There are 20 discoverable OWLF recordings to be found in Predator: Hunting Grounds. They have the appearance of a portable hard-drive and will have a red outline around them when you come across them in game. They spawn at random on all three launch maps, but we have found they seem to appear more on the Derailed map in the trainyard buildings. You have to actually survive the mission in order to keep the recording, which you can listen to in the Extras menu.
All 20 recordings are written by Illfonic’s Jared Gerritzen, Chris Means and Jordan Mathewson and from the perspective of Sean Keyes, and voiced by Jake Busey reprising his role from The Predator. They chart some of the activities of the Other World Lifeform organisation first introduced in Predator 2, beginning just before the events of Predator 2 and finishing before the events of The Predator.
1 – Onboarding: “This is Special Agent Sean Keyes, Regional Director of the Other Worldly Life Form task force. The date is… February 23rd, 1996. After accepting this position, the team felt it would be a good idea to start recording my general thoughts for posterity. So few people have been exposed to the kind of things I’ll be seeing and, to be honest, I’m not sure if that’s exciting or terrifying. Regardless, now that I’ve been fully debriefed, I can get to work investigating this fascinating species.
Director Peter Keyes, my father, was part of the OWLF in 1987, when first contact was made with the ‘Predator’ by a team of highly-trained special forces soldiers in South America. The Predator was disabled by the last surviving member of the team, triggering a powerful self-destruct mechanism. My father and his team interviewed the survivor extensively, while an OWLF survey team combed the blast area for any evidence. Um… Besides some additional information on the species from the survivor, the team found very little to recover. It’s been nearly ten years since first contact, but I hold out hope that this is a sign of the things to come.”
2 – Research: “December 3rd, 1996. Things have been moving slowly. I knew this would be difficult, but there’s finding a needle in a haystack and then there’s finding a needle in twenty haystacks. I’ve spent my time sifting through hundreds of documents and countless data entries, trying to understand the ‘Predators’; a name my father apparently gave them. After the OWLF made contact with the survivor of the Val Verde encounter, Alan Schaefer, they received a wealth of knowledge that helped define how these creatures operate.
Luring and stalking prey, skinning them and making trophies of their bones. These are the hallmarks of a sport hunter, not a simple carnivore. Furthermore, when Schaefer was completely disarmed, the Predator removed its own weapons, suggesting a cultural system of honour. After this first encounter, things started to fall in place. Small details and past stories yielded more data in retrospect. From these notes, it looks like we’ve had multiple documented encounters over the past few years, but nothing that yielded more than stories and other anecdotal evidence.”
3 – Development: “February 12th, 1997. The team, here, has spent the last few years working on countermeasures and other methods for hunting the hunters. If we can get the jump on one of these bastards and catch it alive, the world would change forever. It’s strange that nothing has ever been recovered from a Predator encounter. No body, limb or even a finger has ever been found. Although, this isn’t entirely surprising. The Predator is perfectly designed for covert hunting. I mean, we can’t see it, because it employs advanced light-bending technology that renders it effectively invisible.
However, it can see us perfectly thorough active infrared scanning. We’re betrayed by our own natural body heat. Fortunately, the infrared isn’t too advanced. ‘Dutch’ Schaefer was able to evade the Predator’s sight by covering himself in cold mud. This led the team to develop a bodysuit that similarly masks the wearer’s infrared signature. We’re still working on ways to counteract the cloaking system, but recent efforts have been encouraging.”
4 – Los Angeles: “July 2nd, 1997. It’s happening. We’re gotten word that a crime scene in Los Angeles reportedly contains hanged, skinned bodies! LA is also experiencing a record heatwave, which correlates with data suggesting ambient heat is a factor when Predators choose their hunting grounds. Now, I’m convinced we’re experiencing a new encounter. The field team boarded a plane hours ago and should be on-site before the end of the day.
