View Full Version here: : creepy questions for dark sites
when I see a thread with which someone new to astronomy (and new to the IIS) asks for advice on good dark sites in brisbane/sydney/... or close to those cities in the countryside -
I get a creepy feeling they don't care at all for astronomy but have some other agenda, altogether...
When they then add some harmless info like "I'd like to show my girlfriend/daughter" and - as a real afterthought, only, also add the question which entry level equipment would be good - (but their main topic was and is that dark site you know!)
I hear huge bells ringing in my head: this is NOT what it seems.
This is how I would try to get the information of gullible astro romantics to attack them at exactly that spot they pointed out to me.
Is it just me? Have I got a split personality and am a monster myself, lurking somewhere in the dark, waiting to come out...? :eyepop:
Do you guys take anything for self defense with you?
(Now, this question should better not be answered... it might be, my monster only wants to know this so it can prepare against such measures!)
25-06-2012, 03:41 PM
I saw your post, thought it best not to reply, but then couldn't not reply.
I don't see how we (as IIS members) can ignore what look like harmless requests for info on dark sky sites. I've certainly had the urge to find a few of my own "away from the madding crowd". I take such requests at face value, but maybe that's just me.
But I think, as far as personal safety goes, if you're at a well known site, not being there alone is a good idea. It's illegal to carry a weapon, concealed or otherwise, and IIRC even mace or pepper spray is prohibited in Australia (except maybe WA?). Your best defence is good planning and common sense, IMHO.
Personal note: I've walked alone in places normally deemed "extremely dangerous" and found the locals to be pretty decent, actually. Much of the fear of such things seems to bear no resemblence to reality.
25-06-2012, 03:41 PM
It is just you reading into things that aren't there.
Some people here take a Mike Sidonio with them :lol:
Seriously tho, I have never worried about it.
I'm 6'5", fit and close to 100kg. Not that that makes me bullet proof, but it does help.
25-06-2012, 04:39 PM
Ah, I might add I am female, 5'2", hard of hearing, and from Europe.
When I go for long walks, I carry hair spray (not in my hair, in a spray can, doh! and a lighter) but I doubt I would get the possibility to use it.
I don't go to dark sites, at all.
The "from Europe" part might help explain the lingering paranoia.
25-06-2012, 05:02 PM
Well you should be afraid, be very afraid because at dark sites no one can hear you scream. Being European has nothing to do with it (although I did marry a Dutch girl and I agree that she is pretty edgy over things she cannot control), being at dark sites alone is a problem I admit. The world has changed since I was a kid in the 70s. I'm over six feet and 100kg and I get concerned out in the middle of the football over across the road from my house. I am near the centre of Melbourne though...
I don't think you should ever visit a dark site alone, always try to observe at least in pairs or even better through an astronomy club.
25-06-2012, 05:09 PM
I agree RG (Astro Bot).
Part of the problem though is that we seem to be "drip fed", by the media, that the world is full of weirdos and evildoers lurking "everywhere". Like you, I have found the reality to be quite different. :)
25-06-2012, 05:34 PM
I enjoy sharing my scope with others but sometimes I go out of my way to visit my preferred local dark sites alone.
Maybe it is reckless, but I have never been concerned about my safety. I am certain that it is safer than using QLD Rails trains after a night out on the town.
25-06-2012, 05:39 PM
It's not difficult to find an isolated place to get up to no good. Why would you ask for astronomically dark skies, which are exceedingly rare and becoming rarer? You could find a dark place closer to home that is more confined.
I'm sorry but I think this is paranoia, and if we're not careful of who we suspect or accuse we'll drive people away.
I was very proud that my son was able to spot the southern cross last Saturday night. Am I also up to no good? ;-) Think about it.
25-06-2012, 05:52 PM
Hmmm, I don't care what other people say, that's their opinion. The fact of the matter is your a lone female who is 5'2 at a dark site.
It only takes one person in one situation. Granted the world is full of great people, but you cannot side step the fact that there are people out there who will take advantage of you in a vulnerable situation. You need to play it safe and that means observing in company:thumbsup:
See? That is intriguing, is it not? Why indeed would a sicko use an astronomy forum to get to his preferred victim: a star gazer... in a dark surrounding, above him the stars...
There is romance in it - a story ... ! :)
You are all right, of course.
