I absolutely agree that if you don’t know who you “worked” at the time of the contact then it’s not a valid contact. If you can’t get the other guy to confirm the call because of QSB etc or he just goes away then its a NIL.
However when transferring my paper log to the computer I have had occasional trouble deciphering my writing, sometimes because the log got wet. (I’ve since bought a waterproof paper logbook). I make every attempt to decipher the call but if I fail then it is also a NIL. . It probably happens about once every 500 contacts. If you were one of those I apologise.
Just because you aren’t in my log doesn’t mean you haven’t worked m; the awards manager knows that. If you “worked” me and you clearly heard me enunciate or send your call and report and acknowledge yours then it is valid whether or not I have logged it properly.
I believe some activators do not bother logging more than 4 contacts on the data base and I’ve seen an occasion when he only recorded contacts on one band in spite of being on several…
There are no sheep stations being offered for SOTA achievements so it is a matter of doing what you believe is right and proper and in the spirit of SOTA. The degree to which various aspects are followed varies from a bit iffy to over the top.
Please do not get me started on Phonetics. The official lists are innumerable so one might as well make up something that suits your accent and region. Ooops i got started.