'The Lost Experience': What in the name of Alvar Hanso is going on?

Listen up, Lost fans. I’m a lazy man. Surely you’ve all figured that out by now. So here’s what I propose: a contest to see who can best summarize what has happened to date on The Lost Experience.

For the uninitiated (is there such a thing, anymore?), TLE is that alternate-reality game I wrote about a while ago. Since then… well, I’ve lost track. I know this much: The Hanso Foundation is eeeeeevil. And that orangutan is looking at me funny. Beyond that, I’m (pardon me) at sea. I go here every once in a while, but it seems just as encoded as the Hanso site.

So I’m offering a prize for the most comprehensive yet concise and transparent explanation of what the hell is going on. I can’t tell you what that prize is because, frankly, I have no money. If the winner is "in the neighborhood," I will buy the winner a beer. If the winner is not in the neighborhood, I will award him/her the Popwatch Medal of Freedom, which is the highest and cheapest honor I am sanctioned to bestow. The PopWatch Medal of Freedom is really just instructions on how to make your very own Popwatch Medal of Freedom at home out of tin foil, glue, and the beloved family pet.

Motivated, yet? C’mon, help a blogger out. I’ve got the bursitis.


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  • Felicity

    Hey Scott. I’m not going to try to summarize, but I thought I’d point you toward the “official” blog at http://blogs.abc.com/inside_the_experience/
    You don’t need to follow it every day (in fact, I don’r recommend it), but look for the weekly round-ups. Four have been posted so far:

    http://www.insidetheexperience.com/2006/05/week_one_round_.html

    http://www.insidetheexperience.com/2006/05/week_two_roundu.html

    http://www.insidetheexperience.com/2006/05/week_three_roun.html

    http://www.insidetheexperience.com/2006/06/week_four_round.html

    Yes, the URLs are frustratingly inconsistent. Have fun!

  • Ryan

    If you go to to the let your compass be your guide website you can hear a radio clip just out today. It talks all about the Hanso Foundation.

  • brandon218

    So far, the game is mostly about product placement.
    I’m just gonna go ahead and take myself out of the running for the beer and/or prestigious Medal Of Freedom, but if you go to the Hanso site, and click on the Genomic Advancement page, then click on the word “disease”, a countdown-esque clock will slowly and mysteriously appear.
    Looks like it will hit dodectuple-zeroes sometime around 1 p.m. tomorrow — at which point I fully expect to be shown a commercial for an Apple iBook, right before my computer explodes.

  • Jake

    Ha! You all are on your own suckers! I’m so glad I didn’t get hooked on this show/cult. I prefer my TV to be just slightly less challenging than quantum physics.
    This similar example has been stated before, and I second it: the X-Files led fans on and on until few of them cared. And did Mulder ever really figure out what happened to his sister? NOPE! Even today, when I watch reruns of the X-Files, I only watch the ones that just involve creatures and NOT all the government conspiracy crap.

  • Jake

    Uh-oh. Looks like I owe an apology. I thought we were talking about the show. My opinion on that still stands. Man, I can’t imagine ADDING the stress of figuring out a game too!

  • monica

    someone made this site: http://lostpedia.com/wiki/Main_Page
    which lets you click and read and click to your hearts desire to find out EVERYTHING there is to know about Lost and the Lost Experience.
    Enjoy!

  • Brandon Heavern

    I found this timeline on Wikipedia.com’s website.
    3 May 2006
    (Event took place on May 2nd in UK, and May 6th in Australia.)
    The game begins with http://www.thehansofoundation.org website being updated and the airing of a fictional television ad.
    First clue: visitor is contacted again by Persephone when signing up for newsletter.
    4 May 2006
    Parts 1, 2, and 3 of the Gary Troup interview are released on the Barnes & Noble, Borders and Amazon.com websites respectively.
    5 May 2006
    A press release is issued by Hugh McIntyre, a fictional employee of the Hanso Foundation. The release includes a hidden link to persephone.thehansofoundation.org where the second clue was found.
    7 May 2006
    The message on persephone.thehansofoundation.org is updated.
    8 May 2006
    A message appears from Persephone in the executive biography of the fictional Alvar Hanso, CEO and founder of the Hanso Foundation, commenting that he has not been seen in public since 2002.
    9 May 2006
    The Hanso Foundation places a newspaper advert in real world newspapers: ‘Don’t Believe “Bad Twin”‘
    A hidden link and a TV commercial both direct viewers to http://www.sublymonal.com, where a puzzle reveals a code.
    After using the code at Thomas Mittelwerk’s executive biography on the Hanso Foundation’s website, Persephone questions his Caltech credentials, including a concealed message about Gary Troup, the fictional author of Bad Twin.
    10 May 2006
    Persephone’s sublymonal clue is changed and the Gary Troup message is no longer readable.
    A note from Bad Twin’s publisher is placed on hyperionbooks.com and Gary Troup’s websites regarding Hanso criticism of Bad Twin.
    12 May 2006
    A new press release is issued on thehansofoundation.org website about Bad Twin with a link to the May 10 newspaper ad.
    A hidden letter from Hugh McIntyre to Robert Miller, real-life President of Hyperion Books, that demands that Hyperion cease selling Bad Twin.
    16 May 2006
    A link is found in the source code of thehansofoundation.org to http://www.djdan.am/. Interestingly, on the site there is a section on ‘mythic beast sighting'[1] which depicts a mapinguari, as cited on oceanic-air.com in a leaked script throw-out. [2]
    persephone.thehansofoundation.org is changed to a new number set from original, which translates to “stand by”.
    17 May 2006
    Hugh McIntyre’s picture is removed from the Executive Bios page. A password entry field for press releases also appears on the same page.
    One of the active project pages directs viewers to a link: http://www.letyourcompassguideyou.com
    18 May 2006
    persephone.thehansofoundation.org is changed to a new number set.
    19 May 2006
    Flashing letters are superimposed on Peter Thompson’s Exectuive Bio and a hidden password entry is placed under this.
    23 May 2006
    During live coverage of Channel 4’s Big Brother 7, on it’s E4 channel, the audio feed of the housemates is occasionally replaced by a female voice over which described events from the second season of Lost.
    24 May 2006
    Hugh Mcintyre of the Hanso Foundation appears as a guest on the Jimmy Kimmel Live talk show, answering questions on the organization, and how the writers of Lost have included it in the series’ mythology.
    24 May 2006
    A television advertisement is aired after the season finale of Lost for the website [3].
    29 May 2006
    The backgrounds of Larwence Peck and David Vanderfield are uncovered.
    1 June 2006
    Information is given regarding a third world hospital funded by The Hanso Foundation.
    6 June 2006
    A television advertisement is aired during Boston Legal that points viewers to Retrievers of Truth [4], which includes a mailing list to subscribe to.

