Plans for Monday…

January 23rd, 2016


Forrest is meeting up with John, Sacha and Cynthia at 11:30 tomorrow for a briefing with the helicopter pilot, Doug. Forrest and John and Doug will take off for the canyon at Noon…as always, weather permitting.

There is no organized search by foot scheduled for Monday, January 25th. Cynthia noted that apparently folks are showing up at the animal shelter every day but that was a one time meeting place and is not an everyday occurrence. Neither Sacha nor Cynthia are organizing a foot search for Monday.

We all await the analysis report from the drone operators and an opportunity to view their footage. But I do not know if that is coming on Monday. It is what Sacha reported last Friday…but plans do change.


155 thoughts on “Plans for Monday…

  1. God Luck Forrest, John, and Doug. Thanks for all the work and hours all the searchers have put in and everyone who has tried to figure out what happened to Randy. it is a mystery and even those of us who are not able to have BOG are concerned for our fellow treasure hunter and wish we could help more.

  2. I wish the searchers luck. I am hoping the river bank north of the raft will be covered by the search. I suspect Randy and Leo were trying to get back to their car, and Randy got in trouble not far from the raft. I suspect Leo eventually left him and found his way back to the raft. The area above the first river obstruction, where Randy might have tried to climb so that he would not have to walk in the river when heading north.

    • David,

      I have talked with Forrest, and he has promised to search the area north of the raft, on the way back to his car. I am eager to hear his report this afternoon.

    • Im one of the people searching from where ive seen on location of the raft and also the selfie he took of the area before he came back this last time this is what i think happened and to say ive been thinking ever sents the first day i search and did tell some other searchers this but not here. This is what i think because this is what i would have done if not knowing there could be danger. I would try to cross the river where i put the raft. He would have went to cross because sent he has been in the area before he would know bandlier was just right there on the other side of river. When he did he didnt think about how the bottm of the river could be soft because of when the flood and washed all the ash from the fire and up there witch would make the bottom soft and hard to move or s act like quick sand. So there for he would get exhasted and end up drowned there in the river and being stuck there he would get covered by the to ash and birt. This dog would stay there beca

    • I agree also. For all armchair searchers: BING MAPS has a much much much better satelite image than Google earth. Also for some perspective of the scope and size of the immediate area, the Rio Grande river bed is about 250 feet wide where the raft was found. The average diameter of each little green tree in the area is 10-20 feet. There are close to 1000 “little” green trees within 1 mile of the raft on the east side and many more sage and scrub bushes to look under. I hope they use the helicopter to systematically search the entire canyon slope from the river to the top and the steep dangerous areas next to the river north of it. I think Randy intended to followed the river back to the car. Why climb 1100 feet up the canyon with a high probability of getting lost in the scrub?

    • I think Randy might have been trying to get to those buildings located just east of Bandelier National Monument and north of his raft. He was likely very cold and figured that if he could just get to somewhere warm and get help he could get back to Leo as soon as possible. He likely either didn’t make the river crossing…or he succumbed to hypothermia and/or accident heading in that direction…basically north of his raft and Leo…toward Highway 4. Perhaps he thought he could hitch a ride back to his car. Then he could drive down the east side and hike in to get Leo as soon as possible. I don’t know. Just trying to help from far away.

  3. This may be a silly question , Would it be possible to go to the spot where Randy put in and use a small flat bottom aluminum boat with a trolling motor to float the river down followling his path staying close to the bank so they could look for foot prints and possibly search at areas that look interesting. They could take supplies and schedule for some one to pick them up further down south on the river. This would give them more search time because they wouldnt have to hike the rough terrain to get to the bottom. Just a thought,,,
    Sending prayers and Thank You to all involved for their dedication to a fellow searcher.

      • Voiceofreason, I have been keeping up with the post, I knew SAR had searched the area where raft was found ,did not know they followed the river bank from the put in, cant find that post, can you direct me please.

        • Not everything is posted here. There are multiple message boards and even his ex has a blog. I saw it on one of them. You can call State SAR to confirm or ask Stephanie, I hear she has contacted them numerous times.

