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The Voynich Manuscript Project

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posted on Sep, 19 2003 @ 09:39 PM
Our fourth research project to date, the Voynich Manuscript project! Stalking Panther is team leader.

In 1912, the antiquarian book dealer Wilfrid M. Voynich bought a number of mediaeval manuscripts from an undisclosed location in Europe. Among these was a lavishly illustrated manuscript codex of 234 pages, written in an unknown script.

Voynich took the MS to the United States and started a campaign to have it deciphered. Now, almost 100 years later, the Voynich manuscript still stands as probably the most elusive puzzle in the world of cryptography. Not a single word of this 'Most Mysterious Manuscript', written probably in the second half of the 15th Century, can be understood.

That's why I start this research project to maybe have a first breakthrough in deciphering the manuskript. Our goals are going to be:

- A complete background history of the manuskript written as a summary

- encrypting parts of the manuskript
- Voynich Faker - Or no Faker?? Pro - contra table
- Signs of extraterrestial contact? Pro - contra table

Now searching for members. U2U me now only limited space availiable
Stalking Panther

posted on Sep, 20 2003 @ 02:23 AM
Hello and welcome to the project! Here are my plans how it should work:
You post the information you got in this thread, to make it a pool of information. The responsible researchers sort it in a right order (e.g. The history of the manuskript or the pro-contra tables)
I also need a team leader for next week because I will be on a business trip to Hamburg for 5 days and don't have internet access. Please U2U me what part of the project you would like to work on. I can do the history but I suggest we work in teams of 2 persons on each topic!
Like I said just U2U me

posted on Sep, 20 2003 @ 04:17 AM
This will help alot:
This is the manuskript in PDF format. YOu can download it by right clicking and selecting the option save target as...

posted on Sep, 21 2003 @ 10:07 AM
Our first 2 members are:
John Bull 1

Smirkley will be the leader for the next five days if he agrees because I go on a business trip.

posted on Sep, 23 2003 @ 10:39 AM
I watched a show on it and it was a monestry/school that needed funds that he bought the book from.

posted on Sep, 23 2003 @ 07:36 PM
... it was bought by Emperor Rudolf II of Bohemia (1552-1612) for 600 gold ducats. The letter also implied that Kircher knew about the manuscript and had exchanged a letter and some transcribed portions with the previous owner who did not want to send him the whole manuscript. The letter further mentioned that Roger Bacon (the Franciscan friar who lived from 1214 to 1294) had been considered as the author, but in any case the manuscript had not been read.

A few pieces of circumstantial evidence connect the manuscript with John Dee (1527-1608) who visited the court in Prague in 1582-1586 and was an admirer of Bacon and collector of his manuscripts. Dee stated in his diary that he had 630 ducats in October 1586, (Keynes,1931) and his son remembered that while in Bohemia, his father owned a "booke containing nothing butt Hieroglyphicks, which booke his father bestowed much time upon: but I could not heare that hee could make it out" (Browne, in Keynes, 1931). Could this be the manuscript? No other known manuscript fits this description. Furthermore, according to A. G. Watson (Roberts & Watson, 1990), the foliation numbering is in Dee's hand.

On the lower margin of the first folio of the manuscript, under special illumination, the erased ownership signature of Jacobus de Tepenecz and the word "Prag" were found. Tepenecz was the director of Rudolf's botanical gardens and he must have owned the manuscript between 1608, when he received his title "de Tepenecz", and 1619 when he fled from Prague. There is uncertainty as to whether he owned it before or after emperor Rudolf (who abdicated in 1611).

At this point the story is not very clear. The person who would not send the manuscript to Kircher is almost certainly the little-known alchemist Georg Barsch, who bequeathed his entire alchemical library to Marci. It is not fully certain what happened with the manuscript between the time of Marci's gift and 1912. Most probably Kircher, lacking the time to study it, filed it with his other correspondence. It was found by P. Beckx S. J. (1795-1887, general of the society of Jesus from 1853 to 1883), who seems to have rescued it from confiscation by Vittorio Emanuele's soldiers in 1870, together with other valuable manuscripts (among which was Kircher's collected correspondence). This collection, finally, was sold in 1912, in part to the Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana and in part to W. Voynich.

The book was then bought by H. P. Kraus (a New York book antiquarian) in 1961 for the sum of $24,500 and later valued at $160,000. Unable to find a buyer, he donated it to Yale University in 1969, where it remains to date at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library with catalogue number MS 408.

posted on Sep, 23 2003 @ 07:38 PM
When the manuscript was first shown to expert cryptologists, they thought that solving it would be easy as the text was composed of "words", some of which were more frequent and occurred in certain combinations (Kahn, 1967). This soon turned out to be a mistake; the text could not easily be converted into Latin, English, German or a host of other languages which might possible be at the base of this document.

A first "solution" was announced in 1919, by William Romaine Newbold (Newbold, 1921), who caused a sensation by claiming that the manuscript did indeed contain the work of Roger Bacon and that Bacon had known the use of the compound telescope and microscope, seeing the spiral structure of the Andromeda galaxy (!) only visible with modern telescopes and cell structures unknown in the 13th Century. This solution was finally disproved (Manly, 1931).

