CO CO - Garfield Co, WhtMale 35-65, 789UMCO, skeletal in tent, Sep'04

Discussion in 'The Unidentified' started by Rle7, May 6, 2006.

  1. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    I had wondered about something like that, too. With a heavy smoker, it seemed like something that could happen.
     


  2. justthinkin

    justthinkin New Member

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    I'd read the info on this UID before, but didn't comment then. Since then, a few things have occurred to me.

    For one, I don't believe this guy was the hunter type or at least one gun would've been found in his possessions. The Sharper Image binocs tell me this is a city guy with not a lot of experience as do the Timberland boots which I wouldn't consider serious hiking gear, but then I come from a hunting background, and would choose brands specifically geared to take abuse.

    He has a sleeping bag cover that doesn't match the brand of sleeping bag on him. DMH is a tent company in Australia so I'm really wondering if this guy could've been an Australian. One lead would be to find out if any US companies carried DMH Australia products.

    That he was camped on a southern exposure also tells me he needed the warmth a southern exposure would offer, unless he picked that spot just by accident.

    I am not so sure that whoever Lib was, was a person with whom he'd been hiking and camping. The first line in the letter to Lib puzzles me, "I should" (wait/write) "in case my situation here doesn't improve." Wait for what? I think if he'd needed rescuing at the time of the letter he would have said so, but he hinges this waiting on his situation possibly deteriorating, and if the word is wait. If the word is write, then it does seem to be a letter to convey his last wishes. It seems his mind was wrestling with the fact he might not get out of there alive, but hadn't yet fully wrapped himself around that possibility. Do we know for sure the word is write?

    As for him hiking up there with a bad back, my significant other is fond of saying, a person can do most anything so long as he takes enough breaks. So I do believe even with a bad back this guy made it up there, but at what price to his back is the question. He may have just gone as far as he could when his back gave out or he was in so much pain he couldn't go on. Maybe he thought if he went slow enough he could make it back out. Since he was found in his tent, tells me perhaps he was in a lot of pain as does the empty Tylenol bottle.

    I don't think he went up there to commit suicide. I think he found himself in a situation that was beyond his capability to cope with physically, and may have frozen to death or died of natural causes or starvation. He was, IMO, a man in over his head, and ill prepared for the conditions he would be facing. The weather could have changed on him, and he may have underestimated the time it would take him to get from point A to point B, and back or wherever he was headed.

    Us older people don't like to admit to ourselves we're incapable of doing the things we used to do, but unfortunately, it can be true.

    I'm guessing Lib is short for Libby or Elizabeth.
     
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  3. zinc

    zinc Active Member

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    justthinkin, the more I mull over this guy, the more I'm inclined to agree. I do think, from reading the part of his note where he writes "Third choice take them up in a glider (I promise not to get sick on you," that he was giving instructions on what should be done with his ashes once he was found and cremated.

    What I don't understand is why he has pairs of a few things, like the maps, canteens, drinking cups if there weren't originally someone else with him. And if there were someone else with him, presumably when they hiked out (possibly to get help?) they would have alerted the rangers, or (one hopes) filed a missing persons report when the UID never returned. In which cases he should have been identified.

    Cymro, I don't know if you are planning to make contact, but I am interested to hear about any outcome from talking with the person who posted on YouTube.
     
  4. justthinkin

    justthinkin New Member

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    In thinking about the notebook the UID left behind, there was a drawing of a heart, and inside the heart a bell, a cat, and a crucifix. These had to have meant something though the UID may have been a bit delirious when he drew these. It's unknown, but bell and cat together could have this meaning:

    "Belling the cat" or "to bell the cat" is an English colloquialism that means to suggest or attempt to perform a difficult or impossible task.[1] The phrase comes from the Aesop's Fable The Mice in Council, in which a group of mice declare that the only way to avoid the dangerous cat is to tie a bell around its neck in order to give warning whenever it is near. One mouse then asks who will perform the dangerous task. The moral of the story, as commonly given, is that it is easy to suggest difficult (or impossible) solutions if the individual giving the solution is not the one who has to implement it."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belling_the_cat

    Ah, perhaps he meant it was his friend Lib who would have to bell the cat or implement the solution for spreading the UID's ashes or the female he asks Lib to get in touch with or the both of them.

    I provided a link to the wiki article on belling the cat, but it isn't coming through with my editing.
    So here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belling_the_cat
     
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  5. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    Good points, justhinkin. I hadn't noticed that the sleeping bag cover was a different brand than the bag itself. I had presumed that the brown Slumberjack sleeping bag was this one: http://www.slumberjack.com/Category.aspx?CategoryID=14 It would fall in the same category as the Timberland boots and Jansport backpack -- basic stuff, adequate but not what I would
    take on a backcountry hike. DMH looks like they might be a cut above -- more comparable to Columbia or LLBean in the US? I can't find any indication they export to the US.
     
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  6. justthinkin

    justthinkin New Member

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    Neither could I, carbuff. I guess we could call them, and ask if they were exporting to the USA in the late 1990s.

