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A letter recieved 11 years late, postmarked 4 months before the address it was sent from was occupie

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posted on May, 19 2011 @ 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by alfa1
Only half the puzzle, but we once got a christmas card from my grandmother many many years late.
Somehow it had got lost underneath a sorting machine and it was only when they upgraded the machine to a new one that the lost letter was found.


I worked a Christmas at the Post Office. The "sorting machines" were cardboard boxes brought out every Christmas to supplement the metal boxes already there. EVERY Christmas they would find a letter or two stuck in the cardboard.

Times may have changed, but I ran the cancelling machine for all the 983xx and 984xx zip codes on the weekends. The machine would cancel 600 letters per minute. The postmark was fixed on a small dye that you had to change manually every day. You flipped the date with your fingernail. It would be extremely easy to flip the date incorrectly.

Just as an aside, when that sucker jammed up it was not a pretty sight. One night the culprit was a .22 caliber bullet someone had stuck in an envelope. Gulp.

Having worked at the post office myself and seen this stuff in action, I really don't think there's anything strange here. It's more or less typical and easily explainable.




posted on May, 19 2011 @ 02:54 PM
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Originally posted by pajoly
Also, is the stamp an old one or current?


That would be the easiest litmus test -- stamps didn't cost 44 cents in 2000 (and there was no such thing as a "forever" stamp), and the postmark date would be the date that the stamp was accepted as sufficient postage. Stamp costs $0.44, it's a recent mailing. If the stamp cost $0.33, that was correct First Class postage in 2000.



posted on May, 19 2011 @ 11:56 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen

Originally posted by pajoly
Also, is the stamp an old one or current?


That would be the easiest litmus test -- stamps didn't cost 44 cents in 2000 (and there was no such thing as a "forever" stamp), and the postmark date would be the date that the stamp was accepted as sufficient postage. Stamp costs $0.44, it's a recent mailing. If the stamp cost $0.33, that was correct First Class postage in 2000.


Good point. I just asked her to forward me a photo if she has it, but I'm sure I won't get an answer till tomorrow. She says the postmark is "26 May 2000". My nephew's b-day is June 2, and he was an adult with a kid of his own at the time so there'd be no "happy xxst birthday" etc.

And just for the record, I really don't think there's any "time/space" rift, lol, stuff going on (still thrilled to see a Dr. Who fan here!), I just thought it was very intriguing. SHE felt like it was some kind of personal spiritual message for her that she needed to figure out. I thought it was an interesting question for ATS



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 12:03 AM
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reply to post by riiver
 


Time Space anomoly/or time machine testing at the Post Office so a card postmarked in 2000 was readdressed and accidently sent to 2011, or Post Office who lost the letter, concurrently found the B-Day card 11 years later, realized her present day address redressed it in the same envelope and sent it to him?

You say the stamped date says

Good point. I just asked her to forward me a photo if she has it, but I'm sure I won't get an answer till tomorrow. She says the postmark is "26 May 2000".

And she didn't move there until October of 2000?

I find it hard to believe they'd have flpped the stamp wrong accidentally because MAy and OCtober is 5 months apart, not like a may/june or Sept/oct mistake. Why would they flip the month in the middle of said month anyway?

Maybe a stoned worker thinking it'd be funny to play this as a prank, but never got to see the punchline cause he lost the card so it's found 11 Years later and now he can come see the punchline on ATS. Somewhere a postal worker is laughing his butt off.


edit on 20-5-2011 by ldyserenity because: word left out

edit on 20-5-2011 by ldyserenity because: to add stuff



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by ldyserenity
reply to post by riiver
 

I find it hard to believe they'd have flpped the stamp wrong accidentally because MAy and OCtober is 5 months apart, not like a may/june or Sept/oct mistake. Why would they flip the month in the middle of said month anyway?


You are assuming an intentional act. I understand that you find it "hard to believe," but you have never worked for the Post Office and you've never run a cancelling machine. I'm the one with actual experience here in the very thing we're talking about. I know people hate it when that happens because they are forced to deal with reality instead of flights of speculative fancy. But that's the beauty of ATS. Once in awhile you find people who have actually been there and done that. Since I have real experience running a cancelling machine and since I have actually changed the postmark date on them, I'll just go with my real-world explanation rather than your speculation.

There are actually four dyes on the machine which is about 20 feet long. The reason: Any given letter can have the stamp on the front top right, the front bottom left, the back top left, or the back bottom right. A sensor detects the stamp and directs the letter to one of four bins. Just before the letter hits the bin it gets cancelled. When you remove the stack of letters to put them in a tray for priming (the first sort) they are all faced properly in the same direction. There is a fifth bin for letters that don't make it for one reason or another.

