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The terrain was far different than what appeared to be on Google Earth. Certain land features that we had intended to navigate from although visible on Google Earth, according to the date on it being 2012, were not visible in reality. Hence we wasted a lot of time just locating the valley. On GE, there showed some sort of animal(?) track that went not far away from the possible site, and this track was what I was hoping to find from the ‘road’ on top of the ridge above the site, however when we eventually found the approximate position of the object with the GPS - according to the co-ordinates taken off GE, I then tried to find the track back to the ‘road’ to confirm the position. In the process I became lost and when I eventually got my compass out of my pack, I found North was in the opposite direction to where I believed it to be. I found I had walked completely around a big hill and eventually met up with most of the party having a lunch break in the bush. Later in the day, I discovered that the main reason

why I had become lost was I had forgotten to turn the “TRACKING” function on  on my GPS and so had no “bread-crumbs” of my track to relate to. Just shows you what getting older does! I had noticed the absence of these on the screen, but I was so certain that I knew my way around enough to just be able to walk right up to the object that I didn’t think much more of it. Just goes to show that sometimes, you have to slow down and THINK!       

After turning the “tracking” function on, I was then able to have a track to download where I had been, and you’ll note that according to the object position on Google Earth, we had walked all over it. James’ tracks are in blue, Gary’s are in yellow, and mine are in red.

Unfortunately, no-one else had a GPS.

I then spent more time going over all the data to ensure it was correct and when I went through the historical imagery of GE I found that without moving the view position shown on the screen, everything moves around to different positions on each image. This shows that you can’t rely on accurate positioning using  Google Earth. So this

means that our positioning of the object could well be a long way out! No wonder we have a lot of trouble finding things in dense bush! This means the only accurate way of navigating to the correct spot is by using a landmark such as a landslip or a tree close to the object, and attempting to define that position via that method. This is a very difficult task when you are underneath a bush canopy. The other difficulty is that over the years the bush alters as trees grow, and also the difference in lighting between each photo can make some trees blend in so that they are almost invisible as a separate tree.  After this first ‘familiarisation’ trip though, I think (and hope) I can work out which actual tree the object was beside. This may be very important if one of my distant memories is correct:-

Many years ago up in my home town Wellsford, I was told of some people who had found an aeroplane in the bush that supposedly no-one knew of. These people evidently had dismantled it and were removing out of the bush piece by piece... all on the quiet! I was not interested in missing aeroplanes at that stage, so didn't take a lot of notice.... just thought it

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