The Note

Fiona Powers and Celina Flores

The 90’s was a very eventful decade, the end of decade long cold war, the fall of the Soviet Union and the internet was just on the rise, affecting communication, entertainment and business. The 90’s was a huge year for music. Tupac, Prince, Michael Jackson and Jay-Z dominated the music world in the 90’s. Hip Hop was the new and cool type of music that every kid would listen to. The film industry was at one of its peaks, producing possibly some of your favorite movies like Sandlot, Fight Club, Clueless and many more! Although it was only 30 years ago, so much has changed since then… 

The fallout shelter, a mysterious place that not much is known about. This shelter would have been used for any disaster that would have resulted from a nuclear event. Around this time period, the Cold War was still in motion and many Americans feared that there was an atomic bomb coming and could endanger them and their loved ones’ lives. In case of this, it was not uncommon to come across a school with a fallout shelter, similar to this one. The fallout shelter is pretty massive, with random junk here and there. Many find it fun to explore and fool around in this mysterious place. This dusty and dirty place is a mystery to most, but not to a group of middle schoolers in 1992.

It was the last day of school in 1992 at Benjamin Franklin Middle School, as most students were excited to leave school for the summer, a group of students were leaving their mark in the fallout shelter. A thin, yellow piece of paper with a printed message was left by these special students. The letter ranged from how to get into the shelter to how not to get caught. The letter had given specifics about the shelter that are unknown to most. They had a “mafia code” stating if you get caught and you’re not alone you don’t say anything about the others down there too. They had left these messages on one piece of paper for the future BF middle school students to read and find.  

Exactly 30 years later in 2022, the world had changed.  Smartphones have taken over the lives of most teens and social media has completely shapeshifted our world. In 2022 Stage Crew came to school early on a Saturday morning to strip the set from the musical that had happened on the previous day. We pleaded to go into the trap door on the stage and after a bit of convincing, we were allowed down. We carefully stepped down the steep steps and pulled up our shirts to cover our nose and mouth to make sure we didn’t inhale the dirt and dust down there. We ventured further and further into the shelter until someone pointed out the note. The group erupted with screams and excitement as they crowded around the piece of paper and read it out loud.

The mystery here is…  Who were these students? Where are they now? And are they traceable? Well that’s all going to be found out in these next few months. 

But you may be asking, how are we going to track them down? Well… Our way of action is to try our best and use every resource possible to track down the authors of these notes. We have many resources such as yearbooks, interviewing and social media to help our investigation. We are continuing to look for these people. We are currently looking at old VHS tapes we found at BF and now looking through them to find some information we were given from an old BFMS student. We are hoping to try to figure out this mystery soon…


This story is part of an ongoing investigative piece by the BOLT