Kim Search discussion page 10 (!)

The James and Kati Kim Family Search discussion now spans ten pages of over 10,000 comments. Click HERE for the back story, pictures, reports, and previous pages.

Governor Kulongoski’s Executive Order establishing SAR Task Force

The discussion continues below in the comments section.


1,487 thoughts on “Kim Search discussion page 10 (!)

  1. If Regional politicians didn’t generate enough hot air, the ball gets bounced up to the statehouse for more hot air generation.

    Atleast the Civil Air Patrol will be included this time. Maybe fixed wing resources will no longer be given such short shrift.

  2. 😀 ATTENTION 😀

    Thanks to leads from John James I’m getting more details from Jim Roper at the BLM about the project to improve Bear Camp signage. Please let me know by email or here if you want to help out with this effort which will probably happen this spring.

  3. The list of participants in the OSSA report includes a couple of CAP names. I don’t recall entries in the report about these individuals or CAP. The report does say that this case was unusual regarding the number of aircraft involved (though they were all helicopters). But, would fixed winged aircraft had any better success than the Carson helicopters?

    Larry Kendrick Medford Civil Air Patrol Commander
    Lieutenant Bob Soltz Civil Air Patrol
    Bruce Barron Retired Air Force

    I wonder if fixed winged aircraft were involved in the Stivers search. The object in that case was a larger 35′ RV. They were stranded near a ridgetop airstrip. They might have been easier to find from the air than the Saab in a small forest clearing. Maybe the big difference in that case was there weren’t many clues to help narrow the search area. That and the fact that the public didn’t feel quite as much sympathy for the victims.

    Do the BLM signs on that north route need changing as well? While I have looked that route on shuttle map, I couldn’t name any of the BLM and FS road numbers.


  4. Barron’s name was in the list right after the two CAP people, so I just included it in the cut and paste. The list isn’t specific as to whether the individuals participated in the search and/or the study. Probably a mix.

  5. 1090)-Page 9, John, thanks for taking the time to write the lengthy response and answer to my question. I had the same understanding about the “chain of command”, etc and that is why I asked the question.

    Really glad to see that you spent the time with Sara and got to some resolution for both of you. I think in the future as other things happen up and around Bear Camp your knowledge of the area will be valuable once again and this time I think you will have everyone’s ear!

    Trying to understand how you feel about not going back down that road – man that is a tough one. Very sorry to hear you have that burden on your back – personally I think you did what you thought was right and it ought to be left at that. Hindsight as they say is 20/20. I hope you can find a nice piece of baggage to drop that guilt in and send it on a one-way trip far away.

    Your right about John R. and thanks for saying it. BTW the dictionary version of Hero definitely applies. Of course just don’t listen to Charles Wilson he uses an alien dictionary anyway.

    Lastly as far at the BLM signage project, is there anything, anyone can do from far away to help somehow?

  6. 8/Kip: Wow…dare I ask, what does this technology cost if it’s even available to the masses ? Imagine setting up a search grid using that. Sure, maps work too, but in 3 dimensions, with the ability to readily manipulate ?

  7. An impressive way to manipulate those pixels.

    Often data is so complex that visual presentation is used simply because complex and voluminous ‘hay’ often conceals some very important ‘needles’.

  8. Not to be used for navigation:

    Okay. I have seen various diagrams reproduced in magazines and training materials bearing such a legend. Now some of it to me is lawyer-talk and no one would have ever used it to navigate and in other situations perhaps a pilot actually might have.

    Given the limitations of what a map can depict would a bold box of ‘This area not navigable with this map’ be appropriate for forrested mazes such as this one? Or would this particular forrested maze have such high use that some sort of supplemental insert should have been supplied?

    I’m not suggesting a return to the days of maps bearing legends that read ‘beyond here are monsters’ but perhaps maps oriented toward tourists and main roads should bear an indication that they are instruments of limited usability in certain more remote and rugged areas.

    Do I think the primary burden should be on the traveller? Ofcourse. Yet a more prominent warning legend might also help to create a psychological awareness of ‘you are entering the outback here, mate. Take survival gear with you. And a better map!’

  9. Most state maps have expanded sections for major urban areas. The back 2/3 of the ODOT map has these, from a large one for the Portland area, to small ones for towns like Grants Pass. Of course these areas have higher road densities than the rural forest areas.

    Other states have expanded sections for popular tourist destinations. South Dakota for example expands the Black Hills area, and includes FS road numbers. Yellowstone is another likely expansion candidate.

    In Oregon I think the Mt Hood area, and Columbia Gorge deserve expansion sooner than most areas in the southwest, at least, based on tourist traffic. One multistate map book that I have expands Portland, Salem, and Crater Lake. The Crater Lake one includes viewpoints and picnic areas.

    While Bear Camp has gotten a lot of attention in this case, it is hard to say whether it it unusual compared to similarly marked areas in the state. Some place I came across a 100 cars per day summer use figure, and significant number of those may be Roger River shuttle drivers. In the winter, most users are locals seeking winter recreation.

    Among summer tourists, it may help to distinguish between those who are just seeking a short cut from I5 to the coast, and those seeking camping, hiking or boating opportunities in the area. This is a lightly visited part of the coast. Look for example at the density of day use state parks further north. To the south are the redwoods of California. The Rogue River is perhaps the biggest tourist attraction in this area. The part paralleling Bear Camp is the wildest, but areas upstream and downstream offer more recreational opportunities.


  10. Evaluating the dangers of roads like Bear Camp is a bit like evaluating the dangers of cougars. Just in the news is a story of a couple who survived a cougar attack in a state park just a bit to the south in California. I just saw a Nat. Geographic documentary on cougar attacks on Vancouver Island. Yet the statistics are some thing like 1 cougar fatality in 3 years for all of USA and Canada. That is well below deaths by dogs, bees, snakes, etc.

    Guess what road ODOT describes as ‘one of the most dangerous roads in Josephine Co.? Not Bear Camp. US199 on the west side of Grants Pass. Jo Co SAR is probably called out for more river accidents, and missing hiker cases, than for lost motorist cases.

    On I90 crossing the mountains east of Seattle, there have been 4 deaths due to falling objects – 2 by a tree Thanksgiving weekend, and 2 by rocks a year earlier. Should there be warning blocks on the map: “Beware of falling rocks and trees”? Obviously the state needs to keep working at reducing these dangers by stabilizing slopes and cutting dangerous trees. But I don’t think general warnings and signs make much difference.


  11. “‘you are entering the outback here, mate” – there is a part of Oregon that is nicknamed the outback – the half east of US97. Distances between pushpins are often on the order of 50 or 60 miles.


  12. I would agree that a general warning sign would make little difference in the situations we read about and probably makes little difference in the situations we don’t read about (those wherein the signs are heeded) however certain highly trafficked yet dangerous routes are akin to the steep hills that have runaway truck escape lanes wherein emergency gravel patches will slow trucks that lose their brakes. Or consider those steep hills that just have an ‘extra’ truck lane off to the right for trucks that need to creep slowly along. Certain places are both full of mazelike spurs and also heavily travelled by the less than fully informed.

  13. One of the issues that came up in the Kim search was resources, or lack thereof, for less affluent counties in Oregon like Josephine. This mornings Oregonian discusses the loss of key Federal funding and its affect on communities in the area – notably Talent, home of Joe Duck.

    Hi to any regulars still lurking. 😛 Miss the comraderie of you all, but concede until the Govs. Task Force releases its findings we’ve discussed this tragedy thorougly.

  14. From another blog:

    I worked with James Kim for five years and I knew him for probably 7 or 8 years and I never him to be a wealthy man. In fact, when he first got to San Francisco he was paid a barely liveable salary. He lived like a lot of us dotcommers– not much higher on the hog than a spartan college-type lifestyle… tiny apartment, living meager paycheck to meager paycheck in an ultra-expensive city. He worked his way up to where he was, but he was never what you would call wealthy. And his wife’s stores were selling crafts and such– hardly a super-profitable business.

    • Yeah, sure 😉 You’re one of his friends, right? No need for lies here. Kathy Kim’s Yelp comments were reposted online already, about how they were spending $150-$300 on dinners (meager, yeah…) and other high spending and shopping sprees. They were rich yuppies who thought the world should roll under their feet.

  15. 25.Paul –
    Yes, I also miss the comraderie & the intelligent discussion & even disagrement, it excercises one’s mind and gets one outside of one’s own exsistence & forces one to look at others views. If there is anything of any significance in the Gov. Task Force report, some will probably come back. Others who added a great deal here, I seriously doubt be will back under any circumstances as their lives have been negatively impacted on a personnal level by some people taking things much too far.

    For anyone who posts on any form of public forum, blogs, etc. should keep in mind if they can not take people disagreeing with them, even at times getting a bit heated, then DON’T POST. They are not forced to post.

    There’s an old saying, if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

  16. For JoCoSar,
    Sara, if you are still checking this blog, I flew the River yesterday from Hog Creek to Agness (about 70 miles) looking for Curtis with no luck.There are a lot of boats down to Graves Creek and then none in the canyon ’till I got to the Clay Hill Stillwater. There are a lot of drift boats from Foster Bar to the ocean so I didn’t spend that much time down there. I looked over all the obvious eddys pretty well such as Horseshoe Bend, Battle Bar, Mariel,Blossom Bar Pool, Devils Staircase, etc. Some of the river is in the shade all day and is just real hard to check. On my way back over Hog Creek a women was standing by the river all alone waving so I landed on the boat ramp and talked to her for awhile. She is Curtis’ girlfriend of 14 years and goes down there everyday. She says the family has excepted the fact he is probably gone but they need closure so I will spend some more time in the Canyon when possible.
    By the way, Bear Camp Road is open all the way over now. The loggers in the Agness area are using it but one must take the Peavine route and the Burnt Ridge route down the other side. I’m somewhat concerned about the big gullys on the Peavine route if they get anymore snow up there so I fly that route on my way back from Agness. The road slid in again at the 4.6 mile area of Bear Camp Road and went all the way across. It looks like it knocked the concrete barriers into the creek from the helicopter.
    Call me sometime, I’d love to buy you lunch and I’ll come to Grants Pass.

  17. John quite an honor to have you checking in here at the blog, and it looks like SAR over there has a great new volunteer.

    I have JoCoSAR’s email and will pass this along immediately.

  18. I think that the use of black unlabeled lines for paved backwoods roads such as Bear Camp, is a perfectly good way of saying: ‘There is a road connecting these communities, but do not rely on this map for navigation in this area’.

    When I drive through an area like this using only an ODOT scale map, I use a combination of dead reckoning, and road signs to guide me. The distance signs (Gold Beach 60 miles, 40miles, 30 miles ..) are particularly useful. Since the map does not give road names, the road names on the signs don’t help me that much. Those distance signs were prefectly adequate to get Kims to the FS23 junction. They only ran into problems when they tried to find a way out of or around the snow on the main route.

    Regardless of the scale of the map, there are always details that it does not show. Even a computer program like MS Streets &Trips at greatest zoom does not show drive ways. I don’t expect the map to warn me that certain details are missing. In most cases such warnings would only clutter the map, and obscure the details that are present. Digitized maps can get around that issue by turning details on and off, either automatically or under user control.

    One piece of information that I would like to see on maps is a road speed. State and federal highways are engineered to meet certain speed standards, but lesser roads can handle anything from 50mph on good county farm roads to 15mph or less of rough forest roads. If Bear Camp was marked as a 30mph (or less) route, it would be less attractive as a shortcut.

    However adding this kind of information is only practical with digitized data bases (computer, online, gps), and even there its usefulness will depend on the quality of the updates.


  19. (28) John R…wow! Amazing to hear from you. Personally I think it is incredible that you take the time you do to help out.

    Oregon is privileged to have you as a citizen. You are an inspiration for the rest of us.

    Joe once again your special spot in the Internet never ceases to amaze! You really have created something awesome here.

  20. John Rachor is an amazing guy and certainly a super hero to our family. Joe, he does do you honor by stopping by.

    His postscript in a communication to Sandy and me reads:
    “The best thing I have ever seen in my life was Kati running around in the road waving her umbrella.”

    I get choked up with tears every time I talk about John’s letter. I was privileged to read the quote above to both Kati and Governor Ted Kulongoski.

    I talked with Kati this morning. She and the girls are doing well.

    Sandy and I consider ourselves two of the most fortunate people in the world to have had our girls returned to us. We will always miss James, but at least he lives on vibrantly in two of the most lovely little girls a Grandpa ever had.

  21. [28] – John Rachor, I certainly admire your initiative and your willingness to help freely… a super wonderful role model. Thank you!

  22. Mr. Rachor, thank you for your heartfelt and selfless efforts in conducting your successful search for the Kim family.

    Your willingness to use your off time and skills to help others sets you apart, and as Kip said, you are indeed a wonderful role model.

    This blog has brought together so many who cared about this case, and your stopping by is another tribute to Joe. His integrity and lack of any agenda except preventing future such tragedies has made people feel comfortable enough to talk with us, and I’m grateful to him for having created Joe Duck.

    Thank you again for what you did and are continuing to do.

  23. Some of the old regulars tonight 🙂 hi kip, glenn, madeleine, maggie, paul, frances, joe, I missed you guys this week! good to check in and see you guys!
    and hi to you Kati’s dad. good to hear from you too.

  24. Hi, Tara, Glenn, Dr. F., Maggie, and all the diehards who have been here all week while I’ve been checking in and out. I miss our discussions, too. What a treat to find a post from John Rachor!

  25. 28/John Rachor – thank you so much for your tireless efforts to help others. You’re an inspiration to us all.

    Joe Duck – they say a truest measure of a man is the company he keeps. If this is true, you have fine company indeed (John Rachor, Katie’s Dad, Sara R, Detective Mike, John James, etc.). That you have created a very unique and special place for the voices of this tragedy to gather and share is indisputable. Thank you.

    I, too, have missed all the voices checking in today. It is so very good to hear from you all.

  26. Hello all!! Good to see that most of you have not left here completely! I think that we are all guilty of lurking around. Old habits die hard!
    John, you are truly amazing…just as I told you when I met you in person, I am still “star struck!” I can honestly say that I have never met anyone like you in my life! What a blessing we are to have you here with us! I can’t wait for lunch…will it be Burger King Whoppers??
    I have your card still, waiting for its frame in my office…I will be in touch. Thank you all!

    We had yet another search today. An 81yo male with Alzheimers left his house for a short walk in the middle of town. He was found about 4 hours later walking very quickly along the freeway southbound several miles from town. He thought he was “going home!” We picked him up and took him back to his very worried wife and daughter.

  27. Hi,
    I don’t really want to sound crass about things but I would just wonder if the cost of that ‘yet another search today’ Alzheimers patient could be tallied up and compared with the cost of those tracking bracelets for Alzheimers patients that were discussed well upthread.

    Query: Did the “Burger King pilot” have a cell phone with him at the time he first encountered the stranded vehicle and gesticulating woman? Did he drop it?

  28. paulj 22,,,

    Okay. If there is a region of Oregon that is so remote and sparsely settled that it is informally known as ‘The Outback’, my question would be: do the auto maps of general distribution indicate the lack of motorist services in the area? Oregon is an unspoiled, outdoor recreation oriented state. Alot of areas are rural and perhaps dangerous in Winter, but is this one area known locally as ‘the outback’ indicated as being an unsafe area to enter without survival gear?

    I know we’ve been over the issues of how sensible it was to take the route across to Gold Beach and how sensible it was to proceed without adequate clothing and food/water. We’ve also been over the issue of warnings by signage and by map legends. I just wonder if this one notable area that you mention happens to be indicated as a bit dicey on any of the maps that someone would pick up at the tourist-oriented rest stop near the state’s borders on the freeway?

  29. As you know, #42, the ODOT map includes a box with an arrow pointing the route that the Kims took. Inside that box are the following words, in red type: “This route closed in winter.” Also, the Kims were seen by two separate witnesses, one of whom was interviewed once by an Oregon State Police officer and again by Portland Police detective Michael Weinstein, at a tourist information center in Wilsonville, Oregon.

    The Kims got their ODOT map at that center, and the employee who spoke to them told them not to use back roads to the coast at this time of year. Maybe Oregon should have a personalized warning for each negligent traveler, augmented with flashing neon road signs and loudspeakers? Seriously, what more do you want?

  30. The ‘ask locally’ warning box on the ODOT map is located in the lower right panel, close to the SE portion of the state. So an individual browsing that part of the map is likely to see that warning, more so than someone focused on the SW part.

    Also most individuals entering this area have survived similarly remote parts of neighboring states. I don’t see any warning boxes on the Nevada state map. I84 from Utah has long stretches without services before it gets to Boise.

    I expect that US395 heading north from Lakeview has a warning about ‘next services 140 miles’ (Burns). So the sheer lack of towns in SE Oregon will be a clue to most drivers that services are few and far between.

    What might fool some drivers in SW Oregon is that they can get into spots without traffic and cell service that are only 30 miles from a freeway.

    There was a well publicized stranding in NW Nevada near this remote part of Oregon. The Stolpas, driving to a family funeral in Idaho, tried to bypass snow on I80 by driving north in California, and then east on backroads aiming to reach NV140. One survival documentary built around the Stolpas experience, suggests using tires in a signal fire, just as James did.


  31. Hello all! I have been keeping track of this blog over the course of some time. To tell the truth I really don’t know what to say. When I first heard this story I was sad and angry about what had happened and my first instinct was to find blame in someone or a certain group for what had happened. But after reading the thousands of exchanges between you all I realized that it wasn’t that simple. Certain folks seemed to be criticized more than others the Kim family, Josephine County, Sara R, and John James placing blame on himself. But I’ve found that there really is no one specific person or event to place blame upon is there. To our logical instincts that doesn’t make sense, but life doesn’t always make sense by our standards. There are people all over the world trying to find ways to take the lives of others and James Kim died trying to find a way to save the lives of his family. He tried to do something beyond himself, something bigger than logic I guess.
    And even though we don’t know it yet I think James has succeded beyond his expectations. We will never know how many lives in the future James’s trek will save. Whether it be changes in search and rescue tactics or signs on Bear Camp Road. He, his family, SAR, and you all have touched peoples hearts, made people think, and that wealth can’t be measured. I think this blog should be required reading for anyone researching this issue. I have learned more from it than anything else I’ve read so far. Thank you all for trying to make things better in the future. Thank you JoeDuck for making this possible. I hope to hear from you all soon. Peace

  32. Fools Gold #41
    Yes, I was carrying a cell phone in the helicopter. I did not drop it to Kati for several reasons:
    1-I could hover no lower than maybe 100’in her area due to the tall fir trees. I figure from that altitude the phone would become a projectile.
    2-On bear camp road I only have cell service at the 9 mile area (weak), the 12 mile area (where the Kims tried to call, also very weak) and on top at the 20 mile area at the junction of the burnt ridge road(very strong).
    3-I try to avoid hovering over anyone at low altitudes as an engine failure means you are going to descend onto them.I hovered off to the side where Kati could still see me until the Carson helicopters arrived.
    4-I was fairly busy flying the helicopter, recording the lat/lon from my GPS, relaying the lat/lon to SAR command on one frequency, and talking to the Carson helicopters on another frequency.
    5-I knew the SAR snowcats where only about a half hour away and were headed that direction.
    6-I wanted to get back to the area where I had seen James’ footprints in the snow so I left Kati as soon as I saw Scott Dunn (from Carson) land down the road to pick her up.

    I hope this answers your question and just let me know if you would like any other info.

  33. #44, I have driven on I-5 through Oregon and U.S. 101 and lost cellphone coverage in spots. People not familiar with this part of the country tend to forget that Oregon is 1.5x the size of New England but with only 3.5 million people. It’s not the East.

    Now, there’s something else that had gotten very little discussion on this board, probably because this is a place where questions and/or doubts about the Kims get, at best, a chilly reception. The issue is the fundraising efforts for the Kims by Scott Nelson Windels.

    I’m not seeking to imply anything untoward about Mr. Windels. The issue is why those efforts are necessary. I was talking about the Kim case last week with a good friend who has an Asian business partner, and he was truly shocked about the Internet fundraising.

    “Charlie, you have no idea how unusual this is,” he said. In all of the Asian cultures, family ties run very deep because of the Confucian influence. It’s nearly unthinkable for an Asian grandfather to stand back while people are running auctions to support his granchildren, my friend said. Even if the grandfather wasn’t wealthy it would be unthinkable.

    I asked whether, say, the grandfather’s strong disapproval of the marriage would be enough for the grandfather to cut off the grandchildren in a situation like this. No way in hell, my friend said. The rift would have to go MUCH deeper than that.

    This one of a bunch of aspects of this thing that makes me quite strongly doubt the veracity of the information Kati Kim has provided to authorities. I think there’s another story to be told. What it is, I’m not sure. We’ve done some speculating on our website, but it hasn’t involved the fundraising.

    Something is deeply amiss here. For Spencer Kim to walk away from those grandkids, which the fundraising activity clearly implies, is a big shocker when you filter it through Asian cultural norms. Even acculturated Asian American norms. This sort of stuff just doesn’t happen.

  34. 45 – Theelkbugler, I’m just lurking lately, but I really liked how you summed up what’s been going on here on Joe’s blog and wanted to say that I feel much the same way as you do about… well, pretty much everything you said 🙂

  35. Hey folks I’m just back from a trip to Roseburg. Thanks for the nice comments above and so glad to see several of you “checking back in”!

    I stopped in Merlin at the 76 station, which is about 5 miles from I-5, to ask about the Kims. The attendants were pretty defensive but one said he thought it was the “morning shift” who talked to them. He suggested that the Kims should not have listened to directions so I got the idea they may have been misdirected but this was 2nd hand info.

    One thing that made me realize how easy it would have been to think that road was clear was the fact that on the way south along I-5 you hit a couple of fairly high mountain passes. It would have seemed reasonable, even to experienced drivers, to think they were seeing the conditions in southern Oregon “mountain country” on the trip. Unfortunately the I5 elevations are much lower than Bear Camp, which gets very high very fast.

  36. Charles you should give it a rest. As the story becomes clearer with pieces of new information you seem determined to challenge the Kim family and friends in inappropriate ways. Everybody understands your thoughts about this and I’ve let you post many pages of speculation here that I personally found offensive and probably inaccurate – no need to belabor these points here any more – keep them to your own site as you agreed to do some time ago.

  37. 50/Joe: Well said.
    Significant time and energy went into building their site, but they are never content to stay there. Could it be no one wants to play in their sandbox ?…or that the only ones who want to play in their sandbox are those who totally agree with their perspectives so they get bored and are compelled to come here to try to stir up conflict ?

  38. Does anyone recall whether there were weather warnings for Siskiyou summit that weekend? It has about the same altitude as Bear Camp summit. I recall snow warnings for Washington passes because relatives had to cross them, but didn’t pay attention to Oregon roads.

    Kati was familiar with one of the lowest crossings of the coast mountains, OR 128 from Eugene. There are some hints that Bear Camp is higher, but, a casual map user could easily miss them. Brandy Peak at 5298′ is a bit to the south. The Rogue River is 5 miles to the north, while various tributaries of the Illinois River start on the south side of the Bear Camp ridge.

    There is one creek on the north side of Bear Camp(Howard Ck.?). If I were modifying the ODOT map, I’d add Big Windy, and maybe a few others, just to add more clues that the area between Bear Camp road and the River is rough.

    But a pass symbol with altitude and name might be a better addition. ODOT doesn’t do this for any non-state passes at the moment, but they do have the winter closure warning on selected routes such as this. Pass notations might reinforce the closure warnings.


  39. It is possible that altitude figures, symbols or colors on a map might have alerted the Kims to the inherent danger in a wintertime trek through the area. In one area east of Seattle a “Pass Conditions” sign and radio frequency sign alert motorists well before they reach the summit. Ofcourse such a sign is on the freeway, not some back-country but commonly used shortcut which is safely used only in good weather.

    Driving directions, maps, signage, deceptively alluring intersections, failure to obtain gas/food/water, failure to endure one more day of cold, hungry children… it all mounts up. I don’t know if any one item of and in itself should carry great weight. Maps can go unheeded and at night with poor lighting might not be of much use anyway. Signs can go unnoticed or can be obscured by the very snow they are warning motorists about. Through routes to the coast can be marked, but such a sign can direct someone away from a nearby shelter of some sort.

    One thing the posts here and the official reviews have shown me is that there was a great deal of work done to locate the missing family. Far more paperwork involved in this project that I could ever have imagined. Sure there were some ‘speedbumps’ to be overcome such as the hesitancy of the hotel to reveal credit card and cell phone data even under usually honored procedures. Sure there were some limitations imposed by lack of resources in poorer counties. Mistakes and miscommunications are not exactly ‘par for the course’ but they are not exactly unheard of either. The various reviews and meetings are attempts to determine what could have been done better and to see that next time things go better. I think that for the most part a great deal of work was done in a very short time period and that overall it was a job well done. Its simply the results that we don’t care for but those things do indeed happen from time to time. Maps simply can’t bear warning legends about not trusting gas station attendants who seem to communicate poorly. Not every backcountry logging road can have a sign stating ‘deceptive slope…will not lead below the snow line’. And just as there may have been miscommunication at the gas station there may have been some later miscommunication about ‘cleared roads’ and ‘Bear Camp Rd’.

    In many fields precision of communication is paramount. Standarized language of aviation, procedures for a two-man police car running lights in Manhattan traffic, identifying who a good tipper is when a dealer gets relieved to go on break, etc. Some fields have ‘one write’ procedures simply to avoid repeated communication of the same information. Some fields try to enforce specific phrase selection on a form. I don’t know how practical that would be out in the snowy discussions about spur roads though! In this day of clipboard computers maybe precise data entry out in the field will become more important. Certain errors have cost lives: the police clerk who entered ‘MO’ for Montana sent the warning to Missouri. A patrol car screen might need to display on the two letter abbreviation but the headquarters screen had space enough for the full name. Yet things went wrong. One cop miscopied one digit in a long serial number and the gun was later used to kill several people. Information has to be conveyed precisely in certain circumstances. It can be difficult though.

  40. Joe Duck, I realize that you are loath to question or challenge the Kims any any way, shape or form. You have never been interested in the truth, but rather in promoting a particular slant that omits the most pertinent in formation, i.e., the paramount role of the Kims own negligence, Mrs. Kim’s lack of candor with authorities, key contradictions in the accounts and various other signs that there is much else not being told.

    The real question is why you want to do this. Why do you want only part of the story to be told, Mr. Hunkins?

  41. re51: I gather news relating to the Kim story, search and otherwize. I want a complete picture of what happened. Even if it’s just my own curiosity, I have a right to do that. Joe can delete all the posts he wants of course, but I have a right to go where I need to go to gather the information, and it certainly includes a lot more places than just here. I keep my visits here to an absolute minimum required.

