2008/07/24 - Hells Canyon, Colorado, lost hiker.

Lost hiker Patrick Higgins spent two nights in the wilderness, then finally
trolled in a Civil Air Patrol plane (it took over an hour of signaling on his part)
with a quarter-sized signal mirror from the bottom of a canyon.
{ Not only was it tiny, but it was recessed, so you can't signal at much of an angle off-sun, and no aimer, either - RF }

Three Civil Air Patrol accounts laud his skill with the signal mirror.

The mainstream news stories don't even
mention that Patrick was carrying a signal mirror.

By the way, reference [2] is a lavish PowerPoint package with
beautiful photographs and lots of background details for those
of you who are interested in other aspects of survival and
search & rescue other than signal mirrors.

"By 10:22 a.m., the team spotted a shining spot beyond the mountain. Unsure if it was
a windshield reflection or a mirror S.O.S., they followed the light across the
mountain into Hell’s Canyon. More light signals sent the crew to a lower altitude for
a closer look." ... "By 11:35 the aircrew suspected they had located the man. Higgens
helped tremendously in his rescue as he was unusually knowledgeable in the use of the
mirror as he tracked the plane with it. By 12:07 the air crew confirmed it ..." [1]

"He was impressed with Patrick’s ability to target the aircraft [with the signal
mirror] and follow it through the banks and turns. This was told to Patrick during
the interview at ICP, to which he replied: “I was motivated!” [2]
"The mirror he used to signal the plane was only about the size of a quarter, like the multi-
function survival aid pictured here. Patrick had one just like this slung around his neck
during this interview at ICP."

"The aircrew was impressed with Higgins' ability to signal with a mirror only the size
of quarter. 'Patrick targeted the airplane and followed it for a substantial part of
its arc"[3]

In contrast, the new stories [4][5] don't even mention that Patrick had a signal mirror!

[1] Rescue Team, Finds Lost Hiker, p. 3 of Airwaves, Sept. 2008

[2] Hell Canyon Search CAP 08M1313 (Power Point) - very well illustrated

[2] "Another typical Rocky Mountain misson", page 24, top left of page 25 Civil Air
Patrol Volunteer, May-July 2009 PDF page 24, top of page 25

[4] News story: http://www.co.larimer.co.us/news/newsDetail.cfm?id=196

[5] News story: http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=96374&catid=339

[6] News stories: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/16977456/detail.html

[7] News story: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_9983652?source=bb

[7] CAP bulletin: http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=5611.msg107134#msg107134

[8] News: http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20080724/NEWS/185048856/1035/NONE&parentprofile=1062

[] News story: http://www.backpacker.com/blogs/the_pulse/337

Edited by rafowell (04/21/10 06:11 AM)
Edit Reason: Commented on mirror
A signal mirror should backup a radio distress signal, like a 406 MHz PLB (ACR PLB) (Ocean Signal PLB)