After the Search on Tuesday……

January 19th, 2016

by Sacha

 

Today was a day I will not soon forget.

We did not find Randy today.  I know that so many of you thought and prayed that we would.  That is why you are reading this.  Rather than get your hopes up, I figured we should start there.  But, we did find more information, and I will get to that soon.

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There are no words to describe the most wonderful group of people I have ever met.  There are no words in the English language that can tell you the amount of kindness, caring, sacrifice, dedication, and motivation that I saw in my fellow searchers today.  Not muddy roads, nor threat of explosive devices behind fences could deter our searchers.

The search team

Left to right, DaisyMae in the black hat, Scott in the camo, Mike in the hat, and his wife Heather in the Red Coat, Slurbs in the center with the cap, Eric Griego kneeling in front, me in blue jacket, Cynthia in yellow, Radcrad on far right with vest. Ranger Nicolas peers over Cynthia.

We met at the designated place this morning.  I had 10 wonderful people appear to help look for Randy.  Cynthia and I had already decided that if no one else showed up, we would go.  We were wonderfully surprised by the turnout.  The first star of the day went to Elizabeth.  She is a volunteer at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, and a hunter of the Fenn Treasure.  She knew that she couldn’t go searching, as she had a shift at the Shelter, but that didn’t stop her from helping.  She showed up with mounds of food for everyone.  I think I counted 4 bags, with everything from granola bars to apples, and some naughtier fare like chocolates.  Elizabeth stayed with us for an hour, until we headed out.  She joined us again later for dinner, but I will get to that.

DaisyMae will be mad at me for telling, but she was there today, as well.  Actually, she was the first one there today, and she doesn’t even live in New Mexico.  I was happy to see her smiling face greet me, and the first thing she said is ‘Do you need any help?’.  I told her I had some stuff to make a sign.  She got to making a huge sign that said Search Party, and I taped it to the historical marker near the road.  The last time I saw Daisy at dinner, she was still wearing her big beautiful smile, but anyone with any sense could see she was exhausted.

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Next, Slurbs rolled in with his big pickup truck.  I actually knew Slurbs already, because I once had coffee with him and his very lovely wife and son.  He is one of the nicest people I have ever met.  While I was going over the search plan with everyone, he saw that I was shivering, so he went and got an extra hoodie and put it on me.  He is always thinking of other people before himself, and I hope I can learn to be more like him.

Mike, and his better half Heather, came next.  They had a 4WD Subaru and had obviously been driving quite a bit in the last 24 hours.  They are also not from New Mexico, but rather from very near where Randy lived.  When they heard what happened, and we were going to look, they grabbed their necessities and drove all night to get here.  When they came to dinner, they looked war torn and ragged.  Mike has a very interesting and incredible story, but I will let him share it with each of you, in his own time.

The next star, and maybe the biggest one, might belong to Eric E. Griego, of The Griego Agency, Private Investigators, LLC.  He has been a private investigator for 25 years, this week.  He has been in contact with members of Randy’s family, and was able to obtain those pictures Randy sent to his friend, two weeks before his disappearance.  We received those pictures, just before we left, and they told us volumes.  We were able to determine the location those pictures were taken.  That told us we were looking in the right place. Eric’s investigative skills continued to keep us in new information all day. We couldn’t have done as much as we did without him.

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Katy came next, and she seems very nice.  I am sad to say that we barely spoke today, as we searched two different sides of the river.  I did see her again at dinner, briefly.  I hope that one of the other searchers shares more about her with you all.  She deserves a star of her own just for showing up.

The last arrival to the group was Scott.  He hopped out of his pickup truck wearing full hunting camo gear, and I knew he was my Huckleberry for today.  I knew that my hike was the hardest, and I wanted to take someone with me who had more experience in the mountains than I do, and he was my guy.  He was my search partner for the day.  Scott is a very nice person, lucky for me.  He also has an amazing story, but I don’t think it’s my place to share this one.  He is a recent Fennatic, and only heard of Forrest’s tricky treasure 2 months ago.  Scott had never met any of us before, and had never even heard of Dal or Stephanie or Sacha.  He only knew of a Facebook page.  He heard about our search, and next thing you know, he has packed all his gear and is meeting us to help.