The attempts to crack the code, however, were not over. In 1931, Mrs. Voynich took a photostat copy of the manuscript to Catholic University in Washington where Fr. Theodore Petersen reproduced it photographically and started a complete hand transcription of the manuscript, with a card index to the words, and lists of concordances. The transcription alone was reported to have taken him 4 years. Unfortunately, it is not known what conclusion, if any, he reached.

In 1944, Hugh O'Neill, a renowned botanist at the Catholic University, identified various plants depicted in the manuscript as New-World species, in particular an American sunflower and a red pepper (O'Neill, 1944). This meant that the dating of the manuscript should be placed after 1493, when Columbus brought the first sunflower seeds to Europe. However, the identification is not certain: the red pepper is coloured green and the sunflower identification is equally contested.

Other people involved in the study of the manuscript were prominent cryptologists such as W. Friedman and J. Tiltman, who independently arrived at the hypothesis that the manuscript was written in an artificial, constructed language. This was based on the structure of the "words" as described below. Such artificial languages were devised at least a century after the probable date of the Voynich manuscript. Only the 'Lingua Ignota' of Hildegarde of Bingen (1098-1179) predates the Voynich manuscript by several centuries, but this language does not exhibit the structure observed by Friedman and Tiltman, and it provides only nouns and a few adjectives.

Friedman came to know Petersen who at some time presented his hand transcription and other material to him. After Friedman's death, all the material was moved to the W.F. Friedman collection of the Marshall Foundation. Recently, electronic versions of the transcriptions made by Friedman's groups were produced from the typed sheets and made available on the Internet (Reeds, 1995).

Later acclaimed solutions see in the manuscript a simple substitution cipher which can only decode isolated words (Feely, 1943), the first use of a more or less sophisticated cipher (Strong, 1945; Brumbaugh, 1977), a text in a vowel-less Ukrainian (Stojko, 1978) or the only surviving document of the Cathar movement (Levitov, 1987). No acceptable plaintext has ever been produced though.

Some interesting new insights into the manuscript were provided in the 70's by Prescott Currier, presenting some of his results at an informal Voynich manuscript symposium at the National Security Agency in Washington (D'Imperio, 1978). Basing his findings on the statistical properties of the text, he showed that the manuscript is written in two distinct "languages" which he simply called A and B. Each bifolio was written in one of the two, and bifolios in the same "language" were generally grouped together. Only in the herbal section there is a mixture of A and B folios. Based on the characteristics of the writing, he showed that the manuscript seems to have been written in two distinct "hands", and he even suggested there could be as much as five or even eight different hands. A significant feature is that the hand and language used on each folio are fully correlated. Currier's conclusion was that at least two people were involved in writing the Voynich manuscript, (which he considered a point against the "hoax theory" summarised below), although alternatively, the manuscript could have been written by one person, in two distinct periods.

Due to the lack of success in the decipherment, a number of people have proposed that the manuscript is a "hoax". The manuscript could either be a 16th century forgery, to be sold for a hefty sum to emperor Rudolf II, who was interested in rare and unusual items (Brumbaugh, 1977, deriving from earlier unpublished theories), or a more recent one by W. Voynich himself (Barlow, 1986). The latter is effectively excluded both by expert dating of the manuscript, and by the evidence of its existence prior to 1887.

One problem with the earlier hoax theory is that, as will be shown, certain word statistics (Zipf's laws) found in the manuscript are characteristic of natural languages. In other words, it is unlikely that any forgery from 16th century would "by chance" produce a text that follows Zipf's laws (first postulated in 1935).

Since 1990, a multidisciplinary group of varying size, generally between 100 and 200 individuals, dispersed all around the globe and connected through the Internet, has maintained an electronic mail forum on the decipherment of the Voynich manuscript. This has led to a lively exchange of ideas and the definition of two main goals: a machine readable transcription of the manuscript text and the study of the text through numerical experiments.

[Edited on 24-9-2003 by smirkley]

posted on Sep, 23 2003 @ 09:44 PM
The author that has provided the information below, has done much work in this arena, and has kindly given me permission of use of his website publishings for use within this discussion. Although I would put the full copy in the next few posts, I feel it may be distracting for the purpose of this discussion, although that may change. There is much suggestion as to the purpose of the Voynich Manuscripts, and the overall extra-terrestrial suggestions that may lay within, that visiting his website may provide much thought for yourself on the subject, and produce significant debate as to the source of the information within them.

To quote Dr LaViolette from his book, Earth Under Fire;

"According to a legend told by the Hopi Indians, the present world civilization is not the first to populate the earth. Before this one, there were three other "worlds", each terminated by a global catastrophe. They call the present world cycle the "Fourth World", and claim that it too like the others before it, will one day come to an end. They say that this ending will be heralded by the appearance of Saquasohuh, the Blue Star spirit.
Since the cores of distant exploding galaxies are observed to have a bright blue star-like appearance, it is reasonable to expect that the core of our own Galaxy would have a similar appearance during its explosive phase. So the legendary appearance of the Blue Star could be referring to an explosion of our Galaxy's core.... Several hundred years after the first appearance of the Blue Star, earth observers would have become aware of lighting effects resulting from the Superwave's passage through the galaxy's central buldge. Sychrotron radiation emitted by the Superwave's cosmic rays, would have illuminated the dense gas clouds in the Galaxy's nucleus to create an oval luminous form around the Blue Star...Dense clouds of dust obscure visible light coming from this region. However, during its bright active phase, some light would have penetrated. This frightening spectacle may have appeared to ancient inhabitants as a gigantic punishing "Eye" in the sky, the entire form occupying about a 16 degree field of view, or about 32 solar diameters. The "iris", would have a diameter of about, 4 degrees with a brilliant light emanating from its central pupil--the Blue Star."

posted on Sep, 23 2003 @ 09:55 PM
The following information related to the possible translation of one page of the manuscript (as directly quoted from his website), as well as the significance of the letters can be found below.

