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The last 30 Voynich blog posts from the community across the web... Posted on From
Carl Webb, bridge puzzle solver…
Contract bridge was a fashionable game in the 1930s and 1940s; columns presenting bridge news and puzzles were popular recent additions to newspapers. What was appealing was that bridge problems had a human, social side that, say, chess problems lacked. Bridge columnists ran puzzle competitions for readers not only to solve, but to compete against … Read More → The post Carl Webb, bridge puzzle solver… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 04 Feb 2023
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Update to Cipher Mysteries’ comment policy.
According to the Cipher Mysteries WordPress dashboard, more than 43000 comments have been posted (and approved) here. (Akismet tells me it has deleted more than 690,000 spam comments.) Moderation is a thing I have to do every day, and over the last six months this has got progressively more time-consuming (and boring). As a result, … Read More → The post Update to Cipher Mysteries’ comment policy. appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 21 Jan 2023
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Emanuela Orlandi: Life (& Death?) in London…
Anyone who has seen the recent (2022) Netflix series “Vatican Girl: The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi” (I watched this over Christmas, it’s actually rather good) will know that the story it tells – of how, in 1983, 15-year-old “Vatican Girl” Emanuela Orlandi disappeared – is nothing short of a full-blown mystery. Many decades later, her … Read More → The post Emanuela Orlandi: Life (& Death?) in London… appeared first on Cipher ....
Sun 08 Jan 2023
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Transcript of ABC Australian Story on Somerton Man…
David Morgan has very kindly sent me through a transcript (generated using ChatGPT/Glasp) of the recent ABC “Australian Story” episode on the Somerton Man. I thought it needed a post of its own, so here it is: [00:09] I had no idea about the Somerton Man case. I’d never heard of it. It hadn’t entered … Read More → The post Transcript of ABC Australian Story on Somerton Man… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Fri 06 Jan 2023
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Gladys May Webb and Leslie William Scott…
Commenter John Sanders is convinced that the man at the right-hand-edge of the Webb family photo is Leslie William Scott, husband of Carl Webb’s sister Gladys May. Here are some notes on Mr and Mrs L. W. Scott… Leslie William Scott Born in 1895, he spent 4½ years as an apprentice printer working for his … Read More → The post Gladys May Webb and Leslie William Scott… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 01 Jan 2023
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Voynich Manuscript: Q20 (in-)homogeneity and BAAFU…
Over at voynich.ninja, there’s an interesting recent thread on the (in-)homogeneity of Voynichese, i.e. how consistent (or inconsistent) with itself the Voynich Manuscript’s text is (either locally or globally). Given that I have been working on Q20 recently, I thought it might be interesting to take a brief look at that quire through this particular … Read More → The post Voynich Manuscript: Q20 (in-)homogeneity and BAAFU… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Fri 30 Dec 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