          • Thanks VOR, I have read that they are highly trained professionals, mostly volunteers. I tried to locate information about Randy on their various SAR websites. On another note, it amazes me that fire and rescue teams in sooo many states are not state paid employees. So many are volunteers, people paid nothing for getting up in the middle of the night to go fight a house fire, or to rescue someone in Peril. Same thing here in my small community in Alexander Arkansas. I think out little fire house has 1 or 2 paid employees, the rest are volunteers.
            A big Thank You to all the Earth Angels that risk their lives for us every day.
            Prayers that God will watch over each and everyone of them.

      • They haven’t tried this because of the ice on the lake. The only boat that can go down in the low flow is a kayak and unless you can take out at the lake then you can’t start. There are a few hoping to try it next Saturday, but the ice is apparently hanging on at the lake. Until it’s clear to paddle off it can’t be done.

        The SAR’s group did use binoculars from the west bank and didn’t see anything and I hear the Forrest Fenn searcher group lead effort has flown close to the river all the way to the lake and found nothing along the banks. He could still be there, but it’s not obvious.

    • SAR has taken 2 boats from the put in to the ice sheet at Cochiti. They searched this area first and most thoroughily. In addition, Forrest’s first helicopter ride had him hover low over the water the entire length of the search area. SAR also had teams walk the river bank on foot the entire wy.

      The water is so low right now that you can see the bottom of the river, even standing on the mesa edge above. We’ re about 98 percent sure he is not in the water, but we can’t be certain because of the ice sheet.

    • Good eyes Rose. I checked it out and it looks like a rock outcropping. Also, if you’re looking on Google Earth you might not know that those images are not current. So finding Randy in them isn’t probable.

      Does anyone know if any video will be taken or could be taken from the Chopper when it does go out? Please be careful and go a day that is safe.

      • If I were in that canyon with a busted raft I would take the first slot I came to to get out. Those coordinates would be 35°44’28.27″n 106°15’36.66w. I wonder if anyone searched this area?

      • Thank you Stephanie. Just trying to do what I can to help. You’ve been a wonderful asset to the blog by providing great information! Thank you for all you’ve done! 🙂

  4. Having over 500 hrs BOTG, in the general area, over the past three years. I have a searcher’s sense about Randy’s journey on 1-5-16. He pre- photographed the frijole from both sides, that tells me that is were he wanted to go. From the photos it is obvious, it is to steep to access. So he takes a raft, floats to the Frijole delta,(9:00am to noon) lands on the delta, takes a look around (noon to 2:00pm). Now its time leave, crosses over to the east side, knows either by prior visit or by GE, that there is a canyon about a mile south that he can walk to the top, then head straight north to the car. So you ask, why did he not just walk in that way? He would have had to carry a raft, paddles, backpack and maybe a dog, three miles down a canyon. He would not ever have considered crossing an ice cold river on foot… The raft was a must, so take it out of the box, blow it up and walk 50 feet and your in, you get to the end, ditch the raft, fun trip, got to look around, now it’s time to go to home base. IMO Randy did all that and by sunset, after hiking/climbing around Frijole for 2 hrs, and now a 1000 ft climb, he was on top of the east mesa and on the way back to his car. He’s hungry, He’s tired and He’s got an eight mile walk, no time to waist, He’s moving as quick as he can walk. My guess would be, that he made it at least half way. At that point I would have been exhausted. I would be searching the Pinabete Tank area.

    • All sounds good except he didn’t expect to get a tare and take on water, thus getting a little bit wet and cold. When it got late he spent one night there, the next day things were worse, snow, rain cold maybe he couldn’t see is way….? What was the weather there on 6 – 8th? Also, why did dog return that far back if he did in fact get up to the top….?

      • Spending the night, was never an option, no supplies/shelter, return to vehicle a must. Tear in raft, from landing on rocks at Frijole delta. Had on waders, so did not get wet. Leo returned to raft after Randy was no longer available, especially if there was a threat remaining.

        • it had to be getting dark by the time he reached the top, just seems like with darkness approaching, he’s tired, some what wet from sweating and getting his upper clothes wet, so that he hunkered down for one night…doesn’t really change any exist plans…..we’re all thinking and trying to help by bouncing ideas just like we do for the TC….thanks John…..