    The fact that the sleeping bag and cover are two different brands suggests a couple of things. They were bought used or the guy owned more than one sleeping bag which would indicate at least more of an interest in camping and hiking than if all the equip. had been purchased new or heck, he could have borrowed them.
     
  7. justthinkin

    justthinkin New Member

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    Forgot to add: If that is the correct sleeping bag, it looks too heavy to backpack.
     
  8. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    Or again an indication somebody else had been in the tent with him, and packed their sleeping bag in the wrong cover by accident? Or grabbed the gear he bought his kids for summer camp?

    I'll ask around at some gear stores in my area whether they ever had access to DMH sleeping bags. Sometimes places can get small lots of desirable goods even if they aren't generally exported. We're also close to Canada, which might be an easier trade path.
     
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  9. justthinkin

    justthinkin New Member

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    If the guy was in his fifties, both his parents could've been deceased. Seems he must have been closest to his friend Lib, which could also be shortened version of guy's last name in the event it wasn't a Libby or an Elizabeth. I guess Lib could have been a sibling or sister perhaps. Just doesn't stand to reason though that it was that close of a relationship. A sister would wonder if she hadn't heard from her brother in awhile, so I'm guessing Lib is a friend.


    Also, wondering if any progress has been made toward a facial reconstruction. That would sure help.
     
  10. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    I don't know for sure whether it is the one -- I don't see it in the photos and they don't seem to have any further identification in the description. But it's the only brown one they make. It's a very popular brand around here for the kind of light camping you do for lake fishing, hunting, etc. Yes, it is heavy for backpacking, even if you don't have a bad back.

    Wish I knew the dimensions on that backpack. Compared to what seems to be a foot in the top corner, it doesn't look big enough to carry the amount of gear they show.
     
  11. kemo

    kemo Well-Known Member

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    This case has interested me for a while. There are plenty of indications that he is middle class and you expect that a middle aged, middle class guy who went off backpacking by himself and never returned would generate a missing person report somewhere.

    There are a few things that are a little unusual:
    1) The equiptment wasn't cheap; it was solid name brand stuff but not what an experienced back-packer would have. It's more what car campers/day hikers would have.
    2) the exact location appears to be down a slop from a ridgetop trail in an area an experienced bgackpaker wouldn't plan as a camp site. I suspect he had some kind of emergency an made his way to the first site he could set up his tent.
    3) The route drawn on his map suggested he had made it 35 or so miles over very rough country. He was a easy "all downhill" days' hike out of Greewood Sprs. and he would know it. The only reason he wouldn't be able to try to make it down would be physical imparment of some kind or hypothermia. A storm would have blown over in a day or two and he should have been able to make it out even in heavy snow.
    4)He had no medications except one jar of tylenol (which most backpackers would carry). It was empty. This suggests he had no particular medical problem when he went up there, but something was going on that caused him to use up all his pain killer.
    5)From what he wrote, he sounds like he expects to die ("end of my journey") but not particularly suicidal. I think he was giving "Lib" instructions on what to do with his ashes (and making a bit of a joke about not getting sick on the airplane)
    6)Backpackers usually drive to their destination and leave their car at a trailhead. If they are hiking from one trailhead to another, they have to arrange transportaion between trailheads. There should have been an abandoned car at one of the trailheads. I would think the forest service would be concerned if a car were "abandoned" at a trailhead. There is NO public transportaion in these mountains.
    5)Assuming this was a single, old guy who set out on an adventure that was over his head, the big mystery is why no missing person report was filed. Evenidentally this "Lib" was close to him. If there was any estate, life Insurance or Social Security benefits involved, I would think a Missing Persons report would be necessary to get him declared legally dead. There is a possibility that a landlord cleaned out an "abandoned" apartment, an employer wondered why a steady worker just never returned from a vacation and a few people, including a woman named Lib, wondered why a guy they knew suddenly stopped calling. Sad.
     
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  12. RubyRed

    RubyRed "Keep on Truckin"

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    Just read this thread this morning. The you tube response does seem like a good lead.
     
  13. justthinkin

    justthinkin New Member

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    Exactly. The more I think about it, the more I think something here is not adding up. Bulky sleeping bag, 3 plastic canteens, a regular coffee mug, a too small backpack with no metal bracing for a person's back, a two burner stove with 2 fuel cans: this is all bulky stuff, and not what a backpacker would choose at all. Wish we knew which Eureka tent he had.

    I don't think that guy walked in there alone with that set-up.


    Had he traveled some distance by snowmobile and abandoned it? By horse? Or like someone said earlier, rented a donkey? And if so wouldn't someone have reported whatever was rented as missing along with the hiker who rented it?

    He also has a sleeping bag cover made in Australia, and so far, I haven't found any companies in the US carrying that brand. So how does an Australian made sleeping bag cover wind up in Colorado, found with the remains of someone who is fairly clueless about backpacking?
    I could envision an experienced Aussie backpacking the Rockies, but this UID does not appear to be experienced.

