Kim Search discussion page 9

Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Report

(Feel free to discuss this report in the comment section below)

The discussion of the Kim Family Search in the Rogue River region of Southern Oregon continues in the comment section below. Please feel free to chime in.

For earlier comments and information links about the Kim Story click here or at the top of any page on the “Kim Story” tab.


1,108 thoughts on “Kim Search discussion page 9

  1. Signage:
    The point I was trying to make is that a simple and rather low-tech solution of putting signs out that indicate which is the “coastal route” and an approximate indication of mileage is what would seem to most avoid any excursion down spur logging roads that lead nowhere.

    I don’t know how many such ‘coast/xxxmiles’ signs exist. I’ve seen none but my vision is poor and my computer is ailing. The major factor seems to be that at one particular point the wide and inviting roadway is the spur road and the narrow, uninviting roadway is the correct coastal route but this does not appear to be marked in a sufficiently prominent manner. It seems quite a number of people take the wrong turn in good weather. The Kims took the wrong turn in foul weather. It had fatal consequences. It was unfortunate.

    Better signage at a known point of confusion would have avoided the situation. Better survival gear would have made the mistake a very uncomfortable but non-fatal one.

    The road is clearly used by ‘tourists’ rather than merely local yokels who are more able to deal with inadvertant detorurs and more likely to be aware of local hazards such as winter snow storms and their consequences.

    High tech solutions such as cell towers or cell-repeaters might help. Better SAR funding might help. Better SAR coordination might help. Strobes, radios, satellites… all great. However, this was a “gadget man” and he had few things with him. A sign would have made gadgets unnecessary.

    A troop of Boy Scouts can post signs in one weekend. A group of disaffected youths who are incorrigible truants can be ‘turned around’ by giving them something with more meaning in their lives such as a project to create such road safety signs that will save lives. Its not costly and its not going to take long to get it done.

  2. Checking in for just a quick minute at a very late hour. Just wanted to respond to an earlier question RE: the map provided to LE by Eric F. Unfortunately, we cannot publicly release that information, as it is privileged and was received through proper legal process only.

    However, that being said, it is my understanding that it may possibly become available through the OSSA report (?) or other means, shortly, thereafter.

  3. Wilderness Outfitter stores.

    Many such stores concentrate on outdoor clothing but they also sell equipment and often have various ‘survival lectures’ wherein equipment is displayed and suggestions given.

    Ofcourse in the current times of rapid technology change and loction aware devices our needs may be changing, but right now food, water and clothing and signalling equipment are still high on the list.

  4. Fools Gold

    Yes I agree about the sings (I think most people do).

    I was also thinking (for some reason as this usually doesn’t pervade my thoughts)

    I think a good method might be, to put two “wrong way” signs on either side of the logging road. I am sure many of us have seen this and it usually gets your attention and you don’t go that way. Maybe underneath would be the blm sign or route number (so its not meant to mean that its a one way road).

  5. I’ve sometimes seen “no freeway access” signs in neighborhoods wherein residents get tired of cars making a turn in hopes of finding freeway access.

    I’ve sometimes seen other signs used in special situations. As much as possible, signage should always be uniform and comply with the usual conventions, so ‘wrong way’ should be limited to situations where cars are heading into oncoming traffic. Better would be “NO coastal access”.

    I know on freeways and some other roads I’ve seen ‘no motorist services’ or ‘next gas 133 miles’ or the like.
    It is a rugged area wherein the lack of signage is often valued, so we shouldn’t be planning on overly polluting the area with signs.

  6. Fools Gold,
    Yes, of course. Often when I throw out suggestions like that its so someone else can build off it, like you just did. “no coastal access” would be a good one, in my opinion.

  7. Madeleine, Francis

    Well, its my understanding that the California/Oregon thing needs more understanding from the people on both sides of that border.

    From what I have read, middle class people would not be moving out of California unless they had too. They move because they can’t afford to support themseleves and their families on their salaries. They are forced out of their homes. Then they meet prejudice just about everywhere they go.

    I have sorta “studied” a similiar thing here at the Wisconsin/Illiois border.

    But on our side its harder to define, as I believe its many times more expensive to live in Wisconsin (so I think the whole property thing is more a shield for…we have never liked you but now we have a reason to say we dont like you)

    If anyone wants a good laugh though, study up on the name “Jack “Rambo” Pickens”

    It should lighten up the whole my state is better than your state, thing.

    I have a lot of different feelings on the whole thing, as I have dealt with people from Wisconisin judging me before ever knowing me, and without ever spending any amount of time in Illionois — from otherwise reasonable people its….really frustrating behavior to witness.

    The funny part is, they think we are judging them and its my belief that is how it all starts. One of my favorite things to tell my Wisconsin friends is that “we are too busy thinking about ourselves to spend any time worrying about them” then they all laugh and say yeah thats not suprising. As they think we are all selfish and arrogant, oh and rich too (major misconception). But the truth is, as Maggie also noted earlier…we dont really think about Wisconsin people…but people in Wiscosin have not so nice nicknames for us, and the sentiment seems to go pretty deep for some people (the illinois hating) and unfortunatley I do think alot of people just learn it just like any other form of racism, as benign as it may seem.

    It still makes the people doing the judging sound just as uneducated as people who discriminate based on color or gender.

  8. Fools Gold,

    Not everyone who goes through there is heading to the coast. That’s why I previously suggested, “Not a through Route – turn around and use FS-23” or some variation of that.

  9. I guess what is really coming to mind…more than what the sign says (although equally important) is the shape of the sign and the placement. In order to convey “wrong way” without actually saying it …I think two medium size, reflective signs on either side of the road (the logging road, so its obvious its for that road and not the other road) in the shape of a diamond….though I guess the shape doesn’t matter as much. I think that placement (parallel to each other on either side of the road), and the two identical signs (that say the same thing) really speaks to the driver — kinda like a gate but there doesn’t have to be a gate.

    I know my description of this is like trying to tell someone how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with words and no pictures. I know we have all seen this kind of signage but trying to describe it with words is feeling very awkward. I dont think it would be disruptive to the forest…just would place people at that intersection on alert.

    I dont know if something like that is going too far from the custom but I am certain I have seen it in similiar places and it has kept me from making a wrong turn!

  10. Mapper,

    Actually I think you are doing an excellent job of communicating.

    The “Negative Signing” on the intersection road would help so much – BIG and on both sides of the road with reflectors – as close to the road as allowable to really catch peoples attention but still allow access.

    Perhaps something like NOT A THROUGH ROUTE or DEAD END (though technically that’s not true) or just COAST in a red circle with the line drawn through it (as in NO COAST). Perhaps a NO COAST simple sign on all spur intersections off the route from Galice to Agness.

    A route marker on FS23 would also be a great addition. For example in the photos
    the “Follow Me” sign or something like it could be posted at regular interals on the ‘correct’ road at all the spur intersections.

  11. Mapper, Angela, et. al., something like this:

    perhaps 1/4 mile past the famous fork? And again 1/2 mile past? And again 1 mile past?

  12. Rodney – YES – EXACTLY like that!

    I LOVE this blog – you wish for something (like a picture to describe the words) and Presto – There it is:)

    Rodney, I’m assuming these signs would contain reflective paint – true?

  13. Sure, reflective paint, or whatever the sign standard is. I’m just a make-believe sign guy, not a real-life sign guy.

  14. Dead Ends – The only problem I would see with posting that a road is a dead end when it actually isn’t is that at some point, someone else could run into trouble by making decisions based on the thought that a road doesn’t go somewhere even when it actually does – can you imagine someone getting stuck trying to get turned back around at a supposed “dead end” when in fact they may have been able to have continued forward (or some such scenario)? Truth is probably best.

    That said, I agree 110% that there needs to be great clarity which roads are intended when headed to the coast and which ones are not. Spray painting on the roads (that get covered in snow) is clearly a cry for help and shows that people sometimes think that it’s the way to the coast. They need to know that it’s not.

  15. Joe, you might want to take a copy of that photo and host it elsewhere. I don’t *plan* to do anything with my photobucket account, but you never know.

  16. Angela, dfk, I think we should get gold stars for the day too, while Rodney basks in the limelight of going to the suggestions page club.

  17. mapper? mapper? Sounds familiar but I can’t place it. Probably one of the little people along the way to stardom.

    Come on, it was your vision. I’m just the lowly photochopper. And it was a quick and dirty hack-job at that. Gold stars all around.

  18. Rodney,

    Not exactly what I was thinking, but these are as good or better than my idea.

    I also want a BGS (Big Green Sign) like on Interstates showing the split with one side labeled FS-23 – Coast / Agness and the other side labeled something like “Local road only – No Thru Route”

  19. 12/Rodney G – Great signs !!…I think 3 times might be overkill, though, especially if they were placed on both sides like that. 2 placements should be more than adequate.

    Portland is snowbound !!!

  20. While looking at the topographic maps for this area (see the link to the lookout on page 8), I noticed that the junction area where FS23 starts is called Camp Howard. It is at the head of Howard Creek. I wonder if any locals use that term, or if it is just a historical relic.

    It is unclear what kind of sign improvements would have made a difference in the Kim case.

    Kati is quoted as saying that they took the side road to get to lower levels (below the snow), and that they did not know where it went. And for some reason, James had deduced, while stranded, that they were a few miles from Galice.

    If these quotes are accurate, then warnings that the BLM 34-8-36 after Camp Howard did not lead to the coast might not have made any difference. It did lead them to lower altitudes (2000 ft), but the snow followed them. They didn’t take it because they thought it was the through route to Agness.

    Should the deteriorating quality of the BLM road given them ample warning that it was not a through route? It turns to gravel at some point. On forest service and county roads (in Washington) it is common to see ‘end of pavement’ signs. I also assume the BLM road lacks signs indicating distance to Gold Beach and other coast route indicators that are evident in signs prior to Camp Howard. I also suspect that FS23 continues to have distance signs, at least at the summit where FS 2308 branches off.

    Still, it would be good to have some sort of warning signs after the junction. My nomination is ‘Not a through road’, or ‘No outlet’. These are used in residential areas with only one entrance/outlet.

    Another possibility is that they drove through the Camp Howard junction without noticing the FS23 turn off, and that Kati’s comments apply to some junction further down BLM 34-8-36. As I noted earlier there are several Y junctions beyond Camp Howard, and I can’t tell from Goggle Earth whether ’36 is the obvious choice in all of those.

    The Black Bar Lodge caretaker has talked about redirecting lost tourists. The hand writing on the pavement is also an indication of local efforts to clear up some confusion. But I have not seen mention of other SAR missions involving this maze. In the other deaths that I’ve read about (e.g. Finley, Baker), the drivers were crossing from west to east, and had not entered this maze. I’m sure Josephine Co. SAR will have record of any such missions.

    If Kims’ problem was that they missed signs, either due to snow or inattention, then some sort of ‘soft’ barrier might have helped more than increased signs. I read that BLM is considering a self closing (as opposed to locking) gate. A few highway divider barriers could also be placed at the junction, directing through traffic onto FS23, while still allowing a conscious turn onto BLM 34. Many suburban Y junctions have been turned into Ts with curbs and barriers.


  21. paulj wrote:
    “It is unclear what kind of sign improvements would have made a difference in the Kim case.

    Kati is quoted as saying that they took the side road to get to lower levels (below the snow), and that they did not know where it went. And for some reason, James had deduced, while stranded, that they were a few miles from Galice.

    If these quotes are accurate, then warnings that the BLM 34-8-36 after Camp Howard did not lead to the coast might not have made any difference. It did lead them to lower altitudes (2000 ft), but the snow followed them. They didn’t take it because they thought it was the through route to Agnes”

    I think the suggestions would make people think that maybe this isn’t the best way to a lower elevation. “No Outlet” should (in an ideal world) be enough warning.

  22. I took a snow day yesterday like Tara (though everyone else around here went to work…I’m just able to do stuff like that!) but today it took me about an hour to scrape and melt the ice off my car…not kidding!

  23. We are sledding and having snowball fights and making snow angels and all that good stuff that kids under 10 thrive on. Love that KGW video, cool post Maggie…bumper cars !!!

  24. Totally off topic, but as is slow here & looked over under computers on Joe’s home page and didn’t see good location to ask, I just need ONE computer question answered.
    How long can you have a cable for a LCD montior without degradation in quality? I only want to run one 5-8 ft. for probably a 19in. screen.

  25. Frances -#31: 5-8 inch should be fine. I’ve gone as long as 75 foot (church projection) without noticeable degradation. A 5-8 footer should be fine.

  26. ok well here I am back at good ole’ Joe Duck, we got a snow storm this afternoon took me 2 and half hours to drive what ususally takes me 30 minutes GEESH!!!

  27. Maggie, that video is amazing – I’m glad you are safe at home.

    Paul sounds like the perfect way to spend a snowday!

  28. RRR-78

    Are you located out of town? It took me 50 minutes for the tip from TRCH to GPHS. I am not certain how many Dutch Bros I may have passed. It wasn’t on the schedule.

  29. I went from Medford to Grants Pass…….It stunk!!!! New Hope is one sheet of ICE!!!

  30. RRR and Calm Guy – Glad you made it safely, definitely sounds like a time to stay inside and off the roads if at all possible – unless of course you can strap on the ice skates 🙂

  31. That was a cool peice maggie- I went up to Vancouver WA the last time you all got hit with an ice storm…I think it was 2 years ago maybe now….Maybe even three now…wow time flies!

  32. uggg.. the ice here is bad. our main highway had a wreck at every overpass. The black ice is crazy.

  33. Oh I am not looking forward to tomorrow…..not a whole lot has melted but that, that did is going to stink tomorrow, but my guess is that snow will be around for a bit with this cold front we seem to be stuck in

  34. Glad you guys are all ok! 😀 Definitely time to not drive if you don’t have to, the time my truck went so out of control, I was trying to rush back to work after the holidays because I had been stranded by that ice storm, and they kept pressuring me – you have to come in, you’re supposed to be here, etc. (it was a restaurant/bakery). I rushed to try to get there, and my truck went totally out of control on that bridge. Luckily I was okay, but when I got there I told my boss what had happened, and she said “I lost a friend that way.” And that’s when I decided no job is worth my life. If I have to choose, I’ll lose a job. I won’t drive on ice. Anyway, I hope none of you have to make such a decision, but mostly I hope you all stay safe.

  35. (12) Rodney…nice job on those signs! You didn’t hurt any trees or displace any owls during your simulation of the new sign ideas? 🙂

  36. I haven’t had as much time in general! (The rest of my life has caught up with me). But I wrote this earlier:

    *Yes, Portland is snowbound today!* My dog, Honey, is big but wimpy, and does not like snow, so I had to take a beautiful winter wonderland walk by myself. (We don’t usually get much snow down here in the valley, often none at all in the winter, and if we do, it doesn’t usually stay long, so it’s special!)

    Anyway, I was up walking on Mt.Tabor, and I had an experience at one point towards the end of my walk
    where I started heading one way, and then I realized
    that I might be going out of my way farther than I
    wanted to, and at that moment I thought something like, “Well, it’s too late now – I don’t want to
    backtrack, I might as well keep going forward this
    way.” And I realized how common that kind of thought process is, and I stopped in my tracks and thought of
    this story.

    Even if you realize you’re not necessarily going the way you want, but you still think you can get there if you keep going forward, there’s a tendency to not want to backtrack. There’s something about backtracking that makes you feel like you’ve just wasted all the time and effort you put into getting yourself as far forward as you have.
    It makes all that time and effort seem worthless, and I think we have a built in tendency to not want to have our invested time and effort be worthless. And there seems to be a ratio too: the more tired you are, and the more effort you have put in, the less you want to have all that effort be worthless. When you are tired your energy and therefore your effort, become even more precious in worth. One of the main reasons I didn’t want to backtrack today, is because I was starting to feel tired.

    I think we mostly only backtrack if it is simple and easy to do so, or when we think we have no option forward.

    I have a feeling this tendency may have played a role when they were driving that first night, in why they even went so far down BLM 34-8-36, and when James went for help.

    I think this tendency has come up before, but it just
    struck me today, when I experienced it.

    And it’s a very good reason why BLM 34-8-36 should have
    signs indicating that it’s a “No Coast Thru Route”, etc.
    I don’t know how John James directs traffic to his lodge, but I think it could be done in a way that wouldn’t interfere.

    Now, I have to go again!

  37. 47/John James’ clients either raft to his lodge or they hike down the Rogue River trail and are ferried across. The road to his lodge is so bad as to not be a practical way to get people there…that and there are PLENTY of people on the river who like the lodge experience. His is one of several lodges that are available throughout the wild section.

  38. On the long Mail Tribune thread, a poster familiar with the area (Rogue Fly) mentioned two roads in the BLM maze by name, Way Out Saddle Rd, and County Line Rd. I don’t find these names on any map, but they may be familiar to locals.

    Does anyone know which BLM road numbers these are?


  39. Just found this article tonight while checking out weather…. I am seeing a small pattern for the sheriff’s dept…..

    Step One- Have a Search with High Media Coverage

    Step Two- Have a Bad or Disapointing Outcome

    Step Three-Get an nice feel good article about the person “in charge”

    All I have to say after Step three is watch out for the Oregonian…..First they gave Anderson a GREAT article and it just went downhill from there!

  40. 47,49/At one time there might have been (or maybe still is?) a functioning airstrip at BBL, as evidenced by an old photo of an early plane landed there. Hard to believe.

  41. Only slightly familiar with the Mt. Hood search, but from waht I read, the search was organized, there was someone in control, they knew what their resources were and utilized them.

  42. Lisa,,,,
    You already made a decision to place the job first and your personal safety second. The dice just rolled in your favor, thats all. This time!

    Yes, the attempt to get below the ill-defined ‘snowline’ might have made additional signage or more-informative signage useless. However it is a cheap and easy solution and it atleast provides more information. I think its worth it. Certainly if someone went out and chalked or painted the roadway, it shows there is some confusion at that point. Maybe a snow storm will drive passersby to take the “wrong” option if the road appears inviting even if its not the coastal route.

  43. It really is difficult to compare the progression of the Mt. Hood search with the Kim Search – especially from the organizational perspective.

    The Kim search originally involved Three States – Narrowed down to Oregon – Narrowed down to a liklihood of Four Counties (and thus Four County Government structures); which was Narrowed down to 1 likely County. In addition the Kim’s were lost for Four plus days before a Missing Persons report was filed. Each phase of narrowing down would entail different government organizations and different people in charge and sadly time.

    The Mt Hood Search started with Much smaller area of concentration with and a single entity in charge from beginning to end. Authorities were notified I believe within a day of the need for the search.

    I suspect the OSSA report will have some “Tipping Points” that occurred during the Kim search – it seems to me the greatest of those is how unfortunate that the Kims were not reported missing by Monday, or even Tuesday morning rather than Wednesday evening.

  44. Lisa,

    Yeah I completley understand that instinct to just keep going, wether driving or hiking. This summer we had some terribly hot days. But I still liked getting out to walk. I live near quite a few nice state parks and natural areas (well you CAN get lost here in Illinois on foot, or pass out if you go to far from heat exhaustion or cold and someone will find you too late or eventually). Anyway, all that said, I have a favorite path on those days that is a 3 mile circle. I know its a circle and I know if I keep going it will end, and then my mind won’t play tricks on me! Its nice to know where those circular path’s are when you want to get out for a day hike on a hot or cold day.

    Anyway, yeah, I think the cost benefit of getting good sings at the interesection in question far outweighs any negatives. Ive heard enough accounts of people almost getting in trouble at that spot, and have seen the pictures of how easy it would be to go the wrong way….and then there is the spray paint. A better case for some new, relativley cheap signs has never been presented in my opinion. What more proof do you need? It may be that the Kim’s went down that road knowing it was a dead end….that is not a good enough reason to not put a better sign there.

    I think, if some good signs do not get put up there, it will end up gated. And I dont think many people really want that. At least try the signs first.

  45. Reported Missing,,,
    Yes. I’m sure it would be best to get the search started early or atleast get the report in and let the situation be assessed and a search contemplated, if not actually undertaken. (In the David Boone-Foothill Ranch search, there was a delay before a search was initiated after the Mising Persons report was filed).

    Unfortunately, I think it was mainly telephonic and email communication lapses that was a source of growing discontent. Fortunately, no one files a missing persons report just because they don’t get an email from someone they might normally get one from.

    Missing a specific appointment is always more significant.

    However once the report was made and the search started and the area started getting progressively smaller as the various agencies obtained information regarding: relatives visited, cell phone and credit card use, stated destinations, etc., the responsibility for the search devolved upon different personnel with different resources and experience levels.

    I don’t know if tardy initiation of a missing persons report in California really played much of a role in determining flight paths of search helicopters or snow melt rates in Oregon.

    It is true that the lodge in Gold Beach had been asked to leave the key out for their late arrival but the guests never arrived and there had been a snow storm on the approach road over the mountain. Should the lodge manager have been concerned?

  46. 60.
    This is definately hind sight, but I really think if I had gotten a call that said they would definately be there, just late, and I knew of the troubles of the route that leads pretty much to our door step, I wouldve called the police when the kims didnt show. What would it hurt to just leave a “concerned tip” call? If it turned out to be nothing, so be it. great. but if that call had come in and was logged somehow in perhaps a database and then the subsequent calls start coming in… perhaps the kim name would’ve gotten a “hit”? that wouldve narrowed the search must faster.

  47. paulj 34-8-36 is referred to as the “Galice Access Rd.,” the road that the Kim’s ended up on (intersection with 34-8-36) is the “County Line Road,” I believe. I believe that the 33-9-21.

  48. 57- Fools Gold

    I made/felt forced into that “decision” the first time, but that’s how I learned from it, and I won’t do it again. It wasn’t a full fledged conscious decision between my job and my life the first time. My instinct was not to drive, but authorities said the highway had been salted and was safe. I thought/hoped that was true and it would be okay.

    But now I have been in two, “so close to fatal or incredibly seriously injured if other cars had been present events”. I know the dangers too well, and I will not drive on ice if I have a choice. (The first was on a two-lane road where my father was driving and we went into the oncoming lane and spun around three times before we bounced off an embankment – black ice.)

    It’s like flying without a guarantee you’ll be able to steer properly if you get in slippery clouds.

  49. Dee – I am fairly certain that the report WILL NOT be released today. More like Friday. Sorry. It is only an indication that they are clearing more details. The report will be better due to the delays, I am sure of that.

  50. And having other planes around you, flying in slippery clouds at the same time too, in many cases…

  51. JoCoSAR – Thanks for the update on the report. We really do appreciate you keeping us updated!

  52. 64/66 addition

    Just to be clear – I know there’s no such thing as “slippery” clouds, but sometimes people seem to think that because they have four wheels on the ground, they are “grounded” and ice can too easily make that, not true.

    Also, as most of you probably know, plane wings can’t fly or steer properly with too much ice on them.

  53. Tara, 60-61, Innkeeper’s Concern,,,

    Yes. I do admit that this is indeed ‘hindsight’. I am sure a great many people fail to show up for a hotel reservation.

    You and I each have different views on a guests non-arrival though under certain circumstances:

    A phone call re-confirming the reservation and
    specifically requesting key be left out for late arrival and
    a inn that is located in a somewhat remote area and
    a snowstorm in the area and
    (perhaps) a snow storm that was known to have affected the specific route that hotel guest would have been taking.

    Call the cops??? No.
    Innkeeper might have called some sort of ‘contact’ information. Did the inn have anything other than the cell phone number? Did that inn keeper have the phone number or email address of the housekeeper in San Francisco?

  54. 58/Angela: All very valid points, in addition, the resources, equipment & # of volunteers that Hood River and Portland can bring to the table runs circles around what Josephine County has at their disposal. It is unfair to compare the two for many reasons, but their resources are hugely different…can’t remember where I saw it, but at one point Sara R put up a list of their equipment and some of it was so old it should be on Antiques Roadshow.

  55. Paul – LOL Maybe Josephine County could make enough on the Antigues Roadshow to get some sorely needed new equipment. 😆

  56. Guest non-arrival/Innkeeper Concern

    I’m reminded of the military harbor master who failed to report the non-arrival in wartime of the USS Indianapolis.

    I think however that police departments would be overwhelmed with missing person reports if innkeepers routinely contacted police over a guest’s non-arrival.

    It is clear that a great many things vary geographically: scenery, school funding, public defenders, ambulance services, fire department and police response times, training and education levels of police, road maintenance, etc. Some counties are rich; some are poor. Some adjustments are made in imposed burdens on county treasuries. Rural areas often have Church Bake Sales to raise funds for a brush-fire truck or a mobile SAR command post. Urban areas dip into tax funds and buy desired equipment outright. Cell phone companies build towers in urban areas and often sell off their towers in rural areas rather than build more. Local residents get to vote on local funding issues; tourists do not.

  57. RRR – I hope everyone stayed safe in the dangerous ice conditions!

    This weather is Crazy. Personally I’m a bit disappointed because I’m headed out to Texas tomorrow for a workshop. When I scheduled this last summer I thought it would be a great opportunity to get some sun in the middle of our typically inverted winter 😥

  58. 70- I think another reason there is a difference is because Mt. Hood has encountered challenging, or as Barnadad calls them “Big Game”, searches often, so they are more prepared by experience in general. It sounds like JoCo had never really had a “Big Game” search before, so they were less accustomed to even making use of what additional resources might be available to them.

    Even from the press conferences and in very difficult situations, it felt that Joe Wampler was thoroughly confident they were doing everything they could. But for
    whatever reasons, that confidence that everything that could be done was being done, did not seem to be there
    for the Kim case. They were trying, but it seemed more chaotic, and unsure.

  59. 57/58/76 Hmm. Don’t know why posts didn’t originally apppear, even after multiple refresh, and then re-appear later…

  60. You have to hear this with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice and accent:

    “The state’s resources will make you bigger and more powerful than ever before, JoCoSAR…”

    And then his smiles as he pats you all on the back…

    (We can borrow him for the fun of this image because
    you know it’s something he might say – as movie actor or
    Governor of a neighboring state with relations to this case. He would probably even say it without relations to this case!)

  61. Lisa – do you happen to have his cell phone number so that I can give him a call next time?? 🙂

  62. Ah yes, it’s 1-Ask-(#)1Ar-nold!

    (he, he , he… as he would say)

    Disclaimer: No it’s not! But I bet SAR work would interest him too.

  63. [Note – this comment was posted last night but went into moderation – Joe Duck]

    55/Here is URL for that photo showing pilot and guests alongside single-engine plane, titled “Black Bar Lodge on Rogue River.” I would hazard a guess that this could be from 1955-60, from the style of plane and pilot’s attire.

    I first saw this after JD’s early suggestion on Dec. 5th during the search, that BBL area should be checked.,-123.804696&spn=0.003406,0.010815&t=k&om=1&iwloc=addr

    The airstrip must have been the grassy field in front of the Lodge, since the riverfront/gravel bar seems rough and obstructed. The photo looks like it may have been taken at the SW end of this field. A pilot would need skill (and maybe a strong headwind and tailhook.)

  64. I have a vugue memory of some article interviewing someone from the Gold Beach lodge. They said they do not recommend Bear Camp Rd to their guests. While some undoubtedly do arrive by the ‘back door’, most must come by way of US101 and the 6 mile drive east from Gold Beach.

    Even after the alarm was raised, the most logical route from Roseburg to Gold Beach (OR 42, US101) was the subject of considerable searching – by highway patrol, Coos Co, and Carson Helicopters.

    I don’t think snow on the Bear Camp ridge would have been visible to people at the lodge. If they knew about the snow it would have been from people who tried to cross from the Agness side and failed. It sounds as though the Cougar Lane store in Agness is the place to go to get the latest information on conditions over Bear Camp.


