Death Valley Jim - current status?

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Death Valley Dazed
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Death Valley Jim - current status?

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Thu May 23, 2019 10:47 am

I have a sense that this thread may stir up some old controversy about Death Valley Jim (DVJ) so if our forum administration wishes to delete this thread, I'm totally fine with that.

When I discovered Death Valley National Park about six years ago I remember searching around the Internet for more information and trip planning scoops. I for sure remember hitting the bonanza with Steve Hall's Panamint City.com but also have some vague memories of DVJ but was not drawn to him or his tours because instinctively I shy away from people making money indirectly from national parks and especially Death Valley National Park.

So from there, I forgot about DVJ until recently when searching around the net for more information about the park I came across his website and blog again, especially this section: https://deathvalleyjim.com/the-difficul ... ve-desert/

Which contains these confusing comments about DVJ reducing his desert activities: (SIC)

"The name of death Valley Jim is quite known lately, especially if you are one of those people who love adventurous things such as the ones that you can get in Mojave Desert. The main reason is because Death Valley Jim is known as one of those rare people who have explored many parts and areas of Mojave Desert, the desert that many people think as something secret.

You need to really understand that Death Valley Jim had been exploring the Mojave Desert for many years and it is just recently that he had the warning to stop any kind of exploration that he was doing in Mojave Desert. The main reason is because there are quite a lot of complaints from the locals about the activity that he did around the area of Mojave Desert. For your information, he has been exploring the area for many years, walking many miles alone in the desert and driving hundreds of miles just to find something that many people might have never seen. This is not a bad thing though. Unfortunately, the locals think that his activity might reveal something that should not be revealed.

For your information, because of the banned over his exploration activity, there are a lot of people who believed that he had discovered many things that have not been released to the public, especially the places.

Because of reason, there are some people who are looking for find a way to contact Death Valley Jim and ask him to give them a kind of private tour around those area. Actually, this one is quite possible since Jim will only stroll for few hours, not for days like those that he used to be. However, you need to understand that doing this kind of thing is not going to be easy."

So my questions about DVJ are:

1. Is his current status important for members of our forum here important? If not, then this thread can die a peaceful and prompt death.

2. If his current status is important then can someone here update us on that status? FYI, I spent a good amount of time trying to track DVJ down by email and by phone but failed due to discontinued email and phone numbers. I wanted to ask him directly if was willing to publicly update his desert exploring status and wanted to respect his personal wishes.

Summary:

Last week I did contact the park's public communications officer Abby Vines who told me that the park "had no comment to make about a person who goes by the name of Death Valley Jim." She was friendly and courteous and prompt but offered no details.

Like most public figures, controversy follows them and when their activities involve public lands then this seems to intensify. I was hoping to establish some facts here, rather than start rumors or riots. LOL
Life begins in Death Valley

Sparky of SoCal
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Re: Death Valley Jim - current status?

Post by Sparky of SoCal » Thu May 23, 2019 6:17 pm

I add my personal documented experience. In June of 2016 I fell for one of his sob stories and thought I'd help a guy down on his luck and buy a table top style of book with a bunch of pictures. Paid up front total of $45.63. Waited, waited and nothing. Sent countless emails nothing. Still nothing. So from my point of view and my point of view only, I'll be fair and chose my words carefully so as to be fair and accurate as possible. He is a liar, scumbag, low life scum sucking pencil neck pen headed sob.
Now those are his finer points and I'd rather not get into his least favorable points. Remember this is just my opinion and should not be used for others to judge him. I would like to find him broke down somewhere and ask him a few questions that would determine if I GPS his location for next of kin.

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MojaveGeek
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Re: Death Valley Jim - current status?

Post by MojaveGeek » Thu May 23, 2019 6:54 pm

Sounds like, enough said, Sparky :)

I've never had anything to do with the guy. I had some friends, desert noobs, who thought they might do well to hire a guide. I convinced them that the places they would visit on a standard first time 2 day DV trip would not require a guide, and that I would happily provide whatever info they thought they needed. Of course, they did fine.

I have no issue with someone making money guiding, but you'd have to be licensed to do that within the park, and they may simply not allow professional guide services (Zion doesn't, for example). If you were caught violating that, you might get park visiting privileges revoked. Not saying that happened, but if it did that might warrant the response you got, Dazed.

Also, I am not impressed by someone with such poor grasp of what you would have thought would be his native language.

Also, at least some of the images he posts are not his. You can find them quickly if you do a google image search. Very bad form that.

TrailHound
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Re: Death Valley Jim - current status?

Post by TrailHound » Fri May 24, 2019 11:19 am

I never heard of this guy. His website appears to be written by someone whose native language is not English. I clicked on this https://bengkelbola88.net link that was in the site. It goes to some Asian casino in a foreign language. The whole thing looks like a scam to me. I wonder if DVJ really exists.

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MojaveGeek
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Re: Death Valley Jim - current status?

Post by MojaveGeek » Fri May 24, 2019 11:33 am

You are more reckless than I to have clicked on that link, but thanks for letting me know what I missed :)

D.A. Wright
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Re: Death Valley Jim - current status?

