Pinned [ARG] The Pizza Code Mystery

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    • thewizard99 wrote:

      So been a while since I’ve been here but thanks to a TV show I might be on to something.

      Basically in the show they used the book Moby Dick to relay messages to each other, over radio, without the enemy understanding what was said.

      Now it got me thinking about books that have been mentioned on here. Mainly Dante’s Devine Comedy.

      Well when I looked for the book I realised it’s only 1 part of 3 thats mentioned, mainly Inferno.

      Now don’t know if this is coincidence or not but the Italian name of the first Chapter is.

      Devina Commedia Inferno

      Which happens to have 21 letters.

      Now back to the main idea, what if the book was used to send a message, written in Italian/English, converted to numbers to denote paragraphs/words.( the book is written in paragraphs each with their own Number.) and then transferred to HEX to be sent?

      Just an idea.

      We've looked into book ciphers before. The problem with book ciphers is getting numbers that look like they are randomly spread over the entire range of numbers that can be represented by a byte (0-255 in decimal, or 00-ff in hex). We can't distinguish the frequency distribution of the HALOS file hex code from that of a random one.

      Inferno is divided into 34 Cantos, which have between 115 and 157 lines. A problem we face with the English translation of La Divina Commedia di Dante Alighieri, is that several different translations exist.
    • Okay, so I once again became absorbed with trying to figure this out, and although I didn't have any breakthroughs about the Hex Code, I felt it prudent to examine the IRC clues and everything we've been given and try to determine the story behind it all. What follows is an in-depth look at that, but also some new theories I have about what all is going on, and how we may be able to garner more information.

      First and foremost, and I believe this has been mentioned somewhere before (at least partially), with the IRC clues it seems as though we have three separate parties/entities that are posting these messages, and they also follow a progression.

      There are three addresses (84-9-123-164, 84-9-123-155, and 84-9-123-345), and I have theories as to who/what each of the entities behind these addresses are:

      #164 could be Dr. Welsh, and I say this because the original message, IRC #1, had the letters NOTEWELSH and also contains a message with "{Dr. Wel##}"
      Another reasoning for this is the message later on that states: "Welsh is probably behind this, but he won't get away with it"--we'll come back to that a bit later.

      So, for the purposes of this examination, #164 = Dr. Welsh.

      #155 is either Dr. Horn himself or some third party working on behalf of Horn (perhaps governmental, which we will also explore more later). There are many reasons to assume this:
      This entity/party has all the information about the niobium, the coordinates of where it has been moved, etc. Furthermore, in the second message by this party, the entity attempts to connect to "USER H . . ."--which to me suggests "HORN"

      So, #155 = Dr. Horn / Dr. Horn's benefactor(s)

      And #345 is most likely HALOS itself, the AI.
      How do we know this one? Well, this one is actually explicitly laid out for us, we just never realized it before. Here is text from the last IRC clue sent by #155:

      [[[email protected]//closed.proxy.accepted//?OTR,1,3,?OTR:[INCOMING TRANSMISSION UNKNOWN SOURCE]LEAK SOURCE DETECTED. TRIANGULATING...MIX CASCADEHOP DETECTED...ATTEMPTING TIMING ATTACK...[TERMINATED] CANNOT CONNECT TO HOST...ATTEMPTING CONNECT TO USER H... SENDING DATA. SECURITY LEVEL 7 ALPHA.[OTR//3.0]QkFRS1ggSk9BSkcgWEFIRUQgSUZHSVogRlpEUEIgVVNYTEcgR1hIRkEgVUFVV00gSEJRQU0gV0FYVlkgTFFRUlkgV1JVV1YgRVRRT0sgQkFDQkUgSldITVMgSFZPTlogSUFIUEEgU09XQ00gTEdBVFggVUVYT1EgRFJRRUogQlZMQk8gREpJSEUgQ1pUSE0gWktISUUgTk9NTFMgQVhWVlcKRVRXSVMgRVRJR00gUlhFVkYgUVlBVUIgVkZDRUIgUFdCVUsgRU1OT0wgVw==[/][End Transmission]|¬[Terminal.] ~~ [Transmission Ends]]

      The important text is this: "ATTEMPTING TO CONNECT TO USER H. . . SENDING DATA. SECURITY LEVEL 7 ALPHA. [OTR//3.0]--we are basically blatantly told that the security level is now "7 Alpha." Then, in the actual decryption of the code, we get: "This is a message left for Dr. Horn. Just to remind you in case of emergencies that the password to the HALOS files is BENALOHPAILLIER. I have programmed HALOS to send in level seven cases. You should bring pizzas."

