Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Lost Experience... So Far

***UPDATED 9/2***

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
38. Code: A0Y8
39. Code: 56LHZJDCL7A4
40. Code: XWZW
41. Code: 44KU2VKQ
42. Code: VACCINE
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!


Anonymous said...

In the video, when that guy is writing the Valenzetti Equation on the chalkboard, he is definitely writing a 4 and an 8.

Anonymous said...

"I would put a large sum of money on the fact that 4-8-15-16-23-42 are somehow tied to this equation."

"Somehow tied"? Go back and watch the video again... when that guy is writing the Valenzetti Equation on the chalkboard, he is definitely writing a 4 and an 8!

Anonymous said...

d'oh! sorry for the double post. ok, now a triple post. i suck.

Unknown said...

Brian, yet again you are the brainiest guy I know! (even though I don't KNOW you!)

I am impressed with all you have shared! WAY TO GO!

one point I really wanted to say, that was exactly what I was thinking (on 24 with the audio clip) all this time, same deal, just a different trail!

Once again....you are awesome!

Unknown said...

by the way...not that I expect that you will even WANT to keep up with this, but there are 40 glyph codes NOW! UGH!

A great place to keep up on them, is at http://members.aol.com/mattthepale/fragments.html
this is a list kept pretty current with them all.

Just FYI!

Brian said...

Updated to include all 39 clips.

Anonymous said...

Well this is all very interesting. I stoped paying attention to the Lost Experience pretty much right out the gate because it just looked like a ton of filler. Now it's actually revealing thing -- and in a huge scavenger hunt no less. I'm willing to bet that the final code is found on the same day as the season premere and finally explanes the numbers.

Keep up the good work Brian, can't wait to see where this all goes.

Anonymous said...

I've had a new theory lately, that is full of scientific holes but might be interesting to think about.

There's been a lot of speculation about the passage of time on the island vs. real world time. I think on the show in real time, the apocalypse suggested by the Valenzetti equation is pretty close. Somehow, Hanso/Dharma has slowed the passage of time on the island in an effort to do studies and research that either undermine the equation, or offer an alternative for survival. I suspect that blowing the hatch may have changed the passage of time somewhat, and that in the future if Walt returns the strange time issues may explain unusual growth by Walt or maybe Aaron depending on how he grows, or Sun's pregnancy.

Out there, huh? Can't wait until October.

PHG said...

The hatch is done. Does that mean so were the peeps in there?????????

Don't answer that for me...I like surprises, so don't tell me who has a contract and who doesn't, etc.

"KAHUKU, Hawaii -- The hatch is history.

That was just one of the third-season secrets revealed by cast and crew of the TV drama "Lost," who gathered here Tuesday night to mark the release of the DVD set, "Lost — The Complete Second Season."

"The hatch has definitely had its moment," confirmed executive producer Bryan Burk, referring to the mysterious underground bunker that was the set for much of the series' second-season drama. "Lets just say it was one big explosion."

As for the story: If the first season was all about the original plane-crash survivors adjusting to their new lives on a deserted island, and the second season was all about the so-called "tailies" (those who were in the tail of the plane, whom the originals had thought were dead), "this year," Lilly said, "we've opened this up to another whole other people, a whole other location, a whole other facet through which we can tell stories."

Michael Emerson, who plays the leader of "The Others" group, noted, "What I know is that we get to go live with The Others, where they learn a little more about their life and, hopefully, their mission, their agenda, whatever that might be. Maybe we'll get to warm up to them."

Producer Burk promised that many of the second season's looming questions would be answered in the first six episodes. But, warned actor Daniel Dae Kim, "I think for every question that's answered, there's another one that's posed, and that's kind of what keeps people coming back."

Cuse said the new season will include more action and adventure, and that new characters could well serve as love interests. And, he added, Sawyer (Holloway) and Jack (Matthew Fox) will definitely be competing for the romantic affections of Kate (Lilly).

But don't expect the show to get all soft.

"There'll be a lot of love. There'll be a lot of comedy," Burk said. "But we can never forget that these people are in a very dark place."

Brian said...


I think we have actually seen confirmations that Locke, Eko, and Desmond all survived the Hatch blast.

That's not to say they may not have suffered serious injury or lost their ability to walk (again), but they'll all be series regulars next season.

