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Old 01-09-2013, 03:58 PM   #141
Justin
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Bottomless bogs? Could you elaborate, I never encountered one?
Just like it sounds. I fell in one up to my arm pits once with a full backpack on while bushwhacking around a marshy area in the Pharaoh region many years ago. Never touched bottom. Thankfully I was with a friend who helped me out. Sometimes what looks like a safe spot to step turns out to be not so much, especially in boggy areas.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:10 PM   #142
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Just like it sounds. I fell in one up to my arm pits once with a full backpack on while bushwhacking around a marshy area in the Pharaoh region. Never touched bottom.Thankfully I was with a friend who helped me out. Sometimes what looks like might be a safe spot to step turns out to be not so much, especially in boggy areas.
Can you describe the experience, I mean were you trudging along some swamp land or vly and just stepped into a soft spot? How deep was the muck before and after you "fell in". Can you describe the density of the elements at your feet level when you were "in", was it water or muck or? What do you look for to avoid such a calamity?
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:45 PM   #143
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Bottomless bogs? Could you elaborate, I never encountered one?
They call them bottomless because they are so deep and soft. Mainly old rotted vegitation that moss grows on and may have some cranberries. You will find them around lakes rivers and beaver ponds. That area has many of these. Usually you will notice the area you are walking on starting to get spongy and acting like jello. Stinks to high heaven.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:47 PM   #144
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Just like it sounds. I fell in one up to my arm pits once with a full backpack on while bushwhacking around a marshy area in the Pharaoh region many years ago. Never touched bottom. Thankfully I was with a friend who helped me out. Sometimes what looks like a safe spot to step turns out to be not so much, especially in boggy areas.
The last one I was in the wife made me get undressed in the grarge and then hosed me down with the cold garden hose before letting me in the house.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:18 PM   #145
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Can you describe the experience, I mean were you trudging along some swamp land or vly and just stepped into a soft spot? How deep was the muck before and after you "fell in". Can you describe the density of the elements at your feet level when you were "in", was it water or muck or? What do you look for to avoid such a calamity?
Ok sure...please pardon the thread drift...I'll try to keep it brief.
It was probably around 15-20 years ago, so some details may be a little hazy.
My friend and I were trying to bushwhack around the southern end of Berrymill Pond. I'm pretty sure it was in the Fall, because I was wearing long pants and a long sleeve shirt. We had already been skirting around most of the marshy shoreline because the woods were pretty thick. Even though the going was somewhat wet walking, it was much easier going than taking to the woods. I was leading the way through what we had already been walking through for a while (marshy wetlands), when all of a sudden I stepped onto a weak spot and I sank up to my arm pits. I couldn't feel the bottom, and I can't tell you what the density of the elements were other than I was now soaking wet up to my chest. I was holding myself up with my arms and grabbing anything that was around (alder branches, and what not), maybe I was carrying a hiking stick but I don't remember. My friend (Mike) was able to stand right next to me without falling in, and he helped me as I rolled out. Of course, not before he got his laughs in.
I on the other hand remember it being pretty scary & not very funny at all.
After that, we retreated to the woods and I walked out completely soaked from the chest down. Luckily, it was only a couple miles.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:33 PM   #146
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...Almost forgot, it happened to me again a few years ago, this time during the winter while snowshoeing near Mill Brook. Only up to my waist this time before I caught myself (thankfully)...


Gotta' be careful out there!
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:15 PM   #147
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Herkimite indicated only two NY mountains are above 5,000 feet: Marcy is 5444, Algonquin is 5114 and Santanoni is close at 4607. As I reported, all three were searched and they are, in fact, as the bird flies, only roughly 8 miles each or less from Camp Santanoni. In fact, my information states that the trail from Camp Santanoni to Lake Placid was searched thoroughly all the way, including dogs. Believe me, the entire region was searched and even the smaller mountains seemed much steeper in the July heat and bugs! If you participated in the search in any way or know of someone who did, their information and testimony is important. Again. thanks!
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:32 PM   #148
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What was and still seems strange is that some of the best dogs and search groups in the country searched the area almost hand in hand and never found a trace.
It is odd how some people disappear so completely. There are a few others still unsolved and less celebrated over the years, always making us wonder what other critical facts or clues we just don't have that would lead to the true whereabouts of these persons. The Moose River Plains area has earned almost a "Bermuda Triangle" reputation for some of the lost persons there.

