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The Mike Herdman Tragedy - Addendums
#1
Addendum 1

If some points covered in the following seem to be a rehash, understand that they are rehashed from a different angle to cast a different light.

Typically, I do not offer my opinion on what actually happened, when the details are as sparse as in this case… I will, though, in this case, offer the three explanations that work best with the facts we know.

1. Byars story is true… Nothing major left out… Just synchronicity showing up in the worst way for Herdman and the best way for Byars.
2. Herdman was murdered…by someone…and Byars knows ‘who’.
3. Herdman was murdered…by something…and Byars does not know ‘who/what’, or is afraid of telling what he knows of ‘who/what’.

How could Byars’ story be true?
First, to be painfully honest, we don’t actually know what Byars’ story was/is…
We know scant details that were skewed, muddied and even poetically-licensed in the media.
We know what a Sheriff’s official related, from time to time.
We know what a co-worker, speaking on behalf of Mr. Byars, said.
We know what the Arcadia Fire Department ‘said’.
What we have not heard, is Byars saying ANYTHING.

Is it possible that a well-heeled canine companion bolted under the full moon, failing to return to his human-companion when called…and continued ‘bolting’, leading Herdman & Byars a mile & a half or so down the creek, before the two men decided to go separate ways…?
Is it possible that Herdman, after three days of hiking, and a mile-and-a-half of traipsing along the Sespe creek, chose to climb the steep grade out of the creek, to gain a better vantage…to find/see Duke?
Is it possible that after such exertion, and finally making it to the cliff-ledge, 1,500’ or so above the creek-bed, that Herdman slipped or tripped…right at the edge, and plummeted to his death?
Is it possible that Byars searched all day Saturday – and sometime Sunday started his trek out of the Wilderness – got lost (disoriented) – happened upon two fishermen who were able to get him back to his vehicle – still with enough time to make it to the Ventura County Sheriff, and relate the above tale?
Is it possible that the two fishermen, after helping Byars back to his vehicle, on the same day that he started his trek-out…were able to return to an area that took he and Herdman 3 days of hiking to get to…and find the backpack full of supplies left behind for Herdman?
…And – is it possible that said fishermen would not have been aware of the story that brought Byars into their hospitable arms…before making the trip/hike to the abandoned campsite?
I suppose so. Much of it seems possible…however improbable.
‘Molly/Ecstasy’ might explain the additional vim and vigor for Herdman’s feat of stamina…but doesn’t explain Duke running off and continuing to ‘run’.
Luck might explain Byars running into fishermen while exhausted, disoriented, disheveled & dehydrated at some time on Sunday… And even more luck might explain him getting back to his vehicle before sundown (as the first deputies to start the search had to call it off due to darkness).
Luck might further explain the fishermen finding some unfathomable route back to the campsite that allowed them to find the backpack before a party of 50 +/- S&R personnel were on the ground the following morning.
All of these separate pieces might fall into the category of ‘possible’ – but how many exceptionally possible dominos have to fall in succession, before design &/or intent draws a questioning eye?


Odds are pretty good that IF Mike Herdman was high on Ecstasy & Alcohol at the time of his death (or, leading to his death), Byars may have been ‘high’ too, as one usually doesn’t party too hardy by oneself.
Quote:MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), popularly known as ecstasy or, more recently, as Molly, is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that has similarities to both the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. It produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy toward others, and distortions in sensory and time perception.
(from DrugFacts.com)

Did Duke run off, starting the avalanche of wrong steps, moves and decisions?

If the fishermen were a concoction… Why were they needed?
Why wasn’t the backpack & campsite found, the first day of S&R operations?
Was Byars able to convey directions to the campsite to the fishermen, but not to Search & Rescue (who had helicopters)?
Wouldn’t ‘finding the campsite & backpack’, as well as any tracks leading to and from said campsite be the first priority?
Must get bearings.
Must have a point of reference.
You don’t just send 50 people off, saying ‘look around and see what you can find’.
There must have been some instruction as to ‘where’ to start looking.
If they didn’t know where the campsite was, how could they determine where Herdman was last seen?
So … Again … How could they miss the backpack the first day, and find it, the second day?
Was it ‘missing’ the first day?
What, in the story, required ‘fishermen’…to pull things together?