Yes, I am being paranoid - but I am also small and female.
It's just that ...
in the past 4 weeks, I have come across 3 or 4 threads as described in post No.1.
- new member, first post
- question for dark site in a big city
- info about a female companion to make it sound harmless
- no equipment but only adding the question for advice for that totally unimportant part of his venture :rolleyes: as an afterthought
Maybe, it's even the same person every time? Only waiting for the perfect answer .... an alien, maybe. Or someone who believes he was abducted and wants to go back... needing a scope and a body for de-materializing and projecting his soul ... :question:
Sorry. Got carried away...
25-06-2012, 06:11 PM
If worried, join an astro club, and use their dark sites. :thumbsup:
Even the Macarthur Astro Society, with their dark site right in the middle of the Belanglo State Forest, I hear is safe an well frequented with nice people.:lol:
25-06-2012, 06:13 PM
Wanna go somewhere dark?
Sorry, couldn't resist.
You're right, Trevor. I have joined and will go with them - should it ever be cloudless on a Saturday.
The question was more about what might other people be thinking about these mentioned threads.
25-06-2012, 06:17 PM
Allow me to be perverse for a few moments ...
Think about this. How many of your fellow astro club members are actually sick and twisted murderers just scouting the territory? How well do you really know them? You never actually see their family there, right? (it's a cover story.) They're always cheerful and helpful, too helpful. (What are they hiding?) They drive a van or ute or station wagon. (It's easier to carry the bodies). They may even mask their evil designs by buying astro equipment. (It's just to gain your trust). And the longer you've seen them there, well you just know that shows how determined they are to get away with it ... waiting for the perfect isolated moment at that really dark site ...
We now return you to normal programming.
When you are out observing on your own in some dark sky location and
a set of headlights comes down the track, perhaps a young couple seeking
a quiet romantic interlude, few things often frighten them more than the sight of a
figure in a freezer suit standing alongside what appears to be some big cannon.
My friends at the Macarthur Astronomical Society (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macarthur_Astronomical_Society) seem to take one possible strategy
in avoiding such awkward encounters and choose to observe from the Belanglo State Forest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belanglo_State_Forest).
Seriously though, I have encountered situations such as one night when someone
undoubtedly returning from the remote country pub 20km down the gravel road rolled
into the car park of the National Park camping ground at 3am and decided it would
be fun to do some donuts in the dirt before suddenly taking off, probably after a brief moment
of clear thinking when they realized I had taken note of their clearly visible number plates. :lol:
One night I was observing with a friend when a car rolled in during the early hours of
the morning. A woman got out of the car and told us she would be sleeping in
her car for the night. She joined us by the camp fire and after a time she told
us she had just run away from home after a domestic dispute. We asked if
she would like to look through the telescope and as it was a last quarter Moon
weekend, the waning crescent had begun to rise and we turned the telescope to it.
She gasped in amazement at the beauty of the crescent Moon and being of
a religious persuasion of which the crescent Moon is of religious significance,
thanked us and told us that she saw it as a sign and that somehow we were
probably destined to show her this. Upon seeing "this sign" she told us that she
interpreted it to mean she should return to her family. So she got in her car
and drove home.
For my friend and I, the rising Moon meant that it was time to pack up for the
night and go home ourselves. We turned to each other and chuckled, "that made for
an interesting evening".
We are certainly unlikely angels. :lol:
25-06-2012, 06:27 PM
I must admit that I have been frightened out of my skull at a dark site a couple of times.
The first one that I'll never forget was when I first joined here and lived in Sydney. I didn't realise the Paintball Place (now, Pony Club gatherings) only happened on a schedule. I decided to drive up during the middle of the week by myself, found the place, parked the car in the middle of the field, started setting up and almost crapped myself when I heard rustling movement about a metre or so away. I froze stiff. I looked up slowly, and once the blood had drained from my head, I could make out the silhouette of an enormous dog right in front of me. Snarling! It was frogman's dog. He showed up a moment later, thank goodness. I explained who I was and what I was doing there. He then explained to me that the visitors only come on the weekends but was gracious enough to allow to set up and take a few pictures. :)
25-06-2012, 06:28 PM
Belanglo is fraught with its own nasties! There's (killer) wombats there that decide to scare you stiff when no-one else is about. :eyepop:
Gary - thanks for sharing that one! :D
25-06-2012, 06:42 PM
OMG, you mean the IIS Astro Camp is really....is.....:eyepop: <faints>
25-06-2012, 06:43 PM
Yes, I'm afraid it's true.
