Rescuers Hope Harmonica Music Helps Find Missing Man
His dog, also missing, is familiar with the sound
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jun 20, 2014 3:50 PM CDT
Updated Jun 20, 2014 4:19 PM CDT
Los Padres National Forest in California.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Rescue crews in Southern California are using tools of the high- and low-tech variety in their increasingly desperate search for missing firefighter Mike Herdman. The 34-year-old was on camping trip deep in Los Padres National Forest with a friend last Friday when his dog, a 50-pound Vizsla named Duke, ran off. Herdman, who was barefoot and wearing only a T-shirt and shorts, ran after him and never returned, NBC 4 reports. Rescuers are now using two kinds of drones to scan the mountains with infrared cameras, ABC News reports.

Their other secret weapon? Harmonicas. Search crews spotted a dog they believe to be Duke on Wednesday and again yesterday, but he ran off each time, reports the Pasadena Star News. They're hoping harmonica music will put the dog at ease, because Herdman's daughter gets Duke's attention that way, notes the LA Times. Their hope is that if they catch Duke, he could lead them back to Herdman. In a sign of how tough this terrain is, one searcher is in the ICU after getting bit by a rattlesnake.

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
Jun 21, 2014 5:34 AM CDT
I know dogs will run off after an animal and get lost, but after looking for a short distance, one would think the human would return to camp and wait for the dog to return. A human can easily become disoriented and lost in rough terrain. The trick is to stay put after a while and wait for people to find you. Wandering only gets you more lost. The human may have fallen and hit his head. It is odd the dog never returned to camp on his own after being separated from his master.
Jun 20, 2014 11:32 PM CDT
Hey Kevin: "In a sign of how tough this terrain is, one searcher is in the ICU after being bitten by a rattlesnake." There, fixed that for you. Journalists and English, tsk tsk.
Jun 20, 2014 9:28 PM CDT
If rednecks get lost they play banjos .....and drool.