More on Duke…
a) Duke didn’t run off to start the tidal wave…and Byars’ story is full of other fabrications, as well.
b) Duke ran off chasing something in a way that caused Herdman’s alarm to start ringing.
c) Duke was running away from something…

If there were noises in the forest that night…that caused Duke to go crazy – they must have been different from the forest noises of the first two nights…
We do not know that Duke took off, as is part of the story we were fed… But …if he did – what was so different, that night, that both Herdman & Byars took on a long search to find him?

Addendum 2

When approaching a ‘mystery’, whose 1st order of suspicion oozes from a scarcity of verifiable facts, asking questions of said unverifiable facts can go a long way toward eliminating possibilities along the trail, while quantifying the probabilities of those possibilities that remain.

In the case of our story – once Herdman, Byars and Duke set out on their venture, there are no verifiable facts (none that are available to We, The People) until Byars contacted the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department with his tale.

There are no alleged quotes from Byars in the public record, either.

If we took what the Sheriff’s spokespersons purportedly said (as reported in the media) there were three tales that began with Duke leaving the campsite…
1st – He wandered off, and didn’t return in a reasonable amount of time…
2nd – He took off while they were setting the camp up…
3rd – It was around 9:30 PM when he took off…and Herdman was dressed only in board shorts and a t-shirt.

There are, likewise, multiple tales of what happened next…beginning with 1) Herdman took out after Duke, and, at some point, Byars joined the search; and 2) Herdman and Byars setting out together to find Duke.

Then, there are the tales that say 1) Herdman and Byars got separated shortly after starting the search; 2) Herdman & Byars got separated when Herdman left the creek bed into some thick brush; and 3) Herdman & Byars agreed to separate to cover more territory.

And then, as noted before, the tales of Byars’ exit from the forest that begin with a mixed bag of tales regarding how long he searched for Herdman &/or Duke, and end with the miracle-working fishermen that got him to his car, presumably found the campsite and backpack before nightfall, and forgot all about it until they heard/read about the missing hiker on/in the news.

Then, of course, there is the loudly lauded and applauded efforts of some 100+ Search & Rescuers from many parts of California…choppers, horses, dogs, drones, rattlesnakes, bears and more…that must have cost the taxpayers of Ventura County a pretty dime…

Tales of spotting Duke NW of the campsite, NW of the last place Herdman was purportedly seen, and NW of Sulphur peak… And more tales from the experts saying that Duke was afraid of humans, and seemed frazzled.

Twenty miles of creek bed were searched crack & cranny, and 50 square miles surrounding said creek bed were combed by determined Search & Rescuers…

BUUUTTTT…at least one of those surrounding square miles…WAS NOT searched…and…it was not searched by strategic decision…
Which square mile?
The one square mile closest to where Herdman was purportedly last seen.
The one square mile nearest where Duke was probably seen on two consecutive days.

And now – when anyone looking at this wickedly-woven ball of yarn wants to see where the truth might lie in all of the unverifiable facts…they are met with a seal.

In the beautiful State of California, the Constitution says that “The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business, and, therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny.”
Wouldn’t a massive undertaking (operation) as was seen all across the news for more than a week be counted “conduct of the people’s business”?
Is the Sheriff’s Department a public agency, and are the Sheriff and his Deputies public officials?
Then how can this case be sealed if they have already publicly ruled Mike Herdman’s death “an accident”?

Where is the public outcry?
Does no-one care?

Questions:
Were Byars' tracks found?
Were Duke's tracks found?
If so (to both) - were they consistent with Byars accompanying Herdman to the "Last Place Seen", and Duke going the same direction?

Were the fishermen's tracks found at the campsite?
In what fashion were they found?
If found - Did they traipse all over the place...? Were they anywhere other than the campsite...?

What did the bloodhounds do at or near the Last Place Seen?

If Duke's tracks were not found going in the same direction as Herdman's...were they found elsewhere?
If so - where?

Is it possible that Herdman lost track of Duke where the rise (that the campsite was on) finally descended to the creek...?
...And, losing sight, expected that Duke was going the same direction they had gone on previous hikes through the Sespe...being, through the Devil's Gate?
But, instead...Duke went another direction...which was why the dog did not respond to his master's calls (couldn't hear them)...?

If that were the case...we are left with a 1st-order question, and given two more, for good measure...
1st – Why did Duke leave?
2nd – Where did he go?
3rd – Why did he go there?

While 1st and 3rd may actually have the same answer - we do not know, and must consider them separately until more information satisfies the question.

