(Fan created content. Distinct from hoaxes and parodies)

Simeon Hobbes, or @simeonhobbes, is the name of a fan-made Twitter account that first starting sending out messages (or "tweets") on Friday, May 15, 2009 at 7:47am GMT/UTC, the day after the Lost season 5 finale. A fan-made YouTube channel named "thelostexperience" posted a video titled "Who is Simeon Hobbes?", containing a Morse code audio message which led people to various other websites. Simeon Hobbes seems to have stopped sending tweets, but the game has continued through the characters Epithet Alpha and Elliott Graves, as well as on websites other than Twitter. The use of the Youtube channel "the lostexperience" (created in may 2006, soon after the official 2006 ARG started) initially led many people to believe that it was the beginning of a new official ARG, while others were skeptical. Several days after, "in light of the recent controversy and hijack attempts" the creator confirmed on his blog that "this ARG is unofficial" [1]. On June 14th, 2009 "Simeon Hobbes" pulled the plug on his game, stating lack of time. He posted a long summary of what the game would have been, and gave several excuses on why he couldn't finish it. Contrary to previous statements, the game was much more "LOST" related then first let on, and significantly attempted to tell back story from the show that was non-canon.[2]


Simeon Hobbes

Initially the Simeon Hobbes account posted cryptic messages and quotes with vague references to characters and elements of Lost, particularly Jacob. It started following other Twitter accounts that had recently mentioned Lost, prompting them to search for more information. This led players to the YouTube video entitled "Who is Simeon Hobbes?," which featured a video with a Morse code message, and an image of the constellation Cygnus, which is Latin for Swan.

"Who is Simeon Hobbes?"

When translated, this message was found to say "I AM THE BENNU BIRD, THE HEART-SOUL OF RA, THE GUIDE OF THE GODS TO THE TUAT." This is a line from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a description of the ancient Egyptian conception of the afterlife.

Epithet Alpha

Searching for the "I AM THE BENNU BIRD..." quote on Twitter led players to another character, Epithet Alpha. Epithet Alpha then posted a Base64 message which translated to "And With This Fire I Purify," which when searched on Google, led to another YouTube video with that phrase as its title. The video featured a black background with the text "THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN SAVE US NOW," which inverted to white towards the end. The audio in the video was a repetition of the Czech words Dva (Two) and Sedm (Seven). When these numbers were replaced with 1 and 0, and the sequence was translated in Binary, they spelled out the phrase "DM Know Thyself."

"And With This Fire I Purify"

"DM Know Thyself" was a prompt for players to direct message Epithet Alpha the passphrase "Know Thyself," which returned the message "Are you a candidate? Await further instructions May 18." However, on May 18, the account was "hacked" by the character Aidoneus, who warned players that "being a 'candidate' means 'the end.'"

Elliott Graves

On May 18, shortly after the Epithet Alpha account was "hacked," a character named Elliott Graves posted a message to Simeon Hobbes that said "You haven't exactly changed much over the years, have you?" This, coupled with his avatar (the number 27, like the numbers used in the Binary video), prompted players to begin following him.

His account linked to a blog [3], which conveyed a story about how every generation of his family, starting with his great-grandfather, had disappeared at the age of 27. Elliott's brother, an employee of Widmore Industries, had also disappeared at this age, and when trying to investigate what happened to him and the other members of his family, he began to realize that all the evidence he found linked back to someone named Simeon Hobbes. Elliott also noted that he was going to turn 27 in 2 months, and hoped to solve his family's mystery before his birthday.

Later, on May 19, Elliott posted another blog [4], where he claimed to be an employee of Ajira Airways. He also posted scans of glyphs he claimed to have found in his brother's wastepaper basket, and a "key" to translate them which he found in his father's college binder. Both mentioned Simeon Hobbes, so Elliott enlisted the help of players to decode the message, which presented a problem because the key only translated certain names (Adomis, Jacob, Phoenix, and Apollo). However, when reversed, the key revealed a complete message:


Your fath[th]er meant a great deal to us, and we are honored you wish to follow in his foots[t]eps. When Adomis told me what you could do, I knew you were a perfect candidate.

However, the road ahead is long. You may be a good person in my eyes, but Jacob is much harder to please. Initiation into our order is an old and sacred process, and not the easiest thing to endure.