To maintain secrecy, my father and the other OWLF agents are going undercover as DEA agents investigating drug trafficking in Los Angeles. Our intention is to capture the ‘City Hunter’ alive. Now, with this goal in mind, we’ve outfitted the team with infrared suits, nitrogen–based freezing systems and a broad surveillance package to monitor as much of the city as we can. I shouldn’t get my hopes up. This could still be some kind of, y’know, run-of-the-mill homicidal maniac, but I wouldn’t put money on it. Until our team receives confirmation, we’re holding back to prep the lab for receiving. The next few days should be interesting.”
5 – Go Time: “July 8th, 1997. I just received positive confirmation from the LA team. there is an active Predator and its hunting ground is downtown Los Angeles. I still haven’t fully processed that this is actually happening, but I need to and fast. The surveillance team has been tracking its movements, developing a consistent pattern for how the alien hunts. The rest of the team has set a trap at a slaughterhouse in the warehouse district where the Predator has been feeding. A helpful bit of information that confirms the hunting is solely for sport and not nutrition.
The plan is to deploy countermeasures, then covertly assault the Predator using the heat-dampening suits. It’s a risky gambit, but with such a limited timetable, we have to take any opportunity when we can. I think it’s best we head to LA and establish a mobile lab, so that we can be ready the second the Predator is captured. If this goes to plan, we’ll be involved in one of the most momentous moments in human history.”
6 – Aftermath: “July 10th… 1997. It’s been several days since… Since the LA encounter. The Director of the OWLF, Peter Jacob Keyes, my father, was killed in the line of duty, attempting to capture the Predator code-named ‘City Hunter’. I was in Los Angeles that night, prepping the mobile lab for the capture, only to receive a panicked message from a survivor of the raid. The City Hunter was more prepared than we had thought. It managed to kill most of the team inside the slaughterhouse, including my father. It’s a dark day for the OWLF. We’ve failed to give mankind proof we’re not alone in the universe, while simultaneously letting a threat to our species slip through our grasp. But we have to move forward.
While we did fail to capture the City Hunter, we collected an impressive amount of data on it. Most significantly, an account from Detective Lieutenant Michael Harrigan, who supposedly killed the City Hunter with one of its own weapons. In his statement, he reported that, shortly after the City Hunter expired a host of ‘older aliens’ appeared. They spared Harrigan, allowing him to leave. Taking the City Hunter’s body with them, they launched their spaceship into the night sky. We retraced Harrigan’s steps based on his testimony. While battling the City Hunter must have had its share of collateral damage, there was little evidence that could be differentiated from the normal gang violence found in Los Angeles.
However, in a rather nondescript alley, we did find something that, while not worth the price we paid, will pave the way to making our sacrifices not in vain. It was blood. The undeniably extraterrestrial bioluminescent green blood of the Predator. This, in and of itself, was a remarkable find, but at the end of the blood trail was the City Hunter’s arm. I immediately ordered for the alley to be quarantined, should someone wander onto the find, but it was too late. Someone was already there.”
7 – Meeting Dutch: “I tried to warn off the stranger off with our cover story, but he just laughed from inside the shadows. I reached for my sidearm, but then the stranger lit a cigar. And in the sudden bloom of light, I recognised the face of Major Alan ‘Dutch’ Schaefer. He was older, thinner than the photos we had of him, but it was him. OWLF agents swarmed the alley, but Dutch didn’t resist. Did he mean to get caught or did his curiosity get the better of him? Hard to say. The last known whereabouts of Major Schaefer were in OWLF custody, shortly after being interviewed by my father, then Special Agent Peter Keyes, shortly after the Val Verde incident.
The last time I heard of Dutch was when he vanished from OWLF custody after my father had questioned him, concerning the events in Val Verde. But here he was, in the same place as another Predator attack. In the debriefing, he tells me everything; how he was good friends with my father, how he’d been unofficially let go to help hunt down and find these creatures. They have secretly been keeping tabs with eachother over the years, sharing discoveries and leads to different Predator encounters in attempt to stop this threat. After seeing the signs, he, too, showed up in LA to help track down this City Hunter, but limited resources kept him from getting here in time to do anything.”
