As BD said, it is more than possible that someone has worked on the tranny previously, and possibly lost a poppet ball inside the tranny. Trust me it is so very easy to do
I don't think that the noise is being caused by the poppet ball, but I guess that could be a possibility though.
I too upon seeing that the poppet ball was not in the bore, thought that it was the ball rolling around in the tranny that was causing the noise, but I found out that the noise was caused by the broken fork. With the fork being broken and the set screw pretty well stripped from the constant pressure from the broken fork moving all the time, the noise just got louder and louder and eventually the fork became so loose that I could no longer get the tranny to shift properly.
In either case, the guys were right. No big deal
If a guy like me who has absolutely no knowledge or aptitude for mechanics can fix it, then anyone can. The whole trick is to read the service manual, examine the forks, rods, poppets and the gears, ask questions THEN methodically go about removing, fixing/replacing then re-installing the whole shebang. Not all that difficult
Well in retrospect anyways
Hopefully over the next day or so, I can get the presentation together on how I did it. Don't be afraid to tackle the job. It is actually a lot of fun