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MPU Update
The MPU site updated to include a sign-up box where you can submit your name and email. I know, exciting stuff, right? They do promise that they'll update again soon. Hopefully with real information this time.
Postcards from Anna
Both enaxor and Addlepated received postcards from Germany from someone named Anna. The way the postcard reads, it almost seems as if Anna is the woman in the tapes since she talks about wishing she could continue her conversation and how she had to leave the island. If that is the case, then it seems that our mysterious man's name might be Ear, which I really hope would be short for something and not just be referencing the body part on the side of ones head. §

Upon closer examination of the postcard with a UV light, the word "Sindbad" or "Sind bad" appeared. What does the secret message mean, and why was it written on the postcard? And why were the postcards sent out in the first place? Neither enaxor or Addie talked to this Anna person, so why the talk about the conversation? Is this sent by the same people who originally sent out the packages? But these were sent from Germany and not San Diego. Unless it's someone from MPU. One of their researchers was in San Diego around when the packages were mailed. Could he have stolen the postcards and mailed them back once he returned to Germany? Update: I got a postcard as well, so it appears if you gave Ivan Krotzler your address on the help page, you got a postcard from Germany in return. I also learned a neat trick via chat that, instead of using a UV light, you can hold the postcard over a toaster until the invisible word darkens. That's pretty nifty. Still not sure how Anna got ahold of the information off of Ivan's website though. Did she hack into the website?
Notebook Scan
Jimmy came through for us and got the notebook back from Penny and scanned it in. Even with the decent picture, it's still a pain in the ass to make out what the page is about. For one thing, it's in German. For another, Krotzler has terrible handwriting. And drawing skills. About the only thing we could get out of it was that text down near the bottom right could read Absdind which would be an anagram for Sindbad, but that still doesn't give us any additional insights that the postcard had.
Login Found
Someone from the German Alzner forums finally discovered the correct username/password for the data login page: Ivan Krotzler/Sindbad. Now we can see what sort of patient files Dr. Krotzler had.

Dr. Krotzler has a fair number of patients listed, but only a few of them have audio files - and most of those won't load. The only files we actually have access to are the files for patient Glass. And these are the audio files from the tapes that we already have. Of course, we were told by wacko Penny that the male voice wasn't Krotzler's - so why does he have these tapes? Did Anna Glass (which I'm guessing is her full name) give them to him?

The audio files under Anna are more complete than what we were given. There is one more section to Session 3, and what sounds to be the start of a Session 4. If the dates are correct, the sessions are played out every two weeks starting January 14th. If there is a fifth session, it should have occurred on March 11th - not too long before Dr. Krotzler went missing. §

Besides the patient files, Ivan has a bunch of links to various bits of research that are over my head § and a to-do list in German. Luckily, someone was able to translate the list - and find other bits that were only in the source code. § Looks like Dr. Krotzler was going on a trip, possibly for a conference. Maybe that is where he is and Penny for some reason forgot or didn't tell anyone. The fact that he was arranging for dog cares makes me think that perhaps he is not the one that left the poor dog dead in the garden. He was supposed to meet with someone named Verbitzky on some Wednesday at Buca di Beppo. I wonder if he kept that meeting.
I Know Who You Are
There is one other big piece of information in the patient files. In one of the files that seems to show up as an error, there is a picture referenced that shows up as a 1x1 pixel dot. The picture looks to be screen shots of various videos (Charlotte Sometimes, Pictures of You, Edge of the Deep Green Sea) from The Cure, plus a handwritten message: I know who you are, Ivan. I'm guessing that this is the threatening letter that Krotzler was going to call the Police about. Is there some sort of big secret in Krotzler's past that this would make this letter more threatening than it actually appears? And what do the pictures mean and did Krotzler figure that part out?