      • Cholly… That makes me think of Leo… Hope he is doing well… Would love to see some more pics of him all warm and happy… I imagine his foster parents are showering him with love but I bet he misses Randy… Does anyone know what kind of dog Leo is? Terrier???

    • John Miller, I agree he reconned and arrived at his target destination. But friends trying to dissuade him report he was SURE he had the answer. So I must conclude he considered a 42# chest in his exit strategy.

      I just don’t SEE ANY feasible exit strategy.

      —He likely took a look and noticed Cochiti Lake was frozen and not workable, if he considered that his exit.
      —-No paddle up your Rio, I would have to think was obvious, even for a rank beginner. 9 miles.
      —-The thought of climbing out of a canyon with that weight on my back trying to topple you and then hiking 9 miles. I’m roughly the same demographic, and no. way.
      —If that WAS the plan, lug the loot out and leave Leo, …..nah….just no way….but if it was and he did not find the chest (likely IMO), he would not have had to leave Leo–needing all hands and feet for not falling.

      So. A real mystery. Reconned site recently. Bought raft and arrived at destination. No exit plan***. Explain that to me Holmes.

      ***My reference to Randy not having an “exit plan” is purely speculation. He might have had a brilliant one, foiled by some random event and has been captured by a crazy person that wants someone to talk to. He might have had a really terrible plan like “and then I take it home”, or he maybe planned to do that planning later. I apologize for the levity°°°
      °°°One day, the lessons we folks know about safely while exploring our Rocky Mountains, hoping to be the diviner of the clues, forgetting more than once that we are looking for something, may include Randy’s Lesson. Whatever that turns out to be.

    • These coordinates show and old sister if this is of any help
      35.760854° -106.230943° (posted earlier on
      friday’s plan but may be of interest to those who did not take a look)

  5. ☆☆ I spoke with my neighbor, a 30 yr veterinarian. He read blogs. His opinion is as follows concerning a dogs reaction…
    “If Leo’s owner got in trouble, let’s say scenario #1– Randy got hurt, succumbs to elements/injury, Leo knows death and sat with Randy til the end. Self preservation kicks in and water is his priority, retraces steps to river, where he is found. So it’s possible Randy is on same side as raft.”
    “Scenario #2, Randy possibly attacked by an animal or fall, again, Leo would stay til death, then head to water. Would he cross the river toward the raft? I feel like, well, absolutely NOT! Leo would be tired, hungry and scared. If he were on the opposite side from raft, he would NOT have swum to raft.”

    I asked if Leo could take searchers to Randy. His reply was…
    “Put some boots on Leo and take him to raft area. Hold his face in your hands, look in his eyes and tell him, “Leo, where is Randy? We need your buddy, find Randy!” Let him smell the map or anything Randy touched, he will understand. Stand up, pat your leg and say, “Let’s go to daddy!” Use buddy, daddy, Randy or any words Randy was overheard talking to Leo.
    Watch Leo closely, his first movements will give you direction, even if he doesn’t run to Randy. Death of a master will traumatized a pet, so to them, it’s finalized. He may not lead you to Randy, but he will possibly give you a direction. It’s important that you don’t lead Leo, let him make the initiative.”

    I asked him if he thought Randy would leave Leo. He doubted it. He said Leo’s feet showed signs of rough ground and said he felt Leo returned to the water, his first priority, by back tracking. “I would DEFINATELY try to use Leo’s memory to find Randy!”

    ♡♡I hope this helps. I know ALOT of people have asked about taking Leo back to the sight. Please consider this as a viable option that could get results. So far we have a big fat zero. Leo could be the hero!
    Be safe! Praying!

    • I had asked if Leo was weighed and compared to his last vet visit. If we knew how much weight he lost we could determine how long he went without food. I think that could be important.
      Does anyone have a connection with the shelter?

    • Thanks Donna I’m so hopeful of them doing this. I had asked Forrest to take him and John, because John knows the area and was willing to take Leo. I’m going to send your comment to both of them and ask again. Linda already said she’s good with it. She just wants to know if he’s going and that he has foot protection. It might be that the paw being warn had to do with him going back and forth. Not being on the ground there though, it’s so hard for me to not understand how he could be within a mile or two from the raft where Leo could return to and not be seen by one of the searchers air or ground….but I hope that is the case and Leo can be even more of a hero.

