User:UKspook

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My Current Theory

Seeds at the Svalbard Seed Vault, were replaced with sterilised versions; WORMS now plans to release Hybridized Cochliobolus Heterostrophs, a modified fungal plant pathogen which attacks maize and corn, via encapsulated particles in jet fuel.

Recent Message Desk Calls via 441315690004

28601 - 17/09/2013 05:00 UTC+1

A response code given to me for a message I left on A54018 (Cleveland from Global Response Codes) on 04/09/2013 at around 05:40 BST (GMT/UTC+1) and most of the pertinent information can be found in IRC Logs

00:29 < UKspook> just got a weird reply to a message I left with MD
00:37 < UKspook> ok one min... need to convert it first
00:39 < UKspook> as I do... the question I originally asked (in my usual blunt, if you don't ask, you don't get kinda way) was "please define 4BHJ intent at Svalbard"
00:47 < UKspook> the response was on 28601 and the reply was "Disraeli"... http://vocaroo.com/i/s1dPjP4p2skz
00:50 < OTPBot22> New Entries: 788kb (1804# on 202) http://is.gd/HXyx28 |
00:52 < UKspook> that's interesting... 1804 is Disraeli's birthday and it redirects to MD
00:54 < OTPBot22> New Entries: 183kb (1881# on 202) http://is.gd/pleHNn |
01:05 < UKspook> 1804 via MD is "parsonage street, at liebe street, murray's burgh" http://vocaroo.com/i/s0r9cvr0VUK3
01:06 < OTPBot22> New Entries: 180kb (1868# on 202) http://is.gd/MIsGJx |
01:08 < OTPBot22> New Entries: 180kb (1874# on 202) http://is.gd/nyCxOj | 181kb (1875# on 202) http://is.gd/0EHGaT |
01:14 < OTPBot22> New Entries: 687kb (1878# on 202) http://is.gd/h8OMFg |
01:20 < UKspook> parsonage st, leeb st, murraysburg, south africa is here... http://goo.gl/maps/5dIrJ
01:29 < UKspook> haha... md is kicking the crap out of his equipment again
01:40 < UKspook> ok, last one for tonight... 1878 is "Vela"...  not very informative, but you do get to hear MD smacking things about again... http://vocaroo.com/i/s1nAtO6tHA6s
01:41 < UKspook> g'night all... i'll see if i can make some sense of all this when i've had some sleep.

Possible Conclusions

  1. Benjamin Disraeli is a possible interpretation, so I did a check on the years associated to him, which can be seen in the above logs. We know PM has a penchant for international history, so he could be referring to such things as The Congress of Berlin.
  2. An alternative is that Disraeli is simply Agent D's name, which would mean that he is within the 'Cleveland branch' of the agent system (if not geographically), supported by his apparent control of the Vaughnsville map and this was possibly simply a subordinate making a referral to him.

Possible Next Steps My theory is that the Appendix A Codes are a way to leave messages for specific people and/or locations (whether in the agent system, bases of operations or places). With this in mind A16395 (Johnston), fount in the shopping lists, could be for J and sending him a message saying something to the effect of: Unable to contact Disraeli for 4(B)H-J briefing and 9482.9M objectives, please advise.

If you have any better ideas, feel free to use my talk page.

A54012 - 23/08/2013 04:16 UTC+1

Vocaroo

  • 30 seconds of pulsing sounds, rising in pitch.
  • MD: Message desk
  • Me: A54012
  • MD: OK, just a minute
  • 60 seconds of silence
  • MD: OK, your message for Lima?
  • Me: Status update?
  • MD: Anything else?
  • Me: No, that's it thank you.
  • MD: Alright, I will submit that, do you need a response?
  • Me: Yes please
  • MD: Alright
  • 10 seconds of MD guy making odd whistling noises, followed by 30 seconds of silence.
  • MD: Ok responses will be on 10977
  • Me: Thank you very much
  • Hang-up

10977 - 23/08/2013 05:07 UTC+1

Vocaroo Note: Fan noise is local, unintelligible background talking is MD

  • 25 seconds of pulsing noise, plus brief hiss, rising in pitch.
  • MD: Message desk
  • Me: 10977
  • MD: 10977, ok just a minute
  • MD: Ok, 10977 is 0
  • Me: OK
  • Hang-up

1320 - 23/08/2013 05:27 UTC+1

Vocaroo Note: Suggested by Adah, as 1320 is agent system number for Abism Maps.

