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The last 30 Voynich blog posts from the community across the web... Posted on From
Guy de Cointet’s “A Captain From Portugal” (1972)
French artist Guy de Cointet (1934–1983) once made a series of enciphered artworks, one of which found itself uploaded to imgur (by user “drpoopandpee”, *sigh*) in 2020, triggering a brief flurry of interest on Reddit from user Doc_Skeef. Once Klaus Schmeh posted about it, it didn’t take his readers long to realise that it was … Read More → The post Guy de Cointet’s “A Captain From Portugal” (1972) appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Tue 26 Apr 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Patrick O’Neil, and the interwar hunt for Mauritian treasure (Part 3)…
In Part 1 and Part 2, I looked at how early British ‘geophys’ technology and Mauritian treasure hunting dreams converged in the 1920s. But once the Liverpool firm of W. Mansfield & Co had been persuaded by the Klondyke Syndicate to jump into the Bernardin Nageon de l’Estang treasure-hunting fire, I think it’s safe to … Read More → The post Patrick O’Neil, and the interwar hunt for Mauritian treasure (Part 3)… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Mon 25 Apr 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Patrick O’Neil, and the interwar hunt for Mauritian treasure (Part 2)…
In Part 1, we saw the outlines of how technology converged with Mauritian treasure hunting mania in the 1920s. But what was that technology, and how ultimately did it link in with Mauritius? “Listening for Coal” The person behind the sounding technology was a Mr W. Mansfield, and the story behind it appeared (very appropriately, … Read More → The post Patrick O’Neil, and the interwar hunt for Mauritian treasure (Part 2)… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 24 Apr 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Patrick O’Neil, and the interwar hunt for Mauritian treasure (Part 1)…
I’ve had some interesting emails recently from Patrick O’Neil, who I’m very pleased to report has picked up my long-dropped baton on Mauritian treasure hunting in the period between the two world wars. By uncovering a number of sources I was unaware of (and with only minor assists from me), Patrick has started to reconstruct … Read More → The post Patrick O’Neil, and the interwar hunt for Mauritian treasure (Part 1)… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 23 Apr 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

New article on Moustier’s cryptograms in EOS science magazine…
I’ve just had some nice emails from Belgian writer Dirk Huylebrouck, whose article on the mysterious cryptograms in Moustier church is (today) appearing in popular Belgian science magazine EOS. Dirk’s article has some great photographs, and even includes some insights from codebreaker Jarl van Eycke (whom readers here may know as jarlve and/or from the … Read More → The post New article on Moustier’s cryptograms in EOS science magazine… appeared first on Cipher ....
Tue 19 Apr 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Voynich Paper Suggestion #5: Raking IR images of f116v
Here’s a suggestion for a Voynich Manuscript paper that I think might well be revealing: taking raking IR images of f116v. But why would anyone want to do that? Multispectral imaging Since about 2006, I’ve been encouraging people to take multispectral images of the Voynich Manuscript, i.e. to capture images of the manuscript at a … Read More → The post Voynich Paper Suggestion #5: Raking IR images of f116v appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 17 Apr 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Voynich Paper Suggestion #4: Unpicking the k/t gallows
Anyone who spends time looking at Voynichese should quickly see that, rare characters aside, its glyphs fall into several different “families” / patterns: q[o] e/ch/sh aiin/aiir ar/or/al/ol/am/om d/y …and the four “gallows characters” k/t/f/p. The members of these families not only look alike, they often also function alike: it’s very much the case that glyphs … Read More → The post Voynich Paper Suggestion #4: Unpicking the k/t gallows appeared first ....
Thu 07 Apr 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Voynich Paper Suggestion #3: LIBNPIG Statistics
It’s well-known that the distribution of Voynichese page-initial (and indeed paragraph-initial) glyphs is, unlike the rest of the text, strongly dominated by gallows characters. But what is less widely known is that something really fishy is going on with the distribution of all the other line-initial glyphs too. As far as I know, nobody has … Read More → The post Voynich Paper Suggestion #3: LIBNPIG Statistics appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 03 Apr 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Voynich paper suggestion #1: DNA gathering analysis
If you hadn’t already heard, a Voynich Manuscript-themed virtual conference has recently been announced for 30th November to 1st December 2022: and its organisers have put out a call for papers. Me, I have at least twenty ideas for topics, all of which I think could/should/would move the state of research forward. But my plan … Read More → The post Voynich paper suggestion #1: DNA gathering analysis appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 02 Apr 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Voynich paper suggestion #2: Visualising Currier A vs Currier B
Here’s a second paper suggestion for the virtual Voynich conference being held later this year: this focuses on creatively visualising the differences between Currier A and Currier B. A vs B, what? “Currier A” and “Currier B” are the names Voynich researchers use to denote the main two categories of Voynichese text, in honour of … Read More → The post Voynich paper suggestion #2: Visualising Currier A vs Currier B appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 02 Apr 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