Another recent case was the incredibly detailed search last spring in Piercefield near Tupper for Colin Gillis. With the information we had, many hundreds of searchers literally walked shoulder to shoulder (many times repeating the most likely areas) covering several square miles around his Last Known Position. And before Gillis there was Wesley Wamsganz in the Marcy Dam area around Thanksgiving 2010. After the initial find of his jacket plainly on the trail, nothing else has ever turned up.

I joined a SAR team in 1993, as a searcher on the Sara Ann Wood case. Her body was never found either, but police eventually tracked down a man who admitted to killing her. But he was vague about where, from Utica to Massachusetts to the woods near Raquette Lake, and her body was never found.

My understanding is that many of the current procedures leading to today's multi-agency cooperation and field search techniques and the Incident Command System were developed during the well-funded Douglas Legg search. In a detailed search pattern (Type III), a grid of string is laid out by each 6-12 person search team as they walk abreast, so that a search area can be efficiently deliniated. I was told by a ranger that over 600 miles of string were used on the Legg search. I can easily believe that, and more, from what I saw was certainly hundreds of miles on the Gillis search.

There is a fascinating book (but maybe too detailed for the casual reader) on Lost Person Behavior that has studied hundreds of lost person cases. A day-long seminar course has been developed for SAR personnel to attend. I took it a few months ago. It explains a lot of what goes on in various types of cases, with the many ways a person becomes "lost", the psychology of being lost and actions the person may take, and what goes on behind the scenes with the authorities and rangers in planning and conducting a search.
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:03 PM   #149
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One other thing that comes to mind with the Legg case was how fast the family left the area while the search was going on. I don't know about you but if one of mine was lost I would stay until he was found or no hope was left. These people if I recal right left the area within a week.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:13 AM   #150
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The Legg search was hardly "well funded". Taking care of hundreds of searchers. literally from Boy Scouts to Green Berets almost broke the Town of Newcomb. There was no ICS back in 1971. The Governor's fledgling DEC, and the State Troopers threw everything they had into the effort. The Legg family paid to bring in "experts" from the Mountain Rescue Association in California and the American Rescue Dog Association in Seattle. The MRA guys told me later, they had never seen terrain like the Adirondacks. (It's nothing like their Angeles National Forest.)

What DID grew out of the Legg search was the NYS Federation of SAR Teams; originally Oswego, Tompkins, Jefferson Counties and the ADK put together volunteer SAR teams. DEC decided to make the Forest Rangers into the "official" SAR agency, which the Troopers did not take too kindly to. It wasn't until 1984 that we finally got a Ranger Search and Rescue bill approved by both houses of the legislature and signed by Gov. Cuomo (Mario). There is a whole history of search and rescue that grew out of one search. One sad, unsuccessful search.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:24 AM   #151
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Trailpatrol...I could not agree with you more! The experts from California, including the Sierra Club, bailed out soon after they arrived!
Insofar as the rivalry between the NYS Police and DEC, I got my hands on a copy of the minutes of the final wrap up meeting in Newcomb, and it apparently was a "p_ssing match" as to who should have done what, with fingers pointing in all directions. And, of course, when the FBI arrived, they arrogantly assumed leadership in a territory and terrain they had no idea existed.
A DEC search leader, who shall go unnamed for now, told me he was furious 30 years later when I interviewed him because they were kept away from the family and camp staff for over a week and, as a result, were searching in areas where Dougie was NOT last seen. Makes you wonder why the owner(s) did NOT want Dougie found. The whole thing continues to smell like 2 week old dead fish! I keep repeating....little Dougie was a victim.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:40 AM   #152
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Well, I said "well funded" simply because of the unprecedented size of the effort, the family's financial status, and the nationwide extent and visibility with, at least initially, searchers participating from distant places.

What I also was told was that the process was so disorganized that it at least partially provided the impetus to create what has today developed into the ICS and efficient processes, I did not mean to imply anything like the ICS existed then. It sure appears that Catherine's study will bring to light the actual pieces of the story for all of us.

I have been involved in more recent searches where it is evident between LE agencies that "who is in charge" (who takes the credit?) can still be an issue. A bill in NY was passed just last year giving the DEC the responsibility for organizing wildland searches and training searchers, which of course they have long done anyway.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:09 AM   #153
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Without the police records being released its going to be a hard case to solve. All I can say is things have changed dramatically. Terrain as well as society. Nowadays things like this occur much more frequently and the family would have been under suspicion from the start. Maybe they were but we will never know. I sure would be interested in seeing the timeline of the uncle.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:37 AM   #154
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Well, I said "well funded" simply because of the unprecedented size of the effort, the family's financial status, and the nationwide extent and visibility with, at least initially, searchers participating from distant places.

What I also was told was that the process was so disorganized that it at least partially provided the impetus to create what has today developed into the ICS and efficient processes, I did not mean to imply anything like the ICS existed then. It sure appears that Catherine's study will bring to light the actual pieces of the story for all of us.

I have been involved in more recent searches where it is evident between LE agencies that "who is in charge" (who takes the credit?) can still be an issue. A bill in NY was passed just last year giving the DEC the responsibility for organizing wildland searches and training searchers, which of course they have long done anyway.
Well whom ever told you it was disorganized obviously wasn't there. I spent 3 weeks searching as well as many others. After the initial search of the last area he was supposed to have been people streached out from the area by the bridge with the end person leaving string to make the edge of the grid we searched. We then moved over and repeated. We searched almost to the foot of Marcy. As for the finger pointing and blaming I have no idea of that. Many people from the area donated food from homes, businesses etc to feed the searchers. Mom spent weeks cooking at the firehall and others helped deliver the food in the feilds.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:03 AM   #155
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Citiboy...the family was under suspicion! In fact, the first NYS police leader on the scene may have smelled a rat. I believe that within first week of the search, according to a newspaper account, he went on "vacation"! I ask you why, when this was probably the largest case he'd ever been handed? I don't think he was incompetent and asked to take a vacation - rather that he may have been asking too many pertinent questions. When he returned, he was transferred to another area! Hmmmm....

ADKman is also correct....the search itself was highly organized and thorough. But we all were hampered by the lack of family cooperation and witnesses. The owner who allegedly accompanied Dougie on the hike changed his story at least once and rumor has it he changed it more than once! I figure changing it even once was highly suspicious. Why wouldn't he have told the truth to help Dougie be found?

If I live to be a hundred, I will never forget that while searching, a copter flew overhead with a loudspeaker saying, "Dougie - walk to a clearing so we can see you! Your mother loves and misses you". It still brings tears to my eyes after all this time. I'm not sure if we will ever learn the truth, but we sure can try...and we sure can all reach our own conclusions based upon everything we know. That's what I'm trying to accomplish in getting this book together. Everyone who participated has a right to know.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:59 AM   #156
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Catherine, good luck with the book. I certainly will read it.

I used to tell my daughter my suspicions. She asked me where is the body. My answer was if it were me I'd put it in the car trunk and dump it off site before calling the police. I read that they used the phone at the town hall. I also heard that the State Police did search the buildings and cars but technology has improved since then. Who knows if they missed something.
As I've already stated its obvious that he was dead before the search even started. My summer camp is practically across the road and at night I hear people talking from the camp 1 mile down below me. I can't believe that a frightened child would never call out for help.
The uncle changing his story at least twice is a tipoff that something is not right.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:53 AM   #157
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Cityboy...Douglas disappeared early afternoon, yet the Essex Co. Sheriff's Dept. was reportedly not called until around 11 at night! Why did they wait so long? It only takes about 10 minutes to drive from the Camp to the Town Hall....it's only about 5 miles, but there's a lot of territory between to ditch a body. I also agree, he was most likely already dead before the search even started, which could be why the Camp occupants didn't stick around to get the results of the search - they may have already knew - a ghastly thought.
:-) By the way, my camp is just a short distance from yours and I hear you laughing too especially following when the beer is extracted from the fridge.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:23 AM   #158
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Does anyone have info concerning exactly what was "mentally wrong" with Douglas?

In an era just before the widespread acceptance of the mentally ill(think Willowbrook and Geraldo) with the support services that exist today, his family or some members of, might have been stretched pretty thin as far as their own mental health was concerned.There for the grace of God....


(I think we are neighbors too, we are on the other side of Windfall)
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:11 PM   #159
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Embarassment to a wealthy family, parients sperad to the limit, who knows other then the people involved. Does any of these reasons justify the killing of a boy if that is actually what happened. We can only hope that someday the truth will come out. I also remember a Kathy Mandigo that was killed along the side of the road that went unsolved. Theory to that was that she was hit by a mirror of either a truck or car.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:23 PM   #160
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To me, foul play seems improbable. I believe that on his way back to the camp to change his clothes, Douglas may have decided to go out alone instead of with the group. I'm guessing that the family assumed that he wasn't far, and that they would soon find him or he would come back to the camp. I also speculate that the family searched for him until a couple hours after dark, then they realized there was a real problem and contacted the police. My guess is that he fell through a deep bog and could not be located by infrared, dogs, and searchers.
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