After three months of spinning its wheels, the Lost Experience is finally starting to get interesting. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this “Lost Experience” I speak of, it’s a marketing game launched by the good folks at Lost to keep the obsessive fans busy over long summer months, giving them something else to debate besides “Should Kate end up with Jack or Sawyer” on the various message boards.
The problem of course (and the reason that I haven’t posted about it much) was that the “Experience” was pretty lame. It primarily revolved around some girl (Persephone / Rachel Blake) who was intent on taking exposing the Hanso Foundation for their evil ways. I could start down the slippery slope of catching you up with the convoluted storyline up until this point, but it’s pretty much all led to this – she got a video that will “tear the Hanso Foundation apart” as she puts it.
Unfortunately, instead of just showing us the video (and this totally reminds me of last year on 24 when Jack could have played the audio recording implicating the President, but instead waited to physically return it to CTU – but I digress), she’s hidden it in 70 pieces, and instructed us to work together in collecting these pieces.
Now, we’re midway through a worldwide hunt for 70 passwords hidden on websites, magazines, and even crew clothing that will give us a video that should fully explain the true purpose of the Hanso Foundation, and what sent them to the Island in the first place. In addition, it’s hinted that we’ll get an explanation to the meaning of 4-8-15-16-23-42. In other words, it’s looking like it will answer three of the most fundamental questions I’ve been asking since the show began. Pretty cool, huh?
So here we go – this website started up a few weeks back: http://hansoexposed.com/ . There, you can login and enter the passwords as you find them. (You can also read a nice summary of the Lost Experience so far here: http://stophanso.rachelblake.com/recap.html if you’re looking to kill some time at work – Team Burgundy members, this does not mean you!) With each password comes another short clip of the video. To add another level of difficulty, the clips aren’t being revealed in order, so it takes some guesswork to figure out what order the videos go in
I’m currently sitting with a healthy 60 clips, but they already hint at some pretty huge reveals for the world of Lost. For those who want to view the video clips for themselves, here’s a list of the passwords I’ve got:
01. Code: 7HKBH
02. Code: RRGYXS
03. Code: 4HO
04. Code: OHGE
05. Code: 748L
06. Code: FVH7N
07. Code: 88CH
08. Code: 1EY8AZCZNA2
09. Code: VDADOS7YRE0
10. Code: 4KVKLAYDM0
11. Code: 3GTVI0M11
12. Code: IG3X
13. Code: XIGZ2Y10S2
14. Code: GMX18BCJ
15. Code: 3ZGT
16. Code: M6XY398
17. Code: ZY6C
18. Code: RGMR
19: Code: 7TI
20. Code: RXMHJH9Y
21: Code: VIX7ZXT97
22. Code: VOU8VPNPS5X
23. Code: 89RMCOCDC6D
24. Code: 750NZF8X
25. Code: NZ59
26. Code: E82KNI8L
27. Code: 90VDHOHU
28. Code: NANITE
29. Code: ku12pb5lv7
30. Code: e2ll1z5e
31. Code: 5BE
32. Code: r3pux4
33. Code: Gllv8b
34. Code: gmiwrlhhnhm
35. Code: tribalwars
36. Code: 4R19Y0UXB6Y
37. Code: CHOCOLATES
38. Code: A0Y8
39. Code: 56LHZJDCL7A4
40. Code: XWZW
41. Code: 44KU2VKQ
42. Code: VACCINE
43. Code: THEFLASHLIGHT
44. Code: 25KOCJS6S6
45. Code: FRXRUK9TQ
46. Code: 0UJ2
47. Code: pfkab5qxk
48. Code: ing93a11ro86
49. Code: VE5SMC
50. Code: ESJ4X6EBNC
51. Code: ZFTLZAGO014H
52. Code: GZ2I
53. Code: TROPICS
54. Code: NARVIK
55. Code: IRZ7
56. Code: OUDW
57. Code: 307L97BDB9
58. Code: BAX5OUX8T
59. Code: 5XW3O
60. Code: PKDBAH7J
Or you can just view the whole thing (so far) on YouTube right now! God bless YouTube!