Assuming that Byars' story of Duke leaving camp in such a manner as to draw Herdman urgently-enough away that he failed to don footwear & other, more appropriate clothing...is true...
...And, assuming that Duke was accustomed-enough to the scent of bear, cougar, coyote &/or other predators (or game), to have acted without ado on the previous nights, and previous hikes...
...And recognizing the oddly-named geographic locales in the vicinity...such as "Sulphur Peak", "Devil's Heart Peak" and "Devil's Gateway"...
...And even further considering that more than a few aspects of this mystery carry the signature of 'high strangeness'...
Would another 'high strangeness' added to the equation be just a little too much?

What if there were something so odd & strange...just around the bend from the campsite that no-one agrees on 'what it is'... …?
What if that 'something' were magical or...other-worldly...?
What if that 'something' was the source of Duke's disappearance, Herdman's death, and makes all the other odd aspects of the story seem...mundane?

Assuming the personnel were experts as was advertised and as we might expect… …if the bloodhounds did not point & track up out of the creek-bed in the direction where Herdman’s body was found… … …what could that mean?
Would it mean that he did not climb out of the creek bottom…?
Even an agile, limber and otherwise able-bodied man would have to use all four appendages for a good bit of the ascent out of the creek bottom, as the only exits showed a climb ratio of ~1 foot up for every 1 foot forward, and it is not likely that said climb would have been as stable as a staircase.
He would probably have been grabbing hold of vegetation, rocks, scratching and scraping knuckles, knees, feet…all the way.
How could quality tracking &/or trailing bloodhounds miss such a trail and scents?

I don’t know…
What about you?
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#2
Aspirant


When examining a story whose source/s are 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation accounts, assumptions must be made.
Assumptions perched upon their appurtenant sets of probabilities - but assumptions, nonetheless.
So - we weed around the assumptions to see how they fit with the other facts & assumptions.

As the story we've been told begins with Duke exiting camp...that is, likewise, where the serious questions should commence.

Is it possible that Byars' story is a total fabrication?
If so - it would need to begin with Duke's exit...because, without that 'remarkable' event, the rest of the story has no legs.

If Duke did not run away to start the tragedy of errors, we are left with two significant possibilities:
#1  Byars killed Herdman or was complicit in causing Herdman's death
#2  Something-else happened that Byars thought would sound less believable than Duke running away

#1 should be ruled-out, oddly enough, on account of Duke.
It is not likely, no matter how comfortable Duke had become with Byars, that Taylor would have attempted anything malicious with Duke's 'inseparable' companion -Herdman- as long as the dog was around.
Dog bites &/or scratches would be difficult to explain, even though they had been traipsing through the wilderness where scratches and punctures are possible.
In other words - who would plan malicious activities against someone whose loyal canine companion is present and free to move about?

That does, however, leave the possibility of...drugging the dog, such that he passed-out long enough for some dirty deed to be done.
But - would Byars then march Herdman, at gun-point to "the last place seen"...and from there, try to maintain a gun-point march up the steep mountainside?
Not likely.

That is almost the only explanation, though, that would allow for the opening salvo to have been fabrication and still result in Herdman's death...as well as Byars having no marks or other tell-tales from scuffling with the dog.

It, however, does not answer how Byars would know the right place to exit the creek...to get Herdman to the/an appropriate cliff...
And - does not explain how Byars (anyone) would have felt confident enough in his own ability to maintain an imminently-threatening posture and advantage...when Herdman was the avid, accomplished and expert hiker.

The climb up the mountainside is the biggest and most compelling obstacle to painting Byars as the/a culprit/murderer... unless ...it was a challenge --- but --- that still requires a few more stretches.

So --while we have not addressed #2-- for the moment, at least, we'll keep the "Duke ran off from camp" portion of the story, and move on to other thoughts and questions.
_______________________________________________________

If Duke ran off in such a way as to draw Herdman into extended pursuit, barely dressed and shoeless, it is not unreasonable to assume that Herdman lost visual contact shortly after the dog's departure - especially considering the terrain.

Unless Herdman (&/or Byars) saw or heard Duke heading south along the creek, the only rational explanation for traveling a mile+ in that direction would be the expectation that Duke was heading along a known route (that he'd travelled before)...towards The Devil's Gate(way).

Why would Herdman be convinced enough to continue along that path?
There would have been no reason for the men to 'agree to separate' (when there were only 2.5 directions they could take) if they had seen Duke ahead...going south.