  65. Yes, here too! Because I live near Mt.Tabor, people park here and they’re even getting stuck in their parking spots. It’s very unusual here. We have a year round farmer’s market that I usually go to on Wednesdays – but I doubt any of the farmers are coming in…

  66. Are there any signs along the western part of BLM 34-8-36 that use the name Galice Access or Galice Ck? The eastern part climbs up Galice Ck, but using the name for the western part (byond the FS 23 junction) could be confusing.

    Even using the same BLM number for the two parts is a potential source of confusion. Someone could (not necessarily Kims) take BLM 34-8-36 west into the Big Windy drainage thinking that they were taking it east toward Galice Creek and Galice community.


  67. I do find internet references to airstrips at Zane Gray’s Cabin, and also at Paradise Lodge. I believe Zane Gray’s is where Allen’s link points.

    Here is a pretty obvious strip (and airplane) that is near Paradise Lodge:,-123.9396&ie=UTF8&z=18&ll=42.694927,-123.9396&spn=0.002724,0.006748&t=k&om=1
    though it looks like there is a strip across the river to the north as well, which I believe is where Paradise Lodge actually is.

  68. Rodney – I think Allen’s not here now – he’d posted those earlier but they went into moderation and I just “released” the comments.

    You are right that Allen’s map does not point to Black Bar and you’ve got the right spot on your map. A good way to orient yourself with maps is to find the 180 degree “Horseshoe Bend” in the Rogue and then look south of that to where the river makes a sharp turn. Just to the east of this, upstream, is Black Bar lodge and then another 1/2 mile or so upriver is Big Windy Creek where James died.

  69. Not that it matters, but it looks like my link in comment #87 points to the airstrip for Half Moon Bar Lodge, and there is indeed a different airstrip across the river at Paradise Lodge (in addition to the airstrip in Allen’s link at Zane Gray’s cabin).

  70. These Rogue River views are really making me want to take a raft trip next summer. The wild section trip on the Rogue, where you stay in lodges or camp along the banks, is really a great 2-4 day adventure.

  71. Thanks Joe. I was looking back and forth between that map and the aerial to figure out what was what.

    That plane photo is cool. It looks like there is room at Black Bar Lodge for an airstrip, so maybe there was one there at one time, if there isn’t still.

  72. Rodney I was wondering about that plane also. I was up at Paradise lodge about 4 years ago and the airstrip was still there but I didn’t realize each lodge had their own. It looks like maybe they do. Something to ask John James next time he’s here at the blog – he owns Black Bar Lodge.

  73. John James, the CNN show made it look like there is a gate at the top of the access road to your lodge. Is this true? Why why why didn’t James walk down that access road when he passed that gate? He probably passed that access road before Noon, assuming he started in that direction from the car. So sad. One of the questions we’ll never have answered.

  74. Yep Joe, if anybody knows whether you can land a plane there today, it would be John. And if there isn’t a functional strip now, he’d be a good bet to know if there ever was.

    Also Joe, I know what you mean about looking at these aerials and pictures and wanting to take a rafting trip.

  75. 94/Rodney G: I believe the gate is purposely unmarked to avoid vandals and thievery. It would have had no more draw to him than a half dozen other junctions they passed on their journey. Remember guests arrive by boat, not by car.

  76. Paul, I know what you’re saying, but: 1) There is a gate, which would seem inviting (unless of course there are gates at every junction to every side BLM road), and 2) He might have known where the river was from where he was, and that access road appears to go downhill (almost immediately) and toward the river.

    Oh, when I say “Why didn’t he?”, I’m not saying he *should* have, I’m just saying I wish he *would* have.

  77. Hi all –

    Here are some quick updates on comments/questions.

    Blame. I have seen a lot about blame. About blame for James and Kati, about blame for SAR, about blame for this and that. As a close friend of Kati and James, I am not looking for anyone to blame. I know within the group of friends who are close to myself and Kati, there is an acceptance that a lot of mistakes were made, by *everyone* involved, which includes James and Kati and the SAR. Mistakes are human, and what we hope for is that people are able to learn from the mistakes, move on and help provide a better outcome next time someone finds themselves in this situation. Blame serves no purpose in and of itself, for me it is quite useless, the important outcomes for all are to learn, to strive to improve and become better at what we do. That said if someone was negligent or incompetent at their job – they shouldn’t be in that position. I have not had time to read much of anything, not sure I care to either, however I do want to make sure important jobs in any state SAR infrastructures have competent and knowledgeable people in them. The people I personally had minor interactions with all seemed competent and sincere to me. I personally do not have enough information to make any judgements, and I doubt most people in the public do. I hope that internally the state/county agencies will take whatever actions they need to improve their agencies and departments. There is always room for improvement.

    My role. Quick background technically is that I’m the Director of Operations at a tech company (infocentricity) and previously held the same position at Topica (free email list hoster turned spammer over time after failing). In the Topica job I was on call often and had to deal with stressful and long days sometimes. I also am co-founder of an ISP. Needless to say I was well positioned to host/create a website for this emergency in our lives and to help coordinate volunteers. I host the websites for Kati and James businesses.

    The role of the website and our communications center. The website did generate several tips and leads within the first few days. We received over 11,000 personal emails, and probably 100 mesgs into the search email that was listed before we found Kati and the girls. In my kitchen, we setup a station to manage the site, track our volunteers on the ground, and help facilitate communication between our various volunteers/family/friends. We were never in communication with Oregon officials as we did not receive that mandate from the family members to be used in that role. Early on we wanted to make sure we did not hinder the family and the authorities in any way – and tried to only do anything more than flyering/tip gathering when asked. Even if we wanted to get in touch with the authorities it was my feeling we couldn’t get very far remotely. We had volunteers on the ground who were getting us some great reports – but those worked best face to face. Throughout we tracked about 20 volunteers (maybe as many as 10 cars) on the ground, providing them with corridors and areas to flyer and canvass for tips. Those were focused on major highway corridors between Roseburg and Gold Beach. We helped to double check tips that family and friends asked about, and our volunteers also generated tips to follow up on (I don’t think however any of them panned out). At my house we used Google Earth extensively to map and follow volunteers. We also correlated cell phone tower maps and added them into our main working map. A friend of ours from Google worked at our house every day – and the Google Earth team extended an offer to help us in any way they could (their software is so awesome that we really didn’t need much more!).

    One Complaint. I do have one story to relay about a complaint I personally had with the setup of the SAR – which is completely logistical in nature. When we got what seemed like it might be a breakthough tip if it panned out, I tried to call the Oregon Tip Line from Oakland. Didn’t work, the 800 number was setup only to work in Oregon. I called a close friend and volunteer in Eugene and asked him to call the 800 line and then ask for a direct line. They told him they couldn’t give it to him. I called the Missing Persons hotline for SFPD, listed on the original flyer – NO ANSWER and NO ANSWERING MACHINE??? on a missing persons phone line? Flabbergasted by this time. I called the SFPD Operations Line. Answered right away and someone helpful who gave me the number and mentioned, ‘yeah, the 800 line didn’t work for them either’. Minor things like this incident could be catastrophic if someone who really had a tip gave up and didn’t call back. This kind of scenario is what needs to be fixed. The SAR people on the ground risking their lives need to know that comments like these aren’t aimed at them in any way – I want to know these tips are getting in so that the SAR aren’t unnecessarily looking in the wrong place if something comes in.

    I do have a lot more to say. =) So I’ll try to get it out over time.

  78. 88/90 RodneyG and Joe: Yep, right river, wrong lodge! But I still assume that the plane photo was correctly at BBL.

    I had bookmarked the gravel bar aerial back on Dec. 5th from the following page, when we speculated about the Lodges, not knowing yet the significance of BBL v. Half Moon Lodge.

    “James Kim search continues. Tuesday 11:00 pm update, Comment #5 by zcu.”

    And I should have noticed that RodneyG’s aerial shows the low stone wall dividing the BBL field/lawn, as seen in this closer land photo:

    **Just learned from Joe to include only ONE URL in post to avoid moderation (and 3 duplicates.)

  79. Scott very excellent stuff. You were handling even more information than I was aware of.

    Also totally agree that blame should not be the focus – rather solutions for the Bear Camp area (e.g. signs or maps or ?) and more broadly and importantly how to use technology in the future to enhance SAR.

    It seems to me a key issue is whether to try to *coordinate* the friends/online effort with the conventional SAR. Sounds like that was not feasible in this case and I’m wondering if in the future that would be desirable.

    Another item where I think improvements would be easy is to shift the emphasis of the tips and comments and volunteering phone messaging systems to online systems. Most callers could also be “emailing” the info, and this means it can be go to *everybody* on the case or even to public viewing places in some cases, OR be screened into a daily digest or whatever. Phones are a HUGE bottleneck as you found here and there is no need for that.

  80. The Portland Missing Persons report gives some idea of how they attempted to collect and track information.

    State patrol in southern Oregon was supposed to run the tip line.

    While Portland continued to get tips and information, he tried to keep San Francisco Missing Persons informed. In fact, he seemed to view San Francisco as the agency ultimately in charge, or at least wanted them to be the centralized repository of information.


  81. 100 / Joe: “in the future…be desirable.” Perhaps; with the right group, certainly, but I think the one challenge may be getting buy-in / acceptance from SAR itself. Clearly Scott’s group was making serious headway, but from one state to the next, and one group to the next, you could have enormous variations in the quality of those efforts. There may need to be some sort of process in place so that SAR will know that the efforts of a given group are credible or you run the risk that good information will be discarded as it is coming from “amateurs” and is thus deemed unreliable or uncertain.

    JoCoSar and RRR would have a far more accurate idea if my concerns above are misplaced or not, and – if valid – what might be reasonable ways to insure information from such groups gets utilized.

  82. Scott Windels (#98), I wanted to send you a personal e-mail but you didn’t provide any contact information. So posting here is the only way to answer your comment about “blame.” Here is the response:

  83. 98- Thanks Scott! That is so interesting to hear about – I had no idea your “operations” were so sophisticated. I’m so glad you are posting about them here, and I look forward to hearing more.

  84. Response to Charles Wilson. I don’t plan on continuing a public discussion about the topic of blame more than this post.

    I do believe in people holding themselves responsible for their actions. If someone was negligent enough in their job to warrant it – they should be fired by their agency or retrained for their job (in analogy to your posting, I tried to help vote GW out of office, but not enough others thought he was being negligent in his duties as I do).

    There isn’t one person or one agency to blame solely, nor is their one person or agency to praise completely. Like so many things in life, it is a terribly complicated set of causes and actions, and there is a balance of both blame/responsibility/praise for everyone involved.

    It is all too easy to be an armchair quarterback as so many folks here on the Internets have shown.

    Just as a personal example of my perspective on blame, I’ll admit that when I read that SarahR had been out driving near the BCR area early in the SAR I was initially very pissed. IMHO, if you are a coordinator, that means you don’t leave home base. Within 24 hours of my finding out my friends were missing I made the decision to stay put at my house and coordinate volunteers – I knew that my role would be better served there (even though a nagging thing inside just wanted to get in the car and drive roads in OR). While I could place the same assumptions on other people in Oregon I just don’t know the details or the protocols. Why was SarahR not stationed at the HQ tracking her volunteers? Is this normal protocal for a SAR coordinator? Who trained her? Who hired her? Does JoCo have enough money dedicated to SAR/EM? If not, why not? I could go on and on and on with the questions and the what if’s…and it wouldn’t help me come any closer to initial closure on this issue as a friend of James, it doesn’t help to bring him back. My point is that it doesn’t do me any good to stand around and point a finger (if nothing is improved by that). If I personally could review the situation and take action to improve the JoCo SAR/EM system – then yes it would be my job to do that, I pray that people in that situation are doing a good job improving things as we sit around postulating our theories on the Internet. It’s not my place, nor do I have the information or knowledge to place some blame on SarahR for not doing her job, although let me tell you it would be easy for me to do that. But that’s not my job, and I don’t have direct influence to change that situation, so I’m going to choose to use my time to try and help others who might end up in situations similar to mine or the Kim family.

    My junior high school English teacher, Mrs. Drew, told us once, never to assume. It will make an ASS out of U and ME. So simple, and something I’ve always tried keep that in mind. In your response to me you are blaming the Kims and blaming SarahR. It’s your right to do that, but I can guarantee you, that you are making your judgments based on certain assumptions, and that those aren’t all correct. Certainly there are bits of blame here and there, I could probably come up with about 50 people to blame in this situation. Blame should be applied where mistakes were made and then efforts should be taken to fix those so they don’t happen again (people can place some blame on James all they want but he’s not going to be coming back to fix or improve on his mistakes – so you might as well move on to something you can influence, like stocking your car or learning about survival skills).

    I live in Oakland, and just this week there was a fire at the Chevron or some oil co. plant. For the umpteenth time in many years, the phone tree that is supposed to notify residents to ‘shelter-in-place’ didn’t work. So of course again the oil company and the county are being blamed. So yeah blame them – but that’s not the part of the equation I’m interested in – I want to know it’s fixed, it obviously hasn’t been fixed now for several years. So what good has the blame done? The blame has to be followed up by someone stepping up and taking responsibility to fix things.

  85. Scott,

    I think your feelings are very similiar to most of us here. Thanks.

    Anyway, my Junior high english teacher said the EXACT same thing!!!!! I wonder if they went to college together!! Or if that is somewhere in the 8th grade english teacher handbook.


  86. 105/Scott: The blame game relies on assumptions and, to some degree, SUBjective judgements about various facts, many of which at this point seem incomplete. There are only two items I think clearly need addressing, even in advance of the Sheriffs report, and they are signage and maps.
    Some have said the signs and maps are adequate, many more have said they are not. Setting aside for one moment the Kim’s experience, the sheer number of incidents involving THIS road and THIS route argue forcefully that there is a problem with both.

  87. Scott, I never wanted to make it a public discussion (at least not on this website) to begin with. I only posted the link because you provided no contact information. If you’d provide an e-mail address here or contact us at our website, I’d like to bat it around privately.

  88. Scott, I dont believe blame is the issue here (for most). I believe it is to examine the facts, find the holes, and attempt to fix ’em.

  89. Paul wrote:
    “Setting aside for one moment the Kim’s experience, the sheer number of incidents involving THIS road and THIS route argue forcefully that there is a problem with both.”

    Could you elaborate on how the other incidents argue for changes in signage and maps. How did signage and maps influence these other cases? What changes, if any, were made after these events?

    I have read of 4 specific incidents in the general area (Finley, Baker, Stivers, an RV), but I don’t see how they can be blamed on the current signage. There have also been vague allusions to numerous lost tourists or SAR missions along the corridor, but no specifics.


  90. 105- Yes, we’re here because we want to do positive, constructive work to understand what happened and where improvements can be made. But there are a couple of people with different agendas.

  91. 111/: I will defer to RRR & JoCoSar as to other incidents and what changes resulted, if any, from them. In my experience driving that road, signage has not changed a great deal over the years. My understanding, from various reports, it that it is a known problem area amongst local SAR.
    As to the maps, I will defer to our in-house expert as I am not one (Mapper). I think part of the problem is a dearth of routes to the Southern Oregon Coast and many people see that one and don’t realize what they are getting into.

  92. 111- Paul J

    I believe JoCoSAR said most or 1/2 of the SAR cases they have each year involve the Bear Camp area. RRR said about 1/2 of the Bear Camp incidents involve people who are trying to use it as a through route to the coast. Many of them get stuck and call to say they need a tow.

    Still it seems that if there were better warning signs the frequency of these occurences would lessen. We obviously don’t have proof yet of any of these individuals not taking notice of the signs. Although there was one account where Kati mentioned they didn’t notice the signs until they started having trouble.

    So it seems a logical conclusion that with all these incidents, the signs are not working as well as signs could.

    Many of the people trying to use Bear Camp as a thru route were probably looking at maps as well. Again we don’t have proof, other than we know the Kims were looking at a map.

    I haven’t heard of any changes that were made, although I thought Glenn mentioned at one point they had tried to improve the signs. It doesn’t seem to be working.

    JoCoSAR and RRR please correct those percentage averages if they are off. Thanks!

  93. Allen 99 – wow, that’s a great picture of the Black Bar lodge. Also a sad reminder of how close James was to a place where he would have found safety.

  94. Paul, Paulj

    I’m basing my assesment of the ODOT map on my knowledge, not on the Kim case, or any other case. Certainly the Kim case brought it to my attention. I would probably have a longer list of details if I were taking the time to give the map a complete critique, as I did focus on the bear camp area and warnings.

    I believe it needs improvement, and have listed why and in what ways starting on about page 1 of this blog.

    Thanks Paul, and I think Paulj and I must agree to disagree.

    Now I must track down some ancient data sources and creators of some PLSS digital data.

  95. Scott I know a lot of the folks checking in here, (most don’t leave their own comments) are really appreciating your input and observations.

    Also I think most would agree that the best use of energies in all this is to work towards solutions that can be scaled up to help in SAR cases far more common than Kati and James’ situation, where there is limited media attention, limited resources, and far fewer friends and family to help out.

    Life got in the way of fleshing out the blog with new SAR cases but I hope to get that going later in the week. The initial concept will be very simple – to direct people to the most appropriate authorities for tips in a given case AND to provide an online place for ideas or information to be shared and evaluated by the extended “online community” as well as those directly involved.

  96. Scott,
    Beautifully written, intelligent post.

    I seriously doubt most of the people posting here want to place ‘blame’. To me to place blame means punishing for past failures & nothing more, no improvements, no changes, etc.

    I think the word should be responsibility & accountability. There seems to me to be a great deal of effort of not placing blame, as should be, but it is almost to the point of absolving any one in a responsible position of their accountability of the responsibilities of their jobs. Evaluating the job performance of those in responsible positions as to how well they handled and acted upon their responsibilities for improvement for the future to me is not placing blame, it is accountability. Everyone who holds a job must be accountable for their performance and to improve performance does not mean to ignore or excuse poor, unqualified or negligent performance simply because of the ‘blame’ issue. Unless the actions of each person in authority is looked at, their job performance evaluated, shortcomings & failures recognized & corrected, there can be no improvement. This also applies to what was done right. The same applies for the roads signs and maps.

    As you well stated, to blame James is simply not productive, he can’t come back and ‘fix’ anything, so to improve things one must work with what there is left. Anyone can do a quick search and find many, many people who have gotten lost in this area, albeit, most of them making it out on their own, little worse for the experience. If one is more of a new comer to this blog and has the time, the can go back through the thousands of post and see various links to post of people stating their experience of getting lost in that area.

  97. In my personal life direction, I’ve been thinking a lot about SAR and how in the future I may want to dedicate some of my time to that field (in the long term with a focus on technology and coordination – since I’m already experienced in those fields). If there is anyone in the Bay Area working regularly in the SAR/EMC field that wants to have coffee/lunch please let me know, I’d be interested to start getting a better picture of the SAR field (internet searching/research aside).

    I’ll be in Oregon in May for some camping. I hope to stop and see at least a couple of people who were involved either in the SAR or just getting the word out. If you’re in the I5 corridor before I turn off at Roseburg and want to see if we can connect drop me a line. You can send a note to search at – still using that email to keep things vaguely sorted out in my busy email world.

  98. 117/119 Joe and Lisa,

    Yes, it certainly looks comfy, with the wisp of smoke offering warmth inside.

    Another photo which caught my attention was this one of the Rogue River Trail (along the north bank?) It seems so tame, knowing what an ordeal the Big Windy Creek was.

  99. 120/ Scott, I’ll second Joe’s comment about those here who really appreciated your effort in creating the jamesandkati site and making it available during the search, to relay hope and support to the Kim and Fleming families and friends. And having your statement to the media on behalf of the family, when the search finally ended. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

  100. Allen re: Rogue River Trail. I’ve rafted the wild section twice but have never been up on the trail for any length of time. It must be a great view down and along the river though I think floating is the way to go in that neck of our Southern Oregon woods.

  101. 123- If you like the walking thing the trail is not bad I know alot of people who do it yearly, I am with you Joe and totaly in for the float as my mode of transportation…

  102. RRR – I bet you are a good guide out there on the Rogue!

    I like hiking and camping a lot, but I think for the Rogue River floating and those fantastic meals out on the deck at Paradise are the way to go. I haven’t been to the other lodges but I’ve only heard good reports.

    About 8 years ago I went down with a German Travel TV crew filming a special. The producer had been to places all over the world, but was still really impressed withe the Rogue River trip, especially after they almost dumped a $50,000 TV camera at one of the bends.

  103. Paul wrote: …. process in place so that SAR will know that the efforts of a given group are credible…

    Right Paul, I think this is such a big problem that the best approach for “SAR Support” efforts at first may be to not even try to coordinate things, rather just make the info available online, screen it as much as possible, and let SAR know it’s there. They can then decide if it’s valuable. Over time if this approach works the SAR teams will come to trust it.

    I asked Det. Mike Weinstein (Portland Missing Persons Investigator) about how online SAR might work and he pointed out that you don’t want too many different places working the same leads, rather it’s best to keep the information centralized at the most appropriate websites. He mentioned National Missing Childrens and Missing Adults databases.

  104. I’m not against making improvements to the signs and maps, but I don’t think effective changes can be made without understanding the errors that drivers have made.

    If many of the drivers get lost in the BLM maze, then the entry to the maze needs to be changed, and exit signs added to the maze. But if most of the calls for help come from cars on FS 23, changes at the Camp Howard junction aren’t going make a difference.

    If most of those who need help are over confident locals, changing the ODOT map won’t help much. Making the snow warnings on the ODOT map bigger won’t matter if commercial maps don’t have any warnings. Lost hunters, hikers, and mushroom hunters require different signage than summer tourists.

    If many drivers think the snowdrift warnings apply to a spur road to a nonexistent ski resort, then the wording of the signs needs to be changed. Warning drivers that there may be snow drifts as late as May, or as early as November requires a different sort of change.

    Finley got stuck coming up from Agness, so signs at the Galice end wouldn’t have mattered. Plus it was ice that gave him problems, not drifts blocking the road. Stivers missed the turn up Galice Ck, so they may not have seen any snow warnings – unless there ones in the Cow Ck area.

    A ‘no services 60 miles’ might be appropriate at Merlin if a number of the drivers have run out of gas.


  105. #98 and #102 specifically, I want to please bring a tiny bit of light to the fact that there is a very clear (sometimes not so clear) definition between SAR, at least as I know it, and police investigation. Search and Rescue, here in Josephine County, is staffed with one paid person, that is me. I am not a certified deputy, nor am I trained as a detective. The investigative side of SAR is typically handled by a certified deputy, if not a detective. There are many aspects of Search and Rescue, I agree that accountability is important here, and I truly respect the insight and work performed by Scott during this event. I do however, believe that it is equally important to try to obtain a clear understanding of the difference between investigation of a missing person, and a Search and Rescue for a missing person. I would hate for this whole Kim “event” to be lumped into being called a SAR mission simply due to a misunderstanding of roles played. I hope that makes sense. (This is not a defensive post, just a reminder to get informed.)

  106. Paulj

    People who make and publish maps want to do them as well as possible…waiting for tragic events to shape the map is not good practice.

    The map is lacking, cartographically speaking. Improvements should be made, and not because of any specific tragedy. I can look at a map and have a critical assesment of it, without knowing exactly what was going through the minds of a driver, or driver(s). The area is cleary risky and simple cartographic rules should be employed to clear up confusions in that area. There are not even county lines in the legend. Where I was taught to make maps, that is not a good idea. What is your argument to not fix something that is not even up to par?

    Engineers and people who work with signage and traffic/transportation don’t need to know specifically what happened either to make judgements on risky interesections and recommendations.

    Most of what we do is more about prevention than reaction….and that is based on years of study in order to know what kind of prevention works. sometimes it is unfortunatley about reaction, but the reaction is also based on knowing what works, in the fix.

    I wrote my assessement of the ODOT map in a style that really has other mapmakers in mind as the audience. They will know exactly what I am talking about (if it ever gets that far) and I bet they are already talking about changes they want to make, but are probably waiting to see what they can work with other agencies on…like USFS and BLM (my guess anyway).

    Its really not what any agency wants….to be called to act because of a tragedy. There is enough wrong/not good enough with the ODOT map that it warrants change, and its not about making the warning bigger. Its about making the map better. They publish highway maps…they have people employed to do that.

    There is no good argument to suggest otherwise. I know how easy it is to improve, and you can’t tell me it would not be worthwhile or that we need to know exactly what happened.

    Frankly speaking, I have said before (and I am only saying it again for your benefit) I would give the map a “c” if it were handed in to me for a grade. Its not a terrible map. Its not great.

    In some ways though, the map looks like an example I would use (as I have trained people, airmen actually, to create maps) as a bad map. In one excercise I would show them maps and they would have to tell me what could be changed and how it could be better. This map isn’t horrible but there are some easy changes to make it better. Its definitley one I would use in the “bad” category because of certain things that stand out to me, that I dont want to go into further tonight.

    In fact, I took time out of my personal schedule to write up my assesment of that map. I did not get paid to do that, and I also didn’t have time to do as complete of an asessment as I could. I dont have anything to gain by doing what I did, and I did it because its my honest professional advice and the map needs to change, not because I want to point a finger or complain (better things to do). And you met me with a challenging tone and took things out of context. I understand this is the interent and you can’t read my resume to see that I am qualified, as, I dont want my identity to get out. But please understand I am not doing this cause its a laugh. I took a hard educated look at that map, and time out of my day where I could be doing something else, and I dont want to argue for the sake of arguement.

    If ODOT doesn’t agree with me…thats fine. What they do is up to them and not me, and they certainly wont find what I wrote surprising if they ever read it. There is no reason to argue with me as you can’t undo what I have learned in the last ten years about making maps. I don’t need a tragedy to tell me what is wrong with it or how it could be better.

  107. ps. I hope I dont come off as condescending toward ODOT. Quite the contrary. I am sure they are used to getting suggestions and concerns. I am sure they will take all of them in stride and might even have a few better fixes in mind already.

    It comes with the territory. If I got upset every time someone asked me to change something I would need to find another line of work.

  108. 129 – Mapper, I’ve said before – you’ve got the knowledge and experience to do the analysis of just how much better the map could and should be; I just know that when I look at it, it doesn’t tell me very much other than that “a road” goes to the coast (and if I look real closely and follow that little arrow, said road closed in winter – in red, along with other non-warning stuff, like you’ve said). I do hope that your ideas are considered so that the next map is either more useful or doesn’t make it look like you can easily just take that unnamed road on the map.

  109. I’m not evaluating the map as a professional, but as a user. While I prefer to use a more detailed atlas, all my travels in Oregon have been with an ODOT or similar scale map (AAA etc). Even when I have state atlas, I like to use this scale of map to give me an overview of the major highways.

    On my first trip to Oregon, a couple of decades ago, I made a big figure 8 through the state’s mountains in a small rental car, camped at forest service sites, and skipped a couple of passes due to late season snow (in June). That was with little more than a map like this, and a guide book to free campsites.

    In recent years I have crossed the state N-S 3 times, E-W twice, plus several shorter trips in the north. While most of the recent miles were on state and federal highways, I have also navigated along a number of the ‘paved’ and ‘gravel’ roads without problem.

    If I take a vacation trip to Oregon this summer, I’ll be quite happy to use the ODOT map in conjunction with a DeLorme atlas, and a few printouts from BLM and FS sites. I may also buy a few FS maps along the way.


  110. Thanks Maggie

    I also hope I don’t discourage others from offering their opinions on it, as you dont need a degree to know what looks right to you!

    I just didn’t want to get drawn into an argument about my assesment of it.

    I would love to see the next printing of the ODOT map…changes are usually a pretty routine thing anyway. So I am just looking forward to seeing what they decide to do, if anything.

    The reason the ODOT map is important, is because its the “official” state highway map, that travelers are most likely to pick up in Oregon.

    As we have talked about before, it would be nice if forest service/blm maps were available at rest stops too (as I think we determined they are not)

    But at least if there were a more prominent note on the ODOT map (in forest areas) that travellers should make an effort to GET a forest map, it would at least lead most people to think a bit more about the fact that hmmm. there is more to what meets the eye than is on this map.

