* Establish serial connection, then use the paperclip.
Even when the port looks jumbled? I'll stay on pause with this one until it's confirmed.
* Try to use a different host PC to connect via the serial connection.
I don't have another PC to do this with at the moment, I'll add preparing one to the to-do list.
* Use a different SD card. If you don't have a way or writing an image or otherwise preparing the SD card, you may not be able to perform this test.
The backup SD card I had allows me to ssh after I wait for the symbols to stop on the serial.
This part doesn't make any sense to me.
SD Card 'B' was, but the NAND wasn't active- when the mystery event happened to trigger this.
SD Card 'A' = symbols + ssh
SD Card 'B' = symbols - ssh
NAND Card = symbols - ssh
Maybe this makes sense to you. I await further instructions.