Missing friend in Mammoth Lakes area

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LAhiker

Social climber
Los Angeles
Sep 12, 2013 - 04:28pm PT
Tioga +100

Pacarockhound, the thread naturally rises in the forum when we comment. But I don't think we should comment just to bump it up. The more useful people's posts are, the more others will have the patience to wade through this very long thread, get up to speed, and make a contribution either here or by searching.
Ikat

Social climber
Carson City
Sep 12, 2013 - 04:29pm PT
If they make this a sticky, are you going to include the psychic vision thread, too?

Sorry, but today's visions there were just unrealistic.
tdg119

Social climber
Northampton, PA
Sep 12, 2013 - 04:32pm PT
Sorry to cut in here but is there anyone familiar with the area that can humor me and read the psychic thread to see if they know the geography referenced in what I shared there?
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=2213600&tn=60


For what it's worth, I did talk to the Bethlehem police and I need to head into the station to sign a declaration making Matt's disappearance official in his hometown; something we've yet to do. They told me over the phone they should be able to help in obtaining some of the records we're after.
Ikat

Social climber
Carson City
Sep 12, 2013 - 04:35pm PT
East of the campground puts him 40 miles away on White Mountain. Which isn't white in summer. No need for crampons or ice ax there. This doesn't seem credible to me.
pacarockhound

Social climber
Escondido CA
Sep 12, 2013 - 04:48pm PT
In the vision post it states close to the campground, that he was on his way and hadn't gotten that far. I am also curious about location, and reference to 3 peaks.
zBrown

Ice climber
Brujo de La Playa
Sep 12, 2013 - 05:04pm PT
It was 13 months before the plane and remains of Steve Fossett were found after his plane went down near Mammoth in 2007-2008, discovered by folks on foot.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/03/us/03fossett.html?_r=0

Does anybody recall what happened to the missing Yosemite plane (not that one) in 2012?

EDIT:

The wreckage was just found in July, 2013.

http://www.nps.gov/yose/parknews/missing-plane-located-near-vogelsang-peak-in-yosemite-national-park.htm

Aside: Let's hear it for the YoDogs. Has anyone considered dog-assisted searching here?


pacarockhound

Social climber
Escondido CA
Sep 12, 2013 - 06:16pm PT
Many have mentioned search dogs, but the response is usually trail gone cold, too many places to search, too treacherous for dogs......but I still think dogs are the ultimate searchers....
WBraun

climber
Sep 12, 2013 - 06:28pm PT
but I still think dogs are the ultimate searchers

Without their handlers first they can do nothing for you.

So your "ultimate" is not true at all ......
pacarockhound

Social climber
Escondido CA
Sep 12, 2013 - 06:40pm PT
of course their handlers are included in that statement!
Supermama

Social climber
pa
Sep 12, 2013 - 06:53pm PT
Tioga...well said. A++++

I am just getting home from a long day of work and read the posts to catch up. We need to work together if we want to get anywhere.

Investigations do involve a great deal of problem solving and psychology. We have to get into Matt's train of thinking. Looking at old logs, as some have been posted, speaking to people who are close to him, reading emails, and checking phone messages are just a few ways. Investigators do this all the time when profiling people. Now we have to wait for results from the detective. This I why I posted yesterday and asked if Matt had any other hobbies. Ron and Tiffany would know him best as family, but any close friends would know what he likes to do in his free time.

"Getting boots to the ground" is another way to search for Matt. Can anyone head to Mammoth this weekend?

Perhaps a list of questions to ask family and friends, if they haven't already been answered, would be a another avenue to try. Sometimes just one question will trigger a memory of something Matt said or did that may have been overlooked. I experience that frequently in my line of work. Just a thought...I don't mind helping to make up questions. Split Pants has been keeping track of what has been asked and facts documented. We need to get inside of Matt's head and think outside of the box.


Through technology...
By foot...
Through psychology...

we can figure this out! We can't give up!
lazydays

climber
Nazareth, PA
Sep 12, 2013 - 07:54pm PT
Without their handlers first they can do nothing for you.

So your "ultimate" is not true at all ......

While a dog needs his/her handler to get the search started (gearing up, scenting the article, etc), he/she does not need the handler after that. Their searches would be far superior to just a sight search done by a human.

With that said - dogs would not be beneficial at this point, especially man-trailing dogs (such as a bloodhound). Humans shed around a million dead skin cells every day and a bloodhound could get started on a SINGLE cell, but too much time has passed now, with wind, rain, foot traffic. Dead skin cells blow away, decompose. At this point, there is no viable trail that any man-trailer can follow.

Air scent dogs - They don't follow a trail, but rather can detect the odor of the skin cells through the air. Again, even for air-scent dogs, too much time has elapsed. An air-scent dog would have to be in very close proximity to Matt to possibly pick up a scent. An air-scent dog would be no better than a visual search by a human at this point. Plus, air-scenters work off-lead and would absolutely have to have experience in this type of terrain. All areas may not be accessible for a dog. Air-scent dogs are not all cadaver dogs either. Cadavers require cadaver training, different from rescue. (I hate the thought of thinking of or mentioning cadaver dogs - but it seems it's a part of reality at the moment)...

