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  1. #2221

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    Ya know, the Patriots probably would have won the AFC title if they had kicked a field goal rather than going for it on 4th down.
    I think it was more they couldn't figure out a good way to cheat that did 'em in. Though poor decisions would include that too....

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    Here is a link to the fall 2015 ALDHA newsletter that has some information about Inchworm.

    http://aldha.org/newsletter/2015c_fall.pdf
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  3. #2223

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    "Ivanic would have eventually caught up to Gerry somewhere between Orbeton Stream and a bit further north, way, way before Lone Mtn. But since Ivanic never saw her and neither did the 3 sobo males, it means Gerry was already off trail somewhere between Poplar and just past Orbeton Stream."

    Acacia-- you nailed it. Great map, too. We know the MWS called the 'official' search off on August 4th. So the question really is WHEN were the Wardens able to determine -- from comparing the testimony of Ivaninch and the boys and factoring in Gerry's hiking speed-- where she should have logically gotten lost? Which, in the end, is where she was found. If i recall the MWS talked to the boys first and then talked to Ivaninch and determined the boys were wrong, so they had to track the boys down again. All the while they were searching North and East (East !? ) of Lone Mnt. That's what i find crazy-- they knew within the first day of the search that Gerry only hiked a mile an hour. What time did Ivaninch cross Orbeton, and what was Ivaninch's pace? Starfly, maybe you have this info buried deep in your notes?

    Anyway, Poconoron, yes-- there is a spot to park. A few in fact. There's nothing bonafide about them or the road either, but you can cram a rig in there.

  4. #2224

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    Quote Originally Posted by timeless_man View Post

    Anyway, Poconoron, yes-- there is a spot to park. A few in fact. There's nothing bonafide about them or the road either, but you can cram a rig in there.
    Thank you, sir.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timeless_man View Post
    "Ivanic would have eventually caught up to Gerry somewhere between Orbeton Stream and a bit further north, way, way before Lone Mtn. But since Ivanic never saw her and neither did the 3 sobo males, it means Gerry was already off trail somewhere between Poplar and just past Orbeton Stream."

    Acacia-- you nailed it. Great map, too. We know the MWS called the 'official' search off on August 4th. So the question really is WHEN were the Wardens able to determine -- from comparing the testimony of Ivaninch and the boys and factoring in Gerry's hiking speed-- where she should have logically gotten lost? Which, in the end, is where she was found. If i recall the MWS talked to the boys first and then talked to Ivaninch and determined the boys were wrong, so they had to track the boys down again. All the while they were searching North and East (East !? ) of Lone Mnt. That's what i find crazy-- they knew within the first day of the search that Gerry only hiked a mile an hour. What time did Ivaninch cross Orbeton, and what was Ivaninch's pace? Starfly, maybe you have this info buried deep in your notes?

    Anyway, Poconoron, yes-- there is a spot to park. A few in fact. There's nothing bonafide about them or the road either, but you can cram a rig in there.
    Here is a link to the ALDA newsletter winter 2013 that has a timeline and more details of the search that may answer some of your questions. The article starts on page 6. This was posted on this thread several months ago.

    http://aldha.org/newsletter/2013_winter.pdf
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    Ya John B there are often post in here unrelated to Gerry but we just kinda have to go with it. At least his was about the area. We got a couple of guys talking about football. Real respectful.

    The ALDHA articles mention the distance from the A.T. at 3000+ feet. I believe but correct me if I'm wrong that the ME report says 2100 feet. Anyone know which it is?

    I'll scare up that info T-man. I think August 8th for the search.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starfly View Post
    Ya John B there are often post in here unrelated to Gerry but we just kinda have to go with it. At least his was about the area. We got a couple of guys talking about football. Real respectful.

    The ALDHA articles mention the distance from the A.T. at 3000+ feet. I believe but correct me if I'm wrong that the ME report says 2100 feet. Anyone know which it is?

    I'll scare up that info T-man. I think August 8th for the search.
    I made the Monday morning quarterback post. And I stand by it. It wasn't made out of disrespect for Gerry or the Wardens Service. It was made because of all the disrespectful and absurd accusations, second guessing, and lack of respect in this thread directed towards the Maine Wardens Service and SERE school, and all the "should have, could have" after the fact accusations being thrown around in hindsight by people who weren't there nor responsible for the search efforts.

