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What's everyones take on giving out locations of abandoned mines and ghost towns? I just saw Bob's post about not giving out locations because of vandals. When I watch most of everyones videos and we almost always give the name of the mine or town. Which isn't giving out directions to the place but it also makes it pretty easy to google research and find it if you're really curious. But I'm just kind of wondering what are the things that we shouldn't give out so willingly? For instance, A while back when I first started, I posted a hike to some petroglyphs and I got a bunch "no-no" comments saying I shouldn't give out the location and all I did was do a google search of "petroglyphs in northern Nevada." And it was a really tough (5.5 hour) hike. So, to me, I feel like if you're willing to make that trek you should be granted access to see these things for yourself, if you're really curious.

 

Also, here is my latest abandoned ghost town video I forgot to post if anyone is interested. But how do you feel about me putting the name in the title and the thumbnail??? Anyways, Thanks! and have a nice day guys!

 

 

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Each spot is subjective. I've seen some backcountry cabins and cow camps become ruined because nobody knows about them or an old lock is left on. With nobody to come by and care for them the weather and animals take their toll on a place. These are generally all 5 plus mile hikes. Things that are easy to drive to are more in danger of being vandalized or looted. If there is something worth taking don't disclose the location. If it is something that is at risk from being vandalized by NF or BLM  (aka bat bars or torn down) like a mine or an old structure built without a permit don't disclose the location.   

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if i know the person and they've shown that they're a decent human being then i'm more than happy to discuss locations privately, provided extra traffic won't cause the place any harm.  but i rarely make locations public unless it's really well known.

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I'll discuss privately if the other party isn't an assclown. 

Example, I'll tell Bob about what I find and where I go, and he does the same.  I help him figure out land status when I can, and he clues me in to places that are worth going.  Since this is really his income source, he has more time to dedicate to the recon portion of things.  And if I have a suggestion on a place, I'll tell him if he hasn't already been there. 

Bob also isn't really a mine explorer per se.  Whether he's smarter than me, has a different risk tolerance, or just found that his audience doesn't care as much for the innards of old mines is irrelevant to me.  He does what he does, but there are places both of us can like and appreciate on different levels.  Plus, he's proven himself to be an actual explorer, which is pretty rare.

As far as artifacts go, that's a different story.  I'm always torn about that, as folks can deduce from my past posts.  Personally, I don't have space for stuff, so the decision is easy - leave it be. 

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Unfortunately it's not just vandals and blm that trash these sites, the modern day miners greatly contribute to the destruction of sites. I can name two historic towns completely destroyed by them. Rawhide and Candelaria. As far as giving directions or locations, it's a trust factor.

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For years I've been posting my ghost town and mining camp pics with the actual name, and sometimes a general location (i.e. Ruby Hill area, etc.) Since I'm trying to include some of the history of each site along with the photos, it's kind of automatic to use the actual names. 

 

However, I'm starting to rethink this, and have already chosen to use fake names for a few sites. (I always state that it's not the real name.) Vandalism is one reason, of course, but lately I'm seeing two other threats to historic sites that are often worse. One is BLM or other government agencies tearing down structures or closing off mines, etc. Another which I was only recently made aware of, is that some "miners" will buy up claims to sites just so they can sell off any antiques or vintage equipment on the property.

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On 10/24/2019 at 11:08 PM, Ray Dunakin said:

For years I've been posting my ghost town and mining camp pics with the actual name, and sometimes a general location (i.e. Ruby Hill area, etc.) Since I'm trying to include some of the history of each site along with the photos, it's kind of automatic to use the actual names. 

 

However, I'm starting to rethink this, and have already chosen to use fake names for a few sites. (I always state that it's not the real name.) Vandalism is one reason, of course, but lately I'm seeing two other threats to historic sites that are often worse. One is BLM or other government agencies tearing down structures or closing off mines, etc. Another which I was only recently made aware of, is that some "miners" will buy up claims to sites just so they can sell off any antiques or vintage equipment on the property.

Warning: This response is long and wandering.  :)

First, I've been following your blog/web page for a number of years.  I appreciate it, because sometimes it clarifies if a site I'm interested in is worth a visit (I'm mostly underground, but I do like surface remains), given the distances often involved.  I've found some neat things at places you've visited which I've left behind.  Still, it has been amazing to find and hold some of these personal items and wonder about the people who left them there in the first place. 

Which is interesting, because most of the sites I've visited don't have much for relics. (at least not relics you'd be able to stuff in a pickup truck)  In my latest series of videos, we did find a great old windlass deep in an old gold mine.  Since it's a hand-powered device, it's not terribly heavy, and a relic hunter crew could easily remove it.  I've never found one intact before (usually just the notched uprights remain) and I'd like it to stay that way, so I'm very selective about sharing locations. 

