Weirdos and Other Strangers

Thursday is the day I pig out. It has been for years.

Nathan and I used to go to this little pizza place down the road from our apartment after school, run by a guy named Teddy, who didn’t seem to mind us playing his pinball machines and arcade cabinets for hours after we’d finished our slices. I was  really damn good at Asteroids, while Nathan was the unconquered king of Ms. Pac-Man, a title which remained plastered on the hi-score screen in the form of “NRG” for at least a decade.

We grew out of our pizza-and-games phase by the time we went off to college, but our schedule never changed. Right up until he disappeared, we’d routinely go out for dinner together almost every Thursday, which gave us both the perfect opportunity to bitch about work or reminisce about the good ol’ days. In fact, it was the day I looked forward to the most.

But we don’t do that anymore, obviously. We can’t. And we haven’t for three long years. This really hit home when I got off work today, and simply couldn’t think of anything I wanted to eat. That was, until I got a craving for pizza. So partly out of sheer hunger but mostly out of nostalgia, I decided to take a cab down to Teddy’s, to grab a slice of pizza and see if anyone in Williamsburg had beaten Nathan’s score.

But it wasn’t there anymore. Teddy’s was gone. Closed for several years, in fact. It had been replaced by a tacky-looking music store, which seemed to double as a hang out for this new generation of trendy, eyeliner-wearing teens. So while the manufactured adolescent angst of poorly-composed music boomed through the outdoor speakers, I felt strangely at home, and yet assuredly alienated. Part of my childhood had died.

So I took the cab back home, thought about this a while, and decided to give our friend Thomas Levi a call. And, not surprisingly, he didn’t know anything. In fact, he had cooperated with the authorities when my brother disappeared and was just as clueless as I was. He did, however, know the name of the event referenced in the letter: “Mind = Matter.” Apparently they went, and had a good time.

This narrowed down the possibilities a lot, as my brother had quite a few brochures and pamphlets littered throughout his office. So here it is:

pamphlet

As you can see, there’s not much to it. It’s a little strange, I’ll admit, but I’m not sure if it will really lead us anywhere. But it’s all I’ve got, so it’ll have to do.

But am I wrong in feeling a little bit helpless?

87 Responses to “Weirdos and Other Strangers”

  1. RWDF Says:

    You might want to fix that image link…

  2. Justin Says:

    … Why change the link?

  3. Jardeth56 Says:

    I have just looked at the Flyer and the first thing that jumps out at me it the “KNOW THYSELF!” as “WTHY” is in white and the rest is in black.
    Also only one person in the frount row of the picture is in black the rest is in white.

    I dont think much of this as if it jumped out at me right away it would be 2 easy lol

    • bloggymama Says:

      I think it’s just cause the WHTY were printed on to a black part of the photo so needed to be white to stand out – you never know though!

  4. bloggymama Says:

    Initial thoughts:

    Who are the 8th Spoke of Michigan? They show the Dharma Wheel as their logo (credit there to @Molke) – are they the Dharma Initiative reborn? ‘Remembering’ their fallen comrades? The conference IS held at the same place as the old DI HQ Ann Arbor.

    Elliot – do you know much about the Hanso Foundation? Did you know it has ties to the Widmore Group? What about the Dharma Initiative – do you know their history?

    OR is the 8th Spoke a clue to the 8th person that spoke at the conference – Professor William Lorentz, talking about Electromagnetism no less.

    The term “outreach seminar” and the phrase “all you have to do is choose” screams ‘recruitment drive’ to me. Is this where Nathan was first contacted by Simeon Hobbes?

    Lots to think about…

    @porridgebrain

  5. benvyle Says:

    A few things jump out at me.
    ONE: the names! I have a feeling some of these lecturers may be more important than we think(?):
    Martin Richaud
    Prof. Adam Morris
    Prof. Walter Casimir
    Prof. Choy
    Dr Edmund Gresh
    Prof. William Lorentz
    Dr Zachariah Kurtz
    Hideo Ikku
    Ursus Maritimus (Meaning polar bear in latin, as confirmed by one Charlotte S. Lewis)
    George Baum
    Prof. Samuel Page Mercier
    Richard Kai.