8 – Benefactors: “July 11th, 1997. Dutch has been surprisingly helpful to our efforts. He knew my father and was sympathetic about his death. He’s offered to help us in exchange for funding and a team. Dutch would be our on-site agent for any alien incursion. When he says he knows them, how they hunt, I believe him. If Dutch could start bringing back bodies, technology or even just first-hand accounts, we could make huge advancements. Before he left, Dutch brought out what I had seen briefly in the alley; it was a collapsible spear. The same one the City Hunter had used against Harrigan. He wanted to keep it as a down payment. While advanced, the spear was relatively rudimentary. I was reluctant to let it go, but it seemed like a good faith investment. Though, I doubt I could have stopped him, anyway.
The good news is that Dutch gave us a fully functioning alien helmet! Easily the better part of the bargain. Besides, the wealth of knowledge that the helmet and the arm would bring us would, alone, change the course of history. My father’s passing has… It’s been difficult, but everything was finally coming together. It seems now that both Dutch and I are in this together, which makes for a strange kind of closure, I guess.”
9 – Helmet and Arm: “September 21st, 1997. My father’s associate and close friend, Agent Adam Garber, has been chosen to head up OWLF operations, but has chosen me to help him directly with research and operational efforts. We managed to secure a massive extension to our funding after we presented the helmet and severed Predator arm. After discussing it with Garber, I convinced him to keep Dutch and his crew off the record as much as possible. Dutch can do so much more working alongside us than he ever could, working for us officially. Appropriated funds for Dutch and his team have been marked as ‘Cleaning Services’.
Studying the arm has revealed so much about the Predator physiology and we are just now scratching the surface of what this helmet can do. There’s also a damaged computer still attached to the wrist, which must’ve been destroyed by whatever severed the arm. It will be a slow process deconstructing, analysing, reverse-engineering the alien technology, but every discovery will be monumental as we learn more and more from a species much more advanced than our own.”
10 – Technological Finds: “December 1st, 1997. We ran extensive genetic tests on the arm, the results of which could lead to huge medical breakthroughs. It also gave us clues to the atmospheric make-up of their homeworld and how viable it would be to sustain human life, should we ever find a way to get there. Judging by the elasticity of the skin, we thinking that the City Hunter was a juvenile of the species. This would line up with Detective Harrigan’s account of the LA encounter. With that in mind, one could theorise that its hunt may have been an initiation into adulthood. Carbon dating of the bone structure puts the City Hunter’s age at a minimum of three hundred years, which draws into question the lifespan of a Predator. If our assumptions are correct, we could be talking upwards of a thousand years or more, possibly more.
I mean the mask is likely a mundane, utilitarian item to the Predator, but the technology involved is staggering. Aside from the respiratory functions, the visor built into the mask is capable of displaying multiple multiple visual frequencies. This explains how the City Hunter found and killed the OWLF team in the slaughterhouse. We assumed they only had access to infrared, but we were clearly wrong. What still confuses me, though, is how, with such extraordinary technology, the Predators express a seemingly tribal culture. They have such a strong focus on honour, trophies and worthy opponents – I mean, things we left behind as our own species has developed. Is it possible that these technological advances were not developed by the Predator species, but taken from another?”
11 – Dutch and Team Dispatched: “March 12th, 1998. We’ve had our first strong lead since the LA encounter. At 2 AM, a special forces group in Cambodia went MIA. The OWLF was alerted about the missing soldiers when when ‘skinned bodies’ was flagged in an update to military intelligence. We dispatched Dutch and his crew to the location within hours. Our research suggests that the Predator hunting grounds are active for roughly a week and then, we assume, they return to their homeworld.
What’s worrying is that our rate of detection seems to be escalating. I mean, either we’re finding more Predators or they’re sending more. This is exciting, but it’s also worrying. If the number of Predator events is increasing, we will inevitably cross a threshold where there are too many to handle. Dutch’s team is highly effective at dealing with the menace as it is now, but unless we develop an advantage, humanity isn’t prepared to face Predator invasion.”
12 – Plasma Caster: “March 19th, 1999. Dutch’s team managed to secure an intact piece of the Predator weaponry. They tracked and killed the Predator while somehow snagging its shoulder cannon before a group of ‘Elders’ showed up for the body, exactly as it happened in LA. The Elders either didn’t know or didn’t care that Dutch stole the gun, but God damn, I’m glad we managed to keep it.