The Kendall Family…
Can I ask for a little help? I turns out that my archive-related skills are as good as useless when it comes to locating the living: and I’d really like to contact members of the Kendall family to ask them about Captain Charles Hansford Kendall (1904-1949). I don’t know whether either of his two sons … Read More → The post The Kendall Family… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 29 Jan 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Ukmyh Kipzy Puern – “Say Ah-Ah-h”
While continuing my trawl for all things to do with Captain Charles Hansford Kendall USN (1904-1949), I found (courtesy of the Social Register, Philadelphia, 1949) that “Kendall Capt Chas H-USN” died in a Naval Hospital ( (Philadelphia’s swizzy Art Deco-styled US Naval Hospital, demolished in 2001) on 26th August 1949. I also found his (brief) … Read More → The post Ukmyh Kipzy Puern – “Say Ah-Ah-h” appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Wed 26 Jan 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Project Helios, J. Gordon Vaeth, David DeVorkin, and the Smithsonian…
It turns out that I’m far from the only person to have dived headlong down the Project Helios rabbit-hole. While reading through ballooninghistory.com’s “Who’s Who” pages of balloon-related people (originally compiled by Robert Recks), I found J. Gordon Vaeth’s entry on the V page. s: Officer in the U.S.Navy, LTA Command. l: 1947-50, FAI-Balloon Commission; … Read More → The post Project Helios, J. Gordon Vaeth, David DeVorkin, and the Smithsonian… ....
Sun 23 Jan 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

On Balloons and Brick Walls…
As per various recent posts here, I’ve been trying to find out about a 1947 US experimental military balloon accident, as recounted by Duke Gildenberg in Craig Ryan’s “The Pre-Astronauts” (pp. 20-21). Back then, it seems to me that the only manned experimental balloon was the one being built for the Office of Naval Research’s … Read More → The post On Balloons and Brick Walls… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 22 Jan 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

When Project Helios briefly became “Project Durante”…
To my great surprise, the copy of J. Gordon Vaeth’s (2005) “They Sailed The Skies” that I ordered from the US (and hence wasn’t expecting for a few weeks) arrived today. It’s a colourful, fascinating, and very well-illustrated book (and I thoroughly recommend it). Yet I was most interested in his final “Epilogue” chapter that … Read More → The post When Project Helios briefly became “Project Durante”… appeared first on Cipher ....
Mon 10 Jan 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Jeannette Piccard, Harris F. Smith, Duke Gildenberg, Robert Gilruth…
The occasional gentle thunk sound of a book landing on my doormat has of late been replaced by a near-continuous clunking sound, as my second hand book addiction has changed gears. It feels like I now know just about everything anyone sensible would eer want to know about Unit 731, Fu-go balloons, the Roswell Incident, … Read More → The post Jeannette Piccard, Harris F. Smith, Duke Gildenberg, Robert Gilruth… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 09 Jan 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Trying to ask good questions about Currier A and Currier B…
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Sat 08 Jan 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Towards a history of US Military ballooning, 1945-1950…
In late 1944 to early 1945, America was assailed by 9000+ Japanese Fu-go constant-altitude balloon bombs flying high over the Pacific, the mulberry-papered ICBMs of the era. Though their explosions caused few deaths and little physical damage, the US Military was terrified that these balloons might instead be repurposed to carry Bacteriological Warfare payloads. Furthermore, … Read More → The post Towards a history of US Military ballooning, 1945-1950… appeared first on Cipher ....
Sat 01 Jan 2022
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Pacific military hospitals in early 1945…
As part of the process of trying to identify / eliminate small Pacific islands taken by the Americans in early 1945, I’ve been reading loads of books and articles, while grinding through all manner of documentary evidence. So far, the single thought that strikes me most is that anyone ill or wounded encountered by US … Read More → The post Pacific military hospitals in early 1945… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Wed 29 Dec 2021
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Looking forward, ahead & up…
Even at the best of times, cipher mysteries are unruly little buggers to work with: never mind being surrounded by a Churchillian “bodyguard of lies”, some seem to have whole brigades of apologists, treasure hunters, theorists, cultural appropriators, postmodernists, alt-historians, Redditors, YouTube opinionators, and the rest. It can often feel as though the bare truth … Read More → The post Looking forward, ahead & up… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Mon 27 Dec 2021
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Japanese War Crimes, where to start looking?
As far as the Truk Incident war crimes (as outlined in the previous post) go, I now have a clear focus on what I’d like to find out – which is whether the Imperial Japanese Navy’s war crimes against American prisoners of war in Truk were accompanied (as Nick Redfern’s “Black Widow” source seems to … Read More → The post Japanese War Crimes, where to start looking? appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 19 Dec 2021
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

