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Geocaching could make you look like a terrorist!

 
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Red Sky



Joined: 23 Dec 2006
Posts: 189
Location: Tecumseh, OK

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:50 pm    Post subject: Geocaching could make you look like a terrorist!

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Geocaching could make you look like a terrorist or at least appear to be one. I got this list off the Homeland Security website. Most geocachers would be guilty of some of these everytime they go caching. I was today! Wink I know none of us are trying to look guilty or suspicious, but it IS a by product of the game.

I found several stories of the police in Phoenix harrassing people for taking pictures in the area.

The following are quoted from Homeland Security.
The following should cause a heightened sense of suspicion:
• inappropriate photographs or videos
• suspicious or unusual interest
• surveillance (suspicious in nature)
• note-taking
• drawing of diagrams
• annotating maps
• using binoculars or night vision devices
• Individuals acting furtively and suspiciously
• Individuals avoiding eye contact
• Individuals departing quickly when seen or approached
• Individuals in places they don’t belong
• arrive and leave at unusual hours
• try not to be noticed
• act in a suspicious manner
• park an unusual distance from the meeting

Additional suspicious activity may include:
• Someone suspiciously exiting a secured, non-public area near a train or bus depot, airport, tunnel, bridge, government building, or tourist attraction.
• Any type of activity or circumstance that seems frightening or unusual within the normal routines of your neighborhood, community, and workplace.
• Someone unfamiliar loitering in a parking lot, government building, or around a school or playground.

I think I'll be sure to have a printed explaination of Geocaching just in case I need to explain myself to a local LEO.
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Corey



Joined: 17 May 2008
Posts: 256
Location: 38.3 -122.7

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:29 pm    Post subject:

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Notes, diagrams, and maps are suspicious? Those are used for such a wide variety of purposes...

You're right, having an explanation handy would be good.
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pacholik



Joined: 08 Aug 2006
Posts: 1402
Location: Ontario, CA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:27 pm    Post subject:

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I carry these with me in my car. http://geocacher-u.com/content/view/19/54/
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Team GeoRangers



Joined: 26 Dec 2006
Posts: 706
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:01 pm    Post subject: Identifying yourself to Law Enforcement

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Carry a brochure in the glove box and an unofficial license to geocache!

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missourimule



Joined: 19 Feb 2008
Posts: 101
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:36 pm    Post subject:

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pacholik wrote:
I carry these with me in my car. http://geocacher-u.com/content/view/19/54/


That is PERFECT! My daughter and I were caching over Easter weekend, and came across a muggle family. We gave the old, lame, "treasure hunt" explanation (after all, we had more caches to find!), but remarked that it would have been nice to have had something to hand them that explained Geocaching in detail. Thanks for the link!
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Team Gamsci



Joined: 14 Aug 2006
Posts: 223

PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:37 am    Post subject:

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I printed out a couple of the brochures, but never had to use them. I've been lucky - in my 2500+ finds, we've only ever had one cop stop us to ask us what we were doing. We simply said geocaching, and he let us on our way.

While we all try to use "stealth" and make sure muggles don't see what we are doing, I do find honesty is the best policy. Although I have gotten strange looks when setting up to climb a tree along a bike trail and muggles wonder why I'm going for a film canister Laughing
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Orange&Blue



Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 141

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:27 pm    Post subject:

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Has anyone noticed that nationalterroralert.com is not a government website?

Here's the real deal http://www.dhs.gov/
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Roarmeister



Joined: 14 Dec 2008
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:41 pm    Post subject:

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My creedo is that honesty is always the best policy. When discovered by a "muggle" I do exactly the opposite of most people. I act (or rather - "not" act) as if I know exactly what I am doing. Be NATURAL not SUSPICIOUS. I never fake out taking to a cell phone AKA my GPSr, I don't act like I'm trying to be covert or trying to hide something. That IMMEDIATELY sends up a red flag to people. Rather, I am friendly and open.

Say "Hi! Oh you are probably wondering what I am doing? Well, have you ever heard of geocaching? ...." I have come across many people while out and about, sometimes I have had the benefit of having some geocaching brochures and a couple of times I had the muggle right on top of the cache and realized they were not going anywhere. I just approach them and tell them what I am doing and proceed to show them the cache itself and explain the activity.

I see no real point in being covert and stealthy - it just raises suspicions and curiosity. If you have to - just abandon the search for 10 minutes or so and return when the coast is clear. Geocachers have taken the attitude that this is some sort of secret activity that muggles shouldn't know anything about. I would rather they take the opposite attitude and be open to the general public. Secretive geocachers are 90% of the problem - the 10% of the problem is the caches being hidden in inappropriate areas where suspicion very likely.

And most of all - DON'T LIE! If you are questioned by a muggle, be forthright. People do not appreciate being lied to and most of the time they REALLY DO know when your are not being truthful.

Honesty -- ALWAYS the best policy!

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