I have the team running preliminary tests on composition and rudimentary functionality and I’d like to get those nailed down before anyone even thinks about attempting to fire it. And based on how Dutch describes it, there was a preternatural connection between the weapon and the Predator, itself, which would imply advanced biometric controls. Alternatively, there could be a more direct connection with its mask. I don’t know, I mean there are so many possibilities, but only time and rigorous testing will tell. What’s of paramount importance is that we don’t blow ourselves up along the way.”
13 – Close Encounter: “It’s April 4th, 2001. While I’ve had basic training, I usually stay away from field duty. However, it seemed prudent to have first-hand knowledge of the Predators. And as Dutch continues to prove himself an expert tracker, well, I was guaranteed a sighting if I went on the next mission. I opted out of arming myself, as previous accounts describe the Predators sparing the unarmed. I guess killing the defenceless must be seen as as dishonourable. After infiltration, we quickly walked into a guerilla ambush. And at this particular moment I regretted my decision to go unarmed, but I kept my head down while Dutch and his team did their work. And after the dust settled, we heard a deafening roar.
In the clearing stood a massive Predator. I mean, it had no mask, staring Dutch down in complete silence. After what seemed like minutes, it let out another roar and it charged us. And as it was closing in, the Predator threw a knife that missed Dutch, but grazed my arm. Unphased, Dutch grabbed a spear from his back and thrust it into the Predator’s chest. But the spear must have missed any vital organs, as the Predator continued to fight Dutch before escaping into the jungle. Minutes later, we felt the ground rumble as a spacecraft lifted into the air and and then left the planet entirely. And while I paid for it in physical trauma, I’m glad to have seen it in person. I can’t say I’m disappointed to see what I saw.”
14 – A Body: “October 27th, 2004. We have officially secured a Predator’s body. Granted, it’s pretty shot up, but it will give us a wealth of information on their biology. I considered asking Dutch’s team to look into less… Damaging methods of subduing the Predator, but, y’know, still Dutch and his team somehow achieved body exfiltration before it was intercepted or destroyed. So, while examinations of the body are ongoing, we’re running parallel tests on the ‘Plasma Caster’ weapon.
No attempts at firing it have been made, as we are still trying to figure it out and whether or not it’s functional. My hope is that we can secure more of these weapons for comparison, which would hopefully lead to replicating the technology. Having the weapon of our enemy would dramatically increase our odds in an all-out conflict.”
15 – Anniversary: “July 8th, 2007. Today is the 10th anniversary of my father’s death in Los Angeles. Because of his contributions to the OWLF, the building I’m sitting in was named in his honour. Nothing stood in the way of his drive, his passion and desire to learn the secrets of the universe. With everything we’ve accomplished since his death, I’d like to think he’d be proud. And the best way to honour him now is to make sure his legacy lives on. Our team will continue to make history in the name of Peter Keyes.”
16 – Dutch’s Run In: “March 10th, 2008. The team is pretty shaken. On our last mission, Dutch’s crew was killed. We dispatched his team to a hunting ground near a small village, but the entire village was empty. Investigating the scene revealed a fresh human skull and spine, impaled and dangling on a Predator spear at the centre of the village. that’s when all hell broke loose. The team could find no target, as, one by one, they were picked off.. Dutch got the survivors into cover and offered himself up as a challenge as he drew his own spear. Within seconds, he stood face to face with a very unique Predator. He described its armour as far more ornate, almost Egyptian in its regal design.
Physically, it was slimmer, yet far more deadly than any previously encountered Predator. Based on this description, I’m confident that what he encountered was the female of the species Our assumption has been that all known Predators have been male, though up until now it was mostly an informed guess. Dutch was ambushed, pinned to a wall by the female’s net-launcher. And he observed the Predator walk toward him and then activate her shoulder cannon, which quickly shot every member of his team with astonishing precision. And as the razor-netting cut into his face, blood, apparently, ran into his eyes and Dutch says he only barely saw the Predator cloak and disappear into the jungle. Given the heavy casualties and Dutch’s severe injuries, it’s unlikely we’ll be sending teams out for some time. I fear we’ve kicked the hornet’s nest one this one and, well, now the queen is pissed.”
