James Kim Update: 11 am Wednesday

Family Website | CNET Updates Page

I’m very sorry to report James Kim was found dead in the Windy Creek area of the Rogue River at about Noon today.

— earlier — 

Path of clues left by James Kim

It now appears the things searchers are finding are clues left by James Kim. I wildly speculate that he was trying to send any searchers from the river side UP towards the car rather than *down* to him, but this is guessing. It is consistent with the idea that he was heading to the Rogue River as the only navigation point he might have understood in that region (he was headed to a lodge downriver and this is a huge river – Kim would have known that if he made it to the Rogue he could pick his way out of the woods eventually – not true if you follow the roads which are a labyrinth of interconnections in that Bear Camp location)

This in from the comments at family site. IKONOS will be retasked to provide high resolution images of search area which will be made available via ftp for analysis. It appears they’ll be releasing it to the public for review around 1-2 pm (based on 11:21 flyover + 98 minutes until download + short preview before they upload to ftp site. They’ll need some mirrors for this as the number of downloads will be huge as people try to review the data. Bad news is that fog was in the area this morning. It’s burned off here in Talent (about 75 miles from search area) but the Rogue River area is deep canyons and may not have been clear.

Just to let you know that our satellite will be imaging about 2000 sq
km over the James Kim search area in south west Oregon (Josephine
County) at 11:22:01 am (Pacific Time) today (Dec 6, 2006). IKONOS will
be moving along a north to south track coming from Canada across
Washington and then over Oregon. It’s traveling at 17,000 mph or about 4
miles per second. The IKONOS satellite has been instructed to image the
search area as it passes over Oregon. The imagery will be recorded in
the memory of the satellite as it continues its travels over the Pacific
and South Pacific, then under the South Pole and up the ‘dark side’ of
the Earth. When IKONOS comes up over the northern polar region the
imagery will be down linked into a 30′ foot in diameter receiving
antennae at our ground station in Fairbanks, Alaska. It takes less than
98 minutes to travel this entire distance. Once the imagery is down
linked into our ground station in Fairbanks, the data is sent over a
high-speed fiber optic line to Denver, Colorado where the imagery will
be processed. Once we check it out for quality and cloud cover, then we
will make it available via ftp site…

Merlin, Oregon:

Brian Anderson, Sheriff. Greg Hastings (Oregon State Police). Mike Winters, Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office

New Information:
Tuesday searcher Dave Penkava was injured on ATV. His condition is OK after shoulder injury. He’d plunged into a (ravine?).

Wilsonville Chamber believes they did provide a map and highlighted certain routes for the Kims. [ I think Bear Camp route was NOT one of those highlighted!]

Care packages are getting dropped in that Windy Creek Drainage. [ last night a searcher on TV said the forest is so dense they could not be seen when a chopper was directly overhead – though to me this storongly indicates James Kim would have hiked down to the river rather than stay up in the invisible drainage area]

I lost the feed from CNET. Tried KGW’s feed but they are showing the old feed from yesterday’s conference as “live”.

Notes courtesy of Tim in comments:

Also notable from the conference:

1. Cell tower is going up in the area (today?) that should help with search coordination. Edge wireless is setting up the tower and has provided SAR crew with approx 30 phones.

2. Ground teams are in and evaluating entry points.

3. Hopefully the fog doesn’t last so they can get in the air soon.


21 thoughts on “James Kim Update: 11 am Wednesday

  1. You weren’t alone, I lost the feed as well. I also just wanted to say that you are doing a great service by being a virtual eyes and ears, since you are apparantly somewhat local.

    My initial reaction to the paper was that perhaps he attempted to start a fire, but I would suspect they’d see evidence of that on the paper.



  2. Also notable from the conference:

    1. Cell tower is going up in the area (today?) that should help with search coordination. Edge wireless is setting up the tower and has provided SAR crew with approx 30 phones.

    2. Ground teams are in and evaluating entry points.

    3. Hopefully the fog doesn’t last so they can get in the air soon.

  3. Thanks Dave, Tim, Jeff – I did not see the rest of the video.
    I’m still very confused about the confidence level that he’s in the drainage. Even in that really rough terrain you can make it 5-10 miles per day and he was very motivated to get out of there and save the kids. They are not talking about combing the River Canyon (I’m assuming water is really high now and there are no big gravel banks like in summer) for at least several miles each way for clues but it seems they must be doing that, right?

  4. Yeah sorry I didn’t mention that. They had swift water rescue teams in the river yesterday. Also Anderson mentioned that there are several steep cliff faces in the drainage that have been severely impeding movements of their SAR teams. He seemed fairly confidant that James hadn’t reached the river as of yesterday, but from what I understand the river will continue to be monitored.

  5. Thanks Tim – I just can’t get it out of my head that he could have made it out of the drainage by now and headed downriver (or upriver, but down makes more sense since it’s a guaranteed route out).

  6. MSNBC has reported that searchers have found more items of clothing — including a girl’s blue dress — and torn pieces from a map believed to be left as markers by Kim to let rescuers know his route. The family has confirmed that the items found were indeed carried by Kim as he left them earlier this week.

  7. What “paper” is Jeff Duke talking about? I haven’t heard anything about the SAR finding paper.

    Keep of the good work Joe! Thanks for keeping me up to date.

  8. If he made it down to the Rogue River, is the Black Bar Lodge easily visible at that point or if not then if he continued downstream? Or it back aways and hidden? Apparently they have been checking the Lodge.

  9. Dave – they appear to be finding pieces of a map – see the http://KGW.com reports on “clues”.
    DavidLewis – Yes they have checked the lodge and I they keep checking it, reporting no signs of Kim there. I’m unclear how easy it would have been to pass that lodge if he was headed south as I’ve suggested he might have done. Not a lot of pix of this area at Google and I’ve not been to that lodge.

    Note that once he located the river he could have taken many routes so it seems reasonable to me that he might well have missed it even if he was close. I asked Half Moon Bar (20 miles downriver) if you could pass them following the River south and they agreed it would be hard. But there is a huge amount of wilderness between Windy Creek and Half Moon Bar. I remain unclear if they have done much downriver very far to check the Rogue River Canyon for clues. This is the wild section of the river and rapids there are hazardous even in summer, but I sure hope they search there soon.

    My understanding is that officials think he’s in the Big Windy Creek Area still. I’m not clear why they think he did not make it out of there and hope they realize by now that his goal was getting his family found. That changes the strategy to higher personal risk, more likely to move than to “hole up” as you might if you were alone, and leaving clues to track UP big Windy Creek rather than down.

  10. http://news.com.com/1606-2_3-6141130.html?tag=ne.vid

    This is a video at CNET showing the car, which did not skid off the road but instead became snowbound. Ironically, the snow is mostly melted now. Kati said they had already turned around when they realized NF23 was not going to be passable and got lost getting down to a lower elevation. Since it was very late and they were mostly out of the snow they decided to keep the heater on and spend the night there, and continue the rest of the way back when it was light. Unfortunately they were snowbound by morning.

  11. I would like to know the coordinates of the spot where James left the road last Saturday heading for the watershed. If anybody has that info I, and am sure many others, would appreciate it being posted here.

  12. I posted it in the Tuesday 11pm update comments…here they are:

    42 deg 37′47.23″ N
    123 deg 47′17.73″ W

    The road appears to be BLM 34-9-8 or a branch off of it…

  13. I am so sorry for the family, for James, and for every single person that has followed this story with so much hope in their hearts.

    I know the rescue crews are sick.

    Damnit. Just damnit. Too young.

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