Despite what you may think, Fringe isn't just some silly little J.J. Abrams show on Fox about a Scooby Gang trying to uncover the secret behind a haunted alien spaceship. Not only do we have to deal with mind-bending scientific explanations for creepy out-of-this-world happenings in the show itself, but there is also an intricate Fringe ARG ready to mind wipe the sense right out of you. Case in point: On one Fringe viral site, the third dot on a sequence of a hidden braille pattern (which spells out the name of a town in Iowa) directs you to a site with videos of man-made tornadoes. Makes perfect sense, right? I journeyed down the rabbit hold of the Fringe ARG and attempted to "find the pattern and follow the clues." Be warned; some spoilers ahead.Radio News Bulletins: First Fringe started leaking their ARG goodies into our brain via the old fashioned radio. Spewing out news bulletins (including one about a 51-year-old female patient growing over eight 1/2 inches overnight) and car commercials, the spots urged us all to "find the pattern" by whispering over each segment. Take a listen here: Click to view Sorry, radio DJ, but I'm not buying a car from J.J. Abrams. That thing would probably come alive and try to eat me. Fringe Bloggers played around with the audio from Abrams car lot commercial and discovered that if you reverse the muddled section it says "And you know what that means." Yikes, guess we'll find out soon enough.
Fringe Case 0091 : Sheep Circles: One of the first case files released to the public from the Fringe ARG site at ImagineTheImpossibilities.com dealt with sheep circles. You know, like crop circles, only with little lambs. Upon entering the site you're met with a jumble of flashes, pics and video clips, explaining some crazy pattern among the sheep of the world. There is also an extremely blurry interview with a farmer who witnessed his sheep form a perfect circle in complete silence. According to the files there are incidents of these "sheep circles" happening across the country. After clicking through the video you come across the equation a+b/a=a/b, which is the Golden Ratio, what does it mean? No idea, but this is only just the beginning.
FRINGE CASE 0091 EVIDENCE 0002
Sheep Lead to Man-Made Tornadoes: The Sheep Circle Fringe Case then got new evidence (file 0007) that lead to a world of strange man-made weather anomalies. A sequence of braille on the ARG site spells out a Fringe-flagged city in Iowa called Parkersburg. A link inside the braille itself leads you to videos of tornadoes ravaging the Parkersburg town on May 25. Many, many sites are debating that these are man-made tornadoes and point to this article in The Star about the possibilities of man being able to control such disasters.
Further proving that case is actually an Easter egg in the Fringe ARG is the parent directory, which links to a Weather Matrix site - basically a gigantic site for weather enthusiasts. But wait, there's more.
File 090908: Included in the Fringe press kit was a slew of new case information, dictated to a recorder included in the package is a rundown of new and interesting cases:
John Thompson: A normal kid who went missing back in 98, reappeared last month halfway around the world hasn't aged a day. Forty-six other kids who went missing that same year turn up, same story. An hour after a tsunami that kills 83,000 people. A Sri Lankan fisherman reports a low flying plane emitting a frequency that blows out all of their windows. An hour later an 8.7 subsurface earthquake in the same spot creates a tsunami that kills 83,000 people. A patient awakens after spending years in a coma writing a series of numbers that turn out to be the exact real time coordinates of our carrier battleships in the Pacific, intel that is classified above top secret.
If you've been reading the comic books, these cases should seem familiar; each of them have been illustrated in the first issue. Massive Dynamic: A corporation called Massive Dynamic is a very important part of the Fringe series. They are a private company that is somehow connected to all of these strange cases, or - if they're not connected - find a way to weasel themselves in. As of right now, the Massive Dynamic website is just a rotating logo with the text, "Updating Our Website. Updating Your Life" but I intend to keep my eyes on them, just in case. I'm expecting creepy Dharma-esque references here.
Fabulous Fibonacci and Golden Ratio: You've seen the Fringe posters around town, on further inspection these ads actually have a hidden meaning, of course. They're not just a neat-o insect wing daisy, no no no, it's so much more. All signs are pointing towards the Fibonacci sequence. The braille at the bottom of the page is 5,8,13,21,34, part of the Fibonacci sequence (This sequence is also a pattern that is present in many forms of nature such as daisies, whose petals grow in spirals of 34 and 55 around the outside). The symbol on the back of the frog poster is a representation of the Phi, 1.6180339887. A fan forum post pointed out that the plane featured in the pilot was flight number 618, and I'm guessing that's not the last we've seen from the golden ratio. Music Videos: Fringe made music videos, though I have no idea why. I'm not really sure what these super-sexy music videos for the Fringe TV are trying to tell me other than, don't forget we're smart and sexy in slo-mo. Either way you get a few glimpses of future episodes and can see what the gang will be up against.
The common thing among most of the Fringe ARG seems to be man meddling with nature. These case files of anomalies all appear to be created by man tampering with the world's natural science. It sounds like we're ripping apart ancient codes and patterns to bend the world to our will, which - in fine SF tradition - will most likely end up tremendously screwing us all. Well done, human race! If the series is as intricate and deep as the ARG with real life science-ish explanations, I can see this ARG building upon itself for a very long time.