Outer Banks Bomb Scare

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TeamMina
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Outer Banks Bomb Scare

Postby TeamMina » Mon 2011-09-26, 08:23:38

By Erin James
The Virginian-Pilot
© September 15, 2011
KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C.

Police evacuated homes, closed U.S. 158 to traffic and called in a Marine bomb squad after the owners of a Kill Devil Hills ice cream shop reported finding a peculiar-looking plastic tube stashed under a light-pole fixture Wednesday morning.

Detonated hours later, the odd contraption turned out to be an unlabeled geocache device - the object in a worldwide hide-and-seek phenomenon governed by GPS coordinates. Inside the tube were small pieces of paper bound by a zip tie. Some were labeled with earlier hiding places, such as Stumpy Point, and some had messages, including: "I scream for ice cream."

It may have been a false alarm, but this wasn't an overreaction, Kill Devil Hills police Sgt. John Towler said.

"That would freak anybody out," Towler said as he reviewed photos of the cache taken before it was detonated.

About 10:30 a.m., workers at Kill Devil's Frozen Custard & Beach Fries saw a bald, stocky man in his 30s who to them appeared to be acting strangely. He had a military-style duffel bag and was fiddling with something that he eventually hid under the light pole. He drove away in a car with Pennsylvania tags.

Owners Mike and Kathy Wiechec went outside to investigate. They found a 7-inch plastic tube propped up by a stick. Unnerved, the Wiechecs called police.

"It looked spooky enough for me," Mike Wiechec said.

Local police agreed and called in the Marine Explosive Ordnance Disposal team from Cherry Point, N.C., which removed the device with a robot and detonated it in a nearby field.

Now police are urging fans of the game to clearly label their caches. And they'd like to know who left this one.

"We'll be wanting to talk to him," Towler said.
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Re: Outer Banks Bomb Scare

Postby TeamMina » Mon 2011-09-26, 08:31:33

We don't put the words "geocache" on most of the caches here. Unless an area requires it (like the Metroparks & Forest), we don't usually add the word on the container.

When we cached Illinios, we found they don't camo their containers very often. Most lock & locks are left clear, with the words "geocache" written across the top. But then again, we think it's mainly to differentiate them from the many drug-drop areas ( as we came across one). So the first time, the two we hide there we didn't camo, and had to run out and buy a Sharpie.
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Re: Outer Banks Bomb Scare

Postby Handyman-N-Fam » Mon 2011-09-26, 15:19:44

I have tried for at least a half hour. I can't find any caches listed at that location, or any mysteries nearby that it could have been. Even looking at people that cached that week in the OBX, I can't find any archived caches that were anywhere near there.
Here is another article about the situation. There is even a pic of the cache.
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Re: Outer Banks Bomb Scare

Postby cheechgang » Mon 2011-09-26, 15:29:57

A closeer read of the full statement identifies it as a letterbox, with stamps.
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Re: Outer Banks Bomb Scare

Postby TeamMina » Mon 2011-09-26, 15:41:24

Here's our thing...why would someone travel all the way from Pennsylvania, to North Carolina, to hide something under a lamppost?
We understand the interest in hiding a cache at a spot you are vacationing. Or at a location you know hundereds of people visit each year.
But then, why a lamppost? A duffle bag full of goodies, and a lamppost?
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Re: Outer Banks Bomb Scare

Postby Mighty_Mo » Mon 2011-09-26, 18:57:34

The follow up story indicates Ellbee placed it Sept 25, 2010 and Ralph Spoilsport was last to sign ...
According to the http://www.atlasquest.com web site (one of the letterboxing community web sites) “Ellbee” is a profile for “Lee and Bill” from Petersburg, Virginia. The last individual to stamp the letterbox was “Ralph Spoilsport”; the atlasquest.com site profile for this individual is a male from Campbelltown, Pa.
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Re: Outer Banks Bomb Scare

Postby Handyman-N-Fam » Mon 2011-09-26, 19:13:47

Here is a copy of a reviewer note for a cache that I just had published in Indiana. It seems appropriate to post in this thread. I was trying to explain to him/her what a "Moops Container" was.


Hello again Handman & Fam,

In Indiana, the exact container is very important to us. This is because we've had a large number of cache containers blown up by bomb squads. I've had conversations with various law enforcement agencies who have all been really nice, but the bomb squad needs to be able to find out exactly what the container is. One of these squads even has a premium membership so that they can check out the cache page themselves when/if they get a call. They also have my cell phone number and can call me if they can't tell what the container is from the cache page. Since they've been so nice and so eager to work with us, we're cooperating with them to help out. We've been so lucky in that we've not been banned in those areas. To be honest, I've worried that we'd get banned out of areas just because they don't want to fool with it.

So, judging by what you've said, a "Moops" container could actually be any kind of repurposed food container :-) (Not very descriptive to a guy in a detonation suit! LOL)

Good luck with your multi!

TheScarlettReviewer
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Re: Outer Banks Bomb Scare

Postby Mighty_Mo » Mon 2011-09-26, 22:01:53

Very interesting that Indiana bomb squads are working so closely with the reviewer.

A true Moops container is a plastic container that looks similar to a 1 pound plastic coffee container. However some people are calling peanut butter jars a Moops container.
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Re: Outer Banks Bomb Scare

Postby TeamMina » Tue 2011-09-27, 05:47:08

We were under the belief a Moops Container was any container TMA prepped and gave you to hide. :D
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Re: Outer Banks Bomb Scare

Postby cheechgang » Tue 2011-09-27, 08:56:33

A Moops container was popularized originally not by TMA but by "The Moops" (TMA's uncle) who is no longer caching. It was a very heavy duty thick cube shaped plastic jar that was used to deliver ball bearings to the GM Powertrain plant where he worked.

Accept no substitutes. (By the way, he is also the inventor of the left-handled schmitzofractor)

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Re: Outer Banks Bomb Scare

Postby Handyman-N-Fam » Tue 2011-09-27, 11:36:07

So, what you are saying is: I should look for a recall notice on the painted Ovaltine containers given to me by TMA? I can't believe he would give me an unlicensed, knock off, inferior product. :(
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Re: Outer Banks Bomb Scare

Postby SuchaNana » Tue 2011-09-27, 11:40:34

thnx to mo & cheech, now we know the rest of the story......geo-history trumps TMA wannabes... :wink:
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Re: Outer Banks Bomb Scare

Postby jslagle » Tue 2011-09-27, 11:47:22

True moops containers are originally orange or green.

They are also waterproof and of a much higher quality plastic than most cache containers.

Sure you've found a real one :)
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Re: Outer Banks Bomb Scare

Postby GoodDog » Wed 2011-09-28, 00:51:20

jslagle wrote:True moops containers are originally orange or green.

They are also waterproof and of a much higher quality plastic than most cache containers.

Sure you've found a real one :)


They are also dimpled, like a golf ball but with smaller dimples. TMA passed off a counterfit Moops container? Say it ain't so. :bat:

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Re: Outer Banks Bomb Scare

Postby TeamMina » Wed 2011-09-28, 07:35:44

So what we've learned is that there there are "Moops" containers, and "Moop" containers.

So when referring to a cache of this type, the type of container you have now demands to proper use of an "s". :clap:
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