      She also wanted to have this latest story link posted.

      • Hear me all and listen good. Take Leo back there. Time is of the essence. DO IT. Re: his foot, Leo is a tiny little dog. He can be carried, then placed on the ground at the location where the raft was found. Then, as the veterinarian suggested, WATCH LEO. Do not lead, let him tell his story. Dogs are very smart, we just need to pay attention and listen and watch. Give him time. It has been a while since he was there.

    • Agree , Donna. Right now I’m trying to help Jeff Burch from Colorado. He saw the post on Sunday, said there would be an organized search today, Monday. He drove all night from northern CO and is at SF Animal Shelter right now. He’s hoping one of the key searchers will contact him pronto. He may lose cell service when he heads out. Needs contact fast. Does not have GPS or smartphone. Not familiar with area, wants to go 24NB and down to raft.

      • Right this moment, we are trying to rescue one of our own searchers who spent the night in his truck in the search area, due to a broken axle.

        I can not stress enough that people should email me at for information. We can not risk losing more people in the pursuit of Randy.

        Also, please don’t publicly post phone numbers. The spammers will have a field day with it.


    • I think that is a very good option,we know our animals,I know my dog would not leave me.maybe leo stayed with randy until the little dog just couldn’t take it any longer,cold starving,scared,cause daddy wouldn’t wake up.I think he stayed with randy as long as possible.they have an instink to have to survive too.

    • Donna M., That is very good information. I hope they can take Leo to the area. One thing that comes to mind. If for some reason Randy did pass away while Leo was with him, prey (birds, animals, etc.) may have scared Leo away and he might have ran for cover. Leo wouldn’t be able to protect Randy.

      I also feel when and if Leo is brought to the location, that they record Leo on video at different angles to see his reaction (facial and body movements). I think this is very important.

      Great job Donna M.!

  6. I know some will say, “They used search dogs.” My vet read that. Cold temps, inclement weather and time can weaken scents. But Leo’s memory is there, where a search dog’s is not!

  7. I still think that Randy’s somewhere between the raft area and where he parked. That’s the area to look. As for the blue object, having blown it up on a 27″ iMac in PhotoShop and manipulated the image, it’s almost definitely not snow, but is probably ice or a similarly reflective surface.

    Good luck to the searchers.

  8. Wish that I could help, but Idaho is a long ways away. My thoughts and prayers go out to Forrest, Sacha, Cynthia and all of the other searchers who have given so freely of their time, effort, energy and money. Good luck in your search.

  9. Also, for those who haven’t heard, the blue items were identified as the handles of hiking poles, belonging to one of the searchers on the ground. This has been confirmed, so the blue items are no longer a lead.

    • Quick correction about the picture. Blue is definitely ice, snow. I posted a detailed comment about it under a different thread. Hiking pole was the black strap at toe of left hiking boot. People need to let this picture and topic rest and go on to something else. cynthia

  10. Hope Forrest and all the searchers today find something. Good luck and yes Leo needs to lead the search with boots on and find his master and friend. The vet knows what he is talking about. God Bless the search and hope Randy is still alive and hanging on. He never would have left Leo and everyone just needs to pray with hope and God’s will in their hearts for closure and a great outcome. Still praying and looking at photos and waiting on drones results. Keep the faith never give up!! Ms. Girl God Bless us All!! AMEN

  11. Please pass on to Forrest that Bruce Adams called and my 210 flight has been cancelled for the search area. Winds aloft are 25 – 30 kts out of the West, which, for those not familiar with little airplanes and big mountains is really only a concern for fixed-wing safety issues. I don’t want Bruce to unnecessarily risk his life, so we will not be a flight concern during his search. Forrest’s Helicopter should be fine and unencumbered by other traffic ..


    I will be heading back to Fort Worth today, so out and Best Wishes ..

  12. I don’t know if anybody else has noticed it or if it has been searched, but just south of Montoso Peak is a horseshoe looking box canyon cut into at the northwest side of a low hill. On Google Earth it has a slight red tint to it and the south east side of the hill radiates outward across about 270 degrees radius. This might be Randy “sunsets” reference and/or “blaze” or “corrall hill” ..

