View Full Version : OK investigative reporters
Dec 6th 2006, 11:51 AM
This family lost in Oregon for over a week. Stories
say the car was finally found by a weak signal from the wife's cell phone.
Question: Why did it take a week?
Dec 6th 2006, 11:54 AM
I remember stories about people getting trapped in the Sandias. How frustrating that would have to be, trapped on a mountain and being able to SEE Albuquerque.
But honestly, with a cell and a good GPS, it's going to become almost impossible to have something like this happen in 20 years or so.
Dec 6th 2006, 12:09 PM
When I used to live in the Sandias outside of Albuquerque (Cedar Crest for those lucky enough to live in the area now) it was fairly common for someone to get trapped up there. Hikers would take the wrong path (happened to my parents once because some jerk switched a sign around -- they ended up scaling a cliff with no equipment and almost died) or hang gliders would crash in some inaccessible part of the mountain.
You learned to respect the mountain pretty quickly, especially if you took the lower trail from the peak over to the High Finance restaurant. Couple of the dropoffs of that trail make you really think about where you're placing your feet ;)
If you know where to look you can still find the wreckage of a passenger plane that crashed years ago - you can see it from the tram if you look in the right spot. They could never get up to it because of the terrain, so it's still there.
Even with a cell phone and GPS, if you get stuck on the wrong part of a mountain, it might still be impossible for rescuers to get to you.
[ December 06, 2006, 01:10 PM: Message edited by: tom servo ]
Dec 6th 2006, 12:36 PM
Here's a more specific question because I don't understand cell technology.
If they are in a place that was not blocked by a mountain and the cell signal was able to get out, why did it take over a week to track it?
There's probably a simple answer
Dec 6th 2006, 02:39 PM
that's a very good question actually. Unless it boils down to someone being asleep at the wheel back at the cop shop or cell company, it could be atmospheric - - -the signal was too weak to penetrate to 2 cell towers (only 1 tower would give them a large area to have to search - 2 towers would break that down to a much more manageable search area - - -3 would be ideal since you could pinpoint it within a very small area) until something changed in the weather conditions. Either that or something changed in how they were trying to get the signal out - - - maybe she finally stuck the phone outside of the car or something.
Dec 7th 2006, 09:39 PM
I was thinking it was in a spot that doesn't have a lot of cell towers, maybe.
Dec 7th 2006, 09:44 PM
Take a look at this map:
You'll notice there's huge gaps in Oregon for a lot of carriers.
cell coverage map (only circa 2003 tho) (http://www.mountainwireless.com/3netmap.htm)
It would be a serious ***** and a half if the difference between life and death was who your cell provider was, wouldn't it?
Dec 7th 2006, 09:55 PM
Btw, they had Cingular.