      The very next IRC clue we get is from #345, which suggests exactly what we were told--since the security has now been bumped up to level 7 Alpha, HALOS is now sending. In other words, can we really trust what this thing is sending us?

      Before this happened, the previous messages seemed to be by two parties, and one was directly beneficial to us (#164), providing us with the information about it being Konami code and not bon ami and seeming to actually directly attack Horn's website, because the message in that IRC clue was: "Access detected to personal site. Security compromised. HALOS project under threat. Site offline as response. Switching to new protocols."

      So, whatever Dr. Welsh did to try and help us get into the site prompted Dr. Horn or his benefactor(s) to start implementing new protocols, and when the security continued to fail by our decoding the messages, they beefed up the security and involved HALOS directly (level 7 Alpha).

      Now, on exploring further the connection between HALOS, AI and niobium:

      First and foremost, I no longer have any doubt that HALOS is some form of AI. Storm himself tells us this--in the message "It has come to my attention . . . ." we get two diverging paths, and I'm not sure these diverging paths were caught before (they may have been--too much to look through!):

      The bolded-italic letters spell out: SEEK CODE OUT
      Then, the letters "he" in the word "the" are different--they are just italicized. The following letters that are marked diverge from just the bolded-italics pattern--the I, S, and AI are all bolded, not italicized, and the letters that form IS WATCHING are bold-italicized. What this signifies to me is that the first change, with the word "he," indicates two diverging paths--all said and done, we get:

      SEEK CODE OUT. HE IS WATCHING. HE IS AI.

      Now, we've explored what niobium is many times before, and we've discussed that it could be used for the AI. I have another theory--I think Dr. Horn is smuggling it because it's so damn rare, and he's using it to either build his own portal system (niobium is used in particle accelerators, like the Large Hadron Collider) or could be using one of they by-products of niobium, uranium, for his purposes. Conveniently, niobium and tantalum, which are very often found together in nature, are named after Niobe and Tantalus (Niobe's father) in Greek mythology--guess what else is based heavily on Greek mythology? Dante's Inferno. Furthermore, niobium is very rare in the U.S., or at least not as abundant in other places around the world, so Dr. Horn would need some way to get his hands on it--such as someone who is either U.S. military or has access to military resources.

      We have many examples of this, such as the missile range and the Air Force base, but there's something else that I remember talking about before, but I didn't look further into it. Now I have.

      If you look at the Tempus page, the very bottom says: "ComLabs Test Initiative - HALOS Project - AITR-0001"

      Now, on its own, it could just look like more random language, but I dug into it a bit. A "test initiative" indicates that there is some kind of prototyping or new implementation coming about, otherwise why would it require a test initiative? In essence, this indicates that someone, somewhere is either being trained on a new product/process, or they are testing something brand new, never-before-seen. By extension, I'm convinced that the "AITR" stands for the Army Information Technology Repository, which is the United States Army's "single, authoritative registry for IM/IT systems and is a module in the APMS. IM/IT systems must be entered in APMS-AITR if they meet criteria published in the Army Knowledge Management Guidance Memorandum - Capabilities-Based IT Portfolio Governance Implementing Guidance posted on the IT Rad portal."

      What this boils down to, at least for me, is that either Dr. Horn is trying to legitimize whatever it is he's doing with the United States Army, he has somebody on the inside who just pushed through this test initiative and illegally approved it by the military so Dr. Horn could sneak the niobium in for his project, or Dr. Horn is pushing it through himself without outside help. Whatever he's doing, registering it on this database seems to indicate that it's either powerful enough for the U.S. Army to get involved, or powerful enough that Dr. Horn needs the niobium to support it, and the only way he could figure out how to get it was by duping the U.S. Army by implementing this "initiative" and getting the project "approved."

