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Update: Muggled.net Owner Apologises

MN

Sorry saga: The homepages for Muggled.net and Off The Grid Caching now display the same message.

Geocaching’s most hated man – well, this week anyway – has admitted defeat over his steal-a-cache website.

Earlier today, Muggled.net owner Gerald Roman contacted It’s Not About The Numbers to apologise for his “stupid idea”. “We have shut down our Off The Grid Caching and Muggled.net sites because of threats (to myself and my family) but also because we have made a mistake. We just did the site to add a twist to the game but have realised it was stupid idea.”

Gerald Roman

Gerald Roman

He has come forward now to try to reassure the hundreds of geocachers angry at his website which encouraged players to kidnap Geocaching.com and OpenCaching hides, thereby allowing him to charge victims for the return of their cache.

“If you could get that out there, we would appreciate it for our family’s safety. This was just an attempt to enhance the game; we had no clue it would cause this much attention.”

The American, who is believed to be from Alabama, not Florida, went on to say that his promotion of Muggled.net – mainly through a now-pulled YouTube clip – was “really just” a way of polling members of his Off The Grid Caching listing service about the new venture. He added that most OTGC members hailed from the Georgia Geocachers Association (GGA).

“We got a lot of hate mail so immediately suspended the site at first; now Muggled.net is shut down for GOOD. We had no members on the Muggled.Net site so we weren’t a huge group at all.

Sorry saga: The original homepage for Gerald Roman's Muggled.net website.

Sorry saga: The original homepage for Gerald Roman’s Muggled.net website.

“Again just reinstating [sic] I was consulting my OTGC members as to what there [sic] thoughts were and now I know.”

He signed his email:  “Thank you, THE NO LONGER ADMIN MUGGLED.NET”

This is the third ‘mea culpa’ from Roman in four days.

Hours after INATN first reported on the scandal, he re-enabled his Muggled.net homepage to post this advisory: “Due to some feedback from sister site (Off The Grid Caching), we have suspended this site for now.

“Please note [MDN] just released (the) site with certain intensions [sic], which have been reconsidered.  Thanks to all for your support and guideance [sic]. The Contact Us form is available for any questions or concerns!”

On Facebook, he elaborated further: “We wanted to put a little twist to the sport. Kind of like football when a pass is thrown and it’s intercepted, but we realise maybe [it’s] not such a good idea. We apologise for any inconvenience but appreciate our members’ thoughts and feelings about it.

“Hey, what better way to know about something [than] when you ask a big group of people. We at OTGC will continue to geocache and enjoy it as well as all of you! Please note: No geocaches by any OTGC member was or has been muggled by [MDN] (not only because it was a new site, but we have to look out for OTGC geocaches as well)…”

That Facebook page has since been deleted.

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  1. Michael

    It still sounds like a faux apology to me. This wasn’t about adding a “twist” to the game…it was about extortion, plain and simple.

  2. Tim Thomas

    Glad to see Mr Roman admit to the mistake and that it was a stupid idea. No idea if he is really sorry that he did this, or just sorry that it had a bad reception and his name was dragged into it.

  3. Gerald

    This is Gerald here (admin from MDN) or the “no longer MDN”…this just got blown way out of proportion…the intent was to simply change the “game/sport/hobby” up a little bit. We were hacked by the Chinese and so we disabled all FREE accounts from both sites and emailed our OTGC (offthegridcaching) members. This muggled.net site was just a thought, an idea (stupid) and we emailed all our OTGC subscribers to get their thoughts about it. Most of our subscribers came from GGA (Georgia Geocachers Association) and those are the only members we had to get an idea if this muggled.net site would be a good idea or not. Obviously, we received alot of negative mail from our OTGC members (some good, some were like let’s tweek it a bit), but majority rules….beaware this muggled.net was still “Under Construction” we had no paying members just was fishing from the members as mentioned earlier (for opinions) and that’s why we suspended the site (thus the 404 errors)…then we reviewed groundspeak forums and saw all the publicity (be it positive or negative) and just was shocked over some site idea or way to enhance geocaching…the you tube video=old (you might say it’s only 2 weeks, but trust me when you build a site-alot changes in that time)…

    So, with that said, yes we do realize it does take hard work to hide caches, series, etc. and we do apologize to all involved and followers. That’s why muggled.net will be no more period. It’s a bad idea even if you tweek certain things and that’s why we wanted to get our own OTGC member’s advice, but guess word spread quickly and now everyone must have thought any cache missing we have been secretly operating…which is false.

    Again, another lesson learned here in this world…Thank you for the posts concerning our apologies, etc. It was not our intent to upset anyone. That’s why we are posting on here as well because yes we did get an email for an interview, but thought it was spam until we read the actual groundspeak forums, etc.

    Thank you for your time and we won’t waste any more of it.

    Gerald Roman
    admin@muggled.net

  4. Rick

    With as much dislike that any geocacher has against having a cache muggled why would this concept even be entertained? There’s no way, if you’ve ever heard a fellow geocacher speak about having a cache come up missing, read a single thread on any of the various websites, or had one come up missing personally that you could ever think that creating a site dedicated to stealing and exhorting money for the return of caches would be looked upon by the geocaching community at large as anything other than a piss poor idea and a direct threat to the game. Whom ever encouraged you to go forward with this idea you really should reconsider any of their advice in the future.

  5. 360

    Sending threatening interstate emails is a Federal Crime.

  6. Dane Morgan

    While the idea was reprehensible and borderline criminal, reacting wit violence or with threats is equally so. The appropriate response, by way of registering objection through the contact forms of the site, the host and the registrar have had the desired result.

    Here’s to better ideas and less greed in the future.

  7. Rich

    Gerald, extortion is a crime. And when you ask for payment to “get back your geocache” after being muggled is extortion. I have a geocaching friend who lives in Harrisburg, PA who is an attorney and I’m sure she’d love to read about this.

    You can/may/could face serious jail time for this.

  1. Muggled.net | Fitbobcat’s Geocaching Blog

    […] In the meantime while were waiting check out the article at notaboutthenumbers.com […]

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