Plans for Sunday…

January 23rd, 2016

by CYNTHIA

 

Billy's photo of blue thing

Image #1 – Taken by Bill

possiblepack

Image #1A – Enlargment of the area around my legs from Image #1

This afternoon, John Pearson drove to the mesa top where we parked yesterday. He is trying to find the “blue item” that looks like material (jacket, backpack, waders, etc) that looks like it was purposely stashed beneath the rock slab and then covered with a branch. I was able to get him the time the photo was taken. He then used that time to try to pinpoint in his Garmin where we were standing when Billy photographed John and me (and the blue item behind my foot.) John and I have been able to talk via phone while he’s been searching. He thinks his “tracks” on his Garmin may not have recorded our locations every ten minutes as hoped, so he was having a difficult time. But he used the landscape and odd tree on horizon in picture of Katya, Bill, and John that I took the same time Billy took the one with the blue item. John was running out of time when I last spoke to him. He knows he needs to get back to his truck before dark. If he could locate the approximate spot where Billy and I both took our photos, he will get the GPS co-ordinates, and a team will need to go back. I would like to be part of this team. Roger had plans for tomorrow but might be able to change them. John told me he cannot go tomorrow. Waiting for an update from John.

More info will be added to this page when decisions are made.

Please stay tuned.

————————————-

A few hours later from Cynthia

This below picture (Image #2) of Sacha, Bill and John was taken Friday during the group search. Bill then picked up his camera and took the photo at the top of this page (Image #1) while I was near the blue thing. So the below photo was taken from very near the blue thing.

Katya on rock near blue thing

Image #2 – Taken by Cynthia (me) You can see Katya, Bill and John’s back. This picture was taken Friday during the group search. Bill photographed me from here when I was standing at the spot with the “blue thing”. The red arrow in this top photo is to reference the tree on the horizon.

Today John went back and tried to find the place I was standing with the blue thing. He ran out of time to continue searching. But he was near the same spot…He took the photo below as he tried to get in the correct potion. Compare the tree in the top picture with the image of the same tree below.

IMG_1658

Image #3 of the tree in the background of picture #2. Today John took this picture at 35 degrees 44’53.9”N and 106 degrees 15’8”.To find the spot where the “blue thing” is stashed, you need to walk north upstream.

To find the place where the blue thing is stashed, you need to walk north, upstream.
You will need to use the picture of the distinctive tree on the horizon as a guide. You will also use the bend in the river from the view in the below picture.
Billy's photo of blue thing

Image #1 again – Taken by Bill of John and me. I am standing next to the blue thing

Remember, as a group we were all near one another at the time. We were chatting. I took  picture #2 of Sacha and Bill as John walked towards them right after Bill took picture #1 of John and me looking for Randy.
 
There will be no organized group search by me on Sunday. However, Scott with his ATV plans on going to this area to search. If you want to hook up with Scott please respond below with a comment so he knows how many to expect and can choose a time and  meeting spot
 
On Monday, there will be an organized group search to go to this location if the correct place has not already been found and searched on Sunday. We also plan to hike down to the raft on Monday to look for some evidence of Randy on this slope.
 
To get to the end of the road you must have a high clearance 4WD or coordinate with someone who does. If you plan to hike all the way down to the raft and back up to your car, let me warn you…this is as extreme hiking as I’ve ever done. I know I’m old but this made hiking up the switchbacks to Wheeler Peak seem like a picnic.
 
We will meet at 8:00 Monday morning at the same Santa Fe Animal Shelter on Caja del Rio Rd. We will leave no later than 8:15. If you arrive afterwards, follow the orange ribbons at the multiple forks to get around Montoso Peak. Then use a GPS to get to our general area near the raft.
 
This is all weather dependent. So far the weather is forecasting good. The group will be made up of me, Roger, Katya, and hopefully Scott. Desertphile, if you are available, you definitely are most welcome to join us.
 
I will post an update again tomorrow evening once we have a more current forecast for Monday.
 
If this plan totally confuses you, post a comment on the blog and I will try to explain better.
 
 

298 thoughts on “Plans for Sunday…

    • Well, there they are after securing database connection I can see the pics now. The blue on the left of the pic appears to be snow, maybe getting some reflection from the blue nitrogen sky. I also saw another blue area to the bottom right of the photo where there is no red arrow. Not quite the bottom.

      • Hey jake
        I’ve opeened it up a little more and it’s there. With 3 red arrows pointing to it. What ever it is it looks like it was cut off not taken off.

        • Tim,
          I was referring to this pic which I saved to my computer & cropped from the previous post (link below). I have noticed the pic at the top of this post has changed somewhat for whatever reason. I have circled the areas in red to point out the other blue spot I had noticed, but maybe it has nothing to do with anything other than a play on sunlight with the snow & blue skies reflecting down below.
          But I have to say that the top arrow in the pic that Dal posted sure does look man made to me, maybe plastic, nylon (backpack) or maybe a Bud Light can.
          Here is another link to the photo on my server.
          http://laptoptrek.com/images/billys_photo_24.jpg

          Keep in mind I have the best video card money can buy & HD 1080 screen, but everybody will see things different because of the interpretation of there screen, browser, photo app, the camera used etc….

  1. Best wishes for a successful search Sunday Cynthia and good luck to all your fellow searchers too. We all wish we could help in some way but all we can do from so far away is extend our heartfelt wishes, thoughts, and prayers.

  2. I’ve been a part of the chase actively searching now for 3 years but don’t post much. Just wanted to say thank you to all who have searched for Randy. I wish I could get away from work right now to join in.

  3. Great job John and Cynthia. I am so praying that this is a sign that Randy’s moving around. Something is wrong with him as Randy wouldn’t have just left Leo alone. Could it be that Randy’s hurt and can’t remember stuff and that he is wondering away from the camp he and leo had. How many days was it before he was reported missing?
    I’ve been reviewing pics but I am relly waiting for the video.
    Is it possible Randy has walked father than you all have searched?
    So much to ask you I just want to be there and find Randy. He now has his family worried as heck and his adopted Fenn’ers family. That’s all of you as us the searchers his adopted brothers and sister.

  4. There’s a team headed down from SF Mtn that wants to know if there is a ‘base camp’ place to meet and discuss info from today’s search.

  5. There is another spot of blue between your legs. Follow the branch to where it ends between your legs…. there it is. The object under the branch looks like the end of a boot or glove, maybe a folded jacket.

    • OK, does look like the tongue of your boot. But the blue behind the rock has a different color and a definite, curved shape. Good luck. Wish I was there to help.

    • Well, Becky, you are free to think anything. But if you say Randy did this deliberately, you are saying that he deliberately left his dog Leo to die. That I would doubt. He could have left Leo with someone else if it was planned. I doubt without question that he would do that. Don’t put that on him unless you have a shred of evidence.

  6. Everyone – I feel so useless in the search for Randy. All I can do is sit here in WV & watch the daily drama unfold. How can I help?

    We had a blizzard last night & I’ve been digging out from a good 2 feet of the white stuff. Took me awhile just to get outside because the drifted snow had my house doors blocked. Deceptively, the world looked like a fairyland. I finally got my car up the incline to the beginning of my 200 ft driveway … only to find that the town snowplow had deposited a mountain of ice & roads debris there. Cussin’ & fussin’, flingin” & slingin’, mad at unfair & lousy situations, I got ‘er done. So now at least I can get wherever I need to go.

    OK. Let me ask just one question … has anyone had the slightest, miniscule, eensy-weeny, itsy-bitsy whisper of an idea that possibly, maybe … just maybe Randy’s disappearance was deliberately concocted by him? I have a theory … but I truly hesitate to post it. Should I? Is it possible that because I live so far away from the search area, I can see a different perspective on this thing?

  7. If we could figure out where Randy’s X was then we could track his path back. That item definitely needs looked at, no stone unturned. If John runs out of time, someone should go back tommorow.

    • It’s hard to see but I thought those were waders. It doesn’t look at all like the wet suit we own although, if those are waders, they look like the neoprene kind and not like the old rubber waders we have.

    • It’s not very hard to see they are waders. I have been a life long scuba diver from New England down to Florida & have never had a Farmer Johns 2 piece suit that had a place to put your hands in by your chest because you will be putting a jacket on over them.
      I could be wrong, but the pocket there in front of the chest doesn’t jive with my 30 years experience.

      • @jake, inthescase et al, Agreed re ‘farmer john’ style wet suit. That pic was noted awhile back which prompted the whole ‘chest waders’ vs true divers wet suit question/discussion, here is another shot of his suit:

        http://www.thirtyacre.com/randy/FROM_LINDA_RANDY_IN_WADERS.jpg

        it’s not what I would call or think of as a wet suit. A divers wet suit would be buoyant and have more body protection. That said, both this suit and a wet suit would probably leave minimal clothing on underneath…..I know all the folks would love closure with a positive note but it’s been over 2 weeks…..

          • Well, that was not called for. I actually just took some time looking up waders, wet suits, frontal back packs and dog carriers, anything that could even come close to that image. (Maybe his family members have seen Randy in this attire)? Perhaps if we contact manufacturers of these items we will have our answer! So, if you want to get on someone, let it be me. I have a scenario… What if the raft did start taking on water and Randy placed Leo to safety, along with his gear. Randy just realizing his back pack just fell off of the raft, with his keys in it, went and tried to retrieve it. Dredging around that area, could possibly come up with something. It’s obvious he planned on returning soon, his sandwich was in the car.

