View Full Version : The Hunt for the Death Valley Germans

05-01-2013, 01:51 PM
If you are bored, an interesting read:


05-01-2013, 08:25 PM

Read the whole thing.

Interesting place, and an interesting way to risk your life.

Also a good reminder of just how harsh the environment can be, and how deeply dependant we are on easy access to food, water, fuel, information and money.

Lack of info and money being the things that really caused the tourists to die in the middle of the back end of nowhere nice.
If the guys ex had sent some money they'd not have taken this path. And if the other monies had been sent to the right place they'd have flown home with a camera full of pictures to show their friends.

06-01-2013, 01:21 AM
A lot of reading there. Shows the dedication and determination of certain individuals to go that extra mile to find an answer to a mystery.

06-01-2013, 09:51 AM
Interesting reading, also the "928" story as well.

06-01-2013, 01:13 PM
Thanks zqwertt, an interesting read as was the 928 story

kahawai chaser
06-01-2013, 03:14 PM
Good read thanks Zwergty, like your other thread. Interesting how the author thought as a German or those in Europe used to military zone being occupied with soilders. Where in US mainly "guarded" by vast empty areas, and occasional sweeps in Death Valley National Park. Thus the author reasoned logically that the German(s) hiked South to China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station hoping to easily contact military personel. - Southern area was unsearched by the initial rescue units.

The author and his mate found the womans remains due South, but not the others on subsequent searches, including the kids. Buried maybe?


- Travel to Yosmite through Death Valley in a standard vehicle bit of a concern.
- No one around at the cabin/homesteads - must of been more despairing for the Germans- so it seems keep driving.
- When they drove at speed it seems and turned of the wrong fork or "wash" (whatever that is) 3 tyres were torn. But did not hike back to some cabin/spring that was closer. So hiked South - possibly to get the vehicle towed out because seemed worried about getting it back to the rental company.
- GPS was a great help for the author for future reference, including plotting desirable routes - not easily identified on topo maps. In fact they walked past a good route/shortcut (I think) not realising it was there, until he did GPS plotting later at home.
- Also the area was where killer Charles Mansion hung out, and murder victims I think are buried nearby. Bad karma?

I know Germans think/behave differently. My step dad from East Germany had habits that astounded us and other kiwi's - like extreme speed - always got tickets. Swimming across beach channels, past ferries, large yachts, etc.

He too got stranded - in the Waitakeres with 4 others (hence the intense interest in your article), reported on Radio Hauraki years ago. He referenced things to his German environment, but misjudged the quick fading light, and believed people would be not far away in a secured area. He kept walking - but decided to stay overnight.

As the author says - They "ended up in Anvil Canyon through a series of reasonable, honest mistakes"

But importantly "Individuals can end up finding themselves in great peril without making grossly bad decisions"

John H
06-01-2013, 03:31 PM
Thanks for that post - I read the whole thing with great interest. What a different environment from what we are used to here.

06-01-2013, 05:04 PM
Very interesting. Thank you.

06-01-2013, 05:40 PM
In hindsight the most logical the best thing that they could have done would have been to retrace their steps and head back over known territory. This may have been daunting as they would have known the distance they would have to travel on foot. I am guessing that they instead headed south because they thought that help would be at hand closer. In extreme temperatures water would have been a major problem.