The Significance of 9906753

The final art is now installed on “A Dame, Two Spells, and a Scope.”

In the last illustration of the story, I thought it would be fun to put in a little Easter egg. One of the crates has this stenciled on it:

TOP SECRET
ARMY INTEL 9906753
DO NOT OPEN!

This references the scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the ark is crated and stashed in the depths of a giant warehouse. I thought placing a crate with that stencil in Ahn’s storeroom might give a laugh to people who spotted it and got the reference.

But when I was looking that up, the number “9906753” stood out to me. I looked for some confirmation of the significance I saw, but while I saw a lot of analysis, there was no mention of what had struck me.

When Raiders came out, I lived in Encino, a suburb of Los Angeles. My sister and I went to school with, went to camp with, or lived near many kids whose parents were producers, composers, actors, etc.

So when I saw that 7-digit number, it meant something to me that I haven’t seen mentioned in many of the analyses. At the time Raiders was made, it was the prefix in the 213 area code that covered much of Encino. A lot of my friends in Encino had phone numbers that started with 990. It is very possible that 213-990-6753 would have belonged to someone involved with the film.

Unfortunately, I’m not planning to go spend a few days in Washington D.C. to get access to a San Fernando Valley Reverse Whitepages from 1980/81 at the Library of Congress. But if anyone ever has the time and inclination and then runs the name of the owner of that number at that time through IMDb, please let me know the results.

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