    Unfortunately for me, I still need to keep track of news here. Believe me, I wish that were not so. Paul, you suggest that I just go to my “sand box” and stay there. That is ridiculous, I’m more open minded and curious than that. Your conjectures about my behavior show that you are in fact visiting our site yourself, and that you yourself are very interesting in keeping this an adversarial relationship with your comments. How I wish I didn’t have the opportunity to have to read your adversarial comments, Paul.

  42. 54 There is no underlying sinister story or attempt by Kati to misrepresent facts except in the misguided and persistent imaginations of Charles & Dee.

  43. You know I stated I was not going to post here and I haven’t. Yet something keeps bringing me back to see what you all are talking about. I am befuddled that you all are STILL debating it. MOVE ON!!! Can’t you just accept that someone lost their life trying to save his families life? A wonderful woman is alive with two beautiful children to live on in the legacy of their father. It is NOT healthy for you all to be dwelling on this story, for heaven’s sake you weren’t there; you will never know what it was like!!! You can sit back and back seat quarterback the story all you want, however I didn’t see you there, you weren’t there give it up! You have spoken about EVERY aspect of this search; I truly believe you have left no stone un-turned. You have now turned this into a pissing match of who’s your friend and what sandbox you are playing in. The site is WONDERFUL it was a great place to be able to be, it has attracted more attention then you will EVER know, BUT GIVE IT UP! The search is OVER! You all need to move on, you are dwelling on things you can’t fix, what happened to the great thought processes of gathering what could be better, gathering contacts to send your ideas to HELP…..Have you lost your focus here????

  44. Wow, RRR78. I mostly agree with you. However, I have not been considered a part of this “group” for quite some time. I was in all practicality booted out and ignored, because of who I associated with and saying some negative things about this blog thread core group. And I know by addressing you, I’m opening myself up to quite some lambasting. Personally, I harbor no negative feelings toward you or any SAR personnel. I admire you all. As I said, for my own reasons, I collect info on Kim story. That is NOT all I do in my life. I have a life, I enjoy my family, and I golf (especially when weather is decent), and I have to earn a living and I’ll keep my jobs to myself. I believe it is important to track the Kim story because of future impacts from policital meddling by Spencer Kim and others. I think they may try to close off Oregon public lands and enforce rules and laws on us that cost Oregon a lot of money, and threaten our land use beliefs. And naturally I don’t think the Feds will be giving us a penny to comply with their regulations and demands. For me, it is beyond what you have described, whether you want to believe it or not. I would not post here either, except to defend myself when I feel it’s important. I have another website beyond the KimTragedy site, it’s the OregonSAR site where I’m trying to attract and encourage support for SAR, it’s starting to get a bit of attention. I’m proud of it, it is what I can do at this point for SAR, I think the volunteer teams deserve support. Now everyone can pile on me like usual.

  45. 58/Dee & 57/RRR: I am not going to “pile on you”, I commend your SAR site as a worthy efforts to try to help. I am a bit taken aback by RRR’s post in that, if she has been following, she would know that the traffic here at JD has dropped significantly from what it was to a snails pace and that the vast majority of “the regulars” have, indeed, moved on.

    As to visiting your site, yes, I have, but very infrequently. I have never posted there. Ostensibly you built the site to engage like-minded individuals in debate and discussion and to put forth your perspective on events. Why, then, is Snarls forever here baiting people with what we know all too clearly are your perpectives ?? Then, if people have the audacity to make a comment he takes exception to, he threatens to sue them ??

    I think the fact that individuals like John Rachor, Kati’s dad, Det. Mike, Sara R, John James, Eric F, Brian A., etc., feel comfortable enough to post here speaks volumes for the quality and caliber of Joe’s site. To the best of my knowledge, you cannot make the same claim. I would offer that Snarl’s persistent posts are nothing more then Joe Duck envy.

  46. I can only speak for myself, Paul. There is no envy toward this blog comments thread. There is no competition. The goals and structure of our site are completely different. I would offer that the “comfort” you’ve mentioned is caused by a very controlled environment, and that’s Joe’s right. We cannot afford that kind of comfort. Thanks for your acknowledgements, I appreciate it. I simply don’t see the reason for this to be adversarial, but I understand that is rather complex at the moment.

  47. “Joe Duck Envy” I like it! 🙂

    All I can say is: (a) please don’t feed the trolls (b) this is a blog with many other interesting entries (c) I am glad I stuck to playwriting and never took Journalism 101, much less Ambush Journalism -100…

    Kati’s Dad, my sympathies to you and your family. It is hard to loose the good ones young.

  48. Joe Duck,
    Thanks for trying to get some info out of the gas station in Merlin. I haven’t checked the timeline specifically but if the person who gave them directions would have stepped forward during the search it may have made a huge difference. I guess they may have not realized that a family was missing. My question is how many 30 something aged Asian guys with a Saab come through there asking for directions to Gold Beach? On the other hand the attendant could have left town or doesn’t follow the news closely. Whoever it is probably knows by now and may feel to afraid or guilty to come forward, that is understandable. I have a hard time believing management doesn’t know who would’ve been on shift at that time. What do you all think, is it better left alone?

  49. The following is a speculation about what might have happened. We are not presenting it as a definitive or factual account.

    On Nov. 25th, the Kims get up relatively early in Portland. They have brunch with their friend at 10 a.m. or so. The Jan. 18 Sheriff’s Association report mentioned brunch at 10 a.m. in the timeline, and “morning” on page 6 of the timeline. Moreover, in our experience, kids don’t sleep in. They’re usually up bright and early, especially the four-year-old.

    Scott Nelson Windels posted that the Kims finished brunch at 2 p.m., but we doubt small children would sit still for four hours. We figure that brunch ends at 11:30 or so, and that the Kims stop at Wilsonville between noon and 12:30. This would match the recollection of the employee who gave them the highway map and coastal brochure, and of the second employee who recognized the Kims but did not speak with them. It would also match the one employee’s recollection of a discussion of “scenic routes” with Mr. Kim; it would have been light out and therefore a discussion of scenic routes would have made sense at that time of day.

    Like others of its type, the Wilsonville information center is stocked with dozens of brochures. We speculate that, as James Kim talks with the one employee, Kati and the kids wander around the racks. She picks up other flyers, including one or more advertising the wineries in the North Willamette Valley. James is on record being a wine lover, and Oregon is known for its pinot noir production in particular.

    We speculate that the Kims look at the brochures either out in their car or just before they leave the tourist center, and that when Mr. Kim spots the winery brochure he wants to visit one. But Kati, having spent four years in Oregon as a student, says, “James, we really don’t have the time.” James Kim wins that argument, and they go off in search of wineries. Along the way, Mr. Kim uses a cellphone make a reservation at TuTuTun. The wineries of the North Willamette Valley are located between Wilsonville and Halsey, about 20 miles west of Interstate 5.

    The Kims spend more time at the wineries than either of them had intended to, but especially more time than Kati had intended. It’s dusk by the time they got back on I-5 heading south, and it’s dark as they refuel in Halsey at 6 p.m. They haven’t even made it as far as Eugene; they’re a good five hours or more from Gold Beach, not including stops. Kati’s not happy when she calls the TuTuTun Lodge to tell them to leave a key by their door. “We’ll be lucky to be there by 1 a.m.,” we can imagine her saying.

    James replies, “Not to worry. Did you see that road from Grant’s Pass? It goes straight there.” They decide to take the route without studying the map; all they notice is the black line depicting the route, not lingering long enough to read the winter driving warning. We speculate that James Kim doesn’t worry about the caution from the employee against using the back roads, taking it to be an obligatory warning that doesn’t have to be taken too seriously. “I’ve been on the back roads from Eugene to Florence,” Kati might have said. “This will be no different.”

    They have dinner in Roseburg, and when they get back onto I-5 at about 9:30 they ignore the turnoff to Hwy. 42. According to locals, the turnoff is well-marked and, if missed, can easily be reached by a short backtrack. Once they get to the wilderness route, Kati sees that it’s much more rugged and remote than the Eugene-Florence route she’d been imagining. “Damn it, James, we can’t do this,” she says, as snow falls hard along their route. “Let’s just turn around and stop for the night along I-5. ”

    “The hell we will,” James Kim replies. “We’ve prepaid $250 for the room. Not only that, but we’ve got to drive to Mendocino tomorrow and that one’s a real pain. 101 and Hwy. 1 twist and turn like crazy, and you go 15 miles an hour along a lot of it. Let’s just do this and get there.”

    As they pass the fourth sign located just past the logging road intersection, Mr. Kim says, “You’re right, this is bad. I better turn around.” At that point, having noticed how narrow the road was on the way up, Kati Kim replies, “If you turn around we could go over the edge. You’re going to have to back down.”

    Mr. Kim slowly backs down the road until they reach the intersection with the logging road. Along the way, he has to open his car door to see through the swirling snow. At the intersection it’s snowing hard, and they’re both feeling a bit panicky. Now Kati Kim steps in. “This is a fine mess you’ve gotten us into,” she says to her husband. “Look, that other road goes lower. We can at least get out of the snow, and maybe we can find our way to Gold Beach.”

    James Kim takes the road, figuring they can get to the coast. In fact, they barely even get through all the snowdrifts. After another 20 miles they’re hopelessly lost. They’re exhausted, too, so they decide to call it a night and get some sleep. They get up the next day in the rain. Kati Kim recalls seeing a snowplow on their way up Bear Camp Road. The Kims get out of the car and think they hear a plow in the distance (later, they realize it was rushing water). “If it’s raining down here, it’s snowing like hell up there,” we imagine James Kim saying. “So we’d better wait until the plows get down here and they lead us out.”

    That never happens. By the time they’ve spent a few more days in the car, Mrs. Kim is angry at her husband for getting them into this situation, possibly including the detour to the wineries. We imagine a car full of hungry, rattled and fearful occupants. The kids are crying, the wife is yelling. So James Kim goes off in search of help, and winds up dying.

    When the survivors are rescued and the police question Kati Kim about the ordeal, we speculate that she omits the Wilsonville stop and the winery detour because of how it would look. After all, they were warned against using the back roads. Being so late on account of visiting wineries might make everyone think we were a pair of irresponsible yuppies, Mrs. Kim thinks. We imagine her telling the police that they left Portland late; that they missed Hwy. 42; that they sort of blundered into all of this.

    Much of that story would have been true. The Kims did blunder into it, and they were late. But, if our speculation is accurate, it wouldn’t be whole story. The Kims did nothing felonious or immoral, but they were negligent. Such things happen, but the kicker is that there were kids in the car with them and that makes it less excusable. Which might be why Kati Kim doesn’t want to talk about the whole story.

    Once again, we need to be clear that we are speculating. There could be other explanations as to why the Kims left Portland late. Scott Nelson Windels, their friend, wrote that it was because they didn’t end brunch until 2 p.m. and then went to boutiques. A poster on an Internet website speculated that the Wilsonville sighting was of a different couple consisting of a white woman, an Asian man and two young children. The employee who identified them as the Kims did so because “all Asians look alike,” the poster speculated.

    To us, that’s a stretch. We believe the Kims stopped in Wilsonville. They might have done so later than we think and/or stopped not at wineries but somewhere else — perhaps to see a different friend, or to do some Christmas shopping at an outlet mall along the highway. But if it were a friend or a mall, why conceal it? That’s one of the reasons we’re speculating about wineries. But in the final analysis, it’s impossible to know. Kati Kim knows what happened, and we suspect some of her friends know what happened. But we’re not sure anyone else will ever know.

    Why haven’t the police pursued the answers to these questions? Two reasons. First, no crime was committed. Second, Mrs. Kim is an attractive young woman, recently widowed with children, the subject of a torrent of sympathetic media coverage. If the police pursued the contradictions, it might look “cruel.” So, from their point of view, it might be better to let sleeping dogs lie.

    What should the Kims have done? What was their biggest error?

    Regardless of whether our speculation about wineries or other stops is accurate, we’d say the die was cast at 6 p.m. on Nov. 25 in Halsey, when the Kims reconfirmed their hotel reservation in Gold Beach. They should have called the hotel — to cancel. Then they should have taken I-5 to Grant’s Pass, and U.S. 199 to Crescent City, California. They’d have been in Crescent City by midnight. They’d have been late, but with a head start on the next day’s drive to Mendocino.

    Why didn’t they cancel? Two possibilities. One might be that they both really wanted to see the Oregon coast in the morning. More likely is that TuTuTun, like many luxury resorts, has a two-week cancellation policy. The bottom line may well be that, on the night of Nov. 25, 2006, James and Kati Kim were penny-wise and pound foolish, losing one life and putting three others at grave risk.

  50. By the way, absent any other news this really should be the last of it from me. The speculation + the comments about the evident rift between Kati Kim and her father-in-law were the final loose ends. I plan to move on now.

  51. 48- Maggie, Thank you for your kind words, it makes me feel a little more comfortable amongst a close knit crowd of people who (for the most part) want to make things better in the future.

    57- RRR78- I agree with you to a point and it surely does seem like people on here are still hashing out points that were debated over and over again long ago. There are many things we don’t know and some we never will and it wouldn’t matter if we did. I still think there are questions we could answer without malicious finger pointing. I do realize there are few as close to this as you and I thank you for your service, information, and concern about this. You, Sara R., or anyone else personally involved didn’t have to share your experiences on Joe’s blog and I am thankful to you for that.

  52. you know whats cool? Maggie, paul, jocosar, RRR, katis Dad, joy, I know youre lurking glenn, and of course Joe, are all still here checking in and reading. I am glad to see that. I am interested in finding out where the progress is on an “internet resource” group for SAR. Whats up with that? where has that headed?
    by the way, side comment on being lost: my mom and I were a bit “lost” on a road trip Monday. My father called to check on us and he said, “everyone knows that when you think youre lost you really just havent gone far enough…. dont turn around, youre probably almost there.”
    That struck me as a common mentality and probably, in the some cases, a dangerous thought.

  53. Its probably mostly true however.

    And having confidence in going forward is better than constant indecision as to whether one should turn around or not. Even if that confidence is misplaced.

  54. Why do you want only part of the story to be told, Mr. Hunkins?

    Charles, I can only give you a single clue of two words, and after that I can speak of this no more:

    R-O-S-W-E-L-L 1947
    😎 😯

  55. We’ve never argued that the Kims were done in by aliens. I’ve always figured that was more likely from someone else here, Joe. I mean, if the Kims didn’t do anything wrong and the SAR people didn’t do anything wrong but someone still died, who else does it leave but aliens?

  56. I don’t know about aliens but geomagnetic activity may have played a role. Nancy mentioned that in her #9:929. Here is an excerpt:

    “…In addition to the terrestrial weather problems of late November, the sun became active. The sun is at the minimum period of it’s eleven year cycle, but activity increased at the end of November. NOAA’s Space Environment Laboratory website shows geomagnetic storming for much of the period
    of November 30th-December 1st. …Micheal Persinger has published many articles regarding the effects of geomag on human behavior…”

  57. Speaking of the internet, something funny is going on. Suddenly, people are in an unexplained silly mood, everywhere! If only it could last……

  58. After lurking here for the past 2 months, it seems this blog is winding down, so I thought I would go ahead & leave a comment.

    It is just amazing that in this story, literally EVERY major player directly involved has posted on this blog. One thing that reading 10,000 or so posts has reiterated to me is that we are all human. We make mistakes. We feel badly about it. Often we try to justify actions and decisions that, in hindsight, were not the best.

    The Kims made decisions which were not the best. Those bad decisions should not have cost James’ life, but reality can sometimes be especially cruel.

    Humans can also be cruel and judgmental. Reading the vitriolic criticism in posts by Pac & Charles makes me glad that my fate will never be in their hands. They did have some decent points, but the enthusiasm of their animosity suggests to me that they need to take up jogging or something to ease the depth of their negative emotions.

    Humans can also be incredibly giving and strong. John Rachor saved 3 lives. Kati & the girls would almost certainly be dead if not for his continued efforts. For every time a John Rachor finds someone, there were dozens or even hundreds of times when valiant efforts were made with little fanfare and to no avail. If I am ever in Southeast Oregon, I will eat at Burger King.

    Finally, I am humbled by the posts left by Kati’s Dad. His intelligence and love for his family come through clearly. As was noted before, his classiness is an example for us all. Kati is lucky to have him for a father.

    Thanks to JoeDuck for hosting this, and to all the key people and contributors. Whatever else you think of Sara R., if she hadn’t started posting here, it’s likely most of the others would not have joined. Regardless of any procedural changes or SAR improvements which may or may not originate from this blog, it has undoubtedly been therapeutic for those directly involved to have a place to share thoughts and feelings about what happened. And it has given thousands of us with no direct involvement a way to touch the emotions of the situation; Lord, forgive us our voyeurism.

    And if Kati Kim herself should happen to check out this blog, know that many warm thoughts and prayers have been sent your way the last two months. Your time with James was tragically cut short, but your yelp reviews reveal a very loving relationship, the kind about which we all dream. I hope your healing continues and that life someday becomes manageable again.

  59. 52/ paulj…there were strong weather warnings that week-end. I heard Mike Donahue, from KOIN-TV (channel 6 in Portland), mention at least on a couple of newscasts that anyone traveling in western Oregon should try to do so on
    Saturday rather than Sunday. The concern in his voice was unusual, I thought, which is why I remember that forecast.
    I hope that it may one day be possible to get weather warnings while driving I-5, such as those available on the coast, over a car radio.

    72/ Kip…Not sure I understand your linking my message with anything regarding aliens, unless you’re referring
    to Micheal Persinger’s work regarding TST and UFO sightings.
    Is that correct? If so…have you read Dr. Persinger’s TST
    work? Or his work regarding sensed presence? I find his
    work one of the most reasonable explanations I have ever read for these kind of experiences. I realize his work is very controversial.

    Best thoughts to all,

  60. Nancy, I’m sorry if what I said [72] inferred anything other than the appreciation I have for your 9-929 comment. I was referring only to what you had to say about the effects of sun spots and geomagnetic activity possibly influencing human behavior.

    I check periodically for the status of current geomagnetic activity. Sometimes gives me a heads up of unusual stock / financial markets activity. I trade these markets, any edge can help. Interestingly (to me at least!) the bond market topped on Dec 1. Also was a crisis peak for the Kims. Coincidentally(?) the geomagnetic reading for that day was “storm”..

  61. Well I’ll stop by to say that I still lurk here on occasion. My internet service was down for a few days. When I come back I find John Rachor was here! Joe Duck this is a great site!

  62. With all due respect, William C., I am not the one whose judgment you’d need to fear. I have never gotten someone killed through my negligence. That honor goes to James and Kati Kim, Sara Rubrecht and Jason Stanton. Cruel? The truth has a way of being cruel. Judgmental? Doctor William, heal thyself.

  63. (84) Volleyball you can’t afford the respect that would be due William C. or anybody else that is posting here.

    Your perspective is truly vile and beyond words.

    We heard about your elixir and nobody is buying it. Take your sideshow somewhere else. The story has been told and no matter how hard you try to mold into something that you want it just isn’t going to fly.

    As they say in these parts…that dog just won’t hunt.

  64. 82/ Thank you Kip. I was so nervous when I made the post
    about geomag and Dr. Persinger’s work. Your comments mean a lot to me.

    I’ll be away all day, but wanted to mention Edward Dewey’s work on cycles. Ray Tomes has a Yahoo group and website
    devoted to cycles…including financial cycles.

    Thank you again for taking the time to respond.

    Warmest thoughts,

  65. Tara wrote: I am interested in finding out where the progress is on an “internet resource” group for SAR. What’s up with that? where has that headed?

    Tara! You want something *useful* to come out of all this commentary? Good idea!

    Glenn’s been working on a database application that’ll assist SAR with info processing, and I’ve been procrastinating on setting up the blog with a bunch of cases.

    Part of the challenge for me is all that I have learned through several missing person cases I ran on this blog – David Boone in California, Stanford Missing Student, Missing guy on Rogue River. The Kim case was *extremely* unique in that the word was out very fast and widely, and the interest level was global. Even in that case it was not clear that online information was ultimately of much if any help in finding them, and the media frenzy probably got in the way of the SAR effort.

    The huge interest and potential info helpers will not be the case with other missing people so I’m not even clear blog participants, as initial “outsiders”, will be able to gather enough info quickly enough to be able to help.

    But – I’m not giving up on the concept yet and like any project you need to experiment a lot, follow success, and zap errors. That can take a long time.

    I will try harder to get that blog going and see what evolves, and I think Glenn is cooking up an application that will be of more direct help to SAR.

  66. (88) Joe, Tara,

    Tara I missed your post. Thanks for the summary Joe.

    Currently I have invested in some dedicated hardware and software licenses to get a testing area established. The first work effort will be a survey that is sent any of the people interested in providing input.

    I am sure the results of the first survey will lead to additional surveys and discussions. The collection of this information is going to need to be structured so that it can be actionable.

    We will rely heavily on opinion and input from SAR members and of course Sara R. and RRR will be providing input and I am assuming they will enlist others to provide input.

    Once we take all of that information I will adjust the initial database design (it is like shooting in the dark!) that I have created and expand it to handle the relationships of data that we will want to bring together to provide a “dashboard” type capability for SAR.

    Included in that dashboard will be volunteer lists, ability to request volunteer assistance, data crunching, etc…

    We will initially focus on providing an interface for SAR and registered volunteers to work together in-line with Internet based resources.

    Another angle of the SAR assistance site will be to have a “directory” of readily available experts that SAR can tap into quickly to get questions answered, etc.

    Lastly, a section for the affected families will be there to correspond with SAR members and other volunteers – don’t worry certain elements will not be allowed to harass the family.

    The primary goals include:

    Establish network of experts that SAR can reliably contact and interact with.

    Provide “job jar” to identify SAR or family requests that can be distributed through the Internet to registered volunteers.

    Create searchable thread of conversations to allow LE and SAR to research and review to help in future searches.

    Create repository of key SAR related data points that can be used in future searches (history repeats itself).

    Long-term potential is a repository to allow SAR searchers, volunteers a place to fill out their daily diary of events that can be quickly assembled into a hierarchy to highlight key data points that could be overlooked in the volume of information. This could also lead to a consistent format of reporting diary items into an overall specific search volume compiled of all the data points and diary entries.

    The goal of the SAR assist site is not to replace Blogs. Open conversation should continue in Blog form, if anything it helps people deal with the situation and hopefully move on afterward.

    Another project is an addition to the Danger database that will allow people to produce a Google Map of their planned route with all the “memorial” and danger points pinned to the map with interactive summary and details regarding potential danger.

  67. (88) Joe another point on the short nature of the searches. I think it would be useful to have a repository that could arrange all of the search diaries (even the short searches) so that when a SAR effort is intiated a complete dossie of the area in regard to past SAR efforts, or like cases can be quickly assembled in report form with key priorities listed along with what were the critical data points in past efforts. (i.e. cellphone towers, tide charts, river level, etc).

  68. (91) Hey Chucky, actually I am toughest on myself. Yes I was very judgmental in the beginning about this – but after I was enlightened, got the facts and I changed my position. I was wrong on my initial assumptions about SAR. I have been corrected and quite happy that I received an education in the process. Blog are meant to be about growing and expanding ones’ knowledge of the subject matter and an individual’s participation is the way that person can package up the information so they specifically learn from it.

    Also Joe’s blog has introduced me to many amazing people and I will be forever grateful for that. That is the whole point isn’t it? Get a bunch of people together to discuss their opinions and find a place where most can meet and all learn something from it…other just want this to be a bully pulpit.

    Yourself and the others cut from your cloth are called detractors – you want to deflect the discussion from its purpose and focus it on your agenda – ultimately they are all vetted out and people for most part will ignore your propaganda some occasionally will get sucked into your “relevant” points but we all know they are only a plant to trick people into talking to you. That is where your approach ultimately fails because people eventually see through your veiled posts.

    There are a lot of people here really trying to make something good out of this horrible situation and it is a shame that you continue to beat your dead horse – just go bury it and move on.

  69. glenn, you and others are upset that we’ve held James and Kati Kim primarily responsible for James Kim’s death, named Sara Rubrecht and Jason Stanton as contributing to it and stated that we do not believe Kati Kim’s account of the events. You and many others here believe it is cruel to tell the truth; we think it’s cruel not to.

    Your objections have nothing to do with any lack of positive recommendations on our part. How can they, when our website is the only one to publish a list of specific positive recommendations aimed at reducing the likelihood of a similar tragedy?

  70. (94) Charles see post (57) Dr. Flemming said it best and I think across the board here he has just a tad more credibility than you do on this subject. Tad is probably the biggest understatement of the year.

    Please refer back to your post (65) – is this just another example of your misleading posts?

    Now…poof, be gone!

  71. glenn, I really don’t have any new comments to make. But I will at least attempt to defend myself when personally attacked by those who object to the making of judgments that they disagree with. It’s a little judgmental, wouldn’t you say?

  72. I wonder if there aren’t already various SAR information repositories. For example, how many SAR volunteers does Sara coordinate already? She must have on file records for many years of SAR missions. The volunteers have to go through various forms of training and certification.

    One of the teams involved in the Windy Ck search was Eugene Mountain Rescue. Besides their Lane County links, they are a part of the Mountain Rescue Association. I count 7 groups on the Lane Co Sheriff’s SAR page. Just a quick web browse shows that there already is a lot of SAR networking going on.

    There is even a SAR textbook, Fundamentals of Search and Rescue published by NASAR.

    A glance at the contents of this book shows me that there is a lot more to SAR than I ever imagined.


  73. Things which need ‘fixed’ – corrections, improved upon etc. DON’T get fixed when after the initial attention wears off people just forget, give it up and move on.

    Also, those who state that people should just give it up and move on are usually those who can stand the least scrunity.

    I have yet to see a response to my question of what has changed other than a few afore mentioned vests?

  74. Frances, your [102] comment brought to mind a biggy… if the attitudes of offending officials remain unchanged can we not sometime expect a repeat of a similar situation whereby an informed, knowledgeable private citizen volunteering critical information is summarily repelled as a nuisance?

  75. 103. Kip, Percisely you entire statment but emphasis upon “if the attitudes of offending officals remain unchanged can we no sometime expect a repeat of a similar situtation”

  76. Frances and Kip, “the attitudes of offending officials” had absolutely nothing to do with the Kim tragedy. James Kim died as the result of simple negligence, primarily on his own and his wife’s part.

    The best way to reduce that is to educate travelers about the need to plan their trips, pay attention to warnings and not to place too much reliance on technology. That’s what our site long ago suggested.

    The negligence of Sara Rubrecht and Jason Stanton also contributed to the death. I’m not sure what can be done to prevent a reoccurence. To me, it was a classic one-off mistake on their part. By contrast, the Kims’ negligence consisted of a number of failure points, any of which might have been accessed by a public education effort.

    This is a prime example of why it is necessary to correctly assign responsibility (a/k/a “blame”) when things like this happen. It’s not cruel to do so; rather, if you actually want to take lessons and apply them in hopes of preventing a repetition of the events, you must accurately understand the original events and their causes.