      That's one theory, but another theory I'm leaning more towards is that Dr. Horn is in fact working with the United States government/army, that he either made them aware as part of some "deal" (which could help explain why they descended on Black Mesa so damn quickly and efficiently), or that he was chosen to continue the project going forward after the government decimates Black Mesa. We also know that Dr. Horn (or someone he's close with) has a fascination with military bases/military craft--all you have to do is look at his desk. He has the technology, the know-how, the AI to back it up, the materials, and so forth. The IRC clues with the different bases also seems to support this, that either Dr. Horn new the project would fail and was working with the government to forward the mission after Black Mesa was doomed to fall, or the government found out about it, got involved, and began funneling things to Dr. Horn to promote the scenario that actually did eventually result in Black Mesa falling. Either way, what they were doing at Black Mesa would require some superconductor technology, bare minimum, hence the niobium.

      So, if this is even close to the truth, the question is how do we pursue this now? Perhaps we should try working backwards from what could have happened after the last IRC clues--such as the project being continued on some government site or what-have-you. Surely they would not let a project like this just be destroyed--yes, the government was sent in to "clean up" Black Mesa, but they wouldn't just give up on that technology.

      Or would they?
      I would rather know a little about all things than a lot about a few things.

      My Game Review Blog

      The Pizza Code Mystery Blog
      (Not updated recently due to current stalemate in ARG,
      but will return once something happens with it.)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Gunsrequiem ().

    • Didn't want to add to that already far-too-long post, so sorry for the double-post here.

      I just figured this was worth a shot--what do we have to lose?

      Hey, HALOS:

      locals()
      globals()
      I would rather know a little about all things than a lot about a few things.

      My Game Review Blog

      The Pizza Code Mystery Blog
      (Not updated recently due to current stalemate in ARG,
      but will return once something happens with it.)
    • CPU wrote:

      Angel wrote:

      Also, as CPU pointed in the wiki...

      We think the pizza's probably been used to smuggle niobium used to construct HALOS, and that's why there's tacos in the shack, Dr. Horn knows they have Niobium and he won't eat them, and one of the audio announcements in the game, before the resonance cascade, talks about a medical emergency, regarding officer Sisk (I think it was Sisk), who Horn left a note in one of the whiteboards so he would stop stealing pizzas. It seems he ate one and got poisoned.
      What if the purpose of the pizzas isn't to cover up snuggling Niobium into the facility but rather to get Niobium INTO Dr Horn's victims so they can be used as part of his AI creation?

      We have multiple core CPU's. Dr Horn is creating a multiple core AI!
      I submitted this idea back in 2016 and I believe it still makes sense. It answers the question of why smuggle Niobium, why repetitive warnings of The Pizza is a LIE, why Officer Sisk got sick and why the post I died and came back to life.
    • Gunsrequiem wrote:

      Didn't want to add to that already far-too-long post, so sorry for the double-post here.

      I just figured this was worth a shot--what do we have to lose?

      Hey, HALOS:

      locals()
      globals()
      To go with what you said here..... a good while back, there was a series of post ' made on the wiki page. A bunch of what looked like latin, after spending a good while on it, it seemed that there were multiple languages mixed together. There is even an edit, that this person put in that spelled out HELP ME..... it seemed like it might have been someone pullin one over on us, or it could have been real.

      One last thing I've held on to a while.. is pizza.... Did you know there is a plant used in science referred to as PIZZA? Scientist use it as a vehicle to pump in all kinds of genetics stuffs.... When using a blast search or looking up some of the numbers found in game. One of the numbers points to gallus gallus (this was up before) Also a mouse I believe. So could there have been some type of splicing and genetic manipulations going on? Sure seemed like someone was very interested in dissection.

      This is the plant that is referred to as pizza....
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabidopsis

      And lastly, there is something else I have not been able to find that has been posted about. In one of the messages ….. it spells out in caps D BANK ON CD...… but again... no idea if it means anything

      The post was edited 2 times, last by drgibbles ().

