I am adding four more projects to the 6 or 7 I am already working on.One of them we are going to explore pen lights. I have a couple of old ones some where and we are going to explore how effective that can be or not be. We are going to explore some light science and a little history. Some think he didn't really tape a pen light to his gun. That he lied about it. That may well be true I don't know. We will explore the detail in which he explained how he did this anmd try a few experiments. Then you can decide for yourself. Personally I don't think if he did or didn't is that important. I think just that he had the idea is what is important. To me that means he was around things like that and either just had the idea or actually did it. Some think a pen light would not be that effective. I guess that would depend on a few variables .
1. How dark it was
2. The grade of the pen light and quality of the manufacturer
3. The voltage and battery power (which they did have different kinds)
4. The quality of the bulb.
5. How close he was to his target and the enviroment (were objects close enough for light to bounce off of.
I have a lot of material and things planned for this. It is some thing I have been thinking about for a while but it will take time to get it all lined out and in order.
First off when you pen light you get the picture of something like this in your mind.
You imagine an ink pen with a couple of watch batteries powering a little light . True they did make them like that but they were not the only kind. They made different grades for public ( which the public had access to all of them ) medical , police , military , etc. For now I am going to post some info here just for you examine. Later I will post more detail with explanations and hard science fomr reputable sources along with a few experimetns.
The term "pen light" refers to any small flashlight .
While this is not a vintage pen light it is a pen light that is really similar to one of my vintage pen lights but we will get into all of that later. I have friends on the hunt for other things. Next I will post the letter in which Zodiac talked about this .
The Pen Light Letter
Here is Zodiacs Claim
This is the part of the letter we are interested in.
I wish I had a better example of this letter. I will look for one but this is readable.
First lets break what he said down and look at it.
"What I did was tape a small pencil flash light to the barrel of my gun"
My friend Ed Pitman thinks Zodiac lied about this. Ed could be right. I do agree with Ed that Zodiac lied about a lot of things. That we can most definately agree on. Even the police established that Zodiac lied about things in his letters and Zodiac himself admits he is a liar.
My friend Chad also doubts Zodiac on this but I am not 100 percent convinced of this myself. That being said they could well be right. Ed is right. You shouldn't take a serial killer at his word. These guys examine this stuff in detail just as I do and I listen to respect thier thoughts. I also aprrecaite thier help at times. I am greatful for all the friends I have made in this and it is not only good to have many people with different ideas and points of view on this but is is also smart. That being said to me I think the important thing here is not that he actually did it but that he said it. Like his bomb designs and schematics. There is no way that would work the way he stated and I think the bomb drawings are actually keys in disguise. So we must pay attention to the litte things he says and look past the obvious. That is one of his tricks. Like a magician he likes to use misdirection to fool us and get his laughs so he can feel superior...and that is his weakness.
Everything he says he is telling us something about him whether he knows it or not and it is the things that may not seem important at first that we should pay the most attention to. Foe example I think his bomb drawings are keys to his codes in disguise and were never meant to actually work as bombs. Not to say they couldn't work but if he actually tried it I don't think it would work as described. I have wrote about this many times. The bombs used flash lights, mirrors, and PHOTO ELECTRIC SWITCHES.... He knew he never actually intended to make a bomb this way although he could have made bombs and set them some where ..who knows...but nothing this elaborate.
What he described would work great in a movie, story, or comic book.....which I think gives us another insight to the man. He had a great imagination and we know he was influenced by popular media and things like comic books and this bomb of his is straight out of one and he knew it . It is great for making sure you pay attention to it though and I think that is main thinking behind his bombs. To make sure we paid attention to them because I think they are keys.
I his bomb drawings and descriptions though (like the pencil light idea..something that would be great in a movie, story or comic book) he told us something about him and most don't even realize it.
PHOTO ELECTRIC SWITCHES
I did a search on vintage photo electric switches and I jsut took a screen shot of what turned up.
It doesn't matter because all I am trying to do is show you basically what they are.
If I keep doing this I will eventually have a final list of things Zodiac told us about himself from his letters and all the things he was into and influenced him. Biulding our own profile of the man, Then someone out there can take that list and compare it against thier suspect. Then if one man coincides with all of these things ..it would be smart to give that man a closer look. Because the odds of somoene fitting the whole profile is astronomical. Everyone is different and everyone has had different experiences through their life who made them who they are. Everyone has learned different skills and developed different thought patterns. I am just trying to figure his out.
