Urban observation? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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emt1581
07-15-2012, 19:47
Anyone have any thoughts on making observations during a SHTF?

What I mean is, during a SHTF, does anyone have any thoughts or experience in gaining information by getting to certain locations and watching BG's, the public, emergency responders, etc. in order to help themselves in some way?

During ROL times this might range from being nosey to being a peeping tom. But when things have gone wrong, learning what certain groups are up to might be a life saver from an S&P standpoint...no?

I don't know about the rest of you but I've got zero experience sneaking around and trying to blend in with the landscape. So I can't contribute much. Just curious to see what the rest of yall think about the issue.

Thanks

-Emt1581

ArmoryDoc
07-15-2012, 20:27
RECON. Gathering intelligence (information). You don't sneak around. You "blend in" and don't draw attention to yourself.

emt1581
07-15-2012, 20:30
RECON. Gathering intelligence (information). You don't sneak around. You "blend in" and don't draw attention to yourself.

What about in developments, neighborhoods, remote places, etc.?

If you are walking down the street, dog or no dog, you are noticed here...especially by the nosey elders who are constantly plastered to their windows....no offense to anyone. And that is in GOOD times. In bad times when everyone may be hypersensitive...how do you "blend in" to gain intel.?

-Emt1581

ArmoryDoc
07-15-2012, 21:18
There are so many variables. Google "grey man".

Batesmotel
07-15-2012, 22:21
how do you "blend in" to gain intel.?

-Emt1581

You won't learn that on the internet. Uncle Sam spends millions teaching guys how to do it, A FEW do it well.

You won't learn it on line. Not going to happen.

rednoved
07-15-2012, 22:31
RC helicopters with cameras. Maybe RC trucks, but that can be risky. The ground game is always more dangerous. You have to be careful not to have tire tracks leading back to your basecamp/headquarters.

emt1581
07-15-2012, 22:37
You won't learn that on the internet. Uncle Sam spends millions teaching guys how to do it, A FEW do it well.

You won't learn it on line. Not going to happen.

I'm not calling BS here but it is a rare thing to see that something cannot be taught online. They do entire college doctorates. I've learned to do things I never dreamed possible.

But I suppose there may be a few things which written word cannot teach.

I'd think they could at least talk about it or put it into words even if the skills can't be taught online....

-Emt1581

Batesmotel
07-15-2012, 22:59
I'd think they could at least talk about it or put it into words even if the skills can't be taught online....

-Emt1581

Just one of many, many points. Vetting.

Intel masters can move through a community without being noticed because they ARE part of the community. We insert people into a community years before they are needed.

One example I personally know of just for a three week, joint service training exercise. We inserted a few guys 18 months ahead of the exercise so they could gather intel.

18 months out, guys with the right look and language skills got extra training about the local culture and made several trips to visit. They made friends and found a room with a local to rent. Then they found jobs at local restaurants and bars. By the time the exercise went down they were essentially locals.

No one thought twice about them and they picked up every loose word dropped by the people involved in the exercise.

That is just the tip of the iceberg. It is part art, part science. On line you can pick up some tips but if you had ever worked with intel freaks you would know how unrealistic your request is.

Batesmotel
07-15-2012, 23:02
They do entire college doctorates.

You are not talking about an online diploma mill. You are talking about the deepest, darkest secrets of our top alphabet agencies.

ArmoryDoc
07-15-2012, 23:08
You won't learn that on the internet. Uncle Sam spends millions teaching guys how to do it, A FEW do it well.

You won't learn it on line. Not going to happen.

^^^^^^^^^^^^
Most correct.

mac66
07-16-2012, 07:56
Build a compartment inside your hot dog cart and no one will ever know your are there. Oh yeah, line it with ballistic panels.

garyo
07-16-2012, 09:26
Unless I was part of a very large, well stocked group, I would not bother. Instead, I would be spending most of my time evaluating my own situation and planning.

TangoFoxtrot
07-17-2012, 04:08
Build a compartment inside your hot dog cart and no one will ever know your are there. Oh yeah, line it with ballistic panels.


:rofl::rofl::rofl:

UneasyRider
07-17-2012, 06:26
At a certain point I can see the need for a little recon and unless people are openly shooting at each other you can do it. Just act normal and be yourself (CCW of course) and walk around in the daylight and see what you want to see.

