The Best Excuse For a DNF Ever

15th February 2015 by MarcusMaximi

This was a DNF log posted to a geocaching facebook group a few days ago on the cache Sidetracked – New Brighton

Cast your minds back to the last months of the twentieth century. In 1998, with most of the Yugoslavian republics having seceded from the union following bloody conflicts, Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević now held control over just two of the former Yugoslav republics: Serbia and Montenegro.
Following years of repression under Milošević’s authoritarian regime, the largely Muslim population of the autonomous Serbian territory of Kosovo was growing restless, and an armed separatist movement had emerged. The Albanian-speaking forces of the Kosovo Liberation Army, led by Adem Jashari, were gaining ground, systematically attacking Yugoslav police and military installations. Milošević sent in his troops to crush the rebellion, and strengthen his domination over the province, which is viewed by many Orthodox Serbs as their spiritual heartland.
The Serb response was brutal. Government paramilitaries and regular forces pursued a campaign of retribution against KLA sympathisers and political opponents, leading to allegations of atrocities and war crimes against the Serbs.
In order to quell the violence and to prevent it from escalating further, a US-led alliance of NATO countries mounted a bombing campaign against Serbia, with targeted attacks taking place right in the heart of its capital Belgrade.
Many of the NATO missiles were guided by GPS satellites, enabling pinpoint attacks on specific targets and thus minimising collateral damage. In order to prevent the use of the GPS signals by opposing forces, the US operated a system of Selective Availability or Anti-Spoofing, which encrypted the GPS signals thereby reducing their use by anyone outside of the military.
The NATO campaign ultimately led to the final breakup of Yugoslavia, and the emergence of Kosovo as a de facto independent state. Milošević was indicted on charges of crimes against humanity, although he died before he went to trial.
In 2000, following the war, the US authorities turned off the Selective Availability functionality on their GPS satellites, opening them up for use by anyone. The very next day, Dave Ulmer hid the first geocache, and the sport that we know and love was born.
I can only conclude that my failure to find this cache in New Brighton must be due to the spirit of Milošević having risen from the grave, thereby prompting the US authorities to temporarily re-enable the Selective Availability on their GPS satellite constellation. This meant that my ability to precisely pinpoint the cache location using my GPS receiver was severely impeded. The fact that it was dark and I’d had six or seven pints is purely coincidental.
It’s all Slobodan Milošević’s fault.



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