    You cant expect people to just know that.

  111. Paulj

    We posted at the same time. Basically that is what I mean…we can’t design maps for people who are as smart about them as you are.

    We have to assume people are not that smart, in order to do the best job.

    The ODOT map will be just fine for many people.

  112. 126 – Hope my comments RE: NCMEC (National Ctr. for Missing Children) and NCMA (Ntl. Ctr. Missing Adults) were not misconstrued. They are generally not involved with MPERS investigations or SAR efforts, but are, rather, a clearinghouse, if you will, for the dissemination of information to people who actively seek out that information. That’s a short explanation of a long subject, and they definitely have their place in assisting LE, but it’s generally not during an unfolding, emergent situation.

    128 – I’d like to echo was JoCoSAR mentioned RE: LE MPERS investigations and SAR operations being separate entities (generally). In 99% of MPERS investigations, especially in a large city, there is no SAR involement, whatsoever., unless the circumstances dictate by location/terrain. In that case, within the City of Portland, for example, we utilize the local SAR teams from the County Sheriff’s Offices, which do a fantastic job for us.

    While we have worked side-by-side on cases before, usually, the investigative results usually determine whether a SAR mission is necessary. That is carried out solely by SAR personnel. They’re job is not to investigate, but to search. Now that being said, our local SAR is headed up by a Sheriff’s Office detective. Therefore, if/when something is located, he is qualified to investigate further, or we work together on furthering the investigative side of things.

  113. Thanks JoCoSAR and Mike for talking about this. Mike, I think I understood what you meant but may not have described it accurately in the comment above. Part of the challenge thinking about online methods to “help out” is that it seems a lot of us “outsiders” are very unfamiliar with differences between Law Enforcement, SAR, Air Support Volunteer aspects, etc. The Kim search seemed to bring almost every agency to bear on this so it’s a good study of all the possible players who may be involved in “finding somebody”.

  114. Definitely agree with you, Joe, about this case having brought so many resources together for a common goal. It’ll be interesting to debrief this case internally (on a much more local level than the OSSA report, etc.), not only investigatively (as would be the most likely scenario for my involvement), but also with respect to the interaction between the many varied agencies, jurisdictions and disciplines not normally used to working together so closely (speaking only for myself here).

  115. Det Mike I think it’s a slow night here at the blog but as always it’s great to have your input! I”m down with a bad cold myself.

  116. General purpose Forest Service maps can be large and relatively expensive. One I have measures 40 x 52″. I’d guess the current cost is in the $9 range. Sometimes districts print smaller, free, maps for tourists, showing major routes, campgrounds, or the items of special interest. They also have simple trail maps.


  117. Just popping in for a sec. Det Mike, thank you for that insight about the different roles on the search side of things and the investigation side of things as JoCoSAR mentioned. Until this case, I hadn’t really thought about all of the different agencies involved and that it’s really not always just one angle coming at a case. Always interesting to hear your comments!

  118. Hey Det. Mike!! I finally got to watch the kgw clip that you talked about, thanks to the wonderful resources here…great job!! Thank you again!! You are amazing…

  119. 143 – Paulj, I think the problem is that most folks do not stop to buy those maps (I’m guilty, and I go into the forests in the summers – this year I’ll buy the right maps, promise!). A few pages back we talked about this, and it doesn’t sound like the average person always goes out of their way to actually buy these FS maps, assuming they are aware that one even exists for any particular area. In the Kim’s case, it might not have been an option if the Forest Service office was closed at the time of night that they missed their exit and saw this alternative on the map they had. At least if the State map gave some indication about what they were headed into, perhaps they would have been more concerned about taking that route. Instead, just looking at the State map alone, no red flags are really raised – except the note about winter (and since it was still a few weeks before winter, even that could be made more clear).

    I do agree that those maps are well worth the $9 and could definitely help, if folks are given a “heads up” of sorts that they should have one in a certain area.

  120. Hi, Detective Mike, don’t know if this has been asked, or if you are at liberty to answer it, but do you know if any persons claiming to be psychics got in touch with LE on this case? Of course they could have tracked down the family, but am curious if any contacted your dept.? Have you had any experiences with such people on any MPERS cases?

  121. Well, Joe says it is a slow night around here, and I hesitate to post this, as way OT, but I keep thinking of these issues involved in today’s headline story about the crash of commuter plane in Lexington, Ky., in the pre-dawn darkness of Aug. 27, 2006. The main parties involved are:

    1) AIRLINE: The pilots turned onto the wrong runway. The runway where Comair Flight 5191 attempted to take off wasn’t long enough for a passenger jet and had no lights. (Other pilots had also found this runway configuration confusing.)

    The airline contends that 2) Blue Grass Airport and 3) the FAA are partially responsible.

    2) AIRPORT: Only one controller, (instead of the FAA required 2) was on duty when the plane crashed. The veteran controller cleared the flight for takeoff, then turned away to do administrative work, officials said. He didn’t see the plane turn down the wrong runway, try to take off and then crash in flames. (Controllers say that it is not their duty to monitor pilots all the way through takeoff.)

    3) AGENCY: A week before the crash, the taxiways at Blue Grass Airport were altered as part of a construction project, but the maps and charts used in the cockpits of Comair and other airlines were not updated. The FAA did notify airlines of the changes through a separate announcement.

    In a brief statement, Comair said, “We recognize the investigation is a long and difficult process for the families, especially when today’s announcements receive intense public scrutiny. Our desire is to learn as much as we can in order to prevent these kinds of accidents from happening again.”

  122. Allen no problem – I think that’s very relevant as another example of how difficult it is to single out any one factor in a tragedy. Mistakes and miscalculations happen all the time but rarely combine to form tragic events as they did in this KT flight and for James Kim.

  123. Allen, sad story, lots of blame to go around. The pilot is always responsible for his actions, but the tower should have had 2 persons as required. The FAA did send a notification, and it’s up to the airlines to update their pilots; no way to get new maps/charts everytime something changes temporarily. I’d like to read the NTSB report on this one.

  124. Another story that has stirred up some folks: The local man here who set out at the end of Oct. to circumnavigate the world from So. Calif in a small boat. He was adrift 500 miles from tip of So. America, was able to call on his cell phone for rescue (and where are the cell towers 500 miles at sea?) He had to sit there awaiting a Chilean vessel to get to his position to rescue him. He was found and brought back, injured from his ordeal.

    He would like to start over and build another boat, presumably to take another trip. Some locals have been vocal that he ought to think about paying for his rescue first.

  125. 148 – Madeleine, I don’t know about LE, but we received several tips/offers of help through the website from psychics, we were also pursuing possible contacts of psychics who specialize in missing persons cases. We never received a strong indication from the families that they wanted us to follow up those leads/prospects with a strong effort. I recall that my impression was that most of them that provided actual information/readings weren’t that close. Someone actually gave us coordinates but in looking them up in google earth I think they were pretty far away from where he was found. We have received cards and notes from people who have ‘talked’ with James after he passed too.

  126. It’s still amazing to me how much this story moved people. I’m still trying to go through the 11k mesgs we received through the website. I normally only can go through a few at a time. But I just went through 20 mesgs and got wonderful notes from Sherwood, OR and then Islamabad, Pakistan. Another day ran across a message from Sri Lanka. The power of a news story to have people emotionally connect around the world is interesting when it hits so directly close to home. It has definitely helped me shift my perspective on life in a positive way and kick out some of the general cynicism that had crept in over the years.

  127. 154/Madeleine, And that would not be any ordinary rescue… rounding Cape Horn is like the Mt. Everest of solo sailing. Past the “Roaring Forties” and “Furious Fifties” (latitude 50 deg. South) is really rough water, almost iceberg country.

  128. 156/Scott, I hadn’t thought about this in awhile, but I remember reading those messages at your site, especially after Kati and kids were found, and everyone worldwide was still hoping for the best outcome. Eventually I could not keep up with the sheer volume of text, as it seemed to arrive faster than one could read.

  129. Technology,,,
    I think some of the SAR-technology people might benefit from the Public Health Service epidemiologists who also have to wade through a great deal of information in tracking down outbreaks in particular geographic areas but receive much of their information as vague references in peoples recollections. The epidemiologists use computer programs designed to allow group efforts to wade through massive amounts of information. So too do commanders in police incident rooms.

    I think everyone is generally aware of the distinction and realize that a man going to a park ranger about his wife having fallen off a cliff can be a SAR report that later becomes a homicide investigation. I do recall one particular police agency that was later criticized for its failure to combine its “welfare check” incidents at a specific address with its “missing persons” reports about that address. Only after multiple corpses were found buried there did the police computers spit out both categories.

    Reports to SFPD: Its nice that SFPD was considered by some to be a repository, but I would not expect SFPD to know much about the terrain in Oregon. SAR operations are generally local. Well categorized information can be shared. Reams of data and ‘pyschics suggestions’ would clog certain agencies to a halt though. I recall one recent “missing persons case” wherein the family wanted police aerial searches of the freeways in a number of states but it turned out the “missing person” was happily leading a new life as a willing ‘slave’ to a new ‘master’. This is why agencies like to deal with other agencies not with members of the public.

    I too felt the coordinator’s place is back at headquarters, not out there sloshing through the snow. I felt it was in indication of courage and dedication that a coordinator in a short staffed operation would go out and do what was necessary and not hide in a warm office while only others went out into the cold. Wealthy counties may be able to afford the luxury of a “headquarters staff”, poor counties need people to go sloshing through the snow, not handle paperwork.

  130. Off-Topic,
    Comair 5191 Kentucky Blue Grass Airport:

    Sure. A lot of agencies and poor communication, but still the major concern of crew fatigue playing the real role although ‘sloppy procedures’ such as lack of a sterile cockpit are of great concern. Pilot and co-pilot had initially entered the wrong aircraft that morning, so just how alert were they to be able to deal with the lack of runway lights alerting them to the fact that they were on the wrong runway. A short-staffed tower can be flooded with extra employees but it won’t make any difference if the pilot’s sleep schedule is so bad that the pilots are not alert.

  131. mapper, I did not know there were different maps available for different purposes until this blog and your info.
    If I were a travler, I would just pick up a map at a convenienc store or gas station. From what I understand, this general purpose, if you will, type of map is apparently what James & Katie had & this type of map is what the general public would most likely use.
    To me, those maps should definitely have warnings and clear markings about questionable or more dangerous routes.

  132. I want to include a quote from one of my favorite writers,
    Dostoyevsky, as a tribute to James. It is from one of his most famous works, “The Brothers Karamazov” (1880). The character speaking is the beloved Father Zossima, a 19th century Russian Monk, therefore there are a lot of Christian references. I found these passages just now again, after years, and I realized they are similar to my Christmas wish. The quote is not meant to have any literal bearing on any of this because it doesn’t actually, and I am non-affiliated religiously, so please don’t let any of the 19th century Christian terminology throw you off. It is just Father Zossima speaking of his most important life lessons; there is so much truth and wisdom in these words, and I wanted to share it because it is beautiful tribute to life, and a quote of profound inspiration:

    “Love a man even in his sin, for that is the semblance of Divine Love and is the highest love on earth. Love all God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all embracing love. Love the animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Do not trouble it, don’t harass them, don’t deprive them of their happiness, don’t work against God’s intent. Man, do not pride yourself on your superiority to animals; they are without sin, and you, with your greatness,
    defile the earth by your appearence on it, and leave the traces of your foulness after you – alas, it is true of almost every one of us! Love children especially, for they too are sinless like the angels; they live to soften and purify our hearts and as it were to guide us. Woe to him who offends a child! Father Anfim taught me to love children. The kind, silent man used often on our wanderings to spend the farthings given us on sweets and cakes for children. He could not pass by a child without emotion, that’s the nature of the man.

    At some thoughts one stands perplexed, especially at the sight of men’s sin, and wonders whether one should use force or humble love. Always decide to use humble love. If you resolve on that once for all, you may subdue the whole world. Loving humility is marvellously strong, the strongest of all things and there is nothing else like it.

    Every day and every hour, every minute, walk around yourself and watch yourself, and see that your image is a seemly one. You pass by a little child, you pass by, spiteful, with ugly words, with wrathful heart; you may not have noticed the child, but he has seen you, and your image, unseemly and ignoble, may remain in his defenseless heart. You don’t know it, but you may have sown a seed of evil in him and it may grow, and all because you were not careful before the child, because you did not foster in yourself a careful, actively benevolent love. Brothers, love is a teacher; but one must know how to acquire it, for it is hard to acquire, it is dearly bought, it is won by slow hard labor. For we must love not only occasionally for a moment, but for ever. Every one can love occasionally, even the wicked can.

    My brother asked the birds to forgive him; that sounds senseless, but it is right; for all is like an ocean, all is flowing and blending; a touch in one place sets up movement at the other end of the earth. It may be senseless to beg forgiveness of the birds, but birds would be happier at your side – a little happier anyway – and children and all animals, if you yourself were a little nobler than you are now. It’s all like an ocean, I tell you. Then you would pray to the birds too, consumed by an all-embracing love, in a sort of transport, and pray that they too will forgive your sin. Treasure this ecstacy, however senseless it may seem to men.”

    There is a time and a place for everything, and I just wanted to share the beauty of those words…

  133. 162- I do not really like the word or meaning, of sin. But I know that in Latin [sine] means without, and that is where it comes from. It evolved from originally meaning without god, but by his words, I think Dostoyevsky would have meant it to be, without love.

  134. For most travelers a map that shows the freeways and major routes is fine, very little more is needed and many travel guides are based on such freeway strips wherein nothing is depicted unless it is easily reachable from the freeway.

    I don’t think someone consulting a map should necessarily be specifically warned of hazards. A simple depiction of roads should indicate their width and the like.

    The problem is that certain of all the roads off in the middle of nowhere that a tourist might be tempted to use, certain are going to be attractive because they appear to be useful links. This Bear Camp Rd appeared to be a route to the coast. Nothing on the map warns of the difficulty involved. And ofcourse nothing indicates that it is essentially a seasonal route, oft-used in fair weather, seldom used in winter.

    IF there had been some travel agency who had pre-planned the trip we would all be addressing that travel agency’s incompetence at having selected that route. Unfortunately, maps and route selections are only starting points.

    A warning box on the map advising of winter dangers might have dissuaded them from attempting the road or encouraged them to stop for supplies. So too might have highway signs.

    Part of the beauty of remote areas is the absence of signs and part of the advantages of Oregon is the lower taxes due to lower expenditures by government agencies.

  135. Changing the symbology to make the map clearer (ie, county lines) is not expensive, nor is many of the changes I suggested. Its about making the map clearer and better.

    Its my opinion the state of the ODOT map has nothing to do with funding. It has more to do with the choices someone made when creating the map. They make updates anyway, there are a few smarter choices they can choose to make it better.

    I think there is a misconception that changing maps, or updating them is expensive. Its not, especially if they print them yearly anyway.

    The map has a lot more than just highways on it, it is not as simple as it should be for a road map. therefore if they are going to include so much information they should have critical information, like names of roads that they include on their map. Roads are the focus.

    Its more about giving drivers all the information they need and communicating it in the best way. Its not just about warning boxes.

    I, for one, would not be looking at the travel agency if a travel agent sent them down that road. I would still be looking at the map, because that is what I do.

    If ODOT doesn’t like the responsibility, well then maybe Oregon should find another agency to do a different “official map” where its not one department who’s sole focus is only state roads.

    Do you really think travellers are like…hmmm…well this map is created by ODOT so, they are going to really focus on the state roads, but we can’t really trust that those other roads on here and the campground stuff is accurate. So we will just use it for the state roads…

    No, like most people, they pick up the offical map, and that is it.

  136. ps.

    something I would like to see, in most states, but especially ones like oregon, with lots of wilderness.

    The “offical map” on one side, which includes all the info it has now.

    The other side, has a pared down map, with only neccessary highway and road system information for navigation and more room for highway names, seasonal warnings, etc.

    The official map is so busy it takes away from the purpose.

    Most highway dept’s create both kinds of map anyway. It would be cool if they made it two in one…..

  137. I am being told that the OSSA report will be released (approx 140 pages) tomorrow morning on the Klamath County website. Just FYI.

  138. That should give everyone a chance to buy a new ink cartridge for their printer in time!!

  139. Scott, thank you for that re: psychics. I’ve known of cases where they actually helped or at least were in the ballpark with the location. And of course the more publicly known a case is, the more people call with “tips”. I had meant to include you in that question, so I’m so glad you saw it!

  140. Allen, I’ve only been involved in one rescue involving the sea, many years ago, and it was me and my family after our dinghy sank in the middle of Avalon harbor. You can imagine how uncool that was, with all the folks having their Sunday morning Bloody Marys looking on from their expensive yachts when the Coast Guard came to the rescue. It was a good example of a poor decision, though, too many lbs. in the dinghy.

    Seriouly, I cannot fathom the solo circumnavigation thing, the resources involved in that rescue, and the guy saying he was going to do it again (according to the letters to the editor). Lots of folks riled up over it who had initially been very concerned and followed the rescue closely.

  141. 160 – Fool’s Gold, I hadn’t had a chance to read any of the news about this crash, so it does sound like there were some other things going on with the pilots. It’s like a lot of aviation accidents, though, seemingly unconnected things that layer or multiply and may contribute to the accident. Or it could have been just fatigue.

  142. Madeleiene

    Hope things are going well with your husband.

    Forgot to mention. That guy in the boat, he had a satellite phone, that is why he was able to call for help.

    I was watching that one too… I think the most amazing one though latley was the lady in New Mexico!

  143. RRR &/or JoCoSar: you’ll post the Klamath report link when you have it ?….like Tara, am curious why Klamath County ?

  144. 177- Klamath County was the lead agency for the report

    178- we are frozen this morning, we did a good melt yesterday but it froze back up it is supose to thaw today I hope!

  145. Does anyone here have contact information for John Rachor that they could forward to me privately? A phone number would be extra special, but anything would help me find him.

    I’m also interested in contact information for the sheriff’s deputy that was injured if someone has that, I had the name at one point but can’t find it now.

  146. Scott, an article in sfgate says he is from Medford.

    Go to and do a search for John Rachor in Oregon. You will see two listings for “John & Susan”. One is in Agness, and one is in Central Point, which appears to be a “suburb” of Medford.

    I have no idea if those are him, but it seems pretty likely.

  147. Scott – I do not have the deputy’s name, but he is a Jackson County deputy. Sorry.

    Yes Rodney, Central Point is just out of Medford area.

  148. Scott – I’d said Dave was a volunteer SAR but I don’t know if that is correct or not. My understanding is that the Sheriff deputies often volunteer their time on SAR searches to keep the cost from becoming prohibitive, and I think that was the case here.

  149. I’d like to propose a change to the ‘closed in winter’ warning on the ODOT map:

    “Do NOT attempt this road when your lodge is giving you ‘winter season’ rates”

    (Click the Activities and policy buttons of to see what I mean).


  150. I think were like A Team and Knightrider combined! We just need some of that awesome theme music.

  151. 8) (Would you believe it – I tried to leave that by itself again and it told me, “Duplicate comment detected – it looks as though you’ve already said that”!)

  152. Then some might call Joe Mr. “D”, and say that he says stuff like, “I think it would be a good idea to use the internet as a tool…”

  153. One of the reasons that I am not bothered by the ‘closed in winter’ designation on the ODOT map is that I have lived with the notion that winter is not defined by the calendar for many years. An old AAA atlas has a general warning box on each of the western states and provinces:

    “Because the length of the seasons varies greatly in higher elevations, inquire locally for the condition of roads designated ‘closed in winter’ on this map.”

    In the Oregon outback it adds:
    “Inquire locally for current conditions before driving on unimproved roads on this map.”

    As a side note, on this map, from the mid 80s, the Galice-Agness route is paved (a thin black line) up to the county line (summit), and gravel (wider dashed gray) down to Agness. There is no ‘closed in winter’ designation. No road names either.


  154. 193/ RRR or Jocosar could tell you more specifically when it was finally paved, but that section of the road used to be gravel….and in the 1980’s, not very good gravel at that.

  155. This I did not expect:
    “Included in the report is a first hand account of Kati Kim’s perspective of how the situation unfolded and the subsequent survival and rescue of her and her two girls.”

  156. 198- Thanks Paul! That sounds great. It seems that the report will truly hold so much information – very exciting!

  157. Pingback: Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Report on the Kim Family Search in Oregon « Joe Duck

  158. I don’t know how Josephine County’s After-Action Review said that ‘helicopters worked’ when there was no use of fixed wing aircraft and no way of knowing if they would have worked better.

    The ‘include air assets in briefing’ etc. next time doesn’t explain why no one asked for air asset briefing this time.

    The keep media away is not a surprise.

  159. So anyone besides me have trouble seeing it? click on the pages they say they are loading it just a blank screen! I am using an apple with safari.



  160. 210 – Laurie, some of the files are very large and take a long time to open. You may want to first save them to your computer and then open from there to avoid lag time with many folks hitting the server all at once. Worked for me 😉

  161. “. . . inquire locally for the condition of roads designated ‘closed in winter’ on this map. . . . ”

    Well, maybe it should say: be sure to inquire of someone who is a native speaker of the English language provided that there is hope of finding one at a convenience-store/gas-station these days.

    “personal issues with neighboring Jackson County”
    Yeah, I felt something like that was going on.
    Was it that the coordinator was countermanding orders in Jackson county or in Josephine county??

    Autoaccident on major road that resulted in vehicle being obscured by foliage as most likely scenario… I would sure question that it was the most likely scenario or should have been the highest priority even if they felt it was most likely.

    Conversation with James Brothers not memoralized for followup. WOW. Information felt to be ‘low grade’. WOW again!

    Was that plastic bag note on the gate ever found????

  162. Dropping relief supplies?
    I wonder if these were what the pilots were carrying for their own use and they simply dropped it or the planned items were dropped but packing proved to be insufficiently sturdy?

  163. Maggie do you have the Area Map file? I just pulled it. Any way to make it smaller but still legible? At 46 meg for that file alone I think all the downloads are going to crash their server soon.

  164. 214 – I can definitely work on it tonight – should be able to reduce the file size at least some and get it posted as a smaller file. You are right, that one’s really huge!

    I’ve jumped around from page to page a bit until I have time to sit down and read all of it all the way through, but Kati’s own account in both places I saw it is absolutely heartbreaking. I cried all over again for her, still not able to even imagine anything past about day one.

  165. Actually I just reviewed it and there’s not much key information on that HUGE map file.

    Key things so far for me after quickly reviewing the reports were that they went up FS23 at the infamous turnoff, backed down, and then intentionally headed off on the BLM spur on which they were found. After driving along that road, which narrowed and went to gravel, they realized they were lost.

  166. I don’t know if it was ‘realized they were lost’ or ‘acknowledged to themselves that they were lost’. Clearly they did not know what road they were on and had some degree of concern for their safety as soon as it started snowing.

  167. 208/ Joe, your page “Oregon State Sheriff’s Association Report on the Kim Family Search in Oregon” says:

    “No comments yet.
    Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.”

    (Commenting on No Comments because Comments are Closed)

  168. I’m confused about the status of the map they used. Report says it was NOT from Wilsonville Info Center and made it sound like the road warning was in a corner rather than right on the road itself.

  169. Reference:
    Part III, Fact Finding Details, pp. 46-47

    Debrief of Wayne Stinson of Kati interview on Dec. 4.

    Some startling details about lack of outdoors experience, stress and reponsibility.

  170. Joe, or anybody does the font seem smaller in size here, or are my eyes playing tricks on me?

  171. Reference:
    Part III, Fact Finding Details, p. 35

    “PILOT RANDY JONES stated he began flying in the area of Windy Creek. There was no incident command in the field. He located a piece of clothing. Eugene Mountain Rescue could not get into the area of Big Windy Creek so JONES called Sheriff WINTERS and asked about using Carson to go short haul in the area. WINTERS would not authorize using Carson Helicopters because he had not trained with them. JONES suggested WINTERS contact Brim Aviation in Ashland. JOHNSON from Jackson County SWAT was inserted into the area. Because it was late in the day, they gave him ten minutes to get in the area and do a quick search for James KIM.”

    “Later on December 5, 2006, he received a call from a Carson pilot who stated he saw two flickers of light near a pool of water where the body was found the next day. He stated they had gone over the pool multiple times in the past two to three days but never saw anything.”

  172. 219 – Joe, I noticed that, too. The Wilsonville Info Center has puzzled me from the start. WVille said they stopped, Kati said they didn’t, then WVille backed off of the statement. Pages back, JoCoSAR mentioned that after all of this, someone had contacted WVille and received bad advice to take a scenic route over Bear Camp to the coast, which was also odd.

    Like you said, the road warning in a box in a corner is different from how I remember the ODOT map I have at home that has the red box and small arrow pointing to the road.

    I was so hoping that the OSSA report would clear up every question I had – I know, not realistic, but always hopeful 😉 All of that is still a puzzle to me.

  173. Reference:
    Part III, Fact Finding Details, p. 36

    “On Monday, December 4, 2006, JOHN RACHOR made a call to the FAA to confirm. The FAA confirmed there was a flight restriction despite the fact that he had called earlier that morning and they said there was no TFR; otherwise, he would not have continued to search. He later learned that it was after Kati and the children were found that the flight restriction was placed on the area.”

    “RACHOR was ‘concerned’ because even though he was the one who located James KIM’s footprints and Kati and the children, he wasn’t allowed to continue searching.”

  174. I hope JoCoSAR and RRR can check in soon, although the biggest question for me is pretty much answered which is that this was neither a case of brazenly ignoring signs nor a case of being so confused by signs they took the wrong turn.

    Rather they took NF23 and when it became snowy and looked like the NF23 road was going to become impassable they tried the right fork BLM road even though they did not know exactly where it would go. When it became very clear that route was a mistake they stopped the car.

    This raises some questions about how to improve the mapping and the signs up there but I think Rodney’s sign of a few days ago indicating BLM to the right is NOT a through road is a good approach.

  175. Hey Mapper and Frances, I would be interested in both or either of your email addresses. Mapper, I wrote something humorous about living in Oregon a few days ago, I would like to send you. I know for sure your email is in here somewhere, but I don’t know where… 8) If you don’t want to post it again, I’ll try and find it…

    And Frances, I would love to talk with you! :mrgreen:

  176. Lisa, Yes. Some answers and more puzzling questions. BTW, I did read and appreciate your 162/199 earlier, with no time on a busy day to reply.

  177. Hi RRR – what’s your take on the report? Is the Josephine County buzz that they did a good job with the interview summaries or not?

  178. One thing that seems well documented in the report is that there was a lack of knowing who was in command, who was coordinating what, what had happened, what was happening and what was being planned.

    Sure some volunteers were inadequately attired. The SWAT team didn’t have bright clothing or even bright arm bands. (I’ll bet some local junior high school has hundreds of bright arm bands or bright vests used for athletic events).

    One wonders why the knowledge of a specific destination was so ignored. Why were searchers so slow to realize that getting lost on a road to their destination was what had happened?

  179. ….on December 5, 2006, he received a call from a Carson pilot who stated he saw two flickers of light near a pool of water where the body was found the next day. He stated they had gone over the pool multiple times in the past two to three days but never saw anything

    Allen that really jumped out at me also, and I kept reading it. Still not sure what to make of this and I don’t understand why there was not substantial follow up on this point.

  180. 235 / He had two lighters, right ?…that were never found ?…or could it be light reflecting off his glasses and he was already down and gone ?

  181. 234/RRR – Of all the ironies for you to be out on another SAR the day the report is released…

  182. 220/ I haven’t seen any mention of this in the media yet, but I have a feeling that unfortunately the press will sensationalize the statement by Kati in paragraph 7 of the last page (47) of the Fact Finding Details. About responsibility for predicament.

  183. 222/235 Joe, that’s ironic that Carson rescues the family on Dec. 4th, and the next afternoon Winters removes Carson, inserts 1 SWAT with only 10 minutes to search, and then that evening Carson sees these lights at the next day’s final location.

