Hello everyone I am finally getting chance to update you all on our search for Miles. I have been out in the bush very extensively for the past 3 days without reception which has been a strain on communications. I wanted to express my deep gratitude for all of the people that have been helping in every way and for the searchers, some of whom have been coming from off Island and otherwise going through great effort to be here and search with us. Thank you!
During the grid search on Thursday February 27th we found another item of Miles clothing near where his last items of clothing were found. I recognized this item of clothing as belonging to Miles right away. This finding reinvigorated my search efforts to say the least. I have been returning to the site with everyone and everything I have to pick through every bit of ground and find another clue.
We had a huge turn out on the 27th with 15 searchers! The search was through very difficult terrain so we were not able to stick to our original plan and had to take a trail back, the whole thing took about 4 hours. Thank you so much to all of the volunteers who came out. It can be difficult to figure out how long each hike is going to take and this one was through particularly rough ground but because the area is our highest level of interest it could not be overlooked.
On the morning of February 28th I returned to the site of our most recent clothing discovery with a smaller group of searchers so it would be easier to communicate changing directions. We went over the site from 3 directions working around it very meticulously and didn’t find any other evidence that Miles had been there.
We had already been in communication with a dog team based out of Victoria called SARDAV they sent two people from their team with one dog to create a detailed plan for returning to the Island with the rest of their team of 15 people. They arrived at 2pm on The 28th, although they were not coming to get out into the field right away I explained the situation and they agreed after checking out a few maps to head out there with me before dark. Working with dogs can be slow and methodical and the dog they had with them worked this way. We were able to make it to the clothing site just before having to turn around and make it back before dark. the dog didn’t pick up anything significant but the plan is to return to the site when more dogs arrive.
SARDAV will be returning as well as the CASDDA Dog team from Edmonton who was already here last week. After speaking with them over their visit they have advised me that I could make the chance of their success much higher if I take the next few days until their arrival to prepare maps and a headquarters for them so they can hit the ground running and spend as much time out there with the dogs as possible. Dogs are our best chance of finding Miles so I am going to take their advice and put my effort into that.
The shift in my energy means that I will not be able to run the grid searches this week. I will advise though that a huge help to our search effort would be if people could go along the shoreline in groups looking as far into the bush as possible and checking in any little cracks or caves etc that they come across. If someone else feels confident that they could run a grid search I would gratefully hand that over with the knowledge and supplies that I have put together over the last few weeks.
The most important thing is to stay safe out there and not lose anybody else so please stick together. If you are interested in searching shorelines in a group or searching in an inland area I can point out to you please fill out the form below and I can co-ordinate the time and place and meet you there to orient you. The area that I was thinking of searching today is the trail up from Mansons lagoon to the school in between the edge of ridge and the trail which is not too bad of terrain and has pretty obvious borders. Let me know if you are still interested in doing this today or tomorrow and I can set you all up. https://form.jotform.com/findmilesmeester/Searchformilesform
If you decide to go out in your own group, even if it’s on a trail, please let me know so I can mark it on my map.
Thank you so much everyone I think the grid searches are a really important part of this puzzle so if we need to I will be picking up with them again after these dog teams leave which I pray is not the case. We know grid searches do work it is how we found this last article of clothing and there are things out there can be easily missed by sticking to trails.