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   May 10 >>  

Befriended by Point System
Explosion at 30,000 feet
Fleurs du Mal
Home Again
Barcodes for Everyone
Do You Believe in Ghosts?
Hidden Generators and Gateways
X Marks the Spot
A Second Voice
hurry hook you oh
Uh Ohes - They're on to Us
Anne's Email
Mr. Paris
So Far, No Good
Addendum 1
  September 26 >> 

Franklin Parrish
Anne Is Scared
Don't Follow Me
Love Notes Gallery
The Second Voice
Floorplans Are Back
A One Night Stand
A Binary Puzzle
No Global Sites - Yet
VaporLofts London, Tokyo & Johannesburg
Anne Spills the Beans
Gateway Errors
Anne Adds an Image Backup
Mr. Paris Speaks Latin
The Invitation
2 More Conversations
Towards Death...err, Atlanta
Twofish Solution
 October 24 >> 

The Last Gateway Link
The Notice Memo Is Not Secure
Wonky Email
Tokyo & Johannesburg
A Package
1008 Solved
Meet me in the lobby
Sounds of...
The Music of London
Anne's Nightmare
Back on the Chain Gang
Sheet Music Galore!
Information Obtained
Floorplans Solved
Ashes to Ashes
 December 6 >> 

 Gibberish Key  ¤  Directory Listing 

vBefriended by Point System

It seems that way back when, several LiveJournal users who had listed "ilovebees" or "args" in their interests started getting befriended by a new user, an Anne Schreber who has the username point_system. This wouldn't have been such a big deal, but of course the very first post had to be about something mysterious. In Anne's case, it was an unknown slip of paper taped to her front door. §

Of course, the question becomes: Who is it that puts these mysterious notes on people's doors? Is there a GPS fairy out there that likes to write down random coordinates just to see people get all confused? For once I would like to see a journal start out without having some big mystery behind it.

Okay, maybe that's not the question she wants answered. Since she obviously isn't familiar with the GPS fairy, she has no idea those numbers are actually coordinates. For those that do recognize GPS coordinates, it's fairly easy to see that they are pointing to:

Earls Court Underground Station, London, United Kingom
Takashimaya Times Square, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Johannesburg Int. Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa

Actually, just putting the numbers into Google should show you that they are all part of the GPS Waypoint Registry.

Well, now that that crisis is solved, most of the viewers of Anne's Livejournal go back to lurker mode as Anne decides to start writing more normal types of LiveJournal entries. §

vExplosion at 30,000 feet

Well, normal up until she starts writing about an airplane exploding over the Pacific Ocean leaving one survivor completely unscathed. That's not something you see in the papers every day, and considering there is no real world papers mentioning this, Anne is obviously living in her own little universe here. So of course this means that this must be a real ARG rather than someone playing a prank on Miss Anne with odd numbers on her door. Finally, the people at unFiction are informed via ThaJinx and it's now open season. §

Okay, the whole exploding airplane/amnesic victim thing is just freaky. Google searches on Sarah Belton and/or Megin Svensenski turn up nothing of value. So we're obviously not going to find out any information that way. Perhaps we should turn out attentions to the company that Sarah (and now Anne!) work for: VaporLofts.


At first glance, VaporLofts seems to be a normal website advertising newly rennovated lofts in downtown Atlanta. DNS information looks legit and calling the phone number gets you to a voice mail for VaporLofts. § Emailing them doesn't raise any red flags, either. §

But since this is a spooky ARG company, looks can be deceiving. First off, the alt text for one of the banners is extremely odd.
* Natural replicators have all or most of their design from nonhuman sources.
* Autotrophic replicators can reproduce themselves in the wild. They mine their own materials. Usually they are designed by humans, and in particular, can easily accept specifications for human products.
* Self-reproductive systems produce copies of themselves from industrial feedstocks such as metal bar and wire.
* Self-assembling systems assemble copies of themselves from finished, delivered parts.
A little Google searching, and we can find that the text is from a Wikipedia article on Self-Replication. Unless they are trying to self-replicate the loft units, I can't imagine how this can be good for anyone.

The one available floorplan isn't normal either. In fact, it seems to have been taken from one of Anne's Live Journal entries.