After we went over our search areas, strategy, and safety concerns, we split up and headed out to our respective areas.  Cynthia and Radcrad drove all the way back into very muddy roads, all the way to the east side of Monteso Peak.  By that time, Cynthia’s tires were spinning in place more than they were moving the truck.  She was worried she would get stuck, and not make it to the airport on time to meet the airplane for the aerial search.  She told Radcrad she had to turn around.  Radcrad told Cynthia that he was not going anywhere.  This was the spot he needed to search, and he was going to search it.  And, search it he did.  He came prepared with a book of all the sections of the Rio Grande broken down, showing each canyon and eddy.  It was a thorough book, and he was still studying it at dinner.  That man has more perseverance than anyone I have met, and I admire him for it.

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Cynthia broke off from the group to meet her pilot in Santa Fe.  She rode in a very tiny but very luxurious airplane, but I don’t think it was all giggles for her.  I saw them in the sky, and the maneuvers he was pulling would have my lunch on his windshield in a heartbeat, but not Cynthia.  I think she really is made of gold.  Cynthia has her own story about her flight today, which she will share with all of you soon.

Scott and I searched the west side of the river, on the north side of Frijoles canyon.  We drove all the way to Bandelier National Monument, paid the $20 entry fee, and headed in. (On a side note, my next quest is to write someone a letter about a $20 day use pass for a park I partly own).  Scott and I wanted to try to look down into Frijoles canyon, and see what we could see.  Unfortunately, the road there was anything but easy.

We were able to find a service road gate to get us closer to the mesa top.  We parked and followed the road past the gate, on foot.  We arrived at the water treatment plant, and walked around it.  We got past the fence only to find snow, ice, and crumbling lava rock beneath out feet.  We couldn’t stand directly on the top of the mesa, because LANL claimed that area as theirs.  So, we followed along just under the edge, and spent over an hour hiking through the grueling mess of rockslides.  We finally came to the end of Frijoles Canyon, and could see both directions on the Rio Grande.  Scott and I hiked and glassed with binoculars for the next two hours.  We saw nothing, until the end of our trip, when we saw some divers getting ready to enter the water at the mouth of the canyon.  For a while, we thought someone professionals were on the case, and there were there to help us.  It wasn’t until later that we discovered that we were watching a survival drill that had been scheduled for months.

Eric led a group of searchers to another area, nearer Randy’s car.  The original insertion point was blocked by a gate.  Eric used his best judgement and decided that they should find another way in.  They drove to where Randy parked his car, and were very surprised to see Randy’s car still sitting there.  Luckily, Randy does not have tinted windows.  Eric was able to see the full contents of his car, even in the trunk, and he took great pictures.  What he did discover concerned us greatly.

In Randy’s car are all the essentials you would need for an overnight stay in the woods, in good weather.  There was a jacket, a coat, a sleeping bag, a lunch with a sandwich, several gallon jugs of bottled water, a map, food for Leo, Leo’s bed, and Randy’s shoes.  One thing that bothered everyone is that Randy’s car was still sitting where he parked it, despite reports to the contrary.  Looking at the contents of Randy’s car, it would not appear that he set out with camping in mind.

Finally, but certainly not last, Geydelkon and John Brown have been looking for Randy since before we even tried to get together.  They have had their boots on the ground longer than anyone else, and deserve their own story altogether. I hope they tell it.

At the end of the day, we all met up at the Blue Corn Café in Santa Fe.  The meeting time was set for 4 pm, but not one searcher showed up on time.  Every one of them was late, dragging themselves in only when the mud or sun wouldn’t allow them to continue.  Much to everyone’s surprise, they were treated to warm meals by Forrest Fenn himself.  As each searcher straggled in, you could see the exhaustion on his or her face.  Hair was disheveled, jackets were hanging off, and eyes were downcast.  There was always a surprised smile when they walked in and saw Forrest.  But, you could see their hearts hung low from not finding Randy today.

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We did not find Randy today.  Actually, we didn’t find a single trace of him within a 3 mile radius of his car or his boat.  We found no sign that he ever attempted to climb up any wall or canyon.  All we found of Randy was his car, where he left it.  I can’t tell you how sad we all are, and how it hangs on each of us that we found no trace of him today.

But, you should also know that no one has given up on finding him.  Radcrad vowed to look every day until he is found, even if no one else does.  Cynthia and Katya are working on getting drones in the sky, to get to areas we can’t reach.  Others are calling friends with horses to check areas too far to hike in a day.  Everyone has ideas on where we can still look.