Post by D.A. Wright » Sat May 25, 2019 8:19 am

Never met him or communicated with him, but recall he was prolific on the early DV forums (1990s, early 2000s). In time his name was sullied by his own nefarious actions and people were personally negatively affected. Law enforcement was involved though to my knowledge no action taken. His personal life deteriorated, but mainly by his own hand but he is quick to blame everyone else. Last I seen published he was based out of California City. Jack Freer (a member here) did some research into him recently. He’ll likely chime in if he chooses.
D.A. Wright
~When You Live in Nevada, "just down the road" is anywhere in the line of sight within the curvature of the earth.

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Death Valley Dazed
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Re: Death Valley Jim - current status?

Post by Death Valley Dazed » Sat May 25, 2019 7:51 pm

D.A. Wright wrote:
Sat May 25, 2019 8:19 am
Never met him or communicated with him ... Last I seen published he was based out of California City. Jack Freer (a member here) did some research into him recently. He’ll likely chime in if he chooses.
If anyone has a means of contacting DVJ, and is willing to PM me with it, I'm willing to attempt contact in the hope of obtaining a statement. It doesn't hurt to ask!

The last point of contact for DVJ from Internet searches was in the city of Joshua Tree, California. He may have changed domiciles of late?
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TrailHound
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Re: Death Valley Jim - current status?

Post by TrailHound » Sun May 26, 2019 7:44 am

MojaveGeek wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 11:33 am
You are more reckless than I to have clicked on that link, but thanks for letting me know what I missed :)
I run both McAfee and Malwarebytes. Hopefully, not much can get past them.

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Rockhopper
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Re: Death Valley Jim - current status?

Post by Rockhopper » Tue May 28, 2019 7:12 pm

Jim Mattern? https://www.newsweek.com/2016/03/25/dea ... 37156.html

Looks like his website is partially decapitated; some links go to pages which don't exist, others keep taking you back to the same handful of pages.

Anybody own any of his books? (I note that one reviewer on Amazon wrote that you should order them through Amazon, as he ordered one through DVJ webiste and never got the goods.)

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ETAV8R
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Re: Death Valley Jim - current status?

Post by ETAV8R » Tue May 28, 2019 11:47 pm

I remember reading about him but was never impressed. The fact that he misappropriated photographs is enough for me. Being a photographer all my life to think that someone would steal my work is one reason I rarely post anything of quality anymore.

I think I'm wrong but is he the guy who was involved with dzrt girls for a while? They had great posts back in the day but have also fallen off the radar. I know they had some scary times with some desert explorer and that was about the time they stopped posting reports.

The best resources are the old books about DV and the areas around them. More recent authors with good information are Digonnet, Harder, and Mitchell.

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MojaveGeek
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Re: Death Valley Jim - current status?

Post by MojaveGeek » Thu May 30, 2019 7:45 am

Good find, Rockhopper! Interesting read. Based on the photos, I've never seen the guy.

Sparky of SoCal
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Re: Death Valley Jim - current status?

Post by Sparky of SoCal » Thu May 30, 2019 9:07 am

That Newsweek article was published about the time he was screwing me out of my money.

TennesseeNative
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Re: Death Valley Jim - current status?

Post by TennesseeNative » Thu May 30, 2019 5:48 pm

I've never made a post on here or been a member of this forum, but I felt you should all know this information. Death Valley Jim is currently serving a 3 year ban and is not allowed to set foot in Death Valley National Park during that time. This has been confirmed. Death Valley Jim was an unlicensed uninsured tour guide and that in part landed him the ban.

EastCoastWestCoast
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Re: Death Valley Jim - current status?

Post by EastCoastWestCoast » Fri May 31, 2019 1:36 pm

Death Valley Jim is my now ex husband. I will answer questions by email or private message only should anyone have any. I do have his contact information for those seeking a refund or to inquire about something they ordered from him. He and I are not on friendly terms, but I feel he owes people their money and product.

Just to answer a few general questions..

Jim's site was hacked a couple of years ago. He did a gofundme to recover it. He took that money and ran with it and spent it on living expenses. The site was reclaimed by his domain company and auctioned off. I believe it was auctioned to a domain hostage company and they used a snapshot of his old site with random language to make it look operational for traffic purposes to maintain its value. Jim no longer runs it or has any possession of it.

Jim indeed took money from people for books, tours, and a gofundme without delivering on promises. Jim ran tours without the proper licensing and was eventually caught by undercover agents posing as clients. He took them to sensitive historical places and the case is ongoing. He is no longer allowed to do tours in national parks.

Jim made some really bad decisions that affected him as well as our family and the fans who admired and supported him. These decisions continue to affect him today legally, financially, and personally. I don't forsee him returning to death valley as anything but a tourist.

I will refrain on posting any other information publically but you can email me at desert.dreamer82@gmail.com if you have a specific question.

I would like to apologize on his behalf, since he never will, to those of you he scammed, used, and ripped off. Not a single one of you deserve that and I am sorry you too were a victim of Death Valley Jim. Know that karma has paid him a serious visit in your honor.

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MojaveGeek
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Re: Death Valley Jim - current status?

Post by MojaveGeek » Fri May 31, 2019 6:14 pm

Wow, thanks for that info, and thanks for posting about the sad endings. Really answers a lot of questions. All the best to you.

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