From the "Last Place Seen" to "1st Next Exit" is roughly a quarter-mile.
From "1st Next Exit" to "2nd Next Exit" is another rough, quarter-mile.
From "2nd Next Exit" to "3rd Next Exit" is another rough half-mile.
"2nd Next Exit" is the most likely place Herdman might have exited the creek.
"3rd Next Exit" would have offered a similarly 'easy' exit from the creek, but a much greater difficulty in getting to the cliff-top.
If he chose "2nd Next Exit", he would have traveled almost 2 miles of creek-way, at night, barefoot...with a half-mile of the trek coming after Byars turned back toward camp.
And - from there, he climbed another 1,500' or so, in elevation, across loose shale-stone, dirt, gravel, brush.........to get a better view...?

If Duke left the campsite around 9:30 PM...and Herdman & Byars followed close behind...what time would it have been before Herdman arrived at "2nd Next Exit"?
10:30 to 11:30?
And still...rather than turn around to see if Byars had found the dog...he decided to scale the mountainside for a better view?

Doesn't something seem just a bit out of sorts with that picture?
Did he not plan on making the trek out of the forest the following day?
I cannot imagine that he could make the 1,500' climb in less than another hour.  So - he was looking at somewhere in the range of 11:30-12:00 AM...and...if nothing more happened, and he turned around and made the trek back to camp (with or without Duke)...he would not have arrived before 2 to 4 AM...
Again - is something just really odd with that picture?

He would surely not have been expecting much opportunity to search for the dog while making the climb.  Too much noise generated by his own efforts and the loose rocks, and his auditory & visual senses would have been diminished throughout the climb.
So - he would have been willing to give up an additional hour (+/-) of search, to simply gain a better vantage...?
And then what?
If he didn't see Duke from the cliff-top...what was he going to do, then?

He was the one that had made this trek before.
He must have scoured the topographical maps for 'best route' ... And thus, he should have known that he could find no better course of travel by going into the mountainsides.
Thus - he would not have been looking for a 'way out'.
He would have known where they were on the route he'd mapped out...because of the campsite.

So... ... ...why would he make that climb?

Is MDMA/Molly/Ecstasy the one-fits-all answer?
Euphoria?
Out in the wilds on a Full-Moonlit Night in mid-June... 'Why not climb to the top of that cliff and soak it all in, beat my chest...and muster my best primordial howl...just...to...do it'?

...then, why did Duke leave the camp?

It might be worth noting that, had Herdman exited the creek-bed at either "Last Place Seen", "1st Next Exit" or "3rd Next Exit", another couple/few hours should be added to how long it would take him to get to the cliff-top.
_________________________________________________________________

What was happening while Herdman was allegedly mountain-climbing?
We don't know, exactly...according to published reports.
Byars was allegedly somewhere-else, and Duke was allegedly somewhere-else.
Early reports said that Byars and Herdman 'got separated' when Herdman disappeared into thick brush.
If Herdman headed up the mountainside, at or about the Last Place Seen, Byars may have seen him disappearing into thick brush...though, the thick brush would be only a handful of trees thick, before growing sparse.
If that is the case - we could mesh two statements together...
1. The men agreed to go separate ways, to cover more ground
2. The men got separated when Herdman disappeared into thick brush

Other early reports claimed that Herdman & Byars got separated a short while after starting the chase for Duke.
As has been seen - Herdman was neither running or limping, according to the tracks discovered & analyzed by professional human trackers...
And...he and Byars (presumedly) had travelled more than a mile...to the Last Place Seen.
So - maybe "a short while" is relative... Relative to the long night that still lay ahead.  Relative to how long Byars searched for Herdman & Duke... Or, maybe just relative to...Infinity.

At what point did Byars realize that his search needed to expand, to include Herdman?
Some early reports said that it was the next morning...when neither Herdman or Duke had returned to camp, that Byars set a determined effort to find them.
Other reports stated that he searched throughout the night...all day Saturday...and part of Sunday.
Others said that he searched up and down the Sespe Creek before deciding to hike out.
Still others said he took two days to hike out...

In whichever case, if any of the above, Byars reportedly left Herdman to help the search by going in a different direction...and, as seems likely, made his way back to camp where it was, at some point, determined that something might have gone awry...as neither Herdman nor Duke had made it back to camp through the night.

Do you think that Byars placed any more effort into finding Duke...that first night?
Aside from making his way back to the campsite...and perhaps calling out, once in a while - what more could he have done?
Would he have gone places he had not been before...in search?
I think it is probable that we could take the reports that he "searched up and down the creek" as the extent of his search, since climbing out of the creek (up a mountainside), anywhere but toward camp, would have been an absolute unknown...and, as far as he might have known, his hiking partner/s may have met their match once leaving the creek-bed, too.