  184. METHENY took Spencer KIM with him. It was foggy along the Rogue River corridor so they jumped to about the middle of Bear Camp. They flew Bear Camp for five and a half hours. They concentrated on roads from Bear Camp to Highway 199 and Onion Mt. and to the south. They followed every spur road and logging road from Grants Pass to Brookings to Gold Beach.

    At first I didn’t understand the “every spur road” but it looks to me like the area north of Bear Camp (where the car was located) was buried in fog so they eliminated all the spurs south of Bear Camp Road

  185. Carson seems like a pretty heads-up unit. Part III p. 37, RICE advised that all the aircraft had victor to victor — victor to victor? VFR talk-between-aircraft channel?

  186. Here is some clarification on the point Allen and I were making above about flying over the pool of water:

    METHENY thought when he located James KIM there was no movement but he did not want to assume as he was 300 feet above the ground. He requested medics. He noticed that KIM was wearing blue jeans and a grey jacket. He was lying in the creek face up and the only identifying feature was his face. The clothes completely blended into the area and the water. He was submerged and the water was moving over him. He was very difficult to see.
    OSSA – Kim Family Search Review 43 of 47
    METHENY recalled that they had flown the area before but if KIM had been there, he must have been face down because his face was the only identifiable feature. He was convinced that KIM was not in the creek the night before or if he had been in the creek, he was face down. He might have gotten rolled over by the movement of the water.

  187. Let me say this in general what I have heard from the grapevine and those who were at meetings today and not on the search, overall it is very favorable for us.

  188. Tommo I was also wondering what “Victor to Victor” meant. No Google help for that term but chopper to chopper makes sense to me.

    I’m much more impressed with Carson after seeing this report.

    Looks like they did a good job, though I didn’t see an explanation of why, after thorough coverage of spurs south of Bear Camp Road, they did not focus more on the spurs to the north.

  189. 235/244 It’s tempting to speculate that there could still have been signal lights/viability on Tuesday night, but that unrealistically extends the estimated survival from 2 days to 4 days, while soaking wet in 20 degree nights without food or shelter.

  190. There is a perception that the search managers did not act quickly when they obtained the information on the cell phone “pings.” Interviews with the involved parties and examination of the official records show that this was not the case with one possible exception. Daylight is a precious commodity for search and rescue operations. In retrospect, it would have saved valuable time and daylight if Powers, Rubrecht, Stanton, Anderson, and Fuqua might have met late Saturday night in lieu of the 8 A.M. meeting Sunday Morning. Meeting during the morning realistically moved the beginning of the focused search to the afternoon when all the mutual aid arrived from Jackson County thus leaving only a few
    hours of search time that day.

    Above is from the report.

    What an understatement. Not only that, but Fuqua wasn’t asked to come in until 1100 on Sunday, if the reports are correct.


    I notice the inclusion of full-color Google Earth photo of BCR-BBL area, with James’s route overlaid. I wonder how much (if any) use was made of this resource during the search, by any agency.

  192. Great to see the report published! I am swamped with business work this week. I will get to review it over the weekend and look forward to the discussions. Hope all is well with all of you.

  193. Bamadad 249 re: ping meeting. I’m hoping JoCoSAR can shed some light on this, but note from Brian Anderson’s comments that the significance of the ping info was not clear to people before that meeting. Helping SAR and LE understand the significance and use of these new technological clues should be a focus of any SAR enhancement projects.

  194. unrealistically extends the estimated survival from 2 days to 4 days

    Allen I agree. They mention finding evidence of ONE overnight in the Canyon but not a second one.

  195. I’m here…barely. Busy reading report before I can answer any questions…(Joe, is there a more organized way to list questions?) I want to try to read it before I can comment on it..that’s all.

  196. Hi JoCoSAR, thanks for being here!

    Hmmm – should I set up a separate page that would only be for questions? Let’s wait and see if there are just few questions or many. If it’s just a few then keeping things on this page is best.

  197. Local news 12 just interviewed Tim Evinger who was in charge of the report and Brian Morton KDRV concluded that “no major mistake” by family or search efforts led to the death of James Kim. I agree with that.

  198. 258 – Local media-wise, I’m hearing mixed reviews, mostly slanting not so favorably about the effort. On the radio they said that the report was out and that it was “not good,” KGW/NBC also seemed to mention mostly the negative.

  199. hi guys, still reading, just got home.

    But if you look at the ODOT map the warning I think Kati mentioned, is on the lower right corner of the map. Check out the pdf of the entire map and you will find it.

  200. 255- With hypothermia, he probably couldn’t sleep a second or third one if that were the case. I couldn’t sleep when I was hypothermic.

  201. It doesn’t make Josephine County Sherrifs dept. look very good, IMO. Also at one point it seems James Kim went walking because Kati was mad at him for getting them stuck like that. Sounds like he felt bad and wanted to make up for it. This report also makes it look like John James and his brother agreed on what story they would tell the investigator. It also makes it sound like, very subtlly, that he made up his story about telling Sara to check the road, aftr Kati and the girls were found. The first part of the report sounds like it is defending SAR and others from criticism. Doesn’t sound objective in parts. There’s also numerous typos throughout.

    Just my thoughts after reading most of it. (first impression)

  202. Other notes: Strange we never heard of them stopping at the gas station in Merlin. It does not say if they got gas there, but from the report it seems they had plenty of gas, so I assume they did. However, it doesn’t mention if they got gas there. Kati said the warning sign at the junction for FS-23 was the first one they saw (Pac- you listening) Does that mean they took the Peavine detour?

  203. Regarding the “ping meeting” and the lost chance to gain time on Saturday: It should be noted that STANTON and RUBRECHT spent much of Friday and all day and night Saturday involved in tracking this [false] lead, interviewing witnesses and playing “phone tag” with detectives at OSP … [Part III p. 23]

    Seems like OSP was pretty solidly behind this ping data, but it seems that JoCo needed some convincing. It seems that the LE personnel were struggling not only with a technological barrier, but with multiple conflicting reports and perhaps with personal and organizational fatigue.

  204. Tommo that was how I read it too and would like to get JoCoSAR’s take on “lead priorities”. After the fact it’s very easy to focus in on the relevant info, but they must have had hundreds of leads to track down and it seems the many bad leads may have interfered with the search than any other factor. I remember reading one at from a lady that insisted she spoke with the Kim’s in Port Orford. I even tried to call her myself.

    I did sense from the report that the information from John James and later from John Rachor was not given “highest priority” and that still confuses me. As locals with extensive knowledge their insights should have been considered to be very valuable.

    Also, I don’t get the idea that it is standard procedure in SAR operations to *prioritize leads* in an organized way – rather you just go with best hunch as to the best leads.

    Ideally I’d think you’d sort them with a likelihood factor and a time value factor and then systematically follow up to cover the most valuable information in the shortest time.

  205. 249/252/268
    Eric, is this a fair synopsis?

    Part III, p. 31
    Eric Fuqua was aware of search on Friday, Dec. 1st, and contacted SFPD and OSP with offers of help. He mentioned it to Noah Pugsley (rarely credited for his role) who contacted Scott’s JamesAndKati site on Saturday. Kim family then contacted Noah with 3 cell #’s, which he traced in records to 2 text/pings on Glendale tower @ 1:30am 12/26, and notified Eric. Edge Wireless gave corporate release of records that evening. When Eric contacted JoCo w. local relevancy, he was bounced to Det. Mike of PPB and reviewed map and CDR over phone. Eric was recontacted late that nite for more info, which was relayed back to JoCo. Sara R. then contacted Eric on Sunday morn for 11am meeting. At that meeting, while waiting for records to arrive, Eric and Noah reconfirmed pings with test calls from Merlin center to Glendale tower.

    During this time there were some false leads. Report of seeing Kims at gas station in Port Orford on coast led Spencer to re-direct search westward. Report of caravan of xmas-tree cutters spotting Kim car. Report of silver car off the side of a road. These diverted investigative resources until Glendale tower pings verified BCR target area.

  206. There were a number of new points in Kati’s second interview, the printed near the start of the report.

    – they finalized the lodge reservation while driving that afternoon.

    – the confusing information they got in Merlin. Since they didn’t buy anything there was no paper trail. The clerk did not come forward with any leads.

    – the small coast signs suggest that they took the Peavine detour (have to double check Joe’s photos on this).

    – they missed all the snow signs except the 6 mile one. I think Peavine detours around one, but not all 3.

    – a private snowplow near the FS23 junction gave them a false sense that this road was being plowed.

    – there already was some snow at the higher elevations

    – it was not raining when they started up the mountain

    – they weren’t snowed in on Sunday morning, but they stayed put, thinking that they were near a well traveled route.

    – the high probability spots on the cell map appear to be faces of ridges facing Glendale. The map helped focus the search on the Bear Camp area, but it gives little indication that the car was actually at low altitudes north of the FS23.

    – In the report, Bear Camp is variously used to refer to FS23, BLM 34-8-36 east of FS23, this BLM road and spurs north of FS23.

    – Carson helicopters searched the Bear Camp area quite a bit, but due to fog along the river, paid more attention to areas to the south.

    – false leads took up a lot search resources.

    – communications and command in a SAR situation is a lot more complicated, and important, than I realized.

    – Kati’s recollection of the warning on the map leaves some ambiguity as to what map they had. What she quoted does not match the maps I’ve seen (2003 ODOT), but she could have been paraphrasing it. It sounds as though the map had been in the glove box for a while.


  207. The warning in question (I think), is on the ODOT map, it is at the lower corner on the right. It matches her description and text perfectly.

    Let me know if you want me to post the link to the ODOT map again.

    She doesn’t mention the warning that points to bear camp road, but I think it is because she is just stating the more detailed warning, which is also ambiguous is on the lower corner of the map.

  208. Ok I am here but still reading…….I can try and answer stuff if you give reference so I can either look it up or catch up! 🙂

  209. 272

    It could also be that they had an older ODOT map (with only the warning in the lower corner). I have said before too that the warning boxes look like an afterhought, would not surpise me if those were added later and are newer.

  210. 277 – Mapper, I have a 2001 ODOT map in my hands. Same warning is there but very, very small and without bold text. So, it’s been improved, but still isn’t very noticeable.

  211. Thanks Mapper.

    To someone inexperienced with maps, the distance from where th6y were to Galice doesn’t look very far when drawn to that scale.

  212. Maggie,

    I would expect as much! I told you they make improvements!! Just sounds like they need some new direction maybe!?

    Anyway, on the older map, does it have the same warning boxes with arrows as the newer one does in the bear camp area?

  213. 272/
    “In the report, Bear Camp is variously used to refer to FS23, BLM 34-8-36 east of FS23, this BLM road and spurs north of FS23.”

    And Stanton calls this the Black Bar Lodge road.

  214. 280 – Mapper, yes, that part is identical. I have to admit, I never considered how darn “red” this entire map is until you mentioned it. If things like warnings were the only things in red, perhaps they’d stand out better (I know, I know, I’m a little slow… I’m just now really seeing what you meant).

  215. Maggie

    your hardly slow!! Anyway, its one of those things that is better illustrated than said with words. A quick fix would be to make the warnings yellow….or lime green….you know…anything but the same color as the dominant color of the map.

    But, yeah, I like to reserve dramatic colors like red for special purposes.

  216. If the map they had did not have the box saying road closed in winter over/adjecent to Bear Camp, it makes this whole mishap that much more understandable. Am I understanding correctly that older ODOT maps did not have the box ??

  217. Lisa,
    can’t seem to get report printed out, am working on it, limited time right now.
    Not good time right now, but will respond quick as I can.

    Just jumping on & off, scanning comments as fast as I can.

  218. 265/ “This report also makes it look like John James and his brother agreed on what story they would tell the investigator.”

    That is not the impression I got from reading this:

    Pt. III, p.26
    Denny JAMES was interviewed on December 28, 2006. He freely agreed to speak to investigators and mentioned that his brother had called to say that investigators would be coming to see him. They specifically did not discuss the events that day during their call to each other.

    JAMES gave a virtually identical account of the events as provided by his brother in a separate interview including the statements made by STANTON and RUBRECHT and John JAMES’ suggestion that they search the Galice Access Road beyond the one mile of the road [34-8-36] that the brothers had traveled. JAMES said that his brother had done most of the interaction with STANTON and RUBRECHT.

  219. Paul…

    not sure, but possible. but it looks like those warnings have been in place for awhile.

    But it is ambiguous (the warning specific to bear camp)….I think she was stating that a more definitive warning was on the lower corner.

    but just speculating.

  220. 284 – Too much green already with all those darn Oregon forests, but bright yellow or bright pink (sorry, Lisa, couldn’t resist) or even a dotted line for that and similar roads to show that something is different.

    285 – Paul, my 2001 ODOT map *does* have that identical boxed warning and arrow, but just that the general boxed warning at the far left of the whole map (actually, it’s where Idaho is) is just not as bold or as large.

  221. Maggie

    Agreed…I would love to see the whole color scheme addressed, and more dashed/dotted lines employed in the symbology, especially to county lines.

  222. 267 we never heard of them stopping at the gas station in Merlin.

    I remember this early on and then nothing…..

    Said the guy at the Merlin gas station said they stopped for snacks.

  223. 289/290:Maggie/Mapper: the report alludes to numerous other parties making the same, or similar mistakes (getting lost or trapped on Bear Camp). I think it is reasonable to assume some of them had maps…which clearly supports Mappers position that the warnings/colors/legends on the map need to be changed and made more forceful.

  224. 292/Maggie – you must be left handed.
    291/Laurie – what it does not clarify is if they got GAS when they stopped in Merlin…still wonder about that.

  225. Paul

    I would not say that the colors need to be more forceful, just that dramatic colors should be used to bring attention to important things…and colors that symbolize danger like red or oranage, or bright yellow are good for warnings.

    Otherwise, its really about harmony and contrast, and creating it through the use of the right colors and line weights, and symbols.

    Biggest thing that stood out to me when I first looked at the map was the overuse of red for general purposes, and for warnings…and lots of green (as maggie mentioned).

    There are so many other colors to choose from along with other symbols that will help create a better harmony and hierarchy on the map.

    Thanks for backing me up though guys! 🙂

  226. 294- I believe it states that they stopped and asked directions, and then the attendant thought they got snacks, in his “recolection” when later asked…..

  227. 293 – Agreed!

    I’m just now really reading through, and related to the map thing and making a “local inquiry” as they tried to do, the gate thing strikes me similarly. (From Part II pages 8 & 9 as numbered on the report or 11 & 12 in viewer)

    In Washington forests on this visit, gates meant an area was closed, so the Kim’s were concerned about getting trapped inside a closed gate and left a note there. Wow, and it’s only after this that we know that there was so little chance that anyone would be going around shutting gates behind them. Sad.

  228. 295/ Mapper: What I meant to say was “which clearly supports Mappers position that:” – dramatic colors should be used to bring attention to important things…and colors that symbolize danger like red or oranage, or bright yellow are good for warnings.
    I’ll leave mapping to the Mapper and stay within my realm of competence, which is just to observe and comment. 😛

  229. Paul,

    After I wrote that I thought…Paul probably meant….

    hahaha. of course I should always realize what you really meant! Sorry about that.

  230. The quote in the report is ‘Not all Roads Advisable, Check Weather Condition’. The map says ‘Some roads are impassable following severe weather conditions’. That is why I suspect Kati was paraphrasing the warning.

    Off hand, 2003 looks the same as 2005; 2001 has a smaller warning on the right. 2003 adds a couple of road warnings to the 2001 (such as the one off of US199).

    Note the map does not identify BLM land, which would add a lot more noise. Still in some cases that identification would help distinguish between BLM roads and county roads.


  231. 271. Noah Pugsley’s role certainly does seem to be under-mentioned. Without his personal efforts this whole thing could have turned out differently. The events described in post 271 seem pretty accurate other than I arrived at Jose County at 8:45 am, not 11 AM–but thats trivial.

    Only in hindsight can we consider what coulda shoulda been done Saturday night. We must keep in mind the context and knowledge base at the time. And now it is released that there was information (what turned out to be false tips) that were contrary to the “ping” information. The nature of the information was definitely something that had to be weighed. And it was. Kati and kids were found only about 30 hours later. Frankly, I think that was a pretty darn good search and rescue.

  232. 301/Eric F: good, balanced points…so much to weigh, so much to consider…it has to be hard to decide which should be the priority. Easy in hindsight, hard at the time.

  233. mapper – do map designers take into consideration color blindness? For some people the distinction between reds and greens is not as clear as for the majority.


  234. Paulj

    you are right (about the quote) I dont know why the other text is sticking with me, why i thought i read it in there…it could be because of fools golds post above which says it? not sure, I really thought I saw that text in the report….trying to look again.

  235. paulj

    well….not really….but contrast is usually pretty obvious. but its also why i would suggest employing more symbols and dashed/dotted lines, as color doesn’t always do it.

    Sometimes we do things in black and white, due to budgets or printings that require it, and have to work with different greys, and line weights and symbols are the only thing to work with.

  236. Paulj

    yeah, not sure now (about the paraphrasing or if it was a different map entirely). I think it is post 212 that threw me off.

    Either way…I stand behind my ODOT map words 🙂

  237. 291 & 292 — anybody know when (date) it was discovered that the Kims had stopped at the Merlin gas station?

  238. Eric how reliable is the ping information in general? Are there false positives from, for example, a tower that happens to line up but is 100 miles away?

  239. 301/ Eric, thanks for reviewing this. It helps to finally have some first-hand reports to clarify earlier news sources.

  240. Eric

    Thanks, and thanks for mentioning Noah!! (well, not that I know Noah but I bet he appreciates it, so I thank you for that humble gesture!)

    I’m a little bit curious if it would be easy to add a legend to your cell map….perhaps this would help, if it were emailed to authorities, for them to read it. Just something to think of for the future maybe…

  241. 😀 Attention 😀

    If you have a QUESTION for the many excellent people involved in the search who have come here please put “Question for _name_” at the top of the comment so they can find the questions more easily, like this:

    QUESTION for Eric F:

  242. Joe how do you mean different spins?? Good spin?? Bad spin?? Strange Spin?? (wow I am getting dizy!!!)

  243. RRR – it seems Oregonlive and KGW are concentrating on the “confusion” aspects while the SFGate is focusing on the “wrong turn”.

  244. Aaahh ok that makes sense….neither seemed like a “big deal” to me as I read them….Maybe I am numb to it all anymore

  245. (316), Joe, RRR, this whole thing has now gotten very interesting. I am chomping at the bit to dig into this.

    Looks like the report is clearing some things up.

    I hope the “players” come back on here to discuss a few points.

    I see Eric and JoCo here…looking for responses from others.

    Are we putting the questions somewhere?

  246. RRR I think you and I read it the same and the interview on local TV with Evinger also suggested that there was no ‘big mistake’ by the Kims or in the SAR mission.

    As a general thing I’m wondering what is the best way – if there is a “best way” – to prioritize and share incoming information. The neat thing about using online tools is that hundreds of people can quickly share and review information.

  247. Glenn so far there are only a few questions. We could split them off in a separate place, but when I did that before the response was poor so let’s leave questions here for now.

    Note to put this at top of question posts so they pop out:

    QUESTION for (Name):

  248. Joe/Glenn – We had another search today. As I sat at my desk in my office coordinating resources, I asked phil if I should ask for JD’s help…I am still wondering how to use this resource. It was a fairly “normal” search, and I am not sure how to even approach an online forum for help. The subject was found only 90 yards from the house as it turns out, but I was trying to figure out how to use this particular resource….

  249. Hey did Paul’s “spaghetti” get scooped?:

    “Officials at the time had to sift through hundreds of pages of information, tips and decipher maps that showed what Evinger described as a “bowl of spaghetti” of logging roads the family could have been lost on.”

    ( 😛 spaghetti eating smiley!)

  250. (321) JoCoSar, Joe, we should have a discussion on this. I think there are several ideas that could be quickly utilized. I will be available all weekend.

  251. 322 – I think that I stole it first…I told Evinger that statement and then he stole it from me!! I did however give much credit to resources here on JD’s…Maggie, your map is in here too!

  252. QUESTION for Mapper

    Is there a better way for denoting danger instead of the little box? Just looking at that map and thinking about how I always fold my maps so my eye goes right to where I need to be looking, it seems like I would have folded the box out of the new “map” I have created with my folds…..

    Could there maybe be something like ***Bear Camp Rd*** and then the stars in the legend give you the warning???


  253. 322/323: I sweat that’s an original, I did not plagiarize, borrow nor steal. Please don’t sue me! 😉 One threat was enough.

  254. QUESTION FOR RRR, JOCOSAR, or any any other locals —

    In the Overview (page 7 of 23), it is stated “The Kim’s stopped at a gas station in Merlin after exiting Interstate 5. After missing their exit near Roseburg, they pulled out an Oregon map that they carried in the car that showed a straight shot to the coast. James went into the gas station with his map to get some clarifications about directions while Kati stayed in the Saab with the girls. James came back to the car frustrated. He thought that the attendant gave “strange directions” and that the man was acting like he didn’t understand what James was asking. Kati felt that he definitely didn’t communicate that it was a dangerous route.”

    Back Page Four of the Joe Duck Blog, RRR78 wrote (message 73) — “THere are two gas stations in Merlin one RIGHT off the freeway that is open until 11 on weekends 10 on weeknights, the second is in the town of merlin and it is about 3 miles off the freeway it closes around 9.”

    Does anyone know if the gas station attendant has ever been interviewed?

  255. 314-319/ As I review the accumulating headlines now, it’s evident that each editor makes the decision on what they deem to be the conclusive outcome of the report. Sometimes the differing headlines are quoting the same background story by AP/Jeff Barnard, with dissimilar effect. By tomorrow, when more writers have had the chance to digest the whole report, there will be even more variety.

  256. 328/I’m guessing they stopped at that station right of the 5, you hit it right as you come off the exit, and I believe it stays open later than the one in Merlin.

  257. JoCoSAR 321 RE:Online SAR Assist. I’m thinking a blog format will be helpful using pictures of the lost, looking for car licenses, identifying possible places to find leads like hospitals, directing people to tip lines and the proper authorities, bringing in some free help from outsiders who might have map skills, etc.

    For many local searches it might not be very helpful because you don’t need more info, you just need to cover territory (like the lost child up at Crater Lake).

  258. I just listened to Evinger on KGO radio, they did 1/2 hr with him and then listener calls for the next 1/2. Gene Burns used the spaghetti also! 😉

    It was a good interview, but it was pretty bad that I knew the answers so some of the questions to Evinger, but he could’nt remember the answers….. I was yelling the answers to the radio! LOL My husband thinks I have lost it!


  259. 328- We are not sure as to WHAT gas station they stopped at and not real sure that “a gas attendant” was even interviewed. I would venture to guess that deputies MIGHT have stopped at the gas stations and said have you seen this and had a “missing persons” picture but….I Have not heard of a gas attendant interviewed…

  260. Maggie – I am sorry that he didn’t list you in the “credits!” It’s not because I didn’t tell him who did it, he even went to your site!!

  261. Laurie,

    Well, first people should train themselves to check out the legend, as this will often highlight how those kinds of things will be symbolized, then go ahead and fold away!

    I think something like stars (*) would work.

    The stars idea is creative and something like that could work in conjunction with other tactics! I have never used this method but dont do a lot of warnings in my day to day work. I like it…but it would still depend on people reading the legend or the fine print.

  262. I believe that I am only going to be allowed to do one media interview..that is with the Daily Courier here in GP. I realize that it is not online, but I will try to convince the reporter to send it to me electronically so that I can post it here..just fyi, Jeff Duewel sits next to Jeff Barnard (AP).

  263. 337/JoCoSar: if I don’t get proper attribution & royalties for “spagetti” I will be consulting with my attorney, Snarls Blowhard, Esq. :mrgreen:

  264. Maggie – I think that I was able to prove to the detectives how valuable this site has been. I showed them along with all of the maps here. It was interesting to see the detectives reading the site in for a different reason.

    It was our very own JD himself who managed to facilitate the interview with Kati. Kudos to Joe. (Paul, this is in reference to the “cryptic” talk the other day about Joe and a badge!) I got to speak to Joes wife on the phone, and she is as friendly as Joe!!!

    Kati’s account didn’t say if they got gas at the station. Does anyone know if they got gas? I’m assuming their last gas stop was Halsey between Albany and Eugene.

  266. Dee – I am not clear on the gas issue either. I believe that they only went there to get better directions. That didn’t work out very well!

  267. No BIG mistake in the SAR????

    Sorry folks, but please remember they authored the report.

    Let us just consider this particular blog. IF this were in fact the SAR blog, shouldn’t we all be jailed? Or atleast removed from office for malfeasance? Consider how inefficient the communication is on this blog. Consider how there is a lack of standarization as to using a number, a name or a topic-heading to reference earlier posts.

    Now consider the actual SAR communication and command setup… it ain’t all that different! Oh please don’t get me wrong. I am NOT saying that they were acting like the Keystone Kops out there. I do however see one heck of a problem. Everyone is saying ‘we do most of them successfully’ and ‘most are one-day’ (NO, not actual quotes from any report, marks used to emphasize). Its like bringing a one gallon container because that is all that is needed most of the time and then being totally incapable of dealing with a ten gallon requirement. The procedures and communication set up for the one gallon task should suffice for the greater task. Its clear that the one day searches are the norm and that the difficult searches are doomed.

    If they don’t have briefing procedures established there are not going to be any briefings. If they don’t have a ‘Daylight Critical Awareness’ they are not going to have a rushed evening meeting. If they don’t have an awareness of ‘Mutual Aid Response Deployment Time Lag’ they can’t avoid problems of starting a search in the late afternoon.

    Sorry, but I see a very BIG error here. And I still see no focus on the essential questions: What was critical information that we paid little attention to?

  268. 345 – If I understand what you are saying, are you saying that SAR does not have enough practice doing larger scale searches? Due to that lack of practice, mistakes and miscommunications were made? I think that’s what I read??

  269. Gas station attendant.

    Given the difficulty James Kim felt there was in communication, I would not expect any later interview to reveal much information.

  270. It is interesting how 2 different people can read the same thing and come up with a different story…..

    Mercury News Staff and Wire Reports
    Oregon investigators Thursday released a scathing review of how law enforcement authorities carried out the search for James Kim, the CNet editor from San Francisco who died of exposure last month as he sought help for his family stranded in the wilderness.

    I did’nt think it was scathing….

    Oh, and jocosar did’nt you know you already gave one interview?!?!?! They quote you in this story like you sat down with them and gave one….. 😉


  271. 348 – I was interviewed by the OSSA detectives, but no real media interviews since Dec. Oregonian. I gave a few comments today to Jeff Duewell who then gave some to Jeff Barnard.

  272. I was also interested to read about how distracting the report of a false sighting at Port Orford had been, especially for the search assets that Spencer Kim was directing. I knew about the woman (Carene Williams?) who had claimed on the JamesandKati family website to have talked to them at a grocery store there, but didn’t know until today’s report that there was also a supposed sighting by a Shell gas station attendant in Port Orford.

    Needing to be responsive to every tip, it must be really, really hard for officials to sort the valid ones from those that are placed by cranks or folks who are simply mistaken.

  273. 348-I see what you mean now..yes, those were AP comments to Jeff Barnard who works out of our local office (Daily Courier)

  274. Ellen – that is strange, see..just goes to show! I hadn’t heard about the grocery store tip…

  275. JoCo — I think Joe even Googled around, found a phone number for Ms. Williams, and tried to call her himself (but found the number was no longer valid).


    In Kati’s account, it was never actually stated that they were still trying to get to the coast when they continued down BLM34-8-36. Nor was anything mentioned about the possibility of turning around at the intersection and going back to I5. “It was starting to snow harder so they made a decision to take the road that went lower. Thinking that lower road would get them out of the snow zone, they continued on.” Do you think it is clear at that point that they were still trying to get to the coast? I don’t see any other interpretation.

