Red Phantom Letter Message Board: Letters: Red Phantom Letter

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Sunday, April 29, 2001 - 02:01 pm:

I can't help but notice the different downstrokes to the "g's" and "Y's" in this letter.
Obviously it must have been an attempt by Zodiac to disguise his writing style!.However Iam wondering if there might not be more to it.The two "g's" in suggest,seem almost to point to the "M" in meanwhile,as if to "Suggest" something!
I also notice the connection between the "C's"in
"Count" on two different almost forms an "E".Could Zodiac be hinting to ME??
Does anybody know if Zodiac was responding to a particular "piece" by Count Marco? or did this come out of the blue?.Could he be hinting at something like... Count to find a name???
One more observation...not all but some of Zodiac's "i's" seem to be distinctive,in that the dot over the "i" is high and to the right.This can be seen several times in Zodiac's writings.More so when writing at speed,rather than when being neat,where they are "short" and directly over the "i".
I do notice than the Desk top Poem is consistent with this!!!!!!

By Jeff (Jeff) ( - on Tuesday, May 01, 2001 - 05:55 am:

The 2 c's could also be a backwards E. I noticed that the M's in Marco really look like 7's. The el in the word feel look connected and that could be a 4. Lapumo, like you said the g's in suggest seem to point to something (and they are definitely not like the other g's in the letter) possibly a 7 (M in Marco). What this means I don't know, but I bet it's some kind of hint or clue.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Sunday, September 22, 2002 - 09:43 pm:

I'm not really sure about those possibilities Jeff, maybe? Anyway, I have my own thoughts on the Red Phantom letter. First of all I find it interesting to note that Kaczynski used the alias Fred as the Unabomber. So right there you have a Red/Ted/Fred connection. Zodiac uses the initials RP here and possibly RH, while Kaczynski uses RV and Nathan R. I believe number-letters and their patterns are used as clues in both the Zodiac and FC cases. For example RH really may have stood for Z(R+H). Now look at RV, an alias used by the Unabomber. What is the pattern set there? RV then Z. That is R(STU)V(WXY)Z, you see. That's the pattern set. Now look at the very interesting pattern set by FC. It is F(ED)C(AB)Z(YX)W(VU)T(SR)Q(PO)N(ML)K. Let's stop there and look at the string of letters resulting from the pattern set by FC. It is F C Z W T Q N K. (F-C-Z-T-K!) Is this only coincidence? I'm not so sure it is.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Thursday, November 28, 2002 - 06:41 pm:

Can someone tell me what stamp that is on the Red Phantom letter?I can't make it out.

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) ( - on Friday, November 29, 2002 - 02:37 am:

There is clearly a mans face in the right corner. I couldn't find any colour versions that ABC had.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Friday, November 29, 2002 - 08:15 am:

The closest I have seen appears to suggest it is Ben Franklin, but I still can't be sure.Thanks Ryan

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Friday, December 06, 2002 - 12:33 am:

This info was e-mailed to me from Mark:

"The stamp is one of the set of 10 US stamps commemorating the centennial of
the Universal Postal Union in 1974 (the UPU governs international mail and
postage standards, permitting mail to be sent from, say, Singapore to an
address in the US without attaching a US stamp). All 10 were issued
together on a single sheet. The particular stamp used by the Red Phantom
depicts the portrait of Don Antonio Noriega, painted by Spanish artist
Francisco Goya. It was issued by the post office on June 6, 1974. The
original portrait, painted in 1801, is in the National Gallery in Washington

>From the National Gallery's website on the painting:

"The blue and white ribbon of the Order of Carlos III appears prominently on
the jacket of Antonio Noriega Bermúdez. His knighthood, a list of other
offices, and the date 1801 are inscribed in Spanish on both the tablecloth
and the paper in the sitter's hand. Don Antonio was knighted on 23 July
1801, and Goya's portrait may commemorate that event.

As is customary in portrayals of government officials, Goya depicted Spain's
high treasurer at work. In a gesture of nonchalance, Don Antonio rests his
hand inside his unbuttoned vest, implying his authority and control over the
country's finances. In truth, his administration was disastrously
inefficient, nearly doubling the national debt. While fleeing from the
Napoleonic invaders in 1808, Don Antonio was assassinated by Spaniards who,
mistakenly, thought he had collaborated with the French army."

The common theme of the 10 UPU stamps was that the paintings all depict
people holding letters or mail (as does Don Antonio in his right hand).

The only other Z envelope shown on this site where a commemorative stamp is
used is the Halloween Card, which uses the Apollo 8 commemorative--the moon
having astrological significance, of course, but I don't know of any such
connection for Don Antonio Noriega. All the other Z envelopes shown use
regular-issue stamps, which are issued in massive quantities and would be
impossible to trace (not that tracing purchases of commemoratives would be
any picnic, but they're issued in much, much smaller quantities). Most of
the regular issue stamps Z used, I notice, are from booklets, which could be
purchased at a vending machine, completely anonymously, adding an extra
layer of security. Commemorative stamps at that time were generally
available only over the counter at the post office (where Z's composite
portrait was probably hanging)."

By Mike (Oklahoma_Mike) ( on Friday, December 06, 2002 - 10:16 pm:

Probably just another zynchronicity, but if one of
the more unusual stamps on a (supposedly) Z letter
showed Apollo 8, the killings at LHR occurred just
a few hours before Apollo 8 lifted off! I know because, as a life-long fan of the space program,
I was too excited to sleep and stayed up all night,watching the launch around 7:20 central time, or 5:20 pacific. That is the only Z event where I can actually recall just what I was doing when it transpired, though of course I did not know until 25 yrs. later!

By Bruce Monson (Bruce_Monson) ( on Saturday, December 07, 2002 - 07:17 pm:

The only other Z envelope shown on this site where a commemorative stamp is used is the Halloween Card, which uses the Apollo 8 commemorative--the moon having astrological significance, of course, but I don't know of any such connection for Don Antonio Noriega.

So, the author of the Red Phantom letter appears to be a stamp collector, just like the Singapore author (stamp from commemorative set used there as well).

How interesting that the Red Phantom letter had hand printing most similar with that of Singapore...

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Saturday, December 07, 2002 - 08:57 pm:

Perhaps the hoaxer noticed that and attempted to make her letter appear more authentic. Too bad the rest of it doesn't appear that way.

Which reminds me: why was the Red Phantom letter authenticated? To me, it's the least Z-looking letter of the lot. I've always had my suspicions about it, much like the Pines card and the "pace isn't any slower" card. But, just IMO...

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 12:30 am:

Both of the Vallejo murders occurred during major Apollo moon missions. I wonder if that held any special significance for Zodiac?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 12:58 am:

Ed, I don't have documentation that it was ever authenticated.

By Brian_D (Brian_D) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 05:44 am:

Douglas, which mission was underway during the Blue Rock Springs attack?
Apollo 10 Launched: 18 May 1969 UT 16:49:00 (12:49:00 p.m. EDT)
Lunar Orbit: 21 May 1969
Returned to Earth: 26 May 1969 UT 16:52:23 (12:52:23 p.m. EDT)
Apollo 11 Launched: 16 July 1969 UT 13:32:00 (09:32:00 a.m. EDT)
Landed on Moon: 20 July 1969 UT 20:17:40 (04:17:40 p.m. EDT)
Landing Site: Mare Tranquillitatis - Sea of Tranquility (0.67 N, 23.47 E)
Returned to Earth: 24 July 1969 UT 16:50:35 (12:50:35 p.m. EDT).

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 07:24 am:

Apollo 8 was launched the day after LHR, while Apollo 11 was launched about 11 days after BRS. Both incidents vied with the moon shots for front page coverage in the Vallejo Times Herald.

By Peter H (Peter_H) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 10:58 am:

Ed! "the hoaxer noticed that and attempted to make her letter ..." My man!

By Warren (Warren) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 12:11 pm:

I think the Red Phantom letter has validity as a Z missive. The author certainly altered his handwriting. Why? Also, the capital "M"s in "Marco" and "Meanwhile" are very similiar to the "M"s in "Air Mail" in the 3-13-71 LA Times envelope and "More" in the Cheri Jo Bates 1 and 3 letters. This certainly isn't conclusive; there are innumerable differences, but the similarites seem to pile up like grains of sand until one day you find you have a beach.

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 01:50 pm:

Graysmith claims in Zodiac, p. 195, that Toschi had both the Badlands and Red Phantom letters authenticated "in less than five minutes" by an unnamed documents expert. No wonder I've always had my suspicions about RP.

By Mark_C (Mark_C) ( - on Sunday, December 08, 2002 - 08:48 pm:

Interesting that this letter has never been officially authenticated, I was under the impression that Sherwood Morrill had examined it. I think if he had, this one would've been discounted fairly quickly. I agree with Ed, I've never thought this was even close to being a legit Zodiac letter. Perhaps they put too much emphasis on the "Since the Count can write anonymously so can I" sentence and read too much into it. It could've been a disgusted reader and nothing more. I don't quite understand why the Zodiac would send an anonymous letter anyway, he certainly loved any publicity and recognition he received. I don't know if the writer altered his (or her) handwriting, it looks fairly freeflowing to my untrained eye. The g's in suggest are different than the others and are quite odd looking, so maybe that's an indication of some hesitation there. I disagree with the capital M's Warren, the second downstroke in the RP writing is always longer and is different than the others you mentioned. The only individual letter that looks the same are the two stoke y's, otherwise I don't see any similarities. I think this one is a fake. -Mark_C

By Len (Len) ( - on Tuesday, December 10, 2002 - 01:22 pm:

Since the postmark on the Red Phantom letter was San Raphael, I think that it is the letter most likely composed by Rick Marshall--who, I think, stands very little chance of turning out to be Z. Perhaps it is zynchronicity; perhaps I'm insane in the membrane.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) ( - on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - 05:10 am:

Came across another "zynchronicity" or not!Have to throw it out there.....
The opening line reads."please put Marco back in the,Hell-hole from whence IT came..he has a "...
Cryptic perhaps? .The sentence hinting at the origin of the letter maybe!Referring to Marco as "IT" as opposed to "him".Putting Marco back into Hell-Hole we get HELL MARCO HOLE. Thirteen letters that mirror the combination of symbols in the "My name is code".
Possible anagram....HELLO MCL.O HARE

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) ( - on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - 08:07 am:

With a San Rafael postmark? Hmmm...

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - 12:31 pm:

I'm surprised Penn didn't see that one... he counted "Marco" instead (Times 17, p. 332) and decided that "MARCO gives us thirteen no fewer than three ways." For instance, "M" is the 13th letter of the alphabet, then he gets into his esoteric morse-to-binary rubbish; however, he fails to tell us the significance of his discovery.

By Zander Kite (Zk) ( - on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - 02:44 pm:

The Red Phantom Letter appears loaded with cryptic clues. The first(almost), if I'm not mistaken, appears to be the the first 17 letters after Editor to the comma. (If that comma is misplaced as it appears, then it would be throwing attention towards 17 again.) That is: {Put Marco back in the}. The letters are: *(AA)B(CC)EHIKMNOPR(TT)U. 17 letters, 3 doubles, 6 syllables(sic). Something might be workable from there?

By Ed N. (Ed_N) ( - on Wednesday, December 11, 2002 - 09:30 pm:

Zander: it makes no difference if it's not an authentic Z. It certainly doesn't appear to be Z's writing, and Tom has said he has no documentation to indicate that it was authenticated. It could have been written by anyone.