And - of course - there are the fishermen that we cannot forget in this rehash...
The first published report/s that mentioned the fishermen simply stated that they found Byars...and helped him get back to civilization.
Another, though, stated that they found him "disoriented, disheveled & dehydrated"...
Now - one might wonder if these were the fishermens' terms, or a poetically-licensed paraphrase?
Specifically - "disheveled".
This does not sound like a term used by snaggle-toothed forest-dwellers from Deliverance.
True - one could be a snaggle-toothed forest-dwelling fisherman with excellent vocabulary.
But, it does raise a bit of a flag (for me).

The way some of the reports were worded...the fishermen could have happened upon Byars at or near where he was searching for Herdman...which would mean that (i) they had traipsed through either the Devil's Gate, (ii) come the same way Herdman & Byars took two+ days to hike, or (iii) from the west (12+ miles).

Other reports suggested that Byars had been trying to get out of the forest, got turned-around, and that he 'stumbled upon' the fishermen...who then helped him back to his vehicle.

This, of course, brings up a logistical question... Two vehicles were brought by Herdman and Byars - One left at the exit point, and one left at the starting point.
According to the Sheriff's statement on the Monday prior to Herdman's body being found, the two fishermen guided Byars back to the Tar Creek trailhead.  Other sources said that they led him to his vehicle.  This would suggest that his vehicle was left at the Trailhead, and Herdman's vehicle was left at the exit point.

Why would he have tried to backtrack the trail they had already traveled, when going to the exit point would have been straight and simple (though, still treacherous)?
That is about the only explanation for him becoming disoriented and the fishermen guiding him to the Tar Creek trailhead.

And - if he was 'back-tracking'...where must these fishermen have been?
Were they already fishing?
Were they trying to get to their fishing spot?
How determined must one/two be...to make such a hike...to fish at a 'nearby creek'...that they.........frequent?
Something about the fishermen seems strange from almost every angle.

Nevertheless - we'll accept/assume that Byars found them or they found Byars...and...then...they helped him back to his vehicle...
And...THEN...must have turned around immediately...to......find the campsite...or...erm...the lost hiking partner.
But...we digress...

At some time on Sunday, Byars went to the Sheriff's office in Fillmore...told the story (some story)...and before sundown, a couple/few deputies were searching for Herdman &/or Duke.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Aspiring To Know

What if... ... ... ...Mike Herdman did not climb the mountainside, and fall to his death from the cliff-top?
The coroner said - Blunt Force Trauma consistent with falling from a cliff...
As his body was not found in an appropriate approximation to the cliff to justify an 'open & shut case', and, in fact, the entire surroundings were too trecherous to invest more man-hours into investigation than were absolutely necessary for recovery...we do not know that he fell from the cliff...
So, without other information/data to the contrary, every answer is possible until ruled otherwise.

Maybe the bloodhounds did not track-up the mountainside from the Last Place Seen...or First' or Second Next Exits.
Maybe Duke ran for a reason entirely unidentified...so far.
Maybe Herdman was making foolish decisions for reasons other than Ecstasy & Alcohol.
Maybe Byars' made foolish decisions that turned lucky because of some unidentified influence.
Maybe the fishermen didn't happen to be in the right place at the right time...but were there by design.
And maybe the sheriff wasn't making foolish decisions with the lives of so many professional volunteers...because he was stupid.
...

How many bad decisions can be made...in a row...or unfortunate scenarios unfolded...in a row...before it is okay to ask if something-more is at play?
How many things can go wrong...in a row...before some...hidden hand...can be suspected or allowed into consideration?

If, as Byars' alleged tale relates, Duke ran away from the campsite to start the sequence of events, and, ran away in such a fashion as to draw Herdman's extensive pursuit, barefooted and barely dressed...
And If...Herdman & Byars agreed to separate, so as to cover more ground/territory (with Byars turning back toward camp, leaving Herdman at the "Last Place Seen")...
...The odds are with Duke being neither in sight, nor within earshot (if barking, yelping or whining), which would, oddly enough, make the decision to go separate ways a better choice than continuing a fruitless quest in one direction.
Not to say that separating, in itself, was a wise choice, but that...if finding & retrieving Duke was the ultimate concern, separate directions was the best option available.

And - all of this to merely undergird the earlier suggestion that, perhaps, Duke did not go south along the creek-bed...but that Herdman was simply following where he anticipated that Duke might have been going (once the dog was out of sight).

