$10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

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$10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

Postby graveleye » Nov 7, 2013 8:46 am

This has been making the rounds on TAG Net. Someone set off several carbide bombs at the TAG Fall Cave-In, and one of them caused some damage and traumatized the cars occupants.

On Sunday, October 13, 2013, during the TAG Fall Cave-In, a carbide "bomb" was placed on the camp ground road near the intersection of PJ Parkway and M&M Parkway at approximately 2:30 a.m. It exploded as a car attempted to navigate around it. The car was significantly damaged and the two occupants traumatized.
This explosion was one of four carbide bombs set off over the four day event. All bombs were set on common pathways near tents, pedestrians, or cars.

The Dogwood City Grotto and West Fork Little River, LLC. (the landowner) are offering a Reward of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the manufacture, placement, and/or detonation of this explosive device near the intersection of PJ and M&M Parkways.
Common components of these bombs include trash bags, duct tape, and toilet paper. Uncommon components are: carbide, a dark gray gravel that must be kept in an airtight container, and concentrated oxygen generally stored in a metal cylinder. If you know of someone who brought these materials to the Cave-In and suspect they may have been involved, please help us.

A CARBIDE BOMB IS NOT HARMLESS FUN
PEOPLE WERE INJURED
PROPERTY WAS DAMAGED

If you have information, please contact any
Walker County Detective at 706-638-1909.


There were some pictures of the damaged vehicle but my work computer won't let me post them for some reason.
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Re: $10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Nov 7, 2013 10:01 am

Does this response seem heavy-handed to anyone else? I feel like this person would have already been turned in if his friends weren't worried about him getting sent up the river on terrorism charges. I wonder if there could be another way to handle this.

I'm not trying to stir anything up, and I totally get how serious the situation is. But from the beginning this has seemed a little much. I really feel that elevating this to such a level is counterproductive to the goals of finding the perpetrator and paying for the damage to the vehicle. Not to mention that the words "bomb" and "caving" are now linked together all over the internet, which can't be such a good thing in the long run.

Where is the $10,000 coming from?
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Re: $10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

Postby trogman » Nov 7, 2013 10:20 am

Anonymous_Coward wrote:Does this response seem heavy-handed to anyone else? I feel like this person would have already been turned in if his friends weren't worried about him getting sent up the river on terrorism charges. I wonder if there could be another way to handle this.

I'm not trying to stir anything up, and I totally get how serious the situation is. But from the beginning this has seemed a little much. I really feel that elevating this to such a level is counterproductive to the goals of finding the perpetrator and paying for the damage to the vehicle. Not to mention that the words "bomb" and "caving" are now linked together all over the internet, which can't be such a good thing in the long run.

Where is the $10,000 coming from?


To answer your last question: "The Dogwood City Grotto and West Fork Little River, LLC. (the landowner) are offering a Reward of $10,000 ..."
Apparently they see getting to the bottom of this as a very high priority matter.

This topic has already seen a lot of discussion on TAG-Net this past week, and rather than re-hash all the arguments from there, I will simply pass this along: some cavers are discussing paying for at least the $500 deductible for the person whose car was damaged. Nothing official has been set up yet, at least not that I am aware of. I do, however, think it would be a good thing to do. Since this forum likely has a wider audience than TAG-Net, perhaps some of my fellow CaveChat members will consider contributing. I myself didn't even attend the Cave-In, but I do think it be a fitting gesture from the caving community, since (apparently) one of our own was responsible for this.

I will pass along any more info pertaining to the fund-raising. If anyone on this forum has any more info about this, please share it as well.

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Re: $10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Nov 7, 2013 10:44 am

Thanks trogman. I saw the announcement, I guess I was just surprised to see the grotto had that kind of money laying around. But, then again I suppose DCG is a pretty large outfit. A good reality check for me. Out here in Utah, our grottoes don't host 2,000 person events, build giant towering bonfires, or generally get more than 8 people to attend a meeting. So, it seemed like a lot of money to me.
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Re: $10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

Postby trogman » Nov 7, 2013 1:19 pm

I apologize for being cute about it Andy. I couldn't resist. :tonguecheek: I sort of knew where you were coming from with the question, and wondered about it myself. Do they have a special fund set aside for such things, or what? Even for such a large grotto, it does seem like a large sum of money. Maybe enough to convince someone to turn in a friend.

