Scientists crack mysterious "Copiale Cipher"
2011-10-29 0:00

By GrrlScientist | Guardian.co.uk


Some people will go to any length to read a book. Kevin Knight, a senior research scientist and fellow at the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California (USC), was intrigued by an 18th century document known as The Copiale Cipher. He was curious about it because no one can read it.

Named for one of just two non-coded inscriptions in the document, this mysterious manuscript is 105 pages long and is bound in gold and green brocade paper. The manuscript consists of roughly 75,000 characters. These characters are handwritten very neatly but consist of a perplexing mix of upper- and lower-case Roman letters, along with a large assortment of more abstract symbols (see sample pages). In total, the Cipher contains 90 distinct characters, including 26 unaccented Roman letters. Adding to the confusion is the lack of spacing between words.


Pages from the Copiale Cipher. Source



The beginning of the cipher, uncoded (ACL)


Dr Knight, who primarily conducts research in computational linguistics and machine translation, doesn’t have much experience in cryptography. But undeterred, he began collaborating this year with two Swedish linguists, Beata Megyesi and Christiane Schaefer of Uppsala University, with the goal to decipher The Copiale Cipher.

After a few dead-ends, the team realised that the Roman characters designated spaces between words whilst the abstract symbols contained the actual information. They also discovered that a colon indicated that the previous consonant is duplicated. After they predicted that the Cipher was an encryption of the German language and then subjected the Cipher to a word-frequency analysis, things quickly fell into place. The team could finally read the text of the Cipher.

Dr Knight and his colleagues found that The Copiale Cipher describes the rituals and some of the political ideals of a German secret society from the 1730s. They also learned that this society was fascinated by eye surgery and ophthalmology, although none of its members were practitioners.

But why should we care about a dusty old book that no one could read that was written by members of a German secret society?

"This opens up a window for people who study the history of ideas and the history of secret societies", says Dr Knight. He cites several modern examples of challenging ciphers, such as the communications from the still-unidentified Zodiac Killer to the California police in the 1960s and 1970s, and the Kryptos sculpture, located on grounds of the C.I.A. headquarters in the United States, which has been only partly decoded.

Dr Knight also points out that there are other such ancient enciphered texts, particularly the famous Voynich Manuscript, a 240-page volume that has confounded cryptographers for centuries. This document was recently dated back to the early 1400s.

"There are these books and ancient languages of real historical value that contain historical information that we just can’t get out yet, and that’s of interest to a lot of people," Dr Knight explains in the video interview embedded below. For example, historians think that secret societies played a role in revolutions, but their importance is not known at this time because so many documents are enciphered.

Read the full article at: guardian.co.uk



Video from: YouTube.com

Text Scans of the Copiale Cipher



Also tune into:

Wayne Herschel - The Jordanian Codices

Wayne Herschel - Masonic Parallel Bible & Ezekiel’s Wheel

Wayne Herschel - The Forbidden Star Map & Masonic Tracing Board

Wayne Herschel - The Hidden Records

Nick Pelling - Deciphering of the Mysterious Voynich Manuscript

Nick Pelling - The Voynich Manuscript, Alan Turing and Ciphers

Terry Melanson - Perfectibilists, The 18th Century Bavarian Order of the Illuminati

Robert Newman - The Mozart Myth

Wayne Herschel - The Forbidden Star Map & Masonic Tracing Board





Related Articles
The Copiale Cipher Research Paper (PDF)
The Rosslyn Stave Angel - Music Cipher (Video)
Experts trying to decipher ancient language
Occult of Personality - T Allen Greenfield and the Secret Cipher (Audio)
Deciphering of earliest Semitic text reveals talk of snakes and spells
Experts think Breivik’s manifesto contains secret code
Nature’s hidden prime number code
Future Code: Blast from the Past...
The Jordanian Codices Decoded?
Roman Gladiator’s Gravestone Decoded: Describes Fatal Foul
Mysterious Anthon Transcript
The St. Anthony Code
The Da Vinci chapel echoes to sound of Saturn
German Secret Society’s18th Century Code Unraveled by Modern Algorithms
"Guglmen", a secret society that believes that King Ludwig II of Bavaria was murdered (Pic)


Latest News from our Front Page

Charlie Hebdo: Where Neocons, Zionists, Masons and Communists Converge
2015-01-30 1:20
Charlie Hebdo, raising the banner of revolt, has always regurgitated precisely what the “system” required. Charlie Hebdo (CH) came out of the New Left milieu of the 1960s and is a product of the 1968 revolt against President Charles de Gaulle. It happens that the most famous of the New Left revolts came at a time when (1) the CIA was ...
The Liberation of Auschwitz
2015-01-30 0:12
This article is perhaps a day late, but it will be some time before talk of the Holocaust subsides in the mainstream press, especially now that we are to have a vast new Holocaust Memorial Centre built with £50 million of taxpayers money in central London, to replace the rather unimpressive one that already exists in Hyde Park. In the various ...
Facebook’s New ‘Chinese-style’ Political Censorship System Goes Global
2015-01-29 4:35
Last week 21WIRE reported on Facebook’s new communitarian policy whereby readers can ‘flag’ content as “fake news” if they believe it’s not real, or if they do not like it. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo False Flag event, the social media giant is now allowing governments to determine what is ‘good free speech’, and what is not. “An article ...
"Cheerful" Dutch Financier Becomes 4th ABN Amro Banker Suicide
2015-01-28 23:47
Following the deaths of 36 bankers last year, 2015 has got off to an inauspicious start with the reported suicide of Chris Van Eeghen - the 4th ABN Amro banker suicide in the last few years. As Quotenet reports, the death of Van Eghen - the head of ABN's corporate finance and capital markets -"startled" friends and colleagues as ...
West’s tributes to late Saudi King reveal hypocrisy not democracy
2015-01-27 2:16
Hypocrisy is not usually regarded as a virtue of leadership, yet judging by the gushing tributes paid to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah by various Western governments and establishment figures on his death, there are those who believe it should be. In the UK this hypocrisy has been stretched to breaking point with the decision to fly the flags over Downing ...
More News »