You are a secret agent in the service of the KGB, recently deployed on a highly dangerous mission to infiltrate MI6. After a delay when your superiors thought your cover had been blown before you even left Russia, you did get to London safely. You'd been working there for several months, under the pseudonym of Flynn Smith, when you received a message telling you to get out before it was too late.

You succeeded in departing the country without being captured, despite not being exactly sure why you had to leave, and arrived safely in Réunion the day after receiving the email. Since then you've been lying low on the island, waiting for your KGB superiors to contact you and inform you on your situation. You've checked your email regularly, and had to spend far too much time combing through spam to see if it actually contained a secret message.

Finally you receive an email which looks mysterious enough to be the missive you've been hoping for:

From: Reunion Historical Society < [email protected] >
Sent: Fri, 2 Sep 2016 11:32PM +0400
To: ██████████████████████
Subject: What's hiding in YOUR family tree?

Dear Mr Smith,

Have you ever been interested in genealogy? One of the most important things about a person is their origins: once you know where you come from, it's much easier to tell where you're going! Sign up today at http://www.histo.re/create-account to find out more about our services and to start investigating YOUR family tree. Many people have discovered interesting connections by researching their own backgrounds. You might be related to Walt Disney, Amelia Earhart, or Helen Keller; to military leaders like Francisco Franco, William the Conqueror, or Napoleon Bonaparte; to scientists like Linnaeus or Copernicus; to composers like Maksym Berezovsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov, or Alexandre Dubuque; or even to great leaders such as Genghis Khan, the first Dalai Lama, the last emperor of Vietnam, or Emperor Hirohito. There's only one way to find out - CLICK HERE to begin the process of discovering where you really came from!

We look forward to helping you in the future.

The Reunion Historical Society

You read the email carefully and then sit back in your chair, wondering how on earth you're meant to find the hidden message this time. Eventually inspiration strikes and after several minutes at your computer, you learn where you're meant to go next. Presumably this is a rendezvous point where you'll be met and given further instructions. Quickly you pull up an airline webpage and begin to plan your journey. Finally you'll be able to leave this dead-end island!

What is the hidden message?

  • $\begingroup$ Note: the Reunion setting is due to the solution to the previous puzzle in the series, not a clue towards the solution of this puzzle. The surrounding story is just flavour text; all clues are contained within the text of the email, and are clues to "you", the secret agent, as well as you, the solver. $\endgroup$ Sep 3, 2016 at 12:32
  • $\begingroup$ No A. Void this time? :P $\endgroup$ Sep 3, 2016 at 12:34
  • $\begingroup$ The two links from The Reunion Historical Society lead to nowhere (i.e. this website can't be found. Assuming this is intentional, not a mistake $\endgroup$ Sep 3, 2016 at 12:39
  • $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil Yeah, I thought an email of that kind should include a promotional link, so I just made up a website name and stuck in a couple of links. It's not a real site (or a real organisation, AFAIK). $\endgroup$ Sep 3, 2016 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ Worthy of note is that (Rot-13) Lbhe Snzvyl Gerr vf n oevgvfu zntnmvar qribgrq gb trarnybtl naq snzvyl uvfgbel fhowrpgf. Fb vg znl unir gb qb fbzrguvat jvgu gung. Jvxvcrqvn negvpyr vf ra QBG jvxvcrqvn QBG bet FYNFU jvxv FYNFU Lbhe HAQREFPBER Snzvyl HAQREFPBER Gerr. $\endgroup$
    – user14478
    Sep 3, 2016 at 12:46

1 Answer 1


I had the suspicion ...

... that all the names in the mail would have something to do with the code. When looking closer where all of them "come from" (their birth cities), the thing that caught my eye was, that each group of people was born on the same continent. I marked the birth cities/places on a map and connected them with lines:


It seems, that the next rendezvous point is in CAIRO.

  • $\begingroup$ Well done, you got it! :-D $\endgroup$ Sep 4, 2016 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor The genealogy hint lured me into checking the names of the parents, until I realized that the parents of Maksym Berezovsky are apparently unknown. $\endgroup$
    – Sleafar
    Sep 4, 2016 at 17:40

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