LINK TO Gizmodo piece on Ong’s Hat, from 2/21/19 Chosen one of The Best Long Reads Of The Month, Picked By Digg’s Editors Chosen as a “WEEKEND READING PLEASURE” editor’s pick at Fortune In the ‘90s and early 2000s, seekers looking into the legend online began to believe that just reading about Ong’s Hat was … Continue reading Ong’s Hat: The Early Internet Conspiracy Game That Got Too Real
Ong’s Hat, also known as The Incunabula, is the original ARG and laid the ground for all future experiments in transmedia storytelling. Join me as we take a brief look at the tale of a ghost town in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey… FOLLOW THE WEIRDNET: TWITTER: @theweirdnet GAB.AI: @THEWEIRDNET FACEBOOK: @welcometotheweirdnet INSTAGRAM: @theweirdnet … Continue reading Ong’s Hat: The Original ARG – Sex, Drugs & Quantum Physics
Disclaimer: While I am quite proud of the framework I created to deliver the OH storyI can no longer endorse some of the ideas used in the actual story content (co-created) or some views held by some of the people behind those ideas. I’ll leave it at that, since I also despise gossip and those … Continue reading Incunabula – Ong’s Hat Specific Reviews
Review by Joseph Laycock for Religious Studies Review Texas State University, Philosophy, Faculty Member Article first published online: 12 SEP 2014 Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search For Ong’s Hat Review from Religious Studies Review Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/rsr.12144/abstract
Above image used with permission of the artist. Courtesy of James Koehnline : http://www.koehnline.com/
A professional version of The Incunabula Papers: Ong’s Hat and Other Gateways to New Dimensions is currently available for Audible.com, Amazon.com and iTunes.com. (coming soon) It is narrated by the inimitable James Lewis.
REVIEWERS: Contact me for a free review copy. Just let me know what podcast/show/blog you intend to review it for.
Note to creatives reading this: If you have any audio v/o projects and you want to work with a consummate professional and all around nice guy, you can’t do better than James.
Of course, the free radio play version P. Emerson Williams and I did years ago remains and will always remain available for free in the commons.
Here’s a sample of my conversation with Nick Herbert, read by James, so you can get a sense of the quality (Click the blue “Listen” button below to hear the sample).
A few collected Ong’s Hat literary references from 2014. Other references pre-2014 can be found on the Reviews page. I only include the ones which directly relate to the legend as told in my works, not the historic references about the lost town itself. Notice: Inclusion in this list in NO WAY IMPLIES AN ENDORSEMENT … Continue reading 2014 Literary References to Ong’s Hat in Other Works: A Collection
Precursor: Ong’s Hat In the 1980s transmedia artist Joseph Matheny launched the Ong’s Hat game, inspired by play-by-mail multiplayer games run by Flying Buffalo. Though Ong’s Hat may not have set out to be an ARG, the methods by which the author interacted with participants and used different platforms to build and spread its legend … Continue reading Alternate Reality Games | Ong’s Hat | Know Your Meme
You may view some excerpts here or buy the book. Few have ventured into the many heavily guarded, top-secret locations scattered across the earth. Even fewer have emerged with stories to tell. Yet every now and then the common man is given an illicit glimpse of something extraordinary… In Beyond Area 51, Mack Maloney explores … Continue reading Chapter on Ong’s Hat included in Mack Maloney’s Beyond Area 51 (Chapter 9: The Mystery of Ong’s Hat)
Óli Gneisti Sóleyjarson Technilcal College of fHafnarfjordur, Iceland Folklore Volume 124, Issue 2, 2013 review
On the Internet, seekers investigate anonymous manifestos that focus on the findings of brilliant scientists said to have discovered pathways into alternate realities. Gathering on web forums, researchers not only share their observations, but also report having anomalous experiences, which they believe come from their online involvement with these veiled documents. Seeming logic combines with wild twists of lost Moorish science and pseudo-string theory. Enthusiasts insist any obstacle to revelation is a sure sign of great and wide-reaching efforts by consensus powers wishing to suppress all the liberating truths in the Incunabula Papers (included here in complete form).
As is the custom with “conspiracy/paranormal” types, this article tells you to dismiss the “Ong’s Hat” project (the subject of the book) as “a post modern art project” and a “prank”. I was thinking the other day about this kind of attitude and recalled someone once expressing disappointment that Incunabula: Ong’s Hat was JUST ART, … Continue reading Legend-Tripping Online: Supernatural Folklore and the Search for Ong’s Hat Review for Fortean Times
Here’s some free versions of Ong’s Hat for Kindle and as an ePub (for iPad, Nook, Sony Reader, Adobe Dimensions, et al). I’ll be putting these up on the newly redesigned incunabula.org (see design here) in 2012. Thought you might want to grab one now as my holiday present to you.
In a day and age when legends are as likely to be transmitted online as they are face-to-face, folklorists have begun assessing how our established concepts apply to the digital realm. The convergence of different forms of media has increasingly diminished the traditional boundaries between folk and popular culture and the digital and analog world. If the legend continues to thrive under these new conditions, folklorists will want to determine how the closely related legend-trip has similarly transitioned to the online environment.
