Missing Walker (Since December 13)

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Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Nuts » Thu 20 Dec, 2018 12:00 pm

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"The guides are all complaining there's mobile reception and hot showers," Godfrey laughs.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Nuts » Fri 21 Dec, 2018 11:00 am

"The guides are all complaining there's mobile reception and hot showers," Godfrey laughs.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Overlandman » Sun 23 Dec, 2018 3:27 pm

Further ground and air searches were conducted yesterday by 4 teams on all tracks in and out of the area.
Unfortunately there was no trace of James.
It was mentioned on the news today that the police are unsure of how many food drops James had as there are unconfirmed reports that there maybe food drops strategically placed from previous walks in the area giving James up to 40 days provisions.
Hoping for a good outcome.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Overlandman » Mon 24 Dec, 2018 6:19 pm

ABC news tonight
Rescue crews will be helicoptered out of the area today, the search will continue over the coming week,
James close friends believe he is ok, maybe lost & will be found.
Regards OLM
Last edited by Overlandman on Tue 25 Dec, 2018 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby wildwanderer » Mon 24 Dec, 2018 8:18 pm

I certainly hope for a good outcome.

While I acknowledge James has likely been successfully completing offtrack trips for decades and he has grown up walking before the age of PLBs and inreach messengers.. I do think this is a very expensive search and if a person is going solo into the bush for an entire month and at least some of that offtrack then a PLB should be a minimum carry.
. EDIT. Had a bit more of a think.. and realised id much rather my tax dollars go to searching for James than many of the things the govt spends money on.

Of course we don't know his financial circumstances. $250 for a PLB is alot of money for many people.

Certainly to be out there in the outdoors, when many of his contemporaries are living much more sedentary lifestyles, should be applauded.

And as a country we spend alot more on medical care for those who require attention due a sedentary lifestyle.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby weetbix456 » Mon 24 Dec, 2018 9:48 pm

I sure hope he is found well and alive, and I agree with the outdoor living/lifestyle at his age sentiments - but it has been bugging me as the story has developed, in how this fellow is being portrayed.

My experience of the man, is of a quite troubled individual who makes people feel quite uneasy in his presence. Whilst meeting him along the south coast track in October this year, I witnessed him lighting fires and dumping rubbish and gear along the track as he travelled. I approached him on the issue and he abused me before storming off. Earlier, I had witnessed him peeing directly into the water source. It had taken him 2 weeks to get from cockle creek to granite beach supposedly, but he claimed to be aiming for Louisa river as reachable destination in that same day...his plan was to reach melaleuca eventually, and out the yo-yo - pretty much the reverse of what he is out there attempting now.

I obviously wish the man all the best in his adventures, and hope for a happy outcome from all this - but I shy away from people glorifying this individual who seems to have no respect for environmental codes of conduct & the guidelines of the parks for which he passes through
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby bushwalker zane » Tue 25 Dec, 2018 6:53 am

weetbix456 wrote:I sure hope he is found well and alive, and I agree with the outdoor living/lifestyle at his age sentiments - but it has been bugging me as the story has developed, in how this fellow is being portrayed.

My experience of the man, is of a quite troubled individual who makes people feel quite uneasy in his presence. Whilst meeting him along the south coast track in October this year, I witnessed him lighting fires and dumping rubbish and gear along the track as he travelled. I approached him on the issue and he abused me before storming off. Earlier, I had witnessed him peeing directly into the water source. It had taken him 2 weeks to get from cockle creek to granite beach supposedly, but he claimed to be aiming for Louisa river as reachable destination in that same day...his plan was to reach melaleuca eventually, and out the yo-yo - pretty much the reverse of what he is out there attempting now.

I obviously wish the man all the best in his adventures, and hope for a happy outcome from all this - but I shy away from people glorifying this individual who seems to have no respect for environmental codes of conduct & the guidelines of the parks for which he passes through


I was wondering if this was they bloke you'd mentioned to me. But I was unsure, although the photo does look very similar to the fella you told me about, and I saw.

I saw him in Hobart after he flew back from Melaleuca. He was wanting to catch a bus at Redline (I was in about to jump on one to Launceston) and was extremely rude to the staff and also acted in a very strange manor. He wanted to go to Cygnet, which he called 'home'. That was on 24th of October.

He left the bus station ranting on about his month in the south west. He portrayed the South Coast Track as impossibly hard. Sounds like he had an epic...
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby stepbystep » Tue 25 Dec, 2018 10:45 am

I spoke to PWS staff about this guy well over a month ago for the reason weetbix mentions.

I hope for his families sakes he's fine. I also hope he stays the hell out of the twwha in future.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Warin » Wed 26 Dec, 2018 10:45 am

I too hope he is found.

I certainly don't want to find him upstream from where I drew water.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby wildwanderer » Wed 26 Dec, 2018 3:27 pm

Wow.. yeah I didn't know his history. Doesn't sound the friendliest of chaps or that environmentally aware either :(

Still, I hope he is alive and found soon.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Overlandman » Wed 26 Dec, 2018 3:34 pm

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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Nuts » Thu 27 Dec, 2018 6:18 am

Yeah that's unfortunate regarding his interactions with other walkers and the wwha. I'd not be a fan either..

