Cicada 3301 is a years-long internet enigma
December 14, 2016 8:22 AM   Subscribe

The journalistic what, who, when, where, why are mysterious here. It might be a game or a puzzle or a recruitment tool. There is a website. The first clue was in January of 2012. There have been clues posted, mostly in January, mostly on internet discussion boards although in 2016 it was on twitter. Mark Molloy in The Telegraph on 16 January 2016 might have the best two minute summary: Who is behind Cicada 3301? A brief history of the hardest puzzle on the internet.

This may be a clue or it may be misdirection; on the Theories page of the cicada 3301 dot org website it says: Ray Sherwin and Pete Carroll created Cicada 3301 as an experimental way to initiate the young modern skeptical hacker types into Chaos Magick and it has worked well. There doesn't appear to be anything about Cicada 3301 on Carroll's pages.
posted by bukvich (9 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Every so often I get a wild hair, start following up on this and what is going on, then I bang my head enough times hard enough against my desk to pass out and the urge goes away again.
posted by Samizdata at 8:36 AM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

I would love it if the people behind the project got bored and quit, or like got day jobs or something and have completely forgot about it. All of the answers are sitting neglected in someones CICADIASECRETS.docx file on a discarded thumbdrive in a kitchen drawer somewhere.
posted by mrdaneri at 8:53 AM on December 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

> ...speculation about who may be behind it includes the Freemasons, the Illuminati, hacker group Anonymous, the US Government or just a troll having some fun.

This also applies to virtually everything else on the internet.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:25 AM on December 14, 2016 [5 favorites]

posted by bukvich at 9:49 AM on December 14, 2016

Bob from Accounting.

Get back to work you lazy bastard!
posted by Smedleyman at 10:03 AM on December 14, 2016

I still had nothing to do with this. Stop asking.
Also I love you all.
posted by rokusan at 10:28 AM on December 14, 2016

I'm on to you, rokusan.
posted by Theta States at 10:30 AM on December 14, 2016

Upon further review!

1. The Rolling Stone article is sensational but it also is way more interesting than the Telegraph article.

2. The stickied post in the r/cicada subreddit seems to have the best complete dope.

3. The talk page on the wikipedia page is (currently) interesting. It looks like it is barely notable enough for inclusion and has been deleted more than once.
posted by bukvich at 4:14 PM on December 14, 2016

And upon farther review!

In the notorious fbianon AMA on 4chan/pol/ he offered up (it is an amazing thread -- one should really read the entire thing if they are capable of stomaching 4chan/pol which requires soul armor on most days):

Cicada is a Pentagon program to induct special minds to work on simulations and strategic planning for their models. A model of the entire world is under development there, several prominent economists have worked on it.
posted by bukvich at 9:26 PM on December 15, 2016

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