After three years and 77 videos, one of the greatest Internet mysteries ever constructed will come to an end on Sept. 24.
It’s a YouTube account called Pronunciation Book, and since 4chan's home of all things paranormal, /x/, discovered it in early July, curious fans have dissected every last syllable and rumor from every last one of its videos.
Now these anonymous sleuths might have uncovered another conspirator trying to capitalize on the Pronunciation Book buzz.
The video is called "Government Whistleblower Exposes Hip Hop Conspiracy," and it has inspired members of /x/ and 4chan's random imageboard /b/ to don their shiniest tinfoil hats. In it, a man named Robert Connors claims to be a former Department of Defense operative with information on how the government uses hip-hop music to manipulate people.
Connors calls the initiative “Operation Sedgwick" before promising to release more information on Sept. 23. At the end of the video, the image cuts to black as Connors provides an alleged recording of Michael Jackson's final phone call before his death.
"The majority of shit on /x/ is bullshit, at least this has some basis in reality," one anonymous /x/ user wrote. "I'm not going to just choose ignorance for no reason when all I have to do is watch this story."
But not everyone was so convinced. After some digging, /x/ discovered that Connors is an author trying to hock his latest novel, Red Krypto, a story of cyberespionage. Connors is also an adjunct professor at New England's Endicott College, where he teaches a course on Emergency Management in Homeland Security.
"I just read that the average novel is about 130,000 words. Yikes," Connors blogged in January. "That's a lot of writing, but for a first time author, I hear 110,000 is the right number. That will be about 440 pages at 250 words/page. The other consideration is how many pages/chapter. Guess I'm going to have to look at some of the novels I've read to see how many pages they average for each chapter."
Many suspect—and the Daily Dot has confirmed—that Pronunciation Book is a viral marketing campaign. It’s quite possible that Connors modeled a promotional campaign for his book on the YouTube channel’s success. After all, Pronunciation Book inspired /x/ to create a 100-plus-page document full of theories—maybe the rookie author hoped to harness the imageboard’s obsessive energy for himself.
With both Pronunciation Book and Connors due to reveal their secrets early next week, we won’t have to wait long for answers.
Illustration by Fernando Alfonso III