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Characters:   Rachel Blake · Alvar Hanso · Thomas Mittelwerk · DJ Dan · William Kilpatrick · W. Malick · Other...
Themes: Hanso Foundation · DHARMA · Valenzetti Equation · Sri Lanka Video · Apollo Candy · Other...

Alvar Hanso was the Danish CEO of the Hanso Group and the founder of the Hanso Foundation, and the great grandson of Magnus Hanso.


Although little is known about his early life, it is understood that he was involved in providing munitions to resistance groups in Europe during the Second World War, and following this was the leading purveyor of high-technology armaments for NATO. However, during the 1960s, Alvar would establish the Hanso Foundation, in contrast to weapons development, aiming to "reach out for a better tomorrow" and preserve life on Earth through science and technology.

Temporarily living with the DeGroot family, Alvar attended the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, for a year as a foreign exchange student. During his stay with the DeGroots, he bonded with 8 year old Gerald DeGroot. Alvar's undergraduate degree, from a university in Billund, Denmark, was in chemistry, and he returned to the University of Michigan for a masters in engineering, spending more time with the DeGroots, and Gerald.

Alvar Hanso in the Swan Orientation Film ("Orientation")

When Gerald DeGroot was a graduate student, in search of financial backing for his project the DHARMA Initiative, he contacted Alvar for funding.

In 1967, he addressed the UN Security Council, where he made a speech about "man being blessed by his own curiosity". Eight years later, Alvar appeared in the 1975 DHARMA Orientation Film, introducing the DHARMA Initiative to recruits, and explaining its purpose to the world. The project began due to Alvar discovering the Valenzetti Equation, which had been commissioned by the United Nations in 1962. Its findings predicted the exact amount of time until mankind extinguished itself as a species. Hanso built research facilities on an island to research and attempt to modify the equation's results (thereby changing the date of the "end of the world").

He later bought every copy of Gary Troup's book The Valenzetti Equation, which described the theory's premise, including all rights to a reprint. In December 2002, Hanso made his last public appearance in Madrid, and then seemingly disappeared for years. He was traced by Rachel Blake in 2006 to Narvik, Norway. There, he admitted on camera that he was being held prisoner by his second-in-command at the Hanso Foundation, Thomas Werner Mittelwerk. He also revealed that he was in fact Rachel's father (presumably having had a relationship with her mother whilst she worked for his company), and had secretly financed her first-rate education for years before she began to question how her mother could afford it. (Norway Video) After Blake published the video and sent it to the authorities, Hanso was freed, releasing a statement on the Hanso Foundation website promising to reorganize the Foundation after Mittelwerk's corrupt actions.

According to Dr. Eliza Vasquez, there is something unusual about Alvar's bloodwork, which she suggested may have serious consequences to his health (see below). Javier Grillo-Marxuach also revealed in the aftermath of the Experience that Alvar was older than he seemed, after himself taking part in the Foundation's life extension experiments [1].


Alvar Hanso (from the Hanso Foundation website)

"Driven by a need for privacy and a deep-seated sense of humility, Alvar Hanso has released few details of his personal life to the public.

He first made his mark during the Second World War, providing munitions to various resistance movements around Europe. After the War, Hanso became the leading purveyor of high-technology armaments to NATO.

After decades of keeping the world safe through the development of sophisticated weapons systems, Hanso turned his attention to critical areas of science and technology - always searching for new ways to improve the human experience, and create a brighter future for all humanity.

Still running his vast network of companies, Hanso has set new standards for philanthropy and the support of pure scientific research for the betterment of the entire race."
- taken from http://thehansofoundation.org

Main References

The beginning of the hack

May 8th, 2006

On thehansofoundation.org website, a Persephone hack became available under Alvar's profile page. It detailed his disappearance from the public eye.

Locations of Alvar's last public appearances

The date is circled several times. "Notice the grainy far away picture?"

  • clicking again continued the message*

"It doesn't match anyone else?" *clicking again continued the message*
The screen zooms to a satellite view of Western Europe with flight paths drawn over.
Each path ends at a European city with a date.
Persephone then states that her research indicated that the locations and dates are the places and times that Alvar Hanso has been sighted in person. Clicking on the dates that flash revealed subsequent dates and Persephone's next message These dates are:

14.06.2000 - London
12.11.2000 - Copenhagen
23.02.2001 - Paris
12.07.2001 - Geneva
18.09.2001 - Roma
01.01.2001 - Copenhagen
31.12.2002 - Madrid

Once that sequence is complete, another message comes up stating:

After that some flickering text is displayed stating:

Persephone also voiceovers this part of the message. By saying:
"Where is Alvar Hanso?
Is he hiding?
Who is running this place anyway?"

June 16th, 2006

Feeds from the Hanso building

Persephone's final hack on the Hanso Foundation website showed a letter from Eliza Vasquez (see article for full letter). She wrote to Hanso advising him to contact her immediately after she'd taken a blood sample without his wishes. She stated that there was something unusual in the sample, and that if he didn't see her he may risk heart problems.