As quoted....
One thing the Voynich Group talks about continually is that they believe this manuscript is encoded. Great lengths have been taken to find the code and decipher the words. After having looked over page one of this manuscript, I felt that the group was right in one aspect. It was encoded. But not by the logical method, the mathematical method of encoding they were looking for. It was visually encoded. At least as far as I have gone with it.

Line by line updated paraphrase translation of page one of the Voynich Manuscript;

Seeing, my friend, as there is power that will prevail [the power would have to refer to the power of the devastation of the eye], be wakeful. It is the appointed time of the Eye. Know also that opponents, deniers, have been allowed by men. They are now the head evil faction. All that are precious to them will be killed.

The stench of sin is in the air. The eye of the moon grows white. Horus returns. That small eye is precious to us. Its removal was a horrible thing. Evil will be separated and burned for it. They will be surrounded by the glider.

What once was will be again. You will be made to drink from this enemy. Truly the eye will destroy everything. It will pound and beat everything like a group of lions. The eye moves in a cycle. The cycle comes again.

The eye. Look carefully into what it means. Take advice. Pray! Take advice, shake with fear. You will be surrounded. Use wisdom and knowledge. Trouble comes from the eye. This enemy will roll up everything.

A demon was the young shoot [by inference...the only shoot that was of any historical significance in this context, was that of David. The text word, sair, refers to the old Hebrew He-goat worship...see Gesenius] came as a party that knew about the eye. He came to make atonement and said there is burning destruction coming from the eye.

Knowledge is the most important thing.

--the lamb has failed. Deniers will be skimmed as the foam. Laid as a heap of ruins by that which is cyclical. The swift scorching eye destroys violently as the lion.

The story of the world messiah coming from men (root of Jesse) (sent from God) is diabolical. It oppresses the living. It is the time of the Phoenix. It is the way of things. The living get weaker. Get knowledge. That which grows white [full moon symbolism] returns with haste.

Knowledge and wisdom are the gateway. The burning from above will be a Godly kind of overpowering.

Use knowledge (think). Make haste. Document information twice.

* / !!!!!!!! ???? you of much knowledge who the Eye will bend together. Rejoice about the existence of the Eye. Your blindness is a gift. Rejoice. You will be oppressed. Cry out for help. You have hardened yourselves against the time of the lion. These are the times. You have stirred up trouble. Devastation, violence, coming from the eye. Look, see, get knowledge.

What is it worth to wait tensely? Bow before the eye, humble yourself. Or you will be skimmed as the foam. Be strong together. You will be snatched up. You will then bow down. Knowledge is the door.

Get knowledge. Look carefully at the Phoenix bird. The eye returns again. The eye propounds a riddle to all. The eye will trod upon while the glider will gather. It is a hidden mystery.

Knowledge can be calming. The promise of Horus' return and the moon growing full are the same. Understand the Phoenix. The Phoenix returns. Understand.

Cry for help. Understand the judgment that awaits, you hardened generation. The eye propounds a riddle..what would rather cry for help than stand up and live?

Separated in the tomb of the eye. Cry for help. Leave it behind you my beloved friend. Or be raked up with exactness.

Magician! Denier of the Eye. Bow down. Bow down to the Lamb and twice to me. [That last line is pure sarcasm.] Knowledge of the cyclical eye was dimming. Bravo! [Sarcastic cheers]

You will be pierced, laid to waste by the eye. It will oppress your cities. Living profitably, when suddenly from above, a rejoicing faction in a burning Temple room.

Desire the living knowledge of the return of Horus. Or burn.

The time is upon us all. Get knowledge.

You will be vanquished. Cry out for help. Desire life. The Phoenix flies; it returns again. It is the cycle of God. It is fitting. The disaster of the living God. Calamity is at the door.

Carefully look at all of this knowledge you have in your hand, oh faction of God. The cycle of the moon and the prince of the cycle, Horus, are the same. We wait.

Oh noble ones, trouble comes from the eye. Cry out for help. The eye will foreclose on your knowledge. You are arrogant and wrapped up in your knowledge. You will be wrapped up in that which moves cyclically.

[More sarcasm] Live Long, you who piece together trouble as knowledge. It oppresses the living. It undermines everything about the eye. Bow your head to live. Be humble.

Oh God, live forever. Because they have hardened themselves, they will be snatched up and trodden upon. They imitate life while the humble endeavor.

You are a leech of God's goodness.

The eye will wash everything clean.