For those of you at work without sound on your computers, or the hearing impaired, here is a transcript:
Hanso: “I am Alvar Hanso. If you are watching this film, you already know and have worked with Gerald and Karen Degroot, founders and masterminds of the Dharma Initiative. By now, you also know there are many research goals for our joint venture. What you may not know is why we have assembled the Dharma Initiative… why we have assembled the greatest minds in the world and given them unlimited funds and access. As with all you have already been told, you are bound by your honor and commitment to keep what you are about to hear a secret.”
“In a few weeks, after your induction counseling and survival training, you and your colleagues will be shipped to a top secret facility - the precise location of the facility is known only to myself, the Degroots, and a few high ranking members of my organization. Why all the security? All the secrecy? The answer is simple. The research is intended to do nothing less than save the world as we know it."
“In 1962, only thirteen years ago, the world came to the brink of nuclear war. The United States and the Soviet Union almost fulfilled the promise of Mutual Assured Destruction… a promise they continued to foster through a destructive Cold War. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, both nations decided to find a solution. The result was the Valenzetti Equation.”
“Commissioned under the highest secrecy through the U.N. Security Council, the Equation is the brainchild of the Italian mathematician Enzo Valenzetti. It predicts the exact number of years and months before humanity extinguishes itself - whether through nuclear fire, chemical and biological warfare, conventional warfare, pandemic, overpopulation... its results are chilling, and attention must be paid.”
"Although the Equation has been buried by those who commissioned it…"
"Panic. It has always been my belief that we ignore warnings at our own peril, and thus the Dharma Initiative was born. DHARMA is an acronym for Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications. It also stands for ‘the one true way’, and through your research, you will help humanity…"
"We have constructed several stations on the Island - underground laboratories with the facilities you will need to do your research with optimal expediency. All of the support you need, including regular medicine and food drops, will be made in perpetuity. A radio transmitter has also been erected on the Island. Broadcasting on a frequency and encryption known only to us. When, through your research, you manage to change the numerical value of any one of these factors, when you have created through science the… you will know that the one true way has been found.”
“The fate of the human race is in your hands. Thank you… and Namaste.”
Mittelwerk: “We all know what happened. The Dharma Initiative failed. We have tried to change those values by manipulating the environment in many, many ways. We have done our level best, and yet..."
"So now we have to take radical action, and I just want to tell all of you that I trust you to do what is best. The villages of Fallam and Vitualami have allowed us to test our vaccine on them. They think they are infected with a virus carried by a local Macaques, and they believe we are bringing them the cure. So when you go in, you have to keep up your story – to know it by heart. Don’t waver. Our operatives at the Vick Institute have verified this figure. More or less, people succumb, we have failed. We need not take any more lives than is absolutely necessary... Yes?"
Man in Audience: "Tom, these are people - innocent human beings - and we're just going to..."
Mittelwerk: "If you knew with mathematical certainty that you could end all famine, war, and poverty - what would you do? Exactly. You'd find the best way to get it done. Precisely. Surgicially. Without allowing for any more suffering than is absolutely necessary. It is not fair that innocents have to die so that we can perfect this virus..."
"...and the bodies of the dead must be brought to this station immediately for a full genetic work up. We must make absolute certainty we are hitting precise genetic targets we have engineered into the virus."
"But I promise you, someone is going to hel... "
"We have an intruder!"
Random People: "Who is it? She's got a camera."
Rachel Blake: "No! Get off me! Get off! Get off! Stop! Get off me! No!"
Random Voice: "We got her!"