    It is the lack of understanding, and indeed the hostility toward understanding, displayed on this site that I find very odd. You are all educated people, but for some reason you regard the truth as taboo in this case. I suggest that, as part of your process of examination, you examine why you don’t want to face the truth in the Kim case.

  77. Charles Wilson:
    By the way, absent any other news this really should be the last of it from me.

    Dude, how many times now have you written that you’ve written your last comment here?

    … examine why you don’t want to face the truth in the Kim case.

    I thought I explained this clearly to you earlier:
    😯 R-O-S-W-E-L-L 1947 😯

  78. Snarls/105: You are exceedingly tiresome & redundant. Very few here have alledged that the Kim’s did not share some culpability for their fate. I have stated this before, but you keep ignoring that fact.

    No less a figure than Kati’s dad said in post 880/p9 that he agreed with the last line of the Snarls post 867, which read: “The Kims bear the primary responsibility for the fate that befell James Kim and the near death of the other members of the family.”

    The issue for many of the posters here is we don’t believe, as you do Snarl’s, that their mistake occurred in a vacuum or without extenuating circumstances. The Kim’s were far from the 1st people to misunderstand the dangers of that road. Mapper, who is a map EXPERT (which you – Snarls – are not) has pointed out the numerous problems with the ODOT map. The glaring deficiencies of the signage on the road have been expounded on repeatedly and in-depth. No less than John James attested to the numerous parties he has run into near his lodge who made similar navigational mistakes. You want to pin 200% of the blame on the Kim’s, whereas most here feel otherwise, that it is hardly that clear cut.

    What is most comical is you insist on repeating the same message over and over and over again regardless of what or how anyone here responds. Even when people agree with you you are argumentative. You keep saying you are leaving, but you never do. You built a huge site to discuss YOUR views, but you post here as much or more as you do there.

    Fine, keep beating your stubborn, hollow head into a brick wall and I’ll just lurk and laugh at your inane folly! You’ve succeeded only in reinforcing peoples determination to never become as narrow-minded and unempathetic as you clearly are.

  79. 102/Frances: Unless I am mistaken quite a bit is in the process of being changed. Signage issues are being worked on per earlier comments from several posters, with additional & clearer signs scheduled to go up this Spring.

    The Governor appointed the 15 members to his task force yesterday:
    I think it is safe to assume they will have several specific recommendations for the legislature to consider and implement.

    Changes after an event like this take time, that is the nature of government, but they are definitely in the works.

  80. But Paul/107, the signs on the road were not an issue for the Kims. They knew where they were going, and they departed from the map route on purpose.

    Mapper’s comments were perhaps academically useful, but she didn’t place them in the context of highway maps in general. In other words, how are other official state maps better or worse than Oregon’s? Maybe all highway maps fail to meet her standards? As I read the ODOT map, it was clear that the Kims’ route was in the lowest category of paved road. It bore a specific warning, and the map showed a 5,000 foot peak right next to the road. Additionally, once the Kims were on that road it wasn’t up to the map to tell them it was dangerous.

    As for repetition of a message, I plead guilty. Others should too. There are nearly 10,000 comments here. Surely you aren’t arguing that I am the only one making the same tired points. Right, Paul?

  81. While there are strong feelings here and there for the most part is because people care about various issues, but I don’t believe there are truly any hard feelings.

  82. RE: Helping with Bear Camp sign improvements: I hadn’t heard back from BLM email and just phoned Jim Roper to ask about helping with the new signage and also where people can send a donation of money.

  83. (107) Paul the reason Volleyball keeps doing this is he is marketing his solution! It should be obvious to everyone here – he is in this to make money – somehow, somewhere.

    He has invented a new form of SPAM but on a blog!!!

  84. I see CW thinks that signage wasn’t an issue for the Kims, but perhaps he could think outside the box a bit and consider the many people who took the wrong turn and were redirected to the correct route by John James and his family. And understand that clear signage on both roads at the fork may have indeed caused the Kims to turn completely around rather than go that way.

    Any of the persons redirected by the James family could have ended up in the same dire situation as the Kims, and there were also others found by SAR in earlier incidents.

    And now it appears that CW himself is lost, here on Joe Duck’s blog. He keeps saying he’s leaving, but keeps turning up repeatedly.

  85. I know that we will incur the wrath of Tommo for feeding the critters, but sometimes it’s hard to resist; they blather on and on, making the same inane accusations.

  86. What I want to know is why nobody wants to discuss this ROSWELL incident?!??!! It is obvious to my swollen cranium that this is DIRECTLY related to so many of these recent, “tragic” incidents! And yet everyone does their best to shift attention away from 1947 to volleyballs. VOLLEYBALLS! Volleyballs have nothing to do with anything except playing volleyball, and some silly movie…

    Okay. Maybe I have had too much Dew.

    And what I really want to know is: how does a 40-foot sailboat disappear without a trace?

  87. 116 & 119/Tharwood & Gayle: Obviously the C&C 40 was beamed aboard by our friends from Roswell. They were having some onboard trouble with their computers and needed an expert. He will be returned shortly with absolutely no memory of what happened to him.

  88. 121: His boat will reappear off Gold Beach. He will claim that is where he was headed all along & that solar flares interfered with his efforts to call home. He will have memories of having made the voyage, but when pressed for details will suddenly become vague and evasive.
    [audio src="" /]

  89. (122) Gayle I see you just committed a 2-11 in regard to the 121 which was really a 120. 10-4 on that! Ultimately it could have ended up as a 404 and we would need another Gov’t coverup!

  90. Ah, would that it were true that our friend on the C&C 40 would return with nothing more than some ad-hoc alien tech support stories he can’t remember.

    Meanwhile, I see the rest of you are determined to cover the whole thing up. I, however, am much too clever to be fooled by common sense.

    “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my story. Prepare to interview!”

  91. 112 Yes, I wonder the same. It appears to me that Charles is likely driven by a quest for cash and/or perhaps project recognition. I see his work as a rather pathetic and basically futile effort. Pac is just pathologically mean.

    I think that the Kim’s innocent mistakes should be judged in the context of the roughly 2,600 people who will be killed and 330,000 will be injured in cell phone related car accidents this year. I submit that anyone guilty of talking on a cell phone while driving has no business throwing stones.

  92. Frances asked:
    “I have yet to see a response to my question of what has changed other than a few afore mentioned vests?”

    Have you read the “After Action Review” document from Josephine County that is included in the Sheriffs Report?

    That lists things that worked, things that needed improvement, and list of next steps. A task force was supposed to meet in January 2007.

    The task force members represent all these south Oregon counties (Coos, Curry, Josephine, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath) and other regional agencies.

    Changes specific to Josephine Co. would be the responsibility of the new sheriff, the SAR Coordinator, local SAR organizations, etc. It has already been mentioned that the new sheriff is active in SAR.

    I would guess that the Governor’s task force will focus on state wide issues, not changes in a specific county.

    The Sheriffs report also mentions that a SAR Review Committee met Jan 9-11. It lists issues that they identified. They even have recommendations for what the Governor’s Task Force should address.


  93. (127) Dr. Flemming I really like you! 🙂

    Amen to the cellphone comment…I am involved in that industry and a firm supporter of people removing them from the driving scene. Very dangerous indeed.

  94. Preamble: I used to walk daily a 3 mile beautiful CA beach mainly for exercise. Was a state park but very few public frequented it, especially off season. But every day I’d encounter a damnable patrol 4X4, sometimes 2 or 3 times. Never ever saw one these usually overweight slobs get out of their vehicle. Their main purpose it seemed was to blight that special environment with their intimidating presence spoiling the wild solitude for us harmless few who reveled it.

    Re: JoCo changes – If I were JoCo chief honcho, I’d immediately fire the ‘in charge’ guy who encountered John James Dec 1. Maybe that be a wake up call for other slacker officials to respond attentively and respectfully to the public… their employer, in fact.

  95. I just picked up a used copy of “Back Roads of Oregon” by Earl Thollander. This 1979 book outlines 200 backroad drives, with hand lettered text, maps, and sketches. I’ve had the companion Washington volume for several years.

    The second route in the book is the one we all hold dear, which Earl calls Siskiyou Forest Road, Gold Beach to Galice. At the time of this book, the part east of Agness was gravel, and marked as Road 3400 – an earlier FS designation. His sketches include bear grass, and a expansive view from Panther Ridge.

    The way Earl travels and writes, it hardly sounds deadly 🙂 But he does mention stopping at the ranger station for a map and advice on road conditions.

    For those familiar with the area, further segments take him to Wolf Creek, Pleasant Valley, Jacksonville, McKee Bridge on the Applegate, and Murphy.


  96. as a lay tourist I traveled the bearcamp route once west to east several years ago. i don’t remember it seeming at all hazardous / treacherous but then it was not winter time. i do remember quite vividly the steep climb up the mountain out of Agnes but even that section was certainly easily driveable.

    any road traversing mountainous areas in winter can be treacherous. back road or interstate.

    The Kims’ biggest mistake as I see it was failing to top up at Merlin. Had they started out from there that night with a full gas tank I’d wager James would be with us today.

  97. Kati’s Dad, your daughter told a story about the events of Nov. 25 that directly contradicts what two witnesses said, including one who was interviewed by the Oregon State Police and by Det. Mike Weinstein, of the Portland Police.

    Why doesn’t your daughter just give an interview to a knowledgeable reporter who will ask her to clear up the contradictions? She has already called several media outlets to inform them that she did not eat berries plucked from bear scat, so it’s not as if she has a fear of the media.

  98. Another Oregon SAR mission – this time for an injured climber on Mt Hood. The climbers were well equipped, with emergency beacon, GPS, and cell.

    Agencies mentioned in the OregonLive article include Clackamas Co Sheriffs Office, American Medical Response, Portand Mountain Rescue, and Oregon Nat Guard.


  99. For folks that are in the Bay Area, there will be a public memorial for James on February 17th in San Francisco. We aren’t ready to post more detailed information yet, but I wanted to let folks here who might want to attend know, so they could mark their calendar or make plans. We are planning to have a special seating area for anyone who was involved in the SAR effort – so please drop me a line at if you’re going to be coming down from Oregon. This will be a celebration of James life, so don’t expect to be sitting the whole time. =)

  100. My friend and fellow pilot John Rachor told me of this site yesterday as we were discussing the next meeting of all local helicopter pilots (Southern Oregon) as a way to loosely coordinate efforts between commercial, business, and private pilot support and training. I find the comments of individuals posting here both interesting and yet somewhat troubling. As the lead volunteer helicopter pilot for Jackson County Search and Rescue these past four plus years it amazes me what stories get attention like the Kim story and the far larger majority of stories that don’t even get mentioned. I guess that is how the subjective nature of “news” works. In the case of the Kim family the outcome would have been exactly the same with or without the media attention, the discovery of the cell phone ping, or any other outside involvement. The fact is John Rachor had a hunch and followed it and thank God it proved out in the finding of Kati and the girls. Unfortunately it was too late for James, but we could not have worked harder in our efforts to locate and get to him in the two days that followed. Only the helicopter pilots and their crews as well as the ground teams inserted in the canyon can truly understand the terrain and difficulty involved in this search. It was from an airborn coordination viewpoint a very successful search and rescue for three Kim family members and a very technical and exhaustive search and recovery for James Kim.

    The good that has already come out of this mission is the ongoing coordination meetings between agencies and individual volunteers here in Southern Oregon to make certain that response time to all emergency situations is shortened and that appropriate resources and management teams are quickly put in to place. All local, county, state, and federal agencies are participating in these discussions, as well as private companies and individuals such as myself. Our discussions will go a long way towards fixing the major issues between us, they already have. No artificial boundry line on a map is going to stop us from working together in the future to help someone out of harms way. We do not judge the reason why someone wound up in harms way in the first place, nor do we assign importance of the search based on who the person(s) are that are lost or in danger based on economic or political status. We treat every search and rescue mission as if the person(s) lost are a member of our own family. I don’t know a single person who at one time or another hasn’t made a mistake that could have proven fatal.

    One thing that still troubles me is the timing on the Friday before the Monday John Rachor found Kati and the girls is after I had cleared Bear Camp Road three times from Galice to Agness and then started clearing Agness to Glendale……when approaching the zone where we located the Stiver family earlier in the year the cloud cover presented a visibility obstacle I couldn’t fly through so I departed the zone and flew up the Rogue River at the 2500 foot level right past the Kim family location, they were at the 2500 foot level on the south side of the river. Had their fire not fizzled out just before then or if I had departed the Glendale search route earlier the Kims would have been rescued right then on Friday…………so close and yet so far, these are the thoughts that sometimes haunt those of us volunteers SAR members.

    Randy Jones

  101. Randy, You guys are great.

    I particularly appreciate your comment “…I don’t know a single person who at one time or another hasn’t made a mistake that could have proven fatal.”

    The malicious comments are from a very small minority, but they are hurtful.

    Thanks so much for your post. John Rachor has done yet another good deed by pointing you to Joe’s blog.

  102. Yes #139, virtually everyone has made travel mistakes. Unfortunately, your daughter and her late husband made a whole series of them and did so under conditions that made their mistakes especially dangerous.

    On a different board, someone posted the following message that I think captures it very well:

    I attended a meeting of corporate fleet managers a few months ago and one of the topics of discussion was how to reduce fleet accidents (and fatalities). To prepare, I started to review a couple hundred accident files on the National Transportation Safety Board to determine some of the root causes of major accidents. One thing that was striking was that most accidents had four to five factors that led to the tragedy in one way or another. In many of the accidents, had one of the factors been eliminated, the accident would not have led to a fatality. By the way, I don’t get any thrill out of seeing accident crash scenes. All I am interested in is making sure that my company drivers get home alive and don’t kill anyone in the process.

    The Kim tragedy is a classic. There are at least six factors that could have led to better results:

    1) Choosing the proper route.
    2) Carrying sufficient clothing/food, etc.
    3) Letting family members know their route before they left.
    4) Backtracking when they got lost.
    5) Cancelling the reservation on the coast and staying along I-5.
    6) Not disreagarding all of the various signs along the route.

    By harping on this message, future travellers may develop a greater respect for the dangers of the wilderness.

    For the record, I have done some “industrial strength” stupid things too. These include four hours on a back road between Fort Huachuca and Nogales, AZ without much water or a decent map, disregarding the “road closed” signs on the Mt. Nebo Loop in central Utah, and trying to make rental cars on 4×4 roads.

  103. Randy Jones–AirOne,,,

    I realize that helicopters are often preferred in forrested terrain whereas scrubland is better searched by fixed wing aircraft. I wonder what you think of the total lack of fixed wing craft in the search. Surely some of those 50mph ultralights can do a first pass over those logging roads and be likely to spot any stalled vehicles.

  104. Randy – thanks so much for checking in and for the excellent comment up there. Also thanks for all the fine work you did in this search and the many others that get, as you noted, far less attention than the Kim Family’s misfortune.

    The level of interest here has been obsessive but at the very least it’s given a lot of people insight into the SAR process, and with all the professionals that have checked in it may lead to a few innovative ways to enlist remote volunteer help for future efforts. That remains to be seen of course, as we have not had much luck with the few “new” missing person cases thrown out so far as blog entries.

  105. (141) Guess you didn’t have your fill last night Charles…please refer to post (136) for any further comments from me. That pretty much sums it up.

  106. (138)…great to see you posting here. Joe once again you did it!

    In any event, thanks for your prospective and your tireless efforts in all the SAR cases.

    Wow I can’t believe you were that close on Friday – it is humbling to just see how small we all are in this big world – we all think we are so big and yet we can disappear right behind the trees and still think we are in the open.

    Keep up the great work. If you think there is any benefit for online collaboration from fellow pilots – we would very much like to hear your thoughts. My gut is there is a potential for a spot to share current status and provide a venue for other local pilots to engage and pitch in.

    Thanks to John R. for alerting you to this site!

  107. 138/Randy: Thank you so much for stopping by and providing yet another informed insight and calling attention to all those SAR efforts that the media ignores, they are every bit as important as this one.

    142/Fools Gold – I have wondered about this too, but would appreciate a informed comment from a pilot (Randy or John, could you commment?). I am speculating, but with the steep canyon walls and heavily forested landscape, the terrain may be especially treacherous for ultra-lights. I would imagine between the presence of the river and highly variable elevations that you get some very unpredictable winds that would make flying ultra-lights too risky.

  108. re: ultralight aircraft – – – I’ve never participated in a SAR operation but common sense would tell me ultralights could be used effectively in a Kims like search. Particularly a 2 engine model. The extra power and engine duplication could be saving grace if a sudden unexpected downdraft or gust of wind, or engine failure occurred when traveling at low altitude, at low speed. There is one model I think could be ideal for SAR…. the prototype was built to serve as a camera platform flying the Congo jungle at tree top level…. for National Geographic.

    I’ve enjoyed many hours flying a single engine ultralight. Flew 80 – 100 mile trips on occasion. Carried extra fuel in a jerry can so when ran low just set down somewhere, filled ‘r up and was on my way again. BTW I always wore a parachute… just in case!

  109. 138 -Randy, Thank you for being here and providing us with your thoughts. I’m sure that few have more passion and dedication to SAR than you. Thank you for all of your past efforts and may your skies be clear in future flights to come.

  110. Years ago police in Mesa, AZ or Chandler, AZ used an ultralight for surveillance work but weather and terrain of Oregon are far different than Phoenix suburbs. I agree that the twin engine low and slow camera bed plane would be good but feel just about anything would be okay if there were a team up there rather than a solitary searcher. I doubt a fixed wing aircraft could have done anything but “clear roads”. Dropping supplies and rescue teams is helicopter work. Winds along mountain ridges? Well, I don’t think its a picnic for the helicopter pilots either.

  111. Hello all,
    First of all I would like to thank my friend Randy Jones for leaving his comments on this forum. Randy would probably never mention it here but he has participated in over 80 SAR missions all at his own expense. Randy is a very successful local businessman who stops whatever he is doing when needed by SAR.

    So far my comments here have been more technical in nature than philisophical but I would like to share a few thoughts: If mistakes were made during the search they will be rectified. I heard John Madden say the other day “There is no reason to yell at a receiver for dropping the ball, he knows he dropped the ball and he feels worse than anyone else”.

    And finally,
    When a tragic event like this happens the ones who suffer the most are the survivors. James’ suffering has stopped but it continues for Kati and the girls, James’ parents, siblings, and relatives, and Kati’s family. What I feel we need to do as friends, family, and fellow human beings is be as kind, loving, and supportive as possible to help heal the wounds, and it will take time. We can make it work if we all help.
    Thank you for your time,

  112. 151/John Rachor: So very well said, esp. paragraph 3, a timely reminder of what is really important – the human cost of such stories.

  113. (151) John thanks for the perspective on both Randy and the Kim story. You really nailed it on the head with the wide receiver analogy and how the survivors must cope with life.

    It is something that will never go away for them – I am sure Kati will second guess for many years to come as well as others. Time doesn’t really heal it just creates enough of a buffer so that we might find some peace during the rest of our lives.

    And Randy – I am now even now more impressed – way to go – giving back to your community is so critical! Nice job.

    Death has one characteristic that nothing else has – it is truly final – no do over, no instant replay review, no second chance – it is just over.

  114. 151 – John Rachor, you are even more wonderful than I thought. So very, very well put. Thank you. For that, for everything. We need more folks like you in the world.

  115. I wonder what the Kims could have done to improve the chances of being found. In particular, if I were to get stuck or stranded on a similar road, what should I do?

    It seems that one problem was that they stopped in a small clearing in well developed second growth. The car could only be seen from overhead, and even the tire smoke had trouble rising above the tree tops. I suspect that six miles back, closer to the Black Bar Lodge turnoff, there were areas where the road was more visible from the air, either due to newer clearcuts or slopes overlooking the river. But they probably did not notice this when driving during the night.

    If I recall correctly the pilot first saw Kati running, not the car. There was also mention of a message in snow – I assume that was on the road that ran south up the ridge from the car.

    Tires are supposed to give lots of smoke, but apparently the fire did not last long enough to help.


  116. I wish I could describe the feeling wrought by reading these 2 points of view passages – – –

    Randy Jones (138)

    “…I departed the zone and flew up the Rogue River at the 2500 foot level right past the Kim family location, they were at the 2500 foot level on the south side of the river. Had their fire not fizzled out just before then or if I had departed the Glendale search route earlier the Kims would have been rescued right then on Friday…………so close and yet so far…”

    Kati Kim: 9 – OSSA Report – II

    “The signal fire had just “fizzled” out when Kati and James heard a helicopter in the area. James frantically tried to relight the fire hoping those in the helicopter might see it. It was so damp and wet that he couldn’t get the fire going again. Kati describes that afternoon, near dark about 4:30, as one of the toughest moments of their ordeal”

  117. Hi! I have been busy trying to catch up with the rest of my life. But I also want to join in and thank John Rachor and
    Randy Jones. It is an honor to have you, your thoughts, and
    your reflections on your experience here.

    I think it honors James too, that you are here as well. It shows how much you care.

  118. 156 Signal Optimization

    I think it was a combination of a desire to ‘press on’ and hope to encounter “some way out” (a descending road, a settlement, a lone structure, anything) and the worsening road conditions. Sure stopping in a clearing is better. Stopping at an intersection is probably wise. Given the snow and windows and nighttime, could they even see a ‘good spot’ to stop in?

    Once stuck, finding an open space for the ‘SOS’ message is could. Leaving an arrow to indicate direction of travel is good. Having fire materials ‘on standby’ might have helped as well as making use of even tiny amounts of engine oil as a ‘starter fluid’. They may want heat at night but fires are most needed during the day.

    Once in a heavily forrested canopy I don’t know of any way to avoid smoke dissipation. Some branches probably burn easier than others and some probably give different amounts of smoke for different time periods but I doubt either of them had any knowledge and I doubt they would have a survival guide if they didn’t even have food or blankets.

  119. I would like to answer a couple of questions posed above and then make a few more comments relevant to the Kim family search and an observation or two to help those get their minds around some issues, then I will not post anymore and get back to preparing for our next mission here in Southern Oregon. First, having flown ultralight aircraft….probably not a good choice on most SAR missions because most of our missions take place in conditions not conducive both weather wise or terrain wise, plus I doubt the county sheriff (responsible party for those involved in organized searches) would want to risk county liability for an accident. Second, as far as fixed wing, certainly a viable aircraft for searching, provided the pilot has sufficient training, having also flown and owned airplanes I would say the searching is better suited for open spaces and less severe topographical changes. Airplanes must search from higher altitudes above ground level and only down canyon in direction for safety reasons and must have a certain airspeed in order to not stall and drop out of the sky. The Cival Air Patrol can and should be used in certain search situations as they have proper training and equipment for such missions. Of course, the helicopter is most suited for most searches and can add the rescue part of SAR to the equation if necessary. This past year alone I located fourteen lost or in danger citizens in Jackson County and airlifted eight of them to safety while directing ground teams to the other six.

    I would like for Kati and her daughters to know that two weeks ago I flew Sheriff Winters of Jackson County to where their car got stuck in the snow and then backtracked the entire route that James walked in his attempt to find help for his precious family. We flew low and slow for a full view of the long winding walk of nearly twelve miles on a narrow, icy, cold and lonely road to the point James went off the edge down into the steep and very rugged Big Windy Creek drainage. Having been on scene a few minutes after John Rachor found you and the girls Kati, I knew that Scott Dunn (Carson Helicopters) would be able to rescue you in his helicopter, so I immediately flew to where John had first spotted James foot tracks in the snow and began directing the ground operations from my helicopter and coordinating the other Carson Helicopter aircraft and well as John Rachor in his private ship. I am fully convinced that the reason James went off into that rugged virgin wilderness canyon was because he encountered a large black bear coming down the road he was walking up. James would not know that black bears are basically harmless to human beings. As I requested that two of our Jackson County searchers nearby (a SWAT deputy and a SAR volunteer) follow James’s tracks down the canyon I constantly inquired as to whether the bear followed James and the answer was consistantly yes, the bear tracks walked over James’s tracks numerous time for at least a half mile down the canyon. Once committed on this course James would not know that had he gone uphill at the first stream fork he encountered he could of return to the road he was on with a much shorter transition than his orginal track into the canyon. James, like most of us in his situation at that time continued downstream thinking he would eventually get to the river and possible help for his family. What he couldn’t know was that there was no remotely possible way to exit that canyon safely. All of us helicopter pilots knew this fact as between the four helicopters working as a constant overhead team we must have flown the canyon top to bottom searching for James at least two hundred times low and slow with very skilled spotters and pilots searching. What we as pilots did not know until we inserted Eric Johnson on Tuesday afternoon after spotting some clothing mid-canyon was that James would not have been able to even hear any of the helicopters searching for him. The canyon was so narrow and lined with two hundred foot tall trees as well as steep canyon walls that the roar of the stream drowned out the sound of the helicopters, Eric Johnson reported this to me. As Eric was in the canyon I gave him ten minutes to gather James’s belongings and yell and whistle for James. This is because it was late in the afternoon, the canyon was already very dark and Steve Metheny, pilot for Carson Helicopters had to have a chance to extract Eric. We had discovered earlier that our 150-200 long line for short haul operations would not reach the canyon floor from below the helicopter, so I authorized Steve to land at Black Bar along the river and add an additional 80 feet of line so we could get Eric in position to hopefully reach James. James had already moved further downstream to where he was recovered on Wednesday. Kati, some of us have never met you, but I want you to know that absolutely everything humanly possible was taking place to reach and hopefully rescue James. I am sorry for your loss and we mourn with you. On the brighter side, I couldn’t be more pleased for the saving of your own life and those of your precious daughters. During the day on Tuesday OSP wanted me to retrieve your laptop computers from your car, as I sat my helicopter down in the very tight confines of your encampment, fire pit and your car with all the tires removed, the signals marked in the snow, I said a little thank you prayer and asked God to help up find James alive. My spotter, Skip Snyder, and I couldn’t just leave with the two computers, we loaded up the back seat of my helicopter with all the personal effects we could find, including your camera, daughters suitcases, and even that broken umbrella you used to flag down my friend John Rachor who followed a hunch and found you. Your family has touched our hearts and we wish you the best possible for your future. James traversed some of the most rugged country in the western United States trying to get help for his family, don’t ever let anyone tell you different. We all have a time to leave this life, no one will escape that, you and your daughters may not have been found in time if it weren’t for tracks in the snow James left on his quest for help. As I finished flying Sheriff Winters over the entire canyon route James took and then up the long trek to Bear Camp Road and then on back in to civilization there was a tear on his cheek as well as on mine thinking how difficult this journey had been. Kati, people take wrong turns in life all the time, usually, by luck or grace, they don’t become fatal. A lot of folks you will never know poured themselves in an effort to bring James to you. Without knowing James, I can say for a fact because of his efforts to find help that if the cup must return three quarters full, this was his choice to fill it.