It is my belief that the author of this work was dead serious. I also believe he was a Semite, more than likely Hebrew. I believe this because:
1) what I believe was the translation of the Voynich word SAIR (Hebrew would be, shin ain yod resh...SAIR). According to Gesenius, it follows the Hebrew tradition of he-goat worship.
2) what I believe should be translated as a prayer to God, when I translated the line that began, "Oh God live forever" , from Voynich dc*eo, which I believe should be written as dcheo. Which seems to be a first letter moved to the end of the word encryption, making it cheod ChI OD (cheth yod 'ain daleth) living forever. And shody ShDI, God.
And 3) based on what I have seen, he is very comfortable with Hebrew grammar, as far as letter exchanges according to Hebrew grammatical rules.

This person was also familiar with Latin equivalents for Hebrew characters. He knows which Latin letters are derived from what Hebrew letters. And he uses these exchanges as a form of encryption.

But why encryption? The literal meaning of encrypt should conjure up all ideas of something put in a tomb, hence forgotten, buried. In (the) crypt. The base commonized Latin meaning is that of something hidden. Someone who does not want the information found out. At least not while he lives. This idea in itself dictates that the information contained "in the crypt" is important enough to have been put there, either for the information's sake alone, or the fact that the author may lose his life because of the contents. Or both.

Now, if this writing is as old as is thought, one can easily see how information deemed possibly heretical would be a danger to the writer's life, as well as the life of the information. From what little I have seen so far, this writer is anti Christianity and pro Mysteries. Making him a candidate for execution.

What we need to do is crack the encryption. I believe that this was done when Latin letter values (EVA) were given to Voynich letters. It has been said that these assignments were random. Are they? Let's look.

What I have found thus far with the Voynich Groups random Letter Values:
A - This value has worked.
B - This may be correct and may not. According to the Voynich dictionary, which is not exhaustive, there is one word with B. Cheeb. There is a Hebrew word (chib) derived from (ChvB) and it means to be guilty, to be legally bound. It fits what I know of the context so far, but I don't know the sentence context. It could be right; it could be wrong.
C - This value has worked.
D - This value has worked.
E - This value has worked.
F - This value has worked and exchanges with Hebrew Peh, which Voynich character looks very much like it.
G - Close to script G? I have not run across this letter yet. According to the Voynich interlinear, there are a few words with G. One is gaiin but might be daiin. Cpheeg which might be cpheey. The latter of both I have translated. One case of dchog which might be dchom which I believe I have translated in one of its versions. This letter remains to be tested.
H - Looks very much like Arabic H. It has proven to work.
I - Hebrew yod, Arabic kasra, and Greek iota, as well as Latin I, are short lines. The words aiiin and AIIIN show the same basic "line" when written. This letter has proven out.
J - I have not run into this yet. This letter, according to the interlinear, does not exist in a word except for "it might be J."
K - This value has worked.
L - This value has worked.
M - This value has worked.
N - This value has worked.
O - This value has worked.
P - This value has worked. See F above.
Q - This value has worked.
R - This value has worked.
S - This value has worked.
T - This value has worked.
U - Looks close but haven't run into it yet. Seems to be confused with N and doesn't exist in any words.
V - Looks close but have not run into it. If it works, it is more than likely vav.
X - Have not seen yet..if this value is correct, after having looked at its usages, I would first treat it with a negation value. In other words, ignore it.
Y - This value has worked.
Z - Does not exist in the text.

Now, what does all this mean? To me, it points only in one direction, based on everything I have seen and heard in the past two months. There came a time in the history of the Voynich group, when members got sick of looking at the bizarre characters used in making transcripts of the Voynich. Necessity being the mother of invention, a method was needed to make transcript reading and usage easier on the eyes and heads of those who worked within it. So Eva was born. Now, the way it appears to me, it was decided that they would assign random values in the form of Latin letters to the Voynich characters. And they did just that. How did they go about doing this? Simple. First, they took all the Voynich characters that bore a resemblance to Latin letters, and they assigned those values at random to the Voynich characters. This is why Voynich "a" looks like a, and Voynich "o" looks like o and so on for as many as they could. It got harder matching characters with letters as they progressed, but they did the best they could.

What they failed to realize was that, even though z is not in the text used in a word, or so it seems based on what I saw (which means z does have a randomly assigned as of yet unproven value), "a" was in the text and could be proven. They had inadvertently assigned the correct value to a Voynich character. And A wasn't the only one they got right.

When I came along, no one had ever explained this random assignment to me. I looked around and thought, should be read this way in this language, and it worked. Of course, everyone was still thinking along the lines of "random assignment" and had quite a bit to say against what I was doing. But I understand it, now that I have been forced to think about this. Random assignments were given to the Voynich characters, first based on similarity of shape. In doing this, they inadvertently assigned the correct value to many letters. Enough letters to get me through page one.

But the mystery does not stop here. The author of the Voynich knew that this could happen. He also knew that if someone got this far, there had to be other walls of encryption in place to discourage prying eyes from discovering a known language which was (so far) Hebrew. So he scrambled it. By adding a couple of extra letters that may or may not follow Hebrew vowel points here and there, more confusion is generated. But the skeletal consonantal structure is there.

