A big box of Babel Research (updated!)

   Posted by: thebruce

(updates appended below; most recent update: Sep.25.10 – Please see disclaimers at the end of the article before commenting)

Today, big things happened. The Box was opened. (ongoing updates appended)

The viral nature of this production certainly did its job. The original video on youtube had a description which was consistently updated every few days. But the description was a countdown. It now reads:


So what happened? We still don’t know… but something. All content indicates that events are taking (have taken?) place in the year 2018, August 6th. Supposedly this is when the events of the video take/took place.

Read on to find out all that’s been discovered, and dig in to the story…

A key point to remember: As with the initial ads spotted in various places for “What’s in the box?”, there are many, many references to J.J. Abrams’ Lost universe, and the ARGs used to promote the tv series. At this point, there’s no connection that this officially has anything to do with Lost or its promotional campaigns. So the following outline only focuses on WITB-related content.

Visit http://whatsinthebox.nl

Hover over the ring and you see the following hex quickly display:

00FFCF FF00D0 8E01FF DAFF00 FF0101 01D4FF 000BFF 42FF00

Now click on the upper quadrant of the ring, and you’ll be forwarded to a high quality presentation of the original video. (note that the “character audio track” is no longer missing as it was in the original viral video)

Click on the lower quadrant of the ring, and an input box appears. Various keywords will provide responses, but of most interest is:

  • help which then displays “high contrast

Others keywords include:

  • (anything incorrect) “uh uh uh, you didn’t say the magic word
  • please = who are you, Dennis Nedry?” (a reference to the character from Jurassic Park who secured his computer with the message above, and ‘please’ wasn’t the answer)
  • whatsinthebox = “soon the world will find out
  • thebox = “what’s in it
  • tenacious dsimply the greatest band on earth
  • babelwhy are you giving me the directions, if you are the one who needs them
  • babelresearchbabel re-search
  • saganoevilsagasliveon
  • hanso4 8 15 16 23 42
  • 4 8 15 16 23 42SYSTEM FAILURE
  • pandoraCopay Pales” (apocalypse?)
  • date06-08-2018

What's in the box?Given the help response, boost contrast, capture the full page image of the ring and boost the contrast, and you see the text appear in the lower left:


Now view the source of the WITB page, and you’ll find commented HTML with the text: /snd/jables.mp3 (listen)

In reverse, this becomes a voice saying:

local protection team report back

Also in the source is an HTML comment at the very end containing:


This is a palidrome (like “Tim Smit”, reads the same forwards and backwards)

Finally, also visible in the sourse:

some things will only be revealed through mirrors and light
Unmask the URL

Visit Babel Research

Now view the source of the website, and you’ll find commented HTML with the text:

/snd/hidden.mp3 (listen)

In reverse, this becomes a voice saying:

yankee november

Also in the source, a number of coloured dot images are labeled with hex colour values. Scattered throughout the page HTML are “key” attributes with the same hex values.

Locate these “key” attributes in the correct order:

00ffcf ff00d0 8e01ff daff00 ff0101 01d4ff 000bff 42ff00 fea702

Now click on the dots in the same order:

5 1 2 7 9 4 3 6 8

When done, this image (army_evac.jpg) appears:

What's in the box?  army_evac.jpg

Visit the ABOUT page, then view the source and you’ll find commented HTML with the text:

/snd/ragekage.mp3 (listen)

In reverse, this becomes a voice saying:

we have a 14-juno situation

If you recall in the video, a number is entered into the first cell phone, the Samsung A500. In the login entry field at the top right of Babel Research, enter the number:


The page refreshes an this message appears:

As of 6th of august all remote systemchecks have come to a halt. Please contact local authorities or use remote any remote accesspoint.

What's in the box?  schrodinger's catWatch closely at the bottom of the website, to the left of the corporate logos. Occasionally, a small image of the schrodinger cat will appear.

When it appears, click it quickly, and you can download the audio file discedoMalum.mp3

In reverse, this becomes a voice saying:

found. project attainable has failed

There’s another clickable object, found in the source, labeled “little secret”. In Firefox, this object is located just to the right of center below the page header (eg, between the “Y” of “Research and Technology” and the “e” of “achieving the impossible” on the BSC page). This method doesn’t work in IE. You can download the audio file uec.mp3

This is a male voice which says:


What’s in the box?

Return to whatsinthebox.nl and open the input box, then enter operation2347 and you’ll be forwarded to a new location…

United European Corps

Once on this site, view the source, and you’ll find commented HTML with the text:

/snd/mc2.mp3 (listen)

In reverse, this becomes a voice saying:

located within quarantine zone

This clip is also revealed in the high quality video stream page source.

