Drone Day…

January 22nd, 2016

by Katya and Bill

I just got home. Long drive home to Taos after long intense day searching. Sasha was not there today.
I brought a crew of 5 of us today. Two drones and two drone operators. They got a lot of footage and we are eagerly waiting the results.
Taos Internet is very s l o  w. Billy is working on uploading still photos from the day. Says it will take an hour and will send them off to you right away.
I’m crawling in to bed now.


Bill’s Photos Below. Click on the pic to make it a bit bigger.

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Katya and Bill-


73 thoughts on “Drone Day…

    • What I see is a blue object by the rock below Cynthia. Tried to zoom in but can’t make it out. If is is not something of theirs? This is why pictures can be important because our eyes don’t always catch everything especially when just trying to watch where you walking. Good catch Jeff. Bur

      • It took awhile but I see the blue now. On her right the crevice there what looks like a 6 on one of the rocks caught my eye and went back and saw the blue. If it is his stuff maybe he hid it there so he would’nt have to carry it and went to search that crevice and follow the water there?

    • Jeff, I just called Katya to get ahold of Bill who took the photo. I zoomed in on it and it looks like the color of Randy’s backpack. The blue can be seen at the very edge of the photo too…like it was his pack or a jacket stashed beneath the slab of rock beside my feet. This is definitely something we will look closer at. Thanks. I believe John Brown used the “tracks” program on his Garmin so we should be able to go back to this spot if needed.

  1. After looking at the pictures posted on Fridays search effort I realized the the area is very beautiful, but it also looks like it can be unforgiving. When you see satellite images it is nothing like the terrain when your physically there.” Bravo” to all of you for putting yourself in those conditions in searching for one of our own. I know you feel disappointment not haven found Randy or even clues to his whereabouts, but know you did a wonderful thing just trying. I want to say “thanks” to all the people who has invested time and their skills and also those who will continue to help bring some closure to mystery. Bur

  2. The circumstances surrounding this mystery will hopefully be resolved soon. Nothing should be ruled out, and at this point it’s doubtful many are….IMO.

    Much gratitude going out to those involved in the search;…..in whatever capacity they have been able.

  3. It really bums me out that I wasn’t able to be involved in the search. Many thanks and much gratitude to everyone for their effort. You folks have gone above and beyond!

  4. Great job getting drone coverage.

    If you need any help at all in converting video and getting it online, please let me know. I have a lot of experience with online video, and am happy to help.

    Practical recommendations: Put the entire raw footage out there as you have plenty of people to analyze it. Chop it into 10 minute clips and send parts up at a time. It will help with the slow connection and you can get the first clips out quickly. As people are analyzing the one clip, you’re sending up the next. You really don’t need 1080p if you’re in a hurry, 720p is plenty to look for things to follow up on.

    Again, if there’s anything at all I can do, please let me know.

    • We will post as soon as Tizz can complete and deliver. I know he had a lot of other prior commitments to tend to. He’s a pro and awesome to stand up to the plate and help.

  5. I hope that blue item in the picture provides a clue. Don’t forget to check the water. Prayers and thank you. Please be safe.

  6. I guess everyone saw the fisherman in the last picture. I’m amazed that people are down along the river in the middle of winter. Must really like fishing!

    • On my laptop, I see a tiny spec a little below the center of the shot (probably need a better monitor…). Is that what you’re referring to? Given all the discussion on here about how rugged the terrain is and how dangerous the water is, how would s/he have gotten there?

      • Good question! Who ever it is they have orange pants and a white top. He is on the right side of the river and I can see a fishing pole too. Try opening the pic in another window to enlarge.

        • I’m glad I’m not alone I sent this picture to Dal last night it does look like some one sitting on the point by the river in front of the dead trees or aspens not sure which. This Made me think we should drop fliers in the area telling randy Leo is safe. He may never come out of there without his dog. That is if he is surviving ( last PIc ) Dal said he was sending the photo and message on to who took it for better Observation Thanks we will see what turns out

          • I think this is an example of not always believing your eyes. I agree, it looks like a person… but how can that be… when was this taken, is it a pic taken on the Thursday search?
            If so where, who got that close to the river.
            maybe so…. I don’t know. Could be… there were some campers spotted a few days ago.
            What topic are the pics of the searcher, Erin , I think it was that found Leo?

          • Update this photo was entered from a very tired man its a mistake . We do these things when we are tired . This photo is not of the search area. Dal pointed this out in his email reply to me today. sorry it took me so long to find this so I could update this info. Have a good night all. What exit is the closest to the location of the raft I need directions anyone from I-25 south from Colo I have to wait until my sister gets b here god knows when but hopefully soon Thank you JB and Titan

  7. Thank you to all the searchers, your selflessness is much appreciated. I Wish I could be there to help you guys, I know that river and canyon like the back of my hand.

    Be safe on those ledges, hills and cliffs, they can be very unstable and deceptive. 2nd and 3rd assessments of terrain and egress routes are important to conduct before you choose your routes. Subsequent assessment as you follow your path are also important.

    God speed and God bless you guys.

  8. What a tragic mystery. If not solved soon, it may take Mother Nature to reveal Randy’s whereabouts when spring and regular hikers return to the canyons and streams.

    The only consoling thoughts are of the extraordinary amount of care and effort people have poured out in hopes of finding Randy.

  9. Third photo, above the lady in the green jacket. Look in the canyon on the left.
    See that white spot? No one is carrying binoculars??
    4th photo; frijoles canyon? if so that looks like a place a searcher might look.
    Because it would be easy to move through esp if one keeps in mind
    that a 79 or 80 year old man could go.