The hack then also showed hidden camera footage of Alvar's reserved car space, office desk and nearby elevator. Persephone noted that Alvar had not been there in months. The three screens changed to say “Where Is Alvar”

July 10th, 2006

On his podcast, DJ Dan spoke to a caller who claimed they saw Alvar Hanso running a tour de stade. Dan replied by saying:

Recent estimates put Alvar Hanso at somewhere near 112 years old, I don't care what kind of life extension drugs they are pumping into the old boy. I couldn't run a tour de stade when I was twenty ok?

This supported evidence by Dr. Vincent "Wally" Bolé that Alvar was himself involved in life extension, and was the first source to give an indication of Alvar's approximate age (though much of Dan's information on the show was speculative).

July – September 2006

In Sri Lanka, Rachel Blake filmed the Sri Lanka video, which included an Orientation film introduction by Alvar Hanso from the 1970s. See the video in full here.

I'm Alvar Hanso. If you are watching this film, you already know and have worked with Gerald and Karen DeGroot, founders and masterminds of the DHARMA Initiative.

By now, you also know there are many research goals for our joint venture. What you may not know, is why we have assembled the DHARMA Initiative, why we have assembled the greatest minds in the world and given them unlimited funds and access.

As with all you've already been told, you are bound by your honor and commitment to keep what you are about to hear a secret.

In a few weeks, after your induction counseling and survival training, you and your colleagues will be shipped to a top secret facil[ity...] The precise location of the facility is known only to myself, the DeGroots, and the few high ranking members of my organization. Why all the security, all the secrecy? The answer is simple: Your research is intended to do nothing less than save the world as we know it.

In 1962, only thirteen years ago, the world came to the brink of nuclear war. The United States and the Soviet Union almost fulfilled the promise of mutual assured destruction. A promise they continue to foster through a destructive Cold War. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, both nations decided to find a solution. The result was the Valenzetti Equation. Commissioned under the highest secrecy, through the U.N. Security Council, the equation is the brainchild of the Italian mathematician Enzo Valenzetti. It predicts the exact number of years and months until humanity extinguishes itself. Whether through nuclear fire, chemical and biological warfare, conventional warfare, pandemic, over-population... The results are chilling, and attention must be paid...

Valenzetti gave numerical values to the core environmental and human factors in his equation: 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42. Only by manipulating the environment, by finding scientific solutions to our problems we will be able to change those core factors, and give humanity a chance to survive. Although the equation has been buried by those who commissioned it [STATIC] panic. It has always been my belief that we ignore warnings at our own peril; and thus, the DHARMA Initiative was born.

DHARMA is an acronym for Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications. It also stands for the one true way. [STATIC] ...and through your research, you will help human... [STATIC].

We have constructed several stations on the island, underground laboratories with the facilities you will need to do your research, with optimal expediency...all of the support you will need, including regular medicine and food drops will be made in perpetuity.

A radio transmitter has also been erected on the island broadcasting in a frequency and encryption known only to us. The transmitter will only broadcast the core numerical values of the Valenzetti Equation. When, through your research, you manage to change the numerical value of any one of these factors, when you have created through science the [inaudible] ... We will know that the one true way has been found.

That is the work to which you have committed yourself. Change the core values of the Valenzetti Equation, and you will change the course of destiny. The fate of the human race is in your hands.

Thank you and namaste.

September 24th, 2006

With the help of her contacts, Rachel managed to infiltrate the house where Alvar was being kept a prisoner. There he told her what Mittelwerk had done, as well as reveal that he was indeed her father. To read a transcript, see here. <youtube>ntRCiwmiFQQ</youtube>

September 26th, 2006

After Mittelwerk became a wanted fugitive, Alvar was released and reinstated as head of the Hanso Foundation. He released a press release (viewable here), where he thanked Rachel and her followers, and promised to make amends for the bad name Mittelwerk had given the company.

Mysteries of the Universe

Mysteries of the Universe, a fictional 1982 television series that aired on the ABC network, dedicated its fourth program to Alvar Hanso and his connection to the DeGroots and the DHARMA Initiative.


Bad Twin

In Chapter 23 of the meta-fictional book Bad Twin, Thomas Mittelwerk takes Alvar Hanso's place on the Widmore Corporation board. The two companies are said to have dealings together, but no explanation is given why Alvar is suddenly absent. Head of the board, Arthur Widmore comments talks with his son Cliff about the change:

"Damn right, they worked! And that new fellow from Hanso - Mudworm of whatever his name is-"
"Mittelwerk," his son corrected him.
"Whatever. I don't trust him. I think he's sneaky. I much preferred having Alvar on the board. Alvar is a gentleman."
"Really?" said Cliff. "What makes him a gentleman? The fact that you made a ton of money together? If that's the definition, I think Mittelwerk's a gentleman. He's got ideas, ambition-"
"Everything but morals," the old man interrupted. "Everything except a conscience."
"And who's Alvar?" said Cliff. "Jiminy Cricket? ... But look, we have a visitor."


