The Sri Lanka Video is a central part of the alternate reality game The Lost Experience. The game proceeded by gradually providing glyphs that each revealed a short video fragment of a longer sequence numbering 70 in total.
According to the game, Rachel Blake shot this video while in Sri Lanka in mid-July 2006. She claimed that the information revealed is so damaging that "it will tear The Hanso Foundation apart." She deemed it too risky to reveal in its entirety, so she chose to distribute fragments hidden throughout the internet, and accessed via clues and glyphs. Players were required to locate codes to enter on the website hansoexposed.com, and each code revealed its accompanying video fragment. However the fragments were not revealed in the correct order, so needed to be sequenced. The final fragment was revealed on September 8, 2006.
- For an individual description of each of the 70 segments of the video, see: Sri Lanka Video/by segment
The video comes in two parts. In the first half, Alvar Hanso explains the DHARMA Initiative in a secret internal film. The revelation of the meaning of the numbers was promised as part of TLE, and is contained in this half. Hanso explains their research is intended to save the world. He provides history of the motivation, explaining that after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the United States and U.S.S.R., via the U.N. Security Council, commissioned the calculation of the Valenzetti Equation, spearheaded by Italian mathematician Enzo Valenzetti, which is claimed to compute the time remaining until the human race destroys itself. The Numbers are revealed to be the "core environmental and human factors" in the equation. Hanso claims that humanity may be saved by changing these numbers through various environmental manipulations. He also reveals that the island was used as a research station to attempt such a manipulation to change the numbers.
The second half of the video appears to be clandestinely-filmed footage filmed by Rachel Blake of Thomas Mittelwerk explaining a "radical" Hanso Foundation intervention project to his staff. He begins speaking as the Orientation Film finishes playing on a television monitor; it seems that this video is the one seen in the first half, above, despite its much steadier and clearer video quality. Mittelwerk explains that two villages have been intentionally infected with a Hanso-engineered virus, and that the Hanso Foundation's cover story is to provide a treatment vaccine. He reveals that their goals include a mortality rate no higher or lower than exactly 30%, as well as testing of the deceased to confirm genetic targets of their virus. In response to a question from the audience, he justifies the human cost of the operation in terms of saving humanity. There appears to be a splice missing from the clip, then Mittelwerk notices Rachel Blake's hidden position and she appears to be near capture as the video ends. However she must have escaped, or have been released, according to the timeline of the game, her appearance at Comic Con 2006 and the distribution of the video via The Lost Experience.
The producers of Lost promised that the Lost Experience would reveal new information, including the meaning of the numbers. In brief, some of the concrete knowledge that was revealed by the Sri Lanka Video include:
- The Numbers are revealed to have been core factors of an equation (The Valenzetti Equation) predicting the end of humanity. Running the equation, the end result has been the same for the last 30 years, those numbers. Mittelwerk comments that they still have no idea what the numbers actually mean.
- A deadly virus related to the Hanso Foundation does exist. (It may or may not be the one referred to on the Island.)
- There exists a DHARMA Initiative radio tower which broadcasts the Numbers on the Island.
- Alvar Hanso and the DHARMA Initiative claim to be attempting to save humanity.
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...]
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.
Part 2 [The end of Part 1 is displayed on a television monitor next to a man in a white labcoat who is standing in front of a small audience.]
The villages of Fallam and Vetul-Milani have allowed us to test our vaccine on them. They think they are infected by a virus carried by local macaques and they believe we are bringing them the cure, so when you go in, you have to keep up the story. You know it by heart, don't waver. When the deaths begin you must comfort everyone with compassion and empathy then the bodies of the dead must be brought to the station immediately for full genetic work-up. We must make absolute certain we are hitting precise genetic targets we have engineered into the virus.
The optimal mortality rate is 30 percent. Our operatives at the Vik Institute have verified this figure. If more or less people succumb, we have failed. We need not take any more lives than is absolutely necessary.
It is not fair that innocents have to die so that we can perfect this virus but I promise you, someone is going to hell...
Is there something... reflecting... in the back?
Hey! Hey! Get her!