Project Sumo

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This information was revealed in part through the alternate reality game
The LOST Experience
The Lost Experience
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Clues · Revelations · Sponsorship · Websites
Characters:   Rachel Blake · Alvar Hanso · Thomas Mittelwerk · DJ Dan · William Kilpatrick · Malick · Other...
Themes: Hanso Foundation · DHARMA · Valenzetti Equation · Sri Lanka Video · Apollo Candy · Other...

Project Sumo can be seen as a side-quest in the Lost Experience game. Though not directly relevant to the wider arc of the game, it in part provided players with a back-story for the character Mel0Drama, as well as giving interesting subplots to the Apollo Candy Company and Sprite.

Companies involved in the project include the Hanso Foundation, Apollo Candy Company, the Engineering Development Center (Atlanta, GA), Lewis King Laboratories (AG), and the Sprite company. The Project Sumo issue remained unresolved as the Lost Experience game ended, and its possible that the section was simply an Easter egg of no valid plot value other than to give more believable depth to Mel0Drama's role. Writer of the game Javier Grillo-Marxuach commented on his blog after the Experience that the characters Hackett and Mel0Drama had "a limited function in the story and slowly phased away into digital oblivion".[1]

Characters involved

  • Mel0Drama - appears to have worked with the Engineering Development Center under Dr. Hackett. Consequently, Mel0Drama was aware of Project Sumo, and the psychotropic chemicals Hackett was attempting to spread on the mass market.
  • Dr. Hackett - appears to have originally investigated and researched the idea of putting viral agents into a beverage, the flavors of which could disguise the chemicals.
  • Dr. Kini - representative for Lewis King Laboratories. Appears to have been involved in clinical trials regarding Project Sumo.
  • Dr. Perez - Hackett's 1988 letter had a carbon copy to Dr. Perez. Perez therefore is probably involved with Lewis King Laboratories, or possibly a superior to Hackett who was sending him a copy for reference purposes. Indeed, the letter is specifically worded for Dr. Kini.
  • G. Downs - appears to represent the Engineering Development Center. In 2004, he seems to wish to further develop Hackett's original ideas, and requests Hackett join the EDC team, leaving his job with the Apollo company.

Mel0Drama conversation

In Rachel Blake Copenhagen 01, Mel0Drama revealed herself to Rachel, spouting about a mysterious Dr. Hackett.

Mel0Drama: He's in our heads, Rachel.

Me: Who is?
Mel0Drama: Hackett. Dr. Hackett.
Me: Okay... I've never heard of a Dr. Hackett.
Mel0Drama: I used to work for him. He's here, with the rest of them. In Atlanta. At the EDC. They sneak it in, we lap it up. I have proof!
Me: Mel, it's been fascinating. Truly.
Mel0Drama: WAIT!! You need safe passage for your videos. You said so yourself. Places you can hide them. Places THEY can't find them. I have a place. Nobody can get to it but ME. I have all the keys. Your videos will be safe for all to see.

It seemed clear that Mel0Drama had decided to help Rachel's cause after seeing the atrocities Hackett had been involved in while he'd worked at the EDC.

Sublymonal Letter

The letter as seen on

When Rachel Blake hid a video blog on a hidden subdirectory of, a hidden folder also revealed a letter from 1988 to Dr. Kini of Lewis King Laboratories and carbon copy Dr. Perez, from Dr. J Hackett.

To: Dr. Kini,
Lewis King Laboratories, AG
From: Dr. Hackett
EDC 1554A
Date: March 10, 1988
Re: Doubleblind Data
The reformulation trials (Project Sumo) are progressing well. As always, we are slowed by patent lawyers who need too much information (you know the drill). Please send the results of the secondary doubleblind study as soon as they are compiled.
Your work is proving fruitful (pun intended!) in establishing the proof that the original experimentation was confounded by the ridiculous implementation parameters established by our friends in Copenhagen.
Best -J
cc: Dr. Perez

It would appear that in 1988 research trials had been conducted on a fruit beverage (Mel0Drama referenced "lapping it up"). The trials had been confounded by implementation parameters, possibly because of the Hanso Foundation (who are based in Copenhagen), meaning the company was also involved somehow in the project.

Flickr letter

One of the pieces to the Flickr letter. The full gallery of pieces can be found here.

As the Lost Experience was drawing to a close, with glyphs spread all over the Internet, a flickr letter was revealed on August 8. After a large amount of effort required to piece together the different fragments, a letter could be revealed. It was sent this time to Hackett in 2004, from a man named G. Downs at the Engineering Development Center.

TO: Dr. Hackett
Apollo Candy
FROM: G. Downs
Engineering Development Center
Atlanta, GA
Date: July 21, 2004
RE: Test Study
Dr. Hackett,
Initial research shows release of the psychotropic compound to be a success. The acid and flavoring agents of the beverage disguise the taste. More tests are necessary to reach optimum viral spread. My superiors are eager for you to join our effort, once you have extricated
yourself from your current situation.

It seems that the EDC wished to for some reason continue Hackett's work which had begun in 1988, focusing on the release of psychotropic drugs in a beverage to spread an unknown viral agent. Downs wished Hackett to join the EDC's research team after leaving his job with the Apollo Candy Company.

Chocolate Video

Mel0Drama signs in the corner of a chocolate commercial video

On August 17, Mel0drama reappeared in a video posted to In this video there is a person "speaking" in sign language with a glyph on his t-shirt, in front of a film about a chocolate factory. A translation of this very difficult sign-language message is:

I'm Mel, Friend of Rachel. Mittelwerk conned Apollo candy into getting their chemists to perform some tests on (unknown). Hackett discovered something important but Mittelwerk wouldn't let him (got pissed or something like that) because he didn't want(like) competition. There was a big struggle and Hackett left/disappeared with Sprite. Hackett found a new giveaway to use. I need to warn/help/save people.

Mel0Drama's evidence suggests that Hackett had originally wished to test his virus/psychotropic agents during the Apollo Candy giveaway that took place in August 2006. However, Mittelwerk appeared to decide against it, causing Hackett to leave his job and join the Sprite company in protest. There, he possibly continued his research with them and the EDC, and planned a new giveaway, which Mel0Drama feared. This has significantly links to Sprite's Sublymonal viral marketing campaign that happened around the same time, and had links to, The Lost Experience.


  • Dr. Perez could be a reference by the ABC writers to Mario Perez, stills photographer on Lost.
  • The end result of the side-quest involving the evil Dr. Hackett joining up with the Sprite company is quite probably simply a joke on the part of the game's writers, implying that Sprite is involved in putting psychotropic agents in their beverages.
  • Another interpretation of the evidence is that the Hanso Foundation's "ridiculous implementation parameters" connect directly to the Spider Protocol (i.e. viral casualty rates must be at 30%) and consequently manipulating the Valenzetti equation. This would tie-in this part of the Lost Experience with the main narrative.

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