    Ge GPS location

    This was one of the areas I wanted to search ..


  13. David here

    From a fellow searcher, thanks to all for doin what youre doin. Giving ideas, scanning pics and maps,
    boots on the ground, in the air, raising funds, all of your efforts. Amazing.
    Just had an idea that can be tried.
    If Randy wouldnt leave Leo, and Leo wouldnt leave Randy, then they were together whenever and whatever happened to Randy.

    Have search dogs go find Leo.

    Leo probably left a better trail than Randy, since his paws showed damage from his walking about.

    The farthest extent of Leos trail, may be the place to search for Randy.

    Just had this idea, want to get it out there.
    Best to all.

    David here

  14. I just talked to John who will be going up in the helicopter with Forrest at noon. They will concentrate on the east side of the river between where the raft was found and Buckman Road. Specifically the service road that parallels the rim to Pueblito Tanks.

    To reiterate previous information: Bob Rodgers said that SAR searched the river by boat thoroughly, and then ff and his team searched it by helicopter. Today’s effort will focus more on the land along the river, the sides of the Rio Grande canyon, and the mesa top, all between the raft and Buckman Road.

    If time permits, they will then search Ancho Canyon in case Randy was wounded and tried to exit via here.

  15. If Randy got hypothermia. He may not be in the area’s he marked. He may of got disoriented and confused, and went in the wrong direction.

  16. Go look at the raft photo again. Check out the left end of the paddle that isn’t collapsed. The very end seems be covered in vegetation. Look at the rock above it. It’s clear. Imagine the paddle fall from the raft and sliding down the rock, collecting the grass and clearing the rock. It’s still somewhat suspended in the air, held up by the vegetation.

    Look at the other end of the paddle. Not only is it partially under the raft, but the tubing from the pump appears to be partially under the raft.

    I don’t think these were neatly placed by Randy. I think the wind blew the raft up against the rocks, flipped it over and the paddles and pump fell “neatly” out.

  17. It is a possibility that Randy got into trouble navigating the Ancho Rapids. I do believe they are harder to get thru when the river is low. More rocks with sharp edges – thus the rip in the boat. As he was trying to stay off those rocks he reached too far and fell out – along with the backpack. Don’t think he was wearing it. The boat continued on with Leo the paddles and the pump. The boat came to rest on the sand bar and got blown ashore. The paddles are together because in a wind that is exactly how they would have fallen out of the boat. The pump landed first as it is heavier and then the paddles. If Randy had been at this spot – then he would have known he was in trouble as it was getting late….. He could have placed the paddles in an X – or arrow type position showing direction going. He could have left stones placed – in the shape of a direction – he could have written a SOS in the sand He could have done a lot of things….if he new he was in trouble. Most of all he would have made a fire. I just don’t think he was ever at the spot where Leo was found. Taking Leo back would not work if this is the scenario.

    If he fell out at Ancho rapids – and made it to shore – the first thing he would do is try to retrieve the backpack. Perhaps he did that as it has not been found. The next thing would be to follow Leo….

    I just don’t know – wish I did.

    Here is an interesting video of Ancho Rapids……..

      • Agreed. I’m thinking he fell out en route. Leo and the raft beached (coincidentally) at Frijoles. Randy either never made it out of the river (which has been searched more than twice) or he made it out and headed south to try to catch up with Leo.

        • I actually agree with you guys but didn’t want to put it out there. I also suggested in another thread to contact a local rafting company that regularly works in this area. Not to book a trip, but because they know all the river’s tricks and quirks, not to mention terrain, and they might have insight no one else does.

  18. The man who got lost in the coast range. He got hypothermia. Later stages you feel hot. He was found stripped down and in the water. He had been walking in circles for awhile. In snowy winter. They said if he would of followed the river down. He was a couple of miles from a road.

  19. Just some thoughts:

    I see the x’s on Randy’s map as possible trail/route markers. The 3 x’s on the river (2 dark and 1 light) correspond to the 3 most prominent canyons coming into the Rio Grande on the east side in this area, his raft was found closest to the middle river x canyon, the 2 southern most river x’s look like the easier routes out or into the Rio than the northern most river x. The canyon at the southern most x looks like the easiest hike out of the Rio but once you got up to the mesa would leave you the farthest from where the car was. The eastern most light x is at what appears to be the end of this trail/route on his map.

