First take a read through the QuickSummary - a brief overview of the events so far, in a much more condensed, quicker narrative to catch up on the story of Iris.
The trail begins June 11th, 2007 with a forum user called AdjutantReflex posting some cryptic messages.
- in brief:
- AdjutantReflex posts on bungie.net, and Society of the Ancients hold small rallies in 6 cities. The glyph is discovered, along with a small Halo comic online leading to what SOTA calls the 'transmission log'.
- in brief:
- A Circuit City ad, and a Best Buy ad include a direct reference to the comic. AdjutantReflex is hacked and replaced by another unknown entity. The timer halts, at a number that (coincidentally?) is the GPS coordinates of a suspected resting place of the Ark in eastern Africa. The transmission log changes to direct people to the 'bounce path control' where the first 100 people are given 'keys' and are instrumental in unlocking Server 01 to the public, wherein a number of new files are found.
- in brief:
- Not much happened this week. AdjutantReflex (the new owner) posted a couple of times in the Bungie.net forums, contemplating its situation. It also posted a familiar code, variations found on some Halo products:
- in brief:
- The first reward package was reported as received from Server 01, including: A limited T-shirt, a SOTA flyer, a printed version of the halo3.com/comic, and a redeemable XBL code for an Iris gamerpic. Shortly after, reports of classified ads for a company falled Flood Containment Control began appearing. The ads included a photo of mossy flood damage, with some moss appearing in the shape of the glyph. Calling the associated 800 number led to the start of a series of recordings of a conference call between 4 people at FCC. The broken conversation seemed to be about real flooding clients that the FCC was looking into.
Outline - Week 5, July 8 - 14, 2007
July 8, 2007
- The message on the flood containment control call number has been updated with more of the conversation.
- The new recording says this (listen):
- Man 2: (...site 34, ) site 4, 107, and 37. The center usually goes in before we do, that's been my experience.
- Man 1: By the time we have the site clean, they've moved on to more pressing needs. After all, we've had some extremely unpredictable seasons lately.
- 3rd participant
- Man 2: No need, their rep is available to us any time we need her.
- 3rd participant
- Man 1: On everything we still need to look into
- 3rd participant
- Man 2: Well we're working on it. For the moment we're simply hiding the data behind a false menu item.
- Man 1: Security will be updated before the next system approaches
- 3rd participant
- Man 2: Okay, great. Bye Bill
- Man 1: Thanks
July 9, 2007
- The message on the flood containment control call number has been updated, returning to part 1, but adding participants 3 and 4.
- The new recording says this (listen):
- Op (British Female): Welcome to the Strema Conferencing center. Please enter your pin, followed by
- Caller: #### (probably 2 different pins)
- Op:Password accepted. Now accessing conference archive number 16180, participant 3 (overlaid by) 4.
- Man 3 (Bill?): So where does that put us in terms of the numbers then?
- Female 1: Roughly
- Female 1: And out of that 4000 or so we are expecting to close shop on the bulk by the end of the month.
- Op (American Female): --Thank you for calling. Goodbye.
- (see flood containment control for the full possible transcript)
July 10, 2007
- The message on the flood containment control (see for audio and transcription) call number has been updated. The new recording completes part 2, and hints for people to go visit halo3.com/5467k - a map of the US with red dots in every state on video game carrying stores. The page title says '3463 5467k', which when punched in a cell spells 'FIND KIOSK'. When viewing the red dots, each location contains a code:
KltfvbljclecwuqlYnmerwvqhrplavyjantz xtmespdtsttgyseviBceyntfvvatrwzgwwub olwifmvbgcztatsVwxbxexiwgzswnfepVtkn njzgdctpwvhKgefqcekqvqyfbetxvhbgznhp rlavdecrqihJokstwcxahxxwitchsjrptaau nansTmbxwhihyfthAtlxIvsdbQtpaBjrVrss oDwc
- When visiting the locations, people found a new display on Xbox 360 kiosks (youtube video, thanks atomicfire001, better version, thanks unr3alch13f). In a 'hidden menu' (see flood containment control), they found a quote from Blaise de Vigenère:
"There is no malicious intent. Only the single minded goal of survival"
This tells us the code is a vigenere cipher. Using the quote as the key, the quote can be decoded to:
| Report 206:|
Every sixteen hours another planet is taken. The numbers being lost are astronomical.
Host world raised. Correct concentration to point sixty five.
Fleet losing control falling back. Rendezvous at Nine Bravo Kilo Two Romeo Six.
- Then using the code 9BK2R6 at the transmission log, leads to the new Bounce Path Control page where visitors were prompted to enter a verification code (image). The first 100 people to enter this code were presented with the key entry page again, with a new voice message.