The image displayed in the center of this page is located here:

United European Corps

The U.E.C. has open positions, and is allowing people to join!
Join Now” the flyer says, “and find out what’s in the box!” Note: The European Union flag itself has 12 stars. The central circle in this ad contains 13 stars.

We still don’t know what’s in the box.

Available positions:

  • Medical Officer
  • Signal Specialist
  • Infantry Runner
  • System Expert

But if you’d like to join the U.E.C., stay tuned. Certainly the “how” will come to light very shortly. Peace Through Power!

Of course, don’t forget the fine print:

UEC is always looking for volunteers in their campaign for peace.

Come and join the discussion over at Unfiction! Or take this mystery to another community you frequent. Hopefully soon the world will in fact find out what on earth is in the box!


More discoveries… Much like anti.gif located on whatsinthebox.nl, there is also an anti.jpg located on bable-research.eu:

What's in the box? anti.jpg

This image contains a number of formulas and scans from textbooks. In the header is the Hilbert Matrix. I’ve attempted to separate some of the overlays for easier visualization:

What's in the box?  Overlay1What's in the box?  Overlay2What's in the box?  Overlay3What's in the box?  Anti-clipWhat's in the box?  Anti-remainder. Note some leftover illegible text

Also missed in the outline above, when viewing the Whatsinthebox ring:

Clicking the left quadrant of the ring displays a video of a “TST” news broadcast taking place during the primary event from the ‘test reel’. A number of audio languages are overlaid, but there is certainly much to take in.

About two thirds through the broadcast, a single frame flashes containing the UEC logo:

What's in the box?  TST News

At the end of the news broadcast there is a segment of reversed audio.

62-long. / Primary object not f–

Clicking the right quadrant of the ring scatters a number of newspaper clippings around the ring.

What's in the box?  Newspaper clippings

Some of the heading letters are clickable, removing the articles, but leaving only the letters that would spell:



Visit babel-research.eu/witb/exposed and you’ll be presented with another, very faint, image. Adjusted, it appears to be a an overlaid eye on the Babel Research website.

What's in the box?  Exposed


The notification image (warning.jpg) on Babel-Research.eu also contains a cryptic hidden message. The adjusted image reveals another mathematical formula – Planck Time.

What's in the box?  Warning!


The header image (title_nar.jpg) from the website also contains a hint to try checking for the ‘anti‘ image:

What's in the box?  Babel Research header


The Army_evac popup image flyer noted above also contains a hidden message.

What's in the box?  SAGA


Headway has been made with the “+HS PQY-4FLI” string back at the main site. The hidden HTML clue: “some things will only be revealed through mirrors and light” indicates how to find the string, and what to do with it. Place a mirror along the center line (or just photoshop it) and you find this:

What's in the box?  Hell.

Now visit the Babel Research site and enter “hell” in the login field, and you can download the audio file X.mp3 (listen)

The request for the audio file is actually a javascript redirect, which includes the comment:


In reverse, this becomes a few voices saying:

Brout has been secured. / Roger that. / Tango

“Brout” is referenced in the original video at approx. 4:18, once the 59462 code is entered in the cell phone: “The Brout”, “The Higgs”, and “The Englert”. Another key reference is the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism (wikipedia).


It appears the audio clips can be placed together sequentially. I’ve speculated a possible order of clips, listed below.

[News // discedoMalum // X // hidden // mc2 // ragekage // jables]

(female) …62 long.
(dig.male) Primary object not f//ound. Project Attainable has failed. // Brout has been secured.
(sqawk) Roger that.
(dig.fem) Tango // Yankee November located within quarantine zone. // We have a 14-Juno situation. // Local protection team report back.


The header bar located at babel-research.eu/images/bar.gif contains the same text that scrolls through the CBI marquee in the original video. Points to note:


Analyzing the army_evac.jpg image for more information, you’ll see in the upper right corner a small bar code. It matches the pattern of a U.P.C. code.

What's in the box?  Army_evac bar code

The numbers contained within the guard bars (double lines at the beginning, middle, and end) are

125002 741350

The UPC standard though states the last digit as a checkdigit. With these numbers, the check digit should be “2”, not “0”. Are the numbers important?
(for reference, the checkdigit is calculated, using the first 11 numbers: sum of odd positioned digits multiplied by 3, plus sum of even positioned digits; the remainder after dividing by 10, subtracted from 10 if more than 0. Thus, 10-(((1+5+0+7+1+5)*3+2+0+2+4+3+0) mod 10) = 2)


A new video has appeared from timsmit, entitled “Cars (Second hidden)”, 01.15.10 14:47 (apparently first posted at boxblip.blip.tv, but available on babel-research.eu).