Your first goal is to find the Phoenix. He will ask you to recite Apollo’s creed, and if you answer correctly, he will give you a test. Th[i]s test is painful and deeply person[a]l, so be prepared. This is where most peopl[e] fail.

Everything from then on will have to remain a secret. I wish you luck, and hope to count you among our number soon.

Simeon Hobbes

The letters in bold were spelling mistakes, which Elliott noted spelled out the words "I. Theta," which was apparently a classified project his brother was working on for Widmore Construction. Later that day, Elliott posted another blog [[5], featuring a scanned correspondence letter between his brother and an employee of Widmore Construction named Thomas Levi. The letter revealed that the I. Theta project involved finding a building site for a reactor, and that they were having trouble finding the proper place due to "EM fluctuations" in certain areas, and other locations being "too open to the public." The letter also discussed scientists engaging in electromagnetic experiments, which would allow them to "once again be on the cutting-edge of science." It also stated that "once we can harness this kind of energy, nobody will be able to stop us. The possibilities are endless."

Further, the letter mentioned a pamphlet, apparently for an event Elliott's brother and Thomas Levi were going to attend. Prompted by players to find the pamphlet, Elliott called Thomas Levi, who told him that they did indeed attend the event, which was called "Mind=Matter." Elliott then found the pamphlet and posted it on May 22 [6], revealing an "outreach seminar" hosted by the Hanso Foundation and a group calling itself the 8th Spoke. The event was apparently held in Ann Arbor at the DeGroot Memorial Hall and the University of Michigan between July 29 and 30 in 2006, and dealt with a variety subjects, including remote viewing, life extension, electromagnetism, time travel, and Egyptian mythology. Also referenced were a Geronimo Jackson cover band called Magna Carta, a local band called Ursus Maritimus, as well as beverage providers Nozz-a-La and Slusho!.

Later on, players discovered a website for the 8th Spoke [7], a "Michigan-based group of families dedicated to the pursuit of scientific truth." Their biography states that they trace their roots back to the 1960s, to the campuses of the University of Michigan, and that their earliest members "met in each other's homes, shared their work, and quickly became a tight-knit community of free-thinkers, friends and peers." It also mentions that in the early 1970s "this community had become an established fixture of the University, thanks to the imagination of doctoral candidates Gerald and Karen DeGroot, and in part to the financial aid of The Hanso Foundation." However, due to the attention they received as a result, the members of their community dispersed. The 8th Spoke is thus a group of those who "remained behind," and was established in the 1980s to continue the original community's research.

Clicking on the "news archive" [8] link on the 8th Spoke's website initially led to a message from the hacker Aidoneus, telling players to return there at 9:27PM on May 22. Returning there at that time revealed an image of the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient device from 150-100 BC which was able to calculate astronomical positions. Hidden in the source code were the words "Persephone" and "Hades," which led to pages featuring an image of a pomegranate with six missing seeds [9], and an image from an ancient Greek vase depicting Hades offering Persephone pomegranate seeds [10]. This was based on a myth, in which Hades kidnapped Persephone, and forced her to stay with him for half a year by tricking her into consuming food from the underworld. This was the ancient Greek explanation for summer and winter, which prompted players to search out pages with the names of those seasons on the website [11] [12]. Those pages led to images featuring messages between individuals named Alexander and Adam, who seem to be discussing what to do with Elliott's brother. Ominously, when Adam asks Alexander what they should do if they've made a mistake in kidnapping him, Alexander replies, "Kill him."

Also found amongst these messages were pieces of an image of the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, which led players to the "rabbit hole" page [13], which displayed a message to Elliott from Aidoneus. In it, Aidoneus warns Elliott that searching for his brother is dangerous, that he can help him but cannot guarantee he will survive, and that the 8th Spoke are not what they appear to be. The following day, on May 23, Elliott posted a blog [14] debating whether he should give up upon hearing the news that his brother may be dead, but instead goes to Ann Arbor to see if he can find any information on the 8th Spoke. He comes back empty-handed, but speculates whether they have any connection to Thomas Werner Mittelwerk, as the Hanso Foundation cut off all ties with them after Alvar Hanso became CEO again in 2006. He then decides to ally himself with Aidoneus reluctantly, fearing he may be walking into a trap, but accepting that he has no other leads.

