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Re[4]: [at-l] Whites Incident & Cell Phone

I hate to prolong the obvious, but since TJ persists:

This  is  the  message RnR sent to this list. My computer says it was created at
1:27 a.m on Sept. 11. I got it when I turned on my computer about 9 a.m.

The complete message as it was received by me:

" Perhaps it's a little early for such, but it struck me that the
involvement of the Whites hypothermia victim with cell phone rescue should be

     "If  I read the report correctly, the victim called in a rescue request for
himself by cell phone and was waiting for rescuers.

     "After  reading  the  story  it  struck me later that this man was possibly
slackpacking  the  Whites hut to hut only carrying minimal gear and a phone. The
report said he had no pack when he was found.

     "I  feel  it  important  since  this  brings up several very serious issues
regarding cell phone dependency on the AT for safety.

     "If  this victim had deliberately forsaken extra gear in order to slackpack
the  Whites hut to hut, in order to save time and energy in an injured state, he
had probably brought the cell phone as a hedge against risk.

     "If  this  proves to be the case, it would have dire ramifications for cell
phone  use.  It  would  mean  the  victim chose to bring a useless piece of gear
instead of more critical types.

     "If the victim was relying on the cell phone to bail him out, it turned out
it  failed  to  do  so.  Reports  were  scratchy on how well he communicated his
situation  to  Camp  Dodge.  As  reported, this communication was useless to his
predicament and did not help save his life. The rescue occurred from nearby help
and was too late.

   "If  Camp  Dodge  was successfully contacted by the still-conscious victim it
failed  to alert the Madison crew only a few thousand feet away. In this interim
the  victim  fell  below the point of recovery. This incident has several gaping
failures,  some  of  which  directly  involve  cell  phones,  or  possible false
confidence in them, that should be reviewed.

    "  Though  the  tragedy  was  probably  mostly age and exhaustion related, I
believe  this  incident  leaves open the possibility that this death occurred at
least partly because of bad reliance on a cell phone as gear."

 It's  my  contention  that this message doesn't warrant all the scorn heaped on
 RnR,  especially in comparison with other listers who have speculated, based on
 no facts whatsoever, that the man may have committed suicide or was a victim of
 depression. Please note that no less than five of RnR's 8 or 9 paragraphs begin
 with "If." And one begins with "perhaps"

 It  was  and is my advice that everyone, including RnR, should stop speculating
 about  the  cause  of this death at least until we have more than facts than we
 have  now.  The  official  AMC  analysis will be printed in a biannual issue of
 Appalachia, probably in the Dec. 15 issue.