    • Those are thermal waders, but what’s interesting about that photo is the baggie that’s coming out from the top pocket. My guess is those are scooby stacks for little Leo which could mean he had a bit of food on him.

  8. @piratejim – Oh, no, no … NO! Just the opposite! I think Randy did everything humanly possible to assure Leo’s safety & timely rescue. Problem was – no one, absolutely NO ONE, notified the authorities of Randy’s disappearance until much later than predicted.

    I believe that ALL theories need to be considered. That’s what I’m saying. Ignore it if you desire, but at what cost?

      • I think everyone’s opinion is valuable no matter what. Some people may think a little different and this may help us get to the bottom of bringing Randy Home safe. I do not want to entertain that he has lost his life. So any Idea however expressed should be shared. That is just my point of view.

        • Everyone hopes to find Randy alive and well. None of us can imagine he would abandon Leo for any reason. That said, the job of a detective or investigator is to study any case with an open mind.

          • After reading thousands of posts this week, I began gathering evidence myself. Looking down at Cochiti Lake, seeing where the rio meets the lake, understanding how the river winds, and viewing Frijoles Canyon to the west, I can now understand the maps much better. I can also see the route that would take me to the search area, east side.

        • I agree with Becky, I did mention earlier about the week that passed before the “friend” reported he may be missing.
          Randy may not even BE there. If foul play occurred, he may be miles away. With the other hiker at Ghost Ranch missing too, can you honestly say it’s NOT weird?
          Continued searching is the only option. All of us will help with what ever tasks are needed and staying optimistic that he is ok!

          • Missing person in Ghost Ranch? Do you mean the one a month ago? I don’t see the connection.

    • “I believe that ALL theories need to be considered.” – OK, aliens from Roswell finally escaped from Los Alamos and all these years and snatched him on their way out.

      An appeal to possibility is the worse form of trying to reason something out and contributes absolutely nothing to the conversation. Something based on evidence is helpful, though.

    • Becky ,

      You are so right . Why didn’t any one repot him missing sooner ?

      I never understood that . Heck we just herd he had a selfie on Dec.24th .

  9. Hi ….This whole thing is breaking my heart and many hearts….

    Question: Does anyone have any updates on a CELL PHONE PING? Or the last know area of CELL PHONE PING?? How about possible use of Credit-Debt. cards etc? Do we official have a missing persons? What did the police find in his car? Or is this all just Private Police Matters? I think these are important questions. No One wants this to be……Its so sad. Ping anyone know? Thanks so much to all who are working and worrying so so much…..God Bless…

    Lou Lee, feeling sad and helpless.

  10. Why was his raft 9 miles south? Two thoughts come to mind – he already searched the area he intended and rafted to his exit point. However, not sure if true; the raft was torn. If so, he exited b/c he could travel no farther. I am speculating that he was attempting to reach exit and travel out. But if that was not his intended exit – what was? What would be the next exit point? It would be south of that point, but doesn’t make sense in how he would get back to car.

    • If he didn’t have a medical condition…then I think he had Leo over at Frijoles but he worried Leo would get hurt. So he took him to the area where Leo and the raft was found…making the raft into a little shelter for him. Then he waded back over to Frijoles to search and all the searchers have just missed him. Also, he could have done as I have every search…and wanted to go back because he felt he missed something.

      Does anyone know if Frijoles was truly really searched? I know that the aerial plane said they did, I believe Forrest did in the copter, I heard SAR and Bandelier did. Could they have missed him? I don’t know how dense it is there…why is it that it’s tricky in there for those who are familiar with it?

      I’ve been thinking about it and there is no way he should be up on the East side without Leo..just no way…I mean unless it’s easy to get up there, but from what I’m hearing it’s not.

      • Before I go to rest, I would like to know where you are Desertphile?
        I know your probably out there still in the cold night hunkering down somewhere above the Ancho rapids. If there’s one person that can pull this mystery off, it is you. You know how to survive & thrive in this inhospitable environment. You amuse Mother Nature with your will, determination & self sufficient demeanor. I can see the animals scurry upon your arrival knowing they could be your next meal.
        Survival of the fittest at it’s best. GN

    • 9 miles south of Buckman road is exactly 10 miles north of cochiti dam. If you take cochiti dam as wwh and 10 miles too far to walk as the distance you have to travel, then the raft is EXACTLY where it should be, following the poem – at the put in below HOB ..

        • I don’t know. It may be mere coincidence, but I don’t think so. unless he lost his footing and got washed downstream or got injured and was trying to work way to civilization, I think the best chance of recovery is to follow the clues and find things that fit the clues .. There are least 3 “Brown’s” in Frijole canyon and his raft is across from it .. I haven’t been able to find anything else there that fits the clue pattern ..

          • Hello Brad. Thank you for your response. I don’t know the area, but I do have a question in regards to the river. In recent photos of the Rio Grande, the river looks very low, almost stream-like. Do you think if Randy slipped/fell into the river that he would have gone down the river to the lake and not be noticed by the searchers by all methods that have been used by them?

          • I just recently found out this morning, from Stephanie, that the Rio was very shallow, so I seriously doubt it – I just wasn’t thinking very clearly and went back to my original theory from 10 days ago .. my guess now is he is within two or three miles either side of Frijole or two to three miles from the east rim and probably two to three miles north or south of the raft/canyon entry onto the mesa .. no evidence , just a guess based on how far I generally wander from my truck and how far I would want to haul 42 lbs or 21 lbs twice .. although I personally believe the treasure is no where near that far from the put in ..

          • I just called Tent Rocks Natl Monument near Cochiti Lake. Was out there yesterday and the young man at visitors entrance did not know re missing man. I called today to give them further info. Was told they will call supervisor to inform. Previous post earlier this week said Cochiti Pueblo officials agreed to help in any way. I guess they did not think to inform staff at Monument. Hundreds of people circle around the Lake daily before entering the Monument. They might see something, so Monument staff need to be alert. When I viewed the river entrance to Cochiti Lake before dusk last night it looked like lake ice was thawing due to warmer temps this week. Light was not the best but that’s how it appeared. If so, if Randy fell into the river and went downstream it’s possible he could surface soon. Someone posted earlier this week, a person normally ruled by logic. Said they had 3 nights of extremely vivid dreams of Randy in the water. Sad to say, similar dreams woke me up last night.

          • Thank you for your reply, Brad. I believe I understand your thoughts. While reading them, my mind wondered to something else I hadn’t considered. I still feel strongly about the “east.” Now I’m thinking about a time travel. Let’s say Randy left mid-morning to head down the river. We now know the river is very low. With this in mind, it would seem to me his travel down the river would be slow as well. Going nine miles down a low river seems to me it would use up some time. He also has a raft that has some form of leak; whether it was done going down the river or being dragged on shore, I do not know. Coming from the pull-in, he decides to find his way up from where he’s at. I’ve read the climb is pretty tough, but possibly still capable of doing so. With an incline, his travel time is going to use up more time. I would think during his climb, he would have had to stop at least once to catch his breath and slow down the heart rate; even for a healthy person. Once on top, perhaps he tried to find cell service as Mr. Fenn gave a possible suggestion, using more time. Amongst the trees/shrubs, he may not have found his way back to his original spot and perhaps found a tree (rock overhang, cave, etc.) to settle in for the evening. I do not know what the weather was, nor if there was any precipitation which may have fallen. This is an opinion, offered as a thought.

  11. Not trying to burst everyone’s bubble here but the blue patches in the photos are snow patches…Snow will reflect whatever color light is shined upon it…In direct sunlight snow is white…In shadow snow appears blue in color, reflects sky color…

    Besides, I’ve a hard time believing John or Cynthia could be standing so close as to be on top of something and not recognize it for what it was…It is simply shaded patches of snow, un-melted because it is out of direct sunlight where it is in shadow…Little snow is showing where the sun is shining on it, it has melted there…

    Look at other photos where there is snow, where it is shaded from sunlight the snow appears blue in color…

        • @samsmith I was just trying to add some humor into a ‘bleak’ situation in a sarcastic way….for any new comers, the 200 foot comment by me has to do with the Treasure Chest not the missing searcher.

          I don’t feel this missing searcher was trying to get to where the ‘x’s are on his map, he had already been there in Dec. and could have searched then if needed, we see his pictures from the vantage points up there, he wanted to be below and across the river and figured a raft was the easier way. His ‘E’ may mean egress but something happened. As to what happened and where he may be I don’t know.

          Very sorry to his family, friends and loved ones. My hats off to the searchers for trying. Weather tomorrow doesn’t look so great, be safe, be smart and don’t take any risk.

    • Yea Sam,
      Could be that, but the top red arrow blue patch looks completely different if you have Adobe Photoshop. I have enlarged that area 800% & looks completely different from all the other blue patches on this photo, telling me that it is not snow in a shadow. May be Photoshopped, but considering the peoples integrity involved, I have excluded that completely. There is no motive to spend so much time doing that & besides the fact they were out there looking for Randy for days.
      My conclusion is this one object (top red arrow) is in fact a man made material.

