Brings a whole new definition to playing a game of monopoly....some of this story may be skewed but the basics are in line with what took place.


This email reveals an interesting WWII military secret that was just disclosed in 2007 a history treasure to pass along to anyone who has played the game Monopoly.


Starting in 1941, an increasing number of British airmen found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape. Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and accurate map, one showing not only where stuff was, but also showing the locations of 'safe houses' where a POW on- the-lam could go for food and shelter. Paper maps had some real drawbacks -- they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush.

Someone in MI-5 (similar to America 's OSS ) got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It 's durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads, and unfolded as many times as needed, and makes no noise whatsoever.. At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington, Ltd. When approached by the government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort. By pure coincidence, Waddington was also the U.K. Licensee for the popular American board game, Monopoly. As it happened, 'games and pastimes' was a category of item qualified for insertion into 'CARE packages', dispatched by the International Red Cross, to prisoners of war. Under the strictest of secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington's, a group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany or Italy where Allied POW camps were located (Red Cross packages were delivered to prisoners in accordance with that same regional system). When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing piece. As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington's also managed to add:

1. A playing token, containing a small magnetic compass

2. A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together

3. Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly money!

British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first mission, how to identify a 'rigged' Monopoly set -- by means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square. Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POWS who successfully escaped, an estimated one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in still another, future war.. The story wasn't de-classified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington's, as well as the firm itself, were finally honored in a public ceremony.

Anyway, it's always nice when you can play that 'Get Out of Jail Free' card.

I realize you're all too young for WWII (!).....maybe, but this is still interesting, isn't it?

Courtesy Denis Perron, fourth generation, 'Lou's branch.



The Acoma pueblo, also known as Sky City, may be the oldest continuously occupied site in the United States. Elevation 6,600 feet (p. 11).

"Our admiration for the achievements of the Old World stands between us and the architectural legacy of our own country. There are buildings here as old as those of the pharaohs, but we are cut off from our own antiquity and our own Middle Ages by a European Renaissance. There are, of course, more columns to be found, upright or prone, in European than in American ruins, but there is as much architecture remaining aboveground from the ancient past in Arizona and New Mexico as there is in Syria and Iran. The most staggering accomplishment of the Anasazi, of the Hohokam of the Gila Valley, and of the Salado of the upper Salt River Valley was not on the ground, but in it: their irrigated agriculture. Remnants of their canal systems still carry water in Arizona. Our culture has found few opportunities to celebrate the accomplishments of an architecturally sophisticated medieval people within our own borders. We still do not know what to make of the grandeur they left behind.

Our history books celebrate certain milestone of settlement - Saint Augustine, Santa Fe, Jamestown, Plymouth, Boston - places that were founded in the era we consider the American genesis, the 1500s and 1600s. Perhaps there should be other names at the top of that list, such as Keet Seel, east of Lake Powell in Arizona, where the Anasazi lived for 2,000 years, developing an ever more complex culture and architecture. But a name that should be lodged in the memory of every student of our history is Acoma. It is possible that Acoma is the oldest continuously occupied town in the United States, with a thousand years of history. Perhaps Oraibi is even older. We cannot know for certain; there are no records.

Continuously occupied - that bland phrase does not adequately convey the startling fact that masonry dwellings atop the mesas at Acoma and Oraibi are still occupied by the descendants of those who built them and are full of life today.

Man from Walpi, an ancient Hopi town, photo by Edward Curtis. From 1896-1930, Curtis took some 40,000 photos, collected in his massive work, North Amerian Indian, comprising 20 volumes of text, each with an accompanying portfolio of plates (p. 235).

Equally startling is the fact that the religions of the Native Americans are not, as many assume, extinct. Native American religious rituals are still performed, although not always in public. One does not make the steep ascent to Acoma uninvited without quickly learning how private the Southwest can be. Visitors are welcome at certain times, but only with an explicit invitation from the elders. The people of the pueblos and the Hopi of the mesas guard their traditions from profanation, courteously but firmly turning away the idly curious.

The old West, the less harmonious West, the West of hatred and violence, had one last gunfight left in it during the summer of 1923. Toward the end of the summer, “Old Posey”, chief of the dispossessed Paiute of the San Juan Valley, made his last raid on the colonists near the town of Bluff, broke two of his tribesmen out of jail, fought a running two-day battle with a posse, and at the end, was mortally wounded in Comb Wash. He took shelter in a cave, propped himself up in its mouth, managed to stuff medicinal weeds into his wounds, but died—facing his enemies. His kind of death was one answer to a world that had no place for him.

Anasazi ruins in a cave within Canyonlands National Park, Utah (pp. 424, 425).

Radical alterations, however, are not the common means by which people of the desert Southwest have adjusted. Life has proceeded in innumerable minute adaptations, only discernible when assessment is made at the end or beginning of things, at funerals and weddings, plant closings and grand openings, at the boarding up of exhausted houses and at an open house."

Excerpted from the Introduction by Roger G. Kennedy, Director of the National Museum of American History of the Smithsonian Institution, to The Smithsonian Guide to Historic America, The Desert States: New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Inc., New York, 1990, pp. 12-14, 23—Editor.


Amazing! Try this!! Unbelievable!!!
Someone sure went to a lot of work on this one!!!

Click here: The Bible on One Page

- Courtesy Ted Helt.


