CacheCrazy.Com: Lights Out

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lights Out

Today’s topic is the Mission 9: Tunnel of Light (GC1169) geocache.  I guess the easiest way to start this post is with a history lesson.  Here it is straight from the Cacheopedia website:

Project APE is a series of caches placed in 2001 in conjunction with the movie Planet of the Apes. 20th Century Fox worked in conjuction with to release caches scattered in various parts of the world in order to promote the film. They devised a sub-plot associated with the film that was unrelated to the film itself, one that was intending to reveal an "Alternative Primate Evolution" theory. A Project APE website was created in association with the cache placements. Some props from the movie were placed in the caches initially.

The series was released under a tight level of security. The original individual cachers that placed the caches did so anonymously, under the direction of officials. The caches were given Mission names, along with the number of the series (although there are two number 10's). In all, thirteen Mission caches plus a "Special Mission" cache were released. The details of the caches were released slowly, first by simply giving clues as to the state, then later the coordinates of the cache. The first finders were rewarded with a special prize.

After the film had left theatres, 20th Century Fox abandoned the caches. The Project APE website became inactive, and the few caches that had survived were later adopted by individual cachers. There are two active caches as of October 2006, found in Washington and Brazil. (The Brazilian cache was archived, but has since been re-activated.) APE caches in California, New York, and the United Kingdom were replaced by traditional caches and are no longer officially part of the series.

The surviving caches of this series continue to be popular as they has their own icon associated with the series. Although there is no longer any association with the original plotline, there are many cachers who regard these as special.

As it turns out, this cache has a history of being vandalized.  Just recently, the entire cache container was stolen.  After much deliberation, the folks at Groundspeak decided to call it the end.  On June 13, 2011, Mission 9: Tunnel of Light was archived.  This was the last of the Project APE caches in the United States and essentially in the world, since the Brazil cache is really just a shadow of the original.  As expected, emotions are running high and the cache page has turned into one part forum and one part online condolences.  It apparently got a little out of hand and Groundspeak's Moun10Bike was forced to lock the listing from further logs.

NEPAG's Stellarscapes at the entrance to the Tunnel of Light
The Mission 9 cache in the state of Washington is 2,269.8 miles from Cache Crazy headquarters and, quite frankly, goes against some of Groundspeak’s policies regarding caches of a commercial nature.  Furthermore, at last check, there were 1,419,804 geocaches worldwide, so, with all of that in mind, if the cache had been archived for the simple fact that enough was enough, I really wouldn’t lose much sleep over it. 

And, as an aside, the 2001 version of Planet of the Apes let me down at the end anyway.  For the love of Mike, how did Thade go back in time??  It’s unexplainable!  Those flippin’ movie producers. 

"Damn them! Damn them all to hell!"
I digress.  Back on track…

Despite all that and the realization that it’s highly unlikely I would have logged this particular cache any time soon, I still liked the unique aspect of it and felt better just knowing it was around.  What makes the whole thing disappointing in my book is that an individual or group of individuals appear to have had some sort of vendetta against this cache.  I ask a simple question – Why?  Cachers enjoyed it, people liked to log it, it wasn’t hurting anybody, and everybody was having fun.  So if there’s anything to be sad about, it’s that some people are just mean and, in this case, they apparently got what they wanted.

"Is there a soul in there?" - Thade

"Can't we all just get along?" - Limbo
What are your thoughts on the last of the Project APE caches?


Anonymous said...

This is all very interesting. I always wondered what the APE caches where. Thanks!

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