Tag Archives: alternate reality game

Launch Day For “The Incident at Ongs Hat” and Episode Two of “Behind the Scenes”

Is BTS an ARG? (and other not so pressing questions)

Today is the day that the broadcast of the series, The Incident at Ong’s Hat, on BBC 4 and BBC Sounds podcast.

Episode 2 of Behind the Scenes, P. Emerson Williams.

P. Emerson Williams is a multi-media artist who has a hard time separating music, art, writing, and video. More people listen to the sounds of P. Emerson Williams every day than realize it, for much of it is embedded in extensive associated and pseudonymous projects past, present, and ongoing. P. Emerson Williams is an artist and illustrator whose work takes shape in physical and digital media, and his passion is for embodying mythic, melding visual and sonic art with narrative form. His singular touch takes projects spanning physical and digital media, genres, and modes of performance into strange realms.

https://digital.panicmachine.com/

https://hermetic.com/anthology/profile/p-emerson-williams/index

You may also recognize Peter’s name from past projects with me, such as The Incunabula Papers- Platinum 20th Anniversary Audio Book Edition, editing and playing a role as Milfred Connely, shortwave conspiracy researcher extraordinaire. And who can forget Peter’s role as Ralph in Xen: The Zen of the Other audio-drama, as well as his production contributions to these projects and contributions to some of my past projects like Greylodge.

Here is an RSS feed for your convenience, or you may wait for this Substack to remind you each Friday for the duration of the series.
https://api.substack.com/feed/podcast/232444.rss

Enjoy.


There is some speculation if BTS is some adjacent lead-in for an ARG or a treasure hunt for, say, The Liminal Trilogy. What would be the purpose of that? This and one more non-fiction series coming out later this year is my farewell to the OH subject. Besides, if I was going to do an ARG, I’d probably make it far too large and complicated with a very real payoff. Who has the time and attention span for that?


The Incident at Ong’s Hat

Episode 1 of 5

CREDITS

Sarah Larsen, a yoga instructor, and her friend Charlie Brill went in search of Ong’s Hat, a fabled gateway to another dimension. Now Sarah is missing, and maybe this urban legend isn’t a legend at all…

Cast: Charlie – Corey Brill Sarah – Avital Ash Rodney Ascher – Himself Det. Stecco – James Bacon Casey – Hayley Taylor Ringo – Benjamin Williams Kit – Randall Keller Denny Unger – Himself Joseph Matheny – Himself Newscasters: Elizabeth Saydah, Dean Wendt

Created and Produced by Jon Frechette and Todd Luoto Inspired by Ong’s Hat: The Beginning by Joseph Matheny Music by Blue Dot Sessions, Jon Frechette, Chris Zabriskie, Anthéne, Macrogramma (under Creative Commons) Editing and Sound Design – Jon Frechette Additional Editing – Brandon Kotfila and Greg Myers Special Thanks – Ben Fineman

Written and Directed by Jon Frechette Executive Producer – John Scott Dryden

“Ong’s Hat Survivors Interview” courtesy of Joseph Matheny Visit thegardenofforkedpaths.com and josephmatheny.com

A Goldhawk production for Radio 4 and BBC Sounds

 

Announcing the Incident at Ong’s Hat

Behind the Scenes Episode 1– David Metcalfe

From the Substack

A new series will premier on BBC 4 Radio Limelight on air and then as a podcast after every Friday broadcast for the next five weeks. The series starts on Fri, 27 Jan 2023. It is a five-part series titled The Incident at Ong’s Hat.

LINK: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001hg08

The series is inspired by Ong’s Hat: The Beginning along with elements from my personal life.

A new episode will premier every Friday. (Episode list can be found here.)

The credit list can also be accessed by clicking “show more” below the description. I make an appearance playing “myself,” or at least a fictionalized version of myself, as it were.

