use (and ten years certainly counts as long-term), these withdrawal effects can last for MONTHS. Withdrawal symptoms for this type of medication can include seizures, paranoia, hallucination, weakness, flu-like symptoms, and can even result in death. Many who have experienced this withdrawal say that it is exponentially worse than withdrawal from opiates. I work in the medical field, so I have seen this firsthand.

    It is not clear whether she ceased taking medications before she began her hike, but even if she had, her confusion and purported lack of directional sense could be a result. If she had continued to take this medication while hiking, she still could have had these effects, as thru-hiking really changes how your body metabolizes medication (I know this from personal experience - when I hiked, my established dosage level of my rheumatoid arthritis medication became a toxic level after a couple of months. My doctor didn't even mention the possibility to me that this would happen, her doctor might not have mentioned it to Gerry, either.)

    If she had continued to take her medication while hiking, she would have run out after getting lost. I don't believe that medication was found in her effects. If she abruptly stopped taking her meds when she got lost, the withdrawal symptoms would be an explanation which would answer so many questions that people have - the potential confusion, paranoia and hallucination which she would have suffered would have made it almost impossible for her to do any more than she was able to do - factor in the hunger (all of you thru-hikers out there know how seriously missing even a single meal affects you when your body has been burning 5000 calories a day for months), and I think that this is the explanation.

    I just wanted to put this out there, because I'm sick and tired of reading various posts which blame her for being unprepared/mentally deranged/easily helpless and lost/etc. Victim blaming is very hurtful, and serves no purpose.

    My condolences to her family and friends, and my thanks to all who helped to search for her - your efforts have saved many, many lives, and keep us all safer.

  11. #2671
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    wouldn't withdrawal from meds that alters your mind be considered a mental illness? I don't believe anyone was blaming Gerry. I think most people were trying to understand how it happened so they can avoid the same circumstances. It was a series of unfortunate events that culminated in a fatal tragedy.

    The woods on the trail after Orbeton Stream is fairly open. I can see how one would walk farther from the trail to use the bathroom to get some privacy. I don't understand how she was unable to find the trail again. But, I'm a bit more familiar with that area having hiked it for a few years and I didn't have the thru-hiker inattention to detail that so many report by the time they get to Maine. And I've been confused in the woods while hunting, but eventually figured my way out.

  12. #2672
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    I don't believe that withdrawal symptoms would be considered a mental illness - it is a physical response to the alteration of body chemistry which occurs when a substance which the body has become accustomed to having continually present is suddenly removed. The symptoms of withdrawal can mimic the expression of mental illness, but are not they, themselves, a mental illness. One is an intrinsic response to altered brain condition caused by the body, one is a response to altered brain condition caused by an outside element. It doesn't really matter, in the long run - I wrote my longish comment primarily because I don't think a lot of people understand how severely this type of withdrawal can impact even the most stable of people in a situation of perfect equilibrium, much less that of someone hiking fifteen miles a day through rough, totally unfamiliar terrain. I have seen a lot of people trying to stop taking the type of medication that Gerry was taking, and it can be really, really difficult - even when tapering off.

    I was not meaning to imply that anyone on this forum meant to impugn Gerry - she was and is, after all, one of us, and I think that we all understand that. It was more a function of my getting cranky reading articles written and commented upon elsewhere by people who are not only not long-distance hikers, but probably not hikers at all, who seem to pass judgment without knowing a thing about the culture and experience of backpacking.

    I apologize if my comment sounded like I was accusing people on this forum of being hostile and/or overly critical.

  13. #2673
    Registered User John B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElephantEater View Post
    For those interested, Northwoods Law just aired its episode about finding Gerry : https://www.animalplanetgo.com/north...aw/homecoming/
    I've followed this event from the beginning, and seeing the film brings it to a conclusion for me. Seeing the terrain and Maine woods for the first time makes me appreciate the incredible difficulty the search teams faced. I appreciate the solemnity of those involved in the search, esp. the Maine game wardens for the respect accorded to the remains. This entire thing really affected me. Maybe because I could see the joy felt by Ms. Largay reflected in that famous last pic to be out on her own doing what she really wanted to do. I hope her husband and family members are doing ok.

  14. #2674
    Registered User John B's Avatar
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    Article in the Boston Globe, written by Katherine Miles, about Ms. Largay. Beautifully written.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/....html#comments

  15. #2675

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    Excellent summary of 'A Perfect Storm' situation.
    Warren Doyle PhD
    34,000-miler (and counting)
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    www.warrendoyle.com

  16. #2676
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    Hello rustmd,
    I'm a Maine author writing a book about inchworm's ordeal. Want to celebrate her will to follow her dream. Would love any input you may have. If you'd rather email, you may attn: Author Dee at: [email protected]
    Many thanks. Congrats on your hike. I've done the same one--wonderful.
    Dee

  17. #2677
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    I am an author, writing a book about Inchworm's tribulations, the Maine Warden Service, and the AT; all of these questions about Gerry and more will be answered in the book, due out next spring. Much of the story has not been in any media reports. Quite amazing, actually.
    Dee
    www.ddauphinee.com

  18. #2678
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    cpooertex

    I am an author currently writing a book about Gerry, the Maine Warden Service, and the AT. I'm wrapping up the ms (book due out next spring), but if you would like to contribute anything-especially anecdotal tidbits about Gerry and George-I would welcome them.

    You can send them by private email to [email protected] with "AT hiker" in the subgect line. It'll get to me.
    Thanks!
    Dee
    www.ddauphinee.com

  19. #2679

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    Let her, and her family, be.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

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