My Confession

So, I felt the need to confess something. It may not be something that needs confessing, but there are people in the geocaching world who might be upset at someone doing something like this. Therefore, I’ll admit it and let the world decide.

Pictured above is The Thunderbirds Memorial Mural in Las Vegas. It’s not my photo because I was there in the middle of the night, and because, well … you’ll understand in a minute. It commemorates a flight disaster that occurred in 1982 at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. As you can imagine, there was an old Virtual there that has been reverently visited and logged by cachers for well over a decade. As you can also imagine, the requested answer required for logging is on the plaque with the names and dates associated with the crash. I showed up, as I mentioned, in the middle of the night, sent off the required answer, and logged the cache. But here’s the thing: the plaque wasn’t there. In fact, the entire memorial, except the mural, was gone. Luckily, I was able to find the answer with a little bit of internet sleuthing (he said as if it took more than clicking on two links). Once it was logged, I still had time on my hands, so I started looking back through the logs in an attempt to figure out how long it had been gone. It had to have been a while because the spot where it had stood had weathered a bit. It if had been recent, there would have been more telltale markings of trying to force a ton of stone (assuming it wasn’t hollow) from its cement bed. I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled … 2021 … 2019 … 2017 …. Eventually, I found the last time anyone had noted its presence: October 2015. Six years. Six years it had been gone, and people had been logging it. I checked on the cache owner. He hadn’t logged in for over a decade at that point.

I took what I felt was the next reasonable step: submitting the cache to be archived. I know I haven’t talked about this in a long time, but I have feelings about what I call “zombie caches.” These are caches that are unmaintained by their owners, but just keep existing because other people either replace them when they’re damaged or missing, or won’t report that they may have outlived their usefulness. I get that sometimes old or special caches are preserved, and I don’t really have a problem with that. But sometimes, you’ve got to get rid of the old so you can make way for the new. For Virtual Caches, there’s even less of a problem with this. It’s not like there is a physical container to maintain. As long as the object of the Virtual is still there, it can rock on unchanged pretty much forever. But in this case, that object wasn’t there. Even though I was only passing through, I myself had logged it, and it wouldn’t affect anyone or anything if I had remained quiet, I noted it for archival.

The local reviewer chimed in, requesting the cache owner to confirm it’s being maintained. The cache owner logged in the next day. I don’t know what will come of it, but I know from stories I’ve heard that there are some people who would pugnaciously pillory my person in print for possibly producing the privation of a primordially placed … cache. But someone’s got to do it. This time that someone was me. There’s my shame, perhaps my sin. And I’d do it again.

5 thoughts on “My Confession

  1. I agree with Mario – I’d not have claimed a find on it then said it would have to be archived. Maybe wrote a note, and I do agree that owners should maintain their caches, but logging it doesn’t seem to be a problem in this case. Hence the reason why so many people have continued to do so in this situation.


  2. It is sad when a virtual goes away, but the blame does not rest on you for reporting it. You don’t blame the doctor for the cancer diagnosis. You were in the right. I’ll even forgive you for logging it yourself, because it’s still active.


    1. I agree with this sentiment. For all the folks who logged it over the last six years, how many people made a trip out there only to be confused and aggravated? (without reporting it)


  3. So if I understand correct, you logged it without it being there, well the information part.
    Then requested it removed, so others won’t be able to do the exact thing you did and many others did for many years?


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