Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Lost Experience Summary

Carencey, a moderator at The Fuselage (a Lost fan forum) has taken the time to write a detailed description of everything that has happened in The Lost Experience. I reproduce her work here for those of you who may be interested to know what happened.

The Lost Experience in Paragraphs: Act I

The Hanso Foundation: Their mission statement says they stand “at the vanguard of social and scientific research for the advancement of the human race”. They have a spectacular website detailing all of their research and development projects worldwide, and they even run television ads promoting their motto of “reaching out for a better tomorrow”. The Foundation was established by noted philanthropist Alvar Hanso, and its executives dedicate the skills they bring from their life experiences to the betterment of mankind through the Foundation.

However, things which look “too good to be true” often are. There seems to be a whistleblower within the Hanso Foundation—a woman who calls herself “Persephone” has been hacking the Hanso Foundation website in order to share information on the real nature of their projects and board of directors, and may even be getting assistance from sympathetic employees of companies which do business with the Foundation.

Here’s what Persephone has told us so far regarding the executives of the Hanso Foundation:

Thomas Mittelwerk: The President and Chief Technologist is described on the Hanso Foundation website as Alvar Hanso’s right hand man. However, Persephone points out that he cannot have been recruited by Alvar Hanso at the age of eighteen while pursuing a molecular biology degree at Caltech, as the site says—Caltech’s records show that he never studied there.

Peter Thompson: The “successful corporate lawyer” joined the Hanso Foundation as Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary after being cured of cancer at one of their clinics. Persephone tells us that before coming to work for the Foundation, the seemingly pro-philanthropy Thompson actually made a career of defending tobacco, oil, and nuclear interests against patients and citizens. He also defended Lawrence Peck and Jacob Vanderfield, members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, against assorted charges and got very light sentences for both.

Hugh McIntyre: The Communications Director has a background as a UN translator and public relations expert. His bio on the website describes him as “deeply committed to family values”. However, Persephone has provided us with evidence that McIntyre was cheating on his wife of fifteen years with an unidentified woman. McIntyre appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show on May 24, stating that Persephone was “more mischievous than damaging” and that the picture on the website was actually his predecessor’s, accidentally posted by the webmaster. The picture then disappeared and was replaced by a question mark.

Alvar Hanso: The information Persephone has on the Foundation’s founder and guiding force is a bit different. She hasn’t accused Hanso himself of any nefarious activity; instead, Persephone notes that he hasn’t been seen in public since the end of 2002. Is Alvar Hanso really running the Hanso Foundation now, as the website suggests? Or is someone else in charge?

Persephone’s charges regarding the Foundation’s projects are even more damning.
Mathematical Forecasting Initiative: Despite the MFI’s stated goals of using mathematical models to predict the impact of pollution, population growth, and human disease, Persephone has presented us with a portion of a letter from Peter Thompson to “Minister of the Interior Mugato” regarding using findings from the Foundation’s population growth models to justify preemptive strikes on enemies—Thompson insisted on “plausible deniability”.

Worldwide Wellness and Prevention Development Program: On the Hanso Foundation’s website, the WWPDP is described as “a far-reaching educational initiative designed to teach the basics of sanitation, nutrition, and disease prevention to the world”. Persephone suggests that the free hospitals built by the Foundation have a darker purpose. A code hidden on a map of the foundation’s hospitals reads “MISSING ORGANS”. She later provided a South African newspaper account of a raid on a Hanso Foundation hospital that found patients kept in a comatose state with missing organs and bodies being kept just above freezing for organ harvesting purposes. Interestingly, the paper ran a retraction the next day regarding the involvement of the Foundation with the hospital…immediately after the paper’s purchase by the Foundation. The reporter also told Persephone of rumors that another reporter had died in a car accident immediately after penning a similar story.

Mental Health Appeal: The expressed goal of the MHA is “the complete eradication of all mental illness by the end of the century”, but according to Persephone, their methods are at best questionable. She has provided us with a letter from Dr. Armand Zander, director of the Vik Institute, the MHA’s flagship institution, to “Dr.” Thomas Mittelwerk, protesting activities conducted by doctors at the hospital acting outside of his authority.

