A musuem in central China's Hubei Province is calling for public help to decode 891 telegraphs found on a Chinese warship engaged in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression from 1937 to 1945.
A piece of the coded telegraphs
The Museum of Zhongshan Warship, in the provincial capital city of Wuhan, was considering putting pictures of the telegraphs online so they could be deciphered, said the museum's curator surnamed Ye, according to Xinmin Evening News.
The warship, originally named "Yongfeng," was renamed in 1925 after Dr Sun Yat-sen, founder of Kuomintang, or the Nationalist Party.
It was involved in the Zhongshan Warship Incident in 1926 and the battle of Wuhan in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.
It was bombed and sunk in the Yangtze River by Japanese invaders on October 24, 1938. The 25 soldiers onboard died.
The telegraphs were found in the wireless telegraph room when the warship was salvaged in 1997.
They were all stuck together after soaking in water for more than 60 years, but were made legible after a dehydration process in May 2006.
Several of the papers were written with brush pens and pencils but most were recorded in four Arabic numerals.
Ye said he believed the papers may have recorded historic events from April 1927 to October 1938, including several milestone battles during the war, but their content remained a national mystery.
(Shanghai Daily October 27, 2008)