Re: Up-close visit from all 3 Pave Hawks

Message posted by JB737 on March 17, 2007 at 13:42:26 PST:

Rather than individually answer all the interesting replies and creating a deeply nested reply tree, I'll attack them all at once:

I'm a bit surprised at the DOD port scanning done to a British lurker. I was thinking more in terms of them just passively monitoring massive amounts of Internet traffic and figuring out who we are and what we are interested in, from that. I guess after the "shoe bomber" incident, they aren't sure if the Brits are "with us or against us", just as the "potential dirty bomber" incident is used to justify the executive branch of government doing unconstitutional stuff to US citizens.

Insertion/extraction practice is somewhat plausible, however:
1. I'd estimate that where they were hovering was not far from the fork at 5 miles in, probably somewhere around 1/2 to 1 mile past that, and likely approximately right on the main road to Tikaboo, still very far before the sharp right. Essentially, the main road IS the low area behind the nearest hill, viewed from where I was. They certainly were not there when I had passed the fork on the main road, nor were they anywhere in sight. Then under 5 minutes later, they were there just coincidentally starting an exercise, stayed there for 15 minutes out of sight, and then came into view exactly the next time I got out of the car to open the gate? Possible, but I'm not buying it. Pi x 33 miles squared is a big number: 3421 square miles of land exist closer to their home. And if they'd do an exercise on public land 33 miles from home, they'd almost as likely do it anywhere up to 66 miles from home, meaning anywhere within 13,785 square miles. I was well within the ONE square mile closest to their hover point. I'll be generous and only call it a 5000:1 shot that we were in the same place at the same time by coincidence. Either they chose their hover point randomly (or according to some plan we don't know about, which from our perspective is random to stumble upon), OR they were brought there by my presence. Now, I hope they were there randomly, but which side of that 5000:1 bet is smarter for me to take? If there were no road sensors, no cameras, no internet spying, no warrantless searches on US citizens, etc., I would be more optimistic that it was coincidence. If they had just passed by when I was sitting still somewhere for a long time, rather than snuck up behind me and lurked as close as possible out of my sight, exactly when I was there, then I'd have to count a half mile on either side of their entire travel path as what I had stumbled upon, let's say 300 square miles rather than one. But a long hover indicates that something key was happening there for them, and that it happened right by me, makes it either a BIG coincidence, or that they were there because of me. To get around this coincidence vs tracking thing, I suppose you could say their mission was to "go find some random vehicle in the desert, perform Tasks X/Y/Z while staying out of their sight, and then parade past them for a photo op, if they turn around and come back toward you."
2. As they flew across, I was surprised that nobody was visible in the rather large open doorway on any of the copters. No legs dangling out, no ropes, no gunner, no nothing. My impression was that nobody was in the back. Does anyone know what the normal crew on their patrols would be? Just a pilot/copilot and maybe an observer?
3. You'd think that standard procedure on insertion/extraction or a rescue mission (and the Pave Hawk is really designed for search/rescue, generally) is to get done and accelerate out of there (whether at low level or climbing might depend on circumstances) once the mission is accomplished. I don't think it entails 3 noisy, juicy targets creeping along 100 feet up at 20mph in single file. Even if they're practicing a civilian rescue, they have to get the guy to the hospital before he dies inflight, right?

lone wolf:
You are absolutely right. This time, I will have loaded a whole string of waypoints.

I had already correlated various maps and waypoints to my Garmin car nav map. I simply made a mistake, by not having used any map (e.g., the USGS topo at large enough scale online) which showed the SHARP turn at mile 8, and I didn't pick up on the fact that the only semi-sharp (right angle) turn I found was at 5 miles not 8.

Garmin (and some other maps I had seen online, including Google Earth) referred to the first part of the main Tikaboo road as Old Corn Road, and the fork right as Old Corn Creek Road. If I'd made it another 100-200 yards past where I almost got hung up on the rock on Old Corn Creek Road, it would have joined the main route north at Medsger Pass. On both Garmin and Google Earth, neither the "sharp right" road (which detours around the rocky crux of Old Corn Creek Road which blocked my progress)nor the main northbound road from the pass to Badger Spring are shown as roads or labeled with names.

If I only bring the Garmin i2, my waypoint route will be in the form of a string of "points of interest" (POIs) which I can name individually, likely TikRd01, TikRd02, etc. My eTrex Vista is refusing to turn on, but if I fix/replace it in time, then I can store routes, capture tracklogs with altitudes, and so forth without using the workaround of storing a string of POIs as a route substitute and manually marking points as a tracklog substitute. Or maybe I'll fire up my antique Garmin 45 and try to remember what its capabilities are. Despite it not having WAAS, it does a good job of capturing track logs several different ways.

In Reply to: Up-close visit from all 3 Pave Hawks posted by JB737 on March 16, 2007 at 20:28:33 PST:


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