Star Trek ARG Report 10: Alert Vulcan!

As we enter the final days leading up to the domestic release of “Star Trek,” the ARG also appears to be approaching a dramatic finale. But even as the game reveals the world-saving mission of the Romulans, many questions remain.

 

 

MAY 4TH STAR TREK ARG REPORT 10

NOTE: if you are new to the Star Trek ARG see ‘Quick review’ at the bottom of this article

April 30 Progress: Most valued follower "Raphael" labels stars, contacted directly by Contain The Threat
Noticing that the Location Signifier on johannbayer.eu ties specific systems to a specific numeric sequences, "Raphael" began an effort to record all of these sequences.

While doing so, he received an email from "Thad Gruber" of Contain The Threat:

Dear Raphael, our most valued follower

We believe this star arrangement relates to our objective here on earth, but do not understand in what way. You must assist us.

Being the "most valued follower" of the presumed bad guys is sort of a dubious honor, but that didn’t dissuade Raphael from identifying the constellation (Eridanus) and finding some hidden text in the image with a little Photoshopping:

 

May 1st Clue 1: The Chat Gang decides to ask for help
While community members mulled over the new video from Malak0, Fe and O again rendezvoused on viral chat site 2387-42.com:

PHPChatUser5: You there?

PHPChatUser4: He estado esperando oír de ti. ¿Viste que conseguí que el niño protegiera la onda?

PHPChatUser5: Yeah, yeah – look, I’ve made up my mind, I’ve added 3 inputs to the generator, I’ll send them to it, and if they can help get the research, they can enter

PHPChatUser4: Lo podemos resolver juntos.

PHPChatUser5: Oh great, you’ve lost it, too. We NEED help!!! Nero’s lapdogs can see that, why can’t you?

PHPChatUser5: Sorry, listen – I’ll send you my specific location, but I’m not far from my original coordinates.

PHPChatUser4: Solo tardaré un par de días en llegar. Te dejaré saber cuando esté cerca para que nos podamos encontrar. Esto es la jugada apropiada, esto nos dará la mejor oportunidad de mandar el mensaje…. Nuestros primos lo recibirán y tu los habrás salvado a todos.

PHPChatUser5: We can only hope.

____PHPChatUser5 has disconnected____

____PHPChatUser4 has disconnected____

And a translation, left by "SlayNest" in the comments:

PHPChatUser5: You there?

PHPChatUser4: I’ve been waiting to hear from you. Did you see I got the kid to protect the wave?

PHPChatUser5: Yeah, yeah – look, I’ve made up my mind, I’ve added 3 inputs to the generator, I’ll send them to it, and if they can help get the research, they can enter

PHPChatUser4: We can solve it together.

PHPChatUser5: Oh great, you’ve lost it, too. We NEED help!!! Nero’s lapdogs can see that, why can’t you?

PHPChatUser5: Sorry, listen – I’ll send you my specific location, but I’m not far from my original coordinates.

PHPChatUser4: I will take just a couple of days to arrive. I will let you know when i get near for us to meet. This is the right thing to do, and will give us the best shot to send the message…. Our cousins will receive it and you will save us all.

PHPChatUser5: We can only hope.

____PHPChatUser5 has disconnected____

____PHPChatUser4 has disconnected____

"Matt" and others noted the overt reference to Nero, tying the game even closer to the new Star Trek movie. It’s fairly evident that this is a group of Romulans that are trying to save Earth (and other planets, see below…), and that Nero wants to stop them.

May 1st Clue 2: AlertVulcan.com, new viral site
Shortly after the new chat, "O" sent out a tweet pointing to a new site:

PLEASE! Help if you can. I know some of you are watchig. www.alertvulcan.com. There’s no time!!!!!!!!!

AlertVulcan.com appears to be an interface for some sort of transmitter.


AlertVulcan.com

Community members who’d previously recognized waveforms in Malako’s video started trying to replicate them.


magnified still from Malak0’s last video

Symbols similar to those at the Curbridge crash site also led players to suspect that the proper input for the lower left of AlertVulcan is "2 3 2".

After playing with the transmitter and clicking "GENERATE," users are prompted to enter their email address. After doing so, they receive the following email:

from: WeMust <WeMust@alertvulcan.com>
subject: TRANSMISSION

For scnners to pick itup, we MUST broadcast the wsarning message as often as possible!! Play it as many times as you can in as places as possible. Get others to broadcast your transmission itwill increase amplification! I’m sure the Vulcans will REWARD! our efforts!!!RememberEarth has NO chance fighting alone only Vulcan has the technology to stop him. http://www.alertvulcan.com/widget.php?user_id=6JCS1

Transmission ID: 6JCS1

Each email receives a unique transmission ID. Clicking the link takes users to a widget that shows a video of a waveform. Sharp-eyed users have picked out interesting stills, including a star-gazing monkey!