The first key to opening this up is realizing certain randomly assigned Latin letter values to the Voynich characters accidentally worked.
Once this is realized, we may get our first glimpse of a message that was given in some way to at least one person, hundreds of years ago, by extraterrestrials concerning our future doom.!_the_eye.htm

posted on Sep, 24 2003 @ 07:34 PM
Another thread I started maybe pertaining to a related description of the possible translation above.

posted on Sep, 27 2003 @ 05:53 AM
A new History connection of the manuskript:
Leonardo da Vinci and the Voynich Manuscript??
Read here:

posted on Oct, 1 2003 @ 10:31 AM
The project is moving on very slowly because of school, work and other business of the team members including me. I hope everybody respects that we all only have limited time and it's hard to keep up.
I would be ready to divide the members of the project into groups. I asked smirkley already what group he wants to join but didn't get an answer yet.
The groups will be divided into the following:

- A complete background history of the manuskript written as a summary
- encrypting parts of the manuskript
- Voynich Faker - Or no Faker?? Pro - contra table
- Signs of extraterrestial contact? Pro - contra table

I already said I will take over the history part. Each individual member will take a topic and make a summary and save it as a word file. To complete the project afterwards all word files will be sent to me. I will publish them. The word files will be a sorted order of the information given in this thread.

New information I recievedvia U2U from the user "NephraTari":

"I actually did some poking around of my own previous to my finding ATS.
I have spent a great deal of time going over images from the manuscript and I think people are taking the wrong approach to deciphering it.
It is said that mathmatics are the universal language.
This might account for numerous areas where the same symbol is repeated many times in a sequence.
What if each symbol is not Alpha but rather numeric?
Perhaps the process is two fold.
Just something to think on.
I regret that I cannot join the team. I am far to busy to devote the time to it, that it deserves, as with all of my research at the moment it remains a hobby.
Good Luck. I am following the thread with interest."

Thats the SITREP for now

posted on Oct, 15 2003 @ 09:41 AM
Ok this isn't going anywhere...I don't have enough time to manage the project. I need a new project leader otherwise: Shut it down Admin.
If anybody wants to be project leader U2U me

posted on Oct, 22 2003 @ 06:21 PM
G. K. Zipf described a number of common properties of natural languages including two "laws" of word frequencies. He proposed that these laws were the result of his controversial principle of least effort. The two laws of word frequencies are:

1-The "rank-frequency" law.
This is the most famous one; unfortunately many people call it "Zipf's law" as if it was the only one. Interestingly, Zipf mentions in his book that this way of looking at word frequencies "was suggested by a friend" (!). The procedure to estimate this relation is very simple: the words in a text are sorted by decreasing frequency and a rank number is assigned to each word. For words with the same frequency, the subsorting and ranking is arbitrary. The plot of log(frequency) (y axis) versus log(rank) (x axis) approximates a straight line of slope -1.

2-The "number-frequency" law.
Being n the frequency of a word, the plot of log(n) (y axis) versus log(number of words with frequency n) (x axis) approximates a straight line of slope -0.5. While the rank-frequency law tends to occur for the high frequency words (although not necessarily for the first few ranking positions), the number-frequency law is observed for the low frequency words.

There have been a number of reports confirming Zipf's laws (almost exclusively the rank-frequency one) in a large number of languages, from alphabetic (most European languages), to syllabic (Japanese) and logographic languages (Chinese). To complicate things further, random texts also show a tendency to follow the rank-frequency law, although the reasons for this are well understood and different than for natural languages. There are suggestions that these laws have some relation with the way we process and store information and therefore apply to all languages despite their origin. It is therefore a good opportunity to investigate whether the Voynich manuscript also shares these characteristics.

In this report were investigated:
1-the two Zipf's laws of word frequencies in two partial transcriptions of the manuscript and some English texts,
2-the frequency distribution of common words in the A and B languages,
3-the word length according to the rank,
4-the average word length according to the frequency
5-the token length distribution in the manuscript as well as in samples of English and Latin,
6-the word length distribution in the manuscript as well as in samples of English and Latin, and
7-the iso-word gap size distribution of the most common words in those texts.

CLICK HERE to view a study on Word Number and Rank Frequency as well a graphical representation of the 'distance' between languages. (Charts Included)

This is an interesting methodology, in demonstrating charachteristics of a natural language, and applying it to the Voynich Manuscripts, in determining if there is an underlying natural language, or mearly gibberish, or even a hoax. I will be trying to submit additional methods, and information as opportunity and time being available.

posted on Oct, 22 2003 @ 06:36 PM
"There have been many more attempts [at decipherment] that did not result in publication because the would-be solvers honestly admitted to defeat...In 1944, from among specialists in languages, documents, mathematics, botany, and astronomy then doing war work in Washington, William F. Friedman [a cryptologist famous for breaking the ultrasecret Japanese PURPLE cipher] organized a group to work on the problem."
- David Kahn, The Codebreakers