    Also, I noticed that on Sunday Nov. 26th they were in a spot that had no snow and it was raining when they woke up. This was news to me, I thought the weather reports had it snowing up there on that day. To me, Sunday seems like the only window of opportunity they had to get out of there. It’s unfortunate.

  277. So what was with this Body woman, this was the first I had ever heard of this story….. Where was she and the forest service a week earlier….
    Any more info about this that I can read anywhere else?

    Page 42 of the fact finding details:

    “He had the SWAT member five feet off the ground when he
    looked down the creek and saw James KIM. He then saw approximately five guys walking up the creek towards the area. He set the SWAT member down.

    The ground searchers were “Forest Service One” teams. They had parked on the road above and hiked down the hill. METHENY did not know who they were coordinating with. They were so exhausted and wet that they needed to be medivaced out. RICE said no one knew who the Forest Service Team was. RICE believed that they were “freelancing” and doing their own thing. Apparently, on her own volition, District Ranger Pam BODY sent that Forest Service Team out and she was taking credit for finding James KIM.


  278. Dee- I did not interview Kati myself. I only know as much about that information from the report. I was not up there on Sunday, but I was driving home from Salem with my family and it was beginning to snow on Sexton summit that Sunday evening.

  279. 346/Josocar/LargeScaleSearch Practice/Experience.

    Not exactly. I was trying to point out that the problems seemed to mushroom with large scale searches but what I was thinking was more that the procedures used in small scale searches are the ones that are going to be used in large scale ones. That no one can say to themselves that since they suddenly find themselves in a large scale search they will now verify an 800 number’s geographic availability prior to releasing it. Its either part of the procedure or its not. The Large Scale search will not go well if there are no procedures already established for manning the search office. The ill-dressed volunteer who himself became a problem means that there was no established check. The dark black garb of the SWAT team means that there was no established program for issuing bright armbands.

    If a small-scale search requires a xerox machine at the command post and two reams of paper. Then there has to already be a procedure in existence for a specific person at a specific time to arrange for a larger xerox machine and more paper. The small scale searches are supposed to be springboards for larger ones, but it seems that small scale searches in the area never involved asset availability logs or were aviation intensive. Small scale searches never involved briefings or updates.

    I think Josephine County is underfunded but some of the mistakes and miscommunication were due to a lack of a plan existing for a large-scale search.

    Think of it in terms of Constraint Programming and Scale Up Economies.

    If your computer program can handle short stories but can’t handle a novel, you should know that and be aware of it while reading all those short stories rather than suddenly realizing it when you faced with a novel.

  280. I can clarify that the Forest service was not free lancing, they actually had an assignment.

  281. Fools Gold – I understand what you are saying. I think that there are procedures in place locally (in each jurisdiction). Those procedures work well in each jurisdiction alone. I think maybe where some of the difficulty lies, is when you have so many different types of agencies trying to mesh their procedures together. This isn’t impossible, it does however take practice. This is where funding (or lack thereof) definitely comes into play

  282. JoCoSAR, I liked they way Sheriff Gilbertson started off the press conference today. He looks to be a good guy to work for. And starting off with “a clean slate” with an ambitious new guy might be just what the doctor ordered.

  283. Lower Elevation Decision Making Process.

    I do not know if the priority was progress toward the coast or the priority had shifted to get to a lower elevation to get out of this snow and therefore out of perceived danger or atleast perceived difficulty.

    Can they be faulted for continuing off into nowheresville in an attempt to escape danger? Well, it is perhaps better to become stranded relatively near the “primary” road but they were mistaken as to just how un-travelled and un-plowed the roads were in that area.

    When my engine was “sucking fumes” I came to a long bridge and decided not to venture onto it since I might block it and be a bottle neck or even become obscured by snow and rammed by a snow plow. I pulled off the road into deep snow and stayed put right beside the primary road. It turned out later that I could indeed have made it across the bridge and to a gas station that I didn’t know was there. I made a decision without sufficient information of the area, but I didn’t wander down side roads in an attempt to find gas or find a more comfortable spot. Was it a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ decision that I made? I’m not sure.

    Pressing onward into even more remote and unlikely areas may not have been the wisest move for the Kims but they were trying to avoid being snow bound and thought that lower elevations would help them. It was a reasonable decision it just turned out to be the wrong one.

  284. Question for Jocosar:

    Why was there no one in charge of the “courtesy clearing of roads”?

    Stanton said he also didn’t know who was in charge.

    Why didn’t there seem to be a sense of urgency when the family had been missing that long? Did you know how long the family had been missing?

  285. 345/ FG

    “Essential question: What was the critical information that we paid little attention to?”

    Let me modify that a bit… “What valuable non-agency (private) resources were not fully utilized (or immediately heeded)?”

    Edge Wireless: major tip which targeted search, yet Eric was begging for SFPD, OSP, JoCo, PBB to buy his credibility.

    John Rachor: even though he found the tracks and family, he was not allowed to return to search on Monday due to TFR.

    Carson Helicopter: rescued family, but was withdrawn later on Tuesday due to Winter’s objection.

    John James: had local knowledge, snowmobiles at hand, and tips on tire tracks.

    Blogging community (JD site): Joe made some offers, but largely unheeded?

    Solicited tips: family which had positive ID of Kims at Roseburg Denny’s.

    False leads: Coast sighting, tree cutters’ tip, silver car off-road tip …(negative value as diversion).

    Psychic hunches: of no value.

  286. Yes, Josocar. Multi-Agency Involvment is a problem.
    Too many cooks. Too many different types of pans. Too many chefs who want things done their way. Too many Chiefs, not enough Indians.

    Ofcourse if one has a Mutual Aid Pact and requests assistance, it does no good to then say we don’t want those additional cooks and don’t want to deal with their problems.

    If some agency that is really obscure brings vital information on a strange map it can be a temporary ‘monkey wrench’ but some coordination system has to already be in place to deal with it. Its not really all that unanticipated an event or atleast it shouldn’t be.

  287. 364 – Lisa – As for Josephine County, starting on Friday, Stanton was the “IC.” Others even noted this as typical protocol. There was urgency, but without detailed information, it would have been very unorganized urgency. As information came in to JoCo, logical leads were followed up on. We got a print out of the family information just before we left town and headed up the mountain.

  288. Something I don’t quite have a grasp of yet. Was the Incident Commander always the same individual? I realize it was not Sara Rubrecht. Could someone shed some light for me on who it was?

  289. IC was a joint effort….Either Brian Powers, Brian Anderson, or Jason Stanton were the IC’s.

    When it was a small scale such as Sara and Jason Clearing roads it was Stanton.

    Then it grew and Anderson and Powers took over, Sunday threw Wed Powers and ANderson shared the IC

  290. I got to speak to Joes wife on the phone…

    Ha JoCoSAR – and I has some ‘splainin’ to do after that, but not quite as much as when the week before it was “This is the Portland Police Department calling…”

  291. 366-I still agree with you. Unless those are regularly practiced and exercised though, you are still dealing with new and unfamiliar chefs. Correct? These types/size searches are NOT COMMON around here. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be prepared for them, it only means that we need to make more of a point to practice/exercise them in a simulated event.

  292. 370- Did ya have to explain when i called about the blog going haywire that one day on postings!!!

  293. 370 – I did feel sort of silly telling her that I knew you from the “site!” I think I remember her saying something like “oh that darn thing?!” She was nice as can possibly be! I still imagine that she was puzzled!

  294. 365/ And one more resource:

    Spencer Kim: Chairman of aerospace corporation, with assets, high motivation, and connections higher up. With a better SAR plan, chain of command and infrastructure, his efforts could have benefited the overall search better.

  295. Ok…it has been a very long day with the early release of the report and an entirely different search simultaneously. I am off to bed now, I will be back tomorrow. Thank you all for your patience and input!

  296. 354: Dee/ That still puzzles me too…there are multiple allusions to “the road that went lower” implying that they viewed the road they went down as the only way down out of the snow. But that is incorrect, there were 2 roads they could choose from that went lower, the one they chose, and the one they came up/in on. Given they knew that civilization and safety could be found by reversing their course, one can only assume they thought the way they went was an alternative route to the coast.

  297. RRR – yes that one too, but I think it was earlier in the day so I didn’t get quite as funny a look as the other night!

    Goodnight JoCoSAR, thanks so much for being here!

  298. “Essential question: What was the critical information that we paid little attention to?”
    Let me modify that a bit… “What valuable non-agency (private) resources were not fully utilized (or immediately heeded)?”
    ……….okay. That is a good modification, but it seems that ‘agency resources’ would not have been wisely used if there is doubt as to who is in charge and who is doing what.

    Edge Wireless: major tip which targeted search, yet Eric was begging for SFPD, OSP, JoCo, PBB to buy his credibility.
    ……..Agreed. Way upthread I posted about the officials focusing on his 26-miles while he was focusing on the specific indicated areas albeit with a slightly less confidence. It seems the officials couldn’t get past the 26miles blinder. WHY was that? Was he trying to write an essay when they only had time for a one-liner? Did he bury his ‘nugget’ too deep in his statements or were the officials merely in mental mode of ‘we process ore rather than gleaming nuggets’.

    John Rachor: even though he found the tracks and family, he was not allowed to return to search on Monday due to TFR.
    ……..Only Agency Assets Hog the Limelight!

    Carson Helicopter: rescued family, but was withdrawn later on Tuesday due to Winter’s objection.
    ………Private resources are always disfavored by officials. Its not right but its the type of personality that becomes an official.

    John James: had local knowledge, snowmobiles at hand, and tips on tire tracks.
    ………… But no official standing. Downgraded mentally to ‘nuisance’ rather than ‘resource’.

    Blogging community (JD site): Joe made some offers, but largely unheeded?
    ………Blog is unsophisticated resource and is viewed as nuisance rather than resource. Should not be, but it is.

    Solicited tips: family which had positive ID of Kims at Roseburg Denny’s.
    …… Just how much information did this add? How was this one report which turned out to be true different from the zillions of reports that turned out to be false or too vague to be of any use?

    False leads: Coast sighting, tree cutters’ tip, silver car off-road tip …(negative value as diversion).
    ……..There are ALWAYS false sightings and worthless tips. Look at how many people spotted Laci Peterson in a variety of places when she was actually lying on the bottom of the bay?

    Psychic hunches: of no value.
    …….Psychic reports of “will be found near water” or “in a high place” or any other psychic nonsense are always of no value whatsoever. All sizzle, no steak. Sheriff in one county commented that psychics were spreading his resources thin in a search for a kidnapped girl. Phone time taken up with vague meaningless comments. Deputies sent on wild goose chases, etc. Reports that had to be evaluated were multiplying but his personnel were getting tired and frustrated.

  299. 377- That was the impression I got, that they it was an alternative way forward toward the coast, along a lower elevation.

  300. “alternative route to the coast/ or alternative route to safety”.. I dont know.
    I think making a 180 was the right thing to do but they may have had a mental reservation about doing that or they may have had a real concern for their ability to turn around on a snowy, narrow road.

  301. one can only assume they thought the way they went was an alternative route to the coast

    Paul this makes sense to me and it makes me think differently about “sign improvements”. Signs are not what sent them down there, though signage/gates could have kept them off that road.

  302. 382/ They could have kept backing up if it came to that, at least the route they came in on had recently cut tracks…and that junction is very wide, more than ample to turn around safely even given the snow. It is one of the few places one COULD turn around safely and relatively easily. Have to run with the coast route theory in the absence of further clarification from Kati as it is the only way I can make sense out of that decision.

  303. 382- I think they could have turned around at the fork? It is quite wide there… I think they took the road that looked more inviting and was headed in the direction they thought they needed to go…

  304. I really liked Rodney G’s signs…posted on both sides of the road. Simple, succinct, forceful…effective.

  305. Fools Gold 380 – I think that “nuisance vs resource” question is important. I’d bet that there are “rules” that could be applied to various types of information to better prioritize them / rank them / follow up.

  306. 380/ FG
    “Solicited tips: Positive ID of Kims at Roseburg Denny’s.
    …… Just how much information did this add? How was this one report which turned out to be true different from the zillions of reports that turned out to be false or too vague to be of any use?”

    The value of the Roseburg tip, once verified, was that it narrowed down the search to I-5 corridor and either Hwy 42 (then thought to be most likely), BCR, or Hwy 199>North 101>GB. Before this tip, there were 17,000 sq. miles between PDX and GB. Now, Hwy 126 to Florence, 101 North of Coos Bay, and a lot of other routes to the coast could be eliminated. Before the Glendale tower pings, the only other solid tip was the Wilsonville CC, surfacing later, and disputed.

  307. Disaster Drills…

    I don’t really know if large scale disaster drills are all that worthwhile. It may be great fun for school kids to writhe on the ground as mock patients to give the triage nurse practice on a zillion patients. I don’t know if it really helps all that much.

    I don’t think large scale searches need practice and I think it would be a waste of funds. A little time spent looking at the small scale searches and realizing the weak points is probably more productive than some multi agency coordination drill.

    Some things scale up well, some don’t. The recipie for Spanish Rice that will be fed to two dozen volunteers can be scaled up to feed two thousand volunteers … and it doesn’t take a mock drill to realize that you scale up the rice and tomatoes a lot but you scale up the salt only a little.

    A small scale search has an incident commander. A large scale search makes everyone realize the Incident Commander gets tired and needs sleep, that search vehicles break down and run out of gas, that tip lines become clogged, that porta-potties need emptying, etc.

  308. QUESTION FOR RRR OR SARA R/ Could not find this in the report, but maybe I missed it…the Oregonian ran a photo of a form filled out by SAR who had gone down the road the Kim’s were found on. On the form they state they were unable to clear the road, but that they had seen tire tracks. What happened with that form, why were their comments not given more attention resulting in a more expedient complete check of that spur ??

  309. 391- The form you saw was a “debriefing” form, it showed that that teams assignment was not complete due to the snow they had gotten stuck, that form then came back into the file, however the assignment then was moved to a “snowcat” assignment and as for prioritizing then I can’t answer that, but knowing we had 2-3 snowcats running it was on the list of roads for it to do….So lack of better words, it was on the list of roads for the snowcat and they were “getting” to it.

  310. Good evening, all.

    389 – Allen, well-stated. The value of verifiable information cannot be underestimated, as it provides confirmation that the continued or ramped up application of expensive assets is not only warranted, but headed in the right direction.

  311. Rules or algorithms?
    In other words, rules of thumb or precise forumulas?
    Guidelines or inflexible rules?

    Tips can be categorized as ‘anonymous’ or ‘specific person’.
    Sightings can be categorized according to time/place/degree of specificity/type of oberver.

    Private resources can certainly be categorized by geography. A cave dwelling hermit who lives in the area can be difficult to deal with but he sure would be a good asset to utilize. A snowmobile owner in the area may know the local trails well. Don’t think some sheriffs haven’t contacted Pot Farmers and their Agricultural Security Guards for equipment and information as to local conditions.

    I have a nagging doubt that the Cell Phone Ping was downgraded and will forever be downgraded, no matter what guidelines for evaluation are developed.

  312. 397/ The report did mention that cell phone pings have mislead searchers before, that they have liabilities in terms of accuracy…not in this case, but in others.

  313. Regarding various private resources and individuals:
    Clearly in this a number of them contributed substantially, but in other circumstances they could hinder things.

    For example once the search narrowed to Big Windy Ck, was there space for more a few well coordinated helicopters?

    John James had a snow machine, but there wasn’t enough snow for him to drive it to his lodge entrance, much less to the car. It wasn’t clear from the CNN trip, whether he had ever travelled that far down 34-8-36. Still, he might have been a useful passenger in the snow cat.

    A person who hasn’t trained with a SAR team, and doesn’t know the procedures and communications methods could end up getting in the way, needing to be rescued themselves, destroying clues, or taking up time of trained volunteers. It is probably easier for an official to say no to all offers of help, rather than take the time to select the potentially useful ones. In that sense, untrained volunteers are just like leads, a few valuable, many a waste of time and resources.


  314. Hi Maggie, and thanks. Figured I’d check in one or two more times to see how things were going.

  315. 382/ “Alternative route to the coast/ or alternative route to safety”

    I’ve read so many accounts of their reasoning, I can’t recall which ones have been dismissed. But I thought that they were looking for an intersection w/ another road to either turn around or wait till daylight for better bearings (maybe with a passing car), got stuck in the snow once, then just waited it out at 2am., while overnight snowfall really blocked their exit.

    About retreating to the valley/I-5… I haven’t heard mention of whether lodging _was_ available. This was late Saturday night on the most traveled holiday weekend. I would think that there would be very few Vacancy signs waiting for them at any motels. (In hindsight, even huddling overnight in their car at a rainy rest stop would have been preferable.) If they were low on gas maybe they thought that it would take more gas to get back to town, with services closed, and perhaps they were not that far from GB (not).

    And part of the adventure was “going for it …forging ahead for the adventure.” That is why they chose to leave on their trip the week earlier, despite warnings of storm from family in Seattle. The GB lodge seems quite Ritzy, and a cabin there might be $200/night, and they had already confirmed their deposit and arrival twice earlier that day. Again, a gamble, along with uncertain road, gas, etc., which was not worth the price.

  316. Hi Det. Mike have you had a chance to review the report?

    One thing that is now confusing me: It seemed Deputy Stanton was the appropriate person to become incident commander and was IC according to some accounts, but Sara R was the person the media and some agencies were treating as the IC. Why didn’t Stanton clear that up or does he not even agree he was the IC?

  317. Well all it has been an exhausting day, I am going to call it a night, I will be back in the morning, and pretty much around on and off all day, feel free to email questions if you would like, have a great night, and can’t wait to see what you all come up with 🙂

  318. 395 Det. Mike! Must be an eventful time at your PPB office today. It has been enlightening reading of all the behind-the-scenes work done by you, while everyone else tried to puzzle this together.

  319. I hesitate to say this, given the myriad of “theories” regarding why this family did this, or why they did that, or if they were going for the “adventure” of it, as Allen suggested.

    If I may, respectfully, offer the following idea. And this comes only from having dealt with 100’s of people who have found themselves in unfortunate situations at one point or another, and who needed help in some respect getting out of whatever predicament they had found themselves in.

    It is not a complex theory or a formula related to probabilities, signage, gas mileage, weather, or whatever other variables may come into play. It is quite simply this: people don’t think anything bad will ever happen to them. It’s the oldest theme there is – it’s always going to be the “other guy” who gets stuck, lost, etc.

    Human nature dictates that people often feel infallible. The most ironic thing is, even those of us (ok, I’ll speak for myself) who work to help these folks every single day have found ourselves in circumstances which were not necessarily unforseeable, but kind of snuck up on us all of a sudden, where we suddenly got that sinking feeling that we were in over our heads.

    Some may call it arrogance, inexperience, being adventuresome, or whatever it can be called, when, in fact, all it often is… is no thinks it will happen to them.

  320. re402: “while overnight snowfall really blocked their exit.”

    They did park overnight in a location without snow apparently, it was raining when they awoke on Sunday Nov 26th. It had snowed heavily when they awoke on Monday. So it would be interesting to know how much snow there was Sunday between them and the FS23/BLM34-8-36 “Y” intersection. I wish they’d given it a shot to drive out on Sunday though. They were very determined that a ranger or snow plow or 4WD or someone would be by imminently unfortunately. Thus they may have missed their only chance to exit stage left before the snow really came down.

  321. 403 – I have reviewed about 80% of the completed report (minus redundant timeline info I already had access to). Joe, was the second part directed to me or just another comment?

    405 – Actually, Allen, it was a very busy day at my office, as usual, but ironically, not related to this case (for once). Since the PPB report was released awhile back, most of the direct questions seemed to peak and then subside. And “behind the scenes” is often what we (investigators) try to be best at, especially in a SAR type event.

  322. 407 – Very true, Detective Mike, very true about it always being the other guy. I try so hard so much of the time to be safe, and once in awhile I realize that I should have done something different and that I’d actually just been lucky it all worked out. Things like what happened with the Kim’s “just don’t happen”… unless they do.

    Not sure if you know or can say much about it, but I’m really curious about the whole Wilsonville Information Center first saying they did give information to the Kim’s but then saying they didn’t after Kati said they hadn’t stopped there. Any light at all you can shed? Maybe Wilsonville folks were just mistaken, and it was a different family (seems kind of unlikely, but not sure what else would explain it)?

  323. 410 – I didn’t have any direct contact with them, so I can’t say much other than it was my understanding that someone there felt he/she had had contact with this particular family. I don’t know why the information/story later changed, if it did.

    I don’t know if they were really there or not, but I have no reason to doubt Kati’s statements.

  324. I can say I was quite surprised to hear Kati did not recall having stopped there. But then again, I should not be surprised by people thinking they have seen or had contact with missing persons who might not really have – there were a number of people who swore they’d seen and talked with the Kims, in places there was no possible way they could have been. This particular tip just seemed quite plausible, given the totality of the circumstances at the time it was first received.

  325. 407/ Det. Mike,
    I’ve intended to also get this similar feeling down in words… you beat me to it. For this family, having successful careers, education, growing kids, 2 businesses, large network of friends and access to latest tech gear, must develop a sense of self-affirming positivism and momentum, carrying you along as you live life to its fullest, enjoying challenge and yes, taking risks. You don’t necessarily stop at each each junction to consider all alternatives. You forge ahead, meeting life head-on, without hesitation or indecision. Many folks have this attitude and lifestyle and you can be very successful at it, until an unplanned incident or snowy road in the mountains slows you down.

  326. The OSSA report emphasizes over and over the huge number of square miles of the search area. Seems to me a camouflaging of the reality. The Kims were traveling in a car on a road presumably appearing to them to be reasonably well traveled. Roseburg to Gold Beach. It was a one dimensional search problem, road distance, not square miles area that fitted their situation. They were not hiking overland or flying across SW Oregon. They were driving and there are only a limited number of roads that fit, BLM 34-8-36 included. Instead of throwing out those mind boggling square mile numbers why not just say it as it really was. There was xyz miles of road to search.

  327. 408/Dee,

    Part III, p. 22
    “On Thanksgiving Day, which was two days before the Kim Family had supposedly gotten lost, STANTON drove out Bear Camp Road. STANTON was there just for his own curiosity to check snow levels: people always get hung up out there. He got all the way to mile post 20 before he got stuck. STANTON said snow on the road was visible at about mile mark five. (There are no official mile markers on this road; searchers are using odometer readings to mark location and distance.)
    Past the road that led to the Black Bar Lodge, there was already approximately six inches of snow. After Thanksgiving it snowed some more. When he and RUBRECHT arrived at the road to Black Bar Lodge on December 1, 2006, the only thing they saw were snowmobile tracks.”

  328. 413 – I would agree mostly, Allen, but I didn’t even mean it quite that way. I simply meant people live their lives, regardless of attitude or endeavor, not believing anything will befall them. It doesn’t even have to be cavalier or momentum, maybe just tired people who wanted to get to their destination and put their kids to bed.

  329. 414 – I see your point, Kip, but would ask that you consider the following, as I don’t believe anyone put out that information to overstate the situation or impress anyone. If there’s one thing that can be learned from past incidents, it’s that anything can happen. True, their car would likely not be 30 miles from any road in the middle of the winderness.

    However, a vehicle that goes over a cliff can end up nowhere near the roadway, a vehicle that goes into a swollen river (as they were at the time) can be carried a considerable distance downstream, or can be covered to the point of not being detected for months, when waters subside, absent any evidence of a crash (true story). Additionally, people do some strange things when they’re stranded, such as leaving their wrecked (and hidden by brush, etc.) vehicles… and wander into the wilderness, which puts them directly in the middle of that “unlikely they’d be here in the vast square mileage” scenario. Just some thoughts regarding real-life scenarios. The square mileage estimates they used were accurate and appropriate.

  330. 416 – I agree, Det Mike. Even reading in the OSSA report, I can follow the thinking – “OK, we’ll stop here, it looks like a visible location, people come through here, we’ll be found in the morning.” In a million years most people wouldn’t think that it would end the tragic way it did. If it was me in that spot the first night, I’d have probably made some joke about the car not being quite the nice room I’d had in mind and laughed about what a detour story I’d have to tell once we were all rescued. It would not occur to me that it could possibly turn into what it did. I think that’s fairly natural and explains the “shock” that people feel when something horrible actually happens to them – every house fire, bad accident, etc. people say the same thing on the news, that they just couldn’t believe it happened to them.

  331. I’ve got to close down the office now. Does anyone have a clock? Bye to all …Joe, Det. Mike and others.

  332. 417 – Det Mike, that’s a good point. The OSSA does say that something along the lines of a car accident was the most likely. I keep forgetting that it really could have been that or something else – hindsight, I guess, keeps me from thinking of those possibilities.

  333. 418 – Maggie, I’d probably have been thinking the same thing re: joking about car not being what I had in mind for the night and what a story it would be….and there, but for the grace….

    Have a good night. Time to get ready for the ‘morrow.

  334. “When he and RUBRECHT arrived at the road to Black Bar Lodge on December 1, 2006, the only thing they saw were snowmobile tracks.”

    I wonder if those tracks obscured that passenger car tracks that the John James saw? In an ironic sense they may have spoiled the very clue that they were trying to pass on verbally. In retrospect the official searchers should have listened to him, but they might have taken the clue more seriously if they had seen it for themselves.

    Stanton’s tracks from a few days earlier might have lead James Kim to think that FS23 was passable. I don’t recall whether Kati mentioned seeing tracks up that road.


  335. 287 – Why did they mention John James calling his brother prior to their interview? The omly reason I can think of is that they wanted it to be known that they could have agreed on the story they told. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT MYSELF – Just that the report makes it appear that way. The other parts about JJ weren’t very flattering either.

    Parts of the report, like I mentioned way back in 265 and 267, raise questions about this report. Overall, many questions I have had have been answered. The report though leaves me feeling that it is not as objective as it could be.

  336. 424 – All based on the initial reading of the report, which I spent about 2 hours, or so, reading. If I read it again, I might find things I missed.

  337. Daylight premium and Mutual Aid: Perhaps the solution is to call for “troops” and billet them somewhere and then truck/carpool them to the search CP. It would mean extra time away from their families but it would probably be easier on them and maximize their use during daylight to take over some remote motel or resort but get the manpower to the location and available during all daylight hours.

    I’m reminded of world war two generals trucks: plenty of maps table areas but also sleeping quarters. Maybe the SAR people should concentrate on self sufficiency in the search area.

    Would someone be able to calculate the following for me:
    WHEN was it first known they were most probably destined for the TuTu Lodge? How many ways to arrive there were possible? How many miles from the lodge were they found? How many hours did it take to find someone who was ‘x’ miles from their known destination when there are only a few roads that could be taken?

  338. Restraint.

    Sometimes restraint is critical. A doctor’s ‘first, do no wrong’ is the rule that prevents the desire to not stand there but to do something result in doing something wrong.

    A corpse is discovered under a pile of trash near dusk and the cops simply rope off the scene and await daylight.

    Its hard to know just when doing nothing is best. Staying near the “heavily travelled” road won’t help much when its not heavily travelled at all but getting further from it will help even less. They knew they were either on or near a coastal route and seeking shelter from the snow on what may have been a non-coastal route had disadvantages particularly if they travelled far on it and yet did not reach safety.

    It was hard to say ‘we stay here and get snowed in’ but know that we are at or near “The Road” rather than treking on and dealing with the unknown paths.

  339. As someone who has thought from the beginning that they took the right side of the fork completely by mistake (thinking it was indeed the main road), it is now obvious that I was wrong.

    It’s still not clear why they chose to go down that road (beyond the stated “to get below the snow”), but I tend to agree with those who think that perhaps they thought it would lead them to the coast (or at least to some form of civilization).

  340. QUESTION FOR Locals: How easy is it to stay on 38-4-36 once you are in the BLM maze? Are all the side spurs gated such that you have no choice but to stay on 38-4-36? Are there signs to follow to stay on 38-4-36 rather than taking a spur or a fork?