    A few of those names seem familiar: Casimir? Isn’t there a Casimir effect of some sort? A theory?

    NEXT, the actual topic seem to be very similar to those studied by the early Dharma Initiative. A link, methinks?

    ALSO, can anyone research “Aum” – it’s puzzling me. WHAT IS IT?!

  6. benvyle Says:

    @PORRIDGEBRAIN (from benvyle)
    AND, their motto is “Remembering”
    Are they the REFORMED Dharma Initiative? Hence why the topics at these seminars are so familiar. (Time travel, electromagnetism?!?)

  7. carbo Says:

    does anyone see really small text under “the 8th spoke”?? i cant make it out but it coul be significant

    • bloggymama Says:

      Saved it to my PC to have a closer look but the quality isn’t good enough to see when I zoom in – there’s just a blur :-(

      • carbo Says:

        i think i see a .co but i cant see the other one!! looks like .ce or .cg…is anyone familiar with urls??

      • carbo Says:

        just tried the8thspoke.co.uk but that didnt work…damn does can ne1 zoom in better?? i definitely see a dot and a co!!

  8. FlyingEngine Says:

    @benvyle

    http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/AUM

    Hope it helps!

  9. zort70 Says:

    Anyone know what the two Chinese (?) characters are ?

    • benvyle Says:

      No. But I just looked it up and they DONT mean Mind and Matter. Hm…

    • bloggymama Says:

      It’s very odd that they are there at all – no where else in the pamphlet makes any mention of Chinese/Japanese culture.

      MUST be important but I’m really struggling to translate them!

      • Jerome Says:

        I”ve managed to translate 啟迪 .
        According to Yahoo Babel Fish it means Inspiration.

        I”m not sure what the significance is tho….

  10. benvyle Says:

    Hi-Res

    Does the wheel say co.cg? or co.ci?? Or what?

  11. MercenaryMuffin Says:

    Slusho! Looks like Tagruato is getting in on Hanso’s action…

  12. benvyle Says:

    http://the8thspoke.co.cc/

    (Then click news archive!)

    It says cc, – clever twitter people!

  13. Sens Says:

    Photoshop works wonders :D. Check this out – http://i672.photobucket.com/albums/vv84/melisentik/pamphlet_levels.jpg

  14. Tzachi Says:

    http://the8thspoke.co.cc/newsarchive.htm

  15. TeeJay Says:

    Aum is a mystical symbol of some sort in hinduism and the character for it is apparently rampant in Hindi culture, but the name stood out to me as reference to the extremist group ‘Aum Shinrikyo’. They are the Japanese terrorist group that launched a Sarin gas (nerve agent…sounds like the purge) attack on the Tokyo subway a while back…like 1996 or something, I think. Check it out. Lately they claim to be ‘reformed’ and are now computer repair experts or something like that. They used to hold recruitment seminars from time to time, as well. I guess now they just get a booth at CES :-P

    • Juliet Says:

      The Aum that I was thinking of refers to the mantra used during meditation. It’s a humming noise one makes to get into a clear state of mind. It’s also used in Hinduism as a sort of blessing, i.e. Aum Shiva.

  16. Sens Says:

    Doubt it’s important, but still… The edited hi-res version of the pamphlet misses the blanked out word (?) and the text itself has a typo – http://i672.photobucket.com/albums/vv84/melisentik/pamphlet_hi_levels.jpg

  17. zort70 Says:

    I’ve sent an email to the contact email contact@the8thspoke.co.cc requesting an invite the BBQ, no reply yet.