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Re: $10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

Postby graveleye » Nov 7, 2013 2:43 pm

Anonymous_Coward wrote:I was just surprised to see the grotto had that kind of money laying around.


The DCG is pitching half and the landowner of the Cave-in site has the other half. The DCG does have money, but it's mostly proceeds from the Cave-in. Any profit from the Cave-In is, in turn, given away in grants to the caves and caving community... researchers, the SCCi, cave rescue units. The list goes on and on.

I haven't been on the EC of the DCG in a couple of years and do not know, but I imagine that our share of the reward money is coming out of the Cave-In profits, which would mean less money for the grants. But, again, I don't know for certain at this point.

In any case, there are a LOT of reasons why they are taking this seriously. For one, people we're hurt and possibly could have been killed. Property was damaged. There are a lot of kids at this event... can you imagine if your kid got hurt or killed by someone's stupidity? Also, the law is already involved from what I understand, and are investigating.

Not to mention the ever-present threat of civil legal action. Something like that could end the Cave-In forever. The loss of the Cave-In would be felt throughout the caving community in many ways larger than 4 days of fun in the woods with your buddies.

There are a variety of reasons why they are being heavy handed over this incident. I don't know if this is the right way or not, but I do see why.
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Re: $10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Nov 7, 2013 3:37 pm

Interesting that the Cave-In profits are donated back to caves and caving. I don't think I was aware of that. That's pretty cool.

graveleye wrote: There are a lot of kids at this event... can you imagine if your kid got hurt or killed by someone's stupidity? .


This is only one of many extremely terrifying thoughts that have so far kept me from having kids. But, point taken.

Like I said, I am in no way discounting the seriousness of the situation. If nothing else, it was a clear violation of the event's rules and policies. I have only been to the Cave-In once. That was in 2004, the first year after they moved from Sequoyah Caverns. On arriving I remember being handed an event flyer that said "NO CARBIDE BOMBS" in bold all-caps print across the top and bottom of the flyer. Not much grey area there. So not only is the policy communicated in a clear manner, it has been that way for at least ten years.

I'm just trying to put myself in the shoes of a potential informant. This was a stupid act, but no way to know if it was meant to be malicious. I'm guessing (and hoping) that it was not. So, if you are the guy's buddy do you really want to collect 10 G's and have your friend go off to prison and have terrorism-type charges on his record forever?

I think the fact that the reward is still uncollected a month later is all the answer you need to that question.
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Re: $10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

Postby UnderGroundEarth » Nov 7, 2013 4:20 pm

The DCG likes to keep a balance in their bank account that is equivalent to what it costs to host the Cave In -- AROUND $40,000... So yes, they have money and I hope the $5,000 is not coming out of the Grant Money that is given away from the proceeds of the event. The profit from the event varies each year but it is typically around $10,000. The DCG gives this money back to the caving community via grants for cave research, survey, etc... and usually about half of it to the SCCi. It's a very good thing for the community!

To read about the guidelines for the grant process and how to obtain one, go to http://www.dogwoodcitygrotto.org/template.asp?id=9

You do not have to live in the TAG region to apply for and receive a grant!
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Re: $10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

Postby caverdan » Nov 7, 2013 5:46 pm

Anonymous_Coward wrote: Out here in Utah, our grottoes don't host 2,000 person events, build giant towering bonfires, or generally get more than 8 people to attend a meeting. So, it seemed like a lot of money to me.

I'm afraid if we built bonfires like ya'll do back East....... they would call out the slurry bombers and hauls us to jail for trying to burn the place down! :yikes: :big grin:

I have a feeling that if the responsible party would have come forth in a timely and mature manner.......we wouldn't be having this conversation right now. Very sad to see this kind of discipline being handed out. But in this day and age it doesn't surprise me. :down:
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Re: $10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Nov 7, 2013 6:00 pm

caverdan wrote: I have a feeling that if the responsible party would have come forth in a timely and mature manner.......we wouldn't be having this conversation right now.


I agree Dan. I'm just questioning if the tactics being used actually have the ability to produce the desired result. Seems like fixing the victims' car and reprimanding/banning the perp from the event and/or the NSS are worthy goals. I'm not sure what can really be gained by handing out rat money and having the police (think Homeland Security mindset) lock the guy up. Looks bad for everybody. I'm not sure what kind of sentence you get for bombing a car, but I'm guessing it's not something you want to mess with in a post 9/11 world, whether you meant to do it or not.

