November 15th, 2000

Hey Guys and Gals and things that go bump in the night,

Got an interesting conundrum that I'm hoping you can help me figure out. A coupla days ago I received this e-mail (and yes, it was from a hotmail account).

"Dear Mr. Barnes,

First I must tell you that your actions have not gone unnoticed. Certain people in power have been watching you with much interest. They monitor your site, and they have people watching you even as you read this. I am sure that you probably get e-mails like this everyday, and I'm also sure that 99% of them are crackpots. Well, I'm the one-percent. Let me elaborate:

I used to belong to a secret government agency. Actually the agency was a sub division of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), which I'm sure you are familiar with. If not just type secret government into any search engine and you can find out a lot about it (typing FEMA into a search engine will just get you their "official" website which is a bunch of bullshit). The division I belonged to however, DOCCE (Division of Counter-culturist Control and Elimination), you will not find with any search engine. For all intensive purposes, it doesn't exist. There is no written record of this division in existence. The reason? If there is no proof that this division exists, then it is above the law.

So what is the purpose of this secret division of an already fairly secretive government agency? Well Mr. Barnes, like the name indicates it is responsible for monitoring and eliminating certain individuals whom "they" determine to be a threat. "They" being another secret agency that even I have no knowledge of. All I know about them is that "they" were the one who told us who to watch and when to eliminate them, and to what degree they were to be eliminated. The degree to which the individual was deemed to be a threat, determined the way in which he was eliminated. A "level alpha" threat would have an unfortunate "accident". "Level beta" simply disappeared. These individuals were abducted, then usually tortured for information, and then murdered. "Level delta" threats were completely erased. That means the same thing happens to them that happens to "level betas" except all record and evidence of their existence was destroyed as well. This means birth records, criminal records, IRS, and even family members in many instances.

So you can see why I had to get out of this organization. This has not been easy. You don't just quit DOCCE. If you are lucky and make it to retirement you get a big fat pension to keep your mouth shut (by fat I mean upper six figures per year). If you aren't so lucky you are eliminated yourself. So it is no easy feat for me to be out of there, and I and far from safe yet. Currently I am in hiding, staying one step ahead of DOCCE bloodhounds.

So I'm sure you are wondering how you fit into all of this, and why I am risking contacting you. First of all this email address is secure. With the help of a hacker friend of mine, I was able to salvage this address from a list of abandoned Hotmail accounts that were about to be deleted. Looking at the personal information on the account told me that it was an obviously anonymous account, so the prior owner is in no danger either. As a further precaution, I will be using a different computer each time I log in to this account (right now I'm in a public library). So any correspondence you can safely send to this address.

Now as to how you fit in: Before I fled the DOCCE, I intercepted an internal memo meant for another agent. The original of this document is in a safe place. I have a copy, but I have not, had any luck finding access to a scanner (my hacker friend is now being watched). I will however make a copy of this accessible to you as soon as I'm able. The memo was a "work order" (DOCCE jargon for hit list). The first name on the list was mine, which is why I fled. You are also on the list. "Derek Barnes - threat level DELTA". You are in serious shit my friend. Now I don't know what you did to get on this list, but looking at your website, I'm positive it has something to with something either on there, or something you are working on right now but haven't posted yet. In any case you are in grave danger. I may have bought you some time by intercepting that memo, but it won't be long before they figure out you aren't erased. You need to hide, and by hide I don't mean go running to your Mommy's house you need to disappear.

I can help, but you must follow my instructions. First of all I know that they are intercepting your email. It's SOP for anyone they have under surveillance. I think that they will let this get through to you though in hopes that they can get to me through you.

So the first thing you need to do is setup an anonymous Hotmail account from a secure computer (one that is not your own). Set it up with bogus information and use a name that can no way be linked to you (another words don't use something like spring heel jack, ect.) Once you have done this, send an email to ******* In the subject line put "GREAT DEALS ON COMPUTERS". In the body of the email answer this riddle.

To find the answer, look to the dead.
As you walk through his "Garden" look for what's read.
If Uruz, Algiz, Kenaz are FLIPPED,
What would I find if I went to EGYPT.

When I receive the answer to this email, I will know it is you and I will reply with further instructions. Also NEVER log in to you account unless you are at a secure computer. Do not hesitate to follow these instructions because as soon as you receive this email the so-called cat will have been out of the bag for several hours. Time is of the essence Mr. Barnes!

I await your reply.

Robert Price

PS I'm sorry about Adam."

Now normally when I get a mysterious e-mail I just chalk it up to fan with an overzealous imagination. I don't even bother to answer them which is exactly what I did with this one. But a day or so later I got another e-mail from "Robert Price"

"Dear Mr. Barnes,

Once again I am trying to contact you. I'm not even sure you received my first correspondence. I know that they are monitoring your email, and you may not even receive this one. Once again I am hoping that they will allow this to go through in the hopes of drawing me out.

If this has gotten to you and you are reading this, you are probably wondering what I'm talking about. That's why I am enclosing an attachment of my first correspondence, as well as the document that I mention within that correspondence. Please read them before going any further.

That memo is a scanned copy of the original memo that I stole before I left the DOCCE I'm sorry it is not of better quality, as it and I have been though hell in the last few weeks. I have blacked out the other names on the document to protect their identities. I have been in contact with one of them and have gotten him to safety, but I fear that it might be too late for the other, as I have not been able to track him down.

As you can see Mr. Barnes you are in grave danger, as is your work. Please contact me by the method I mentioned in my first correspondence. I know that this is a safe method, because if they had figured it out they would have me in their grasp by now. Please contact. I will have more information for you once I am certain that we have a safe way to communicate.

I await your response,
Robert Price"

Click to see the full document.

So boys and girls, I'm still not convinced this thing is 100% legit but that scanned memo sure does look a little spooky. I would love to contact Robert but the problem is I can't figure out the riddle. I tried e-mailing him back and asking him for more information but I got this response.

"Heh heh... Yeah nice try guys. I know you must be frustrated that you can't find me. You must think I'm stupid or something. Well If I'm so stupid, how come I'm still alive. I know you just want me to slip up, and I'm sure that this email is just one of your weak attempts to get me to reveal myself... Well it's not going to work. Unless I get the answer to the riddle from an anonymous account there is no way that I will believe that this is Derek. You didn't even end the email with the proper closing. Derek always ends everything with the closing Hurdy Gur. I have to admit I almost would have fell for it had it not been for that one slip up. Of course as I've already mentioned I'm not stupid and I would never, under any circumstances reveal myself unless I was 100% certain I was using a secure method. The longer you guys wait to kill Derek Barnes, the better my chances of saving him. Don't think I'll risk my ass for him more than I have to."

So obviously Robert ain't gonna play any little reindeer games until I e-mail him back with the answer to the riddle like he instructed. Can anyone help me solve this sucker? If so clue me in. I'll even throw a free T-shirt out to the first one of you freaks that can e-mail me the solution. (And make sure and explain how you got the answer OK?)

Talk at ya soon. (or maybe not....)

Hurdy Gur,
Derek "Looking Over My Shoulder" Barnes

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