There was one honorable mention that I would like to make.  His name is Nicolas, and he was a Ranger who stopped by to see if we were the group searching for Randy.  I told him that we were, and next thing you know, he is helping us go over maps.  He met with us at our rally point, helped us know how to access different areas, and even told us where to go and who to talk to if we needed access to any of the Tribal land surrounding us.  He even offered to open any gate in his jurisdiction for us, if we needed it.  His enthusiasm and helpfulness were such a welcome surprise.

Also, I have one last shout out to the volunteers at New Mexico Search and Rescue.  They are a wonderful organization, and they were the ones that discovered Randy’s things.  They provided us with information on where to focus our search efforts, and without them, no one would be looking for Randy.

Sacha-

88 thoughts on “After the Search on Tuesday……

    • Wish we could be there to help in the search. We live to far away, back east. Our hope and strength is there with you. Remember he is in a black wet suit so hard to see. Vicki.

  1. What a mystery. How could he have disappeared without taking any supplies? And I’m sure he would never leave the dog, Leo, behind. You are all angels for searching for him and I still hold out hope that somehow he is safe somewhere.

  2. Great story, Sacha. The searchers took one heck of a beating, both physically and mentally. Everyone gave their all and that’s nothing to sneeze about. A great big round of applause for everyone. You did a great job.

  3. Will you be going out again to search? Possibly this weekend? Please post if there is another group search planned. I work weekdays but would have no problem going this weekend. I do have a quadcopter with camera with live view if that would help if it is allowed. I do hope they find him soon.
    David R

  4. An amazing day for all of you. Perseverance is a real virtue. Really shocking to hear that all of the supplies were still in the car. Hoping your next day searching can find Randy. all the Best.

  5. Wow what a day. Awesome. Look at all those searchers that showed up. What amazing people.

    Slurbs your so sweet. That’s great that u showed up. Look at you showing that T- shirt off. 🙂 awesome 🙂

    Forrest you are truly just amazing. I’m sure the search team enjoyed seeing you.

    I pray that Randy is ok. Bless his heart.

    • I knew your spirit was in the search for Randy, Amy. I wanted you with us, so I represented you in wearing the T-shirt. I know it is filled with prayers.

  6. The next time you see one of these people out and about, shake their hand and buy them a cup of coffee or a slice of pie. They are the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of calling my friends.

  7. Sacha, I know you are tired and need to relax. I’m wondering if the money from the Randy GoFundMe site can be used to hire a helicopter to search the areas that are difficult to get to?

    • That decision would be up to his daughters. I gave the account to them to do with as they need.

      Also, we would need a lot more money to hire a helicopter. They are not cheap.

      • How much is a lot? I’m willing to pay or help pay for the helicopter. Please get back to me. I feel so helpless back here in Pa.
        I’m so proud of you guys and maybe someday I’ll get to meet you all!
        Please get back to me!

      • Please, someone contact the daughters snd ask for permission to use his gofundme account to search for Randy. We can do this! I would also recommend having a least on photogrspher in the helicopter to take photos and two people looking –one on each side of tbe helicopter.

  8. Hats off to all of you guys and gals…..if I’m ever in need you guys are the team I want …..if I lived closer I would be right there with ya…..thank you all…..

  9. Thank you for sharing. It is hard to deliver no news. May you all be blessed for you great hearts. You all are a true treasure.

  10. Absolutely awesome. Thanks to the whole team and helpers for your dedication to this challenge. God bless you all. Get some well earned rest. Tomorrow is another day and each of you have a different path laid out. May you all have a safe journey, wherever it may lead.

  11. Thanks for posting this, Sacha. After all, you are just as tired as the rest of the team. There are Fennatics all over the world waiting for updates and we appreciate your taking the time to provide such a detailed log of today’s events. God bless you all and of course Dal and Forrest for helping in any way you can. I wish I could help, but I live in the northeast.

    I wonder if it might help to bring Leo back to the vicinity of the car. Dogs are very smart and he may try to communicate something to the searchers. Could be worth a try.