Electromagnetic Research Initiative: The most basic of the Foundations’ research projects as well as the most vaguely described, the ERI seeks simply to understand electromagnetism. Persephone’s hack of this area includes another letter to Dr. Mittelwerk from a minister of the Korean government, warning that an offshore antenna project could be moved or destroyed due to negative effects on the surrounding area that include satellite and communications interference and mutations observed in nearby wildlife.

Institute for Genomic Advancement: Persephone has told us relatively little about this project, whose goal is described as the eradication of disease and birth defects through a deeper understanding of the function and mechanisms of the human genome. One hack, reached by an interesting password ‘parthenogenesis’ reveals a logo apparently tattoed on the skin of a dead shark, yet this update did not contain any of Persephone’s signature text and documentation.

Life Extension Project: The LEP, whose purpose is clearly stated in its name, boasts as its main achievement a 105-year-old orangutan named Joop. Persephone’s earliest site hack shared first a letter from a Global Welfare Consortium official, Jacques Maillot, to the CDC alleging a connection between the LEP’s research activities and a new meningococcal strain transmitted to humans in Africa, and a second letter from Peter Thompson effectively smoothing over the fuss—after he had taken over Maillot’s position at the GWC.

Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications: We know very little about this department, but its name was given to us as part of a game presented in the MHA hack. There may be more information available on DHARMA in the future.

The Hanso Foundation seems notoriously uncomfortable with negative publicity—brief mentions of the Foundation in the novel “Bad Twin” were greeted with a flurry of ads in major newspapers, and revelations such as Persephone’s could provoke a more dangerous response.

So who is Persephone? She has given us very little information on her own identity—one note on the WWPDP map states that she was an employee of the foundation. In addition, as part of that same update, a page was included in the microfilm section that read “Persephone if you can read this I know who you are”. We may not know who Persephone is, but evidently someone else does.

Another individual that may be a natural ally of Persephone’s is DJ Dan, a broadcaster and conspiracy hunter. Persephone used a name for Dan’s devoted listeners (“conspiraspies”) to unlock her latest update, which suggests some sort of connection between these two. In addition, one caller to a recent show of DJ Dan’s was “concerned” enough to issue threats if Dan didn’t stop his criticism of the Hanso Foundation.

Since Persephone has shared information on the true nature of the Hanso Foundation’s executives and nearly all of its projects, it is unclear what directions any future revelations of hers may take. Hanso watchers and conspiraspies should stay tuned.

Addendum June 16, 2006: Persephone had one more update today regarding the disappearance of Alvar Hanso. Hanso had apparently suffered some sort of medical crisis before vanishing, and afterwards, his office was slowly picked over in his absence. Just as Persephone was confessing that she believed Mittelwerk was responsible for the current direction of the Foundation, the transmission was abruptly cut off with the following message—“The Hanso Foundation site has been hacked by malicious infiltrators seeking to damage the good work of many dedicated researchers. Until a legal investigation is completed, the site will no longer be accessible to the public. Namaste.” It appears that Persephone will need to find a new outlet if she wishes to continue her efforts against the Hanso Foundation.

The Lost Experience in Paragraphs: Act II

Meet Rachel Blake. Or should I say, meet Persephone?

Rachel is a 24-year-old woman who has made it her personal mission to take down the Hanso Foundation. With money saved up from having worked for the Widmore Corporation, Rachel decided to travel to Europe to find out just what has happened to Alvar Hanso, and what the Hanso Foundation is really up to. She posted a cover blog, detailing an innocent trip around Europe, then set up a secret blog to share her findings, and hid videos and passwords in a variety of sites online.

Her first stop was Copenhagen, on June 19, where she tracked Dr. Thomas Werner Mittelwerk, President and Chief Technologist of the Hanso Foundation, to the Allied Copenhagen Marine Merchants, and discovered that he had been investigating what Rachel finally determined to be historical shipping lanes around the equator. Commenters on Rachel’s blog suggested that Mittelwerk may have been looking for the shipwreck of the Black Rock, a vessel used in the Indian Ocean slave trade that was likely owned by Magnus Hanso.