  • 40 seconds of pulsing sounds, followed by brief warble
  • MD: Message desk
  • Me: 1320
  • MD: 1320
  • 2 minutes 25 seconds silence, interspersed with quiet background talking
  • MD: OK, 1320 is Hulme, that's H.U.L.M.E.
  • Hang-up

Note: Appears to be a named location either Hulme an inner city area of Manchester UK or Cheadle Hulme a town on the outskirts of Manchester, UK. Global Response Codes - A42132 Cheadle Hulme. Could also be a referral.

Intro

This page contains my research, intel and theories; some might be relevant, but some might be completely rubbish dead ends. Please feel free to comment, criticise or otherwise chime in on my talk page.

Although I've been monitoring developments since early 2012, I only joined in the discussion on IRC #ARG during March 2013. The new name was chosen in honour of my most useful asset, who is a retired GCHQ cryptanalyst. My only other skills are speculation and old-fashioned research.

You should probably be sceptical of what I say! It could be a complete load of BS, which I've pieced together from half understood and unrelated information; mixed with a bit of mild secret-state-paranoia and conjecture. I'm simply throwing it out there, to see what sticks. As for my 'contact' they are real, but I haven't got the foggiest whether they're giving me any relevant information or just playing along, knowing that I find this kind of stuff fascinating. So far as I'm concerned, this is just a game and its all a bit of fun! :)

GCHQ Contact Conversations

My contact worked for GCHQ in the late 1980s to mid-1990s, but is now retired and has tentatively agreed to assist the OTP-ARG community with generalised knowledge, through informal discussions. This is presently being done on the educated-assumption that OTP is in fact an Alternative Reality Game or a Recruitment Exercise run by an unknown organisation and is not a presently classified network.

It is a very real possibility that the contact could just be 'playing along' for a bit of retirement fun, as they have an odd sense of humour and know that I have always been fascinated by their former career. These will only be casual conversation, so out of respect for their privacy, there won't be any recordings or personal information. I will however try to keep a transcript of anything relevant.

Also, no known classified information, will ever be divulged by my contact. Mostly because it would be totally irrelevant the OTP; but it would be very illegal (see The UK Official Secrets Act). This is a line which will NOT be crossed and any requests to do so will be ignored. Incidentally I also had to sign the Official Secrets when I briefly worked in a British Telecom building (apparently that's enough reason); but its binding for life and basically the UK's modern version of treason law, so forgive me if i'm a little cautious.

GCHQ Trivia

GCHQ which stands for Government Communications Head Quarters, is the civilian code-breaking branch of the British Government and provides intelligence to both the government directly, MI5, MI6 and operates a commercial wing which tests and grades encryption hardware/software for corporations. They are also believed to work closely with the United States' National Security Agency. GCHQ also operates 'Black Boxes' connected to every telephone exchange in Britain, so it should be assumed that everything passing through these is traceable and recorded.

An employee at GCHQ (not contact) is also now credited with inventing the Public-key Cryptography method used all over the internet, however this was not known until it was recently officially de-classified. However this method was originally credited to another non-governmental organisation, who developed an almost identical system after GCHQ, but which was not classified and this is how it became commonplace on-line.

GCHQ also released details of a World War 2 coded messsage found, attached to the skeleton of a pidgeon, during building work in a British home. This code (5 Grams in 4 Blocks) closely resembles the codes used by OTP.

There have also been several recruitment exercises run by GCHQ, via both their website and Xbox. They have not been known to run a public exercise on the level of infrastructure and complexity as that of the OTP ARG.

Recently they have also been rumoured to be involved with the Prism project, allegedly designed to allow the UK to spy an US citizens and the US to spy on everyone else. Seen by some as a route around the local privacy laws of the US, UK and EU. However it is seen by the US and UK governments as the legitimate exchange of intelligence between allies.

