On an average day in September of 1962, in the little average town of Manitowoc, WI, two average police officers were carrying out an average roving patrol. They spotted a smoldering chunk of debris embedded in the pavement down town... and it really didn't look very average at all. Their find was reported to their superiors, and they realized just how un-average the piece of garbage was when NASA arrived on the scene.
The officers had happened upon a piece of space garbage that impacted just a short time before. Back then, only a few space vehicles had been launched, so this was almost unheard of. Even more important... it was a portion of a Russian space vehicle. The USA was in the midst of the Cold War, and the glorious Space-Race that it had spawned. American pride and security were at stake, and the Russians were ahead at this point. The Manitowoc impact, however, was a small victory. We now had a piece of one of their spacecraft, and a glimpse at a few of their space-age secrets. All of this in the average town of Manitowoc.
A marker is embedded in the pavement at the origianal impact site, and that is the end goal of this virtual cache. Find the impact site, and e-mail me the information inscribed on the marker. BUT... I figured just giving the co-ordinates to the marker would be a bit too easy, so I decided to make this a three stage virtual cache... you will have to bum around down town Manitowoc for a while :)
To get the impact co-ordinates, you will have to get some numbers from stages one and two... stage three is the impact site, and the numbers gathered from stages one and two will be plugged into the partial co-ordinates given for stage 3. Here goes...
STAGE 1: A lot of beer is produced and consumed in Wisconsin, and Manitowoc is no exception. Go to N44° 05.330' W087° 39.619'. Don't get all stupid... if your GPS points you into the middle of the street, stand on a sidewalk for heaven's sake. Okay... now, face east. How many beer bottles and cans do ya see? Hint: there are a lot of beer bottles and cans in manitowoc, these are a little bigger than normal. And there may be a couple trees in the way, just deal with it. (A = number of beer bottles and cans).
Stage 2: Go to N44° 05.572' W087° 38.644'. If you punch this into MapBlast or some other e-map, you will notice that this is located thousands of feet out on Lake Michigan. Stop panicking, I am sure you will find your way out there. When you arrive, you will see a large structure with some stairs on it. Count the stairs. Hint: people count stairs in different ways. There seems to be some debate over whether or not you should count the top, and final step. The way I see it, the top step is actually the floor you are heading to, so I don't count it. You should come up with a two-digit odd number. If you come up with an even number, you probably counted the top, and need to subtract one. Digit one of this number (the ten's digit) is "B". Digit two (the one's digit) is "C". Or BC = number of steps. Whew!
Stage 3: Okay... almost done. Now for some number-crunching... D = C - A. E = C + A - B. F = C - B. G = C - A - A - B. See, space travel requires a little math I guess. Use these results to get the final co-ords: N44° 05.EDG' W087° 39.DFC'
Although you could walk from stage to stage, I recommend driving. Stage two will require a long but easy hike. The 1st and the final stages, you should be able to park within a block of the waypoints, if not closer. In fact, odds are that you will spot stage one while driving... you really can't miss those beer bottles. Serious, stage one should be rated difficulty 1/2, terrain 1/2. If you can't find stage one, oh boy.
That's it! To log this as a find, e-mail me the results from stages one and two (the number of beer bottles and the number of steps counted, aka A and BC), and tell me what spacecraft impacted at stage three :) No need to wait for a response from me.