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The last 30 Voynich blog posts from the community across the web... Posted on From
The Secret History of the Catoblepas (Part 1)…
Over the years, a small drawing on page 80v of the Voynich Manuscript has triggered what can only sensibly be described as all manner of Unholy Theory Wars. This drawing has been used as ‘definitive’ proof of the manuscript’s supposed New World origins (i.e. because it is ‘obviously’ an armadillo); or that the manuscript was … Read More → The post The Secret History of the Catoblepas (Part 1)… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Thu 13 Jun 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Jockey J. J. Kean, update…
As you’d expect, I’ve continued trying to find out more about the South Australian jockey J. J. Kean, who I wondered might be the same as the South Australian bookmaker / bookmaker’s clerk John Joseph Keane. The nice people at the Australian Racing Museum (a tip of the padded jockey hat to Alison Raaymakers) very … Read More → The post Jockey J. J. Kean, update… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 09 Jun 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

New Article: Glyph combinations across word breaks in the Voynich manuscript
I’m happy to announce that Marco Ponzi and I have recently had a paper published in Cryptologia titled “Glyph combinations across word breaks in the Voynich manuscript”. The abstract: The text of the Voynich manuscript exhibits relationships between neighboring words that have not formally been explored. The last and first glyphs of adjacent words show […]
Tue 04 Jun 2019
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

Hollow River Cipher update: Île Saint-Jean, Naufrage, League…
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Sat 25 May 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Body Rank Order: Refinement to initial [y]
In my recent post about the new word structure I’ve called Body Rank Order I said that the rule for rank order wasn’t settled and may need further refinement. The rank order should either increase or stay constant from left to right, but I felt that “stay constant” was wrong and not elegant enough as […]
Sun 19 May 2019
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

Gerard Cheshire, Star Wars, space teapots, and Royal Roads…
Gerard Cheshire’s rehashed 2017 Voynich theory has been through a full media life-cycle this week. Though the newspapers happily collaborated in an emergency Caesarean (ah, it’s a girl), they then swiftly pulled the plug (it’s for the best, poor thing), with the last (w)rites surely not far behind. Though you might now expect Cheshire to … Read More → The post Gerard Cheshire, Star Wars, space teapots, and Royal Roads… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 18 May 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Plougastel Inscription Photographs!
Thanks to the kindness (and keen photographic eye) of Cipher Mysteries commenter Françoise who visited the Plougastel-Daoulas site just a few days ago, I’m delighted to pass you all her great set of photographs. As always, feel free to click on them to see a higher-resolution version. Setting the Scene… The Main Carved Rocks “Anddin” … Read More → The post Plougastel Inscription Photographs! appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Mon 13 May 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Matching [o]
The New Word Structure I published last week relies heavily on older research, specifically the idea that [y] and [o] are equivalent, and that [y] can be deleted in some environments. Indeed, since formulating these ideas most of my text research has relied on them, either openly or implicitly. Much of what I believe about […]
Sun 12 May 2019
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

The mysterious stone near Plougastel-Daoulas, continued…
I mentioned this mysterious stone here a few days ago, since when the story has been picked up by many more news outlets, largely justifying the mairie‘s decision to put a 2000 euro price on its head, it would seem. And so I, like probably many others, emailed through a filled-out form to say I’d … Read More → The post The mysterious stone near Plougastel-Daoulas, continued… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Fri 10 May 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

A New Word Structure
A few years ago I published a couple of posts regarding the low level and high level structure of Voynich words. While I think I got a number of things right I have had to revise the low level structure since that post, and now it’s time to revise the word structure completely. I believe […]
Mon 06 May 2019
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

The Perplexing Mystery of the Voynichese ‘Languages’…
Where will the first proper Voynich research breakthrough come from? To my mind, there is a good chance that this will be made by someone taking a fresh look at the mystery of the Voynichese ‘languages’. For even though the notion that Voynichese is a simple, regular language seems to be the default decryption starting … Read More → The post The Perplexing Mystery of the Voynichese ‘Languages’… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 05 May 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

