The Publius Enigma: In a "nut"shell
In April 1994 Pink Floyd released what is still their latest studio recording "The Division Bell". Also the world tour in support of The Division Bell opened nearly simultaneously with the release of the record. It was during this tour (June 11, 1994) that a mysterious person called "Publius" began posting his messages to the USENET internet group alt.music.pink-floyd. Publius used an anonymous remailer to post his messages to hide his identity, this alone caused more skepticism than belief in the newsgroup. His initial messages were met with countless flames and were basically disregarded as a clever joke by most of the members of the newsgroup. I will include only his first post in this article it appeared as follows: Read on....
Date: Sat, 11 Jun 1994 16:51:16 UTC
Subject: >>>>>>>> T H E M E S S A G E <<<<<<<<
You have heard the message Pink Floyd has delivered,
but have you listened?
Perhaps I can be your guide, but I will not solve the enigma for you.
All of you must open your minds and communicate with each other,
as this is the only way the answers can be revealed.
I may help you, but only if obstacles arise.
If I don't promise you the answers would you go.
This is the first message, within the next few days Publius would post again in a similar manner. At this point he's basically being ignored by the newsgroup and the flames continued. Things changed when Publius offered to provide proof that he was legitimate, he offered the following proof in a message dated, Sat, 16 Jul 1994. In this message he stated the following:
"To validate the trust of those who believe, as well as to reconcile the doubt of others, I have gone to great lengths to plan the following display of communication: Monday, July 18 East Rutherford, New Jersey Approximately 10:30pm Flashing white lights. There is an enigma. Trust".
It was during the Pink Floyd concert at Giants Stadium on July 18, 1994 at approximately 10:30pm that Publius made good on his promise of validation. During the song Keep Talking in the lights at the base of the stage appeared the words "ENIGMA PUBLIUS" These words had not appeared at any previous concert, and were captured on film by a friendly fan who just so happened to have a video camera at the show. Words and pictures of this validation quickly spread among the newsgroup and the real search for the solution to his riddle was on.
It was at this time that many readers of the group decided to take Publius` challenge to heart and see what could be found. As time went on more messages appear with clues including hidden out of place anagrams, as well as lyrics from the Division Bell. Publius asked for everyone to have an open mind and search through the artwork and lyrics, as well as his messages to find a path to the solution. He even provided more predictions of validation that did come true within the artwork for the newly released Mini-Disc version of A Momentary Lapse of Reason. In this new artwork appeared the words ENIGMA and PUBLIUS yet again, cleverly printed in the pictures from the Learning To Fly Video. He also offered another signal of validation during a performance that was broadcast worldwide from Earls Court, London. During the song "Another Brink In The Wall Pt. 2" the word "Enigma" is projected on the stage, this can be seen on your Pulse VHS, however in a bit of a modified form.
So the members of the newsgroup have the proof they need to burn off some brain cells and try to solve the Enigma. It became clear early on that there were to be divisions among the searchers and those who believe that the entire thing is nothing more than elaborate joke. Even among searchers, so much information as been thrown about that disagreements were (and still are) common place. Many clues exist, and many strange things have been found that give this Enigma it's life. However this is not the article for details, there is simply too much information that has been found to include here.
As time went on the messages from Publius slowed down, (as he predicted they would). He always claimed to be a "guide" and that it was up to us to solve the riddle, not him. There is also the great debate of the identity of Publius. This seems to fascinate people more than the riddle it's self. His identity has been an ongoing problem, simply because he chooses to remain anonymous. By doing so he opened the door for people to "fake" his messages thus making the work of the hardcore searchers even harder because they are forced to determine on their own which messages by Publius are real and which are not. There is still a great deal of debate on this today. Publius continued to deliver clues until 1997 it was at that point things changed.
In 1997 a new messenger arrived, still posting via an anonymous service, but this time using the name "Genesis". His messages were met with the same skeptical replies that the original Publius messages received. Genesis' messages differ quite a bit from Publius. He offers "A new beginning" to finish the remaining parts of the Enigma. His posts clearly point to some sort of coded messages within them. It's clear because he says they are there, and that somehow we are to use both his messages and Publius together to unlock the remaining parts of the Enigma. He states that progress has been made, and to this day acts as our "guide".
The Genesis story is basically the same and Publius, but Genesis has refused to offer validation as Publius did. Genesis tries to convince searchers that they already have the proof they need and that it is time to focus on solving the Enigma rather than pondering his identity.
Genesis is still posting to alt.music.pink-floyd as of 8-17-05. He has been doing so since about 1997. As I said earlier this is not the article for details of coded messages, artwork details, and lyric discussion, among other elements that are required in the search for the solution. This site as well as others across the net have information that will guide you if you're just starting. Please do not be afraid to ask questions in our forum, this is not old-school Usenet where you be flamed and told to "download the FAQ" We want questions because it stimulates the thought process moving us closer to a solution to one of the strangest, complex, and fascinating journey's you will ever take.