    • Thank you Sacha and all Searchers. God Bless all of you. People like all of you are so rare to find. There’s a special spot in Heaven for people like all of you.
      I think Sacha it’s time to start searching the Rio Grand like Dal had said. I also think if you brought Little Leo back by the raft that he won’t go anywhere because like Dal said we think that is the last place that Leo seen Randy. I agree with Dal, I think Randy had Leo in his arms slipped or found a deep hole underwater and got in trouble and I believe that Randy chose to save Leo, (by throwing him towards shore ) than to save himself and things only went worse from there. But it is time to do a search and recover. It’s been to long with no food or water. I’m truly sorry to say this but this is life and you can’t fight the rivers, deserts or the mountains.
      God look over Randy for us and let us have closer for the family.

  12. Thank you Sacha, for updating us on the search efforts. We are all grateful for the efforts of all those involved in looking for Randy. Very strange that Randy’s car was still there and that his supplies were in the car. It seems there are more questions to be answered than ever – the more we learn, the less we know. 🙁
    Bless you all.

  13. What you guys are doing is heartwarming… I agree with the folks who want to take Leo back out there. He would never have left Randy.

  14. I am sure Randy’s family appreciate all of the effort everyone is putting into this search. You all deserve recognition for your selfless efforts and the spirit of fortitude each of you have demonstrated.

    Kudos to you all.

  15. I’m in awe of everyone I met today – you are all amazing! I’ll be thinking of those going back tomorrow and may see others again this weekend.

    Wanted to share something from my search experience today. There was confirmation this morning that the river is plugged with ice up from the lake – but around noon, at the put-in by Randy’s car, the river seemed calm and serene and the sun was shining invitingly. Around the first corner was a man-made water hazard and just yards downstream was the first set of rapids that could have shaken up a non-commercial type raft. Please, please, please be careful around rivers. Low water doesn’t mean safe water! What’s around the corner by a matter of miles can look drastically different.

  16. Sacha, may you and all involved in this search effort be richly blessed.
    Thank you for giving us such a valuable report.

    One question keeps coming up as I share this with family and friends, “Was Leo tied up or free when he was found?” There are lots of curiosities with this incident, but this one keeps coming up. If anyone knows, please respond. Thanks.

    • Special, the SAR report which I believe was shared by Linda (Randy’s ex-wife) on one of the threads was that ‘Leo was not tethered & it took the SAR folks a half-hour to coax Leo to them. He was hungry & traumatized.’ Words may not be exact but to that effect. Hope this helps.

  17. First, let me thank all those involved. Volunteering to go out in the middle of winner, you are the best of us.

    On to practical matters: Do we have any high resolution photos? You have at least a few hundred of people who have been looking at old Google Earth photos. New photos from the area might help. I know you guys looked really, really hard, but you never know what might have been missed.

    We’re scattered across the country, but we can assist. Please put us to work 🙂 What I recommend is dumping any and all photos into a zip file and dropping them on the web somewhere. If there aren’t any high resolution photos of the area yet, maybe we can collaborate and get some. Drone photographers might volunteer or can be hired inexpensively.

      • First off, to Sacha and the team, thanks for your efforts. I can’t imagine the vast amount of rugged terrain there is out there and the effort needed just to get to the search areas. We appreciate all that you’re doing.

        Secondly, great idea Jeremy. Although we can’t be there in person, we’re here ready to assist in any way we can and Jeremy is spot on about scouring high res images for details.

        The contents of his car and other info indicate he was planning a day trip…in and out. If that’s the case, I don’t think he was on his way out without Leo. My gut is telling me he got injured, trapped, etc. en route to or returning from his search area.

        In my opinion all signs are indicating either Frijoles Canyon as his search area OR the area directly east from Frijoles Canyon. If it’s Frijoles Canyon, and the end is ever drawing nigh, his route might have taken him to the left as he entered the canyon, which would be along the south wall.

        If his search area is over the ridge, east, from his raft location, perhaps his selfie is a picture of the blaze. So he would be looking quickly down (to the East) from the top of the ridge.

        Thanks again for all that you’re doing. You’re showing that Forrest has created something greater than just a treasure hunt. There’s a family here.

  18. I just want to say what a great bunch of people you searchers are. I know the efforts you made were not easy ( being and old backpacker myself). If by chance any of you continue be safe in your travels, and know that us that can not there are proud of you that are. Bur

  19. It brings tears to my eyes reading this. I pray for you all and Randy and his family. God picked a group with different abilities to get the job done. Geydelkon is from Colorado also and I’m glad he is there searching too. He is the only one of y’all in the group that I have met. Hope you are all at the Fennboree so that I can shake all of your hands. Wish I could be there or offer some solutions or advice, but all I can do is donate money, which I have, and am considering donating more. Good luck to you all if you continue your search, which I pray you will.