Following this, a hidden link became available, leading players to a page called "existence," [15] displaying a Hanso "Certificate of Recognition," addressed to Alexander Berne, and signed by Peter Thompson. The certificate names Berne as "Director of Scientific Research," and honors him for 30 years of service, "a lifetime of hard work, and devotion to truth." Overlaid over it was the text "'30 long years.' When Alexander Berne died, he had been under the Hanso Foundation's employ for 28 years. Where did the other two come from?" Clicking on this certificate brought players to a page entitled "there's a light in the darkness," [16] featuring a series of hieroglyphs, which when translated using Elliott's father's key, spelled out "WASTE." Clicking the hieroglyphs for W,A,T and E brought players to a series of quotes from the Iliad, while the S brought them back to the homepage.

Each of the Iliad pages formed a puzzle, with certain letters being grayed out, some in the first row being red in color, and others next to those with a dot beneath them. The grayed out letters spelled out the names of books featured on the 8th Spoke homepage's "Bi-Monthly Book Club," while the red letters signified a specific word in those posts, and the dots a letter in those words. Altogether they spelled out the word "disintegrate," which when used as an URL, brought players to a page with a grid. [17]

This grid contained a series of white numbers, while the bottom row was red. Converting the numbers to their corresponding letters, players noticed that each one in turn corresponded to the first letter of each word following the red letters on the aforementioned Iliad pages. However, since the grid was 11x11, some words in longer sentences were unaccounted for. These words were represented in the bottom row of red letters, but still, four words were missing: "but," "their," "weapons" and "did." Putting these words together into a URL brought players to a page entitled "but their weapons did not avail them." [18]

This page contained a page from a book entitled "In Search of the Black Rock," apparently a book documenting the disappearance of the trading ship. Its author discusses his attempts to study the Black Rock ledger, and failure to do so when the Hanso estate refuses to respond to his inquiries. He is forced to seek the help of conspiracy theorists, like DJ Dan, who points him in the direction of Usenet posts on the topic. One of these posts was made by someone calling themselves HadesAidoneus27, who in 1998 claimed to have hacked into the Hanso Foundation's archives and transcribed from scans the text of the ledger. This text appears to document the crew of the Black Rock's struggles after landing on the Island, with Magnus Hanso leading a crew of 12 men to the statue, only to be struck with a sudden illness, and later attacked by "savages, clad all in black." The text concludes with the crew retreating back to their camp, one of them staying behind, and the others returning to the ship to bury Magnus "below the prow."

In the source code of this page was a code, with some pointing to numbers on the grid, and others lines and letters from the book excerpt. Altogether these spelled out the word "breakthrough," which led to another page, [19] featuring the title XIII and a series of Roman numerals. When these numerals were converted to letters and decoded using a ROT13 cipher, they led to the e-mail address "aidoneus.unseen@gmail.com." Sending an e-mail to this address returned an auto-reply with "Greco" in the subject line and "Veritas" in the body.

Since Aletheia is the Greek equivalent of Veritas, players tried this as a URL on the website, which led to a message from Aidoneus. [20] This message mentions that Alexander Berne "died" in 2007, but since Aidoneus has a "man inside the 8th Spoke," he can verify that he faked his death, presumably because he aided in the manufacture of the virus Thomas Mittlewerk almost released in Sri Lanka. However, since Berne has connections to powerful people, acting on this information is impossible. He goes on to tell Elliott that his brother is still alive, but his further safety cannot be guaranteed, unless the 8th Spoke is brought down. Finally he states that the members of the 8th Spoke have been driven underground, but have recently been seen taking ground samples from a town called St. Ignace in Michigan. He goes on to ask Elliott whether any of his brother's documents mentions that.


As the original "Who is Simeon Hobbes?" video was hosted on a YouTube channel called "thelostexperience," some initially assumed that this was the start of an official ARG. However, this was later confirmed not to be the case by both ABC Media Relations [21] and the creator of the ARG themselves [22]:

In response to the recent news that this ARG is unofficial, I will confirm it. I do this with great reluctance because “TINAG” is one of the most important rules of the genre, and a Puppetmaster never likes coming out from behind the curtain, even when his legitimacy is called into question. But I felt the need to address it in light of the recent controversy and hijack attempts, because I don’t like the word “hoax.”

