Bowl Games TV Ads
I'm a pretty decent college football fan. I might not know all the players, coaches, or random records they've piled up, but I know most of the rules and I enjoy watching college games on the weekends. Bowl Week is especially fun since I have most of it off from work, so I have something entertaining to watch while I'm at home vegging on the couch.

Most of the time, I don't pay attention to the commercials, since by the end of the first quarter, you've seen all the ads you're going to see for the next 10 days. Tip to advertisers: try making more than one so that you can put them in a rotation. Seeing the same one commercial twenty times during the course of a football game is not going to make want to buy your product any more than if I saw it once. So it came as quite a surprise when during one of the games a new commercial ran.

It was a fairly plain commercial. Sadly, I didn't get a picture of the screen, nor can I find a copy of the ad online, but it really wasn't that exciting, so you aren't missing much. Black background with white words and a blinking 'ALERT' sign. The voiceover said something like "Winter X Games 12 will take place despite rumors circulating online. Please visit for more information." It reminded me a lot of the stolen Audi commercials during AotH.

Being the good little consumer that I am, I went to the website, because the commercial was a bit odd after all. And I'm a sucker for rumors.
Winter X Rumor Alert
The Winter X Rumor Alert is set up to state the 'rumors' that are flying around the web and the 'truth' behind them. § The website was registered by the Martin Agency through Network Solutions. It was created November 30, 2007 and it's being hosted on 1and1 servers, so now we have a benchmark to compare any other sites we find.

There's actually quite a bit of information on this website. It has links to one sponser website, one partially in-game website, and links to several in-game resources. It has also updated at least once since I first found it.
PINROTH Terrain Masters
As far as I can tell, there is actually no information regarding Buttermilk on the PINROTH website, so I would have to guess that it's a sponsor of the Winter X Games. I was really hoping to find information about the missing bulldozers, but if it's on the website, I can't find it.
Chris Burandt
Chris Burandt is a professional snowmobiler who is also regular in the Winter X Games. But despite the fact that he is a real person, he at least has some stuff up on his website about the Buttermilk rumors. It's just too bad that his talent at riding snowmobiles didn't rub off on his website, because parts of it can be very hard to read. Black text over black marks on a background = unreadable words. I also hate small text areas where you have to use speciality scrolling.

In his latest blog entry, Chris talks about how he got a call from Jim Vaile, warning him of the dangers of Buttermilk this year. Chris has also heard that some other athletes (sadly, no named mentioned) are pulling out of the competition, although Chris himself has no plans to do so. In fact, Chris says he wants to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding all these rumors. §
YouTube Sinkhole Videos
There are two YouTube videos circulating showing two seperate, yet similar, events that occured on Buttermilk Mountain.

The first video is of a guy and a girl skiing down the mountain on a bright sunny day. At one point, they stop and the guy asks the girl if she wants to go back up for another run, or if she wants to call it a day. Over the girl's shoulder, you can see another skiier in red coming down the mountain. As the new skiier passes the two, the camera shifts over, and you can see a big hole in the ground open up. The skiier falls in, and the hole appears to chew him as everyone starts screaming. About 10 seconds later, the hole/mouth eventually closes and sinks back into the mountain. Yikes!

The second video shows a snowboarder getting ready to take a run at a handmade snowramp. A couple of seconds before he hits the ramp, you can hear a grumbling noise, and a hole opens up just past the end of the ramp. People start screaming for the snowboarder to stop, but it's too late and he goes off the end of the ramp. Luckily, he lands past the gaping hole, which now starts to snap its jaws open and shut. Once again, after about 10 seconds, the hole/mouth closes back up. Now I know why I haven't been skiing in years. Who wants to deal with killer carnivorous mountains?
The Russian News Report
The Rumor Alert link to the YouTube video of a Russian newscast was one of the updates that occured after the site first launched. Thankfully, there are subtitles to the report so that I don't have to track a Russian speaker down to know what was being said. §

The newscast states that there are prominent European athletes thare are now refusing to compete in the Winter X Games because of the incidents on Buttermilk, although ESPN refutes this. The newscast also hints that something similiar happened at Galdhopiggen, the highest mountain in Norway and Scandinavia, although there is no Google love on that claim. Maybe we'll get lucky and see some Gladhopiggen attacks later.
Buttermilk Is Alive
Buttermilk Is Alive is the webpage of one Dr. Jim Vaile ( email: )a geologist from the University of Colorado. His website is hia attempt to catalog and publish the scientific mysteries of Buttermilk Mountain. He has been studying the mountain for 25 years and claims that it is being exploited for its commercial value and its urban myth status.

