Fairy Tales on ETS

Posted by: hikermor

Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/23/11 10:40 PM

This is the problem: http://www.equipped.com/0601rescue.htm
Having done a bit of research, I believe this account is fabricated. How can we dis the media when we are posting fiction on ETS?

The account, "Lessons Learned So Near, Yet So Far" by Chris Kavanaugh, doesn't make any sense to me.

I was the park archaeologist at Channel Islands National Park from January 1985 until January 1, 2001, when I retired. Since then I have been a sometime volunteer and contractor, maintaining close ties to the staff there, particularly in the early years of the decade. For one thing, the name of Chris Kavanaugh was completely unknown to me until I discovered this forum, sometime around 2003.

The year is not given in the account, but it occurred during the month of May. Since CK initiated a thread "just back from the island," on 06/12/01 at 8:14 PM, I believe 2001 is year of the misadventure.

In order to be sure, I just check with my former boss to see if somehow this event had happened and I had somehow missed it. She also had never heard of this story or the name of Chris Kavanaugh, nor do the names of any of the other participants ring a bell with either of us.

Several things do not ring true. If someone is working on a Park Service project ("Park Service job"), you would be traveling on Park Service transportation, either the concessionaire, Island Packers, a Park Service boat, or an NPS chartered plane, not a private boat. You would certainly not be traveling separate from your supplies, especially your drinking water. I have never heard of any exceptions to this, for anyone, on any project on the park islands - for clear and obvious reasons.

Why is the specific island not named? If anyone happens to know, please inform me. The normal landings on the islands have something like signs, piers, and information. Most of these are also close to natural water sources, although in May they might have been dry?

More telling is the description of the project as an "excavation." I can assure you that archaeological excavations do not occur overnight. If this dig was projected for May, 2001, I would surely have been aware of it while still working in the park. We did carry out work on Santa Rosa Island in the spring of 2001, and I can assure you that Chris Kavanaugh and his cohorts were not there, because I was, along with many from the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

The more I read of CK's tale, the more suspicious I become. Note that in his story, he grabs a Sawyer Extractor Kit, a item that assumes pivotal importance in the ensuing tale. The point is, there are no poisonous creatures on the island (the water is a different story), but a kit for venomous critters is hardly necessary for the field archaeologist. I worked there very happily for many years without one..

I object to fairly tales masquerading as the truth on ETS. There are plenty of good, authentic stories which can be profitably analyzed without creating fiction. And with this whopper on our website, we can hardly fault the big time media for their errors. Evidently we did not fully vet this tale either.

And finally, the NPS is owed an apology. I can guarantee that the NPS is not a perfect outfit, but they definitely do keep better track of groups on the island than this story would lead you to believe. Groups are sent out adequately supplied, food, water, and radio, and these days, quarters that to a grizzled old field hand like myself, seem borderline luxurious.

If I have gotten my facts twisted, please let me know, but I would appreciate specifics - what island, what project, and just when did this occur?

LET'S KEEP FICTION OFF OF ETS!!
Posted by: Hikin_Jim

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/23/11 11:14 PM

Any response from the "powers that be" here on ETS?

HJ
Posted by: Hikin_Jim

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/23/11 11:22 PM

Just looking back through the annals of ETS, it seems like Chris dropped out of sight under "unusual" circumstances some time ago.

HJ
Posted by: Richlacal

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 12:10 AM

I've seen his name registered here about 2 months ago,though no writing in & As I recall His Apartment bldg burnt down,Somewhere in the realm of Santa Barbara ways & after that Doug announced his departure from Sheriff duties!I also recall some many stories of time spent in The Borrego badlands on digs there,& He definitely knows the area very well as,His writings depicted area's I was familiar with.He was a Well spoken Man with much Knowledge,& I beleive he would correct any misgivings,should he read the above.There should be No conclusion till he has been heard from!
Posted by: comms

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 12:21 AM

I retract my comment in the other thread. I know now of which article and person you speak of.
Posted by: dougwalkabout

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 01:55 AM

I have no idea if that particular story was a tall tale. I leave that to wiser heads than mine.

I do know that CK made many useful contributions to this forum. We should keep that firmly in mind.
Posted by: MDinana

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 03:47 AM

I think there's all good points in this thread.

Yeah, CK dropped off and Blast picked up the reins. But the OP's been around long enough to have known that and probably been involved in threads with CK.

