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Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 9:13 am
by Perry
It looks like those are Tandy Benchmark and Mt. Minerva Hoyt, but Richard's explanation makes a lot of sense.

I noticed that nobody has searched Peak 5396, and there's only 1 trip report on Peakbagger:
I'm guessing a Verizon phone could ping the Serin tower from there even though it doesn't light up on the cell map, and it would be at less than 20% error of ping radius.

Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 10:42 am
by Ric Capucho
Hi Perry,

Your idea is definitely novel and interesting.

I spent a little time on Google Earth and yesterday and came to the same conclusions, Tandy and Hill 5396.

I suddenly had high hopes that the central saddle on those hills might have the extreme westerly side of the Quail massif peeping upwards but Google Earth doesn’t seem to think so. Heywhatsthat is inconclusive, so... might need a pair of binoculars and a trip to the JF parking to confirm/deny conclusively. Or a drone. Lol.

Last thought: who on earth would ascend/descend those hills close to the parking in that heat, or even in more temperate times? Hardly bucket list material. Hill 5396 is equally odd. But from memory Tom has a trip report that crosses Tandy so maybe that was the more rational source of lights? Or, or... what? To me, Hill 5396 looks unsearched, by the way. No “hint hint” because it clashes with the ping.

Updated: Ahh, just read Richard’s post, and yes a setting star make sense.


Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

PostPosted: Mon May 27, 2019 1:10 am
by ColCopperpot
I have made a dumb dumb DUMB decision. Gentlemen and ladies I know it is foolish, I know better people than me have delved into this search, and I know my chances of finding anything are less than nil. BUT I cannot get my mind away from the thought if Bill Ewasko was not found in the likely areas in all the searching, nor the really unlikely areas either, he MUST have been missed in the searching of the likely places the first time either due to human error lack of scatter or just plain bad luck. So despite the success chance being less than nil I am making a goal, actually a pretty big life goal to retrace those search tracks myself inch by inch till I either find this man or join poor Tom in eternal mania. I will not do so soon as I have to actually learn and build up for this task so I do die myself or just end up a dumb enthusiastic idiot with more determination than sense and end up needing a rescue but by gosh I cannot think of any real logical reason he’s in some wildland nowhere When many people are found so close to regular trails and I never saw a conspiracy theory I didn’t laugh at. Considering my situation at the moment I should be able to attempt a prelim trip in a couple of months which would be more about ‘can I even handle this environment let alone search it diligently’ than substantive but I promise to keep you guys informed. Hell at my age I could use the exercise

Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:19 pm
by Perry
I know there's a lot of people reading this thread (the pageload count just keeps going higher and higher). In the next several months I may receive aerial photos from a search for another missing hiker. If anybody is interested in looking through the photos or using/writing an algorithm to do that, please check this other thread in a few months:

Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

PostPosted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:55 am
by AZeagle ... 3931674624

Looks like a 4.2 quake hit right near Quail mountain

Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

PostPosted: Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:54 am
by RichardK
I am not sure what this has to do with Bill, but the quake hit about 3/4 mile east of Jumbo Rocks campground per USGS co-ordinates 33.996 N 116.045 W.


Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:52 am
by Myth
Interesting, I wouldn't have expected an earthquake in that area. But then again, it is in California, so ... :P

I've wondered whether an earthquake or a downpour could dislodge something that can later be found more in the open, myself.

Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:14 am
by AlM
Hello. I am a New Yorker planning a trip to the Southwest, including JTNP, in early November. In researching my trip, I have come across the story of Bill Ewasko. I've tried to read this entire thread, but I very well may have missed some items, so if I post something totally obvious feel free to just ignore me.

There seems to be a very strong assumption that Bill only had 2 to 5 12 ounce bottles of water. But do we know for sure that he didn't have some nalgene bottles of his own that he filled with nice cold condo tap water before leaving that morning? I know empty water bottles are a nuisance to carry on a plane, but the alternative is not having your own bottles. When I go on a hiking trip that requires a plane trip first, I always make room for 4 empty one-liter bottles.

Alternatively, might he not have bought some Gatorade or other drink on his way into the Park that morning?

It makes a big difference - if he had 4 more liters of water, his surviving in a conscious state until Sunday morning is much more plausible.

One more thing. Any dismissal of a theory on the grounds that "Bill would never have done something that irrational" unfortunately doesn't hold much water. He very well might have had a stroke that affected his reasoning ability.

Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:14 am
by Perry
AlM wrote:doesn't hold much water.

Pun intended?

The stroke theory sounds reasonable to me. I would be curious to hear a doctor weigh in on that theory, or at least someone more knowledgeable about strokes than me. Maybe it could have been something more significant than a TIA and less debilitating than a really bad stroke?

Going in another direction of thought, it makes sense strategically to park at a different trailhead than stated if a person is staging a disappearance because of the time delay. It's harder to follow scent and footprints as more time passes, and hikers' memories get a little fuzzier after a few days. I heard a rumor that people in law enforcement think he disappeared, but I don't know if those people were directly involved in investigating, or somehow know more than we do, or formed their opinions solely based on publicly-known details.

Re: Story of missing hiker in Joshua Tree NP

PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:08 am
by RichardK
It is understandable why someone might conclude that Bill staged his own disappearance. The searching has been extensive and there is the mysterious cell phone ping. What is the motive for someone to disappear themselves? It is usually money troubles, legal troubles, or family troubles. I have never seen a hint of any of that about Bill. If someone knows more, please post.