lucy24 - 2:12 am on Sep 23, 2012 (gmt 0)
found the following characters at the very start of the file ...
Punch line: The very existence of this piece of text sent my browser into UTF-8 encoding, so all I saw was a blank line. Convert manually to Latin-1 and there they are.
I once found a www page that contained three separate BOMs at various places. But it also had an explicit "8859-1" declaration, so they came through as text.
There exist utilities that let you edit files without opening them one by one. (This is the sum total of my knowledge, so don't ask.)