    Now, for you armchair Monday morning quarterbacks…….I have read some of your musings, most of you got most of what took place wrong. Perhaps some of you will reach out a hand to help someone in need instead of spending so much time analyzing and critiquing a topic of which you have little knowledge. Go to a local elementary school and help a kid learn how to read, serve meals at your local soup kitchen, become a special advocate for a battered child, become a foster parent, help the Red Cross or Salvation Army. There are many people in need on this planet and no matter who you are or how limited your resouces may be, you can make a difference in someone life, please consider doing so………

    Randy Jones

  120. (162) Thanks Randy. Helps put a lot of things to rest. Also nice to hear confirmation from you that you agree that in part James quest was a success and he didn’t die in vain.

    Hopefully his family can embrace that fact and find something purposeful from it.

    Also with recent SAR efforts it seems a lot more people are getting involved in to help especially on the Internet and I can’t help but think that James was partially responsible for this change as well. Certainly a worthwhile legacy in the making.

  121. Randy, is your position that no one other than yourself should examine the events of Nov. 25-Dec. 6? If so, that’s unrealistic to put it mildly. As for various ideas on how the Kims could have made themselves for visible, my own reaction is that people who make as many blunders as they did on the way in cannot be relied upon to follow a set of procedures that might be perfectly advisable but otherwise unrealistic.

    A better way to avoid similar tragedies is through public education about the need to heed warnings, be aware of surroundings, plan trips and not rely too much on technology, be it cellphones or vehicle features.

    The use of ultralight aircraft in SAR operations is a bad idea. Those things will be buffeted around in even a slight wind. They are uniquely unsuited for SAR operations.

  122. I have just arrived here.

    Thank you to all those involved in the search, and especially those who went out of their way to try to help,
    like John Rachor, Randy Jones, John James, and all the others, volunteers, and professionals alike. Those who go out of their way, as they say, above and beyond the call of duty, or even without duty, that is the stuff of heroes.

    This blog is very impressive, and I too thank the efforts of all those who care to contribute, you seem to be quite a great group of people.

    After reading your most recent post Randy Jones, there are
    a few things I feel the need to mention at this time though. I have been reading through this blog, and I have noticed that the people involved in the search tend to take it personally and get “territorial” about anyone not involved critiqing it. While this may be natural behavior, it is also natural for other people to have opinions about it. And this is a public blog, and it is called the “Kim Search discussion.”

    So it is logical, that people will discuss the search.

    I don’t get the impression at all that people were completely unappreciative of the search. The impression I got was that there were various aspects of the search which people found frustrating and problematic.

    It seems natural that after the seemingly sensless loss of
    a wonderful young man like James Kim, people would have concerns.

    As an insider, do you feel that there was anything that would have been better if it were done differently?

    Or what do you feel can be learned from the search?

    And lastly, I feel you had good intentions, but it was presumptive of you to assume that people involved in this blog are not already doing things to help people in need. From what I have read, this is a very caring group of people and many of them have stated that they are doing such work.

    I don’t mean to further ruffle any feathers, but I just felt a need to speak up about some things that seemed important to the greater good.

    Thank you very much,

    Miss Lily

  123. glenn, speaking of reviving tired subjects that were beaten to death, are you going to start yammering about my alleged desire to make money from the kim tragedy? If that was the case, wouldn’t you think we’d at least have advertising on our site?

  124. How’s that working for you, Chucky and Dee, copying John Rachor’s message from here and pasting it onto your sight? I’ll bet Sara R. checks you out all the time. Just a public service you do out of the goodness of your hearts, right?

  125. I wasn’t involved in any of that, #169. I’m not quite sure why Dee did it. As for our site, we get a few hundred hits a day on average. The purpose, at least from my point of view, is to have a comprehensive and truthful account out there for anyone who looks at the events of Nov. 25-Dec. 6 and wants to know what really happened.

    This site doesn’t have a single repository, and is dominated by people who are averse to holding anyone, and especially the Kims, responsible for Mr, Kim’s death. We think that’s unfortunate and misleading, hence our site.

  126. (169) Charles you are searching for the truth just as much as Bill Clinton doesn’t lie under oath!!!

    Well of course your version of the “truth” could work it really just depends on your definition of is, is…

    Charles I have been thinking your motivation was some form of personal profit, at least with that I could almost understand why (although I don’t agree with your motives) you would do this…if you are not doing this for profit then you certainly have some serious issues!

  127. Randy Jones, thank you again. Very much. You have shed much light on both what James went through trying to save his family and also how hard everyone tried to save him. I admire you for your efforts very, very much. And I do think that you are right that without being there, it’s hard to really know what it was really like, and it’s too easy to speculate and assume and place blame. The OSSA Report showed some real issues needing improvement, and the governor has appointed a task force for just that reason, so at this point that’s good enough for me. I do hope that improvements will come from this – there are definitely some very good people who tirelessly did all they could to help, and that’s the best foundation for any improvements.

    Sadly, as much as we’ve all discussed it over 10,000+ posts, no amount of discussion will bring James back to Kati and his girls.

    Thank you again, Randy. You are good people.

  128. 😀 Attention 😀

    The DangerData blog is now live here:

    I’ve only added the James Gray case to begin but will soon have more cases up along with contact information for the national information resources. Also I’ll have a way to suggest new cases. If you want to be a moderator for that blog (ie somebody who will help set up new cases and screen for abuse, etc.), send me a mail here:

    I’m using a very similar format as Joe Duck to start this out.

    YOU can help with the search for James Gray at sea thanks to’s brilliant use of their Mechanical Turk service.

  129. I should note that Charles Wilson whatever his motives has no credibility with the family and friends of the Kims. He is simply an irritant.

    Randy thanks for your participation on this blog and especially the information in post 162. You and John R. are giants in my book.

  130. 172 It is time to say that although we have not met him in person, Joe Duck has been a true friend of my family. He has alerted us several items to things that needed attention for instance when the officials needed Kati’s timely input for their report. Kati responded promptly after I passed on the information from Joe to her. He has also heard my concerns both on the phone and via email.

    Joe, thanks for all that you do.

  131. Kati’s Dad, I understand that the Kim family and her friends don’t appreciate our work. We have concluded that your son-in-law lost his life primarily due to his and your daughter’s negligence.

    We also stated that we don’t believe your daughter was completely forthcoming with investigative authorities. Her account as given in the OSSA report is internally contradictory, and conflicts directly with what two witnesses said, including one who was interviewed separately by the Oregon State Police and Det. Mike Weinstein of the Portland Police Department.

    I urge you to request of your daughter that she give an interview to a reporter willing to ask the questions that are needed to reconcile the differing versions.

    You have continually attacked us, and particularly me, personally rather than answer the substance of our work. That is a classic response from someone who can’t offer a rational argument.

  132. I came across this quote today and I thought of James Kim and John Rachor and JoeDuck.

    ” So let us then try to climb the mountain, not by stepping on what is below us, but to pull us up at what is above us, for my part at the stars; amen”

    – M.C. Escher

  133. Charles most of your comments are not appreciated because they appear as mean-spirited and often insulting characterizations of the events as they transpired, and very rude accusations against the family, SAR, and other people involved in the story.

    You have speculated wildly and without enough compassion for the family, friends, or rescue folks, all of whom have suffered a great deal.

    Take a lesson from folks like Randy, Sara, Emily, or the many other SAR Volunteers who routinely risk their lives for others but have nothing but a thoughtful understanding of these misfortunes.

    It’s very unreasonable to suggest that Scott, Kati’s dad, and others involved have treated you unfairly. In my opinion they have been generous tolerating your shrill and accusative tone.

    It’s been tough to allow you to keep posting here, but I avoided censorship from the start with only a few exceptions and I don’t want to change my open comment policy at the end of this story.

    …. Tommo – Yes I know, I know ….

  134. 180/Snarls: Are you so blind & close-minded that you cannot see that we have all learned a great deal from this tragedy?? Just because we don’t agree with you it does not follow that we have not learned an incredible amount.

  135. Coming…. a new type of flying machine…

    “Developed by Israeli helicopter company Urban Aeronautics, the X-Hawk is a “rotorless” aircraft. To be more precise, it is an aircraft that has the VTOL capability of a helicopter, but without the exposed rotors that make it dangerous or impossible for helicopters to maneuver in complex urban and natural environments. Urban Aeronautics founder Rafi Yoeli predicts the X-Hawk will have as big an impact on aviation as the original helicopter, and inspire a real big change in the way rescue operations are done.” – – –

  136. re 180. Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    – George Santayana

    Kind of like you keep repeating and repeating?

  137. Joey, what the hey, it’s your soapbox 😉

    In other news: troll on blog comment page lectures, baits, complains “can’t get no respect.” Worldwide reaction: WTF?

    Be excellent to each other!

  138. While a web search on ‘SAR’ and ‘ultralight’ mostly turns up cases where SAR missions searched for downed ultralights, there are a scattering of links that talk of ultralight use in SAR. For example one small Washington county SAR lists an ultralight:

    “Equipment availability because of community involvement:
    – hydrocraft
    – ultra light plane
    – hounds ”

    In most cases, an ultralight pilot will become involved in SAR in the same way as anyone else: fill in the appropriate application, meet the same requirements, and train with one or more teams. That training will show both the pilot, and the incident commanders, when and where such an aircraft will be useful. While an ultralight will be able to fly slower than a larger aircraft, it won’t be able to fly as far, and probably not take as much equipment, including a spotter.

    The same sort of issues would apply to the use of other novel equipment. To be most effective, individuals with the equipment and skills have to become involved as SAR volunteers so they can work as part of the team. If they can’t train, then the recommendations in the Sheriffs’ report for utilizing unorganized volunteers apply.


  139. I have not had the time to keep with with the blog in the past week or so, only quickly checking in to try to catch up from time to time, is not as time consuming as it used to be to do so, whew! So if I have missed something, I apologize ahead of time.

    To John Rachor & Randy Jones – thank you so much for your coming here and putting yourself forward and posting. Also thank you for your efforts not only in regards to the Kim family, but in all the past searches & furture searches you were/will be involved in. Both of your posts have answered questions in my mind. These questions were not critical in thinking, just trying to figure things out.

    I think we all feel if we can ‘just figure things out’ then a reason can be found and if a reason is found, then somehow we can accept what seems to be such a loss of a good life. There seemed to be so many little and big obstacles against the Kims, some share some blame, some don’t,and yes, Snarls even the Kims. One wonders why just one little thing couldn’t have been a little different.
    It throws it right spack in our face how fraigle our lives are and that scares us.

    But when one states this blog has served not purpose, I strongly disagree. If it helps even one person, then it has served a great purpose. I have learned things here. Other’s have learned. In that alone, it has not been useless.

    I also have no idea why the Kim story attracked and affected so many people, I know why the story caught my attention, but that is only on an individual level.
    But it did.

    I still feel that sometimes light is shed on a local issue which requires ‘fixing’ ‘improving’ whatever term one chooses to use when the problems affect more than the local and the local refuses to & only wider attention can get issues which need to be resolved, resolved.

    The report clearly showed there were serious on-going issues regarding SAR’s at an extremely localized level and other than this troublesome area, the rest of the search was pretty well carried out as should’ve been and other people involved did their job not only as they should’ve but did an outstanding job.

    Some of those involved kept stating improvements had been made but refused to state any improvements other that ‘new vests’ yet complained that credit had not been given for the other improvements – my question of tell me what improvements have been made were in regards to this – To me it seemed a fairly simple and straight forward question, if other improvements have been made, then simply state them.

    In any SAR mission, there are going to mistakes and things which were done exactly right. Some mistakes are as the Kims, simply human, sometimes other’s are glaring.

    I am so glad to read your post of concrete improvements which have been made. It was very informative, enlightening & hearting. I’m so glad to hear that issues regarding ‘borders’ are no longer going to be issues.

    Regarding armchair quaterbacking:
    Sometimes some of us want to get out in this world and help others, but due to circumstance beyond our control, we can not. We do not mean to be armchair quaterbacks in a negative manner, but using our voice is the only thing we have available to us to try to help others and to try improve things in this world.

  140. paul (#181), I really don’t see evidence that those who forms the consensus here have learned anything of value from the events of Nov. 25-Dec. 6. The reason for this is that you won’t allow yourselves to consider the truth of the matter. Without knowing the truth you can’t learn.

  141. My choice of using the words “all and most” concerning armchair quarterbacking was inappropriate, because a whole lot of the comments I read were simply honest inquiry and investigation that needs and should take place. Thanks to Joe for providing such a site to allow this type of discussion. What I should have conveyed was that SAR organizations do not operate in a vacuum and that there is constant ongoing training and mission reviews so as to get better at what we do………it is a good format for both paid emergency services as well as trained volunteers to interface for the greater good of us all. Yes, we are sometimes a bit sensitive when outsiders make statements and suggestions concerning matters of which they know little…….guess we are humans too!! As you can tell we get very emotional at times, if we didn’t care I guess it wouldn’t matter, but we care immensly or we wouldn’t volunteer our most valuable time to such a cause, that valuable time is our discretionary free time that we could be doing something else with. I was just reflecting that last Sunday morning Skip Snyder (my main spotter) and I were searching for Ellen Miller up on Mount Ashland. She got lost on Saturday late afternoon and our ground teams from Jackson County SAR spent the night trying to find her. Skip and I spotted her tracks way out of bounds in a tough drainage at the 6000 foot level, it was obvious she had gotten disoriented, no one would intentionally ski into that area on purpose. We directed ground teams to her location and unfortunately she had succumbed to hypothermia before they could get there. It was another short haul air lift situation to remove her body and bring the search to a close. I still have the images of that search and seeing her family at the command center at our base camp. Anyone can make a wrong turn that becomes a life changing event for themselves and their loved ones and friends………

    Randy Jones

  142. Randy, in our review of what happened, we decided that, other than not following up on John James’s solid lead, the SAR teams did a good job. In particular, we singled out John Rachor as admirable for having stuck in there and finding Mrs. Kim.

    We were reluctant to second-guess SAR, so we waited until the OSSA report came out to get very deeply into that side of it. What seemed pretty clear from the report is that the SAR command-and-control structure was confused. We didn’t think it actually had any impact on the Kim search, but that was by chance. One could easily imagine the same sort of confusion getting someone else killed.

    To put it differently, the problems that came to light with command and control in the Kim search should be addressed so they don’t spoil a future search. Similarly, while poor road signs on Bear Camp Road had nothing to do with the Kims getting lost, they ought to be clarified as a matter of general principle.

    Outside review isn’t a bad thing, it’s a good thing if done carefully. People who are directly involved in events typically become myopic. It’s the nature of the beast. An outside review can fairly be seen as “the customer’s perspective.”

    My website partner and I were impressed by the OSSA report. It didn’t untangle everything, the contradictions about what the Kims did earlier on Nov. 25 being a prime example, but it still offered a lot of good insight into the SAR process. Any fair reading of the OSSA report shows plenty of room for improvement.

  143. The command and control structure was confused because of the artificial boundaries and the multi-agency involvement, plus the demands of national media. Our organizations weren’t prepared for that type of mission situation, hence the after-agency review (which I participated in), the OSSA report (which I participated in), and the upcoming task force meeting later this week (which I will participate in). I am confident that the articficial boundaries will come down as I too take an outside look from a volunteer position while having inside information. I cannot nor should not speak out of turn in this type of format. I say that to be respectful of all the agency people involved who do not have the authority to speak in a public forum like this…….I will monitor this blog site for future suggestions as there is value in doing so, I will not speak often and will try to not violate the trust of those attempting to change systems for the betterment of us all.

    Randy Jones

  144. Randy, because this takes me into new territory, I’ve responded to you in detail in the General Discussion area of the forum on our website.

  145. (196) Charles you never stop do you…what a sleazy way to try to get someone over to your site.

    Joe haven’t you had enough of this crap yet? He constantly promotes his site and now is continuing trying to steal more of your efforts. I for one vote for a complete blocking of Charles and his merry whatever they call themselves.

    Joe you have been super patient but enough is enough!

  146. Randy, thank you for your most valuable insight here, and I know you won’t be hornswaggled into responding on the other site, which is aimed at castigating the Kim family. To set up a web site under the guise of “getting at the truth” and turn it into a podium for pontificating one’s sick agenda is bad enough, but then he tries to hijack this discussion because they can’t generate their own. As you saw reading the JD posts, all views are welcome when presented respectfully and without personal animosity, but the vehemence with which Kati and James Kim have been attacked personally is of no value to the discussion and serves to hurt the family members.

    We stipulated early on to the premise that the Kims made mistakes, who hasn’t, but CW is fascinated and obsessed with that concept, and can’t get past it. He has accused them of vile things with no basis, all to perpetuate his fantasies of what they did.

    Thanks again for your comments, I am particularly interested in the multi-juridictional problems as I have experienced them in a different context, and wondered to what extent they played a part.

  147. (199) Madeleine you know what is really a shame, people like CW get lost all the time and SAR personnel have to risk their necks to save them – that just doesn’t seem fair does it?

  148. Madeleine & Glenn, your accusations of our web site are getting exagerated and unreasonable, and frankly, unfounded. Today, at this moment, I will not stand by silently and let that slide. As I’ve said before, I only visit here these days to find news important to me. And I surf all kinds of web sites for the same thing. I try to avoid this place because I haven’t had good experiences here, plain and simple, and I don’t agree with the premises that for the most part, dominate discussion.

    Charles’ #196 comment is not that big of a deal, nor is it “sleazy” Glenn. He’s just trying to take it somewhere else, like you’ve been recommending. Going to our web site is not the forbidden evil thing you portray it to be. And we know you are dead set against us, but inferring that Charles should get lost and perish only reveals your overly emotional investment in dissing us. So begging someone not to go there, Madeleine, because we are “aimed at castigating the Kim family” is simply your opinion. It is not our goal. There have been no “vile things” accused on our web site. You’re both entitled to your opinions, but so am I.

  149. (201) Dee, seriously give it a rest.

    Please don’t make me post the link back to M&T so people can see how personal you made this. I am sure people like Frances hasn’t forgotten, etc…why do you even go there?

    As for CW talking it somewhere else – ah…that means you don’t bring it here at ALL. It is sleazy for CW to bait people over here for one purpose…to get them to post over there.

    Face the facts if people cared at all about your distortions of events and your position they would be over there. Bottom line is people don’t buy what you guys are selling and they have no interest.

    Stop trying to take away from something positive over here. Sometimes it is like communicating with a wall when trying to get it through to you.

    Your theories are going over like a lead balloon!

  150. (200) I want to make a clarification on my statement there. I would never wish anyone into harm’s way.

    It is my opinion that CW and a few others lack perspective about the reality of people getting lost (especially how innocent and easy it is to happen) and SAR activities and the volunteers – maybe if they had ever experienced it they would understand and have some compassion.

    Bottom line about SAR – it is ALL about compassion – without no one would ever get rescued!

  151. (203) Dee if you are going to try to do that…please do it right. You can refer to post (133).

    Actually I am surprised that you didn’t post a new link to that image and take credit for it.

  152. Dee, I will bet that somewhere there is a prospective book or article or series of articles for which this information is being “collected” and mined over here and on the “other” site. Just say so, if true. You get lumped in with CW because you are his partner in the website and therefore must condone his tactics, and and you take material without attribution.

    CW was finished with me the day he gleefully described interviewing a woman who had just witnessed her husband’s violent death in a freak accident in a hotel. He described how he “got the story” from her in it’s entirety. I hardly think so, but I’m sure that didn’t stop him from writing it, if we are to believe that he was an “investigative journalist”. Vulchers show more sympathy for their victims than he did for this widow.

    Obviously I don’t know you or him personally, so consider these comments aimed at your actions/reactions/statements.
    Before you aligned yourself with him, I believe you and I had a cordial give and take on JD. And now you seem outraged to be put viewed by many in the same category.

    This was not a divisive discussion until a small handfull of people made it that way by design. They know who they are. There is a vast difference between healthy debate and fanaticism. CW never had any intention of participating in debate.

  153. Madeleine 206, I’ve cleaned up the attribution stuff, hopefully totally. Thanks for your post. I don’t have any plans for a “prospective book, article, series, etc.” Neither does Charles. I “collect” info for my own reasons, which, believe it or not, are not very complicated and certainly not covert. But I’ve explained why before, and I explain it a great deal on my site. Planning a book, etc., would compromise our goals and intentions, therefore, money is not in the picture. I realize how easy it is to suspect, based on past experiences though, and the dubious rep the internet sometimes has. This reply is for Madeleine, who has written me a considerate post.

  154. Thanks, Dee, I appreciate your reply. And the attribution is a positive thing, that’s good to hear. We all brought things here from other places to broaden our information base, but I think we were careful to identify the origin.
    I’m glad to read that you are now doing so, as well.

  155. Maddie (#206) I did get the whole story and I did write it. And I did get a nice letter from the woman thanking me for the manner in which I conducted the interview and for the respectful tone of the story.

    After all, the people killed at the Hyatt hotel in Kansas City in the early ’80s (1982, if memory serves me right) weren’t negligent for being there. It was an engineering flaw, for which the engineering firm paid quite a price. I might be wrong about this, but I think criminal charges were filed.

    More generally, the [i]Columbia Journalism Review[/i], which once cited me as one of the best journalists in my subspeciality, published an interesting article about 20 years ago in which people who’d been interviewed in connection with disaster coverage almost uniformly described those experiences as positive ones. More often than not, people who have been through disaster want to tell their stories.

  156. In Kati Kim’s case, I can understand why she wouldn’t want to be interviewed, or at least why she’d want to be highly selective in who she grants an interview to.

    In the real world, i.e., outside of this comment board, most people blame her and her husband for their negligence. Any honest interviewer will take account of that sentiment and ask some challenging questions.

    If she were my relative, my advice would be not to grant any interviews. As a member of the general public, I’d like to see her interviewed by someone who’d ask all of the questions that ought to be asked.

  157. Oh, and as far as other material, i.e., a book or article, I’d say the chance of my doing that is roughly the same as Bush popping up on TV next week to tell us that he was just joking about Iraq all these years and we can come home now.

  158. CW – If all of the above is true, why the disrespect in this case? Yes, we know you blame the Kims, that is your mantra, but you have gone far beyond that in a mocking and mean-spirited vendetta-like manner. You are not ever going to convert anybody visiting this site to your marijuana madness plotline or your wine tasting caper story, or any of the other tales you have hypothesized. So I can presume the only reason for constantly repeating them is to stick it to Kati Kim and her kids and her family and others who also loved and are grieving James. Why you chose to be disrespecful and disrespected here is beyond me, since you could have easily had a civil dialogue like most everyone else has carried out.

  159. Yesz Charlesz, perhapsz you should postz the detailsz of your childhood on your vebsite. I imagine they themselvez vould be very interestingk, if you vere honestz. I vould like to hear them…

  160. (213) Sigmund, you definitely got me rolling on the floor with that one.

    Maybe he should try Dr. Eliza? (that’s for all you real old timer computer geeks!)

  161. Charles Wilson at 209) [T]he people killed at the Hyatt hotel in Kansas City in the early ’80s (1982, if memory serves me right) weren’t negligent for being there. It was an engineering flaw . . . .

    You are right – we studied this case in engineering school. The original design called for a single long piece of threaded rod hanging from the ceiling at each suspension point. Each of the two walkways would use individual brackets attached to this long rod and each bracket was designed to easily support the weight of one walkway.

    Enter an unauthorized field change. The top walkway would now be suspended from the ceiling on a shorter threaded rod and a separate short rod would connect the lower walkway to the upper walkway. The upper walkway bracket wasn’t designed to support the weight of both walkways and you know the result.

  162. Way back at Post #6, Paulj linked to the story of the New Mexico woman who was stranded for 3 weeks past her 2 week camping trip. A couple of hikers found her and hiked 20 miles themselves to get help for her. It’s ironic that NM has such a good SAR system, if I recall correctly. Rescue ops for the woman had been suspended two weeks before she was found. The temperature dropped into the teens at night. I’m guessing the tent helped, and she built lots of fires, but her survival is still pretty amazing. Granted, she did stay put, which had nothing to do with her rescue, since nobody believed she could have gone that far.

    It’s an interesting case, not alot of parallels to the Kim case, but a few. If these two guys hadn’t changed their path and come along, the lady probably would have died.

    One of the things to have come from all this discussion is that I look at such cases with a different perspective, to be sure.

  163. (217) Madeleine, yes the NM story is interesting because of a parallel that I have seen in other SAR operations.

    They make an assumption as to how far the person had gotten. That was the case in NM, and seems to be the case when the family was stranded in the RV in or about Bear Camp about a year ago. They seem to be surprised how far the person went. I wonder how that criteria is established as far as a benchmark for future cases?

    Yes NM model is excellent and I suspect some of the good from the NM model will find its way into Oregon SAR. We shall see – I think in regard to the local boundaries you will see the biggest changes.

    Another interesting point about the Kim story is that the car was less than a half mile from the county border and I remember correctly the other county had already suspended searching for JoCo.

  164. Maddie (#212), I have never suggested that the Kims smoked marijuana. I really don’t know what drives you and people like you to invent such lies. I am “disrespected” only by people who fear the truth, such as you.

  165. It was PacNWer who made the marijuana allegation. I know many, if not most, think Charles and he are one and the same, I remain skeptical of that despite the fact that they share almost identical outlooks.

  166. PacNWer showed up on our forum and made a drug-related allegation. It was the few things we censored on our board, because it struck me as potentially libelous.

  167. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, and it indeed was PacNWer who came up with the marijuana story, now that I think about it. Sorry to have accused CW, he’s said enough unkind things without me adding to the list.

    Hard to keep them straight, as both tend to dream up scenarios and send them up the flagpole. I don’t know if he and Charles are the same, can’t say firsthand and not inclined to spend time checking it out.

    At risk of simply becoming a Troll Magnet, I’m going to move to other subjects than CW and his site and his demeanor here. I personally think he has a type of Troll Anorexia, which doesn’t require or depend upon feeding to continue his disreputable activities, but I’ll quit throwing food for now, just the same.

  168. Charlesz zhe truth iz almost az scary az what couldz pozzibly be your real motivation… your deeper motivation Charlesz, yez, deeper, deeper, go deeper… Tell me about your parentz, what zey did to you and how zey made you feel,

  169. Gee, Maddie, I love the way you “apologize.” It makes me wonder if anyone tells you how cute you are when you’re mad. Sheesh.

  170. “Another interesting point about the Kim story is that the car was less than a half mile from the county border and I remember correctly the other county had already suspended searching for JoCo.”

    It’s about 0.2 miles on BLM 33-9-21 to Curry Co. The BLM maze crosses over the county line ridge into Curry Co. However, I don’t see any road connection from this area back on to FS23. So any ground search had to come by way of Josephine.

    My impression is that Josephine and Curry worked pretty well together during the first couple of days. Each sent a crew up Bear Camp as far as they could go, and followed that up with a snow cat run over the whole thing. In fact two runs, I recall Sara’s comments correctly. Curry, though, does not seem to have any specialized equipment or SAR teams, especially when it comes to the mountains and snow.

