We have not made any sort of announcement, but here at the OCNA blog, we have resolved to post more “Geocaching in the news” content in 2014. Considering the very popular Geocaching blog that normally covers current events (Notaboutthenumbers.com) hasn’t been posted to in 4 months, save for a single guest blog post in November. No, we have no idea what’s going on over there either. Unfortunately however, we’re going to have to ring in 2014 with an absolutely preposterous negative news story on our hobby.
The picture above is a winter scene in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico. Television Station KOB 4, an NBC affiliate, ran a news report on Monday night, December 30th claiming that law enforcement officials from the department of Homeland Security have expressed concerns about Geocaching, although no one from the department of Homeland security is named or quoted (more on that later).
The reason for the alleged concern? “Tech-savvy kids” use their smartphones to go Geocaching, and a map of Geocaches in the City and a map of the National Sex offender registry shows that “some” Geocaches are less than 500 feet from a registered sex offenders home.
The video of the news report and the associated article appeared here on their website today, December 31st. The reporters name is Jen Samp, and she opens the video live from a Geocache site, which she says is a couple hundred feet from a registered sex offenders home.
In our opinion, this is manufactured news. The blogger can’t remember for exactly how long, but he has subscibed to Google News Alerts for the word Geocaching for years, and has never seen nor heard anyone, anywhere in the world, attempt to put anything remotely close to this spin on Geocaching. What we think happened is that Jen Samp came up with this crazy idea to check Geocaching maps and sex offender registry maps simultaneously, and “officials from the department of Homeland Security” only expressed “concern”, after she reported her findings to them.
Oh, and a very Happy New Year from the OCNA Blog!!