Dateline Mar. 22, 2003: S4e May Be Over

January 26th, 2011

Heather Hawkins, on again, off again publicist for Search4e released a statement on behalf of [truecrimepress.com True Crime Press] formally severing their relationship with S4e.

What is puzzling if whether this spells the official end of the game or merely acknowledges the loss of funding that became very evident late last year. TCP is the game related website affiliated with Bizincu, the New York business that provided much of the early support for Search4e.

Contact: Heather Hawkins

For Immediate Release

New York (March 22, 2003) — It is with deep regret that True Crime Books announces that it is ending all formal ties with the Ed Sobian case. Effective immediately True Crime Books will cease to have any further financial or legal arrangements with the website [www.search4e.org search4e.org], which was established to create public interest in the investigation. The partnership with its principals, first announced in September 2002, is dissolved. This decision was not taken lightly. However, because of current developments, a sponsorship of this kind no longer fits in with the company’s long-term business strategy. We believe that we should focus exclusively on publishing high quality books in keeping with the original vision of our late publisher, Owen G. McCleary.

All of us at True Crime Books value our relationship with our authors and so this decision should not be construed as reflecting any change in our association with James Pitt. We will continue to proudly publish his books just as we have done in the past and wish him every success in the future.

Dateline Mar. 19, 2003: Noah Boddy is Noah More

January 26th, 2011

Team Noah Boddy terminated their game once and for all today. In a lengthy message (would players have wanted anything less :)), they stated a few reasons behind the decision.

Most prominently, [noahboddy.com TNB] claims to have a screenplay deal in the works and didn’t want to give up the surprises still forthcoming in the story.

The team has also suffered from substantial attrition due to their inability to land any significant sponsorships to help fund the effort.

Sadly, NB is the latest in a string of premature game closures lately. The audience for Noah Boddy remained loyal throughout and I’m sure they will miss the game. With [www.chasingthewish.com Chasing The Wish] just starting and [www.search4e.org Search4e] working on a comeback, there will be plenty for the NB refugees to jump into.

Following is the entire announcement from Team Noah Boddy:

Team Noah Boddy, with considerable sadness and regret, must present you with the following announcements. We wish to first thank you for your loyalty, your drive, your interest, and your continued perseverance in following both the story and plot unfolding before you and the hints and puzzles of the game. We feel very honored to have had such outstanding interaction with you, both in game and out of game. You are an excellent and wonderful group and we hope that if nothing else, we have contributed to the forming of sustained, amicable and cooperative friendships and a truly unified group as a whole. Thank you.Now… For the tough part…

As we have stated from the beginning, NoahBoddy.com’s plan has been to two-fold: to integrate a compelling and interesting plot together with a fun, exciting and worthwhile contest. Since it’s inception, Team Noah Boddy has created this game to be adopted and enriched by a sponsor, production company, or game company as well as expand itself into greater interaction and productivity through the development team.

It may be also apparent at this point that not only has no official sponsorship taken place (despite numerous meetings and agreements), but also the decrease of available team members (all volunteers who have since had to move on to paying positions) has impacted the flow and format of both of the main aspects of the game. The game has continued to be somewhat experimental, and has been kept alive by a remaining dedicated few, who through spare time and out of pocket expense have continued to provide what we hope has been an enjoyable aspect of your online gaming experience.

With all that being said, it saddens us to have to inform you that the current Noahboddy.com game must be brought to a definitive close.

Over the course of the next few weeks, the Noahboddy.com website will be reformatted to provide you with a comprehensive consolidation of weekly hints, solves, and clues, as well as a synopsis of what would have bound those clues together toward the final solves. Unfortunately, we will no longer be able to sustain the puzzle portion of the game for tangible prizes, but please believe us when we say that each and every one of you absolutely deserves a grand prize for the loyalty and effort that you have put into this game.

However, there is some good news in the midst of this announcement. The closing of the game is not due to a lack of prizes, lack of willingness to continue to run a game (we’re as hooked running it as you are playing it) and definitely not due to lack of interest of the players involved.

There has been serious and continuing interest from an outside production company to develop the Noah Boddy story into a screenplay format for series or feature potential. Obviously, this is a huge opportunity for the creative talents of the team. The unfortunate side effect of such an opportunity is, first and foremost, the necessity to halt any continued unfolding of the storyline. It is a matter of preserving the suspense and outcome of the story involved, and also a matter of preserving the intellectual property of those who were most involved in the story development, but now wish to take their story to potentially lucrative levels. A great portion of the negotiations regarding the story was an interest in the secrets not yet revealed.

This does unfortunately leave our story as a cliffhanger, which will certainly be as disappointing for you to deal with as this decision has been for us. It is the Team’s hope that the players who have stuck with us for so long will understand. And we want you all to know that we are aware of how much we owe to your dedication and resolve. As a matter of fact, it is the plan to utilize any revenue that is created to return to the site with future stories, puzzles, and ARGs. As it stands now, the Team must focus on the possibility of taking the current story to a new (and hopefully larger audience) format. Time management, organization, and consistent game flow are key to the success of any game, and we do not want to continue with anything less than our full-undivided efforts. We respect you as our players to not short change you with anything less—and if we started immediately with a new story, we would be doing just that.

We will keep the out of game message boards intact and will reformat the site to provide a synopsis and wrap up of our beloved game, and we will continue to keep you updated with whatever the next project is we have in the works.

We also plan on keeping the Yahoo Groups community up and running. It is an important community to us and to you that we do not wish to see fade away. We hope to keep you posted on future projects via that community, via any alternative means you prefer, or not at all if you so choose. The websites, emails, and message boards will remain under the care of Thea, and she may be able to assist with any questions that you may have in regards to these decisions. If the questions are of significant importance, further info may be shared with the group as a whole. Send her any changes of your status in the group, or whether you would like to be more or less involved in the community that remains.