    The newspaper criticism made a big deal about Josephine Co not requesting Nat Guard heat seeking flights. But I wonder how close the search they flew for Curry Co. got to the car. We now know that Randy got awfully close while searching other routes in the area.

    I can almost predict that next time someone gets lost trying to cross these mountains, Bear Camp will be checked, Eden Valley will be checked, the BLM maze will be checked, yet the car will be found further south along the Illinois River.


  171. I hope all these ‘reviews’ and ‘task forces’ will come up with useful suggestions that actally aid those who are slogging through the snow. There was a tremendous amount of work done by a great many people who whittled a large multi-state area down to a manageable search area fairly well, albeit not with absolute perfection. Certainly areas of miscommunication and repetitious information relay have been highlighted. Certainly some problems have appeared with precision of communication and mission status reviews. Preprinted forms might help to distinguish between ‘cleared’ and ‘cleared as far as snow permitted’ or the like. Its clear that certain air assets have benefits but weather and time of night are crucial in their use. FLIR may not help but if it is to help it seems to help best in the wee hours of the morning before morning fogs form. Yet such FLIR flights take time to organize and have to be planned so as to avoid unnecessary dangers to the flight personnel.

    I realize some counties may have a very small tax base but it would seem that those are the counties that are most likely to have SAR missions in rugged, sparsely settled terrain. Mutual aid pacts help, but all mutual aid assistance units are subject to recall to their primary duties and such an arrangement may have to be reviewed.

    Getting lost can be easy and is indeed often done at inconvenient times and places. Snow, ice, rain, fog and in this case, bears don’t always seem to cooperate too well. I hope that some problems can be smoothed over for the next time. It does seem that there have been notable situations wherein the lost adults and children have covered far greater distances than search experts have predicted. Perhaps some estimates have to be revised and perhaps this should be a reminder that ‘guidelines’ are not absolute limits but merely indications with a great deal of lattitude.

    Locally, I’ve noticed a lot of mis-allocation of resources after serious storms. (Half a dozen RedCross food trucks wandering around randomly for several days where none at all would have been needed if there had been one standby power generator installed) or (Local officials ignoring “de-facto” storm shelters while concentrating on “de-jure” shelters). I think the Oregon task force will atleast force a refinement of techniques and a more disciplined review of available assets and information handling techniques. I wish them all luck. It was a lot of work in a very short time period. It really was a job well done, even if the results were disappointing in some respects.

  172. Perhaps prisoners should not be stamping out license plates but instead should be constructing trailers for SAR missions or re-furbishing used RVs that can transport SAR resources. Some auto mechanic with a DUI conviction might be better off restoring old snowmobiles than spending time in a cell. Perhaps wood shop classes in poor counties could have a project of building portable support equipment such as racks to transport a snow mobile on a trailer or truck bed.

  173. paulj said, yet the car will be found further south along the Illinois River.

    That is the way of it, don’t you think? The SAR procedures improve, so anyone they find by SOP becomes a non-story and nobody takes much note. The cases that fall outside the box, or through the cracks, become noteworthy.

    Participating in the photo analysis search for Jim Gray gives one a feel for what SAR must be like: nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, faintly possible something.

    By the way, y’all have been feeding the trolls. See what happens? They get all puffed up 😛

    If you want to see some quality trolling, check out the Yahoo! SCOX message board. The only thing they do there is troll and lambaste one another.

  174. (227) Paulj you make a really good point – there are just too many spur roads, etc.

    Too bad there isn’t a self-contained counting device at all the entrances and exits to the main roads. Would be a quick way to determine how many vehicles have gone in and how many have come out!

  175. (231) Chances are it wouldn’t work. Contrary to much printed posted uninformed public opinion on this area, Bear Camp, and people lost and not lost here, there is more than one way in and out of this system, not just 34-8-36. So you’re looking for an even number on the machine, entries equal exits. You find two machines with odd numbers. Is it two cars in the system or one car in one road and out the other? Then there’s always theft and vandalism. Can’t we all just get along?

  176. Regarding access to the BLM maze north of FS23, I can’t find any roads on MS Streets & Trips other than 34-8-36. Google Earth does show a number of unlabeled connectors. However there is no indication as to the quality of these roads. Some may be rough shortcuts that loggers or hunters have forged. I suspect that someone with some local knowledge and appropriate vehicle could get around the closed BLM gate. But it is doubtful whether a recreational Saab could have gotten in or out, especially with snow above the 3500′ level.


  177. Say glenn:

    You’re a poet
    And you don’t even know it
    But your feet show it
    Because they’re long, fellow

    I learned that one in the fourth grade.

  178. (236) Charles isn’t that interesting…I remember PacNWer responding the same way back a few thousands posts before…isn’t that special!

  179. Thanks to everyone here for redirecting me to Charles’ site. Anything that stirs up this much hot opposition must be worthwhile. I spent most of Sunday reading his posts and messages and, in all seriousness, many of you have completely misrepresented its content. Forming an opinion is not a crime.

  180. Glenn, in parts of the National Forest area here one needs a day pass. Maybe someday they’ll have an RFID system where the pass is encoded and there are scanners. Hate to think of such logistics, but who knows.

  181. National Forest pass is a parking fee for selected trailheads. A similar fee for Washington State Parks was sufficiently unpopular that the legislature passed a law removing it. The fee collection boxes are still there, in case you want to contribute something.

    Snopark fees have been around for a longer time. They are supposed to pay for plowing parking lots and grooming trails.

    If the government needs to keep track of our movements (for our own safety, of course!), a GPS based tracking device of the sort used by trucking companies, is probably more practical.


  182. Paulj, wouldn’t GPS have to be installed in the vehicle to do any good? I’m the last to want gov’t imposed on people in wilderness areas any more than absolutely necessary. But I don’t want yahoos destroying such areas, either.

    Spent the 70’s trying to preserve areas we 4 wheeled in CA (those of us who didn’t run over plants and tear things up). I think of the areas that are now closed, and we’ve lost a lot of access to public land. Pismo Beach, for example, access to the dunes is very limited now, and I’m sure they are the nesting area for some critter or another, which is another story.

    I’m sure passes aren’t popular, but we do have to purchase them here to enter certain areas, especially if parking. I set out one day to drive a 1915 era, long abandoned highway, but had to buy a pass to go into the area and gladly did so.

  183. Yes, the GPS that I mentioned is mounted in the vehicle, and includes a transmitter that reports the coordinates to some base station. I suspect that cell phone based reporting is easiest to implement.

    As a technical point, federally designated Wilderness areas don’t have any roads, and don’t allow motorized or wheel travel. In that sense, ‘working forests’ such as along Bear Camp are not wilderness.

    Fees are often justified as a means of providing services, including maintenance, outhouses, plowing, even theft prevention patrols. But often a fee collection system ends up costing as much to operate as it takes in.

    One of the reasons Washington removed its day use fee, was that park use dropped, and nearby towns resented the loss of business. One community had actually arranged to pay the park system to allow free parking at a popular park (Port Townsend), recognizing that the park was a vital part of their local economy.

    Washington tried to apply the day use fee to all parks. Oregon applies it only to the more popular ones. Lightly used parks in south and eastern Oregon do not have day use fees. Apart from selected attractions such as Crater Lake and the Rogue River, I suspect that most recreational attractions in southern Oregon are too dispersed and lightly used to tolerate much regulation or fee imposition.


  184. Maddie (#239), does one negligent person’s death in the backcountry really make you wish for a time when every single person is tracked everywhere by RFID?

    If so, I have two reactions. First is simply, how sad. Second is to let you know that RFID doesn’t have the geographic range to be effective in tracking everyone everywhere, unless of course you also want someone to put an RFID transceiver every couple hundred feet everywhere.

    Putting aside the obnoxiousness of it, the latter idea is pretty expensive. For that kind of money you could pay for the mother of all public education campaigns.

  185. I haven’t found much information on the NW Carolyn Dorn case. A thread on is the best I know of.

    As best I can tell, her car “was found in a ravine nearly 10 miles up Turkey Creek Road in the Cliff/Gila area.” and the search ran for 3 days, covering a 11 mile radius around her car.

    “an official search was begun on Dec. 24, but a lack of manpower due to the holidays didn’t allow for a full search involving dog teams, ATV teams and ground teams until Dec. 26.”

    One source said she had hiked 5 days up the Gila river from her car. Yet another source says she was found near Hidden Pasture Canyon, which is only 2 miles (straight) upriver from the trailhead. It is only 13 miles (straight) from there up the Gila River to Hwy 15. The guys who found her hiked 20 miles (up this river?) to the road and hitched into Silver City.

    So while some sources imply that the search did not cover a large enough area, it could be that the search did cover her location, but searchers just missed her, for one reason or another. SAR talks about POD – Probability of Detection – for a reason.

    While NM places more SAR responsibility on the state, it appears that county sheriff’s office is still an important component, as are local SAR groups. A deputy acting on local tips first found her car. Decisions on how to conduct the search were still the responsibility of the local incident commander. Organizational differences do not guarantee results. NM SAR links can be found at


  186. New Mexico Search.

    I’ve not studied the matter in depth but I recall from the initial reports that she had a sleeping bag and those are generally rather distinct. My impressions were that she was not in a heavilly vegetated area either.

    RFIDs, I think those are real short range anyway. Its bad enough to have to fill out the trail books when you enter and leave. I’d hate to have to wear tracking bracelets but some big game hunters do have to wear large number tags on their backs. People enjoy getting away from cameras and metal detectors.

    Taxation: Many programs are under review. Some cities are realizing that physical parking meters are more expensive than a simple cardboard window placard. Other cities are jacking parking rates up to extremely high rates to shape use patterns and give garages a captive market. Entrance fees at some parks don’t cover the cost of collecting them.
    Sometime local residents recognize the advantages of nearby ‘tourist destinations’ and pay for infrastructure expenditures, others don’t. I know one city that has free parking lots on every corner that it can. Whenever a plot of land becomes available, its a parking lot! The existing merchants love it, but it is hardly a matter without controversy. Open areas draw tourist dollars and sportsmen. The constant tatoo on this blog from one poster seems motivated largely by a fear that publicity about someone getting lost and dying may result in land-closures and access-restrictions. Although the posts are reminiscent of a child’s constantly asking “are we there yet” and are motivated by closure-fears, some of the points raised may be valid, albeit off-topic. When the task is to find someone, hearing about how foolish they were to take a particular turn is not helpful. Such questions are trivial matters and are solely for after they have been found.

  187. Free Lunch: We’ve all heard that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Bars used to have very hearty fare and for the price of a beer it was a pretty good deal, but ofcourse the items were generally rather salty which induced additional purchases of beer. Nowadays, some bars have ‘free pool’ that brings in massive amounts of alcohol sales. Its the same thing with various recreational attractions, charging for the pool table avoids disputes and disproportionate use, but it lowers the total amount of money that will be spent. Free concerts and festivals often pump far more money into local economies than fee-events do. Towns that want to make hiking trails pay for the roads and police patrols often find that use plummets with even modest fees.

  188. (233)Thanks for pointing out that MS Streets and Trips underindicates roads (better than inventing ones). These older roads, not showing up on most maps, for the most part were put in by machinery, not just some tire tracks rutted in by multiple use over time. They are part of the old system into the area. There are FS roads to the west, for access to Stair Creek drainage, that hook into this old system, so there are at least 3 access pts. There might be newer dirt berms out there preventing crossover access to the maze.
    Since the roads are on the ground, and we’ve seen how determined people can be to get where they don’t belong (quality of the road doesn’t seem to matter), we have to consider all access to the road labyrinth north of FS 23 and south of the Rogue River in both Curry and Josephine Counties. A plan to use vehicle detectors (231) be they pneumatic, pressure, motion, IR, or digital transmitting camera, would need refinement. Someone could drive half-way over a sensor, change their mind and back up, thus counting as one vehicle in the system.
    Gates: I think gates are a non-solution. My fear is that one insistent member of a 15 person solve-it-all committee will brow beat and torture the other 14 into recommending gates as a solution. If you never go there, gating looks like a great solution. Gating has no impact on you if you never go there. Misinformation can have an impact, so I worry about that also. Stivers-Higginbotham RV was never on the access road to Bear Camp. They said they wanted to be, but missed the turnoff at the start of 34-8-36 south of Galice. Continuing on, they attempted to take an equally seasonally-inappropriate BLM system up out of Grave Creek north side of the Rogue toward Powers and the coast and became stuck out of Josephine County near the Calvert airstrip, more than 7 airline miles and unpteen road miles away from Bear Camp. By lumping these events together, the mystique of the BEAR CAMP TRIANGLE is inappropriately heightened. The man who stayed with his vehicle in the 90’s and died was traveling west to east (Wikipedia error says GP to GB) out of Agness, and although closer to Bear Camp than S-H RV, was not a victim because of any deficiencies the Kims may have encountered going east to west. CWAJGA

  189. 249/Rodney: I believe what you are saying is that other stories (Stivers / DeWitt Finley) have heightened the concerns over Bear Camp out of proportion to a degree. I agree. While many of the more complex solutions proposed in this space may indeed work, adherence to the KISS principle always seems to work best in my book. More and clearer signage, beefing up the ODOT map, and addressing some of the issues over command and control unique to this case will likely fix 90% of what went wrong here.

  190. Joe and all, after reading the OSSA report including the interview with Kati, it is obvious that they went down the BLM road on purpose. Exactly *why* (other than to get below the snow) they did, and why they went so far, remains up for conjecture.

    Some have said maybe they thought they could find their way to the coast. Others have said that perhaps they just kept believing that some service (gas station, store, lodge) was just around the next corner.

    With this in mind, I have modified my rendering of the earlier sign suggestion. I have included the words “NO SERVICES”, as I believe that simply saying “NO OUTLET” and “NOT A THRU ROUTE TO COAST” leaves the possibility that there might still be services. The inclusion of “NO SERVICES” should close this hole. The sign could obviously be expanded to include the word “WARNING”, which I have removed for now.

    I also took the liberty of adding a couple (battery-powered) flashing lights, just for good measure.

  191. A sign that says, “NOT A THRU ROUTE TO COAST” would be telling a lie. I don’t think one negligent driver’s death should be used as an excuse to have the government erect road signs that don’t tell the truth.

  192. 252/Snarls & 251/Rodney: Snarls, unless I am mistaken, Rodney is referencing the road at the junction they turned right on 34-8-36 after backing down off FS23 / Bear Camp; the one where they were found. Unless there is some convoluted way out of this maze back up onto FS23, this does NOT go thru to the coast. Rodney please correct me if I am wrong on this.

    This is the kind of simple fix that would hopefully prevent many others from making the same mistake. Nice signs Rodney, simple & to the point.

  193. Paul, the suggestion was that these signs would be just beyond “the fork” on the BLM side. Perhaps a set of signs 1/4 mile in, and another 1/2 or 1 mile in.

    Also, Paul, google maps shows other ways to get to their car from NF23 (other than from the fork). However, in my opinion, anybody who *wants* to be in there knows what they’re getting into, so saying “NO OUTLET” at the fork is perfectly acceptable, even if not 100% fact.

    Here is one such route from the car back to NF23. Not being local, I have no idea if the road shown is really passable. I’m just going by the map.,-123.834758&daddr=42.690401,-123.776436&sll=42.690401,-123.776436&sspn=0.005449,0.009978&ie=UTF8&z=13&om=1

  194. If there are some other ways out of the BLM maze, I am a bit puzzled as to why the BLM employee was reluctant to lock the 34-8-36 gate in early November. Supposedly he didn’t because he could not be sure the area was empty.

    Anyways, I think the best that can be done is reduce the chances of someone delving into the maze by mistake. This Kim case is the only one on record (that I’ve seen) where someone entered the area and got into trouble. Beyond that we just have a bad local reputation, and a vague number of lost tourists that John James has redirected.


  195. However, in my opinion, anybody who *wants* to be in there knows what they’re getting into, so saying “NO OUTLET” at the fork is perfectly acceptable, even if not 100% fact.

    Once you start asking the government to lie, it’s a slippery slope. Today, a road sign. Tomorrow, something else. Better to tell the truth and rely on individuals to make their own informed decisions. If those decisions are irresponsible and/or stupid, so be it.


    It says “Rocks may fall without warning causing serious injury or death.”

    First, what if the rocks give some warning, like maybe they’ll teeter a bit? Saying “without warning” is a lie!!!

    Next, and worse, who says that all falling rocks are going to cause serious injury or death? What if they just cause a minor injury? Maybe just a scrape? Or a bruise? Or no injury at all? This sign says “causing serious injury or death”. THAT’S A LIE!!!!

    And this is on a government website!!!

    Good lord, I wonder what *else* the government is lying about?


  197. 257/Snarls: The truth is I don’t think anyone could argue that going right at 34-8-36 is remotely close to being a “through route” to the coast. It’s more like, if your really really lucky and really good with maps, and you really WANT to go way out of your way, you MIGHT make it back to FS23 and eventually to the coast….and that’s assuming the roads that Rodney references above are even passable. They may very well be gated or in other ways blocked. The through route to the coast is FS23 – period. I have no problem at all with Rodney’s signs, they are a prudent and sound idea and nowhere near the slippery slope you seem so concerned about. IMHO.

  198. #258, there’s no lie at all. Rocks in fact “may” fall, causing serious injury and death. Such a sign tells the truth, which is what road signs ought to do.

  199. I think Rodney’s signs are appropriate and would serve to warn the public very well. I would not like to see an electronic system of any kind, was simply musing about it. Here, I drive a “shortcut” highway from time to time, and the transponder attached inside my windshield tells Big Brother when I’ve entered and left the road so I can be debited the correct couple of bucks. If I went missing, I guess the info would be helpful if somebody knew I was going that way and it showed I entered the road but didn’t leave. Of course it’s surrounded by urban areas, so not exactly the wilderness.

    It’s worth it to me to pay, and I don’t care who knows I’ve been on that road.

    It was actually helpful when my then-teenaged son borrowed the extra transponder and went off to visit somebody where he wasn’t supposed to be. Caught him when the billing summary came, not a smart move on his part. 🙂

  200. A long time ago I drove to Key West on spring break. When we got there we found some public showers and on the way up the sidewalk I was narrowly missed by a falling coconut. We all laughed about it, but only because it missed.

  201. I think that some imprecision in signage is permissible. After all, those figures showing an ancient-style firetruck are hardly accurate depictions of modern fire apparatus. And “Sleeping Policeman” signs are humorous versions of our ‘speed bump’ signs.

    “Limited” Services or ‘No services for umpteen miles’ might help to alert motorists to the type of situation they will be entering and would probably make them also think about food water and clothing.

  202. CW, we have a sign on a road near a lagoon here in town that shows a large duck followed by 3 small ducks. Sometimes I see a mama duck and TWO ducklings, sometimes FOUR or more ducklings. I must call the city and tell them to change it to just the words “Sometimes Ducks and/or Ducklings Cross This Road”. But then, the geese wouldn’t be covered, or the possums… We must have Truth In Signs!

  203. Maddy, how about this instead: [i]Caution: A Negligent Family Got The Man of the House Killed Here in 2006, So Everyone Else Has to Stay Away Now[/i]

  204. Nobody is saying anyone has to stay away. It is a warning, nothing more. You act so smart, and yet on the other hand you seem pretty dense and thick in the head. Of course utimately you just want attention, so whatever works, right?

  205. Some others for Maddy:

    WARNING: Car-Eating Land Sharks Ahead

    POISON GAS VENTS, 2 miles

    CAUTION: High-Level Nuclear Waste


    WARNING: Terrorist Training Camps, Next 5 Miles

    Watch For Lethal Meth-Crazed Zombie Sex Killers Ahead

    I mean, if you want to government to start telling lies on rokad signs, let’s at least ask them to make up some good ones. Or if you really want to scare the big city people, here’s a sign that would have stopped the Kims dead in their tracks:

    Next Gourmet Coffee 60 Miles

  206. Snarls: I stand by my points made in post 259 and you have yet to post a reasonable, persuasive counter-argument…you’re just trying to blow enough smoke to obscure the fact that your argument against the merits of Rodney’s very worthy sign(s) has more holes in it than Swiss cheese….not that your tactics should surprise anyone.

  207. Joe in regard to post (270) you might need to post a sign at the top of forum to warn people when they come in…

    Warning: Clueless obnoxatron ahead followed by his annoyatron minions.

    Just an idea…

  208. Where is the lie, CW? The BLM road is not a through route. Are you referring to “No Outlet”? I can see that being controversial, but it does appear that there is no outlet. The maps we’re all relying on do not tell the true story. I pointed that out thousands of posts ago. Strrets and Trips, Google Earth/Maps, Oregon’s State Highway map, etc… are full of errors or leave out information. Is there really another way in or out of the maze? No one ever answered that. If there is another way, then “No Outlet” should be removed or changed.

  209. There used to be two other outlets, but they weren’t major thoroughfares. See (249) You do have to know where you’re going, better if you’ve been there before in the summer daylight, and downhill works better than uphill. Can be done in a car. They are awkward enough that even CW says “NO OUTLET” would be ok on a sign. CWAJGA

  210. My mistake. I didn’t see the italics in CW’s (257) which really came from RodneyG.(CW doesn’t say OK)..Now for
    SARers,LE, Joe Duckers:
    Does anyone as part of an after action study determine why tips were not followed up on, tips which now in 20/20 hindsight are recognized as being good–ones that could have made a difference? A tip was phoned in when the missing person event became public by a person who also backed up the same night for two hours to the intersection of FS23 and BLM34-8-36. This person turned around there, but noticed tracks down 34-8-36 to the right. That was the tip that was phoned in when he/she became aware that there were people missing while trying to get to Gold Beach. She/he was told s/he would be called if needed. No call. This tip didn’t survive whatever tip triage existed, so is there after action tip rejection analysis?

  211. To lighten things up. The sign could say “No Outlet! unless your name is Billy Bob or you are related to Billy Bob.” (no offense Billy Bob) CWAJGA

  212. The sign could say:




    and there would be no “lying.”

    However, I think “NO THRU ROUTE” is appropriate, because it
    is usually used to designate primary, direct Thru Routes as opposed to wandering meandering secondary roads that are used for other purposes.

  213. 281 – more specific:

    “NO THRU ROUTE” is used to designate roads that are not primary “Thru Routes”, and that should not be used as thru routes.

  214. At the same time, sometimes it is helpful to explain more of why it’s not a thru route, so the “Caution Unpaved Service Road – No Thru Traffic,” might be even more effective.

  215. (280) I don’t know. But I know everyone in the gossip chain to me, so I’ll try to find out. Don’t know the individual. I’d be more interested to know what kind of car. Maybe the drunken person info source that didn’t pan out saw the car. Would like to know what kind of tires were on the car. But for now, figuring this is all suburban or wilderness myth, is it productive to reassess old tips not used or not valuable enough to change behavior for future analysis? CWAJGA

  216. dkf747 at 275) said Is there really another way in or out of the maze? No one ever answered that. [] [I]t does appear that there is no outlet.

    I have been trying to resolve this question by following all of the roads in the BLM Maze by overlaying satellite photos, B&W aerial photos, and USGS topo maps. There are several trails connecting the BLM maze to Bear Camp Road beyond the FS 23-BLM 34-8-36 intersection that are only shown on the topo maps but are almost invisible from the air. A JD poster long ago said that these connecting trails were nothing more than jeep trails.

    In answer (at least so far), it appears that the BLM Maze is a series of loops and dead-end with no connection to the outside World. The single exception seems to be the gated road to Black Bar Lodge.

    Jocosar inspired me to undertake this task in her post at p9 433), when she said 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. Suitably intrigued, I started looking at the photos amd maps. I guess I was “facilitated.” The OSSR talks about searches between Bear Camp Road and US 199. I can now see that there are many roads both North and South of Bear Camp Road in terrain that is steep and deeply-wooded and would be hard to search, either by air or by road. It is hard to tell which of these roads were covered by snow during the search, but I can easily see that Jo Co SAR had plenty of roads to clear before the Searchers ever reached the FS 23-BLM 34-8-36 intersection.

    It is hard to imagine that the Kim Family could have found a more remote place in Oregon to become stranded. If I had been conducting the search, the intersection of BLM 34-8-36 and BLM 34-9-7 might not be the last place I would look, but that place would be less than 3 miles away.

  217. Brenda,
    A little info for you= There are two other routes in and out of the 34-8-36 road maze. 34-8-36 turns off Bear Camp Road at the 12 Mile Marker. Near Mile Marker 17 on Bear Camp there is a fairly good road that connects to 34-8-36. It is steep but many of us used it several years ago when Bear Camp road was being repaired near the 15 mile marker. I have towed drift boats both ways on this road. That road leaves Bear Camp road at 34-9-18 in about the center of section 18. There is another road I have used near mile marker 20 on Bear Camp at 34-10-section 12. It leaves Bear Camp road right at the summit and goes by the radio facility before dropping on town to the 34-8-36 system. It is more of a jeep road but is passable when not snowed in. I hope this answers some questions for you.

  218. Let the highway engineers figure out the signage. I’d say this: The Kims ignored six warnings on the night of Nov. 25-26. What makes anyone think a seventh warning would have done the trick?

  219. 287- The signage is weak, vague, and inadequate, and just because some signs are present, does not mean that they were “ignored”, and that is all I will say about the subject in regard to your persistent inaccurate representations.

  220. Lisa, there were four big yellow warning signs on their route, plus two warnings printed on their highway map. I don’t think the Kims were inclined to heed any warnings that night. Rejiggering the signs might be useful on general principles, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the Kim tragedy.

    Our website lists a number of specific ideas to reduce the likelihood that the Kim tragedy will be repeated. We are the only website to do this.

  221. I disagree. The signs are not that big, nor are they true warning signs, which are diamond shaped as a standard to signify that they are warnings and not just informational.
    We have gone over all of this so many times, the so-called
    “warnings” of the signs and the map are vague and inadeqate,
    and you website is full of bunk, which is consistent with much of your interpretation in general.

  222. Roads versus Trails,,,

    I do understand that the area does have what might be officially designated as ‘roads’ and that the particular location of the stranding would not normally be a high-priority location, but the search was not for an off-road vehicle or some recreational four-wheeler. The search was for a family engaging in some vacation travel from the freeway to the coastal area of Gold Beach. The existence of a great many unpaved jeep-trails is hardly relevant. The focus clearly should have been on likely routes that someone glancing at a map might select and likely areas along that route where they met with trouble or might have taken a detour that caused them to encounter some trouble.
    The total mileage of jeep-trails in the area is not relevant since their vehicle could not traverse any of it at all.

  223. A defect in the current signage is it never states that Bear Camp Road IS the road to the coast. A person traveling the route not familiar with the area might just as well incorrectly assume that maybe there’s a side road up ahead to the nonexistent ski area called Bear Camp Road. A person would know they are on the road to the coast because of the Agness Gold Beach mileage signs, which are separate. Person thinks, “I don’t know where this Bear Camp Road is, but it doesn’t matter ’cause I’m just going to the coast.” (probably pointed out many times before, sorry) No answer to (280) yet. Be patient Tiponeal. CWAJGA

  224. Charles do you have anything to do or any affiliation to readysmart? Do any of the other people involved in your activities have any involvement in readysmart? How about anybody else out here?

