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The last 30 Voynich blog posts from the community across the web... Posted on From
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

“Voynich Botanica 1-66”, mysterious beauty products…
Logistically, it might be just too late for Santa to swoosh these under your Christmas tree, but I found out yesterday that Italian perfume house Pinalli has just started selling a range of perfumes and related products under the brand “Voynich Botanica 1-66“. If you hadn’t already guessed (and I must admit it wasn’t immediately … Read More → The post “Voynich Botanica 1-66”, mysterious beauty products… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Tue 18 Dec 2018
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

The Relationship between Grove Words and Line Start Patterns
I’ve written before about Grove Words and what they might be, and also about the curious patterns that occur at the start of lines. There’s an obvious, but unanswered question of how these two phenomena—which both affect the first glyph in a line—might interact. I want to present here, very shortly, partial answer to this […]
Sat 31 Mar 2018
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

Length of [e] Sequences
The character [e] is one of only two characters in the Voynich script which is regularly found repeated. Both [ee] and [eee] occur enough times to be valid sequences. As all three typically occur in the same position within words, they can be generically thought of as ‘[e] sequences’ filling a specific structural slot. Although […]
Wed 27 Sep 2017
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

What can we say about [q]?
I want to quickly sum up my last three posts to give my opinion on [q]. We already know that it doesn’t often occur in labels, but does so in the main text. We also know that it occurs almost always at the start of a word and before [o]. I think what I have […]
Sun 17 Sep 2017
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

Types of [qo] Triplets
My last two posts were about the relative frequencies of words prefixed with [o] and [qo]. Although there is some interesting information in those posts I don’t feel that it is well presented. After having examined and sorted the statistics again I want to propose a neater way of thinking about these words. The core […]
Sun 17 Sep 2017
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

[qo], [o], and the Root Word
In my last post I spoke about the relationship between [q] and [o], given that one character is almost invariably followed by the other. In this post I want to talk about the root word, the one which begins after [qo] and [o] and how it affects the frequency of those prefixes. For the sake […]
Sat 19 Aug 2017
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

The Relationship between [q] and [o]
The character [q] is the most stereotyped character in the Voynich script. It almost always occurs 1) at the beginning of a word, and 2) before the character [o]. It also mostly occurs after a word ending [y]. Thus its immediate context can be guessed in most cases. Some have proposed, due to the character’s […]
Sat 19 Aug 2017
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

A Hidden Phrase?
I want to give an example of the kind of outcome that I hope my research, particularly the Transformation Theory, will eventually bring. It isn’t always easy to explain my goals in the abstract so I think an example will be better. Please note that the following is only an example. It is plausible and […]
Tue 15 Aug 2017
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

Last–First Combinations and Transformation Theory
In May I proposed the Transformation Theory. The theory stated that words are transformed from their original shape through the influence of neighbouring characters and other aspects of the text. I presented a small piece of research regarding words beginning with [o], which provided very basic support for the theory. I now wish to present […]
Mon 14 Aug 2017
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

Some Observations on Bench Gallows (2)
Further to my last post, I wanted to add more observations about bench gallows and they way they work. I also have an embryonic hypothesis to share at the end. Although the position and function of bench gallows within word is very similar to other gallows, the relative proportions are often very different. So while […]
Mon 22 May 2017
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

Some Observations on Bench Gallows (1)
Bench gallows are the characters transcribed in EVA as [ckh, cth, cfh, cph]. They derive their name from their appearance: they look like a gallows character [k, t, f, p] with a bench [ch] draw through it. Within the text bench gallows characters tend to act most similar to their gallows counterparts, occurring in the […]
Sat 20 May 2017
Emma Smith
Agnostic Voynich

A study upon word spaces in the Voynich manuscript
This article is an attempt to answer the most basic of questions: are the spaces between Voynich words arbitrary or purposeful? Despite the essential simplicity of this question, it’s still a burning issue. If we can prove that spaces are arbitrary, then it’s a push towards the theories that the text is encoded or gibberish. […]
Sat 08 Oct 2016
David Jackson
Medieval Musings from David Jackson

On what the Voynich recipe section could be…
The “Recipe” section of the Voynich has many interesting properties, but since it is a purely textual part of the manuscript, it tends to get passed over. Let’s have a quick overview of this section. It is self-contained within the very last quire of the manuscript. It comprises many sequential paragraphs of text, with many […]
Sun 10 Jan 2016
David Jackson
Medieval Musings from David Jackson

First authorised copy of the Voynich has been commissioned by Yale
It seems the Beinecke has authorised the specialist manuscript producers “Siloé” from Spain to make the first ever authorised copy of the Voynich. The project will start in February, when the specialists of the company will be given access for a whole week to make their own photos of the book and get “the feel” […]
Tue 05 Jan 2016
David Jackson
Medieval Musings from David Jackson

Is the Voynich a natural language?
This article is a work in progress. Comments and feedbacks are enthusiastically welcomed! First off, let’s discuss what we mean by a natural language. A natural language is one that has evolved spontaneously amongst a group of people (I include creoles, pidgins and other bricolage in this study) or an artificial language that is capable […]
Wed 04 Nov 2015
David Jackson
Medieval Musings from David Jackson

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