I checked my e-mail this morning to find that iTunes was offering up the first chapter of an audio book by Gary Troup called 'Bad Twin' for free. I decided to download it.
The advert in my e-mail said:
"Bad Twin Audiobook
Mystery writer Gary Troup submitted the Bad Twin manuscript to his publisher just prior to boarding doomed Oceanic Flight 815. Bad Twin and Troup may be works of fiction, but for fans of one wildly popular TV show, they're sure to provide fodder for debate. Download the audiobook today or sample a free first chapter.
I haven't listened to it yet. But, I saw an article later on today over here somewhere about it and then went to do some more investigating on Gary Troup. He is a fictional author, for one. His name is an anagram for 'Purgatory'. I came across this website. It's 'garytroupbooks.com'. Even more interesting is this. He supposedly wrote a non-fiction book about the 'Valenzetti Equation'. A search for 'Valenzetti' turns up this. The Valenzetti Foundation. (This website is apparently non-official and not associated with ABC or LOST.) There are a few unusual things on this website. Firstly, under the images that 'Enzo Valenzetti' has supposedly found (his father is a scientist who has 'disappeared'), we find this:
Does this image bear any resemblence to this?:
The picture from the Hatch. Striking resemblence, I'd say. I'm not sure of what we can learn from this, but it's unusual and suspicious all together.
Next, under the 'Sponsors' on the Valenzetti page, we find Global Paradigms Corp., Widmore Laboratories, and Big Spaceship. Time to pull these apart.
Global Paradigms Corporation: First, it should be noted that the corporation apparently has gone bankrupt:
November 2, 1995
Global Paradigms Corp. has filed for Chapter 11 Protection in the Bankruptcy Court of Santa Dominica County as of October 31, 1995. This site is no longer active but remains online for archival and arbitration purposes. Any communications ought to be directed to the Office of the District Attorney of Santa Dominica County.
Asst. District Attorney
County of Santa Dominica"
The second thing to notice is the 'Clients' list:
"Over its three decade history, GPC has had the privilege of working with some of the world's top think tanks and companies:
Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power
Merck & Co., Inc.
The Coca-Cola Company
and many, many more... "
All very interesting. The website doesn't give us much because we are forbidden to click on the 'Technologies' or 'Projects' links because they went bankrupt. A little warning pops up and it refuses to let us go to the page. I checked out their 'Policies' link at the bottom of the page, which contains usual Terms of Service type things. The last bullet, number 8 says this:
"Sensitive Material. Due to GPC's involvement and subcontracting arrangements with the national government, international governments, transnational corporations, and transnational nongovernment organizations (including but not limited to the United States federal government, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the State of California, the State of Nevada, the State of Alabama, the State of Texas, the State of Florida, the State of Maryland, the Commonwealth of Virigina, the District of Columbia, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the United Nations), there may be references or access to sensitive materials via this site. Unauthorized access to these areas may have national security implications. Those in violation of access protocols may be subject to national and international law. In the jurisdiction of the United States, these charges are severe, ranging up to and including treason which carries a penalty of execution. You have been warned."
The 'You have been warned.' words blink. It is also bolded and underlined. Creepy.
Next we have...
Widmore Laboratories: First of all, right off the bat, we know that Widmore is the company that sponsored the REAL Henry Gale's air balloon flight because their logo was on the side of the balloon. We also know that Widmore made the pregnancy test that Sun used on the island. The Dharma Initiative logo is conveniently on the right side of their page to spark more suspicious.
At the bottom of the page, the disclaimer says this:
"Caution: This is a real site.
If this wasn't a real site you couldn't be here.
This site is also officially unofficial, whatever that means.
If you don't want your mind expanded beyond 27 diagonal inches,
you should leave immediately.
It's also in a garish yellow, which makes it hard to see. I think this is just a way of explaining that AGAIN, this site is not affiliated with ABC or LOST.
If you look at the Dharma logo, we see that the symbol is not one that the characters on LOST have visited yet. I don't recognize it at all. I'm not sure of how it'll fit in.
Big Spaceship: This site is clearly either an ABC site or a direct link to an ABC site. There's a William Shakespeare quote that reads:
"How poor are they who have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees.
-- William Shakespeare"
I think this is the creators' way of telling us to be patient! lol.
There are two images. One is the Hanso logo and the other is a pentagon with a '0' in it that has '108' inside of it. Very weird. The Hanso logo links directly to The Hanso Foundation.
The Hanso Foundation website has changed considerably since last fall. It's much more interactive than it used to be. What's really bizarre is the Newsletter signup. It asks you for a username. I typed in 'leavesoflorien'. You click the button and then the page goes all weird and creepy. Lines cut across the page and various things appear to get erased out in jagged lines. Some writing pops up that says 'Hello LEAVESOFLORIEN, can you read this?' I'm supposed to type 'yes', but for kicks, I type in '4 8 15 16 23 42'. It works for other sites from ABC. Why not this one too? I hit 'enter'. Then crazy stuff happened and more writing pops up that says 'gotta go'. The regular relaxing music starts playing again. So, time to do it their way. I type in 'leavesoflorien' and hit the button. It says 'Hello LEAVESOFLORIEN, can you read this?'. I type 'yes' and hit enter. Then creepiness happens and writing comes up saying 'okay, it's me Persephone, what's the password?' I type in 'password' and then more writing comes up saying 'Call the call center in the tv ad section'.
There was a tv advert that popped up when I first went to the site, so I thought 'Persephone' was referring to that ad. I went and clicked on it again. But there was no phone number. I got frustrated.
Tonight while watching LOST, the Hanso ad showed up on tv! And lo and behold...a phone number!! 1-877-HANSORG or 1-877-426-7674. Yes, I actually did try to call it. It doesn't go through. I'm bewildered.
MAJOR EDIT UPDATE ON THE PHONE NUMBER:
I finally got through!!! A woman speaks and asks you to press a number for whichever service you'd like. General info: 1, Alvar Hanso: 2, etc etc.
I pressed '1'. I'll try out Hanso and the others later. An Austrian guy starts talking about 'Geronimo Jackson', the musician from the album Charlie found in the Hatch. Then the woman starts speaking again about the location of Dharma. It's in Copenhagen. 144 BK1604 Copenhagen V.
Then there's a lot of static and a frantic female voice declares herself 'Persephone'. She says to not listen to any of their lies and that I'll need a password. The password is 'breaking strain'. Apparently this is the password I needed for the site!
I went back and typed it in. The screen did some craziness and things went black and white. Then a user 'logged in' and it was Persephone explaining the site and saying to log in often for updates. Then 'Persephone' logs out. After that they flash images of 'Joop' the 105 year old orangutan. Then everything goes back to normal.
I plan to keep trying the phone number and see what else I can find.