    Just trying to put myself in Randy’s shoes so to speak. Age 51, good physical condition, possibly took enough supplies for an afternoon out in the bush.
    has anyone looked under the raft to see if Randy took off the waders?
    If I might be so bold as to suggest that someone start at the rafts location and look at the terrain, keeping in mind the poem and Randy’s map.

    Ask yourself if I were Randy which way is the path of least resistance.
    Then slowly follow that path, looking for broken sticks, trampled bushes,
    foot prints. He may have tossed a snack wrapper. Old fashion tracking skills
    would be real helpful. Sorry I do not have much faith in do dads.
    Gods speed

    • Yes, under the raft was checked. It appears from Julie on Chasechat who works at the SF NF that Randy came in on his Christmas search and asked questions using the X map. He said that the Xs represented places he was taking pictures. On the Christmas trip he also took the photo we see of the falls from above. I’m assuming you get to that vantage point from Bandelier(I don’t know this area so that’s a guess), then on the same trip he was on the East side taking photos of how to get in.

      I believe the raft trip was to make his way in by the research he had done from above. My understanding is that Frijoles has been searched by SAR, Bandelier, an aerial photograph crew, and I’m guessing Forrest also went over that canyon. I don’t know why if he was in there that he left Leo and the raft on the other side unless he felt if it was late that he’d rather not have to bring Leo across the water and wanted him where he planned to exit.

      Linda told me that on one trip(not there) that Randy told her that Leo met with a mountain lion. So Randy was aware of them…so it would surprise me if he’d have Leo that far from him.

      Also Linda has asked that any real evidence be given to her and her family before posting on the blogs.

        • That’s what I was thinking as I read it just now. The family I understand they want to know what’s going on but the police should see everything first!

  10. I see that too. Could be the sun reflecting off of something. Curious.
    I’m pretty sure they all had binoculars

  11. Quick update on the mysterious “blue item” discussed in the 3rd picture above to the side of and behind my feet. John is currently hiking to it. I was able to get the time stamp from the picture. He then could use his GPS tracks from yesterday and get the coordinates of where we were at that particular time. Hopefully, he will be able to find it and identify it. I will keep Dal’s blog updated as I hear anything.

    • @Cynthia: Good catch, think this may be a trick of light. If you look directly by your right knee the rock there has the same blue, but unfortunately follows the shadow line.

      Does anyone have high resolution images of the raft site they can forward along?

  12. Are those sandbars that are under the water but close to the surface, are they solid there where the raft was? Can a person walk on them without sinking in? If you stepped on them trying to traverse the river and you sank into them, how far do you think they go down? half a foot, a foot, more?

    • Has the search Halted? Anyone out today? Doing anything? Can someone go check to see if security cameras show his car or anyone following him? Stay safe.

      • John Brown is out there. He’s looking to reach Desertphile(David). I tried him on facebook and by email. Does anyone have his phone number? Not sure if even has one. If he does, can you email me at tyblossom at aol dot com so I can connect the two of them?

        • “John Brown is out there. He’s looking to reach Desertphile(David). I tried him on facebook and by email. Does anyone have his phone number? Not sure if even has one. If he does, can you email me at tyblossom at aol dot com so I can connect the two of them?”

          Damn; I was in the area yesterday (Saturday); I might even have passed John Brown a few times. I have a cell telephone but I have it turned on maybe one day every month. 505-469-8724

          I went to the end of the road where Randy parked his car, and I looked for anything Randy might have hidden— car keys or a note; some people do that when they don’t want to carry their car keys on a hike. I suspect he did leave a car key, and I just missed it.

      • “Has the search Halted? Anyone out today? Doing anything? Can someone go check to see if security cameras show his car or anyone following him? Stay safe.”

        Saturday (Yesterday) I visited the place where Randy parked his car, and I looked for anything he might have hidden in the area: spare car keys, a note, etc. I found nothing.

    • John Brown says that stuff is terrible and can really get you stuck and I believe that’s what he feels broke the paddle a bit. Forrest made a comment about it being very unfriendly stuff also and his shoe got stuck in it.

      • Thanks Stephanie. I’ve heard someone mention quicksand near the river near Las Alamos but was wondering if it could exist in the river itself. And if so, how deep.

      • I can imagine a scenario where Randy bottomed out on a shallow section, used his butt to scoot forward and that’s what ripped raft. The oar handle could have broke when he was trying to pry himself out of the high bar.
        Could it be possible he stepped into a deep quicksand section and drowned, being myered in sand? F said they flew over river not seeing anything, but at this point, anything is possible.
        I’m praying we are all wrong. He’s pulling a survivor-man and still ok, waiting for help. My heart is breaking for Randy.

        • @Donna,
          I’m starting to look at this as a scenario. Maybe he placed the items there and tried to cross to make sure it was safe. Then, he found out it wasn’t safe. We hope this isn’t the scenario.

  13. Bill noticed today that one of the photos he sent did not belong. It was a photo from a previous trip. I removed the photo. It was the last one on the page. Beautiful shot of the river with a dark blue sky. Bill says that was actually from the Pilar area and he sent it with the others by accident. He was dog-tired last night when he sent pics so we could see what the team was doing all day.
    Anyway…no conspiracy… no intent to deceive or play games…just a mistake corrected.

      • THANKS. I see that all info for each day is stored there. Good for new comers to know. Not that all Wil be New comers just that some of us have not been reading this in weeks.

  14. Just wondering why Leo’s paw was raw after 11 days. Shouldn’t his paw start to heal if he had no place to go but sit and wait for Randy? I’m still wondering which paw was raw–the front paw and the back paw? I remember reading that the reference to paw was singular and not plural. Wouldn’t all his paws be raw?

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