Again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your participation in our endeavor. Although we did not end up with what we initially planned, we went quite far with what we have, and have you all to
thank for it.

Any thoughts or feedback, however long or short, are entirely welcomed. Feel free to (obviously) bring to the group as a whole, or to present to Thea at thea@noahboddy.com.

You will see a few more announcements as we wrap up. We hope you had as much fun playing as we have had creating, and that you peek in every now and again to see we have anything new in store for you.

Best Regards,
Team Noah Boddy

Dateline Mar. 19, 2003: First Annual ARGCon Set for Las Vegas Apr 25-27

January 21st, 2011

Prepare to set sail for the First Annual ARGCon in Las Vegas on April 25-27 2003.

According to the, ahem, official announcement at Unfiction, the event, formally entitled, the first ever SuperARGFest-o-Con & Wet T-Shirt Contest, will feature drinkering and costumes.

The event will be unstructured with no official agenda or schedule. No registration is required, but attendees are encouraged to post a note at Unforums so others know to look out for them. Oh, if you are so inclined, please come as your favorite ARG character.

The goal is strictly to let people put some names with faces, have a good time, and insert some real world interaction into our virtual community.

Dateline Mar. 18, 2003: Will 8march2003 Be A Game?

January 21st, 2011

If it isn’t, it should be. When you think about all of the elements it offers. It has an intriguing story, it definitely has a huge group of potential players waiting to see what it’s about, and the opportunity for interaction and puzzles are inherent in the world domination theme presented by HM.

For the last five months, speculation has abounded regarding 8march2003.com. The site webmaster, known only as HM has built up quite a bit of suspense leading up to the revelation of his discovery on that lonely mountainside. At first, the site purported to be real, but after a short time, the webmaster posted a [8march2003.com/disclaimer.htm” disclaimer] confirming that the story is indeed fictional and welcoming visitors to enjoy the journey leading up to…

According to Snopes, the site is a promotion for a conspiracy book to be published on the fateful date. At best, their prediction is an educated guess. According to the disclaimer, “I want to assure you that this site has been posted as a piece of writing with purposeful clues and discrepancies to indicate its fictitious nature leading up to the release of …” The trailing end of the sentence indicates some type of concrete work, but what kind? A book, movie, or game would fit the context.

Last week, everyone expected the wait to be over. Instead, the PM/author/writer/other basically delivered what was promised (the pictures), but stalled on releasing information on what is being promoted until April 15, 2003. I guess he didn’t quite finish his work.

Regardless, we now know that the pictures are allegedly the second coming of Noah’s Arc built high in the mountains ready to launch when a cataclysmic flood occurs. Also, allegedly, the people behind Ark II preemptively debunked the revelation with their own [www.mountainsub.com” site] claiming the entire thing is a movie set.

So far, we’ve had a glimpse of a story, two in-game (I’m using that term loosely at this point) websites, and enough mystery to keep us guessing until next month. If it’s a game, I hope it lives up to the hype!

Dateline Mar. 6, 2003: New York Times Write Up on ARG

December 4th, 2010

Charles Herold, the Game Theory columnist for the NY Times, published a really positive piece on the Alternate Reality Gaming community entitled, “It’s Just a Fantasy, but Real Life Is Always in Play.”‘, ‘The article gives a brief history of the genre, links to several members of ARGN and even gives a spoiler solution for the map puzzle from [landau-luckman-lake.com L3].

Judging by how prolific Mr. Herold is, he seems to be a big fan of computer games and adventure gaming in particular. I checked his [home.nyc.rr.com/cherold/deskchair/Herold.html bio] and found numerous reviews for adventure games. Mr. Herold publishes articles in the Game Theory column every other week.

Dateline Mar. 4, 2003: Is The Cart Pushing The Horse?

December 4th, 2010

Last year, video games outpaced the entire domestic revenue of Hollywood by over $1 billion dollars. With video games increasingly being tied to blockbuster movies, the implications for alternate reality gaming are enormous.

We’ve already had a few near misses with [www.tron20.net Tron 2.0], [www.argn.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=541 Minority Report] and [www.argn.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=34 The Ring]. The two direct hits (A.I. and Alias) were both well received with the A.I. Game, The Beast, estimated at having over one million players.

[www.pushtimes.com Push, Nevada], the critically acclaimed commercial failure from ABC was one of the first cross-promoted, gender bending efforts. Even though the 10,000 active players were a pittance compared to the size of a typical TV audience, the level of activity online was nevertheless impressive. I think Hollywood finally realizes that the crossover effect between cinematic productions and the sophisticated games currently available are just crying to go together.

Take the pair of sequels to the Matrix scheduled for release this year. In conjunction with the movie release, the Wachowski brothers, who wrote and directed the movie, also wrote the game Enter The Matrix which was released this week. They shot an extra hour of footage specifically for the game. The game publisher, Infogrames, expects to derive 20% of their revenue from this one title.

What has all this to do with immersive gaming a.k.a. ARGs? “Entertainment is not about storytelling anymore. It’s about building universes where people can express themselves,” Bruno Bonnell, the chief executive of Infogrames, which will publish the game this spring, said at the launch party.

Today the games and movies exist as discrete elements. How long do you think it will be before they are one and the same? Add in the effect of online gaming and the opportunity to completely obliterate the boundaries between fact and fiction and the ability for content to warp dynamically to fit the situation and you have a medium for entertainment like something no one has ever seen.

CNN’s [edition.cnn.com/2003/TECH/fun.games/02/06/matrix.game.reut feature article] touches on this a bit, but I think they missed the real potential. The concept of the matrix where machines create an alternate reality for humans is disturbing in the context of the movie. Put some creative game designers in charge and insert the element of ‘immersion’ and I think we’ll be looking at the real reason interactive television might just have a chance.