    • I believe your right… after running it through some photo shop filters, and adjusting some contrast and density’s, it does look like snow in the shade right behind her foot. and not at the same focal length as the rock in front of her. Just my 2 cents

  12. Hey gang…
    Found out libraries have each computer registered thru IP addresses, so each one has the general number abd they add a computer number. The librarian supervisor said if there is a time stamp on email, they can do an activity search. Records record for a month. The patron needs a library card/password to use computer. THEY CAN GET NAME/ADDRESS of sender!!!
    ***Has anyone searched the loc where Randy’s body was SAID to have been found in the email? If he is found there, we have a diff scenario from lost. And, can poss catch the bragging suspect.

    If this blue cloth is Randys, and in same area as email description…Def worth cking out!
    Signing off, Sgt Donna, CID

    • The post…”slot canyon on Rio Grand river”…well, duh. That describes every canyon. Sorry, thought there was a directional, N S E W. oh well.
      🙁

  13. Did you guys walk from the spot where the raft was found and walk to where the x on his map was east, where he thought the treasure was? The picture of the blue object was above where the raft was found?

  14. I know this is grasping at straws. And may simply be coincidence. But has any one else heard of the other search for another missing “hiker” in the same general area of New Mexico ?

    Steven Olshansk, The Otter, is an experienced thru hiker has been un accounted for ….during the same time period as Randy.

    From what I understand, his last internet post says he was near Ghost Ranch.

    Bothmen are in their late 50’s
    Both “backpacking” in New Mexico
    Both currently missing.

    Did they ever cross paths ?
    Did they share a ride or a meal ?
    Any chance they knew eachother ?

    As a participant in the Chase myself, I have studied and visited the area. Wish we could help with boots on the ground.

    Thank you, sincerley to those of you putting so much effort into this heartfelt duty.

    From Alaska
    Lyndella

  15. Hello Everyone. I’m hoping you’ll be able to assist me with Google Earth/Maps in locating the possible/approximate position where the above photo was taken. I believe the following coordinates are a good possibility when comparing the above photos to them.

    Across the way from Rito de los Frijoles

    35.752341, -106.258503 (mountain wall in the background shown in photo)

    35.749049, -106.259468 (slight bend in river shown in photo)

    35.753007, -106.244802 (possible position where Cynthia may have stood)

    I would love to learn your thoughts, please. Thank you.

      • Thank you so much for looking. I greatly appreciate it. I don’t know the area, but my guess is that by being able to see the distant mountain range, it would seem like the searchers were on top of the ridge, rather than lower. Very possible they were slowly climbing down from the ridge, too. I guess while thinking about it, perhaps if they were in that photo, more shadows would be cast in their surroundings if they were lower in elevation from the ridge.

    • pdenver, Katya shared a new post called “More on drone day”. She is hoping to find out where the photo’s locations might be, so I went ahead and shared your post with the potential coordinates. Thanks for our help!

        • Pdenver, is there anything at the coordinates that should be looking at? My understanding is that the Rangers determined Randy and Leo left prints exiting Frijole Canyon ..

          • I’m not sure, Brad. If Randy felt he may have got lost, he may try to find higher grounds to find cell service and to look for some sort of horizon to get his bearings. My thought would be the peak for which you spoke. I do not know the area.

  16. There is a tremendous interest in the search for Randy. Typically, this time of year this blog gets 6,000 to 7,000 views in a day. Yesterday we had nearly 19,000 and on Wednesday nearly 20,000. Right now we are at about 1,200 views an hour. The posts most often read are the search posts. I don’t know how the other blogs are faring but I have to say that at times I think we have been close to taxing the server.
    I am glad so many people are interested in what you folks on the blog and the folks on the Rio Grande are doing to find Randy.

    • Hi Dal,

      Thank you so much for managing the blog. It’s been helpful to keep us posted on what’s happening. I would like to suggest a safety section added for treasure hunters with tools or links to consider before venturing out on the hunt. The quick sand and waders possibly filling with water scared me so much.

      Before I went for a light hike last August, I bought a compass, flash light, backpack, water, hat, cell phone, swiss army knife, flare, matches, map and health bars. I went to REI and asked for a suggested list of items needed for short hiking trips in the NM area. No matter how prepared we are, something can happen. So I made sure my family knew where I was searching and checked in every few hours with them. So, I think a suggested list of safety items would be good for people inexperience with the outdoors as well as a reminder for the experienced outdoors person. It’s just a suggestion….

  17. How’s this scenario. Randy thinks the treasure in near the lower Frijoles Falls. He searches and finds nothing. He turns around to head back to the river glances up from the darkness of the shaded canyon and looks out across the Rio Grande at the opposite, blazing, SUNLIT side of the canyon which just happens to be framed in by the dark Frijoles Canyon walls in the shape of a huge V. Randy then has a Holy cow moment. He thinks he sees the real blaze. It should look like a rifle sight from near the falls with the target area brightly lit by the sun. Look quickly down at the bottom of the V on the other side of the river! Your effort will be worth the cold (you have to cross the river), If you are brave and in the wood (maybe its in the brush at the bottom of the rock slide, or in one of the three small rock outcroppings). And what about Forrest’s BB gun sight being bent in the story about shooting birds. It’s worth a try to search opposite of the Frijoles Canyon on the East side of the Rio Grande in my opinion. I hope somebody that can search will give this idea some consideration. I figured that the canyon slope area near the raft both north and south of it encompasses about 200 acres of scrub and boulders-I don’t care what people say, that area has not been thoroughly searched imo. Good luck Cynthia and crew.

    • Chris, good thinking!
      A proper search technique:
      After advancing 20ft., stop, look in 360′ deg from your feet out to an additional 20ft. Use binoculars in a 360′ rotation. Continue this process each 20ft. Mark your spot with a bandana if you have to stop and ck brush or crevices in your 20ft search area, so you can return and continue. This way, 2 people can search a larger area in strips.
      We used this procedure when not using a grid search pattern.

  18. Just wondering if anyone is planning on searching tomorrow. I would like to go out early and search as close to the river as possible. I have a drone with pretty good range and want to fly before the winds pick up. I have a dozen 2-way radios, vehicle recover equipment and maps of the area. I know we are awaiting word from John who was out there today. But just thought I would ask.
    Thinking of going out near Montoso peak. Just let me know. I was at Cochiti Lake today trying to gain access to the inlet of the lake but unable to get onto tribal land.

    • David,

      I don’t have John’s email. But you can go to ChaseChat and register. Then you can PM him there. He responds to my PM’s pretty quickly.
      Not sure if he monitors Dal’s, so he may not see your posts here?

    • I went to Cochiti Lake today too. Wanted to see where Rio enters Lake, and ice conditions. Drove to Tent Rocks, asked Cochiti Pueblo member upon entry if he knew anything re Randy. In the last few days there was a post saying contact was made with Cochiti Pueblo and they agreed to help. Do you have that contact info, David? The right person may give you access.

      • I didn’t make contact with Cochiti officials today. I am planning on going to Bandelier in the morning and see if I can be allowed to fly my drone in Frijoles canyon. If I have no luck there I will probably head back to Cochiti and try and flag down an official and try my best to gain access to that overlook. If no luck I may head to Montoso peak (time and weather permitting) and get as close to the river as possible and fly the drone to get hd video of the area. We can only hope for a little cooperation in many ways.

        • David,

          If you do wind up going in on the East side, John Brown wrote this yesterday:

          “What I did see were a few carrion birds somewhere roughly along a line which I think was on this ridge between here: 35°45’7.01″N 106°14’20.38″W and here: 35°44’28.21″N 106°14’17.33″W. I think that line is worth exploring. I’m not positive about the location here as I selected it from google earth after getting home. We noticed the birds when we were in the car on the way out.”

          If you can get back in to overfly that ridge, between those coords, apparently no one has searched along it.

          You can see JB’s full post here–> http://www.chasechat.com/showthread.php?tid=3561&page=50 …..post #494.

          Be careful and good luck!

      • Thanks for the info. Tomorrow I will try and post my progress.
        Scott. Let me know if you are going out to Montoso area tomorrow.

  19. Whatever it is in that picture, I don’t think it’s snow. If the white balance is correct for sunlight (which it appears to be in that picture), snow only appears blue in shaded areas. The object seems to be in direct sunlight, with a curved top that is catching and reflecting the light.

    In addition to that, the position above the river is potentially on Randy’s path out of the canyon. I think it should be investigated if at all possible.

    • voxpops — That’s what I see, a curved top of a sleeve end or possibly a boot top. The boot is upright, pointing to the right and downward with most of the toe out of the picture. The boot top would be black with a blue cuff at the top and a blue toe. The blue toe and top match in color. The searcher’s boot tongue is a different blue. The blue coming off the snow is very reflective and doesn’t have the curve of the boot top. This is what I perceive to see after downloading, tinting and enlarging the picture, all IMHO.

  20. Cynthia or Sacha… Has a ground search map been drawn up indicating a grid or sectioned areas that already HAVE BEEN thoroughly searched at this point? If so, could that be posted on the blog?
    If that’s not possible, could someone estimate what percentage of the entire search area has been covered at this point?
    Again, I commend you all for your selfless dedication and efforts. Thank you.

  21. Cynthia or anyone else:

    I am going to the airport tomorrow morning to try and rent an airplane. If anyone knows any pilot who has time tomorrow I will pay them to fly me to the coordinates of where those pictures were taken and fly a search pattern while I Scan the ground .. If anyone knows even the general area that would a help too if you can’t find the GPS coordinates. I will be at the airport at Sunil and will wait for any pilot who has a high wing avaible or a chopper ..

