Escape From Alcatraz
In California, United States
How Geocaching Works
Located on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. Rated 3 for difficulty due to detailed nature. Rated 2 for terrain due to long walk up a steep incline. There is a tram available for those who cannot manage the walk.
This is a virtual cache at one of America’s most famous (and infamous) former federal penitentiaries, Alcatraz. Also know as “The Rock,” Alcatraz began as a fort in 1853. Later, in 1859, the first military prisoners were placed here and Alcatraz soon became a military prison. By 1933 it had become too expensive for the Army to continue to house prisoners at this site. Alcatraz was then transferred to the Department of Justice and in 1934 opened its doors for the first time as a federal prison. While there were a few successful escapes from Alcatraz during its years as a military prison, once it became a federal penitentiary, there were no known successful escapes. During its years as a federal prison a total of 36 men tried to escape in 14 separate attempts. All were either caught and brought back, or they drowned in their attempts to swim to shore. Five were never seen or heard from again and are presumed to have drowned and their bodies swept out to sea.
While this is a virtual cache, it is also a role-playing cache. You are to imagine yourself a prisoner on Alcatraz. By solving the clues you will find your way out of Alcatraz. Only by answering all the bonus questions correctly along your way will your escape be successful. One wrong answer and you will be brought back to “The Rock.” Good luck.
Day 1: The coordinates above are near the dock. This is your first stop as a new prisoner at Alcatraz. However your escape attempt begins outside your cell. Go to the main cellblock area. You may either go there directly or you may want to take the guided audio tour. I recommend the tour. It is informative and gives you some interesting background about the island. The cost of the tour is included in your ticket. You enter the cell house through the basement where you shower and get your prison clothes. Once you reach the cell house you may go in and explore on your own or you may begin the audio tour. The audio tour is not necessary for your “escape” but it is interesting. Your GPS will probably not work while in the building. That’s OK. You won’t need it, yet. While in the cell house you will be collecting needed information that will eventually give you coordinates to guide your escape once you get outdoors. Go to your cell. It is cell number 139 on B Block down “Broadway.” (For direction purposes assume Broadway runs east and west with the administration offices on the east end of the cell block.) Look into your cell. On the back wall are shelves for your personal belongings. How many shelves are there on the back wall? Answer= A. Later, you will use the number represented by “A” to compute your coordinates. Bonus Question 1: Who is prisoner 586? Bonus Question 2: Your cell is located in B Block. Which Block is across the hall from your cell?
Day 2: As part of your escape plan, you are going to make a model of your head to place in your bed so that the guards won’t notice you are gone. Go to the barbershop to collect some hair. The barber shop is located at the west end of A Block. How many windows are there in the west wall? Answer=B.
Day 3: Your escape plan calls for you to sneak aboard a supply boat to the island dressed as a guard. You will need a boat schedule. Clyde Johnson has a schedule. He is sweeping the floors in D Block. Go to D Block to get your boat schedule. How many cells are there on the 1st floor of D Block? Answer= GK
Day 4: Of course you will need money once you’ve escaped. Master forger Henri Young has agreed to make you some money. You will meet him in the prison library. Go to the library now. How many radiators are there in the library, including the “caged” area? Answer= L
Day 5: It is visiting day. Your girlfriend, Molly McGee has come to visit. You will tell her where to meet you once you have escaped. Bonus question 3: At the visitors area the visiting rules are posted. Go to the visitor’s area and read the rules. According to rule number one, how many visits are you limited to each month?
Day 6: To help you once you have escaped to the mainland you are going to need a map of the area. You have arranged to meet with Tom Limerick in the cafeteria. He will give you a map. Go now to the cafeteria. How many windows are in the south wall of the cafeteria? Answer= D
Day 7: You will also need some paper, paste and paint to construct the model of your head. Rufus Franklin will meet you in the kitchen and give you what you need. Go to the kitchen. As you look above the bars that block the entrance into the kitchen, you will see the menu of the day. The date is March 21st. What year is on the menu? Answer= 1HIJ
Day 8: It is now time to begin your escape. Go to the recreation yard. In the yard are areas where prisoners line-up to go to the various work assignments. Find the line to work at the dock. Look down. Bonus Question 4: What color is the actual line?
Day 9: Go to Waypoint 1: N 37' 49.I1J W 122' 25.LLD At this spot you will meet Sam Shockley, who works in the sewing shop. He will give you the guard uniform you will need. Bonus Question 5: What bridge is visible from this spot?
Day 10: Go to Waypoint 2: N 37' 49.B7B W 122' 25.JAH Floyd Wilson will meet you here. He will give you shoe polish that you can use to change your hair color to aid in your escape. Bonus Question 6: What major structure is here and when, according to the sign, was it built?
Day 11: Go to Waypoint 3: N 37' 49.IKG W 122' 25.KGB Here you will meet “Doc” Barker who will give you some civilian clothes that have been made from some garments from deceased prisoners. Bonus Question 7: Look west. What is here that was constructed in 1910?
Day 12: Go to Waypoint 4: N 37' 49.IGK W 122' 25.3AI At this spot you will put your guard uniform on over your “civilian” clothes to begin your walk to the supply boat. Bonus Question 8: Look up. What date is on the arch above you?
Your boat has arrived. Go through the arch and make you way to the dock and the awaiting boat. Is your escape successful? Email me the correct answers to the bonus questions and you will have made good your “Escape From Alcatraz.” Also, you will receive a certificate, suitable for framing, declaring you as having officially escaped from Alcatraz. (Certificate will be emailed as an attachment. Must have MS Word to open.) If any of your answers are wrong then your escape will have failed. You will be recaptured and brought back to “The Rock” to spend time in solitary confinement. (And, you will not get the nifty certificate.)
Note-There is a fee to visit Alcatraz. The fee includes the boat ride to the island and the audio tour. Reserve your ticket early as they usually sell out. Also, except for the name of Molly McGee, which is purely fictional, all the other names used are those of actual prisoners who tried to escape. Final bonus Question 9: How many men total tried to escape from this federal penitentiary?
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This is a picture of "The Rock" from the ferry boat on what happened to be a beautiful sunny day.
Last Updated: on 5/22/2013 9:43:38 PM Pacific Daylight Time (4:43 AM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum