This information was revealed in part through the alternate reality game
Find 815
Find815 3
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Characters:   Sam Thomas · Sonya · Tracey R · Sam's mother · Mr. Ockham · Oscar Talbot · Other...
Companies: Oceanic Airlines · The Maxwell Group · Austral Air
Locations: Sunda Trench · Black Rock

This article details Chapter 4 of ABC's alternate reality game Find 815. In line with the website description, narrative is broken down into story activity, clue hunt, and video diary elements.

January 21, 2008


The following text appears in the "Story So Far" tab:

Sam's attempt to outwit Talbot and pinpoint the exact position of the coordinates brings unexpected results.

Recap video

A video appears, briefly summarizing the story up to this point.

Find 815 Chapter 4

Find 815 Chapter 4.1 - recap

Video 1: setting up the hack

In the bridge area of the Christiane I, Sam looks at the numbers that he previously figured out are coordinates. While Ockham momentarily leaves, Sam quickly cuts a wire to the chart plotter, leaving it to appear damaged. When Ockham returns, he tells Sam to take a look at it. After Ockham leaves to tell Talbot, Sam reconnects the wire to the chart plotter and hooks up his hacking software.

Find 815 Chapter 4

Find 815 Chapter 4.1 - game intro

Activity 1: hack the chart plotter

Chart plotter hack

The password hacking grid

The player must attempt to break the chart plotter encryption by finding the correct password combination. Out of eight possible characters, the correct five must be found and placed in the correct position. The activity is based on Mastermind, a board game where a player attempts to break a code made up of a combination of colors.

Video: if you lose

If the player fails to find the correct password within ten attempts, Sam looks helplessly at Talbot and Ockham as they walk in, catching him in the act.

Find 815 Chapter 4

Find 815 Chapter 4.1 - Chart plotter not hacked in time

Video: if you win

If players find the correct password, Sam is able to see on the chart plotter where the coordinates are located. Ockham and Talbot return and Ockham notices that the chart plotter is working again. Sam tells him that it was just a loose display cable. Ockham is relieved, but lets Sam know that he will be on call 24/7. When Sam returns to his room, Talbot is there and accuses Sam of lying about the chart plotter. Talbot produces the piece of paper onto which Sam wrote the coordinates, and asks him what they are for. Sam doesn't respond at first, but then he divulges that they came from The Maxwell Group, Talbot's employers. Talbot warns that Sam is getting in over his head and tells him to stay away from the coordinates; he won't find what he is looking for.

Find 815 Chapter 4

Find 815 Chapter 4.1 - Chart plotter hacked

Stegosaurus code

Chapter 3 diary-braille-crop

The braille in Sam's Video.


The image of number signs and arrows that led to the password being solved

The password for the OPENSTEGO stegosaurus picture from Chapter 3 is discovered. An image of arrows and number signs which appeared after the last video could be used in conjunction with the braille message from Chapter 3 to determine the password X4x98adf09. (The number signs signify the braille equivalent of numbers, and the arrows determine letter case.) Extracting the stegosaurus file with the OpenStego software and entering the password results in a binary file. The binary translates to a string of hexadecimal code, which translates to a string of Base64 code, which finally translates to the title of a Walt Whitman poem, When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer.

When I heard the learn’d astronomer

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me

When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them

When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,

How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick

Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars

January 22, 2008

Voice message

Richard from Randy's office leaves Sam a voice message letting him know that he has received an insurance payout. A box company in which he invested at Randy's suggestion has burned down.

Desktop information 1

Sam sends an email to Tracey saying that he won't take her up on the holiday tip. He is feeling homesick and asks if she has talked to his mother. Tracey replies, saying that she did talk to her and that she is very worried about Sam, but relieved that he is okay. Tracey also accepted an invitation from her to visit on Christmas day. Sam emails Randy about the box company payout, and asks for his advice on the tax situation. Sam receives yet another anonymous email, this time containing a long string of numbers and letters. The letters on each line form anagrams of numbers, which translate via a substitution code to "Love you madly".

January 23, 2008

Video 4: aurora lights

Sam is walking along the deck of the Christiane I at night when he notices what appears to be aurora lights out at sea. He grabs a pair of binoculars to take a closer look and is left confused.

Find 815 Chapter 4

Find 815 Chapter 4.3 - clue hunt intro

Clue hunt

Players participate in a clue hunt, in which various clues from the first three seasons of Lost are found by exploring the ship's lounge: "Vincent the dog" for Season 1, "Swan" for Season 2, and "Parachute" for Season 3. A Season 4 clue word can then be found on one of the network partner sites by playing a game called "Pinpoint the Coordinates", in which players place markers on a map of the Sunda Trench in order to determine the location of five coordinates. The clue word is either "Frank Lapidus" (on or "Miles Straume" (on Yahoo!7 in Australia). A bonus Season 4 clue is then revealed on "Santa Rosa pill bottle". On the pill bottle is a serial number which when decoded through number/letter substitution and a Caesar shift cipher reveals the phrase "campmillar bonusclue". Camp Millar is a location in Svalbard, which is an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean north of mainland Europe, about midway between Norway and the North Pole.

January 24, 2008

Desktop information 2

Sam sends an email to Tracey asking for her opinion about the strange green lights he saw the other night. She replies back saying that it was likely an aurora, a natural phenomenon caused by magnetic forces in the atmosphere. She notes, however, that they usually occur around polar regions and normally don't fade away quickly like the one Sam saw. Sam looks at a webpage on his browser about the Aurora Australis, which gives a brief overview of the phenomenon.

January 25, 2008

Video diary

Sam records another video diary. He is growing more frustrated about not being able to figure out Talbot and what what his knowledge is regarding the coordinates from The Maxwell Group. He is also very puzzled by the identity and motivations of The Maxwell Group, as their latest coded message was "Love you madly", a phrase he and Sonya frequently used. After reflecting on how much he misses Sonya, Sam decides to continue the search for the Black Rock and the coordinates. He admits that it is foolish, but thinks that it might lead him to what he really wants.

Find 815 Chapter 4

Find 815 Chapter 4.5 - video diary

Video frames

The video contained several hidden images from an 1861 James Clerk Maxwell paper titled "On Physical Lines of Force", originally published in the London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science. (PDF file) The images were of an intermediate equation describing directional magnetic force per unit of volume. At the end of the video diary, another image thanked the viewer for watching carefully.if you skim through the pdf on pdf page 9 they show a magnetic symbol similar to the one on "THE MAXWELL GROUP" home page.


The equations in Sam's Video.

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