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.

  • 6
    So that's how you get that hat. Thank you.
    – hichris123
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 2:02
  • 1
    Hint: "from JBM to JWH"
    – Shog9
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 2:10
  • 2
    No need to google, I think. Let your eyes drift slightly right. Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 2:21
  • 5
    I just earned this hat, and I have no idea how! Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 3:38
  • 15
    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
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 13:25
  • 7
    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. :) Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 15:36
  • 3
    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
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 2:00
  • 5
    @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. Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 10:15
  • 5
    @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
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 10:19
  • 5
    @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. Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 10:20
  • 5
    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
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 10:27
  • 1
    @ЯegDwight: It's not about being American. I'm American and I don't have a clue what the hints mean. Ease off on assuming discrimination.
    – LarsH
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 14:30
  • 2
    @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
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 14:39
  • 1
    The point remains, you assumed discrimination (intentional or otherwise) without much evidence, and AFAICT it turns out you were mistaken. It's not a big deal - we all need to make leaps in order to get anywhere. But nor is there anything wrong with pointing out that it was an unjustified accusation.
    – LarsH
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 15:02
  • 1
    Actually you assume he is mistaken.
    – brettdj
    Commented Dec 21, 2013 at 1:47

4 Answers 4


Secret hats are secret.

Public knowledge is not secret.

Therefore, secret hats are not public knowledge.


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:


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


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:


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


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.

  • 1
    @fredley you get your wish
    – user206222
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 5:32
  • 3
    Progress so far is Salted__20, beyond that I'm lost.
    – fredley
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 11:15
  • AES-CBC looks a likely candidate
    – fredley
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 11:47
  • @fredley It's much simpler than you think.
    – user206222
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 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
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 19:01
  • Aha! On to the next stage...
    – fredley
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 19:10
  • I've got to URPH, but I'm not sure what it means...
    – fredley
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 19:22
  • :D sweet! The first bit is probably the hardest to figure out.
    – user206222
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 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
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 21:37
  • @fredley - :] play and find out
    – user206222
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 21:47
  • 1
    @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
    – user206222
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 22:14
  • It's ok, I'll settle for my own custom hat next year if I solve it ;-)
    – fredley
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 22:53
  • It's a secret to everybody. Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 19:48
  • 3
    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? Commented Dec 22, 2013 at 15:35
  • 1
    @Francisco Will post them soon
    – user206222
    Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 23:06

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. :)


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!


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

  • Me, too! Oh well, I'll just wait until someone spills the secret. :-)
    – Jamal
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 3:31
  • 4
    meta.stackexchange.com/q/211710/189912 Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 3:33
  • Boo, it's not a secret any more ;)
    – Szymon
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 3:35
  • 1
    For some reason I think commenting here will get me a hat. I hope I'm right.
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 4:06
  • 2
    Well, that is part of getting Chuck Yeager, but there's a bit more to it.
    – user50049
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 13:54
  • why commenting here should get me a hat?
    – joseramonc
    Commented Dec 17, 2013 at 21:08
  • There's free hats in here?!
    – Hanna
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 23:57
  • Free hats?! where? Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 9:44
  • @TinyTim And isn't it everyone's part, as everyo-- SEEEEEEKRET
    – Cilan
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 23:12
  • 1
    I have a feeling that @SantaClaus's comment will cause this thread to get large
    – Malfist
    Commented Jan 2, 2014 at 16:52

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:



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 :)

  • 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
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 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.
    – Cilan
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 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!
    – Cilan
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 23:10

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