The dyes are changed with a fingernail and look very much like those hefty combination locks with four numbers on rotating wheels that show at the bottom. Suitcase locks work the same way. There is no set screw holding the numbers in place; it's just tension. It is VERY EASY to change the dates. Even an errant letter with a coin inside it could jam up against a dye and change the date. This is the crucial part of the operation when the pressure on an envelope is at its greatest and where it is likely to jam. The machine is supposed to sense this and turn off, but it usually takes a dozen or so letters to cram into the exact same space as one letter before the machine has time to react. At 600 letters per minute it is moving right along, 10 letters a second.

When that happens there is a bit of a "letter explosion." You pick up the pieces like body parts in a train wreck and try to match them all together. Sometimes you cannot. Normally the machine requires two or three operators, one or more to feed the letters in from the bubbleator (different story) and one or more to remove the letters as they accumulate in the five bins. Each person has a red "STOP!" button within reach, but on the weekends I'd run the whole thing alone. The machine would start up about 3:00 pm when the first mailmen brought in their bags and threw them on the conveyor belt. It would run continuously until well after midnight when the last guy tossed the last bag from the most remote area. A letter from the top northwest corner of Washington State, such as Neah Bay, would travel all the way to the Tacoma Terminal Annex to be cancelled, even if it was to be delivered next door. Fedex does the exact same thing. Each Terminal Annex takes care of its city, plus the surrounding area. Tacoma is 984XX. The surrounding area is 983XX. Seatlle is 981XX. the surrounding area is 980XX.

The bottom line here is that I have shown that the cancellation date should NOT be taken as gospel. I have also shown that letters can get lost for years in a busy Terminal Annex that handles millions of letters a day. There are a lot of cracks to fall through. I've seen it happen. We still don't know exactly what happened in this case, of course. But the point is that we do not need to invoke supernatural forces to explain it. A UFO did not capture that letter and send it through a time warp. The explanation may be anomolous, but it is still mundane and not all that unusual.



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 12:50 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


And WTF is so unusual about playing a deliberate prank (or paranormal for that mtter?:puz
and why would they flip the month instead of the day, which is seperate on every machine I have seen, in the middle of the month? This is before they updated their machines, anyway, (I have no clue when they switched from what my uncle used...whether itbe befre or after 2000, it used to be a handheld stamper)...Unless it's deliberate...no I never worked at a post office but I do have family that did, and they took me to work with them BTW the top half of reply was a joke, not too sharp are we???
Anyhow, why so DAMN condescending...I am much more intelligent than you could ever imagine or contemplate.... I don't need a post ofice job because I can get a degree.


And who pissed in your cornflakes?

edit on 20-5-2011 by ldyserenity because: add & spelling

edit on 20-5-2011 by ldyserenity because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-5-2011 by ldyserenity because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-5-2011 by ldyserenity because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 20 2011 @ 01:36 PM
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Originally posted by ldyserenity
reply to post by schuyler
 


And WTF is so unusual about playing a deliberate prank (or paranormal for that mtter?:puz
and why would they flip the month instead of the day, which is seperate on every machine I have seen, in the middle of the month? This is before they updated their machines, anyway, (I have no clue when they switched from what my uncle used...whether itbe befre or after 2000, it used to be a handheld stamper)...Unless it's deliberate...no I never worked at a post office but I do have family that did, and they took me to work with them BTW the top half of reply was a joke, not too sharp are we???
Anyhow, why so DAMN condescending...I am much more intelligent than you could ever imagine or contemplate.... I don't need a post ofice job because I can get a degree.


And who pissed in your cornflakes?


Whatever, serenity. I'm a private pilot. Would you please tell me how to fly my airplane? I know your Mommy took you on an airplane flight once, so you must know better than I. I also wonder why you fail to see the point here. I never questioned your intelligence at all. I questioned your experience. Big difference. I wonder why you misconstrued that. I'm really happy you CAN get a degree. I have a couple myself! I hear B.A.'s in English are very common, but alas, the Post Office pays more. Talk about cornflakes!

The bottom line is that the cancellation date is no big deal. I have shown that beyond a doubt. Occam's Razor applies here. Mundane explanations aren't as exciting, but alas, they are common. If you have another explanation (UFOs? Time warps? Paranormal tricksters? The list is endless.) by all means enlighten us. After all, this is ATS and anything goes here.