The MP3 narrative says:
- Once all 100 keys were received, "the server's content" became unlocked, and the transmission log began redirecting to "Server Open" (direct link). The second server ('episode') shown on halo3.com is now unocked and displays the Forerunner entity.
Outline - Week 6, July 15 - 21, 2007
No events occurred
Outline - Week 7, July 22 - 28, 2007
July 25, 2007
- While nothing has happened in Iris to further the 'spiral campaign' portion, numerous Halo 3 downloads have been made available over the course of the campaign - digital swag, as it were. Because of its 'meta' status pertaining to the campaign, please place info about downloads on that page - at least until anything in particular is shown directly connected to the furthering of Iris.
July 26, 2007
- The recently released server monitor began showing a pending up date to Server 03
- A strange popup was discovered at Halo3.com, under Media / Concept Art named "The Device." Once opened, the device asked for use of the computer's microphone. After playing the 719hz sound file (some say any sound or pressing play multiple times) through the microphone, visitors were led to the new Bounce Path Control page where they were prompted to enter a verification code and they key. The first 100 people to enter the key were given a new voice message.
The MP3 narrative says:
- Once all 100 keys were received, "the server's content" became unlocked, and the page began redirecting to "Server Open" (direct link). The third server (aka 'episode') shown on halo3.com is now unlocked and displays the Forerunner entity.
Outline - Week 8, July 29 - Aug 4, 2007
August 3, 2007
- Halo3.com was updated in the Halo Insider section with a new post, including a poem by Lord Byron called When We Two Parted, with an additional final stanza.
Outline - Week 9, Aug 5 - Aug 11, 2007
August 6, 2007
- The new poem was first discovered by gremlin12 at ABO. Within the poem are extra spaces, placed before specific letters. The 'marked' letters put together spell: THECASTAWAYTHEORYVOLMAN
- Following the hint from the final stanza referencing "Amazon", a new book was discovered named "The Castaway Theory", by Jonas Volman, published by "Golden Wing Books" (aka, Iris) with the 801snpow.jpg spectrogram image of Schrodinger's Equation used as cover illustration. The release date according to Amazon was Nov 9, 2004 - the date Halo 2 was released.
- In the comments section are two posts from Thomas Sanatos, seeming to say that Volman has been missing for quite some time. In one, Thomas states "Joanne and I lit a candle for you the other night. It's become a tradition every time we make Sunday evening pasta." It's considered this could be indicating the upcoming Sunday (12th).
- When previewing the book's pages, note first the ISBN number: 2-061-62236-5, aka 18.104.22.168. The book's Amazon ID may also be encoded: B000RGSYWI
- The previewable page contents include up to the 2nd page of Chapter 1. On the 2nd page is an image bearing a striking resemblance to our glyphs. The book and its chapters discuss genetics and the gap that appears to exist between ancient and modern humans in the Darwinian evolutionary theory, and possible explanations.
- See The Castaway Theory for available book contents.
- At 3:43pm PDT, Thomas Sanatos posted a 3rd comment in the book's forum.
August 7, 2007
- Thomas Sanatos replied 3 times sequentially within a thread in the book's forum at about 6:20pm PDT.
August 8, 2007
|Thomas Sanatos says:
I understand that everyone is on a search of some kind, but I don't think I can help you.
Jonas was the one with the theories and answers. The rest of us were just sounding boards for possible solutions. We were the ones who told him no every time he thought he found a yes. If he was around, I am sure he could tell you what you want to know.
The process of my involvement was simple- Jonas would work non-stop for about a week before dropping by my office. If I had the time, he would sit for a cup of coffee and ask questions about the structure of social advancement or evolutionary desires or any number of things. The questions always changed due to the fact that he was forever updating his theories.
During all our talks, Jonas and I grew close. He didn't have any family in the area so my wife and I started inviting him over for dinner on Sunday evenings. This continued for a few years, past the publishing of "The Castaway Theory", until one night he just didn't show up...
Two days later, after he failed to appear for classes, I filed a police report. The investigators went through his house and found nothing out of place. His notes remained untouched; his clothes all seemed to be in his closet. There was even a sandwich sitting on the kitchen counter. It was as if he just opened the front door walked away. That was 20 months ago.
The last time I heard from Jonas was in a note he left on my desk the Friday before his disappearance. The note said, "It's time to start asking questions again. J"
August 9, 2007
- At 10:50am PDT, Thomas Sanatos began another thread in the book's forum, labelled "He's BACK!!"
- Within this comment, Thomas was very excited that Jonas had returned from his 20 months absense, quoting an IM he received from one "profvol49". Assuming it's an MSN username, Jonas could be reached via profvol49[splat]hotmail.com
- In chatting with profvol49 (a chat bot), bits of information were revealed - some important, some not. Mainly, the link to the Bounce Path Control page for Server 04.
- Soon after 11am PDT, 100 keys had been entered and Server 04 was unlocked (though not without technical difficulty).