[thanks ‘kosmopol’]

May 2nd and 3rd Clues: Contain The Threat attempts to sabotage the Chat Gang, helps with Vulcan Location Signifier
While players continued to experiment with AlertVulcan.com, the Thad Gruber of Contain The Threat (who the "Chat Gang" linked to Nero) sent emails to share a Google Document spreadsheet:

I’ve shared a document with you called “eridanus”: http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=r3gPS2JAmL2FPMf6p2NOmmg&inv=baronbosc@yahoo.com&t=2319334064824028873&guest

We have the data and we are sharing it, because we know that you will do your duty.

with appropriately sinister instructions (users got variations of the following email):

Your duty is clear

Offer this data to Kaleh, this way she will trust you.

The spreadsheet contains data about stars in the Eridanus constellation. Not exactly getting warm and fuzzy vibes from Thad, most players have opted to share the data with Kaleh (aka "O") with a warning about who it’s from.

A follow-up email was sent the next day, with a link to the same spreadsheet:

data set now partially complete. incorrect location signifier not yet identified, or corrected. you must assist.

At about this time, a new background image was posted on johannbayer.eu:

When held up to a webcam, the new background triggered an image of a solar system that matches canon descriptions of Vulcan’s home system. Although not canon, various online resources point to 40 Eridani as Vulcan’s home star. Players noted that 40 Eridani is listed in the eridanus spreadsheet, and saw that Contain The Threat included familiar headings: DE, T, and DI. "CptnValdez" tied those back in to the star system clue sent earlier to Raphael:

l / di / t = de

Realizing that de represents a concatenation of the DE column, t corresponds to the letter representing a star’s type, and that l must represent location signifier, "CptnValdez," "WarpTube," and "jamesintucson" did some quick math using data from 40 Eridani:

l = de × di × t

l = 738404 × 16 × 11

l = 129959104

"Matt," "LtPiper," and "Raphael" verified that entering 129959104 as a location signifier on johannbayer.eu revealed:

including this interesting snippet:

The symbol corresponds to the last unidentified piece of the interface on AlertVulcan.com

"natenaterson" has posted a video showing the process of bringing up the Frequency Code (also referred to as the OR, based on the alien letters in the diagram):

Although I’ve named specific individuals who helped solve this puzzle, it was very much a wide community effort, with significant contributions from "ATVPNF," "hitching," "Mescad," "kitty," and "Dani."

Current status: Continued work on improving the signal at AlertVulcan.com
So now what? Most of the community’s efforts have been focusing on improving the signals at AlertVulcan.com, as instructed by "O." Beyond the obvious intent to alert the Vulcan High Command, there’s no indication what the specifics of the message being sent are—nor what advantage Nero and Contain The Threat were seeking to gain by divulging so much helpful information that’s contrary to their purposes.

Specific signals are being highlighted in gold on the monitor on alertvulcan.com, and community members are fairly certain they represent the most viewed signal widgets. What exactly this means is undetermined. But "O’s" message focused on spreading the widgets as far as possible, and they include a "Share" option to put them on various social media websites. They have so far received over 50,000 hits.

"Alice" and "bevbrecher" (both considered in-game) have highlighted the comments of "Gigastazio" from the last ARG update as being particularly useful for this portion of the game, so they’re worth highlighting:

Regarding the tones: There are only two pitches – G and D, but they cycle through three different waveforms, specifically, square, sawtooth and sine.

I’ve extractred the loop and amplified it for your dissection, and I’ve also transcribed the loop exactly, along with my interpretation of what waveforms are being used. I have the page posted on my personal web site:

http://daniel.mcgarvey.org/gigastazio.html

Square notehead = Square wave
Hollow notehead = Sine wave
Triangle notehead = Sawtooth wave

At least that’s how I hear it. I might not be 100% on the waveforms. Feel free to improve on my “research.”

Oh, and it also occurred to me to break the pitches down into their frequencies. Perhaps there’s a clue in these numbers:

High G: 196.998 Hz
Low G: 97.999
D: 293.66 Hz

If anyone has better numbers for these, feel free to offer them.

By playing with the phases at alertvulcan.com, community members have identified probable settings:

Square Phase: 0.5

Sine Phase: 0.0

Saw Phase: 0.5

"hitching" and others have noted that 0.5, 0.0, 0.5 resembles "SOS."

"O" has also tweeted twice, encouraging players to keep using alertvulcan.com:

think some of you may have found correct imputs!!! Is the signal clear? My attempts come out static

Putting in the 3 inputs seems to work. Transmit it as much as you can!!!! I know Vulcan will reward us for warning them!!!

"Matt" and others speculate that the 3 inputs "O" refers to are the waveform, the Fr, and the OR.