  341. That ‘perhaps’ to the coast and/or civilization was probably based more on hope or desperation than any evidence or reasonable expectation.

    They only needed ONE hamlet or ONE gas station or rural inn. Even a seasonally abandoned cabin without supplies would have saved them by providing shelter and firewood.

  342. 428 – RodneyG

    Kati did mention that they expected a plow or Park Ranger or someone would be coming that way soon.

  343. 429 – That has been my question from the beginning. I’m disappointed that no one knows or cares to answer it.

  344. Good morning all! Interesting reading this morning. I have several comments to make, but it will have to be after I get my daughter ready for school.
    In regards to 414, Kip…I see what you are saying about square miles, that does seem a bit uninteresting. In the “Bear Camp Area” alone, there are approximately 473 road miles (FS and BLM). FS reported approximately 160 spur roads alone, not counting BLM road spurs, which they were ultimately found on. Kip, is that the type of information that you would have rather seen as a description for search area? I have not asked about the Glendale/Powers/Eden Valley area that we spent much of Monday searching. This is the same area that the Stivers/Higgenbothems were found in earlier last year. Most of the cell phone “ping” possibilities were located on that north side of the river.
    As for the comment about the report being objective, I can only tell you that from my perspective, it was more objective that I thought it would be. I was pleased with that. Remember, I was the one who begged for this review. I knew that the report would reveal things that could be improved, and things that I can definitely improve upon. I told you all once before that I am perfectly ok with being held accountable, even criticized for those actions. I just wanted to make sure that the correct “laundry list” was the one being scrutinized. I hope that makes sense. (I also wish that I could write as elequently as Det. Mike!)

  345. QUESTION FOR Locals: How far back (miles and time) from “the fork” was it to the last sign of civilization they would have passed? Town? Building with a sign of life? Mailbox?

    They called (well, attempted to call) 911 from the fork. I know it doesn’t help and doesn’t make a difference, I’m just trying to make sense of how they call 911, but then don’t go back the way they came. If they’d already been through miles/hours of driving hell (since last civilization) just to get to the fork, it makes it much easier to understand.

  346. 432 – Maybe it would help if I shared more photos? I do have photos all the way past the locked BLM gate to the vehicle destination. I have now been able to put them all in order with better description. We were careful to take photos of EVERY sign and EVERY intersection along the way. I can work on posting those today and hopefully that will answer this question?
    Yes, for those of you that had not figured it out, RRR and I were the photo takers…

  347. 434 – RodneyG, last civilization would have depended on which route they took. If they took Peavine, the last sign of civilization would have been about 2 miles up that detour. If they took 34-8-36 the entire way, the last residence is at the intersection of Chrome Ridge Rd., just about 3 miles from Merlin Galice Rd. The snow plow belongs to a private logger in the area, I heard that seeing this may have contributed to the false sense of civilization.

  348. Thanks jocosar. So according to these directions:,-123.750343&daddr=42.550567,-123.625824&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=47.751524,81.738281&ie=UTF8&z=13&om=1
    they would have had to backtrack 10 miles (on what looks like a fairly hairy road) to get to Chrome Ridge Rd, just to get to the first sign of civilization. I’m not clear on the Peavine route, but it sounds like a similar backtrack on that route. Thanks again.

  349. 435 – Thank you, JoCo – I’d really like to see those pictures! I didn’t know that there were any that go all the way to the place where the Kim’s stopped.

    I’m still reading through the rest of the report (after a quick scan through yesterday afternoon), but so far, it has seemed pretty objective to me.

  350. Rodney, I am not sure that I understood your question. Maggie has a great map made of the Peavine route. If you click on her name, she has it posted on her site. Regardless, from the intersection backtracking the way that they came, it would have been at least 10 miles to the nearest residence.
    Maggie, we have those photos that we took on Jan 1 on our own time. The conditions were much different than when the Kim’s were up there, but it will give you a good idea still. I didn’t want to share them earlier, as the report was ongoing. I think I can share them now. I will try to get to that today. It gives an interesting perspective for sure! I learned quite a bit the day I drove down there!!

  351. I didn’t say it was not objective, but rather that it appeared to be in some parts. At least that is what I meant. I do hope it will help improve future searches. I’m glad they did the report.

  352. 440 – What I noticed in the report was a distinct difference in writing styles and interpretations between interviewers. I suppose that is what happens when you involve so many different officials in the investigation. There was one author who tried to pull all of the information together, but each interview was by a group of very different people. I found that to be the most interesting. It would have been nice if the same person interviewed all of us, but we know that would have taken entirely too long. I would have only liked to have seen the same types of questioning and then interpretation for all of the interviews. When I read the full interview transcripts (not included in the report), the different syles are much more evident. Just an interesting observation. I have never been “interrogated” before, so this was a brand new experience for me. I hope that I never have to go through it again, that’s for sure!

    As far as improvements go, I think it is important to note, that we didn’t wait for this report to be released to start making improvements. Those have already started. Yesterday’s search was a great opportunity for us. It was also a strange psychological dynamic. I would imagine the willingness to respond was due, at least in part, to the heightened awareness level at the moment, but I hope that continues. This reporting process has really worn on the volunteers. It was nice to see them out working again and determined to succeed. I have said before that these volunteers are absolutely amazing. I am very lucky to work with them.

  353. #439 jocosar, you understood me fine. Thanks. Knowing it was over 10 miles back to any kind of civilization helps to understand their choices, especially when I read in the report: “Kati was certain that they were going to be headed down the coastal side of the range any minute”.

    Also hoping to see those photos all the way out to the car location. Thanks in advance.

  354. 448 I don’t understand what the big thing about bear poop is? I know they have been al lover the radio this am retracting that statement. Sorry, but if it will keep you alive!?!?! And hey isn’t the most expensive coffee in the world found in cat poop…..

    “Kopi Luwak or Civet coffee is coffee made from coffee cherries which have been eaten by and passed through the digestive tract of the Common Palm Civet Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world, selling up to $600 USD per pound, and is sold mainly in Japan and United States,”

    Bet you won’t find that at Dutch Bro! 😉

  355. Question for jocosar or other LE person:

    I see several deputies’ status is noted as “contract deputy with BLM.” I take it that means that this deputy is a JoCo officer whose primary responsibility is patrolling BLM territory, and that BLM picks up the budget for the position? Or is it a BLM employee seconded to the Sherrif’s department? Or something else?

    No biggie, just curious.

    Thanks for easing our minds re: the bear poop 🙂

  356. Hello Blog
    John James here.
    I said I would come back after the report came out so I did.
    I haven’t read the report line for line but scanned it pretty thoroughly.
    As I have stated from the beginning, I never questioned the efforts the SAR volunteers were putting forth or even the management of the search. I don’t feel that is my place, as I am not a SAR expert. I only was going to address my interaction with Sara R, and Stanton.

    In regards to my interview with Detectives representing OSSA, It lasted well over an hour.
    If you read the interviews in section III you will see that that length of conversation was condensed to something that takes 5 minutes to read. There are a couple of small discrepancies as far as exactly what was told to the interviewers, but remember that they had to condense everything into a shorter narrative for the report.

    One statement I want to make is that at the time of my interview with the Detectives, they were not even aware that my brother Denny was even ever involved in the search.
    I gave them his name and contact info so they could get his story.
    They indicated they would probably contact him at work.
    That is when I asked them if they minded if I called him and gave him a heads up. I felt that he didn’t need the surprise at work of a couple of “cops” asking for him.
    I stated that I would not discuss my interview with them so they could get an accurate account from him. They thanked me for that and said they would probably visit him the next day.
    I need to say that I feel I was clear, concise, and complete in my statements to the Detectives. They did edit out items that either they felt were irrelevent or repetitive in the published report.

    I stand behind all statements I have made in the report or in the press or on this site.

    Having read the report it sounds as though SAR and LE were in and out of My place multiple times. Just for point of fact LE never told me this and when I asked and offered a key they said they didn’t need it and weren’t driving in anyway. That obviously turned out to be untrue.

    To clarify where I interacted with Stanton and Sara R., It was aprroximately at the 17.5 mile mark on BC23 about 3.5 miles from the fork with the 34-8-36 which is the 14 mile mark. Stanton stated in his interview they met us at the 14 which is the fork, That is wrong. If we would have met them there I could have pointed down the 34-8-36 and said “we were only able to check that road about a mile before we ran out of snow”.
    One other correction is that Stanton stated that when he met us we were looking for a place to turn around. Actually we were going to back into a spot so we could unload the sleds and go out BC23 further to where I knew the snow would stop anyone from going further in a car. We stated this to Stanton and Sara R. We were still actively searching not headed home as it is implied. We only left the area when told that they had it handled.

    To address one other item, regarding the tracks out the 34-8-36. Snowmobile tracks and automobile tracks look radically different and I would hope a trained professional could distinguish the difference. We put great effort into not overiding the car tracks so as not to disturb them.
    In closing I beleive the summary in section I and II is a little “sugarcoated” but that is not my problem.
    I ask that you read the individual interviews and summarize yourself.
    I do know that SAR and LE had the chance to ask for local expert advice from me and chose not to. Maybe they felt that I was a “nuisance” as someone stated LE may have considered me. I can understand them not thinking of contacting me if we had never interacted, but we did. It also should have been obvious that I was interested in helping or my brother and I wouldn’t have been the very first people looking in that vicinity.
    I guess the lesson to be learned is that SAR and LE should engage the local public and not be territorial.
    I have learned through this negative experience that if I ever choose to go and search again, I won’t be talked out of continuing on my own by the authorities.
    Sorry for the long oratory but I don’t do well at the back and forth Blog thing.
    If any other questions arise after this I will try to get back here one last time in the evening when I can maybe answer your questions directly.
    Best regards,

  357. 451-Tommo, your account of how the BLM deputy works is correct. Stanton is a SO employee whose wages are paid for by BLM.

  358. John James, thank you for your commentary and your effort in this entire story. I hope one day I can visit your lodge, shake your hand, and buy you a beer.

  359. Mobility extenders:

    Some cops ride around on electric bicycles that give them a speed boost on hills but still gives them exercise for most of their shift. Some police cars have bike racks on the rear and are used in such things as jaywalking patrols or crowd control and beach patrols.

    Now I don’t know if Oregon SAR might benefit from something like this but perhaps teams are needed that can handle a snow-line transition. It seems that sending out a well equipped team would be more efficient than sending out ill-equipped teams and then engaging in some sort of eventual follow up of how far they made it and what has to be done. Does a search team that makes it two/thirds of the way leave a marker or obtain GPS coordinates or something?

  360. Fool’s Gold, re: moving away from the road, when I first heard they’d gone down a side road I thought “they were thinking like city people.” Written down this seems more judgemental than I mean; hey, roads go somewhere, right? And the Kims wanted to go somewhere… and it didn’t occur to them that they were going nowhere. Roads didn’t just go to the middle of nowhere in their world.

    Det. Mike’s observation that people tend to envision good outcomes also applies.

    I wonder if “CLOSED IN WINTER” would send a more specific message than “NO OUTLET” on these roads? A road without an outlet might still get plowed. Maybe “ROAD GOES NOWHERE” would do it…

  361. (452) John thanks for coming back and posting. The clarification is helpful.

    One question I have. If you talked to Stanton and Rubrecht how come you went to the press with only criticism about Rubrecht?

    I was a little surprised that we learned in the report that you actually talked to both and were on Stanton’s side of the vehicle – to me that would mean that you were more directly talking to Stanton, curious as the reason Stanton has been left largely out of this discussion until now?

    Thanks for your time and response on this.

  362. Interesting excerpt from latest CNET article…

    “A gas station attendant in Merlin, Ore., gave James Kim “strange directions” and never indicated that the route could be dangerous, Kati Kim said in the report. As they made their way up Bear Camp Road, a snowplow parked near the road made the Kims believe that the road was maintained. Road signs told them that they were headed toward the coast.”

  363. Glenn.

    That is all in the report too actually.

    It is interesting, I wonder if that person understand the role he/she played in this and is just very reluctant to step forward.

  364. Glenn and Mapper re: Merlin Gas. I’ll be passing there next week and will try to drop in and ask a few questions. It’s too bad – in fact strange – that whoever gave those directions did not react to any of the coverage about the missing family. It does not seem like a big stretch to make that connection.

    One of the focuses in Oregon tourism has been to give “hospitality training” to for gas station attendants, waitresses, and other front line workers in tourism so they can give better travel information.

  365. Joe,

    wow, I didn’t know about the hospitality training! Thats kinda cool.

    Yeah, it doesn’t sound good for the person who gave the “strange directions” the way it is written it almost sounds like the person sent them away almost…maliciously. I am betting that is not the case, it just doesn’t sound good, and even worse that they haven’t stepped foward.

    but, if it were innocent, they could just be embarassed…though it would have been good info at the time the search began!

  366. though knowing the roads, what seemed like “strange” directions at the time may actualy been pretty accurate…..

  367. Laurie

    Thats true. It would be good to get an account of what that person actually said! It could have been anything I guess. The report just makes it sound so wierd. But it did say that the person gave no indication of danger.

    I also think, a normal person would have come forward with a tip (unless they missed the coverage which is possible).

    I’m not one to speculate much or point a finger, this part just has me quite curious, though I dont feel its something I need to know to sleep at night either!

  368. (465) Laurie, probably true but nobody should be given directions on those roads…period. Seems reckless to me especially given the history of those roads and time of year.

  369. A few items remain:

    Why if the TuTu Ton Lodge was a known destination with even a ‘leave the key out’ call was the search so slow in focusing on roads to the TuTu Ton Lodge?

    Why if a guy calls and says ‘I’m a cell phone engineer, I think I might be able to help’ is there such a delay before he gets the cell phone numbers he should be looking for?

    Why if private jets were being flown in were they flying in passengers but not FLIR equipment or night vision goggles or (whatever) was really needed? I think the SAR people would have liked a portable cell tower in the area and a whole lot of cell phones for their search teams. Or perhaps SAR would have wanted more radios or more snowmobiles. “Father is very rich” but he didn’t seem to know what was really wanted or needed.

    Why was ONG placing itself on hold due to reports of helicopter activity. It seems that a flight to the area would have been better and then settle the issue of air space cooperation upon arrival.

    What are the critical points in the whole case?
    Delay in filing Missing Persons Report despite abrupt cessation of contact with friends that persisted unnoticed.

    Miscommunication about ‘Bear Camp Rd’ and its “likely” mistake areas.

    Denny’s in Roseburg as last known contact was a great help particularly once it was confirmed (waitress, credit card?) but one wonders about this ‘Mapquest’ stuff. Perhaps Mapquest was used but there does not seem to have been a sufficient basis to assume that. Was it just because he is a ‘techie type’ and so might have used mapquest?

  370. Can someone find out for me if a jet could have made a high altitude fly by and photographed wide swaths of the area for later detailed analysis? Would the car have been spotted? I sure didn’t see the car in even the low altitude photo. I just wonder if the wealthy parents could have thrown their dollars at the problem in a better manner?

  371. (469) Fools Gold interesting points…

    A nice interactive map with the datapoints plugged in including last known contact, credit card use, gas fill, cellular towers, destination, etc…could provide a good interactive tool to layout a path people may have taken and where they may have ended up.

    The point of the cellular tower locations would give LE and SAR the information to direct a data search by the telco. The search could be both by phone number and tower id.

    They may do this currently on large plotted maps but I think the interactive elements of a digital map will provide faster distribution, what if analysis, etc…

    Maybe JoCoSAR can give us some insight to how they currently use maps in a search.

  372. (469) Fools Gold from what I understand the trees almost have a canopy effect and unless you are directly over the vehicle you probably won’t have a chance to see it.

    However from the ground you may think you are in a clearing.

    Similar to what happens in narrow canyons in the desert.

  373. QUESTION for Sara R or RRR: Before the report was released you were intent on getting a photo of the car in the clearing for a purpose you could not then state. Could you fill us in now?

  374. In accounts (for example in the Finley case) in the Curry Co newspaper I saw mention of a Cougar Lane general store in Agness. They made it sound as though that was a good place to stop and get information on the road, and to call for help.

    I have not seen information about a similar place on the Merlin/Galice side. I suspect that asking a clerk in Merlin on a Saturday night about the road to Agness could be a hit or miss situation. The clerk may be someone who just drove up there the day before, or someone who has never driven the road. I have had mixed results when asking locally in British Columbia about the state of certain backroads.

    I also agree that the strange answer could have been an accurate, but confusing list of BLM and FS road names (or local names).

    In the report, Kati commented on how they couldn’t make sense of the road numbers where they stopped. The report includes a picture of one post, with 33-… on it (the one with open gate?). It might be too much to expect BLM to revise their road labeling system, though FS did just that around 1990.


  375. Fools Gold: RE: Mapquest – Unless I missed something in the report I think it was established early on that Mapquest was NOT used by the Kims for directions up there – nor were any online mapping services used.

    RE: High altitude pix – I do not know if it would have spotted James, but a satellite was retasked to fly the area.

    I do think that SAR procedure should consider pilot projects where they use Google earth to coordinate “volunteer” help with maps and perhaps as a tool to mark roads as searched. e.g. the debriefings could be done via an online report form that would automatically plot the search data on an online, real time Google map. This is not nearly as complicated as it sounds thanks to mapping mashups.

  376. (474) Joe, I was thinking on the same lines and the mashup should include all the cell towers, last contact points, destination points, etc…

  377. 333 – I think as noted before the part before Kati and the girls were located was more generally a missing persons investigation. We were able to help out in a role of tip generation and flyering routes – and I’ll try to elaborate more, we probably could have helped even more had we some direction from either PDX of SFPD on what we should have been doing (for example we just went ahead and made our own PDFs when we realized the SFPD MP page wasn’t being updated with new information like the Roseburg sighting). Once Kati and girls were found, our feeling of being able to directly assist dropped considerably because at that point it turned to SAR. Our role at that point became more media oriented and towards a public facing role as a place to come for information/sharing with the family – still vital roles for this situation but much different than we had been doing.

    350 – The Port Orford gas station tip was definitely one that drained resources to another area. Our volunteers went back for a second interview with her, and also stopped around town to ask about things. Her story was convincing, although had many discrepancies (like gas tank on wrong side of car if they were pulled in like she said). Someone at a bar in town told our volunteers that she is a drama queen and don’t believe a word she says. Part of the point here is that the more volunteers you can have in a missing persons investigation to have one-on-one talks with more people in the search area the more information you can gather (of course you need the ability to process it all too). There were *many* instances continuing through Saturday and Sunday where people at stores/churches/restaurants/etc had not yet heard about the story. It was a big news story if you were following it, but we had to keep remembering not everyone watches CNN all day or read’s JoeDuck’s blog. 😉

    363 – What portion of homeland security funds end up in the hands of SAR type work? I’d be very interested in finding out if there are dual-purpose HS projects that can actually benefit our citizens, as it seems like Grants Pass for example isn’t a prime target for terrorism, but could easily be more prepared for terrorism via EM and SAR training at the same time.

    389 – Roseburg Denny’s was extremely important to friends/family in that it cut nearly in half the search area. It reduced the area our volunteers needed to work to try and generate that next tip we were looking for.

    407 – Mike, totally agree. I know for a lot of folks on a long road trip the idea of going backwards often also just doesn’t seem like an option. When I 18 I used to drive when I was tired enough to be dozing off, it wasn’t until I was a few years older that I stopped that risky behavior. Even now I was going to a friends ranch in Shasta area on Nov. 11th this year, in a Toyota Prius, not your typical backroads vehicle. We came upon snow – and had to make a decision to keep going or turn back. We kept going. We were in a very well marked road/area, so slightly different but I know the thought process that was going on and it wasn’t a cut and dry decision in their heads at that time.

  378. There is a short section toward the end of part II about:

    Management of spontaneous and self-dispatched volunteers”

    The recommendation boils down to set up communications channels for volunteers like this, whether it be a designated liaison officer or issuing radios.


  379. 469 – We were offered at one point use of software designed for HS/SAR which does a color match from an aerial photograph to a picture of the clothing someone is wearing. The software was at It may have come from other sources in the SAR hierarchy, but partially I believe the order to retrieve the laptops from the car on the morning of 12/5 could have come from this tip coming into the website/email. I received this info at 7:20am on 12/5 and immediately notified the Kim family and forwarded the information, realizing that if there were pictures from the family vacation this could yield a very viable search vector. Some of the interviews note that orders to get the laptops on the morning of 12/5.

  380. 470 – I don’t know if it would be appropriate to release publicly but if any of the LE or SAR folks here are interested I can try to get the Google Earth data we stored during our efforts in SF. We have several different layers of possible routes, cell tower information and other data we were pulling into google earth. Our friends working on the google earth stuff kept blowing my mind when within 1-2 hours after firm confirmation of the cell tower ping we had cell phone towers mapped into GE, with 26mi radius shading going on, correlated with FCC records of who is the technical owner of those towers. There is some *really* powerful information available out there to someone who is skilled or adept at GE. If there are SAR folks out there who are interested in more detail – maybe we can setup a meeting with the Google Earth team and discuss ways Google (and maybe Yahoo/Microsoft) can offer these tools to the SAR community in a more meaningful way (with training, tips, etc.).

  381. Glenn,

    just an aside. I liked the map that joco gis put together, it was a huge file. But it looks like they have a very good gis department and maps were (or could have been)utilized just fine, to me by the sar. The maps are digitial.

    Really, the only thing that stood out to me, that was confirmed, was that they should have brought eric in overnight, and the gis people should have been called in too (if they were not).

    its easier to understand though now too, seeing as how many tips come in, its not always clear if the next tip will be as bogus as the last.

    it must be hard for detectives and sar to keep their optimism at times.

    As a gis professional I get uncomfortable with all the talk of coordinates and google earth that people throw around. Its a great resource…for volunteers. I know the gis guy at joco feels similiarly after talking to him here a bit.

    did you read the section on coordinates in the report? this is the kind of thing that needs to be clear if volunteers are going to be gpsing, and using coordinates, and google earth alot. Coordinates are not always coordinates.

    I dont want to get into a discussion on google earth and gis, so….naturally, if I dont comment much on it, that is why.

  382. Maps- (wow you all talk alot about maps!) as for how we use them.

    1. we have a master map with the search area dwindled down to this we plot points of interest on, such as clues found, areas completed, last known points and so on

    2. we give each search group who goes out in the field a map of the area they are to search, so it might be a smaller scaled map from the master covering just the area they are to search, or it could still be a big map, but the key is that we show “their” area they are assigned to on it.

    3. We also use the maps to plan for assignments, look at terrian as to what is the “natural controur” that someone might follow, or obsticales that one might not be able to go over, are there main roads they may have hitch hiked on ect.

  383. JoCoSAR or RRR – was the idea to search *every mile* of all those spur roads north of Bear Camp road or are there some that can be immediately eliminated as impassable or gated or ?

  384. 483- of course the goal is to always search every mile of the spur roads, again you can look at a map and say you are going to look down road #A and when searchers get there it is washed out and unpassable, so it is noted, and they carry on, if it is something that could be passed on foot then we ask that they do that.

    As of now there are areas that we know we can eliminate right off such as Galice Crk Rd we can eliminate that someone is stuck between the gate and the slide, HOWEVER if they were on the way down, they could on the the other side of the slide but we would have to access it from the top

  385. Glenn, joeduck, et al> that website with the clothing color match software sounds really interesting. that has HUGE possiblities to help in future SAR events. Perhaps if someone on say an online help forum was really trained in the use of the software, that could be a great online resource/help for SAR. easily used online, from a distance, frees up search coordinators, etc…

    If the online volunteers were extensively trained it would increase the confidence of SAR coordinators AND the software wouldnt have to be painstaking explained to someone who had never used it before. just a thought.

  386. \If there are SAR folks out there who are interested in more detail – maybe we can setup a meeting with the Google Earth team and discuss ways Google (and maybe Yahoo/Microsoft) can offer these tools to the SAR community in a more meaningful way (with training, tips, etc.)

    Scott this sounds great, especially since you have the Google contacts already.

    I have the idea from some of the mapping professionals here that they have reservations about using Google maps for this stuff though I don’t understand why.

    I’m wondering if the best approach for great potential SAR innovations is to try them in other cases, refine them, and then demo to SAR.

  387. RRR – thanks, that makes sense!

    Tara – yes, I think that is a neat idea and good example of how distant people could be helping out and easing the burden on local efforts.

    Since SAR and Missing Persons LE have well established procedures I wonder if our newfangled ideas need to be tested outside of any formal SAR projects – sort of in parallel to a search effort. Also, the Kim search brought a level of interest almost unprecedented in US history. I’m wondering how many will help find others, though I think the number gets very high as soon as it hits the national news.

  388. 463- Most likely it was the shell just off the I-5 ramp there in merlin Joe, I usually see elderly men working, sometimes some high school students. Good Luck Joe!

  389. Joe, remember the missing ranch california man? has anyone offered that software to search those foothil? or has he been found?

  390. Joe, Do you know if anybody at this time is working on better signs or 1/2 gate at the bottom of Galice rd? Bob

  391. Hi! When I was reading through the Report, I found myself asking a lot of “Whys?” There was a lot of confusion in so many different aspects of the search. I have taken quotes from the report which really stood out to me as problematic areas which are difficult to understand and which seem need to be resolved in order to have searches run more efficiently in the future in JoCo, but also in any other counties that have similar SAR situations.

    I can honestly say I would be listing these quotes and these questions whether or not we had any SAR personnel here. We are fortunate to have jocosar and RRR here to answer any of these questions if they like, but also other people can feel free to as Joe likes to say “chime in”, about any of it.

    I will start chronologically, with questions generated from the beginning of the search. I will just be listing the information that stood out as important to look at.

  392. Joe…

    its hard to explain. I have less reservations about groups like this using it, or other volunteer groups. The volunteer thing is mostly fine as long as people dont get too crazy with using coordinates from different sources without really knowing what they are doing.

    But google earth isn’t new to us. Its a great resource, as I keep saying. But agencies already, for the most part have established gis programs and centrally located data and access to certain trustworthy individuals for updates, permissions, etc. Its been hard enough for most agencies to integrate gis into workflow with, for instance sar. Training them with a new software would….fragment what is already in place.

    we need no more fragmentation…

    but there is more than just that. Maybe rocket will step in and help me out…

    its not that I think everyone who has not studied gis for 10 years is a bumbling idiot with a gps and mapping software. But, we have learned something….

    I have more of a problem with people who dont know, trying to push google earth off on agencies that already have programs in place, that the average person has no understanding of….and google earth comes a long and its the first a lot of people have seen of this kind of thing….and they have no idea what has already been happening for years within agencies with gis.

    Volunteers? fine with me, have at it. But be aware most established agencies already have programs and thousands of dollars invested, in their own mapping software and professionals…that are not always being utitlzed due to communication within that agency. I get annoyed with the communication thing the most…

  393. Question Jocosar: Is this confusion and lack of definition going to change? Why/how is it this disorganized?

    “The interview began with RUBRECHT describing how Josephine County SAR works. There is no actual leader, but rather an executive board of eight members.”

    “RUBRECHT had difficulty describing who is actually the supervisor of the SAR program.”

    “RUBRECHT has not had a performance review for over three years. She does not know what her job expectations are and she does not know what her supervisors expect.”

    “She said she is on call 365, 24/7. She said she triages the SAR calls and looks to find a SAR deputy to be incident commander. If unavailable, she does it. She also
    coordinates resources. Once she arrives on the scene, everyone else leaves. If a deputy is not available, she coordinates everything, all encompassing. Nobody has ever explained it to her.”

    “RUBRECHT runs day to day search and rescue operations. In a search, there is no written policy as to who is the incident commander. She thinks that she is responsible for coordinating SAR in Josephine County. If she is unable to, she would call Brian ANDERSON. She said it would not be unusual for him to take over a Search and Rescue operation.”

