Two tea leaves to throw into the pot:
With Lynx 2.7 I get consistent behavior: The first time I exercise
I get an invisible page. When I reload, I get an OK page.
Something is funny between the first and second hits against that
URL at that server. And HTTP is supposed to be stateless. I
would suspect a bug somewhere between the server and script such
that it takes one hit from a given correspondent to clear its
On your alternate search page, there is an HTML bug in the header
<h1=3><center>Search the archives in this directory</h3></center>
^^ -- looks like you reached for <BACKSPACE> and hit '=' instead.
Note also: Please don't interdigitate your tags like that:
If you want to force centering and aren't happy to accept what the
browser does in its environment with <h3> I suggest that you forget
header tags altogether and just make this a
<p align=center>Search the archives in this directory</p>
and be done with it.