    • For the U.S., it’s not only a rare metal but rare in existence here: businessinsider.com/niobium-th…o-places-on-earth-2010-12

      And yes, the niobium smuggling for AI has been explored before, as I mentioned, but my theory diverges from that quite a bit. I don’t think it’s just that it was smuggled in but that there’s a lot more to the story such as the military involvement and so forth. We clearly don’t have the full story, not even close, and hopefully exploring that will help us open new doors.
      I would rather know a little about all things than a lot about a few things.

      My Game Review Blog

      The Pizza Code Mystery Blog
      (Not updated recently due to current stalemate in ARG,
      but will return once something happens with it.)
    • Ah okay, I didn’t realize that. Well, I guess it’s back to drawing board as to why it’s important. It is mentioned multiple times so there must be something to it.
      I would rather know a little about all things than a lot about a few things.

      My Game Review Blog

      The Pizza Code Mystery Blog
      (Not updated recently due to current stalemate in ARG,
      but will return once something happens with it.)
    • I believe that Dr. Horn's plan wasn't to smuggle Niobium in but rather to have it incorporated into the pizzas so that the scientists he got it for would injest large amounts of it over time.

      That's the reason that The Pizza is a Lie and the reason he got pissed off that security personnel we're eating it. They weren't his intended victims. He needed the brains of scientists in order to incorporate them into his multi-core AI creation and the Niobium was a necessary ingredient into a successful implementation.

      This also explains the mysterious disappearances that had been referred to as well as Bottomly's post where he said:
      "I'm Paul Bottomly (for my sins in a past life, no doubt), a friend of Chris's, and was once shot in the head for science. I was planning to create some type of short story about how 'I' survived the BM incident through the clever use of cloning"

      Thoughts?
    • I was toying with the bmrf.us website today, and I decided to try and Google the address. It led me to this: Curriculum Vitae for Gordon Freeman

      Also, there are four doi's at the bottom that lead to legitimate-looking articles published by Gordon R. Freeman:

      1996 doi:10.1021/jp951483+
      1990 doi:10.1139/p90-097
      1986 doi:10.1139/v86-297
      1986 doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.34.2329

      Okay, so obviously Gordon Freeman didn't write these, but what is this? I think it's related to the ARG because the email address is "[email protected]"

      Man, he went to serious lengths for this baby--nicely done, Storm.

      Now, there has to be something new we can derive from these. Anybody willing to cough up the change for access to the articles? *touches nose*

      Thoughts?

      EDIT: I sent an email to the address, and it didn't kick back (yet). I'll let you all know if anything interesting happens.
      I would rather know a little about all things than a lot about a few things.

      My Game Review Blog

      The Pizza Code Mystery Blog
      (Not updated recently due to current stalemate in ARG,
      but will return once something happens with it.)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Gunsrequiem ().

    • New

      That is insanely lucky! There just happens to be a legitimate doctor with the same name who authored articles in the same years as the game's canon with topics in the same vein as Half-Life. Man.

      I guess the question then becomes: Is this just something fun to add depth to the ARG, or is it important? I'm inclined to believe that although not every detail is necessarily ARG-related, every larger piece of the puzzle should be. I don't think we need to read the articles, but it could be useful to dig a little further into the Curriculum Vitae. By the way, that could totally be part of the Latin connection, right? Maybe not the key, but definitely part of the overall theme.

      I'm not sure if we've uncovered actual gold, as in an actual piece of the overall puzzle, or if it's just aesthetics.

      EDIT: Looks like the bmrf.us phone number is either down or was switched up--it now says "Thanks for calling TechRX" and gives actual options, none of which I explored further.
      I would rather know a little about all things than a lot about a few things.

      My Game Review Blog

      The Pizza Code Mystery Blog
      (Not updated recently due to current stalemate in ARG,
      but will return once something happens with it.)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Gunsrequiem ().

    • New

      Found this a while back, but I havent any idea if it applies. It was done by the guy that did the uplink remake. Who also put some easter eggs in. On the "Lies" image, it says dr. stone will pay.... on this image it says bottomley must pay. Then a rock paper scissors like statement. "TACO BEATS BURRITO, PIZZA BEATS TACO, NOTHING BEATS PIZZA"..... Thoughts?
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