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A New Wonnangatta Mystery

Discussion in 'Backcountry' started by Total Whiteout, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    My understanding is the four wheel drive was in a driveable condition. That's why it's likely foul play. Why wouldn't you evacuate by the car , even if one person was incapacitated or use the radio if available. Secondly whilst there are a few theories it's established as fact that the wife of the guy did not know that he was camping with that lady. Finally my mum knows this lady , very active in the community and salt of the earth type.
     
  2. John Robertson

    John Robertson Hard Yards

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    Part 6 -

    During our discussion this bloke had told me he’d been digging out his car for a few days (it had been that long since the snow fall mid the previous week). I enquired as to his progress, he said it was around 100m per day…but with 3km down to the snow line, I told him he was in for 30 days of hard work before he would be able to drive out (complex math, I know…but I think I nailed it!).

    Also, he was 65, not 25! Although he hadn’t looked unfit, I doubted whether he would have had the stamina to dig snow for 30 days…even if he had enough food to sustain the effort.

    He had told me he was camping under a tarpaulin and I had suggested he throw the tarpaulin over his car, walk out with me (I had offered him a lift) and return for his car in the Spring! All my suggestions were flatly rejected or just completely ignored…and with the coldest of stares! I never saw his car or his camp!

    I reasoned that, having made these three bad decisions, I didn’t want him to make any more and how would I feel reading weeks later in the newspaper that a bloke had died up there and I could have prevented it by telling someone he was there and have him checked out…on the one hand, he had clearly indicated his preference for me not to do that but in the end, my conscience won out.

    The next day, Monday, I shared my experience and my concern for this bloke’s welfare, with the Mansfield Police. I told them that I had never seen his car and so there was a possibility that what this bloke had told me was complete b/s. They were interested in my encounter none the less.

    The cop I spoke to asked me if the bloke had any distinguishing features and I went straight to the bone plugged ear lobe. The police were going to check on him later in the week and I told them they would be able to see my tracks once they reached the snowline on Brocks (there was no forecast for further snow)….and the postholes at the saddle would take a few snow falls to fill up! This bloke wasn’t going anywhere, so he should be easy to find.

    I remember the Mansfield policeman being particularly enthusiastic because they had just taken possession of a few new skidoos that were being shown off, parked at Mt Buller…now they had a reason to use them for a real purpose!

    Having discharged my responsibility for this bloke’s safety, I wanted no further involvement and…I never found out what, if anything, resulted from the impending Police expedition to King Billy saddle.

    And that’s the end of my experience folks…quick questionCould this have been the Button Man?
     
  3. skimax

    skimax Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Possibly understanding is he's around 70 years old. Chief commissioner confirmed today they had spoken to him a couple of times and searched his camp.
     
  4. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    Either way , that was a bizarre experience and one that would have spooked even the most stoic of outdoor adventurers and puzzled even the least curious people you could meet.
     
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  5. Piste Ant

    Piste Ant Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    If he is standing outside the tent without making himself known, I would assume that he was intending to either harm the occupant physically or cause emotional distress - warn off the other - mark his territory.
    IMO not making himself known is a red flag, packing up the tent would be nerve wracking.
     
  6. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    There are good reasons for carrying an ice axe or a self arrest pole on solo snow trips when not skiing the steeps!
    :-0

    Button man sightings will soon become more intriguing than Yeti or Big Foot sightings.
     
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  7. Luken

    Luken One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Or Black Panthers in the Yarra Ranges.. I grew up there, use to terrify myself walk home at dusk..
     
  8. John Robertson

    John Robertson Hard Yards

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    You're right Piste Ant...i packed up that tent faster than i could spell it!
     
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  9. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    99% of all weapons carried by people for protection are taken and used against the person by the attacker. You would be better to practise your running. At least with snowshoes you would have an advantage.
     
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  10. John Robertson

    John Robertson Hard Yards

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    In that frozen moment, as i waited for him to move, my mind wandered to defensive options. There werent many...my ice axe, or possibly my snow shovel?...but they were both left in the tent...and he was between me and it!
     
  11. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    99% of all statistics are made up.
     