“Le mystère Champollion à Plougastel-Daoulas”…
(Thanks very much to VViews for passing this story my way, much appreciated!) The original French article appeared in Le Télégramme, though behind a paywall (boo!). So here’s my free-and-easy English translation: It is a rock that has intrigued Michel Paugam, councillor of Plougastel (29) for several years. In order to solve its mystery, the … Read More → The post “Le mystère Champollion à Plougastel-Daoulas”… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 04 May 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Words Starting [e]
The glyph [e] doesn’t usually occur at the start (or end) of a word. Depending on the transcription you use the number of tokens beginning [e] might be 150 or fewer. Given that other glyphs contain a stroke which looks identical to [e] it seems there is a strong possibility that the marginal occurrence of […]
Wed 01 May 2019
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

Similarities between [e] and [i]
Although not a subscriber to Cham’s Curve-Line System, in which he proposes that the strokes which look like [e] and [i] are fundamental to the Voynich script and text, there is an underlying nature of those strokes which is unexplained. Consider some basic points, true for both the [e] and [i] glyphs: They can freely […]
Tue 30 Apr 2019
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

A Note on Cyrillic
I tend to stay away from seeking specific languages or scripts to fit the Voynich text, preferring any solution to emerge from our understanding of the text rather than being imposed upon it. But I’ve recently noticed a few interesting points about the Cyrillic script that I wanted to share. Naturally I don’t claim to […]
Sun 28 Apr 2019
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

The late, great Frank Sidebottom has one last cryptic laugh…
2010 marked the untimely death of Chris Sievey, the creator and performer of cult musical act Frank Sidebottom, prompting much sadness from friends and fans. One touching response was the genuinely charming statue erected in Timperley: Chris’s death also prompted a great many people to step forward claiming to have been fans, even though they … Read More → The post The late, great Frank Sidebottom has one last cryptic laugh… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 14 Apr 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Might the Hollow River Cipher be a hoax?
I’ve had an intriguing email from Cipher Mysteries commenter Paul Relkin concerning the Hollow River Cipher. He had thought to contact Linda Outcalt, whose (inverted) photograph of Sterling Ramsay was on the cover of his book “folklore prince edward island”. (Though the book credits only mention Hilda Woolnough.) Ms Outcalt suggested he should instead contact … Read More → The post Might the Hollow River Cipher be a hoax? appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Wed 27 Mar 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

J. J. Kean, jockey…
While trying to dig up more on John Joseph Keane (our mysterious bookmaker and Adelaide nitkeeper), I stumbled across a South Australian jockey by the name of J. J. Kean – or rather, across those few parts of his sporting life that made it into the newspapers of the day. It really shouldn’t take a … Read More → The post J. J. Kean, jockey… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Wed 20 Mar 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

John Joseph Keane, bookmaker’s clerk…
OK, we’ve had a few posts looking for (what turned out to be) Thomas Joseph Kean (1898-1968) from Forestville, who was – I’m now moderately sure – the first of the two men flagged up by Byron Deveson. So now it’s time to move onto John Joseph Keane of Union Street, Dulwich, Adelaide, who was … Read More → The post John Joseph Keane, bookmaker’s clerk… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Tue 19 Mar 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Finally, the rest of the Kean family…
This strand started when Byron Deveson uncovered two interesting Kean(e) men mentioned in 1930s South Australian Police Gazettes. I followed this up with a blog post on Thomas Joseph Kean, born 10th April 1898 in Northgate, Victoria, who I suspected was one of the two. Since then, I have found out more about his family, … Read More → The post Finally, the rest of the Kean family… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 16 Mar 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Thomas Joseph Kean, born 10th April 1898 in Northgate, Victoria…
A few days ago, I was trying to track down three Kean girls who went to school together at CABRA, because at least one of them shared an address with one of the two Kean(e) men whose names Byron Deveson had turned up while diligently trawling through the South Australian Police Gazettes. However, these three … Read More → The post Thomas Joseph Kean, born 10th April 1898 in Northgate, Victoria… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 02 Mar 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Two new Kean(e)s: Thomas John and John Joseph…
The ever-industrious Byron Deveson recently started to attack the fallow ground of Australian police gazettes with his investigatory trowel, and as a consequence has just dug up two intriguing new Kean(e)s for us to track down. #1. Thomas John Kean(e) of Forestville The first interesting Kean(e) that Byron found in the South Australia Police Gazette … Read More → The post Two new Kean(e)s: Thomas John and John Joseph… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Wed 13 Feb 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

