- Noord-Brabant, Netherlands
- N 50° 28.826′ E 016° 17.262′
Centuries ago, in a small Dutch village, a gang of thieves ran amok. When fate finally caught up to them, they hid their stolen treasure in the expansive forested wilderness. Cryptic messages around the forest allude to the treasure’s whereabouts, but there’s a catch—the treasure lies at the end of a whopping 24-stage Multi-Cache, GC8BQQ9!
We hope you’re ready for the adventure of a lifetime. To earn this smiley, it takes some real grit and determination!
Our story begins in 1720, when the so-called Bende van de Witte Veer (Gang of the White Feather) first arrived in the quiet village of Loon op Zand. Career thieves, the gang became infamous for their enormous sum of stolen wealth. When the town finally had enough and set a bounty, the gang’s days of ransacking were numbered. Before the jig was up, they stashed their treasure in the dark corners of the nearby woodland and left cryptic messages about the location. Over 300 years later, geocachers now have the means to find it.
Upon your arrival in Loon op Zand, head to the northeast corner of the town and enter what is now a section of De Loonse en Drunense Duinen National Park, a unique area with its blend of grassy forest, open pastures, and seemingly misplaced sand dunes. At the posted coordinates, lay bare a set of numbers and the symbol of the White Feather Gang marked on a nearby tree. Take note of everything you see—this first stage is pivotal for success in the rest of our journey as you need to solve a series of coordinate puzzles.
As you hike up the western edge of the national park, the next few locations of GC8BQQ9 have you decipher various codewords and symbols. Eventually, you piece together the history of this band of thieves; their smuggling routes were extensive, and their syndicate became immensely powerful. Yet, in the face of this wrongdoing, the town of Loon op Zand was able to rally and organize in an otherwise impossible manner.
As you make your way ever-closer to the final waypoint, your surroundings reveal additional clues. Attentive cachers need to notice oddly positioned items to help solve the last few puzzles. With the final coordinates in hand, you eventually arrive at the Gang of the White Feather’s elusive hideout. It’s time to uncover the geocache!
Just as the movies depict, your reward is a massive wooden chest filled with shiny jewelry and heirlooms. After 24 grueling stages, the secret of the White Feather Gang is a secret no more. With another find in the books, it’s time to log your experience online and claim your smiley. A find on GC9BQQ9 is a real badge of honor, reflected by the 460+ Favorite points the cache tallied since mid-2019. Congratulations!
You reach the forest’s exit as the sun sets across this lush and enchanting landscape. Just as you take your last steps, a faint sound catches your attention—a soft whisper among the trees. Was it merely a rustle of the leaves? Or could it be the cries of the forlorn thieves? You hesitate, but ultimately decide some mysteries are better left unsolved.
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