    • TeeJay Says:

      HAHA, I did as well, requesting more information and donation information. Figured it wouldn’t hurt. I’m interested to see what we get back; I don’t see myself getting any real ‘work’ done today LOL

  18. DharmaAndWreck Says:

    The site says: “Membership into our group is largely exclusive, open only to the families and relatives of the movement’s earliest members”. Elliott, could it be that your father (and maybe grandfather) was a member of this organization as well, and that’s why your brother joined?

  19. oikon7 Says:

    I am pretty sure that the black-white image on the “News Archive” of the8thspoke.co.cc shows the god Pluto (i.e. Aidoneus) carrying Persephone to Hades. Pluto wanted Persephone for his wife, but he met the reluctance of Persephone’s mother, the goddess Demetra.

    A resolution was reached by the intervention of Zeus: Perspephone would spend half a year at the Underworld (Hades) with Pluto; the other half of the year, she would live with her mother Demetra on Earth.

    By this legend, ancient Greeks used to symbolize the alternation of seasons (winter – summer).

  20. Renko Says:

    How old is this pamphet?
    if it speaks about this july, may be you should to go there.

  21. JayLJohnston Says:

    This year, July 29th falls on a Wednesday…

  22. Renko Says:

    What is the logo behind people (left lower corner) ?

  23. Ihavebeenfound Says:

    I’d assume the pamphlet is dated from a similar time as the letter since it was sent with it?

  24. Sens Says:

    More on the 8th Spoke logo. http://i672.photobucket.com/albums/vv84/melisentik/800px-Ephesus_IchthysCrop.jpg , there’s an article on wiki about it too http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichthys. An interesting fact is that among 5 letters that were used to create the Ichthys wheel symbol there’s a letter “Theta”.

  25. env420 Says:

    Did anyone else notice the eye of horus behind the chinese/japanese characters? Simeon Hobbes has something to do with this is my guess…

  26. env420 Says:

    And no Elliott, you have every right to feel helpless here. These clues are going to be a challenge to put together. Just keep looking at your brother’s place for any other seemingly important information. Hopefully we can get this figured out. We’re with you brotha!

  27. MadAriad Says:

    Geronimo Jackson tribute band lol!

  28. MadAriad Says:

    The 8th spoke website has a time to be there – 9:27pm eastern. Can someone tell me what time that would be Pacific so I can be there?

    Add me on Twitter! MadAriad

  29. Matt Balara Says:

    @benvyle where did you get the hi-res version from? It’s not the same as the low-res version exactly… The missing word isn’t missing. Hrm.

    • benvyle Says:

      Elliott posted it on his twitter.
      I think he must have corrected it – probably a mistake.
      OR IS IT?

  30. Mouthwish Says:

    Your writing is good..as is all of this, actually.

    Even though it’s unofficial, I consider this part of the LOST universe. That damn good.

  31. Riddle Says:

    awesome work!!

    I sent the mail too, no reply yet.
    Found the message from Aedonius myself, then got back here to read your posts
    a little confused with the timing zone, how many hours left?

  32. Ryan Says:

    The DeGroot MEMORIAL Theatre…does this mean the DeGroots are dead/missing? Also, in the pamphlet picture. there is a bald man looking straight at the camera, this just stuck out to me (he is the one wearing black pants in between the 2 guys wearing white pants.

    I hope Nathaniel is found, Elliot

  33. Ryan Says:

    Also on the pamphlet, on Day 2 there are 2 different events listed for 5:30 PM

  34. Ryan Says:

    Update: There is a new image on the AIDONEUS page, anyone know what it is?

  35. Spireofdublin Says:

    I don’t know what it is but the image is called cycle.jpg

  36. Riddle Says:

    I read persephone.jpg and Hades.jpg but are gone now
    reminded me of a solar system model, without a correct perspective, wish I had a photoshop program or at least a printer at home to start painting different circles with different colors like in some kidsbooks a new image may be clearer to the eyes.

  37. Spireofdublin Says:

    The large symbol in the back is the “sun wheel or ring cross”. Other circles appear to maybe represent elements. One looks like planet earth. The logo for the 8th spoke is known as the “wheel of dharma” .