What happened to Voynich Q8 and Q14?
In a recent post, I started trying to list out Q20 order-related microtheories, but got somewhat sidetracked by the microtheory that f58 (with its ‘Scribe 3’ starred paragraphs) may have preceded Q20 (which, for the most part, is also made up of ‘Scribe 3’ starred paragraphs). However, this whole idea is closely linked to the … Read More → The post What happened to Voynich Q8 and Q14? appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Thu 29 Dec 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Dating the Webbs’ family photo…
In a previous post, I wondered whether the young blonde guy that the family identified (as part of a recent ABC documentary) was indeed Carl Webb, or whether he might instead have been Carl Webb’s nephew Charles Richard Webb. It all comes down to a cluster of family photos that appears to have been taken … Read More → The post Dating the Webbs’ family photo… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Wed 28 Dec 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Merry Christmas 2022 to all my Cipher Mysteries readers!
For me, 2022 has been a long (and at times grueling) twelve months, as I’m sure it has been for many others. But even if (like me) you felt you’d aged a decade in a single year, here we now are, nearly at the end of it all. And so all I can do is … Read More → The post Merry Christmas 2022 to all my Cipher Mysteries readers! appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 25 Dec 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Quire 20, order from chaos… (Part 3: Microtheories)
In Part 1, I looked at lots of different types of evidence that each may (or indeed may not) say something about what happened to Quire 20’s bifolios to leave them in their final nesting order. So, what are the different microtheories these suggest? (What I call “microtheories” are attempts to reconstruct microhistories (e.g. about … Read More → The post Quire 20, order from chaos… (Part 3: Microtheories) appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 24 Dec 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Quire 20, order from chaos… (Part 2: Suggestions)
In Part 1, I collected together a whole load of evidence relating to Q20’s bifolio order that previous analyses had proposed. I thought I’d add a post suggesting other analyses that haven’t yet been done. Who knows, maybe someone will give one or more of these a go? Vellum thickness The class of gadget you … Read More → The post Quire 20, order from chaos… (Part 2: Suggestions) appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Thu 22 Dec 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Quire 20, order from chaos… (Part 1: Evidence)
I thought it would be a good idea to post up as many of the different research threads relating to Quire 20’s (‘Q20’) original bifolio nesting / ordering in a single place as I could. However, be warned that there are… quite a lot of them. Ornate Gallows There is only a single ornate (swirly) … Read More → The post Quire 20, order from chaos… (Part 1: Evidence) appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Tue 20 Dec 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Attack the Block / Quire 20 (Part 3)…
After all the factuality of Part 1 and the opinionicity of Part 2, it’s time to actually start attacking Quire 20’s block. The issue of how exactly to attack remains tricky, but let’s give it a go and see how far we get. Ditto? In part 2, I argued for the presence of some quite … Read More → The post Attack the Block / Quire 20 (Part 3)… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Wed 14 Dec 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Attack the Block / Quire 20 (Part 2)…
In Part 1, I tried to foreground everything you’d need to know about Quire 20 and BnF Lat 6741 in order to make it possible to try to systematically match their two respective recipe structures. I also tried to put my own thoughts and assessments to one side for this Part 2 post. So let’s … Read More → The post Attack the Block / Quire 20 (Part 2)… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Mon 12 Dec 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Attack the Block / Quire 20 (Part 1)…
No, I’m not blogging about a Joe Cornish / John Boyega medieval mash-up, but about applying my block paradigm attack approach to the Voynich Manuscript’s Quire 20. This is a “known plaintext attack“: in non-crypto-bro English, it means ‘working out whether a given text is (somehow) the plaintext of the last section of the Voynich … Read More → The post Attack the Block / Quire 20 (Part 1)… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 11 Dec 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

“My Name Is Charles”… Charles Richard Webb?
Since ABC’s recent “My Name Is Charles” documentary (in its “Australian Stories” strand), I’ve been sitting back trying to make sense of it all. On the one hand, the film makers did a good job of bringing a human side to the whole “Carl/Charles/Charlie Webb is the Somerton Man” story, while grabbing the best bits … Read More → The post “My Name Is Charles”… Charles Richard Webb? appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 03 Dec 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

