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The last 30 Voynich blog posts from the community across the web... Posted on From
Pavia MS Aldini 488: “Collectio de Balneis”…
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Sun 01 Dec 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Voynich Manuscript: Letter Contact Tables
A recent post on voynich.ninja brought up the subject of differences / similarities between Voynichese words starting with EVA ch and those starting with EVA sh. But this got me thinking more generally about the difference between ch and sh in Voynichese (i.e. in any position), and even more generally about letter contact tables. Problems … Read More → The post Voynich Manuscript: Letter Contact Tables appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 24 Nov 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Dorabella Cipher: timeline, texts, and Keith Massey…
There are plenty of things about Edward Elgar’s Dorabella Cipher that rarely appear in the countless gosh-wow sites that feature it on the web. And arguably one of the biggest of these is its timeline. 1886: The Liszt Fragment The earliest instance we know of where Elgar used the ‘Dorabella’ shapes to write something down … Read More → The post Dorabella Cipher: timeline, texts, and Keith Massey… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Fri 15 Nov 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess, Princess Ivanovich…
On board the S.S. Ormonde (at the same time as both Triantafillos Balutis and Stelios Balutis) in February 1923, there was a very special passenger: Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess, Princess Ivanovich. Let’s just say I probably won’t ever get the chance to write another blog post with even half as many references to … Read More → The post Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess, Princess Ivanovich… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 09 Nov 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Chloe Delancy (Thomas Beale Jr’s Mother)…
Given that I’ve paid my findmypast subscription (and that money’s not coming back any time soon), I thought it might be interesting to look at the records it holds for Thomas Beale Jr‘s mother Chloe Delancy / Delancey. We know a fair bit about Thomas Beale Sr, so why not find out more about his … Read More → The post Chloe Delancy (Thomas Beale Jr’s Mother)… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Thu 07 Nov 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

More about Triantafillos Balutis…
I thought I had gone through pretty much all the sources available online to find out about Triantafillos Balutis, the Melbourne waiter who the PRO Victoria flagged as possibly being the mysterious “Balutz” connected to Christos Paizes’ Lonsdale Street baccarat club. But, thanks to the almost endless spelling variations of his names, it turns out … Read More → The post More about Triantafillos Balutis… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 02 Nov 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

A helpful response from PRO Victoria…
I just received this very helpful email from the Public Record Office Victoria, in response to a request I put in a few days ago to have a look at the Victoria Police Gazette 1945, 1946, and the two photographic supplements covering that period: The Victorian Police Gazette (1853 – 1971) is not actually a … Read More → The post A helpful response from PRO Victoria… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Fri 01 Nov 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

The “Previously Fined Nitkeeper” Hypothesis…
OK, stripping the Somerton Man’s story back, I’m still minded to believe that the Somerton Man was some kind of crim: and that the most credible piece of external evidence we have as to his identity is that in early 1949 two Melbourne baccarat players recalled he had been a nitkeeper at a Lonsdale Street … Read More → The post The “Previously Fined Nitkeeper” Hypothesis… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Mon 28 Oct 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Finally, John Joseph Keane…
As Derek Abbott liked to point out (particularly when he was trying to raise Somerton Man crowdfunding from Americans), we can easily imagine the Somerton Man having some US connection. This was not just from the distinctly American feather stitching on his coat, but also from his Juicy Fruit chewing gum, probably a habit picked … Read More → The post Finally, John Joseph Keane… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 20 Oct 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

The Somerton Man: the search for John Joseph Keane continues…
For some time, I have been looking at the Somerton Man case from the point of view of tangible evidence. For a start, the much-repeated belief that he was unidentified simply doesn’t hold true: the suitcase that he (without any real doubt) left at the railway station contained three items with the name “KEANE” on … Read More → The post The Somerton Man: the search for John Joseph Keane continues… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Tue 15 Oct 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Veronica Mary Keane of 63 Jetty Road, Glenelg…
While (yet again) raking through Trove a while back for anything to do with the missing bookmaker’s clerk (and gambling nitkeeper) John Joseph Kean(e), I found two mentions (here and here) of a May 1948 divorce in a Sydney court between J. J. Kean and V. M. Kean in front of Mr. Justice Clancy in … Read More → The post Veronica Mary Keane of 63 Jetty Road, Glenelg… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 12 Oct 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Ethel Voynich talk in Dublin…
Anyone in Dublin this week with even a passing interest in Ethel Voynich could surely do no better than drop by Dr Angela Byrne’s talk: Ethel Voynich, Transnational Revolutionary at 5.30pm to 6.30pm on Thursday 10th October 2019, at EPIC (The Irish Emigration Museum), Custom House Quay, D01 T6K4 Dublin 1. And did I mention … Read More → The post Ethel Voynich talk in Dublin… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Mon 07 Oct 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Jack Gordon Keane of Broken Hill…?
While yet again raking through Trove for bookmakers’ clerk John Joseph Keane, I found another Keane: Jack Gordon Keane of Broken Hill. Back in 1916, this J. G. Keane was prosecuted by Mr B. J. Kearney, who (more than a decade later) represented John Joseph Keane in court (which may be a coincidence). Jack Gordon … Read More → The post Jack Gordon Keane of Broken Hill…? appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 05 Oct 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Finally, some proper (Ethel) Voynich fashion…
The normal scenario for Voynich fashion is for some short-run digital-print textile house (whether making T-shirts, hoodies or whatever) to put some nice evocative Voynich image on the stuff they sell. You know, on sites such as RedBubble and the like. Teito T-shirts And this is basically the deal with classy Japanese T-shirt company Teito … Read More → The post Finally, some proper (Ethel) Voynich fashion… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Tue 17 Sep 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

