Internet helps decode grandma’s mysterious code 18 years after her death

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codecard

BALTIMORE, Md. (WDAF) – With the help of several online users one woman has begun to unravel an 18-year-old family mystery.

Janna Holm turned to the web to help solve a mystery which she and her family members have been baffled by since the death of her grandmother, Dorothy Holm, in 1996. In her post on Ask MetaFilter she types that decoding the mystery may be a “crazy long shot” but to her surprise, she was met with a lot more assistance and useful information then she had bargained for.

In her final moments Dorothy, who had been battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, became unable to communicate by speech. During her last two weeks of life, Holm said her grandmother sprawled several seemingly random letters across at least 20 index cards.

Holm, who loves puzzles, said she and her cousins were between eight and 10 years old at the time of Dorothy’s passing and believed she was leaving them a code to crack. Holm said she remembers everyone in her family trying for months to put a meaning to the cryptic letters her grandmother had left to them, but eventually everyone gave up.

Recently Holm’s father came across one of the index cards, which renewed her interest in solving the mysterious codes. She decided to post images of the front and back sides of the card to the web to see if anyone else would be able to figure out its meaning.

She transcribed the code onto her post, which was paired with the photos she took and had uploaded to an image hosting site, imgur.com. She briefly told the story behind the card in the post, under the user name “JannaK,”and described how she believed the letters to pertain to song lyrics of some kind. Within minutes several users began to post what they believed was behind the letters’ meanings.

One user, “harperpitt,” was the first to point out to Holm that its meaning could be of religious origin.

“Was she a religious woman? The last As, as well as the AAA combo, make me think of ‘Amen, amen, amen.’ So extrapolating — TYAGF = ‘Thank you Almighty God for…’ It would make sense to end with ‘Thank you, Almighty God, for everything, Amen – Thank you, Almighty God, for everything, Amen, Amen, Amen,’” posted the user, who went on to decode the back of the card as the Lord’s Prayer.

“OFWAIHHBTNTKCTWBDOEAIIIHFUTDODBAFUOT

AWFTWTAUALUNITBDUFEFTITKTPATGFAEA

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name… etc. etc .etc,” continued the user in a second post.

Back of card:
codecardback

Holm then responded to “harperpitt” about four minutes later.

“Holy cow! 14 minutes to solve the back of the card that has been bugging my family for 20 years! That is amazing!” She typed. “I never thought of her as super religious, but we did grow up in a Lutheran household, so that makes sense. Any further insights on the front of the card?”

Several others weighed in on the cards meaning, and Holm responded by typing out what had been decoded so far. She thanked those who helped out, and users thanked her for letting them.

To read the entire thread, CLICK HERE.

[Sources: Mashable, Ask MetaFilter]

2 comments

  • Ben Hobbs

    I may have found something that could help. If you take every 6th letter (Ex: ponapp, or nnpdpa) they seem to relate to other countries; “Ponapp” being British, and “nnpdpa” being russian (which is where the grandmother’s faith originated. This whole thing could be in another language. I’d suggest looking into it more.

  • Tori

    I can’t give any extra insight than has already been given, I just wanted to publicly say that the effort and attention to this by so many is amazing. It’s a little restoration in our humanity to see so many working together to give this family insight into the heart and mind of a woman who could no longer use her voice.

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