The Muppet Central Mysteries

D'Snowth

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No. To the best of my memory, the incident took place either 2012 or 2013, and Kevin wasn't involved (I think he and Jamie had both retired from being mods by that time).
 

D'Snowth

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@Old Thunder Ask, and ye shall receive:


EDIT: I looked through a few pages of the thread, and I believe Ed may have trimmed some of the content posted by the members who were called into question.
 
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Old Thunder

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Very interesting! I recalled this thread as I’d been spelunking a few years back, thanks for posting the link again!
 

D'Snowth

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I'm really about to open up a can of worms here, and this is definitely one of those incidents that you really had to experience for yourself to understand just how utterly bizarre it was.

Chapter 6: The Adventures of Not-So-Supermuppet

This is, perhaps, one of MC's weirdest, yet most infamous mysteries of all time, going right down in history alongside the ominous King Agrippa (another mystery for another time), because not only were the circumstances really strange, but just about the entire forum had been hijacked.

During the mid and late 2000s, MC saw a boom in new members joining the community, some of them stuck around for a while, others came and went, and while a lot these newer members left their mark on the forum in their own way, none of them left quite a scar on our community like the infamous troll who went by the handle
"Supermuppet" . . . and "baba" . . . and a number of others, including posing as some of our own long-standing, respected members . . . more on that to come.

"Supermuppet" was one of many new members who hopped onboard the MC train in 2006, along with his "brother," "baba." I say "brother" in quotation marks, because these two could very well have been the very same person posting under sock puppet accounts . . . it doesn't help that this troll continually not only continued to rejoin MC under different aliases, they also began impersonating other members as well, which lead to a major headache for the community. But, before I can get into that, I have to explain why "Supermuppet" and "baba" were so troublesome in the first place.

Things started out seemingly simple enough: Muppet fans hanging among other Muppet fans on a Muppet forum - nothing wrong with that . . . however, things began taking an unusual turn after "Supermuppet" and "baba" started getting a little comfortable around here. Again, it was stated by these two accounts that they were brothers, however, their posts weren't just suspiciously similar to each others - they were almost completely identical, namely the distinct way their posts were capitalized: back in the vBulletin days of the forum, Phil had implemented prohibition on the forum in regards to posting in all caps, LIKE THIS (an indication of yelling in text), because apparently Phil felt members were abusing this, so if you attempted to type in all caps, Your Posts And Replies Would Automatically Be Edited By The System To Look Like This: The First Letter In Every Word Of Your Post Would Be Capitalized, But Not The Rest Of The Words. Both "Supermuppet" and "baba"'s posts were like this. On top of that, we gradually began noticing other new members under various different screennames were popping up on the forum shortly afterward with this exact same posting style. In addition to the peculiar posting style, these members were also not above occasionally sharing some of their narrow-minded and bigoted views, despite frequently playing the race card themselves (they claimed to be black).

Eventually, it was clear what their actual motive for being here was: they were the owners of their own, rival Muppet fan forum, which was nearly a blatant rip off of Muppet Central, not just in terms of their forum's format, layout, and board names, but also in their forum's name: Muppet City. Think about it: a Muppet forum with the acronym MC . . . Muppet Central? Muppet City? Their intentions were to round up our members here and migrate them over to their forum . . . they acted like they were our bestest friends in the whole wide world, and even passed themselves off as such, so they were desperate to bring us over to their side, and when they saw things weren't going their way, then began the masquerades . . . on both forums.

"Supermuppet" and "baba" soon began registering more sock puppet accounts on both forums, including impersonating some of our long-time, respected members, and one specific example I can remember as clear as day is our very own Mat, a.k.a. Beauregard. Here on Muppet Central, they registered a sock puppet account, and copied every single detail from Mat's Beauregard profile, right down to the animated GIF avatar he had of Beauregard blinking (yes, vBulletin allowed animated GIF avatars) . . . the only difference was the spelling of the username, which, to the best of my memory, was Beavregard (notice the V instead of a U). On Muppet City, they registered the exact same sock puppet account, only with the correct spelling of Beauregard. As you can imagine, this Beauregard imposter acted like they had gone over to Muppet City, liked it a whole lot better than Muppet Central, and tried to persuade the rest of us to follow suit. Pretty soon, Muppet Central was virtually consumed by Muppet City spam posted in incredible volume by "Supermuppet," "baba," "Beavregard," and the numerous other sock puppet accounts . . . it got to a point where everybody on Muppet Central had become suspicious of everyone else - if anybody started posting even slightly differently than they ordinarily do - even in a joking manner - we had to make sure they hadn't been hacked by the troll(s), or they weren't another sock puppet imposter account. It also got so bad that when we had actual legitimate new members join during this same time, we were suspicious of them as well - and some, unfortunately, had the misfortunate of being wrongfully accused of being more imposters . . . I believe Dwayne may have actually been one of those wrongfully accused (please correct me if I don't remember as such).