The Roswell Incident: cross-referencing the Black Widow…
Following my recent posts about how the 1947 Roswell Incident strongly fits the template for a cipher mystery, I’ve moved on to wondering how arch-Ufologist Nick Redfern’s profoundly non-Ufological theory (where, according to his “Black Widow” witness, the debris found in Roswell was actually caused by the crash of some kind of high-altitude balloon experiment … Read More → The post The Roswell Incident: cross-referencing the Black Widow… appeared first ....
Sat 18 Dec 2021
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

The Truk Incident…
Following on from my last post, this post started out with me wondering what I could find out about Japanese hospitals in Saipan and Tianan, before submerging in rather deeper waters at Truk Island. Saipan Hospital The English Wikipedia entry on the Saipan Byoin (Japanese Hospital in Saipan) may be short and suitably enigmatic, but … Read More → The post The Truk Incident… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 18 Dec 2021
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

The Roswell Incident, Nick Redfern, Nuremberg Trials, Fu-Go Balloon Bombs, Noborito Laboratory, and Bamboo…?
I always find it fascinating when someone approaches a topic that I thought was a carcass stripped of every scrap of flesh, and yet from it manages to conjure up an entirely fresh-looking meat feast. Even though there is – of course – a danger that they simply dreamed it all up, there’s also the … Read More → The post The Roswell Incident, Nick Redfern, Nuremberg Trials, Fu-Go Balloon Bombs, Noborito Laboratory, and Bamboo…? appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Wed 01 Dec 2021
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

The Roswell ‘Alien Alphabet’: What Happened Next?
Given that many different witness accounts mentioned that the ‘beams’ found initially at the Roswell debris site had unreadable writing on them, this would surely seem to be a sensible starting-point for further cipher mystery research. We then, as I posted before, have three separate reports suggesting that the US Military took control of the … Read More → The post The Roswell ‘Alien Alphabet’: What Happened Next? appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 21 Nov 2021
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Was the 1947 Roswell Incident a cipher mystery?
If you’re a little late to the party, a “cipher mystery” is a piece of old writing that we unexpectedly can’t make sense of. But the tricky thing is this: as with many historical objects, an early opinion on a cipher mystery given with sufficient gravitas or authority can hugely skew people’s subsequent perception of … Read More → The post Was the 1947 Roswell Incident a cipher mystery? appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 14 Nov 2021
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

“Roswell: First Witness” and ciphers…
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Sun 07 Nov 2021
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Timeline of the “Tamam Shud” slip…
I thought it would be good to collect my notes on the Tamam Shud slip together in a single post, hopefully this will give a little clarity. 1st December 1948, 6am Man found dead on Somerton Beach. Unsurprisingly, nobody thinks to stick an inquisitive finger into the dead man’s trouser fob pocket, so the tiny … Read More → The post Timeline of the “Tamam Shud” slip… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 23 Oct 2021
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Edwin Morgan’s “The Computer’s First Code Poem” (1968)…
Here’s a little cipher (semi-)mystery for you. The 20th century poet Edwin Morgan was so taken by the emerging world of computers that in 1949 he started collecting together files / scrapbooks of cybernetics clippings and notes. Given that, once Morgan began his concrete poetry phase in 1962, it was somehow natural that he would … Read More → The post Edwin Morgan’s “The Computer’s First Code Poem” (1968)… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 10 Oct 2021
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Charles Gazzam Hurd and the Somerton Man…?
A month ago, I exchanged a series of emails with a nice – though somewhat retiring – correspondent, who suggested that I might consider whether the Somerton Man was in fact Charles Gazzam Hurd. Here’s Hurd and his son (Charles Gazzam Hurd Jr): The Disappeared The last we know of Hurd’s life (from The Doe … Read More → The post Charles Gazzam Hurd and the Somerton Man…? appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 19 Sep 2021
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

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