    If he tried to get out at one of these x canyons he probably hoped/thought he could find the trails and roads he was familiar with from his Dec 24th trip once he got back up on the mesa. The center dark x appears from his map to be along the trail if he took the middle river x canyon out which was the closest to his raft.

    I am assuming he had an exit plan after he searched where he wanted to search and it did not include rafting 9 miles back up the river, leaky boat or not. Either he planned on walking back up to his car along the river or more than likely to get back up to the mesa on the east side and then heading north towards the car, and probably assuming he would recognize some of the trails/routes he found on his Dec 24th trip.

  20. Here’s the photo:

    Look at the left end of the paddle. The handle is wrapped up in vegetation. Look above it. The rock is clear. It looks like the handle may have slid down the rock, clearing the vegetation and becoming entangled in it. It’s still somewhat suspended. It never reached the ground.

    Look at the other end of the paddle. It’s somewhat underneath the raft. So is some of the tubing.

    These aren’t as “neatly” placed as they appear to be. I don’t think Randy ever made it there and we might be going down rabbit holes on the mesa or in Frijoles.
    Maybe he’s much further north. Perhaps around Ancho he fell out of the raft. If he made it out of the river, he’d head south to go after Leo. But he would be wet, cold, maybe injured and in a hurry to get to Leo. So that might place him close to the river somewhere near Ancho (again, if he made it out of the river).

    • If he fell into the river and made it to the land, he would have followed the river to get to Leo. In this case he should be somewhere between the car and the raft very close to the river.

      If he fell into the river and somehow became unconscious, how far downstream would he be?

    • Randy left his raft purposely at this site. He was going down stream: what was his destitation? a take out site? did he have to stop sooner than expected b/c of the tear in the raft? either way; his raft was put there by himself. Next question; which direction did he go to get out? I would assume from all the maps, he completed his searches: speculation, and was headed out. Just my interpretation of the maps and raft.

      • Randy and Leo left and hiked. Something happened to Randy, and Leo retraced his steps/ scent back to the water. Randy must be within 1-3 mile radius of raft site. My speculation.

    • I wonder about that raft getting blown to its resting place too. Randy and Leo could have been separated anywhere between the car or “put in” spot and the location of the raft. Randy could have fallen in the water or the raft got away from him if he got out along the way because he was either partially grounded or if he wanted to check something out on the shore along the way. If Leo was floating down the river alone, Randy would have been scrambling to catch up to him. He could have headed to higher land to keep an eye on him or stayed along the shore. My intuition has whispered to me all along that he was injured or fell ill somewhere closer to the car than closer to the raft. I was particularly concerned when I read Julies posts on chasechat that on Jan. 5th, she heard what may have been a whistle near the Soda trail about a quarter mile from Buckman Rd. She also said that there have been steel traps in the area that someone could easily step into if they were distracted from watching where they were walking. I wish I was closer, I would be looking in the swath of land about 1000-12000 feet wide from the edge of the river eastward in the area from the car to the raft.

        • I agree with you, Desertphile. If the wind truly did blow the raft out of the water and onto the shore, 100+ feet away from the water, the paddles and air pump would have been fallen out of the raft beforehand due to gravity. If Leo was inside the raft, surely he would have been injured or shown more signs of wear other than the pad(s) of his paws and thin from lack of food. This is an opinion, offered as a thought.

          • It could have been gradual (see my response to swwot below). The raft could have run aground on the sand bar, Leo jumped out. The raft eventually gets pushed to where we find it today. All just opinion of course. Trying to imagine various scenarios.

          • Thank you for your response, Martin. I truly do appreciate it. With the same thought of “gradual”, and then the raft flipping to the position to where it’s at now, would the paddles and air pump have fallen out beforehand because of the flip or still have landed beside the raft?

          • I’m imagining it moving laterally. There’s only one flip (at the end). It gets pushed bit by bit until it’s next to the rock. Against the rock, there’s finally has resistance. The wind gets underneath the raft, stands it up and pushes it over. In the process, the paddles and pump get dumped out and settle somewhat next to the raft (note that the one paddle is partially under the raft along with part of the tubing from the pump).

