The letters were not mailed from the United States!

Re: The letters were not mailed from the United States!

Postby Soze » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:45 am

The "Discover America" cancellation appears to be what the USPS calls a "special cancellation". Special cancellations can have a caption that publicizes an event or can be a type of slogan such as - "Discover America".

In the USPS domestic mail manual dated 2003 the manual gives instructions on applying for special cancellations for publicizing events. It would seem, based on what I am reading, that any organization can apply for a post office to have a special cancellation but there are rules and limitations. So the US government wasn't the only entity to implement cancellation stamps within a post office.

From the manual:

2.0 Special Cancellations

2.1Description

Special cancellations are machine cancellations in which a caption publicizing an event is engraved on a die hub used to cancel mail. They may be used only in post offices with 190 or more revenue units for canceling large volumes of mail. Special cancellations are authorized only if the scheduled observance either is for a national purpose for which Congress has made an appropriation or is of general public interest and importance for a definite period and not conducted for private gain or profit.

*While I don't know exactly what "190 revenue units" means, I do feel this would be an indicator of what postal facilities could have been used for mailing. The cancellation certainly fits the bill for Congress appropriations

2.2Prohibitions

Special cancellations are not authorized for events of interest primarily to a particular local group; fraternal, political, religious, service, commercial, or trade organizations; campaigns or events promoting the sale or use of private products or services; idea or slogan promotions not directly connected with an event of general public interest and importance; post office anniversaries; recruitment programs; or events that occur during a period when all canceling machines in the post office are scheduled for other special cancellation die hubs.

*This, to me, gives an indication that not all post offices receive the same dies created for and by the USPS. Another indicator that a specific mailing location may be narrowed down.

2.3Application

A written application for a special cancellation die hub must be submitted to the postmaster at the post office where the special cancellation is to be used. The application must be submitted by the sponsor at least 4 months before the date the special cancellation is to be used. The application must provide this information:
a. Complete description and schedule of the event to be observed; evidence that the event is not for private gain or profit; and the name, address, and telephone number of the sponsor to be billed for the cost of manufacturing the die hubs.
b. The wording of the special cancellation, which must be standardized and approved by the sponsor’s national headquarters when the sponsor is an affiliate or local chapter of a national organization. Standardized requests for national events must be forwarded to the manager of Mailing Standards (see G043 for address.) Space available for the wording is limited to three lines of not more than 20 letters, numbers, or spaces each. Illustrations or designs may not be used. The wording must directly reflect the event to be commemorated.
c. Post office name and telephone number where the cancellation is to be used, number of die hubs required, and the requested period of use.

2.4Sponsor Payment

The sponsor must pay the cost of manufacturing the special cancellation die hub and any cost incurred for installing the hub or in adapting canceling machines for its use.

2.5Time Limit on Use

Use of a special cancellation may not exceed 6 months. A special cancellation approved on an annual basis is limited to one 60-day period for each year. A request must be submitted for reuse of recurring annual cancellations 3 months before the date the sponsor wants the cancellation to be used again. For national cancellations, a single request from the national sponsor suffices.
2.6Revocation

Use of any special cancellation may be curtailed or revoked when it is necessary to use special postmarking dies for USPS purposes.

2.7After Use

Used die hubs may not be given to sponsors or transferred to another post office. A request from the sponsor that a special cancellation die hub be kept for an appropriate purpose (e.g., placement in a museum, library, or historical site) may be approved by the manager of Mailing Standards (see G043 for address).

2.8Information

More information about special cancellations is in the Postal Operations Manual.

2.9Mail Submitted for Special Cancellations

A mailer must affix First-Class postage to mail that the mailer wants canceled with a special cancellation. The mail must bear a complete address. Stamps issued by foreign countries are not permitted on the mail. Mail bearing the special cancellation will not be enclosed in another envelope for return even if a postage-paid envelope is provided by the customer. Damaged envelopes canceled with a special cancellation are not replaced.

Sorry. I've put in a long day and will have to call it a night now. Posting so you can read and decide for yourself whether it's useful. Frankly, I think is but will require legwork.

In addition:

I would like to add that I did try and find a 1969 version of this DMM. I did see where there is one for sale but trying to find a free one. I'm sure things like the 190 units might be lower. Just guessing.