Don't go out at night because people are afraid of the dark and if you are walking around at night they will be afraid of you and wondering what you're doing that you are willing to be out at night, alone. You might get a reaction that you would not get in the daylight.

Of course if you own the night it's a different story.

RWBlue
07-17-2012, 09:58
I don't think it is a skill that can be taught.

For some reason, my dad is remembered by everyone. He goes into a resteraunt once and they remember what he ordered when he comes back. He goes to a foreign country and 10 years later goes back and sees the same officials, and they remember him. He is just that type of person.

I am the other type of person for the most part. I go get deep inside someone's organization. Go through a list of controls. Grab documentation. Document what I see. I am forgotten a few days later as if I have never been there. I have gone to the same resteraunt a couple hundred times, and no one there recognizes me or remembers what I ordered.

I will go on to say this isn't about physical appearance. I am a fairly large guy (Tall and FAT). My dad is smaller than I am (short and not so fat). I am not ugly or hansom. Neither is my dad.

This may be something about the way we dress, then not so much. I dress appropriately. So does my dad. If I wore a Hawaiian shirt to a meeting where everyone wore suits....I would be remembered. I am sure I am remembered in the building I am in, because I am the only one riding a bicycle to work and I walk it in, shower and change into business cloths.

EMT, the question I have for you walking your dog, being seen by old nosey people. Will you be remembered the next day or not?

If you want to have fun, infiltrate a larger family reunion in the park some day. Bring Jello. Eat their burgers. Talk to aunt Sally. Make up a life for yourself. Learn how to lie. And if you get caught, you were at the wrong family reunion, have your wife call and tell you, you are at the wrong reunion.

UneasyRider
07-17-2012, 10:33
I don't think it is a skill that can be taught.

For some reason, my dad is remembered by everyone. He goes into a resteraunt once and they remember what he ordered when he comes back. He goes to a foreign country and 10 years later goes back and sees the same officials, and they remember him. He is just that type of person.

I am the other type of person for the most part. I go get deep inside someone's organization. Go through a list of controls. Grab documentation. Document what I see. I am forgotten a few days later as if I have never been there. I have gone to the same resteraunt a couple hundred times, and no one there recognizes me or remembers what I ordered.

I will go on to say this isn't about physical appearance. I am a fairly large guy (Tall and FAT). My dad is smaller than I am (short and not so fat). I am not ugly or hansom. Neither is my dad.

This may be something about the way we dress, then not so much. I dress appropriately. So does my dad. If I wore a Hawaiian shirt to a meeting where everyone wore suits....I would be remembered. I am sure I am remembered in the building I am in, because I am the only one riding a bicycle to work and I walk it in, shower and change into business cloths.

EMT, the question I have for you walking your dog, being seen by old nosey people. Will you be remembered the next day or not?

If you want to have fun, infiltrate a larger family reunion in the park some day. Bring Jello. Eat their burgers. Talk to aunt Sally. Make up a life for yourself. Learn how to lie. And if you get caught, you were at the wrong family reunion, have your wife call and tell you, you are at the wrong reunion.

Body language and eye contact determine if people remember you if you look reasonably normal.

RWBlue
07-17-2012, 11:01
Body language and eye contact determine if people remember you if you look reasonably normal.

That is part of it.

(I have done some research because of what I do for a living. I can be remembered if I want to be remembered, but most of the time I am better off being able to be forotten five minutes after I am gone.)

bdcochran
07-17-2012, 11:37
EMT - I had the professional instruction in animal tracking, mantracking, cameo, etc.

No, you can not learn from an online tutorial.

I say again, you cannot learn from an online tutorial.

If you have about 10 feet of human tracks, you can usually tell the sex, injuries, right or left handed, winded, weight, watching the back trail. You don't learn that on a tutorial. I was trained by the former head of the Rhodesian Army Scouts.

Once I was blocked in by a new Cadillac. The guy failed to give his keys to the attendant. The attendant didn't remember the guy. Announcements were made - no response.

I was trained. I simply looked at the car and the contents. I knew that it would be a white male, weighing about 240 pounds and standing about 6'4" tall. I went into the store and tracked by looking at shoes and walked right up to the guy. You don't learn that with an online tutorial.

You can learn how to change your cabin filter in your Avalon or how to use your skihl chainsaw safely on youtube, but not the areas that you asking about. You need field time and dirt time. You will not have the time because you have a hotdog cart and have committed all of your Saturdays and Sundays.