Things got so bad that certain members here including myself, MrsPepper, Beauregard, ThePrawnCracker, and a few others had our own private forum that we would occasionally retreat to whenever we felt uncomfortable being here on MC (think of it like own own private Discord server) . . . this wasn't the first time we had done so (again, I'll go into more details about this when I write about the terrifying tale of King Agrippa), but we did this because "Supermuppet," "baba," and the other sock puppets and imposters had all of us on edge - we just wanted to ensure that we had not been hacked or had imposters. In a way, our private forum was something of a sanctuary, but admittedly, we were still on edge that, someway, somehow, the troll(s) would even find our private forum and hijack it as well.

Yes, for all intents and purposes, Muppet Central was hijacked by the goon(s) of Muppet City. Eventually, our admins and mods finally put the kibosh on these sock puppets, imposters, and as well as "Supermuppet" and "baba" - so much so that there is no trace evidence of any of their spam left after it was cleaned and sanitized (so David, I wouldn't advise you digging any deeper into this yourself, because you're not likely to find much of anything yourself) . . . but, that still wasn't the entire end of it. While things were cleaned up here on Muppet Central, there was still the matter of Muppet City, which, obviously, was something that Phil, Ed, or anyone else couldn't do anything about, so it was still open and operating, with the imposters like "Beauregard" still posting actively and regularly on Muppet City, and acting like that loved it so much better than Muppet Central.

Although "Supermuppet," "baba," and the other accounts were completely terminated from Muppet Central, the mark they left on our forum continued to sting for quite some time, and it took all of us a long while to calm down and feel comfortable around here, and even stop being suspicious of certain new members again, because of how on edge they made us feel during their brief time around here and all of their impersonations, masquerades, and hijackings . . . even though, again, we never really knew for certain if this really was a pair of brothers behind the curtains, if it was just one lone wolf. Either way, this, admittedly, also eventually became something of a, "One of these days, we'll look back on this and laugh," incident for some of us old-timers, as in hindsight, the incident was incredibly ridiculous, but at the time, it was terribly un-nerving and unsettling. Nothing like this has happened on Muppet Central before, or sense, which makes it one of the incidents from our rich history here that really stands out . . . whether or not as a blemish is open to debate, but nevertheless, it does go down in our history.
 

Old Thunder

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so David, I wouldn't advise you digging any deeper into this yourself, because you're not likely to find much of anything yourself
Went searching, and yeah, not much to see besides stuff before the fact (people actually respecting suppermuppet and baba, which is wild), and stuff after the fact (good lord!). What a wild story, thanks for spinning that yarn!
 

D'Snowth

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Chapter 7: None Hail King Agrippa!

If Agrippa is a name you recognize, it's probably because you've read the Bible . . . however, what you are about to read is a tale of an absolute holy mess of Biblical proportions, and to say that this incident scared the shitake mushrooms out of us is a gross understatement (and, actually, it was also just plain gross).

As has been noted many times before, MC was definitely far more community-oriented back in the mid-2000s, when we gradually started coming out of our shells, warming up to each other, and developing cyber connections with our fellow Muppet fans . . . indeed, we were certainly becoming like a family around here. At the same time, however, most of us were still very protective of our actual identities and personal information; all we knew about each other was what we encompassed within our MC community. Sure, we trusted each other, but back in those days, you could only take trust so far on the internet, which is why many of us were very cautious regarding how much we shared about ourselves and our personal lives.

Still, we had a pretty solid idea of whom the regularly active members of the community were during that time: we had our resident Canadians such as MrsPepper and That Announcer, we had our loveable English bloke such as Beauregard, we had our resident fan artists and graphic designers like Jamie and Dave, the fabulous fanfiction duo of Ryan and Lisa (a.k.a. ThePrawnCracker and TogetherAgain), a crazy Dane known as Vibs, and many, many others who made MC the fun place it was. Many of us had certain quirks, traits, and characteristics that defined who were at the time, and that's what the community came to know us for; just to offer up a few rather specific examples: MrsPepper was the fun-loving, yet motherly type of the community; That Announcer was the DVD aficionado who loved SIMPSONS, SEINFELD, and could swear like a sailor; Prawnie and Toga were like the non-romantic it-couple of MC who often kept people entertained with their fanfics, and other forum hijinks . . . and, yes, I was the guy who was known for his rather obsessive celebrity crush on Kathy Greenwood (whom, yes, I am Facebook and Twitter friends with, however, I thankfully grew out of that obsession).

MC was really the only place on the internet where we were so open about ourselves with each other and the community we took part in, it really wasn't like we were sharing so much about ourselves outside the forum . . . so, it came as a really big shock to us with the sudden appearance of an outsider, who seemed to know us almost intimately, despite the fact we had absolutely no clue who this guy was.

A new member who went by the Biblical user name of King Agrippa suddenly joined our ranks, and right away, made all of us extremely uncomfortable. Agrippa just inserted himself into the forum much like a duck takes to water, and acted as if he had been a member of the community all along, as he seemed to know an awful lot about us . . . a little too much for somebody who was supposedly a newcomer, whom we never interacted with before. He knew us all by the affectionate nicknames we had for each other, he knew us by our particular and specific interests and favorites, abd he knew us by our activies throughout the forum, among other things. What's more than that, he just really gave off rather creepy, questionable, and distrusting vibes, and the nature of the internet in those days offered very little comfort or closure in this regard.

