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Secret Powerline Codes
I've heard in the past that shoes hanging from a powerline means that you can buy drugs in the area. But according to this article, in which a utility worker is interviewed, there are even more secret codes:

"The tennis shoes hanging up there mark drug areas," the worker says. "It's a sign to those who are 'in the know' that drugs are available for sale in that neighborhood." He goes on to explain the alleged meaning of yoyos and deflated helium balloons. "That meaning is a lot darker," he says. "Yoyos mean that sex is for sale in the area, and if a balloon is tangled in with the yoyos, that means both sex and drugs are for sale." He explains that the color of the yoyo indicates the ethnicity of the person offering sex.

So what are you supposed to do if you see one of these codes? Go up to the nearest person and say, 'Hey, I saw the yoyo, if you know what I mean?' Maybe objects hanging from power lines simply mean that kids have thrown things up there to be obnoxious.
Categories: Places
Posted by Alex on Wed Jun 08, 2005
Comments (59)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
Or maybe he's really there, but just not updating, ya know, pulling a hoax of some sort on all of
Posted by Tom  on  Wed Jun 15, 2005  at  03:02 AM
I think this site is a hoax.
Posted by Blackie  on  Wed Jun 15, 2005  at  09:01 PM
I think I'm a hoax.
Posted by Soldant  on  Wed Jun 15, 2005  at  11:22 PM
i think your a hoax too
Posted by joeodd  on  Thu Jun 16, 2005  at  03:14 AM
I know of a pair of dangling trainers (sneakers) in my hometown. They're outside a greengrocers shop. Maybe he hollows out the vegetables and stuffs them full of drugs.

When I was much younger (late eighties/early nineties) it was not uncommon to see a worn out bicycle tyre thrown over a lamp-post. It didn't mean anything other than somebody liked throwing old tyres around....
Posted by Creep Tom  in  UK  on  Fri Jun 17, 2005  at  03:56 AM
Maybe, sneakers hanging from a power line just means it's a shitty neighborhood.
Posted by Zombie  on  Sat Jun 18, 2005  at  11:50 PM
Thats awesum!
Posted by MeL  in  sydney  on  Sun Jun 19, 2005  at  07:54 PM
I have a pair of rebox hanging outside my door in the alley way. Its a pretty bad neighborehood and I wouldn't doubt drug activity, but I dont think the shoes had anything to do with it. (Maybe its the graffiti?)

Surprised no one is hanging up signs that say "DRUGS 4 SALE & CRACK WHORE ON DUTY, RING the DOOR IF YOU WANT SOME BOOTY!" LOL.
Posted by Andrew  in  Lompoc, CA  on  Tue Jun 28, 2005  at  11:21 PM
Where I live all of the power, telephone, etc, cables are buried. There are always lots of folks digging in the backyards trying to find buried balloons.
Posted by Manny  on  Thu Jul 14, 2005  at  10:02 PM
In my neighborhood, the only thing found hanging from powerlines is squirrels of the limp and lifeless variety.

What do you suppose is for sale here?
Posted by Irv  in  Talking Rock GA  on  Sat Jul 30, 2005  at  03:07 PM
I live in the suburbs in a relatively quiet neighborhood. We have some bad little high school kids that live across the street... they actually punched a hole in our front door because they wanted to come to a party we were having and we wouldn't let them in. I'm not sure it was them, but outside there have been shoes on the power line for a long time. The city finally came and took them down and not more than two days later a new pair of shoes was up there. I'm wondering if these kids are just being stupid a-holes... or if they are doing something worse.
Posted by Megan  in  WI  on  Fri Aug 05, 2005  at  05:26 AM
As a police officer I can tell you that these signs are not urban legends. We look into these signals very closely and monitor each area. If you see such a sign please report it to the local authorities as it is common knowledge among officers of the law in most big cities.
Posted by Alex  in  New York  on  Sat Aug 13, 2005  at  12:05 PM
umm...Occifer Alex? Don't you guys patrol the streets on your way to the Krispy Kreme shops? Couldn't you periodically look up from your jelly-filled belly-buster and see the sneakers on the wire yourselves? Just a suggestion... oh, btw...try the crullers..they're delish
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sat Aug 13, 2005  at  12:40 PM
ugh...crullers. :/ I much prefer old fashioned glazed.