What this latest stage of the ARG leads to is still unknown, but with the imminent US release of "Star Trek" just days away, we should probably know soon.

Star Trek ARG – A quick review
The Star Trek Alternative Reality Game began a couple of weeks ago after some fans spotted URLs on the walls of ‘Star Trek Dance Party’ photos up at thecobrasnake.com, these clues led to more sites, which in turn led to more clues. Here are the previous TrekMovie articles on the Star Trek ARG:

Also, all TrekMovie articles regarding this are now in a single Star Trek ARG Category.

What do you think? — and A NOTE before you comment
Before you post clues or speculation in the comments below, check the previous TrekMovie articles (including comments) to be sure they haven’t already been covered.

Star Trek ARG Forum
TM community member "Tom" hosts the very active ARG chat where much of the problem-solving is taking place. He has set up a forum for posting clues and speculation. It also includes links to the chat.

Other resources

Any new clues or theories? Let us know!
but again, be sure to check previous posts to make sure they haven’t been covered. If you really think you are on to something, send in a clue to tips [at] trekmovie [dot] com. However, please keep tips to new (at least semi) verified clues, and not just speculation, that is what the comments are for.

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Wow. This has officially gone completely over my head. Interesting…wish I could understand some of it. Have fun guys!

wow. It’s getting crazy.

Why?

W a y t o o c o m p l i c a t e d . . . . B r a i n h u r t s . . . . D i z z y a n d bored.

I’ve enjoyed following this.

Crazy … :)

?

not got a clue – have fun!

So what is the link between ContainThe Threat and Nero???

@9 – Excellent question.

Also, why/how are they here in the 21st century?

*shrug*

“Thad Gruber of Contain The Threat (who the “Chat Gang” linked to Nero)”
So what is the link? Or just speculation right now?

New update and I’m more lost now than I was before!

Star Trek has totally invaded MTV. I just saw a clip of John Cho playing pool with the troops (from when they showed them the film) and Karl Urban and Chris Pine joking around with a few soldiers. As a Marine it made me feel good, but it definitely solidified the fact that Paramount is seriously pimpin this movie!

The more i hear the less i care

The transmission video you get from the alertvulcan site look by the way like this:

http://www.alertvulcan.com/widget.php?user_id=VT@T3

Aliotsy – nice update eh. I have a suggestion, run a poll here on trekmovie to see how many people are engaged by this Star Trek ARG.

I’m curious to see how many people actually are enjoying this. I myself am always keeping up with the latest ARG updates, but honestly this is not inclusive to the average fan.

Was a great idea – makes for an interesting read – however fails to actually get you involved.

Every time you feel invoved and engaged, the PM’s take a dump on your face.

Author of The Vulcan Neck Pinch for Fathers

It occurs to me that “O”‘s recent tweet, combined with the fact that we know the PM’s fixed the “alertvulcan” email page late yesterday (aka the Hitchings Hack), may suggest they want to try and weed out videos that were linked and clicked via that method……

The Whale Probe Sensor is in the background image?

Holy Crap!! Use your powers for good folks. Go build a warp drive or something. This is a bit complex for this old country jazz/soul musician.

Wow. SuperNerd.

#17 – LOL!

Another new tweet:

“PHPChatUser5 I’m the threat??/Don’t listen to them. They don’t care who they kill anymore”

I’m assuming she’s referring to the CTT crowd. Not quite sure who she’s talking to, though.

snooze button

Anyone else starting to feel a little let down with all of this?

Oh wow, it’s gotten really interesting. Shame I can’t follow this more closely…

You guys rock. ;)

#25 – Let down… confused… brain-numbed… all of the above…

Stephen Hawking just called — he has no idea what any of this means.

Commander Data called – he has no idea what any of this means.

So… What will be the end? Will we get a link to a secret scene? Will we see something related to the movie story or related to the ARG story? Maybe a short movie showing the chat gang on earth, or showing the Vulcans coming to our help in space (without us knowing about it), or something like this. Who knows…

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire

I just talked to Scotty and he says and i quote. ( Are you Daft!!!!)

I thought at first it was fine for me, but this is way too hard!

What end result could this “hunt” possibly accomplish? The movie opens in roughly 2 days so why keep this going now? I could understand this hunt 6 months ago to get people excited and interested, but now it just seems terribly “unofficial”.

Is this still fun?

User 5 or Kaleh is writing a lot of comments on twitter:

http://twitter.com/PHPChatUser5

# PLEASE! Help if you can. I know some of you are watchig. http://www.alertvulcan.com. There’s no time!!!!!!!!!

# think some of you may have found correct imputs!!! Is the signal clear? My attempts come out static

# Putting in the 3 inputs seems to work. Transmit it as much as you can!!!! I know Vulcan will reward us for warning them!!!