"From a cryptanalytic point of view, the challenges they faced were highly technical. Among them was the task of arriving at a standardized method of transcribing the Voynich alphabet, which is more difficult than it sounds. Many of the Voynich characters are identical but for tiny variations and embellishments that may or may not have any significance. The danger of reading two similar characters as one-equivalent to confusing the letter o with a zero-or treating one slightly variable letter as several was unavoidable. Nevertheless, the study group managed to perform a few statistical analyses on samples of the Voynich text using early IBM tabulating and sorting machines."
"Some intriguing facts emerged. First, the analysis determined that the text of the Voynich manuscript is highly repetitive. In places, the same word appears two or three times in succession, and words that differ by only one letter also repeat with unusual frequency. Overall, the vocabulary of the Voynich text is smaller than it should be, statistically speaking, and although in general the words are unusually short compared to Latin and English, there are, upon close inspection, almost no one- or two-letter words. Intriguingly, Friedman saw a similarity between this statistical profile and that of a synthetic, universal language created by the seventeenth-century philosopher John Wilkins, something like a proto-Esperanto."
- Lev Grossman, "When Words Fail: The Struggle to Decipher the World's Most Difficult Book", Lingua franca, April 1999

"Unfortunately, by the time they [the Washington team] had, working after hours, completed the task of transcribing the text into symbols that tabulating machines could process, the war was over and the group disbanded...."
- David Kahn, The Codebreakers

posted on Oct, 22 2003 @ 06:51 PM
I have posted some interesting analysis, above, as well as quotes from authors writings in related subject.

The obvious conclusion is, that either this is a very tough code, or written in a very obscure language, or is a hoax or in gibberish. There has been theory that it is written in two languages, or by two individuals, and other methods yet to be proven. The most interesting thing I find is, that more than likely it is not a hoax, as it would probubly not follow Zipf's laws of language word frequency and occurance, although even that could be argued.

So far, I have only found one, although not widely accepted, possible decoding of this manuscript.!_the_eye.htm

Although his decoding of just a few pages on his website is available, and I find it very interesting, the exact method is not available to me and was suggested it is not going to be given (he has given permission to reproduce the public information for use in this discussion) , and will be published in his yet-to-be released book.

This is a very difficult topic to produce anything other than other's failed attempts, or unproven theories. Admin permitting, I would like to continue to post, historical information, decoding theories, and other information, from time to time, as new information may be found.

posted on Oct, 24 2003 @ 08:23 PM
Here is something I found, somewhat interesting, as yet another mothod? of decoding. This originates, apparently, from an unknown message to the author, and yet the message implies that it still could not be read. Either way the suggestion is that of a RNA/DNA link.?!

I was 'told/& shown' by an "Excitant Spirit (ES)" 10-6-2000, and 'shown' in less than 20 min. , and hereafter only refer to as "ES" that I could DECODE this. Sadly, ES also said I can DECODE IT - _BUT_, I would NOT be able to _READ_ it! I suppose English being my only Language is at least one of the reasons. AND No, ES had _never_ contacted me before and has NOT contacted me since. I am just passing this along for those seeking the truth.

A Voynich Manuscript (or VMS) KEY?

Ekwall's VMS ~Folding KEY 101

I Hope THIS Helps Someone(s)
ES said fold 'em for your decipher KEY!
ES said The plants are RNA - The humans DNA
ES LAUGHED - the "STARS" are NOT heavenly, but _LIFE BODIES_
ES said The DOT in CENTER of a life/Star is a "successful" MALE BIRTH(s)
( I'm thinking a BLUE-BLOOD? family tree record thing myself?? )
ES said No Rush, but that the TIME is NOW to Decode the VMS
ES said I was 1 of 12 - (whatever that means?) extra code?
ES said That VMS IS GOOD (very, very good for ALL people)
ES said NOTE Womans Hands (behind them OR on HIP)
ES said NOTE Womans Leg positions (closed/opened)
ES said WOMEN (females will shine in all of this)
ES said "STARS" are each _individual_ persons
ES said All characters are NOT letters (#'s?)
ES said Read Left Right, Top Bottom
ES said SUNflower = EggNEST(s)
ES SAID SPA's = Female Womb
ES said BATHTUBS = Ovaries
ES said TUBES = Fallopian
ES said STARS = Ova/SEEDS>
ES said Very, VERY OLD
ES said "YES, VERY Ciphered
ES said (again) THINK RNA/DNA
ES said _Think_, it will grow on you!
ES said c_c_c = CUT, "8am\\" 8=splice, then two (2) back?
ES emphasized (again) multi-pointed Stars EQUALED *LIFE/SEED*
ES said some page FOLDS are missing! -(sigh) AND I haven't even seen IT yet!

Well this is definetly an 'interesting' angle (pun intended) to decode the script.
View the images below to see where he takes you.

Just another angle apparently considered.

posted on Oct, 24 2003 @ 08:45 PM

posted on Oct, 24 2003 @ 09:10 PM
A different approach, is a Hebrew translation....using the style of writing of the Old Testament.

Letters to God's Eye

The Voynich manuscript, like the Old Testament and many ancient writings, is written in an alphabet that has only consonants, the vowels have to be added by the reader. Such a writing is very difficult to read. Those who had a chance to read the Old Testament in Hebrew will understand the problem.

The material in the Voynich Manuscript is not a copy of the letters sent to the Khozars or the Median King Pontia. The writings in the Voynich manuscript are instructions to the scribe of what Ora or his government would like to see in the letters.

For example, the President does not write his letters or speeches. He has a secretary and speech writers. Of course he gives instructions on what material should be included in his letters and speeches. The speech writer would take notes and then write the speech.

