Bill Ewasko found?

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby Hikin_Jim » Wed Aug 31, 2022 5:26 pm

I suppose no one ever got a copy of the coroner's report? Not that I would expect anything too terribly exciting to be revealed. Maybe they'd list the contents of his backpack. I'd still be really curious to know if he had a map and which map he had.

Ric Capucho wrote:I’ll (finally) visit JTNP late July as a few days stop over during a north to south California road trip. Care to imagine some of the places I’ll hike? Erm, scratch Smithwater.

I'm not sure I'd visit JTNP in July (March is when I'd go), but Smith Water Canyon in general isn't so bad -- from the top. Getting from the area where there is that little tiny trickle of water up to Covington Flat wasn't bad, but I've never gone down past the water area. I've yet to experience the man eating bushes that OtherHand describes. I found the canyon quite interesting.

I don't think it was Smith Water per se that did Bill in. I think it was a combination of heat and dehydration as well as a major miscalculation/mistake, i.e. (apparently) deciding to strike out cross country and (possibly) depending on there being water in Smith Water, which is its reputation (hence the name). Well, there is water in Smith Water, albeit barely a trickle, but it's a lot further upstream than one would think, at least the water I found. I've not heard of water farther down stream. The water is closer to the upper entrance (toward Covington Flat) than it is toward the mouth. Unless Bill entered Smith Water Canyon well upstream, which seems unlikely given the terrain, he would not have found water. Going more-or-less directly from Quail Mountain (which he presumably summited) to Smith Water would almost certainly place him downstream of the water. It'd also be one heck of an effort which might well explain the time lapsed between his start date and the date of his last ping.

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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby aeolian » Fri Dec 09, 2022 9:37 pm

Ewasko crossed my mind this evening. Imagine my surprise to find him found, and to find closure in this thread. Thanks for everyone's effort, Tom especially.
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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby aeolian » Sun Jan 01, 2023 4:10 pm

This video from Dec 27 discusses Bill's case. There's some photos of Bill's items. Probably from an official report. Doesn't add much unless you want to see 12 year old shoes, day pack, and wallet. Shoes reduced to lasts. Day pack looks very weathered.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CE_uKaG99s
One photo shows a disposable water bottle. One shows an unknown item long and skinny (maybe weathered pvc camelbak hose?). One photo looks like a mylar balloon, probably unrelated trash.
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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby bretpct » Tue Jan 03, 2023 1:16 am

aeolian wrote:This video from Dec 27 discusses Bill's case. There's some photos of Bill's items. Probably from an official report. Doesn't add much unless you want to see 12 year old shoes, day pack, and wallet. Shoes reduced to lasts. Day pack looks very weathered.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CE_uKaG99s
One photo shows a disposable water bottle. One shows an unknown item long and skinny (maybe weathered pvc camelbak hose?). One photo looks like a mylar balloon, probably unrelated trash.


I just saw this vid tonight and came to post but looks like you beat me to it. Seems like a pretty good summary of the events. Looks like he has access to some report with photos that haven't already been posted here or on reddit yet. Still blows my mind that he's been found.

FWIW it seems that the boot print photographed near Ewasko's car does not match the sole remnant found, at least to my eyes:

Image
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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby adamghost » Thu Jan 05, 2023 9:46 pm

Adam Marsland here. Just posted the first of a two part video (as part of my Adam Walks Around hiking series) with a follow-up on Bill's disappearance, kicking around a few theories and visiting the site of his remains. Tom was gracious enough to be a consultant on the video, spending many hours debating theories and clarifying facts with me. Ric Capucho also contributed as executive producer.

I hope to get part two, which visits the site, discusses what we now know and runs down the various theories, up later this month. I welcome everyone's feedback, suggestions and criticisms to make it the best possible video.

https://youtu.be/ZvrRytPRrIE
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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby Ric Capucho » Fri Jan 06, 2023 2:08 am

Watching the Missing Enigma video, and the subtle differences between the redactions on the documents versus those on Tom’s website, it’s clear the Missing Enigma youtuber has done a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) on the authorities, probably the Park Rangers.

Photos of the boots and backpack are interesting, and I’m relieved to see the redactions have sensitively obscured anything macabre.

Other than that, nothing new other than a good video summary of the events leading up to Bill’s disappearance and the early search efforts.

Ric
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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby Ric Capucho » Fri Jan 06, 2023 2:17 am

adamghost wrote:Adam Marsland here. Just posted the first of a two part video (as part of my Adam Walks Around hiking series) with a follow-up on Bill's disappearance, kicking around a few theories and visiting the site of his remains. Tom was gracious enough to be a consultant on the video, spending many hours debating theories and clarifying facts with me. Ric Capucho also contributed as executive producer.

I hope to get part two, which visits the site, discusses what we now know and runs down the various theories, up later this month. I welcome everyone's feedback, suggestions and criticisms to make it the best possible video.

https://youtu.be/ZvrRytPRrIE


For the many here that know the story and have a decent mental image of the overall layout of the park, Adam’s done a great job here.

The map shown at 7:36 minutes summarises well the likely theory of where the ping occurred (Quail Springs) and Bill’s subsequent direction of travel leading to his final destination on that saddle. There can be a number of reasonable scenarios as to how Bill got himself into that ping circle, from Smithwater Canyon or from Johnny Lang or anything between. Probably moot, as all scenarios mean that Bill descended some highly rugged route off Quail.

