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Author Topic:   X-Prize Postmark
Ross
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Posts: 373
From: Australia
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 12-05-2006 08:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ross   Click Here to Email Ross     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I noticed the following postmark. http://stargate.1usa.com/stamps/postmark/2006/X-prize.jpg .

Does anyone know if it is a permanent postmark and when it was first used.

thanks
Ross.

Apollo-Soyuz
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From: Shady Side, Md
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posted 12-05-2006 04:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo-Soyuz   Click Here to Email Apollo-Soyuz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After looking through the Postal Bullitens of October and November 2006 on the Postal Service website, I do not find this postmark listed anywhere.

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John Macco
Vice President
Space Unit
Shady Side, Md.

eurospace
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From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 12-08-2006 08:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John,

I second your findings (or rather the lack thereof). Haven't seen it publicised anywhere.

My guess is that it coincides with this large X-Prize event taking place at Las Cruces at that period where also Anousheh Ansari held a signing session (mentioned elsewhere here on the message board). If so, it is likely to be a temporary cancel.

In any case, I sent in a batch of covers and see what happens ....

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Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

Astro Bill
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posted 12-08-2006 08:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ross:
Does anyone know if it is a permanent postmark and when it was first used.
Ross:

Where did you get the cancel? It does not look like any US cancel that I have ever seen. Please note that the postmark is hardly touching the design on the stamp and this must have been deliberate. Perhaps it is not a legitimate postmark.

Ross
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From: Australia
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 12-09-2006 05:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ross   Click Here to Email Ross     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not sure if this is where I saw it or not but I've just checked eBay and found this.

Ross

Astro Bill
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posted 12-09-2006 07:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ross:

Thanks for the additional info on the X-Prize cancel. Note that it says "Rare - One of a kind." That would never be possible with any official US postmark because collectors are given 30 days to send covers and some are even allowed 60 days if it is found that the postmark was not announced in advance sufficiently.

The seller of the cover should be contacted. The Postmaster at Las Cruces, NM should also be contacted for more info.

Bill

yeknom-ecaps
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From: Northville MI USA
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posted 12-09-2006 08:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yeknom-ecaps   Click Here to Email yeknom-ecaps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not all postmarks are announced. For example the FLOREX postmark in another thread in this forum has not appeared in the USPS bulletin either. There was a pictorial postmark from Kodiak AK that I recently found out about that also has not appeared. I have written to the Las Cruces postmaster but no response yet.

Astro Bill
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posted 12-09-2006 08:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
But don't you think that this is an odd looking cancel? It does not look like a US postmark. It looks odd and it is not actually cancelling the stamp.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-09-2006 09:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Astro Bill:
it is not actually cancelling the stamp.
For what its worth (without commenting on the validity of this specific cancel), I watched the Cleveland PO apply the collectSPACE.com/GRC official cancel on the edge of stamps just as is pictured in this alleged XPC cancel:

Astro Bill
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posted 12-09-2006 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Right, Robert. But the postmark that they used for your cancel IS actually touching the design of the stamp and is therefore cancelling the stamp. The X-Prize cancel appears to only be touching the edge of the stamp and not the design. I have seen people do with cachets at stamp shows. That, and its appearance, is why I think it may be a "bogus" cancel.

yeknom-ecaps
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From: Northville MI USA
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posted 12-09-2006 07:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yeknom-ecaps   Click Here to Email yeknom-ecaps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Upon receiving further information it looks like this cancel is from a booth the USPS had on the grounds of the Wirefly X-Prize Cup at Las Cruces International Airport. It was applied by USPS personnel. I am trying to find out if there were also October 21st cancels as it was a two-day event.

yeknom-ecaps
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From: Northville MI USA
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posted 12-09-2006 07:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yeknom-ecaps   Click Here to Email yeknom-ecaps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another location that has USPS pictorial cancels but often not in the USPS Bulletins is the Wapakoneta post office for their Apollo 11 cancels. Also, a Star Trek cancel from Hunt Valley from earlier this year was not published either. Thus many cancels in all topics occur that are not in the USPS bulletin.

Astro Bill
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posted 12-09-2006 08:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by yeknom-ecaps:
Another location that has USPS pictorial cancels but often not in the USPS Bulletins is the Wapakoneta post office for their Apollo 11 cancels. Also, a Star Trek cancel from Hunt Valley from earlier this year was not published either. Thus many cancels in all topics occur that are not in the USPS bulletin.

I understand that such cities as Wapakoneta and a few others may use unannounced cancels occasionally. But this cancel does not look like an authorized USPS cancel. Why is it not touching the stamp design and why is it advertised as "Rare and one of a kind.?

yeknom-ecaps
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From: Northville MI USA
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posted 12-09-2006 08:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yeknom-ecaps   Click Here to Email yeknom-ecaps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is why I said it "looks like" - based on current info - that this is true but you are correct the info needs to be verified ultimately by the Las Cruces post office.

No clue why it would be advertised as "Rare" and "One of a Kind" by the eBay seller.

As for the issue of the cancel not touching the design of the stamp - I have many examples of cancels on covers that I sent to the originating post office that when the covers were returned to me the cancels not only did not touch the stamp design but the cancels didn't even touch the stamp!!