WOW. There might be more information about the mythology and purpose of the TV show lost in that three minute video clip than we’ve gotten in the past two seasons of the show. Where to begin? Let’s hit the highlights:
Hanso. Finally! We meet the mysterious leader of this whole organization! He looks much younger (and hairier) than the grainy picture we’ve seen – but I suppose that is what thirty years of aging will do to you. According to the game, Hanso hasn’t been seen since the year 2001, which brings us to…
Mittelwerk. The primary target of Rachel Blake’s investigations for the first few months of the game was Thomas Mittelwerk. Apparently ever since Alvar Hanso’s disappearance, he’s taken over as President of the Hanso Foundation and their “evil ways”. He also appears as a sort of “guidance counselor” to a room full of people at the end of the video. Note that he shows them a video that appears to be the original Orientation video, with a copyright of 1975 (five years prior to the other Orientation videos we’ve seen on the Island).
From the looks of the video, it seems as though Mittelwerk is “coaching up” a fresh group of “scientists” to make their trip to the Island. He’s giving them the history via an old videotape and explaining the importance of everything they’re about to be doing – very cult-like. But this would seem to indicate that there are countless groups of these “scientists” on the Island – why haven’t we seen them?
Remember, everything in The Lost Experience is supposed to be taking place in the present – whereas the activities on the show Lost are currently somewhere in late 2004. Could this be foreshadowing to the arrival of “reinforcements” somewhere in later seasons? How sweet would it be if this little Internet Game was hinting at how the show would end, with a massive war between the Others and Survivors against the Hanso / Dharma Scientists? Or will we soon find there already is a living, thriving Dharma community on the Island that we just haven’t seen yet?
Island. From the sounds of the video, the Island was meant to remain secret for a reason, and it seems tied to the United Nations, the Cold War, and the Valenzetti Equation. It really does seem like it was created to be a safe haven in a world full of war, where mankind is on the brink of annihilation – almost a “Garden of Eden” where we could start over? Or is the point of the Island to be a place where scientists could work to prevent this “end of the world” through their experiments? Keeping it secret would be critical to ensure outside parties didn’t interfere with the works going on there. And just what is going on there?
DHARMA. Finally, the meaning of DHARMA is revealed! Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications. Now there are a lot of big words in there, so I’ll break it down for everyone:
Department = a distinct, usually specialized division of a large organization
Heuristics = the study of a usually speculative formulation serving as a guide in the investigation or solution of a problem.
Research = scholarly or scientific study or inquiry
Material Applications = a multi-disciplinary field involving the properties of matter and its applications to various areas of science and engineering. It includes elements of applied physics and chemistry, as well as chemical, mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering. With significant media attention to nanoscience and nanotechnology in the recent years, materials science has been propelled to the forefront at many universities, sometimes controversially.
So DHARMA, in a nutshell, is a bunch of people studying potential solutions to a problem through the use of fancy pants scientific mumbo-jumbo.
What immediately jumps out at me is the mention of nanoscience in the Material Applications definition – Smokey, anyone? Clearly, the Dharmites are smart dudes who are using the most advanced scientific equipment and theories available to solve their problem. But what is the problem?
Valenzetti. This is the biggest reveal of the game so far, in my opinion. A crazy Italian mathematician (Rambaldi, anyone?) came up with an equation that would predict When the World Ends (we’ll be burning one…). I would put a large sum of money on the fact that 4-8-15-16-23-42 are somehow tied to this equation. They’re either the precise date of the end of the world, or they’re numbers that have to be put into the equation to produce this sacred date.
Think about it. Why else the obsessive nature of having these Numbers appear everywhere on the Island? They’re clearly important – but no one knows why. They just know they have to keep the number string alive, fresh in their brains. The video notes that the Equation itself has been buried (probably far too powerful for the average human to ever find out – just imagine if you knew when the world was coming to an end – everyone would quit their jobs and follow Dave Matthews Band around all summer, bringing the world economy to a halt!) – but the pieces of the Equation – the Numbers, live on through the Hanso Foundation and its followers.
Crazy. I can’t wait for more of the video to be revealed, and I’ll update the post accordingly. Let me know your thoughts, especially those of you who have been more “involved” with the game from the start – are there any major things I’m glossing over here?
Hooray for summertime Lost obsessiveness!