The focus seems to be predominantly Hollywood licensing their properties for the game industry with a few notable exceptions, but I feel like the cart is pushing the horse. I fully expect the creative talents of game designers to drive their universes and worlds right into the hearts and minds of movie producers. When it happens, be prepared for an onslaught of interactive content both online and in packaged form.

Dateline Mar. 3, 2003: Ready For A Real World Safe House?

December 3rd, 2010

If you like spy conspiracies and ever have the opportunity to visit Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you have to checkout International Exports, Ltd.

International Exports, Ltd. is a ‘front’ for a spy themed restaurant and nightclub called Safe House. Prepare to be immersed in the world of prohibition era spies and experience a club quite unlike anything you’ve ever seen outside of Hollywood. They don’t advertise or display their real name anywhere. You can only learn of it by word of mouth.

Once inside, you are greeted by a doorkeeper that requires a password before she lets you proceed through a secret passage hidden behind a bookcase.

The entire restaurant and club spans three separate buildings and is full of hidden passages, fake doors, secret panels and other accoutrements of a classic safehouse. Doors often open to reveal brick walls, while other doors are hidden behind sliding panels. One room is accessed by a spinning booth. Once your party is seated, a hidden switch causes the booth to revolve revealing another room.

Visitors are encouraged to arrive dressed in appropriate spy attire. Guests and management can monitor those that wander through the maze of passages. If you get lost enough, a member of the staff will approach you and help you find your way. There are three well hidden exits and a new member only hidden entrance is under construction.

The spot opened in 1966 and remains popular with both locals and visitors. Your Safe House in Milwaukee is located behind the stately office of International Exports Ltd., 779 N. Front Street, Milwaukee, WI 53202, downtown, in the shadow of Milwaukee’s City Hall, near the intersection of north Water and east Wells Street.

Dateline Feb. 28, 2003: Chasing The Wish Goes Live in a Big Way

December 2nd, 2010

It’s often said be careful what you wish for. The wishes of the greater ARG community were fulfilled with the official launch of Chasing The Wish late last night.

[www.chasingthewish.com Chasing The Wish], so long anticipated, delivered as promised last night with the following email:

Hi:
Please, even though you don’t know me, I pray that you will take the time to read this message. I’m in trouble and have no one else to turn to.
A mutual friend suggested you as somehow who might be able and willing to help me, and said you were someone who was good at solving mysteries and researching things on the web. You see, my wife and daughter are dead and it’s all my fault. No, not like you’re probably thinking;
I loved them and would never do anything to hurt them. But there’s been a terrible accident. And now they’re both gone. But you see, I know this sounds crazy, it wasn’t supposed to happen this way. I was promised everything would be OK but it’s all gone terribly, terribly wrong.I can’t explain here but if you are willing to try and help, I’ve hidden some information at my website, www.synthasia.com. I had to hide it because people are looking for any excuse and evidence they can find to prove me crazy.
In fact, that’s why I’m sending you this now. I’m actually being committed to some kind of mental facility, tonight, against my will. The doctors have come a couple fo times to the door and I’ve ignored them but I’m certain they will be back any minute, with the police probably to gain them access. They think I’m crazy because of what has happened and what I know. But I can’t explain here; I’m not sure if the court orders they have allow them access to my e-mail or not.

Take a good look at my site; sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.
There’s a journal of sorts there that I’ve hastily thrown together in the last few weeks,
even before the accident. Things haven’t been good for quite a while now.

If you decide to help, I may need someone to access my e-mails, as I may not be able to and I’ve tried to contact some people lately whomay be able to help me besides you. I’ve set-up a form of access . . .
Damn, someone’s at the door. I have to go. I must send as many e-mails as I can, quickly. Please help me. This isn’t right. I promise, somehow I can explain it all to you but you must help me first.

Desperate,
Dale Sprague
dale@synthasia.com

The journey starts at [www.synthasia.com] and looks to be a thoroughly compelling and vast experience. Players have already identified six in-game websites and one real website that was initially considered in-game (yours truly fell for it :/). There are also numerous email addresses, phone numbers, puzzles and more.

A concise summary of the story so far along with a short trail can be found on unfiction. Diandra was kind enough to post a Getting Started message for newbies to help those unfamiliar with this style of gaming get off on the right foot.

The game is expected to last about six months. At last count, almost 40 people were actively chatting in the respective #ctw channels of [www.collectivedetective.org Collective Detective] and Unfiction.

Game On!!

Dateline Feb. 19, 2003: Geeks Without Borders

December 2nd, 2010

The flood of favorable press for the ARG community continues! MSN picked up a story yesterday for their “Inside the Internet” column on Slate. The columnist promptly received a mysterious phone call.

Columnist Steven Johnson published an article yesterday that specifically plugged both [collectivedetective.org] and [www.landau-luckman-lake.com L3]. The article, entitled Geeks Without Borders was published on the MSN ‘zine Slate.

Johnson writes, “Most forms of entertainment are defined by their edges: the outline of the Monopoly board or the dimensions of a movie screen. To enter the world of the game or the story, you enter a confined space, set off from the real world. Play-space doesn’t overlap with ordinary space. But Go and L3 don’t play by those rules. Go colonizes an entire city for its playing field; L3 colonizes the entire Web. These are games without frontiers.”

It seems that soon after the article was published, Mr. Johnson received a phone call from Stephen Lake! According to Mr. Johnson, “It was a little spooky, to say the least, though the guy was perfectly friendly on the phone. He had one addition to the piece: he’s not calling L3 a work of immersive media or pervase [sic] gaming; it’s a ‘collective gaming experience.’ Sounds fine to me.”

These brief mentions are the latest in a slew of favorable articles focusing on the genre of alternate reality gaming. Steve Peters, of ARGN, posted a list of other articles at Unfiction.

