Operation Stamp Out  LbNA # 2073

Placed DateJul 28 2001
LocationColumbia, SC
Planted ByLadybug (Kathy)    
Found By
Last Found
Hike Distance?

First three boxes reported missing due to flooding (7/03)


Case: Operation Stamp Out Letterboxing
Date: July 28, 2001
Primary Target: Ladybug Submitted by: Investigator I. M. Onit
Cross Reference: www.letterboxing.org Duration: 5 hours
Investigative Activity: Surveillance
Details: Based on a tip from a confidential source of information, it was known that primary target, LADYBUG, planned extensive letterboxing activity while in South Carolina. This investigator’s mission is to covertly surveil and gather evidence to combine with evidence being gathered nationwide to contribute to the eventual attempt to successfully stamp out letterboxing. Additional intelligence gathered for this report, and added as Exhibits Numbers 1 through 4 are stamp titles to be revealed throughout the content of this report. The physical evidence was left in the spots chosen by LADYBUG, but exact descriptions of those spots are included in this investigator’s report.
Surveillance began in the early morning hours of Thursday, July 26, 2001. LADYBUG was observed leaving her residence in Virginia, accompanied by her daughter (alias BOOP) who has been previously identified as an occasional letterboxer. As of this date, no investigative activity is anticipated against BOOP, or any of the numerous minors observed participating in letterboxing activities with LADYBUG. However, this Investigator recommends that upon conclusion of this case, additional charges be made against LADYBUG of “contributing to the delinquency of minors.” At 1 p.m., LADYBUG was followed onto the downtown campus of the University of South Carolina and was seen entering a dormitory surrounded by large crowds of girls carrying soccer bags and suitcases. It should be noted that although LADYBUG continued to linger on the campus and explore an historical cemetery closeby, no letterboxing activity was observed.
On Friday, July 27, 2001, LADYBUG was followed on an all-day driving tour of Columbia, SC and the surrounding area, including extended stops at the Congaree Swamp National Monument, Poinsett State Park, and the Riverbanks Zoological Park and Botanical Garden. There was no letterboxing to report on this date.
At approximately 9 a.m., on Saturday, July 28, 2001, LADYBUG was followed driving West on I-20 towards Columbia, exiting at Broad River Road and proceeding several miles to the entrance of Harbison State Forest. After a brief stop at the first parking area to obtain a trail map, LADYBUG proceeded to Number 5 Parking Area and the trailhead for the Midlands Mountain Trail. (Note: Trail distance – 3.7 miles…moderately difficult to difficult).
Exhibit No. 1 – Columbia SC Letterbox – Following the blue trail at the first intersection, evidence observed planted at the far end of the first footbridge tucked beneath the SE corner of the bridge, behind a log hidden and secured.
Exhibit No. 2 – Harbison State Forest – At the place in the woods along the Midlands Mountain Trail where the trail splits and a segment to the right is marked for Bikes Only, the forest opens to a clearing. It was between that clearing and the next resting bench on the segment of trail for hikers that LADYBUG planted Exhibit No. 2. The contraband can be found by identifying the double trunked, V-shaped tree at 145 degrees to the bark covered spot under a huge downed tree trunk at 315 degrees.
Exhibit No. 3 – The USC Gamecock – The hiding of Exhibit No. 3 was observed as LADYBUG took the path to the left of the “H” trail marker. This short path is a diversion from the Blue trail leading to the Harbison Bluffs. From the bench in the clearing this Investigator counted 46 paces and at 50 degrees found the handiwork left within a split trunk tree, placed in an opening formed by a leaning trunk. LADYBUG was very careful to cover this “litter” with bark and logs to keep it from view of hikers and bikers coming from the Bluffs.
LADYBUG returned to her vehicle and was followed to Parking Lot 6. There she was observed entering the Stewardship “Green” Trail, a 3-mile easy to moderately difficult trail.
Exhibit No. 4 – The Riverbanks Zoo – The #9 Post is the site of this unauthorized material. At 280 degrees from Post 9 can be found a large pine centered between two leaner trees. Facing the trio of trees, LADYBUG was observed to slip under needles and limbs the last piece of evidence.
At approximately 3 p.m., LADYBUG was seen entering her hotel room, and “as far as this Investigator knows”, did not resume letterboxing activities in the area.
ADDENDUM – As this report was being finalized, a news report was aired stating that the Grand Opening of the new Ape House at the Riverbanks Zoo was tragically disrupted this day when one of the Apes on loan from a Chicago zoo escaped. He was last seen entering Harbison State Forest and a hiker reports noticing what appeared to be an ape squeezing into a small plastic container left along the trail. If in fact the Escaped Ape is found to be hiding in one of LADYBUG’s letterboxes, she will have to be charged with aiding and abetting an escaped convict.
Any individual caught tampering with this evidence and not leaving it exactly as found, will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!

Please contact me with reports of finding these boxes.

Kathy (Ladybug)