Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby north-north-west » Sat 16 Nov, 2019 9:24 am

CraigVIC wrote:
cammokazee wrote:
CraigVIC wrote:Hindsight

Hindsight may only have any relevancy if by some miracle he survives.

Given the situation concerns a local a bit more kindness is in order.


It's amazing how context can remove racism from a slogan, but... All Lives Matter.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby cammokazee » Sat 16 Nov, 2019 9:38 am

Wow sorry if l've offended you mate. Wasn't attempting to be nasty at all. I think like most here there is a genuine concern for his welfare as there is a curiosity to what's occurred.
But somethings are what they are.
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby Xplora » Sun 17 Nov, 2019 4:18 am

While it is OK to be curious, it is important to remember we are chatting here about a missing person and he has family who may actually read this. This is not chat at the pub. A similar discussion is happening on the ski forum and the moderators are keeping a close eye on it. This is not having a go at anyone, just suggesting people read back what they write before posting and ensure it is respectful.
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby stry » Sun 17 Nov, 2019 8:10 am

Crikey, the wild theories get cranking when someone is missing. We have had at least two other disappearances in the Vic mountains that I can recall, and the theories have been wondrous.

As has been said, some people just don't get found. In some places searchers (or anyone) could pass within feet and not see an incapacitated, or worse, person. If someone perishes in some seldom trodden corner of the bush, natural forces will pretty quickly remove just about all trace of their presence.

And to the persistent remarks about being shot by deer hunters :- The best way to not get shot by a deer hunter is to not be a deer; but wait, that covers all of us doesn't it ?
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Sun 17 Nov, 2019 8:42 am

At this stage I hazard to guess that the poor chap has either perished or staged his own disappearance.
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby Lophophaps » Sun 17 Nov, 2019 1:47 pm

A number of comments in this topic require clarification. I contacted Mansfield police and have been advised as follows.
“1 There was no phone or car keys located; these are believed to be with Niels. The car had a house key and an ipod.

2 Triangulation and interrogation of phone records has been completed.

3 There always is the possibility that Niels has walked out of the search area. All possible sightings have been followed up and investigated and to date discounted.

4 All huts and tracks have been checked and logged via GPS tracking.

5 Pol Air was utilised when they were able to fly within the area when weather permitted.

6 With any searches in the Alpine areas BSAR are deployed and work regularly with SAR. SES, CFA, Timbertop staff, DEWLP and Parks Vic were involved in a co-ordinated response utilising knowledge not only from government agencies but, hikers, local hunters, cattleman and horse riding groups to search the area.

“We ask for any person who believe they have sighted or locates items to contact Crime Stoppers in the hope that we can link it to Niels.

“At this point there is no active searching but Niels is still an Active Missing person and as such investigations are on going in the hope we are able to return Niels to his family.”

*** Mansfield advice ends

There is limited point having a formal search after so long. The probability of finding Niels alive is nearly zero. All the places he could be have been searched, with walkers and others not on the search in this popular area. Searches are expensive – Police Air Wing, Police overtime and other duties not being done, BSAR volunteers. Equally, Police provide a coordination and support that ad hoc searchers do not have. This includes but is not limited to communications, transport, and a lot of experience with local and Police SAR.

It's important to carry a mobile phone and a PLB-type device. There's phone reception from many ridges, including at distances of 30-40 kilometres. Try the phone first as you can give nuanced information, allowing resources to be better allocated.
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby Travis22 » Sun 17 Nov, 2019 10:02 pm

Greatly appreciate the clarification / answer re: keys/ phone. I hesitated/ stressed for a week before posting here after reading that post on social media hoping he’d be found in the mean time.

If the phone was back at the car it would have at least provided (in my eyes) a narrower search location and as i imagine everyone would like the smallest possible area to located the missing person and i think the odds would be better if we knew he was somewhere between his vehicle and stirling vs’s mac springs and stirling... unfortunately it sounds like he’s probably somewhere from the latter.

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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby Xplora » Mon 18 Nov, 2019 4:55 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:At this stage I hazard to guess that the poor chap has either perished or staged his own disappearance.


I think we can do without this sort of pub talk speculation. You have no information to justify this (in bold) sort of statement.
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby neilmny » Mon 18 Nov, 2019 5:44 am

Xplora wrote:
paidal_chalne_vala wrote:At this stage I hazard to guess that the poor chap has either perished or staged his own disappearance.


I think we can do without this sort of pub talk speculation. You have no information to justify this (in bold) sort of statement.


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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby Watertank » Mon 18 Nov, 2019 5:14 pm

neilmny wrote:
Xplora wrote:
paidal_chalne_vala wrote:At this stage I hazard to guess that the poor chap has either perished or staged his own disappearance.


I think we can do without this sort of pub talk speculation. You have no information to justify this (in bold) sort of statement.


x2


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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby nezumi » Mon 18 Nov, 2019 6:24 pm

GBW wrote:Reports did say he was experienced but what does that mean? Can phone records give any indication of his last known location? Also are drones used in SAR? Hopefully something turns up for the family's sake.