  394. When I first looked at Google Earth in this case I was pleasantly surprised that the image detail was comparable to what I see in urban areas. But it was just Josephine Co. that had this high detail. The credits at the bottom of the image include Josephine Co GIS.

    Jackson may now be high resolution too, but last I checked, Curry is not.


  395. Mapper 492 – thanks, helps me understand the issues in play.

    A challenge for online help seems to be that mapping is assigned a very high priority already in SAR and a lot of resources go to maps. However not clear to me if SAR focuses much on the online mapping world which has become one of the key innovation spots online.

  396. Glenn 470 Interactive Map,

    I think such an interactive map would be a great way of having a new Incident Commander or a new shift at the command post come up to speed fast. Even before it got to specific search areas, in just sending notification to a county agency, such a map would depict at a glance: Intended Destination, Recent Credit card use (food), Recent Credit Card use (gas), possible cell tower1, Possible cell tower2. A great way of narrowing the area quickly.
    And it forms the basis of a release to the media too.

    A lot of time is wasted in repeating the same information over and over as responsibility shifts.

  397. JoCoSAR

    I thought SAR operates 24/7 until the incident concludes.

    “Had we met through the night we could have had searchers on the ground five hours sooner,” said Sara Rubrecht, Josephine County emergency manager and search and rescue coordinator. “If key people running the search met all night Saturday night they wouldn’t have been available Sunday to run the search when searchers were out in the field. Due to a lack of depth of personnel that would have been the only problem we would have seen with having that meeting overnight.” Mail Tribune

    Who ran the JoCo SAR night-shift on Saturday night? Could they have handled this cell phone information by calling in Fuqua and preparing a draft plan to implement the next day’s search? Do your normal searches have a night-shift deputy or someone in charge, who can make decisions?

    When was a copy of the cell phone information given to Carson Aviation or Mr. Kim? I don’t believe they received it until late Sunday afternoon.

    I thought one key underreported part of the OSSA report was that the most likely circumstance was:

    “They might have been the victims of a car crash where their vehicle left the roadway and off into brush, a ravine or into a body of water where it was not easily seen by other motorists or searchers. This was by far the most likely scenario.”

  398. Speaking of my own experience…sar/fire/police are just now getting on the bandwagon with gis. We give them pda’s, they can do real time updates, some can push a button in their car at a stop and it goes into a database where they are and what kind of stop it was, we can do all that, through the internet, gps, gis. all the technology is there. It has been a challenge within agencies to get the police and fire to work the gis people (as should not be hard to imagine) its only recently it has begun to take off and funding is often at the heart of it, but also, are old attitudes. I go to conferences and the disparity between agencies is incredible!!

    One of the communites I worked for, their 911 dispatch looked like NASA, and we were welcomed, to work with the databases and now an application is running to coordinate the gis with call data and a huge map in the nasa like call center pops up when a call comes in.

    our public utilty guys…well some of them…took to the little pda we gave them so they could update stuff in the field and bring it back to us, and we could update the master database (also possible to do live updates).

    but that is not happeneing everywhere – yet.

    I was working for homeland security, in the military and the people were like gis? what? we have autocad…or paper maps. they dont want to learn something new!!! they resented us coming in and making them learn something new and changing the old protocols.

    I think …billions were probably spent on that program I was a part of…and is still being implemented at bases (look it up, its called geobase).

    This has been why, often my questions have been…did they talk to the gis? did they involve the gis?

    too often in the smaller commnunites top decision makers are not including the gis in the protocols and we have to take it upon ourselves in these kinds of situations to do something.

    I think google earth is awesome for the kinds of thing I have seen it used for here…and…its easier for me too cause not everyone is asking me to make a map! as we often like to focus more on analysis kind of stuff (for instance line of sight mapping, etc.) than simple location maps.

    But….it can get scary with too many cooks in the kitchen. The thing about GIS and IMS is its usually very controlled how we allow data to be udpated, and there is a great deal of qa/qc.

    Bottom line, I think its a great tool, but want people to try to become more aware of what is already happening…and for there to be better communication in agencies and support for programs that are already in place.

  399. High Altitude Fly-by.
    Well, you can’t get any higher than a satellite but I was thinking of a reconnaisance flight such as would be routinely used in Real Estate, Mineral exploration, etc.
    Its not going to interfere with search helicopters that are thousands of feet lower and its something that can be analyzed after the plane lands. Computers look for sharp shapes rather than the blended and muted shapes of nature. A truck, car, tank or cabin just looks different than trees although deep canyons can make things just look like one great big shadow. Certainly an SOS in the snow might have been picked up by a photograph.

  400. 477/486/492 – Regarding volunteers and mapping. This online blog discussion has made it clear to me (I think I already mentioned this) that the missing persons investigation and the SAR are two connected but distinct efforts.

    I think volunteers may be often vastly underutilized for the investigation/tip discovery efforts. I know an official LE response may be that increasing the number of tips could be dangerous if gathered by ‘unqualified’ volunteers (Mike W can you comment on your opinion on this?). I know that we generated tips that were false (however had one of them proved to be true would have been groundbreaking – one from Selma on 199 which had a lot of promise initially). Google Earth is extremely useful when overlayed with business maps, and tracking possible routes, specifically when designing routes for volunteers to flyer and canvass for tips. With more infrastructure in place, or a ready system to tap into, we probably could have been more effective from the start in our flyering/canvassing efforts. On Sunday we were covering routes 42, 101, I-5 and 199 with at least 8 cars, and we could have had more had we felt we were more welcome to do the type of work we were doing. We also had no direction from trained professionals, so we started to figure out on our own to look for obvious things like CCTV, hours of operations, etc., with a tip sheet for volunteers that lists these things we could have started out working more efficiently.

    On the SAR tip I definitely feel like the systems that JoCo and other counties have in place are probably more sophisticated than what we were doing with Google Earth. As a basic tool for flyovers and basic terrain mapping though it could be useful for quick briefing of volunteers being dropped into an area for SAR. For example, if I were on one of the raft crews, just seeing a quick flyover view from the launch point (where the little bridge is east of the BBL) to the BBL would be helpful, although in your region many of the SAR personnel may already be familiar with the terrain. It shouldn’t be underrated that a tool like Google Earth could be exactly the things a liaison should be trained in for communicating with the family about what is going on with the search – it is portable (with a net connection available) and sophisticated enough to give a family a lot of confidence and some basic knowledge about what the SAR effort encompasses.

    I would personally love to see the attitude in MP and SAR shift from ‘we’ve got this all under control, no need for help’, to ‘we’ve got this all under control, but if you’d like to help here’s how (pointer to a website on how to flyer for example, or make donations to the SAR county volunteer effort)’. The constant impression that the MP and SAR didn’t need any help puts people who are so emotionally invested in the issue into a tense position with the MP and SAR effort. Giving those people any type of outlet to help would lead to a greatly improved relationship between the general public and these types of events. I would have been stoked to hear the response, “Sorry we can’t have untrained staff doing SAR in the mountains, but our units are always in need of resources, so you can help out by making a donation to Eugene Mountain Rescue or your local Red Cross,” given to people who were calling in asking how to help.

  401. JoCoSAR

    BTW on my question above, I don’t really want a name, just wanted to know if there was a person in charge and if they were almost as experienced as the four key personnel named as Powers, Anderson, Rubrecht, and Stanton. Thanks.

    OSSA – Kim Family Search Review 19 of 23

    “In retrospect, it would have saved valuable time and daylight if Powers, Rubrecht, Stanton, Anderson, and Fuqua might have met late Saturday night in lieu of the 8 A.M. meeting Sunday Morning. Meeting during the morning realistically moved the beginning of the focused search to the afternoon when all the mutual aid arrived from Jackson County thus leaving only a few hours of search time that day.”

  402. I suspect that changes in the responsibilities of RUBRECHT will depend on the leadership of the new county sheriff. Also the funding for these counties is highly uncertain at the moment (with the loss of C&O payments). The governor is appointing a commission to look at this report, and to recommend changes.

    While brainstorming about interactive maps and the use of internet resources in SAR missions, keep in mind that temporary SAR headquarters might not always have a highspeed internet connection. A base in town may have such a connection, but a forward command base might only have radio communications.

    SAR teams should also be able to operate without extensive communications with the outside world. Windstorms, ice, and earthquakes can knock out power, land lines, and roads.


  403. Regarding the use of flyovers and satellites, remember that for a while, Carson helicopters concentrated their search along FS23 and areas to the south, because the Rogue River valley was shrouded in low clouds. Higher flying observers may be able to fly above the weather, but that doesn’t mean that they can see through it.


  404. Looks like the governor of Oregon has appointed a task force (from
    Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski ordered the creation of a task force to review what changes could be made to state law and policies to prevent confusion from hampering future searches for people missing in the Oregon wilderness.

    The announcement Friday came on the heels of a report that cast negative light on search efforts for a California family lost in the Oregon wildnerness last month.

    Kulongoski wants the task force to review whether and how to amend state laws, administrative rules and related policies to ensure proper coordination, communication and effective pooling of resources between federal, state and local authorities in search and rescue operations.

    “Now that we have all of the facts from both the state and local levels, we need to come together to review this information, our approach to search and rescue, and identify ways we can strengthen our communications and coordination in the future,” Kulongoski said.

  405. Yes, I think you are correct. The cloud cover was the problem from an observation stance rather than a flight-saftey stance and therefore no greater height would help unless one looks at a multi-frequency or infra-red photograph. I was just trying to think of what could someone have really done in this search if they had wheelbarrows full of cash? What did SAR personnel really need?

  406. 506- I would want……IMO I would love it if being a SAR member was a “paid” position, a position that someone could actually live off the income so they could make this their life! I personally love it! You can ask JoCoSAR the first day I was there, I had other engagments, and well I was having such a good time I canceled them. I know it sounds weird to be enjoying yourself while you are working on something that is life changeing for another.

    So back to the subject, I think if it was a paid position, there would be a bit more dedication, and for some searches we wouldn’t just get the same 10 active members.

  407. PAID “volunteers”?

    Many times they are “paid”. That one dollar a year results in a check for 0.88 but gives them health insurance.
    Often a county pays additional in language pay or pay for horsemanship skills.

    Often at small airports certain legal reasons prevent billing for the crash,rescue,fire trucks but do allow billing for the cost of the fire-fighting chemicals that were used. And sometimes for tax reasons the bill for foam will remain unpaid but a ten thousand donation will be made.

    I think what might be done is reimbursement for gasoline and pay for being ‘on call’. Also counties might be able to buy trailers or other equipment at favorable rates from known volunteers.

  408. Many people ‘keyly’ connected to the Kim family story thought, early on, they knew where the Kims were likely stranded.
    > Spencer Kim “knew his son”, that he would have probably taken Bear Camp Road to get to the coast… and he followed up by riding in the helicopter he chartered to search that route.
    > Joe Duck published repeatedly his reasoning for thinking that Bear Camp Rd vicinity was the area to concentrate search efforts
    > John James actually attempted to search by snow mobile 34-8-36, the road he thought the most probable culprit.
    > John Rachor knew that 34-8-36 road may have been a dead end trap for them. He followed up on his hunch and searched that road in his helicopter

    SAR leadership thought otherwise. They did not order 34-8-36 searched end to end. The question now is, in light of this experience, what can be done for future similar events to help ensure the right things are done at the right time? The input of of knowledgeable locals and experts from anywhere should be encouraged… not dismissed as a nuisance.

    One possibility is a web site modelled after where stories making the most sense to the most people are voted to the top. An intelligent weighting mechanism that will allow for:
    – those interested to voice their opinions on what they think are likely scenarios
    – those interested to comment on what they think of of the posted scenarios
    – communication of the most plausible of these collective thoughts to SAR
    – SAR feed back of their intelligence and operations information for further consideration and analysis by all interested participants

    Let us assume a *Central* web site was functioning Dec 1. Out of of the many thousands of comments / posts relating to the lost Kims story the headline **Kims may be Stranded on Bearcamp Spur Road** rises to the forefront. SAR can not ignore the documented collective rationale and expertise behind this headlined possibility so orders an immediate search of all roads tributary to the Bear Camp with priority given to 34-8-36, the spur considered the most likely one taken by the Kims.

  409. R3 – I agree with you. If people are paid, they are retained, and if they are retained it helps full-time staff to develop relationships with SAR and to help train them to use more advanced things like pda’s with interactive maps.

    what is the fire department like? are they considered part of SAR? I would imagine people like that also volunteer on the side?

  410. 510- We have partnered up with local Fire dept and some do volunteer for us, its just hard for them to pull them off a shift or take them out of the system for a search.

  411. The problem I would see with a “digg it” approach is that things such as a psychic’s vision would be populat with the true believers of such things and would be “digged it” to the top!

    What might be better would be an analysis of why those who were saying Bear Camp Road were not being heeded. What were the factors that caused someone to downgrade the Bear Camp Road leads? An on-scene father can give indications into his son’s character and survival training. Ordinarily these things play a great role.

  412. The reason I’m posting these quotes is so hopefully positive improvements can come from understanding these issues. Again, I want to make clear that I think these quotes are important not for reasons of blame, but for reasons of understanding what was problematic and inefficient in what needed to be an emergency search situation. There needs to be a certain urgency, even if it is not certain exactly where the “official” SAR will be
    located, because how else will people be found in time? This seems to be a central critical issue that will hopefully be looked at by the State appointed task force as well.

    There are a lot of quotes in the report that reflect urgency/efficiency issues. Here are some:

    “To his recollection, STANTON first became involved in the KIM Family Search December 1, 2006. Around 9:00 a.m., he received a call at his residence from a records clerk saying citizens were calling Josephine County about a missing family near Bear Camp. STANTON said he responded to the records clerk, “I’ll be on in a couple hours and I guess I’ll see what you’re talking about.” The clerk mentioned she would put her call to him into the notes saying he was advised of the call. STANTON said, “Like, wait a minute. You’re gonna do that to me?” and then he told the clerk to call Sara RUBRECHT.”

    “At this point all STANTON knew was that they were looking for a silver Saab with an Asian male, his wife and two children inside. They had no photos and no indication this was an official search. Local citizens, however, were really pressing them to check the Bear Camp Road. They drove to Galice and decided to follow the signs to Bear Camp. He and RUBRECHT began their search around 11:30 a.m. All the locals knew that the easiest way was to drive Galice Access and then on to Bear Camp Road (also known as FS-23) to the coast.”

    When I asked jocosar last night about they question of urgency: “Why didn’t there seem to be a sense of urgency when the family had been missing that long? Did you know how long the family had been missing?”

    “367. 364 – Lisa – As for Josephine County, starting on Friday, Stanton was the “IC.” Others even noted this as typical protocol. There was urgency, but without detailed information, it would have been very unorganized urgency. As information came in to JoCo, logical leads were followed up on. We got a print out of the family information just before we left town and headed up the mountain.
    Comment by jocosar | January 18, 2007 ”

    Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be urgency as is reflected in quotes from Saturday:

    “ANDERSON met with RUBRECHT and STANTON on Saturday in the squad room at the Sheriff’s Office. They did not have an official search and rescue mission going on at this time. They were going to continue looking as it was good snow training. The majority of the information they received was actually from the TV news reports. It was the collective decision of RUBRECHT, ANDERSON and STANTON to go run some other logical routes. At this point, they did not have any information that indicated the KIMs were even in their county. She said they were conducting a courtesy clearing of roads. It was not a formal mission at that point, other than they had a witness indicating they saw the KIMs up there.”

    “On Saturday, the base of operations was at the Sheriff’s Office and they had United States Forest Service (USFS) employees and SAR volunteers search the Bear Camp
    Road areas.” Also wondering, where exactly did they search on Saturday?

  413. Bob and Tara –

    Sorry, I missed these questions until I returned just now:

    Joe, remember the missing ranch California man? has anyone offered that software to search those foothill? or has he been found?

    I have heard nothing new in about a month – David Boone was never found and my understanding is that those hills have been searched pretty well. However during all this there was a case in NM where the search was called off and the hiker was found, alive, after something like 5 weeks – 3 with almost no food. She would crawl into her bag at night and get water from the river and finally was found by other hikers.

    Joe, Do you know if anybody at this time is working on better signs or 1/2 gate at the bottom of Galice rd?

    Bob yes I think BLM has got a project going for signage. John James was going to look into whether we might promote that so people from around here could volunteer this spring to get those signs up.

  414. Joe…that story out of New Mexico is really amazing. It always did bother me that they said the guy could not have survived longer than a week in Southern California. I remember thinking the weather was what I would consider..chilly…survivable.

  415. As has been mentioned, another urgency/efficiency issue is that on many of these days the search was being conducted, it seemed that actual ground and road search operations didn’t begin often until 11am or later, on days in early
    December, which are some of the shortest days of the entire year. That would often only leave approximately 4 strong hours of daylight a day.

    So, I wonder what could be done in order to have more organization and planning could happen at night, so that
    SAR personnel could come in and get their assignments and a much earlier head start in their search activities.

    The helicopters were often up and flying earlier, if weather permitted.

  416. See Joe, I am gone for a day at work, and come back to a couple hundred posts. It is very difficult to weed out particular questions…I am going to go back and start from when I left this morning. I will do my best.

  417. R3 yeah I know a few very tired firemen who do both. It must be different here though, as our SAR is mostly fire department and police personnel. I know we have volunteers but I think its really part of our fire departments role in my particular town, at least I know its always the fire department that is interviewed and they always are at the head of search efforts (I live in an area with a lot of boating accidents!!)

  418. 518- In a perfect search world Lisa……You have two overhead (ICS) teams a day shift and a night shift, usually the day shifts gathers information throughout the day and executes the IAP (incident action plan)and makes suggestions for the next opperational period.

    where the night ICS team takes the info that was gathered durning the day and creates a plan for the next day and prepares the IPA for the next opperational period

  419. > Spencer Kim “knew his son”, that he would have probably taken Bear Camp Road to get to the coast… and he followed up by riding in the helicopter he chartered to search that route.
    > Joe Duck published repeatedly his reasoning for thinking that Bear Camp Rd vicinity was the area to concentrate search efforts
    > John James actually attempted to search by snow mobile 34-8-36, the road he thought the most probable culprit.
    > John Rachor knew that 34-8-36 road may have been a dead end trap for them. He followed up on his hunch and searched that road in his helicopter

    I really think one problem here is that everyone is so critical of the timeline for Joco, But, EVERYONE had their pet local spot to post where they should be looking! Probably the theory “I” heard the most was Powers to Gold Beach. Its only in hindsight that people are saying, see I told you so…. If they would have found them over the edge on the Powers road everyone would have been saying, see I told you that you were wasting time over on Bear Camp Rd.

    I think we need to all stop pointing fingers and start figuring out what to do! Seem’s logical to me that once a search crosses a county line it should flip to a State Led search, that utilizes local SAR and LE, has all the equiptment, mobile command unit with fast internet, GIS, mobil phone relayes ect. One big fund raiser for the equiptment and we can all share….. Not to say local SAR does not need stuff, but how often is the big stuff really needed?

    For an Oregon story I felt it really did not get much play “In Oregon” I watched the Daily Emerald every day (Uof O student paper) and never saw an article there I would have thought there would have been, Kati having gone there. Also, ALOT of rural folks get no local news channels, and it was a while before the nationals picked it up.


  420. 520- Well for instance yesterday’s search, we got a search team from an local fire department, I don’t know if they were the folks on shift at the time or not, BUT sometimes we get those on shift, with the knowledge that if a fire call comes in we loose them as a search team.

    Also we had an ambulance that was on scene, the staff of the ambulance have been working with SAR before so they helped out with paperwork, but usually they are just on hand if a searcher gets hurt or when we locate the subject, HOWEVER they were still on call, so if the system (city) got busy they too would have to leave.

  421. 363- Scott, as a matter of fact, two of our SAR vehicles belong to EM. They were purchased with Homeland Security grant dollars for response to WMD incidents. I recieved $45,000 for a “prime mover.” Instead of purchasing one vehicle, I was able to purchase three used ones. They are pretty strict about how that money is used. I am hoping that the State will make some changes this year.

  422. 478-Scott, I do believe that the laptops were retrieved for that exact reason. We collected the photos off of them for that color matching program, as requested by Spencer Kim.

  423. 479- Scott, my email address is

    Please feel free to contact me at your convenience. I would love to talk with you and answer other questions. I would also love to hear your perspective on future missions.

  424. Oops, forgot 472 – I was looking for that picture of the car because there was some confusion about the route taken in and the road that James took out. This was all in relation to where the snow plow was located. I truly believe that the correct information was printed in the report.

  425. 473- I understand that the BLM road system is built based on township range and section. 34-8-36 is township 34, range 8 and section 34. This would be the location that the road starts. I do not forsee BLM changing that system.

  426. 487 – Joe, I think that you are right with testing ideas when we are not involved in a larger mission. Maybe exercises or smaller events. I welcome that idea, and offer anything that I can for the testing of such things. You know my contact information. I will keep you updated on our scheduled training. That sounds exciting! Maybe Scott has some new ideas as well. I am totally ready to move forward.

  427. 494 – Lisa…yes, I am absolutely positive that most of the policy/procedure issues will be dealt with. Our new admimistration is over eager to get started on that. I am all for it. We will not be recreating the wheel though. I am hoping to get another counties example and start from there. It is better to start with something that already works and just massage it to fit the needs of your county. Unfortunately, I am still the only one in this department, and this type of thing takes time. It is without a doubt, at the top of my priority list!

  428. 494 – Lisa
    One other note, although the summary of my interview sounds jumbled, remember that this was a 7 hour interview. I didn’t make all of those comments one right after another. There was additional context surrounding each comment. It did look much more confusing when I read it too. (not to take away from the actual confusion that exists)

  429. I like reading along jocosar!

    I havn’t read the interviews yet, by the way…saving that for last! But I am reading along with you right now. I like what you say about not recreating the wheel, and totally agree.

  430. 496/497 – Interactive maps
    Typically, since we have such an amazing GIS department (2 people), we have relied heavily on their services for searches. For hasty teams who cannot wait for GIS, we have used Terrain Navigator. This is a simple mapping program that can be used in the field by searchers. I don’t like the idea of becoming too reliant on online mapping systems due to the fact that much of our mapping is done in the field where there is no internet service!

  431. See what happens when the tape comes off?!?!?! It was strong tape, believe me! It was a new personal record!

  432. just so you all know, I drank ALL my dutch bros and my next order hasnt arrived yet! I loved db so much that now my regular old coffee is yucky. 🙂

  433. okay tara, that was a good sales pitch, now I will order it! my coffee is tasting yucky lately anyway.

    hmmm.maybe dutch brothers could donate some money to sar!? wait, did someone already say they did? or maybe they could sponsor us!?!?! 🙂

  434. 532- Thanks Jocosar!

    Why didn’t you and Stanton think of BLM 34-8-36 as a priority to clear, when so many local people were aware
    that this is such a common mistake and problem, even Stanton himself?:

    “STANTON asked if he could back up a little. On Thanksgiving Day, which was two days before the Kim Family had supposedly gotten lost, he drove out Bear Camp Road. STANTON was there just for his own curiosity to check snow levels: people always get hung up out there.

    “When he and RUBRECHT arrived at the road to Black Bar Lodge on December 1, 2006, the only thing they saw were snowmobile tracks. STANTON continued by saying, “Because it had snowed more since Thanksgiving. . . I already kind of lowered that road on my list of things to look at later, plus, we didn’t know where [the KIM’s] were to begin with.” [But isn’t that the point of searching?]

    “STANTON referred back to John JAMES and said, “Now I’m not willing to go to court and say that he searched that road.” STANTON said that he was willing to go to court and say that after talking to John JAMES he had the impression that JAMES had been down Bear Camp Road, though perhaps not every mile of it.

  435. 498 – who ran night operations Sat? Nobody in Jo Co. At that point, it was still road searching. Remember that I said early on that we were looking over sides of roadways for the veh or clues? The roads were also very very icy and dangerous!
    I have agreed that with hindsight, it would have been beneficial for us to meet Sat night with Fuqua. I am not disputing that…now that I have hindsight. It was Powers suggestion to me that we meet at 8am Sunday. He was the one holding the ping map. At that time, I had no idea what the information was, nor did I understand at that time how beneficial it would have been to meet that night.
    I do not remember when the ping map was given to the Kims. I do believe that OSP took it to him early Sunday afternoon just after we all left the SO to go to SAR compound.

  436. 543 – Stanton referenced Bear Camp Road as a common problem. In my 6 years here, I do not believe that I have EVER driven on that particular portion of 34-8-36 past FS23. I realize that JJ mentions this as a major problem, but thanks to his redirection of wanderers, we dont get called out there.
    On Friday, we checked the major route to the coast. We followed signs to the coast with the impression that every road was passable and that every sign could be seen.
    By Saturday morning, we had many assets assigned to search east and southeast (Chrome Ridge, Onion Mtn., Silver Creek, etc) area of 34-8-36. Remember that witness who saw them driving back down the road towards Galice? Well, if you are driving to the coast, the road is very well marked, if you are turned around, it is much easier to turn on the wrong road. That is why we searched that area on Saturday. On Sunday, we were back to finishing the east side, and back to the west side. That is when we sent a unit up 34-8-36 past the intersection. Not knowing which route the Kims took after they made it that far, we had the search team check all side roads. He made it quite a way up the first road when he got stuck in the snow. We had assigned Jack Co to start there in the morning with their snow equip.
    I think that the photos that I haven’t been able to get to yet will give you a better visual for the area past the intersection.

  437. 545- For when you get back from eating! I have to go too for now, but I wanted to post this here because it links to the “witness who saw them driving back down toward Galice.”
    (I will check back in later to read your response – Thanks!)

    Question: jocosar, if Sara felt that the information was unfounded why did she and Stanton spend so much of Friday and Saturday following this lead?

    These are all quotes directly from the report:

    “They learned at that point in this investigation that Josephine County SAR had searched Bear Camp Road and several adjacent roads with negative results. Josephine County SAR had followed up on a tip that an intoxicated person reported seeing the KIMs’ vehicle traveling up Bear Camp Road and then back down on November 25, 2006. RUBRECHT felt that the information was unfounded; however, she interviewed the reporting party.

    “On the way home, dispatch advised her of a potential witness who had reported to RUBRECHT’S husband a possible sighting of the KIM family in that area. (Searchers
    later learned that this sighting by the Christmas tree cutting caravan folks was a false lead. Much of Friday night and Saturday were spent tracking this lead and talking with the witnesses.)

    “Regarding the report receive early Friday afternoon on December 1, 2006, that the KIM’s car had been following a convoy of Christmas tree hunters down Bear Camp Road, STANTON said they eventually ruled that out. (It should be noted that STANTON and RUBRECHT spent much of Friday and all day and night Saturday involved in tracking this lead, interviewing witnesses and playing “phone tag” with detectives at OSP in an attempt to relay witness information. This was one of the handful of tips that later turned out to be misleading or false.)

  438. you might just want to do the pic’s, for I believe the questions will never end, now that the duct tape is off! 😉


  439. 547 – not sure I see a particular question here. I can address this witness though….
    Both witnesses interviewed that they were 99% sure that they saw the Kims on Sunday. Last seen headed down the hill. In hindsight, we know that isn’t true. I only now know that information was unfounded. It wasn’t just the witness account that we were following up on, it was the fact of reality that if they had turned around to come back the way that they came, getting lost on the east side would have been a high probability. There are signs that point to 199 (another route to the coast) that would take them on one of the routes checked on Saturday.
    There is no question that much time was spent on that side of the road. Had they been found there, it would have been valuable time spent. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

    I wanted to clarify the tip from my husband. He is a supervisor for County Roads. He manages many employees. It just so happened that this witness works for him. The witness called my husband to get the information to me. This is a small town, and all of his employees know what his wife does. My husband then called dispatch due to the fact that I didn’t have cell coverage while on the mountain. I did not treat that “tip” any differently than any other that I was made aware of. It just happened that it came via my husband’s phone call.

