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Thomas Mittelwerk, or Dr. Thomas Werner Mittelwerk, was the President and Chief Technologist of the Hanso Foundation. He was groomed by Alvar Hanso to be his successor but eventually overthrew him as the head of the Hanso Foundation. Through her research, protagonist Rachel Blake discovered that Mittelwerk has never obtained a degree at any institution in the world, making his "doctor" title a lie. Through further investigation, she discovered how Mittelwerk was now working in corrupt areas, such as organ harvesting, and how he was planning to test a deadly virus on villagers in Sri Lanka.
After video evidence (the Sri Lanka Video) was released of Mittelwerk admitting to his plans, the authorities attempted to apprehend Mittelwerk. However, he managed to escape with the virus, and in the process blew up the Hanso Foundation headquarters. After Alvar Hanso released a statement, Mittelwerk hacked the website feed with his own statement saying that he would continue his plan to release the virus.
Though not a real doctor by accounts, Mittelwerk does seem an intelligent man, being able to speak Korean as well as English. In fact, considering criteria for his personal assistant on hansocareers.com, the fact that he grew up in Austria (speaking German during his Via Domus appearance), and that his permanent offices were in Copenhagen (Danish), it is quite possible that Mittelwerk is a skilled polyglot.
Biography from the Hanso Foundation website
Born in Austria, Mittelwerk's early years instilled a work ethic that has helped fuel The Hanso Foundation's engine of progress for over twenty years. Losing his mother to a rare genetic disorder at a young age, Mittelwerk dedicated himself to become the world's foremost authority on biology and genetics. At eighteen, still pursuing at CalTech, Alvar Hanso personally drafted him to join The Hanso Foundation.
In his role as President of The Hanso Foundation, Mittelwerk's leadership has ensured prodigious contributions to numerous scientific disciplines, all in the name of insuring a better future for the whole of humanity." - from www.thehansofoundation.org
On the Hanso phone line, Mittelwerk's directory contained the following audio message:
(Austrian male voice) You've reached the office of Dr. Thomas Werner Mittelwerk, Senior Vice President, CEO and Chief Technologist of the Hanso Foundation.
Persephone devoted a hack to challenge Mittelwerk's doctoral credentials. Entering the code “heir apparent” on Mittelwerk's profile revealed a hidden flash video, described below:
(A dark room shows a woman stood by the door. As she turns, the flash zones in on a CalTech document. Above it, a Persephone message appears)
"Caltech has no record of this guy in their Alumni database! He's never made a tuition payment. does he even have a college degree? Why does he call himself a "Doctor"? of what? Who is this clown?"
In her fourth Copenhagen blog, Rachel Blake managed to record a conversation between Mittelwerk and Minsu, an apparent representative of Paik Heavy Industries. They spoke in Korean, but with the help of her followers, Rachel managed to translate their conversation. With it, Rachel learned more about the Hanso Foundation's ventures, which would eventually lead to her discovery of the Helgus Antonius and the happenings in Sri Lanka.
MITTELWERK: Minsu, so great to see you.
MINSU: Dr. Mittelwerk. Good to see you too. Mr. Paik sends his warmest regards.
MITTELWERK: He's just saying that because we've paid him so much money.
MINSU: Ah. I see that it's straight to business.
MITTELWERK: As always.
MINSU: I think you'll be pleased to hear your ship is almost ready; with all the modifications. But I have to warn you - this kind of ship can't dock just anywhere.
MITTELWERK: We have a port. How long will it be?
MINSU: I'd say no sooner than three weeks.
MITTELWERK: Could you pass the pepper? So what will it take to make it 2 weeks?
In her fifth Copenhagen blog, Rachel tracked Mittelwerk to the Copenhagen Cartographical Society. There she purposefully bumped into him to look at the files he was carrying (the transcript can be read here).
After following Mittelwerk to Iceland and then Italy, in her second blog of that country, Rachel recorded a conversation between Mittelwerk, Peter Thompson and an unidentified female Hanso worker (probably Liddy Wales). The audio can be heard here.
TM: I admit the fire sets us back, but all we’ve really lost is time.
Woman: And Vigi Benoffski. If his family goes public…
TM: They won’t, I’ve seen to that.
Woman: We’re already funnelling millions into your mental programmes without knowing if this equations even…
TM: You say it like its an insult, “mental programs”. The Mental Health Appeal is the centre-piece of all our future plans.
PT: Tom we’re not disputing the theory, but take a step back, how can we ever know with certainty we’re working with the real Valenzetti equation?
TM: Because Peter I am certain.
Woman: Well what does Hanso have to say?
TM: Hanso is totally onboard.
PT: Yeah, it’d be nice if he made an appearance.
TM: You want to see Alvar Hanso, Peter, why don’t you watch the Orientation film, he talks all about the Valenzetti equation – I’ll send you the DVD.
PT: Its not for me, Tom, its for our partners.
TM: Then let me be clear, this is the equation. Now, if you believe the web geeks, legend says Valenzetti never even kept a copy of it for himself and that’s true. He offered it to the UN, they didn’t want it, but Alvar Hanso did. Hanso wanted to carry out research, good work based on the Valenzetti equation, and in exchange, Valenzetti donated it to us.
PT: No, he donated it to Alvar Hanso, we have no way of knowing if he gave us the real equation.
TM: Do I work for you Peter or do you work for me? Who cured your cancer? Tell me, I want to hear you say it.
PT: You did, Tom.
TM: Then this conversation is over.