The problem with saying someone is experienced is that it carries very little meaning if they've never been in a situation where things have gone wrong.

I have had a decent number of successful hikes, but I definitely wouldn't consider myself experienced by most definitions.
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 20 Nov, 2019 4:00 pm

He is still missing. Police in Mansfield this week mentioned this matter to me since I was heading out onto the AAWT for a solo hike and I lodged a trip intention form with them in person. The Police officer seemed to agree with my theory , as above i.e. perished or vanished.
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby peregrinator » Wed 20 Nov, 2019 5:03 pm

paidal_chalne_vala wrote: . . . The Police officer seemed to agree with my theory , as above i.e. perished or vanished.


The coppers don't know what a genius they have working for them out in the bush. She/he should take over as Chief Commissioner immediately.
Last edited by peregrinator on Wed 20 Nov, 2019 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 20 Nov, 2019 5:40 pm

I asked six questions of Mansfield Police, and the exact replies are above. My sixth question was:
"Is there anything further that you can add that will clarify the situation?"
My post has an official police view. Neils is probably deceased and has certainly vanished. Ad hoc views by individual police do not constitute the official view. I see limited point in conjecture by anyone.
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Wed 20 Nov, 2019 6:18 pm

Lops, I tend to concur .I did say to the Police officer that if I saw anything out there then I would photograph it and mark it as a way point on my hand held GPS unit. I did not see anything in regard to this matter while bushwalking.
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby Xplora » Thu 21 Nov, 2019 9:37 am

paidal_chalne_vala wrote:The Police officer seemed to agree with my theory , as above i.e. perished or vanished.


By all means have a theory but usually theories are based on some sort of factual evidence, of which you have none. We are discussing a person who has family and that family are likely very distressed. The manner you discuss it appears, intentionally or not, to be dispassionate and without empathy. You seem more concerned that a Police officer agrees with you and that is justification for your lack of compassion. Just think about what you post and how it would be for you if it were your loved missing. Discuss your theories with your friends in person if you like, just not here.
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby davidn3875 » Thu 21 Nov, 2019 10:45 am

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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Thu 21 Nov, 2019 8:17 pm

The poor chap has not been found. That is enough evidence to suggest that he is still missing. Circular reasoning , yes, but not without some consideration for his relatives who must be distraught. :-(
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby rogervize » Sun 01 Dec, 2019 7:32 pm

Hi.. new to the forum
I am a friend of Niels and looking into the details with a view to assisting in recovery.
I notice on Google Earth some recent logging activity on SNS near Mt Thorne.
Is there a track descending to the Howqua?
I assume the logging tracks might have been a short cut down to the upper Howqua and then over to Bindaree Rd?
He might have been confident enough to take this path over to his destination of Mt Stirling.
Thanks for your help.
Roger
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Mon 02 Dec, 2019 6:13 pm

The track that connects The Circuit road at Mt. Stirling with the Cross Cut saw is the SNS walking track. Much of it is not maintained at all . It does have orange marker arrows here and there along the track . The route down off the Cross Cut Saw along the SNS track is a category 4 track. It is not maintained. I walked that segment of terrain in Nov. 2017. It was a matter of staying high along the top of the spur to stay on route since the track was not always an obvious foot pad.
The descent off the Cross Cut saw involves 3 bands of rock that are steep backwards crab crawling sections.
A track clearing party recently cleared the Old Queen's spur road from the Upper Howqua camp site as far as the junction with the SNS track. It is an obvious four way walking track junction.

I am sorry to say things are not looking good in this matter of the missing hiker.
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Re: Missing hiker, Howitt/Howqua area

Postby Xplora » Tue 03 Dec, 2019 3:11 pm

rogervize wrote:Hi.. new to the forum
I am a friend of Niels and looking into the details with a view to assisting in recovery.
I notice on Google Earth some recent logging activity on SNS near Mt Thorne.
Is there a track descending to the Howqua?
I assume the logging tracks might have been a short cut down to the upper Howqua and then over to Bindaree Rd?
He might have been confident enough to take this path over to his destination of Mt Stirling.
Thanks for your help.
Roger

Hi Roger. Caught you on the Ski forum also. It is good that you trying to locate your friend but this can be unforgiving country. Please be careful if you decide to search on your own. It would be good for you to talk with the search coordinator and find out what has been done. Not saying you would not be more diligent but there were many involved and a lot of area covered. Recent track clearing has taken place in the area and there was no sign of Niels. I did ask if his experience in the area was back in his Timbertop days. Recollections change and he may have taken a route which he thought was the right one. I have walked Stanley Name a number of times and it is not a difficult route. Niels would have done this when he was 15 and inexperienced. It is the quickest way to Stirling but it has also been covered extensively by search teams. Most people here and on the ski forum are well aware of the situation and will be keeping an eye out for any clues as they walk the area through summer. Keeping it in their mind is a good thing so happy to have you on the forum.
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