  20. I know helicopters are expensive, up to $500 an hour.
    If you can find a chopper to fly the search area and possibly inland, canyon etc. I’ll gladly pay for an hour of fly time. That’s my contribution. Will F match me, or some of you others pitch in too? I emailed Dal. Let me know!

      • John Brown has an update on my forum at the following link.
        http://www.chasechat.com/showthread.php?tid=3561&page=13

        Randy’s daughter also shows a text she got from her father of frijole falls saying it was dangerous on that page as well.

        John Brown said he’d consider going back out on Saturday or Sunday. I’m wondering if we could get him down to the river with a helicopter. He strongly believes Randy is in Frijole Canyon somewhere and John has done this hike and is familiar with it.

        So can someone get the information for the helicopter and manage an account for people who want to donate to that? I can get a date for John? If anyone wants to go with John, let me know and I know I read on one of the forums that someone had a drone. Maybe they can be one of the ones that would go with? Otherwise, I believe DaisyMae has experience with SAR and drones? Please email me at tyblossom at aol dot com and lets see if we can get a search team together.

          • Sacha, great news you have a helicopter. I’ve been communicating with an aerial photography company down in Albuquerque this morning to see if they can come through and photograph the general vicinity at low altitude. Would this be helpful? Feel free to reach out to discuss:
            threerocks at iCloud dot com.

          • Thank you three rocks.

            We need to be sure to coordinate our efforts. It is dangerous and deadly to have drones flying when we have a helicopter scheduled to land at the raft site. Also, we need to be in contact with law enforcement personnel so that no one accidentally gets rescued or arrested. Also, there are some military restricted air space areas within our vicinity that we have to be aware of.

            If you have someone who can help, have them email me directly at cutterconcepts@gmail.com at gmail.com. I will make sure we get them out there when we don’t have someone in aircraft.

          • Thanks Sacha. I’ll make sure nothing gets scheduled without you having direct input on when it would happen.

          • Hi Sacha, thank you. That was earlier this morning but my posts don’t always show up when I post them. Diane told me about the helicopter and I got John your info. He’s very familiar with the area as he hikes it and would be good to team up with you guys.

            I personally believe if there’s no waders or wet suit and the water is full enough then it’s more likely it’s a water issue. I think seeing if someone can raft as close to the lake up to where the raft was with a drone checking over each edge would be the best bet.

            Wish you guys well and Thank you so much for what you’re doing.

    • Count me in Donna! I also emailed Dal.
      Let’s get this going.
      I think they should take a couple of searchers to the raft so they can search from that point, plus they can look around for clues.

      • Another option would be to hire a company to shoot some high resolution digital aerial photography of the region for review. I can look into cost of this if that would be of interest.

  21. Sacha, thank you so much for the update. With all you’re trying to do, to take time to keep us all informed is so appreciated. It makes us feel like we’re there with you when It’s not possible for us all to be there.

    So nice to see the pictures of the special searchers who are there giving everything they’ve got! And thanks to Forrest for so actively supporting all the search efforts and to Dal & Goofy for keeping it all together on this site.

    Continued prayers for your success and the best outcome!

  22. Wanting to know the progress being made in the search for Randy, as did many yesterday, I continuously read the blog for updates looking for a minuscule of hope for a good outcome. All day I was consumed by a sadness that I could not shake. Reading the heroic efforts by all the searchers only added to that sadness after Sasha and Cynthia posted the day’s results. During the sleepless night I tried to understand why, but I can’t. So, today I choose to see light rather than dark. Today I will make a conscious effort to picture Randy and Leo in that blue raft gently drifting down the Rio. Leo is on the front of the raft, with his feet up on the edge, pointing the way for his buddy. It would be a journey Randy started with an excitement we have all felt. Today was to be the day! The 9 miles slipped by quickly and easily as Randy dipped the oar from side to side. No need for the other oar, it was never extended to its full length. The wind must have been cold to the face, but also comforting. He was embracing the adventure of a lifetime, life was good! Today he would find his rainbow.

    To those who search, I believe you embody the true spirit of Mr. Fenn’s efforts.