But (thoughts following on) grumpy old buggers are made not born and who knows how fair or unfair the circumstances. His movements and meetups sound a bit chaotic, he may also not be doing that well mentally by the sounds. It's not unusual for folks to head bush as an antidote to the world.

Hopefully he is found alive and well (which is looking doubtful), and can still appreciate the experience of the effort others will take on his behalf, or that he's found peace.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Warin » Fri 28 Dec, 2018 7:37 am

Not looking good
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-28/ ... r/10670526
deployed a helicopter on Wednesday night which failed to find any trace of Mr McLean, despite using highly sophisticated night vision equipment.
search crews scaled the entire walking track between Mount Rugby and the Huon Track where he began his journey, via ground and air for more than a week.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Rabid K9 » Fri 28 Dec, 2018 11:12 pm

Is it plausible this fellow didn't want to come back / be found?
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Tommydoodle » Sat 29 Dec, 2018 1:15 pm

I have little hope for this chap, but I'm praying he has food dumps out there and turns up skinnier and embarrassed rather than not at all.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby TasTygerGrl » Mon 31 Dec, 2018 6:41 am

At least one good thing has come of this, they rescued an injured walker, found while searching for McLean.

Hope he is found. Shame about the grumpy attitude and leave no trace ignorance. If he has sadly perished we don’t want him continuing to leave a trace. Might be in your water for quite some time Warin
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Warin » Mon 31 Dec, 2018 8:02 am

TasTygerGrl wrote:Might be in your water for quite some time Warin


Not planing on walking that area for quite some time.
Hopefully by then he'll be found or taken care of by nature.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Mark F » Mon 31 Dec, 2018 10:02 am

I have heard that a few days after death it is rare to find a body - the devils clean up very effectively.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Warin » Mon 31 Dec, 2018 11:37 am

Mark F wrote:I have heard that a few days after death it is rare to find a body - the devils clean up very effectively.


Yep. I think the remains will be the pack and contents - scattered and ripped.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby farefam » Mon 31 Dec, 2018 1:51 pm

About 2.5 weeks overdue now. Not impossible that he could have deliberately chosen to go off-track at some point, got lost and may still turn up, but it seems pretty unlikely given the nature of the SW scrub and in places the terrain. A Personal Location Beacon would have been rather useful in the circumstances, unless of course he has suffered a sudden massive heart attack or stroke or has passed away in his sleep in his tent somewhere. Given that the track has been searched now, it seems doubtful any sign of him or his gear will be found if he has passed away, even if he was as little as 10m off to the side of the tracks.

Perhaps this may go down as another reminder that, regardless of age or experience, or the length of the planned trip, it is wise for all lone walkers (which includes myself most of the time) to always carry a PLB, a GPS and a compass and map and to leave a detailed trip route/plan with a reliable person. The cost of this safety gear is trivial compared to the cost of losing your life and to the cost of needlessly searching for several days for a needle in a haystack (at least with an activated beacon the rescue crew knows exactly where you are, even if you don't know yourself).
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Tommydoodle » Thu 03 Jan, 2019 6:57 pm

Mark F wrote:I have heard that a few days after death it is rare to find a body - the devils clean up very effectively.


A couple of decades ago I worked at a place called Kiwikurra, about 700k west of Alice Springs. I got a call from the WA remote area police saying that they were bringing in a body of a motorcyclist who had attempted a woefully underprepared and ill-equipped solo ride from Balgo, about 600k north via a track that wasn't graded. In fact is was just soft sand and was regarded by the locals as completely unusable by 4WD at that time of year.

This poor soul had attempted the journey on a Honda XL 250, which has a petrol tank with a range of about 150km (on a hard bitumen road), with no reserve fuel supplies, no maps, no compass, no radio, no EPIRB and no food. But he did have 2 litres of water and a tent. It was summer, and we're talking about the Gibson Desert. You can imagine.

The police told me that he rode on the soft sand track until he ran out of fuel, then rather foolishly tried to push his bike through the soft sand for another 20km, presumably looking for a spring or an artesian well (there was one another 100kn along the track). Finally, he gave up, wrote his goodbye letters and curled up in his tent, hoping I imagine for someone to drive past him on the way to either Kiwikurra or Balgo and help him out. Of course no one came, but he had called his girlfriend on a payphone from Balgo advising her he hoped to be at Kiwikurra to refuel within the next 2 days. When she didn't hear from him after 4 days, she called the police and they mounted (another) heroic search and rescue and eventually found his body.