Dateline Apr. 4, 2003: CTW Chat: About that pesky graffiti

September 28th, 2010

CTW took another twist last night during a moderated chat regarding the graffiti that has popped up around Aglaura. The graffiti, layed out around town in a pattern similar to the actual image of the defacement, seems to be a significant focal point at this stage of the investigation.

The twist? Read the transcript! If your time and/or attention span can’t cope, you can cheat and read the last page. ;)

[jdwham] Welcome everyone, my name is J.D. Willingham
[jdwham] I am the Borough Attorney for Aglaura NJ
[jdwham] and will be acting as one of the moderators for this Press

Conference
[jdwham] Just a few brief rules of order before we begin
[jdwham] This will be a moderated chat

[jdwham] and you will be given the floor to ask questions one at a time
[jdwham] After Mayor Dobbs has made his statement
[jdwham] you may PM me for permission to ask your questions
[jdwham] and you will be recognized one at a

time in the order they are received
[jdwham] Remember the topic of this Press Conference is
[jdwham] The Graffiti

Investigation in Aglaura
[jdwham] All of your questions should be centered around that
[jdwham] If time allows, we

may entertain questions about other relevant topics
[jdwham] OK, please keep that in mind as we proceed
[jdwham]

With that I’d like to introduce the honorable Mayor Pat Dobbs
[pdobbs] Thank you, Doug. And welcome, everyone. I’m not

quite used to this interface, so please bear with me while I poke the keys; I’m used to having Lorraine do my typing for

me.
[pdobbs] Aglaura continues to be the center of regional, national, and even international attention and we’re hoping

this little Press Conference will answer any remaining questions people might have regarding recent events in our town, and

the surrounding area so everything around here can return to normal.
[pdobbs] Before we get to our main topic, I’d like

to make a couple announcements regarding upcoming events that I encourage the public to attend.
[pdobbs] #1 What: The

Aglaura Easter Egg Hunt
[pdobbs] When: 10 AM, Saturday, April 19, 2003
[pdobbs] Where: Diana’s Grove Recreation

Area, Pavillion C (western end of area)
[pdobbs] This event is free to all Aglaura Borough and Pemberton Township

residents under the age of 12 years (kids, please bring your parents!).
[pdobbs] As many will remember from last

year, there will be free pictures with the Easter Bunny, some special free prizes, free food, and even an egg-coloring

contest!
[pdobbs] The event will be kicked off with a special reading of Beatrix Potter’s >The Tale of Peter Rabbit”

by our very own Head Librarian, Agatha Dobbs!
[pdobbs] Really, it’s a great time every year. Please join us.

[pdobbs] #2 What: A Celebratino of Local Artists and Their Works
[pdobbs] When: April, 2003 (the whole month)

[pdobbs] Where: Aglaura Public Library
[pdobbs] The Aglaura Library is hosting an exciting exhibition of artwork,

crafts, writing, and multi-media creations from local artists.
[pdobbs] Some of these works, along with other local

artifacts acquired and generously donated by The Hollow Needle Rare Books and Antiques, will be auctioned off at a fundraiser

on April 27.
[pdobbs] The Library asks that any folk that are interested please visit the Library’s website, or else

contact the Library during business hours for more details.
[pdobbs] For information regarding The Hollow Needle’s

fundraiser contributions, please refer to the Spring Guide available on their website.
[pdobbs] This promises to be an

exciting event!
[pdobbs] Thank you ladies and gentlemen - now, before moving on to our main topic today, the Aglaura

Police Graffiti investigation, I’d like to update you on the situation with our Borough Councilman, Mr. Dale Sprague.

[pdobbs] I’d like to report that Dale has returned to the local community after a brief period of rest and recuperation,

and he is currently re-building his life with the help and support of his local friends and associates.
[pdobbs] He was

invited to participate in this Press Conference but declined out of fears that his presence might distract everyone from our

true purpose here today, the Graffiti investigation.
[pdobbs] Hopefully by now, everyone who was interested in receiving

a copy of the official State Police Accident Report from Dale’s accident has received one; if not, the Aglaura webmaster, Sam

Greene, will making it available online shortly after the Press Conference.
[pdobbs] One brief comment about the report

in hopes of clarifying a potential question: the report’s remark about possible prosecution was in regards to the apparent

discrepancies in some of Dale’s early statements about the accident.
[pdobbs] When I first read this, I contacted the

local NJ State Police Barracks, and can report to you I have been assured that this has been cleared up - there should be no

charges filed against Dale in regards to the accident.
[pdobbs] I don’t know about you, but I think this is great

news!
[pdobbs] With the filing of the official report and with Dale’s return to his role on the Aglaura Borough Council,

this should clear up any remaining issues or questions about Dale Sprague and any potential impact on Aglaura.
[pdobbs]

Mr. 42, would you please sit down? Thank you.
[pdobbs] Now, on to our main purpose for being here, the investigation by

the Aglaura Police Department of a series of vandalism incidents in the town in which graffiti was spray-painted or otherwise

placed upon both public buildings and private residences in Aglaura.
[pdobbs] We were hoping to have the Aglaura Chief

of Police, Mrs. Dawn Prufrock, here at the Press Conference but she unfortunately has been called away in the line of duty to

a local emergency and has been unavailable since earlier this afternoon.
[pdobbs] . Hopefully she may still make the

Press Conference before it is concluded to help field questions from the floor.
[pdobbs] Nevertheless, Douglas and I

have all of the facts at our disposal and will entertain questions shortly.
[pdobbs] First — although it is still too

early to make a definitive and final statement, we believe that our increased vigilance and patrols, coupled with Tip Line

and the ongoing investigatory work, has paid off and potentially ended the spree of vandalism and graffiti.
[pdobbs]

There has not been an incident reported in almost a week, since the last one found at a residence on Winton Pond Road, on the

southern edge of Aglaura.
[pdobbs] . Before that, they were occurring at a rate of one every three or four days.