    If you don't understand what is meant by Monday morning quarterbacking, don't comment on it.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 02-04-2016 at 23:54.
    I was self employed once, but it proved too stressful. My boss was a jerk and my employee was a slacker - I didn't know whether to quit or fire myself.

  8. #2228

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    I made the Monday morning quarterback post. And I stand by it. It wasn't made out of disrespect for Gerry or the Wardens Service. It was made because of all the disrespectful and absurd accusations, second guessing, and lack of respect in this thread directed towards the Maine Wardens Service and SERE school, and all the "should have, could have" after the fact accusations being thrown around in hindsight by people who weren't there nor responsible for the search efforts. If you don't understand the analogy, don't comment on it.
    I agree and refer to your signature...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    I made the Monday morning quarterback post. And I stand by it. It wasn't made out of disrespect for Gerry or the Wardens Service. It was made because of all the disrespectful and absurd accusations, second guessing, and lack of respect in this thread directed towards the Maine Wardens Service and SERE school, and all the "should have, could have" after the fact accusations being thrown around in hindsight by people who weren't there nor responsible for the search efforts.

    If you don't understand what is meant by Monday morning quarterbacking, don't comment on it.
    At least two of the most critical posters with the most questions have been there multiple times and did search for her.

    Heres the bottom line,...for whatever reason....the search for her was a total , utter, failure. It deserves criticism, she DIED quite close to the trail.

    Because this makes authorities look bad, they will put spin on it and bury it as quick as possible.

    To propose no one can criticize something , well thats ridiculous. Seeing mistakes after the fact IS much simpler..."monday morning quarterbacking" if you will, ....that doesnt make it wrong.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 02-05-2016 at 00:49.

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    In my opinion there should be an outside review of the SAR process in this case. Not to lay blame or to criticize the Wardens or volunteer rescue teams but to learn. The National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH) investigates and publishes a report on every firefighter line of duty death. It is often difficult to read especially when it's critical of your organization and its policies, but it is important to understand why the outcome was less than a favorable.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  11. #2231

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    I find it very hard to find any fault at all with the SAR or Warden Service.

    I believe that:

    1. The search got started too late. Later in the week, after a very cold and rainy night. She may well have been gone before the search started.
    2. I do believe SAR and the Warden Service hiked the whole trail first. Obviously that is the first place to look. The victim could have used the whistle and likely would have heard the search teams, seen the helicopters, if able to.
    3. The search ended up focused on Lone Mountain and beyond due to false leads and her planned destination.
    4. I grew up here. I hunt here. I have hiked this section of trail, and I think it is likely one of the most demanding sections of the entire trail.
    5. She could have been anywhere within about 100 sq. miles of very rugged terrain.
    6. There were also a few shady characters, stories, and hints of foul play to evaluate.
    7. The warden service never really gave up. They were searching part time well into the following fall.

    I could go on.......and on...

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    Quote Originally Posted by wccanoe View Post
    I find it very hard to find any fault at all with the SAR or Warden Service.

    I believe that:

    1. The search got started too late. Later in the week, after a very cold and rainy night. She may well have been gone before the search started.
    2. I do believe SAR and the Warden Service hiked the whole trail first. Obviously that is the first place to look. The victim could have used the whistle and likely would have heard the search teams, seen the helicopters, if able to.
    3. The search ended up focused on Lone Mountain and beyond due to false leads and her planned destination.
    4. I grew up here. I hunt here. I have hiked this section of trail, and I think it is likely one of the most demanding sections of the entire trail.
    5. She could have been anywhere within about 100 sq. miles of very rugged terrain.
    6. There were also a few shady characters, stories, and hints of foul play to evaluate.
    7. The warden service never really gave up. They were searching part time well into the following fall.

    I could go on.......and on...
    All good points, and most I agree with. That still doesn't mean there shouldn't be a critique of the event to bring to light what went right and what should be changed or improved on.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    In my opinion there should be an outside review of the SAR process in this case. Not to lay blame or to criticize the Wardens or volunteer rescue teams but to learn. The National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH) investigates and publishes a report on every firefighter line of duty death. It is often difficult to read especially when it's critical of your organization and its policies, but it is important to understand why the outcome was less than a favorable.
    I think they did their best but I would bet that everybody who was involved in the search has probably lain awake some nights thinking about what they could have done differently.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasBob View Post
    I think they did their best but I would bet that everybody who was involved in the search has probably lain awake some nights thinking about what they could have done differently.
    I am sure. As a firefighter/paramedic for 30 years I can assure that I have had (and still have) those kind of nights.
    "Chainsaw" GA-ME 2011

  15. #2235
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    All good points, and most I agree with. That still doesn't mean there shouldn't be a critique of the event to bring to light what went right and what should be changed or improved on.