If you look closely at the very end of the film, you will notice below the flaming ring the letters “MMX”. Its meaning is uncertain, however MMX is the roman numerical value for 2010.



A “new” (as of January 15) video by Timacious has been posted to youtube, call “Hey Girl” from Daybroke. While very abstract (and a catchy song), it specifically contains something relevant to WITB. At about 3:28, you will spot the brief appearance of a code that appears related to Babel Research.


Does this imply there are three words to look for that will lead to a hidden web page? Only time will tell.

Edited to add: The other recent video noted in the previous update “Cars” can be viewed on Babel-Research at http://babel-research.eu/129/222/315.html – might this be the URL being referenced in the music video? That would imply that the three ‘words’ are “129”, “222”, and “315”. It may be that the music video was the intended direction from which to lead people to the Cars video (which does bear an eerie similarity to the music video).

Also located in the source code for the Cars video web page following the 7 pipes (“|”) is the following comment:

The wait is not yet over

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/gbn5p56vvps” width=”425″ height=”240″ allowfullscreen=”true” fvars=”fs=1″ /]

Daybroke - Hey Girl, by Timacious

More info:

It is referring to the Cars video. I’ve taken screenshots of recurring elements in the music video, which is clearly instructions for producing the URL to the Cars video.

1) At 1:43 – 1:44, the WITB “?” appears with the timecode below WITB at 1:43
WITB at 1:44
2) At 1:29, the WITB symbol appears with 1/3 and ??:?? where the timecode appeared as above WITB, Code 1/3
3) At 2:22, the WITB symbol appears with 2/3 and ??:?? where the timecode appeared as above WITB, Code 2/3
4) At 3:15, the WITB symbol appears with 3/3 and ??:?? where the timecode appeared as above WITB, Code 3/3

Based on the hint at 1:43-1:44, code 1 = 129, code 2 = 222, code 3 = 315, and that produces the final URL babel-research.eu/129/222/315.html which is the location of “Cars”.


MovieViral.com managed to get an exclusive comment from Tim Smit regarding the continued production of this film as a feature. Tim had this to say:

“I can only say we are in full gear making this into a feature! Although the wait is not yet over!”


On July 31, timacious commented in his own channel with the following message:

“There is much more to come. Things have been crazy. S.t.a.y. T.u.n.e.d.”

Speculation is that something new may happen on the (now infamous) August 6th date, the anniversary of the events from the first video which took place August 6th, 2018.

All we can say is – S.t.a.y. T.u.n.e.d.


On September 24, timsmit uploaded a new Daybroke music video entitled “Sabotage”. As expected, the music video contains a number of hidden easter eggs, though as of this writing nothing that advances the “WITB” mystery.  Watch the video below:

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/lgIiZeZb2nk” width=”425″ height=”240″ allowfullscreen=”true” fvars=”fs=1″ /]

Some hidden easter eggs…

1) At 0:42, the Drink box is labeled “Babel Products”, “110% sugar daddy”
2) At 1:10, the posted on the truck door reads “Truck No. 108”
3) At 1:14, the car’s license plate reads “THE D”
4) At 1:17-1:19, the windows contain letters that read “GOD” from inside. There’s also two green signs labeled C1 and C2 (unsure if they’re relevant however)
5) At 1:19, a TV inside the building is playing the boxblip “Cars” video previously discovered.
6) At 1:52, a guy is wearing a Tenacious D t-shirt
7) At 2:26, two trucks collide, one belonging to Babel Products, transporting Cola. (the blue truck looks like it’s labeled “Mintos”)
8) At 2:30, the hazard sign clearly reads, with the UEC logo:


UEC Missile Site
Under direct authority of [signature?]
[last line illegible]



Comments below are moderated, to help sort signal from noise. Below are the guidelines to keep in mind if you wish to comment (and please do!).

1. To re-iterate (because this is such an enormously popular direction of investigation) – this article won’t be covering anything that’s contained in the old, completed Lost ARG, and that includes anything surrounding Hanso Foundation or Rachel Blake. There are references from WITB to Lost and Hanso – but exploring those leads will only take you to that ARG.

2. Babel-Research.com won’t be included here either, until there is an official, undeniable connection – not speculation, since the site blatantly says it’s not related to whatsinthebox.nl.

3. Regarding the Halflife/Portal connection – any info not connected back in some way to this project is also irrelevant here. It’s obvious that both Lost and Halflife have influence in this production, but let’s focus on what’s directly applicable to these events, in this universe. Consider those connections ‘easter egg’ until/unless it plays a role in this production.

