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I received some sort of secret hat, the "Chuck Yeager". It says that it is a secret hat. What is the point of a secret hat, besides being fun?

Also it appears that he was the first pilot to travel faster than the speed of sound.

Would anyone like to take a guess at why I have this hat?

After reviewing @Michael Hampton's profile I think I know how it is achieved ... but it is still a secret.

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3  
So that's how you get that hat. Thank you. –  hichris123 Dec 16 '13 at 2:02
    
@Emracool, I guess this is not off topic then? –  robbmj Dec 16 '13 at 2:08
    
Yorp, this is the right place! –  Emrakul Dec 16 '13 at 2:09
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Hint: "from JBM to JWH" –  Shog9 Dec 16 '13 at 2:10
    
let the googling commence –  robbmj Dec 16 '13 at 2:19
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No need to google, I think. Let your eyes drift slightly right. –  Michael Petrotta Dec 16 '13 at 2:21
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I just earned this hat, and I have no idea how! –  Michael Hampton Dec 16 '13 at 3:38
12  
Meh, not good work. Not everyone is from the US. I don't even know who the heck Chuck Yeager is, much less JBM or JWH. More to the point, I have that hat already, and know for a fact what I got it for, but still don't understand the hint. Explain it to me like I am a random human, not a random American. (Unless you yourself are aiming at the secret Discrimination and Unfair Advantage hats. Then it's par for the course I guess.) –  ЯegDwight Dec 18 '13 at 13:25
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Chuck Yeager is a name in the history of science and engineering, more than he is a name in American history. Everybody I know has heard of him, and I am about as far from American as you can get. Plus, Google exists. :) –  Lightness Races in Orbit Dec 18 '13 at 15:36
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He had the right stuff. I knew his name by the age of 4 and I am not American (but I do have a father who was a navy pilot) –  Rory Alsop Dec 19 '13 at 2:00
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@ЯegDwight: Chuck Yeager was the first human being to break the sound barrier; if you're a scientist and an engineer in the aircraft industry and do not know that, then I'm afraid you should be embarrassed! What do you mean by "Google didn't help them"? You type in his name, and his entire career record appears, as if by magic. It's been this way for about 15 years. –  Lightness Races in Orbit Dec 19 '13 at 10:15
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@Lightness: all I am saying is that your no-true-Scotsman argument is incredibly arrogant. If everyone already knew what everyone else already knows, then Stack Exchange would not exist. –  ЯegDwight Dec 19 '13 at 10:19
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@ЯegDwight: It's not a "no-true-Scotsman" argument, and I'm not being "arrogant". How dare you! Chuck Yeager is incredibly famous, the world over. I'm disputing your argument that this has anything at all to do with his country of origin. It does not. Don't blame your ignorance on not being American, gees. –  Lightness Races in Orbit Dec 19 '13 at 10:20
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Fair enough, I have no evidence whether or not it has to do with his country of origin (though it's common sense). I still reject your premise that he is "incredibly famous". Michael Jackson is incredibly famous (and still most people walking this planet have never so much as heard of him). Chuck Yeager is not a blip on anyone's radar, the world over. Which is fine with me, we are here to learn new things. I'd rather learn about JBM and JWH than not. I'm just saying that a hint, while supposed to be obscure, is also supposed to be a hint. –  ЯegDwight Dec 19 '13 at 10:27
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@LarsH I am not assuming intentional discrimination. There's nothing wrong with being rooted in a particular culture, and there's nothing wrong with letting it shine through involuntarily. But there's nothing wrong with calling attention to it, either. This is a network of international sites. Yet I am not seeing Sarkozy hats and Tolstoy quotes for hints on how to get them. –  ЯegDwight Dec 19 '13 at 14:39
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4 Answers

up vote 85 down vote accepted

Secret hats are secret.

Public knowledge is not secret.

Therefore, secret hats are not public knowledge.

Shhhhh.


I've been asked to edit this post to explain what secrets I was talking about. So, here goes. Secrets in this answer! I'm going to go ahead and reveal 'em. Fredley originally added in hidden HTML tags a prompt to add secrets to the answer. So that's exactly what I did - in hidden tags, of course.

added by fredley: This answer needs more secrets, I was disappointed not to find any here.

This prompted me. added by Emracool:


You want a secret? I'll give you a secret. Your link is here:

1YMTpavsFq7ykllC3CCsg3e1li31re1nROxuW1wqIqpk

Oh, what's that? You want another hint?

