Earlier this week a cryptic message appeared on the spookily named domain http://itcouldhappentoallof.us/. Say what? It could happen to all of U.S.!? Woah! Scarier still, there was a major U.S. city listed, namely Chicago, and......... *gulp* ... a timer that was counting down to something. Dum .. dum DUM....! And the scary music swells!
Better still, the cryptic code was spelled out with symbols for chemical hazard, biohazard, radioactivity, and a slew of religions for good measure. With exploding cookers, fertilizer factories, and mailed ricin bouncing about, people in the US might be just a tad edgy right now. Just a tad.
Thus: Cue internet panic!
The site spread like wildfire, as viral as a viral can get, but it was ending up in forums names conspiracy, cryptography, homeland security watch and all even in /r/WTF.
With such an onslaught of worried people hitting the site and calling the cops, the business wised up and let the cat out of the bag.
Due to the recent events that took place during the Boston Marathon and the subsequent current state of fear that has spread across America, we are terminating this strategic business promotion.
The purpose of “itcouldhappentoallof.us” was never intended to spread fear or promote terrorism, but rather to create awareness to all forms of potential disasters; including natural, economic, pandemic, etc…
The message was intended to be that truthfully, we never know what could happen next, ie: it could happen to all of us. Our goal, at Blan-Kits Family Defense was and still is to “Prepare America for Disaster; One Family at a Time”.
As far as the, quote, “cryptic messages” on our website…
These were simply puzzles, designed to intrigue those who stumbled across our website. Our thought was, people like to solve puzzles, let’s give them a reason to keep “checking in”.
We chose Latin phrases to make the “code” harder to crack and to add more mystery.
The Latin phrases are as follows,
Ab Epistiulis (this was intended to be a clue to look in the letters). It loosly translates to “from the letters” or “having to do with correspondence”.
Abundans cautela non nocet (this was meant to reference, disaster preparation, which is what we do) it translates to, one can never be too careful.
Caetera Desunt (this was intended to elude that there is still more puzzles to solve) it translates to the rest is missing.
Ad utrumque paratus (this one has been miss quoted by some on the internet) the translation was supposed to read Ready for Anything, Prepared for the Worst. This is the motto used by many “preppers”.
And Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere (which was essentially stating that we have the right to prepare) it reads, we dare to defend our rights.
The timer, this was simply a countdown to solve our puzzles before we revealed who we are and how we intend to help America. Some did crack the countdown, which is May, 4th at 3:21… which was simply, 54321, it was countdown, to a countdown. This was supposed to be funny. As far as Chicago is concerned, we needed to make sure people had the correct “time zone” or the 54321 wouldn’t get figured out.
We want this to be very clear, our goal was not to spread fear, only to create a little mystery. We are ENDING our marketing campaign early to put an end to all viral rumors that have been circulating the internet and to put American minds at ease.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and the families of the Boston Marathon tragedy.
Blan-Kits Family Defense, Inc.
“Preparing America for Disaster; One Family at a Time”