When they bought him in to the clinic, I asked if they wanted me to "certify", at which point the constable said, "I don't think so.." holding up what amounted to a shopping bag with a couple of bones and a bit of a jaw in it. "Nature already cleaned him up".
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Tommydoodle » Thu 03 Jan, 2019 6:59 pm

farefam wrote:About 2.5 weeks overdue now. Not impossible that he could have deliberately chosen to go off-track at some point, got lost and may still turn up, but it seems pretty unlikely given the nature of the SW scrub and in places the terrain. A Personal Location Beacon would have been rather useful in the circumstances, unless of course he has suffered a sudden massive heart attack or stroke or has passed away in his sleep in his tent somewhere. Given that the track has been searched now, it seems doubtful any sign of him or his gear will be found if he has passed away, even if he was as little as 10m off to the side of the tracks.

Perhaps this may go down as another reminder that, regardless of age or experience, or the length of the planned trip, it is wise for all lone walkers (which includes myself most of the time) to always carry a PLB, a GPS and a compass and map and to leave a detailed trip route/plan with a reliable person. The cost of this safety gear is trivial compared to the cost of losing your life and to the cost of needlessly searching for several days for a needle in a haystack (at least with an activated beacon the rescue crew knows exactly where you are, even if you don't know yourself).



Amen...
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby NickD » Sun 06 Jan, 2019 1:42 pm

I alerted Police to a strange entry at Point Eric on the South Coast Track from a 76 year old man who found direction finding on the South Coast Track difficult - turned around and walked the wrong way more than once for long periods of time. At the time I wasn't sure who the entry belonged to, I was at Point Eric on the 6th of Dec. I have since been back and it was indeed from James McLean, although from memory the entry was dated October, before he set off. It was for sure the same chap however.

That means that while he may have plenty of experience, he may not have the appropriate cognitive abilities at present for solo hiking, getting disorientated on a track like the South Coast to the point of walking in the wrong direction is a major concern.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby aNomaly » Mon 07 Jan, 2019 7:23 pm

This is an image the the entry Nick is talking about.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Tommydoodle » Fri 11 Jan, 2019 12:50 am

Kind of a ghoulish question, but when someone goes missing in the Tasmanian bush, unless they are rescued alive, are their bodies ever found? I've heard the devils and possums make short work of human remains in Tasmania, and finding the remains of missing walkers is not common.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby north-north-west » Fri 11 Jan, 2019 6:56 am

A skeleton was found last year and eventually identified, but it's not particularly common. Wildlife, scrub, terrain - there are many factors that conspire to keep the secret.
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby danman » Fri 11 Jan, 2019 6:52 pm

Can anyone translate the text from the logbook? I can only read about every 2nd or 3rd word
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby Guido » Fri 11 Jan, 2019 7:09 pm

This is what I make of it. Any corrections welcome.

COMMENTS The signage for anybody walking “the wrong way”is DEPLORABLE. I have wasted almost FOUR full days as a result. Signs that point straight ahead – and a track that goes hard left (for example). TWICE the main track Louisa River to Melaleuca could have had LR<>PD signs where there was a T-intersection. I am now 4 days late and have not eaten for 3.5 days (as of this morning early). It’s now now (?). Melaleuca is my FINISH, perhaps. There is 5 kg spaghetti at the airstrip + 1.5 kg lentils. Plan A was (is?) Scotts Peak + Huon. (I am rather slow at 76 years old, being both less strong and MOST CAREFUL (despite that I sliced my left hand when pocket knife went through a rope, to get rid of a *&%$#! double …(?) The track start indicator has been put back up, wired, zipped, belted. The buoy 260 ME at a creek is now rehung HERE (I + 4 63 y-old gang t other way were ALL DECEIVED). Good on you Parks. I’d like to take out my membership, when I get back to an office. JM
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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby tastrax » Fri 11 Jan, 2019 7:51 pm

Couple of possible changes...

COMMENTS The signage for anybody walking “the wrong way”is DEPLORABLE. I have wasted almost FOUR full days as a result. Signs that point straight ahead – and a track that goes hard left (for example). TWICE the main track Louisa River to Melaleuca could have had LR<>PD signs where there was a T-intersection. I am now 4 days late and have not eaten for 3.5 days (as of this morning early). It’s noon now. Melaleuca is my FINISH, perhaps. There is 5 kg spaghetti at the airstrip + 1.5 kg lentils. Plan A was (is?) Scotts Peak + Huon. (I am rather slow at 76 years old, being both less strong and MOST CAREFUL (despite that I sliced my left hand when pocket knife went through a rope, to get rid of a *&%$#! double hitch The track start indicator has been put back up, wired, zipped, belted. The buoy 260 ME at a creek is now rehung HERE (I + A 63 y-old going the other way were ALL DECEIVED). Good on you Parks. I’d like to take out my membership, when I get back to an office. JM
Cheers - Phil

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Re: Missing Walker (Since December 13)

Postby weetbix456 » Fri 11 Jan, 2019 8:29 pm

If it was written in October, I am guessing that was from the earlier trip when Iluvswtas & I ran into him. His plans were as stated - to walk to melaleuca and out via yo-yo. He had taken 2 weeks to walk from cockle to granite when I passed him. As he had dumped most of his original kit along the way, when I last saw him he was travelling exceptionally light for how long he had left. I’m not surprised he ran out of food. His sleeping bag was a reject store onesie..
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