  225. I have been in touch with the folks at and I approved their efforts. They offered to donate some of their sales revenue to the Memorial Fund and I accepted their offer, they have been very friendly during our discussions. This was also done by, in that case someone at the company was a friend of James and very much wanted to help. Both of these were offers to help given through the website I setup while the family was missing.

  226. Glenn, I’m pretty certain CW has no affiliation. However I’m sure he’ll be here soon, asking personal family questions again and questioning why close friends would be accepting donations for a family that just lost their father/husband and main bread winner. But I won’t be answering his questions, as I feel it’s pretty self evident that friends help friends when they are in need, certainly they do in my community of friends and family. If I died, I would want my friends to do everything they could to make sure that my wife and son were taken care of for as long as possible.

  227. Scott, thanks for the clarifications and roger that on Chuckie!

    Yeah your right about having some support for the family that is left behind!

  228. I agree that the signs are not fool proof, but they should be enough to warn a reasonably intelligent driver that he might have problems getting through to Gold Beach.

    If I were driving this route with only the ODOT map, I would be working from the distance signs (Gold Beach 80), not the road names or numbers. But the first distance sign in Merlin does have a Snowdrift warning right under it. Since the map does not show any spurs or ski area (or snow park), I have no reason to imagine that this snow warning applies to anything other than the road to Gold Beach.

    The big ambiguity is, are there snow drifts now? January, likely. Late November, questionable. Prior to reading about this case, I wouldn’t have thought there were still drifts in May, but apparently there are – at least until the shuttle drivers arrange to have the road plowed. The problem with this blockage is that it is performed by nature, not some administration working on a calendar.

    In any case, signs like this should be enough to tell me that I should be prepared to drive 33 miles, hit snow, and have to return those 33 miles. And the message is repeated several times.


  229. On the topic of warning sign shape and color. The shape and color of the Snowdrift signs matches the Oregon ‘Snow Zone’ signs. Yellow diamonds are appropriate for standardized warnings, and to show messages such as ‘winding road’.


  230. 291 – Lisa, as pointed out weeks ago, not all warning signs are diamond shaped. The color of the sign is enough to designate those signs as warning signs. The problem with those signs was not the shape, but rather the inadequate message on them.

  231. We have gone over all of this so many times, the so-called “warnings” of the signs and the map are vague and inadeqate

    That’s what the consensus here seems to think, but the consensus here is focused primarily on absolving the Kims of the primary responsibility for Mr. Kim’s death and the endangerment of the rest of the family. Therefore, you’ve attacked the SAR people and conjured up faults in signs and maps that, even if they exist, were irrelevant to the events of Nov. 26-Dec. 6.

    What you need to do is face the truth about the events and the contributing factors. If you did so, you wouldn’t be debating the shape, color, size and wording of warning signs, among other useless things.

  232. Scott Nelson Windels, two questions:

    1. Why haven’t you organized as a 501(c)(3)? It would make contributions tax deductible, which among other things tends to increase the amount that people give. Is it because 501(c)(3) organizations have to file public financial reports?

    2. Friends helping friends in need is an admirable thing. The question is why, with a very wealthy father-in-law, Mrs. Kim needs donations that might otherwise go to the poor.

  233. Two more things:

    In message 305, I meant to write, ” … the events of Nov. 25-Dec. 6″

    I’m not affiliated with ReadySmart. glenn seems to be obsessed by the possibility that I could make money from the Kim tragedy. I’ve written a number of times that I’m not engaged in any money-related activities connected to the Kim tragedy, and have utterly no plans or interest in doing so. I don’t know how much clearer I can be.

  234. (307) Charles I have a suggestion for you…please refer to post (137) if you need a refresher! If you just did that it would clear things up for me!

  235. 305: Snarls – That is YOUR judgement of events. Others have different opinions and reached conclusions at odds with yours. People are entitled to reach their own conclusions but you seem hellbent on trying to change everyone’s perspective to yours. When are going to wake up and smell the coffee ?? (I personally recommend the Glenn blend for you). You have utterly and totally failed to sway a single person here.

    I don’t agree with everyone here at times, but I respect that they are entitled to their opinions and don’t endlessly harangue them with my viewpoints. It’s futility, and I have better ways to spend my time.

  236. If I were to visit the Grants Pass area in May, for example, what would be the most reliable and easy way of finding out whether the roads over the mountains are open? I would want to know about Eden Valley as well as Bear Camp.

    I get the impression that from the west, the general store in Agness is a good source of information. I’ve also read of a ranger station in Gold Beach. How about the east side? There is a Rogue River info stop north of Galice. Gas stations in Merlin don’t seem to be a good option.

    I don’t really trust flip board signs. It is too easy for unauthorized individuals to change them. A local phone number with an upto date recorded message might be good, especially if the number was posted with the warning signs within cell phone range. Who would operate such a number, FS, BLM, sheriff?


  237. 305: Snarls…You have utterly and totally failed to sway a single person here…

    If you mean people who have been participating in this insult and name-calling riddled discussion, you may be right. Might be a different story with lurkers who have little interest in playing in the sandbox.

  238. John (#311), those who form the consensus on this site — Paul, glenn, Joe Duck, Lisa, et al — viciously attack anyone who believes that the Kims were primarily responsible for their predicament and that any solutions should be based on this reality.

    Their tactics include the following:

    Ad Ad Ad Hominem – Complaining that critics are making ad hominem attacks on you after you have made ad hominem attacks on them. AKA Triple Strength Preparation AH.

    ad hankering – The practice of accusing anyone who disagrees with you of ad hominem attacks, even if what they said had nothing whatsoever to do with an ad hominem.

    Source: The Wingnut Debate Dictionary

  239. No actually Charles and John, once again Charles you mislead.

    No one here has never said James or Kati weren’t responsible for the situation. Everyone should be accountable for the decisions – and James was held accountable – he is dead – he paid for his decision and you should leave him alone. There is no purpose and no honor in kicking a dead man – so Charles you really ought to just drop it.

    Kati on the other hand gets the priviledge of spending the rest of her life going over the decisions again and again in her head every single day. That is all she should have to bear. She has two children to raise and they are going to need a lot of love and she needs to focus on that.

    I certainly don’t think James or Kati were negiligent. They made a mistake that a lot of people have made in that area – most of the others just happen to do it at the right time of year.

    So get over the blame game and get working on something is really going to be useful. And a little clue for you Chuckie – education isn’t the answer – it may help and will only help if you can reach the intended audience and then will only help if it sticks.

    BOTTOM LINE: People will keep doing this and SAR needs all the help it can get.

  240. Let’s see, glenn. In your message 313 you wrote that the Kims were responsible for the situation. Why, you’re blaming them! After all, the dictionary definition of blame, when used as a verb, is “to hold responsible.” And that’s what you did.

    So, glenn, how does it feel to be playing the blame game? Where is your compassion?

    But you also say the that the Kims weren’t negligent, i.e., they didn’t “fail to exercise the care expected of a reasonably prudent person in like circumstances.”

    If they weren’t negligent yet they were responsible for the situation, then how would you characterize them? If this was simply chance at play, then it’s no more sensible to blame them — oops, hold them responsible — than it would be to blame someone for being killed by a meteor.

    So what is it, glenn? Saying the Kims were responsible for this is saying that it was their own fault. Welcome to our world. But if not negligent, then what?

  241. Charles: What ever happened to the time-proven concept of agreeing to disagree ?? It certainly would be more productive than this.

  242. (314) Charles how does it feel when I am dealing with your responses?…it feels like I am dealing to a major assclown…that’s how it feels.

  243. (314) For the record Charles we stated those facts in the very early days of this and we got over it…because we do have compassion and please call me names but don’t ever try to claim that I would ever even be close to being in your world. That would require for my heart and soul to be removed.

    I can’t help but think Charles that maybe sometime in your life you were responsible for someone dying, it really can be the only explanation for your callous and ignorant behavior. Would you like to answer that question?

  244. Gee glenn, I’ve read through all of the threads on this board and it’s always interesting to see what attacks are made on those who depart from the consensus. Now, it’s that I’ve gotten someone killed. No, glenn, I haven’t done that. How about you?

  245. Fools Gold at 292 The existence of a great many unpaved jeep-trails is hardly relevant. The focus clearly should have been on likely routes that someone glancing at a map might select and likely areas along that route where they met with trouble or might have taken a detour that caused them to encounter some trouble.

    You are absolutely correct, but we were trying to either eliminate or include roads in the BLM Maze that are shown on the Google map v. the aerial photos. And the more I look at the map, the more confused I get. For instance, one MT Forum poster referred to BLM 34-8-36 beyond the FS 23 intersection as “Way Out Pass Road.” I haven’t seen this anywhere else.

  246. (310) paulj
    Try the following:
    Smullin Visitor Center at Rand
    14335 Galice Road
    Merlin, OR 97532
    1 (541) 479-3735 week days
    This is a BLM facility. They would
    probably know mostly BLM road info. They might have info on the whole route to Agness.

    Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest
    1 (541) 858-2200 8-4:30 week days
    This is the supervisors office in Medford. If they don’t know about roads, they could give you an alternate number. They would have Eden Valley or Bear Camp info as those locations are in the nat. forest.

  247. (319) Charles, no quite the opposite but since you are interested, I have directly saved two lives including getting a letter from then President Richard Nixon for one of them.

    Have you ever actually directly saved a life?

    Ever directly help in a SAR?

  248. (310) paulj Private Sources of Information
    If you called or went to any rafting company in Merlin or the Galice Store, they would have current road info because they run shuttles to the take out points down the Rogue River at the other end. They would know current road conditions and detours if needed. Consider getting a Glendale Resource Area Transportation Map, BLM Medford District. They have the road numbers. The roads have signs subject to age, vandalism and budget constraints for replacement. CWAJGA

  249. Brenda,
    Have you looked at the wooden signs in the BLM maze, the ones that Sara photographed? Even the newer one at the junction where the car was stranded, has the name Galice Road.

    In case it helps, here are some notes that I took while studying those pictures (beware, there may be some errors):

    143, 141 – BLM 33-9-21, start of dead end spur heading east from stop.

    138-136 – Galice Road 34-8-36, vegetation obscured sign at stop, at the east end of this BLM road.

    131 – Dulog Ck crossing, closest stream to stop; there is a river runner’s campsite at the mouth of this creek.

    130 – Sample on 34-8-36. Note grass in the middle, a sure sign of light traffic.

    129 – Gated turn off to Black Bar Lodge

    128-127 – View of River, from bend on 34-8-36 just before BBL turnoff

    115-114 – BLM 34-9-7 turnoff, sign
    ”, ‘Galice 23 ->’

    113 – BLM 34-9-17 turnoff; ‘shortcut’ to 34-9-21

    112-111 – sign
    ‘Access spur road’?

    110 – BLM 34-9-21 turnoff

    104-103-99 – gate on BLM 34-8-36; gate is not visible on Google Earth, but the wide area to the right is apparent.

    99 – note turn off to 34-9-34 on the right

  250. Oops, the direction arrows messed up some of my notes:

    115-114 – BLM 34-9-7 turnoff, sign
    ‘(left) County Line Road’, ‘Camp Wilson Road (right)?’
    ‘(left) Galice Road (right)’, ‘Galice 23 (right)’

    113 – BLM 34-9-17 turnoff; ‘shortcut’ to 34-9-21

    112-111 – sign
    ‘Access spur road’
    ‘(left) Galice Road (right)’
    ‘(left) County Line Road 3’
    ‘(left) Camp Wilson Road 6’
    ‘Galice 19 (right)’

  251. Have you ever actually directly saved a life?

    Ever directly help in a SAR?

    No to both. And what does it have to do with James and Kati Kim and their negligence, or your overweening self-righteousness?

  252. 326-

    Gee, and what do James and Kati Kim have to do with your
    self-ingratiating demagoguery?

    The answer should be nothing.

    Because that’s all you’re trying to do.

  253. (326) Charles thanks for the answers. It just goes to show that you don’t have the proper perspective on things. Your black & white approach just doesn’t work in reality. Charles let me give you a clue – it is all gray!

    You know Charles, the universe has a way to deal with people like you and it is called – hard lessons! I would have hoped someone your age had learned all the hard lessons they needed to. You are definitely on course for a humbling over this one.

    BTW: Do you support the dumping of homeless from hospitals too?

    I might suggest you spend some time researching quantum physics and maybe then your perspective on reality will get back on course.

  254. 330/Glenn: Humble pie is another one of those dishes best served cold. The world is littered with Snarls who have had their hubris and arrogance brought down to earth by a tragedy, misfortune or accident.

  255. Paul, last time I looked it wasn’t me who ignored six warnings, the weather, the time and common sense and wound up getting myself and almost my family killed. The point of telling the truth about that is not to rub anyone’s face in it, but to be sure that any action taken in response is appropriate and relevant.

    Changing the the size, color and wording of warning signs is beside the point here. If you want to reduce the likelihood of another Kim tragedy, the first thing to do is understand how and why it happened.

    The answer to that leads directly to the family’s behavior. For some reason, you and others on this website have decided that any discussion of the Kims’ behavior is off-limits. This guarantees that any approach you come up with will be irrelevant and ineffectual.

  256. 332/Snarls: See my post 315, 315, 315, 315, 315, 315, 315, 315, 315, 315, 315, 315, 315, 315, 315, 315, 315, 315, 315.

    Hey look !!! – I just repeated myself about as many times as you have here at JD! I’m going to run with that 315 concept and leave it at that Charles.

  257. Snarly Charlie, you just don’t GET IT. The facts concerning the Kim’s responsibility in their tragedy have been discussed here in the early days. Everyone has moved on BUT YOU. And that is all you have to offer this discussion, over and over and over. You could copy/paste your entries and save time typing, because you are simply that repetitive.

    How long did you beat your dead horse?

  258. 332 – CW – You don’t really know if proper signs were put up if it would have made a difference or not. The signs thatt are there are not adequate. It is indeed possible that they might not have taken that spur road if warning signs were on it. Remember the warning signs were on the Bear Camp Rd., not the spur. Just because they may have ignored 3 or 4 other warning signs does not mean they would surely have ignored one placed on the spur. Even if they would have ignored it, someone else won’t.

  259. 304-

    Dkf747, I’m just saying this generally, for you about
    304, but also in regard to other questions asked.

    I agree that the wording on the signs is extremely important. But I think the shape can be extremely important as well.

    It is true that technically all warning signs are not diamond-shaped, but it is the standard for most warning
    signs. When was the last time you saw a low, rectangular,
    school or deer crossing sign that was as far away from the road as some of these signs were?

    Most warning signs are diamond-shaped. And I know that for me, that is the main design element that lets me know a sign is a warning sign and not just an informational sign.

    If you go to some of the websites that sell warning signs, you will see that they are predominantly diamond-shaped.

    Information signs are usually rectangular.

    The size, shape, and language of signs is extremely important.

    Otherwise, we would have no variations.

    Stop signs would not be red.

    Do you think a white stop sign would always be as effective as a red one?

    And stop signs are octagon-shaped…

    All these things can make all the difference in what is often a matter of seconds…

  260. In some ways, it is relative matter of what we are used to – in other countries, signage is different.

    But here it is a matter of using our system of signs in a way that would be most effective.

    Also I used them as an example, but you can’t really compare school or deer crossing signs to the snowdrift signs, because we all know the symbols for those signs and
    what they mean immediately. 😀

  261. Pauklj at 324, 325)Even the newer one at the junction where the car was stranded, has the name Galice Road.

    Thanks for the information from the photos – this helps a lot. Perhaps Galice Road is sign-shorthand for “Galice Access Road.” It wouldn’t be confusing for loggers because they would take this road if they wanted to go back to Galice.

    I keep trying to turn these Galice Road signs into a plausible alternate theory, without success. Even if the Kim Family initally thought that Galice Road would lead them to Galice, that would not explain James Kim’s reason for going back the way that they came, and is contradicted by Kati Kim’s statements in the OSSR.

    I am planning a trip to the BLM Reading Room next month to see what sorts of information they have on this part of the Bear Camp area.

  262. I doubt if Kims saw the wooden road signs while driving at night. But they probably did see the sign near where they were stranded. James may have deduced that they were 4 miles from Galice based in part on the wording on that sign. Unfortunately, he turned off the road into the Big Windy drainage before he came upon one of the signs that gave a distance to Galice.

    Searching the web for ‘galice access road’ turned up a 1963 document listing a bunch of BLM public works projects. One was:
    “Galice Road
    Construction of the Galice forest access road will be undertaken by the Bureau of Land Management in October. The $200,000 project will provide an estimated 130 man-months of employment in Josephine Country.”
    ( )

    So ‘Galice Access’ means, access to the forest around Galice, not access to the community of Galice.

    Forest service documents talk about building the Bear Camp route in the 1930s. I am guessing that this 1963 project put in BLM 34-8-36, possibly following the older route up to the Camp Howard junction (see Topo maps) and into the maze. Paving of the high route (FS23) appears to have occurred in at least 2 stages, with the Agness half being paved after 1980. The junction is consistent with the BLM route being paved first. During the peak of logging in this area, most traffic probably stuck to the BLM roads. In recent years, the decline in logging, and the increase in river recreation, has shifted more traffic to the FS23 through route.


  263. I doubt if Kims saw the wooden road signs while driving at night. But they probably did see the sign near where they were stranded. James may have deduced that they were 4 miles from Galice based in part on the wording on that sign. Unfortunately, he turned off the road into the Big Windy drainage before he came upon one of the signs that gave a distance to Galice.

    Searching the web for ‘galice access road’ turned up a 1963 document listing a bunch of BLM public works projects. One was:
    “Galice Road
    Construction of the Galice forest access road will be undertaken by the Bureau of Land Management in October. The $200,000 project will provide an estimated 130 man-months of employment in Josephine Country.”
    ( wordpress does not let me post links )

    So ‘Galice Access’ means, access to the forest around Galice, not access to the community of Galice.

    Forest service documents talk about building the Bear Camp route in the 1930s. I am guessing that this 1963 project put in BLM 34-8-36, possibly following the older route up to the Camp Howard junction (see Topo maps) and into the maze. Paving of the high route (FS23) appears to have occurred in at least 2 stages, with the Agness half being paved after 1980. The junction is consistent with the BLM route being paved first. During the peak of logging in this area, most traffic probably stuck to the BLM roads. In recent years, the decline in logging, and the increase in river recreation, has shifted more traffic to the FS23 through route.


  264. Sorry about the double post. A few days ago I had problems sending a post that had a link to a government site that showed historic snow depths. When my last post didn’t appear right off I assumed I was having the same problem, and tried again without the BLM link.

    Anyways, if you want to get an idea of what snow coverage was like toward the end of November, search for NOHRSC Interactive Snow Information.


  265. dkf747 – Re: The Kims’ignoring signs: If I recall correctly, Kati (I know, Charles, we can’t go by what the actual person who was there says happened, can we?) says they turned around shortly after seeing the “first” sign they noticed warning of snow (the “6 miles ahead” sign after the fork in the road). I hate to assume they ignored any others. They did stop to get further clarification from the gas station on their way to what they thought was a “straight shot to the coast”, and they did turn around once they saw the sign and then began to see snow. I guess it’s a matter of semantics with me, to ignore something is to see and understand it and disregard it, and I didn’t see evidence that they saw all the signs mentioned.

  266. Paulj, that PDF was quite a find. With the date and project name, perhaps the BLM will have some historical documents relating to the construction of BLM 34-8-36. I also have access to teh Federal archives in Seattle, and they might have some useful documents.

    I have the impression that Bear Camp was the site of an mountain logging camp and sawmill that was presumably at the end of a wagon trail. From the development of the BLM Maze, I suppose that all of the timber was transported through Josephine Co. and not through Curry Co. I imagine that there is a lot of history in the Bear Camp area.

    I agree with your research about the road – I read somewhere that BCR was a CCC project extending from Camp Rand. I see Camp Howard on the topo map near the FS 23-BLM 34-8-36 intersection and to Buck Camp further up FS 23. I imagine that these were all logging camps in the early days.

  267. Had an opportunity to drive through Medford today. Decided to put my money where my mouth is. I stopped by the Medford BLM office and bought a Glendale Resource Area Transportation Map date 2/11/2006 to replace my 1/23/2003 copy which was getting worn out. Cost all of $1.50. Has all the BLM roads and, what do you know, road numbers, too. It has the townships along the sides and range numbers along the top and bottom. BLM road #’s reference Township-range-section where the road originates. Example: 34-8-36 starts south of Galice in township 34 south-range 8 west section 36. Townships down here are south of an east-west line through Portland. Ranges are west (or east) of a north-south line through the same monument in Portland. Have fun. Learn something. CWAJGA

  268. 336 – I agree that diamonds are better than rectangular. However, the current standards (MUTCD) which is the same for all 50 states, allows for rectangular warning signs. They are in use all over the country. The yellow color is what identifies it as a warning. Diamonds don’t have enough room on them for some warnings, causing there to be a need for the rectangular. Either better driver education about the signs, or a complete change of the standard are the only real options.

    342 – Madeleine I didn’t mean to imply that I thought they ignored the signs. I was trying to speak CW’s language. I velieve the story in the report, regarding the signs, unlike others we all know and love.

  269. DKF, I know you weren’t trying to imply they ignored the signs, I just couldn’t bring myself to speak to the source and start another round. I’m sorry, it did come across that way, should have worded it differently! CW-Speak can be contageous…

  270. Gee, if they didn’t ignore the warnings, then how were they responsible for their fate as glenn and other have said you people already acknoweledged? Tell me in your own words what they did wrong.

  271. I’m still waiting for a single idea to be posted on this forum that might actually help prevent future tragedies of the kind that befell the Kim family. To do this, you’d need to propose ideas that, if they’d been in place on Nov. 25, might have prevented the Kims from doing what they did.

    Not a single idea from the consensus here does that. The color, size, shape and language of warning signs and maps are irrelevanr. Changing them might be advisable, but the tragedies they’d prevent are not Kim tragedies.

    The only approach that we could think of to prevent future Kim tragedies is public education. But this approach would embody, by necessity, the idea that James Kim died from his and his wife’s negligence.

    That’s an idea that the consensus here refuses to consider. It’s hard to know why, given that the vast majority of the public readily understands the reality.

  272. As might be expected, California has a lot of regulations about highway signs. Here’s a pdf of allowable signs. Note that yellow warning signs can be rectangular or diamond. There are several snow warning signs on page 5. Chain control signs are black with white letters.

    Click to access 2006CASignChart.pdf

    I have seen on some steep British Columbia roads signs that give detailed information about the grade. They show in words and schematically that, say, that there are 3 km of 10% grade, a brief level spot, then 2 km of 25%, etc. These are of most value to truck drivers.

    A sign like that at the start of BLM 34-8-36 could show the road climbing x miles to upper Peavine Junction, the relatively level to FS23 junction, then climb to Bear Camp meadow (4500′), followed by a long drop to Agness. Bicycle guide books show similar sort of route profiles.

    Obviously there is no guarantee that a driver would stop to look at such a sign, but if they did, they might make a more informed decision as to whether to continue, and when to turn back if they started to hit snow.

    There appears to be a rest stop on I5 just north of the Merlin exit. Is there any information about the coast route on the information boards at this stop?


  273. Paul, all of your questions are [i]irrelevant[/i]. The Kims ignored four warning signs. Really big ones. They ignored two warnings on their highway map, including one that was specific to their route. They ignored the weather and the weather forecasts. And you’re wondering about % grade warnings?

    Come on, get real. The way to have reached the Kims then, and future Kims now and in the future, is through a public education campaign that would tell people that all the gadgets in the world don’t amount to squat if they don’t use the gadget between their ears.

  274. Here’s a site for a hand drawn July 12,1920 map ( T34s R9w ) map showing Galice Trail, Hobson Horn Trail, and Bear Camp Trail. Good luck. Leads me to believe there were only trails in 1920.
    You can get other townships, but note the format. T34s is t340s and range 9 west is 090w. Kims stuck in t33s r9w sec21.

  275. Rodney at 354, 355) Thanks much for the BLM maps and for your instructions about using the BLM site. I don’t think that I have ever seen a map scale in chains to the inch.

  276. “…still waiting for a single idea that might prevent future tragedies…”

    There have been dozens of ideas posted and several comments about being overly concerned for one particular single causative factor. I don’t think a sign cautioning men who are hiking out to save their starving families to take their chances with a black bear rather than entering a very rugged drainage area are going to help much. Improved signage indicating the primary route to the coast will help. Improved signage reminding motorists of the rugged terrain and lack of motorist services will help. Improved forms and procedures for SAR personnel may help. Improved data links in rugged terrain with deceptively inviting roads may help. A whole lot of things may help but a constant tatoo of blaming the victim for his poor decision making doesn’t really do much good.

  277. How about this for a practical idea?

    Force all lodging to cancel reservations that have not been taken by two hours after sundown.

    This would reduce pressure on travelers to take risky routes after dark. A regulation like this could save lives all across the state (or country), not just one or two who might be tempted to take Bear Camp during a snow storm.


  278. The James Kim Technology Foundation

    I was most happy to learn that the above will be unveiled at the James Kim Memorial this weekend. This is a fitting legacy for James. I wrote Kati this morning with a yearly financial pledge to the Foundation from me and her Mother. Her response made my day:

    “that is awesome!!!! this is something james really believed in, and a way for me to give back to the community that’s given me so much financial and emotional support.”

  279. More about the James Kim Technology Foundation is here:

    Paulj … lodging to cancel reservations that have not been taken by two hours after sundown

    But paulj it seems this would shift the cost to the hotel unfairly, especially if people decided just to take a different route and not show up. Only in high season can they fill rooms cancelled this late, so the hotels would be hit extremely hard by this.

  280. Improved signage indicating the primary route to the coast will help.

    It might help other people who get lost, and as a general principle that’s fine. But it’s got nothing to do with the Kim tragedy. The Kims knew what the primary route was, and diverged from that route on purpose.

    Kati Kim’s statements to authorities about why they diverged from the primary route are suspect, as we explained. Given the realities discenible from the various reports, it’s clear that the Kims were negligent in taking the primary route to begin with, and again when they diverged from it rather than return to I-5.

    To help reduce the chances of a future tragedy of this type, we think the best idea is to redouble public education concerning the need to follow signs, read maps and stay within common-sense limits when traveling.

    When you refuse to see the primary cause of the tragedy, you cannot offer meaningful responses.

    As for a James Kim Memorial Technology Foundation, rather than a fund to buy more trinkets and gadgets for kids who probably have too many to begin with, you might think about a fund to educate travelers about the need to use their head when traveling in the wilderness. That might save some lives, if you should happen to want to do that.

  281. Just stopping in to see any updates. Looks like the “repeat” button still hasn’t been turned off.

    Why don’t you find out what the foundation is, before you criticize it.

