TrekMovie Uncovers Hidden John Harrison ‘Starfleet Memorandum’ On Into Darkness Viral Site

Paramount has been using its website as a promotional tool with images and videos for the last few weeks, but after TrekMovie did some digging around on the site, we found something else very interesting. Check out secret "Starfleet Memorandum" on John Harrison below (warning big spoilers).


Secret Starfleet Memorandum on Harrison

The 2009 Star Trek movie had a very elaborate viral campaign and alternative reality  game. For Into Darkness Paramount has made things much simpler, such as hiding the URL to in the first trailer. That site has mostly been used for fan submitted artwork, contests and a way for Parmount to send out videos. However, after digging around on the site I found something rather interesting.

By typing in /Harrison after the main URL you go to a page that doesn’t have a character video (like those that can be found at /Sulu, /Carol, etc.) but there was a download PDF link to the following "Starfleet Memorandum" all about John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) in Star Trek Into Darkness.

You can see the memorandum below (click images to enlarge), but beware of spoilers.


UPDATE: Paramount hints at Harrison page

On Thursday (the day after this article went live) Paramont sent out an email to people who had registered for the AreYouThe1701 website with the subject "Who Is John Harrison" and an image (below). The email just links to the front page but it appears Paramount is now giving people a clue that there is a hidden /Harrison page.

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*right click and save*

Also, any chance of an enlarged version? My eyesight is 20/20, but others…

Apparently they still use paper, poor black and white copies, and black Sharpies in the 23rd century.

You can’t hack top secret paper.

But you can leave it on trains throughout England… -_-

@3 Mantastic

…and paper clips!

@3. They did in “The Cage”, Pike had a ballpoint pen and a clipboard in his hands on the bridge.

Wait, I know.

23rd century paper clips create holographic projections of the paper, and to make them look top secret, they do it in black and white with imperfections of mid-20th century faxes.

Okay, I feel better now.

John Harrison is a……….GORN

First few redacted items refer to “31 COMMAND,” “SECTION 31”, and “31 PROTOCOL.”

Not only that, but they can’t spell-check their memos either (see last page).

NOW are we all satisfied?


Put the downloaded PDF into a viewer on a decent-size laptop or tablet screen, enlarge it to about 1600%, then tilt it toward yourself at about a 45 degree angle and you can read most of the “redacted” material fairly easily.

I opted not to post it here because it may be spoilery :)

Its cute but honestly I did not find it enlighting, or even much of a tease, I used to write stuff like that when I was 10 years old playing spy— and at this point 99.99 of the plot points are known if you care to known them so why bother–

If you view the HTML source of the Harrison page, you’ll discover there are supposed to be two JPG files representing the two pages of the “Starfleet Memorandum,” but the files are missing from the site. The download link is to a PDF of both pages together. I don’t think this was an intentional omission, because the links to retweet/facebook the JPG pages includes the links, which will be broken if they’re used. Think someone goofed on this part.

Section 31 ANYONE???

Okay, I guess I have to turn in my Trekkie card. Been a Trek fan for a long time, but hadn’t heard of this. Oh, well.

Not just 31, but I see mentions of Praxxis, And I think we all know what that is…

Yup, one part mentions “The Praxxis Project”, and when I was first seeing a string of letters that said “IS PROJECT,” I thought surely it was going to end up being “GENESIS PROJECT,” but this is still fun.

I guess part of me was hoping this was an adjunct into a new ARG like they did in 2009, but in looking at the source I think its been there all along, just never found it before. Oh, well.

even Starfleet docs are redacted – guess FOIA doesn’t exist in the UFP either

They used paper 250 years ago too …. who knows what they will be using 250 years from now?

Comic book readers should be thinking about April’s connection to Harrison right about now.

I have long doubted that Harrison is Khan- but what if April’s crew found the Botany Bay before the events of the 2009 flick?

It is Section 31 finding the Botany Bay! Furthermore it is Admiral Murcus himself who recruits John Harrison aka Khan Noonien Singh to do his dirty work!

Picture how pretty it is when the moon rises over Qo’nos. That is all.

Nice to see photocopying quality still looks like crap 250 years from now.

Yet one more reason why using Khan is ridiculous. Marcus recruits him for his superior intellect and abilities, then gives him the run of the organization? Once again — you hold his family hostage to make him work for you, but you make him do the work in a concrete bunker with no windows or doors that you can only beam into. Dumb da dumb dumb dumb …


…Well… er… Spoilers.


Indeed. Very strange.

Right click and save the large versions of the documents, then go into your pictures files and increase the contrast and the brightness and you’ll be able to read most of the redacted content.

However, there are still 3 places (words?) where it looks like it was redacted over the existing redacted content, and it’s unreadable.


#12: So… I guess you haven’t seen the film, then.

#22: The film has nothing to do with Robert April. He’s not once mentioned in it.

I’m glad I read the “Countdown to Darkness” comics to get some of this! There’s a reference to something from the comics in the movie as well.

Shouldn’t the paper have clipped corners like the future paper in BSG?

…yeah, it’s not well thought out…

oh well…

Anyone notice the size of the PDF file? Kinda large for just two pages…Thinking there may be hidden files in there…steganography anyone?

@30. Perhaps. but these papers mention Harrison being sent to Phaedus IV to investigate Klingon activity, and IIRC isn’t that the system where April was living in Countdown to Darkness?

Be careful on Wiki. There is already an update on a charactors’s page.

Note the difference between the pdf and the image on page 2: the clearly readble “Io Facility” in the jpg is an obscured “31 Command” in the pdf.

Guess Io is where the Vengeance (Praxxis Project?) is built, at coordinates one one one one one… four six… one… XD

Also mentioned in the file:

Does the small difference between the jpg and the pdf text mean anything?

Found out how you’re meant to be able to find this:
Go to and type in 1701 using your keyboard.

#12 & #29

Just seen the film, tonight. Keeping it secret–will say I’d best refrain from such hasty things….

If they were trying to redact refs to Sec 31, they slipped on pg. 2. Hmmmm….

I suspect that this is meant to be an ongoing backstory into the next film.

3, 6 …and hole punchers!

4. I agree.

7. And also in “The Cage”, CPO Garison printed out and read aloud the radio message faked by the Talosians.

8. Interesting.

11. Yes, on page 2, the word “route” is spelled “rout”.

I hate Section 31 And is not part of Rodds vision. Plus they just had to use Khan!

I haven’t seen any mention of this but it seemed to me watching the film that when they first open up one of the torpedoes and discover the Botany Bay crew member in suspended animation — it looks remarkably like the Ricardo Montalban version of Khan under the glass — it looks like a dark featured man with long hair — or did I just imagine that?

#45 – Yes, that is what I thought as well, but I could not be certain. I think the real twist will be that John Harrison is actually John Harrison who is calling himself Khan (as in Prince, King, Leader of Men…). At least with this Harrison/Khan, we probably won’t hear all that “I spit at thee” stuff. We should be thankful for small mercies…:)

#46 — Glad to know someone else caught that. You pose a fascinating theory, although the ‘real’ Khan was presumably a well known historical figure, unless Harrison also carried the title — like the notorious Russian military leader Baron Roman von Ungern-Sternberg, who became the last Khan of Mongolia.

It’s not Praxis. Read the hard cover novel.