In anticipation of the premier, I am sharing some raw audio interviews conducted as background material by the producers. I will run one behind-the-scenes piece every Friday before the broadcast and podcast release of each episode. I am calling this series Behind the Scenes.

https://incunabula.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/David-Metcalfe.mp3?_=1

Here is an RSS feed for your convenience, or you may wait for this Substack to remind you each Friday for the duration of the series. https://api.substack.com/feed/podcast/232444.rss

Linked above is the first interview with my friend David Metcalfe. It is raw and unedited.

If you don’t know about David, you should. I consider him one of the preeminent researchers into the nuanced world of liminal places and states.

From his vision document: David Metcalfe is currently a Scholar in Virtual Residence with the Windbridge Institute and the Editor-in-Chief for the Windbridge Research Center’s Threshold: Journal of Interdisciplinary Consciousness studies – a researcher, writer, and multimedia specialist focusing on the interrelationship of art, culture, and consciousness, in 2011 he established the Liminal Analytics: Applied Research Collaborative to focus on testing and deploying a unique combination of applied scholarship, market intelligence, digital media, and social network development in order to build strategic, multidisciplinary lines of communication.

Enjoy.

Disclaimer: The Incident at Ong’s Hat was not written by me. It is a true crime podcast story using elements of the Ong’s Hat narrative, along with elements taken from my personal life, with my permission and participation. This is part of the reason I am sharing the interviews behind this story. I think seeing both sides, the facts and the fiction, will shine a light on the process.


1. The Incunabula Papers

LimelightThe Incident at Ong’s Hat

Episode 1 of 5

CREDITS

Sarah Larsen, a yoga instructor, and her friend Charlie Brill went in search of Ong’s Hat, a fabled gateway to another dimension. Now Sarah is missing, and maybe this urban legend isn’t a legend at all…

Cast: Charlie – Corey Brill Sarah – Avital Ash Rodney Ascher – Himself Det. Stecco – James Bacon Casey – Hayley Taylor Ringo – Benjamin Williams Kit – Randall Keller Denny Unger – Himself Joseph Matheny – Himself Newscasters: Elizabeth Saydah, Dean Wendt

Created and Produced by Jon Frechette and Todd Luoto Inspired by Ong’s Hat: The Beginning by Joseph Matheny Music by Blue Dot Sessions, Jon Frechette, Chris Zabriskie, Anthéne, Macrogramma (under Creative Commons) Editing and Sound Design – Jon Frechette Additional Editing – Brandon Kotfila and Greg Myers Special Thanks – Ben Fineman

Written and Directed by Jon Frechette Executive Producer – John Scott Dryden

“Ong’s Hat Survivors Interview” courtesy of Joseph Matheny Visit thegardenofforkedpaths.com and josephmatheny.com

A Goldhawk production for Radio 4 and BBC Sounds

REMEMBERING PETER LAMBORN WILSON ANARCHIST, AUTHOR, POET, SCHOLAR, & VISUAL ARTIST 1945- 2022

a color photo of an elderly Peter Lamborn Wilson with a microphone reading from Temporary Autonomous Zone, Photo by Chris Funkhouser

by David Tighe
Fifth Estate # 412, Fall, 2022
https://www.fifthestate.org/archive/412-fall-2022/remembering-peter-lamb…

Peter Lamborn Wilson is best known for the book TAZ.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchism, Poetic Terrorism, and rightfully so. Written as Hakim Bey and first published by Autonomedia in 1991, many of the texts in TAZ had circulated for years in the ’80s zine underground.

Drawing inspiration from the Situationists, classical anarchism, continental philosophy (Lyotard’s Driftwork, Deleuze & Guattari’s Nomadology), pirate utopias, the American communitarian tradition, and dropouts of every sort, Wilson did not invent the TAZ—he just gave it a name.

The book and the concept of the TAZ served as a sort of lightning rod. It received ringing denunciations from some quarters (Murray Bookchin dismissed it as lifestyle anarchism) and was a source of inspiration for generations of rebels and anarchists who did not want to wait for the revolution to have experiences of freedom and autonomy in their lives.