    Brad

    682-556-6674

    • Not to sound negative but I have been a Civil Air Patrol Pilot years back and have participated in many searches in the past. Finding a downed airplane is extremely difficult even for trained search crews so finding a person will be very hard. It would be money much better spent to contact the local Civil Air Patrol unit and pay for a trained CAP pilot and crew to search than try and find a pilot and do it yourself. There is a lot more to air searches than just looking out the window. A trained and experienced searcher would have a much better chance of spotting something than someone inexperienced. There are many CAP members that would be happy to fly for expenses being paid. Just my .02.

      Good Luck

      • Dan, being a retired CAP SAR insructor, I have suggested the same thing a few days ago. Also, have given searchers tips on ground searching. Hope info utilized!

    • Brad, GPS coordinates are right below image #3 . A plane can’t get you close enough to the ground, IMO. The helicopter I flew in with Forrest was a billion times better.

    • If you do that try to film that area if you can. Also a good thought was to toss a few flyers out we can pick up later saying Leo is alive with us. I don’t want to litter a big bull horn to get the message down would be awesome I don’t know. Kick it around. also did any one check the weather on the 5th or 6th? was it windy? Windy enough to carry that raft and flip it to it’s position? Just another thought while staying awake thinking. Thanks Jeff Burch & Titan

      • Thanks Jeff. The most important thing right now is to find out where the team was Friday so that I can focus my search area around that spot to maximize airtime looking where he most likely might be.

        Brad

      • That sounds like way too much littering. The winds are going to send them everywhere and you will not be able to track them all down.

    • Brad, this is the information for the pilot I brought in to search bandalier south to the river on the west side a couple of days ago. If he’s not available he may know someone who is:
      Jim Duggan
      Email: info@flynras.com

      You can reach me at threerocks@icloud.com if you would like to contact him by phone.

  22. I’ve been following the posts here since the beginning of the search for Randy but was hesitant to post as not to clog up the airways. I feel like I can’t do much from up here in MT except think supportive thoughts, but while poking about the Internet after reading this evening, I came across a rafting company that does float trips in this area 7 days a week from April-Oct. I apologize profusely if someone else has mentioned this, (and I missed it) but has anyone tried contacting these folks for ideas? They seem to know the area well and perhaps they can suggest a scenario that no else has thought of.
    http://losriosriverrunners.com/whiterock-canyon

      • I’m not suggesting a rafting trip. I am suggesting that these folks spend a considerable amount of time exploring that section of the river. They know the area’s terrain and might know of oddities, hidden dangers, or hidey holes. Also, they probably understand how the river behaves along this stretch. Maybe they can help in a way that only someone who works regularly in the area can help. Just an idea.

  23. Looking at the photos depicting the Blue item in question: we have three reference points. It looks like the area is just south of the mouth of the Frijoles Canyon, Then there is the Tree on the hill, and a small pine near where you were standing Cynthia. Also note the rock to your left.

    If a group of six people can get back to that area and comb the area moving every dead bush lying next to rocks. I have reservations about Randy covering anything with a bush seeing few people would be out in the wilderness at this time of the year. Close inspection of the picture with the blue item in, led me to think it may be a maxwell house coffee can. I also seen a rock that looked like
    a chest. Maybe it is time I slept a bit.

    Blessings to all

  24. Tip my hat to all the searchers who are putting in long hours and great physical exertion on these searchers.I appreciate the updates as it sucks bad not being able to be there and help in this.I hope you guys have some luck tomorrow finding that blue object in the photo.Hope all you guys stay safe.Positive thoughts for, Randy’s family, all the searchers, and lil leo.I hope he’s getting all the hugs and treats he deserves…I almost forgot, my local newspaper had about a six to seven paragraph article on this story in the saturday edition.I’m in illinois.

    • Outstanding quality pictures.
      One can feel like they are right there with them.
      From my hunting experience that extreme terrain makes me feel like searching down river would be a high priority.

    • Dal theses photos are great, the second one I can really zoom in on (0273) and looking at the blue item there seems to be a slight reflection on light on it. The “black” in the middle appears to be like some stranded material almost like a bad wig – not brush material from surrounding plants. Good luck to all who’s going out there today, David Ripple sounds like the guy to hook up with with two way radios and the drone so everyone can keep in touch with each other. Stay safe. Bur

    • When I open the 270.jpg image in chrome I see the blue thing.

      The strange thing is when I download the .tif image and open it in Windows photo viewer, there’s absolutely nothing there.

      And now I go back to the .jpg and line up the twigs and I realize it’s all a trick of the eye. The rock ends and the blue thing appears to be the snow on the ground behind Cynthia.

        • I have looked at this pic for a while now. At first glance I though an old Camo mug or thermos with realtree design, broken or weather eaten away the outer side revealing the thermo packing. I dismiss this as, most packing of these items are not ‘cloth’ looking and more Styrofoam.

          What threw me of was the left edging of the blue item. I believe what I’m looking at now may be a separation between the stones and the dirt/ ground in the back of those stones… if correct, the Blue Item now seems to be rolled up or contained in a blue water resistance carrier. That may be a poncho or small water proof tarp with it’s own fabric holder/carrier. Size being approx. 6″ long and two or three inches in diameter.

          This may not help and add more question, However that is what I see at the moment. This area has been search by ground searcher in the resent day, it may just be that one of them dropped it or even one of the volunteers searchers. As to the straps in-front of Cynthia boot… it appears to be just that, her boot laces. slightly different in color due to sunlight on one section of the lace and shaded by her leg on the other part of the lace.

          • Seeker, hi res zoom I see a brown round stone in front of the boot. way to far forward to be the boot unless it is very large (which I doubt). I clearly see a buckled black strap.

            “As to the straps in-front of Cynthia boot… it appears to be just that, her boot laces. slightly different in color due to sunlight on one section of the lace and shaded by her leg on the other part of the lace.”

          • I can also see the round brown thing that is attached the black strap looking thing.
            I don’t think they are part of Cindy’s boots as they are not brown. The blue object looks like the top strap of a back pack. The original pic showed more blue pieces at the bottom edge which appears to have been cut off.

          • I am with you when I first saw it even in low resolution, it looked like a thermos or one of those blue ice packs one puts in a cooler. It may have been dropped but recently, who knows. it is worth checking out though and tracing it back to see if someone dropped it or how long it has been there. Look near it to see if another part or parts were lost along with it that are close by it could be Randy’s who knows what all he had with him…? Everyone keep up the good work and backtrack and find the blue item and stay safe but get dogs out there where the blue item was visible and see what happens…. That is everyone’s best bet. Track dogs with the drones out and about. Stay warm and safe and never give up!! Friends in the chase, Ms. Girl God bless you all!!

      • The .TIF file doesn’t appear to be the actual color of the “object”. I was looking at it closely and noticed that there is a discoloration:

        https://goo.gl/CeXUrW

        (my crop and arrows, but the rest is original to the TIFF)

        Note where the TOP arrow points, there is a sudden difference in shadow color. You can follow that in a curve around to the LEFT arrow. This area seems to have been altered from the original photo. I wouldn’t consider it a good indication of the original color.

        However, the TIF has a different crop than the 270.jpg image. The TIF crop is better. It has a much better line of shadow extending from the “object” down.

        I’ll leave the rest to you guys to debate.

        • The .tif shows the best representation, in my opinion. I think it’s an optical illusion. The rocks a bit further in the background are mis-perceived to be a continuation of the rock in the foreground, making it appear that there’s something blue in front of the rock.

          The jpg is cropped more than the tif. Zoom in on the .tif. The rock in the foreground has a clearly defined edge when you follow it up from the bottom.

          Yesterday I was really convinced I saw something blue when looking at the images on my phone. This morning, I opened them on my computer and it was like one of those optical illusions. I was actually quite surprised.

          The strap looks like the strap on her walking stick, which she probably put down to look at whatever is in her hand. Look at the top of her walking stick in this photo:

          http://dalneitzel.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/01-IMG_0078.jpg

          • I agree about the walking stick, nice work Martin.
            But on my computer, the blue doesn’t look anything like the other blues in the pic.
            It looks like some type of material to me.
            I guess we wont know for sure till someone gets back there….

          • thanks martins. I agree walking stick and the object appearing as a stone is a cork ball that can be removed for a camera attachment. just a guess looks like mine. Not a lost strap.

    • Hi Dal,
      Can we get a high resolution pic of the raft? I would like to see if the foot pump was hook up as if he were trying to reinflate. Thanks

    • Hi Dal,
      can you tell me where this footprint pic was taken? who is standing next to it? What size shoe is that person wearing? when the last major rain in the area ? Any info would be helpful.
      thx

  25. CYNTHIA and everyone involved in the Friday search. I was planning on going to the airport Sunday and seeing if I could find a pilot and a High Wing Airplane to rent and conducting a search of my own over the Montroso and Cerro Micho and Twin Hills area. I don’t need exact GPS, although if you figure them that would be great, but if you can give me a location of where you were when the photos were taken (for example 500 feet north east of montroso peak) and hook me up with pilot who has some free time tomorrow and access to a 152/172/Cub, etc.) I will pay him for rental time and pilot airtime and I will do a search of the ground over the area from the air concentrating on the area of the blue thing and say a mile in all directions. I am available all day Sunday if anyone can put me in contact with a pilot. I will wait at the airport and they can find me there.