In Legend-Tripping Online: The Search for Ong’s Hat, Michael Kinsella seeks to answer this question using the example of the Incunabula Papers—a conspiracy theory, an alternative reality game, and a mystical experience all wrapped into one. The “Incunabula Papers” refers to two documents, Ong’s Hat: Gateway to the Dimensions! A Full Color Brochure for the Institute of Chaos Studies and the Moorish Science Ashram in Ong’s Hat, New Jersey and Incunabula: A Catalogue of Rare Books, Manuscripts & Curiosa—Conspiracy Theory, Frontier Science & Alternative Worlds. Allegedly produced by banished Princeton faculty studying chaos theory at the Moorish Science Ashram in Ong’s Hat, New Jersey, these rogue professors perfected a device known as The EGG, which made possible interdimensional travel. The group then “embedded within [the Incunabula Papers] enough clues for its intended readers” to join the quest “but not enough for those with little faith to follow.” For folklorists this legend complex provides new challenges capable of expanding the body of legend scholarship. Legend-tripping online will not replace legend-tripping in the “real world,” as folklorists have found with some other forms, but rather exists in addition to and follows the same principles as the classic legend-trip.
Ong’s Hat: The Beginning is now available on iTunes for your iPad, iPhone and other ePub compliant readers. It is reasonably priced at$4.99 USD. I will also be releasing an official audiobook through Audible.com later this year. All this is in preparation for a new Ong’s Hat spin-off novel (a sort of meta-sequel) that is … Continue reading Ong’s Hat eBook Now on iTunes
Ong’s Hat Chapter from This is Not a Game
Incunabula Originals Scans as a PDF Mail Culture and Historical notes:In the late 70s and early 80s a network culture emerged that pre-dated information exchange via BBS/Fidonet/Internet (Arpanet) type networks. This was known as the “Mail Culture”. Using the guerrilla tactics of information networking started by such underground movements as the radical underground of … Continue reading Scans of the original mail-art version of the Incunabula: Ong’s Hat documents: PDF
Recently I found myself in the northern California town of San Jose on business. Looking at the map I realized that I was only minutes away from the infamous Santa Cruz mountain region. On a lark I decided to drive my rental car up and see if I could scout any of the infamous travel … Continue reading Ruins Left Behind by the California Travel Cult: Incunabula- Ong’s Hat
Joseph Matheny speaks to “Rupert” and “Abel” about their alleged upbringing in the Ong’s Hat Ashram and their witnessing of the alleged delta force raid.
Ong’s Hat Survivors: Interview Transcript (PDF)
Ong’s Hat Ashram Surivors Interview: Audio
This material is also available in tablet and ebook reader-friendly formats at Archive.org , Smashwords and as a Kindle version on Amazon.com Introductions You would not be reading this brochure if you had not already penetrated half-way to the ICS. You have been searching for us without knowing it, following oblique references in crudely … Continue reading ONG’S HAT:GATEWAY TO THE DIMENSIONS! A full color brochure for the Institute of Chaos Studies and the Moorish Science Ashram in Ong’s Hat, New Jersey.
Scans of the original Incunabula: Ong’s Hat mail art documents with color JPGs of the original cover art courtesy of James Joehnline Download at Archive.org
The first thing one learns upon becoming a subject of press interest is that there’s actually very little one can generally do in the face of inaccurate or even malicious press coverage. – Barrett Brown The tl;dr version (I urge you to come back and follow the referenced links to verify the validity of the … Continue reading Corrections to Brian Dunning’s Skeptoid Podcast About Ong’s Hat
Story from the Asbury Park Press, a New Jersey newspaper on the legend(s) of Ong’s Hat. Some excerpts: “Two weeks ago there were these young kids, like 19 or 20, who came by asking about Ong’s Hat,” said bartender Jacky Colon. “I looked it up on my phone. It was this weird interdimensional thing. Hold … Continue reading Life in the Pines: Ong’s Hat
Oddly enough, this recently showed up on Google. It appears some company is selling a “genuine” Ong’s Hat ring for only $398.00! After reposting a lot of the info from the Ong’a Hat catalog to give back story, they make the following claim:
Apparently some of you have a Google Alert for the term “Ong’s Hat” and therefore have seen the recent addition to IMDB. Specifically this listing (you’ll need IMDB Pro to see complete information). I had planned on doing a full interview with the two people responsible for this new venture when they return from shooting in … Continue reading That IMDB Thing
Matheny himself was there at the beginning of the ARG, when the increasing prominence of online media got him thinking about new forms of storytelling. “I’ve been a tech person since the Eighties,” he reminisces. “I was an IT expert and moved up into software, and I used to play the Steve Jackson games a lot. I also played the Flying Buffalo play-by-mail games, which were kind of like a LARP but done through mail, phone and faxes. You would send your mailing address and your phone number and you would start getting stuff in the mail.
If one takes the Turnpike to exit four and follows Route 70 east, they will come to Route 72 at Four Mile Circle. Taking a hard left leads to a place known as Ong’s Hat, and a trail that some say leads to a mysterious portal to another dimension. The New Jersey Pine Barrens have … Continue reading Ong’s Hat: Piney Ghost Town or Gateway to Another Dimension?