First

An initial telephone conversation was held in which the basics of the OTP ARG were outlined. Below are a few relevant quotes:

Contact: Zeus, now that’s a bit old-hat, you’re probably right in thinking it a codename for satellites.
Contact: I’d be careful if you’re getting them [NATO messages] but it could be a recruitment exercise I suppose.

Second

On 11th March 2013 a conversation took place over dinner. Below is a summary of that exchange:

UKspook: I’ve got some stuff from that game I told you about.
Contact: Oh, goodie, let’s have a look.
Contact: *pause while reading ARG Chronology & wiki excerpts* 
Contact: Well this certainly beats Sudoku!
UKspook: It looks really well thought out, from what I’ve seen most of these games are bit rubbish.
Contact: Did you say there was a code book?
UKspook: *handed copy of Worms book*
Contact: *Pause while reading Worms book. At approx. page 5 “Worm Order Codes” they went white as a sheet and started flicking back and forth through the book, reading intently*
UKspook: Well, what do you think?
Contact: This is a game you say?
UKspook: Yes, alternative reality gaming it’s called.
Contact: Well it’s a very silly game.
UKspook: What do you mean?
Contact: Err. Have you got anything else?
UKspook: *handed copy of NATO messages*
Contact: *pause while reading messages – interjected with:*
Contact: Hmmm, I, err, I’m going to have to… 
Contact: *finished reading messages*
Contact: Did you sign the [official secrets] act when you were at BT?
UKspook: Yes, but only the mini version.
Contact: So are you applying to the Civil Service or something?
UKspook: No, why?
Contact: Err, well I’m going to have to… err… I need to look into this. *still flicking through pages*
UKspook: How do you mean?
Contact: Leave it alone for now. *puts print-outs down*
UKspook: Why?
Contact: Shut up and eat your dinner.
UKspook: *Ate dinner and talked about family stuff for a while*
UKspook: *later* So what do you think it’s all about?
Contact: What, what’s all about?
UKspook: The game.
Contact: I think you shouldn’t play silly games.
UKspook: How come?
Contact: Look, just don’t do anything until I’ve cleared a few things up.
UKspook: Who with?
Contact: *flustered* Look [the name I’m called when they’re angry with me] you know I can’t tell you, now just drop it.
UKspook: Ok
Contact: I’ll let you know what I can, when I can, but until I do, please [my childhood pet-name], leave it alone.
*End of ARG conversation, ate pudding, returned home*

It appears that whether the OTP is an ARG, Real, a training or recruitment exercise; something in the Worms book and/or NATO messages was enough to concern the ex-GCHQ cryptanalyst so much, that they want to examine the material more closely before commenting or are going to call someone (presumably GCHQ) for clarification on how to handle it. This response is pending.

Third

In April 2013 another conversation took place at a party (in which much alcohol was imbibed), this resulted in a message being drafted, which was to be sent to the PM via the agent system. A brief summary of how and why this happened is as follows (please also see User_talk:Lurker69):

After asking if my contact had spoken to anyone, they said that the information they had was that OTP was "not classified by 'us' but can't comment on current investigation".

Who this came from or who ‘us’ represents was not clarified, however I assumed it to either be an intelligence organisation or my contact’s idea of a joke/playing along. The conversation then shifted to a lot of questions about OTP, which I answered as best as I could.

Then the subject of placing a message onto the agent system came up. The rationale for this was to ‘probe’ the system. Much like the cold-war tactic of Russians flying jets near to NATO borders, then listening to the radio chatter that would result, in an attempt to understand how their command and control responds; even without decoding messages, the transmissions themselves can be very enlightening as to the capabilities and structure of defences.

My contact then suggested a ‘provocative’ message which could be sent, that may cause a significant enough response from the PM, which might reveal previously unknown connections. This was the basis of the message that was sent, but the final draft was a combination of my contact’s suggestions, which mostly consisted of telling me “that’s a bad idea” or “I can’t comment on that” (meaning it’s possibly a good idea) and a lot of my own supposition.

The key points which could be needed were: 1) A strongly worded message, demanding more information. 2) A possible result for not cooperating. 3) The use of codes which the PM may not understand. 4) The use of the PM’s own codes, preferably the most recent. 5) Encoded in a format familiar to the PM.

