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Please submit (or resubmit) info you believe the Search and Rescue team looking for Randy should have. Ground searchers can post updates on areas eliminated here too.

Steph can you post a link to this thread on the team's page? That way SAR can check it and prioritize info and we won't tie them up with multiple contacts.


Hi, the family might try to give the Jon Francis Foundation, Post Office Box 2235, Stillwater, MN 55082, Phone: 612.963.6772 a call. Jon went hiking in Utah by himself, reached the log at the top, and then went missing. :-( Eventually, They did find he had slipped and fallen.
Here is part of a post from John Brown that is a good example of an insight that might help SAR understand a Fenn searcher's likely plans/actions:

[quote='John Brown' pid='87714' dateline='1452978693']

No. He put in at Buckman Crossing which is downstream from Otowi Crossing which is here:

Buckman Crossing where his car was parked is here:

Ancho Canyon is here:


Ancho Canyon rapid starts here:

Frijole Canyon is here:


Nine miles downstream from the Buckman put-in is here:


The ancho canyon rapid is the only place where white water is at all likely to be an issue on that stretch of river and I think it unlikely in the winter if the water is as low as I think it is. There's a big rock at Ancho. When the water is high it flows over that rock. Right next to the rock is a raging torrent that you have to paddle through. When the water is high enough to flow over that rock it is as smooth as glass where it flows over the rock. If you go over the rock you'll swim for sure. There is always a bit of psychology in knowing that it is the torrent that you want and not the glass. But when the water is low that isn't an issue. You simply go where there's water. I don't think both the raft and dog would have shown up 4 miles downstream from that rapid if he'd had a spill there. I think he was aiming for some side canyon, likely Frijoles, and then tried to climb something
(01-18-2016, 12:09 AM)Yoda Wrote: [ -> ]Where are the feds??

Bandelier is national park service. Have they been notified? Are they part of the search? They can search their jurisdiction since they would know it best. where shelter is, where food and water sources are.

Los Alamos National Lab is DOD, no? It's a freaking nuclear facility. Surely they have satellite and ground based reconnaissance of the entire area around Los Alamos including the search area. I would think that the DOD would know anything that happens within 30 miles of a nuclear research facility. Maybe they have some intel or input?

Is the New Mexico SAR team is a volunteer group? Why aren't they asking the public for help? Many people don't have to work tomorrow on MLK day. Why aren't they putting the word out for more volunteers?

Does the SAR, county sheriff, or state troopers have access to bloodhounds or K-9 units? Are these assets being deployed? FLIR equipped helicopters? drones? civilian planes that fly over the area on a regular basis?

Per dal:
"NM Search and Rescue has suspended operations. They want more information/direction on where to search.
Perhaps the State Police will finally search Randy’s car.
Apparently scent dogs are no good because of recent snow and rain in the area. Same problem for trackers."
(01-18-2016, 12:06 AM)HollyfromMN Wrote: [ -> ]Hi, the family might try to give the Jon Francis Foundation, Post Office Box 2235, Stillwater, MN 55082, Phone: 612.963.6772 a call. Jon went hiking in Utah by himself, reached the log at the top, and then went missing. :-( Eventually, They did find he had slipped and fallen.
At this point I think I would try to find some real good Para Gliders and have them fly down both sides of the river.
Helicopter is the best. Slow and low flying. I would suggest F be added to SAR's helicopter as F probably knows best where to look for him.
Number one: Check with Forrest to see if he kept Randy's complete solution that Randy mailed to him.

Number two: If Forrest has the letter, determine if the point Randy was forced off the river (broken oar?) is near the point of his solution.

If the location of the raft was near Randy's desired point, check around that point first.

My guess is that he wasn't and tried to pack out to get help to go back and get Leo.

What is the elevation rise at the raft point to the canyon rim? What is the topography in the area at the top of the canyon rim above the raft point?

What would have made more sense to Randy? To travel to the canyon rim or remain near the river bed elevation?

There is what looks like a maintenance road/path along most of the river alignment. I have a hard time believing they had time to check every nook and cranny along the river alignment in two days.



The Francis family used expensive helicopters after the locals suspended the search, if I recall right.

Jon did not make it home.
Is there a local fishermans/hunters organization nearby? Fishing guide or rafting companies? They may have the best resources for detailed information in that area. Put ins and Take outs, shelters, campsites?

Can they be contacted to provide guidance to the Search and Rescue Team and State Police?
I thought IllinoisGhost had some good ideas. SAR should check out this post on his blog: