balthazar

Cryptic signs

35 posts in this topic

This here pic is one I spliced together. The B&W shot to the left was taken in 1948, the color shot- this past weekend. I didn't notice either mark until I got home and downloaded my pics and compared them to the older shots, or I would have investigated it close up. It's the same location and the same stone block, right in the middle of nowhere. Kinda spooky- I could see if the fresh marks were in '48, but vice-versa; IDK. Must mean something.

48-3bar.jpg

Gra08-26.jpg

Edited by balthazar
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First - are those striations man made or natural?

If they are natural - based on your New Jersey area - it looks like the rock is a sedimentary sand stone or mud stone or shale stone then such out of place striations are common place in those rock formations. Possibly during deposition (millions of years ago), some sand layers might have been interspersed with smaller clay seams.

If it is human made sign, then it possibly might have been the quarry people who slash multiple lines for the rock that needs to be blasted. Or those old rail roads had mile marker rocks which they put in for different positions.

It is intriguing. Can you zoom it in with even higher resolution?

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Not saying it is, but maybe they're hobo signs. I heard about them as a kid but have never actually seen one before. When I saw the picture it triggered a memory. Gotta love the internet!!

http://www.angelfire.com/folk/famoustramp/signs.html

I think we must have had one related to 'food' near us when I was a kid. It wasn't unusual that every month or so, we'd have someone down on his luck stop by looking for something to eat. I always remember my mom would never refuse to make them something. She'd also never let us say anything negative about them and reminded us that while we might not have had much ourselves, we were luckier than them. That's actually one of my fondest memories of my mother.

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smallchevy- the marks changed picture to pic- they are not natural. All the stone in that wall is solid dark grey stone... granite-esque; no variations at all. However, I didn't investigate the marks up close. Was it a quarry mark?? Possibly, tho the track was laid in 1857 and I'm certain this wall dates to that far back, so if it was painted, I would think the paint would be long gone by 1948... and why anyone whould repaint it is a mystery to me.

The color shot cannot zoom in anymore due to the rez, and the B&W pic does not offer anymore detail when enlarged.

Unfortunately, I won't get back up there to check it out up close until early next summer.

usonia- intriquing idea, but not only is the general area not one for hobos and I doubt it ever was, the immediate area does not lend itself to finding any handouts due to the remoteness. I would also doubt that a hobo marking would remain a constant over 60 yrs, but it's not a circle I move in. There was a small station about 400' from that spot at least as late as '48 - hobos technically could have debarked there, tho in my experience in the area over the last few decades : the train primarily runs in the other direction... ie: the hobos would've been on the other side of the station when the freight ran thru.

If anything I could see the 'nothing doing here' symbol...

Cool retrospect about mom- the world is in short supply of her character these days.

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Some kind of railway sign I suppose.

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smallchevy- the marks changed picture to pic- they are not natural. All the stone in that wall is solid dark grey stone... granite-esque; no variations at all. However, I didn't investigate the marks up close. Was it a quarry mark?? Possibly, tho the track was laid in 1857 and I'm certain this wall dates to that far back, so if it was painted, I would think the paint would be long gone by 1948... and why anyone whould repaint it is a mystery to me.

The color shot cannot zoom in anymore due to the rez, and the B&W pic does not offer anymore detail when enlarged.

Unfortunately, I won't get back up there to check it out up close until early next summer.

As a part of railroad design class that I took in my undergraduate courses, the rail road company often remarks its mile markers or put new ones, possibly when they add a new line or the tracks change in length because of addition a small section, those mile markers change. The rail road workers then "erase" the old markers and rehash a new one.

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Railroad design class? Cool!

Don't think so- RR used vertical concrete mile markers long before even 1948 and this doesn't line up- one still stands about a third of a mile farther down the track (doesn't quite show in my pic). It's certainly not 3 anything from anywhere, either. I could see if it was 3 vertical hashes and we were dealing with Roman numerals...

Could be right... but I walked over a mile in either direction from that point and there were no other marks, similar or otherwise. It seems almost convinient that the stone wall was there as a canvas.

I have other pics of the track layout that was there from 1908 - 1950s; no switches lined up with these marks. Regardless, those switches are long gone and there's nothing electrical there, either..... That the RR would be the only entity bothered to repaint them seems logical..... but what the hell do they signify ??

Going over to the RR board to see if anyone has any ideas..... Slow over there as usual- no replies yet.

Edited by balthazar
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I have other pics of the track layout that was there from 1908 - 1950s; no switches lined up with these marks. Regardless, those switches are long gone and there's nothing electrical there, either..... That the RR would be the only entity bothered to repaint them seems logical..... but what the hell do they signify ??

Going over to the RR board to see if anyone has any ideas.....

Probably something that is unknowable to mere mortals like ourselves...maybe it's a sign that only the illuminati or freemasons are meant to understand... :)

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Crab people.

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Here's another pic I took this past weekend (duh- the '08 shot), looking the other way from the up-top pic of this thread :

1948~

Graham_31_1948-2.jpg

2008~

Gra08-30.jpg

No strange symbols spotted anywhere this way, and I have been about half-again as far as you can see down those rails. There is a huge railroad over/underpass in the woods this way, you have to be hiking thru the woods in order to spot it, where it rises from the rustling murmur of the forest, an abandoned monolith to American industrial might. The right-hand track curves to go under this underpass and join back with the left-hand track.

1948~

Graham_7_1948-2.jpg

2008~

Gra08-07.jpg

I find 'industrial archeology' fascinating.

Edited by balthazar
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Here's another pic I took this past weekend (duh- the '08 shot), looking the other way from the up-top pic of this thread :

I find 'industrial archeology' fascinating.

It is pretty fascinating..when I was in Upstate NY about 10 years ago, I walked across a high trestle over a gorge at Letchworth State Park...beautiful place.

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Here's another pic I took this past weekend (duh- the '08 shot), looking the other way from the up-top pic of this thread :

1948~

2008~

No strange symbols spotted anywhere this way, and I have been about half-again as far as you can see down those rails. There is a huge railroad over/underpass in the woods this way, you have to be hiking thru the woods in order to spot it, where it rises from the rustling murmur of the forest, an abandoned monolith to American industrial might. The right-hand track curves to go under this underpass and join back with the left-hand track.

1948~

2008~

I find 'industrial archeology' fascinating.

Approximately how far is the underpass from the location of the sign?

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Probably something that is unknowable to mere mortals like ourselves...maybe it's a sign that only the illuminati or freemasons are meant to understand... :)

Exactly! ram746.gif

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'bout .4 or .5 mile.

Do those over/ underpass lines meet about another 1/2 mile away? Usually two parallel lines with a cross line stands for an intersection. What is baffling is the three lines. Was there a track parallel to the current one which was decomissioned? The dead underpass at the intersection points out that there was one. That might explain the three parallel lines. I am however rusty with those signs, and the book I used as a reference is long gone at a used books store.

Any ways, it is fascinating to look at ancient industrial architectures, back when Civil 3D, AutoCAD 3D tools along with modern finite element analyses were not available to an engineer, yet the structures stand. It always intrigues me to put me in their shoes and imagine what were those blokes thinking when they designed the marvels.

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smallchevy -- Look at the pic above with the locomotive. It's on 'track 1' and this is the same track seen in the color pic I took up top; running along the stone wall.

Track 2 & 3 went over the underpass, track 4 curved under 2 & 3 and then ran next to track 1. This arrangement was an elevation issue- track 1 & 4 followed a lower grade and went thru a newer (1908) tunnel.

Right where the 3 bars are there were 4 tracks, but around the end of the wall seen in my '08 pic, track 1 merged into track 2 (this is 1948 I'm talking. Since then track 1 was realigned, eliminating the 'S' that was there via the switch to join with track 2).

Again- I don't see anything lining up with these marks in the photos I have access to... I don't see them as practical for communication for anyone on the train as far as switches / # of tracks go when the train passes the marks at speed.... but most of all, with there only being 1 track since about the early '80s, I see no reason why someone would have repainted the marks if anything RR-related they could have signified has been gone for 25 or so years.

Now I wish to hell I had inspected them up close...

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Fascinating thread... first time reading through it.

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If I'm seeing your 2008 picture of the bridge correctly, is that water down where the trains used to run? And if so, why? How long has it been since something's run on those rails?

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Here's another pic I took this past weekend (duh- the '08 shot), looking the other way from the up-top pic of this thread :

1948~

Graham_31_1948-2.jpg

2008~

Gra08-30.jpg

No strange symbols spotted anywhere this way, and I have been about half-again as far as you can see down those rails. There is a huge railroad over/underpass in the woods this way, you have to be hiking thru the woods in order to spot it, where it rises from the rustling murmur of the forest, an abandoned monolith to American industrial might. The right-hand track curves to go under this underpass and join back with the left-hand track.

1948~

Graham_7_1948-2.jpg

2008~

Gra08-07.jpg

I find 'industrial archeology' fascinating.

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Balthazar, perfect description...'industrial archeology'.

I agree its infinitely facinating.

Those before and after photos are so interesting.

And there's something about trains and railroads...

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Agreed. I hike thru the woods and am struck by structures left behind by time, huge granite-block tunnels under the track beds, conforming to the mountainside 'bedrock', channels to allow the passage of water under the bed and I imagine the scores of men & teams of horses & makeshift A-frames necc to move these 3-4-ton cut blocks way out in the 'midle of nowhere'... so much effort & sweat & time spent... and there they still stand, still performing their duty 150 years later, and it's all just amazing to me.

There used to be a number of mines and a smelting operation nearby- I can imagine the men & equipment, the daily bustle of workers, the tens of thousands of tons of lead extracted, the different patterns of train operation to transport, the lives lived both on & off the clock.... all gone & forgotten today- no traces left except the smelting chimney standing quietly among the trees. I love it.

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Took an up-close pic of the marks in question last summer, just stumbled across it on my camera. Here 'tis :

3stripesjpg.jpg

The marks are spray-painted. Unquestionably the same exact stone. They were there in 1948, looking somewhat dated (thinner), and they are still there today, repainted at some point I would guess in the last 20 years. That'd be since 1990. Nearby station was a hideous ruin in the 1970s, has been gone since the 1980s. This is up in the mountains of NY State, and foot traffic is nil here. Railroad work here since they took up the 2nd track circa 1980 : nil.

Still puzzled by this- will have to seriously investigate the immediate area next summer.

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I've done my fair share of exploring in South Jersey, and I've learned the local history, so I have a pretty good idea of what to expect, but I still am amazed by the stuff I would find... abandoned RR beds miles from anywhere, HUGE concrete pads in the middle of the woods. Research turns up nothing, and I cannot understand why anyone would build such stuff so far off the beaten path. Best I can figure is that they where part of WWI munition factories, or suppliers to the factories. A lot of factories popped up in our area for the war effort, but most are well documented.

I still want to try to find the supposed RR cars in the woods... but nature has done a good job at hiding the trail.

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