  • blah

    So far these posts are just hints on where to input information, and where to find it. But what is the information? What does Persephone say here or there? I’m not feeling very caught up here people. And props to Mr. Brown for this post because I’m also quite lazy (though I call it busy).

  • ruidoso

    this is the most comprehensive blog i have found on TLE: http://thelostexperienceclues.blogspot.com/
    hundreds of people around the world working on the clues and posting their findings. it includes screenshots and theories and there’s even a podcast.

  • Seth

    I was doing a good job of providing weekly updates while the series wrapped up during May sweeps:

    http://www.mostlymuppet.com/archives/2006/05/04/the-hanso-foundation/

    http://www.mostlymuppet.com/archives/2006/05/04/the-hanso-foundation-part-2/

    http://www.mostlymuppet.com/archives/2006/05/10/hanso-foundation-update/

    http://www.mostlymuppet.com/archives/2006/05/16/my-last-hanso-foundation-post-for-now/

    I gave up though (not on the game, but the blogging) b/c Lostpedia and The Lost Experience (plus ABC’s Inside the Experience) were such great resources.

  • Lostaway Bonnie
  • Lostaway Bonnie
  • Carlo Borromeo

    I actually arrived at the theory below after I saw Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man’s Chest, the trailer to Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain and remembed the lyrics to Redemption Song by Bob Marley (Sawyer sung it in the Exodus episode of season 1, lyrics also below).
    ————————————————————————————————————————————
    In the 1800’s Alvar Hanso captained a slave ship that got stranded on The Island. On The Island lived a strange being – a being of unimaginable power. It feasted on living things and developed a particular taste for humans after sampling the slaves on Hanso’s ship, The Black Rock. Hanso promised to give the being a steady supply of humans in exchange for the special gifts it could provide – probably healing, long life, even immortality. The Hanso Foundation’s supposed focus on Wellness and Longevity of Life, could all be just a cover-up so people wouldn’t find it strange that Alvar Hanso is still alive despite his age.
    Hanso also discovered a way to keep the being trapped on the Island – the whole DHARMA Initiative, with the system of punching in the numbers on the computer every 108 minutes, is just a way to keep the being on the Island. The Initiative is also in charge of delivering a fresh stock of humans to The Island from time to time to feed that animal.
    Everyone on Flight 815 was pre-chosen as the being’s next meal, hence all the strange little coincidences and crossovers in their past lives. As powerful as the being might be, it still has its weaknesses though – those with psychic powers. Those suspected to have psychic powers, like Walt, are abducted, leaving the other survivors defenseless.
    Maybe a flashback is how the show is conveying how the being is determining how the human will taste like – the nastier the past, the tastier the flavor. It is a predator so it plays with them first, much like a tiger or a cheetah might just hide behind bushes and grass, observing and stalking its prey before finally devouring them.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————-
    Redemption Song
    Old pirates, yes, they rob I;
    Sold I to the merchant ships,
    Minutes after they took I
    From the bottomless pit.
    But my hand was made strong
    By the hand of the almighty.
    We forward in this generation
    Triumphantly.
    Wont you help to sing
    These songs of freedom? –
    cause all I ever have:
    Redemption songs;
    Redemption songs.
    Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
    None but ourselves can free our minds.
    Have no fear for atomic energy,
    cause none of them can stop the time.
    How long shall they kill our prophets,
    While we stand aside and look? ooh!
    Some say its just a part of it:
    We’ve got to fulfill de book.

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