G29Reload
07-17-2012, 11:47
i would be very suspicious if someone rolled an unidentified hot dog cart into my neighborhood. i would observe it and try to photograph it, and see what it was up to. i've never seen one before but have heard about them, i wish someone would post a picture of it so i could better ID it. these photos are said to exist but never appear.


I am highly suspicious. But thats how I roll.

RED64CJ5
07-17-2012, 11:50
Three words of wisdom regarding intelligence gathering in an urban environment:

HOT DOG CART

BR549
07-17-2012, 12:28
i would be very suspicious if someone rolled an unidentified hot dog cart into my neighborhood. i would observe it and try to photograph it, and see what it was up to. i've never seen one before but have heard about them, i wish someone would post a picture of it so i could better ID it. these photos are said to exist but never appear.


I am highly suspicious. But thats how I roll.

http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1423714&page=3

See post #93. :supergrin:

DrSticky
07-17-2012, 12:40
Easy place to start is your own powers of observation. A big first part of sniper training is identifying targets from a distance, and being able to notice things. So yeah formal training is a giant leap forward, but for those of us who aren't being invited to Ft. Benning any time soon I like to people watch.

I like to watch people when I am in line at the DMV, restaurants, or whatever junk I have to do, and try to get as much information on everyone around me. It is a game to help time pass. I will bring a kindle and hold it up while I read and listen to what is going on around me.

I try to answer questions about them
-Married or Single? Live alone?
-Carrying?
-Veteran?
-How fast can they run 100m? 1mile?
-Left or Right handed?
-Physical handicaps or injuries?

Start there, and branch out. You will get people everyday coming to your cart for you to practice on.

BR549
07-17-2012, 13:55
You will get people everyday coming to your cart for you to practice on.

...and you'll be able talk to them and ask them questions...

G29Reload
07-19-2012, 11:46
...and you'll be able talk to them and ask them questions...


Thread now strangely silent and bereft of observational pictures. Hot dog cart not currently observable; must be in stealth mode.

I need one if its THAT good...

Hmmm.

bdcochran
07-19-2012, 17:14
Thread now strangely silent and bereft of observational pictures. Hot dog cart not currently observable; must be in stealth mode.
:rofl:

RWBlue
07-21-2012, 15:54
Easy place to start is your own powers of observation. A big first part of sniper training is identifying targets from a distance, and being able to notice things. So yeah formal training is a giant leap forward, but for those of us who aren't being invited to Ft. Benning any time soon I like to people watch.

I like to watch people when I am in line at the DMV, restaurants, or whatever junk I have to do, and try to get as much information on everyone around me. It is a game to help time pass. I will bring a kindle and hold it up while I read and listen to what is going on around me.

I try to answer questions about them
-Married or Single? Live alone?
-Carrying?
-Veteran?
-How fast can they run 100m? 1mile?
-Left or Right handed?
-Physical handicaps or injuries?

Start there, and branch out. You will get people everyday coming to your cart for you to practice on.

...and you'll be able talk to them and ask them questions...

Now if you can add a few cameras to the cart, you might have a surveillance platform.

As far as questions.....
The key is not asking question you want an answer directly, but getting your questions answers.

i.e.
My name is X, how can I help you? Is usually answered with "I am Y, .....)

Jake514
07-22-2012, 09:36
EMT - I had the professional instruction in animal tracking, mantracking, cameo, etc.

No, you can not learn from an online tutorial.

I say again, you cannot learn from an online tutorial.

If you have about 10 feet of human tracks, you can usually tell the sex, injuries, right or left handed, winded, weight, watching the back trail. You don't learn that on a tutorial. I was trained by the former head of the Rhodesian Army Scouts.

Once I was blocked in by a new Cadillac. The guy failed to give his keys to the attendant. The attendant didn't remember the guy. Announcements were made - no response.

I was trained. I simply looked at the car and the contents. I knew that it would be a white male, weighing about 240 pounds and standing about 6'4" tall. I went into the store and tracked by looking at shoes and walked right up to the guy. You don't learn that with an online tutorial.

You can learn how to change your cabin filter in your Avalon or how to use your skihl chainsaw safely on youtube, but not the areas that you asking about. You need field time and dirt time. You will not have the time because you have a hotdog cart and have committed all of your Saturdays and Sundays.