In an effort to solve the Knowing puzzle, enaxor wrote to her dear friend P. Martin again and got another cryptic response: It's not a question of knowing or not knowing. It's a question of time. Thanks P. Martin. Addlepated worked out where the screenshots came from using videos on Youtube and came up with 4:11, 6:37, and 6:46. If you add in the 0 and 1 you get 04116376461. Flipping that around, you get a New York City phone number: 1-646-736-1140 that leads to an answering machine for an Isabel, who won't be home until Monday. Luckily a few people had read Therapy at this point, so they were able to point out that Isabell is the name of Viktor Larenz's wife. That information, plus the fact that if you try entering a PIN into the answering machine gives you a message in German, indicates that this solve probably isn't just a very odd coincidence.
Hidden Markov models
I have to admit, I don't really understand any of this, but I felt that I should at least point it out incase it was important. Krotzler has a link to a page on Hidden Markov models in his Research section under data. Dante was able to figure out that the drawings on the notebook page were related to HHM models and that Krotzler was trying to use them for natural language processing.

On one hand, the fact that it was mentioned in the Research and shows up on the notebook page makes it seems like it would be important. On the other, it's so utterly confusing I'm not sure if we really are supposed to understand it and actually use it for something. All I know is if they want me specifically too look at it, I'm going to need an HHM For Dummies book mailed to my house with relevant pages highlighted.
Looking for Test Subjects
The MPU really likes telling you that the new website is coming soon. They sent out an email, in both German and English, informing you that they appreciate your support and that the new website is coming soon. § The email also stated that the Psychiatry Faculty was looking for new test persons. If I can remember, I'll try calling and volunteering. Maybe I'll get a free trip to Germany to be a guinea pig!
Dingo Attack Kills Three
The news from Ivanland turned tragic as Addlepated forged found an obituary stating that everyone that we haven't heard from in days died in a dingo attack. At least now we know why no one is talking to us.
Phone Call from Oscar
Out of the blue, Addlepated received a call from an investigator named Officer Martinez, who is investigating the disappearance of one Isabell Alzner. Guess that confirms that 1-646-736-1140 really is an IG number. Enaxor also stated that she got a called from Oscar, except she didn't hear it ring and missed it. :(

So now we have one person in a mental hospital, two people confirmed missing, and a fourth person who has stopped communicating with us all together. Should we start taking bets that Oscar won't call anyone back, but that we will get another email from MPU stating that the website is still coming?
Julia Schwarz
Ivan, Penny or Jimmy must be alive, because there was another round of Facebook requests accepted. One of his new friends is a Julia Schwarz who posted on his wall: Mr. Krotzler, when you see this message, please get in touch with me as soon as possible. I live in New York and have a important message for you!

Aceituna got a private message from Julia. It seems that Julia is friends with someone named Clare, whom Julia assumes is Ivan's daughter. She also says that she wants to get some information about Isabell from Ivan. So Julia has something to tell him, but also needs information from him? Or maybe she has nothing to tell him, but just said she did so that he'll contact her. And if Clare is Ivan and Isabell's daughter, then where is she? Does she know anything about the possible disappearance of both of her parents? Could *gasp* she be behind the dingo attacks?
Penny's Out
Penny has finally been released from the hospital. The doctors told her to stay away from work, but when does anyone take the advice of doctors? She went back to the office and found a message on the machine from Addie's Officer Martinez saying he was investigating a recent crime. Jimmy meanwhile has bugged out for the East Coast, but not before making sure to forward all of Dr. Krotzler's phonecalls to Penny. Because I'm sure that's what the doctors had in mind when they told her to stay away from work.
Julia's Note
Julia's been chatting up a storm with everyone who is trying to figure out just what her relationship is with Isabell, Clare and Ivan. She says that Clare is Isabell's daughter and that Clare had gone to a mental health clinic in Albany, NY. She was trying to contact Ivan because of Isabell. Julia waters her flowers when she goes away for work, but it seems the last time she went, Julia found Isabell dead. Or maybe just in a coma. Hard to tell as she doesn't exactly spell it out.