25-06-2012, 07:25 PM
Actually to someone observing us who didn't know what we are actually doing, we are the weirdos in the dark.
I sometimes go down to the beach to do some imaging, just out of sight of a car park habitually frequented by drug users.
I'm waiting for the day I get noticed with the camera and the paranoia sets them off:eye pop:
That or one of the semi-regular police patrols take an interest.:rolleyes:
25-06-2012, 07:41 PM
The concept of people using astro forums to find targets does sound a bit unlikely but you're right in being a bit skeptical and cautious.
I'm a guy and although there are places near me that are quiet dark for astro work, I've hesitated in going by myself and would rather go if its a society gathering or someone known.
The amount of crime that gets reported in suburbs which you'd think are safe is just shocking. But not overtly so.
Just use common sense I guess.
I saw wolf creek before I came here and didn't know what to expect, but 6 years down no paranoia, loving it.
25-06-2012, 08:15 PM
If its the post I am thinking of, ...
I did respond by saying a group of Astro buddies go there semi regularly.
So as to give the impression that I am not alone.
But interesting point.
And yes, even as big males get "freaked" when alone and suddenly you realise you are not (alone).
My first visit to Bretti (scouting it out) I was alone.
Beautiful darkest of dark.
Then the realisation, someone or something is there with you...
So you turn on your red light to see...
a pair a red eyes 20 meters off in front staring, motionless, fixed on you...
the air escapes your lungs in a sudden gasp...
and then you realise...
Its the horse from the paddock next door out grazing. phew.!
I think I scared him as much as he scared me.
25-06-2012, 08:21 PM
C'mon Allan...don't give in to the fear. MMmmm, that is the way of the dark site, it is. :D
25-06-2012, 08:23 PM
Wow, ok, but hey, there is nothing there in the dark that isn't there in the light.
Just some stars above you and yes, I forgot, your imagination!
25-06-2012, 08:30 PM
As another astro female, I totally understand where you are coming from.
When I first started out in the hobby I would go out to visit Astroron at his observatory at Kenilworth quite regularly. While I knew I was perfectly safe at Ron's, I was very very concerned if I broke down along the way. (there is/used to be a serial killer in the region. And yes, the police did clear Ron lolol) I've also started doing a bit of travelling interstate to attend star parties, again, travelling on my own, and I ALWAYS have something heavy and sharp handy under my drivers side seat. I always have a tin of mozzie repellent close by too.
No I don't think I'm paranoid. Just a realist. I've seen seen things, I've experienced stuff.
There is always more safety in numbers, but if you are doing this on your own, you would be downright crazy not to take your own safety into consideration.
25-06-2012, 08:32 PM
This is the funniest thread I've ever seen on IIS! I gotta get me a Mike Sidonio and head out to a dark site so he can protect me from a horse!!
Must just be my warped sense of humor, keep it up, I can't wait to read more!!
25-06-2012, 08:32 PM
LOL re. Belanglo State Forest. We did post photos of that knife we found off the beaten track didn't we??
THAT freaked me out, but not as much as the wombat that sneaked up behind me that night. LOLOL
25-06-2012, 08:35 PM
If it is a truly "dark" site, and something goes wrong, you just walk off into the darkness and lie down on the ground and wait till morning.
No one is going to find you in the dark.
25-06-2012, 08:38 PM
Yeah, but I'm not going to let some bugger nick off with all my gear. :mad2:
25-06-2012, 08:43 PM
No, they will stick you with a knife first, then walk off with your gear. :screwy:
Imagine not knowing Mr Sidonio and running into him in a dark paddock? That is scarier than a horse or wombat. ;)
You have to use common sense, and if it dose not feel right on you fist visit, then you leave.
Human instinct is a great tool.
We use it constantly when we travel all over Australia and do many free camps in the outback.
You seen to know as soon as you stop if it feels safe.
We have never had a problem, and you know it is much safer to be 20 ks or so from any town, either side, not many ratbags lurk out that far, unless they intentionally drive out for trouble.