It informed the philosophy and tactics of Reclaim the Streets, the squatters movement, Burning Man, Occupy Wall Street, radical environmental camps, and the anti-Globalization movement. Anarchists, punks, ravers, hackers, activists, dropouts, and revolutionaries of many stripes took what they wanted, magpie-like, from an inspired and colorful text.

The Z.A.D. (zone à défendre) in France, and the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle are just two of the recent manifestations that drew inspiration from TAZ. It is a book that has left its stamp on anarchist tactics and direct action and continues to be discovered by new generations who re-imagine it for the present moment.

Peter Lamborn Wilson was an anarchist, author, poet, independent scholar, and visual artist. His work did not stop in the 30+ years since TAZ was first published. Although his ideas evolved over the years, he never turned his back on the TAZ concept, nor did he mind when younger generations took it to very different places than he would have.

Wilson was a student radical and a classics major at Columbia University before dropping out in the mid-1960s. He spent time at Timothy Leary’s Millbrook LSD estate and participated in the psychedelic churches movement. In a memoir, he recounts his attempt at being an anarchist bomber, which failed when his bomb fizzled.

Disillusioned by the failure of revolution in America, he traveled to Afghanistan and India, seeking initiation into various spiritual traditions. Eventually ending up in Iran at the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy, he edited their English language journal Sophia Perennis, studying (and practicing) Iranian Sufism, and translating Sufi and Ismali poetry from Persian. This exploration of the heterodox edges of Islam continued after his forced emigration from Iran after the revolution in 1979.

His interest in antinomianism (anti, “against”; nomos, “law”), sexual liberation, and heresy within various religious traditions continued his entire life in both research and spiritual practice. He admired figures like Sabbatai Sevi, Jacob Frank, African American Islamic pioneer and prophet Noble Drew Ali, Catholic anarchists Ivan Illich, Dorothy Day, and Ammon Hennacy, Abeizer Coppe of the 17th century Ranters, William Blake, Sufi philosopher Ibn Arabi, French Utopian Charles Fourier, and many others. His writings are peppered with examples of colorful sects, failed messiahs, and millenarian uprisings.

Returning to the United States in the 1980s and settling in New York, Wilson reconnected with the anarchist movement. He was instrumental in the reinvigoration of the Libertarian Book Club. Using the original sense of libertarian (i.e., anarchist), the LBC was originally founded by Sam and Esther Dolgoff in 1945. Wilson and a new generation of anarchists connected with the Dolgoffs and many other old timers who had known Emma Goldman.

Another active member of the LBC at the time was Frank Brand (Enrico Arrigoni), a fascinating Stirinerite illegalist anarchist who was a veteran of anarchist struggles in Italy during World War I. Wilson wrote about Brand and was instrumental in getting his memoir (Freedom: My Dream) republished in 2012.

Wilson also inherited a radio show on the venerable radical New York City institution, WBAI. Beginning in 1987, The Moorish Orthodox Radio Crusade was a vital source for information about anarchist and subcultural activities in New York. Wilson went through his mailbag live on-air promoting the vibrant blossoming of radical ideas happening in the zine scene at the time.

Announcements were made for upcoming episodes of Tuli Kupferberg’s anarchist TV show, fundraisers for various causes and upcoming protests. Reports from the crumbling Soviet bloc, long form interviews, and fascinating music were mainstays, along with reports from co-host Bill Weinberg about the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas and other hot spots in Latin America.

At the same time, Peter was a member of the editorial collective at Autonomedia publishing, and a co-editor of its New Autonomy series. Many readers first encountered the work of John Zerzan, Silvia Federici, Steve Abbot, the Critical Art Ensemble, Jacques Camatte, Th. Metzger, or Bart Plantenga through that series. Autonomedia was publishing the journal Semiotext(e) at that time, and Wilson co-edited two very important issues.