A quick note on Lisa Fagin Davis’ Voynich presentation…
I hope everyone who attended the Voynich Conference 2022 hosted online by the University of Malta enjoyed the presentations and the Q&As. In Lisa Fagin Davis’ final presentation, she mentioned her recent theory that p/f were in fact ke/te: and mentioned that she’d thought this up, but then found it on Cipher Mysteries. If you … Read More → The post A quick note on Lisa Fagin Davis’ Voynich presentation… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Thu 01 Dec 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Voynich Conference 2022 about to begin…
Like (hopefully a fair few) other Voynicheros, I’ve ponied up my 50 euros for the 2022 online Voynich Conference being hosted by the University of Malta in the next few days. One of the fields in the application form asked for my university or institution: I put down “Cipher Mysteries”, on the grounds that it … Read More → The post Voynich Conference 2022 about to begin… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Mon 28 Nov 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Dorothy Jean Webb and Geoffrey Arthur Lockyer…?
A very intriguing Somerton Man-related email arrived here today from CM commenter & researcher Angela. In her quest to find out a bit more of what happened to Dorothy Jean Webb, she decided to pay the nice people at South Australian Genealogy & Heraldry Society to do some additional research for her, and wants to … Read More → The post Dorothy Jean Webb and Geoffrey Arthur Lockyer…? appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Tue 08 Nov 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Voynich novels to give away…
I’ve been busy up in the loft, having a somewhat-overdue tidying session there. But rather than give a load of books to the charity shop (my default response), I wondered if any of my Cipher Mysteries readers would like to have some? Voynich Novels As you may know, I maintained my big fat list of … Read More → The post Voynich novels to give away… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 16 Oct 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Somerton Man: the Webb v Webb divorce files…
Frustrated by our collective inability to access the divorce papers that Dorothy Jean Webb attempted to serve on her (by then late) husband Carl Webb, Cipher Mysteries commenter Behrooz decided to write to the Honorable Chief Justice Anne Ferguson of Victoria. And – rather wonderfully – his polite (and quietly persuasive) request for the two … Read More → The post Somerton Man: the Webb v Webb divorce files… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Wed 12 Oct 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Roswell and Oak Ridge?
Nick Redfern’s provocative and interesting Roswell book “Body Snatchers in the Desert” (2005) starts with a chapter outlining a conversation he had with a lady (born 1922): while working at Oak Ridge in 1947, she claimed to have seen the ‘aliens’ found at Roswell. However, she said, these were not extra-terrestrials, but were instead Chinese … Read More → The post Roswell and Oak Ridge? appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Tue 27 Sep 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Nicolas Fabri de Peiresc (1580-1637)…
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Tue 27 Sep 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Project Mogul in NARA…
Thanks to a response I received from Jason Atkinson at History Hub, I’ve managed to find Project Mogul R&D files at NARA – though these aren’t (yet) online, they do at least exist, which is a good starting point. Oh, and I thought I’d include a quick log here of the other NARA files I’ve … Read More → The post Project Mogul in NARA… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 25 Sep 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Kevin Alexander D’Arcy – Bute or Boort?
Trying to work out what happened to Dorothy Jean “Doff” Webb (nee Robertson), I was told a few weeks back that after getting divorced (in absentia) from Carl Webb, Doff’s subsequent partner was Kevin D’Arcy. However, even though I can see that a Kevin Alexander D’Arcy is included in various private family trees online, nobody … Read More → The post Kevin Alexander D’Arcy – Bute or Boort? appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Wed 21 Sep 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Carl Webb – Bromby Street, South Yarra…
When in October 1951 Carl Webb’s wife filed a divorce petition (apparently not knowing of his 1948 demise on/near Somerton Beach), it listed Webb’s address as “formerly of Bromby-street, South Yarra, but now of parts unknown”. The 1942 electoral rolls then helped us narrow this to 63 Bromby Street, with small ads in The Argus … Read More → The post Carl Webb – Bromby Street, South Yarra… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 18 Sep 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

When Project Mogul met Project Helios…
Even though I’ve covered Project Helios’ fall to Earth [sorry!] in previous posts (much supported by David DeVorkin’s detailed account in “Race to the Stratosphere”), because of its close links to Project Mogul there are also external mentions of Helios in (for example) Albert Crary’s journal. Recapping: even though Project Helios’ maiden manned balloon flight … Read More → The post When Project Mogul met Project Helios… appeared first ....
Fri 16 Sep 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Project Mogul’s “Alamogordo II” phase…
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Thu 15 Sep 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

The Roswell Children and the Dee Proctor site…
The story of what happened at Roswell is usually told in terms of two primary sites – the Foster Ranch site near Corona (where Mack Brazel and Dee Proctor found unearthly debris), and a site north of Roswell (where passing field archaeologists found a metallic ‘pod’ with four strange bodies, one still alive). However, geographically … Read More → The post The Roswell Children and the Dee Proctor site… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Wed 07 Sep 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

This Somerton Man news cycle seems to have peaked…
Neither Carl Webb’s family nor his wife’s family seems to have much of a clue about him; Trove and the NAA have yielded relatively little; and a (probable) two-year spell at Swinburne Junior Technical College gave us a photo id that remains more than a bit unclear. Barring any sudden new revelations (I’m not holding … Read More → The post This Somerton Man news cycle seems to have peaked… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Tue 30 Aug 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

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