Survey of some of my cancels:
- Hunt Valley Star Trek 2004 (hit very edge of stamp - not on design)
- Centennial Station Forbes ND 2005 (completely off stamp)
- Aerosciences Museum 2005 (hit very edge of stamp - not on design)
- Edwards AFB 2005 (hit very edge of stamp - not on design)
- Pasadena 2005 (completely off stamp)
- Stamp Expo San Francisco 2005 (hit very edge of stamp - not on design)
- Rockville Centre NY 2005 (hit very edge of stamp - not on design)
- Rock Falls IL 2005 (hit edge of stamp - not on design)
- Cooperstown NY 2005 (hit edge of stamp)
- Fulton NY 2005 (hit edge of stamp)
- Kodiak AK 2005 (completely off stamp)
- Perry Town TX 2005 (hit edge of stamp - not on design)
- Ceterport NY 2005 (hit edge of stamp - not on design)
- Mainepex Portland ME 2005 (hit edge of stamp - not on design)
- Albany NY 2005 (hit edge of stamp - not on design)
- Mesa AZ 2006 (hit edge of stamp - not on design)
- Greenwood Lake NY 2006 (completely off stamp)
- Whitetop VA 2006 (completely off stamp)
- Washinton DC 2006 (hit edge of stamp - not on design)
- Union Star MO 2006 (hit edge of stamp - not on design)
- Southhaven MS 2006 (completely off stamp)
- Tyndall SD (hit edge of stamp - not on design)
- Childress TX 2006 (completely off stamp)
- Granbury TX 2006 (completely off stamp)
- Rising Star TX 2006 (completely off stamp)
- Seagraves TX 2006 (completely off stamp)
- Kodiak AK 2006 (completely off stamp)
- Harveys Lake PA 2006 (hit edge of stamp - not on design)
- Silver Spring MD 2006 (completely off stamp)

Based on this looking for a cancel on the stamp design is not a factor in determining if a cancel is valid or bogus.

This also occurred for "regular" cancels from some locations (e.g. Wallops Island) on event covers.

eurospace
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From: Brussels, Belgium
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posted 12-10-2006 02:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Astro Bill:
Note that it says "Rare - One of a kind." That would never be possible with any official US postmark because collectors are given 30 days to send covers and some are even allowed 60 days if it is found that the postmark was not announced in advance sufficiently.
That's a no brainer to start with. The guy himself is selling five of it.

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Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

Astro Bill
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posted 12-15-2006 11:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by yeknom-ecaps:
I have written to the Las Cruces postmaster but no response yet.


Any reply yet from the Las Cruces postmaster?

eurospace
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From: Brussels, Belgium
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posted 12-17-2006 06:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Astro Bill:

Any reply yet from the Las Cruces postmaster?

It seems you rarely send in covers for postmarking. It would be exceptionnally fast if any US post office had already returned the covers by this date. This is very often an affair of six, sometimes eight or even twelve weeks to hear from them. In other words: no, no reply yet.

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Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

Astro Bill
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posted 12-17-2006 08:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Astro Bill   Click Here to Email Astro Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, I have not sent for the Las Cruces postmarks. The reason for this is that the postmark was not announced in advance and over 60 days has past since its use. Tom Steiner gave me the impression that he had actually contacted the Postmaster personally, not that he merely sent covers to the location asking that a previously used cancel should be applied to them.

I did send for the FLOREX cancels and I am still waiting for them. As you know very well from reading my previous posts to this message board, I prepared covers for the Pluto-New Horizons launch on 19 Jan 2006 and the Stardust launch on 15 Jan 2006. I prepared the covers with full color printed cachets, not just the rubber stamp cachets that I have listed in this section. The covers took months to be returned. All of them were awarded as prizes in the Space Philately Contests in this section of the message board. I do not sell covers on eBay as you do. As far as I can recall, I have never prepared any space covers and then sold them to anyone. This is a hobby. I do not do it for a profit.

I also prepared covers for the two RCSC Challenger postmarks from Akron, OH. They were returned to me in a few days. I applied the Challenger RC cachets to them and I plan to send them to Dr. Ross Smith, webmaster of the SU website, as soon as the FLOREX covers arrive.

So, no I do not prepare many space covers. I am more interested in reporting on them and improving the services of the Space Unit to its membership.

eurospace
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From: Brussels, Belgium
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posted 12-17-2006 07:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not sure how serious to take this 30 or 60 deadline with postmarkers in the first place. Firstly, Las Cruces violated USPS regulations by not communicating the use of this pictorial to Headquarters and not having published it in the Bulletin.

Then I also made the experience that either the post office stamped late envelopes for the simple kind wish to serve the customer well, or because they were late and overloaded anyway and couldn't respect it themselves.

Or, in the worst of cases, they hadn't known about the backdating rule in the first place, and had destroyed the cancelling device the day after the show ended.

I've seen it all, for good and for bad, and if my own delay is within reason, I always try.

In the worst case you will get the covers back unpostmarked and can use them again for a different event, or you lose them altogether. Most frequently, however, the daring act is rewarded with a nice cancel.

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Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

yeknom-ecaps
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From: Northville MI USA
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posted 12-18-2006 10:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yeknom-ecaps   Click Here to Email yeknom-ecaps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I did send a separate letter on the postmark back in November but no response as of now.

yeknom-ecaps
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From: Northville MI USA
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posted 01-13-2007 08:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yeknom-ecaps   Click Here to Email yeknom-ecaps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Received covers back from Las Cruces post office with the cancel applied. This postmark is only available with the October 20th date - interesting since the X-Prize event was over two days.

eurospace
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From: Brussels, Belgium
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posted 04-24-2007 03:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for eurospace   Click Here to Email eurospace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had given up on these covers, but yes, my covers sent to Las Cruces returned to me today, with the special postmarker used on 20 October 2006. That's seven months travelling time in total.

For a transatlantic swimming competition, certainly a good time, but in space age?

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Jürgen P Esders
Berlin, Germany
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Astroaddies

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