Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Member Of Cap's Flight Patrol

I am now a card-carrying (okay, medal-carrying) member of Captain Midnight's 1940 Flight Patrol! This nice bronze medallion originally went to listeners of the radio show for nothing more than a quick visit to the local Skelly Oil service station. Nowadays, it's a quick visit to the nearest internet auction site, and about ten dollars.

It's a nice spinner - place the front side down (the center of the propellor is a nub on which the coin spins freely) and give a twist. The back has a clock face at the midnight position,...whoever the hands point at when the coin stops spinning is "it"!

And what's that "?COBRALHOFA?" mean? Well, from Jim Widner's Captain Midnight Page:

Some of the premiums were a part of the show: the propeller spinning medal had the secret word "COBRALHOFA" on it. The word was not so secret, however, as it was regularly announced on the series, though never spelled. During the time that Chuck was captured in some 1940 episodes, he would send out messages to the Captain which were coded messages. By taking a message and selecting every tenth word, the messages could be translated. Why ten? Because the COBRALHOFA was equal to ten letters. For example, one message was:

"Hello, Captain Midnight and everybody. It sure seems a long time since I have seen you and the old home at Black Gulch. I am feeling fine. This is on my word of honor. Do as Ivan Shark asks, flying to any point he says as swiftly as an arrow. Ivan Shark is a snake, a Cobra but..."

The second message was almost the same as the first in that the code words were repeated. Captain Midnight discovered that every tenth word in both messages were the same. He also knew that the coded words corresponded to the last five letters of the secret password, COBRALHOFA and that it was intentional for Chuck to use the word Cobra:

"Hello, Captain Midnight and everybody. Please do not delay long. Fly where Ivan Shark says. I will not be home again if you refuse. To do all these things on my account is a lot, I know. Remember that flying to Ivan Shark's direction as straight as an arrow is essential..."

Captain Midnight figured that Chuck would send a third message using the first part of the secret password which he alluded to in the earliest message. And a third arrived:

"Hello Captain Midnight. This is your last chance to come to an agreement with Ivan Shark. Please think it over. If you do not aggree, this will be the bridge that will separate us forever. You should do the right thing. The thing that will surely bring us together at last..."

Once all the messages were placed in the order of the secret word, the message gave away Ivan Shark's hiding place:

Come Over Bridge Right At Long Home On Flying Arrow

Visit Mr Widner's page for a whole bunch more interesting information on Captain Midnight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where can I obtain a copy of the spinner? Thanks