The same is true with the writing in Voynich Manuscript. It is a scribe's compilation of notes from which he wrote the answer to the Khozars or Media. The original letters were written in the alphabet of Khozars and to Media in the Median language and alphabet.

posted on Oct, 24 2003 @ 09:52 PM
(The historical events related to the manuscript)

1214 Roger Bacon was born
1292 Bacon dies
1492 Discovery of America
1526 Ferdinand I Habsburg elected Czech king
1525 Tadeus Hayek was born
1527 John Dee born
1535 William of Rosenberg was born
1547 First resistance of Czech nobility, defeated
1550 Aksaham's Herbal published
1552 Rudolph II born (to Maxmillian II)
1555 Edward Kelly was born
1562 Maxmilian II (oldest son of Ferdinand I) crowned as a Czech king
1564 Dee writes Monas Hieroglyphica
1565 Ferdinand I died
1572 Ferdinand II born (nephew of Ferdinand I)
1575 Horczicky was born 1576 Maxmilian II dies, Rudolph II (oldest son of Maximilian II) crowned as Czech king
1579 John Dee's son John was born
1580 Missowsky born
1580 Rabbi Loew of Prague creates Golem
1582 Dee meets Kelly who claims he has Glastonbusy Manuscript
1583 Both are leaving England for trip to Poland
1584 Both arriving in Prague, Dee's audience with Rudolph II.
1586 Dee notes in his diary he received 600 ducats
1587 The book Historia von D. Johann Fausten published
1588 Both at Trebon - Dee stays, Kelly leaves for court of Ruddolph II in Prague
1589 Dee returns to England, Kelly stays in Prague, Horczicky starts his studies at Clementinum
1590 Georgius Barsch is born (approximately)
1592 Rosenberg dies
1595 Marci born
1597 Edward Kelly dies (also seen 1598 elsewhere, maybe in Russia)
1600 Thadeus Hayek dies, Bruno burnt at stake, first scientific autopsy in Prague (by Jesenius)
1602 Kircher born
1608 John Dee died (in his diary is however + and 1609, probably his horoscope)
1608 Horczicky got his title de Tepenecz
1609 German Protestant Union established, Frederick Palatine as a head of Protestant Union
1611 Czech crown goes to Mathias, brother of Rudolph II
1612 Rudolph II died
1614 Fama Fraternitatis - Rosicrucian Manifesto, first issue
1617 Ferdinand II crowned Czech king
1618 Czech resistance, Prague defenestration, the beginning of Thirty years' war
1618 (or 1619) Horczicky leaves Bohemia
1619 Mathias died, Czech protestants elect Frederick Palatine as their king
1620 Battle on White Mountain (near Prague), Ferdinand II defeated Czech protestants, Frederic Palatine runs away.
1621 Horczicky returns to Bohemia
1622 Horczicky dies
1637 Ferdinand II dies, his son Ferdinand III becomes Czech king.
1637 The very first historical mentioning of VM (in letter from Brasch to Kircher)
1639 His second letter to Kircher
1640 Marci visited Kircher in Italy
1642 Robert Jones buys the box where,, in the secret compartment, was 1662 found the diary of John Dee
1644 Missowsky died
1648 Peace of Westphalia, end of Thirty years' war
1654 Marci got his title (de Cronland)
1657 Ferdinand III died, Leopold I Czech king
1659 Dee's diaries were first published
1662 Marci named the rector of Prague University
1665 (or 1666) Barsch dies, Marci's famous letter to Kircher
1567 Marci died
1672 Dee's diaries archived in Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
1680 Kircher died
1795 Pierre-Jean Beckx born
1850 Beckx becomes the general of Jesuit Order
1865 Vila Mondragone become sproperty of Jesuits
1887 Beckx dies
1912 Voynich buys manuscript
1921 W.R. Newbold claims he solved VM
1961 Kraus buys manuscript
1969 Manuscript donated to Yale University

Conclusions...The Facts

The text has very few apparent corrections - in other words, it suggests the careful writer well proficient in using the script - or it could be a well done copy of some original. One thing is for sure: it is the only one in existence, since no other copies were found. The strange script used suggests that the underlaying text was intended to be hidden from other readers and no other copies were made anyway. There were done the measurements of entropy and the text follows roughly the 1st. and 2nd. Zipf's laws of word frequencies - that suggests there could be a natural, real language behind the code. The 2nd. order entropy is too low for an European language using a simple substitution cipher - if it was written in European language, it could be via more complicated coding or even cipher. Others claim that Zipf's laws cannot tell us too much anyway.


Lot of work was done in this area. The whole manuscript was transcribed several times, last attempt is considered to be most workable at all. There will be now no more excuses for the researchers that they need proper transcription. But let's face it - the real cracking of VM didn't need to wait until then. Besides, some irregularities discovered during this stage may not be the most important of discoveries after all. The EVMT provides the researchers with quanta of data, however only the word frequency and letter fequency was investigated, confirming the fact that no language coud be found so far.

