This post is intended to be a sort of “Tracker List” of some good books I’ve actually bought&found on Mantracking. The order is absolutely randomly and the update is steady.
Visualization is not seeing. “When you sees something, the retina captures the image and transmits it to the brain, where the image is elaborated”, quoting JC Nash’s ETA Program. So your mind needs a proper time to understand what has been seen and puts it into the “right category” inside the mental data base. It’s a a sort of passive process, where you don’t even get consciousness of.
By the other way, Visualization plays a crucial role in Tracking. When you track, you have this precise image in your mind about what kind of signs you will run across into a certain scenario and with a particular medium. You kinda know what you expect for. We could quite say that you “visualize” in your mind prior the tracks, and the whole trail (trackline) too. Then you check the terrain for confirmable evidence. Working with your mind and not only with your eyes will make you a better observer first, second a good Tracker. When I was attending the Tactical Acuity Class in Virginia, JC Nash and Mike Hull often said “Guys, you have to think outside the box”, mainly referred to some exercises hold into the tracking pit.
That’s the precise reason you must consider what your mind tells you throughout visualization.
“[…] Improperly Photographed Impressions:
If the examination involves a photographed tire impression, many things can affect the dimensional accuracy of that photograph. If the camera’s film plane (back) is not perfectly parallel to the impression, then the photograph will have a perspective problem that can affect the ability to accurately enlarge the photograph of the impression to its natural size. This type of problem usually occurs due to errors in photographic procedure. Another problem commonly encountered occurs when the scale (ruler) is not placed on the same exact plane (level) as the bottom of a three-dimensional tire impression or when the ruler is resting on the ground at an angle. If the ruler is not on the same plane and parallel with the bottom of the impression, an accurate enlargement will not be possible. Photographic procedural errors often result in limited examination results. Casts can resolve these problems, but unfortunately some impressions are only photographically recorded and thus the examination must rely on those photographs alone […]”
“According to a popular misconception, nature is “like an open book” to the expert tracker and such an expert needs only enough skill to “read everything that is written in the sand”. A more appropriate analogy would be that the expert tracker must be able to “read between the lines”. Trackers themselves cannot read everything in the sand. Rather, they must be able to read into the sand. To interpret tracks and signs trackers must project themselves into the position of the animal in order to create a hypothetical explanation of what the animal was doing. Tracking is not strictly empirical, since it also involves the tracker’s imagination. Generally speaking, ore may argue that science is not only a product of objective observation of the world through the perception. It is also a product of the human imagination. A creative hypothesis is not found or discovered in the outside world, it comes from within the human mind.”
This book is really a must read. The reasons are remarkable: it’s well structured, it’s complete, full of explanations and details. This book makes you think about this Art and her utility. It makes your mind not only accept her, but eagerly waits for learning her.
This occurs to be an exceptional contribute the renowed Author Ion L.Idriess wrote in 1935 after an intense experience with “the mounted Police in the Austrialian wilds”. As explained in several posts ago, the mounted Police apprehended the ancient art of Tracking from aborigenal people in Kimberley Region, using it, for instance, to track flown away prisoners or slaves.
[Actually “Man Tracks” is still a missing one in my collection, due to the extreme difficulty to get a copy of this rare book, N.d.A.]
Tracking makes you live in the present. You gather information with the physical eye (PRESENT) and process it with the minds eye (past experience). Then you have your imagination you use for deductive reasoning. Tracking forces you to make decisions from evidence, tracks and sign. Not what you want to see (imagination). Therefore this carries over into the rest of your life allowing you to operate from reality.
David Michael Hull from Seeing with the mind’s eye by Samuels and Samuels
The very first book I’ve hold in hands about Mantracking. No doubt I was pretty excited about the subject matter and believe me, I’ve kinda devoured it. The whole book is well structured, composed of several chapters focused on the history of Mantracking, its application for LEO, and then it goes with a precise manual in which it deploys how to track, quoting several episodes in which Mr.David Scott Donelan has been involved. I won’t spoil the reader with more details about that.
To me, Tactical Tracking Operations: The Essential Guide for Military and Police Tracers is a sort of essential book, a good one also for start learning to track and get a deep eye on this subject.