Sunday, 5 January 2014

Fellow Birders

I realise we haven't posted much recently on the blog, but there hasn't been much to write about and unfortunately the old enemy of time has meant I haven't been able to make any more sense of some of the mysteries of S. Hopefully these small snippets of information will spark some theories and questions of your own.

This post has a couple of updates and potential rabbit holes for us to fall down and I will shortly post a small poll suggested by a reader of the blog.

First of all Jill Aggie sent a question about this postcard via email, it is the Postcard from Eric on the 18th of April and what is intriguing Jill is the postmark. Unlike the other postmarks, this one has a string of numbers to the left of the usual circular stamp, it could just be a product of that particular post office of course but it is interesting as it is almost a regular pattern. Minus two single digits it is a 4 x 8 grid.


If anyone can make sense of these numbers or suggest a potential cipher to try and use to decode them please let us know.

Next Danielle Parker mentioned in the comments that the Santorini Man murders that are heavily referenced by Radio Straka, in the book and on the Eotvos Wheel website has striking similarities to the Taman Shud Case an Australian mystery where a body is found with the last page of a book in his pocket. This is also know as the "Somerton Man" which is again very similar to the S. version.

Inspiration for the events in Ship of Theseus or is there a firmer link to the S. Santorini Man mystery ?

As pointed out by Mystimus in the comments there is another blog with an article about this - The Monkey Dance

Finally for now I was thinking about the negative space mystery that may be something we need to solve and also the twitter icon that @EricHusch had a while ago (see earlier post).

I had a go at manipulating the S. logo and creating a mirror image any laying one S. over the other, in a Palimpsest manner, I came up with this.

Looks a little like an Owl to me, and also seems to form a sort of mask for reading a hidden message, if only I knew where to look ! I have tried printing it, cutting out the holes and placing it over some of the pages but have got nothing so far.

Again if you can find a way of using it to find new information please let us know.


  1. maybe the numbers have something to do with the Eotvos Wheel... just a thought, im still not 100% sure how to use it, but it seems like anything with secret numbers should/could be a reference to it.

  2. In the 3rd image for the lot of postcards here:, there is a picture of the original Guanabara (palms) postcard. Note that there are no deckled edges and there is text (Entrada do Jardim Botanico - Rio de Janeiro Brasil). Not sure if this or the other 14 postcards are significant.

  3. I've written a number of blogs about the Eliot to S connection. Here is a blog on how Eliot leads to Rubaiyat to Taman Shud to Santorini Man murders the article It probably won't make too much sense without seeing the huge connection to Eliot to start with. I could be crazy of course in seeing this Eliot connection but it seems looming and large.

  4. Interesting!

    With you juxtaposing the postcard and the taman shud case I'm playing around with matching up the numbers with the letters that were found in the back of the book in the real life case. Those were laid out in a similar grid. The second line of both the postcard and shud grids are both crossed out, too.

    I'm not sure if I would be thrilled if this turns out to be a code, though, since the only canon codes so far have been from FXC to VMS; what point do Eric and Jen have in communicating in an additional code? They otherwise speak very freely in the margins. That, and tampering with the postmark sounds like it might render the postcard undeliverable.

    I also get the feeling that while the Santorini man et al bodies are meant to be canon, the Taman Shud case isn't. It might not have happened in S's universe, or you'd think it would appear on the list compiled on the eotvos wheel website. I doubt it would be used for a code

    One last note: the first digit on the postmark is a 5, not a 9

    1. I tend to agree with you, Riley regarding any code in the Taman Shud case as related to any codes for S. I think Taman Shud is inspiration and not the answer. But sometimes inspiration can lead to a better understanding of the work. The thought I did have was I felt that the Rubaiyat was a tool for some sort of book cipher in the Taman Shud case. By inference, could there be a book cipher at work for in S? The Rubaiyat would not be the key of course but perhaps something else is. It's not Eliot's Wasteland as far as I can tell. But Eliot is Dorst's inspiration and not Straka's. I have tried corresponding cited page numbers to lines, Part numbers to parts. But Eliot is Dorst's inspiration and not Straka's. The question would be, if you are Straka, what book would you use for a book cipher? A book with parts, perhaps chapters, or a long form poem with parts and sections?

  5. Also I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade but I don't see any reason to think the twitter accounts or pinterest board is real.
    The Eotvos wheel website was created before the book's release, is well written, and has very professional looking photos and some sample book covers. The pinterest board re-posts some of these and a handful of S photos-- in various fonts. Hardly the treasure trove J + E describe (and why on earth would they refer to his pinterest board as his "website"?). The twitter handles are prolific but filled with spelling mistakes and inaccuracies (which J+E never make in the margins) and supposed hints to additional codes. Wake me up when they convincingly solve a new code from the book before anyone else, but otherwise I don't think we should be giving them attention

    1. Hi Riley, I am pretty sure that the Eotvos wheel website is "in game" as it were. I suspect the older posts are presented to help establish a narrative fiction that supports the book. I wouldn't be surprised if pinterest account turns out to be "in game" as well. Abrams likes to embrace technology and social media, so the Pinterest account could be a test to see how much interest and interaction it generates. It may not be ready to heat up yet. Myself and a couple of other blogs have been finding parallels to the book in real life. I suspect that there are some red herrings. I suspect that we find many of the actual events in history and existing fiction that inspired S. I wouldn't be too quick to dismiss something out of hand, it may not be useful now, but it could prove useful later. Riley, most importantly, realize that this is a narrative that wants you too explore it, so be open to the adventure to come. Happy hunting!

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