Excellent use of training, common sense, profiling techniques and calculating percentage chances when looking for the Cadillac driver - these are worldly skills.

Cali-Glock
07-22-2012, 13:59
You are not talking about an online diploma mill. You are talking about the deepest, darkest secrets of our top alphabet agencies.

What diploma mill. Most brick and mortar Universities are moving to hybrid education - typically one or two weeks of campus time per year of on-line distance education.

The basics of almost anything can be learned online.

AK_Stick
07-22-2012, 14:16
What diploma mill. Most brick and mortar Universities are moving to hybrid education - typically one or two weeks of campus time per year of on-line distance education.

The basics of almost anything can be learned online.



Perhaps almost anything. But tracking isn't one of those things.

RWBlue
07-22-2012, 16:23
What diploma mill. Most brick and mortar Universities are moving to hybrid education - typically one or two weeks of campus time per year of on-line distance education.

The basics of almost anything can be learned online.

With the exception of how something needs to be held (thinking golf club swing analysis) and basic project management.

(Remote management of a project is an advanced skill set that should only be attempted after mastering the basics.)

RWBlue
07-22-2012, 16:25
Perhaps almost anything. But tracking isn't one of those things.

Just because no one has taken the time to develop such training doesn't mean that it can't be done.

GRIMLET
07-22-2012, 16:36
At 6'5" and 275# I can't blend in anywhere. Hahahahhhaa

AK_Stick
07-22-2012, 16:53
Just because no one has taken the time to develop such training doesn't mean that it can't be done.




Yeah....... no.

rgregoryb
07-22-2012, 19:55
Thread now strangely silent and bereft of observational pictures. Hot dog cart not currently observable; must be in stealth mode.

I need one if its THAT good...

Hmmm.

he has perfected the "cloaking" mode..........

BR549
07-23-2012, 07:37
http://i1155.photobucket.com/albums/p551/emt1581/Cart.jpg?t=1342408036

I'm doing my best to post a pic of it, let's see if this works...



This is just a good news kinda week! :)

Now hopefully this will be enough to prove it exists and shut up all the naysayers.

-Emt1581:wave:

wjv
07-23-2012, 11:35
I'm not calling BS here but it is a rare thing to see that something cannot be taught online. They do entire college doctorates. I've learned to do things I never dreamed possible.

On-line colleges mostly teach KNOWLEDGE. . not SKILLS. . .

Skills must be practiced over and over to learn.

Think about shooting a gun. I can read many books on how to shoot, but range time actually allows me to learn and improve the skill.

Raiden
07-23-2012, 11:55
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

Assuming we're not aspiring to immerse ourselves into a clandestine community, or some kind of restricted / dangerous area, where folks may be wary of intrusion; the best way to learn social engineering is to just get out there and start observing and talking to folks. The more comfortable you are walking around, engaging others in seemingly casual conversation, practice being unassuming (sometimes even gregarious as the need arises), and the better you are at picking out and remembering details - the easier it becomes to broaden the your scope of your surroundings. I've learned sooo much about my neighbors, just by walking my friends' dog around the neighborhood, volunteering at bake sales, helping people rake their yards, and chatting with folks. Since I conduct myself as a sort of kid-at-heart jolly individual (perhaps even a bit na´ve in my Ned Flanders-esque tone) - despite being 6'6" and modestly fit 230~240 - I must seem non-threatening enough for many folks to volunteer all sorts of personal details I otherwise would have never gleaned going all Burn Notice urban-guerrilla on a rooftop with high-powered optics and directional mic. I think the same approach can be applied to a lot of non-hostile situations, with a little time and subtle charm.

Another fun challenge, which helps stimulate the brain, is to challenge yourself to spot and memorize new unique details about a number of mundane things every day. Once you start observing and mentally categorizing nuances, you'll find you start understanding systems, patterns, and human behavior on deeper levels. After a while, you'll be able to start drawing connections with these patterns and observations, like what kind of person wears a certain kind of hat, what a choice in footwear says about a person, and so on. There's so much variance in people, that no observable pattern will always hold true, but just having a ballpark guess puts you ahead of the average Joe with no situational awareness whatsoever. At the very worst, it's at least a fun way to pass time on the train, since we don't have to worry about Moose and Squirrel catching and killing us.

