The Isaac Caret Hoax
Hello! Click to embiggenate.
Way back when I was a kid, I made some art, and it got stolen and put in the Isaac Caret hoax.
I made it by tracing gears, cogs, round things, and an ice cream tub lid, all found on my desk, at the time.
To the best of my knowledge, I made this somewhere around the year 1999. At the time, the person who stole it from me pretty much regularly updated the page he put it on (isaaccaret.fortunecity.com) every year. He had this idea that, if he kept on updating the page, he could maintain copyright... over shit that wasn't even his. Even though the first time I can find that it was archived by the Internet Archive was 2007, I remember this existing in 2001, right after I (sadly) sent him the files for my line art, to show him.
Why did I do this? Because, at the behest of another friend, I was encouraged to share my art. We were all in the same sort of circle: we were all interested in UFOs, and we were all sharing art. None of us had any idea he would go on to steal all of it from us, and roll it into... this.
To be honest, I don't expect you to believe me. I don't know where my notes on how to decode it are; I don't know where the original files are (they were manipulated in Adobe Photoshop 4.0., LE, and should have a save date of about 1999). But I'm writing this because, he stole this from me. He stole this line art from me, and I was a kid. And he threatened to pursue legal action against me, if I ever told anybody.
So I guess I'm writing this to heal. I have no desire to use any of this imagery commercially; I don't even know how I'd go about proving copyright. But, I made this. I made all of this.
The 3D mockups of UFOs were stolen from about four or five different 3D modelers. When the hoaxer decided to threaten them with legal action, one of them, a retired engineer in his 60s, called his lawyer and got a legal letter written up, which he then sent to the hoaxer. The hoaxer then disappeared.
I never heard from him again after that.
This hoax was made up by somebody who apparently wanted attention from Coast to Coast's Art Bell. So that's why he did it all: he fucked us all over, just to have fifteen minutes of fame on a radio show.
In the end, my line art has been used as an 'alien language' on the side of a select variety of Dell / Alienware PCs; and, recently, I saw the fucking thing on the History Channel. (The 3D modelers' work, on the other hand, was used at least as inspiration for something called "The Sarah Connor Chronicles".)
There's much more to say. You can read my (shorter) explanation of how to decode it here; but I must admit, it's been so long and I didn't even really keep great notes back then, that I'm not sure how to decode a lot of it anymore.
Getting this stolen from me as a kid, it upset me greatly... because there was no way that I could control it. Now, I'm beginning to see it as something of a boon: it keeps appearing in human-made media about space aliens, and it kind of has solidified my place in human history. Not that I care about that; but Dell was so fuckin' stupid that they put encoded text on the sides of their computers, which, when decoded, spelled parts of my parents' full names. Kind of a nice trick, don'tcha think? :3c
Also, somebody even made an amazingly-animated music video using my work.
Here is the Table of Contents, so you can jump around.
Runes, characters, morphology, meaning, and decoding tips
I will never understand why this motherfucker stole this thing.
This entire thing was made with random shit I had laying on my desk. At the time, I was also eating an entire tub of Butter Pecan ice cream, and when I found out that the inner insulation for the lid was somehow miraculously clean, I used that, too. I traced around it, in some parts, to help produce these images. (If memory serves, I used it to create the basis for a lot of the long, black, connecting 'paths' to each round 'Core'.) I also used a Xerox machine several times, in order to produce a more-pronounced black. (This was the late '90s. I barely knew how to use Photoshop, lolz.)
Why did I do this? Well, I wanted to make sure I never forgot my family members' names. Y'see, the 'alien' glyphs are cipherized versions of their names, and, after I got amnesia, it was suggested to me by a doctor that I write down things I didn't want to forget, as a way to both create new pathways and possibly re-discover and re-inforce old ones. I did it because I never wanted to forget their names.
I did this for several reasons in total, all of which I don't care to go into again. You can read about it more here, too, if you so choose. As this happened nearly a quarter of a century ago, my memory's goin'. It's sad but true. I remember some specifics, but more of stuffs from that era is slipping through my fingers every day now.
I do this shit pretty frequently, by the way. Because I'm good at cryptography. I've been coming up with steganographic methods since I was like 4. It's just something I do. You might want to call it a 'compulsion'.
Once, back when my Dad was still alive, I created an entire cipher 'language,' just to serve as the impetus for a geocaching quest, for him. I was gonna bury a gold coin, that he could only find... if he solved the ciphertext on the piece of paper I gave him. He loved geocaching; I loved cryptography. I taught him frequency analysis. It was fun.
