Secret Messages At Amsterdam Centraal

Have you ever noticed how places such as train stations and airports sometimes hide secret messages within public announcements? They usually include a slightly unusual name which is in fact a code intended to communicate to the staff that there is a problem somewhere. For example, an innocent sounding announcement for a Mr Wolf to go to the main desk might actually be a message for security to run there as fast as possible because something is going down. These announcements are intended to be subtle, covert and go unnoticed by the general public… which is nothing like the one I heard while waiting for my train the other evening at Amsterdam Centraal Station.

“Will Mrs Kate Fire Warning please come to the information desk where Miss Shoe is waiting for her. I repeat; will Mrs Kate Fire Warning please come to the information desk where Miss Shoe is waiting for her.”

I am not a code cracker but I’m fairly certain that at least one of those names is not real. I’m not too sure about the other either. In fact I can only think of three very unlikely circumstances where those names could be conceivably real:

1) It’s a super hero and her not very imaginatively named side kick.
2) They are secret agent code names (in which case don’t announce them in public just because you can’t find each other).
3) Someone had very, very hippy parents.

Although I like all three options as a possible explanation (I almost called this post ‘The Adventures of Mrs Fire Warning and Miss Shoe) it’s far more likely that this was just one of those coded messages used to communicate a problem to the staff. Possibly that something, somewhere was on fire… possibly a shoe.

Have you ever noticed any not so subtle secret messages hidden in public announcements (or funny ones)? Do you know a Mrs Kate Fire Warning or Miss Shoe? I’d love to know.

6 responses to “Secret Messages At Amsterdam Centraal”

  1. nic says:

    i figure this may be true, however announcements would be in dutch therefore as an English speaking person you must understand the spoken language

    • Stuart says:

      That was the strange thing. They made the announcement in English which almost makes it seem like it could be real but with those names I find it hard to believe. Maybe doing it in English was just a cover.

  2. Gez says:

    Bristol, UK. Years ago. Was walking through a mid-town mall, and there was an announcement for “Mister Christian please contact extension 666”.
    Thought it was a little suspect, but after walking outside and seeing mall security ask a nearby food truck if the boxes by the truck belonged to it, it just confirmed to me it was a coded ‘be on look out for bombs’ message.

  3. Warning and Shoe! Thursdays at 8, on RTL!

  4. Peet says:

    I worked at Luna Park in Sydney, “Mr Nobel is onsite” was code for a bomb alert. Not very subtle :-)

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