G-30Jet
07-30-2012, 22:17
Most folks are not "observers". It takes years and a lot of positioning ones self for opportunity to be real good at it. Maneuvering people is another talent that you can test if you understand how . Outright manipulation is also possible but is really an art form. It can also take up quite a bit of you disposable time.

If you want to see if the basics are within you, try this simple exercise. Offer an obvious out of place item for someone to discover, while you are able to maintain your attention upon the item from an offhand (indirect) position. When the discovered item is questioned, be available but have a vague and misleading answer that challenges curiosity. It helps if the item is recognized as having a decent value.

Being able to conjure on the fly will make it even more tantalizing to the intended target.
Also please be careful not to make it too clandestine, as it will surely draw unwanted attention from the law.

Kevin108
07-30-2012, 22:46
At 6'5" and 275# I can't blend in anywhere. Hahahahhhaa

BS. Go to a Golden Corral. :welcome:

GRIMLET
07-30-2012, 23:05
BS. Go to a Golden Corral. :welcome:

Maybe 5'5" at 275 and that's the females around here!

snowbird
08-01-2012, 09:54
Lots of interesting posts here. They seem to lean towards espionage. When I read the title of this thread, I remembered my 9th grade Geography teacher, who probably had a WW2 soldier's vintage, rather than a James Bond type, mindset. He advised the class that if you want to observe the local terrain, go to a high place. If you want to hide, go to a low place.

wjv
08-01-2012, 14:11
How about an RC Quadrocopter with a vid camera attached?

So of those have 20 minute flying time and are fairly small.

RWBlue
08-01-2012, 14:31
How about an RC Quadrocopter with a vid camera attached?

So of those have 20 minute flying time and are fairly small.

Range isn't very good and it would definatly catch my attention.

mac66
08-02-2012, 14:19
In a past life I worked a surveillance unit on a PD. I was also a private investigator and spent a lot of time in the back of a surveillance van watching either cheating spouses or medical insurance frauds. I also taught a surveillance class to other PIs.

It is pretty much an acquired skill.You can read and talk and show techniques but you really have to practice them as well to become proficient.

People are creatures of habit. Changing their normal activity is what calls attention to them. In the same way, there is a certain rhythm or routine to the streets. People come and go to work at the same times. Deliveries are pretty much the same time by the same people.You see the same cars and trucks on the street. People who work in jobs that are out there, gas station guys, utility guys, even hot dog vendors can usually tell when something it up.

On the other hand, you kind of have to know what you are looking for. It used to drive my wife crazy when we would go to another city on vacation and I would start pointing out the drug dealers, the whores, the pimps, guys carrying guns, guys hiding in the shadows. It is something you see if you are attuned to it.

bdcochran
08-02-2012, 15:16
A large amount of human communication is through subconscious body language. You can learn how to read body language, but not from a book. It is silly to think that I might pick up a book on concealment, cover, body communication and start reading it after shtf.

A person can look you in the eye and lie. However, you can detect the lie if you are listening for the voice to be raised 1/2 octave.

If you are on a date and the newly met woman runs her fingers through her hair or bares her throat, do you know what that means?

When American Indians took the youngsters for the first time on a raid, they did not let the youngsters carry weapons. Can you figure out why?

Do you know that humans "scan" a landscape, but snipers use "rays"? Do you even know what a "ray" is and why it is used? You have to be taught. Humans detect movement, but not stationary targets unless they deliberately look in a straight line at varying distances to the horizon.

You can lie out in the open in a long sleeve shirt and blue jeans (having rolled in the dust) and not be detected by even experienced sniper scout instructors. Once, I observed an experienced stalker wearing an orange construction jump suit sneak up on a head USMC sniper scout instructor (using a table and binos) and repeatedly get shot by the stalker because he controlled his movements. You don't learn that from a book. You don't do that by simply buying a ghillie suit for $500.

Stevekozak
08-03-2012, 05:25
When American Indians took the youngsters for the first time on a raid, they did not let the youngsters carry weapons.
A total aside, but saying the the saying "American Indians" did this or that is a huge generality. It is like saying Europeans do this or that. There are so many different tribes and lifestyles amongst the "indigenous" people of this country that you really can't generalize. What an Apache tribe might do would be vastly different than what a Seminole might do. You could track some down and observe them... :tongueout:

bdcochran
08-03-2012, 08:28
Steve is right. It is terrible to generalize. EMT may be able to learn tracking from just reading a manual.:whistling: