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Discussion: control flag retrieved 18 days after event

in: Step Trek (Oct 7, 2017 - Pittsburgh, PA, US)

Oct 26, 2017 12:11 AM # 
Russell Porter, a youngish orienteerer from British Columbia / California that was visiting town, apparently knew about this event and maps online, maybe reading about it right here on AP, and went for a walk on his own on the South Side Slopes, retracing the route of Step Trek, apparently following the orienteering map I presume he found online.

Then, all of a sudden, he saw an actual orienteering control. Peculiar, as we are now 18 days after the event. He reported it to the WPOC Facebook page. At 6:30 PM, a search party was on the premises, and sure enough, the control flag with ID "302" was indeed there.

The location was on an end of a covered footbridge going over the railroad tracks, in a thick urban setting, with daily pedestrian traffic. For this flag to be left there for 18 days, that's amazing. Maybe there is credit to be given to the written label attached to the control, "Please do NOT disturb. Property of WPOC"


Oct 26, 2017 8:09 AM # 
Control flags are out for months in Uppsala for school orienteering.
Oct 26, 2017 9:07 AM # 
There's a *bit* of a difference between a control hanging in Uppsala, Sweden and a control hanging in the middle of any American city...
Oct 27, 2017 3:02 AM # 
Here I was happy that the controls I put out in an urban park last weekend stayed there for four hours...
Oct 27, 2017 3:37 AM # 
Many years ago when I was course setting in Sam Houston National Forest (north of Houston, TX), I found the wire frame and pin punch from a control that must have been in the forest several years (as I'd also set the previous few events there and never used that location for a control). The flag itself was no more (eaten by deer?). The tree to which the control was tied had grown around the string used to tie the control.
Oct 27, 2017 3:52 AM # 
I once found a red pin punch on the ground while orienteering. At the time I was amazed that I just happened to come across it in all that forest.

Maybe uncollected orienteering controls can be part of some prize contest for the public. Bring one in for a free orienteering entry.
Oct 27, 2017 4:02 AM # 
One year at the 1000-Day in Wyoming, somebody came to the finish line and turned in a punchcard that they had found on the course. The name on it was somebody who wasn't registered for the event, but we identified it as having been from the previous year. Tyvek is designed to be durable, but it was impressive that the label had survived.
Oct 27, 2017 4:37 AM # 
At one local meet, we had some people with a baby in a backpack carrier go on an advanced course. At some point, the baby lost a shoe and they didn't realize it until the finish.

Several years later I was coursesetting there and came across the baby shoe, out in the middle of the woods, now growing moss.

Would have been kind of creepy if I didn't know how it got there.

I've also found controls that have been in the woods for a year or more. That doesn't happen so often now that they tend to have more expensive equipment with them and better checklist procedures to account for all of it.

And once we found a homemade control featuring a wire hanger and orange and white felt. Not sure where that came from but guessing probably scouts.
Oct 27, 2017 5:18 AM # 
Who hasn't wondered about possibly finding a dead body out in the woods?
Oct 27, 2017 10:32 AM # 
An orienteering mapper saw one, and that led to a murder conviction.
Oct 27, 2017 11:10 AM # 
That's happened at least twice.
Oct 27, 2017 11:42 AM # 
What symbol did he or she map it with?
Oct 27, 2017 12:59 PM # 
Neat stories but Sherpes original one is still the best on several levels, not the least of which is how the flag was spotted and reported.
Not a body but NAOC 2014 came within hours of a serious disruption when an alleged murder had been holed up in the area and the police were then scouring the area for evidence. (Now three years later he is on trial in Ottawa)
Oct 27, 2017 1:33 PM # 
Gord, it wasn't at the NAOC2014 but a year later, a few days before 2015 Ottawa O-Fest. A group of us was about to walk in to the event arena to plan the event setup when 5 police cars pulled up and we were told to leave immediately. The police declared the competition area out-of bounds for the criminal investigation up till the day before the event. Only impact on the event was that we had to delay the Saturday start a few hours to have time to put out the flags. Nervous time, though, as we did not know until Friday lunchtime if the area would be available for the race.
Oct 27, 2017 2:28 PM # 
I think there are at least 4, and possibly 5, US based O-corpse stories, CSU, DVOA, SVO, OK (plus one where I remember the mapper, but forget the location) that I'm rather sure are referenced in a previous thread.
Oct 27, 2017 4:11 PM # 
Yes, I think ours is fairly unique in being discovered by a competitor during the event and not by a mapper. (And in this case it was a suicide, not a murder.)
Oct 27, 2017 4:27 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Oct 27, 2017 4:35 PM # 
We had a prerunner lose a spare epunch unit at Anza-Borrego once. Bill Gookin found it about 4 or 5 years later and sent it to us. The insides looked pretty melted (summer temps there average 107 and have been known to get over 120 F). Although we had since moved on to newer units, our epunch guy said it still worked.
Oct 27, 2017 4:59 PM # 
The Highlander was canceled a few years ago because of a suspicion that a murderer was on the loose in the park. (As far as I know, he has not yet been found.)

This discussion thread is closed.