Alienware Behind 'Drone' UFOs?

We have previously covered the 'mystery' surrounding the so-called 'Chad UFO Drone' sightings, and the associated CARET document with its alleged alien glyphs, which have received a fair amount of air time courtesy of journalist Linda Moulton Howe and various 'paranormal radio' shows. Well, it may now finally be solved - and as we thought, it looks like a viral marketing scheme. Computer hardware company Alienware (a subsidiary of Dell) has been running a competition around the release of two new laptop models, where entrants must decode the same 'alien glyphs' as found in the CARET document. The competition page and hint pages also make use of the same vector illustrations found in the document. Yesterday's press conference to unveil the new laptops also made use of the glyphs (which spell out 'Alienware') - the 'logo' is also apparently inscribed on the computers themselves.

However, the 'true believers' out there are still wary of seeing this as the final nail in the 'Drone' case - and they have received some support from Alienware themselves.A query by a member of the Open Minds Forum to Alienware, about their use of the glyphs, received this response from their PR Director:

Thank you for your email. It’s great to hear that our promotion has reach out to you and your Forum group regarding the CARET document. Alienware did NOT create the information regarding this phenomena or the CARAT linguistics. This is NOT an intellectual property of Alienware. The information has anonymously spread throughout the web for some time. We have taken the CARAT linguistics and have applied this as a marketing tool to draw attention to our promotion.

This has led some to believe that Alienware have just 'hijacked' the CARET meme for their own benefit. There may be some grounds to support this, in that the Alienware 'alphabet', when applied to the CARET documents for decoding, only turns up gibberish (on the flipside, the viral marketers may have been wary of someone cracking the alphabet previous to now, giving a reason for the gibberish).

However, I find it very hard to believe that a company like Dell/Alienware would use glyphs and illustrations that are floating around the Internet without any knowledge of the true copyright owner...otherwise they could be looking at a very nasty lawsuit down the track. Some have suggested that they could get away with this due to grey areas in font copyright law, but this would not extend to the illustrations used.

Additionally, in the message from the PR director CARET is spelled correctly once, and then 'CARAT' is substituted afterwards. It is worth noting that Carat is the name of a major advertising and communications company, which has as a subsidiary a digital and viral marketing wing named Carat Fusion.

If it was a viral marketing scheme, it didn't seem to work out too impressively - the glyph decoding competition is already finished, and most of ufology was none the wiser. The CARET meme didn't seem to spread outside of the 'true believer' section of ufology (most serious researchers simply laughed at the whole thing), so the audience was very limited. And those 'true believers' who were aware of it - and thought it was evidence for alien contact - are probably not impressed at all with Alienware for tricking them (apart from those who continue to believe that Alienware have just hijacked the meme).

Perhaps there might be more to come - Alienware computers are aimed at the high-performance gaming market, so there may be a tie-in with an upcoming game which is yet to be revealed. However, at this point - unless an original creator (or aliens) comes out and sues Alienware for breach of copyright - it seems safe to put this one to bed.

At least it made for good art - especially the derivative music video "Strange Craft", by Drone (CGI work by Saladfingers).

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Greg's picture
Member since:
30 April 2004
Last activity:
3 hours 35 min

A few people have suggested that Alienware may be confident in taking down any copyright claims from 'original hoaxers', or that they are actually trying to draw out the hoaxers. The problem with this logic is that it assumes that the hoaxer is an individual/small fish.

Alienware would never take the risk of using these symbols/images, simply because they may be part of a viral marketing campaign for a very big fish. And then they would be in some serious trouble.

Either they know the providence, or it's their (or a contracted third party's) creation.

Kind regards,
Greg
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You monkeys only think you're running things

Rick MG's picture
Member since:
2 May 2004
Last activity:
2 days 43 min

I know copyright law, and if the CARET script doesn't belong to Alienware, or they don't have legal permission to use it, then they're in very big trouble down the road.

Emperor's picture
Member since:
26 March 2006
Last activity:
4 years 40 weeks

It is indeed an interesting development.

Having watched this in particular and a number of virals it leads to a few conclusions:

1. If it was Alienware the launch would have been the time for the reveal as it would have generated an extra level of discussion about things and probably (albeit briefly) pushed the Caret business into the mainstream. The only counter to this would be that they didn't want to alienate (no pun intended) potential buyers b revealing they'd hoaxed them all along but I can't see that being a big dent in sales.

2. If we assume #1 is correct then we they must have had some serious meetings with their lawyers as they'd probably want to avoid any kind of hassle like the recent HB,HG vs DVC lawsuit. As they got the go-ahead I suspect they have decided that:

a) Widespread distribution and no claims for copyright have essentially made this public domain work by default.

b) Any lawsuit would actually be good publicity - sales figures for HB,HG and DVC jumped during the court case although possibly a boost in sales didn't cover the costs incurred by the losing side.

c) They've tracked down the creators and have bunged them some cash or the hoaxers have said it is OK to use as it raises the profile of the whole business.

d) They've figured the amount of cash hoaxers would get in a lawsuit would be negligible and not worth revealing their hand. Of course, if caret is done then they'd have nothing to lose. It may be this combined with b) has led the lawyers (and accountants) to conclude the worst case scenario is extra sales from a lawsuit cancels out any settlement, especially if a) means they'd actually have a good chance at winning a case.

e) Extraterrestrials currently have no legal standing under Earth law so they can go and get stuffed. Problems may arise if they can show occupation of Earth for long enough for them to get some form of squatters rights or the US government may have come to some kind of legal understanding granting them the status of migrant workers in return for access to underground bases and advanced technology. Alienware may figure they don't want to show their (grey and elongated) hand but it might be the directors have been pencilled in on the anal probe rota. I'm sure they have their own ways of getting their pound of flesh ;)

3. They might be denying it as there is another phase in the viral but there haven't been any recent developments to keep the pot simmering and it would be odd to be a the point where you'd have to deny your links if you later owned up to it. Of course, the round of Caret reports might have been laying the foundation for something bigger that will emerge in the next year or so but Alienware would be left looking a bit silly.

So I doubt they are involved but they have probably put in some effort behind the scenes to cover their asses either with a payoff to the creators or with some kind of calculated risk that if they get sued they have things covered.

We'll see as if there is going to be any suing done the papers will probably be filed soon.