CA CA - Barbara Thomas, 69, from Bullhead City AZ, disappeared in Mojave desert, 12 July 2019 #8

Discussion in 'Missing Persons Discussion' started by fictionisbetter, Jul 13, 2019.

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  1. 10ofRods

    10ofRods Verified Anthropologist

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    About search dogs and heat:

    Reduced olfactory efficiency in sniffer dogs results mainly from overheating, and causes physiological and behavioural resources to be diverted from concentration on the assigned task and applied instead to methods of body cooling. Dogs do not possess sweat glands, and panting is the main means of cooling the body. Since a dog can either sniff or pant, but can never perform both actions simultaneously, panting causes a decrease in sniffing rate.

    (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0168159102002745)

    Just putting it up again in brief, as the subject keeps coming up.

    Scent works on molecules that are partly water. Scent is dispersed by wind. Dogs that have to pick up a scent on site (on the trail in this case) will be confused if more than one person has been there. Dogs need a good item to sniff from (RT and all of Barb's things in the trailer were gone by Monday).

    Even under ideal conditions, dogs are only about 70% accurate. Many people have been lost in the desert, the area searched, and they are found later. Human searchers working in the heat are not as reliable (it got up to 114-115 in the afternoons around Day 6 of searching, it was 104-105 on the other days). There are a variety of plant habitats that you can see in the search pictures (where they searched repeatedly). But nothing in the many SAR photos tells me that (for example) they searched 2 miles down and 1 mile off Hidden Hills in each direction (4 square miles - a big search area for a grid search). I'm sure they did search it (using reasoning) but they did not search it as much as they searched the western side of Kelbaker, clearly.

    Search was called off eventually as the heat increased. The temps listed above were in the shade and the search was obviously not in the shade.

    Put a bunch of us in a room that's 115-120F and start giving us tests or tasks and you'll see that we mostly perform more poorly than we would if it were, say, 75F. Searchers are used to higher temps, of course, but there's a limit to how well the human brain does in situations like that. SAR personnel suffer heat exhaustion too (have a colleague with severe consequences to a heat experience, right now - unfolded in the second week of August).

    Someone asked where Barbara would go or where she would get lost, and why. Just consider that she could have been disturbed, upset, overheated, angry, scared and she might also have felt threatened by something. She could have taken off intending to get to the RV, found herself unable to find the key, walked off into the desert to relieve herself (irritated), walked further than intended (for privacy), etc. MANY scenarios.

    As someone who takes long walks when upset/angry and have many times found myself someplace without a clear idea of why I was in that particular place...I do think it's possible she is out there, beyond the original search perimeter, or within that perimeter but under foliage as she sought shade. People will eventually curl up under almost anything if they don't just pass out.

    I do believe that the man in Joshua Tree, who is still missing, will be found eventually due to the high volume of people who go there. Mojave NP is a bit different and that's what concerns me. That's why the word needs to get out to regular users of Mojave and Mojave Trails NP's. (I add in Mojave Trails just in case).
     
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  2. GordianKnot

    GordianKnot Well-Known Member

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    BBM:
    Yes, they absolutely will, and for all we know, they may be doing so even as we speak.

    I think the SBSCO's search for Barbara is still active and ongoing.

    They're just utilizing very different methods and tools in their search at this point in the investigation.

    JMO.
     
  3. Jenz

    Jenz Well-Known Member

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    Barbs in the desert, like she don't need to wander off for privacy to pee....imo
    I get the whole heat exposure thing...but she was close enough, it appears to refuge (the RV) If, for some reason she felt unsafe, then we do have an abduction scenario I guess....or she has gone off track to escape...been chased into the desert...
    So many scenarios...
     
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  4. MsBetsy

    MsBetsy Well-Known Member

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    What kind of methods and tools do you think they may be using?
    Cell phone and computer data? Things like that?
    Something to do with Barbaras son's theory?
    Interviews with people who may have been involved in whatever it is that he thinks Robert was involved in? If you know what I mean?
    Just curious.
     
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  5. 10ofRods

    10ofRods Verified Anthropologist

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    I disagree about the peeing in the desert near Kelbaker/HH road. I am of her generation, I would never pee in sight of the highway (nor would my husband). You'd be surprised how far people can see off the road. I'd go over a little rise (going IN the desert often risks getting cholla on your butt, or getting scratched). I'd have chosen to walk about 100 yards down HH roads, myself, then gone over to the edge of the road.

