Missing friend in Mammoth Lakes area

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LAhiker

Social climber
Los Angeles
Sep 20, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
Tiffany, Iím glad Jill and John are working with Arnold Morales, his family, and the book!

Jill and John -- you probably know about this, but I have a few suggestions based on cognitive psychology (my field). Caveat: I'm not a professional interviewer or investigator;the police may also have suggestions. Here goes anyway...

Of course, it's helpful to establish a rapport -- you probably have already done so. Discussing Mr. Morales's camping trip, what family members were present, and how he met Matt can help both establish rapport and provide retrieval cues for the information we're trying to get. Your caring for Matt can help you connect.

Maybe it will all come back to him when he sees the pages -- maybe it already has. If not, it may help memory to recreate as much as possible the conditions under which Matt showed Arnold the book and to bring to mind what was going on then. If you could be there in person, for instance, and if Matt showed Arnold the book while they were sitting at a picnic table, one could sit at a table with Arnold and as many as possible of any family members who were present that day in July. One could ask Arnold where Mattís campsite was in relation to the table, and about when he showed Matt the book Ė what day was it, what time, where did Matt sit, etc. Then you could ask him what Matt did when he presented the book (or the pages? were the pages already removed from the book?) and ask him to remember the conversation and actions in detail.

In all of us, memory isnít just playback Ė it involves reconstruction and can be influenced by suggestion. So to get accurate info itís important to avoid asking "leading" questions that imply a particular answer -- open-ended questions are good, especially at first.

Given that youíre doing this over the phone (and depending on how much time Arnold has, of course), you could ask him to talk about how he met Matt, where were their campsites, who in the family spoke with him, did they hang out together and what did they do (did they share any food, etc.). And then you could do what I suggested above, except through verbal descriptions on the phone instead of in person. In doing so, if you notice that Mr. Morales tends to think of things in a particular way -- for instance, visually, spatially, or verbally -- it might be good to go with that. (This last point is no big deal -- most people think of things in a variety of ways -- it's just that he might happen to focus on different things than you do.)
LAhiker

Social climber
Los Angeles
Sep 20, 2013 - 01:48pm PT
I agree with Kenish that one shouldnít judge the Morales family, as they appear to have learned of Mattís disappearance much later than it occurred. Todd may be frustrated because, like Tiffany, he tried to contact them via Facebook, with no response. (Thank you, Todd for your efforts in that regard, and for familiarizing yourself with the Secor pages.)

A number of things were against those attempts: The two family members who ďlikedĒ the Find Matthew Greene page may have turned off notifications. Facebook doesnít inform you of other comments people make in reply to the same post, only of replies to your own comment. Whether in your own feed or on another page, it's very hard to find comments on posts long ago. Emails sent through FB to someone who isn't a FB friend go to their "otherĒ email box, which many people donít even know exists. So it can be very frustrating trying to reach people through FB.

Also, there was some caution in contacting family members directly (for instance, by tracking them down in Bakersfield) because one didnít want to scare them away and because they might have been witnesses in a criminal investigation.

Now that the police have said itís okay for Tiffany, Jill, and John to contact them directly, maybe they can make some headway...
Dan Watson

climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sep 20, 2013 - 06:08pm PT
I just spoke with Paul Dostie who responded to an e-mail I sent this morning. Buster, his cadaver dog, is now 10 years old and only has 3 legs. So his ability to search is limited as to distance. He can't go miles and miles anymore, but if he can get somewhere with a reasonably high likelihood of catching a scent, he can help. I explained to Paul the many possible areas Matthew could be. He has not had to look at this website, but will later today and then decide if he believes he can be of assistance to the search.
SplitPants

Social climber
LA
Sep 20, 2013 - 06:36pm PT
Chief Watson,
Thanks a bunch for reaching out to Paul Dostie! Would be great if Buster could help out:)
LAhiker