/>[pdobbs] sorry about the misplaced punctuation folks - I’m still getting used to all this typing.
[pdobbs] just typos,

I assure you.
[pdobbs] Now, all together, we believe that were ten incidents that we can attribute to the same, as of

yet, unidentified parties.
[pdobbs] Actually, I’m wrong - it’s been more like ten days, I’m sorry.
[pdobbs] I

forget exactly. Let me continue.
[pdobbs] There were one or two other incidents that have since been determined to be

copy-cat incidents, which have been attributed to a couple of local teenagers.
[pdobbs] Because of their ages, we will

not identify them here but they will be prosecuted for vandalism following standard Aglaura and NJ State procedures.

[pdobbs] As I’m sure their parents are relieved, I’d like to report that it has been determined conclusively that these

youths were NOT responsible for the other ten incidents.
[pdobbs] Because it is still an ongoing investigation, however,

we are not going to comment on the details that led us to that conclusion but we are convinced that these copy cat incidents

are separate from the remaining reports.
[pdobbs] Now, as I’m sure (at least, I hope) many of you are already aware

- we have identified the ten locations still unaccounted for on a special map that is now available on the Aglaura

website.
[pdobbs] We were originally hoping the vandals would stop if they got no media attention, but that had sadly

proved not to be the case.
[pdobbs] As is evident from this mapping process, you can see that the overall image created

by the collected vandalism incidents closely resembles the image itself which has found to make up the graffiti.

[pdobbs] This is another reason why we are optimistic that we may have seen the last of the incidents.
[jdwham] A

brief interruption Mayor, if I may
[pdobbs] Yes, Doug?
[jdwham] I’m going to start making a list of questioners so

you may begin PMing me, but please be patient
[jdwham] We are all new at this
[jdwham] Now Mayor, please

continue
[pdobbs] …
[pdobbs] oh, yes
[pdobbs] Our own investigators and forensic experts have surmised that

the making of the overall pattern may have been the goal of the perpetrators all along.
[pdobbs] If you look at the map,

you will hopefully see what I am talking about.
[pdobbs] Now that it is done, we probably won’t see any additional

incidents.
[pdobbs] We have also been working with these same experts and some resources from surrounding large

metropolitan areas to try and determine if the symbol in question is the recognized markings for any known gangs or

organizations.
[pdobbs] So far, I’m sad to report, we have not uncovered any possible connections along these lines.

[pdobbs] Now please bear with me folks, I am almost done, and I hope this is helpful to you.
[pdobbs] After thorough

documentation of the images and incidents via photography, we have begun the clean-up process which should be complete this

week.
[pdobbs] This, plus the cessation of the incidents themselves should help put this whole thing behind us. Chief

Prufrock has assured me that we have several concrete and significant leads we are following up to identify, locate, and

prosecute the responsible parties.
[pdobbs] When we have more that we can release on that, we will.
[pdobbs] Okay

then.
[pdobbs] I thank you for being patient.
[pdobbs] At this time, I would like to return the floor to Mr.

Willingham, who will open the forum for questions.
[jdwham] OK just one minute please
[jdwham] I understand that

people using a chat applet
[jdwham] are having trouble PMing me
[jdwham] Please be patient we are working on it

* jdwham sets mode: +v myssfitz
[jdwham] ok the first question is from myssfitz
[pdobbs] Please pardon me if I

mispronounce your name - there are so many difficult ones out there.
[myssfitz] Yes,
[pdobbs] Myssfitz, your

question please?
* pdobbs sets mode: +o jdwham
[myssfitz] Can you give us any info on what the copycats did and how

they were determined to be different? did they contain circles of any kind?
[pdobbs] Ah, very good question.

[pdobbs] I will answer you what I can.
* jdwham sets mode: -a jdwham
[myssfitz] Thank you
[pdobbs] Without

going into details that might jeopardize the ongoing investigation…
[pdobbs] certain of the incidents, upon

investigation, were found to be significantly different from the rest, either in the materials used or the actual design

itself.
[pdobbs] The police feel comfortable in declaring them “copycats” to the ten unidentified-source acts of

vandalism.
[pdobbs] Now, in two of the copycat incidents, the subsequent investigations have led to the identification

of alleged perpetrators, both local teenagers or groups of teenagers in each case
* jdwham sets mode: -v myssfitz

[pdobbs] Don’t worry JD, I’m being very careful with what I say here
[jdwham] We all appreciate that Mayor

/>[pdobbs] We need to respect the privacy of juvenile offenders to an extent, I’m sure you all understand - and as of now

they are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
[pdobbs] So to this end, these cases have been referred to the

appropriate authorities for follw-up and possible prosectuion.
[pdobbs] More than likely (as it IS part of my political

platform), these youths will be put to work in a community-service type program in which they can help clean up the

graffiti markings around town.
[pdobbs] I hope that addresses your question. Who’s next, JD?
[jdwham] Ok, the next

question will be from eulalie
* jdwham sets mode: +v eulalie
[jdwham] OK Eulalie you have the floor
[eulalie]

hmm too fast .. ok
[eulalie] Thank you .. Could we get the positions on the map labled in order to see if they are

moving in a specific direction or pattern when they create this design and what material did they use?
[pdobbs] JD - I

think we have resolved the technical problem with people PM’ing you.
[jdwham] Thats great
[pdobbs] Sorry for

interrupting, Eulalie
[eulalie] s’ok
[pdobbs] Now, as I recall, the map is already labeled
[eulalie] oh your

right .. sorry :) didn’t convert dates properly heh
[pdobbs] So you can see how things have progressed, unless Sam

hasn’t gotten that copy up yet. I will have to check into it after this conference is over.
[pdobbs] Thank you.