11 Most Expensive Catastrophies in History:

# 11. Titanic - $150 Million

The sinking of the Titanic is possibly the most famous accident in the world. But it barely makes our list of top 11 most expensive. On April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage and was considered to be the most luxurious ocean liner ever built. Over 1,500 people lost their lives when the ship ran into an iceberg and sunk in frigid waters. The ship cost $7 million to build ($150 million in today ' s dollars).

# 10. Tanker Truck vs Bridge - $358 Million

On August 26, 2004, a car collided with a tanker truck containing 32,000 liters of fuel on the Wiehltal Bridge in Germany . The tanker crashed through the guardrail and fell 90 feet off the A4 Autobahn resulting in a huge explosion and fire which destroyed the load-bearing ability of the bridge. Temporary repairs cost $40 million and the cost to replace the bridge is estimated at $318 Million.

# 9. MetroLink Crash - $500 Million

On September 12, 2008, in what was one of the worst train crashes in California history, 25 people were killed when a Metrolink commuter train crashed head-on into a Union Pacific freight train in Los Angeles . It is thought that the Metrolink train may have run through a red signal while the conductor was busy text messaging.. Wrongful death lawsuits are expected to cause $500 million in losses for Metrolink.

# 8. B-2 Bomber Crash - $1.4 Billion

Here we have our first billion dollar accident (and we ' re only #7 on the list). This B-2 stealth bomber crashed shortly after taking off from an air base in Guam on February 23, 2008. Investigators blamed distorted data in the flight control computers caused by moisture in the system. This resulted in the aircraft making a sudden nose-up move which made the B-2 stall and crash. This was 1 of only 21 ever built and was the most expensive aviation accident in history. Both pilots were able to eject to safety.

# 7. Exxon Valdez - $2.5 Billion

The Exxon Valdez oil spill was not a large one in relation to the world ' s biggest oil spills, but it was a costly one due to the remote location of Prince William Sound (accessible only by helicopter and boat). On March 24, 1989, 10.8 million gallons of oil was spilled when the ship ' s master, Joseph Hazelwood, left the controls and the ship crashed into a Reef. The cleanup cost Exxon $2.5 billion.

# 6. Piper Alpha Oil Rig - $3.4 Billion

The world ' s worst off-shore oil disaster. At one time, it was the world ' s single largest oil producer, spewing out 317,000 barrels of oil per day. On July 6, 1988, as part of routine maintenance, technicians removed and checked safety valves which were essential in preventing dangerous build-up of liquid gas. There were 100 identical safety valves which were checked. Unfortunately, the technicians made a mistake and forgot to replace one of them. At 10 PM that same night, a technician pressed a start button for the liquid gas pumps and the world ' s most expensive oil rig accident was set in motion. Within 2 hours, the 300 foot platform was engulfed in flames. It eventually collapsed, killing 167 workers and resulting in $3.4 Billion in damages.

# 5. Challenger Explosion - $5.5 Billion

The Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds after takeoff due on January 28, 1986 due to a faulty O-ring. It failed to seal one of the joints, allowing pressurized gas to reach the outside. This in turn caused the external tank to dump its payload of liquid hydrogen causing a massive explosion. The cost of replacing the Space Shuttle was $2 billion in 1986 ($4.5 billion in today ' s dollars). The cost of investigation, problem correction, and replacement of lost equipment cost $450 million from 1986-1987 ($1 Billion in today ' s dollars).

# 4. Prestige Oil Spill - $12 Billion

On November 13, 2002, the Prestige oil tanker was carrying 77,000 tons of heavy fuel oil when one of its twelve tanks burst during a storm off Galicia , Spain . Fearing that the ship would sink, the captain called for help from Spanish rescue workers, expecting them to take the ship into harbour. However, pressure from local authorities forced the captain to steer the ship away from the coast. The captain tried to get help from the French and Portuguese authorities, but they too ordered the ship away from their shores. The storm eventually took its toll on the ship resulting in the tanker splitting in half and releasing 20 million gallons oil into the sea. According to a report by the Pontevedra Economist Board, the total cleanup cost $12 billion.

# 3. Space Shuttle Columbia - $13 Billion

The Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space worthy shuttle in NASA ' s orbital fleet. It was destroyed during re-entry over Texas on February 1, 2003 after a hole was punctured in one of the wings during launch 16 days earlier. The original cost of the shuttle was $2 Billion in 1978. That comes out to $6.3 Billion in today ' s dollars. $500 million was spent on the investigation, making it the costliest aircraft accident investigation in history. The search and recovery of debris cost $300 million. In the end, the total cost of the accident (not including replacement of the shuttle) came out to $13 Billion according to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics..

# 2. Chernobyl - $200 Billion

On April 26, 1986, the world witnessed the costliest accident in history. The Chernobyl disaster has been called the biggest socio-economic catastrophe in peacetime history. 50% of the area of Ukraine is in some way contaminated. Over 200,000 people had to be evacuated and resettled while 1.7 million people were directly affected by the disaster. The death toll attributed to Chernobyl , including people who died from cancer years later, is estimated at 125,000. The total costs including cleanup, resettlement, and compensation to victims has been estimated to be roughly $200 Billion. The cost of a new steel shelter for the Chernobyl nuclear plant will cost $2 billion alone. The accident was officially attributed to power plant operators who violated plant procedures and were ignorant of the safety requirements needed.

# 1. 2008 Presidential Election - $800 Billion in the first two months.

- Courtesy Sheri (Thompson) Duarte, fifth generation, Oscar's branch.

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