The Voynich Manuscript: trying to decipher EVA ‘ch’…
Back in 2006 when I wrote The Curse of the Voynich, I included in the book a whole lot of notes relating to the internal structure of ‘Voynichese’ (i.e. the language, dialect, or manner of writing/encipherment found in the Voynich Manuscript, whichever you happen to feel easiest which). To be clear, I didn’t claim to … Read More → The post The Voynich Manuscript: trying to decipher EVA ‘ch’… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Tue 12 Feb 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

The Somerton Man Baccarat school nitkeeper research thread…
As per my last post on the Somerton Man, I think it’s time we invested a little effort into understanding Melbourne’s baccarat schools, because two anonymous baccarat players claimed that the Somerton Man was a nitkeeper at an illegal baccarat school in Lonsdale Street in Melbourne. Recapping, the following appeared in the Adelaide News (26th … Read More → The post The Somerton Man Baccarat school nitkeeper research thread… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 10 Feb 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Abraham Colorni’s Cryptography…
Diane O’Donovan recently stumbled across a reference to a relatively little-known Italian-Jewish engineer / cryptographer / magician called Abraham Colorni (Abramo Colorni) who was for a short while at Rudolf II’s court: and wondered aloud (in some comments to Cipher Mysteries) what we might learn from his 1593 book on cryptography. “Scotographia etc etc” As … Read More → The post Abraham Colorni’s Cryptography… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 09 Feb 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

The Palermo Cipher
A nice message from “Milite Ignoto” (‘Unknown Soldier’, if your Italian is a little rusty) at a French email address points us all to an interesting postcard cipher sent from Palermo that is currently on display at the Vittoriano Museum in Rome. The twist here is that, rather than the normal enciphered-note-to-a-lover so typical of … Read More → The post The Palermo Cipher appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 02 Feb 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Nick’s non-fiction(-ish) films of 2018
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many good films I’ve seen in the last year that have been based on true stories. (And yes, I am quite aware that “true” and “Hollywood” are uneasy bedfellows at the best of times.) So I thought I’d list them here (along with where I saw them), though in … Read More → The post Nick’s non-fiction(-ish) films of 2018 appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Tue 01 Jan 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

The Voynich Manuscript’s problematic pipes…
In my opinion, the Voynich Manuscript’s nine rosette page has a bit of a problem with its pipes. However, to show you why I think so, I first need to take you on a journey through the rest of the Voynich Manuscript… Q19A containers Because of their visual similarity to the pipe tops, let’s start … Read More → The post The Voynich Manuscript’s problematic pipes… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Mon 31 Dec 2018
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Magnus Pharao Hansen vs the Nahuatl Hydra…
In a recent blog post, anthropologist and linguist Magnus Pharao Hansen takes on the Voynich Nahuatl monster constructed by Tucker, Talbert and Janick. Having written a dissertation “Nahuatl Nation” on “the political roles of the Nahuatl language in Mexico and beyond” in 2016, Hansen sounds like someone well equipped for this particular battle. So what … Read More → The post Magnus Pharao Hansen vs the Nahuatl Hydra… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Wed 26 Dec 2018
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

The Improbable World of Beale Cipher B1…
In many ways, Beale Cipher B1 is a lot like the Zodiac Killer’s Z340 cipher, insofar as they both have what seem to be direct predecessor homophonic ciphertexts (B2 and Z408) that are very publicly solved: yet we seem unable to exploit both ciphertexts’ apparent similarities in both system and presentation to their respective parent. … Read More → The post The Improbable World of Beale Cipher B1… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 22 Dec 2018
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

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