17 – Recovery: “November 17th, 2008. For some time now, the medical team has been experimenting with technology devised from the Predator medical kit. Clearly predicting medical injury on their hunts, Predators carry a small host of advanced medical devices. While configured for Predator physiology, the foundational technology is surprisingly universal, though nowhere near ready for human testing until March of this year. Dutch returned from a hunting ground with severe injuries after a confrontation with the Predator female. The consensus was that he wouldn’t survive. With Dutch’s consent, we used a host of experimental options to stabilise his condition, including a serum containing Predator blood cells augmented with human DNA. One of the factors that contributes to the Predator’s long lifespan is their ability to regenerate tissue.
Our hope was that this could be altered to identify human tissue as its own and repair it accordingly. So far, the serum has accelerated expected convalescence. What a man of Dutch’s age should be able to heal in a year occurred in under three months. He’ll remain in quarantine until the side-effects of the serum can be identified. Given how severe his injuries were, it’s a small price to pay. Though, at some point we’ll need to discuss sterilisation. with Major Schaefer. If this affects his DNA., we can’t risk that change disseminating into the gene pool.”
18 – Calm: “It’s May 24th, 2010 and things have been alarmingly calm, which is making me nervous. A short time after Dutch’s brush with death, we had an energy surge that only affected the Predator equipment. We have no idea what caused the surge and can’t tell if it damaged anything, but it was definitely some sort of localised anomaly. Granted, we’ve collected quite the assortment of Predator tech, but the possibility of losing even a few pieces is terrifying. I worry that this has something to do with the emergence of the female Predator. Are they preparing for something? I doubt they’ve decided to leave Earth alone. Either way, we’re in a holding pattern until the next encounter, but with this Predator drought, we may be out of luck.”
19 – Funding Issues: “March 3rd, 2015. With Predator encounters dwindling, our funding has been adjusted accordingly. I know the other intelligence branches have been eager to get our section closed, as they’re not privy to what, exactly, we have been doing. They know we’re in research and development, but we haven’t produced any weaponry or technology that’s ready for deployment, which was a major incentive for getting the OWLF established. As far as they know, we’re just a bunch of UFO lunatics chasing conspiracy theories.
The technology we’ve recovered would suffice, but there is so much more to what we do than jist harvesting weapons for conventional warfare. Regardless, it seems we’ll have to bite the bullet and do what we need to defend humanity against the Predator threat. If we throw the government some of our lesser breakthroughs, maybe that will keep the wolf from the door. Either way, we’ll need a live specimen to make further significant strides. It seems that every encounter with Dutch leads to a dead Predator and broken gear and that’s only if another band of Predators doesn’t show up and take the body. Long story short: Something needs to start happening soon or the OWLF may have to shutter.”
20 – Stargazer: “Final entry, August 29th, 2016. It’s official, they’re abolishing the OWLF. In my opinion, it was a certain ‘central’ agency that stuck the final knife in our back, but that’s not relevant anymore. A group of private contractors pitched a task force to replace us and it was approved. Because we blazed a trail of discovery, they were able to swoop in and over-promise without putting in any of the legwork. Because of their prior weapon development experience and the guarantee of a Predator within one year, they were swiftly greenlit. Many of our other agents, myself included, were given jobs on this new ‘Project Stargazer’.
Since this is no longer the OWLF, I suppose I don’t need to record these anymore. It’s not like anyone will hear them. The research department is being catalogued and classified for storage. Still, I just wanted to say… I’m sorry, dad. I’m sorry, dad, I tried to keep it going, I really did. I tried to find another way to keep this from happening to anyone else, but it was too much. Project Stargazer is not what you built, but I will make sure I bring your vision with me. Fortunately, Dutch managed to stay out of our official works, but I’m sure I’ll be hearing from him soon.”