    • If you do this, please consider Frijoles. The Xs on the map we know now are only where he had already taken photos. He took the raft it seems to get into Frijoles from below. It’s my opinion that he we was there with Leo hence the footprints and paw prints that were seen on the ground there, then to keep Leo safe he moved him across the water to keep him from following him and getting hurt.

      We’ve only been told Bandelier checked Frijoles and have assumed it was checked well….but maybe it hasn’t. It doesn’t make sense to me that he could be up on the East Rim with Leo down below as my understanding is that it’s not easy to get up there. If Randy had gone up there, Leo would have been too. The only thing that made me believe he would be up there is those footprints which SAR has now said aren’t relevant as they wouldn’t be for Randy and Leo(he’s too big and Leos too small for them to match).

      We thought about the water taking him away which Forrest told us from his observation doesn’t seem right…you can see the bottom so well that it’s so shallow…so unless he had a medical issue which his ex wife said he just had a physical and was in good shape. Also, we see he has Racket ball equipment in his car so he does work out.

      All that seems to only leave Frijoles. All his pictures show Frijoles…so Randy seems to be telling us, that is where he wanted to get to. It’s what was important to him. He also tells us it’s a dangerous place.

      Not sure I mentioned it here(I sometimes repeat myself), but Linda was told that Randy took a big fall at a place where there was a fire. So maybe he was already there and fell once. It means he’s a bit of a risk taker. I guess we can see that…and if he was wearing waders and didn’t take them off..then that would limit his movement and he might feel he can jump to another rock like he normally would, but the waders restricted his normal movement.

      Dave is going to Bandelier today with a drone. He’s going to have an hour worth of video that we’re going to try and get up online if we can and he hasn’t found Randy while out there for us to look at(Hopefully we can)

      Oh and I know Randy was knocked for such a dumb move as to want to search Frijoles, because Forrest says he hid it in a place that isn’t dangerous…but I believe Randy’s reasoning was that prior to the fire which was the time that Forrest hid it, it wasn’t a dangerous place(correct me if I’m wrong)….I believe Forrest could have hiked there by way of a trail until the 2011 fire(blaze). Now Forrest has said that is NOT a good location, because it’s not north of Santa Fe enough…but I think Randy had good reasoning about that.

      One more thing…Randy told his best friend if he got cold that he’d go into a cave and spend the night. The caves are in Frijoles if I’m not mistaken…..no caves on the East side.

      Sorry for the long post.

      • Thanks Stephanie!! I was not aware Frijoles had not been covered by SAR or the note about the caves or that that the Rio was shallow. I was planning the east rim to Colorado Peak, Cerro Micho and Twin Hills but I will aim for Frijoles now also.

        Brad

      • Lower Frijoles was well searched by the Park Rangers, who found tracks up and back consistent with Randy and Leo.

        The scenario that suggests is that he landed on the west bank first, checked out Lower Frijoles as far as the lower falls, beyond which it is impassable, and then returned to the river and crossed, by raft, to the east bank, at which point the trail goes cold.

        From the east bank raft location there is a relatively good trail to the rim – it is not a difficult ascent, aside from some snow and ice in places, but it was searched several times.

          • The bulk of the Caja del Rio plateau (other than the roads and the area above the raft location), obviously, has not been comprehensively searched since it is tens of square miles.

            In the gorge itself, the river has been checked by boat from Buckman to Cochiti Lake, and the river, banks and surrounding area searched extensively by air.

            The accessible area around the raft has been heavily searched, but the hillside above (except for the trail to the east rim) is too rugged and steep to search safely at this time of year.

            The river up- and downstream of the raft is only accessible for a few hundred meters in each direction on the east bank (unlike the west bank, which has trails), so the bank has not been searched beyond that, although it has been checked by teams with binoculars on the west rim. Airscent dog conditions were good at the raft location with downstream breeze (i.e. good upstream coverage, poor downstream coverage), and reasonable on the trail to the rim and along the rim to the north – roughly to where he took his earlier photograph overlooking Frijoles Canyon.

            The west bank was checked as far downstream to Alamo Canyon and back on the Burro trail to Bandelier Visitor Center.

            Lower Frijoles was checked as mentioned above.

            The west bank trail upstream from Frijoles Canyon, towards Ancho Canyon (above which he took his west side photo in December) has not been searched – there was no evidence of any foot traffic on that trail.

          • Thank you PM,
            That is quite an extensive area. Not much left.
            Sounds like he may not have been able to make it to Ancho Rapids area to ascend the east side considering only a few hundred accessible meters either way from the raft.
            I hate to say it, but think the searchers may be spinning there wheels at this point.

          • Most likely correct, but he would not need to go north to the rapids to ascend to the east rim – the trail up starts south of the raft at 35.74613°, -106.25836°. It is partly visible on Google Earth.

            A significant concern is where Leo was found, because dogs, generally, stay guarding their owners no matter what happens. That suggests that he went somewhere that his dog could not follow, and the strongest candidate for that is the river. Subjects lost in the river on that stretch of the Rio Grande in the past have ended up downstream in Cochiti Lake – unfortunately currently unsearchable due to ice.

          • Yea PM,
            I saw that canyon a few days ago & made sense that is where he would like to go considering he did scope the area.
            But, the river does seem to be the most likely culprit in this case.
            Just one wrong move, a mistake or just plain old bad luck & your up sheets creek w/out paddle.
            This is the reason I wanted to have a healthy Leo brought back to the west side bottom of Frijoles to see if he goes back towards the river.

          • Agree this route should be searched extensively. At over 50, I would have taken the less dramatic and safer incline especially with a dog. The one next to the power tower is another option but appears to be a lot harder to get to up river based on your picture and onsite descriptions. If a team is headed to the east rim again tomorrow, a small group may want to head down to the raft using that route.

          • “This route & the one PM posted from Dropbox. There are not many logical areas left to search & the time of year is not helping although that was the choice Randy made. Here is the trail PM submitted in .jpg form:”

            I assume the arroyo to the “right” of the trail was searched, yes?

          • I was afraid that was the trail you was commenting about. I saw the road trail above leading down there but refused to think Randy would know about this considering there are probably parts of the trail that are not recognizable when on it. I can understand why SAR would not attempt this with snow & ice on the ground.

          • Jake – that trail was searched, several times. It is marked with rock cairns, and is quite passable, even with the current conditions.

          • I know now that I have researched most of your comments & came to the conclusion that you are a person of great knowledge & compassion as well being of the area. I will go as far to say you work in the area in a very important position. You are the liaison & wish everyone would listen to what you have to say. Unfortunately uncommon sense is hard to come by these days. I like to use the word uncommon sense because it describes the few like you & not the many.

            I will attempt to post your comments in the attempt for people to get the point & hopefully no one else ends up in the same situation as Randy. I thank you & your peers for risking your lives to find another that you don’t even know.
            I have not found all of your posts but this should do. I like figuring out people.

            We will meet someday I am sure under better circumstances.

            PM on January 20, 2016 at 9:01 am said:
            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.

            PM on January 22, 2016 at 9:24 am said:
            Just for clarification, one SAR dog team was at the tracks location on Sunday on their way in and out from the raft location. Those tracks look appropriate for that team.

            PM on January 22, 2016 at 12:50 pm said:
            The accessible area on the east bank, up and downstream of the raft location, was searched by three NMSAR ground teams and one dog team, with no additional clues discovered. The trail up to the east rim, just south of the raft, was searched by the same teams, and the rim section above the raft location was checked by the dog team – no relevant clues or dog interest.

            PM on January 22, 2016 at 4:15 pm said:
            I would never argue that there is no point re-searching any given area unless it has absolutely been ruled out. The terrain here is very rugged, and an unresponsive subject would not have to be far off the trail to be missed by a visual search. On the other hand, after that elapsed time, I would expect a dog to be able to detect a subject within a much greater radius, depending on the wind.
            Down by the raft there is plenty of accessible terrain, but also lots of inaccessible areas, mainly due to thick vegetation. After a few hundred meters in each direction the river is not navigable on the east bank from that location.
            Then there is the rest of the east wall above the raft location – very difficult to ground search thoroughly, but has been checked from the air and by dog from above.

            PM on January 22, 2016 at 4:25 pm said:
            The officially recorded location was 35.7482˚ N, 106.2586˚ W. That is within 20 ft of the actual location.

            PM on January 23, 2016 at 9:43 am said:
            I would strongly urge that no amateur searchers follow this advice and attempt any water excursions. The low water height and flow rates do not make this safe – just increases the risk of boat damage. In addition, there are no easy take out points with Cochiti Lake frozen. The New Mexico State Police Search and Recovery Dive Team has already searched the river from Buckman to the ice just above Cochiti Lake, and it took them two attempts.

            PM on January 23, 2016 at 9:58 am said:
            Emergency beacons are great, but equally important is letting someone know where you are going, how long you intend to be out, and what to do if you don’t report back on time. In this instance, SAR notification was 10 days after the start of what should have been a day trip. Little chance of a good outcome after that length of time with winter weather and sub-zero overnight temperatures.
            And, in the context of this incident, I would also add careful planning, contingency planning, and paying attention when told that a particular excursion is unwise or unsafe.