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  12. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Possibly so but you could always ask those in the US who had conceal and carry permits for handguns and were shot by their own gun when it was taken off them. Then again they may not answer back.
     
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  13. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Used to be 1 in 6 cops in the US were shot with their own gun by someone else.

    Back in the day.
     
  14. GS

    GS Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Damn, just as I was getting my pack weight down, I now need to carry an Uzi for strolls in the hills.
     
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  15. John Robertson

    John Robertson Hard Yards

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    Yeah GS...one of those would've been very handy...and worth the carry!...but then again, I probably would've left that in the tent too!
     
  16. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I think the anecdote and statistics relating to being injured or killed be your own weapon relates to ‘in the home’. I.e. domestic violence, suicide or accidental shooting. As in the chances of you or a family member or acquaintance being shot be a stranger in your own home is statically small compared to being shot with the home owners own weapon.
     
  17. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Some years ago I did some research on this when the gun nutters in Australia were making a big noise about conceal carry permits. This is when I found the stats. It refers to people who carry guns in public for protection also. From memory it was more about that than home invasion. It did not refer to those things you mention. If 1 in 6 trained people can be shot with their own gun then what chance is there of the untrained. The point I am making, if you produce a weapon then you best have the intention to use it and in saying that you should not produce any weapon (gun or otherwise) unless you have cause. Threatening someone with a weapon or offensive article when there is no need is actually assault. Having some small comfort in knowing you have such a thing with you would be of little value when it is taken from you. Showing an aggressive attitude to someone could also be enough to set them off. I have had a bit of dealing with the odd nutter and calm talk is a better approach. Looking for escape routes is also good.
     
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  18. John Robertson

    John Robertson Hard Yards

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    ....stayed calm...looked for escape routes...lived to climb another mountain!
     
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  19. Spence

    Spence One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Along those lines many years ago when I was still at school I got into karate for about three years. The black belt always used to stress to us younger fellas that being able to do karate didn’t make you able to fight. Occasionally he would show us some self defence moves. But he would always stress that being ‘street wise’ and seeing the situation in advance and avoiding it if possible was always the best self defence. I still do this to this day.
     
  20. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    What were we talking about again?

    Oo that's right the disappearance of Carol Clay and Russell Hill.
     
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  21. John Robertson

    John Robertson Hard Yards

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    Does anybody think the Button Man had anything to do with Carol and Russel's disappearance at Wonnangatta?
     
  22. crackson

    crackson A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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  23. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    No.
     
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  24. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    If this so called "Button man", a reportedly creepy but so far harmless nutter had anything to do with these people's disappearance then the Police would have interviewed him with a view towards such a theory. Police have spoken with him because he is often found in the broader area and might have known something or seen something that could help the police with their investigations. However unless he is charged and evidence is produced he is under no obligation to answer any questions.
     
    #124 Mister Tee on XC Skis, May 30, 2020
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  25. Jacko4650

    Jacko4650 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I always used to think that if the shit hit the fan, I would wander off into the bush. I feel sorry for Button Man, just trying to do his thing. As I matured and started to fly around the world for work, I figured if the shit hit the fan, I could just buy a one-way ticket to nowhere and fly off. Corona halted plan B, so I'm wondering if Button Man has a blog or an e-book so I can get some tips if I have to revert to plan A?
    Edit: the more I think about, the more I realise Button Man is more like many "locals" we have here in our regional town. Just different. Sorry - perhaps a bit off-topic now.
     
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  26. nfip

    nfip Cold n' Rusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    No
     
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  27. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis A Local Ski Pass: Silver

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    I know what you mean. When the lock down first hit my first thought was to take a huge metal container filled with essential supplies as a supply drop and head for the Mac. Springs hut and set up for 3 months there until the week before the Howitt road is closed. Which is now really.
     
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  28. John Robertson

    John Robertson Hard Yards

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    Well...I'm sure Button Man has no idea how famous he has become! Perhaps I should undertake a return expedition to King Billy saddle in search of the BM?...of course it will give me the shitzers to return to the scene of my experience...but i might be able to interview BM?...and inform him of his new found fame!...I'm seeing appearances on A Current Affair, maybe even 60mins?....a lecture tour and then of course a tell all book. What do people think?
     
