STENDEC - Solved?!     Martin Colwell's theory on the mystery "STENDEC" message from Star Dust -

   
   

 

 

"E.T.A. Santiago 17:45. STENDEC"

That was the last message received from Star Dust, sent by Radio Officer Dennis Harmer at 17:41 on 2nd August 1947.

The actual Morse code which the Chilean Operator believed she received was:

S    T        E        N       D       E        C

    _         .         _.      _..       .       _._.

A recognized signoff or 'end of message' signal was 'AR' (with no space between the letters). Therefore a standard signoff would be sent as the Morse '._._.' in other words 'EC' without the space. It would have been normal for the Radio Operator to start the message by transmitting the name of the station they wish to contact. Four letter ICAO codes for airports had begun to be used four months earlier in April 1947 and the four-letter code Los Cerrillos airport Santiago was given was SCTI. This gives us the very simple message SCTI AR (or in layman's terms "Santiago, over"). Using the same combination of dashes and dots as STENDEC, but shifting the spaces in the hastily sent morse message gives us :

S    C        T       I        AR

    _._.     _      ..        ._._.

We will never know for certain, but I believe this is by far the most likely meaning of that final message from the ill-fated Lancastrian.

 

   
     

For a more detailed explanation of the above, please follow the link to Martin Colwell's website here - SAR Technology Inc.