My ultimate goal is to find and ride in an ore cart underground, but to date I've never found more than bits and pieces of old ore carts. 

Of course, you also have the Goldrush Expeditions folks, too.  They get underground footage and publicize locations for the sake of selling the claim itself.  It's amazing to listen to them spew about the mineral potential of some of the claims, especially since they can be very selective about which 'facts' they share. 

Talking to people has also proven helpful.  There is a mine in west-central Nevada I've wanted to explore but haven't managed to yet.  Before I left CA, I was talking to one of my Search and Rescue team members and his family leased that mine for ~35 years in the 80's and 90's!  I was able to get some firsthand information about the workings and the history of the place.  I still owe him a visit and some video/pictures, as he spent many summers there screwing off as a kid and wants to see what it looks like these days. 

Finally, for true explorers, since I work near enough to UNR, I have access to a lot of the NBMG records that haven't been digitized yet (and which may never be).  So I'm happy to help out fellow explorers by gathering copies of records and the like. 

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I enjoy some of the videos put out by qualified folks who have the skills to venture deep into mines. It's great to see the amazing things they find, which most folks would never have a chance to see otherwise. But at the same time I worry about the "side effects" of such videos:

1. It seems that a lot of the mines they video, are soon closed off by some state or federal agency. Maybe coincidence, or maybe not. It doesn't seem far-fetched to believe that the agencies intent on keeping people out of mines are paying attention to some of these videos.

2. Idiots who get "inspired" to go into mines, who lack skills to do it safely and/or commit acts of vandalism. Which leads to more government involvement and more closed mines.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Ray Dunakin said:

I enjoy some of the videos put out by qualified folks who have the skills to venture deep into mines. It's great to see the amazing things they find, which most folks would never have a chance to see otherwise. But at the same time I worry about the "side effects" of such videos:

1. It seems that a lot of the mines they video, are soon closed off by some state or federal agency. Maybe coincidence, or maybe not. It doesn't seem far-fetched to believe that the agencies intent on keeping people out of mines are paying attention to some of these videos.

2. Idiots who get "inspired" to go into mines, who lack skills to do it safely and/or commit acts of vandalism. Which leads to more government involvement and more closed mines.

 

 

I rarely disclose names and limit surface area footage.  That makes it harder for USFS, BLM, and the other jackboots to lock these things down. 

In a recent video (not mine and not affiliated with the creator), a gated mine had one of the bars removed by a sawzall or other cutting tool, and the explorer was able to make entry.  It was really no more dangerous than any other mine, and perhaps less so.  I'm *very* curious about who went and removed the bar, though. 

Finally, the government agencies like to make some mines capable of re-entry and they have a really, really, really stupid way of securing the removable bars.  So stupid that you can just remove them without vandalizing anything, and then put it back the way you found it, leaving them none the wiser. 

As far as safety goes, there is really no 'safe' way to enter an old mine.  You can mitigate some risks, but not all of them, with the basics - O2 meter, multiple light sources, PPE, awareness of common physical dangers, and awareness of common physiological dangers.  Some of the other videos I've seen of people using rope systems to enter mines make me cringe.  Some of the comments I've seen from supposed 'experts' prove that they're no such thing, e.g. they have no understanding of basic concepts like 'fall factor', and why climbing above your anchor can be more dangerous than simply coming off the system and relying on handholds. 

The list goes on, but it's Sunday, and too early for a longer rant.  :)

 

 

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I'm not against removing the stupid bars they put up. I've shimmed open a crappy masterlock that was on a cabin but it also turned out that it was not the FS that put it there put a private individual trying to keep use of it to themselves. 

On 10/26/2019 at 7:04 AM, desertdog said:

 

My ultimate goal is to find and ride in an ore cart underground, but to date I've never found more than bits and pieces of old ore carts. 

 

There is supposed to  be one up the East Fork of the San Gabriel in Angeles NF. Looks VERY difficult to get to. 

I've also heard whispering of one above a particular Sierra alpine lake in the Mono basin. Been to the area and looked up the hillside I think it may be at... also going to be a hard find.  

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21 hours ago, SteveHazard said:

I'm not against removing the stupid bars they put up. I've shimmed open a crappy masterlock that was on a cabin but it also turned out that it was not the FS that put it there put a private individual trying to keep use of it to themselves. 

There is supposed to  be one up the East Fork of the San Gabriel in Angeles NF. Looks VERY difficult to get to. 

I've also heard whispering of one above a particular Sierra alpine lake in the Mono basin. Been to the area and looked up the hillside I think it may be at... also going to be a hard find.  

 

If you can get in non-destructively, I've got no problem with that.  Plus, it makes sure that no one else knows anyone got in.  When folks make it obvious and get destructive, it just creates more problems for everyone else. 

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