[pdobbs] As for materials, I’m afraid I can’t answer, for fear of more copycats, among other reasons related to the ongoing

investigations
* jdwham sets mode: -v eulalie
[pdobbs] Boy that JD sure is fast at whipping the floor away from

people.
[jdwham] Sorry
[jdwham] Just a little new at this all
[pdobbs] Okay folks, who’s next?
[jdwham]

Please feel free to PM me if I cut you off too fast
[jdwham] Next question is from danman_d
* jdwham sets mode: +v

danman_d
[danman_d] Do you have any indication of what the symbol may represent? A code or message perhaps?

[pdobbs] Well, as I mentioned in my statement
[pdobbs] this is something we have been looking into but we haven’t been

able to attach any meaning or significance to it ourselves - the police are investigating, however.
[pdobbs] One thing I

can tell you
[pdobbs] The investigators have been looking into known possible sources for graffiti - gangs, indigents,

teenage pranks, cults, that sort of thing
[pdobbs] But so far, nothing conclusive has been found.
[danman_d] OK,

thank you very much.
[pdobbs] You’re very welcome, sir.
* jdwham sets mode: -v danman_d
[pdobbs] Doug, do we

have any other questions?
[jdwham] For the next question we go to numark
* jdwham sets mode: +v numark

[numark] Good evening, Mayor. Thanks for taking my question. As an outsider to the county, I don’t quite recognize some of

the establishments where graffiti has been found.
[numark] In particular, the northernmost copycat incident. What

location is that and does it have any relation to any of the “true” graffitti incidents?
[pdobbs] Well, copycat

incidents are indeed copycats - they wouldn’t have relation to true graffiti incidents.
[pdobbs] Now as I recall

[pdobbs] the northernmost graffiti incident was on a billboard on the side of the road, and I don’t recall it being a

copycat incident.
[pdobbs] if that’s not the one you mean, can you please clarify?
[numark] Sorry, mayor for

interrupting, but I was referring to the northernmost copycat incident, not the northernmost of all of them
[numark] It

appears to be toward the middle of North Street.
[pdobbs] Oh the one in the center of town?
[numark] Yes.

[pdobbs] That was on a statue.
[pdobbs] You may have seen it - old Jacob Ong throwing his hat in the air
[pdobbs]

That will in fact be one of the first graffiti incidents the juveniles clean, if I have my way. I love that statue.

[pdobbs] As I was saying before though - being a copycat incident, it’s not related to the other incidents.
[pdobbs]

Does that answer your question now?
[numark] Yes, very nicely, thank you.
* jdwham sets mode: -v numark

[pdobbs] All right - and welcome to Aglaura, Numark. Who’s next?
[jdwham] OK the next question will be from

ZMaiden
* jdwham sets mode: +v ZMaiden
[ZMaiden] Indeed. I understand if you cannot reveal too much. I was

wondering if anyone has taken credit for the
[ZMaiden] actual events
[pdobbs] You mean the graffiti events?

/>[ZMaiden] yes..not the copycats
[pdobbs] well nobody actually took credit for the copycats either - the police found

them.
[pdobbs] As to the unidentified-source incidents, again, this is something I cannot comment on due to the ongoing

investigation.
[pdobbs] I hope you understand.
[ZMaiden] of course I do, sir.
[pdobbs] Thank you.

[pdobbs] Doug, is there anyone else?
* jdwham sets mode: -v ZMaiden
[jdwham] Next will be FFnInSep_
[pdobbs]

Well it’d be nice if you handed him the microphone, Doug.
[jdwham] OK sorry for the delay
[jdwham] Technical

problems
[pdobbs] and a touch of levity.
[jdwham] How about konamouse?
* jdwham sets mode: +v konamouse

[konamouse] thank you.
[konamouse] We heard reports of “mysterious objects” being placed inside peoples locked home or

cars. Can you describe and comment on these items? Are there any pictures available? Thank you
[pdobbs] I should ask

you - what have you heard?
[konamouse] There was a news report from Channel 8
[konamouse] but since I don’t get

that channel, I couldn’t see the series of reports.
[pdobbs] I am not aware of any objects being placed anywhere that

are related to the graffiti - as far as I’m concerned, they’re separate incidents.
[konamouse] People were finding

objects in their cars, it was part of the same series with the graffitti in locked homes/garages.
[konamouse] you have

to admit that weird objects placed in locked cars, and weird graffitti, seem related.
[pdobbs] Well there’s one critical

difference - finding an item in a locked car isn’t quite vandalism - though I agree with you, it’s terribly weird.

[konamouse] We’d like a little more information on the reported items.
[pdobbs] It’s for that reason I can honestly

say that I am not aware of any investigation into the matter - JD, do you know anything offhand?
[jdwham] Well I do know

some incidents have been reported
[jdwham] But as far as I know
[jdwham] the police had determined they were either

family pranks or just cases of resident’s confusion
[konamouse] what were the objects?
[jdwham] Nothing at all to

tie it into the graffiti as far as we are concerned
[jdwham] We may be able to rpovide that information
[konamouse]

and why did the news reporter deem it part of the investigation with the graffitti?
[pdobbs] Konamouse - and anyone else

here - I will look into it and if there’s anything worth reporting, I will cover it at another time. Until then, though, do

me a favor and keep your eyes peeled - our Tip Line is still open. I certainly can’t speak for news reporters - perhaps you

should contact Channel 8?
[jdwham] In a separate forum but we just dont have that info with us right now

[konamouse] okay, thank you, we’d appreciate any information possible.
[pdobbs] Now, now, JD - I understand their

concern. I assure you, it’s not that I am not concerned about this myself, I just don’t have any information about it -

we’ve been awfully busy answering questions about Dale, and investigating the graffiti incidents.
* jdwham sets mode: -v

konamouse
[pdobbs] We all have our priorities in life, and the police do not have infinite resources (as they always

seem to tell me, anyway). Who’s next.
[jdwham] OK next will be the42guy
[pdobbs] As long as he remains seated.