            PM on January 24, 2016 at 8:51 am said:
            Lower Frijoles was well searched by the Park Rangers, who found tracks up and back consistent with Randy and Leo.
            The scenario that suggests is that he landed on the west bank first, checked out Lower Frijoles as far as the lower falls, beyond which it is impassable, and then returned to the river and crossed, by raft, to the east bank, at which point the trail goes cold.
            From the east bank raft location there is a relatively good trail to the rim – it is not a difficult ascent, aside from some snow and ice in places, but it was searched several times.

            PM on January 24, 2016 at 9:33 am said:
            The bulk of the Caja del Rio plateau (other than the roads and the area above the raft location), obviously, has not been comprehensively searched since it is tens of square miles.
            In the gorge itself, the river has been checked by boat from Buckman to Cochiti Lake, and the river, banks and surrounding area searched extensively by air.
            The accessible area around the raft has been heavily searched, but the hillside above (except for the trail to the east rim) is too rugged and steep to search safely at this time of year.
            The river up- and downstream of the raft is only accessible for a few hundred meters in each direction on the east bank (unlike the west bank, which has trails), so the bank has not been searched beyond that, although it has been checked by teams with binoculars on the west rim. Airscent dog conditions were good at the raft location with downstream breeze (i.e. good upstream coverage, poor downstream coverage), and reasonable on the trail to the rim and along the rim to the north – roughly to where he took his earlier photograph overlooking Frijoles Canyon.
            The west bank was checked as far downstream to Alamo Canyon and back on the Burro trail to Bandelier Visitor Center.
            Lower Frijoles was checked as mentioned above.
            The west bank trail upstream from Frijoles Canyon, towards Ancho Canyon (above which he took his west side photo in December) has not been searched – there was no evidence of any foot traffic on that trail.

            PM on January 24, 2016 at 10:12 am said:
            Most likely correct, but he would not need to go north to the rapids to ascend to the east rim – the trail up starts south of the raft at 35.74613°, -106.25836°. It is partly visible on Google Earth.
            A significant concern is where Leo was found, because dogs, generally, stay guarding their owners no matter what happens. That suggests that he went somewhere that his dog could not follow, and the strongest candidate for that is the river. Subjects lost in the river on that stretch of the Rio Grande in the past have ended up downstream in Cochiti Lake – unfortunately currently unsearchable due to ice.

            PM on January 24, 2016 at 12:24 pm said:
            No – that is not the trail. Track link:
            https://www.dropbox.com/s/jtzd9sr756i0faj/east_rim_trail_segment.kmz?dl=0

            PM on January 24, 2016 at 8:45 am said:
            Correct – the tiff file shows clearly that it is a patch of snow – even the texture is visible. Selective level adjustment in PS makes it even more obvious. It is a similar optical illusion to the infamous blue/black dress that made the rounds last year.

          • Thank you, Jake Faulker, for the updates and the details. Based on the boot prints into and out of Frijole Falls, I suspect Randy and Leo headed back to the car on foot— unfortunately, on the east bank. Rather than cross the river and getting wet, maybe Randy and Leo tried to climb the east cliff at the point where the river meets the cliff (no trail), and Randy got in trouble up there. Leo eventually came back down.

            Randy could indeed be in the lake, but the water is rather shallow. I am thinking Leo would have stayed with Randy as long as possible, which means Randy is in the lake.

          • And that’s why I was at the lake yesterday, surveying where he would have come down the rio to the point where it meets the lake. There is an overlook road circling the lake from above and a parking lot where you can view rio/lake area. Does anyone know if the Cochiti Dam/Lake Recreation officials have been notified? Past the lake is the Cochiti Golf Course with a long arroyo that comes straight up from the rio. A small mall with gas station and housing community are there too. Would not hurt for all to receive info re missing man from authorities so that locals are on the lookout. If Missing Person info posted then the multitude of visitors to nearby Tent Rocks Monument would also be aware to report anything unusual spotted at Lake.

          • Jake Faulker, I had been thinking of searching in the middle of February, or the end. I made a map where I marked priorities, on the assumption Randy and Leo were trying to get back to their car. Now I am thinking it could be the middle of March before the area is “safe” to search extensively, taking a week or two. If Randy has not been found by the end of February, I will ask my employers if I may take 10 days away from work and I’ll camp in the area and search every foot along the east bank. Other people can join me.

          • Desertphile,
            I am sure his family would greatly appreciate him being found soon, but the current situation & environment takes a toll on all you searchers out there. Maybe we should be thinking more about our families & realize that we have done all we could do. I know there will be many out there still searching in the winter to find him or clues, but instincts tell me to take care of your own at this point. No disrespect to his parents, siblings, Linda, his kids & grandkids but we should not put ourselves in danger any longer for our families to enjoy life.

            Desertphile, I would hold off on your searching until the spring & that goes for all of you that don’t remember what Forrest said. Whether your searching for a treasure or someone lost in the chase, just use good judgement.

            Mother Nature will reveal Randy at some point in time if she wants to.

          • @Jake Faulker: “Desertphile, I would hold off on your searching until the spring & that goes for all of you that don’t remember what Forrest said. Whether your searching for a treasure or someone lost in the chase, just use good judgement. Mother Nature will reveal Randy at some point in time if she wants to.”

            I feel a sense of urgency; if there was a private message message system here (as far as I know there is not), I would write the following in a private message.

            It was my hope that Randy could be found while there is still enough for his family to bury like a human being should be buried: intact. Humans need to care for their dead. I looked at the historical temperature data for White Rock, and even during an El Nino event it will not be “safe” to search the area adequately until around the middle of March. Human bones are usually scattered over wider areas than cows or elk.

            I am thinking I’ll wait until end of March. I have a great deal of wilderness gear, sub-zero gear, and the like. If Randy is not found by the end of March, I can spend two or three weeks looking for him.

          • I’m pretty sure we all appreciate your effort.
            If they don’t, then that’s there problem.
            Most of us have to go back to work to plan for the future.
            From the compilation of PM & other searchers such as yourself, I don’t see Mother Nature letting her grip go in this environment.
            I let her do the talking & I keep on walking the other way.
            She aint gonna let up until spring.

          • @Jake Faulker” From the compilation of PM & other searchers such as yourself, I don’t see Mother Nature letting her grip go in this environment.
            I let her do the talking & I keep on walking the other way. She aint gonna let up until spring.”

            Yeah, darn it. I feel sad for the family. Looks like you are right: maybe in the spring.

            It still amazes me how many people flung themselves in to help. I make write humor and I make comic videos based on how horrible humanity is…. looks like I’ll have to “do” something about how wonderful and amazing humanity can be,

          • “Yes the family is sad, but Randy made the decision against better judgement from his family & friends advice.”

            Edward Abbey once found a person who had been missing for several days, in the Sonoran Desert if I recall correctly. Abbey approved of the dead man’s “departure point,” and Abbey wrote that he (Abbey) would be glad to be as fortunate.

            I live and work in the Chama Wilderness. Four years ago in December I slipped on ice and fell off a cliff edge, struck a rock about 8 feet below, bounced off, and struck the side of the cliff after falling another 15 feet. I rolled another 30 feet or so. Along the way I dislocated my right arm from my shoulder. I feel like it could be me that people are now looking for, not Randy; I feel like I owe it to Randy to find him. But, it will have to wait until Nature allows. If he is still in the area by spring, I can get two or three weeks free to look.

          • Jake thanks for compiling PM’s postings. It’s good to see the information all together in one place from someone who knows what has been searched so far and what has been discovered in those searches.

          • Bottom line is most areas have been searched thoroughly.
            It’s nice to see some have heard and listened good.
            I hope for the best & prepare for the worst.
            That’s all we can hope for.
            GN

          • Jake – thanks for the kind words.

            The top priority is always the safety of all searchers, amateur and professional – even ahead of a successful search outcome. The last thing that we want is a secondary search mission if a searcher gets lost or injured. But I also don’t want to see volunteers putting themselves at risk due to bad or inaccurate information.

          • PM, thanks for all of your informed guidance on this forum. It is very much appreciated.

        • I missed this intel….the Bandelier people searched the area from the Rio up to Lower Frijoles Falls? And found prints consistent with Randy & Leo? Can you direct me to where that’s posted?

          • PM on January 24, 2016 at 8:51 am said:
            Lower Frijoles was well searched by the Park Rangers, who found tracks up and back consistent with Randy and Leo.
            The scenario that suggests is that he landed on the west bank first, checked out Lower Frijoles as far as the lower falls, beyond which it is impassable, and then returned to the river and crossed, by raft, to the east bank, at which point the trail goes cold.
            From the east bank raft location there is a relatively good trail to the rim – it is not a difficult ascent, aside from some snow and ice in places, but it was searched several times.

          • I guess I meant “other than here”. Please do not think I don’t believe PM, as he does sound like he knows what he’s talking about….just wondered if there’d been some “official” debrief/report/newsflash I missed.

        • PM, thanks for posting. You seem very knowledgeable about the searches that have taken place so a big THANKS for sharing your information with us. Hopefully all the information we are learning will help find Randy.

        • “Lower Frijoles was well searched by the Park Rangers, who found tracks up and back consistent with Randy and Leo.”

          When did Park Rangers do the search? Was it about the 19th?

          When NMSAR did their search (around the 15th & 16th), did they find any human footprints anywhere? I feel like I read that they didn’t. This seems odd, considering the position of the raft.