Mittelwerk appeared in a number of commercials, advertising the Hanso Foundation and refuting critics against them. The videos can be viewed here:
In Sri Lanka, Rachel shot the Sri Lanka video, a damaging piece of footage, showing Mittelwerk to be directly involved in illegal experiments on human beings in third world nations. Around the same time, the Missing Organs folder scandal implicated Mittelwerk with illegal organ harvesting and transportation for controversial Hanso facility research. Below is the Sri Lanka video in full, a transcript of which can be found here.
As the Lost Experience ended, DJ Dan hosted a second live broadcast. During it, a caller phoned in having tapped into a police radio feed in Copenhagen. Operatives were preparing to break in and arrest Mittelwerk, after Rachel had released her Sri Lanka evidence to the authorities. After finding an imposter, the operatives heard a chilling recorded message.
Mittelwerk (recorded): Gentlemen—I'm sorry to have to do this.
Luda: We got a radio over here.
Mittelwerk: I can't have my work compromised. You should run.
Bravo: The place is wired! Go, go, go!
Mittelwerk had escaped the building and destroyed much of the evidence within the Hanso building archives. However, now exposed, he was on the run from the law.
With Mittelwerk now a wanted fugitive, Alvar Hanso was freed and reinstated as head of the Hanso Foundation. On thehansofoundation.org website, Hanso thanked Rachel for all her efforts. However, clicking the word “humanity” revealed a secret message from Mittelwerk.
You've taken the battle, but that's all it was, a battle. Humanity needs me, now more than ever. I have the virus, I have the will, and I will not fail.
Bad Twin mentions
In Chapter 23 of Bad Twin, in an apparent new change on the board at the Widmore Corporation, Alvar Hanso was replaced by Mittelwerk. Arthur Widmore discusses his dislike of Mittelwerk with his son Cliff, before Paul Artisan arrives:
"Damn right, they worked! And that new fellow from Hanso - Mudworm of whatever his name is-"
In Chapter 39, Artisan explains some information about Cliff, and mentions Thomas Mittelwerk:
"...and it turns out the board was extremely divided. Cliff had only one real ally - a guy named Mittelwerk, from a company called the Hanso Group. The other board members thought Mittelwerk was dangerous - ambitious and brilliantly two-faced, a man acting out an agenda all his own. They would have voted in new management...
Lost: Via Domus
In the episode "Worth A Thousand Words", during Elliott's flashbacks, a sans ponytail Mittelwerk is seen meeting with Zoran Savo in the Opal Suite of the Hotel Persephone. Mittelwerk sells Sarin gas to Savo who is using it in some way as part of ESP experiments. ("Worth A Thousand Words") Below is their entire conversation:
MITTELWERK: This location is quite secure, I assure you.
SAVO: Not secure enough, Mittelwerk. We found a journalist.
MITTELWERK: Our cover story in the press should deflect any suspicion.
SAVO: You put more faith in the press than I do. I'll deal with the matter.
MITTELWERK: Let's get down to business.
SAVO: The money has been wired to you.
MITTELWERK: And as promised, the sarin.
SAVO: Sticky business, these biological experiments.
MITTELWERK: The benefits outweigh the risks, I assure you. The Hanso Foundation has had great success altering the human mind.
SAVO: And we intend to build on your success to further our own research with ESP. The results are encouraging thus far. Think of the possibilities.
MITTELWERK: To the future. Viel Glück ("good luck" in German).
To the Board of Directors, Hanso Foundation, I'm pleased to announce the commencement of Phase 2 of the Chenchey Project. We will now begin to explore the human brain in ways never before imagined. The results will no doubt astound. I thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm. Warmest Regards, TM.
- In German, Mittel means Middle (or in between) and Werk means work (or factory).
- Mittelwerk was a large underground facility built by the Nazis that was staffed with prisoners transferred from concentration camps. The conditions were horrific and thousands of prisoners died due to malnutrition, disease, exhaustion or hanging (by camp guards). The site is where Hitler ordered the V-2 missile to be built, it being the first missile or vehicle to pass the sound barrier.
- The concentration camp that held the Mittelwerk workers was known as Dora-Mittelbau. Conditions there were so horrific that Auschwitz prisoners that received news of their transfer to Dora reportedly hanged themselves.
- There was no one listed in any U.S., German or Austrian phonebook named Mittelwerk. The only other association on the Internet, other than the Lost Experience Game, was the underground facility from WWII.
- The Mittelwerk factory was the brainchild of SS General Heinz Kammler. Kammler was appointed by Heinrich Himmler to replace Army General Dr. Walter Dornberger. Kammler had no scientific experience and was best known for razing the Warsaw Ghetto. Kammler may be seen as a parallel for Thomas Mittelwerk.
- Werner was the first name of Dr. Werner von Braun, Dornberger's protegee, who was instrumental both in development of the V-2 and later of the Apollo moon rockets, but who advocated the use of slave labor in the Mittelwerk.
- Werner Von Braun's younger brother was Magnus Von Braun. Magnus Hanso was the great grandfather of Alvar Hanso.
- Lost composer Michael Giacchino composed several pieces for the mission "A Mittelwerk Saboteur" in the game "Medal of Honor Underground", in which the player must infiltrate and sabotage the Mittelwerk factory.
- The name Mittelwerk is similar enough that it could be related to Mittelos Bioscience, a company seen on the main show. This is because they are German names.
- The code "Mittelwerk" was used in the Dharma Initiative Recruiting Project ARG as part of a cheat for Test 4 in their recruitment drive. So far, it is assumed the reference is not significant.