François Parmentier’s Plougastel-Daoulas dossier…
I was recently sent a fascinating (and, at 88 pages, substantial) dossier by François Parmentier on the Plougastel-Daoulas inscriptions. It’s a very pleasant read (François is much to be applauded), and has pretty much everything you might need to bring you up to speed on the mystery surrounding these strange inscriptions. He also examines many … Read More → The post François Parmentier’s Plougastel-Daoulas dossier… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 14 Sep 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Revealed! The Voynich Manuscript and The Secret Order of the Seagull…
If asked who the greatest historical codebreaker was, would I point to Jim Reeds, Jim Gillogly, or even William Friedman? No! That accolade would surely have to go to Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon. Like, why? Well, despite the twin handicaps of (a) being accompanied by much younger, sexy sidekicks, for whom his awkwardly lustful old-guy … Read More → The post Revealed! The Voynich Manuscript and The Secret Order of the Seagull… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sat 31 Aug 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Idea: publishing Voynich research via preprint servers…
As I’ve said on Cipher Mysteries numerous times, I’ve been finding that my Voynich research is getting harder and harder to publish as blog posts. There’s a long stream of reasons: for example, research into the Voynich Manuscript’s zodiac roundels drawings… …often overlaps existing research literature …often relies on a literature fragmented across different languages … Read More → The post Idea: publishing Voynich research via preprint servers… ....
Fri 16 Aug 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Two pages wanted from a Frank Fürbeth book… :-/
I’ve recently been researching 15th century copies of Johannes Hartlieb’s German translation of Andrea Capellanus’ “De Amore“. My plan is to try to work out if any includes a predecessor of the hand-crossing drawing that appeared in the three 1482/1484 incunabula… …which, if you recall, is the drawing that Koen Gheuens cleverly suggested might well … Read More → The post Two pages wanted from a Frank Fürbeth book… :-/ appeared first on ....
Sun 11 Aug 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Voynich Aries and Greedy Goats…
There are now, courtesy of Koen Gheuens and others, numerous web pages exploring possible / probable connections between the Voynich Manuscript’s zodiac roundels and 15th century scribal workshops in German Alsace (most notably that of Diebold Lauber). In one of my own contributions to this (small) canon, I discussed the McKell calendar, an astrological / … Read More → The post Voynich Aries and Greedy Goats… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Fri 19 Jul 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Rodrigues Pirate Treasure: Has The Lady Vanished?
Though the political wrangling and in-fighting over the recently discovered pirate treasure has (to nobody’s surprise) continued in Mauritius and Rodrigues, more tangible details of the find have begun to creep out. For one, the location of the cavern (‘grotto’) is now widely reported as being in the Vallée St François in the East of … Read More → The post Rodrigues Pirate Treasure: Has The Lady Vanished? appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Tue 16 Jul 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Pirate treasure found in Rodrigues, administration at war with itself…
Back in the 18th century when Île de France was owned by France, the French gave the island their laws. And when the British took it over (and renamed it ‘Mauritius’) at the start of the 19th century, they left (as I understand it, please correct me if I’m wrong) almost all existing laws intact. … Read More → The post Pirate treasure found in Rodrigues, administration at war with itself… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Mon 08 Jul 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

John Stanislaus Keane, murdered Sydney bookmaker…
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Sun 07 Jul 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Strapper Jimmy Kean, Royal Gem, and a love story…
In a recent post, I traced Jim Kean all the way to January 1949, as he headed off to America accompanying top-performing racehorse Royal Gem to a new home in America. Royal Gem had just been bought for 150,000 USD (a very significant sum at the time) by Mr. Warner L. Jones Jr., owner of … Read More → The post Strapper Jimmy Kean, Royal Gem, and a love story… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Fri 28 Jun 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

What if Sergio Toresella was (sort of) right all along?
I am referring, of course, to the opinion (put forward by the highly respected herbal historian Sergio Toresella) that the Voynich Manuscript was in some way connected with the family of “alchemical herbal” manuscripts. Might Sergio have been basically right about this, but not in the way he expected? If you weren’t actually taking notes … Read More → The post What if Sergio Toresella was (sort of) right all along? appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Tue 18 Jun 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

Links to scans of Alchemical Herbals…
Given that I couldn’t find any page on the Internet providing links to scans of alchemical herbals, I thought it would be good to try to fill that gap. Not as many as I hoped turned out to be fully accessible, but there are still a good number. The basic list I used was the … Read More → The post Links to scans of Alchemical Herbals… appeared first on Cipher Mysteries.
Sun 16 Jun 2019
Nick Pelling
Cipher Mysteries

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

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