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Who is Rambaldi?

Who is Rambaldi?

from the eye <0> to the hand

Who is Milo Rambaldi? It seems that SD-6 and the CIA have been spending a lot of time lately trying to figure out his mysterious works.

Excerpts from the biography of
b. 1444 - d. 1496

Prophet and Seer...Psychic and Alchemist

Born in Parma in 1444, Rambaldi was educated by monks of the Vespertine order, and until the age of 12, was self-employed as a painter, sculptor and student of the arts. Introduced to Cardinal Alexander of the Roman Catholic church, during his travels to Rome at the age of 18, he was retained privately as architect, consultant and prophet, when Alexander became Pope in 1492.

Despite this benefactor's wishes to see Rambaldi prosper, during his lifetime Rambaldi and his works receded from visibility by commandment of Archdeacon Claudio Vespertini, who feared the revolutionary implications of technologies defined in Rambaldi's belief system, and sought to have Rambaldi's works contained and eventually eliminated. He conflicted with Alexander VI on this one matter; a moot point at the time of the Pope's passing in 1503.

Vespertini commanded that the name Rambaldi be "washed" from all monuments and edifices throughout the period of 1470 to 1496, at which time he ordered that the Pope's engineer be excommunicated for heresy, his workshop in Rome be destroyed, and that he be sentenced to death by flame, upon Rambaldi's declaration that science would someday allow us to know God.

Milo Rambaldi died a lonely man, in the Winter of 1496. He had no surviving spouse or heir.

Shortly after Rambaldi's demise, a second, "secret workshop" was discovered, in San Lazzaro, and was systematically torn apart by agents of the Vatican. In a movement to discredit his work and influence, plans and sketches were sold and traded for next to nothing by mandate during a private auction.

Since the 15th century, traces of Rambaldi's enigmatic work have turned up in various places around Italy, France, parts of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and even a museum warehouse in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1921. The design directive for many of these drawings remains unclear to this day, and has even inspired some impressive forgeries.

Rambaldi is said to have preceded the digital information age by implication of an illustrated "machine code" language as early as 1489, through the introduction of cryptic algorithms (eg, compression) around his use of pre-binary 1's and 0's. Many of his drawings and documentation are written in multiple languages ranging from Italian and Demotic hybrids, to elusive mixtures of symbols (pre-masonic cipher encryptions).

Rambaldi created the earliest known watermark on all of his papers, known as the "eye" of Rambaldi, and which show up to the naked eye only when held to black light. His waterpapers were all hand-made and of a unique polymer fiber (similar to onion skin), and possessing a consistency that has lived and aged well-beyond its era, and in under (oftentimes) adverse storage conditions. His watermark (the eye "<o>") is so far the only test of accuracy against the slew of falsifications and forgeries, which have also arisen in a revisionist era, culminating with several prime examples of digital piracy. So far there have been 102 known forgeries in balance to the total of 22 known and documented sketches.

Documents interpreting Rambaldi's designs and teachings were highly sought-after during the Third Reich, during Adolf Hitler's paranoid scavenger hunt for occult and theoretical knowledge. During this period, the epithet "Nostravinci" became part of the fuhrer's private lexicon -- a personalized short-hand for the name Rambaldi, in auctioneering circles where the desire for the seer's work still proved competitive.

Rambaldi's works are still, to this day, formally unpublished, due to a consistent international ban on the name Rambaldi, its fascistic legacy, and especially its lack of visibility; it has been alleged that a conspiracy of containment precedes many of these twentieth-century discoveries, even that the knowledge contained under private sanctioning of his documents remains under the firm "hand" of the Trilateral Commission.

In 1988, a rudimentary schematic unearthed in one private collector's home in Brazil, indicated on the back, a diagramme for a transportable vocal communicator revealed the design and workings of contemporary cellular phone technologies.

Since March of 2001, (KDir Classifications Director) Olgi C. Krystovnich (b. 1964, Russian historian and cryptologist) happened upon one of Rambaldi's earliest designs, ca. 1460, located and released from a personal collection in Madrid. In this drawing, she identified a prototype that reflected the properties and composition of a 20th century transistor design.

The remainder of Rambaldi's oeuvre remains forgotten, and much of it has been destroyed, with much uncertainty remaining as to how many notebooks he might have filled during the fifty-four years of his life.