Julia has gotten a letter from Clare, who seems to be feeling better now that she's in a loony bin in Albany. Julia was willing to part with the letter if someone were to meet her at Grand Central Station on a Sunday morning. Apparently Julia hasn't looked at a calander lately, or else doesn't care that she's asking people to come meet her on Easter Sunday. She must also not know where a Kinko's or even a public library is in order to make a copy of the note and mail it to someone.

After a bunch of IRC and Twitter bitching, Julia magically remembered that she had appointments that morning and wouldn't be able to meet us. But luckily she remembered she had a camera she could take pictures of the letter with. §

If you look closely at the actual photographs of the letter, you can see that the N and W are bolded and that several of the letters have dots underneath them. Pulling out the letters and assigning numerals to them, you can get GPS coordinates that point to Central Park: N 40°47.74' W 73°57.587'

There is a slight problem though in that the photos of the letter are so fraking crappy, it's hard to tell which letters have dots and which don't. Nevermind the fact that sometimes it appears that the dots are inside the letters and othertimes are below the letters. I've tried to mark which letters I believe have dots, and which ones I'm not entirely sure of in this image. The "c" dot is probably the most dubious, but if you believe that the cache is in Central Park, then it has to be there.

Note to PMs: if a puzzle requires you to pull information off of a photo, make sure the photo is clear enough to do so! I've taken better photos of letters with my camera on a moving subway than Julia was able to manage.

Rebel2k4 tried to locate the cache, but was unable to find anything. As he didn't have an actual GPS and was just going off maps, it's impossible to say what the problem was - not being in the correct location or not having a correct solve. We're hopeful that it's just matter of having a GPS to pinpoint where you are - and that the cache is near a cherry tree. But until we can find someone with a GPS unit to go searching Central Park, or get a better copy of the letter, we may never know.
Too Excited - Can't Write
I'm way too excited right now to update everything that went down since the weekend. I hope you'll forgive me when you see the reason why. But I will give a brief update and do a full write up next week.
  1. Jimmy the IT Guy found the cache in Central Park. It was a girls dress and with a letter from Clare hidden inside
  2. Rebel2k4 went to a restaurant in NYC and received a package from P. Martin. This sent us to the website
  3. Thatch and Sons is a travel website. People who requested information, and then told the Thatchs that P. Martin sent them, were told that P. Martin had pre-paid for two trips to Germany leaving the US on Friday, April 17th.
  4. Pinkcloud and myself were accepted by the Thatchs to get the free trips to Germany.
So now I have a million things to do before I leave tomorrow. So excited! Will try to keep in touch as much as I can, but the one thing I've learned from live events in the past - this hardly ever works out the way players at home want it to.
Sorry for the Delay
For everyone who has been checking this guide since the 20th hoping for updates, I'm sorry. It took me a day or two to wind down and get caught up on all the videos that we took (some of which were new to me). And then the incredibly sad news that Dave Szulborski passed away kept me from writing yesterday. So now it's late on Friday and I'm just getting up the energy to write again. We'll see how much I get done before I leave for work.
Central Park Cache
Because we were having such issues with the Central Park cache, Penny sent Jimmy the IT guy out to retrieve it. Normally, I have real issues with characters solving problems that we are supposed to. But considering we've gone out twice and haven't been able to find it, and it seems that our coordinates are not going to get any better unless someone provides a new picture, plus the fact that it is being announced beforehand, I'm okay with Jimmy going to get the item.

Jimmy had much better luck than Rebel2k4 (surprise, surprise). Penny reports that he did have some problem with the first coordinates ("they weren't too exact"), but he prevailed and found a white dress inside a plastic bag that was hidden in a hole at the bottom of the tree trunk, covered up by a rock. To make up for the fact that we were unable to find the item ourselves, Jimmy graciously posted pictures of his trip, the dress and even a video of his find. Now I can see why Rebel2k4 had some issues finding the item.