          Could it be possible that the prints seen by Park Rangers were from NMSAR and a search dog? I know…no jurisdiction in Lower Frijoles, but maybe they weren’t worrying about jurisdiction at the time.

          Maybe I just need to go to bed.

          • And just to be clear – there are no jurisdictional issues with NMSAR in Bandelier or any other public lands – NMSAR teams frequently search there.

    • Here are the coordinates over 18 mins I think.

      Fri Jan 22nd, 2016: 12:37:00 pm
      Speed: 0.00 mph Heading: N
      Elevation: 6463.25 ft Batt: Normal
      Lat: 35.746851 Lon: -106.248543

      Fri Jan 22nd, 2016 12:57:00 pm
      Speed: 2.00 mph Heading: ENE
      Elevation: 6364.83 ft Batt: Normal
      Lat: 35.74759 1Lon: -106.249230

      Fri Jan 22nd, 2016 1:17:00 pm
      Speed: 0.00 mph Heading: NNW
      Elevation: 6249.77 ft Batt: Normal
      Lat: 35.748815 Lon: -106.251568

      Fri Jan 22nd, 2016 1:27:00 pm
      Speed: 1.00 mph Heading: NNE
      Elevation: 6197.51 ft Batt: Normal
      Lat: 35.748696 Lon: -106.251698

      Fri Jan 22nd, 2016 1:44:00 pm
      Speed: 1.00 mph Heading: NNW
      Elevation: 6181.10 ft Batt: Normal
      Lat: 35.747998 Lon: -106.252728

      Fri Jan 22nd, 2016 1:55:00 pm
      Speed: 7.00 mph Heading: NNE
      Elevation: 6072.83 ft Batt: Normal
      Lat: 35.747688 Lon: -106.252941

    • My personal thoughts leans more towards Montroso and the surrounding area. Something about “east” keeps popping in my head from where he placed his raft, but further east from the rim. This is an opinion, offered as a thought.

  26. Did Search and Rescue use blue tape to mark where they searched? Usually they use orange or red, and never blue…. but it is possible they used blue. SAR are never stupid enough to use blue, but some times stuff happens.

  27. “This is all weather dependent. So far the weather is forecasting good. The group will be made up of me, Roger, Katya, and hopefully Scott. Desertphile, if you are available, you definitely are most welcome to join us.”

    Thank you; I am baby-sitting heifers Monday, as no one (human) will be at the ranch but me. I had planned on searching along the river Monday, arriving at the end of the road around 6:00 AM. It will be mid-February before I am available.

    I am a volunteer with the Forest Service, so I have a key to some of the gates. I have been thinking about hiking along the trail to Fijoles Falls. That is actually much faster than driving around via 24NB and hiking down the hill. I signed an oath that I would never let anyone use the key, otherwise I would let a searcher use it.

    Yesterday, Saturday, I parked where Randy parked his car and I searched for anything he might have hidden— car key or note. I found a great deal of trash, but nothing of interest.

    • Desertphile, if you head out to Frijole Canyon Monday I’d be willing to go with you .. that is if I’m not trying to find another pilot tomorrow ..

      • “Desertphile, if you head out to Frijole Canyon Monday I’d be willing to go with you .. that is if I’m not trying to find another pilot tomorrow ..”

        I was not able to free my work schedule for Monday. Damn. It will not be until mid-February until I have a day free.

    • Correct – the tiff file shows clearly that it is a patch of snow – even the texture is visible. Selective level adjustment in PS makes it even more obvious. It is a similar optical illusion to the infamous blue/black dress that made the rounds last year.

    • Hey Desertphile,

      I wrote on Odds n ends if anyone had experience as a ranch hand as I am interested in moving from Valley Forge out west and would like to try that kind of work. Folks kept telling me to contact you. I am interested in working on a ranch in the RM’s..would like to work in Montana or Wyoming the most…

      Do you have an email that I can contact you through and ask you a few questions?

      Thank you.

  28. For your edification: Today is my 6th consecutive day of searching and I am going to the same area we were in Friday, specifically the draw opposite Frijole Canyon (Cyn I was able to weasel out early from my wife’s plans). I was in the helicopter w/ Cyn and Forrest and spotted the raft. I was also searching parallel to John and Cyn in the area of the “blue” picture and will attempt to relocate the spot where the mysterious object might be if it exists. If I have no success I will do it again w/ Cynthia tomorrow.
    For those who are wondering, a dozen searchers, including drones, have been on these slopes/ridges above the raft site. The terrain is such that multiple view angles must be used to acquire any confidence at all. I use my field glasses to cover 360 degrees from every purchase I can obtain. My info is usually funneled through Cynthia/Sacha/ff so I don’t sound redundant and I don’t have to participate in time consuming chit chat. Thank you for all you concerns and contributions. John has been through this area at least twice and I trust his ability. As combat long range patrol veteran and a current local prospector, I am sure multiple trips are necessary. For me……as many as it takes. radcrad/Roger

  29. Posted this in the wrong thread. It’s getting confusing with all the different “Randy” posts.

    Looking at the TIFF file in PhotoShop and adjusting levels, the “blue object” appears to be a flat surface, possibly reflecting the sky or, alternatively, colored bluish. There seems to be a straight-ish shadow related to it on the left. It also seems to have a “torn” edge to the left, and the undergrowth appears to be partially obscuring its surface. Although there may be a little snow along the very bottom edge of the photo, I still don’t think that the “object” itself is snow. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t look like an article of clothing or part of a backpack.

  30. The questions I have are:

    – Did he plan to get off the water where the boat was found?

    – What was his exit plan?, How was he going to go back to his car?

    – If he intended to go back to where the boat was found, why did he not leave his waders near the boat?

    – If he never took off the waders, he must be near the water or planning on going in the water.

    – Was there any indication near the boat that they spent some time there?

    – Did he cross the river near the boat to look for an exit out with a plan to come back to get Leo but he could not? I am assuming Leo would stay where he lost the scent/visual of Randy. If Randy was in the river, Leo would have followed him on the land.

  31. Weather forecast, White Rock, New Mexico.

    Monday high temp 37 degrees, slight change of snow until 3:00PM when the chance of snow increases to 30%. Low of 21f

    Tuesday, partly cloudy and cooler

    • Dewertphile Not to be out of place, but is this the image on the post below, the one that you think is snow? IMO there is no doubt that the blue item is not snow. I know in a lot of the photos the snow does appear to be blue.

      Jake Faulker on January 24, 2016 at 7:17 am said:

      Martin,
      Click on this link to show actual pixel size cropped view:
      http://laptoptrek.com/images/uknown_blue_item.jpg
      Reply ↓

      (I think you will have to go to the actual post earlier in this section to use the link)

      • Sorry Desertphile, I can’t type either.
        I do appreciate all of your posts and thanks for being willing to help look. I wish I could be there to help.
        Thanks to everyone who have put in so much time and effort. God bless.

      • Prior to your last photo share of the blue item, I believed the blue was just snow. Now, after clicking and enlarging this particular image, I can see a definite shape and it has two lines like a T on it. Hmmm.

      • @Not Obsessed, “Desertphile Not to be out of place, but is this the image on the post below, the one that you think is snow? IMO there is no doubt that the blue item is not snow. I know in a lot of the photos the snow does appear to be blue.”

        Good evening. Let me see…. I am very often wrong, about most things. 🙂 In fact, I am almost always wrong about almost everything. Looking at the image now. Okay: what I will write (below) could be completely wrong, and the color *COULD* be blue, but…..

        To my eye and to my computer’s software, that is not blue: it is grey, wet snow. I realize that most people will see it as blue: that is in fact a color illusion— the human eye will render that color blue even though it is not. There are other laws of physics involved than only the visible light spectrum: humans are not very good with some combinations of light intensity and refraction when it comes to color.

        But like I said, I am often wrong. I would bet $100 it’s snow, though. Damn shame, too; I wish it was part of Randy’s jacket.

  32. If anyone is still considering the “blue object” as a target, I spent some time analyzing all of the other objects in this area trying to get an idea of depth perspective, ie. what’s in the foreground and what’s behind other objects. So far the discussion has been centered around color. I think placement rules it out as Cynthia would have been standing on it.

    This is what I firmly believe is correct concerning depth perspective:

    https://goo.gl/GcdSKu

    It’s difficult to see at first because of the branches, but Cynthia and the “object” are all on layer 2, behind the rock in the foreground. The object isn’t on the foreground layer. I think you all can confirm, but I did want to say sorry for being the messenger on this. It was worth a shot.

      • I didn’t highlight the branches themselves. If I did, they would be a fourth color, closer to the camera than the foreground rock (red).

      • I should add that the “object” isn’t a piece of fabric in the branches, if that’s a question. The left side of the object’s shape is actually the right side of the foreground rock, placing it behind the rock. It’s one of those optical illusions where you can see it both ways if you’re just looking at the object, but taking all of the elements as a whole you get the complete depth of the image.

        • I’m sorry Jeremy but I still see the object. There is a black line on the top of it in both the color and not colored.
          I don’t really understand foreground, mid ground, or what it means.
          So maybe you could explain further .
          Thanks

          • It’s OK. When someone asserts a definitive conclusion (as I did), it’s on them to defend it.

