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Thread: Incredibly odd development in the Geraldine Largay case

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    Senior Member Maineman's Avatar
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    Incredibly odd development in the Geraldine Largay case


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    Weird. How far does one go off trail for a biobreak, so as to not be able to find their way back?
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    Senior Member Brambor's Avatar
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    You did not factor in her age. Ask someone who works in elderly care about how this could happen. We'll all be there one day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dingo View Post
    Weird. How far does one go off trail for a biobreak, so as to not be able to find their way back?
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    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    I don't find it odd at all. There are many reasons it could have played out this way from the physical and/or mental weariness of a long hard trail to a simple rule of successful SAR, when in doubt stay put. From our relaxed keyboards it is easy to second guess a way out of the situation, especially for those with some familiarity of the area. But from the point of view of the circumstances, those North Maine Woods are as big as the universe.

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    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
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    I still find it very odd. Perhaps someday more of her journal will be released. I don't think any amount of information will make this sad event go away any time soon. I know a lot of people the age she was (and am one of them) so I would not be quick to make the assumption that her age had anything to do with it.
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    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    One good thing to come out of this: Many of us read "accident reports" with an eye toward learning. Was there a particular mistake that the (hiker, climber, skier, whatever) made that I can learn to avoid for myself? In climbing accident reports, the mistakes are usually very specific (tied such and such knot the wrong way, for example) and the results are usually very prompt and traceable. In hiking, it's usually much more general and blurry. But in this case, it's good to finally get a very specific learning from this.

    For me, this is one I have always practiced, but many folks might benefit. When I am hiking alone, in a remote area where I am really RELYING on the trail to get back out, I make sure I know where the trail is. When I leave the trail, even for a bathroom break, I take a bearing so I can be sure to find the trail again afterward.

    Sad for the family, but knowing what actually happened may provide some closure.

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    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
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    I wonder if the family has agreed to let more information out than they initially had for that very reason. "We" need some help with closure, too. Some have said we are being morbid by going over and over this incomplete information, to let her RIP. I think she'd be more likely to RIP (if that is possible) by having us all feel more informed. TCD you are right about these events being part of our education.
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    Member kamoore63's Avatar
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    Keep in mind how incredibly dense the north woods are. The military uses this area for their highly intensive SERE training. And I'll never forget the Lear Jet that crashed on its way to Lebanon NH in 1996 and wasn't found until 3 years later in spite of one of the biggest aerial searches in New England history.
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    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    It is not morbid interest on the part of hikers to try and analyze what went wrong and how this could happen. Deconstructing tragedies to prevent future tragedies is useful and intelligent work. I think the ongoing fascination here is that many of us can't imagine how searchers failed to locate her. Its not that a person can't get lost, its just so amazing that she was not found alive when she was camped so close to where she lost the trail. I can't help wondering if searchers shied away from the Navy SERE facility boundary where she was eventually found. I feel bad for everyone: Gerry, her family, and the search team that failed to locate her. I'm sure they did their best.
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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey J View Post
    It is not morbid interest on the part of hikers to try and analyze what went wrong and how this could happen.
    I disagree. This statement is a generalization. As much as you have your opinion others have the right to state their opinion and feelings. Personally I can see what your saying but I can also see others interpretations and that should be respected. I do believe also in these matters being discussed on Internet forums poster's tone can be misconstrued quite easily. In general I do agree that some good can come from analyzing accidents, rescues and mishaps in the woods.
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    Senior Member iAmKrzys's Avatar
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    I am glad Maine Warden Service finally released some specific information that obliterates lots of speculation for most people watching this case.

    There are many important lessons that can be drawn from Inchwarm's disappearance. For me personally, the two most important takeaways are:
    1. It is incredibly easy to get lost in dense woods, especially if there are no distinct landmarks to guide you back to trail. I really think that one could be just 50 feet off trail and if distracted could start walking in wrong direction and never hit the original trail again. The trees can really look alike after a while.
    2. Having offline maps on a smartphone or gps can be extremely important in figuring out where you are and how to get to where you want to be. Alternatively a satellite tracking device can also help if everything else fails.

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    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    As much as you have your opinion others have the right to state their opinion and feelings. Personally I can see what your saying but I can also see others interpretations and that should be respected.
    I don't believe I have denigrated or failed to show respect for other interpretations. I have simply stated my opinion. You are certainly entitled to yours. It doesn't sound like we are that far apart. Gerry was about my age and also from Tennessee.
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    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iAmKrzys View Post
    Having offline maps on a smartphone or gps can be extremely important in figuring out where you are and how to get to where you want to be. Alternatively a satellite tracking device can also help if everything else fails.
    I think you're slightly off the most important lesson, which is: you should carry a GPS and/or a map & compass, & you need to have sufficient skill to use them even when you're turned around, confused, anxious/worried/scared, & possibly hungry/tired. Carrying them is one thing, but it takes some degree of practical use to get to the point where you can rationally figure out how to get un-lost with these tools in spite of your mental/physical state.

    When all else fails, the satellite tracking device or PLB will also fail; a map & compass will likely be the last thing to fail.

    Lastly, I disagree with the thread title: that she survived for so long is not odd—to me that alludes to a conspiracy—it is surprising, and makes the case all the more tragic.
    Last edited by TEO; 05-27-2016 at 10:14 AM.

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TEO View Post
    Lastly, I disagree with the thread title: that she survived for so long is not odd—to me that alludes to a conspiracy—it is surprising, and makes the case all the more tragic.
    I think the 'odd' part is that we found out exactly what happened (more or less), not that what happened was odd. Normally we are left with loosely drawn conclusions.
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    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    I've read on some other online discussions that she wasn't carrying a map? Can anyone corroborate??

    So sad that the journal seems to describe her as simply lost and waiting for help???

    Without a map, she wouldn't have known that walking downslope just about anywhere in that area would lead to the CRV.
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