August 10, 2007
- After opening Server 04, users quickly discovered the url of the mysterious new IP address, by using the text found on StarImage4.jpg: TheArtifactLocation.com. It was also noted then that each star map when overlaid with previous, was slowly spelling out "the artifact location", which was clearly visible in the 4th image.
- It was quickly determined (aka previously known) that the password for the location was boomerang - the name of the nebula in unknown.jpg of Server 04. Entering it produced a new mystery - a list of 3 cities: New York, Seattle, Los Angeles - followed by randomly cycling characters in sets of 10.
Outline - Week 10, Aug 12 - Aug 18, 2007
August 13, 2007
- The numbers 081607 (16th August, 2007) now appear between the city names and random characters of the artifact location website.
August 16, 2007
- Just before noon, the status of Server 05 was updated to pending with 0 keys activated.
- At about 11:30am EDT, times appeared after the dates in the city list on the artifact location website. For New York (EDT): 23:59, Seattle (PDT): 21:00, and for LA (PDT): 21:00.
August 17, 2007
- Just after 12am EDT, according to the times listed on the artifact location page, GPS coordinates appeared beside each city. People in the area then headed to the locations to find something.
- An hour later, the Los Angeles coordinates were 'corrected'.
- At 1:11am EDT, eccramer discovered a projector playing a video (Youtube) on the wall at the Seattle location. Within this video was a web address to the Server 5 Bounce Path Control page. He reported it to Giga on IRC, and all 100 keys were then claimed within minutes.
- By 1:23am EDT, 100 keys had been entered and Server 05 was unlocked (though once again, not without technical difficulty).
- At 1:30am EDT, the New York coordinates were also 'corrected'.
- The time it took from discovering the Bounce Path Control page (first key entered) to the 100 keys being entered took about 20 minutes - however, the first 5 keys spanned 19 minutes, at which point the BPC page link was posted, and within under 2 minutes, the rest had been claimed.
- Everything about Server 05 was then actively pored over by the community.
Outline - Week 11, Aug 19 - Aug 25, 2007
August 20, 2007
A leaked article was posted to the unfiction forums from Microsoft's internal news site, seeming to indicate that the Iris campaign for Halo 3 had ended, among other details. Debates continue as to its authenticity, and whether Iris will in fact continue through to September 26th (the UK release date misquoted as the end date for Iris), or whether the new AR's meaning of "tomorrow" was actually symbolic and conclusive, meaning an indefinite amount of time.
August 23, 2007
An official article was discovered by writer87 posted to on halo.msn.com, confirming the completion (effectively) of Iris mid-August. Suffice to say:
- "The viral campaign concluded in mid-August but the plot thread will extend into Halo 3."
Outline - Post-game
September 13, 2007
- Despite belief that AdjutantReflex and the ARG had ended, AR reappeared on Bungie.net in the Halo 3 forums and posted a thread entitled "The Empty Casket" at approximately 10 P.M.
- Prior to posting this thread, it should be noted AR edited several comments made by users in this thread
- At reaching 5 pages of replies, the thread was locked. Another thread was made by member The_Noobslayer at the same forum while another was made at the CompoundIntelligence forum. Moments later "The Empty Casket" thread by AR was unlocked, it had edited its original post to include a last line "This is the way the World ends". Also, it edited a user's post to say "Gravemind much?"
- Suddenly, AR's thread, The_Noobslayer's thread regarding AR, and the thread at CompoundIntelligence were all simultaneously deleted. All AR's post for that day were esponged from records.
- There is an ongoing thread at bungie.net here discussing it here
- Thanks to SwiftPhantom AR's post is Quoted in the forums. The time and date of AR's Post is 09/13/2007 10:22PM. At the end of the post AR says,
- A little math: 09/13/2007 +11 days is 09/24/2007 and 10:22pm +1hr 38min is 12:00pm or 0000 09/25/2007. Release day.
September 18, 2007
- AdjutantReflex returned yet again, this time editing a post by bungie.net user xxHalohotiexx at 2:15 PST A.M. to say this:
| Posted by: xxHaloHottiexx
- "7 rotations" seems to coincide with the fact 7 days (from that point) were left until the release of Halo 3 (9/25/07).
- The edit was done in the stickied thread at the Halo 3 forum
November 1, 2007
- Some people are reporting packages showing up, believed to be from Server 03, although the recipients and package contents seem to vary, as some people reportedly not having participated in Server 03, 04, or 05 are getting packages.
December 29, 2007
- "Thomas Sanatos" posted at a final message at C.I. thanking the community for their involvement with Iris.
Jan 14, 2008
- AKQA's Post-game overview of Iris was found via an employee's site - a flash site for portfolio purposes providing a meta-overview of their entire Iris campaign production (direct link)