By: Kevin O’Connor
DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. (NLI) – An explosive incident Tuesday in Hartford City has raised questions about the safety of a popular electronic-age treasure hunting game with fans from coast to coast.
“It is a family friendly game,” Layne Cameron, author of “The Geocaching Handbook,” said. “But when somebody sees an empty container sometimes their first reaction, they jump to conclusions and think it’s more than just a game.”
Cameron said over one million people visit the Geocaching website every month. But Tuesday’s bomb scare was the first incident he’d heard of where a prize in the game had been mistaken for a dangerous object.
Delaware County’s bomb squad responded to Hartford City on Tuesday on a call about a suspicious looking object placed under a replica train near State Roads 3 and 18. The object was blown up as a precaution before authorities realized it was a part of the Geocaching game craze.
Workers at the Tin Lizzy restaurant noticed a man with kids milling around and eventually taking a package from underneath the replica train behind the restaurant. The man took something from the package, then replaced it under the train, and left.
It turns out the package was part of a Geocaching game. To play the game, Geocachers log on to a Web site to find coordinates and clues that lead to hidden treasures. The treasures are left by other players and put in hidden containers near landmarks.