Marshall's Gadgets

Marshall provides many of the show's lighter moments with his cool gadgets and social ineptness.


Alias: Rambaldi, Season One

Episode 3: Parity

  • Rambaldi was Pope Alexander VI's chief architect, ex-communicated for heresy, sentenced to death for suggesting that someday, science could allow us to know God. After Rambaldi's death, his workshop was torn apart, his plans and sketches were traded and sold for next to nothing. For the next five centuries, his work was scattered throughout the world.
  • He was drawing up plans for a cell phone around the time of the Ottoman empire.
  • He wrote machine code in 1949. The entire sequence was written on the back of two Rambaldi sketches. SD-6 possesses one, and the other one was in the private collection of Eduardo Benegas.
  • SYDNEY: You already knew about Rambaldi?
    VAUGHN: I didn't. The agency did. Davinci meets Nostradamus -- personally, I don't buy it.
  • Sydney obtains the box of the 2nd sketch. Ana Espinosa of K-Directorate has the key.
  • They meet to open it...

Episode 4: A Broken Heart

  • When they open the box, the paper inside starts to disintegrate with acid. Sydney and Ana memorize the binary digits on it before it's gone.
  • Rambaldi's designs were so advanced, they just assumed he was insane. On some of his drawings, he made lists of part numbers. I.D. numbers of actual technology not manufactured until this year. He spent the last ten years of his life working on one project. We don't know whether it's a weapon, a fuel source, a transportation system. Based on the little we do know, its technology is beyond anything we have ever seen.
  • Rambaldi used a compression scheme in the code that points to a location in Malaga, Spain.
  • Sydney finds a small "golden sun" made of synthetic polymer at the church in Spain.

Episode 8: Time Will Tell

  • Sydney steals an ancient Rambaldi clock that FTL found in Tunisisa.
  • The clock retrieved was designed by Giovanni Donato. He died in 1503, his initials are engraved on the bottom. Now, Donato was a master clockmaker, but more importantly, he was the only man Milo Rambaldi ever collaborated with. There is a single reference to Donato in our Rambaldi archive. Apparently, Rambaldi commissioned the clock himself.
  • Rambaldi's style was to hide codes in design within his artwork.
  • The clock doesn't work. Sydney is sent to a descendent of Donator to get the clock fixed.
  • Giovanni Donato's timepieces were miracles of precision. Kings and queens offered him vast riches if only he would design clocks for them. He refused. But, he did make one exception. Rambaldi made him a promise that he would live an impossibly long life. He even revealed to him when he would die.
  • The symbol <0> on the clock stands for the magnificant order of Rambaldi. Rambaldi's most loyal followers entrusted with safeguarding his creations. Sadly, like most things that once were pure, criminals now use this symbol to infiltrate the order.
  • SYDNEY: What about this date?
    DONATO: It must have meant something to Rambaldi. The clock was built from one of his designs. He never did tell me what it meant.
    SYDNEY: What did you say? [catching him in his slip]
  • SYDNEY: Mr. Donato, what was Rambaldi working on?
    DONATO: The clock is fixed now. It's over. [A sniper shoots and Donato drops dead].
  • Marshall uses the "golden sun" on the clock and when set to 12:22, and 1/22, it stops. When viewing the golden polymer, he sees a star chart. A snapshot of the sky taken from one specific place on earth at one specific moment in time.
  • If assumed that the star chart refers to the date on the back of the clock: August 16, 1523 at 12:22AM GMT, then the only spot on earth with that exact view of the stars is the southern slope of Mt. Aconcagua on the Chile/Argentina border.
  • Sydney and Dixon travel to Chile to retrieve whatever's hidden there by Rambaldi. K-Directorate steals it from Sydney and shoots Dixon.

Episode 13: The Box, Part 2

  • Cole and his men break into SD-6 and hold everyone captive. They try to steal a vial of liquid with the Rambaldi symbol on it, locked inside SD-6's vaults. Sydney retrieves it and gives it to CIA.

Episode 14: The Coup

  • A group [the same that broke into SD-6] takes down FTL and steals a Rambaldi artifact. This mysterious group they now have what seems to be the most significant collection of Rambaldi artifacts in the world.
  • The group [who works for "The Man"] sets up a meeting with K-Directorate to share Rambaldi resources. They kill the head of K-Directorate.