It also served the dual purpose of being a memory aid. Since I've lost my memory at least 4 fucking times, and had a scare where, for about 15 minutes, I didn't understand English, I sought a way to make something that would 'jog' my memory, even if I couldn't speak English. And that's what this thing is.
Though the complete hoax is now hosted and stored on this here website (here), I must admit, I've never read through it. I couldn't bear to. This motherfucker stole my shit, and I didn't want to read through it, because I didn't want him to be able to 'taint' what I created. I also didn't want it mentally concatenated with other people's shit. It's mine. (Well, the line art is.)
Aggravatingly, over the past quarter of a century (yeek!), it's appeared in probably every single goddamned thing about space aliens that any human being has ever produced. While trying to do research for this thing, I found out that some people put it in a magazine. Fucking Hell, mate.
There are three main objects involved in the hoax. The first is the 'anti-gravity device'; the second are the banana magazine-looking thingies. The third are just some circles.
As the designer for each and every single one of these objects, I must say that I'm fucking offended that people made shit up about them. Because I made these, too— I made the diagram for them, at least— and I intended them to be fucking confusing. They didn't even put them together right.
Never let anybody touch your art, kids.
They fucked it up so bad.
The idea behind the physical objects seen here (I provided the designs; another person in the group made what they thought my diagram assembled into) was, the line art was supposed to be diagrams, to build certain objects. Ultimately, the idea was this: we were going to put some art out there, as a group, but we were going to make sure that nobody thought it was 'real'. (For my part, I was trying to design things that looked like alien technology.)
Now here's where the fuzzy part comes into play. To the best of my knowledge, what happened was, one of the people who thought they were in charge of this group art project, they decided to go forward with publishing all our work, after several artists pulled out (upon hearing that he was going to try to make money off our work). So, he threw something together, and tried to take credit for it. The little shit.
I should note that I am not laying claim to anything but the line art. The 3D models were from many people; even the 3D mockup was from 2-3 people, who had the ability to make these. (I think they're made out of plastic? The banana magazines were, at least.) They may have used their own interpretation of my art, but they made those, not me. (I did make the ciphers, the symbols, and the line art, though.)
At one point, I saw that 3D models were made of the banana magazines, and of the main body of this thing. I can't imagine they 3D printed it, way back when; they tried to tell me they had some sort of plastic-molding service / equipment, and they were gonna make real things out of my design. But I don't remember anything else about that, specifically. (Nothing concrete, anyways.)
There is nothing more painful than watching Internet People try to decipher this.
In the end, I don't know how many ciphers I used. A lot of this is mainly Japanese moras transliterated into English. If you don't even know what that is, it's going to be basically impossible for you to decipher.
I think I included a section that uses character-for-character English. But as there may be up to 16 different ciphers used in this thing, with the same characters being used to denote other characters? Yeah. You're not solving this thing. I can read some of it, and I remember what I put into it, but other than that, I may have muddled it up to the point where you actually cannot logically solve a great deal (or most) of it.
One particularly stupid motherfucker said, 'the glyphs look like Katakana, but it doesn't quite match up.' No shit, idiot: a lot of these glyphs are upside-down or backwards. How'd you miss that, Poindexter?
Part of the problem of this is I don't have access to the original files. As far as I can remember, the large map you see is not all of the thing, even. I remember saving a version of that, but I'm not sure that's the version I have today. There were other parts of it that never saw the light of day, and if I should ever find those files, they never will see the light of day.
It's easy to see how some of these glyphs are only mildly edited.
A lot of the characters that used the diacritical marks that change moras in Japanese from f/h to b, they're denoted with a —, instead of two little lines. For particularly verbose sections, that's probably just in English: write all the symbols down, find the most-common character, and that'd be E. I did that on purpose, to make some part of this solvable.
What bothers me is nobody recognized that I literally used the Katakana character for the syllable "Shi". Somebody actually said to me, 'nice Spotify logo'. Are humans just some kind of stupid assholes or what's going on here? How can you not fucking see that? Does シ not look glaringly similar to one of the biggest fucking characters in any of the cores? The small marks are large, and the large mark is small. You can't tell me that you can't see that.
I'm gonna fucking shit Chicken McNuggets™.
There's also a giant fucking ヲ amongst the 'runes.'
I'm starting to think that this was an impenetrable cipher
only because Americans don't know more than one language.
Between the aggravation of having this stolen from me (and then being threatened by the person who stole it), what's spurred me to write this is all the fuckers who are trying to use this for their own gains. It was stolen once; don't make it fuckin' worse, assholes!
