Hi everybody, today we celebrate one year of a great adventure we started together.
I wanted to bring for you someone as special as the occasion, someone we all recognize not only as an agent and teammate but as part of the Niantic Project, which is responsible for bringing us here into this wonderful Ingress world.
Name Joe Philley
Location Niantic Headquarters
His involvement in the Niantic Project happened almost as an accident : “When they first started the investigation, I turned out that a friend of the director John Hanke, knew I was in an area when they needed something done, so they called me, and I was helping out with a few things”… and then the secret parts started guys, he couldn’t discuss more about it. However he mentions he has been very lucky becoming part of this investigation.
As with most of the people I have interviewed, Joe recognizes himself as a private person. Before Ingress, he had a small group of friends and never took or published pictures about himself. He is not used to being popular and I could notice that he feels embarrassed just with the mention of it. He says that being part of the Niantic investigation is the best job ever and while he’s enjoying the sudden explosion in popularity, he plans to slink away into a quiet place again once the investigation is over.
The people he has met and the friends he has made is the part of his job he loves the most. He mentioned several names, but I noticed he was afraid of missing someone, so I tried to change the subject, going to the topic of his most loved places, we went again over another tricky subject, he doesn’t want to forget to mention any place.
I could notice the happiness on his face while naming one by one places like Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Dallas ….. a smile we know is like a Jarvis or Ada Refactor; very rare, he never smiles on his pictures, even his family mentions that to him.
I personally had the impression he had changed faction at some point, he cleared that up to me because he understood my confusion. He stated that many people have the same wrong idea. Many of his Ingress friends are Enlightened and his work team, as he calls them “Ingress Family” are enlightened too. He says you could call him an enlightened resistance agent (chuckles) but he is resistance to the core.
When the anomalies are over and he goes back to his home, he checks on the news, follows the Ingress threads, he plans what he will be doing next and investigates some more about XM. His friends go and capture portals with him, his grandson plays with him when it´s his turn to babysit and they are deploying resonators while they are waiting in Disneyland’s line.
We didn’t talk about what is coming to Ingress, but we definitely talked about the impact on him and if he personally had any idea how big this would be for all of us or for the Niantic team. He expected a good response but not as huge as this.
” I never had a second thought, I was totally surprised, I did not know it was going to be this huge…. It’s turning to be an incredible and enjoyable surprise, I keep asking , is this real? I have old friends asking me what are you doing over there, and I only say, (wink, wink ) it’s just a game”.
When he mentioned at the beginning of our conversation about taking pictures of his food, he mentioned he shows them to his family to prove he is feeding on more than McDonalds and Subway. He points out Niantic is not paying for that, and since he started with the game, he has lost more than fifty pounds.
He has hacked portals while horseback riding, in wagons, helicopters, blimps, a hot air balloon, and mentioned hacking in some other ways which he can’t comment on, maybe to avoid agents doing crazy stuff (more than the ways we know and attempted until today).
I asked Joe if there were any last thoughts he wanted to share “Well right now it’s really important that everyone pays attention to the Jarvis Shards and did he (Jarvis) plan for this to happen? Is this something that he wanted? And what happened with 855? All of a sudden he showed up and what happened with Dr Bowles?”
There are many things to say about Joe and not enough lines to write them all. While working on this article Typhoon Yolanda hit Philippines, devastating entire cities. I went back to Joe who gladly gave me more of his time and attention asking for help to our large community for our brothers and sisters in despair. He shares with all of us these sites Google People Finder and Red Cross
I want to thank Joe for sharing his thoughts and feelings with me, I can say to you all that behind this great agent, there is a great heart, a warm, kind and loving person, a fighter, and researcher. And I feel honored to have the opportunity to show this part of him to all of you.
As well I want to thank Dustin Downs (https://plus.google.com/102987754380982642154/posts) for his help on editing this article of Behind the Agent, I hope you all enjoy it, and keep ingressing guys, lets celebrate this first year taking over the world!