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Silverback hunters should be familiar with the “pigpen” or masonic cipher,
which is a simple substitution cipher exchanging letters for symbols
based on a grid.
This cipher can be used to decrypt directions and secret codewords at FBZ geocaches!
SGTF has declared a Forbidden Zone (FBZ) among the ruins of an abandoned mine along the old Wilcox toll road near the historic gold rush mountain town of Julian, CA! Read the mission brief below...
SUBJECT: FBZ A.P.E. 52 Brief [Mission #2]
TO: Silverback Operatives
In addition to its relative proximity to local primate phenomena, SGTF believes this FBZ holds clues to a mystery which has haunted the Julian area since the late 1970's. As the tale goes, a young teenager by the name of Clarke Duncan disappeared on Halloween night in 1976. He was last seen wearing a Planet of the Apes costume as he participated in trick or treating with a group of friends in the Julian neighborhood of Whispering Pines.
Authorities say they believe Duncan, on a dare
from one of his buddies, ventured deep into an abandoned mine shaft and became lost in the maze of tunnels inside
the mountain. A search team was dispatched
but was unsuccessful and eventually
called off all recovery efforts due
to dangerous conditions in the tunnels.
Rumors persist that the team
reportedly uncovered a smattering of
important evidence during their investigation
that was never released to the public.
The official position taken by authorities
was that Duncan's disappearance was
a tragic accident and that he was "in
no way" a victim of foul play. But
locals have always thought differently
and many believe investigators instituted
a cover-up to protect local citizens
from the truth.
SGTF has managed to obtain this critical piece of evidence
through our underground network and included it as part of the FBZ
A.P.E. 52 Top Secret Geocache (TSG). You will soon learn our search
for truth and evidence related to paranormal activity has a strong
correlation to the Julian mystery.
At the Warlock Mine TSG, you have been provided an "old" map painted with secret symbols which, when decoded, will direct you to a nearby zone of suspicion where you will discover the second (2nd) mission codeword for Operation Silverback. UPDATE: DUE TO A COMPROMISE AT Z2, THE CODEWORD HAS BEEN RELOCATED TO THE INITIAL CONTAINER AT Z1. Use the "pig-pen" or masonic cipher to help decode the symbols on the map and all subsequent secret writings you find during your participation in SGTF’s black project (a.k.a. “The Activity”).
In all, there are seven (7) FBZ locations (i.e. missions) to Operation Silverback. Six FBZs contain “intelligence” report(s) and a corresponding secret codeword. Use the six (6) codewords collectively at fbz.geocaches.org to discover the seventh and final TOP SECRET FBZ location. Keep in mind codewords can be gathered in any order so you DO NOT need to visit FBZs sequentially! The seventh and final mission location is where the truth shall be revealed!
Operatives who have successfully submitted the TOP SECRET codeword for this mission...
(Sat 10 Dec 2022 @ 18:50:41 PST; 1670727041 seconds since Unix Epoch (POSIX) 01 Jan 1970 00:00:00 UTC)
FBZ A.P.E. 52 contains a large ammo can with Special Reconnaissance (SR) related to SGTF's Operation Silverback in the form of Planet of the Apes Memorabilia (POTAM) and scouted intelligence reports. As a clandestine special tactics unit, SGTF has been known to leave POTAM tracking bugs in FBZs with special mission instructions related to active Project A.P.E. caches (e.g. Project A.P.E. Mission 9: Tunnel of Light).
FBZs are reserved for POTAM related to SGTF's Silverback operations. Visitors are encouraged to register their visit and leave ONLY items containing relevance to The Planet of the Apes or items that are traditional hitchhikers (e.g. geocoins, travel bugs, etc.). Only place and/or remove TRACKABLE items from this cache (read NO unrelated SWAG); Any POTAM found in this cache designated as NOT TRACKABLE is pertinent to operations for this FBZ and should REMAIN ASSIGNED TO THE CACHE. POTAM labeled PROVISIONAL FTF is considered remittance as reward for the FTF (First to Find) and can be removed freely without restriction or stipulation.
Consider exploring other points of interest in this area including the tasting of one of Julian's famous apple pies! Click here to read more about this quaint little community!
*Disclaimer: Stories here and at FBZ caches are a combination of historical conjecture, anecdote and pure fiction. Any similarity to any event, group, or person living or dead is merely coincidental. Additionally, SGTF has utilized a variety of signs/stickers as props in the FBZ geocaching series. Labels or warnings (e.g. biohazard, radioactive, etc.) which are fictitious will display some form of the SGTF/Silverback moniker; all other warning signage encountered during this or any other FBZ adventure should be respected and observed as posted.