U2FsdGVkX18yMLwr6K3OxZrCLbKMDPi+9uQ8dYkgXNia/sQF/I1dNUX9NmWBCtcYVVpbdPABMZQOuCXzE8OVqKPQw/29sjPTZfrCKxSK11p5XWDWBAVn9DP3nAlscBlLhWfQvnFrsMSuhNouWTvX7Kl2jzjXrQZEwS739HAC6nHxbDL3QAJcJBHZXo4RWQ66KlsZnsKipqHvyCkWXTZJ4QZ+nofK93eDp/5KfDfagdze+pQ78VAOlvFaPM4MIG0ymi9olEmhGTXD7UV4oRBCiZE46tykTjjlYkllk0AcgRYtyGjbMN89CTQmQe2alN1fGXJM62v1TAjgabx3RiLjWuMxjHbpJXYF22iiQjSZ36Y=

Have fun, friends. Post a comment if you make progress. I'm curious. Maybe I'll do something special for the first couple who get it. Depends.

Nom out.


So, the question: "what the hell is even going on in this?" The first part was a little obscure (okay, scratch that, very obscure), but after that point, everything else was fairly linear (if organized in a convoluted way). The first "link" actually goes to a Google doc. Google document links come in the form:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/[SERIAL CODE]/[action]

The document, in this case, leads here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YMTpavsFq7ykllC3CCsg3e1li31re1nROxuW1wqIqpk/edit

Once you got that part, you were greeted with a document titled "BFEncrypt VW5pY29ybnNSYWluYm93UGFydHlIYXRz-64" and the text:

4A8046C39A359F2BA04D7906523BE783
B7AB658CFDD73468213F5912B182CA26
216025100BFCF6684B086D58E45B3F3D
8F6FDF3975EE74AFAA782DE147F3D126
754D0D0CCC3296423C456646111F1D16
55AB81D030795331BAB3DFE14389DC41
B918D10810A72F83995C20E4DED16FFF
41B95B4AF223F06EB958915F0A9FC931
1F8539B96DBB30EE230441EB729E3562
6229AE16E0ADE0092039BA8E48AED813
F32E330D868A21E74BCA8235CC8B475D
45950CD201DE4AE636E88D2CEE2C8CF6
174ED64AC8F91D4E0A0489947CD1B468
C56F86527E9A0B496C4F010F3A49F27F
3451A118059EEAA4862782D3F5A43390

The title here tells you everything you need to know. "BFEncrypt" you need to recognize as Blowfish encryption. The key is actually part of the title, but the "-64" tells you that the key has been encoded with Base64. If you put the string "VW5pY29ybnNSYWluYm93UGFydHlIYXRz" into a base64 decoder, you end up with "UnicornsRainbowPartyHats".

This is the key to the encrypted text. You need to use a blowfish block encryption to decrypt the text with the key, and doing so leads you to:

So you know what? Heres some text. A pile of that will point you to the ANSWER.

You know, the answer. To everything. Everything, ever. Period end. But first, you will need the next password:

WB13BEGINS? - use balpha emrakul servy

The last step of the puzzle is nigh! And it goes right back to where you started. One of the easiest ways I've found to confuse people (and I love doing this in RPGs) is to give them the first and the last clue, and let them try and figure it out.

So, balpha emrakul servy. bAlpha Emrakul Servy. AES.

You've won my little ridiculous WinterBash secret challenge.

Maybe I'll give you a hat. Maybe.

Post a comment on a very, very old post of mine, and let me know. You probably won't get a hat, but I'm curious if anyone makes it through this.

A little anticlimactic, sure. I wish I had been able to put something more exciting in there. Maybe I'd have handed out a bit of dogecoin ;) But who knows. As far as I know, nobody got this far. I hope those of you who played enjoyed the challenge! And hey, if you really want some doge, I'd be happy to give some to ya.

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1  
@fredley you get your wish –  Emrakul Dec 17 '13 at 5:32
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Progress so far is Salted__20, beyond that I'm lost. –  fredley Dec 17 '13 at 11:15
    
AES-CBC looks a likely candidate –  fredley Dec 17 '13 at 11:47
    
@fredley It's much simpler than you think. –  Emrakul Dec 17 '13 at 16:26
    
I guessed as much from your use of 'link'. I'm still stuck on the fact that the second part is encrypted with some key, and I can't decrypt it despite my best efforts... –  fredley Dec 17 '13 at 19:01
    
Aha! On to the next stage... –  fredley Dec 17 '13 at 19:10
    
I've got to URPH, but I'm not sure what it means... –  fredley Dec 17 '13 at 19:22
    