  282. The Technology Fund as I understand it is for for public school education and not trinkets for kids.

    If I were set up a fund for saving lives, it would be a public awareness campaign on the dangers of driving while using a cellphone. Hopefully, legislation on this problem will eventually catch on nationwide.

    I’m thanksful my own children are not of mindset like Charles.

  283. Kati’s Dad, who was the Kim family member who started yelling at Kati at Christmas? Did they throw her out of the house or was it her decision to go? Has Spencer contributed to the college funds?

  284. Interesting that Charles has deleted some posts on his website from what I can tell–someone who had responded to his out-of-the-blue and unsupported speculations regarding Asian family cultural norms. I was going to post some of his own postings here back onto his website to see how long they lasted (particularly the nasty comments to family members and friends of James), but I had to register as a “member” and I am not interested in being a member of that board.

  285. I think Charles should be out passing out pamphlets to motorists “concerning the need to follow signs, read maps and stay within common-sense limits when traveling”, since that is his stated goal. Oh, wait, that’s what he says, but in reality, his thing is harassing family members following tragic events.

    If he gave a rat’s rear about “raising public awareness” about travel safety, a noble cause if true, he’d be over on his site trying to do so in a reasonable manner instead of trolling here day and night for tidbits to take back to his den. It’s bizarre, to say the least. Perhaps he has the need to insert himself into high-profile situations just to throw dirt, who knows. The way he talks to (and about) the principals says it all.

  286. Maddy, if the denizens of this board gave “a rat’s rear” about saving lives by preventing future tragedies like that which befell the Kims, you’d tell the truth about what happened and propose relevant answers rather than putter around with minutae like the size, color, shape and wording of warning signs that the Kims would have ignored anyway.

  287. 369/I think some people call this, nosy. CW you are fond of dictionary definitions.

    ‘unduly curious about the affairs of others; prying; meddlesome.’

    How do the answers to those questions help keep others tragedies like this from happening?

    As someone who won’t even credential themselves or share a CV, you ask awfully personal questions of things that are none of your business.

    I’m waiting for your proposals on how to raise public awareness. Grant applications for funding school programs on how to read maps? (do you suppose it would help if kids could also name the 50 states if they lived in the USA?) I’m one of those who is ready to see you stop repeating and start putting the rubber to the road as it were. I’m signed up for the Oakland CORE I course, and a have a goal of becoming a certified ‘urban disaster worker’ by the end of this year. Then I plan on starting some courses in general SAR the next year. What’s your plan to make this a better place and to help others either not get into or get out of these types of situations?

    It’s been 2 months and 4 days since James was found. Not enough time to have healed completely but time enough for me to start figuring out what I’m going to do to move on and how to give back from all of the positive energy and support we received from around the world. I’m going to work on becoming more involved in SAR over time. Kati is going to work to support technology in public schools here in the Bay Area. JoeDuck is going to work on his DangerData site. I hope others are thinking about what they are going to do, because most aspects of this has been discussed into the ground and now it’s time for action or moving on.

  288. 374/ Charles, the beauty of it is, the some folks can change sign shapes. You can work on educating the public about how to read maps, and travel safely. John and Randy can keep flying rescue missions in the Oregon area. SaraR can keep working to improve her skills and her teams efforts. Joe can run his online sites to see if they can help. I can learn more about SAR. Others can sit on their asses if they want. And hopefully in the end, we’ll either be able to prevent this in the future or have a better chance at finding those who get into the same place.

    Arguing on the Internet about who to blame will be going on for about the next 500 years. But the folks who are doing something are the only ones that will have the chance to make a difference.

  289. 372 Yes, that post now apparently deleted nailed him with some truth about Asian culture. It must have hurt poor Charles to learn that he had indeed taken a wrong turn into the wilderness on that subject. Too bad because it was actually good information and not at all malicious.

    Thank you so much for pointing out the ill advised deletion.

  290. Scott, if you’re worried about the unduly curious, I suggest that you take your complaint to Anderson Cooper. And if Kati Kim doesn’t want people to pry into her family affairs, she probably ought to refrain from posting about these matters on the Internet.

    As for a public education campaign, I think it ought to consist of revamping the current warnings about not falling asleep, along with enhanced warnings on maps and as rest stops. Such warnings have been pretty effective, but to use a pun they’ve been getting a little tired anyway.

    If Kati Kim were dedicated to saving lives, she could even consider doing some public service spots about the need to pay attention to warning signs and to one’s surroundings. She wouldn’t be the first tragedy survivor to do this.

    But it’s pretty clear to me that the consensus here isn’t really interested in saving anyone’s life. Or, to be more precise, if the goal of saving lives requires being candid about who and what were responsible for the events of Nov. 25-Dec. 6, you’d rather sweep the “cruel” facts under the rug even if some future travelers die as a result.

    Why is that, anyway? Just how heartless are you people, anyway? And Scott, are you going to register as a charity and open your books, or are people just supposed to trust you? If the latter, all I can say is that we’ve all heard that one before.

  291. CW you have just been so far out of bounds in so many regards.

    Your way will never be the way. Not on this blog, and not in our society and culture.

    Public awareness is always a positive message, not a negative one. We don’t live in a culture that insists on viewing everything people do through a negative lens. We all learn from what’s negative and then move on. You are the only one who does not seem to learn from the negative. It’s like your play puddle.

    You don’t care about signs because they’re not as much fun to blame! You only care about insisting they were ignored! But if those signs were people who were involved in this situation – they would be fair game.

    You have demonstrated time and again, CW, that for you this is not about helping people or making improvements.

    And if you don’t like the negative energy that comes your way, maybe you should realize that it is a direct result and reflection of the negative energy you give out.

  292. 379/Lisa: much as I like play puddle, I think wallowing in his pig sty might be a more appropriate analogy….except it would be terribly rude to insult pigs in such a fashion.

  293. Public awareness is always a positive message, not a negative one

    Hmm. I still remember two public education programs from my youth. One was a bunch of posters scattered through my high school that showed ugly people with slogans like, Smoking is glamorous and Smoking is beautiful

    Then there was the safe-driving campaign. Oddly enough, it sought to advise people not to simply rely on traffic signs and signals but to add brainpower. It’s been a long time since those ads ran, but I still find myself slowing down when I see another car approach a sign telling him to yield. “He was in the right,” the commercials said. “Dead right.”

    Apparently you haven’t seen any anti-drug ads. You haven’t been paying attention to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Ever seen one of those anti-child abuse billboards with the crying kid? Responded to an ad on TV showing a starving child?

    If you think public education is always positive, then you’ve been living in a different country than I’ve been living in. You don’t know the first thing about what you’re talking about.

  294. 375 376

    Excellent posts Scott. I cannot image Charles having had a career as a reputable journalist. Perhaps that is why he is unwilling to post a CV or otherwise reveal any credentials. I am very impressed with his lack of investigation and cross checking. I think his post about Asian culture clearly defined that deficiency and then he really underscored his problem by deleteing a clarifying informational post in response to his conjecture based upon the comment of his Asian friend’s business partner. Wow, what a journalist.

    Sadly this forum is now largely about Charles Wilson.

  295. Lisa, there have been plenty of public education efforts featuring individuals talking about their failures. Or maybe you never heard of Betty Ford, the drug addict?

  296. 385-

    Those ads may use difficult imagery or examples, but they
    always focus on a positive message. And issues like drunk driving and alcohol/drug addiction are immense issues that involve millions and millions of people. There is no comparison between huge chronic problems, and the individual sad factors and mistakes that were involved all around in the Kim story.

  297. Those ads may use difficult imagery or examples, but they
    always focus on a positive message.

    No more or less so than an ad with Kati Kim saying, “Don’t make the same mistakes we did” would use a difficult example to arrive at a positive message. In any case, after reading Kati’s posts at, she doesn’t strike me as an other-directed lifesaver.

    Which is fine by me, incidentally. This is a free country. It’s not Mrs. Kim’s duty to be a saint, or even to care about saving the lives of people who might make the same mistakes as her. Not your duty, either. If you and she want to use her husband’s death to stoke demand for gadgets, it is your and her right to do so.

    But do try not to strike a “compassionate” pose. That sort of hypocrisy is rather unbecoming.

  298. That’s it. I’m done with you – all efforts at reason are futile with you. You will always contort and distort logic to try and fit your warped views. You know well that your efforts have not been successful and that you are in an extreme minority, and there are good reasons for that. As on here, most people do know better.

    You are one to talk about hypocrisy!

    Not worth the time. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.”

    -Albert Einstein

    That’s for you too.

  299. Hello all. I am the one who was aned from Mr. Wilsons site. Seems he does not like it when people do on his site what he does here. I am sure he will try , in his own biased and slanted way to justify banning me for “Offensive Posts” on his site. I posted 2 times and the most offensive thing I said was that his so called writing was manure. I did correct his views on Asian culture aswell. maybe he does not like being wrong.

    Jeff Nelson

  300. You are Welcome. I usually let my brother do the posting because he is so well spoken, but I just had to relate how Mr. Wilson treats dissent on his site, while accusing all of the people here of not allowing other views. Hmmm, he can still post here but I can’t post there because I pointed out that his alleged “Asian” contact was leading him astray in regards to Asian culture.

  301. On the subject of snow closures, the local forest service district has a brochure for ‘The Siskiyou Loop’. Most of the backcountry portion of this loop is FS 20 from the Applegate valley east to Mt Ashland and I5 at Siskiyou Pass, which it describes as “25 miles of single-lane, graveled and dirt mountain road”.

    It is a ‘popular summertime drive for local people in passenger cars’. The higher portions may be closed by snow from early November to July 1. Snow traction devices and snow-park permits may be required Nov 15-April 30 at the Mt Ashland ski area (a real ski area, not the mythical one blocked by snow drifts at Bear Camp).

    An interesting note: “Forest Service spur roads posted with vertical road numbers are not maintained for use by passenger vehicles.”

    No services on the 40 mile mountain stretch, ‘Be sure to have a full fuel tank…’ (and maybe extra radiator water). ‘Cell phone coverage along the route can be “hit or miss”.’


    p.s. The Mt Ashland ski area can be deadly, to skiers, if not to ‘innocent’ motorists. Randy talked about a recent SAR mission there on a previous page.

  302. (394) Thanks Jeff…but is anyone shocked here that Chuckie is a hypocrite? I don’t want to say I told you all so…but many thousands of posts back I knew Chuckie was up to no good!

  303. Yes, Jeff, I saw your posts and they weren’t rude at all so far as I could tell. Just challenged Charles ever so slightly. That’s why I wanted to post his own words from this site over there to see if they would be deleted as well.

  304. The moment that the Kim Family’s friend contacted the San Francisco PD, this became a matter of public concern. The taxpayers of Oregon spent a huge amount of money trying to find the Kim Family and they deserve answers from everyone concerned. They have received answers from Sara R. and every other State and County employee with more to come, and they deserve answers from the Kim Family. This is not a private matter and no amount of calling Charles different names can change it.

  305. (398) Joy and (394) Jeff thanks for pointing that out. I haven’t spent any time on Chuckies den of misinformation but it good to know others are out there willing to keep the record straight…

    Yet another example of Chuckie not doing what he says he was going to do!

  306. Well, I did try and reregister but it seems I am banned for good. I do applaud Joe Duck for letting people have their say. This site is open for all points of view as long as they are presented in a civil manner (and in some cases, an uncivil manner). I will admit though, calling his writing skills “manure” is a trifle uncivil.

  307. Brenda, even stipulating that the “taxpayers of Oregon” have some right to grill Kati Kim, Charles is from Seattle, how does he fit in? I will call him names as long as he insists on slandering members of my family and then not replying when I try to contact him privately. That is just how I see it. I think that 99% of the posts here are about moving on to useful solutions, not about beating a dead horse to prove that some people were to blame more than others.

  308. (399) Brenda they already interviewed Kati. It’s over, case closed. Kati doesn’t have to answer to anyone nor does she have to take any questions from anyone.

    Just because Oregon spent money on a SAR effort doesn’t entitled to anything more than they have already gotten and I am pretty sure all the SAR people here will back that up.

    Kati has been through enough and she certainly doesn’t need to exert any energy for a low life like Chuckie. He is a bottom feeder and Kati, and her family are well above that. It is bizarre that anyone thinks Kati has to answer to anyone – this whole process is just surreal!

    Is it just too hard from some people to accept that Charles’s approach has failed and isn’t going anywhere?

    Just give it up and follow Scott’s advice and start doing something real to try to help.

  309. And brewdude, virtually noneL of the posts here are about moving on to useful solutions. To the extent that any solution-oriented stuff has been posted here, the “solutions” have focused on irrelevant musings about the size, shape, color and language of warning signs.

    This makes little sense, given that the Kims ignored a verbal warning in Wilsonville, two printed warnings on their map including one specifically oriented toward their route, four warning signs, the weather and the weather forecasts.

    These were not people who were going to heed warning signs. They needed more education. And frankly, even that might not have helped. Statistical analysis will tell you that, no matter what you do, there’ll always be people in the tails of the distribution.

    The Kims may well have been destined to ignore every single warning up to and including a neon sign with their name on it.

  310. I did a web search on Mount Peavine, trying see if there was anything interesting to see up this area. In the process I came across a BLM landuse analysis. Brenda might be particularly interested in this.

    Click to access WildRogueSoFaroutWA_acc.pdf

    Starting about page 60 it looks at roads. Table C1 is a road inventory. This table has road names along with numbers. For example, Wilson Camp (on the wood signs) is 34-9-5. County Line is 34-9-7. 34-8-36 is Galice Access (5 sections). 33-10-22 is Wayout Saddle


  311. Unfortunately, glenn (406), Mrs. Kim provided answers that were internally contradictory and which varied from testimony offered by others at the Wilsonville Chamber of Commerce. One of those people was interviewed twice, first by the Oregon State Police and then by Det. Michael Weinstein, a Portland police offier whose every word by regarded by you and others on this site as nearly the utterance of God.

    Therefore, at this point we do not believe that Mrs. Kim has been completely forthcoming with investigative authorities.

  312. (409) Charles if there was a story there the police would have been all over it! You are just following nonsense and you really are wasting a lot of people’s time for no good reason or intended outcome.

    You have but a few supporters here and on your site and you have hundreds if not thousands of people staunchly against your opinions and most certainly your approach – Charles it’s over – your website didn’t work and in fact it crashed and burned so badly you have to come over here – I would be willing to guess there are more posts over here from you alone than the entire sum of posts on your site.

    There is the real story – How Charles tried to defame and slander a dead man and failed!

  313. oh yeah…I almost forgot…

    Charles also wants to beat up on a widow and make her life even more unbearable!

    Yeah Charles your efforts are so noble and you really are a class act – NOT!!!

    Charles why don’t you wake up tomorrow and take a good look in the mirror? Do you really like what you see?

  314. To brewdude/Jeff Nelson: Your posts have been restored, and so have your posting privileges. From the start, we’ve struggled with how to moderate our comment boards. We’ve made some mistakes along the way, and deleting your postings was one of them.

    I don’t agree with a single thing you wrote, but we shouldn’t have deleted your posts. We’ll edit and/or remove posts that are libelous, incoherent or outrageous, but nothing you wrote fit any of those descriptions. Your posts were merely stupid and irritating, and we allow that.

    I’ll get around to responding to you later tonight or tomorrow morning.

  315. glenn (412-3), the site that dare not speak its name has speculated as to why the police have not fully investigated the contradictions in Mrs. Kim’s stories. You might want to have a look. Hell, I sit and listen to FoxNews three or four times a week, and if I can sit still for that crap then you should be able to withstand our crap.

    And we have not slandered a dead man. Slander is defamation by means of the spoken word. As for libel, you can’t libel the dead. If I wanted to write that James Kim was a meth-dealing child molester, there isn’t a single thing anyone could do about it by way of court action.

    And by the way, I don’t think he was. I used it as an example. I figured I’d better write that, because if I didn’t then you’d accuse me of concocting outrageous lies against the man. The only flaw I see in James Kim is his negligence; I’m sure there were other flaws, an in fact I hope there were. But I don’t know what they were.

  316. Kati’s Dad – I for one, am sorry for engaging CW as much as I have. But here sometimes it seems that these issues are central to differing views in the discussion, and it is still hard sometimes to just let such unjust comments go unanswered.

  317. I await your response with baited breath, maybe this lowly and stupid one will be able to glean some bit of the cosmic truth from one so wise as you…or maybe I will just pass out from holding my breath.

    (Sarcasm ray off)

  318. Good night all. it will probably be back to lurking for me. Other people have expressed things using far better and kiinder turns of phrase than I. Sleep well and above all…

    do good.

  319. I understand that, in California, some people like to hold their breath until they pass out. Something about seeing God? In any case, I will respond to you on our site. I have a touch of tbhe flu tonight and that’s pretty much kept me from plowing a whole lot of new ground.

    This site hasn’t had anything new to discuss for several thousand comments. I could post here from the ICU and not skip a beat.

  320. Oh, and brewdude, you should know by now that “doing good” is not on the agenda here. That’s because doing good, i.e., saving future lives, really does depend on knowing and telling the truth about the events of Nov.25-Dec. 6. That’s not something many people here are prepared to do, even if it means that future travelers might die as a result.

  321. Now that Scott Nelson’s posts have been restored and I have responded to him, I am sure that all of those outraged by our censorship will flock to our website for a lively conversation about Mr. Nelson’s dumb statements.

    But I won’t hold my breath. Scott, you can do that. Cowabunga, man.

  322. All I can do anymore when I read Snarls is yawn…it’s like a book, movie or tv show you’ve seen so many times it just puts you to sleep. The same blather over and over and over and over again. Tharwood had it right, feeding the trolls is an exercise in futility.

  323. re: 407 Snarly Charlie, Katie’s Dad is so right, this forum has become more about you, and that is so very sad. You are a total distraction to the cause here. It’s my personal observation that as long as you post and get feedback, you’ll be back for more with the same old repetitions, nothing new, nothing substantial to add. We need to post a sign, “Don’t feed the trolls” and eventually you will go away. It comes as no surprise that you have a double standard when it comes to posting here and at your so called forum. That fits perfectly with the character, or lack thereof, you have demonstrated here.

    If we can all agree not to engage…

  324. (415) Did you see that Charles actually admitted they have made a lot of mistakes? – like their whole hypothesis.

    (416) Charles and that is exactly why you are a bottom feeder you pick on someone that can’t fight back – you are vile and disgusting.

    (425) Brenda if you are that upset about taxpayer money then go after somebody worthwhile like Sandy Berger!

  325. To Kati’s Dad, I have never met your Daughter, but any friend of my brothers has got to be a good person. You sir, did a fine job as a parent. (and I am teaching right now so I know how many parents are not doing such good work). I apologize for feeding the troll here. Will not do such things any more.

    Peace and

    Do Good.

  326. 427- Thank you all, and Gayle, yes I promise, I will not feed the trolls. Last night I was caught by the trolling tractor beam, but that was truly the last time for me! (Last night I even wished that Joe had a permanent reminder sign above the comment box that said “Please remember not to feed the trolls.”) It is hard sometimes. You want to do the right thing.

  327. Just as a follow up to the “don’t feed the trolls” PSA—This litle troll incident has really just served Charles’s purpose. He has probably gotten more attention drawn to his website than in its history just by stirring up trouble over here and insulting family and friends of the Kims. Taking a look at the website, I noticed his pathetic efforts to call over people involved in SAR, which has gotten exactly “0” replies. Most of the posts are simply his own musings, with a couple of posters who just scratch his back and make him feel important. In fact, I’m finding myself coming here and checking in just to see how much of a jerk he can be. I’ve just never seen such bizarre hatred inspired by the tragic death of someone.

    If next Saturday is anything like today weather-wise, I’m going to head over to Golden Gate Park with my daughter and pay my anonymous respects to James and his family. And I’m going to do the same by NOT fanning the flames of such hateful person, this CW character.

    Good bye, again!

  328. Joy, Yes please go to the Park next Saturday. make a show for common decency and goodness. In my opinion the greatest Danger to America now is not Terror or any of the current buzz words. It is simply the breakdown of common courtesy. Public rudeness is a death knell for a culture, and Public rudness is running rampant in America now. People like those on this list can help change that. I to am feeling a tiny bit less cynical after reading this long blog…

    Do Good

  329. Joy, let’s face it: The pool of people who give a rat’s ass about this has dwindled. This site is down to half a dozen or so, and ours gets just a few as well, although recently we’ve been getting more commenters. We get about 100 to 200 hits a day, some from interesting places. This site doesn’t have a stats meter so it’s hard to say.

    As for what people actually think, the only objective data I can cite is that I Love Grant’s Pass forum poll. Of 45 votes, 64% blamed the Kims exclusively. Another 24% said it was mostly their fault. Only 2 people took the position takeb by you, glenn, Joe Duck, Kati’s Dad and the others who formed the consensus here, which is that it was mostly or entirely the government’s fault.

    So have fun with the rest of the lotus worshippers. You might as well be in the majority somewhere, and Golden Gate Park is as good a place as any.

  330. When did I ever claim the tragedy was the govenment’s fault or anyone else’s fault for that matter? What a great journalist!

  331. Someone died and three others almost died, Kati’s Dad. It was someone’s fault. Those someones are primarily your son-in-law and your daughter, plus Sara Rubrecht and Jason Stanton. The consensus here has viciously attacked anyone who says so. I’m reminded of Jack Nicholson’s famous line: [i]You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!

  332. Brewdude-437 I’ve been reading this thing from the start and I think your comment is one of the most insightful in all ten pages. I definitely agree.

  333. “…anyone else’s fault.” Dont’ misconstrue what I wrote. I know where the fault lies: the kids made some bad decisions that led to the tragic outcome.

  334. Someone identifying himself as Scott Nelson Windels, a friend of the Kim family, has organized Internet fundraisers, ostensibly to support the family, pay for the kids’ college educations and to endow a “James Kim Technology Foundation” that will support technology education in the public schools. The website that discusses these things is here:

    Conspicuously absent from the website is any mention of the tax status of the foundation or whatever organization runs the fundraising. This is significant for two reasons. First, a charitable foundation, also known as a 501(c)(3) group for the section of the federal tax law that authorizes them, can qualify for tax-deductible gifts. Charities usually want to organize as 501(c)(3) groups because donors will often adjust their gifts for the tax break.

    Secondly, a 501(c)(3) group must have a corporate structure and file a report that is made available to the public. However, such groups cannot be established merely to benefit one person, which might be why the Kim fund-raisers haven’t gone this route. Of course, by not taking that route the organizers also are completely shielded from scrutiny of how they spend the contributions.

    For example, there is this event to be held Feb. 17th in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco:

    The family and friends of James Kim would like to extend a warm invitation to join us in celebrating and remembering James’s life. This outdoor gathering serves to remind us of the deep ties that bring us together, and honors James’s appreciation for his family, friends, and community.

    This will be a family event — bring your kids, bring a picnic, and bring warm clothes. We will be celebrating with DJs, music, and dancing until sunset.

    Donations indeed!

  335. By the way, I laughed at Jeff’s post about rudeness. He was rude as hell on our site. It pissed off Dee, and I had to argue with her that rudeness ought not be enough to get you censored.

    Rudeness, stupidity, malevolence and obnoxiousness of the kind displayed by Jeff on our site and in his e-mails to me are part of the passing parade. So is hypocrisy, Jeff.

  336. Kati’s Dad, none of us, especially you, ever said it was the fault of the government. That is a pathetic attempt by The Unmentionable One to perpetuate his mythical, ongoing nonsense. As this is Joe’s blog, which he graciously shares with us, it’s even more rude and classless for T.U.O. to come over here and spew his hateful screed.

  337. He who bends the truth to suit his will, has no truth to straighten his mind, and is left at the time with a crooked heart…

    – Anonymous

  338. Quotes at 449) said He who bends the truth . . . .

    Everybody, here’s your chance to put Charles Wilson in his place once and for all. Many of you have accused Charles of bending the truth, so all you have to do is to show us how he did it. As a self-described Journalist, Charles is honor-bound to acknowledge each and every fact that he has bent and to change his narrative to conform to these newly-corrected facts. Based on what I have read of his writings, I would expect no less.

    Because so many of you know that Charles is wrong, please publicly set him straight. You will be doing history a huge favor.

  339. Brenda, the practical reality is that the denizens of this site have had no corrections of any real importance to offer. So they’ve done what truth-evaders always do, from the Bush administration on down: They personally attack the messenger.

    What’s falling-down funny about that is that actually seem to think it will discourage me. Talk about getting it wrong! 🙂

  340. Maddy (448), you and the others have made it abundantly clear that you consider it the government’s fault. You’ve concentrated on the SAR failures and the size, shape, color and wording of road signs. You’ve stuck a microscope up to the maps.

    All of those things are government, and it’s all you talk about.

    Now, Kati’s Dad, I’ve noticed your comment that “the kids made some bad decisions that led to the tragic outcome.” It would seem that we agree it was primarily their own fault. That’s a start, anyway.

    Now, perhaps you could tell me what those bad decisions were. I’ve made it abundantly clear what I think they were, but neither you nor your compassionate comrades here have done so.

    And when does someone cease being “the kids?” Okay, I know that your daughter is always going to be a “kid” at some level, but come on. She’s 30 years old and her husband was 35 years old. Don’t you think they should be evaluated by the same standards of care and common sense that apply to grown ups, or is adulthood too cruel a concept for you?

  341. 453 Charles is there anything that you will not try to put into a destructive negative spin? Have you no decency?

    Folks, I’m gleefully thankful that this blog has served to let Charles Wilson expose himself as a creature most foul and secondarily discredit his own website.

    Enough said. I think it’s time to end the dialog.

  342. (451) Brenda the only correction that needs to be made is Joe removing Charles from here and that would set the record straight.

    (454) Kati’s Dad…I am not going to say – told you so! 🙂

    But thanks everyone for playing.

  343. Kati’s Dad at 454) said: Enough said. I think it’s time to end the dialog.

    Spin aside, Charles asked a legitimate question: What mistakes do you think that James & Kati made?

  344. I learned early on in this blog to just skip any entry written by or responding to Pac or CW – their often classless comments are not worth reacting to or even acknowledging. It is sad that Kati’s Dad sees junk like that. I’m afraid I must agree that this blog has mostly degenerated into a back-and-forth with CW.

    One question for Randy Jones, if he is still around. In (162), you mentioned that you thought James had been chased off of the road by a black bear. You say that black bears are essentially harmless to humans, but then you note that the bear seems to have followed James down the hill. I am a city boy and I know if I saw a black bear coming at me I would run like hell. What would be the recommended course of action should one be approached by a black bear while walking on a wilderness road?

  345. (457) Brenda hard to judge what were innocent mistakes…we weren’t there. The fact is 100’s of people make the same mistakes but fortunately for most they don’t get trapped there…

    Obviously the signs are not working and were not working otherwise there is no way John James would not have painted an arrow on the road, etc…

    And that is the bottom line about Monday morning quarterbacking we all see everything so crystal clear and can clearly define what we think were mistakes but during the moment it may not have been so black and white and they may not have understood to what depth or even that a mistake was being made.

