Reddit Users Meet Up to Crack Secret Code
A small core of diehard Reddit.com users gathered on Thursday in midtown Manhattan to witness what they thought might bring some answers to the “blue jay” mystery that has captivated attention of curious code-crackers over the past few days.
It all began when a Reddit user named delverofsecrets asked the online community to help him decipher a code that a “ragged dressed man” had handed him on the subway.
Before long the message was de-coded as: “There’s plenty more money to make. Figure this out and prepare to meet July 19th, 56th and 6th. There’s a hot dog stand outside Rue 57 cafe. Ask for Mr Input.”
A follow-up post gave a new place and time as July 12th at 6 1/2 and a half and 56th. That was last week, and over a hundred people showed up. But nothing happened, leading the Reddit community to dismiss the second message as a hoax, with attention turning back to the original date of July 19th. (Delverofsecrets has since deleted his Reddit account after receiving death threats.)
But Thursday's turnout was much lower. The organizer of the Reddit thread for today’s meet up, using the name fldjf713, commented on the small crowd, saying, “[Delverofsecrets] has no credibility any more. I’m just here for fun.”
Henry Kramer, a 19-year-old college student who faithfully showed up today at the meeting point, explained, “At the last meeting, I formed a ‘mystery team’ with a bunch of other Redditors. We made a Facebook group, and we all agreed to come again this time. We have similar interests and we are going to go on more outings...next up is a graveyard tour.”
Kramer admitted that he was not expecting anything to happen today but that he had a “strong curiosity” nonetheless. “Someone called it an existential flashmob – nothing happened but at the same time, a lot happened."
Some still thought that the hot dog stand near Rue 57 cafe, referenced in the code, might have some answers. But hot dog worker Ray Hammond denied any involvement in the hoax. He said he was “interested and waiting” along with the others. (Check out a video interview with the hot dog vendor and others at the event over on Mashable.)
Early speculation that all this was a publicity stunt for 'The Dark Knight Rises' or the spy exhibition at the Discovery Museum has now faded. It looks more and more likely that it was all a hoax. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. And it's always good to see Redditors getting out of the house and getting some fresh air.