Social climber
Los Angeles
Sep 20, 2013 - 06:51pm PT
Chief Watson,

I also want to thank you for following up with Paul Dostie. Even if Buster canít help at this point, Dostie sounds like an excellent detective. Maybe he has some insights or could help in some other way.
tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Sep 20, 2013 - 08:55pm PT
An astounding 2,300 Americans are reported missing every day, including both adults and children.
One should never let their guard down, anywhere, around anyone... Hurts to know people go missing, including ones who had their life really straight, in their best years...The fact that Matt not used smartphone/internet phone and didn't use computer/email much shows he figured it all out allright. He might not had the Spot device/beacon, which possibly didn't save him, but at least it meant not being a slave to stuff like technology and being able to keep his mind free, pure and focused on the right things... Definitely something to think about with regards to own life and choices. Perhaps some want the freedom of being "out there" without being connected to beacon, and if it was his choice, I highly respect it.
pacarockhound

Social climber
Escondido CA
Sep 21, 2013 - 02:29am PT
I was looking at photos by David Husted whose beautiful photos cyduke posted a week or so ago and contacted him though facebook climbing groups. He responded:


I'm headed up the North Fork of the San Joaquin River for a shot at Rodgers Peak here next week. I'll keep an eye out for the blue hat and/or Nepal Extreme Mtn Boots.

I'm kind of curious how well this area just west of the Clyde Minarets has been searched, especially towards the back of the lake by the glacier. http://hikenhi.smugmug.com/.../i-FRkvp84/A

The Alpine Lake

hikenhi.smugmug.com

This is a small un-named alpine Lake that's west of the Clyde Minaret. This smal...
pacarockhound

Social climber
Escondido CA
Sep 21, 2013 - 02:43am PT
from David Husted also-----just posted this 9/20 on find mattgreene facebook page under post about Dean:

I ran into this guy on August 28th along the Shadow Creek Trail at Ediza Lake. He's got the right idea searching the glaciers along the Minarets. I'm pretty sure that there's a glacier up there that has clues about Mathew.
Supermama

Social climber
pa
Sep 21, 2013 - 11:43am PT
Tiffany and Ron...Any luck with the Hotmail account? Sorry the school account didn't turn up any information. I tried.

Dan...thanks for all you are doing!

Everyone...We have a whole school full of children and staff as well as his friends and family who are missing him greatly. I realize the odds are not in his favor, however, think of how you would feel if this was your son, brother, teacher, coworker or friend who went missing. Would you give up?

Keep the faith and let's carry on with the search...

Split Pants...any word from the boots to ground team?

supermama
zBrown

Ice climber
Brujo de La Playa
Sep 21, 2013 - 11:53am PT
From the link above, with U.S. population of 312 million, it appears that each of us has a one in about 135,000 chance of being reported missing today.


James Wilcox

Trad climber
Goleta/Virginia Lakes
Sep 21, 2013 - 01:48pm PT
At this point, I'd think that offering a decent reward, as opposed to hiring a search team, would make more financial sense. With so little known facts the odds of a hired team producing ne leads isn't all that high, whereas with a reward you only have to pay if there's results. And a decent reward could get a lot of local people motivated to hike into the suspect areas.

Nice of Dan to contact Mr. Dotsie. Eastside rock just tears up a dog's paws quickly(vet wrap and booties are standard equipment in our packs), and with the limitations on his dog I just don't see him making it to Ritter Range. But usually SAR dog people know other ones, so maybe he knows other trained teams who could help.
tdg119

Social climber
Northampton, PA
Sep 21, 2013 - 07:48pm PT
James - my fear in posting a reward is that people who are not qualified to be in the mountains will try to look and be another liability or loss. Last thing I want is someone getting injured, lost, or worse.

PA detective wants to talk Tuesday.

Jill/John still going over what Morales has shared. When we have a good handle on it, we'll share for the whole group.

Matt is still very much on the forefront of my thoughts. I've heard I should let it go but I just can't yet. Too many raw emotions at the moment to say much more, but please all accept my heartfelt gratitude for sticking with me through this.

PS, just saw on a webcam it's snowing on Mammoth Mountain. :(
Dan Watson

climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sep 21, 2013 - 09:43pm PT
There's been mostly rain in town with a minor dusting of snow, at least at my house which is at 8100 feet. It's snowing at the higher elevations, but accumulations are minor. It's supposed to be clear and sunny through Tuesay with a chance of rain on Wednesday and Thursday. The small amount of snow at higher elevations should not impact access.
pacarockhound

Social climber
Escondido CA
Sep 21, 2013 - 11:56pm PT
Thank you Dan Watson for contacting Paul Dostie.