Semiotext(e) USA (1987) was the first book length exploration of the 1980s underground zine scene, and brought together a wild array of voices from zines ranging from totally obscure figures to well known literary ones like William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. Later, through Ginsberg, Wilson taught at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colo.

Recordings exist of all the courses he taught and faculty readings. They are worth checking out to get a feeling for Wilson’s gift of gab. He was a tremendous speaker—funny, charismatic, extremely knowledgeable about a wide range of topics—in any context. In lecture hall, radio broadcast, or face-to-face conversation, Wilson was a natural.

At Naropa, he befriended Shaman-in-residence Harry E. Smith, the legendary curator of the Anthology of American Folk Music and film maker. Wilson inherited the challenge of editing Smith’s Naropa lectures into book form, one of several yet-to-be-published book projects.

Semiotext(e) SF (1989) brought together many of the same voices from the zine world with many of the most radical voices in (professional) science fiction. These connections to the science fiction world had developed through Wilson writing anarchist-themed science fiction stories for both amateur and professional publications. He wrote six or seven short stories around this time, most of which were collected in his book False Documents (2016). He also has a lost sci-fi novel, Hunter’s Moon.

A second volume of sci-fi-inflected fiction was published in 2017, Night Market Noodles. Through an unlikely series of events (and tech savvy friend, Joseph Matheny) two of these early stories moved onto BBS boards and the Internet, morphing into Ong’s Hat, the first alternate reality game (ARG).

Wilson was actively involved in anarchist agitation against the colonialist celebration of the quincentenary of Columbus’s journey and subsequent genocide. One of the things that came out of this agitation was the influential collection Gone To Croatan: The Origins of North American Dropout Culture, which documented the hidden history of resistance to colonialism in North America.

It brought together an all-star cast of radical scholars, scholarly radicals, activists, and artists, and provided tangible evidence that “another world is possible,” and it was there the whole time if you just knew where to look. Wilson helped conceive of the project and assisted co-editors Ron Sakolsky and James Koehnline to bring the volume together.

There is no complete bibliography of Wilson’s work, but his Wikipedia page lists 56 books. He was a prolific writer in many different subjects and the very model of an independent radical scholar.

Wilson was a historian, promoter, and participant in the American communalist tradition. He was a radical historian of piracy in the tradition of E.P. Thompson, Larry Law, and Marcus Rediker. He wrote historical work about anarchism, eugenics, the fringes of Free Masonry, entheogens in Ireland, the last stand of classical Paganism in 5th century Egypt, contemporary art, and was a well-respected poet with 20+ published volumes.

He was a regular figure in the anarchist press, publishing extensively in the Fifth Estate and various zines and micro publications from the 1980s until his death.

Later in life, despite poor health, Wilson remained enthusiastic about the Kurdish struggle, and edited a volume about the Rojava Revolution. He was passionately interested in Indigenous resistance, soliciting information about, and raising money for Wet’suwet’en land defenders in so-called Canada.

He lived out the last years of his life in upstate New York in poverty, surrounded by piles of books, manuscripts, letters from his vast numbers of correspondents, objets d’art, strange religious artifacts, and many friends.

Peter Lamborn Wilson was a brilliant mind who was generous with his time and encouragement. He was a scholar dedicated to human liberation, a lifelong anarchist (from the age of 12, converted by George Herriman’s Krazy Kat) and one of our few truly great anarchist literary figures.

Hail and farewell, Peter Lamborn Wilson: October 20, 1945-May 22, 2022.

David Tighe is an anarchist, mail artist, and zine maker living in Alberta, Canada.