  38. anne_wintermute Says:

    I think it looks like a compass or maybe the gears in a pocket watch. And yeah there’s still a comment with the word persephone on the source code.

  39. anne_wintermute Says:

    http://the8thspoke.co.cc/persephone.htm

    That shows a picture of a pomegranate like the one Persephone ate in the myth.

  40. Spireofdublin Says:

    http://the8thspoke.co.cc/hades.htm

  41. anne_wintermute Says:

    According to the myth the fact that Persephone had eaten 6 pomegrante seeds meant she had to spent six months in Hades which cause winter on Earth… so I tried this:

    http://the8thspoke.co.cc/winter.htm

    check it out Elliot

  42. Amanda Says:

    There is a Professor Adam Morris hosting a lecture on Ancient Greece and Greek Mythology for the outreach seminar. Perhaps, this is the Adam (AM) in the correspondence.

  43. Riddle Says:

    having a hard time to post it, sorry

  44. Riddle Says:

  45. Tyler Says:

    So, this might not be important, but it was worth pointing out.
    On the 8th Spoke homepage, on the right, there are two white squares that show up as images. If you look at their image links, they are named “Alpha” and “Beta”. Then, on the “About” page, there are pictures in somewhat of the same place, that say uom_alpha and degroot_beta (might have typed them wrong..).

    Any ideas on what this could be, if anything?

    • bloggymama Says:

      I’ve just seen this – they come up as “bild” when your cursor hits them.

      The images on the “About” page are called uom_beta and degroot_alpha

      Any chance someone handy with photoshopcould save and analyse the images? Run them through some filters or something?

      May be nothing but it’s definitely worth checking – well spotted!

      • Ryan Says:

        I don’t have photoshop or anything like that, but when I copied and pasted the images into paint, then used the “Fill with Color” with black and clicked on a part of the image, all of it turned black, instead just a portion of it if there was more than one “part” to the image, so it seems to me that its just a blank picture, maybe a placeholder until another picture comes along. I know, paint isn’t exactly the best resource to use, but I just figured I’d try it :)

    • Gary Says:

      uom = University of Michigan? bild is German for ‘picture’.

  46. kalynbrooke26 Says:

    The picture at the bottom of the two notes from AM to Alexander is the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland…I played with the url a bit and found another letter go to the8thspoke.co.cc/rabbithole.htm

  47. 9.27PM EST – A Trip Down The Rabbit Hole « The UNOFFICIAL LostARG: Are you a Candidate? Says:

    [...] comment from anne_wintermute on Elliott Grave’s Blog entry cleverly led to the discovery of two further URLs [...]

  48. bloggymama Says:

    This comes via Simone (@arp) left as a comment on the http://www.lostarg.wordpress.org blog

    The chinese ideograms: I “gently” asked one of my students to propose a translation: here it is.

    启 (qǐ) and 迪 (dí) are synonims and they both mean “enlighten, open, inspire”.

    The expression “启迪” (qǐdí) means “open the mind (especially that of the young people), inspire, stimulate”.

    Thanks Simone – that’s great!

  49. benvyle Says:

    What next Elliott? Going to contact the mysterious Aidoneus?
    Who is he?

  50. ElysiumEludes Says:

    Be careful, Elliott! These 8th Spoke people sound dangerous and have an unexplained interest in your family. Maybe you should contact them…it all depends if you want to take the risk. I wish you all the best of luck!

  51. Spireofdublin Says:

    The astralobe diagram is shifting position. Could this indicate a countdown?

  52. MadAriad Says:

    I don’t see any shift.

  53. Spireofdublin Says:

    Yea its back to normal now. Maybe I was hallucinating earlier sorry. Could have sworn it was 20 degrees to the right

  54. mirolius Says:

    the geronimo jackson played magna carta the 4th august 1969 at the Hanso Pavillon , Sidney, Australia.

  55. Mercenary Muffin Says:

    Game?
    :/

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