So here we have the envelope the contents came in. It's stamped with listening friends of America and it has a postage stamp from Maryland. At the bottom, you have the inspector sticker and the initials RS have been used. There's also a package ID below. It's easy enough to open and out spill the contents!
Next is the welcome letter from George Madson. There's nothing too amazing happening here. He just gives you the overview of the program and outlines the inspection process.
Now there's the letter from our friend. The envelope is already open. It just says "Friend" on the front.
From the start, he already feels close to us and considers us a friend. He also makes us think that he's likely an elderly man. There are a few odd lines in there, like when he starts talking about leaks and pipes and stuff. I've included the larger version of the image. Then he gets a little creepy and he starts talking about the hunt, stalking prey. Then there's the whole knowing something of value at the end.
Next, we have the article with the redacted sections. You can read the full article online and you'll see the sections that have generally been blacked out are in the letter from our friend.
I've gone through to find all the redacted text. To a point a lot of the sections contains names, places, a date. Others are the phases used in the letter from John William James.
July 10, 2016
the leaky pipe
carries more water
break and leaks
more likely to show a depression
to last decades
and perhaps a century
Something quick. A crushed cup. Something a person might receive medication in or the kind of cup you put ketchup in.
Next is the little constellation map. I've been trying to look up each one and get a few notes on each. If I look this up a bit I can find that it's specifically the map of the northern sky at 10 pm September 23rd, 9 pm October 8th and 8pm October 23rd.
Here's the backside of the card where you can see a piece of nylon cord taped to the back. It's not even an inch in size. This kind of baffles you for a moment because you don't know what it means.
Then there's this Swan card. At least when you look up some of the constellations from above you can see that one of them means Swan. Significance? Not really sure... Looking this up you can eventually find that it's from a book called "Infant's Cabinet of Birds & Beasts"
Lastly, we have the inspectors notes. Again, up until the last box I received, I didn't know about this. So it's kind of interesting seeing it so soon. It provides its own hints and information. It points out that the nylon cord is probably from an instrument in the music room they have on site. I could exclude a number of stringed instruments off the top of my hand. I did find that a harp is likely to use nylon strings. Relevance? Not really use other than to indicate they have access to a music room. Other notes indicate that have an arts and crafts space. You definitely get the sense we're looking at some kind of asylum? But for what kind of people? Dangerous criminals deemed insane? Those suffering emotional and mental traumas and difficulties? Are the people in the place almost permanently confined until the administration deems them fit to reenter society? Can they come un voluntarily and leave in the same manner?
Ok, so I'm not sure of the best way to do this. I can simply talk about the contents of the box or I could post the images I've got from when I scanned them in. If there's a way to scale them back that would be great because they're HUGE when I use the [img][/img].
So as an overview this little box contained a large envelope with the stamped text "... Listening Friends of America", a postage stamp and then an inspector's sticker with some initials and a package ID. The postage stamp indicates it's supposed to originate from Maryland. Inside this envelope are the contents sent to me by both the person I'm listening to as well as the head of the organization.
Next, we have the opening introductory letter from a George Madson, Vice-President and Chief Welcoming Agent for Listening Friends of America. I'm being welcomed and thanked for participating in this program that connects you with an isolated individual and gives them an outlet. The communication is one-way so the person never hears back from you. We are the person they can confide in and be the shoulder they could cry on.
Next, we have a previously opened envelope and on the front is the word "Friend" that seems to have been typed using a typewriter. Inside is a hefty piece of paper that has been typed by a typewriter. It's basically from the individual we're being connected with and at the bottom, it is signed by John William James.
Other items that have been included are:
-- A crushed paper cup, like something a person might receive pills in or maybe it resembles the cup you might dispense mustard or ketchup into at a restaurant.
-- A blue constellation chart of a specific section of the Milky Way. ONe the back is a 1-inch piece of nylon cord taped to the back.
-- Then we have a dark brown/green card with the image of a Swan on the water with from reeds and grass behind. The words THe Swan. is written below.
-- We also have an article that seems to be titled "sinkhole highlights challenges of preventing, detecting infrastructure failing" with a number of sections effectively redacted.
One of the first things I probably did after reading and looking at this stuff is I looked for this Listening Friends of America group. This will lead you to an actual website!
Worth noting is, as neat as this site looks, it was probably pulled from a template and gradually augmented because there's reference to a Drinks menu and Restuarant.
It's not a massive website but you can mouse about to learn what you can. You kind of assume you must have signed up as a volunteer at some point. There is a Winter Newsletter in the Archive section and you get some info out of that as well plus there's a puzzle at the end. You can solve this now and hold onto it or wait until later...
This group also seems to have a Facebook account page too so you can like that and read through and it might provide more details. I plan to go through this at some point.
Something I didn't discover until recently is there's an Inspector's database online where you can retrieve the inspector's notes about each package you receive. I'm not sure why I didn't see this link before on the website but maybe they changed their processes a bit. I think you used to receive the inspector's notes later in the mail but now you search for it online.
I'll try to add to this later. If someone has a way for me to scale the images that would be super!
1 blog comments below
TheGremlyn on Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:59 pm