 

This show has now made Pokémon creepy to me.” Augmented and Alternate Reality Games, Interactive Narrative and the Documentary TV Series Hellier

Regardless of whether it is a genuine documentary or not, the series certainly represents the investigative team’s immersion in an interactive quest narrative comparable to such Alternate Reality Games as Joseph Matheny’s Ong’s Hat from 1988 – widely considered to be the first Alternate Reality Game and, like Wriste, associated with both anarchism and occultism – or The Jejune Institute (2008-11) devised by Jeff Hull, which appears to be influenced by Situationism. The team’s immersion parallels the experience of Hellier viewers, such as Dessie_Hull, who are active on Reddit and other social media platforms where they discuss not only the series but also the numerous esoteric texts referenced by the investigators throughout both seasons. It may be, then, that Hellier is not only a work of fiction but also itself an Alternate Reality Game, in which viewers who believe that it is a work of non-fiction are unwitting participants to the extent that, for Dessie_Hull, it has affected their participation in an Augmented Reality Game, the obviously fictional (being based on an existing media franchise) Pokémon GO

LINK: https://interactivefilm.blogspot.com/2021/07/augmented-reality-games-interactive.html

My Old Friend, Nick Herbert in The New Yorker

My old friend gets a nod in the New Yorker regarding his contribution to quantum computing.

The World-Changing Race to Develop the Quantum Computer

Such a device could help address climate change and food scarcity, or break the Internet. Will the U.S. or China get there first?

But Clauser had also demonstrated that entangled particles were more than just a thought experiment. They were real, and they were even stranger than Einstein had thought. Their weirdness attracted the attention of the physicist Nick Herbert, a Stanford Ph.D. and LSD enthusiast whose research interests included mental telepathy and communication with the afterlife. Clauser showed Herbert his experiment, and Herbert proposed a machine that would use entanglement to communicate faster than the speed of light, enabling the user to send messages backward through time. Herbert’s blueprint for a time machine was ultimately deemed unfeasible, but it forced physicists to start taking entanglement seriously. “Herbert’s erroneous paper was a spark that generated immense progress,” the physicist Asher Peres recalled, in 2003.

Read the entire article: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2022/12/19/the-world-changing-race-to-develop-the-quantum-computer

25 BIZARRE CONSPIRACY THEORIES You’ve Never Heard Of #15


Another conspiracy theory “joke” that got out of hand was that of Ong’s Hat, New Jersey. Ong’s Hat was one of the earliest online conspiracy theories, based on a few run-down, abandoned buildings located deep in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

The story goes that science and the paranormal blended together to open doors to other worlds and dimensions. A man by the name of Matheny fueled interest in the area by posing as an investigator and reporting strange occurrences. Soon, though, his “research” started encouraging people to get a little out of hand.

Despite pulling the plug on it, believers refused to think it was all a game. Even in recent years, Matheny has had several people harass him for more information or try to break into his property.

LINK: https://list25.com/25-bizarre-conspiracy-theories-youve-never-heard-of/

ONG’S HAT SQUATCH TALKS PODCAST S3 / EP43

Tonight we just have some things to discuss about upcoming investigations, and look back on what we are truly grateful for. Especially ‘You’ our viewers.
Added to this is some audio recorded on a night hike in the Pine Barrens with the UK BBC who came over the pond to investigate the mystery surrounding Ong’s Hat.

Dirt: Goncharov The greatest mafia movie ever imagined.

“Through parody and satire we’ve shaped this into something solid and genuine,” wrote one Tumblr user, who alluded to other examples of fictional conspiracy theories and fandoms, like Ong’s Hat and Polybius. It is the Tumblr version of “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical,”

READ MORE: https://dirt.substack.com/p/dirt-goncharov?utm_source=substack&utm_campaign=post_embed&utm_medium=web

The Birth of Alternate Reality Games

Alternate Reality Games have existed for far longer than most people realize, I just wanted to talk about some of the first ones. (the outro has all the music used in order)

CONTENTS: 00:00

Intro 00:55

Ong’s Hat 04:17

Publius Enigma 09:13

Blair Witch 11:44

The Beast 14:03

ilovebees 16:04

Closing Thoughts

17:10 Outro