  • Alvar is of Old English origin, and its meaning is "elf or supernatural army, warrior". From Aelfhere. Also possibly an Anglicized form of Spanish Alvaro, meaning "all guard" in Old German.
    • According to both Scandinavian and English Wikipedias, the name Alvar originates from an area of the Swedish island of Öland, and means something like "treeless area on limestone". "The Great Alvar" is home to many rare plants, and on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
      • The name Alvar has an Scandinavian origin coming from the name for Elves in old norse, álfar. Today they're called elver/alfer (danish), álfar (icelandic), alv (norwegian) and älvor/alfer (swedish). Indeed, the name Alvar is an norse name derived from elves.
  • The Alvars were 12 saints who helped revive devotional Hinduism through their hymns of worship to Vishnu and his avatars.
  • Neither Alvar nor Hanso are known Danish names. And the actor's accent in the Sri Lanka Video is distinctly Swedish, not Danish.
  • According to Danish statistics only 12 people in Denmark (2008) has the name 'Alvar'. None has the lastname 'Hanso'.
  • The sanskrit word for "swan" is hansa. Hindu spiritual leaders of lofty status are given the title of paramhansa, or "supreme swan." The title indicates being at home both in realms of matter and of spirit.
  • Despite Hanso not being immediately recognizable as a Danish name, by substituting the "O" with the, uniquely Danish "Ø", changes the name to Hansø. Although, not necessarily an actual name, this actually means "His Island" in Danish, as the letter "ø" means island. The Danish "Ø" is the equivalent of the Swedish "Ö", which is also the Swedish word for island. Hence, "Hans ö" would mean "His island" in Swedish as well.
    • There is a real Hans Island, or Hans Ø, located in the straight that separates Greenland from Ellesmere Island. [2]
      • Approximately 300 kms south of Hans Ø, there is an island called Littleton Island, which was previously named Hans Ø. [3]
  • Dr. Vincent Bolé's bio on the Retrievers of Truth website notes that he once met Alvar Hanso at a life extension workshop.
  • Hanso could be a nod at the character Han Solo from Star Wars.
  • Alvar could be a variant of the name Halvar (Hallvard) meaning "Rock Guardian".
  • There was some question as to why Alvar switched professions from wealthy munitions dealer to philanthropist interested in saving the world. Lost executive producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach, who was heavily involved in the Lost Experience, agreed on his blog to a questioner's speculation that he had had a "Alfred Nobel moment" (i.e. he decided to change his ways for a more lasting and positive legacy) [4].


The following quotes have been attributed to Alvar Hanso.

  • "I am very proud to be working with such a brilliant team, who all inspire me every single day as we forge our way towards a brighter future. The expertise and dedication of the team constantly surpass my expectations." - Hanso Foundation Television Ad.
  • "From the dawn of our species, Man has been blessed with curiosity. Our most precious gift, without exception, is the desire to know more—to look beyond what is accepted as the truth and to imagine what is possible." - Address to the United Nations Security Council, 1967, posted on first iteration of TheHansoFoundation.org and partially quoted by Tom.
  • "To preach the limited mind is to foreclose on the promise of our future." - TheHansoFoundation.org landing page
  • "A society should not merely be measured by its brightest lights, but on how the brightest light the way for those who cannot shine for themselves." - MHA section of TheHansoFoundation.org
  • "Prevention is the number one reason people live longer lives today. The time has come for everyone in our world to understand how a minimum investment of time and effort can lead to a vastly longer and happier life." - WWPDP section of TheHansoFoundation.org
  • But that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country, from whose bourn, no traveler returns, puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have, then fly to others we know not of.
  • "The future need not be an undiscovered country. Through science and technology we can turn our inexorable forward motion into a safe journey into a well-charted haven of tranquility." - MFI section of TheHansoFoundation.org
    • The phrase "undiscovered country" comes from a soliloquy in Shakespeare's Hamlet and refers to the unknown that comes after death.
  • "To understand how our world is going, we must first seek to understand how the world was made." - ERI section of TheHansoFoundation.org
  • "Given enough time, there is no end to what human beings can accomplish, no frontiers we cannot cross, and no experiences that we cannot live to pass on to future generations" - LEP section of TheHansoFoundation.org

Unanswered questions

Unanswered questions
  1. Do not answer the questions here.
  2. Keep the questions open-ended and neutral: do not suggest an answer.
For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Alvar Hanso/Theories
  • What is his relationship to Tovard Hanso?
  • What was unusual about Alvar Hanso's bloodwork, as alluded to by Eliza Vasquez?
  • Who did Alvar Hanso launch the Mental Health Appeal for, as Malick stated it was "to save a loved one"?

See also

External links