    He called this a journey. To me that indicates more than just a few days travel, but I suppose he could call it that. Just seems an odd choice of words for someone with equipment that's too heavy to be lugging around any distance.

    So we have a guy here with no knives, no whetstone, no fishing hooks, no breathable rain gear, no extra clothes or underwear, no first aid kit, no book, no camera, no food or food wrappers mentioned. He's got $100 bills, $10, $5s and $1s, no $20s or $50s, and no change. It isn't making sense, and I'm wondering if the guy was operating with all his mental faculties intact when he started out.

    And about this letter to Lib. It seems to me, if Lib had been in that camp, and gone to get help, that our UID would have started the letter,
    Dear Lib, if you don't get back in time....
     
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  14. justthinkin

    justthinkin New Member

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    I know this guy's age is off target, but otherwise, he seems like a possible candidate for this UID. With APD, maybe he stole some of his equipment from other people, taking what he could get. Says he was unemployed, but smoked expensive cigars.
    The retinitis pigmentosa seems to fit because one of the sentences our UID wrote was "My ...s are going. Eyes seems like a good choice, and could explain what happened. The guy went blind. Beavers had Marfan's Disease, and one of the complications of that are eye and spine problems.
    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/b/beavers_patrick.html
     
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  15. carbuff

    carbuff Well-Known Member

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    I think you're right that Lib wasn't with him at any point.

    It's not good backpacking equipment. It's all good sensible car camping stuff, however.

    He may have grabbed whatever he had on hand for this trip, not realizing until it was too late that it was too bulky and awkward and that he'd forgotten half his stuff.

    One thing about the timeline intrigues me. They say 1999 for the money in his pockets, but what about fall 2001? I don't know about other areas of the US, but in New England, the Twin Towers attack triggered a lot of midlife crises. Happily married women suddenly went into convents. Successful lawyers and computer company execs went "back to the land" or sought out religious retreats. And right after the attack, lots of people were stranded far from home because of flights being grounded, etc.

    What if he's a successful businessman in a crisis, stranded in Denver or Colorado Springs or something? Who goes to the nearest REI or Bob Ward or whatever's popular in Colorado, gets what he thinks he needs, and heads out to the mountains to search for his soul?

    What makes them think he had already been over those mountains rather than that he was just starting out?
     
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  16. justthinkin

    justthinkin New Member

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    Good points, carbuff. Yes, the equipment he had is what a person would lug in their car to a campground.

    I tried to see the soles of his Timberland boots, but I couldn't determine wear. The tops were in poor condition though, and one of the boots had a chunk of rubber? missing from the toe area.

    Where can I find a copy of the maps he had? I'm not finding those myself. I've only seen one, and it was too dinky to enlarge with any clarity.
     
  17. kemo

    kemo Well-Known Member

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    "mickielou" responded to the you tube and said that it sounded a lot like her ex-husband who disappeared after being dropped of for a wilderness trip in the spring of 2004. I doubt the amount of decomposition could have occured over just that summer and there are no missing person reports for anyone fitting that description at the time. It is possible she is off by a year or two.

    "mickielou" has a blog titled "blues fan too" (http://bluesfantoo.blogspot.com/) and now lives in Port San Lucia Fla but lived in Co for many years. I have no idea how to trace her through it. Any ideas?
     
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  18. reasypeasy

    reasypeasy Active Member

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    A long shot, but I'm posting him because he's Australian (like one of the bits of camping equipment) and he isn't on doenetwork or charleyproject. Just making sure his details are here if a facial reconstruction ever gets done and we start looking at comparisons.

    Christopher Colombo
    http://www.missingpersons.gov.au/profile.aspx?Id=1345
    Personal Details

    * Last seen: Thursday, 1 May 1997
    * Year of birth: 1963
    * Height: 5'11"
    * Build: Medium
    * Eyes: Hazel
    * Hair: Black
    * Complexion:
    * Gender: Male

    Circumstances
    Christopher Colombo departed Australia in April 1997 with the intention of travelling to Brazil for a holiday. Christopher contacted his family in the last week of April and once again in early May 1997. As it is out of character for him to go for a long period of time without contacting his family, there are concerns for his safety and welfare



    The picture (in case there are any deletions of the link) shows a white guy who appears to me to have dark brown hair. He is dressed in a tux and bowtie and photographed in daylight. Possibly at a wedding?
     
  19. websurfer

    websurfer Active Member

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    it was made in 1999
    so I figure he got it from someone for Christmas?
    Also;
    his socks...
    tried to locate similar ones.
    seems they may have been some sort of special made knit ones.
    From military/ or some sort of special order/
    handmade by someone?
    Wool socks....
    and the duct tape? everybody knows DUCT TAPE has DNA and fingerprints all over it...
    that needs checked as well.Hey?
    Is he in NAMUS yet?

    Please someone ask that he be in there with all his belongings .
     
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  20. RubyRed

    RubyRed "Keep on Truckin"

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    Scroll down to where it says send message ( left side by her profile ). She will get an e-mail telling her that she has a message. You have to be logged into you tube to send one though.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/mickielou
     

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