I've probably already said too much. I wasn't there, and I have many friends in the DCG who may completely disagree with me.

However, I would prefer to see the caving community police itself. :bat sticker:
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Re: $10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

Postby caverdan » Nov 7, 2013 6:19 pm

I agree with your point and what your saying, Andy. I'm also guessing this is a felony that borders on terrorism in the eyes of the police. I'm just glad I have no dog in this hunt and will leave it at that.
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Re: $10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Nov 7, 2013 6:29 pm

caverdan wrote: I'm just glad I have no dog in this hunt and will leave it at that.


Me too. I'm out.
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Re: $10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

Postby ron_miller » Nov 7, 2013 10:57 pm

In addition to what Kevin wrote, another reason for taking this incident quite seriously is insurance. The landowner and DCG are currently protected by an event liability insurance policy. If there is a claim against that policy from this incident, the underwriter will become aware that someone is setting off these bombs and that people have been injured and property damaged as a result. Even if there is no claim, the current policy may require that the policyholder disclose the incident prior to seeking renewal. The fact that no one has been caught means that these incidents will likely continue in future years. That could make the event essentially uninsurable.

It is my understanding from discussions with involved parties that without event liability insurance, the Cave-In will likely not be held at the current site again. Finding a new host without being able to provide liability insurance will also likely prove problematic. This could be the end of the Cave-In.

Cavers getting together to pay the vehicle insurance deductible, while certainly a laudable goal, will not affect this problem.
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Re: $10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

Postby NZcaver » Nov 8, 2013 2:21 am

ron_miller wrote:The fact that no one has been caught means that these incidents will likely continue in future years.

Has there been similar problematic incidents in recent years which have gone unpunished, and likely precipitated this year's incident? Or you think the guilty party will think they can get away with it again if they are not caught? I would imagine just the serious threat of prosecution and the large reward has the person(s) responsible running scared right now. Causing damage and traumatizing people is definitely not cool, and I see your point about the insurance considerations, but I do agree with Andy that the reaction seems a little heavy-handed. I just hope this isn't the end of the Fall Cave-In. I hear they're a lot of fun.

Random question about the truck, for those in the know. The photos below are linked from Facebook. I see a cracked windshield and some splattering on the side and tire. It also appears the side panel of the truck is severely dented forward of the door, is missing the trim at the bottom, and is just tied loosely in place. Given what you might expect to see in a typical white slush blast pattern, I assume this major side panel damage is a result of something other than the carbide device?

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Re: $10,000 REWARD RELATING TO CARBIDE BOMB

Postby ron_miller » Nov 8, 2013 4:13 am

By "incidents", I mean carbide bomb explosions. To my knowledge, this is the first time the explosions have resulted in injuries or significant property damage.

Multiple carbide bombs have been set off at each Cave-In for many years. No one has ever been caught, as far as I know. If a reward of this size doesn't result in the individual(s) being caught, I don't see any reason that they would stop. Every year, the explosions are met with loud cheers from cavers, which only serves to further incite them. They might be more careful to avoid "collateral damage" in the future, but then again, it is impossible to know at this time what their rationale was for putting a bomb in the road this year. We also have no way of knowing whether the individual or individuals responsible will exhibit rational behavior in the future.

Given the now-obvious potential that people and property are at substantial risk, and given the threat to the existence of the Cave-In, I don't think the reward and threat of prosecution are a heavy-handed reaction at all. The reward sends a clear signal that whoever has been setting off these bombs has crossed a line to behavior that now poses a threat to the safety of anyone who attends the Cave-in, including children, and that the event organizers and the landowner are quite serious about putting a stop to it.

I would also prefer that the caving community police itself. In this case, that hasn't worked for years, and now people have been hurt. I don't know whether offering a reward will work, but I think it's worth a try.

I understand that if the reward is issued, the grants that DCG normally makes back to the caving community may be substantially reduced or forgone this year. That would certainly impact the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, of which I am currently chair. If that's what it takes to put a stop to this and ensure the future of the Cave-In, I'm perfectly OK with that.
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