:)
* jdwham sets mode: +v the42guy
[the42guy] My question is: Obviously, the graffiti has circles on a circle,

and I’ve seen some filled in, some not filled in (in the pictures I’ve seen). My question is, do circles or spheres mean

anything especially to Aglaura, and does the graffiti face a certain direction, is it rotated a certain direction, and is it

any certain color? Also, this may be irrelevant, but have you seen or heard about the “men with dead eyes” I have heard

about, an
[the42guy] sorry about earlier, btw
[pdobbs] Oh it’s quite alright. Your question is actually well worth

the wait.
[pdobbs] I’ve seen the same pictures you have, actually - I really couldn’t tell you anything about direction

or orientation
[pdobbs] I’m not sure what you mean about men with dead eyes - there have indeed been many strangers

milling around town the past month, as I’m sure the residents here today can agree.
[pdobbs] We have received reports of

strangers involved in a wide variety of things over the past month, from taking pictures of local buildings, to harrassing

the local residents for information, local history…
[pdobbs] I can’t say that I know of any connection to the graffiti

incidents, however.
[the42guy] okay, thanks
[pdobbs] As for color - I’ve seen the same black circles you have.

[the42guy] alright
[pdobbs] And you can just walk around town and look at what’s left.
[the42guy] could we

possibly get more pictures at a later time?
[pdobbs] I’ll leave that to the police department - we’re reticent to

release more than need be with an ongoing investigation, but I don’t see the harm in posting a picture or two of things you

can see just walking aruond town.
[pdobbs] Sound good?
[the42guy] yah, thanks a bunch
[pdobbs] Okay, who’s

next
* jdwham sets mode: -v the42guy
[jdwham] Next will be spambot99
* jdwham sets mode: +v spambot99

[spambot99] Is there something special or unique about the materials used?
[pdobbs] As I stated previously to another

person’s question - Eulalie, I believe it was - we cannot release that information because of the ongoing investigation.

[pdobbs] Anyone else?
* jdwham sets mode: -v spambot99
[jdwham] Yes, next will be whitterbug
* jdwham sets

mode: +v whitterbug
[whitterbug] Thank you. Mayor Dobbs, The original graffiti shown on the Aglaura website seemed to

be incomplete.
[whitterbug] Did anyone come back and complete the symbol after it’s discovery?
[pdobbs] you mean on

the library?
[whitterbug] yes
[pdobbs] It hasn’t been touched since then.
[pdobbs] Knock on wood
[pdobbs]

Ok, who’s next?
* jdwham sets mode: -v whitterbug
[jdwham] OK next is setebolo
[jdwham] Oops he must have

left
[pdobbs] I see him there near the back, but he might be sleeping.
[jdwham] OK on to grumpyboy then

[pdobbs] Oh well, if he wakes up, let him ask his question.
[pdobbs] I can’t entertain everybody.
* jdwham sets

mode: +v grumpyboy
[grumpyboy] Thank you Mayor
[pdobbs] Yes sir.
[grumpyboy] my question is: I understand the

grafitti at the library is unfinished because the perpetrators were interupted. Who interupted them and did they get a good

look at the perps? Were the perps interupted in any of the other grafitti incidents?
[pdobbs] Good lord, who teaches

you guys to do such homework? I have a police force that might like some of you on the forensics team.
[pdobbs]

Alright, not as funny a comment as I had hoped. :)
[pdobbs] Anyway, to answer your question
[pdobbs] As you

noted, the very first incident reported, the one at the Library, we received reports from eyewitnesses who seem to have come

upon the culprits as they were making the symbol
[pdobbs] Unfortunately, the two people who made this report have given

us different and somewhat contradictory descriptions.
[grumpyboy] is it possible for you to give us some details of the

descriptions?
[pdobbs] These particular eyewitnesses are some of Aglaura’s oldest residents, and we are attributing the

apparent discrepencies to either their poor eyesight, the time of day (dusk), or just confusion caused by the excitement

of the incident for the old couple.
[pdobbs] I’m afraid I cannot release their names or descriptions at this time,

no.
[pdobbs] Since the time of the first incident, there have been no confirmed sightings of anyone associated with the

graffiti
[grumpyboy] so the rest of the grafittis were “completed”?
[pdobbs] I hope you understand my reluctance at

sharing the names of esteemed Aglaura townsfolk; I hope I haven’t said too much on this already.
[pdobbs] Yes, the rest

of the graffiti - to the best of my recollection - was completed.
[grumpyboy] sorry mayor, just to clarify
[pdobbs]

Boy, you *are* grumpy.
[pdobbs] But continue, please. :)
[grumpyboy] you cant release the descriptions of the

perps?
[pdobbs] Well it *is* an ongoing investigation.
[grumpyboy] alright just wanted to make sure u didnt mean

the descriptions of the witnesses
[pdobbs] But honestly, I don’t remember specifics off the top of my head - the police

weren’t treating them too seriously at the time because they didn’t make sense - all across the board, they were.

[pdobbs] I hope you can understand, but we weren’t anticipating a series of incidents, either.
[pdobbs] Well I meant

both, in a way.
[grumpyboy] Thank you Mayor (oh, and I’m not really grumpy).
[pdobbs] No, you were actually

quite pleasant. Thank you.
* jdwham sets mode: -v grumpyboy
[pdobbs] I tell you what - I’ll see what I can dig up,

but I can’t make any promises at this time.
[pdobbs] Who’s nex t?
[jdwham] OK next question will try setebolo

again
* jdwham sets mode: +v setebelo
[setebelo] Good evening, Mayor. And sorry for my poor english, this is not my

first language. How many graffitis were found indoors? Can we have the name of the owners of the non-public buildings where

the graffitis were found?
[pdobbs] Your English is excellent, actually.
[setebelo] thank you :)
[pdobbs]

There were two* indoor incidents.
[pdobbs] Names may be released upon the conclusion of the investigation, although some

should be fairly intuitive just looking at the map.
[pdobbs] Does that answer your question?
[setebelo] yes, but

can we know were the two indoors occured?
[setebelo] where…
[pdobbs] I understand that various local

residentshave been revealing names and locations to the media and to people who inquire, but I don’t feel right discussing

what I feel are private matters for Aglaura’s citizens.
[setebelo] s’ok. thank you.
[pdobbs] And thank you. Who’s

next?
* jdwham sets mode: -v setebelo
[jdwham] Next question will be from KyraB
* jdwham sets mode: +v

KyraB
[jdwham] Kyra?
* jdwham sets mode: -v KyraB
[jdwham] OK let’s try cemgate
[pdobbs] Ah yes, Ms.

