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How should we "Peek through the pines?"

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shaqmeister
(@shaqmeister)
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One thing that I am grateful for is what I call my "autistic thinking." It’s low-level, not debilitating or anything and can be helpful. Basically, I’m not totally literal all the time, but when others see one thing in something or other, I tend to see first the more direct possibilities.

Take the phrase "peek through the pines" pasted on this card. It carries a picture of a location, which some think is suggestive of another location (e.g. Donner Pass) and some people have even gone there "peeking through the pines" and started digging up potential grave sites and finding sunglasses.

Is it just me, or does nobody notice that the card has a big punch hole in it and, as to the location of this hole on the card, that it looks "through the pines?" Anyone? ;

It’s not telling us to go anywhere, or even think about locations with pines at all. Basically, its telling us we are to use this card as an overlay on something, aligning it in some way, and then "peek through the pines."

Here, for example. This is a correctly scaled Pines postcard as overlay on the Z340, which I think lines up pretty nicely over the array of symbols underneath and is very likely where we should be experimenting with it.

This is the kind of "peek[ing] through the pines" that we should be doing, not traipsing off into the mountains with a flask and snowboots.

“This isn’t right! It’s not even wrong!”—Wolfgang Pauli (1900–1958)

 
Posted : May 12, 2019 4:12 am
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 urik
(@urik)
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Posted by: @shaqmeister

It’s not telling us to go anywhere, or even think about locations with pines at all. Basically, its telling us we are to use this card as an overlay on something, aligning it in some way, and then “peek through the pines.”

Your interpretation (others may have realized it earlier) seems correct. The “peek through the pines” does read like instructions to look through the hole and align it with something. However, definitely not with Z340 or other suggestions I found online, but rather with the Mount Diablo map, specifically with magnetic north on Mount Diablo itself. I know this because we already discovered it earlier (without understanding “peek through the pines”) and got the exact same location as inferred from Z32, from the alphabet cipher concealed on this postcard (if you look carefully at the Attention line, you will recognize it as a classic alphabet key), and from other Zodiac puzzles. I summarized the findings here. There is no doubt that the author of this postcard also wrote Z32 and the Halloween card, as the puzzles/ciphers lead to the very same location. And there is also no doubt that this author also wrote the 1990 Eureka card, as the concealed ciphers in the two cards have way too many similarities.

 
Posted : July 16, 2021 8:18 am
(@replaceablehead)
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The overlay theory is very popular, it may even be the most popular interpretation of the Pines card. The problem is that no one has found a compelling overlay solution, let alone a verifiable one. Most people start with the overlay theory, and abandon it because they can’t find a good match.

It’s still hard to shake the felling that an overlay solution is hiding in plain sight. There is just something so intuitive about the notion, it’s like the Zodiac really wants you to use it as an overlay, but it just doesn’t seem to fit anywhere. This leads a lot of people to conclude that the Zodiac was using the overlay idea as a red herring, a way to mock would be puzzle solvers. Like he wants you to think it’s an overlay, but “psych, it’s not!”. 

That was how I felt, and I think a lot of us were feeling that way. With no solutions for so many decades it really seemed as if he was just messing with us, hinting at puzzles that didn’t exist. The the Z340 was solved and all of a sudden it was like “this guy was serious about both ciphers, it was never fake”.

That’s a huge revelation; it tips the scales away from the idea that the reason we can’t solve his puzzles is because they’re fake, and instead reinstates the idea that we can’t solve his puzzles because we just haven’t figured them out yet. 

 
Posted : July 16, 2021 2:14 pm
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 urik
(@urik)
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Posted by: @replaceablehead

The overlay theory is very popular, it may even be the most popular interpretation of the Pines card. 

Right, but I didn’t notice anyone associating ‘peek through the pines’ with the overlay theory before shaqmeister (although shaqmeister and I may have just missed it).

 

Posted by: @replaceablehead

It’s still hard to shake the felling that an overlay solution is hiding in plain sight. There is just something so intuitive about the notion, it’s like the Zodiac really wants you to use it as an overlay, but it just doesn’t seem to fit anywhere.

As usual, your logic and perspective are sound, and I agree with everything you write here and later in your post. I would not have wasted time on Zodiac before the Z340 solution, for the same reason you mention.

 

Posted by: @replaceablehead

The problem is that no one has found a compelling overlay solution, let alone a verifiable one.  

But this claim is demonstrably untrue. Take the card and align the hole with (the real) magnetic north on the Mount Diablo map. Doesn’t this step also seem compelling and almost in plain sight? Mark the crosshairs on the map. The direction you get precisely crosses Vallejo Mill, NNE Fremont. If you scale the card or stamp to a standard size (cute Zodiac trick!), then not only the direction, but the distance too matches NNE Fermont: the crosshairs symbol now places you directly at the spot along Route 84 aligned with Paradise Drive. The location itself is compelling, as it matches Zodiac’s descriptions in several aspects.

This interpretation is not only compelling, but also verifiable, because the same location was already derived uniquely from several other puzzles. These angle and rescaled distance are precisely the same as in the Z32 message (“east 3.0 rad 3.3” inch) found before the crosshairs interpretation. If you don’t trust this Z32 solution (why? it’s even in some depth, and the only solution matching Zodiac’s “radians &#inches”), no problem. The thinly concealed cipher in this postcard directly spells “Fremont NNE”, and such concealed ciphers have nearly zero ambiguity. If you don’t trust this concealed cipher solution (why? the obvious key renders verification much easier than in homophonic ciphers, and the exact same mechanism was reused in the Eureka card), no problem. Several other redundant riddles, mostly just rebus puzzles, were derived before the crosshairs interpretation, all giving the very same solution.

These points are reviewed in my Summary. (BTW, the last paragraph in this summary, about ultimate verification, was written specifically with you in mind, knowing how much you love The Mikado… And of all people, you should appreciate the ‘beauty in the bellow of the blast’.) Zodiac’s batch of puzzles is admittedly challenging to solve, but easy to verify. Indeed, what more could you ask for in terms of verification?

 
Posted : July 16, 2021 5:12 pm
 Soze
(@soze)
Posts: 810
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Assuming that the building in the photo represents “Clair Tappan Lodge” for the Sierra Club then I would say direction is given. This lodge is roughly northwest of the Lake Tahoe area. The card says to pass Lake Tahoe areas. 

 
Posted : July 26, 2021 2:17 pm
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