Soze
Last edited by Soze on Sat Apr 01, 2017 1:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The letters were not mailed from the United States!

Postby Soze » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:52 am

Mr lowe wrote:
Tahoe27 wrote:How would Zodiac know what cancellation stamp would be used? Am I missing something here?


howsabout he worked in the postal industry and had access and knowledge. just his style leaving clues like the photocopy of post ofice box keys, air mail, double stamping


Or installed the dies for that cancellation.
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Re: The letters were not mailed from the United States!

Postby YourSecretPal » Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:48 am

Wow, great information Soze, thanks!
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Re: The letters were not mailed from the United States!

Postby Soze » Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:08 pm

Your welcome.

I was curious about "190 units" and did some digging. This is from the USPS glossary of terms. Sorry but I didn't get a web address.

Revenue Unit: The average amount of revenue per fiscal year from postal rates and also fees for 1,000 pieces of originating mail and special service transactions. The number of revenue units is used to categorize post offices by size. See also Cost Ascertainment Grouping.

Cost Ascertainment Grouping: A method that classifies post offices according to volume of revenue generated. Each year the Postal Bulletin publishes the number of revenue units for each classification. CAG A-G offices with about 950 or more revenue units, CAG H-J offices with about 190 but fewer than 950, CAG K offices with about 36 but fewer than 190 and CAG L offices with about fewer than 36. Formerly, post offices were classified as first, second, third and 4th class.

I dug into the Postal Bulletin and found publications for the bulletin dating back to 1800's. You can view these bulletins here: http://www.uspostalbulletins.com/pdfsea ... d=48#y1969

Up until the last week of December 1969 the post offices were classified by class and not the CAG shown above. According to the publication dated 11-14-69, 190 units falls under a first or second class post office. At that time the value of a revenue Unit was calculated by $69.00. This means that a Po with 190 units, multiplied by the $69.00, would have had a revenue the previous year of $13,110.00. Second class po's ranged in revenue between $13,110.00 and $65,549.99. First class po's earned over $65,550.00.

I had found a website that listed every post office location according to state and county. This list gave dates of opening and closing for the majority of post offices listed. For San Francisco it went back to 1868 I believe. This list will help you to determine what post offices were actually open during the year 1969. The only thing needing to be done at that point would be to determine the revenue for each post office to narrow it down to the 190. I don't know how easy of a task that will be.

I read all publication from the 1800's (which was only one) all the way through the end of July 1969. I also read November and December of 1969. While I did see announcements for special cancellation start and end times, not once, did I find one for "Discover America". I don't know that that means anything. In 1968 for example there were months that only had 2 publications while other months had 4, 5 and 6. The way I'm looking at it is that these publications were published weekly. So it would seem there are missing publications. The reason for a 6th publication is when they did special announcements.

By the way, I didn't get the web address for the Po list. I will find it and post later.

I did see some things in the publications that I have chosen to take note of. I think the biggest thing was the po's dealing of firearms and their delivery to residents. The first mention was in publication 6-20-68. Form 3761 Notice of delivery of firearm. What the post office did from that point on was, every time a firearm was received for delivery they would send that form, which included name and address of person to receive firearm, to the local police chief. I don't know off hand when the firearm ban went into effect. If it was after that date then it may be possible to obtain a list of people who received firearms through the mail.

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Re: The letters were not mailed from the United States!

Postby Soze » Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:14 pm

The ban went into effect 10-22-1968. So that's a 6 month period of documentation.

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Re: The letters were not mailed from the United States!

Postby Soze » Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:42 pm

Here is the link to do a search on po's by state and county.

http://www.uspostalbulletins.com/uspost ... p=59&id=59

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Re: The letters were not mailed from the United States!

Postby texas21 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:57 pm

I thought it was interesting that some of the letters were cancelled on Sunday, but that was probably not uncommon back in the sixties in large cities.
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Re: The letters were not mailed from the United States!

Postby YourSecretPal » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:18 am

I still think this theory may hold up...(of course I'm still biased because I know my suspect was outside of the US quite a bit) I wonder about the bates/confession letters...havent looked at them, possibly being mailed from overseas
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Re: The letters were not mailed from the United States!

Postby Quicktrader » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:01 pm

Channel 9 letter could have been written in a car..

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