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Mysteries of the Universe

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Lost Mysteries
The series logo

Mysteries of the Universe is purportedly a short-lived 1982 television series that aired on the ABC network. In actuality, the brand and its episodes have been created by ABC and the Lost team in 2009 as a promotion for the final season of the show. The first video appeared on abc.com/lostmysteries on July 23, after a Kia advertisement in Entertainment Weekly magazine that same week promoted the website.

Each part, released periodically over the following weeks, contained new revelations about the DHARMA Initiative. Each part is a segment from the same eponymous episode from the Mysteries of the Universe series. The final segment was released on November 16, 2009. The clips, in an extended form, appeared together as a featurette on the Season 5 DVDs (as confirmed at the end of the Part 2 video).


About

MOTU advert
Online advertisement for Mysteries of the Universe [1]

Site description

The Dharma Initiative
A project discussed for years in and around conspiracy circles. Once thought to be lost, this explosive documentary series has never been seen before...until now.

Check back for additional installments over the coming weeks.


Entertainment Weekly advertisement

MOTU ET ad
Advertisement in Entertainment Weekly

The advertisement in Entertainment Weekly for the Mysteries of the Universe website and its sponsor Kia stated that videos would be released on the following dates [2]:

  • 7/23/09
  • 8/4/09
  • 9/8/09
  • 10/15/09
  • 11/16/09

The release dates were chosen to incorporate the numbers, the only exception being the number 42. On July 25, ABC sent out emails linking to an online version of the advertisement (see image).

Videos

Part 1

For the transcript of part one, see Mysteries of the Universe/Transcripts.

The first episode from "Mysteries of the Universe" discusses a range of secret societies that have existed through time. It focuses specifically on the DHARMA Initiative at the end of the video, hinting that it may not be as humanitarian as previous secret groups.

Mysteries Of The Universe - Dharma Initative 03:26

Mysteries Of The Universe - Dharma Initative

Part 2

For the transcript of part two, see Mysteries of the Universe/Transcripts.

The August video covers the disappearances of Phil and Olivia Goodspeed and the mysterious application process of the DHARMA Initiative. It also covers a Nevada student who bought a DHARMA jumpsuit at a thrift store for a party and was later visited by two strange men who asked him about it. The interview questions revealed in the video match those issued during the Dharma Initiative Recruiting Project.

Mysteries Of The Universe - Dharma Initative Part 2 06:12

Mysteries Of The Universe - Dharma Initative Part 2

Part 3

For the transcript of part three, see Mysteries of the Universe/Transcripts.

The third installment of this series concerns the church in Los Angeles used by the DHARMA Initiative for their acquisitions. This episode shows an anonymous interview with another DHARMA candidate, who mentions another scientist named Oldham. The use of mind alteration with the Ludovico technique is also presented. The segment finishes with information about the use of submarines and their clandestine purposes.

LOST - Mysteries of the Universe Part 3 - Brainwashing! 04:25

LOST - Mysteries of the Universe Part 3 - Brainwashing!

Part 4

For the transcript of part four, see Mysteries of the Universe/Transcripts.

The fourth part[1] concerns the background of Alvar Hanso, Gerald DeGroot, the nature of Hanso and DeGroot's relationship, and their connection to the DHARMA Initiative.

Lost - Mysteries Of The Universe Part 4 03:08

Lost - Mysteries Of The Universe Part 4

Parts 5 & 6

For the transcripts of parts five and six, see Mysteries of the Universe/Transcripts.

The fifth and sixth parts were released as a single video. [2]

Part 5 continues to assemble the puzzle pieces surrounding the DHARMA Initiative, Alvar Hanso and Gerald DeGroot. This episode discusses an aerial palette drop in Tonga, the recruitment requirements at Ann Arbor, and the identity and possible meanings of the DHARMA logos.

Part 6 is a special update, as it would be added to reairing of the episode. Olivia re-emerges but refuses to talk about DHARMA. The show gets threatening calls and discovers the origins of the DHARMA logo. It also covers the new general manager of the Lamp Post and speculates that a new organization has taken over DHARMA.