The outcome of this was a message similar to: “Z 27033604Z APR 13 SECRET//PRJMLPL//75X5 MSGID/16043// SUBJ/CITADEL// /FORMAT/OBJ/00001/ASCII// /OBJ/00001/ PRIORITY OVERRIDE. DEFINE WORMS, DEFINE OTP, DEFINE PRJMLPL, DEFINE 2013 OBJECTIVES, DO SO IN PLAIN TEXT TO 16045. SERIOUSLY NOT PISSING ARROUND. FAILURE TO FOLLOW WILL RESULT IN INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT. REPEAT, CITADEL OVERRIDE, DO NOT TEST RESOLVE. DELTA 41 12 -L //”

I noted down the message, then when I returned home (still a little tipsy) I relayed this information to the group on IRC #ARG, to see what they thought and whether someone would be able to send such a message.

Lurker69 and AluisioASG were good enough to adapt and send it via SSTV. Rightly removing the ‘pissing around’ reference (which was more the alcohol talking than an appropriate element of the message). The result was this: “CITADEL RRIORITY OVERRIDE DEFINE WORM DEFINE RRJMLPL DEFINE 2013 OBJECTIVES DO SO IN RLAIN TEXT TO 17001 FAILURE TO FOLLOW WILL RESULT IN INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT REREAT CITADEL OVERRIDE DO NOT TEST RESOLVE DELTA 41 12 L”

It is important to point out that I do not know whether there was a plan by the undisclosed ‘us’ to get more information or if this was simply my contact playing along with the game, through me. As I’ve always been careful to point out, my contact has a dry sense of humour and so I can’t confirm whether what they’re saying is true, them having some fun with me or a bit of both. Either way, I thought it would be worth a go, just to see what happened.

So far as I’m aware, this experiment has not yet yielded any confirmed results.

Speculation & Research Links

Here you can see some of my theories about different aspects of OTP, along with some of the research links, upon which I base my assumptions.

ZEUS & Satellites

It would appear from conversations to date, that ZEUS is in fact an old satellite based communications network/method. Based upon information gained in the Designing Compelling Worm Sanctuaries book, it is suggested that this system utilises phased array antennas on orbital platforms for reception with a normal domestic FM radio within an area no smaller than 6 meters in diameter, thus preventing the transmission from being overheard by anyone outside that area.

If the ZEUS system is old, then it is possible that it has been re-purposed either to a non-governmental organisation, for training or recruitment purposes. However the complexity of achieving such a small reception footprint, suggests this is not the case. It seems much more likely that the PM will use short range FM transmitters, much like those for using MP3 players through a car radio.

Deliberate Destruction of Satellites by Governments - http://articles.cnn.com/2008-02-19/tech/satellite.shootdown_1_uss-lake-erie-spy-satellite-sea-based-missile-defense?
Chinese anti-satellite missile test - http://en.wikipedia.org/?title=2007_Chinese_anti-satellite_missile_test
Re-Purposed Spy Satellites - http://www.space.com/16000-spy-satellites-space-telescopes-nasa.html
Possible Anti Ballistic Missile Tests - http://en.wikipedia.org/?title=2009_Norwegian_spiral_anomaly
Atmospheric Nuclear Tests - http://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Starfish_Prime
Project Nike - Zeus Missile Defence - http://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Project_Nike#Nike_Zeus

ABISM & Emtanon

ABISM - http://nidm.gov.in/idmc2/PDF/Presentations/early_warning/Pres1.pdf
Abis Modem - http://satcomnow.com/integrated-modem-abis-optimizer-from-paradise-datacom/
US Army Field Manual - FM 24-24: Chapter 3 Multiplex Equipment - http://library.enlisted.info/field-manuals/series-2/FM24_24/CH3.PDF

Convoy, Payload, Svalbard Facility & Objectives

Russia Constructs Illegal Satellite Facilities on Svalbard - http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-205294.html
SMOS Meeting Lisbon (Svalbard Uplink) - http://www.salinityfromspace.org/SMOS%20meeting%20summary%20SK%20JG.pdf
NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) - http://npp.gsfc.nasa.gov/spacecraft.html
Regulations on Permitted Use of Frequencies (Svalbard Exemption) - http://www.eftasurv.int/?1=1&showLinkID=3446&1=1
Svalbard Satellite Station - http://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Svalbard_Satellite_Station
Project IceWorm - http://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Project_Iceworm
Encapsulated Particle Jet Aircraft Fuel DISBURSEMENT VECTOR - Search for Patent # 3659785 - December 8, 1971 - Weather Modification Utilizing microencapsulated Material
Hybridized Cochliobolus Heterostrophs = HCH - http://www.patentlens.net/patentlens/patents.html?patnums=US_2004_0076981_A1&language=&patnum=US_2004_0076981_A1&language=en&query=&stemming=&pid=p0