She also provided us with pictures of Hugh McIntyre, the Hanso Foundation Communications Director, with his latest mistress, a woman wearing a Global Welfare Consortium ID badge. One commenter on Rachel’s blog, named GidgetGirl, objected rather strongly to Rachel’s posting of those pictures, saying that Rachel had crossed a line between public and private. Commenting that “The way I see it... he's the head of publicity? Well, then let's make it public,” Rachel left the pictures up. This, however, was not the last we would hear from GidgetGirl.

Mittelwerk’s next stop was a meeting with Minsu, agent of a Mr. Paik, which Rachel tells us is “pretty much the Korean ‘Jones’”. Minsu informed Mittelwerk that a ship with special modifications would be ready in three weeks but could not dock just anywhere, to which Mittelwerk replied that they had a port and asked what it would take to make it two weeks.

Next, Rachel followed Mittelwerk to the Copenhagen Cartographical Society and, by bumping into him and knocking a portfolio out of his hand, managed to capture images of some maps he had been studying. The map that Rachel was able to capture clearly on the video was apparently of Thunder Bay, Ontario, but Rachel was sure that she had seen another map of an island clearly located near the equator. She might have gotten too close here though—Mittelwerk almost seemed to recognize her, and another man who seemed to be acting as Mittelwerk’s assistant or security certainly got a good look at her. After this incident, GidgetGirl reappeared in the comments section of Rachel’s blog, suggesting that Rachel had personal reasons for wanting to take such risks to get dirt on Mittelwerk and the Foundation. Both agreed that they had secrets to keep; then GidgetGirl offered information in exchange for taking down the pictures of Hugh McIntyre. Rachel insisted on having the information before taking the pictures down, and GidgetGirl disappeared again.

While Rachel was working on her next update in her hotel room and lamenting that Mittelwerk seemed to have vanished, she heard the door clicking open, and quickly hid in the closet. A man entered, later identified by Rachel as the same man who had been with Mittelwerk at the CCS. He looked through her bag on the bed, and spoke on his phone to an unknown individual, who apparently had hired him to “fix things” and wanted him to investigate a fire. Rachel snuck out from the closet, knocked the man (whom I like to call Mr. Fix-it) out with an iron, grabbed her things and her camera, and ran.

Once a nervous Rachel had changed hotels, GidgetGirl made good on her offer of information, and in exchange Rachel not only took down the McIntyre photos but gave her contributor privileges on the blog. GidgetGirl informed Rachel that Mittelwerk had gone to Iceland to investigate a fire that had killed a renowned mathematician at the Vik Institute, a project of the Hanso Foundation’s Mental Health Appeal.

Copenhagen key points: Mittelwerk was investigating historical shipping lanes possibly linked to the Black Rock and Alvar’s ancestor Magnus, as well as maps of equatorial islands, and has a special ship ready to dock…somewhere. Rachel’s contact GidgetGirl is a source for intel on Hanso Foundation activities, but seems rather protective of Hugh McIntyre. A Hanso Foundation operative successfully tracked down Rachel at her hotel, but she escaped unharmed.

Thus, Rachel’s next stop was Iceland, arriving on Wednesday, June 28. Here she confirmed that GidgetGirl’s intel was good, and she was back on Mittelwerk’s trail. Rachel met with Dr. Armand Zander, director of the Vik Institute, whose letter of protest had appeared as part of Persephone’s hacks on the Hanso Foundation website. Zander confirmed that the occupants of the third subbasement he had mentioned in his letter were not mental patients, but instead were mathematicians and autistic savants, working on an equation that involved symbols that Zander thought looked like hieroglyphics. Dr. Zander emailed Rachel an image of the hieroglyphics, confirming that they were the same ones we had seen previously in the memory game that revealed the meaning of DHARMA. However, after this email, Zander vanished—he wasn’t answering his phone, his email account became inactive, and the missing man was accused of setting the Vik Institute fire.

