In which we explore what we know about the ORC's hidden Web site.
So, what do we know about the ORC site? Mainly what we can get from the Riddle, what Fravia said about where he found it, and what +ORC said back in May.
To start with, here's what Fravia said about the Riddle:
"I copied this strainer from another "gate" to +ORC in february 1996: it should permit to open the gate below, but I could not crack it (and I tried hard)... good luck"
He also said he saw another copy on a Japanese site at about the same time.
Now the Riddle itself:
"Gold, with six bars, or with the visor raised (in full face) for royalty"
"Silver, with five bars, (in full face) for a duke or marquis"
"Silver, with four bars, with visor raised (in profile) for an earl, viscount or baron"
"Steel, without bars, and with visor open (in full face) for a knight or a baronet"
"Steel, with visor closed (in profile) for a squire or a gentleman"
And now try to correct this link http://184.108.40.206/+ORC to reach +ORC (?)"
And finally, what did ORC say?
"I'll tell you this: If you (when you'll) solve the riddle do
not be deceived: you'll find a "dead" page with another riddle.
I'm not hyding any treasure on the web..., therefore your attitude is most correct... you're in for the game and the challenge... right so +cracker! "
Well, that's what we know as facts. What do we think we know in addition to this?
Three things stand out. The first is the strong consensus is that +ORC is Dutch and that he probably spent some time in the US.
The second point is that he appears to have university level familiarity with formal logic or mathematics.
The third, maybe connected with that last point, is the intriguing message from +daQ, about meeting a professor whom he thought might be +ORC. Here's his story:
While being 'schooled' this past year, I met an interesting mathematics professor. He was born in USA, schooled in Germany. He had a strong dislike of the university system, believing the 'pointlessness' of the teaching was far too strong...ie, he taught what we needed to know, nothing more, nothing less. [sound familiar?] The last contact Fravia had with ORC was on the 13 May. The last contact I had with this man was 12 May. He was leaving the next day that I know of for some school perhaps for an interview I believe. His specialty was Topology. I asked him about cryptology while cramming for his final; he replied with a very lengthy accurate description that nearly matched word for word ORC's explanation about PGP. Interesting, eh? :) I asked specifically about the cryptology to study his reaction....there was no surprise, but I could not bring myself to ask him _the_ question...wether or not he was indeed +ORC. I mean, what would a prof look at you like if you did that.... and were wrong. Oh yeah, he had just returned from Germany in order to teach.
And just to keep your appetite whetted, in case you haven't already noticed, take a closer look at the little Gremlin JPEG. Remember what Shonsu thought he'd seen.