Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby adamghost » Sun May 13, 2018 9:22 pm

Hi all. I've finished writing up the Ewasko blog - it's huge, 22,000 words, so I am working now on getting some photo content in there to break it up and I also wanted to wait until I had unofficial confirmation that Rodriguez was who was found at Stubbe Springs, which I've now got.

I'm also absorbing all of the stuff that's being written here - this is really some of the best theorizing I've seen since this all started, great work all - and trying to incorporate it as best I can into what I've got. I was especially interested in the posters talking about how Bill might have deviated from Quail Mountain, and I want to think that input through a bit more. As far as the blog goes I can't guarantee I've solved the mystery - well, I definitely haven't - but I think I've managed to get all the information in, come up with a few theories that are at least plausible and dug up a few new nuggets to chew over, including where I'd look if I ever got back there. I imagine you guys will beat me to it, since I'm currently on the other side of the world and my ankle is still dodgy.

I plan to have it up by next Monday. I'll post a link here when it's ready.
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby sh44 » Thu May 17, 2018 5:27 pm

Hey Perry/Zippetydude, I saw your discussions about searching. I could probably do something this Saturday if that works. Otherwise, aim for another weekend, when we have time. Thanks!
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby Perry » Thu May 17, 2018 11:24 pm

sh44 and zip, I sent you a PM.
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby RichardK » Sun May 20, 2018 5:17 am

Does anyone know what sort of terrain Michael Rodriguez's remains were found in? He was out there for nearly two years before being found. The Stubbe Springs area gets traffic. So, he wasn't out in the open. But, he wasn't so well hidden that he couldn't be found.
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby adamghost » Mon May 21, 2018 6:47 am

The Ewasko blog is now up. I tried to include all the relevant information and organize it, along with the various theories I think are plausible and aren't, and why. There's a few new things in there that shook out when I went over all the information again. Thanks to Tom Mahood for allowing me to use some image content from his site.

It's quite long - about 20,000 words - so be warned.

In terms of other desert content, there's also an article about the old National Trails Highway through the Mojave. I'll be doing more of those.

Here's the link: http://www.ijustdisappear.com
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby RichardK » Mon May 21, 2018 8:52 am

Thanks, Adam. It's going to take a while to process this write up.

One thing about Bill's Senior Pass not being scanned. My wife and I got our passes last year. We have used them only twice to enter the Devil's Postpile on two consecutive days in September, 2017. This period is after the mandatory shuttle stops running. So, you can drive into the monument. Our passes were not scanned on either day. We were waved through both entering and exiting on the two days. Since the passes are lifetime, there is no expiration date to check. I imagine that a lot of gate attendants just wave people through.
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby sh44 » Mon May 21, 2018 10:30 pm

Boy Adam, that is a long post and shows the amount of time you've invested in the search! Thanks and will take a look
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby drndr » Tue May 22, 2018 8:59 am

I've always wondered if Bill ever called the people whose numbers he had. Authorities looked into the number they found and the person denied knowing Bill.. Was there ever a phone log that Bill ever tried to call the person? Even the days prior to hiking. I would have liked to know their connection.

And as far as the car. How do we know Bills white car was the one seen on thursday and friday by hikers. Could they have been someone else's. White cars are popular. Think about how many times you pull into parking lots at trailheads and really ID a car. I'll notice a car but then wonder more if I'll run into someone on the trail It wasn't until Saturday afternoon that we had a pretty good ID of the car with the colored pass in the window by the lady coming back from doing the nature talk. The only person who was really looking for a specific car said it wasnt there. The ranger. 2 to 4 times he passed. I would tend to take his word on it. Unless they know he was a flake and didn't do his job and maybe they're covering it up so their dept doesn't look bad. I think maybe a chance Bill or his car didn't show up there at all til Saturday. Not there, then moved.

Maybe these were all touched on. I tend to skim read to my fault.

D
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby adamghost » Wed May 23, 2018 9:10 am

drndr wrote:I've always wondered if Bill ever called the people whose numbers he had. Authorities looked into the number they found and the person denied knowing Bill.. Was there ever a phone log that Bill ever tried to call the person? Even the days prior to hiking. I would have liked to know their connection.

And as far as the car. How do we know Bills white car was the one seen on thursday and friday by hikers. Could they have been someone else's. White cars are popular. Think about how many times you pull into parking lots at trailheads and really ID a car. I'll notice a car but then wonder more if I'll run into someone on the trail It wasn't until Saturday afternoon that we had a pretty good ID of the car with the colored pass in the window by the lady coming back from doing the nature talk. The only person who was really looking for a specific car said it wasnt there. The ranger. 2 to 4 times he passed. I would tend to take his word on it. Unless they know he was a flake and didn't do his job and maybe they're covering it up so their dept doesn't look bad. I think maybe a chance Bill or his car didn't show up there at all til Saturday. Not there, then moved.

Maybe these were all touched on. I tend to skim read to my fault.

D


Good questions.

I deliberately ignored the phone number thing because I'm pretty convinced it's not relevant. From what I understand it was the number of some folks that ran a tourist attraction (was it the tramway?) in Palm Springs and if you look at the original report you can see it's just a number he jotted down in connection with a number of other places he might visit. Even in the original context there doesn't seem to be any indication that he knew them personally, just that those were contacts he jotted down for the future. Now what does occur to me - this just popped into my head - is that this is pretty good evidence against the self disappearance theory. If you're trying to throw off searchers by creating a lot of lists and leaving a lot of maps lying around, that's one thing. But would someone faking their own disappearance bother to get a contact number for a tourist attraction they had no intention of visiting? I doubt it. That's a little too thorough, even for an obsessive.

Great question about the car. I confess I never thought of that, but I don't think it's likely. The reason is the positioning of the car. It drew notice from the first two hikers because it was not parked in the parking spots but across them, flush to the curb, and Tom pointed out to me it might have struck someone as being a little douchey to park that way. Now, there is some indication that I discovered preparing the blog that the car might have been reparked slightly differently, but when it was found, that's how it was found. So even if it was moved in the interim it was put back in the position that a car was seen Thursday and Friday, so that indicates the same car.

The car's seeming disappearing act is beyond weird. I just want to acknowledge that a few people have flagged my theory - that the car may have been moved back into place by a U-Haul - as being pretty far-fetched. It absolutely is. However, if you decide to give credence to the eyewitness reports - and the people who said that it either wasn't there or it was parked backwards were park employees, one of whom was tasked with looking for the car and the other of whom correctly identified the pass in the windshield - it's the only explanation that can reconcile them. It's a matter of not letting how crazy it sounds obscure that that's the explanation that fits the facts as we know them. And if you buy that the car was driven out of the park and needed to be put back after the search is underway for some reason, there's really no other way to get it there than inside another vehicle. Moreover anyone in possession of the vehicle would have felt like they were holding on to a hot potato at that point, and probably would have worried about having the car made trying to dispose of it another way. So if you look at it from that perspective, it's a lot less crazy. Get the car under cover, and put it back where it came from. Problem solved. But as to why the car would have had to have been moved in the first place - that's mystifying.
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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

Postby drndr » Wed May 23, 2018 1:04 pm

So many possibilities. I hope someone stumbles upon him someday. It'll be interesting to see how far all our ideas were off.
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