          • I agree pdenver, what are the odds of not getting stuck any where along the river. This raft was pulled out of the river 100′ or more. The odds that the paddles , pump and raft all land there by the wind are astronamical, imo.
            I think the reason they didn’t find any prints was because 10 days had gone by. Just my opinion.

          • @pdenver, “Would the raft have gradually glided across the shrubs / trees along the river?”

            Gosh, not at all. 🙂 It would have taken a massive flooding event to place the raft there. The paddles were on top; the foot-powered air pump was connected to the inflatable boat. It required a human to place the boat where it was found.

          • Jake – please zoom in on the photo and look how neatly the handle is tangled up in the vegetation. I was looking at this photo over the weekend and that’s what started bothering me.

            I really wish we could get our hands on the original high res photo.

        • DP, looking at the Randy’s map going down stream the drawn image across from the first “x” looks like Randy drew a pic of his raft…..that would be his “put in” in other words he reached his destination. I believe he was in trouble with oar and raft when he got there and deliberately placed them in their found positions. To me Frijoles Falls is his HOB…(Kettles, brown beans, etc.)… he “put in” below. Traveling down river “ever drawing nigh would be on his left….which is where the dashes are leading a trail up the side. I believe you are correct in your assumption about the Winter Solstice Theory. I believe he got in trouble going out.

          If this thought process has already been mentioned….sorry for the duplicating.

          • BW, “DP, looking at the Randy’s map going down stream the drawn image across from the first “x” looks like Randy drew a pic of his raft…..that would be his “put in” in other words he reached his destination.”

            As far as I can guess, the circled “E” is not a raft; there is a rock formation across the river, and the northern most “X”, that looks like a circular “E”

          • It appears folks are using “put in” differently. Some use it as the place where a floating trip starts and others are using “put in” as the destination. From my experience in kayaking “put in” is used by rafters and kayakers as the place a raft or kayak (or canoe) is put into the water and “take out” is where the journey ends or where the boat is taken out. The terms are quite literal. The term “put in” is used in boating generally when referring to entering a harbor OR launching a boat. I’ve used the term as it applies to rafting/kayaking.

        • @Debi, “The raft was taken and placed – only by the owner. IMO Randy placed the raft and there hiked with Leo to exit.”

          Indeed; the priority location to look is along the river to the north of where the raft was found. It was already searched by boat, twice.

      • Raven

        I follow your thinking and that of the others here,
        What are the thoughts on the trash on the top of the raft?

        Maybe we or at least I would need to know more about the raft.

        Looking at the box it is made by Sevylor / model Super Caraqvalle / listed as 3 man raft / size = 7′ 5″ x 3′ 10″ not sure inside or outside dimension? Designed to carry 600#.

        It appear to be priced at $80.00

        One review on the company site – small for one man.

        What is the empty weight? Did it have hand grabs? How high are the sides?

        Easy or tricky access into the raft when on land and pushed into river? Or entry into a completely floating raft?

        I’ve never been in one, maybe these thoughts will give someone new idea???

        Was Randy a good rafter?

    • Martin,

      I think I disagree. If my memory serves me, someplace earlier it was shared that one of the paddles was broken. I cannot “zoom in” on the paddles, but to me, it looks like one broken paddle and one good paddle laying next to/underneath the raft.

      Could the raft have blown up out of the water and onto the shore? Yes, it could have. But I doubt it and here’s why. If the raft was in the water it would be bottom down, which means it would be in contact with the water, hence no sail to catch the wind. Besides, it would take a pretty good gust of wind to lift it out of the water and cause it to tumble that far. The surface tension would act somewhat like a vacuum to keep it from being pulled it out of the water. I just don’t remmeber hearing of any sustained gusts during the time Randy has been missing to put the raft where it is.

      Looks to me like it was put there intentionally.

      • I’m not totally convinced either. Just exploring different scenarios.

        I’m leaning more and more towards this one though. The raft had 9 or 10 days to make it there. It didn’t need to be tumbling. It didn’t need to happen all at once.
        There’s snow and ice in the photo. The raft was wet to begin with.