In the GoogleEarth (GE) image, below, the area highlighted in violet, furthest west, is where Herdman & Byars set camp.
After a full day's hike, and climbing 100'-200' out of the creek-bed, this would have offered as ample a place to rest as any.
According to the Sheriff, the path they followed when pursuing Duke is highlighted (again, in violet), flowing east from the campsite.

[Image: gnyJhFq.png]

It might seem redundant, but will be noted anyway, that this is the most likely path Duke followed, as well.

Once to the creek-bed, after another 300' SSE (+/-) the creek turns due south, before angling SSW...
Also, though, at the 300' (+/-) change of direction, is the first place that Duke (or Herdman & Byars) could have taken another route...being NNE.

[Image: Hcn8tfw.png]

If Duke took this other route, rather than down the creek as was his/their presumed custom, we are drawn back to the questions:
- Was he running away from, after...or...to...something?

As we are not privy to Byars' testimony, and, in fact, don't know that Byars would have been capable of distinguishing the dog's manner of exit, anyway, we are again left with the task of piecing the tabulary evidences together to make sense of the story.
Scenarios:
1. Duke wanders away while Byars & Herdman are pitching camp.  When Herdman calls Duke, and there is no response from the dog, he decides to wander a bit, as well (expecting to find the dog, shortly).  Herdman does not put more clothes & shoes on, for whatever reason/s, and after a bit of distance, calls back to Byars...who joins the search.
2. Duke hears, sees, smells or otherwise senses something that frightens him, and he leaves the campsite in a hurry...and Herdman recognizes the fright in his exit, and gives chase.  When or why Byars would have joined pursuit is left for further speculation.
3. Duke hears, sees, smells or otherwise senses something that draws/lures him into chase...and Herdman, in order to keep Duke from biting off more than he might be able to chew, gives immediate chase...to retrieve the dog.
There are multiple variations on each of these scenarios, but they are enough to get us moving.

While it is possible that the Human Trackers that located Herdman's footprints heading south along the creek-bed also found Duke's tracks heading in the same direction - said information was not made public. And, as the agreement to separate (searching in opposite directions) suggests that Herdman &/or Byars were not entirely confident that Duke was ahead of them (south)...and knowing that the trackers would like to have found Duke's footprints flowing in the same direction as Herdman's, as this would further corroborate Byars' tale - it is my strong suspicion that Duke was not going down the creek-bed, but rather, NNE, back where the creek path first turned south.

The question has been posed - "Why do you care?  Herdman is dead.  Duke survived.  And, unless Byars or the fishermen killed Herdman, what's the point?  Can't do a thing if the boogeyman stepped in..."

I am not related to Herdman.  Can't bring him back, no matter how hard I try to understand what happened.
But - there is something...back where I suspect Duke turned NNE...that is so odd, unique &/or strange, as to make me think other forces may have been involved in Duke's uncharacteristic behavior, and ultimately, Herdman's demise.
Something so intriguing that I am willing to forsake an otherwise sedimentary lifestyle, and make the long journey to southern California, and trek to that site, this June, with the intent of being at the campsite on the Full Moon evening of June 20th.

What could be that intriguing?
If Duke (or You) followed the dot-dash trail to the North-Northeast in the last image, above...he would have come upon ...this...

[Image: Ly0u7hQ.jpg]
(Note: The 'spire' has been enhanced with Brightness & Contrast for ease of visualization.)

This "Spire", as I have called it, stands 225' from bottom-of-base to tip, with a base whose measurable girth is 35' at its widest point.
It does not angle-out from & with the slope of the hillside...but, rather, protrudes skyward as if thrust out from the center of the earth.
When viewing from directly above, a footprint of ridges surrounding said Spire forms a shape with parameters similar to a valentine's heart...with the Spire at the very center...as depicted in this GE image...

[Image: NBawn5l.jpg]

A legitimate question is often posed by those contemplating these images, being:
"What if it is just a glitch in the 3-D rendering software used by GE?"
If so...then...it has fooled the U.S. Geological Survey (as well) all the way back to 1994 (before Google Earth and its 3-D rendering software), as they marked this site, both in 1994 and 2002 with two crosses (or, X's)...

[Image: BBgJGcZ.png]

[Image: oUe49Pt.png]

So... Is it a physical, geological anomaly...or some geo-magnetic spike that always renders the same in 3-D mapping software?

There's only one way to find out.

(... ... ...Could we be the ones to do it... ... ...)

Thanks for your consideration.

Minstrel
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