The dress wasn't the main item in the plastic bag, however. Hidden inside the dress was a note from Clare to Julia. § So Clare is going back to where it all began? I'm guessing that's Germany. Maybe she could meet up with Julia while she is there. Of course, it begs the question how is she going to get over there in the first place. Can't imagine it would be easy for a minor just to hop on a flight. Of course, she did break out of the mental institution, so perhaps a flight isn't that hard. I hope the reason Julia found a lot of blood in Isabell's apartment isn't because Clare attacked Isabell as she was gathering supplies to leave the country.
P. Martin Sounds Evil
While we were waiting on photos from Jimmy, Addlepated and varin both got voice messages from P. Martin, who now apparently is the Devil, or at least has access to an evil sounded voice changer. After some pitch modulation, it's easier to hear what the creepy P. Martin is saying to us:
You have disappointed me. I was counting on you, but obviously you haven't realized yet what is going on here. Something is about to happen. Something horrible. And you are running out of time. So listen carefully. I arranged an appointment for you. Meet me tomorrow at 5 p.m. The place is called Terazza Toscana. Ask for my name when you enter the place. I hope you will be there. At least one of you should show up, otherwise you won't stop it.
Terazza Toscana is a restaurant in NYC. So now I guess someone has to go there and meet the very creepy (but possibly female?) P. Martin and find out what he/she/it wants.
Terazza Toscana
Rebel2k4, not to be deterred by lack of success from the Central Park drop, volunteered for the Terazza Toscana meet. He arrived at 5pm, asked for P. Martin and was shown to a table for two. The hostess then handed him a large manila envelope from P. Martin and addressed to Jason and his fellow Argonauts.

There were all sorts of things inside: Four pieces of paper, which when read properly, spelled, a sheet of notebook paper that says Die Uberfahrt / (Teil 11) / Anna Spiegel, a cruise brochure showing that a cruise will depart NY, April 10 and arrive in Hamburg, April 17 along with many circled letters that spell out "Call", and a voice recorder with a new message from P. Martin.
It was a wise decision to come here. I really appreciate that. I'm sure you understand that I can't be here personally. For people like me secrecy is the highest bid.

I see your presence as a strong sign of commitment in this case. That shows me that you and your friends have evened up the sense of responsibility in the last weeks. Nevertheless, I assume that it is too late. You've got only one last chance to rewrite the story that destiny is about to dictate. It's up to you to stop things from happening.

Two of you have to go on a journey into the heart of darkness. The others will be their guides along the way. I have taken care of everything for this trip. The last thing I can do for you is to point you into the right direction. You will know where they have to go when you follow the instructions in the envelope. My support ends here. From now on you are on your own. I wish you best of luck. You'll need it.
Because Rebel2k4 didn't have any way of uploading the audio, we didn't get this message until it was received by Methos. Had we heard this message before we got in contact with, things might have turned out very differently (for me at least).
Thatch and Sons is a travel agency website, that currently has two special offers: one to for 7 days of skiing in Lake Tahoe for $375pp and one for a trip to Berlin for $450. The website even has a convenient form where you can fill out your name, email, and phone number and ask them any questions that you like about their offers.

Many of us sent off requests for information when we found the website on Wednesday night. On Thursday morning, replies starting coming back, and we were able to find out Special Offer III included airfare leaving Friday and returning Monday, car rental and hotel. For $450, it actually sounded like a pretty good deal and I was fairly tempted by it. I was a bit put off that the notice was extremely short, though. If I had had a few weeks notice, it would have been easier for me to prepare and save up for the trip. However, everyone in chat seemed to think that spending the money would be a good idea and started conspiring to send in my details to the Thatchs since I was cut off from my personal emails at work.

Then the kicker came. In all of the emails, Edward Thatch asked "[H]ow did you find out about us? Have you been referred to us by a friend? Or have you been directed to our website by one of our ads?" When people started replying "P. Martin told us about the site," suddenly Special Offer III became even more special. It seems that P. Martin was known to Thatch and Sons and had pre-paid two Special Offer III trips. In the span of about 10 minutes, I had gone from trying to get in contact with Edward Thatch so I could buy the trip, to offering up my details as one of P. Martin's pre-paid individuals.

