I followed the link to this story, and saw this:
"One of the suspicious packages took the form of a tiny box wrapped in duct tape. It caused quite a stir when someone found it attached to an electrical unit behind Shaw’s Supermarket Sunday."
So, I can't really fault the local authorities. Geocachers are killing the sport themselves. Some are just so consumed by "the numbers", and of being a TOP geocacher, that they're placing small/micros EVERYWHERE (visit Tennessee if you don't believe me). Our caching experiences on our trip along the east coast last summer, and the proliferation of meaningless micros in Maine are the main reason we're not caching as much as we used to. Walking up to a stop sign or guard rail just isn't what we like about caching.
I think that's where I was headed in the Boston thread.
It's not just micros, but any caches hidden where a finder may be seen and considered a possible spot to sabotage. Unfortunately, the large percentage of these types of caches are urban micros. While some people are concerned with caches in wetlands or cemeteries, I fear for those that could drastically change caching as we know it, or end it.
People hide these thinking it's just a film canister, that is doesn't look like a bomb... Does anyone know what a bomb looks like? In reality, it can look like anything the maker wants it to look like.
I'd like to post a list of caches, but I don't want to single anyone out. Instead I wonder if anyone who has hidden an urban cache will answer this:
Is it in an area or way that could be considered suspicious?
Is it on private property?
Did you get permission?
Were enough people that manage the property informed in case someone reported the cache suspicious?
My only urbanish cache is Old 470. I don't think it's a prime suspicious target since not many gather there at once, but we all know suspicious people often have great imaginations. It's on town owned property, and the only permission I got was a "ya, whatever..." from someone in the office. Probably not the permission I should have gotten, but it was a different era then. I probably would try a litle harder next time.
I would really like to see many of these caches reconsidered. I'd hate to see a couple nice urban caches banned because of a few ill placed ones. You can't expect every finder to be as stealthy as you may have been when you hid it. Assume they won't when you hide caches.
And to reinforce Bruce's statement, I am glad they check into such reports of activity. They are just protecting us after all. If I saw someone hiding a box under a lamp post I would be suspicious too, and would not be pleased if the autorities didn't pursue my reporting it.
Here is a follow up to Bruce's link.
And so it begins.....:(
This is how it starts and then the future of caching get dark. I guess I wont run right out and buy that 60csx.:(
This story makes me kinda nervous, and has me thinking about taking out my caches in the public eye.
I too think this whole thing seems a little drastic, but how long will it be until a terrorist gets a bright idea to hide a bomb as a geocache...
I think education is the best tool we can all use now to make sure that all new cachers are aware of the ramifications that will take place if we continue to place caches in places that will call attention to them and also placing them in areas where we don't have permission. I have noticed a profileration of micro caches all across the state and hope we don't go the way of other states. In lew of recent developements in Boston and other cities where bomb squads have been called out because ill thought out placement of caches we should be aware of these things being brought up.
I agree education is key. But there is a fine line there. And not just the newbies, how do we convince the avid urban cache hiders that what they are doing may not be in the best interest of the sport? The cache I mentioned above was placed by someone who has been caching longer than I have.