I Love Bees - Hurricane Ivan incident (lost operator call from Halo 2 marketing campaign; 2004)
I Love Bees was an ambitious marketing campaign for Halo 2 in 2004, developed by 4ourty2wo Entertainment. It was revealed on July 23rd, 2004 during Halo 2's multiplayer trailer. The trailer ended with the Xbox website, but glitches out to reveal a website called "www.ilovebees.com."
When the site was discovered, it appeared as a regular site for bee enthusiasts, until the main page is "hacked" with a countdown to August 24th of that same year. According to the Halo lore, it was an AI whose memory was scattered all over the website. When the month hit, it revealed locations to specific pay phones that players could call in. They would receive hints and clues from operators who acted out as the AI character, asking the caller various questions and making them prove that they were human. Once the caller gives the operator the correct information, they were given a series of recordings called "Axons." When putting together, they revealed to be a "radio drama" that delivered more lore about the Halo universe. Later in the game, some callers were lucky enough to receive calls from the actual voice actors from the radio drama.While all the recordings are available online, the calls from the operators themselves are lost, be it with a few clips in the I Love Bees Halo 2 documentary from G4. Around the time the ARG was at launch, Hurricane Ivan was active. That did not stop one person from calling the operator on a pay phone anyway. It was at that moment when the operator (who was code-named "Puppetmaster 2") broke out of character and said to the caller:
"Dude, it's a hurricane. Put the phone down."
To this day, no one knows if any of these calls were prerecorded.