  440. Gee, something sure seems wrong.
    Somebody is holding a “Ping Map” and he says ‘let’s have a meeting tomorrow morning and waste a whole lot of daylight but I ain’t gonna tell you till the morning what the meeting is about and how critical this darned ping map I got in my hand is’.

    Too much phone and voicemail and miscommunication.

  441. 501 – As mentioned before, I would love to talk with you and learn from this experience. It’s not common for us to have the types of outside resources that were involved in this case. I am not sure why, but I was not made aware (perhaps it was not relevant to my position at the time) of the extent of what the family friends were doing. I was aware of some of the things that Spencer and Eva were doing, but that was only because I overheard conversations. I would have loved to have known that information. As of Saturday, OSP had appointed a trooper that stayed with Spencer Kim at Carson for the duration of the search. He then relayed critical information back and forth from the CP.

  442. 552 – I agree with you. It was mostly due to our lack of understanding of this technology. I sure know much more about it now!! I do remember that during my conversation with Powers that night that he mentioned that there was a tower on Bear Camp, near MP18. I knew this was not the case….It goes to show how that game of telephone was played!

  443. Once again, a portable cell tower seems to be needed so search administrators if not searchers are never out of touch. Else there has to be a rule that administrators don’t go out into the field and lose communication capability. I realize there can be some really remote terrain but SAR people sure need to have something that is reliable.

  444. 503 – My current position is paid as follows: 92% O&C funding (gone in June), 4% general funds, 4% reimbursed by the state for EMPG (Emergency Management Performance Grant). With the loss of O&C monies, I am not sure how the position itself will be funded, no matter who they choose to fill it.

  445. 557 – again, great points! I have already been talking to Edge about the airplane tower that was talked about here, and the more efficient use of a temp. cell tower. I have offered my help in trying to solve some of the power issues (generators, etc).
    It is important to note that Edge had set up a temp tower on Peavine on Tuesday. They also brought 30 cell phones for our use in the field. This was all at no cost to local SAR. They were amazing!

  446. 509 – Kip, you mention that 34-8-36 was not ordered to be searched end to end. It was. I was looking through the report today and noticed that our actual assignments were never listed anywhere. They took some assignments from Jackson Co’s report, but didn’t include ours. I did not have an opportunity to summarize assets in the field due to the fact that my paperwork was not available to compile. I think that would have been helpful information! I was surprised that wasn’t included at all.

  447. 514 – Lisa, you mention many quotes regarding lack of urgency. Those are mostly other peoples quotes and I cannot speak for them in any way. (I had photos of the family when I went up the mtn on Friday, I didn’t get a photo of the car until Sat. when I met with Spencer)

  448. I think I am mostly caught up…with what I can answer anyway..if I missed something, please let me know. I have been reading and typing as quickly as I can. I am sorry if I missed something. At times, I saw alot of comments with no questions. I didn’t respond to those yet….

  449. 559 Just a little clarification here… the “airplane tower” is an idea from some of the employee’s that is definately (sorry for the pun but here it comes…) cutting edge.

    In theory, if it were determined that a particular canyon or location needs get temporary cell coverage, it MAY be possible to put a frequency translating repeater on a helicopter to provide temporary cell coverage to a specific location. Such a project would have to be designed, financed, implemented and tested well in advance as there would be some definate techinical issues to overcome. It is simply an idea at this piont. And it’s not an “official” idea from Edge.

    Edge does have a goat (Gsm On A Trailer) which is a portable cell site that can be deployed to SOME locations (it needs line of site of another tower). Peavine Mt is an example.

  450. I’m sorry Eric, if I indicated that idea was from Edge, I didn’t mean to…I only meant that I brought it up from the ideas shared here.

  451. What about sattelite phones….are those used at all out there by le or sar? I know they are more expensive and cumbersome, but I know even my friend took one with her when she hiked the colorado trail……

    it seems like maybe one or two of these would be in use.

  452. I have asked for a Sat phone, but we do not have the budget for one. The cost is outrageous!!

  453. JoCoSAR what about those Radio phones, they are phones just like our cells but have the capability of using the repeaters…many of the river guides have them.

  454. The actual phone itself isn’t that bad, it’s the monthly service and the per minute cost that is painful!
    I don’t know much about the radio phones. You’ll have to tell me more about those later…

  455. Eric F –

    How much does it cost to deploy a GOAT for a day? Seems like that would be a good standard SAR procedure if it’s affordable?

  456. yes, JoCoSAR. thanks for 544.

    Fools Gold on 552,555. The cell “ping” map.

    Reminds me of the astronauts who get into a complex mess (not of their making), and say, “We have to rest now, Houston, figure this out.” Then Houston taps the expertise at it’s sites across the nation, solves the problem and delivers their best options to the astronauts when they awake.

    So where was Houston in this SAR ?

  457. Have you all seen the ping map in the report? I haven’t looked at the online version, only my hard copy…is it there?

  458. Wow, been a busy day here. I’ve finally read the report all the way through and just got through all of these posts. JoCo, so very glad that the duct tape is off!

    I haven’t had a chance to sit down and really form my questions, but I do have this one. Repeatedly throughout the report there is mention of additional help being available but that it was never asked for (I’d have to dig back through for specifics if needed – after I get a cup of coffee). Why?

    Let’s see the additional pics!

    For all the Dutch Bros comments – every day that I’ve driven by for my morning cup of happy, I’ve just wanted to tell them how much advertising for them has been going on here, but they always have my latte ready to go (they see me coming, literally, and get it ready), it would take entirely too long to explain…

  459. Cmt 580 Maggie and JoCoSAR

    Yes, cell phone map is in color on my copy and I can increase it’s size on my version of Acrobat/Adobe reader.

  460. Thank you for clarification on map. Good to know that you can increase size. Is it at all what you thought it would be?

  461. Maggie –
    about not using resources offered. I don’t have a clear answer for you. What I can guess, is that there was not one clear place to offer resources. I know that my normal office phone was used by Hastings, and the first day that I answered it, it was all media. I was then told not to answer it anymore. I am not sure how all offers came in and to where? There were several offers that came into our SO, and those resources were put into our dispatch notes. I did go back to those and call upon some of those resources as we exhausted local resources. Many were scheduled to arrive on Thursday. The communications from Portland were not requested, although we had several conversations, because OSP had another resource that was closer. That resource arrived Tuesday evening.
    In the future, I would like to activate our phone bank and have volunteers answering a “hotline” at the CP…if it is at my office again. I think that would have solved many of those issues…one of those things that will be evaluated in the near future as a solution. It was frusterating to me to find out about some of the available resources for the first time in this report!

  462. Bamadad – if you zoom way into the map and find the blue line in the middle (river), 33-9-21 is labeled there. I believe, without my real map in front of me, that the intersection is right under the 9…best I can tell…please do not quote me or hold me totally accountable for this guess. I do not have my reference maps here to compare…JUST GUESSING!!!!! 🙂

  463. 587 – Wow, I found it, and that definitely looks like the intersection seen on regular maps and in pics. What do all of the different colors represent exactly?

  464. JocoSAR

    thanks I see the BLM 33-9-21, which is a road about one inch left of dead center on the map at 100% resolution.

    The letter “C” in Bear Camp Road is directly below the “9” in BLM 33-9-21 about one inch at 100% resolution. That is the the nearest word to BLM 33-9-21.


  465. I mean “Bear Camp Road” are the nearest words to BLM 33-9-21. Do I have this right? and the C in Camp is one inch below the “9” in BLM 33-9-21

    I know you are only guessing at the SAABs location, as this map has no scale or direction and looks to need an overlay or legend with the various colors.

  466. I am not sure I understand your description, but the intersection is between the “9” on 33-9-21, and the second “3” in 33-10-36

  467. Yes Maggie

    I have red, orange, yellow, blue splotches, and then a thin, pale blue line depicting the Rogue River. The Rogue River light blue line is only visible at 300% or greater resolutions for me.

    I also have a north/south red line running from the top to bottom in the eastern third of the map– that has to be I-5. and the reddest splotche along this road is likely Glendale, where the cell phone tower is located. Glendale is between Azalea and Sunny Meadows near I-5.

  468. JoCoSAR,

    Yes I see the intersection as you describe it.

    I gave my directions from dead center on the map to help those of us who looked all over the map just to find BLM 33-9-21. The nearest words to it are ironically Bear Camp Road.

  469. Yes Bamadad, the darker black line from the red I-5 line towards the bottom section of the map is Bear Camp Road.

    Since it doesn’t appear as though Eric is here still, I was told that the different colors in the splotches represent different intensity of possible signal. I know that he will have a much better description for you…

  470. Maggie

    Azalea and Sunny Meadows on the right side of the map near the intense red splotche is a distance of about 17 miles according to my Rand McNally map.

  471. Cmt 596, JoCoSAR

    Yes thanks. I am sure that is right. My guess is that red is the most intense, then probably pink, orange, yellow and blue– this is just a guess as those seem to be the descending colors from nearest the cell tower.

  472. JoCo, it sounds like it’s about 17 miles from the Azalea and Sunny Meadows area where the red splotches are to where the car was found. Is that what you meant, Bamadad?

  473. On the RF map colors…red is hot, blue is cold (predicted signal strength…no color means no coverage).

    This was not a map leading to the location of the vehicle…it was a map depicting the possible locations where they could have received their sms message at 1:30 AM on Sunday, Nov 26th.

    When plugged into the scenario that they were on I-5 and wanted to go to Gold Beach it shows that it is very likely that they could have driven through coverage on Bear Camp Road (look at the blotch of color near fdr 440)–that was the “best guess”. However, they also could have taken the Power’s route or any other spur road and hit a pocket of coverage. All possibilities had to be eliminated via searching.

    If you need scale, it’s about 20 miles from fdr 440 to Glendale.
    The vehicle was found about 5 miles north (as the crow flies) of fdr 440, not on Bear Camp but on 24-8-36.

    You can take the RF map and convert it to a .bmp and plop it on Google Earth. Then “scale” it so the roads of the .bmp match those of Google Earth. You can then adjust the opacity and see the coverage overlaid on the satellite image It’s notttt qqquittee scientific as the scale must be adjusted by hand, but it gets pretty close. By doing that you can see exactly where the car was and where James was found (assuming you’ve got those placemarks).

  474. 597-602 Maggie and JoCoSAR

    To clarify, it is about 17 miles from Azalea to Sunny Meadows along I-5 on my Rand McNally map.

    Cmt 603

    Thanks Eric

  475. Kip – not quite close enough…move your circle up further and a bit to the right…see description above.

  476. 606 – Kip, I was looking just above your circle, just below the line. The roads make that same horseshoe shape with the additional road (if that makes sense).

  477. If we are talking about the colors on Edge map, my guess is that the colors indicate the relative strength of signal from that location, or alternative the probability that the signal came from that spot. I assume red end of the color spectrum is strongest/highest probability, blue lowest.

    The cell tower must be on the right side in the middle of the strongest red. That is roughly where the community of Glendale is located, and I5 passes near by. I’ve studied Google Earth enough to have a good sense of the orientation (N up) and location of various points on this map.

    I suspect that the patches of color further away are located on ridge tops, or ridge sides facing the tower. Valleys below the ridge tops would be out of line of site of the cell tower, and thus have poor to no signal reception.

    Bear Camp Rd (FS 23) is the black line a bit left of center. That road roughly follows a ridge, either on top, or just below the top on the south side. There is a band of color just to the north of the road, along the north side of that ridge. There is a BLM road high on the ridge on that side (34-9-21), but I suspect it was impassible due to snow. You can see snow on this road on the Google Earth image.

    The high point of FS23 is where a through route, FS 2308 branches off to the southwest. They rejoin at Agness on the left side of the map. The car was located to the NNE of the summit, at the edge of the cluster of BLM roads, at a bend where 33-9-21 branches off.

    There is a patch of color on 34-8-36 shortly after the FS23 junction, where it is at 3500 ft on the north side of the ridge. But I don’t think the car was here when the cell connection was made, at least not if the contact was only half a hour before they stopped. At less than 20mph, they would have covered less than 10 miles in the last half hour. So I am inclined to put them closer to the Black Bar Lodge turn off at the time of the connection (6 miles). But this spot is only at 2000 ft altitude.

    The other possibility is that they had already passed their stopping spot and were driving up hill in a SSW direction toward the Bear Camp summit (on 34-9-7). The connection might have occurred up on that ridge a ways. Hitting snow, they then retreated to the lower junction. The car was found pointing N, as though they had been driving downhill to this junction, or had recently turned around.

    I have even wonder if they had branched on to 34-9-7 back near the Big Windy drainage, and taken that higher route to their final stopping place. That would have given them better phone reception at 1:30 am. However, I suspect that, if faced with a junction, they choose the lower branch each time, thus staying on 34-8-36. The junction photos probably make those choices clear.


  478. So when the December 17th Oregonian said “The BLM road shooting off Bear Camp Road, where the family would be found the following day, was one of the few areas where a cell signal could reach and a road existed,” and now I look at the map, that sounds like a very simplistic statement made by the reporters. There was a lot of ground to cover if I’m seeing those colors correctly.

  479. Yes Maggie…my point exactly. Sounded very simple in the paper, right?? This was the EXACT map we worked off of.

  480. Stivers in March 2006, may have passed through some reception spots almost due west of Glendale. On the river shuttle route map this northern route is Eden Valley – Kelsey-Mule Rd, labeled in spots as FS 3348 and BLM 32-8-31.
    I can’t quite make out any of those roads on the Edge map.


  481. Paulj, at the motorhome location, we had great coverage on our edge phones!! I couldn’t point that location out to you here on the map without my map from that search. I am not familiar enough with those roads, they are not in my county. They were right near the Calvert air strip though…if you find that!

  482. 619 – I just saw Sunny “something” and figured that was it – shows how closely I read 😉

    613 & 617 – Wow, did the Oregonian get to look at the map? I just can’t imagine what would have prompted them to say it that way if they’d seen the map and all of those possibilities. Anyone know if they saw the map?

  483. The RF map also leaves open the possibility that Kims were lost closer to Galice, in the area around the Peavine and Chrome Ridge detours.


  484. They are in order..backwards though. I would imagine that is how you are all going to want to see them though. I am disappointed that the full descriptions are not listed. I will be around for just a little bit longer to describe them if need be. RRR can explain some too, she took most of them!
    Unfortunately, I am sure that these will get posted on other sites as well…would it be better if I shared my email and then I could tell each of you where to find them? That way our photos would remain “ours?”

  485. Maggie, I am not sure if they saw the map. I would imagine that Det. Mike could answer that..he should be around in a couple of hours, like usual. Talk about a man that never sleeps!

  486. Kip, that is almost perfect…just a little smidge to the left I think. I cannot zoom on your map.

  487. 625 – Kip, that’s about where I thought it was (hard to tell on that picture since it’s small, but it looks like where I was looking).

  488. I once located the Calvert air strip on Google Earth. It is about 5 miles north of Kims car, roughly on a jagged stretch of county line. But I’m not sure about the road numbers. I don’t think they were too far off the road to Marial (32-9-14.2).


  489. Kip, if you look closely, you can see the intersection, I think, shown in the pictures of the car where 3 roads meet – almost like a horseshoe but another road coming out of its arch, if that makes sense.

  490. CMT 625.

    Kip the intersection that JoCoSAR described is directly at the 0900 hours point on your black circle.

    Now if Paul and Eric confirm — then we know where the SAAB was located.

  491. 613 -the Oregonian. Maggie, you are seeing it correctly. It seems like the Oregonian was less interested in technical accuracy and more interested in who was watching what football game and when.

  492. Eric, what is the chance that the signals could have bounced around a little with the weather? I know fog can mess up the signals, but how about the snow?


  493. Oh geez Eric, you kill me!!!!! Perfectly said!! They were definitely confused when the report said that I never called Brian Anderson and didn’t get answered…That call NEVER happened! They asked me yesterday where they got that information!

  494. 632 – Thank you, Eric. That was the impression some of us had on some of the things mentioned in the reports. This one is a pretty obvious example. I guess I expected a map with a little sign saying “look here, look here!” in about 3 or 5 places. I had no idea it was quite that complex. It definitely narrowed it down by hundreds of miles, though, thanks to your hard work.

  495. Kip, I think you got it!!! That’s my vote..JUST MY OPINION!! Not based on any coordinate though…

  496. this is from the interview of the Carson pilots:

    “Sunday afternoon they got the cell tower information and confirmation of credit card use at Denny’s in Roseburg. This information narrowed the search down to a 30 degree arc out of Glendale. They did outlines and overlays on maps for probability of locations. The cell tower information was the turning point in their search.”

    I hope to ask Eric if a 30 degree arc, means the wedge was 26 miles on each equa-distant side of the isosceles triangle with a 30 degree angle. I don’t know the azimuth of the centerline of the triangle.

    Eric, remember this is what the Carson pilots said they used and you may have a different take on the Wedge.

    But what portion of the 90 degree SW quadrant do I lay the 30 degree arc?

    Or maybe you draw a centerline azimuth from the tower and then draw two 26 mile lines 15 degrees to either side. What is the direction of the azimuth?


  497. Sorry Eric, but have to “out” you..

    I talked to Eric about the report and how we could obtain his accurate information for the OSSA report. Edge has an attorney that was protecting Eric from the media, along with others. This was a bit of a difficulty for the investigators writing the report. I called Eric and he was very concerned about getting the information out legally. He was so amazing! He worked his tail off to make it happen. I know that he comes across as a cool guy here, but he is one fo the coolest that I know! He didn’t have to do that, but he did!

  498. On the bear scat/berries comment in the report. I know what we all read in the report, then heard here from JoCo that James did not eat the berries, and I just heard on the news (kgw – channel 8) that the Kim’s did look to see what kinds of berries they might be able to find. I had wondered how anything like that was mentioned in the report if it was based on nothing – so there’s an explanation.

  499. 645 – me, too, JoCo 😉

    646 – OK, that was not supposed to be a sunglasses smiley – it was supposed to be (channel eight) but with the 8 and the ), I got 8)

  500. Yes, JoCoSAR–
    I loved math and learned map reading pretty well in the service. Artillery and such.

    Say what was the deal with the Larry King show interrupting the command center?. How long did that affect you folks? If it was more than one minute, I remain mad at the media.

  501. 648 – this is easy. The way that the building was set up was the main meeting room was a general meeting room for searchers and briefings. There was a smaller meeting room where most of the command staff worked with main maps and such. There were 4 other offices, mine included that were used for other making, phone calls, small meetings, etc. One night, Larry King crew set up in the main meeting room and we had to close all of the doors. There was an outside door from the command room to outside and to the commo room across the driveway. Search coordination did not stop, we just had to whisper for about 30-45 minutes. It was not as big of a deal as it sounded in the report, just annoying! Does that make sense?

  502. Cmt 650

    Yes , thanks. I was riled up if the LK show interfered– I know media descended like locusts. Well good night and I’ll be thinking of a new town, named Sunny Meadows, not Sunny Valley. Ha

  503. Bamadad, the “90” degree SW “arc” would be roughly between 305 true north and 220 true north…that gives an idea of what direction and beamwidth the Glendale “Z” sector was pointed.

  504. I should add that BLM 34-9-7 that I mention in post 611 is the ‘unlikely alternative’ the Maggie shows on one of her maps. As I said it has the advantage of putting them higher with better possibility of phone connection, but has the disadvantage of being snowy.

    Still some accounts talk about them being stuck in snow shortly before calling it quits for the night.


  505. You would all laugh when you saw the back seat of our truck that day! We had more stuff than any three people could possibly need for a very long time!

  506. 657 – I bet you did! And you’ve saved me a trip. I’ve reconsidered my idea of going this summer. No need.

    Which intersection is this one:

    It looks different from the 23/BLM split, but I’m not sure?

  507. Sorry, I’m just asking questions as I see them… Please tell me that this is not a sign that is supposed to be seen in the dark. Am I missing something?

  508. Maggie, that was my hope with sharing the photos. I certainly didn’t want a bunch of people going up there to see what I could share this way. I would love to have a JD reunion at Galice sometime over dinner on the deck overlooking the Rogue…that sounds like more fun!!

  509. Those are intersections on 34.8.36 past the major intersection that we have all been talking about. There are three major intersections that James and Kati may have passed if they took the route I think they took. None are signed (worth a darn). My theory is that if they were trying to go “down,” they took the right at each intersection. This would take them past the location where James left the road, past BBL road, and eventually to the car location. The photos are in backwards order, so if you follow them backwards, you would see them as James did.

  510. 662 – JoCo, is the route you think they took the one that was shown most in the media and the one I traced in Google Earth, or a different route?

    That terrain actually headed into Big Windy is unbelievable. Thank you so much for taking the pictures. I kept trying to find pictures that gave some perspective, but these are by far the most “descriptive” I’ve seen in the way that a picture is worth a thousand words.

  511. Sara/RRR: Those terrain shots where he entered Big Windy look dreadful !!!…and I know, from examining a topo map, that where he went into the drainage is relatively flat compared to what he encountered after a mile or so. I can’t imagine, 5+ miles in sneakers after more than a week with little food and water, after a 10 mile hike up the road ?!?!?

  512. Re: 428/RodneyG

    As someone else who has thought from early on that they took the incorrect (right) fork completely by mistake (thinking it was indeed the main road), it is now obvious that I was wrong. Kati is clear that they took the correct (left) fork, encountered heavy snow, backed up, and then took the right fork thinking this would get them to a lower elevation.

    I now believe this is what happened. But the question in my mind remains: Why they would the Kims choose to go down a road that was not on their map and with no signs indicating it would take them to the coast?

    I had assumed from early on the the unlocked gate had confused them into thinking the right fork was the main road and they took this mistakenly. Surely no one would knowingly take the road NOT marked as to the coast, would they? Surely someone encountering heavy snow in the middle of night with no one around and with two young children would backtrack the way they had come, the way that was certain to lead to the known and safety?

    Alas, I don’t mean to criticize the Kims nor to suggest that what they did was unreasonable. Kati indicated she was afraid of turning around because of the steep drop offs. The kids may have been very anxious by this point in time. In general, I agree with #407/Det. Mike W. that a sense of infalibility or that nothing will go wrong if you just keep pushing forward was at play. The Kims obviously are/were intelligent, thoughtful people and after they were stuck made the best of the situation, perhaps better than most would have done. If the search effort had been more effective, all would have been well.

    But in addition to what Det. Mike W. suggests, there may have been, shall we say, differences of opinion between James and Kati, about what to do and where to go. Human beings, after all, aren’t logical thinking machines but messes of emotions, desires and fears.

    And at this point I should stop with this idle speculation, as I don’t really want to know more than I already know, and I am certainly not looking to assign blame, just to understand.

    So perhaps it is better to place myself in a similar situation, for surely I have gotten myself into sticky situations thinking I could go just a bit further and then finding it was going to be hard to get out. And surely my traveling companions and I have not always seen eye-to-eye nor always been in the perfect frame of mind to focus on our travels and have sometimes missed key signs or made poor decisions for being distracted by our own dealings with each other.

    After all, as Shakespeare knew so well and the playgoers in Ashland see again and again, the difference between a comedy and a tragedy, between a happy ending and a death, often hangs on fate and the narrowest of choices. Human weakness sometimes cheats fate and sometimes does not.

    I don’t know why for certain the Kims ending up taking the right fork through the unlocked gate, a choice that in hindsight sealed their fate, but I trust that at the time they did so for reasons that made sense at the time. And that is the tragedy, that bad things can and do happen to good people.

  513. I’ll be quiet for a bit after this comment (yah, right), but seeing where the car was located, it makes perfect sense that James and Kati thought it was somewhat “open” and more easily seen. I know that there were trees above, but just in terms of space, I would imagine that most areas would be more narrow. It really does seem that they tried so hard to use logic to fix the situation. So heartbreaking to see the pictures.

  514. Maggie – I strongly believe that they took the route that we originally plotted, not the alternate route. It just lines up with Kati’s account. We just will not be sure until she says what happened. I am following the description of what they were trying to do…get lower. We did that on our drive, and ended up at the location of the car.

  515. I am sure that we could work a deal with the manager to stay at the lodge one night tub, private rooms, great fun!!!!

  516. I’m all about resourcing! Our marine deputy (shares my office) has a wife that works at the Dutch Bros main office….perhaps we could work a deal there too?? Anything is possible!!!

  517. RobZ – My thoughts exactly. I’ve held out all this time truly thinking that it was unlikely that they’d ever gotten onto FS23 and had taken the right at the intersection. It was so much easier to understand that, and it made more sense to me. Now, the questions are back – why? Many areas were likely difficult to turn around, but at that intersection, it looks like it would have been the best opportunity to do so and just go back down the way they came. I just wonder, and most of all just wish that they could have known, but how could they have known what such a simple decision would cost?

  518. 673 – Oooh, hot tub! Just tell me drinks or coffee drinks (or Espresso-tinis which I love to make – imagine that), maybe even a little karaoke, and I am there! We could rename the place in honor of Joe just for the reunion.

  519. 675/Maggie & RobZ: if there is one question I most want to ask Kati, that is the one…knowing civilization was behind you, and lower elevation, hence no snow, why did you not just turn around at that fork?

  520. 672 – Thank you for clarifying the route, JoCo. Thinking of going lower in elevation, you got to the same spot is a pretty strong argument. That had to be such a bizarre feeling taking that trip. Thank you again for the pictures.

  521. 677/ They make coffee drinks at the resort, they have a hard liq license, but I don’t know if they use Dutch Brothers for their Spanish Coffees. You would probably have to bring some.

  522. 678 – Paul, that’s exactly why I understood it so much better when I thought they took that right and assumed they were headed to the coast. Perhaps they still thought somehow it would get them there and continued on. If Kati ever does decide to talk about that, I’d sure listen. I’d also understand if that was one of those that she didn’t care to discuss. So puzzling. So tragic.

  523. I need to sign off and get some sleep, that way it will insure someone important will come on after I’m gone – Murphy’s Law and all that. Sara & RRR thank you for the new photos, it really helps complete the picture.

  524. It was bizarre. No doubt about it. It was even more bizarre when my edge phone got a text message!!! RRR and I about jumped out of our skin! It was right after I was told to not talk on here, and I was really feeling helpless here at home just reading along. Everyone wanted to know what it was like up there, including me…I had to go, Emily had to go! Thank goodness my husband drove us. (BTW, it was Emily that got car sick this time, not me!!)

  525. 683/ We’ve had more than a few people get car sick using BC for raft shuttles, it’s not the straightest stretch of roadway in the world.

  526. I knew you would ask that…I actually have all of the mileage and reference information out in my car…but it was a couple of miles past the intersection with FS23. that was the only place. I get all fire and medical pages on my phone, they were storing up waiting for a “handshake!”

  527. 678 Good question Paul. But hasn’t each one of us, at one time or another, hit a fork in the road that we wish we would have turned around on?

  528. 691 – Wow. I know it’s a huge issue, but especially with analog going away (not sure even that would have helped the Kim’s?), having cell coverage everywhere really would be a wonderful thing.

  529. It is time for me to go too. I am absolutely WORN OUT!! It’s hard to describe to people, but the search just ended for me yesterday! I will be back tomorrow. Thanks for a great evening of (non duct tape) conversation. That felt productive!

  530. goodnight..Det. Mike should be here soon, I think he typically shows up after midnight…he can pick up the conversation.

  531. Sooooo I take it that RRR is Emily???

    Its so weird to think of you as Sara and Emily after all these months of RRR and JOCOSAR! 😉

    So do we have a name for Mapper yet, or did I forget it?

    Mapper you better make it to the Galice Resort, we are just nasty to outsiders if they come in and pay double the asking price for the house we wanted to buy….. In CASH! of course if they want to offer us that for our house its ok! LOL 😉


  532. Good evening (morning ?) everyone. Thought I heard my name somewhere, figured it must be here.