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Mom-n-Andy: Archiving this cache. It appears that the area has become a dumping ground for animal carcasses.


Spycraft: Laundry Day

A cache by Mom-n-Andy Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 09/13/2012
2 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   small (small)

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Geocache Description:

The cache is NOT at the posted coordinates. You must solve the puzzle to find the coordinates.

This is the second cache in my Spycraft series, which is based on real-life spy stories from times past. These puzzles will vary in difficulty quite a bit, from very easy to very hard. The primary point of each will be the story behind the puzzle, though, and I hope you enjoy reading about these historical spies (some successful, some not!)

A special note about this cache: The story that follows deals with a period of American history that may be uncomfortable for some, however it celebrates the spark of ingenuity that exists in all of us and I hope you find it as fascinating as I did. This story is taken from an article written by a Union officer who claimed to witness these events in 1863, although there are no official records to confirm it. In any case, the story is a good one.

Because of the culture of slavery that existed in the South during the Civil War, black Americans were in a unique position to gather information that could be useful to the Union Army. Servants involved in menial activities could move about without raising suspicion, and Confederate officials and officers tended to ignore their presence when discussing war-related matters. This culture enabled many slaves to act as couriers and spies for the Union Army.

This is the story of one such operative, a runaway slave named Dabney, who crossed into Union lines with his wife and found work in General Hooker's headquarters camp. Dabney knew the geography of the area well, and became interested in the Union flag-signal system.

After a few weeks in the Union camp, Dabney's wife returned to Confederate lines as a maid to a Southern woman returning to her home. Shortly thereafter, Dabney began reporting Confederate movements to Hooker's officers, and he was questioned about the source of his information.

Dabney explained that he and his wife had developed a signaling system using the laundry that she hung out to dry at her mistress's house, which was visible from Hooker's headquarters. When the wife observed Confederate troop movements, she would hang the laundry in a particular way to signal Dabney of the activity. A white shirt represented Gen. A. P. Hill, a pair of pants hung upside down represented the direction West, etc. Dabney would decode these signals and report what his wife had learned. This system produced useful intelligence on Confederate movements until Hooker moved his headquarters.

To find this cache, you must figure out the message hidden in the laundry on these clotheslines:

The cache is hidden within a quarter mile of the posted coordinates.

You can validate your puzzle solution with certitude.

Congratulations to teamajk for the first non-anonymous solve and to cat-jam for the FTF! She is on a roll!!!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Pna lbh frr lbhefrys svaqvat guvf pnpur?

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

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