Anyway, Astrid is about to erase some numbers, maybe to start again, when all of a sudden she notices the sun shining in through a window, through the transparent board, projecting the numbers onto a handy nearby globe. "Huh," she says.
Back over at the Feller splatter site, Peter stops some agents from zipping the shapeshifter up into a bodybag, saying he needs to look at the body.
Grabbing a pair of gloves, he tells Broyles and Fauxlivia that he's figured out why Walter couldn't make head nor tail of the GameCube: "It must have come from the other side," he says, and Broyles makes the leap to deducing that Walternate must know what the numbers mean and is the one protecting them. Peter rolls the body up enough so he can stick his hand into Feller's back, and Olivia has to hide her glee when Peter, disappointed, pulls out a data storage unit that's too mangled to be of any use to them. So when Astrid calls immediately after that to tell Fauxlivia she thinks she cracked the code, I'm kind of surprised Fauxlivia didn't bust out an "Oh, godDAMNit" at her.
Back at the Harvard lab, Astrid explains that the numbers stations are a co-ordinate system, and shows the group that the numbers indicate location via latitude and longitude. "Thirty-five degrees and 40 minutes south by 58 degrees and 40 minutes west, that's just outside Buenos Aires, Argentina," she says, adding that all the numbers indicate specific locations on a globe, in Ethiopia, Spain and China.
Peter asks what's at the end of the points, and Astrid says it's all random stuff like a farmhouse, swimming pool, but Walter points out that if the message is millions of years old, then what they're looking for is likely something buried underground. No one here points out what's been pointed out on message boards, that if the message is millions of years old, then some of those points would likely now be ocean. I'll admit to being a little fuzzy on how latitude and longitude work, but I'm curious to know how Astrid knew where to start in each sequence of numbers to pinpoint various locations, especially since numbers stations have been broadcast since the time of the first peoples, right? Does each broadcast repeat all the numbers, every time? If so, why would people need to keep tuning in? And finally, and most problematic for me, with all the people tuning in to figure out the code, you're telling me no one thought to try latitude and longitude before? Isn't that a little like the Fringe team investigating a message that has stymied a bunch of armchair codebreakers who can't make head nor tail of "Ethay oomsdayday eviceday isay uriedbay undergrounday"?