            If you can let me know what is your black line, I can lay it out in perspective. If it’s what I’m seeing is the top of the “object”, there is not enough distance between that top and the rock directly behind Cynthia’s foot to say, then, that the object is in the foreground. The top of the object, from the perspective of the camera, is behind the branches, behind the foreground rock, and almost directly to the right of Cynthia’s right foot.

        • Sorry to have taken a break…you’ve convinced me. It’s snow. Good to know so not worth chasing anymore. Thank you for putting this one to rest – at least for me.

          For another time: I’m curious about these “layers” you’re able to extract. How’s that work?

    • But, I see your point. If your layers are correct, Cynthia would’ve surely seen it before tripping over it. Only explanation is that it’s snow right behind her left foot. But….that hi-rez shot sure did look like fabric.

      • At first glance, completely looked that way to me as well. Looked like a piece of fabric, maybe in the branches.

        Again, sorry to call it.

        Might be some that disagree, but I think if they would look at the photo from a three (or four if you include the branches) layer perspective, it’ll eventually take root.

        • Don’t be sorry, Jeremy. NOW I see it and agree that it is snow in the foreground, behind Cynthia’s foot. No use in wasting time looking here. Let’s look for Randy. I will correct my statements in the later post. Thanks.

        • Jeremy, I looked at your cropped image of the object behind Cynthia in my editing program and it certainly does look like fabric, especially after increasing the color saturation a bit – definitely blue. I thought the black lines on the object looked like they could be shadows from some of the twigs on the branches in the foreground. Whatever it is, it doesn’t appear to be very large but maybe we are only seeing a small part of it and the rest is stuffed under a rock. Anyway, that’s what I see, but we all do seem to see things a bit differently.

          • “Jeremy, I looked at your cropped image of the object behind Cynthia in my editing program and it certainly does look like fabric, especially after increasing the color saturation a bit – definitely blue.”

            Golly, it sure looks like grey (wet) snow to me; that is what my imaging software shows it to be. If someone had not written here that it looks blue, I suspect many people would agree it’s grey.

          • You really don’t want to increase the color saturation. Snow, when only illuminated by blue sky, reflects that same hue, so it is too blue already. Are you using the full res tiff file, which has greater bit depth and contains far more color information and detail than the jpeg that has been posted.

            The object in question is a patch of snow partially visible behind the sharp right hand edge of the main rock in the foreground. What may look like shadows of twigs in the foreground are not shadows at all – they are grass poking through the snow that are also in the shadow of the rock.

          • PM, I looked at the tif file and tried to correct for the blue color cast. The thing I am looking at is not in shadow like the snow patches on the right which appear blueish and, even after color correction, is still pretty close to the blue color of the tongue of Cynthia’s boot. It is interesting to speculate what it could be but may mean absolutely nothing, even if it does turn out to be an object of some kind rather than snow. I guess we won’t know for sure unless someone is able to get to that exact same spot again.

          • This is the one I think you want, Canyondown. It takes a very long time to download – it took about 8 minutes for me. I know the photographer said he’s sure it’s snow but when I blow it up and look at the pixels, I don’t see any white pixels at all, but maybe he’s looking at the RAW file. And maybe we don’t need to speculate any longer.

            http://lummifilm.com/randy/IMG_0273.tif

    • Hello Jeremy. Thank you for your post. I viewed your attachment and thought it was interesting. I also noticed Cynthia’s legs/feet positions in the photo. It looks like she’s trying to dodge a bunch of rocks underfoot and keeping her balance. Notice her left knee and her right foot. It looks like her foot is pointed down because of landing on a rock. I’ve tried positioning my own legs/feet such as hers to get a better understanding. There’s still a good chance the blue item may be to the side or under a rock/bush. If it is under a bush, surely Cynthia wouldn’t have walked over it, she would have went beside it. This is an opinion, offered as a thought.

        • The following is how I view the photo:

          Right side of rock, besides Cynthia’s right leg–snow.

          Bottom right edge of photo, under branches–snow.

          Large rock in front of photo, looking to the right of it (not in depth)–“blue item”.
          (Clearly one sees earth tones which surrounds the “blue item” to make distinction.)

          This is an opinion, offered as a thought.

          • Whether snow or “blue item”, giving benefit of the doubt for this situation may give peace of mind for Randy’s family and other searchers.

          • I should have said, I agree with pdenver.
            I can distinguish the blue on her shoe, why would the blue object be any less distinguishable.

          • I’ve posted before viewing PM’s attachment. With the resolution shown in this attachment, I can understand how one may feel it’s snow. The shades of blue is replaced with shades of gray.

          • @pdenver, I agree, especially in regards to piece of mind for the family. I think when evaluating any evidence that shows Randy away from the raft area we have to be a little careful.

          • I agree. It’s amazing what the mind tells us what we see. I took the above photo with Cynthia with the “area in question” and set my computer at a 400% magnification and the tongue of Cynthia’s boot and the “area in question” boldly show up blue. Going to bring my computer to the recycling center. 🙂

  33. First I want to say I have never searched for the treasure. I just haven’t had time. I have never met any of you or even Mr Fenn. But everyone’s willingness to find Randy made me realize there are many great people out there.

    I’ve spent 2 days trying to help in the search but I feel I accomplished nothing.

    Yesterday I was at cochiti lake trying to gain access to the inlet to the lake so I could fly upstream with my drone.
    I stopped at the golf course and asked about to gated road(which was unlocked) that is on the right before the course. They told me it is tribal land and permission is needed to enter. At that time I asked on the forum if anyone knew who to contact and Stephanie chimed in and tried to help. (She was my main contact and I appreciated her efforts yesterday and today). I searched for any tribal officials and couldn’t locate anyone. I did ask at the mini mart who I could talk with and they stated to check with the tribal office. They are closed on weekends.
    I hung around the lake a while but had no luck. At that point I really didn’t know what more to do. I kept in touch Stephanie and I think Julie about possibly getting permission to fly my drone in Frijoles canyon.
    Plan was to go Sunday early to Bandelier visitor center and ask on behalf of the family to search by drone.

    Arrived at 8:30 and waited till they opened at 9. I met with Liza Kent NPS officer and was told emphatically No Drones. (Wind out of sails). She also stated the trails below the upper falls are closed due to flood damage. She said traveling off trail is unsafe and dangerous. Nothing else I could do there.

    Contacted Stephanie and informed her of the not so good news. She started to put the word out on who to contact about getting permission.
    At that point I was in a holding pattern until hopefully someone could come pull some strings. No luck so far. Hopefully this week may bear some good news.

    After leaving Bandelier I headed towards Santa Fe to see where to go next. I ended up heading out to the overlook to look for the blue object in question. I saw that another searcher was going to go search. I got out to the turn off to the overlook and ran into radcrad. He was on his way out. Chatted with him a bit and decided not to go out to the area because winds were too high. Headed home.

    I have to say I am blown away by all the selfless people willing to go out on a daily basis and search for someone they probably don’t know. Thanks to the people all the way across the country or world helping in anyway they can. Thanks to everyone for the posts which following them gets somewhat confusing but I feel is helpful. So much info to process.

    I feel hope has probably faded for most but I know everyone is still focused on finding Randy.

    Thanks again to everyone.
    Good luck this week.

  34. @PM and Jeremy, thanks! I fully agree, there isn’t a piece of unnatural material in that picture, it is snow and shadows only, PM’s link zooms in nicely. By the way, who are you PM?

  35. I would like to update the search community on the photo of the blue something behind me..it has been analyzed by the professional photographer who took the photo. Not only does he have a 25 inch monitor, he understands the perspective of using the particular lens for that shot and has the capability of blowing it up to extremes that most of us don’t have access to. The blue is definitely snow/ice. It actually becomes white when it’s blown up. Some folks have noticed the black strap and brown thing in front of my left boot. It is the end of my trekking pole which I had laid down to answer my phone which I’m holding in my left hand. Hope this post can put this picture to rest. cynthia

    • Thank you so much for the clarification of the photo. A big thank you to the photographer to analyze it thoroughly. It’s a relief to definitely know, but also disappointing to know we no longer have a possible “item” to associate Randy with it. We’ll continue to use our brains, though. We’re Fenners! 🙂

    • Glad that’s cleared up, my bet was that is was a blue balloon from some party in Albuquerque. I have a question for you and all searchers. What would you do if you had to get back to your car from the raft? A-follow the river and climb 150 feet in elevation and have no chance of getting lost. Or B- Climb 1200 feet up a canyon wall and wander 10 miles through juniper and cactus scrub land with no direct marked path and a very good chance of getting lost or at least very delayed? I know that the river bank has been “thoroughly searched” by air but nobody has walked it that I know of (nobody can see behind/ through all boulders, thick brush and trees whizzing by in an aircraft). Also, with Leo being at the raft, it seems to me that the “accident” took place within a mile of it. The question for you tomorrow is do you search miles away from the raft, or do you search within a mile of the raft (hopefully upstream). Good luck, you are awesome. Thank you

  36. Also, I can give a brief update of some of today’s activities and tomorrow. At least 3 searchers were out today doing their own independent searches I believe in the area around Monotoso Peak.

    Fenn has rented a helicopter for tomorrow to go up and search at noon. He will take just one searcher…John Brown.

    Most of us are waiting for drone footage in order to formulate next group search.
    cynthia

  37. I was at Cochiti lake at noon and spent some time glassing it. Nothing noticed except a log in the middle of the lake. Too much ice to launch a boat. My vantage point was high up the boat ramp.

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