Episode 15: Page 47

  • Rambaldi was a 16th century inventor who seemed to have an almost psychic vision of technology. The book seems to be some sort of instruction manual.
  • Sydney steals the Rambaldi book that K-Directorate is delivering to "The Man". She takes photographs of it for the CIA.
  • There's one blank page in the manuscript. The forty-seventh page of Rambaldi documents is always particularly significant. This blank page was number forty-seven.
  • Sydney steals the blank page 47 from Sloane's vault.
  • The CIA uses the vial of liquid that they obtained from Cole, to decipher the blank page.
  • The page has a drawing of Sydney's likeness on it with text surrounding it.

Episode 16: The Prophecy

  • Sydney is investigated by the DSR because of the Rambaldi manuscript.
  • Rambaldi refers to future dates indicating the woman in the picture is still alive.
  • The DSR calls page 47 of the manuscript "The Prophecy".
  • The DSR runs tests on Sydney, both mental and physical, to determine if she is the woman in the drawing.
  • Sydney and Vaughn break into the Vatican to retrieve Rambaldi's original code key. They find it in a painting of Pope Alexander VI.
  • Rambaldi was his chief architect. Rambaldi made habit of hiding his real work in ordinary things.
  • Sydney is captured by the FBI after "The Prophecy" is decoded. She matches three specific anomalies Rambaldi mentioned: DNA sequencing, platelet levels, and the size of her heart.

Episode 17: Q & A

  • CIA has decoded forty-seven distinct and verifiable Rambaldi predictions. They have all been true.
  • Vaughn and Jack decide to break Sydney out and bring her to Mt. Sebacio, to make the prophecy false. Rambaldi was born there.
  • Rambaldi was an artist, an inventor. His designs were so technologically advanced, at the time, they thought he was heretic. And he was executed. Now, five hundred years later, many believe he was a prophet.
  • SD-6, CIA, GRU, K-Directorate, the entire intelligence world, is on a Rambaldi scavenger hunt. They assume that Rambaldi had some sort of master plan.
  • In the book, Rambaldi refers to a single construction. The agencies don't know what it is yet, but they're all afraid the other guy's going to get it first.
  • Sydney infers that her mother is still alive, and SHE is the one in the Rambaldi prophecy, not Sydney.

Episode 20: Rendezvous

  • Another blank Rambaldi page is found.

Episode 22: Almost Thirty Years

  • Sydney uses the solution to reveal the blank Rambaldi page. It turns out to be information about the device from the pilot episode ~ a U-shaped device with a red floating ball.
  • Hadlacki tells Jack that the device is a battery.
  • Sydney and Vaughn go to Khasinau's lab to destroy the device that was created.

Alias: Rambaldi, Season Two

Episode 3: Cipher

IRINA: Any piece of music can be expressed as a series of numbers. Sark is looking for a music box designed by Rambaldi. The box plays a unique tune. Encoded within the tune there's an equation.
SYDNEY: For what?
IRINA: Zero-point energy - a fuel source. The military applications alone would be unlimited.
SYDNEY: From a music box.

Sydney plans to steal the music box. Irina helps to decipher the code to activate it.

Episode 4: Dead Drop

Sydney tells Sloane the music box was corroded.

SLOANE: That's odd.
SYDNEY: What's that?
SLOANE: Milo Rambaldi. He's done this before, many times. Hiding information inside works of art. The clock, sculpture. Hmm. This time he chose to bury one of his most important innovations -- the formula for zero-point energy -- inside a music box.
SYDNEY: You're talking about an inventor who lived five hundred years ago. Anything regarding Milo Rambaldi seems odd to me.
SLOANE: Well, what's unusual isn't how he hid the information, Sydney, it's where. Why would Milo Rambaldi go to the unimaginable length of having catacombs built in Siberia only to leave his music box exposed to corrosive elements?
SYDNEY: Another Rambaldi mystery.

Episode 6: Salvation

Sydney finds out about the Rambaldi device she found in Taipei last season: "We believe the device is the source of the virus that infected the men in Geneva. Unfortunately, you and Agent Vaughn may have been exposed. I'm sorry. We'd like to draw some blood and keep you under observation."