# Something’s wrong. I think it only amplifies when individual signals are played repeatedly….

# I’m the threat??/Don’t listen to them. They don’t care who they kill anymore

# I’m no communications expert. Karnis said the more singals transmitted, the more it amplifies. It has to work.

Karnis is user 2, the Romulan man who lost the device which MalakO found in Paris.

I guess they want that a lot of people watch the transmission videos. For example this one:

http://www.alertvulcan.com/widget.php?user_id=VT@T3

Or they want that those transmission videos are posted on many different internet sites like Facebook, MySpace, and so on.

I don’t know if anyone’s done this or not, but just for kicks, I sent a reply email to WeMust@alertvulcan.com to see if I’d get a personal response… we shall see…

Here’s what I said…

“Do I need to have different people play this video, or do I need to put all the inputs in alertvulcan.com multiple times? It put in the same inputs in alertvulcan.com about 10 times in a row and received different Transmission IDs each time. Do we need to generate as many different Transmission IDs as possible or have one particular one played many times?

Please help us to help you,
~caseylee4ts”

I will let y’all know if I hear anything…

@36 – Nice idea. Let us know!

ARG = Epically unexciting.

I’ve not gotten any responses by emailing them. Maybe you will have better luck.

With the new line of thinking (that’s total crap if you ask me) it’s a matter of taking the embed code from the video such as from http://www.alertvulcan.com/widget.php?user_id=6JCS1 and putting it evrywhere.

embed code looks like this.

Well it didn’t like the code. :/

I’m looking forward to a easily digestible summary of all this. Sounds pretty interesting.

A summary for everyone who want to get the right transmission video from http://www.alertvulcan.com/ .

Square Frequency: 300
Square Phase: 0.5

Sine Frequency: 100
Sine Phase: 0.0

Saw Frequency: 200
Saw Phase: 0.5

Low left side: 232
Low right side (at the circle): V160574_A

Then click generate and submit your email address. You will get then an email with a link to your personal transmission video. The Transmission ID is each time different.

The email will also include the following message:

“For scnners to pick itup, we MUST broadcast the wsarning message as often as possible!! Play it as many times as you can in as places as possible. Get others to broadcast your transmission itwill increase amplification! I’m sure the Vulcans will REWARD! our efforts!!!RememberEarth has NO chance fighting alone only Vulcan has the technology to stop him.”

http://www.alertvulcan.com/widget.php?user_id=AUPUA

I think we have to send more than one big signal. 6JCS1 seems to have already “walled” out.

As to those not following this all, especially #20 and #28/29…. it was fun to interact with a lot of people from around the world. That was the interesting part of this, and I must say I saw some things (Mark Hunter’s The Cobrasnake pictures) that I’d have rather not seen.

Someone at Paramount clearly is expendable though: whoever approved and then didn’t monitor all this! I’m still amazed by the “photobooth” photos that they didn’t monitor and were on the real startrekmovie.com site.

Thanks to all of you who’ve been slugging away at this. Now if we could harness our group to solve some more interesting ARG mysteries. An ongoing Star Trek ARG well-designed could have been a lot of fun.

However, I know all who now know who Johann Bayer is, and where Chamaeleon, Eridanus, Apus,… are in the sky have at least learned some real astronomy! I still think the declination * number of the letter corresponding to the spectral classification * distance was pretty crappy, in that the distances aren’t known to high precision. Oh well. Not like the *PM*s really knew a lot of astronomy. They had the wrong Johann Bayer, and a picture of Flamsteed in place of Bayer! :)

I’m not sure if anyone posted this newest Tweet from our favorite Twitterer… Tweeter….

@PHPChatUser5: I’m no communications expert. Karnis said the more singals transmitted, the more it amplifies. It has to work.

…and now I see where it was posted before… nevermind! :)

Three things, has anyone else thought the “typos” in the email might be a cipher, what if the square, sine, and saw frequencys might have to do with the harmonics of the frequencys listed above (high G, low G, and D), and what if we are supposed to play the video backwards?

frylock and others, the gang could always use creative ideas on solving the puzzle. It’s been a long few days and we’re at wits end, fresh minds could help push this forward!

Alice has written a new message on twitter:

http://twitter.com/aliceforrest700

“Hitching has solution here http://bit.ly/UsYE6 . Everyone make a signal and send to increase signal to Vulcan. Increase views for reward.”

I guess they want to send the reward per email to everyone who input the correct numbers at the http://www.alertvulcan.com/ side and submit their email address.

For the correct input numbers to the site, just read my comment number 42 on this trekmovie thread or read hitching comment at unfiction.

@ 46

I think we already have solved the alertvulcan site. Now they just want that a lot of people use it with the correct numbers. I think they are collecting email addresses now.

They should have done this in early 2008 when we where totally starved of news then we would have all been joining in, personally I haven’t been interested in this.

wpDiscuz