It would be interesting to hear an official comment on the post. I don't think we really need to know why CK had to drop his moderator duties.
Posted by: ducktapeguy

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 08:02 AM

I'm not entirely surprised. I always thought some of his posts should have had some sort of disclaimer like they use on movies. "Inspired by actual events" or something like that. I just assumed there was quite a bit of embellishment for entertainment purposes. There isn't a much Doug could do to have prevented this, I think people just have to take what they read with a grain of salt, regardless of how many posts the person has or if they're a moderator or not.

Hey, it's the internet, half the people on it are Navy Seals/Special Forces, but somehow find the time to spend most of their day arguing on online forums. You just have to remember the old saying, "Don't believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see". When it comes to forums, I'd guess 95% of it is regurgitated information taken from other online forums or old wives tales.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 03:56 PM

I am afraid you are spot on about the general level of discussion on the typical internet site, but ETS is not a typical internet site, especially with respect to the survival stories which are some of it best features. They are intended to be factual accounts of real world occurrences from which valid lessons can be learned to improve the actions of others who will be confronted with similar situations.

Some of you have commented on CK's fine services as a moderator and the puzzling circumstances under which he left ETS. Others have voiced suspicions about some of his stories; I concur; at times, his tales seemed just a little too pat. Nontheless,I would certainly agree that CK was an excellent moderator, maintaining positive discourse on a site that generally provides solid, useful information.

I have held off making this post for some time, hoping that someone might provide particulars which would resolve the inconsistencies in CK's tale, allowing us all to hold hands and walk into a glowing sunset, singing gloriously...

It ain't gonna happen. CK's story is a complete fabrication. There has never been an archaeological project remotely like the one he describes at Channel Islands National Park, ever, and especially not at the time he describes - May of 2001. The more I check out facts, the more improbable and contrived it clearly becomes.

This fabrication is completely at odds with the cornucopia of useful and relevant data and information characteristic of the rest of ETS. Its presence, although not prominent, besmirches and degrades this very fine site.

"Mr. Ritter, tear down this story!" (with apologies to Ronald Reagan).
Posted by: Blast

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 05:05 PM

Well, this is a bit of a bad pickle, isn't it?

It is very disturbing to hear that that CK's story doesn't match any records/memories from that time, especially since that was one of the stories that really drew me in to ETS. I can imagine all who read it pictured themselves replacing CK as the level-headed hero of the story, saving the day and earning the affection of the cute co-ed. perhaps those very plot developments should have been a sign. Survival is rarely as "Hollywood" as that.

My boundries as Sheriff end at the forumn's edge. Beyond that it falls to Doug, who is a wise man. I ask that you give him time to act upon this information and trust his response.

-Blast
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 05:15 PM

I agree. What also concerns me is that DR has been online at least twice since this started, and so far has made no statement. Perhaps he is checking out some of his sources on this matter.
Posted by: Frisket

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 07:05 PM

When I first discovered ETS I read all of the stories and was impressed with CK's. I just went back with a more level headed "I already been here" Kinda attitude and now find it alittle to fantastical.

Everything He decided to bring last second saved the day. Even the Bite kit amazingly saved the day aswell. It sounds to perfect as he didnt bring to much nor did he bring too little, he somehow brought the exact amount of what the entire group needed. Not to mention everyone else was lacked what they needed and brought only what they somehow did not need such as 2 men bringing two very large heavy fixed blades each to a grassland island. As Blast stated its way to hollywood sounding to me now. It may very well just be his way of storytelling and it may very well just be him pointing out the major facts and leaving out the fluff as well.

Reading it slowly with a theatrical trailer point of view it does sound like a movie trailer tho....seriously doesnt it?
Posted by: Blast

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 08:44 PM

Just an update, I heard back from Doug about this thread and that story.

An attempt to post his response triggered this forum's automatic censoring protocals (multiple times), so I'll just paraphrase it:
How very interesting. I will attend to this issue with all the relative urgency it requires as compared to certain other matters of importance I am currently pursuing. Your patience in this is most graciously requested.
D.R.


-Blast
Posted by: Alan_Romania

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 08:52 PM

Doug has been extremely busy and hasn't been on the forum for sometime. He may have appeared to be online, but he hasn't been reading the forum and knew nothing of this thread when I talked to him a few minutes ago.

Chris K. left this forum some time ago after circumstances that would not make me surprised one bit if this story turned out to be fabricated.

Edited to add: Blast beat me to it, that's what I get for leaving my computer for a bit and not checking the thread. eek
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 09:22 PM

Fair enough...
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 09:34 PM

Quote:
Doug's analysis of the facts as they were stated is accurate and honest.