Episode 7: Counteragent

Sark strikes a deal with Sloane ~

SARK: Here's the situation. Rambaldi's true aim is a puzzle. I have certain pieces, you have others. We'll never solve his mystery, but together -- together, we cannot fail.

Episode 9: Passage, Part 2

JACK: Among the things Rambaldi experimented with was self-sustaining cell regeneration. This artifact they're opening today is reported to be Rambaldi's proof of endless life.

Episode 10: The Abduction

SARK to SLOANE: The Indian western command carried out an air strike on the PRF prison. The Rambaldi artifact was destroyed. My contact in the region, Gerard Cuvee, mistakenly believes I tipped the Indian authorities off. With all due respect sir, could the leak have come from this office?

Episode 15: A Free Agent

JACK: Simply put, it's the study of geometric objects and how they fit together. All Alliance facilities have been raided yet we haven't found a single Rambaldi artifact. If Sloane was expecting our raid, he could've had everything moved to a secure location. He must be using Caplan to help him assemble a Rambaldi device.
VAUGHN: So what happens when Sloane puts the pieces together?
JACK: Whether or not you believe Rambaldi was a prophet, he did anticipate technological advances, many of which seem most applicable to warfare. It's likely Sloane is building a weapon.

SLOANE to MR. CAPLAN: That manuscript is 500-years-old. Those sketches were drawn by a man named Milo Rambaldi. You will see that Rambaldi prophesied scientific principles centuries ahead of his time. Protoypes of his designs have turned up all over the world. For the past thirty years, I've been collecting them.

Episode 16: Firebomb

SARK to SLOANE: Caplan finished earlier this morning. The Rambaldi device is complete. I ran the test. I think you'll be pleased with the results. When we agreed to combine our resources, sir, you promised you'd show me incredible things. But a suitcase neutron bomb designed in the sixteenth century -- is that even a theoretical possibility?

Episode 17: A Dark Turn

IRINA: A key card to his home safe. In '93 Karpachev came into possession of a Rambaldi manuscript. Sloane must believe he kept it in his safe but he's incorrect. Karpachev sold it.
JACK: What is this manuscript?
IRINA: Rambaldi's study of the human heart. As you know, immortality was one of Rambaldi's obsessions.

JACK: We shared a similar unsentimental patriotism...and a devotion to our wives. But Sloane changed was Rambaldi that did it. I'm not sure what it is -- he never told me -- but Sloane has a personal connection to Rambaldi.
IRINA: I lived for years with the same obsession, to find a higher meaning in Rambaldi's work. I never understood how you managed to avoid getting caught up in it.

Later, Irina escapes custody from the CIA with the real Rambaldi manuscript.

Episode 18: Truth Takes Time

JACK: Before the operation, she swapped the Rambaldi manuscript. She left us with a fake. She and Sloane are now in possession of the original.

EMILY (about Sloane): He told me his plan, to find out what this man Rambaldi was working on. He rationalizes what he's done. He says he's doing it for us, for me. Even if I believe him, I won't be the excuse for his crimes. I won't live with that on my conscience.

SLOANE: What if I told you that I wanted you to buy me out? That I'd be willing to sell you the breadth of my assets, my contacts, all the Rambaldi artifacts I've acquired over the last thirty years, everything?
IRINA: I'd say that either you're setting me up to kill me or I underestimated your love for your wife.

Episode 19: Endgame

IRINA: We both had to make sacrifices, Arvin. You won't forgive yourself if you stop now. We're so close to knowing what Rambaldi knew.
SLOANE: I wish I never heard that man's name.

Episode 20: Countdown

MARSHALL: Um, okay, uh, take a look right here. Now, these drawings are amazing. Like, Da Vinci-in-his-prime amazing. But the what-could-he-have-possibly-been-smoking element? Well, that is right here. Now, take a look in the corner. You see these little drawings in the corner of the pages? Now, they look just like normal squiggles or doodling, you know, like-like you would do while you're on the phone talking to-- Although... he probably wouldn't be on the phone because, you know, it was the fifteenth century and they didn't actually have phones yet but, um, they are actually specific strands of DNA. Now, I strung them all together and I got a DNA fingerprint.
BRANDON: The DNA of this man. Protero Di Regno, private citizen, living in Panama City. He works as an art restorer.
VAUGHN: You're saying that five hundred years ago Rambaldi drew the DNA profile of a man who's alive today?
CARRIE: It gets even better. Di Regno's DNA profile was a code key. It let us decrypt page 94 of the Rambaldi manuscript.
DIXON: What's on the page?
BRANDON: Times and dates, each marking an apocalyptic event. September the seventh, 1812 -- Napoleon's bloodiest battle with the Russians. June twenty-eighth, 1914 -- the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Started World War I. August the sixth, 1945 -- Hiroshima. The list goes on.
SYDNEY: There's a future date listed on the page... isn't there?
BRANDON: Forty-eight hours from now.
SYDNEY: What's the prediction?
CARRIE: The page doesn't say, it just gives the time. It's the equivalent of midnight, eastern standard time.
JACK: We're coordinating with local authorities in Panama City. When you find Di Regno, you'll escort him back here.
BRANDON: Until the moment specified by Rambaldi has come and gone, by national security directive, this operations center is under the jurisdiction of NSA.

Later, Di Regno is killed and his heart is stolen.

CARRIE: To tell you the truth, I'm exhausted by the world. Everything -- the evil and the rage and the darkness. And the last thing I need is some fifteenth century dork telling me I got a day and a half to live.

MARSHALL: What in God's name was keeping him alive and why did Sloane want it so badly? Now, remember those heart drawings he did? Well, I interpreted the text and Rambaldi referred to conquering tissue degeneration.
SYDNEY: We know Rambaldi was fascinated with immortality.
MARSHALL: Yeah, but even so, what does all this possibly have to do with the doomsday prophecy?

CONRAD: Your search for Rambaldi...has frustrated you.
SLOANE: Frustrated me? You mean that meaningless quest that you sent me on thirty years ago that made me abandon the CIA and betray everyone I ever loved?

CONRAD to SLOANE: Thirty years ago, I could only tell you so much. The information had to come to you over time or you would not have understood. Certain events... need to unfold. According to Rambaldi's writings, your wife's death, although unfortunate, was a necessary step on your journey.

He gives him a piece of paper, and at that exact moment...

DELTA GUY: Sir, it's Delta leader. It's all clear, we're packing up
BRANDON: Ohhh... I guess Rambaldi was wrong.

Episode 21: Second Double

IRINA to SARK: I've set up a meeting with someone who can help us re-acquire the Di Regno heart. He'll get us the plans to the NSA facility where they keep the Rambaldi artifacts.

SLOANE: Come back to our partnership, Jack. I will tell you everything I've learned about Rambaldi.
JACK: An obsession I've never shared.
SLOANE: Well, now's the time to sign up. For years I collected his artifacts, as if that was the point. I thought Rambaldi's work was that window to the past. Today... I am one move away from proving to you that it is so much more than that.

Episode 22: The Telling

IRINA to SYDNEY: Your friend was cleared. I told you I'd want a favor. This is it. 266 Kroner Strasse in Zurich. I've just given you the address of Sloane's warehouse where he's hiding the Rambaldi artifacts. I had to be careful. I needed you to trust me but I also couldn't tell you my plan. Sloane had twenty-three Rambaldi artifacts, the CIA had twenty-four. In order to assemble the device, they all had to be brought together. Those are the pieces in Sloane's warehouse.

VAUGHN: Sloane may have most of the pieces to assemble this Rambaldi device, but I don't think he has them all.
SYDNEY: The Di Regno heart.
KENDALL: If the NSA still got it.

SLOANE: He had so many brilliant creations. Rambaldi. But there was one in particular, a machine. He called it "il dire." The telling. The construction consists of forty-seven pieces. Classic Rambaldi. As you know, it took me a long time -- longer than I thought -- but I've acquired them all, including the Di Regno heart with your help. They're in the next room, Jack. I have a team assembling "il dire" right now. They said it shouldn't be more than a day.

IRINA to SYDNEY: Sloane believes he's been chosen to realize the word of Rambaldi. But you, too, have been chosen. It's you in the prophecy, Sydney, not me. Only you can stop him. Good luck, sweetheart.