Playing an unofficial ARG inspired by an official property may be considered a waste of time to those only hoping for the real deal, so to them, I apologize and say farewell. But the truth is that I never envisioned this to be a hoax or a waste of time, at least in the sense that I planned quite a bit out ahead of time and did it because of a genuine love for the ARG medium and the epic story that is LOST. I didn’t do this for the laughs.

So on that note, “WISH?” will be continuing. Whether it continues with 20 people or 200 people in light of this recent news doesn’t matter to me, as we’re going to help Elliott find his brother regardless. But in order to distance ourselves the controversy, and leave the way open for a possible official ARG revelation at Comic-Con, please refrain from using the #lostarg hashtag on Twitter. #simeonhobbes will do, in order to prevent any confusion.

So there you go. Hopefully this post put an end to a lot of the confusion.

"Hijack" Attempts

As is common in ARGs, other people have attempted to "hijack" the game by introducing false leads, a phenomenon called "gamejacking." The creators of the game have attempted to distance themselves from these people, by introducing a "Watching" section on the game's main blog, featuring the only links deemed "relevant" to the progress of the story [23].

Below is a list of confirmed "gamejackers" and related websites:

Twitter Accounts

YouTube Accounts



  • The name Simeon is derived from the biblical Simeon, second son of Jacob and Leah and half-brother to Benjamin.
  • Simeon is a homophone of the word "simian", meaning ape.
  • Thomas Hobbes (5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679) was an English philosopher, remembered today for his work on political philosophy. His account of human nature as self-interested cooperation has proved to be an enduring theory in the field of philosophical anthropology.
  • In Greek mythology, the Oneiroi were the brothers (according to Hesiod) or sons (according to Ovid) of Hypnos, the god of sleep. They were personifications of dreams — black-winged daemons — and were said to live on the shores of the Ocean in the far West, in a cavern near the border of Hades. The gods sent dreams to mortals from one of two gates located there: true dreams emerged from a gate made of horn, whereas false dreams threaded their way from a gate fashioned of ivory.
  • Early April 2009 the IMDB-site for a while showed a supposedly uncredited role for Matthew Perry in "The Incident, Part 1", starring as George Hobbes. This later proved to be a hoax. [24]
  • The carnival-like Festival of Bast is described by Herodotus as being the greatest one in Egypt, with 700,000 people taking part. It took place in April or May. [25]
  • The Eye of Horus on Simeon Hobbes' Twitter profile is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and royal power from deities, in this case from Horus or Ra. In the Egyptian language, the word for this symbol was "Wedjat". It was the eye of one of the earliest of Egyptian deities, Wadjet, who later became associated with Bast, Mut, and Hathor as well. Wedjat was a solar deity and this symbol began as her eye, an all seeing eye.
  • The painting in the background of Simeon Hobbes' Twitter account is of Atropos (The Fates),an oil painting by Spanish painter and printmaker Francisco Goya (1746–1828). It depicts the three Moirae of Greek mythology. It is believed that the duty of these Moirae were weaving, measuring, and cutting the threads of life. We see Jacob partaking in a similar task at the beginning of "The Incident, Part 1".
  • The bennu bird serves as the Egyptian correspondence to the phoenix, and is said to be the soul of the Sun-God Ra.
  • The Tuat are indigenous Berber people in the north of Algeria (in the Sahara).
  • Tuat is also an alternate name for the Egyptian Goddess Taweret, and for the Egyptian Underworld Duat.
  • Simeon's location on Twitter is set as "Tunisia", the same location as the Exit.
  • Aegocerus is an alternate name, an epithet, for the Greek god Pan. Pan (Greek Πάν, genitive Πανός), in Greek religion and mythology, is the companion of the nymphs, god of shepherds and flocks, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music. He has the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat, in the same manner as a faun or satyr. With his homeland in rustic Arcadia, he is recognized as the god of fields, groves, and wooded glens; because of this, Pan is connected to fertility and the season of spring. In Roman mythology, Pan's counterpart was Faunus, a nature spirit. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Pan became a significant figure in the romanticist movement of western Europe, and also in the 20th century Neopagan movement.

External links

  • [26] "Simeon Hobbes" pulls the plug on his 'ARG'

In-Game Websites

Fan Pages