The problem is the "facts" aren't facts, they are fabricated fantasy. It is highly regrettable that DR was sucked into an analysis of what is more and more nothing but contrived fiction.
Posted by: ducktapeguy

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 10:42 PM

Originally Posted By: hikermor
Quote:
Doug's analysis of the facts as they were stated is accurate and honest.


The problem is the "facts" aren't facts, they are fabricated fantasy. It is highly regrettable that DR was sucked into an analysis of what is more and more nothing but contrived fiction.


I agree with you that it's regrettable that DR had to waste his time to analyze what could be a complete fabrication, but in all honesty I personally don't see it as a big of an issue that requires him to drop everything and give it immediate attention. It's a story that most people probably glanced over and promptly forgot about until it was brought up in this thread. I can't imagine anybody was really influenced by it. Maybe it's because I'm not personally close to any of the mentioned groups in the story that I think of it as just another tall tale.

In reality, it's the internet and there's no way to tell who's telling the truth. In all fairness, DR would also have to research your side of the story to make sure we're not unfairly accusing CK of making false statements. Based on what i know about yours and Chris's history, I believe you, but nobody can really draw any conclusions without wasting a lot of time and effort to get find the truth. In the end it really doesn't change anything, people will always need to keep their BS meter handy whenever they're on any forum. This forum is above average in that department, but it's not immune to it's share of embellishments.

Now, one thing I've always wished for were more updates in the survival stories section. I used to check it all the time looking for new stories, but never saw any. It seems that with all the things that have happened i.e Katrina, Japan earthquakes, tornadoes, etc. there would be at least a few more recent survival stories. The forums are great for conversations and a lot of what-ifs, but real life experience is what I want to hear about. It's ironic that some of the best survival stories that I've read have been on other forums completely unrelated to the topic.
Posted by: rebwa

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 11:18 PM

My take is this should have been taken privately with DR, rather than on the open forum. Good people can and do get misled.
Posted by: 6pac

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/24/11 11:45 PM

In all honesty, Doug has admins and moderators on this forum that are perfectly capable of adding 2+2. Hikermor, your account is most likely as close to the truth as this forum will ever hear. You were there when this supposedly took place and you should've known "if" the event actually happened. To the best of your knowledge it didn't happen, so what can Doug or anybody else do to remedy this? Doug and the rest of the admins can't verify every story that is told on this forum.


Ducktapeguy, All your responses to this thread were dead on. Kudos to you for calling a duck... a duck.

I hope I didn't offend anyone, but we're beating a dead horse here.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/25/11 12:20 AM

Originally Posted By: rebwa
My take is this should have been taken privately with DR, rather than on the open forum. Good people can and do get misled.
Good Point. I did indeed try to do that and found that he is not taking PM's at this time. I don't know his situation, and, not being in his moccasins, I will not attempt to decide what his priorities ought to be. I am certainly willing to wait a bit,and am doing so. I am certainly willing to assist any effort to determine the facts of the case here.
Posted by: comms

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/25/11 03:12 AM

I think Doug's comment, paraphrased by Blast...it may have broke my brain. smirk
Posted by: ducktapeguy

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/25/11 04:29 AM

Originally Posted By: hikermor
Good Point. I did indeed try to do that and found that he is not taking PM's at this time. I don't know his situation, and, not being in his moccasins, I will not attempt to decide what his priorities ought to be. I am certainly willing to wait a bit,and am doing so. I am certainly willing to assist any effort to determine the facts of the case here.



Maybe it would help if DR knew exactly what you're waiting for? Some sort of public apology? A signed confession from Chris himself? Maybe a CSI style crime scene investigation with DNA evidence proving beyond a doubt that Chris never set foot on the island?

You've made your case, presented all the facts, and we all know the story is most likely fake. It just sounds like you're looking for justice, but from the wrong person. The guy's been gone for a couple years now and nobody's given him a second thought. Ironically, his story probably never got much attention as it has now. I just think this is better left to die a quiet death. People lie, life goes on.
Posted by: dougwalkabout

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/25/11 04:52 AM

Originally Posted By: ducktapeguy
You've made your case, presented all the facts, and we all know the story is most likely fake. It just sounds like you're looking for justice, but from the wrong person. The guy's been gone for a couple years now and nobody's given him a second thought. Ironically, his story probably never got much attention as it has now. I just think this is better left to die a quiet death.


There is much wisdom in this. BS has been called on this particular story, though the overall value of the poster's work as a moderator stands. That strikes me as a fair and reasonable settling of accounts.