Gatenza. Welcome to you.
* jdwham sets mode: +v cemgate
[cemgate] Aside from the copycats and the “unfinished”

incident on the Library, were they all identical in form?
[cemgate] Hi Mayor;)
[pdobbs] Pretty much, yes, they

were.
[pdobbs] I can’t give you specific details though because of the ongoing investigations.
[cemgate] They seem

to have an esoteric edge to them, are there any “identifiable” areas in Aglaura that have things like “standing stones”, or

mini stone-henge type things
[pdobbs] Gosh, not that I’m aware of
[cemgate] Thanks..that’s all
[pdobbs] I’m

familiar with the town, but specific things like that aren’t my expertise, really.
* jdwham sets mode: -v cemgate

[jdwham] OK next will be maggiemae
* jdwham sets mode: +v maggiemae
* maggiemae hands the Mayor a donut.

[maggiemae] Good evening Mayor. You mentioned a number of ‘outsiders’ asking locals questions on town history and

photographing buildings. Did this begin around the time of the graffiti? What buildings have reported the photographs taken

and what history questions are they asking?
* pdobbs isn’t allowed to accept gifts.
[maggiemae] Aw :)

[pdobbs] Oy, outsiders.
[pdobbs] Normally, I love ‘em. Love ‘em to pieces.
[pdobbs] We’ve just had SO MANY over

the past month, ever since Mr. Sprague’s accident it seems.
[pdobbs] So yes, I’d say it all has happened within that

time.
[maggiemae] Can you tell us what buildings, parts of town, specific aspects of the town history?
[pdobbs] As

far specific buildings, I really couldn’t tell you - it’s like we have tons of inquisitive minds getting to know our little

town, taking pictures of everything really.
[maggiemae] Is there anyone on your investigative team that you could put me

in contact with to ask questions of?
[pdobbs] That’s hard to say - e-mail me later with some details about what you’d

like to know, and I’ll forward them to the Sheriff.
[maggiemae] Oh, and were there any strange goings on *before* the

whole Dale Sprague incident began?
[pdobbs] She would be the most likely to know the answer to that, as far as who can

help you anyway.
[pdobbs] There weren’t any real strange goings on - we’ve been a pretty quiet, peaceful little town and

all. You want weird, though, I believe we have a local business that’s all about weird.
[maggiemae] That would be the

Emporium of the Weird?
[pdobbs] I think that’s the name of it, yes.
[pdobbs] Alright, JD, who’s next?
* jdwham

sets mode: -v maggiemae
[jdwham] OK let’s see, next on the list is dmax
[jdwham] ?mode #aglaura v dmax

[jdwham] sorry
[pdobbs] Speak English, JD
* jdwham sets mode: +v dmax
[dmax] Thank you for the

opportunity!
[dmax] is this thing on
[dmax] heh
[pdobbs] Indeed.
[dmax] My understanding is that all

buildings that have been stained with graffiti have been built or modified by the Marzano family. Is this correct? Are the

Marzanos tied to the graffiti problem to your knowledge?
[pdobbs] I think you even woke up Seteblo again
[dmax]

sorry, I’ll talk quieter
[pdobbs] Absolutely not.
[pdobbs] No correlation to the Marzano family whatsoever.

[pdobbs] Next?
[dmax] But certainly they would have an interest in their construction
* jdwham sets mode: -v

dmax
[jdwham] Mayor I’m sorry to interrupt but
[pdobbs] Don’t worry, JD. What’s wrong?
[jdwham] It seems the

Police Chief has returned and would like to speak to you
[pdobbs] Oh really, where is she?
[jdwham] She would

really like to have a private word with you
[pdobbs] Nonsense. She should be here anyway helping with the press

conference. Please, ask her to come in.
[jdwham] Ah, hold on a second
[pdobbs] Dawn, please, come up here if you

would.
* jdwham sets mode: +v aglaurachief
[aglaurachief] Mr Mayor
[aglaurachief] Im sorry for being late

[pdobbs] That’s okay, Dawn. What’s wrong?
[aglaurachief] Something very important came up and I had to respond

/>[aglaurachief] We had a report from a local resident, a pretty frantic call
[pdobbs] Well please, speak freely.

[aglaurachief] About someone trying to get into their home
[aglaurachief] They claimed whoever it was identified

themselves as the Police
[pdobbs] Oh my. Well we’ve taken names, and I sincerely doubt it’s any of these fine folk

here.
[aglaurachief] But when they looked outside they knew it wasnt so they called us
[aglaurachief] When I and

another officer responded we found the house deserted with no sign of the owner or possible intruders
[aglaurachief] Or

any sign of forced entry
[aglaurachief] But there’s something you really need to know
[pdobbs] Really, please,

continue… you know my motto about openness.
[aglaurachief] The house was on Winton Pond Road
[aglaurachief] It

was Dale Sprague’s house
[pdobbs] Oh dear.
[jdwham] Errr I think we need to end this Mayor
[pdobbs] Folks, I’m

sorry, I really must leave.
[pdobbs] JD, please clean up in here.
[jdwham] OK folks Im sorry for the rather abrupt

ending
[jdwham] I hope you all got what you were looking for tonight
[jdwham] Thank you very much