  29. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I’m sure that’s exactly what he is dreaming of.




    Not.
     
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  30. John Robertson

    John Robertson Hard Yards

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    Ok so i go in a little more low key...perhaps a spot on Dancing with the stars?...or a home reno show...oh wait, ive got it...he'd be perfect on that holiday program...Get away!.
     
  31. Billy_Buttons

    Billy_Buttons Que Sera, Sera Ski Pass: Gold

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    Naked and Afraid!
     
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  32. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    He’s probably in remote recovery mode from being on or working on the set crew of one or all of those programs.
     
  33. John Robertson

    John Robertson Hard Yards

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    Yeah...youre probably right. Should just leave him alone...wouldnt want to piss him off!
     
  34. GS

    GS Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    Survivor might be more his thing
     
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  35. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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  36. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Under no circumstances is he under any obligation to answer questions. When arrested or even suspected of committing a crime, this is that is the first thing you must be told. Just telling you now for future reference in case it is overlooked.
     
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  37. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Well he is expected to give his name and normal place of abode, the police are allowed to ask those questions of anybody as far as I am aware. As for being shot with your own weapon? When I was in Nuigini a few people did carry a self defence pistol [ most illegal] and I asked if they were prepared to use it. Somebody very, very experienced heard me ask and said that IF you carried something and were not prepared to use it without hesitation then it was worth than useless, he was ex-SAS and a private security employee and I took his words to heart, if you have to think about it then it is already too late. I did however once escape a dodgy situation by pretending I was armed when being followed by a group of rascals which gave me some time to get to my safe destination. My boss roasted me for actually walking up the mountain on my own and I guess I was very lucky on that occasion.
     
  38. Xplora

    Xplora One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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  39. nfip

    nfip Cold n' Rusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    yep. agreed 100%
    sometimes over the years I observe well enough should be left well alone.
    why complicate things ...
     
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  40. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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  41. Total Whiteout

    Total Whiteout One of Us

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    No. But he does sound spooky.
     
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  42. John Robertson

    John Robertson Hard Yards

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    One thing that does puzzle me tho...King Billy Saddle is a couple of days walk from the Wonnangatta in the Winter but only a days drive in summer. All these people disappeared in the summer.
     
  43. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    That’s when you can get in, access is way more work & typically longer in Winter. A useful filter on numbers.
     
  44. Chaeron

    Chaeron A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    The drive/ walk out of Wonangatta onto Howitt Plains via Zeka Spur is demanding, and the road between Howitt Plains and King Billy along the King Billy Track is also slow and challenging in a 4x4.

     
  45. John Robertson

    John Robertson Hard Yards

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    Well, the bloke i met was super mysterious.
     
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  46. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    He probably thought the same about you.
     
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  47. John Robertson

    John Robertson Hard Yards

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    No doubt he did Skifree...i too was dishevelled, very standoff-ish, overly cautious, somewhat aloof and impatient. And anyway, why would a sane bloke drive all the way out there, bust his butt to climb up to King Billy saddle just to pitch a tent in the snow for one night...and then go home the next day!...he must have doubted my story...and rightly so...i was acting kinda weird too.
     
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  48. skifree

    skifree A disciple of the blessed avi giraffe Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    It’s a nice place, lotsa folk go there.
     
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  49. John Robertson

    John Robertson Hard Yards

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    Yes it is an amazing area, Skifree...I love it...particularly in the winter snow. But the point you make is a good one. Just by being out there you are kinda different from most people, because most people dont go there, they dont get out, they dont make the effort, they dont appreciate the beauty. I am there for a fleeting moment, soaking it in and then I must return to my responsibilities, my office, my boss, my family, my mortgage.

    The Button Man has the luxury of being out there all day, every day...to see the sunsets, to feel the wind, to watch the clouds roll in, to see the mountains in all their colours...and who could blame him for wanting that?...so who's the real weird bloke here? It's probably me!
     
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