On to the next stage! –  fredley Dec 17 '13 at 19:34
    
:D sweet! The first bit is probably the hardest to figure out. –  Emrakul Dec 17 '13 at 20:06
    
Really? I'm completely stuck with this bit, I've decoded the document, but I can't make head nor tail of the message. I've tried to derive a numeric code from the bottom line, am I completely wrong? –  fredley Dec 17 '13 at 21:37
    
@fredley - :] play and find out –  Emrakul Dec 17 '13 at 21:47
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@fredley I should warn you that I don't actually have anything planned other than a handshake should you win, sorry. I may think of something, but I'm not sure what –  Emrakul Dec 17 '13 at 22:14
    
It's ok, I'll settle for my own custom hat next year if I solve it ;-) –  fredley Dec 17 '13 at 22:53
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I went to bed last night without a Chuck Yeager hat - and woke up this morning with one. What could I he done overnight, while sleep, to be really really fast? –  Pieter Geerkens Dec 22 '13 at 15:35
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@Francisco Will post them soon –  Emrakul Jan 4 at 23:06
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The point of secret hats is to give you a bit of a mystery to solve. That is, there's not really a point other than fun. :)

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1  
Well, I'm having fun here :) –  Francisco Alvarado Jan 2 at 20:38
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I got a secret "Johnny Three Hats" hat on SO and now have not just one hat but three!

I can't tell you how I got it as it's a secret!

UPDATE:

Got "Chuck Yeager" now too. I think you have to be FAST!

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Me, too! Oh well, I'll just wait until someone spills the secret. :-) –  Jamal Dec 16 '13 at 3:31
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Boo, it's not a secret any more ;) –  Szymon Dec 16 '13 at 3:35
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Seems so obvious now! –  Jamal Dec 16 '13 at 3:36
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For some reason I think commenting here will get me a hat. I hope I'm right. –  Santa Claus Dec 16 '13 at 4:06
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Well, that is part of getting Chuck Yeager, but there's a bit more to it. –  Tim Post Dec 17 '13 at 13:54
    
why commenting here should get me a hat? –  joseramonc Dec 17 '13 at 21:08
    
There's free hats in here?! –  Johannes Dec 18 '13 at 23:57
    
Free hats?! where? –  Alex Gittemeier Dec 26 '13 at 9:44
    
@TinyTim And isn't it everyone's part, as everyo-- SEEEEEEKRET –  The Wobbuffet Dec 31 '13 at 23:12
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I have a feeling that @SantaClaus's comment will cause this thread to get large –  Malfist Jan 2 at 16:52
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I know exactly why you have that hat after looking at your activity, but it is a seekret! However, I can give you hints!

I know this works by confirming my activity with robbmj's, and right when the thing that wraps it up happened, I immediately earned the Chuck Yeager badge.

First, you must be fast, very fast.

Second, the speed has to do with duration.

Third, this might be obvious from Jose Ramon Camacho, but it has to do with comments! (One way of doing it.)

Fourth, The lunch ladies make the food, but everyone eats! (This one might be harder to understand, but it would've been a giveaway.) [EDIT] I thought someone had to reply to your comment

Fifth, you do not need to post an answer. Many people think this, and I'm telling them straight out that you don't need to.

Hope you figure it out yourself, but it is a seekret!

Listen, if you want a bright opportunity, you have to find out how to get a hat, but please only give hints, because spoilers are not seekret!

It will all be revealed at the end...

PS. Johnny three-hats... that hard to figure out ;). and don't be the one to spoil the HATS like the guy who revealed I See Your Point. However, I live in a free country, so there's no stopping the unstoppable.

For everyone, I have one word:

THINK

[EDIT]

It seems I was wrong about not needing to post an answer ;) you know, it's funny, I thought at first you needed to post an answer within 5 minutes of the question being posted, and that someone needed to post a comment on it. Well, a mod told me I was wrong, and now it seems I was wrong. Well, it seems I didn't know exactly why he had that hat ;) Only 1 and 2 were correct!

And you know how I earned Eureka? I earned it by learning how to get Eureka :)

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I'm confused. All I did today was post 3 answers and I got the hat. Perhaps I had already earned it and just didn't notice? –  Stijn Dec 31 '13 at 15:14
    
@Stijn that means you could get it by being fast! I wonder if anyone commented on your answer? Again, you don't need to post an answer! – duration part of speed. –  The Wobbuffet Dec 31 '13 at 16:02
    
Don't be confused, people, as with a new year comes new seekrets to get confused on and more seekrets REVEALED! Public knowledge is not the definition of a conspiracy... don't define it! –  The Wobbuffet Dec 31 '13 at 23:10
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