French Regional Park drop

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Cliff E. French Regional Park drop
Location     Plymouth, MN
Coordinates 45.023199°, -93.434054°
Landmarks Sledding hill
Items Index card
People/Visitors Visitor center employees
Found 7-2-2014
Type Other
Status Acquired

Following a message mentioning this drop, we were able to call a visitor's center for the park and recruit several members to search for the item. Initially there were delays and false-stops, but the drop was finally found to their success.

Background

On July 2nd 2014 a message on Agent Code 16041 was received on the Agent System which was decoded to read:

/DROP5/OTP DROP KEY REPLACEMENT/45.023199/-93.434054/NOTES/SIGN/NOTES/SLEDDING/

This drop appears to be a replacement item for the missing Grand_Canyon_trail_drop item.


Drop Items

Drop item name Drop item condition Drop item status Location Notes
Index card (French Park) Unknown Received Adah None

[See Drop Item Inventory to edit this.] The index card is marked with hex digits (similar to the Big Pine Campground drop item) appearing as

GROUP 1
AF 3F 83 25 9E  23 E8 A5
73 02 22  AA   D5 02  B7
45 79  88  B5 80 E6

Decoding

This message was later combined with the above mentioned drop message to yield another partial message. The ruler message was 19 bytes long and the index card is 21 bytes long, meaning that this decode doesn't use 2 bytes. However, it's undeniable there are readable numbers in the message...

OtpXor clued is in to this hidden message when running a quick scan for cleartext

C:\Users\Crash>otpxor s C:\Users\Crash\Desktop\card.bin C:\Users\Crash\Desktop\ruler.bin
|  ..m..00375 499.974 @ 0x00000001 (13 Readable) 

After some transcription changes to the two messages were made, we had a more suitable way to decode them:

input:
AF.3F 83 25 9E 23.E8 A5 73 02 22 AA D5 02 B7.45.79 88 B5 80 E6
9e 0b A8 6b be 14 d8 95 40 35 17 8a e1 3b 8e 72 40 bf 81 __ __
                               
output:
31 34 2B 4E 20 37 30 30 33 37 35 20 34 39 39 37 39 37 34 __ __

Result and discussion

Combined with the other drop the ultimate result is the following message:

14+N 700375 4997974

And two bytes (80 E6) unused from the index card.

There has been some discussion that because the previous drops mentioned "DROP KEY" "DROP LOCATIONS" that this message are the UTM coordinates for a third drop.

The UTM Coordinates 14/700375/4997974 give us the long/lat coordinates 45.1068281235952, -96.4529240508186, a very specific location near a strange crop formation on the SD/MN border (and not far from the Black Oak Lake Cemetery drop).

See Milbank field drop for more information on this new location.

Gallery