Agent System, Message Desk, Materials Order Desk & Provision AS36

It appears that the Agent System and call center desks are reliant, at least in part, upon ABISM, which in turn are reliant upon the AS36 equipment; which seems to be portable and protected by a potentially hazardous security system. It is also possible, that each AS## provision in the Worms Book, is a separate Agent System in their own right or they are unknown parts of a larger modular system.

Alarm system with remote disarm - http://www.iatft.com/catalog/AS36%20INSTRUCTIONS.pdf
Submarine L Y Spear - http://www.nvr.navy.mil/nvrships/details/AS36.htm
AS 36[1] 90 300 Indemnification defense and hold harmless provision - http://ebookbrowse.com/as-36-1-90-300-indemnification-defense-and-hold-harmless-provision-pdf-d58563616
IBM as/36 Disable - http://www2.systeminetwork.com/code/index.cfm?fuseaction=ShowCodeInFile&Year=2012&Month=03&Page=031&HostType=PC&FileType=PC&PCName=RPGLE-IBMApiDS_c-IBM_API_CopyBook.txt&HostName=RPGLE-IBMApiDS_c-IBM_API_CopyBook.txt
Artificial, Social & Human Intelligence Agent Systems - http://www2.hawaii.edu/~nreed/ics606/lectures/05reactiveHybrid.pdf
http://seit.unsw.adfa.edu.au/staff/sites/rsarker/ch-1-sarker.pdf
http://proceedings.fedcsis.org/2012/pliks/230.pdf
FOAB - 1000 Feet Blast Radius - http://en.wikipedia.org/?title=Foab#Compared_with_MOAB IP 25.48.239.7 - Dinsa, Ministry of Defence - http://www.infosniper.net/index.php?ip_address=25.48.239.7&map_source=1&overview_map=1&lang=1&map_type=1&zoom_level=7

PRJMLPL

Multimode Location Associated Priority List (MLPL) - http://www.qualcomm.com/media/documents/files/multimode-system-selection-basic-provisioning.pdf

Secret Worlds Trivia

Secret Map of Britain, by comedian Mark Thomas - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itqMwuB8gOk

Universe & Puppet Master Theories

A set of theories about the possible origins and aims of OTP. This is based upon what evidence is available, plus a lot of conjecture and circumstance.