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 02:28 AM
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Photo:





@schuyler---

I know letters do sometimes get lost, possibly for years (who hasn't read the headline "Postcard Arrives 95 Years Late" or somesuch, after all?). So you're saying that once the letter WAS found, it would be very easy for the date to have accidentally been changed, and that it could have been any random year but just happened to be 2000. Ok, that makes perfect sense, that may very well be what happened, and it's interesting to know that kind of thing can happen. Thanks for the info. (Always happy when I learn something new.)


---------------------------


Now, here is what I really don't understand about this whole incident, and I don't think I made it clear in my earlier posts.

My sister actually remembers sending this card. I know, 11 years is a very long time, but May of 2000 is indelibly burned into both our memories because it was in May of 2000 that our mom found out she had terminal cancer and just had a few months to live. It's not a time easily forgotten. She particularly remembers this card because tucked a special object, a feather, which she had found and which had some special significance for her, into it, to send him as some kind of gift, and she was anxious that he get the card before his birthday (June 2). So no matter how long it was lost, it was sent sometime in May 2000.

But. The address is her address from 5 months further into the year.

THAT is the weird part. Not that it got there years later. Stuff happens. That would be interesting but not weird. What makes it strange is that it's addressed in her hand, with the later address.



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 07:25 AM
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Is that my imagination or does that stamp not say 26th May 2010?




posted on May, 21 2011 @ 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by bugsbunny1967
Is that my imagination or does that stamp not say 26th May 2010?

I noticed that also. The postmark says 26 May 2010. Case solved.



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 10:44 AM
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Originally posted by Twisted1

Originally posted by bugsbunny1967
Is that my imagination or does that stamp not say 26th May 2010?

I noticed that also. The postmark says 26 May 2010. Case solved.


There must be something more to it (the postage stamp appears to be cut off in the picture) than that, because it seems pretty obvious, along with the zip + 4 encoding at the bottom, which I don't think was in general use in 2000, both of which may represent recent reprocessing of the letter.

OP, why did you cut off the picture to the right, so that the postage stamp itself isn't visible? Can you post a complete picture, if that's where the "May 2000" date appears?


edit on 21-5-2011 by adjensen because: oopsies



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 11:28 AM
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It says 2010 as far as I can see.
Dang I hate hoaxes.
BOO!!!!



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 11:39 AM
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Obviously your mom has a time machine. You cried because she didn't send you a card 30 years ago for your birthday, so she went back in time and sent one, forgetting that she hadn't moved into her new house yet, therefor she screwed up the address. Duh.



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 09:30 PM
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Originally posted by PostcardFrom1952
Obviously your mom has a time machine. You cried because she didn't send you a card 30 years ago for your birthday, so she went back in time and sent one, forgetting that she hadn't moved into her new house yet, therefor she screwed up the address. Duh.


Um, she's not my mom, and it wasn't my birthday, maybe you need to read it again a little slower?



posted on May, 21 2011 @ 09:40 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Never uploaded or embedded a photo here before, the photo I have shows the whole thing, stamp and all, but it's cut off in the embedded pic. Do pics have to be less than a certain size?

And you're right folks, I think it actually does say 2010, case solved. When she sent me the pic I opened it in Photoshop, and it is much larger than the embedded version (again, it even cut off the edges), and the date is much blurrier, and quite honestly looks like four zeros.

To the person who yelled 'hoax'--- a hoax is only a hoax if someone is knowingly passing a lie off as the truth. All I knew when I posted this is what my sister told me, I didn't even have a photo or know one existed. And when I did get the photo, in the program I was using to view it, it looked like '2000'. 'Wrong' does not equal 'hoax', it just equals wrong. So my apologies for wasting people's time.

On the other hand, if it says 2010, that means the silly thing got lost not once but twice. What are the odds?



posted on May, 25 2011 @ 06:31 AM
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If you download the picture, it shows the whole thing, stamp and all. Thing is, you can't see a price on the stamp. But, even if the postmark is 2010, and was lost for 11 years it was still mailed when stated, correct? Or am I wrong about that? Which would still make it being sent from an address she didn't live at yet, a little odd.



posted on May, 25 2011 @ 06:19 PM
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Originally posted by duckyfresh
If you download the picture, it shows the whole thing, stamp and all.


Ah, thanks for the tip -- which solves the matter once and for all. The stamp on the envelope was issued in 2009 (documented here.) That proves that it was not mailed in 2000, with the cancellation stamp a result of later reprocessing.




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