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Desert Fog

Human Remains Found In Joshua Tree National Park

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Update on a case from July 2018 in Joshua Tree National Park, California...

NPS - Human remains found in 49 Palms oasis area

The Desert Sun - Human remains found in Joshua Tree National Park

Strange Outdoors - Paul Miller - Strange disappearances from U.S. National Parks - Update November 2019

What makes this case interesting is the search techniques used long after the initial official search...

"Park authorities were alerted Thursday about possible evidence of human remains after another agency was analyzing photographs of the area taken by drone in November."

The methods used by the other agency might be able to be easily adapted by an individual or other small amateur research group.  I believe that once the identity of the victim is made more detailed information will be available.

 

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If it were a new case, I would wonder if those remains were DVJ ... 😋

Interestingly, last week a body was found adjacent to homes in Carson City. Today one was found in Sparks. Bodies are popping up lately.

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3 minutes ago, DAW89446 said:

If it were a new case, I would wonder if those remains were DVJ ... 😋

Interestingly, last week a body was found adjacent to homes in Carson City. Today one was found in Sparks. Bodies are popping up lately.

Yes I noticed the same thing.  One has to be careful where they step.  An interesting read on such matters is here...

Holes in the Desert

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I haven't read the articles yet, but do we know what kind of drones they were flying? Makes me want to jump through the required FAA hoops to get a license! I wonder what the legalities would be if I were to use the drone as a hobbyist to search for missing persons but not include any of the footage in the video? I guess it might still be considered in furtherance of a business. Sheesh, I will have to start studying again for that test! 

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9 minutes ago, EWU Bob said:

I haven't read the articles yet, but do we know what kind of drones they were flying? Makes me want to jump through the required FAA hoops to get a license! I wonder what the legalities would be if I were to use the drone as a hobbyist to search for missing persons but not include any of the footage in the video? I guess it might still be considered in furtherance of a business. Sheesh, I will have to start studying again for that test! 

Unknown on the drone and what group it was.  If you did want to operate in a national park I understand that the NPS would want you to have your Part 107.  You would also have to apply for a research or special use permit which is handled at the park level.  Here is the NPS drone policy...

NPS Policy Memorandum 14-05 - Unmanned Aircraft

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8 minutes ago, Desert Fog said:

Unknown on the drone and what group it was.  If you did want to operate in a national park I understand that the NPS would want you to have your Part 107.  You would also have to apply for a research or special use permit which is handled at the park level.  Here is the NPS drone policy...

NPS Policy Memorandum 14-05 - Unmanned Aircraft

I wouldn't even bother flying in a National Park. Mainly in remote areas on BLM land. 

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11 minutes ago, EWU Bob said:

I wouldn't even bother flying in a National Park. Mainly in remote areas on BLM land. 

Don't discount the parks so quickly.  As long as you meet the conditions found in Item 9, Exhibit C...

"9.      Does it matter where an unmanned aircraft is used for the required closures to apply?

Yes. The NPS has the authority to regulate or prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the NPS. As a result, the compendium closures required by the Policy Memorandum only apply to launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the NPS within the boundaries of the park. The closures do not apply to launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft from or on non-federally (e.g., private or state) owned lands located within the exterior boundaries of the park. The closures do not apply to the flight of unmanned aircraft in the airspace above a park if the device is launched, landed, and operated from or on lands and waters that are not administered by the NPS."

I have operated in parks under those conditions.  You can also operate from land adjacent to a park, like BLM land, and fly over the park and then return to the adjacent land.

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A recent update to this... they confirmed that the remains belonged to Paul Miller the man from Canada. Worse, I think, actually reinforces the idea that these people may be a lot closer than one thinks. His family stated that even after exhaustive S&R efforts and the family coming back several times, they never found him, but at one point they were just 15 feet away from where his remains were ultimately found!

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/19/us/joshua-tree-canadian-man-remains-trnd/index.html

Quote
No clues to Miller's whereabouts were found, despite a five day search led by Joshua Tree National Park and a large-scale search and rescue mission involving multiple agencies. Miller's family from Guelph, Canada made several trips back to California to search for him during the time that he was missing, according to reporting from CNN affiliate CTV. Family members told CTV that they now realized in the initial search they were only 15 feet from where Paul died. "He still had water in his pack. He still had food in his pack. So whatever happened, happened quickly," Stephanie told CTV.

and

http://www.hidesertstar.com/the_desert_trail/news/article_d81d8a74-3724-11ea-b879-536a3499274a.html

 

Quote

Rangers started a search immediately, and eventually up to 90 people on the ground, six search dogs, an all-terrain vehicle and a helicopter crew joined the hunt for Miller. No sign was found besides his rental car, which was left in the parking lot of the 49 Palms trailhead, inside the park from an entrance in Twentynine Palms.

In November 2019, a nonprofit association of drone pilots, Western States Aerial Search, got permission to fly over the terrain where Miller went missing.

The drones took 6,711 images, which the pilots uploaded to DropBox, an online file-storage service. Volunteers began scouring the photographs for signs of Miller.

Two of them, Sara Francis Kelley and Morgan Clements, found evidence of human remains in the photos, said Greg Nuckolls, founder of Western States Aerial Search. The nonprofit notified rangers on Dec. 19, providing GPS coordinates of the rocky, steep location.

Law enforcement rangers hiked to the spot the next day and found human skeletal remains and personal belongings.

 

 

And here's the Facebook post from the aerial search group:

 

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A lot of searches fall prey to the 'donut hole' - the search close in doesn't happen or it's not done thoroughly.  We informally refer to this donut hole as the "Area of Maximum Embarrassment", and for good reason. 

The area in close needs to be searched thoroughly, all the time, no matter what.  Unless there is very solid evidence placing a subject well outside the donut hole, you have to allocate resources to the area. 

It's too bad, really, though in this case it would not have saved the subject most likely, it would have saved time and effort in the long run. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, awnacletus said:

A recent update to this... they confirmed that the remains belonged to Paul Miller the man from Canada. Worse, I think, actually reinforces the idea that these people may be a lot closer than one thinks. His family stated that even after exhaustive S&R efforts and the family coming back several times, they never found him, but at one point they were just 15 feet away from where his remains were ultimately found!

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/19/us/joshua-tree-canadian-man-remains-trnd/index.html

and

http://www.hidesertstar.com/the_desert_trail/news/article_d81d8a74-3724-11ea-b879-536a3499274a.html

 

 

 

And here's the Facebook post from the aerial search group:

 

that is sad i feel for his family 

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On 1/21/2020 at 11:26 AM, desertdog said:

A lot of searches fall prey to the 'donut hole' - the search close in doesn't happen or it's not done thoroughly.  We informally refer to this donut hole as the "Area of Maximum Embarrassment", and for good reason. 

The area in close needs to be searched thoroughly, all the time, no matter what.  Unless there is very solid evidence placing a subject well outside the donut hole, you have to allocate resources to the area. 

It's too bad, really, though in this case it would not have saved the subject most likely, it would have saved time and effort in the long run. 

 

 

What you posted reminded me of the girl they found on Mount Rose Highway by a family cutting down a Christmas tree. If I remember correctly, she was very close to where her vehicle was found. SAR had spent something like 3 days searching for her.  That's why I never understand why some people think one should not search in the same area SAR already searched. 

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