25-06-2012, 08:50 PM
say what girl ? I thought around kilcoy was the land of yowies and
mobility scooters :P
25-06-2012, 08:58 PM
Not Kilcoy, at Kenilworth. :(
Then there was that bikie who turned up dead too.
But Ron has a rock solid alibi, don't you. :)
25-06-2012, 09:08 PM
I am not worried about Ron's alibi, it is yours that needs some work.
25-06-2012, 09:14 PM
scary stuff JJJ this stuff happens everywhere , I forgot about what happened down the road the other day .:sadeyes:
Dark sites in the country don't bother me much , but breaking down or out of the way spots near the cities are a bit dodgey imo .
25-06-2012, 09:28 PM
I was out imaging in my backyard at about 3am a few months ago, it was a clear night and the moon was out.
All of a sudden I could hear a woosh woosh sound, I stood frozen. Crap (not the words i was thinking). I looked up and saw this big bird flying in circles above me.
That was enough to freak me out and i packed up and went inside lol
Now I grew up in the county and I loved it, being out there in the dark on the farm it didn't bother me. But I don't like the city. And I wouldn't go anywhere alone.
25-06-2012, 09:29 PM
One thing that has always felt good to me is standing in the dark whether it be on my own or in company in the scrub. There is an eeriness in the dark but it feels natural to have that eerriness about.
I guess this boils down to how comfortable you feel in life. I spent years in the bush in the Army and love it silky black skies. I love the solitude it delivers to my soul. It is a feeling several million years in the making. It is natural and wonderful. However, I do sometimes wonder if tonight is the night the aliens come and get me :lol: (what a prize they would get).
I don't need a Mike Sidonio, I have me or sometimes I have a Virgs (I think Virgs is bigger than Mike) ;) Just being there with someone who loves the same thing is the wonderful part; in that you are sharing together.
I can understand why some people are afraid in dark conditions on their own. We as a society have been indoctrinated to have lots of light about us at night now, fed loads of creepy stuff from the media and most don't have defensive skills to draw on. It is why we will always have light in our cities, because people cannot come to grips with being in the dark.
The reality is that you rarely see anyone at a dark sky site, especially in real remote areas. I take questions about finding dark sites from new people as people looking for simply that. They live in light polluted sites and want to know where most people go to see the heavens.
So Silv, don't be afraid of the dark but always act safely. If you are unsure take a friend.
25-06-2012, 09:35 PM
25-06-2012, 10:00 PM
Has anyone told silv about the drop bears????? :eyepop:
25-06-2012, 10:07 PM
Unless they have a torch...which they'd probably have you'd imagine.
25-06-2012, 10:13 PM
Actually, it's pretty hard to find people in the bush even with a torch. Although I haven't had anywhere as much experience as Paul, I have done some night exercises and been that person lying in a gully while a search party walks past a few feet away. If they'd had NVG, it might have been different, though.
25-06-2012, 10:25 PM
All this talk of being alone in the bush is giving me incentive to pack the car and head west for a night or two. :)
Has anyone got suggestions for a good spot?
Haha I was getting the same urge!
25-06-2012, 10:48 PM
I too fear dark sites.. I mean to say, I'm clumsy in the daylight and astro gear ain't cheap.:doh:
Seriously though, I think you're more likely to get into trouble in an inner city pub than a dark site. Just use your instincts. Having said that, I wouldn't be too happy if my wife wanted to go to a dark site on her own (not that she'd want to).
25-06-2012, 10:52 PM
I didn't see the threads referred to in the OP but I'd take the view that serial killers recruiting via astro sites is an extremely remote possibility, but not zero. Looking at it logically it's just not good 'business' but who's to say weirdos are logical. Still, how many attacks have there been? (even worldwide??) That's not to say that there is no risk but I think the drive to the site is more dangerous.
Regarding feeling safe in the bush at night, I'm quite comfortable in the 'remote' bush but at bit more on edge close to towns. I'm defining remote as being distant from a built up areas and out of he range of yahoos. Becoming comfortable takes time and probably entails being freaked out a couple of times, just to teach you that that sound is just a roo/wombat/horse/possum/bird etc (creaking branches are good too). But once you're comfortable it's an addictive glory.