TO CLARIFY: Yes, there is no debate – there are clearly many purposeful references and allusions to the Valve’s Halflife and Abrams’ Lost universes – but they are not officially connected. This was an independent creation. Discussing those universes’ influence on this production is ok, but I’ll moderate comments that continuously push this as advertising for some upcoming Halflife or Lost (or crossover) production – as long as there is no confirmed, official connection.

Tags: ,

Categories: Grassroots, Viral General

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 at 11:48 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

48 comments so far


What about this ?
and this ?

April 7th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Well this article is covering today’s updates.
anti.gif – see resources from the previous article for analysis and discussion :)

thebox.png – I’ve never seen that before. Feel free to explain it!

April 7th, 2009 at 12:35 pm

thebox.png is a result of inverting the colours and changing the contrast of http://www.babel-research.eu/witb/exposed/

April 7th, 2009 at 12:42 pm

where did you find thebox.png
if think http://www.babel-research.eu/anti.jpg and thebox.png may have something to do with each other

April 7th, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Same here on the French side ;o)


April 7th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Wolle – great work!

April 7th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

Was not my achievment..
We are puzzling on #whatsinthebox @ euIRCnet !
join in if you want :D

April 7th, 2009 at 12:58 pm
Nick Croker

You know that “copay pales” is an anagram of “Apocalypse”, I assume – it seems strange to list all of the date entries you can put in, and the responses, without drawing attention to that, I think.

But hey, what do I know?? :D

April 7th, 2009 at 1:01 pm
Joris Pk

I have found something New :) i dont know if you can find a connection but i do not! :S

Here my founding:
this picture i paste in photoshop and used one of the codes for the colours in photshop and found this:

April 7th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Have you noticed the following:


both have hidden text. try using the fill tool and you’ll see. “FAILSAFE” and “ATTAINABLENESS”

April 7th, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Great sleuthing, Joris! Great find!

April 7th, 2009 at 2:32 pm

amazing recopilation

April 7th, 2009 at 2:45 pm

on the “notification”

it is max planck and einstein

April 7th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/7861/52770413.jpg don’t know anyone saw this even though i don’t think it reveals anything..

April 7th, 2009 at 3:44 pm

I feel like +HS PQY-4FLI should be mirrored to make an URL… shall look like 17th-???.sh can’t get the last 3 letters right…

April 7th, 2009 at 4:24 pm

babel-research.com isn’t a part of this. They even say it on their front page:

We do not know what is in the box. The Babel Research mentioned in ARG and a 2007 movie is not us.

Please do not try to hack their web-based mail system.

April 7th, 2009 at 4:24 pm

if place two files: exposed and anti.jpg in separate layers in Photoshop and make their designs match (with rotation) then we can see the phrase: ‘The state of being achievable’ what is the definition of word ‘attainableness’. Could this lead somewhere?..

April 7th, 2009 at 5:26 pm


April 7th, 2009 at 5:46 pm

news video has reversed audio text in the end


April 7th, 2009 at 8:38 pm

You are doing an excellent job, friend. I just wanted to post this:
It’s a lower-quality version of the same video, but uploaded by and tagged by “SOLARPLEX STUDIOS.”

It’s _probably_ just someone uploading the video for themselves in an effort to get a few hits, but I figure no stone unturned, eh?

April 7th, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Found this whilst posting the same topic on my blog. Great work on the deciphering of What is in the box!
Nice site as well.

April 7th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Looks like someone figured out the exposed/anti pic puzzle: http://www.facepunch.com/showpost.php?p=14525776&postcount=352

April 8th, 2009 at 1:28 am

I found a .gif of schrodingers cat on the babel-research.eu/


April 8th, 2009 at 1:28 am

Oh i see you already mentioned it haha.
And to think i thought I found something :P

April 8th, 2009 at 1:33 am
Joris Pk

I found something again that is missing above!
It is in the Anti.jpg and i changed the contrast and brightness in the image and got this:


there is another strange kind of building at the background you didnt found yet ;)

April 8th, 2009 at 1:43 am

hm… ftp://babel-research.eu works

April 8th, 2009 at 2:10 am
Joris Pk

found something again on:
the images contain nothing but the text …:
i do not know if its important… because it is 3 times exactly the same… but post it anyway ;)

April 8th, 2009 at 2:24 am
dr. PacMan

Here background image from babel site. It`s contains hidden part with news

April 8th, 2009 at 2:50 am

In the http://babel-research.eu/images/bar.gif
there is a line :aex +0.7 nasdaq -1.00.
Its pattern is wvery similar to the +hs pqy -4fli line written on the witb site. Nasdaq and AEX are stock exchanges

April 8th, 2009 at 5:03 am

Has anyone else noticed that the other two logos are of Black Mesa, and Aperture Science? And in the text of the babel research website it refers to “The Benefactors” just as the same as in the Half Life universe?
I wonder what the connection is, if there is one

April 8th, 2009 at 6:00 am

Can’t take credit for the picture here, but someone just posted a pretty good mirror of the “+HS PQY-4FLI” picture on unforum.net which looks spot on to be:

Box = Hell.