  23. Sacha, thanks for the update from Tuesday’s search. I was sorry to hear that Randy wasn’t located but the efforts put forth by you and all the other searchers is beyond commendable.
    Tom

  24. Another thought, has F verified Indulgence is still unfound? If Randy was “hot”, there may be foul play and if that’s the case, he would never be found. Not being morbid, just real.

  25. I know this is late, but I always wear a life jacket and it’s a real good idea even when fishing or wading because the rocks are very slippery. That goes for searchers, too. Slip on a rock, hit your head, get knocked unconscious, even in shallow water. Be careful. They make wading shoes that have a felt sole. Really helps. My prayers are out for all involved here.

  26. A big Thank You to Sacha and all the searchers who are giving their love dedication, and compassion to find Randy.
    Sending prayers and positive thoughts that today will be the Day.
    I hope to meet you all in June.
    Untill then be safe, and prayers for Randy and the whole TOTC Family.

  27. Impressive efforts out there from the dedicated searchers, keep it up and I’m sure Randy will be found.

    Maybe it’s time to contact a remote viewer to help you guys out? Some people from the Stargate project are out there as local and international independent trainers/consultants.

  28. God bless you Sasha, all the searchers and helpers and Mr. Fenn all associated in this search for Randy. Please be safe and stay warm out there. Prayers are being lifted up and sent to God’s ear!!! Do any of the searchers plan to search the area again with scent dogs? They could get the scent off of Randy’s things in his car and go from there. Everyone is doing excellent searching and it is so kind and loving and wonderful as us other Fenners can only give advice and such to help from out of state or donate!! Keep up the good work ya’ll and God be with you along with Randy who hopefully is still out there and needs all of our prayers and help and to be immediately found. God Speed Good Luck All of you are Angels from Heaven…. Never give up… Ms. Girl

  29. I meant Sacha, not awake; bad spelling on my part. Ya’ll keep us updated and in the loop… Try the scent tracker dogs and use some of his clothing or something Randy used in his car just a thought. Praying for all of you…

  30. With as much information as I’ve seen here on Dal’s blog site, I have been wondering how it is that the pieces to the puzzle have fallen as they have.

    1. Locked car with overnight gear parked at “put-in” place.
    2. Raft and dog left high and dry nine miles away.

    Just these two pieces don’t add up. He was not wearing hiking shoes at the time of his disappearance, it seems. If that is the case, it is highly unlikely that he was planning on going more than a mile downstream, if that far. I say that because it means paddling back upstream the same distance you float down. Or, getting out, deflating the raft and carrying it back along the shore back to the car. My expreience in canoes paddling upstream lead me to believe that he did not intend to end up as far down stream as he did.

    Another more sinister line of thinking, is that he did run into some ‘bad guys” and they stole his stuff and ditched the raft down stream of where any crime may have been committed and met up with associates where the raft was left.

    If I understand the situation correctly the car and his “put in” point would have been on the West side of the river and the raft was found on the East side of the river. If this is correct, then he knew he was on the “wrong side of the river” and the other side held more promise of being found/walking out because of the housing he passed along the way down stream.

    Perhaps after floating for that period of time he had become fatigued from trying to steer the boat anywhere by himself. He may have also figured that he needed to land the boat anyplace so he could find a “safe crossing point” to wade across and walk out.

    Purely speculating, but I am wondering if there was anything left with the raft? He may have been carrying everything he had for the day trip on his person, including his dog when he started to wade across. If he slipped and went under, he was probably tired and weighted down – not to mention if in waders as some have commented on, he didn’t stand a chance of coming back up for air. He let the dog go and it swam to shore and then waited for him.

    Not knowing the speed of the Rio Grande at this point in the season, I’m going to guess that floating down nine miles probably took three to five hours, and we don’t know when he put in. But if he was eating a sandwich, then perhaps around noon? Five hours later the shadows are getting pretty long.

    Assuming he made a safe crossing where the raft was, would the dog have waited on the opposite bank, even if it didn’t want to make the swim? All dogs we’ve had in our extended family have always followed their masters into the water. The dog waiting on the bank is a telling sign.

    If Randy did cross the river near where the boat/raft was found, he would have been making tracks back to civilization to get warm and fed, and then get back to his dog and raft. That’s assuming any “dog person” would ever leave their dog behind.

    I sure hope Randy is alive and holed up someplace waiting to be found, but I fear that his body will be found along the banks of the Rio Grande, downstream of where he went in.