    Further, my preferred technique for peeing in the desert involves using a rock (I don't like having my knickers down and possibly in the dirt, but I'm clumsy and I sure don't like any possibility of getting my knickers wet, which, because it's always windy/breezy out there is a distinct possibility).

    I know people vary, but I have never ever seen a woman my age squat in view of the road (guys in trucks get a much further view - it's embarrassing to many of us, Barb seems very classy to me).

    In this case, I'd be really ticked off if I couldn't immediately find my key (at myself for not finding it and at husband for suggesting such a ridiculous procedure when a carabiner on the inside of the backpack is obviously the way to go). I'd also be ticked off that I hadn't decided to go 1/2 mile back, where there were both rocks (with crevices! perfect makeshift toilet!) and privacy.

    So if she did head out Hidden Hills, she must not have intended to go far. Perhaps she didn't want to cross the highway again. By around 2-3 pm, traffic on a Friday is really picking up out there...by 8 pm, I'm guessing it was a pretty steady stream. Almost all of it Vegas-bound.
     
  6. GordianKnot

    GordianKnot Well-Known Member

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    I think since they looked for literal/physical footprints and found none, they've likely now turned their attention to looking for figurative/electronic footprints.

    I think LE is likely doing a deep dive into the digital data, including cell phone, gps tracking, bank/financial records and computer activity.

    I don't for one moment believe that LE's seriously entertaining any far-fetched conspiracy theories any more than they bought into RT's bikini-and-beer-prompted abduction scenario.

    The SBSCO ain't in the habit of camping out on grassy knolls with their binoculars trained on pyramids, waiting for Elvis to appear. For one thing, there aren't many grassy knolls in the desert. So there's that.
    For another thing, Elvis is dead. So there's that, too.

    I do think that right now, LE is still trying to determine via evidence gathering whether or not BT's disappearance is due to to foul play.

    LE needs evidence.
    Without evidence, there is no conclusive proof of what has happened to BT.
    LE found no evidence of Barb being in that desert location.
    I think LE determined they found no evidence there because they were looking in the wrong place.
    They were looking in the wrong place b/c they were misdirected ala the Shell Game: "Look under here, not there."
    I think LE has tired of playing the Shell Game, and is now looking elsewhere for answers to the questions:

    Where is Barb?
    What happened to her?


    JMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
  7. Jenz

    Jenz Well-Known Member

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    Just like I wanna double like...so this is it
    I think this is where we're headed.
     
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  8. 10ofRods

    10ofRods Verified Anthropologist

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    I think the square parking lot is here:

    34.898920, -115.650160

    At first, I thought it might be the Sweeney Desert Research Center (it still could be) but someone here pointed out that the terrain just didn't allow a view over the hills to the Research Center, unless Barbara climbed to the top of Granite Peak, which would be impossible given the length of the walk and their lack of equipment.

    I think that place looks like a sand or gravel (probably sand) concern. I understand why LE didn't run over to this place and start investigating. Anyone at either of those two places would have had to be using binoculars, spying constantly on tourists to the Granite Hills, and then launch an abduction on the off chance that the parties were separated, all while being absent from work. LE has probably called these places to ask if anyone left work unexpectedly right then or if they saw anything unusual.
     
  9. Twistinginthewind

    Twistinginthewind Well-Known Member

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    Well put.
    I think the same.
    SBCSO said Specialized Investigations unit took over the investigation into BT's disappearance after they suspended the search for her in the Mojave Desert where her husband RT said she disappeared after 9 days and "found no evidence of Barbara Thomas".
    Their webpage says the same as well:
    "Personnel assigned to the division are highly-skilled and experienced investigators they use the latest technology to investigate cases."
    Specialized Investigations – San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department
     
  10. cazador

    cazador Well-Known Member

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    What If he did not like the dog.. ?
     