    .

    I expect that that is being done.

    One aspect for possible review that I would be interested in is the psossible role of new technologies that could help in similar situations. Specifically WRT capturing/sending cell phone signals in areas that are beyond the reach of regular cell towers.

    With WRT the ME's report, it did strike me as a bit odd that she was qualified to make an assessment on a search dog's ability to pick up a scent, under the conditions as they were. Most tents are highly breathable, right?

    I feel for those who were a part of the search efforts-- the stress and pressures had to be off the charts.

  16. #2236

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    At least two of the most critical posters with the most questions have been there multiple times and did search for her.

    Heres the bottom line,...for whatever reason....the search for her was a total , utter, failure. It deserves criticism, she DIED quite close to the trail.

    Because this makes authorities look bad, they will put spin on it and bury it as quick as possible.

    To propose no one can criticize something , well thats ridiculous. Seeing mistakes after the fact IS much simpler..."monday morning quarterbacking" if you will, ....that doesnt make it wrong.
    I tend to agree, however criticizing is one thing, critique another. The critique is valuable, criticism can be emotional and not valuable. This is not to you personally, but to the points you raise that are not uncommon to these events.

    Having been involved with SAR/R operations in the past I have never been part of a search that didn't have a post action review, regardless of outcome. This work is taken very seriously by those who are engaged in it. They are constantly looking for ways to improve processes and avoid mistakes and document both. While a search may have been in the public spotlight, the after action review tends to be non-newsworthy even if a report is issued. The MWS who led the efforts in this event will likely produce a report, or amended report with discovery of the recovery site, and should have it available to the public.

    As with all things speculative in an emotionally charged atmosphere there can be an opinion an SAR/R operation allowed a death to happen. The hard truth is searchers are not responsible for the circumstances those who are being searched for are in and their fate. Maintaining this perspective is important for those involved in searches. Second guessing oneself or the actions taken by the SAR/R operation can be a heavy weight to bear. When this combines with public condemnation that you weren't fast enough, good enough, smart enough, or worse, willing enough it can become debilitating.

    To that point, making the association or accusation "you failed and the victim died" is unfair if not intellectually dishonest. Unfortunately this is not an uncommon criticism, typically coming from the public who have varying degrees of knowledge in SAR/R operations and/or the event itself. It rarely comes from the families of victims that were recovered, who are usually very grateful for the efforts expended on behalf of the victim.

    There can be myriad reasons why searches are successful or unsuccessful finding a victim or not finding them in time. The combination of factors involved are staggering. Time of notification from the time a victim is thought to missing/lost, mobilization time to the site, weather conditions, darkness, difficulty of terrain, conflicting sighting reports bifurcating search areas, dogs that do not pick up scents, trained personnel availability, volunteer availability, and other factors all have to be taken into account. Any one of these could be the reason or contributing factor to the search being successful or unsuccessful.

    So, some perspective on this particular SAR/R event as its critiqued. There are more unknowns than knowns. No one can say as fact the victim was alive at the time of the initial search (first 48 hours) and if so, was the victim mentally cognizant of their situation, physically impaired, or moving around as searchers were moving around. No one can say as fact the victim was at the point of final recovery during the time of the initial searches or if the victim arrived there after the area had been searched. We can't know the answers to these questions unfortunately.

    There are indeed some questions the MWS and the SAR/R as a community needs to look at, for example: Was there a different grid search approach that could have been employed following the initial search given the terrain and weather? Was there anything SAR/R did that interfered with the search, such as using low flying helicopters that did not allow searchers to call/hear? Was there an opportunity to use a tracker (presuming one was not used) to find the departure point of the victim on the trail?