Conclusions...The text

While none of the above is a symptom of known languages, it makes perfect sense when we assume scientific languages or "lingos", full of abbreviations, formulas and whatnot. The words which differ say by one letter only could for instance use some magic formulas or chants. The other option is of course to consider the method of encoding: for instance, nobody paid too much attention to the meaning of spaces between words - it was assumed they do not carry any information. True, it was not proven otherwise, but it is so simple method that nobody would even suspect and it will put all our past solving in dust bin! If the space is a special "letter" then our considered "length" of words is of course a wishfull dream. The same happens if the spaces were put in non-spaced text just arbitrarily. After all, the spaces between words are only convention; we could easily read the plain "text without spaces" without any difficulty ( if we know the script and language, of course :-). For example:
Now how about this:
wec ouldea silyr eadthep la i ntex tw i tho utspa cesw i thouta nyd iffic ulty?

Conclusions...The language

From the ease of the handwriting, it looks that either plain or already encoded or enciphered text was then copied by somebody, who understood the transcript well. There are almost no mistakes, which could have been plenty otherwise. It was for long time suspected - and experts are returning to this idea again and again - that manuscript was written in "open" language, but in special alphabet, that is only in special script. In that case the "plain text" before re-writing might have been pre-written in "open" language and possibly written in Roman alphabet. After a short-time experience, anybody could have rewritten it in other "alphabet" without many mistakes (if he understood the language, of course). That was surely the case if the transcriptor was the author himself (or his student), but certainly not a plain untrained copyist not familiar with script. But what would be the point to let anybody on the script if you want to keep the text secret?

There are of course other language & code combinations, which were not pursued too extensively. For instance: the above assumption that the encoded writing is "almost" without mistakes. Well, there may be mistakes, but we do not see them - all we can see are the corrections if any. But it is a reasonable assumption that the more complicated the encoding, the harder the task and more mistakes will be made; so it may confirm there was no further encoding.

There is still one explanation not seriously considered so far: the use of specially invented shorthand. Shorthand, being the mixture of code and cipher (code - where the signs represent pure letters, cipher - where special abbreviations or symbols are used for suffixes etc.) is also unintelligible to non-initiated. Apparently, due to the fact that very short "words" were mostly used, some sort of abbreviation or shorthand could be suspected anyway. For instance, Latin abbreviations were used during Middle Ages quite frequently. The important thing is that in zodiac sketches, the names of months are in Latin alphabet. Even if the month labels were written there later by somebody else, the sketches alone suggest that the author knew the astrology rather well.


General opinion is that the pictures are representing real objects and people, and not some code - as it was suggested - since it would be rather elaborate way to provide very little information indeed. They might have been very important in connection with text, but how much helpful they could be in cracking of it is still to be seen. One thing is for sure: they are mysteries of their own. The question is - why?


While the so-called "transcriptions" are based on graphic elements to which the Voynich text was broken, it is assumed that those elements are representing only single characters. If in reality they are not, we would have to start it all over.


To tackle the problem, several approaches were undertaken, mainly based on some simplification (either using known language or script, plain or encoded). This analytic methods didn't help too much and created the feelings among the code-breakers that they probably missed the point.

Conclusions...Enciphering or Encoding

Historically, the secret codes and enciphering are as old as the need to conceal the content of the message. The Bible, a Greek Polybius Square, Cesarian cipher (or shift), all that was known and further developed by medieval scholars. It should not be surprising if some kind of encipherment or even encoding was used in Voynich manuscript. For all practical purposes however - that is for author to be able to use the manuscript directly without any need to rewrite it first - we may assume that the system of concealment was simple. The minimum requirements on human memory was probably another reason. Still, we cannot eliminate the possibility of encipherment, but it was at most simple substitution and definitely not any code-book. How much is this assumption correct is still to be seen.


If we consider that the space is truly a word separator and the script represents a non-ciphered text consistently, then the tests for Zipf's laws confirmed that the manuscript may be written in some natural language. The word and token length distributions are shorter than those in the English and Latin samples investigated. This may indicate by some an "abbreviated" script in which the characters may be letters as well as syllables, but such conclusion may be premature, until all other possible languages are tested as well. The other option is that our representation of script alphabet is not accurate (for instance, some characters look like they contain two already defined characters).


On the other hand, also in Rudolph's time, the old manuscripts were very good article for sale, worth they weight in gold: astrological almanacs, cookbooks for making gold, healing potions and elixirs, black or white magic recipes, etc. There must have been many forgeries around and there was nothing easier than to make one brand new one. The one which nobody could read and therefore cannot even proclaim as a forgery - all that was needed was to write some gibberish in more or less non-sensical script. Of course, it would have to have an appearance of something mysterious, but real. So one could add few more strange pictures and tell Rudolph that it contains the secret how to make gold. Not that we suspect good doctor Dee, but with Edward Kelly one could never be sure enough.

But it seems more likely that Voynich manuscript does hide some real text. It's non-randomness was already proved. That of course does not eliminate the possibility of fraud, but considering the pain it took to write it, it would be very difficult to write something "without any meaning" and at the same time non-random.

One thing is for sure: the real value of Voynich manuscript is that it was not cracked yet. Solve the mystery and it will be soon forgotten. In the meantime, it is a great challenge for our code-breakers as well as linguists. It is apparent that there are some areas worth deeper investigation. While the script and language of manuscript are still elusive, the search for more data - namely historical - and coordination of findings may eventually bring up new hypotheses, which - as strange as they may sound - could finally point to right direction.


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