Commenters on Rachel’s blog suggested that the equation could possibly be the Valenzetti Equation, a “doomsday” equation that was the subject of an out-of-print book written by Gary Troup, the deceased author of “Bad Twin”. After listening to a caller on a podcast by DJ Dan, Rachel also guessed that Valenzetti hadn’t actually died in a plane crash en route to Paris—he had merely disappeared, and that with the Vik project disrupted, Mittelwerk had gone to find Valenzetti himself. Rachel also called in to DJ Dan’s show, confirming that she was indeed “Persephone”, the hacker responsible for revealing all of the earlier information on the dirty deeds of the Hanso Foundation executive board and the secret purposes behind their altruistic-sounding projects.

GidgetGirl confirmed for Rachel that the Valenzetti Equation was indeed of the utmost importance to the Hanso Foundation, and that Mittelwerk had traveled to Sanremo, Italy, where Valenzetti was born and lived until his disappearance. She could not, however, confirm that Valenzetti was still alive—and refused to reveal her real identity, even with Rachel outing herself as Persephone. Still, Rachel booked her tickets for her next destination.

Iceland key points: Mathematicians and autistic savants at the Vik Institute were working on the Valenzetti Equation, which predicts the end of the world. With the work at the Institute disrupted by a fire, Mittelwerk took off for Sanremo, Italy, possibly to hunt down the presumed-dead Valenzetti. Rachel confirmed that she was Persephone, and found that people who help her tend to disappear, or worse.

Rachel arrived in Sanremo, Italy sometime around Saturday, July 1. Wanting to avoid endangering more sources, this time she chose to observe her subjects from a distance. She did spot Mittelwerk in Sanremo, along with some other Hanso bigwigs, Peter Thompson (lead counsel for the Hanso Foundation) and Hugh McIntyre, as well as some representatives of the Global Welfare Consortium, yet she heard no evidence that Mittelwerk was in town to see Valenzetti, or do anything other than wine and dine the GWC representatives. In this video, Rachel also shared an interesting line—“…if I'm learning anything, it's that my instincts have lied to me just as much as they've told me the truth. Must be in my genes.”

With the assistance of the Retrievers of Truth (more on them later), Rachel posted an email from Mittelwerk (hacked by an “anonymous insider”) regarding a “Spider Protocol” and an island site with “unique properties” but there was no clear explanation for the purpose of either.

Further information, suggesting that Valenzetti was born in Sardinia, not Sanremo, led Rachel to believe that despite GidgetGirl’s information, Sanremo might have been the wrong place to look for him. When Rachel challenged GidgetGirl, GG revealed that her information came from the Hanso Foundation’s dossier on Valenzetti, and suggested that the rest was simply misinformation from a novelist.

Next, Rachel managed to record a conversation between Mittelwerk, Peter Thompson and an unidentified woman, in which Mittelwerk insisted that the Valenzetti Equation was given to Alvar Hanso, and that Alvar was in agreement with Mittelwerk’s plans. Though Thompson and the woman seemed skeptical both about whether the Foundation had the genuine Valenzetti Equation and what the absent Hanso really intended, they ultimately went along with Mittelwerk.

Then, things in Sanremo really started to get strange. Rachel followed Mittelwerk to a Hanso Foundation-owned hospital, where she bribed a nurse to tell her about Mittelwerk’s treatment. The nurse told Rachel that Mittelwerk had received an exchange transfusion, where all the blood in his body was exchanged for fresh blood, and a battery of vaccinations including some proprietary formulations. Rachel suggested some alternative explanations: that Mittelwerk was taking advantage of some special life extending technology; that he was suffering from some peculiar blood disorder, perhaps similar to the one from which Alvar Hanso apparently suffered before his disappearance; or that Mittelwerk was preparing for “for some sort of hell-on-earth conditions”.