I also don't know what the fuck it is about human beings 'mysticizing' shit they don't understand. This is a series of purposefully badly-xeroxed images. No, it's not government documentation, you stupid motherfuckers.
Also, NONE OF YOU RECOGNIZED ANYTHING FROM MARATHON.
You make me want to weep vomit from my ass.
Runes, characters, morphology, meaning, and decoding tips
Somewhere around each of the round parts of the diagrams, you will see brief snippets of ciphertext. These snippets contain the cipherized names of my loved ones. Some of them are grouped; most of them are not. Over the years, in an effort to prove that I've made this, I've leaked the names of a few of them. Honestly, looking back on it, I fucking shouldn't have. But I'm going to be writing about them soon anyways, so I suppose it was only a matter of time.
The vast majority of the morphology of the characters, and, even greater, the 'cores' (anything round, really), is based off of what I envisioned the Pfhor language, and computer terminal graphical interfaces, to be like, in the game, Marathon 2: Durandal. A few of the characters are meant to resemble Pfhor High Command runes.
Below is an image from one of the Pfhor terminals, taken from Marathon: Infinity.
One of the characters in the graphics I made, was actually the result of mirroring part of this image, and, I think, one of the other images in the games' Terminals.
Somewhere in this goddamned thing (I think around 'an arc': a long thick black line, connecting two Cores) is the text, "ETERNAL SOLDIER SAILOR MOON". Whether or not it made it into the main thing that got leaked or not, I'm not sure. But if you find it, it's the first of a few Rosetta-Stone-like 'keys' that you can use to decode the image.
A few things, like my parents' and children's names, are encoded in such a way that they're basically codewords. Completely indecipherable, because the cipher used for them does not occur anywhere else in the image. Without so many bits of data, it's basically impossible to do frequency analysis and figure out for certain what those lines are.
I wouldn't recommend trying to solve this.
Look for double letters. Some doubled letters are represented by a single character; other times, the same letter will be represented by two different characters, and sometimes only when it is preceded by the same letter. This was by design, to make it impossible to make some sort of breakthrough by analyzing double letters. However, there are occasional breaks in the pattern where you should see two of the exact same characters that follow one another, as a way to denoting what the doubled letters for the rest of the ciphertext should be.
I'm pretty sure that I avoided putting key-mashing bullshit into it. I know that I put two texts from the Marathon series into it, which you can find at my blog.
Most of the numbers are either things I wanted to remember (such as our address at the time), or they have the purpose of reminding me the order of certain things. The numeral system was largely based off of the numeric system found in Cephiro, as seen in the game Magic Knight Rayearth, for the Sega Saturn. (That, by itself, was inspired by the Mayan numeral system.) A split 'zero' with a dash through it will be a '1'; a zero with two dots, that's two, and so on, and so forth.
The largest circle contains the pronunciation of my Wife's name.
The (second?)-largest circle contains the pronunciation of my surname.
In conclusion, ladies and jellyspoons, that's all that I remember. If you'd like to check out the original version of the site, pilot your little ass over to the Internet Archive. Or just visit IsaacCaret dot Fortune City dot ws.
Considerations for the present time
I'd really prefer if you wouldn't be racist with this.
I'm not really sure how to exercise control of this, or if I even can. Other artists have had similar problems: this is the sort of thing that gets away from you. Some people have their Pepe the Frogs; other people have the dog in the burning house, sipping their coffee. Me, I've got this.
I made this. A space alien helped me. Given the circumstances, at this present time, the time of this writing, even if I could present some sort of evidence that proved that I made this, I'm not even sure how you prove that you drew something. Given that the existence of space aliens and UFOs is a 'touchy' subject to the dumbfuck Americans right now, there's no real way to prove the space alien portion of what I've said, anyways.
But the thing is this.
I never said that all the names in the thing were of human beings. In fact, only about four of them are. The rest are space alien names: the very same people who adopted me when I lived on the Ship.
I choose to 'reveal' that detail (it wasn't exactly hidden, to be fair, if you were paying any attention at all) because, currently, my artwork is being used for racist purposes. In fact, it would be better to call it our artwork, because a space alien helped me make it.
Right now, this artwork is being used by people who believe in the existence of space aliens, who are so fucking racist (speciesist, really) that they're already making the same old tired arguments, like, 'fuck off, we're full'. I just heard one of them claim that Earth is humanity's 'birthright', and that it must be protected from space alien habitation.
I don't support this at all, and I do not support my artwork being used for such racist purposes.