Needless to say, I was over the moon. PinkCloud too, as she had been the other individual to contact Edward Thatch saying that she could go. I spent the rest of the day furiously writing down everything I needed to bring and trying not to squee out loud. I was practically worthless at work, even more so since my boss kept joking that no one actually takes last minute trips to Germany. My mother thought I was nuts. My father thought it was some sort of ploy. Hardly anyone, except the people in #therapy, actually thought this was real. But Daniel, my awesome travel agent, was a very real voice on the phone. And soon I had very real plane ticket and hotel information in my hands. I was being flown to Germany for the weekend for an ARG finale. How fucking cool is that?
Flying to Germany
My flight to Germany was from JFK to Düsseldorf to Berlin. PinkCloud got the San Diego to Newark to Berlin flight. Not sure why we weren't on the same flight. It would have been nice to talk to each other on the plane. Not to mention that I would have had a direct flight and it's easier for me to get to Newark than JFK, but beggars can't be choosers.

AirBerlin was pretty nice though. Plenty of legroom, for me at least, and I had an empty seat next to me so I could spread out a bit. We got little overnight packs with an eyemask, earplugs, socks, toothbrush and mini toothpaste. Dinner was chicken in some sort of cheesy sauce with mashed potatoes, coleslaw, bread and cheesecake. Breakfast was a croissant, a roll, raspberry yogurt and orange juice. And some very welcome tea that gave me enough caffeine to wake up. My movie choices were Marley and Me and Australia. I just tried to sleep as much as I could. Didn't really work as I kept waking up every 45 minutes or so.

As is proper for an ARG person on a live event, I kept noticing all sorts of strange things. Like the person sitting at the window seat on the far side taking pictures of the people in my row. I also noticed that they all seemed to be talking to each other, so my initial thought of a PM being on the flight taking pictures of me was quickly dismissed. I mean, it would be silly that one of the PMs would be on one of the flights with me, right?
Arriving in Berlin
Because we were on two separate flights, PinkCloud ended up arriving in Berlin before I did. Originally we were going to meet in a cafe near the observation deck. Upon arriving, however, she quickly determined it would be a nightmare to find each other there, and so ended up coming to my gate to meet me. Which was great, since I wasn't sure if I could even get to the original meeting point as I was coming in through a different terminal.

After chatting for a bit, we gathered our belongings and started off to Sixt to get our rental car. Our car was on the third floor of the parking garage, and because we couldn't seem to locate any elevators, we lugged our carry-ons up three flights of stairs. But our Ford C-Max was there waiting for us. Inside the car was a phone and a welcome envelope that gave us instructions on how to use Kyte in order to broadcast our adventures to the rest of the world. Thatch and Sons had even taken the time to set up our own broadcasting channel so that we wouldn't have to worry about that. We lost no time in trying out our new phone and Kyte.

I have to say, Kyte is pretty damn cool. Not only can you broadcast out to the internet with fairly little delay (so long as you have a decent cell phone signal), but people can chat in your broadcast channel and it will show up on your phone! So you can actually chat with people while you're filming. There are some limitations in that you can only see the last 2 or 3 lines spoken (if there is a scroll back feature, we didn't find it) and it sucks up the phone battery like a camel in a desert. There is also a 15 minute limitation on broadcasting, so you have to rebroadcast once you go over that time limit, but it's still awesome. I can see more games in the future using Kyte during live events.

After playing with our phone, it was time to get the GPS programmed in. Luckily PinkCloud speaks German, so we were able to muddle through getting our hotel address plugged in. It was a pain-in-the-ass system though and you were never really sure what location was programmed into it, but we ended up managing. With the GPS information entered, we set off on a 20 minute drive to our hotel, filming most of the way.
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