    This is all my opinion, sitting over 1200 miles away.

    • But his earlier photos that have been posted all indicated an interest in the section of river around and just upstream of where his raft was found. Both the put in point and raft location are on the east bank. There is a passable trail up to the east rim road network from the raft location. He took two photos from close to that location on the east rim in December, and that trail would have been a much easier access route than rafting the river.

  31. On foot, start at the spot of Randy’s boat. Move along the river bank to the point where the way is blocked. That’s where Randy looked for a way to higher ground. You probably know this already… Since I don’t know where the boat was found, I’m not sure which direction I’d head in (north or south).

    • Sacha was searching in the exact same place where Chanon Thompson got “lost”. Coincidence? Synchronicity? Rough place to wander around? All the above?

      • I’m still not sure where Randy Bilyeu’s boat and car were found. But if you’re looking for Randy, maybe Chanon Thompson herself can provide some helpful insights.

  32. Thanks to all of you who have helped and to all who have given suggestions on the blog.and prayers.we are helping in our own way that we can to find randy
    But i know randy would not of left leo this long . By now randy would of made somekind of sos,and mr.forrest did not hide the chest in a dangerous place.he has said this.so no one should be looking for a treasure in these areas anywhere you look rio grande or wherever. I’m sorry but i hope they find him alive,but we all know this chance by now is a hard one.god bless.

  33. Once again, thank you to all those who are organizing and taking part in the search.

    To me, at this stage, there are two most likely scenarios.

    1. He fell into the river and was swept away. This is perhaps less likely than on first thought. Certainly, he could have fallen while searching the banks, hit his head, and gone under. (He could even have been attempting to wade across the river, although that seems crazy when you have a raft.) Divers found no evidence of this.

    Alternatively, he stumbled and was carried away conscious. Then it’s likely he would have worked his way to one or other bank. If this occurred, he would be dangerously cold and could have passed out, but there was apparently no sign of him in or close to the water. Also, Leo would probably not have been found by the boat in that scenario.

    2. He was searching in the immediate vicinity – or even slightly further afield on the east bank – and got into difficulty, or realized that there was no way back to the car using his raft. He secured the boat, put on his backpack, and headed out, initially making for higher ground. Leo would probably have accompanied him. Something happened to him – a fall, a heart attack, hypothermia.

    In this instance, I would suggest he would have gone no more than about a half-mile to the south or north of the boat’s location (if searching), and anything up to three or four miles to the northeast, if attempting to get back to the car – but not so far that a confused Leo would not have been able to find his way back to the boat (if he had indeed been with Randy at the time).

    To me it seems imperative that the navigable ground just inland from the east bank should be searched thoroughly, particularly to the north of the spot where Randy beached. I don’t know how well that area’s already been covered, but it’s likely that Randy would have looked for shelter of some sort and so might not be readily visible from the air.

    In the end, if he’s not in the water, chances are that he would be somewhere between the sandbar and his car, and probably not too far distant from the river, if he used it as his reference point, or sustained a fall while searching.

    • Many investigations now involve high profile psychics who provide clues that solve a missing person case. The investigator who met with the search team yesterday may know of one. Remote viewing, where an individual with a gift and training for seeing real situations from a distance is another expedient route. People have conjectured a wide range of scenarios. Many could take weeks or months for resolution. If the heli and physical tactics don’t provide answers, psychics and remote viewers may be an option.

  34. Most likely scenario: Randy Bilyeu had intended to paddle back upstream, but he wasn’t making enough progress against the current. He became exhausted in the effort.
    He then set out to hike back to his car. He had probably lost track of just how far he’d come downstream, or he at least underestimated what it would take to hike back.
    Bilyeu started heading north along the riverbank. He suffered through a number of rough spots before finally coming to a spot where it was either swim or turn back. He’d run out of riverbank.
    His only choice then was to climb up and out of the canyon. The effort was too much. Through a long hard climb, the top of the canyon hardly seamed to come any closer.
    The canyon walls are high. And there Bilyeu had no trail to follow. He reached a spot where the shear cliffs were impossible to climb.
    I believe Bilyeu will be found on the canyon wall. Not at the top, and not at the bottom. He’s in a spot that can’t really be found by a relatively casual search. He’ll be found when a determined hiker sets out from his boat and retraces his steps. It will be a rough climb.

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