Closer to town you can have the occasional unpleasant experience but I've yet to have one that felt dangerous. Mostly it's hoons doing donuts. Occasional young lovers find they need to seek a more private location (though not always). One night a car full of obviously intoxicated (and I don't mean booze) young blokes pulled up. That took us by surprise because they coasted up quietly with the lights out and got close before we heard them - which shows they could still reason. It seems we had been freaking them out and they wanted to know what we were up to in the dark. They made us promise we'd tell them if we saw an alien and then made their way back to their partying. We were only a small group but I'm glad I wasn't alone. It would still have been safe but the worry would have ruined the night.
I used to observe alone a lot but I was young and brave - and reckoned I knew the bush around the area better than 'them' and was fit and fast. Although these days I observe with at least 1-2 others, I think I'd still observe alone but I can well understand people not being comfortable with that.
25-06-2012, 10:52 PM
I've came across a few weirdo's that's for sure, though rapist and serial killers i doubt. I would never take anyone i've meet online to a dark site unless they were known by people which i knew and spoken for. I really think that if you believe you should be packing a 9mm glock, or that bently pump action 12 gauge, you probably shouldn't be going out to a dark site by yourself LMFAO :)
25-06-2012, 11:00 PM
I use my instincts and don't go into inner city pubs :D. My wife wouldn't go to a dark site by herself either, she drags me along to set up scopes and keep the roos at bay. :lol:
I'm lucky, as I live on a farm my dark site is two steps off the verandah. :stargaze: I'm quite spoilt to have a powered site with amenities. ;)
I also have two killer attack cats, that is if they can ever wake up and drag themselves away from the fire and further than the crunchie bowl. :lol:
Like Paul, I've still yet to see the aliens but they are welcome for a cuppa. :ship2:
The only weird noises are the possums growling and the roo's coughing up something I probably don't want to see anyway.
26-06-2012, 02:56 AM
Its not only dark sites you need to worry about.....
A few years back I came home from work around midnight and turned lights, tv and aircon on, poured myself a drink grabbed a smoke and headed outside to my little courtyard. Looked up a the sky and thought about getting the scope out for a bit of a gander.
Nek minut, I saw this young man walk around the corner into my courtyard not 2 meters away from me. :eyepop:
I yelled a few expletives, threw my glass at him, and ( for some unknown reason - adrenalin???) chased him. He bolted .......
It could have turned out different if I didnt cause all the noise!
This is an inner suburban unit.....
If ( and when ) I would venture out to a dark site by myself, I would scout it out during the day, check out google earth or nearmap (https://www.nearmap.com/welcome-new) to see if there are any signs of burnouts etc and to see how remote it is. Also pick a day during the week, not the weekend....
26-06-2012, 04:00 PM
Bloody hell! I may be one of the people who prompted these creepy thoughts (first post, no equipment yet, asking about dark sites near Sydney for my daughter - gurk!). I never even gave a thought to another interpretation for it!
I ain't a weirdo, I promise! Just want to see my little kid's face when she finally sees a sky full of stars, after a lifetime looking up from our Sydney backyard at a handful of visible stars.
The first time for me was at Singleton army base and I was astounded. The sensation of seeing the milky way (and shooting stars!) has stayed with me to this day and I can't wait to share that my little girl, who has become enamoured of Voyage to the Planets on ABC and Prof Brian Cox on Blu-ray and is spellbound at the Moon through my old binos.
Reminds me a bit of a funny story. A few years ago I worked for a few months in Iran. I grew a beard to fit in better there, and on the way home, another bearded male colleague and I stopped off in Bangkok to visit a Thai work colleague. He arranged for his nephew to show us around a temple and after witnessing some stares and Thai people abusing the nephew for seemingly no reason, it dawned on me that we looked like a coupe of very dodgy s_x tourists. Most uncomfortable...
yes, your thread triggered mine, smith.
and there were, as I mentioned, other threads before yours:
new member, dark site, in the city or close by, female company, no equipment.
I am relieved that no one really shared my concern for these IIS threads.
I gladly succumb to that shared reality. :D
But me having these thoughts proves that, statistically, this is possible to happen. Coincidence only, that I am a 5'2" female and therefore picture myself as the victim and not as the villain in this scene.
One could therefore also say: I am a sicko - but a harmless one.
