Tuesday, November 11, 2014

11/11/14 Report - Detecting Up North On A Quick Trip. Decoder Mystery Solved. Orphan Annie Radio Program. Fort Pierce Shark Attack.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of treasurebeachesreport.BlogSpot.com.

Center of Dug Mystery Item Reading ROASS

There are many types of treasure, and different people have a passion for different types.  Some love glitzy modern gold, others old rusty relics, and others fossils or meteorites.  To some extent you are limited by where you live, but you can always travel.  Gas prices have decreased lately, making travel a little more economical.

As you probably know the Treasure Coast beaches have not been giving up much his year.  We just haven't had much erosion and a lot of the beaches have been smothered by tons of renourishment sand in recent years.

I like all kinds of treasure.  Sometimes I like rusty relics as much  as glitzy gold, especially when they provide an interesting connection to a time, place or person.  And sometimes I just like exploring, seeing what is there and learning a little about what happened at a location in the past.

Well not too long ago I made a quick trip up north.  It is an area that has a lot of personal history for me as well as a lot of old pioneer history.  I've written a little about it before.

On this particular trip, I sent an Ace 250 along ahead by U. S. mail.  It is light and doesn't cost much to send, and I'd rather send it than fool with baggage or carry-on luggage.  It costs about $15 dollars to send it by U. S. mail.  I don't worry so much about shipping the inexpensive Ace.

On this trip, I didn't send it early enough and it arrived later than expected, so I lost a little detecting time.  Nonetheless, I did get good use out of it and had some fun.

The area had been detected before, but I decided to focus on coins because I found some nice old coins there on my last trip and figured there would be more.  First I spent a little time hunting a yard which had been hunted fairly well in the past, just to see what was still there.  I didn't find any coins in the well hunted yard, but decided to dig a few other types of targets.

I got a confusing signal.   It appeared to be either an unusual shape or multiple targets close together.  The signal also told me it was composed of more than one type of metal.  

The mail man didn't come until late and it was already starting to get dark.  I dug the first piece and didn't have enough light to see what it was.  I could just tell that it was an unusual shape.  It was also covered with dirt.

There was more in the ground so I dug up the other part.  It was covered with mud, and I couldn't tell what it was either.

When I went inside and cleaned the objects off I could tell what it was.  It was a decoder badge, and on the top was the date 1936.

I talked to my mom on the phone and she said she had a Jack Armstrong decoder badge in 1936.  She told me about how there were a few radio programs that used things like that and one was the Jack Armstrong mystery program.  She said the program came on at 5;30 on Saturdays (evidently a memorable event for her) and my grandfather picked some other people up to come to their house to listen to the radio some evenings. 

You could get the badge by sending in a part of a cereal box and a coin of some denomination.  As part of the program they would give you a coded message, which you could decode by using the decoder.

After a quick internet search I learned that the decoder I just dug was not a Jack Armstrong decoder, but rather an Orphan Annie decoder badge.

The decoder I found was made in 1936, the second year that the radio program issued them, and was not a cereal box promotion, but was offered by Ovaltine.  You might remember Ovaltine, but I don't think many of you will remember the Orphan Annie radio program.  I remember Ovaltine.

Here is a link for more information on the Orphan Annie radio program and the various decoders they used.


ROASS stood for Radio Orphan Annie Secret Society.  (See photo at top of post.)

Here are the two pieces of the decoder uncleaned.  The front has numbers around it and the second piece has letters that show up in the numbered windows when it is assembled.

The second picture shows the back and the secret compartment.  The pin that was on the back of the badge is now gone.

The secret compartment is about big enough to hold a penny or small folded piece of paper.

After applying 3 in 1 to the secret compartment I was able to slide it open.  I was really hoping something would be in it.  It would have been really neat if it held a piece of paper with a child's message.  It was empty though.  Too bad.

We know the name of the family that had two girls of the right age that lived in the area at the time and intend to do a little research on that.

That was one fun find.  Not valuable at all, but fun.

Tomorrow or some time soon, I'll post finds that are around 2000 years old from the same trip.

On the Treasure Coast the surf will be calm most of the week.   Not much new there.

Do be careful.  A surfer got seriously injured by a shark attack near the Fort Pierce inlet.  Here is that link.


Happy hunting,