A little while later, a new floorplan link is added. This time, it's an actual floorplan, but of course it has some weirdness on it. Last time I checked, Gateways and Classified Areas were not standard loft areas. (However, Ducky showing up in the binary is standard in all Photoshop manipulated pictures. One of these ARGs we just might get by without someone asking that question.)

vFleurs du Mal

After leaving a message on the VaporLoft's answering center, ThaJinx got a text message back from them.
This appears to be an Out-of-Game site with both a French and English translations of Charles Baudelaire's poem "Réversibilité" from the collection Les Fleurs du Mal. § Curiousier and curiousier. But it still doesn't explain what is up with Self-replication.

Neither does the new floorplan which links to a letter about the Gare du Nord camera incident. § What on earth is going on here? Is Anne uploading all this stuff to Vapor, or are they stalking her for some reason? And why would either make it so easy to see? Abraxas makes an interesting comment that the url of the third floorplan relates to the Meghin Svensenski incident. Meghin/Sarah was found 32 hours and 14 minutes after the crash and the url is 321486.html. So very strange.

vHome Again

Anne has gotten back from visiting her sister in NYC. I think I need a job that lets me travel all over whenever I feel like it. A week in Paris. A month in NYC (although, I can think of better places to visit then NYC in the middle of the summer). What's next? A visit to South Africa?

But now that she's back home, it's time to start earning a paycheck again. She starts going through the information Vapor sent her and even finds she has some old and new clients wanting her for projects. Strange that her bartender calls her to make sure she's okay. She must be quite a regular at the bar if he knows how to reach her at home. §

vBarcodes for Everyone

Vaporlofts has slowly been updating the site. They have now added a nifty favorite icon thats a barcode. catherwood was good enough to prove that the barcode translated back to Vapor. §

There was also a new page found, gateway.html, by trying different page names based on the floorplan. Unfortunately, at this time, it doesn't say anything except "Vapor, Inc. Team Gateway".

vDo You Believe in Ghosts?

Anne does. Or at least she is starting too. She has been reviewing a video that that VaporLofts had sent her, and during one of the playbacks she noticed...something. A face, staring back at her from the shadows. It doesn't appear to be a reflection, nor does it appear that the people recording noticed anything odd. I'm really beginning to think that perhaps it's a good thing that I don't live in Atlanta. §

Personally, I don't know how many times she watched this before she noticed it. Either that, or I have lousy perception because even knowing where to look, I still miss it half the time. The face appears in the shadows right before the voice says "...and it has tons of natural lighting". It helps if you have your brightness turned up on your monitor. Luckily, Anne must have thought that even with the short clip we would still have problems seeing the face, so she included a screencap in her directory as well.

That's not the only thing in her directory. She has also put up several other files, presumeably things that remind her of her family.

The poem is another one by Charles Baudelaire. Does that mean she's the one that sent ThaJinx the first poem? §

One of the flower pictures has something strangely familiar about it. It has a break in the middle of it, like how the pictures in I Love Bees would sometimes appear. Does this mean that there are words stuck inside the binary? Yep, there sure are. Two of Anne's LiveJournal entries (The Faerie Window and Collective Silence) are stuck in at the bottom of the file. Too bad we don't know why.

The other flower picture also has some text stuck in at the end, although this time it was added correctly so that you can't notice it just by looking at the picture. This time though, the text isn't either a poem or from a previous entry. It doesn't even sound like Anne. § I don't know why, but this creeps me out more than the face in the video. Being stuck in an odd building with no idea who you are or what you are doing there? Creepy. Although, the whole mention of bunkbeds reminds me of the hatch on Lost. If this person starts singing Momma Cass songs, I'm gonna lose it.

The last picture, which I can only guess is of her grandmother and a few friends, doesn't appear to have any hidden text in it. However, it does have the characteristic signs of being camouflaged. If you haven't already, you should read this article about the camouflage program. It describes how the information is hidden within the target file, and also explains how you can go about to find the password from the binary itself. It also links to a nifty little tool that will do this for you automatically, so you no longer have to spend hours guessing at possible passwords. Luckily for us, this file doesn't have a password to it, so we can uncamouflage with ease. Inside is a file called gran.txt - a small little file that is filled with sadness and longing. §

vHidden Generators and Gateways

After seeing all of Anne's picture files had been altered in one way or another, we decided to go back and take a closer look at some of the other picture files on VaporLofts. And what do you know - we found something. The missed connection picture from the third floorplan had been camouflaged. Inside was a picture called generator.jpg

The picture is very strange. Part of it looks to be a schematic drawing, possible of a generator. However, there is a bunch of text overlayed that has absolutely nothing to do with mechanics of a generator. § Hmm, what the hell does yōkai have to do with loft apartments in Atlanta, let alone with generators. And why does someone like Wikipedia so much? I understand it's both a wiki and an encyclopedia, but there has to be other sources of information.

