Was cleaning; found an old two gigabyte flash drive.
Said to myself, “Two gigs seems so little now. I have so many USB sticks, so many bigger than this. I wonder if I could find some better use…”
Cut to: Me ejecting the flash drive off my laptop. It’s now named TRANSMISS, and has these files inside:
- a copy of the Conet Project recordings of numbers stations — lots of creepy mp3:s, in other words — with the file names and all file details filed away, leaving no clue as to what these sounds are,
- four grainy photos of what possibly is tree branches against a glowing sky in night-time, and
- a plain text file with a letter salad name and contents listing four random numbers stations mp3 files and drawing an equals sign between each and one of the night-tree pictures.
Plus, using the Linux “touch” command the mp3:s were re-dated to one-month intervals over the past 150 months; and the pictures for a day in November. (Originally for midnight tomorrow, but then I got lazy.)
The letter-salad file name was 11 letters, no order or rhyme to them; but also, not incidentally, they were the video ID for a Youtube copy of Rick Astley’s famous feel-good hit Never Gonna Give You Up.
Next I painted the drive black — just to make it seem a little bit more unusual — and now today I, oh woe, kind of set it down at the betting stand of the local supermarket while putting my gloves on, and totally forgot to pick it back up.
Who knows who will find it.
Maybe I need a new hobby.
Also: It would be relatively simple to register a domain and make it look like the login page for some subscription service, then drop a flash drive somewhere with a small “sampling” of the supposed contents (“October update”?), watermarked to mention the site.
The site would let you see an index of all the updates, indicating that the sampling was but a minute fraction; but ah, to see more you would need a password, which is not included. In truth the sampling would be all there was; and it would be unsettling enough.
Or if you weren’t going for the creeps, then “Daily Pictures of Left Foot”, and an implied archive of years.
(If registering a whole domain seems too much, just make up a blog, a tumblr, a Youtube channel, or something like. Sneakier still, leave one mysterious identifying, easily googlable bit in the drive contents — “property of the Ykkshaaskh Foundation”, “Project t566vk9c” — and then put up a blog post indicating you found a similar drive (maybe in a far-away place!), asking if anyone else has found one too, and promising to post an update soon. With any luck the drive-finder googles, finds your post, writes you an e-mail, and then there’s no limit to the messing with his or her head that you can do, and incidentally, I would be a horrible evil person if I wasn’t so lazy.)
Also: surreptitiously drop a USB drive that contains a treasure map in the form of a sequence of photos, starting from a well-known local spot and proceeding so that each photo shows the location the next one was taken from. The final photo shows some non-obvious hidden spot, and either implies or outright show a “treasure”. (Since I’m Finnish, I’m thinking of trees: a few dozen paces into the forest and something you hang on a tree won’t be discovered accidentally.)
If the mapmaker is malicious, a bunch of money is implied and a mocking note left; otherwise, a mystery box with candy and knick-knacks and stuff: a quest, if one chooses to accept it, should have a reward.
Also, there should be treasure so you know if somebody has bothered to look inside the drive. Or maybe scrawled on the inside of the lid of the treasure box is a Gmail address, and a request to “report which cache has been found, by using which clue-stick or rhyme, and when; any report can win a prize!”