July 27, 2007
At 10:00AM PDT, the countdown on the main website reached zero and the front page was updated with the first riddle, including a text submission box, presumably for the riddle's answer.
Tell your stooges on the ground to look up. They'll tell you what to do next.
When participants located at the given coordinates looked up, they saw a phone number being written in the sky:
After the phone number was written, the planes additionally wrote "HA HA HA" in various locations.
Upon calling this number, the caller overheard a hostage message read by a man under duress:
[reading] "How many clowns does it take to get a good laugh? 401." [stops reading]
I...I don't get it. These jokes aren't funny... [gunshot in background] Please! Please! I'll keep going! I'll keep going!
[reading] "If you want to be part of my crew, you're going to need to prove you're up to the challenge. Tell your lackeys at home the first punchline is INSIDE JOKE, and if they complain, tell them to button it: they'll get something out of this, too. Remember, this is not a race. Real crooks do it with style, not speed. One final joke: What's the last thing I'll ever...ever say?" [stops reading]
Wait! Wait! Please! Don't! Don't!
The online co-conspirators had to enter "inside joke" into the site as a password to continue.