Let's keep this in perspective. This forum is not the core of the foundation's work; in fact, it is for all intents and purposes irrelevant. It's more like an appendix that flares up on occasion, and has more than once been scheduled for surgical removal. Respectfully to all, I vote that we should be grateful for this community, call it a day, and move on.
Posted by: quick_joey_small

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/25/11 04:58 AM

Hikermor wrote
>How can we dis the media when we are posting fiction on ETS?

'We'? So how is everyone on the forum guilty?
I missed the bit where ETS claimed to have fact checkers, editors and reporters to back up everything everyone said. Despite your claims; this is not a media outlet and never said it was. Take this up with the person you say is lying; not the rest of us who have no responsibility for it.
qjs
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/25/11 08:07 AM

Originally Posted By: ducktapeguy


Maybe it would help if DR knew exactly what you're waiting for? Some sort of public apology? A signed confession from Chris himself? Maybe a CSI style crime scene investigation with DNA evidence proving beyond a doubt that Chris never set foot on the island?

You've made your case, presented all the facts, and we all know the story is most likely fake. It just sounds like you're looking for justice, but from the wrong person. The guy's been gone for a couple years now and nobody's given him a second thought. Ironically, his story probably never got much attention as it has now. I just think this is better left to die a quiet death. People lie, life goes on.


I thought I was fairly clear. What should happen is the removal of Kavanaugh's contrived story from the ETS website. The excellent point has been made that this should happen after some sort of impartial investigation - none of us have met face to face, and for all anyone knows, we could all be terrorists posting from Yemen.

Why is the removal important? Kavanaugh's is one of the survival stories posted permanently on ETS. Here is what ETS and Doug Ritter says about the value of survival stories:

"Equipped To Survive™ publishes a good deal of material regarding real life survival stories. The Survival Forum™ is filled with discussions of such events. When I give presentations to groups about survival subjects, as part of the outreach program that helps support the Foundations goals and finances, survival stories are always part of the program. These stories are critically important for a number of purposes, one of the most vital being to remind people how important preparation is, because damn near anything can happen out there."

Given that statement, wouldn't it be kinda nice if these stories were true and factual? Please note that this has nothing to do with the free wheeling discussion on the Forum, which certainly cannot, and should not, be monitored all that closely.

I think ETS is an exceptional website, dispensing good, solid information about emergency survival and disaster preparations. In my opinion, it stands head and shoulders above many others lumped into this general category. I think the presence of this false narrative really impugns its integrity. I would like to see the site improved by a little deft surgery. After appropriate investigation, it should only be a matter of a few keystrokes.

I would like to remember Chris Kavanaugh as a deft and witty moderator who was crucial to instilling a reasonable tone on the forum. That should be his legacy, not this cockeyed tale.

Finally, I will heed a recent PM and shut up and sit down with respect to this matter; it is time to put this whole thing in the barn and await the considered judgment of the site administrators. Let's go the PM route with any other points on this matter. Thank you for your time.
Posted by: Blast

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 05/25/11 12:01 PM

Quote:
Let's keep this in perspective. This forum is not the core of the foundation's work; in fact, it is for all intents and purposes irrelevant. It's more like an appendix that flares up on occasion, and has more than once been scheduled for surgical removal.


You have no idea how true this is.
-Blast
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 06/02/11 10:38 AM

I have added an advisory note to this article: http://www.equipped.com/0601rescue.htm
Posted by: comms

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 06/02/11 01:21 PM

Fair mediation there Doug
Posted by: Mark_F

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 06/02/11 04:56 PM

Good call Doug. Some of my earliest survival lessons came from works of fiction. take this one for example.
Posted by: MDinana

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 06/02/11 06:50 PM

Nice.

I'm a fan of "Hatchet" myself.
Posted by: dougwalkabout

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 06/02/11 07:21 PM

A fair and well-considered response by Mr. Ritter IMO. Editing history (however minor it may seem) is the slipperiest of slopes; but we reserve the right of rebuttal, with vigorous and prominent footnotes. So we progress.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 06/02/11 07:24 PM

Great story Mark. Thanks! Love London!
Posted by: Mark_F

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 06/03/11 02:44 PM

I read that one early on. It stuck with me. Probably why I am such a firebug now.

