Dear Reddit, I work in NYC, and was dragged into a very curious situation today. I was taking the 1 train from midtown to the financial district and as usual, the train was pretty packed. I bumped into a raggedy dressed man as we got on and he shot me a quick smile. I though nothing of it until he went to get off at 14th street and he handed me a $50 bill along with a note. Before I could even open my mouth to ask him a question, he was gone.
After some initial skepticism, one user noticed that the word "Bifid" was spelled out in Hebrew along the bottom next to the word "cipher" in Russian. This led them to the "Bifid cipher" — a complex encryption system created by French codemaster Felix Delastelle in 1901.
Shortly thereafter, delverofsecrets claims he received a private message from Mr. Input himself, with an additional string of characters to be deciphered using the same system. Redditor MrNewking stepped up and provided the solution:
YOU HAVE MANAGED TO FIND THE MESSAGE WITH THE HELP OF FRIENDS. YOU CHANGED THE RULES NOW SO WILL I. JULY TWELVE FOUR PM. FIND THE BLUE JAY AT SIX AND A HALF AND FIFTY SIXTH AND TELL HIM YOU ARE THE LAST.
Now, what does this all mean? No one knows for sure.
Some immediately jumped on the fact that the original date corresponds with the North American release of The Dark Knight Rises and surmise that it could be part of a PR stunt that leads to a prescreening. Clearview Cinemas Ziegfeld, which has a showing at 7 PM, is located near the address provided by "Mr. Input," as is Gotham Skincare.
Others, however, have noted that Mr. Input's IP address appears to suggest he is situated in Fort Huachuca, AZ, which just so happens to be NETCOM's command center, where a "Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility" named after a famous cryptographer is located.
UPDATE: So it seems nothing actually happened. A bunch of people showed up and mobbed a man dressed in all blue who is apparently a retired Columbia University professor named Fred. He had no idea what was going on — or did he? — so the crowd left to stand in front of an establishment with a blue sign called "J's Cleaners." That went bust in a hurry, so people just wandered around for a while until OP showed up many minutes late. According to reports, he didn't really do much of anything except give out his phone number, get IDed by some cops, and then leave.
Something could still happen on July 19th, but it's unclear who will be paying attention after today's disillusioning experience.