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  11. cazador

    cazador Well-Known Member

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    Wonder if RT is dating yet
     
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  12. LietKynes

    LietKynes "What do you despise? By this you are truly known"

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    Also where's RT's been hanging out lately... or should I say 'lounging' around at ??
    He is in all probability, a 'single' man now...
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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  13. cazador

    cazador Well-Known Member

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    How many of you have seen Matt's Facebook page ? Just click like if you have.
    Thanks
     
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  14. Twistinginthewind

    Twistinginthewind Well-Known Member

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    Good point, and yet another aspect of her disappearance that just rankles - the location is so remote, there are no towns or local LE stations nearby (it took over 2 hours for LE to respond to RT's 911 call IIRC), there are no Media Outlets, it's in a different state (CA) than where she lives in AZ, and CA has the largest population of any state in the US, and San Bernardino County is the largest county in CA with lots of crime and people going missing all the time.
    "California has been the most populous state in the United States officially... [the] current population is estimated at 39,536,653 as of July 1, 2017, by the U.S. Census Bureau."
    Which State Has the Biggest Population?
    The population of San Bernardino County is over 2 million people San Bernardino County, CA | Data USA, and the Sheriffs Office investigating BT's disappearance has jurisdiction for the entire County.
    Even Needles, CA, the closest city, is over an hour away, and with a population of 4,800 people, has 17 recent 'mapped' crimes on SBSCO webpage:
    CrimeMapping.com - Helping You Build a Safer Community
    I can't think of a more tricky geographical or jurisdictional scenario under which to investigate a missing person case. Especially a person who just disappeared within minutes of walking with her husband and returning to their RV on a desolate desert highway with no witnesses. There's just no information it seems to help pinpoint what happened to her easily. It's altogether mind boggling.
    Kudos to SBCSO for conducting their investigation under these difficult circumstances.
    Bumping for Barbara, desperately hoping she will be found soon!
    MOO
     
  15. LietKynes

    LietKynes "What do you despise? By this you are truly known"

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    Although not lately. :rolleyes:
     
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  16. LAhiker

    LAhiker Well-Known Member

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    It's possible that that facility appears in the 360 picture that RT says BT took from a hill. I certainly think LE should talk with people at the facility. That said, I have some concerns:
    • The area with buildings at those coordinates is 7.9 miles north of the intersection of Kelbaker Road/Hidden Hill Road. I don't think you can see people at one location from the other, even with binoculars. So if that was the location in the 360, what hill would the photo have been taken from? The Kelso Dunes aren't that far away, but I don't know if you can see the facility from there, and if RT and BT went to the dunes earlier in the day, it seems likely he would say so.
    • While the area itself is squarish, on Google Earth most of it appears to be cleared ground with some buildings, some exposed pipes, a tallish round silo-like tower, and some blacktop driveway/parking area: Screen Shot 2019-08-30 at 10.25.42 AM.png
    • I don't know what sort of facility it is, but I notice it's right under the power lines. Could it have had something to do with earlier mining operations? It does seem to be well-kept, so I think it's still being used for something. It could even be a private inholding. View of facility from Kelbaker: Google Maps Better view from Kelso Dunes Road: Google Maps
    • Also, maybe I missed something, but are you sure RT said they saw a square parking lot? Could someone in our own discussions have used that as a description of a possible lot, and we accidentally turned it into a requirement?
    • If 360 picture was taken from the small rocky hills near Kelbaker/Hidden Hills that RT & BT appear to have visited on their walk, I still think the small lot less than a mile north on Kelbaker noted by @slowpoke is a good candidate. CA - CA - Barbara Thomas, 69, from Bullhead City AZ, disappeared in Mojave desert, 12 July 2019 #6
    JMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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  17. campbellsouup

    campbellsouup Well-Known Member

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    IMO Kelso Depot security footage would be critical to see for a multitude of reasons at this point
     
  18. LietKynes

    LietKynes "What do you despise? By this you are truly known"

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    BBM Snipped for focus

    I'd be interested in knowing about mines in the area, as well.
    Esp. abandoned ones.
     
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  19. campbellsouup

    campbellsouup Well-Known Member

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    Looks oil/gas related. I posted a map of the mines a while back, I’ll look for it

    Edit: here Mines Online
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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  20. cazador

    cazador Well-Known Member

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    All of a sudden Mexico comes to mind .. where abductions are common and respect for human life is low. Where drug cartels run the nation..

    What if there was a purpose for the walk to the rocks..
    That changes everything.
     
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