Also for the record, when I reread my previous post it sounded like I had already passed judgement on CK's story also being a work of fiction. As I am not in a position to make that call, I just thought I should clarify my statement a tad. i probably should have added IF it turns out to be a fictional story to my previous post.
Posted by: tomfaranda

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 06/03/11 11:20 PM

Good advisory note. Well-handled situation.
Posted by: Chris Kavanaugh

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 07/13/11 06:42 PM

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/20...ruz-island.html

An online friend from the forum-yes, some folks did not flee from me like a cancer or leprosy victim- alerted me to this thread.

My privacy is just that-PRIVATE. I had a family situation that
found me focus of a 'perfect storm' of multiple crisis and meddling third parties. Sometimes, even in these days a guy can find himself locked in the equivelant of a german cattle car with little resources.

I would have replied earlier. Doug Ritter chose to ban me from the website for a year.

There are six islands in the califronia coastal islands. Only three fall under park jurisdiction. Two are controlled by the USN
and then there is Santa Catalina 26 miles across the sea to all and sundry.

I was NOT in charge of the clusterpuck I related. It was one more
misadventure of a archaeological shovel bum who has since moved far beyond the internicine pissing matches of S.O.P.A. and the
mob mentality of ETS.

Do people get stranded on the channel islands?

yes

Doug, you can ban me again. But, this time kindly delete all my contributions to this forum. I mean all.
Posted by: Phaedrus

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 07/13/11 07:00 PM

For what it's worth, Chris, count me as one who always enjoyed your thoughtful and informative posts. I have no comment regarding the dust up in question, but I do hope you stick around.
Posted by: ducktapeguy

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 07/13/11 08:03 PM

And the plot thickens......this is an unexpected twist to the story. Now normally I would consider this best handled privately in PM's, but since Chris was called out publicly and his reputation questioned, it seems only fair that he should have a right to defend himself and clear his name. That and I'm very curious to find out the real story now. Either way, Doug handled it nicely, just put an advisory on the story and let people draw their own conclusions.

Now if only Tom Brown would join the forum, we could have a nice little soap opera going on.
Posted by: bws48

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 07/13/11 08:38 PM

+1 Welcome back Chris.

IMO, 'nuff said about this whole topic.
Posted by: bacpacjac

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 07/13/11 09:23 PM

This thread has made me uncomfortable since it stared and now it's worse.
Posted by: ducktapeguy

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 07/13/11 10:29 PM

Originally Posted By: Chris Kavanaugh


There are six islands in the califronia coastal islands. Only three fall under park jurisdiction. Two are controlled by the USN
and then there is Santa Catalina 26 miles across the sea to all and sundry.


Wait a minute. Is there another, smaller, more obscure Santa Catalina island in the Channel Islands group or are you talking about the tourist attraction commonly referred to as "Catalina"? Because that would make this story even more interesting.
Posted by: Teslinhiker

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 07/13/11 10:42 PM

Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
This thread has made me uncomfortable since it stared and now it's worse.


I agree. IMO, this fine forum should not be the venue to further debate / argue the various points... But ultimately, it is up to the MOD's and DR to decide on.

Posted by: Hikin_Jim

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 07/13/11 10:45 PM

There are eight channel islands off the coast of California last I checked:

San Nicolas
Santa Barbara
Santa Cruz
Anacapa (really three islets in close proximity)
Santa Catalina
San Clemente
Santa Rosa
San Miguel

HJ
Posted by: Russ

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 07/13/11 11:36 PM

As long as we're picking nits, don't forget Sutil Island and Shag Rock off Santa Barbara Island. cool
Posted by: Richlacal

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 07/14/11 12:16 AM

Nit picking is nit picking-You forgot Coronado Island & Balboa Island & Terminal Island,Not to mention the Sweet Crude Islands off Long Beach adjacent to The Pike Pier,& Quite a few islands in San Francisco Bay as well!
Posted by: MoBOB

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 07/14/11 01:37 AM

Welcome back Chris.
Posted by: MDinana

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 07/14/11 02:36 AM

Welcome back Chris. Hope things have improved.

I agree - it would be nice to have you "defend your honor." Maybe best to PM w/ the OP and/or DR, and have a final statement put on this thread, then lock it down. End the back and forth w/ it.
Posted by: Blast

Re: Fairy Tales on ETS - 07/14/11 03:11 AM

Originally Posted By: MDinana
Welcome back Chris. Hope things have improved.

I agree - it would be nice to have you "defend your honor." Maybe best to PM w/ the OP and/or DR, and have a final statement put on this thread, then lock it down. End the back and forth w/ it.


Works for me. Chris, you have the floor if you choose, I'll lock it when you're done.
Anyone else other than Chris posting after me will have their post deleted.
-Sheriff Blast