The website has recently undergone a website design, and thus he has had to consolidate some of his older entries (isn't that just always the case). What's so 'odd' about Dr. Vaile is that he is adamant that the occurances on Buttermilk have a natural explanation. He refuses to consider any supernatural or mystical explanations Buttermilk - and how often do you find that on the web, let alone in an ARG? §

After digesting all his mini-blog entries and perusing his history section, it's pretty easy to see that Dr. Jim wants a scientfic explanation for what has been happening on Buttermilk over the past 180 years, but that he feels frustrated by the lack of funding or even acknowledgment by the scientific community. But you have to give him credit for continuing on for so many years on his own. I guess when you have an obsession, you can't let go of it, even if you know it's futile.

One really potentially interesting bit is that he actually gives a street address as to where you can find him: 1602 Walnut Street #4 Boulder, Colorado. It does seem to be a real address, although who's to say that he'll still be there after the building is sold. I wonder if I could contact his neighbor and see if he knows anything about who is in unit 4.

Oh, and just for the record, the BIA site was registered on November 14, 2007 through a private proxy on 1and1. Not quite the same as the Rumor Alert site, but still within the time frame and they're both hosted with the same name servers.
The Buttermilk 'Forum'
One of Dr. Jim's links is to his Buttermilk Is Alive Fourm. And when I say 'Forum,' I mean 'Blog with moderated comments'. I suppose that's one way of keeping all the riff-raff from screaming 'THIS IS FAKE!' all of the time. §

There really isn't too much in Dr. Jim's blog entries. Mostly just little bits on real world articles that talk about strange phenomena and how it shows that there are stranger things than what is occuring at Buttermilk. He also goes off a bit about how people should study Buttermilk scientifically, rather than labeling it as magic or extraterrestial.
A l33t Troll
One of the more interesting updates to the BIA blog, the one that really convinced me that this is leaning toward an ARG, is where Dr. Jim talks about an email he got from someone who is a little upset at the 'forum'. §

I guess this is why it pays to read the comments (which I usually just skim). It appears that Nick did leave a link to Rusty's blog and I didn't see it. Going back through the rest of the links, there is at least one other commenter that has a website: Zeek the Believer aka I am the Gooch.

Note: Both sites were registered on December 9, 2007 and are hosted by, you guessed it, In fact, there used to be a Google cache of iamthegooch that had some of the BIA pages on it - Dr. Jim moves his site around a lot, doesn't he? ;)
Storm Worm Warning
Before we go snooping around the other sites a bit, there's a bit of a warning that needs to be put out. It appears that most (if not all) of the websites connected with this game were attacked by an exploit that contaiminated them (for lack of a better word) with a malicious link. I found infected pages at Winter X Rumor Alert, Buttermilk Is Alive, and Rusty Truth. I alerted Dr. Jim and Rusty to the problem, and the bad sections of code were removed, but I know at least two pages that escaped them the first time, so it is possible that there are other bad pages. I'm hopefully, however, that the webmasters will double check all their secondary pages to remove whatever remanats may remain.

I'm am impressed that Dr. Jim did put up a big blog entry stating that there was a problem and how to go about correcting it. Personally, I never had an issue with the exploit - between Firefox and my anti-virus, the problem was caught before any damage was done, but that doesn't mean everyone will get off so lucky. So please view the information on the Storm Worm and how you can detect it on your system since it's not just these few sites affected. The exploit hit tens of thousands of websites, so if you surf alot, chances are you'll run across it. §

By the way, I think this is the location Dr. Jim was pointing to at the end of his entry. It's hard to say since Google maps didn't really like the format it was in (it's that 83 that's goofing stuff up).
I Am the Gooch
Since Zeek the Believer listed a website before Rusty did, we'll visit I am the Gooch first. He also seems slightly saner than Rusty, although both of them have absolutely horrendous taste when it comes to webdesign.