As I said earlier, this was the mid-2000s - things like social media didn't really exist at the time (MySpace not withstanding), and many of us were still kids for all intents and purposes back then, so the internet wasn't exactly a safe place for young people like us, as we were always cautioned to be careful of the information we share about ourselves online, since you never know what kind of perverts and predators could be out there stalking us, looking to track us down, and do us harm (basically like that one MADtv SESAME STREET skit summed up - you should know which one I'm talking about). As you can imagine, the lot of us were scared out of our wits by this King Agrippa guy. . . . Had he been stalking us? How else did he know so much about us, despite being a new member, and none of us ever interacting with him before? We seriously felt our very lives were in danger and that an actual predator was after us . . . and when Agrippa also started flirting with me, that was the clencher that sent the lot of us heading for the hills (it also didn't help that I, unfortunately, was a young, ignorant, homophobe at the time, so for a male member to flirt with me, that just set me off like a Roman candle).

Remember when I mentioned in the previous chapter that we had something of a private forum just for the select few of us to retreat to whenever we felt we needed to talk amongst ourselves without outside influence from others? This was definitely one of those occasions where we did just that. MrsPepper and I were the owners of this forum, and only our close circle of MC friends were also members, so when we felt our very lives were in danger of being stalked by a predator whom we knew nothing about, but seemed to know almost everything about us, we were certainly in a panic - after all, if King Agrippa knew so much about our MC personalities, how much more did he know about us that we haven't shared online? Again, supposedly one of the reasons why That Announcer disappeared from MC was over the concern from his parents that he was sharing way too much personal information about himself on the internet (his full name, his age, pictures of himself, the town he lived in, etc.), and as I said, this was during a time where sharing such information was absolute no-no, especially for youngsters such as ourselves. We had so many questions amongst ourselves, but so few answers. Who is this King Agrippa? Where did he come from? How does he know so much about us and MC? Has he been stalking us? Is he looking to harm us? What does he want from us? What in the world is going on here?

In the midst of our panic, despair, and worry, we were holed up in our private forum like politicians hiding in a bunker . . . we avoided actually logging into our MC accounts for quite some time, that's how afraid we were; we didn't want to run the risk of King Agrippa doing anything to us like hack our accounts, and we were just plain afraid to interact with him any further. That isn't to say that we avoided MC completely . . . some of us did continue to lurk on the forum as unregistered guests, just to monitor Agrippa's activity, and see what further kinds of exploits he was engaging in on the forum. In doing so, we did eventually notice one little thing that seemed really off about this entire scenario . . . there was one specific member who didn't seem to be bothered or frightened by King Agrippa in the least, and that member was Vibs. You see, Vibs was like the Luan Loud of Muppet Central long before THE LOUD HOUSE was even a thing: she was known as MC's resident jokester, because this is basically who she was: she could turn anything into a joke, her posts were almost always pun-based, and her overall personality was sheer craziness . . . and yet, we all still loved her for it, because it was who she was - even if her jokes and puns came off as incredibly cheesy and corny, she was our lovely looney. Still, to see her engage in friendly pleasantries with our stalker was quite disconcerting, and certainly puzzling as well; it set off a red flag for us.

Finally, all of our questions were answered, and ended up becoming yet another one of those scenarios that, in hindsight, we look back on and laugh about. So, what was the deal with this King Agrippa? Well, as it turns out, he was just an imposter. So, who was King Agrippa then? None other than our very own . . . Beauregard! Yes, as it turns out, King Agrippa was an alter-ego account for Beau, and that the entire ordeal with Agrippa was all just an elaborate prank he was pulling on us, just for kicks. This explained everything: this explained how King Agrippa knew who all of us were; this explained how King Agrippa knew so much about our personalities and quirks; this explained how King Agrippa was so familiar with the MC forum; and this explained how Vibs seemed totally unaffected by King Agrippa's presence. Speaking of Vibs, what did she have to do with all of this? Well, everything! She was in on the whole joke . . . we should have known that our resident jokester would be in on such a big, elaborate practical joke, but we were too panic-stricken to figure any of it out for ourselves.

Generally speaking, sock puppet accounts on MC are strictly prohibited, however, because Beau was in good graces with the entire community, including mod Ed, King Agrippa was the one and only exception to that rule. It was a great relief to us all to see that this was all nothing more than a joke, and that we were not being stalked by an online predator - we could sleep peacefully at night again . . . but, let me tell you this: Beauregard did not hear the end of this for quite some time!
 

Froggy Fool

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I don't know if I've posted in here before, but can I just say that this is by far my favorite currently active MC thread!? Keep 'em coming Joseph, the writing is super gripping and entertaining... 👀
 

D'Snowth

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Oh yeah, because I'm so totally not running out of material to write up about for this thread. . . . 😇
 
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