Now my main point here is ....how many of you reading this knows what a photo electric switch is? I sure the hell didn't even though I working with something similar on a project I am working on with a lazer. I never knew what a photo electric switch was. I had never heard of it before I read it in his letter. I am sure there are people out there that do know what it is and what is used for , but odds are those people where either around things like that in thier life or they learned about it some where in a class they were taking for a skill they were learning. Eitther way he kjust told us something about him. They didn't have internet back then and he could have learned it in a book he was reading but if so odds are he wasn't readingthe book jsut for fun. He was interested in it. So it could be one of the things he did for a living or just something he was around or something he had to know for some aspect of this life. The important thing is that he mentioned it.
You might think I am getting off subject but I'm not. So now you have to ask yourself what are photo electric switches most commonly used for? Lets find out
You know when you go to the grocery store and the door opens automatically. That is a photo electric switch.
So it is possible Zodiac was affiliated in some way with working on, installing, selling , maintaining, things of this nature. Maybe he owned a grocery store and had to install one to open the door. I don't know. I think he had experience with them because the fact is the trigger he described in his bomb would work in the right conditions, but if he tried to but this thing beside a road to blow up a school bus there is no way. Do you know how much work that would be and goverments conducting clandestine operations can't even get thier bombs to go off right most of the time. I have heard quoted " this is a military operation ..nothing ever goes according to plan". He would never get the hole dug like he decsribed without being noticed or set up the trigger. He the potential for it to accidently go off..he could have blew himself up. Then what is stop a big truck driving by , breaking the beam, and setting it off by accident. Don't get me wrong he had a great idea in theory and would be great for a movie, but it is just not practical. Like I said..the important thing is that he said it. We know he has experience with photo electric swithes just by the detail in which he described using it.
What about his pen light? Right off first thought it sounds like a reasonable idea.
It would also be a good idea for a movie. He could have lied but the detail in which he described it ..I don't know , but like what I described above the important thing is that he said it.
We will find out more as this post progresses and we see the possiblities. Lets keep breaking down the letter.
"If you notice in the center of the beam of light if you aim it at a wall or ceiling you will see a black or dark spot in the center of the circle of light about 3 to 6 inches across"
I don't know... it sounds like he has actually sit around playing with his pen light to me. Whether he actually used it on his gun I don't know but it sounds theasable. He is challenging us to try it for ourselves. Actually the one I have has a dark spot in the center.
Like my friends have said they don't think a pen light would out enough light for him to use it, but we have to consider the variables. The grade of the light and how dark it was in that area.
He challenged us to point it at a wall or ceiling because for it to work (like night vision infrared surveilance cameras) the light must have something close for it to bounce off and come back to your eye. Later I am going to write a little about that and how the eye and light works.
So we have ot make an important note here. Lets use a ceiling as our point of reference.
8 to 9 feet. Then we have to consider was he sitting or was he standing but we will get into that later. This is just one of the variables. Another variable is it being taped to the gun itself chaning the light a little and we will try that out later also. I have heard of people making siliencers out of things taped to thier barrels and I have another interesting fact about his gun to post , but I want to get Timmy in on this before I comment on that. I want to quote him. Timmy knows a lot about guns and has just about any kind you can think of. I know he told me one of the 22's Zodiac was thought to have used came with two barrels when you bought it. Both of different length. They important thing about that is that if he had two different barrels and used two different barrels that would make the bullets harder to trace back to the weapon. The shell casings could still be traced.
"the bullet will strike exactly in the center of the black dot in the light. All I had to do was spray"
This is something I actually hope to test. I want to get Timmy to help me with an experiment if I can and maybe try this out and post the video. He is my best friend and me and him have disagreements on this but I respect all of my friends opinions. I damn sure don't know it all. That is why I write things like this. There is something funny Zodiac said in this letter that I will also get into later.
Thats all for now . I will work on this more and try to add some good stuff in here.
I am just trying to figure this out and I am not making any conclusions at this time.
We just have to seee where it goes but remember in the end the important thing is that he said it.
more to come.
What made me start thinking about pen lights was that my girlfriend is a nurse. She said she needed a new pen light for one of her classes. Not a cheap one either . Now it's not important if zodiac actually used a pen light or not. What is important is that the idea. So I started thinking about the kinds of people who would use pen lights then I was watching the movie escape from Alcatraz when I saw a very interesting scene. When Frank and John were up on top of the cells they needed a flashlight and John says....,"I stole this pen light from the Doc" I am trying to post the scene below.