It turns out we missed more than the camouflaged picture when we first saw the third floorplan page. There was also a small comment at the very bottom of the source code, after a whole bunch of blank lines: <!-- vaporlofts.com/gateway  --!> We had gateway.html before, but not just the directory gateway. You don't suppose that it would be any different, would you?

But of course it is! However, in keeping with everything else we've found, it's completely bizarre. § I have no idea what these people are cooking up, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was some wacky plot to take over the world. Of course, it doesn't quite explain why they would be so silly as to leave it practically out in the open on their own website. If I were them, I think I'd have to fire my chief of internet security.

vX Marks the Spot

I'm not sure if Anne has been noticing what's been happening on the various VaporLoft pages, but she certainly has an interesting new page up in her own directory: x.html § One of these days, we'll get a page that actually makes sense. I mean, why does Anne have a page full of numbers? I mean it's obviously a code (and it's not like hex is that difficult of a code) but why? Afraid of prying eyes? Or is this even Anne?

Like I said, the long strings of numbers are hex and decode to another poem.
many times
we have fallen
we, the angels
and the demons

many times
we shall be resurrected
by man's memory
and perhaps
his devices

like vapor
like shadows, or fog
something brings us
back to this place

where the world
turns round
and should end
yet still persists.
(Note: This is slightly different from the exact decryption. I get the feeling that a few typos crept in and I removed them.)

vA Second Voice

Well, it's nice to know that Anne does read our comments to her LiveJournal. I was beginning to think that she ignored them completely (there are quite a few asking who the hell she is). I am also totally convinced that I have both terrible eyesight and terrible hearing. Now there is supposed to be a second voice in the video with the ghost. I've listened to that thing several times and I don't hear any strange voices. I guess this is why I'm not haunted (or at least why I don't know that I am). §

Anne has also set up a wiki for us at VaporLofts. There isn't much there right now, but maybe we can use it to keep track of the different things that we find. Of course, we shouldn't put anything in there that's too sensitive since we don't know how often VL throughly checks their website.

vhurry hook you oh

Well the Gateway index page updated today. I wish I could say that everything makes sense now, but of course it doesn't. There is now a link to 5193.html which has a lot of big words talking about cloning, grafting, and near-death experiences (along with a bunch of gibberish words at the end. Where do you think the hurry hook you oh comes from?) §

The only truly interesting thing on this page is a comment that's hidden in the source: <!-- memo: gateway/current.html  --> It's another page, with a picture of the cellar of the VaporLofts site. The alternate text of the picture reads: "A dark image of a basement and a hallway. Construction debris is littered on the floor. There are extension cords and temporary lighting in place." §

The picture isn't that interesting, until you see that it's been camouflaged. This time, it's password protected. Using the password finder, it's just a matter of a few clicks to find that the password is gateway. I guess we could have figured that out on our own, but it's so much quicker this way. The resulting file is called fragment03.txt. It's more German (why German and French? We don't have any information that there are Vaporlofts offices in Germany and France do we?) §

vUh Ohes - They're on to Us

So it seems that someone over at VaporLofts has woken up. They have finally realized that their floorplans aren't something that the general public should be seeing. As a result, they have removed the pages. How sad. In the source code is the comment: <!-- Page REMOVED (AUTHENTICATION CODE: "aiprs") --> I don't know what aiprs means, but maybe it's the name of another person at VaporLofts.


Not to be denied by the removal of pages by the VaporLofts cronies, a little digging and a few good guesses led to the discovery of a new directory: gateway/images The only image in there so far is of a house turned on its side. But it's camouflaged (password: 080586 Note: this was the original name of the now removed Floorplan 1 page) so perhaps it holds some nifty secrets.

Inside the sa2b.jpg is another photo, called safrica.jpg. It's a map of South Africa with various bits of writing over the top of it. The red mirrored text on the bottom is from (another!) Wikipedia article on African religions.
Many of these religions teach a belief in a single supreme god and many lesser gods. These religions need a god and the god usually has a totem. Animism comes into place here with the animals being worshipped as the earthly representative. Each lesser god is given a specific function and power to be able to control a particular area of the worshipper's life.
The black rotated text on the bottom simply says: The myth is well known and feared.