  1. Its an ARG plain and simple - It's scope including over 10 phone numbers, numerous dead drops around the world, enciphering techniques and postal packages would not be impossible to accomplish in a purely 'game' scenario, however it would need to be undertaken either by an extremely dedicated group of volunteers, with private funding it could be a small group, but if they funded it themselves then the group would probably exceed 10 people, given the costs involved.
  2. Its a recruiting exercise - This isn't unprecedented, however the scope of OTP22 is quite beyond what has been acknowledged by the usual government organisations in the past, but it could be a logical extension of this ethos. If the 'agents' are really using satellite systems for example, then this could indicate that they have re-purposed some of their 'almost dead' systems for a civilian oriented aim before decommissioning; re-purposing technical assets has also been seen before, such as with the gift to NASA of defunct spy satellites, by US intelligence agencies.
  3. Its a private or commercial operation - Re-purposing military hardware or the use of military grade techniques is quite common in the commercial sector, especially when operating abroad. The use of NATO coding types could be put down to organisations such as Blackwater and other 'mercenaries' coming from a former military background; however as with the 'real world' scenario, it should be inconceivable that we (those participating in this website) could get into their communications systems as easily as we have. So either they're monumentally stupid, they can't adapt quick enough or they intend for this information to be known.
  4. Its real but old and non-critical - As in a back-up system, either being re-commissioned or left dormant for us to re-awaken. The former proposition is worrying and I cover it next; however the latter option holds much merit, but does not necessarily account for everything. This is the possibility of a low-tech cold war era communication system, being left active as a kind of fall-back or back-up for NATO and/or Secret Agent communication using pre-public-internet methods. Its possible that curious citizens stumbled upon this network, purely by chance and have deciphered long-ago encoded messages using now readily available tools, but this does not account for the responsive nature of messages to our interaction with the systems, although a non-critical nature could suggest that 'they' are willing to engage with 'us' as a form of research or threat analysis. Also a switch to the ZEUS Spot Beam system, which appears to have a geographically precise delivery method using FM radio, could suggest an attempt to adapt and secure the network. However none of this would necessarily rule out the following.
  5. Its a real activation of an old system - I'll be honest, this is my 'worst case scenario' position (best case being light, fluffy, with a well paid and ethically sound job at the end of it). With increased tensions surrounding North Korea and talk of a resurgence in US missile defence, particularly in relation to Alaska; plus the China-US Anti-Satellite manoeuvres around 2010 and anti-ballistic missile rhetoric coming from Russia; the possibility does present itself, that this is a system from before or during the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I & II). A system which has been hastily reactivated and cobbled together with other military/intelligence communications systems, such as activating a polar satellite (as per the Alaskan Schools Zeus Satellite project), in existence but not used since SALT 1/2, to cover any newly deployed payload(s) of Anti Ballistic Missiles in the Arctic, possibly as a new/revived/updated version of the IceWorm project in which nuclear equipped Zeus missiles would be stationed within the Greenland ice cap. Zeus 'fly-bys' and both the pre-ship and ship phases could fit into this scenario. However Svalbard, other than simply as a downlink for the Zeus satellite system, is not entirely accounted for here.
  6. Its two systems, Zeus and OTP - It would appear that we have several inter-twined entities here, Svalbard relates to both a satellite link location (over which the Zeus satellites has given a fly-by) and a 'facility' to which the component drops are to be used to provide access. OTP on the other hand appears to be a purely an agent communication system, allowing 'them' to communicate internationally via VOIP and PSTN (public telephone lines), as well as satellite phones. ABISM (in the sense of Asynchronous Broadcast Integrated Serial Multiplexer modem... or something like that) could be seen as a device that could when connected to a computer and or EMTANON 18k (Embedded Media Terminal Adapter Non Volatile 18k Memory, used for autonomous telephone/exchange switching) and allow a communication or instruction coming from a number station radio, layered FM audio transmission or any other source; to connect via landline/mobile/sms and request information to be delivered via yet another method, such as satellite (in much the same way as one-way satellite internet connections work).
  7. Its about Svalbard and it's lockout - Some prominent messages would suggest that a 'facility' on Svalbard is the ultimate goal, with other aspects supporting the eventual assembly of the metal pieces, found in the component drops, which by coordinating through ABISM, ZEUS and OTP will eventually give them access to this unknown place. It would also appear that the 'uplink' and 'zeus fly by' messages could be considered as technical back-up to this primary mission. It can't be said what is in this elusive facility, however it can be assumed that whoever is running the agent system (probably J Blackweather), desperately wants to get inside, but can't at present.
  8. Its a research exercise - This is a highly probable scenario, where a research group has set up the agent systems to in some way examine human behaviour or otherwise 'crowd-source' data for an unknown purpose. It should be noted here that there are several organisations, tentatively linked to OTP, which could have the motive and resources to conduct such a project. This stems from the circumstantial association of Godlikeproductions.com, where the first telephone number was posted and who's parent company Zero Point Ltd, which is located in the tax-haven of Jersey, has a postcode ending in OTP (Zero Point Ltd., PO Box 818, St Helier, JE4 OTP, JE). This conspiracy website is also rumoured to be associated with "The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations a British charity concerned with group behaviour and organisational behaviour. It was launched in 1946, when it separated from the Tavistock Clinic". Moreover the website is run by a gentleman by the name of Jason, who could be a candidate for 'J'.
  9. Any more? - I've got a few other ideas which I want to write about when I can; I'll also be updating these as new info becomes available and after banter with other participants.

User Talk

Please add your observations, related information, questions or comments on my talk page.