The Gooch seems to be a snowboarder that hangs out on Buttermilk Mountain, amongst other places. He has a bunch of photos of Buttermilk. It's a little annoying to view some of them since they enlarge when you mouse over them, but the bigger ones will hang below the bottom of the screen, so you gotta reposition the page so that you can see it. Or at least it does in Firefox. I tried it on IE at work, and got some weird message that it couldn't be viewed at all, so I'll have to try when I'm at home. § It seems that The Gooch has a bunch of buddies that also goes snowboarding with him: Kyle, Brandon, Zeek and Danny. I am a little confused though. From the comment on the BTA blog, I thought Zeek was The Gooch since he had that listed as his website. Now I guess that Zeek and The Gooch are two different people, and that Zeek must not have his own website. He must be a pretty good friend of The Gooch though, since there are a ton of pictures of Zeek on IATG. Which brings me to my other bit of confusion: There are two versions of the same picture labeled Zeek, but the file name for the ">color photo is 'Danny' - who seems to be a separate individual altogether. Unless they are both named Danny and Zeek doesn't like that name. I dunno. I suppose I'll have to ask.

The Gooch also has a Myspace page listed, which I can't get to right now, but I will later.
Rusty Truth
Rusty is a fruitcake. That's all there is to be said. His website is uglier than The Gooch's, if that's at all possible. At least The Gooch doesn't have blinking sections or l33tspeak throughout.

From what I can gather, Rusty thinks he is a Truthseer who can bring the four pillars of the Unexplainable from the Tapestry of Time into his art. I think. He keeps splitting stuff up into 3s and 4s so it's really hard to know what he's talking about. But here's a little rundown on the basic principles:

Unexplainable = 3 Energy Sources
3 Energy Source = The Spirit Realm, The Physical Realm, The Emotional Realm
Spirit of Inexplicable Force effects = Barringer Media Crater, Buttermilk Mountain, the Bermuda Triangle
4 Pillars = Love, Rage, Mystery, Power
4 Energies consumed the Universe
4 Manifestions of Energy in Modern Society = ???, Barringer Media Crater, Buttermilk Mountain, Bermuda Triangle
== Rusty thinks he must capture the energy of Love and manifest it back into the Universe through art

Like I said, he's a fruitcake. But he seems to be a somewhat talented fruitcake in the fact that he can draw. He has a bunch of little pictures of what I guess is the energy in Buttermilk Mountain. Two of them were written on the back of some graph paper that has writing on the other side, but sadly I haven't been able to clean up the photos enough to read what was on the reverse.

The most interesting picture is the mountain in the hand, because the red lines connecting the dots reminds me of the picture labeled The Buttermilk Constellation on The Gooch's page. Is this something prevalent on the mountain?
Benji Beale
If you do a Google search for "Buttermilk Is Alive," you come across one other Buttermilk related site that isn't linked to any of the other sites: Benji Beale's flickr page. Dr. Jim made a brief mention of him in his November 2004 entry "I hate to use the word conspiracy, but Ben Beale may be right..." Dr. Jim also had his name (as well as several others) on a commented out Blog Roll on his BIA page that has since been removed, so I'm guessing that he really is connected.

It seems that Benji (email: ) started his flickr page after Chris Burandt made his blog post on Buttermilk. The pictures are taken from other people's flickr pages, the web, and his own personal collection.

One of his photos shows that the sinkhole/mouth has been spotted on Buttermilk since at least 1984 (if you believe the little timestamp in the corner and not the EXIF info that flickr pulls out of the image). He also has a couple of photos talking about a pattern - the same pattern as the Buttermilk Constellation? I don't really see it, but maybe he can. Benji also has a picture from our resident crackpot Rusty, which I have no idea what it's supposed to be showing tho.

Benji also has a picture of people posing as The Buttermilk Three, three skiers that went missing on the mountain who knows when. Rusty also has a version of this picture, except his has a circle around the skiers legs. Is there something important about all of them having their right leg lifted up in the air?
Rocky Mountain Graphic Design Co?
Dr. Jim keeps mentioning the creators of his website, the Rocky Mountain Graphic Design Co. It's prevalently displayed at the bottom of his main website. He also talks about it on the Blog under the 'What is the Buttermilk Fourm?' section. And today he mentions it again in his newest blog entry talking about how he's having trouble uploading new footage of the Buttermilk fissures. §

While I am looking forward to new footage, this website thing is driving me a little bonkers since three big mentions should warrant a website for the company, but I can't find one. Which is a little sad, because new websites make me happy. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to keep an eye out on BIA for the new footage. Maybe that will get some attention focused on this game.
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