    There are legitimate questions specific to the logistics, for example; Why did the dog(s) nearest to the final recovery site not pick up a scent either during the initial search or subsequent searches? Should dogs be used in a different logistical method than currently? The explanation is the victim was in a sleeping bag, inside a tent. That combined with the potential effects of time, wind direction relative to the dog at the time of the search, unfavorable weather conditions that allow a scent to hold in the air, seems a reasonable explanation. However it will certainly be looked at and assessed if SAR/R should utilize dogs in a different way to accommodate these conditions, or combination of conditions like terrain where patterns are forced to be interrupted.

    Another question of SAR/R (and commonly asked) centers around the "quick search" technique used to find people lost in wilderness environments. This practice is used in many places, including ME, and statistically will find the victim in 12 hours 95% of the time, and 98% of the time in 24 hours. Should this practice be ended in favor of using personnel in a grid pattern search inside the 24 hour initial search? Should the practice be altered when terrain is so difficult instead of taking a couple of hours to go look and return it take hours just to reach the search area. Given the statistical data, the success of this technique is quite high though may not work as effectively in atypical situations, which cannot be assessed as atypical until after the event. A conundrum unique to this work.

    Those involved with SAR/R operations ask themselves questions of the search and operational tactics used long before the public does. To that end, if there are constructive suggestions, they should be heard. If one believes the searchers did not do their best and could have managed the process differently, that opinion should be heard too.

    To the point that has been circulating in this thread, please keep in mind searchers did not have any responsibility in the plight of the victim and were there to help. Speculation they caused the death is unwarranted.
    Last edited by Traveler; 02-06-2016 at 10:46.

  17. #2237
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    At least two of the most critical posters with the most questions have been there multiple times and did search for her.

    Heres the bottom line,...for whatever reason....the search for her was a total , utter, failure. It deserves criticism, she DIED quite close to the trail.

    Because this makes authorities look bad, they will put spin on it and bury it as quick as possible.

    To propose no one can criticize something , well thats ridiculous. Seeing mistakes after the fact IS much simpler..."monday morning quarterbacking" if you will, ....that doesnt make it wrong.
    Well said Muddy. In fact there were multiple teams of many people that made sacrifices to go in those woods and try to find Inchworm. I think the simple creed to try to help someone in need (especially a thru hiker) however you can is a great attitude to have and thats all I'm saying. I'm not sure why Buzz or others would have an aversion to that possitive thought as it seems cynical at best

    Ya Don good stuff on the after actions of ems service personnel. I guess we all do that in certain ways its human nature. I certainly could have tried harder with this search than I did among other things.

    Rickb I'm not that educated on the WRT capturing that you're talking about. How could that have been used or better used?

  18. #2238
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    The medical examiners report say's the location of where the body was found was 2,100' from the trail. Not the 1 mile that the media reported. I am a hammock hanger, however I do not recall any thru hikers expending the energy to build up a bed for the tent foot print. However, if she was cognitive enough to do so wouldn't she be cognitive enough to get her red jacket to a place it would be visible to search planes. Wouldn't she have also been able to build a smokey fire. Is there a record of any one who has ever died from exposure in a similar climate in July, while being in their sleeping system? Did the bones from her hands and arms that the k9's couldn't find just vanish? How close did SAR get to the actual place where she was discovered? Did SAR whistles get within ear shot of Inchworm? I do not believe she died of exposure. Dying from starvation takes several weeks. I believe Inchworm would have made herself visible if she was alive to do so. She was either lost somewhere further away during the search, and this is where she ended up when she expired. What are the statistics of someone in Inchworms physical condition who simply die in their sleep, however one must think the k9's would have picked up the scent. Why the discrepancy of distance between the media release, and the medical examiners report? Why the swiftness to attribute her death to exposure in July incident, then a change to starvation?
    Last edited by Son Driven; 02-07-2016 at 21:32.

  19. #2239
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    The medical examiners report is that she died in her tent, and then over time animals tore her tent and dragged her about.
    03/07/13 - 10/07/13 Flip flop AT thru hike "It is well with my soul"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Driven View Post
    The medical examiners report is that she died in her tent, and then over time animals tore her tent and dragged her about.
    animals must have stumbled on to her, because the report says theres no way they could have smelled her, due to her DWR sleeping bag and zipped up tent.........................

    IMO, the ME labelled themself by drawing poor conclusions they had no business drawing. That they wouldnt realize most tents are just mesh under a rainfly, and very well ventillated (being a necessity to prevent condensation) is pretty amazing.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 02-07-2016 at 23:06.

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