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Mystery Cache

The Aerial Caches

A cache by Penguillion Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 10/9/2005
In Iowa, United States
4 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

The cache is not at the listed coordinates.


To find the container you must go through a 2-step process. First you’ll need to locate the name of the buildings marked on two aerial images. Both buildings are within the Waterloo/Cedar Falls city limits. Using the names, a letter-to-number conversion and equations, you’ll obtain a correction that you’ll use to correct the false coordinate at the top of this page. That will lead you to a playground. At the playground you’ll need to find a sign labeled with a name and the year of its acquisition. Finally, you’ll use that information in another conversion to obtain the coordinate of the geocache.

THANKS TO IOWA TOM FOR THE HTML AND EDITING OF THIS CACHE ON 4/20/08! He was my science teacher at the time I originally set this geocache up.

The idea for this cache is one that I came up with after completing Iowa Tom’s Hello ISS! cache. As stated above, like Tom’s cache, this one involves using aerial images and in this case locating buildings and finding their names. I have listed it as taking more than an hour, but if you're quick, you may be able to complete it under an hour. I also said that it is available 24/7, but not to do it at night. It can be done at night, though it may be harder to spot the caches.

(1) Now, onto the cache. As described above the first part begins with a virtual and ends with a container. First locate image-1 using a source like Google Maps, the aerial images display in MapQuest or the aerial image feature in Black Hawk County online. Black Hawk County Online (BHCO) will give an aerial photo option only if you zoom in close enough. Under “Layers” select “Aerial Photos” and “Refresh Map.” Secondly, locate image-2.

No matter what source you use to locate the areas my aerial photos represent, you will ultimately need to use BHCO to obtain the name of the building in each photo. In BHCO zoom in on the rooftop then look for the identify feature in the top-right corner of the web page. Click on the “i” under “Map Tools.” Now click on the lot the building is on. You will get some statistics at that point. On the left side of the page, scroll down and click on “Detailed Report.” Scroll down to the bottom of that document. On the bottom left you should see the name given to that building. For both images, record every part of the name of the facility.

(2) Now that you have the name for the buildings use the Letter-to-Number key below to convert each letter to a number. Once that is done add all the numbers for each facility so as to produce a number for building one and a number for building two. Plug the sum for building two (A) into equation-1. Work that equation to get the correct latitude for the virtual part of this geocache. Do the same for building two and plug its value (B) into equation-2 to determine the longitude of the cache.

Equation-1 [virtual’s latitude]

N 42 32.439 - (A ÷ 100)

Equation-2 [virtual’s longitude]

W 092 26.565 - (B ÷ 100)

Letters-to-Numbers Key:
Letter Number Letter Number
A 13 N 12
B 14 O 1
C 15 P 2
D 16 Q 3
E 17 R 4
F 18 S 5
G 19 T 6
H 20 U 21
I 7 V 22
J 8 W 23
K 9 X 24
L 10 Y 25
M 11 Z 26

(3) Now that you know where the playground is, you should go there and find these two things: (1) it’s name (including the word park) and (2) when it was acquired. Convert its 2-word name to a number in the same way as you did the names above. Consider that sum the letter C in equation-3.

Consider the date of acquisition as letter D in equation-4. Work those equations to get the correct latitude for the actual geocache.

Equation-3 [cache latitude]

N 42° 32.177 - (C ÷ 100)

Equation-4 [cache longitude]

W 092° 26.176 - (D ÷ 1000)

The cache is hidden very well! Happy hunting!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Fyvqr qbja gur fyvqrf....

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



81 Logged Visits

Found it 44     Didn't find it 16     Write note 10     Needs Archived 2     Temporarily Disable Listing 3     Enable Listing 2     Publish Listing 1     Needs Maintenance 1     Post Reviewer Note 2     

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Current Time:
Last Updated: on 9/26/2017 6:39:51 PM Pacific Daylight Time (1:39 AM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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