        It could have nudged bit by bit over time. Once it ended up against the rock at that location it wouldn’t be able to go any more. Get some wind underneath and it flips.

        I’ve heard various things about the paddle (broken or collapsed). I’m not concerned with the short one. Look at the position of the long one. It’s got vegetation around its handle (very left end). I wish we had a higher res version. If you’re going to neatly place the paddles next to the raft, I don’t think they would end up like that.

        At first glance it all looks intentional. We get that thought in our heads and we’ve convinced ourselves. But how do we know for sure? Only Leo knows.

  21. Earlier someone posted something along the lines that f had commented that the canyon cannot be correct since it is south of the 8.25 mile line north of santa fe. Is f quoted or did he state something like this on line?

    • “Earlier someone posted something along the lines that f had commented that the canyon cannot be correct since it is south of the 8.25 mile line north of santa fe. Is f quoted or did he state something like this on line?”

      I do not know if Forrest said anything about that, but Frijoles canyon has likely been searched by dozens and dozens of people for the treasure.

  22. ff stated that Randy wasn’t searching N of SF, and the treasure is N of SF…Clear enough for me…This from one of the news stories on the hunt for the missing Randy…One of the first news stories I think…

  23. Sorry if this has been asked or posted, but it’s hard to keep up with all the comments.
    Has Frijole Canyon/Falls been searched at all? Has the West side of the river been searched?

    Also, is there a single map out there that has all the areas that have been searched highlighted?

    lucky I don’t have a drone of my own. I mean, how many park rangers are there in Bandalier, let alone, how many are down between the falls and the river.
    If you get my drift.

    It’s a Laverne and Shirley theme song thing for us old people..

    • Mark, “Has Frijole Canyon/Falls been searched at all? Has the West side of the river been searched?”

      Yes, and Yes. Boot prints and dog paw prints have been seeing going to Frijoles and coming out. Search and Rescue searched the river bank east and west from the point where Randy parked his car all the way to the lake.

    • Just another thought. Since I assume that the area East and West of the raft location (North and South too) are not often visited areas.

      FF can probably answer this, but are there known to be Mexican/Spanish death traps in that area?
      I know they are found in Arizona and New Mexico, but just wondering if they made it that far North and have ever been found.

      Just something for people to think about too. People do die crawling into tunnels, etc… that have been boobytrapped.

      I read a story not too long ago about a guy prospecting I think in Arizona and ran into 2 kids where one was trapped in a caved in “Mine”. The one kid died.

      • No. No. No! This not “crossing land”.

        Barbaric leg-hold traps set by morons for coyotes, maybe…but not likely in this area as no stock to protect and few pelts worth it. A sad commentary. I’m sorry.

      • @Mark, “Just another thought. Since I assume that the area East and West of the raft location (North and South too) are not often visited areas.”

        The west bank is popular, and constantly visited by hikers. There is a trail that leads from Rito de los Frijoles entrance (and up to the lower falls), all the way to Highway 599. There is a sign on the highway “FRIJOLES TRAIL”

        For the east bank, it is popular with hunters and poachers. The two people that the search helicopter spotted are likely (in my opinion) to be poachers out killing deer and elk illegally.

        • Dphile, I think you meant up to Rt. 4 (Los Alamos side, not SFe/599 side). I have my directional dyslexic moments, too (i.e, earlier today – sorry!).

          As for those campers…would be surprised if elk are in the area, but smaller prey & pelts fer sure. I know bobcats are common.

  24. Sub.
    Feeling pretty helpless marooned in Chicago and not on my home turf in SFe. Just trying to keep up with the all the valuable progress/chatter and don’t want to waste the “airspace” too much, but I sure do appreciate being able to bounce ideas off so many of you. High hopes.

  25. Did NMSAR find any footprints?

    Did they take search dogs into lower Frijoles? I know…not their jurisdiction, but maybe they weren’t worried about it at the time.

  26. I hate to bring it up but the sandbars are silt which acts a great deal like quicksand,a friend on mine stepped out to pull his small flat bottom boat off of sand bar and sank to his armpits , if his fellow traveler had not been there to painstakenly get him out he would never have made it out .He had grabbed the side of the boat as he sank.My prayers are with Randy and all the dedicated searchers.

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