    No one here can actually believe the public education on this topic will have any discernable affect at least in the next 5-10 years. Look how serious HIV is and how long it has taken to get people publically educated about it. That is just a dog that won’t hunt!

    People want education then they should learn about survival techniques and take some survival training and then go do some klondike camping or something to really see what it is like. You will be doing yourself and those around you a big favor by having that knowledge first hand.

    I also recommend the Survivorman series with Les Stroud – he is excellent and you will learn a lot and in fact he has just finished up Africa and his filming in the Amazon.

    He strands himself in a very remote location with basically the only things in his pockets and he has to survive for 5 days. Entertaining and educational. BTW – no camera crew – Les films the entire thing himself as well as surviving – quite a task to say the least.

  346. 457: Those of us who are ancient may remember an old Star Trek episode that involved an alien that thrived on animosity and conflict (Day of the Dove). You and Snarls remind so much of that alien, never giving up, never going away, always baiting, always striving to engage someone, ANYONE, in debating your viewpoints. You live only for the conflict, not for any meaningful discourse. Kati’s dad agreed with Snarls many hundreds of posts ago on James & Kati’s culpability, yet Snarls persists in attempting to entice someone, ANYONE, to debate him.

    Like that ancient Star Trek episode, nothing good will come of such engagements. Sorry, I and many others refuse to play, and increasingly Snarl’s posts consist of him talking to himself.

  347. 458/William C: It depends….if it is a sow with cubs, your best option is probably to freeze or back slowly away. That is one situation where a black bear can be dangerous. If it is a solitary bear, they will generally go away if you stand your ground, yell at it or throw rocks in its general direction. Part of the problem, as I wrote some time back, is many bears in the Rogue wilderness are habituated to humans because of all the rafters and fisherman, whose coolers they attempt to raid. It that bear was habituated, it may not have readily departed, esp if it was hungry. We have had bears lurk outside our river camps all night, never threatening or harming us in any way, but definitely not leaving either….just waiting for our guard to drop so they can come “explore”.
    I am not a naturalist, so am far from the definitive source, but have interacted with many black bears over the years in that area.

  348. Here are the recommendations from Oregon wildlife people on dealing with black bears:

    Click to access blackbear3.pdf

    Backing away slowly and letting the bear pass is usually enough.

    At one point in the search Randy landed and checked out some tracks that the other pilot had reported. He determined that they were bear tracks. That is in the Sheriffs report. I also recall mention of bear tracks crossing James’s, so there was speculation that he may have left the road to avoid a bear. But I don’t there was evidence as to whether they saw each other, or whether one had crossed the other’s path a some later time.

    As noted in the pdf, bears have a very good sense of smell and hearing. Trying to hide by crossing a small stream or thrashing about in the brush doesn’t make much sense.


  349. (463) Charles bottom line…none of the people that you claim were negligent were not negligent period. Get over it – there is no smoking gun.

    Your big break – you blew it, now you are not going to have the story of 2007!

    Maybe Michael Moore can salvage this for you?

  350. Hey glenn, even Kati’s Dad says “the kids” were negligent. Well, he calls it “bad decisions.” I say the same thing with a different word. Get with the program!

  351. 463: Snarls: “because they can’t answer…” – wrong again! Choosing to not engage is a choice made not for lack of an intelligent response, but rather because many have concluded it is utter futility. My post 107 summarizes well my thoughts regarding your viewpoints, and 315 my conclusion about the best way to engage you.

  352. Okay, Paul, instead of coming up with any ideas that could actually save lives — something you’re clearly not interested in doing — you and glenn and Kati’s Dad and the rest can keep denying that “the kids” were negligent and you can fritter around with irrelevancies like how a warning sign should be worded or what’s the right way to talk to a black bear.

    That’ll do a whole lot for people. Just remember what you contributed the next time someone dies in that spot.

  353. (465) Hey UpChuck once again you distort the TRUTH. Kati’s Dad never said they were NEGLIGENT – YOU GET WITH THE PROGRAM and stop putting words into people’s mouths.

    He said they made bad decisions…that is like saying speeding versus reckless endangerment…two completely different worlds.

    You are reckless with your comments.

  354. You do realize he is nuts, don’t you? Bona fide. I even showed these threads to my psych. friend just to get his perspective. There isn’t any point. It will just replay over and over.

  355. 457 -“What mistakes do you think that James & Kati made?”

    Why don’t you and The Other go back and reread the 10,000 posts and count the ones that listed things people said the Kims could have done differently? There was a period of time where we talked quite a bit about public service announcements which would discuss preparedness on trips, having enough supplies in case of an emergency, alternate methods of charging cell phones, GPS with breadcrumbs capability, and all the other things that a person could take along to make a trip safer. We also talked about stopping for the night, not taking unfamiliar roads at night with bad weather forecast, etc. But we know that many people would have done exactly the same thing James and Kati did, given the circumstances, and many of us could have ended up in the same boat, if we’re honest enough to say so. Is that the same as saying they made no mistakes? That map experts saw flaws in the map, does that mean James and Kati made no mistakes? The various SAR factions who participated in the rescue and recovery saw protocols that needed strengthening, so are they wrong, too?

    Have you folks not read the site, or do you and Snarly Charlie just want to bait and switch back to the tired, one-note rhetoric? Since we discussed our first impressions and did our Monday Morning quarterbacking early on, we’ve learned from those who participated, and moved on to other areas that have been highlighted by this incident. That you seemingly condone the sick ripping and tearing at the survivors and their family/friends like a vulture is amazing.

    Those who drink the Kool Aid offered by The Other Site are free to go hang there and become enlightened by the Guru.

  356. It’s not only all the truly unsubstantiated “facts”, theories, and accusations, i.e. Chamber of Commerce sitings, wine libation, time scenarios, etc. that there have been all along…

    It’s not just all the cheap tactics to try to give the impression that he’s winning any sort of “argument”, i.e. that we have come up with no ideas that could help save lives, that we don’t care about saving lives, just because we don’t agree with his agenda.

    It is the pathology of it all that is so disturbing. It truly seems there is something seriously wrong here. Something really deranged.

    And I am not engaging – I am talking 3rd person, and I will not persist – no matter the baiting; the ugliness of manner and accusation.

    It’s not at all just about the ridiculous narrative, it’s really the whole picture. It’s very warped, in virtually every post.

    That’s right Kati’s Dad, it’s a “destructive negative spin” on almost everything…

    It does need to be addressed for what it really is…

    And I think it just makes us all the more thankful that we don’t live in such a world…

  357. Madeline at 471) said: Why don’t you and The Other go back and reread the 10,000 posts . . . .

    I have read each and every post on this board since Page 1.

    If you can answer the question without insults, please do so.

  358. Hey Lisa, I thought you weren’t going to respond. That particular New Year’s resolution didn’t last too long, huh? Your claim to not be engaging is, well, maybe you should show it to Joy’s psychiatrist.

    Madeline, in 10,000 posts you people have done nothing, and I do mean nothing. This is because you simply refuse to acknowledge the central truth here. Even Kati’s Dad finally admitted it: This was his daughter and son-in-law’s own fault. That’s where any solution has to start.

    Why is that so hard for you people to accept?

  359. 471/Madeleine – they’ve read the site, it’s not lack of knowledge with the site, it’s exactly what you say it is – “or do you and Snarly Charlie just want to bait and switch back to the tired, one-note rhetoric?”

    That is ALL they are interested in. Period. As much as they say otherwise, their history on this site clearly proves otherwise.

    I agree with Lisa, there is something quite deranged about it.

    And yes, I am indeed thankful I don’t live in such a world.

  360. 474/ HEY SNARLS – I THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO LEAVE ?!?!?!?!?!? I believe you’ve made that particulary claim at LEAST a half dozen times. Before you go ripping into others for allegedly not sticking to their word, why don’t you stick to yours ??

    That you and Brenda are the ONLY two people who have threatened to sue people over their posts speaks volumes about the kind of person you are.

  361. Paul, “the kind of person” I am is one who tells the truth. The kind you are is someone who, when presented with truth that he finds inconvenient yet irreffutable, launches vicious personal attacks on the person who tells it. Oh well, at least I know that you, Joy, glenn, Joe Duck, Kati’s Dad and the other stragglers here are in a tiny minority of people who think that “the kids” are blameless.

    Or at least, if they can be blamed, are too fragile to have the blame spelled out. In particular, when I see Kati’s Dad’s postings, it doesn’t really surprise me that his daughter gave versions to the investigators that are internally contradictory and that contradict reliable testimony from others.

    When questioned by a reporter, Kati’s Dad’s daughter yelled at the reporter rather than answer questions. And, at Christmas time, his daughter seems to have been kicked out of her in-laws’ home, and is now relying on the unaudited contributions of some guy who is running Internet auctions on her behalf.

    Oddly enough, Kati’s Dad is a doctor. Of all people, he should understand the value of facts in an emotion-driven world. But apparently not, because when asked simple questions of facts he hurls personal abuse, too. It would seem that the acorn didn’t fall too far from that particular tree, did it?

  362. Sigh… what have we learned about feeding trolls?

    There is one well established way to deal with a troll. It requires some patience and self-control, but it’s not unlike the methods one uses to deal with a bear. Stop feeding it.

  363. What’s even worse about this is that, given the attention this tragedy got, a true and ethical response by Kati and her father and her friends really could save lives in future. Instead, they have bobbed and weaved and prevaricated and dodged. The opportunity is lost, and people will die needlessly as a result.

    Enjoy the memorial service for “the kids” next weekend. After all, the whole point is to gather and sing songs about I-Pods, right? If you want to know why so many people look at California and shake their heads, take a good look at yourselves, valuing your emotional comfort over the lives of others.

    At least the Romans were honest about their hedonism. They didn’t do the fake “compassion” thing like you people are doing.

  364. Don’t waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.

    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Hard to do yes, but highly recommendable…

  365. Joy, by evading the truth here, which is that Kati and James Kim’s negligence got him killed and almost got her and their kids killed, you and the rest of your “compassionate” friends are ignoring the only practical solution: Public education against thoughtlessness and negligence by travelers.

    It’s not about warning signs, maps or bears or new technology. It is about people heeding warnings and using common sense. When you refuse to see it, you become part of the problem. Something else: Tell your friend Kati Kim to come clean about Nov. 25th.

  366. While I’m [virtually] here: greetings to all those still present. The search for Jim Gray has been, sadly, fruitless, but in this mere couple of months the state of the “participatory SAR” art has advanced amazingly. Check the DangerData site for a number of links to the search effort.

    And if you want to get out there and help people who truly need your help:

    Kati’s Dad and family: you and yours remain in my thoughts and prayers.

    Be excellent to each other!

  367. 487/ Tommo – thanks for the reminder on Jim Gray and the DangerData blog. While others may comment that the Internet SAR efforts haven’t found Jim – I would certainly note that it is *guaranteed* to be helping the family and friends of Jim keep their hopes up and keep going strong. That in and of itself is a great thing. It’s really hard when in the middle of a search effort to keep your hope up and keep putting energy into the search. Thoughts, prayers and support from others go a long way to helping sustain the spirit of those who aren’t lost – but still need some help in keeping hope going. Hoping Jim will be found so that the family can be at peace.

    To bad WP doesn’t have selective user comment filtering. Would be a lot easier for the faint of hand to keep from indulging in feeding time.

  368. And Scott, is the Silicon Valley solution to inconvenient facts and tough questions to construct an electronic filter? Maybe you should take that idea to a venture capitalist. See if you can get them to fund Potemkin

  369. And what does that have to do with the Kim tragedy, paulj? Nothing is the answer, because it wasn’t SAR disorganization that got James Kim killed.

  370. 496/paulj – That’s great to see that. We were concerned during the search when we were sending volunteers into CA on 199 that the CA counties weren’t necessarily involved because of the divide between OR/CA authorities coordinating. There didn’t seem to be much activity in the two NorCal counties where they possibly could have been had then gone down 199 trying to go back up to Crescent City.

    This kind of interstate coordination can only help improve things for future disasters – especially for that area which could see a Tsunami or Earthquake hit the interstate region there. It seems in the SAR world it’s the inter-county interaction that is really important (after reading up on the success of Bay Area SAR efforts in the Berkeley fires, successful in part to efforts to get more inter-county communication normalized and defined), breaking down the state line seems like a good idea for those counties.

    It’s great to see people who did an excellent job in their efforts – trying to make themselves even better at what they do. After realizing that many SAR personnel are volunteers I’ve been even more impressed with the efforts I’ve read about in the past few years to keep improving their field.

  371. Fortunately we live in a free country and if people want to donate to others for whatever reason, they can. And if not, then they don’t have to. (Except when it comes to taxes, and our share of the debt we’re paying beyond our control was nicely shared by Scott, thanks for the link.)

  372. Excuse me Scott, but your search efforts were a complete waste of time. I’m sure they made you feel good, but they added nothing.

  373. Regarding the relevance of the Kim case to regional SAR coordination, I will refer you to the summary in Part II of the sheriffs report. Most SAR missions are relatively local, such the two recent ones in the Mt Ashland area. The Kim case, because it involved a car, covered a much larger area, and involved agencies at the state level as well as several counties. Even when it focused on Josephine County, SAR groups from neighboring counties were involved. The case demonstrated the value of cooperation, and the need for improved cooperation.

    Oregonlive reports that there was 4.5 quake offshore from Coos County. A larger one could cause quite a bit of damage along the Oregon coast. Crescent City in nearby California was devastated in the 1965 Alaska quake. Cooperating SAR groups in the area could be valuable first responders in such an event. This will be increasingly important if individual counties have to cut their budgets due to the lost of federal funds.


  374. Just in case anyone thought that James passing didn’t already have an educational effect on people, here are a couple of excerpts from people who have emailed in to the website. Found them interesting as typically most people won’t take action with something like disaster prep or survival training until something hits them emotionally.

    “ps. I was driving home when I heard of Mr. Kim’s fate .It felt like someone kicked me in the stomach.When I got home and put the baby down for a nap, I immediately stocked my car with emergency supplies , blankets, food,water, etc.
    I grew up in Monterey and lived in San Jose and had never prepared for any emergencies despite living in earthquake country. Your experience will help people in ways not known to you yet. ”

    “Your Husband, Son, Father, Friend, Loved One, did NOT die in vain. People everywhere will now be cognizant of survival skills and supplies. I’ve traveled the Southern Oregon area by car and had never given such things a second thought, but now I surely will, and so will countless others.”

    “The news of his passing has made me very sad today. For what little it is worth I thought I would share some good that has come out of all this. Since moving to Ohio from California last year to get married myself, my wife had taken all of the emergency supplies out of the trunk and placed them in the garage. Being a backpacker I always kept some water, food, and first-aid supplies handy but she never saw the importance of it and prefered the extra trunk-space.
    Now, as the snow is just beginning to fall here in Canton, I told my wife that I am putting the supplies back in the car and getting some additional supplies for our van as well… and she agreed. She could tell I was upset at the news today and I think a little light went on for her that a little trunk-space, just a small backpack-sized space, is a small sacrifice to save a family.”

    “In the past I have dismissed my husband’s requests for me to carry emergency supplies such as blankets and food in my car. We live in a very snowy climate and from now on, I will be more prepared.”

  375. It is encouraging to read that some people are packing survival gear into some nooks and crannies of their car trunks. It doesn’t take much space and the cost in gasoline to lug it around with you is less than the cost of using up some pen and paper to calculate it. Much of the gear people use consists of items that otherwise might be in the donate or discard piles anyway. Some drivers buy sacks of cat litter for winter-driving ballast and if they get through the winter without mishap, they simply use up the cat litter in the normal fashion. Many survival ration kits could be assembled from cans already in the home and in the far reaches of the pantry due to their status as less than favorite food items.

  376. Has anyone thought of making survival pacs and map reading a part of the standard Drivers Education package at the high Schoiol level. I mean instead of creating a whole new sstem of PSAs why not start with the Youth. Maybe the resident movie reviewer can take this idea and run with it.

  377. A more likely approach might be to have auto parts stores sell a unified toolkit/survial kit. A tire inflator/power supply, set of tools, tow rope, chains, tarp, spare fuses, spare hoses, etc. sold in a box that had additional items such as first aid kit, emergency rations, socks, gloves, etc. just might be a sensible product to market.

  378. Thoughts, prayers and support from others go a long way to helping sustain the spirit of those who aren’t lost

    Very nice point Scott. Tragedy can bring people together in very good ways with very positive unintended consequences. A broad focus is important, especially because the Kim story touched *millions* of people around the world.

  379. Wow Scott –
    the Rescue Wiki looks really promising. I had not seen this until you noted it above:

    Seems to me that a tipping point for online SAR support may be near and it would involve strategies like the flyers and info you put out online during the Kim search and the mapping work used in the Jim Gray search, where you enlist a huge number of remote “helpers” who can do simple tasks so SAR people can concentrate on the physical aspects of the search.

  380. 510/Joe the thing that probably would have helped us, help the authorities the most was an online (or even downloadable) tool which would help track data about tip and information canvassing. Basically an easy way for people to report where they interviewed and flyered – and for a family command post to track that information. In our case, we could tell we were covering more ground than the authorities, because we kept running into businesses that didn’t know about the case (even into the weekend). We were trying to track things as best we could, but we weren’t tracking at the specific business/stop level (like we didn’t track which rest stops had been flyered). With more resources or better tools – it would have been great to have a printed lists of stops for volunteers (each morning).

  381. (511) Scott thanks for the post that is definitely something we are trying to address with a database that is currently in its early stages…

  382. RE: 487 / TOMMO: I am going to harp on this because I have been a donor for most of my life and am always stunned & disappointed at how many people do NOT donate (blood). I’m not talking about the legitimate excuses; there are many who cannot give, I am talking about healthy folks who can but CHOOSE not to. “Approximately 60% of the U.S. population is eligible to give blood — only 5% do in a given year.” – American Red Cross. As a country, we should be embarrased by this statistic. It is inexcusable and pathetic that just 1 in 12 donate !!

    THIS SAVES LIVES and is a critical ongoing need. How many things can you do on a regular basis that can make that kind of a difference ?? The Red Cross routinely experiences shortages of all blood types. Accident victims, premature infants, organ transplants, routine surgeries, cancer victims – these are all situations where donated blood makes the difference between life and death.

    If you want to make a real difference, one that could save someones life, become a donor. “One donation can help save the lives of up to 3 people.” – American Red Cross. If reading this makes you feel guilty or uncomfortable don’t just sit there squirming in your chair, do something about it!! – pick up the phone and make an appointment with the Red Cross.

  383. we kept running into businesses that didn’t know about the case (even into the weekend)

    Scott that is excellent info, and I’m glad Glenn tuned into that post. In a lot of these cases it seems like simply having an online Google/Yahoo map with pushpins with notes that anybody could edit would help process leads and make it easier to spread that info quickly. Sure there would be some bad tips, but others could follow up with their own comments.

    In many (most?) missing person cases confidentiality will be an issue here as we learned with the search for the Stanford Student. Somebody from this blog had contacted the dad and he was (understandably) reluctant to release info to unknown folks.

    However in most SAR I think confidentiality is not a key factor while quickly spreading the word is very difficult, especially in low profile cases.

  384. Scott I think a key question is whether the focus should be on *spreading the word* or with *organizing search information*. Probably both, which would suggest the kind of two pronged online approach we’ve been brainstorming where a database and a blog work together.

    Given the media interest it is remarkable how long it took the word to spread about the Kims, and also unnecessary since email alerts could be going out to all agencies in cases like this. Glenn – there’s a good feature for the database=email address of all agencies via zip code. We could then set up a simple email alert by zip code or county.

    I remember calling the USFS Ranger Districts that oversee Bear Camp area and neither had head about them – I think that was on Friday.

  385. Mr. Windels (#504), you of course realize that the examples you pointed out are of people who, seeing a couple’s negligence, have vowed not to make the same stupid mistakes they made. Imagine what might happen if Kati Kim were to appear in PSAs as part of a public education program.

    That’s what our website has been suggesting. It’s good to see that you understand the public impact of the Kims as an example of how NOT to do things on the road.

  386. Tommo and Paul – good links and feel free to harp on these good causes all you like here. At DangerData I’d like to create a section that highlights how people can help *without* getting directly involved in things. Blood donations to Red Cross and donations to charity are great examples of that.

    As Scott pointed out earlier, the goal can be much broader than just finding an individual, it can be helping us all to find … each other [insert violin valentine music here].

  387. (518) I think another aspect that seems to be missing from some of the discussions is the value of the collected data for future SAR missions.

    History has a tendency to repeat itself, plus with good data mashed together with maps and push pins, travelers can read about the potential perils on their intended path and hopefully will take the necessary precautions.

  388. “A tire inflator/power supply, set of tools, tow rope, chains, tarp, spare fuses, spare hoses, etc. sold in a box that had additional items such as first aid kit, emergency rations, socks, gloves, etc.”

    Chains – tow chain or tire chains? Tire chains come in different sizes to fit different tires.

    Hoses will also be car specific.

    Some cars come with a few spare fuses in the fuse box. Assortments of replacements are sold in these stores, but it helps to know what type your car uses.

    Air compressors, especially if they include a battery, are heavy, and need to be stowed safely. Inexpensive compressors are enough for adjusting tire pressure (an important function), but too slow for filling a flat. Faster compressors can draw enough power to blow fuses.

    You forgot the jumper cables. 🙂 And the window breaking hammer 🙂 Reflective triangle or flares.

    A problem with a comprehensive kit is that it can be bulky, heavy, and expensive. This would limit the market and use.

    There are about a dozen emergency road kits on this page from Canadian Tire (a major Canadian auto supply and hardware chain):


  389. Want to save lives? Consider this:

    I don’t buy Mrs. Kim’s story about missing Hwy. 42 by mistake. I really think they sealed their fate when, upon stopping for gas at about 6 p.m. in Halsey, Ore. (between Corvalis and Eugene), they reconfirmed their reservation in Gold Beach.

    She had gone to school in Oregon and had been to the coast, so she had to have known that Gold Beach was a long haul from Halsey. I think they had decided against using either Hwy. 38 about 20 miles south of Eugene, or Hwy. 42 just south of Roseburg, in favor of the Forest Service “shortcut.” I think they made that decision knowing that they’d been warned not to go that way. I think they purposely stayed on the Forest Service road in the snow and against the warnings of signs and their map.

    Why take the “shortcut” that wasn’t really a shortcut? Because they were in a hurry, and because they had a prepaid reservation at that luxury hotel near Gold Beach with the two-week cancellation policy. And because Mrs. Kim had taken the back roads between Eugene and Florence in the past, she probably figured that the Forest Service road from Merlin would be no big deal — even though they’d been specifically warned against it when they stopped in Wilsonville.

    If you think about all of that, you can begin to understand why Mrs. Kim might have lied to the investigators afterwards. How would it look if she described the decision-making process I’ve just suggested? And then there’s that three-hour gap. If they’d filled that with a winery tour, there’d have been all the more reason to lie. One way or the other, I don’t believe Mrs. Kim was completely forthcoming in her interviews with investigators.

    What’s especially unfortunate here is that, due to all the media coverage of the tragedy, Kati Kim had a real opportunity to make some good stuff come out of this. If she’d just been candid about their errors, it would have helped educate the public about the danger of bad decision making while traveling. Someone else in the future might have not made similar errors in judgment if Mrs. Kim would have been more forthcoming.

    Thus, by not laying her cards face up on the table, Kati Kim might wind up getting a future traveler killed. Not actively, but by omission. There’s a lesson to be learned here, and it could be useful in a public education effort. But unless Mrs. Kim acknowledges their errors, they can’t be used in such an effort. Iddeally, she’d appear in the Public Service Announcements about using good judgment while traveling.

    It would be emotionally difficult, but it would save lives. I consider it a test of her character.

  390. missing from some of the discussions is the value of the collected data for future SAR missions.
    History has a tendency to repeat itself

    Yes Glenn, excellent points. Identifying trouble spots is done by some DOTs but this info often does not make it into the public view. Clearly, simply pulling a lot of danger points into better public view is going to help with routes and decisions.

  391. Now, Kati’s Dad, you’ve acknowledged that “the kids made some bad decisions that led to the tragic outcome.” In your heart of hearts, you know that we’re right.

    The speculaion about what they did for that missing three hours is a tidbit that doesn’t really matter. What counts is that your daughter and your late son-in-law ignored a series of clear warnings.

    What also counts is that your daughter hasn’t come clean about it. Her stories to investigators simply don’t hang together, and you know it.

    So this is also a character test for you. Unlike me, you can influence your daughter. Tell her to make a clean break and tell the truth, and to participate in a public education program that would almost certainly save lives in the future.

    Hate me all you want. I really don’t care. This isn’t high school and I’m not running for prom king. Lives are at stake, and that’s when people show their true colors. What are yours?

  392. Charles it is SO hard to know how to handle your inappropriate insinuations and the interrogation style, especially when you try to bait Kati’s dad, Scott, and others here. You remain obsessed with trivial inconsistencies when the big story is largely quite clear at this point.

    Many here think I should delete your stuff for being mean-spirited and repetitive but that’s too much censorship for me, and I know that Kati’s dad and Scott can handle the taunts although you really should be ashamed of yourself for what amount to attacks on the character of people who are clearly of the highest caliber.

    In the interest of avoiding you dominating the conversation here with offensive taunts I’m reserving my right to delete or edit your comments at my discretion.

    Also, given your earlier threats of possible legal actions I’m going to stipulate that if you keep posting here you explicitly are agreeing that you will *under no circumstances whatsoever* bring a legal action against any commenter at this site.

    If you can’t agree to this feel free to make a final post, but don’t return. If you can, fine, stay.

    Frankly, I’m wondering if you have a hidden agenda here of inciting comments you’ll label as libelous and then sue over. That has a chilling effect on the conversation and it also just pisses me off as a free speech advocate.

  393. post 481 might have some Libel in it. someone is making accusations of lying that they cannot prove.

    Other than that and other posts this has been a great site.

  394. Um, folks, even mentioning lawsuits within 50,000 meters of a troll is kinda like the old “Andromeda Strain” plot twist where the good but misguided Rocket Scientists was gonna nuke the eeevil Bugs from Outer Space… which of course would put them mean ol’ bugzos in high hog heaven.

    Just ignore anyone you think is a troll. It will take a little while, but trolls will go away if they don’t get fed. They tend to kick up a little fuss first, but that’s part of the process.

  395. 525/Snarls: You just made my day. That you would waste your time and money in a futile attempt to sue someone over a blog posting is hilarious and the first thing you’ve said in weeks that has made me smile. How does one libel an alias anyway…never mind, I don’t really care. I can envision the response of an infuriated judge to such a trivial waste of the legal systems time – “Don’t you have anything better to do with your time?!?!”
    I can suggest an alternative – call the Red Cross and donate a few units. Save a life or three.