Cadaver dogs could be of use and could detect a body for a substantial period of time. But, the problem here again is "a starting point." No one really has one, in addition to the dangerous terrain.

In order for dogs to have been used (successfully) in Matt's case, they would have needed to be brought in BEFORE the campground packed up Matt's belongings and put them in a locker. Keep in mind, twelve days passed before anyone knew he was "missing." That in itself was a lot of time that passed by, already making a potential K9 SAR situation difficult.

It will be up to the feet on the ground now...

kenish

Gym climber
Orange County, CA
Sep 12, 2013 - 08:28pm PT
Adding to lazydays (and rehashing), there was very dense smoke in the Mammoth area from a fire near Yosemite in early August. The smoke was thick enough to shut down Mammoth Airport on some days. Dogs would not have been effective according to the K9 handlers.
lazydays

climber
Nazareth, PA
Sep 12, 2013 - 08:43pm PT
I wonder what's was the distance they expected the dog to pick up the scent from at that point.

It's been a number of years since I was involved with K9 SAR and I worked with a man-trailer, but I believe the longest distance on record was 2 miles for air-scent dog (that was years ago, could have changed). And that was in the best possible conditions. But, more realistically, it would be between 100 and 300 yards.
LAhiker

Social climber
Los Angeles
Sep 12, 2013 - 09:03pm PT
Tioga and Lazydays,

Could the dogs used in looking for the plane crash have been air-scent dogs trained to search for the smell of burnt fuel? That might hang around longer and travel further than the scent of a person. :-(
lazydays

climber
Nazareth, PA
Sep 12, 2013 - 09:32pm PT
So, basically, if a person is slightly off trail and the trail is known the dog will likely pick up the scent. I was really surprised to see the dog used almost 8 months after the incident.

Air-Scent dogs do not use/need a trail. They do not sniff out a path; they sniff the (air in the) area. Air-scent dogs will normally take the quickest path to the subject, where as a man-trailer usually follow (or closely follows) a trail. So, if a "victim" travels a curvy mile, usually a man-trailer will follow the twists and turns for that mile, but if an air-scent dog picks up the scent, it will eliminate the twist and turns and cut through to the shortest path. So, in the case of the plane, if they were in a close proximity of the plane, it is possible the GSD would have found the plane, but without proper training (in this case, after 6 months, cadaver training), the dog would not have known that it had to "search" for something. All dogs have tremendous scenting ability,but in order to be a search and rescue/recovery dog, he or she has to be trained or to them, it's just a long walk...taking in the sights and the smells.

Could the dogs used in looking for the plane crash have been air-scent dogs trained to search for the smell of burnt fuel? That might hang around longer and travel further than the scent of a person. :-(

It seems unlikely to me that the dog would have been trained to smell burnt fuel. I would think that it would have been a cadaver-trained dog. Bodies that have been missing for years and even those in shallow graves can be found by cadaver dogs.
lazydays

climber
Nazareth, PA
Sep 12, 2013 - 10:15pm PT
Lazydays, what I meant by "the trail is known" is if the trail (actual hiking trail/route that was taken) was determined, taking the search dog along the trail would help to locate, in case the person went off trail and fell (as soon as they, say, within 100-300 yards off trail)

Sorry... misunderstood...

Yes... if the trail a missing person took was known, an air-scent dog could be brought down that trail and would have a very good chance of finding the missing person, keeping in mind, with any K9 search and rescue effort, time is of the essence.
Cragman

Trad climber
June Lake, California....via the Damascus Road
Sep 12, 2013 - 10:15pm PT
"I agree that brainstorming - and this is the beauty of social media - with so many people is what ultimately gets results"




It's statements like this that give credence to why I won't be on this thread any longer....and why many of the posters here couldn't find their way out of a bucket.

This thread has turned into 'death by committee'.

Sonoma Jack

Social climber
Sonoma, ca
Sep 12, 2013 - 11:16pm PT
Not so sure what would precipitate your hostilities of idle brainstorming of topics that have already been discussed. The fact is, there really isn't anything else to discuss in this matter. Winter sets in, other endeavors take hold, and the Matt Green thread gets buried 20 pages deep into the Forum. I guess that's fine, if that's what you advocate. I, however, would think that any discussion on the topic is better than dead air. Keeping Matt Green's name on the front page of any publication, including Super Topo would surly be what feiends and family would prefer. not sure why you are advocating the opposite.
pacarockhound

Social climber
Escondido CA
Sep 12, 2013 - 11:35pm PT
Perhaps it is my Quaker upbringing (in Nazareth/Bethlehem)in which all decisions for the group were based on consensus....but I believe there is room for all----brainstorming, expert and seasoned hikers searching on the ground, technical savvy, intuitive dreams and visions, dogs and other animals (who seem to be the masters of intuition at times), posters and pr, etc.

Also, look at how much we are all learning, in spite of the tragedy of Matt's disappearance.

Matt is not my family, and yet I get hope (and comfort) from hearing from so many people with diverse talents and backgrounds.

I say keep the energy flowing!
James Wilcox

Boulder climber
The Coast
Sep 12, 2013 - 11:44pm PT
Brainstorming, followed by inaction, is pointless.
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