When Mittelwerk’s car left for the airport, Rachel followed, but Mittelwerk wasn’t in the car, only the other members of the Hanso group. She took a well-timed walk on the wharf to clear her head, and was lucky enough to spot a cargo ship named the Helgus Antonius being loaded with Hanso Foundation supplies (and possibly carrying Mittelwerk himself, the pictures were a bit blurry).

Still, after four more days in Sanremo, the harbormaster would provide no confirmation even of the ship’s existence, and the purpose of the ship and Mittelwerk’s ultimate destination remained a mystery. Rachel, beginning to fear for the security of her data as well as her safety, concluded her fifth Italy post with another very personal statement: “I deserve to know this... It's my right to know this!”

Italy key points: Rachel is taking this whole search very personally, perhaps due to a family connection. A meeting of the Hanso Foundation and Global Welfare Consortium executives took place in Sanremo, but seemed to have no relationship to Valenzetti other than discussion of the equation. Mittelwerk received some unorthodox medical treatments, and a mystery ship carrying Hanso Foundation cargo departed Sanremo for parts unknown.

On Wednesday, July 12, Rachel received a phone call from GidgetGirl, who wanted her to meet in Paris to receive a package. GidgetGirl hinted that there was a reason that the Hanso Foundation had not moved against her when they could have, and also insisted that Rachel should not bring a camera, saying “You're reckless Rachel, and reckless will get me killed.” Believing she had no other choice, Rachel traveled to Paris.

Rachel’s next few updates were video only and most likely took place from July 13-14.
She traveled to the location specified to meet GidgetGirl, taking only her glasses cam, but no one showed. When she returned to her room, she found a news article on the death of Hugh McIntyre and Darla Taft, Corporate Liaison for the Global Welfare Consortium, in a car accident, and knew that it was no accident—someone had killed Hugh and GidgetGirl, who was the woman in the pictures with Hugh that Rachel had removed from the blog. Rachel began to say that she couldn’t continue, but was interrupted by the sounds of gunshots and breaking glass. She dove to the floor, screaming “Is someone shooting at me!?” as the phone began to ring and someone pounded on the door.

Mr. Fix-It, the man whom Rachel had previously knocked out with an iron, slammed the door open. He ordered her to stay low and come with him, adding that he wasn’t who she thought he was. She followed him to the basement of the hotel, where he said he ordered her to turn off her camera—“unless you want them to know who YOU really are”. Fortunately, Rachel still had her trusty glasses cam.

Mr. Fix-It told her he worked for Hanso Foundation tech support, “erasing” everything from cell phones to people—but not McIntyre and Darla, and that he went to her hotel room in Copenhagen to warn her, not to attack her. He also added that “he” wanted him to help her, but the tape took a mysterious skip before Mr. Fix-It could elaborate on who “he” was or why “he” should want Rachel to be helped. He gave her a key to Hugh and Darla’s flat, telling her the answers she needed were there, and to “tell the world…make a scandal”. Interestingly, Rachel added a note to her blog asking readers to ignore that line where Mr. Fix-It said “he” wanted him to help her. Protesting too much, perhaps?

Rachel traveled to Hugh and Darla’s flat, where she found a videotaped note from Darla, along with a package, presumably the one that should have been delivered to Rachel in the park. In the video, Darla told Rachel that she had made some documents for her because Mittelwerk was planning something awful, and that Hugh had actually been protecting her from Mittelwerk. She also began saying something about Hanso at the end of the video, but Rachel cut the tape off at that point. The package contained a plane ticket, a fake ID from the Healthway Alliance, a map of Sri Lanka, an envelope labeled "Spider Protocol Trial J" and a blueprint of the Helgus Antonius. Rachel realized that Sri Lanka was the equatorial island from Mittelwerk’s map, and that the Helgus Antonius was not only the special ship provided by Paik Heavy Industries, but a hospital ship—with large areas marked “Quarantine”.

Paris key points:
Rachel’s informant GidgetGirl was actually Hugh’s girlfriend/mistress Darla Taft, and both were killed in a car “accident”. A mystery Hanso employee helped Rachel get out of her room when she was under attack, and gave her a key to Hugh and Darla’s flat, where Rachel found information suggesting that Mittelwerk was plotting something big in Sri Lanka, the mystery island from the map and the destination of the hospital ship the Helgus Antonius. Rachel is also hiding something from US regarding her connections to the Hanso Foundation.

Many questions still remain unanswered—most significantly, where is Alvar Hanso? One of DJ Dan’s podcasts had an almost joking segment called “Where’s Alvar?”, where the only caller who wasn’t “shutdown” or cut off was the one who claimed to have seen Alvar in Des Moines, Iowa. Peculiar, indeed. Another caller mentioned family ties to a "cult" that he remembered as the "Karma Imperative"--sounds familiar as well.

Rachel’s personal connection to the Hanso Foundation is also a target of speculation; many believe that she is either Alvar Hanso’s daughter or granddaughter.

A few other interesting developments have also taken place outside of Rachel’s blog.
The first appeared shortly after the shutdown of the Hanso Foundation site, and was labeled as a Dharma Orientation video. A series of images flashed by, ending with the questions "Who were they? Where did they go? Why didn't they return? Whatever happened to the Dharma Initiative?"

The Hanso Foundation has also begun airing commercials again, the first since the shutdown of their website. The first stars Mittelwerk, looking quite fresh and youthful compared to the earlier images we had of him, who invited “spirited debate” on the foundation and its accomplishments. The same video soon appeared on the shutdown page of website, perhaps gearing up for a reopening of the site.

DJ Dan has continued his series of podcasts, and seems to be quite taken with Rachel. His recent posting of two Mittelwerk videos, on the Hanso Life Extension Project and Mathematical Forecasting Initiative, on his website caused a stir, but they did appear in his “Eyes on the Man” section, reserved for those Dan thinks are “bad guys”.
A group of Verizon employees calling themselves “The Retrievers of Truth” have set up a renegade message board hidden behind a website dedicated to yellow Labrador retrievers. They’ve assisted both Rachel and DJ Dan by hiding passwords, podcasts and videos on their board, various Verizon sites, a myspace, and have even sent clues by instant message, but recently one of the group members seems to have defected to the Hanso side. Could this be the first of the “good guys” to go bad?

Though Rachel’s last note was posted on Friday July 21 (US time), she reached Sri Lanka on July 15. In her last post, she hinted that she had found info that was too dangerous to simply upload and share. So, instead of simply posting the video as she had before, Rachel crashed the Lost panel at San Diego Comic Con on July 22. Here she put the Lost producers on the spot regarding their apparent support of the Hanso Foundation (which they say is just used as a background for fiction, as with Dan Brown's use of Opus Dei in the Da Vinci Code), and revealed a new website, where pieces of the Sri Lanka video are However, due to the number of video segments, it will take some time before the complete picture of what's happening in Sri Lanka is revealed.

Where we left off…Rachel Blake had crashed the Lost panel at Comic-Con to direct those following her travels to, where we would have to find 70 glyphs with alphanumeric codes scattered across the world on and off-line to unlock and assemble pieces of her Sri Lanka video. After hunting glyphs and codes in locations as varied as Times Square, comic stores in Sydney, advertisements in the official Lost Magazine, and podcasts in the US and UK, Rachel’s entire Sri Lanka video was finally assembled. You can view the entire video for yourself here, but I’ll do a quick summary in case you don’t want to or can’t watch. The video opens with an Orientation film, from Alvar Hanso himself. In it, he explains that the purpose of the Dharma Initiative is to perform research dedicated to changing the core values of the Valenzetti Equation —an equation that predicts the amount of time remaining “before humanity extinguishes itself”. As Hanso tells the recruits who would be watching the film, “your research is intended to do nothing less than save the world as we know it.” To perform this research, the recruits would be sent to a secret island facility equipped with underground stations and a radio antenna broadcasting the core values—4, 8, 15, 16, 23, and 42—for as long as they remained unchanged. When the orientation video ends, the camera pulls back to reveal Mittelwerk lecturing Hanso Foundation employees on how the Dharma Initiative failed in their goal of altering the numbers, and now drastic action is required. Mittelwerk’s plan is to convince two Sri Lankan villages that the Foundation is bringing them a needed vaccine—but instead, they’ll be exposed to an engineered virus designed to kill 30% of the population, which researchers at the Vik Institute say is the magic number needed to alter the Valenzetti Equation. Rachel’s hiding place is revealed when Mittelwerk glimpses a reflection from Rachel’s camera, and the video ends as the Hanso employees chase Rachel down. Clearly Rachel got away, but how?