What did Paul Dostie say about helping with the search?

I, as LA Hiker, am curious to know if he has any suggestions, insights....even if not able to search difficult areas with his dog.

I facebooked about 20 hiking and nature groups yesterday, in the west coast, east coast , international.....with the Matt Greene missing poster. I will let you know if I get any responses, besides David who is on his way up there.

Tiffany, Supermama,
I haven't given up hope.
Ŗ ő ō T « H

Boulder climber
extraordinaire
Sep 22, 2013 - 12:06am PT
Matt is still very much on the forefront of my thoughts. I've heard I should let it go, but I just can't yet. Too many raw emotions at the moment to say much more, but please all accept my heartfelt gratitude for sticking with me through this.
PS, just saw on a webcam it's snowing on Mammoth Mountain. :(
(excellent post ^^) I was coming back from a drive north on 395 this evening, and saw the snow level while going by June lake Loop around 6:30 PM. The storm was plenty potent. No doubt there's some epics being dealt with up in the high country as we speak.
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
Sep 22, 2013 - 12:13am PT
The lake on the back side of South Notch and the Clyde/Ken/Kerhlein Minarets is properly called Amphitheater Lake.
yes, it should be searched.
I'm still swamped with my project, hope to have some time tomorrow to help Split Pants update the list of places looked at / and to be looked at.

This weekend's snow is minor and I would expect it to melt within a few days even in the Minarets. No sense in taking a hike just for the purpose of looking until it melts. A lot of the likely spots such as clefts between boulders and bases of couloirs will be partially obscured (and easy enough to fall into). We SHOULD have several more weeks of decent weather although the past two years' weather has definitely been out of the normal. New Years' Ice skating on the High Sierra lakes and streams with not a snow patch on the ground?

Odd history bits: When Walter Starr Jr died on the Michael Minaret in 1933 there were Lower and Upper Iceberg Lakes. Now the upper Iceberg is Cecile Lake. However Amphitheater Lake was called Amphitheater Lake in '33. Amphitheater Chute was named by the first ascenders in the '60s.
pacarockhound

Social climber
Escondido CA
Sep 22, 2013 - 02:33am PT
HighTraverse - from David Husted:

11:23pm
that Amphitheater lake is very remote and a good place to look. I didn't have the time to explore it. The glacier at the north end of the lake would be a good starting point. There are very few clues of the few people that visit this lake from the south notch.

11:27pm
David will not be doing this hike - he says: Something tells me in my gut that his goal was to get to the top of some minaret peak by means of glacier travel. Those boots he had are some serious mountaineering footwear.

11:37pm
This week: Twin Island Lakes, Rodgers peak, and Electra Peak. Western approach via the Isberg Pass Trail.

Here's the map: http://hikenhi.smugmug.com/Davids-Hiking-and/Rodgers-Peak-the-North-fork-of
Dan Watson

climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Sep 22, 2013 - 05:31pm PT
I forwarded an e-mail from Split Pants that contains a summary of the areas searched and other relevant information to Dostie. He was going to review it last night and then determine what assistance he could possibly provide.
kenish

Gym climber
Orange County, CA
Sep 22, 2013 - 08:00pm PT
A climber suggested that Matt or his equipment could have fallen and come to rest down the west side of a crest or peak. Several climbers agreed it's plausible. The search map looks like the western slopes are unsearched for the most part. Has the area been searched? Or is glassing unlikely to get results and a ground search impractical and too risky? I'm sure there's a good reason...I know very little about the "other side of the mountain". Thought I'd bring it up since the weather window is starting to close.
tioga

Mountain climber
pac northwest
Sep 23, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
Something tells me in my gut that his goal was to get to the top of some minaret peak by means of glacier travel. Those boots he had are some serious mountaineering footwear.
Sounds right--not only judging from the gear taken, but also consistent with a picture of his personality from Summitpost forum posts...He must have wanted to reach another classic peak that he haven't done yet, before leaving.
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