But I'm getting off topic. (ray bradbury)
Posted by Winona  in  USA  on  Sat Aug 13, 2005  at  01:58 PM
hey, I think crullers are kinda ugh, too... I just figured if the cops ate the crullers, that leaves more glazed for us...Lex Luthor has nothing on me
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sat Aug 13, 2005  at  02:23 PM
interesting theory .. in kingston qld australia the most well known "secret" drugs house . u name it they sell it type place. they have 3 sets of power lines as they are on a corner block ... every set of lines has at least one pair of shoes. and yet the police who live 100 yards away have none ... neither do anyone else in the neighbourhood. and yes every now and then the local energex boys come and cut them down ... there is a new pair up there almost immedietly .... bottom of diamond street for the locals. coincidence ???.... stoned ppl in hi jinks ??? 15 years that i know of. no i dont shop there either before you start lol. but i know of people that do. the big mystery to the locals isnt the shoes ... its more the fact that police live all around these scumbags and they have never ever been shut down.
Posted by head1ess_chicken  in  brisbane australia  on  Sat Aug 13, 2005  at  09:19 PM
I am also a police officer and don't visit the red light district of Krispy Kreme. Ha ha. It is a trend that is picking up in the community I work. I came here for information about that very topic (Tennis shoes and utility lines) even if it is not a sign of drug or gang activity we remove them immediately.
Posted by Lisa  on  Mon Aug 29, 2005  at  07:05 AM
I've been trying to get to the bottom of this issue in Minneapolis. The hanging shoes certainly seem to correlate with problematic neighborhoods here. I've dubbed this occurance Shoefiti, and started a site in an attempt to find answers.
Posted by Ed Kohler  in  Minneapolis, MN  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  08:15 PM
when you jump someone you usually take there kicks, if they aren't nice enough to resell you through um up a line.
Posted by jermaine  on  Mon Oct 03, 2005  at  06:31 PM
I've lived in Evansville,IN. Chicago,IL. and now here in Pensacola, FL. and usually the shoes on power lines and shit are just that, things on power lines...

However, I do know for a fact that in some cases it is used to mark gang turf and drug areas...

It's not always like that, and it's not the same in all places...

but in Evansville, there was a gang on the north side that wore green colors, and sold marijuana (green), and when they would push into newer neighborhoods they would throw up green tennis shoes to mark that they were pushing dope into that neighborhood, kind of marking it...

and down here

I have noticed that i keep seeing a pair of shoes and it will get cut down, and another pair goes up, and its not always in the exact same spot, there will be a pair up, and then when it gets cut down, or the cops start getting heavy in that area, one block south or north the shoes will be hanging, and then when the cops start cruising that street more, a pair of shoes will show up a couple streets back towards where they were before

and talked to a guy who sold drugs who said that he would move from block to block sort of playing run around with police

so im thinking maybe the shoes were similar to that and had to do with drugs or prostitution because both are very present in that area
Posted by Turtle  in  Pensacola, FL  on  Fri Sep 01, 2006  at  01:40 AM
we threw our shoes over.
we were just bored.
how much is the fine in australia?
Posted by charlie and zoe.  in  secret  on  Wed Dec 13, 2006  at  10:18 PM
I've been alive a long time, and I have noticed the the skywalkers since the 50s & 60s. Could it just be a tribute to a favorite pair that have worn out or no longer fit? I think the urban legend and theorists have too much free time coming up with reasons. I truly believe the young people just think it is a fun way to to play when Mom says you and your friends are making too much noise in the house and you have to go outside. The power lines are unutilized spaces in the neighborhood that become playthings that need decoration.
Posted by shoefetish  in  The Bronx, NYC  on  Tue Mar 20, 2007  at  08:34 AM
Don't think the fine is bigger than it the US for example but it surely teaches you not to repeat your action.
Posted by ThxRehab  in  right here  on  Tue May 15, 2007  at  03:45 PM
yo..i'm a gangster myself and none of that drug stuff is true...not even that dead gang member stuff....think of something hard feelings to all you people. quiet village pee wees.....s1lent
Posted by silent  in  west whittier, south east los angeles  on  Mon Jul 02, 2007  at  09:44 PM
I've been told by more than one police officer that sneakers hanging from power lines mean there is a drug dealer nearby. Not necessarily right where the sneakers are, but nearby. People see that and if they are looking for drugs, they drive slowly throughout the neighborhood until they are approached. Cops do know about it.
Posted by Carol  in  New Mexico  on  Mon Jul 16, 2007  at  11:11 PM
In Hawaii and in my home state of CT, shoes hanging from the powerlines were a sign of drug use. I used to be heavy into drug abuse and if you just sit around and wait, staring at the shoes, someone eventually approaches you. I dunno how true it is else where, but in CT, I got a lot of drugs through the powerlines. I have cleaned up a lot since then, but I know HI has a huge meth problem and I've seen people doing the same thing near powerlines with shoes.
Posted by L  on  Thu Oct 18, 2007  at  10:05 PM
i heard the color of sneaker is code for specific drugs..
Posted by steve  on  Thu Jan 21, 2010  at  09:15 AM
Colours are an indication of what drug is in the area but Im not sure what those colours are.
Posted by Troy  in  Burns Lake  on  Fri May 28, 2010  at  08:37 PM
Well, at one time there was a "code" of sorts involving combat boots being tossed into the power lines, at least on Army Installations in the Continental U.S-it was something soldiers did when they were discharged. The ritual demanded thet the boots be either newly purchased or the best pair the soldier posessed and were to be spit-shined before being tossed over the lines leading to the Battalion or Company HQ.

For obvious reasons, this was usually done in the dead of night on the soldier's last day of active duty.
Posted by K. Williams  in  United States  on  Thu Sep 13, 2012  at  03:19 PM
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