But only I am allowed to say that. Alright?! ;)
28-06-2012, 10:08 AM
Funny, until this thread I hadn't actually given much thought to the question of 'safety' while stargazing in that way, but I imagine it can be a real one if you're alone or in a very small group in an isolated area.
28-06-2012, 11:32 AM
I not sure about people trolling astro forums looking for potential prey. BUT you do need to keep your wits about you when at dark sites. I will share an experience i had.
This Easter i was at dark site, looking at skysafari and noticed the moon was about to rise above the horizon. So i quickly packed the scope and camera and headed off to find a good view of the Eastern horizon. I found this one spot. No gate, no keep out signs, nothing. So i drove in and set up.
After taking pics for about 15mins i was startled by a 4WD with spot lights blaring come speeding in, locked up the brakes. This guy jumps out, straight on the front foot yelling swear words and asking what the f i am doing. By this stage we were toe to toe, i replied what the f does it look like? i'm taking pics of the f'ing moon. It was on for young and old.
It turned out he was the owner of this desolate paddock and took great offense for me being there. I am 6'4 and 90kg, the other guy was a tad shorter and a tad heavier and i was thinking it was going to come to blows this guy was so mad. After what seemed like 5mins of me defending my hobby and him defending his baron paddock he finally left with one final threat of firing a gun over my head.
I took that as my cue to leave.
It has is no way put me off going to dark sites but we do live in a crazy world full of crazy people:screwy:
28-06-2012, 12:21 PM
How about embracing a bit of pronoia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pronoia_(psychology)).
I've personally never had any problem in 33 years of finding dark spots to look at the night sky.
28-06-2012, 12:40 PM
As Gary mentioned, we observe and image in the middle of Belanglo State Forest. Not sure that we feel any goose bumps or trepidation. The forest's reputation isn't intrinsic to the forest itself. LOL
Just darned good viewing and imaging.
pronoia - now that is a new concept to me!
is there online training, anywhere?
28-06-2012, 04:39 PM
Thermal imaging?? :question:
29-06-2012, 06:43 AM
There is no doubt that there is an element of us humans who rarely use their higher intellect and easily submerge/de-base into their prime-evil, (no pun intended) animalistic portion of their brain.
By virtue of the intent of IIS users, our mental muscle memory cannot help but fly far from that direction of thinking and so one would feel safe amongst such admirable company.
But the element is out there somewhere...the great unkown, who would think such thoughts - and thats the scary part, who indeed.
Should we concern ourselves? Live in fear?
Apart from dealing with a situation best you can as it occurs, what else can you do?
I think, know that it is there. But live your life foremost.
not really an astro subject...or is it?
happy skies :thumbsup:
29-06-2012, 08:13 AM
The more remote and isolated you are, the safer you are. Counter-intuitive maybe, but logical. The 'vulnerability' angle though seems to worry a lot of people. Vulnerable to what? You can be at the wrong place at the wrong time, sure, but what are the odds? How many amateur astronomers have been raped or murdered in remote or isolated areas in Australia?
I saw a survey recently about how 'safe' people feel. There is a sharp city/country divide - people outside the cities feel much safer. So if you leave the city to observe in remote country areas you should leave your fears in the city where they belong. Just don't trespass on people's properties!
Fear is a nasty thing because it overrides normal human interaction and breeds confrontation. It's a worry, some of the more aggressive replies in this thread - that's where the potential for things to go pear-shaped lies. :shrug:
But to get back to the OP's concerns - arranging viewing over the internet is like all internet interactions (dating etc). There are risks because you don't know the people, and common sense and adequate risk management planning should apply, male or female.
For me, I've never had any problems with remoteness, isolation or the dark either in astronomy, life or work - and I've lived and worked in some pretty rough places, cities and the bush. Love it and need it. That really provides the icing on the cake with this hobby, it's a personal communion between you and the Universe best carried out in dark private areas! :lol:
29-06-2012, 02:51 PM
I'm lucky, as I live on a dark rural property. :thumbsup:
My Obs is a powered site with Internet & running water, for a midnight cuppa.
Best, it's just a short stroll into the darkness. in with killer attack Alpacas, that will spit & claw you to death :rofl:
The only weird noise is in Summer, the rustling of the resident brown snake going down for a drink :rolleyes:
29-06-2012, 05:18 PM
lucky duck rob
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.