Personally - I love that the Hatch is history. I love that Lost continues to reinvent itself and its overall look and feel each season - keeps things fresh!

Anonymous said...

brian, i love your blog.. i've always read it.. and i'm just thankful for what you do.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brian, great work again, saving me from going through the Lost Experience myself ;-). Thank you for that! But I must say I´m a little disappointed by the authors/producers- Italian genius again? Come on, that´s so ALIAS! Ok, we´ll have to wait how it all comes down, and I´m patient for that. At least, it gives a fine explanation for the numbers - and it´s better than purgatory - I never liked that theory or believed it...now I can tease my husband with the news from your blog - for we´re starting here in germany the 2nd season from LOST on tv! God bless the www and good friends who can download the new season :-)!

Brian said...


Hooray for German Lost and Gone Forever readers!

Ich liebe Deutschland. I spent the best three months of my life in Augsburg in 2002. I miss it pretty much everyday.

Glad you like the Blog!

Brian said...

Updated to 41/70.

Also - it's definitely sounding more and more like the original aims of Dharma were purely humanitarian, but something went wrong... and now Mittelwerk is sending in these individuals as "hunters", looking for "precise targets" on the Island to take out.


Anonymous said...

Hi again,

just a note: I live in Kassel, as I told you in a comment a while ago - the hometown of Bruce Willis´ mother! He was born in Idar-Oberstein, and still has an aunt here, who is about 100 years old!

And of course, we´re also famous for the Brothers Grimm (not those nerds from the movie). Maybe I should visit Augsburg some day, to see the place that makes you say "Ich liebe Deutschland" :-)!

Greeting from lovely Deutschland!

Anonymous said...

On http://www.valenzettiequation.com/ in the author section, it talks about how the novel of the book, Gary Troup was on flight 815

Anonymous said...

Hey, Brian, you are one of the most insightful Lost posters I have come accross. I have 3 sites that I check daily for Lost tidbits. This is one of course. I haven't been paying attention to the Lost experience at all this summer. I've wanted to, but I've been very busy. This post was GREAT for me to catch up. Thanks, dude!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm beginning to think that maybe Gary Troup didn't die in the crash. Maybe DHARMA is trying to hide the equation from the world and disapproved of Troup writing books about Valenzetti hus removing him from the world outside of the island. Maybe he is still alive and will surface later on in the series, perhaps as one of The Others fighting DHARMA.

What do you think?

Brian said...

I doubt the writers would go with a second "there are other survivors of the crash" storyline on the Island (which would be necessary to have Gary Troup on the Island). It would fit nicely to have Hanso "off" Troup after his knowledge of the Valenzetti Equation, but didn't the Season 2 Finale confirm that the crash of Flight 815 was purely coincidental, caused by Desmond not entering the Numbers into the computer? If so, it looks like Troup is just an innocent victim of the crash.

Anonymous said...

Hey man, its been a while...just wanna thank you for posting up the Lost experience stuff, i couldnt keep up wit it! Thanks man, this blog is the best!

Brian said...

Between you and me, this whole "Lost Experience" video is getting really, really good.

I can't wait until it's complete and we can fully dissect it and what it means for the show!

Brian Leonard said...

First, Brian, thanks again for doing this incredible service. I don't know if you read "non-immediate" comments like this,
but--what makes you think that Mittlewerk is talking about the Island? He mentions two communities by name--are they likely to be on the Island, or perhaps someplace in Africa? I think it's the latter. And since these "scientists" have to bring the bodies back to that "station", I think the whole thing is taking place off the Island. The Island is a separate issue entirely.

Brian said...

Yeah - as we see more of the video, my opinion of what Mittelwerk is talking about has definitely changed. It's almost as if the Island / Dharma stuff was Plan A, it failed, and now they're moving on to Plan B.

The good news is I think we'll have the full video done by this weekend, and with it will come new analysis in a brand new post!

dave-guy said...

you said how they may be making some sort of "super race". well i think the others fit this description pretty well (fit,good trackers, survivers), maybe they broke free onto the island, or thats their "play-pen" of sorts?
but i think the others may be actors because of that cupboard in "the staff" full of their clothes and theatrical glue for fake hair...

Anonymous said...

I think they chose Kate because she looked better in that dress than Jack would have.

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