We received a clue during DJ Dan’s live radio show—a coded note from Malick (also known as Mr. Fix-IT or IronMan) to Rachel. They continued their coded exchange with notes on Speaker’s, Lost Ninja’s, and Other Girl’s blogs. In these notes, Malick appeared to be hinting that he could set up a meeting for Rachel with the missing Alvar Hanso. He also asked about a friend of his named Da Zylva, and Rachel responded that Da Zylva had helped her escape Sri Lanka and upload the video, but hadn’t made it out himself. Malick made arrangements for the meeting, but Rachel still didn’t trust him, and asked him to tell her something only he would know. Malick replied that in her video from France, Rachel had muted the microphone as he said, “Because he wanted me to help you, and I can't question a man who would launch the Mental Health Appeal... to save a loved one." Satisfied, Rachel agreed to the meeting.

Meanwhile, more of Rachel’s sources were finding themselves followed, or worse—William Kilpatrick from Jeep managed to pass on some information on the Hanso Foundation’s involvement in illegal organ trafficking, before he was kidnapped. Someone then borrowed his IM account to tell Rachel that he had gotten some unfortunate firsthand experience with “missing organs”.

Rachel had also set up a website for her “audience” to submit pictures of themselves with the hard-to-find Apollo candy bars, in order to show the world and the Hanso Foundation how many people were watching. Certain bars were marked with a gold sticker, and when enough of these bars were found and registered with the site, a note appeared urging us to listen to another DJ Dan radio show.

Rachel herself was a guest on this show, where she bantered with the smitten DJ Dan until a phone call was received from someone who was tracking audio feeds. We heard a feed of a law enforcement unit monitoring someone with a white coat and dark ponytail, but when they moved on the building, they found a decoy in place of the real Mittelwerk. Mittelwerk’s voice then came on the feed, explaining that he couldn’t allow the officials to interfere with what he planned to do. The building exploded, and Mittelwerk escaped. After this call, Rachel urged everyone to go to to see her final video.

The video, which can be viewed here, was of Rachel’s visit to a house in Narvik, Norway, where the previously missing Alvar Hanso was waiting. He recognized her, and touched by her idealism, he admitted that he was ultimately responsible for the actions of Mittelwerk and the Foundation, who were now keeping him prisoner in the house. He also admitted what many of us suspected—that he was Rachel Blake’s father, and that she had tracked him down through the trust fund that paid for her upbringing even though she came to hate what the Foundation stood for. Hanso asked Rachel to make a scandal, bring down the Hanso Foundation, and set him free. As Rachel asked “Dad?”, the video ended.

A few days later, the Hanso Foundation website, at, was updated with a new message from Alvar Hanso himself. Hanso’s letter thanked Rachel for freeing him, and promised a change from the policies pushed by Mittelwerk and his cronies, saying, “To save humanity, we need first tap into just that—our humanity.” But these words held another hidden promise—clicking the second “humanity” led to a message from Mittelwerk. Over blurry video, he said “You’ve taken a battle. But that’s all it was, a battle. Humanity needs me, now more than ever. I have the virus, I have the will, and I will not fail.”

Over the summer, we helped Rachel Blake achieve many of her goals—to expose the deadly dealings and misdeeds of the Hanso Foundation and its executives, and to find (and then free) Alvar Hanso. Alas, we will have to wait and see if we will get an answer to the looming question that remains—where is Thomas Werner Mittelwerk and what is he planning?