Mysteries of The Universe - Parts 5&6 09:18

Mysteries of The Universe - Parts 5&6

Trivia

MOTU text
Text in the video's static
  • When asked at Comic-Con about whether there would be further revelations about the DHARMA Initiative, the writers said there would not really be too many, but Damon Lindelof added, "except on the DVD with the Mysteries of the Universe thing, I think that there will be some new revelations about the DHARMA Initiative..."
  • When the show's title card is shown, a copyright at the bottom of the screen seemingly reveals the specific year the episode was aired (as opposed to simply sometime during the 1980s). Although the low quality of the video blurs the roman numerals, it is clear that they do not translate into a "198x" date; "MCMLXXX" is clearly not the starting sequence. Current speculation is that they are in fact the numbers, providing an easter egg to the video. One likely translation of the roman numerals is IVVIIIXVXVIXXIIIXLII, which would translate into the numbers: IV=4, VIII=8, XV=15, XVI=16, XXIII=23, and XLII=42.
  • There is a list that has the letters PAI seen briefly. Fans have speculated that the full name is Paik, though it could equally be "PAID".
  • Pausing the July video at around 1:22 shows what appears to be a text message in the static. This occurs at the moment in the narration "or do they have evil intentions..." Unfortunately, the video's low quality once again limits any translation attempt. Some words appear to be , in the second line "Cable Network", and "Congressional" in the third line. This seems odd that the powers that be would place a message in a video and yet fail to provide a higher quality version, though a higher quality version will be released later on the DVD.
  • The Kia sponsored advertisement features hieroglyphs. These can be roughly translated to mean "who is the leader?" (see hieroglyphs).
  • The disclaimer at the end of the July video is a verbatim copy of the disclaimer used on the television show "In Search Of," which ran from 1976-1982. This show dealt with similar mysteries of the universe including ESP, paranormal activity and Amelia Earhart.
  • The ABC logo or network ID at the beginning of Part 1 is from ABC's 1982-1983 season.
    • Part 4 starts with a promotion for Matt Houston's series premiere, which was Sunday, September 26th, 1982. Therefore part 4 was shown during the week preceding Sept 26th. As it would likely have been a weekly series, it is probable that it ran over the month of September 1982. However, it is likely that these shows are re-runs, and not new in 1982.
      • Considering that the quality of the episode differs from the ABC ID intro, and that is it marked and damaged, it is probable that they are film-to-tape transfers, and therefore this is a series created in the 1970's.
        • Phil's neighbour says he has been missing a year, and we know he is on the Island in 1974 at least. So it possible that the Mysteries of the Universe special Dharma Initiative series was made in 1975.
        • As the update episode 6 mentions that Olivia has returned after 3 years, it was made after she returned, but perhaps not directly after. The new show logo and change of font styles indicates a later production date. Assuming the part 6 was made within 6 months of Olivia returning, that could make it 1979 by the time the other research on the Lamp Post was done.
  • Aliens and Extraterrestrials are shown at least three times in Part One, including the topics shown in the title intro at the end. Also, Part One shows a picture of a flying saucer amonst the "evidence" shown while the narrator describes evidence found showing the DHARMA Initiative's existence. Part 2 of the video contains the word 'LOST' on an image of a flying saucer. As well as discussing the relation of DHARMA to Area 51, and Nevada. The video also references smoke, as well as Olivia being recruited from Portland, Oregon (where Juliet believed she would be taken when she inadvertently joined the Others).
  • The first video contains the lines, "They walk among us. Yet they are not us." These phrases closely echo the purported translation of Jack's tattoos.
  • The symbols in the second video are a dollar sign, an ankh and the mathematical symbol for infinity.
  • In the episode "Dead Is Dead", Ben mentions Locke understanding the mysteries of the universe.
  • Phil was on the island by at least 1974; but when his neighbor was interviewed in the eighties, he said it had been a year since Phil disappeared. It is possible that in-universe the interview was filmed in the 1970s and reused in Mysteries of the Universe; actual shows of this type did reuse footage from earlier episodes or even from other shows. For instance, entire episodes of Unsolved Mysteries consisted of reused footage, often presented without dates.
  • In part 2, Michigan is mentioned to be the place where the interviewees friend, Phil, was undergoing a series of interviews for obtaining a "security guard" position.
MysteriesOfTheUniversePills
The pills shown in episode 3
  • In part 3, a number of pills are shown. The pills are Moxyvit Forte, an antibiotic produced by the Israeli company "Vitamed". [3]
  • Part 3, which was supposed to be available on September 8, 2009, was available on Hulu on September 7, 2009.
  • The full version of the documentary on the Season 5 DVD runs for 26 minutes and 15 seconds.

The seven questions

  • According to the narrator, the list of seven questions usually asked at job interviews for the DHARMA Iniative is as follows:
    • 1.What three words describe you?
    • 2.What animal do you identify with?
    • 3.Describe your first kiss in three words.
    • 4.Who is your constant?
    • 5.What would you sacrifice to stay alive?
    • 6.What makes you cry?
    • 7.You just stole a sick child's toy, why?
  • Locke is asked the second question by an interviewer in The Substitute. He dismisses the question as ridiculous and does not answer it.
  • The seventh question is also part of the similar DharmaWantsYou.com/Eligibility test.
  • A paper questionnaire with these same questions was shown in the extended version of the Barracks video.


External links


  1. Part 4 opens with an ad for Matt Houston's series premiere, which was Sunday, September 26th, 1982.
  2. The fifth and sixth parts were released on the season five DVD, but leaked to the internet early due to a early release in region 4

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