Those two text combined make it a bit easier to figure out what the red mirrored handwriting says at the top: tokoloshe According to Wikipedia, tokoloshe is a dwarf-like water sprite in Zulu mythology, said to be fond of women and sour milk. The myth is well known and feared in most southern African countries. Many people lift their beds higher off the ground so that the Tokoloshe cannot reach them. Some people are afraid to mention its name. I hope that's not what is hanging around the video.

vAnne's Email

Around the same time that we were learning all about the tokoloshe, Anne updated her LiveJournal profile to include her email: schreber (dot) ae (at) gmail (dot) com

Yay, now we can email her directly instead of leaving messages on her blog.

vMr. Paris

Anne had an interesting comment on one of her entries today.
Hello doll, a friend of mine mentioned your journal to me. It looks like you're living the exciting life! ;)
I scanned through your entries when I stumbled upon the one about how you lost your camera... funny I'd see that one, you know, because the very same thing happened to me earlier this year!
What are the odds?
Let's chat sometime... maybe we've met?
It's from a Mr. Paris, whose real name is Franklin Parrish. He doesn't have any posts of his own, but he does have some wide interests, but none of them seem to be associated with what we're investigating. You don't suppose that this could have been the guy that met up with Anne in Paris, do you? Only time will tell.

vSo Far, No Good

Another update by Anne. § She finished watching the rest of the videos sent to her by VaporLofts and can now report that none of them contain anything like the spooky face she saw in the first video. She also hasn't been able to get anything to come out of the supposed second voice on the tape, so maybe that's just a dead end.

She also talks about finally getting a response from VaporLofts after asking them if maybe she can redesign their logo. They respond by telling her they aren't in any hurry to have the site made public as they are "apparently having some difficulties with the site doing bad document and image rendering". That's an understatement. Unfortunately, they think that Anne might have something to do with this, or at least that's what they imply. It's probably just a disgruntled employee or a ghost who's pissed.

And speaking of logos, but there are two alternate logos (1 | 2) on the VaporLofts site. I don't know if these were the ones done by Anne or if they were there to begin with. They are kinda pretty though.

vAddendum 1

The main gateway page has put up a new link to an addendum. (It is listed it as Addendum 1 on the gateway page, but it calls itself Addendum A.) The page discusses Security Camera and Monitor captures from the Atlanta project. It looks like there was something happening in early July and was partly captured on film. § (On a side note, the two security capture images actually look to be of a parking garage that are just turned upside down. Maybe someone has been playing with their cameras.)


Well, we finally figured out what the whole AUTHENTICATION CODE: "aiprs" means. Aiprs is an anagram of Paris, and that leads us to the Paris directory (which at the moment is empty) and to the Paris page.

Whatever the Paris page is, it doesn't sound like it's written by Anne, although it sounds like it could be talking about her. §

The two underlined words, tomorrow and yesterday, almost look to be links, but they're not. But maybe they were supposed to be? Trying both tomorrow.html and yesterday.html gets us two new pages to check out.

The tommorow page almost sounds like it's from a self-help book, although nothing comes up on Google. It certainly doesn't sound like Anne. Maybe it's by the same person who wrote the Paris page. If so, I think they have some serious issues. §

The yesterday page has what looks to be a broken page/image linked. A closer look reveals that the image is of a 404 page. Checking out the binary of the picture shows that it's been camouflaged (password: yesterdayinparis). There is another picture stuck inside, img_map.jpg. It looks to be an ariel photograph with some red writing on top. The first bit of writing is Japanese katakana and translates to yanenaru mechinomona yanena tonachito, but we can't get anything to come out of that. Tprime then realizes it's just a symbol cipher and belives the first two lines to be: they raise the dead. The last line also appears to be another cipher and could possibly translate to but lack the vessels making the whole picture to be very, very creepy.

And before we break for the moment, there is at least one more page that can be found via the paris.html page. The page talks about a 404 page being found. The standard 404 page doesn't seem to have anything really interesting in it. But the page named 404.html does. Kinda. I mean why are you here? isn't a whole lot of information, but it is something odd, n'est pas?

September 26th and Onwards >>