New Zealand Geocacher and ranting blogger on It's Not About The Numbers. Check out the latest geo-news, product reviews and opinion pieces. Most hail from the United States, New Zealand, Australia and, more recently, Portugal – with representatives from Groundspeak, Geocaching Australia and Garmin regularly logging in.
Two days ago I was alerted to the existence of a web page that falsely claimed one of Geocaching.com’s co-founders, Jeremy Irish, had died. Fortunately this claim is completely false, however It’s Not About The Numbers (INATN) was concerned to discover that the ‘read more’ button on this page linked our very own homepage.
As no contact details are present on the web page I could find no way of contacting the owner of the page. However, as it is hosted by Weebly.com I immediately filed a spam complaint asking for the offending page to be removed. At the time of writing this post Weebly were yet to respond to the complaint. If anyone would like to assist us by also filing a spam complaint (it only takes a minute) we would appreciate the help in bringing it to Weebly’s attention.
When we were first alerted to the existence of this page I checked the analytics for INATN and found that only two people had been referred to our homepage. We elected originally elected not to post anything here so we did not draw attention to the hoax page or our unwanted association with it. However, it has since become apparent that discussion on this matter has grown and we now feel compelled to post this disclaimer.
So to be clear – It’s Not About The Numbers site and contributors have no involvement in the hoax Weebly website, nor do we approve of the linking from this page to our homepage.
It’s quite obvious that we have not posted in quite a long time and whilst we have no intention of removing INATN we have no intention of resuming regular posting anytime in the near future. We have been in communication with Groundspeak over the issue who, as they are wise, reasonable and very much still alive folk, have supported us in making this disclaimer.
If any clever cachers out there come across any information or evidence regarding who created the hoax page it would a great pleasure to receive this so we can report this monkey’s #@%&* to Groundspeak.
A young couple hike through the forest, cellphones in hand. Some time later, they reach their destination: a hard-to-reach cache, dangling precariously over a cliff face. When they manage to retrieve it, instead of treasure, they uncover something far more gruesome: a rotting forearm, the victim’s fingernails still polished pink. And that’s only the beginning …
As evidence linked to a sadistic string of murders begins to show up in geocaches throughout the forest, a police detective’s only shot at catching this killer, is to play along with his chilling game.
That’s the plot of Finders Keepers, the first novel by Devon Pollard – which he hopes to publish by raising US$7500 (NZ$8523) on popular crowdfunding website KickStarter. And, as you might expect, this murder-mystery centres around our favourite hobby.
The Californian author told It’s Not About The Numbers: “I first thought of the premise for Finders Keepers about five or six years ago, and sat on it for a while … writing other things; doing other things. But this story kind of nagged at me. It snuck back. And as I started researching more here and there, I thought, hey, there’s something compelling about geocaching.
Because it is modern-day treasure hunting. Instead of a stained paper map, you have a GPS device. It used to be in your car. Then it was portable GPS devices, those handheld things. And very modernly: your phone. Smartphone. GPS app. Free or .99 cents. Treasure map? There’s geocache apps. Digital treasure maps on your phone. Accessible to everyone. The digital dots represent the caches in your area. Ergo, the digital dots represent the treasure in your area. Ergo, holy crap there’s a lot of treasure in my area.
But it’s not just the end goal. It’s not all about getting your cookie. There is something compelling about the process too. The search. The quest.
Geocaching is exploratory in a manner that seems to have otherwise fallen out of vogue. Where will it take you? Exotic locations. Remote locations. Familiar locations. Hidden in plain sight locations. What games? What riddles? What puzzles within puzzles?
Geocaching propels humans to get out and do what humans are inherently inclined to do: get out and explore their space. And the human interaction that geocaching involves is fascinating. In that you remove a piece of someone else from that cache, and place a piece of yourself back in, for yet another to find. Touching without touching. Only connecting through an item. A place. A unique quest. A shared cache. And in that cache you place your horcrux. A piece of your soul. Laying dark in the cache. Buried. Covered. Hidden with care. Waiting for someone, the right one, to open the cache again.
Geocaching is investigatory, which lends itself nicely to a murder-mystery storyline: A killer stalking his next victim. A detective stalking the killer. The killer leaves riddles, and sometimes parts of his victims, in geocaches. The detective must locate the caches, and solve the deadly puzzle, to stop the killer from moving onto his next target. He must deduce as much information as he can from the case evidence and forensics if he is to end this twisted game once and for all.”
*To help Devon Pollard publish his novel Finders Keepers, visit his Kickstarter page before Sunday, July 20. A pledge of US$10 will be rewarded with an advance copy of his ebook, while US$25 will score you a first-edition print of Finders Keepers and a souvenir bookmark. The project will only be funded if at least US$7500 is raised, though he is halfway there already.