The rollover on the login box on the babel-research.eu says “Box = ????”.
Typing hell into the login box gives you a download of X.mp3.

It’s another backwards one (and I can’t unbackwards it at work. ) sounds like there are 3 distinct voices. One sounds similar to the Combine voices used on the original vid.


April 8th, 2009 at 6:46 am


April 8th, 2009 at 7:03 am

Playing the audio in the newsfeed backwords says two things. The first I can’t understand, but it sounds like ”62 long”

However the second voice says ”Primary object not f-” and cuts out.

Very strange indeed. I’m intrigued by this…

April 8th, 2009 at 7:06 am

As it is told on a site of “Babel Research”: “Box =****?”. Having reflected from top to down a phrase wikibruce.com/uploads/2009/04/highcontrast-120×89.jpg in a site whatsinthebox.nl We will receive http://kmfmd.narod.ru/img/box.jpg Now we enter Hell as a login and we receive new sound

April 8th, 2009 at 7:10 am
Anonymous again


April 8th, 2009 at 7:17 am

vu sur http://forums.unfiction.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=27633&start=435


April 8th, 2009 at 7:31 am
Jack Hill

Does anyone know that this is connected to the popular games ‘Half life’ and ‘Portal’ because on the Babel website down the bottom you have the ‘Black Mesa’ and ‘Aperture Science’ Logos.

April 8th, 2009 at 7:33 am



by using mirror. So just enter HELL into login box on http://babel-research.eu/ and then click Login. you will get a X.mp3.

April 8th, 2009 at 7:59 am

@Nail – nice one. Here is the “X” reversed – http://rapidshare.com/files/218886747/X_reversed.wav

April 8th, 2009 at 8:34 am
Joris Pk

i reversed the x.mp3 i think it sais:

proud has been secured, roger that, tanko..

than it stops

April 8th, 2009 at 8:41 am
dr. PacMan

That news publication date is
2 October 2008

April 8th, 2009 at 8:56 am

The “Thank you.” you have question marked is more likely to be “Ninety.” which makes that phrase “Tango Ninety November” or T9N.

April 8th, 2009 at 9:50 am

I’ve added a possible order of audio clips – they seem to make a sequential audio transmission. Not quite sold on the order yet, but some are certain, with breaks within words or sentences.

And I’m not yet sold on the ‘thankyou’ word not having an “ank” sound in it. To me, the “a” is very clear in its sound. A digital voice wouldn’t muddle that sound with something as different as “ine” or a long “e”, for example… bah.

April 8th, 2009 at 9:50 am

Just making sure that you know J-17 is the dharma truce breaking code

I know your not posting anything lost related, but it could be interprated differently, like a truce was broken within this ARG

April 8th, 2009 at 10:57 am

Where is J-17 mentioned? There’s a “14-Juno” (Juneau?)

April 8th, 2009 at 11:10 am

What is the sence of the Plank time Formula?

April 8th, 2009 at 11:29 am
Jack Hill

I have proof now, i just noticed after watching the video again, when he is in the dark, you can see text as the bottom when he has the glasses on, it says something like ‘Biggest Collapse Since Black Mesa’ i was litrally like ‘WTF!’ when i saw it.

April 8th, 2009 at 12:14 pm

again, that’s just a reference to the same universe. ie, following that to other locations exploring the halflife mythology is beyond the scope of this article. Here, the video reers to Black Mesa. It refers to quite a number of other Lost/HL content. I mean actual WITB content being directly affected by external references. Consider it ‘fan fiction’, using existing content to enhance the story. It doesn’t mean Half-life is officially connected or Valve is endorsing this project. Right now at least.

April 8th, 2009 at 12:28 pm

2 Trackbacks/Pings

  1. What’s in the Box? « Stranger’s Weblog    Apr 07 2009 / 1pm:

    […] Тук – wikibruce.com има много подробен анализ, на всички намерени до […]

  2. Un par de vídeos « El blog de Suso    Apr 08 2009 / 10am:

    […] es la leche: Acabo de encontrar esto. Esto es lo más friki que he visto jamás. Y no hace más que aumentar el […]

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)