Below is a quote of the comment I left on Adam’s youtube video…

Ric

Fully agree with the map shown at 7:36. That pink circle is almost certainly the famous ping spot. And that circle fits any number of descent scenarios from Smithwater to the south west or Johnny Lang to the south east or anything in between. I’m sceptical of any other options as that big block of Quail rock had to be crossed somehow.

I’d guess poor Bill reached his final resting spot later that same day. Walking down that main Quail wash northwards leads somehow to that easterly trail you’ve marked in solid purple and lords knows where or how he picked that up. But he did.

After that he might have self rescued himself after all, but it’s not only those stump like sign posts that have appeared over the last twelve years. In many places washes cross the trails in such a way that it’s easy to lose a trail and find yourself half way up or down a wash before you know it. So the park has lined such intersections with rows of white stones; I think I’m right that this is fairly recent. Anyways, I wonder if Bill was following the trail in low light, and simply followed the wash northwards by accident, realised he was off trail yet again, and somehow climbed that slope and found himself on that saddle?

The rest might not be obvious to everyone, but on that saddle the glints of cars passing on the Park Road are as plain as day. Down the slope and across the flat land to the road would have taken me 30 minutes max, but I wasn’t dehydrated, exhausted, and literally on my last legs. That greatly saddens me, and might explain why I never posted up my personal trip to that very saddle last summer during our family California holiday.

Bill, I salute you. You were a bull of a man to have made it even that far.

Great video, Adam, well done.

Ric
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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby OtherHand » Fri Jan 06, 2023 9:33 am

I do not think the famous ping came from the junction of Smithwater and Quail Wash (and I believe Adam disagrees with me in this aspect). The circle represents, since I made that map, a node of several possible alternative routes Bill may have taken up to that point. But from the junction of Smithwater and Quail Wash there appears only one likely route for Bill to have ended up where he did. Adam and I have hiked the route, at different times, and I think we're both in agreement it's the way Bill went.

I favor the cell ping coming from near the junctions of the Mary Trail and the West Samuelson Trail, just a short distance from Bill's final spot. Per splash maps there is fringe Serin coverage at this point. The Serin coverage at the Smithwater/Quail junction, per splash maps, is only available if someone climbs at least a hundred feet up most of the slopes. The guy who did Serin coverage and distance analysis with his phone around Upper Covington traveled to the junction of Smithwater and Quail and didn't report any Serin coverage, although he stayed in the wash. My sense is that Bill had turned his phone on at some point, and left it on. And when he finally passed through a marginal area it tried to connect but failed, and he didn't notice, with the phone likely in his pack. But at that point he was very close to the end of his journey.
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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby adamghost » Sat Jan 07, 2023 1:01 am

I think Tom and I agree there's 3 places where the ping could have happened (or 4 if you get picky - my hike mate Jenn was able to connect to Verizon just east of the wash, which we'll see in part two, but that's not far from Tom's preferred location), all relatively close to 10.6. I'll cover these in part two of the video; for the sake of brevity I only focused on Quail Wash (it's in the middle of the 3 spots and is bang on 10.6) with a passing mention of the location Tom refers to, but I'll delve into it later. I do favor Quail Wash for various reasons but it could have been either of the other two.

I definitely have gotten strong coverage (as in being able to have undropped voice calls) in Quail Wash at the SWC mouth at a specific location on at least two occasions in 2013 and/or 2014. I wasn't able to connect in 2016 slightly north of there. So as to the splash coverage survey, it could be that it connected to a different tower (Tom leans toward that explanation I believe), it could be that that spot was missed, or it could be that for some reason Verizon's Serin coverage changed slightly with time of day or in the intervening years. Bottom line is we can't know.

The exact location matters a bit for determining which way he went getting there, and if we ever get an answer to that maybe we can narrow it down, but not as much for what we can deduce about what happened after that.
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Re: Bill Ewasko found?

Postby drndr » Mon Jan 09, 2023 8:53 am

Because phone ping was brought up again it made me recall a trip in March of 2011 I did with a meet up group. Less than a year after Bill went missing.

It was a Quail Springs Picnic, Johnny Lang Mine, Quail mountain, Smith Water Canyon loop. About 16ish miles. One of things I remember is at the parking lot, our big group was asked by a ranger if we were looking for the missing hiker. I had no idea what he was taking about. I had never done this hike or hadn't been to any of these stops and was strictly a follower. Much of it was cross country.

The other thing I remembered was getting a ping on an old flip phone on the north end of smith water canyon as I started heading east back towards the parking lot. Maybe between the north side of Smith water and just south of Samuelsons Rocks. I remember this because the group I was with was moving very slowly and taking hour breaks. Found out most of them were staying the night out there and were in no hurry. When we got to the south end of SWC they stopped for a long break so I approached the trip leader and said I was just going to slowly keep going solo. I had a good map and confirmed with him that there was pretty much only one way out of the canyon. Once out of the canyon hang a hard right, east, and keep going back to Quail Springs parking. While in SWC I had turned my phone back on and had forgotten about it. When I started heading east, out of the blue I got a text that went through. It was this tiny window of connection. No service after that. I had AT&T. I remember this because I was slightly regretting ditching the group in new territory. In SWC had come across a giant mountain lion print in the mud. Meet up still has the pics of the trip of the event someone took and there's one of me on top of Quail I'm guessing on my flip phone trying to get reception.

This doesn't really add much to the story other than being in the same area less than a year after Bill and feeling a bit lost a couple times and being alone in a new area. And getting that ping on my phone probably damn close to where Bill pinged. Ive been to that area many times since and even a couple times exploring the area for Bill.

D
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