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VMs: Fw: Secret of Historic Code: It's Gibberish

Well, whata ya make of this ;-)
Hey, old (and debunked) news I know, but the Gardian take up deserves a
response I think

> Originally posted to Forteana List
> Subject: [forteana] It's gibberish
> >
> > http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1130727,00.html
> Secret of historic code: it's gibberish
> Mystery of manuscript that foxed scholars for centuries is solved
> Robin McKie, science editor
> Sunday January 25, 2004
> The Observer
> It is covered with drawings of fantastic plants, strange symbols and naked
> women.
> Its language is unknown and unreadable, though some believe it bears a
> message from extraterrestrials. Others say it carries knowledge of a
> civilisation that is thousands of years old.
> But now a British academic believes he has uncovered the secret of the
> Voynich manuscript, an Elizabethan volume of more than 200 pages that is
> filled with weird figures, symbols and writing that has defied the efforts
> of the twentieth century's best codebreakers and most distinguished
> scholars.
> According to computer expert Gordon Rugg of Keele University, the
> represents one of the strangest acts of encryption ever undertaken, one
> made its creator, Edward Kelley, an Elizabethan entrepreneur, a fortune
> before his handiwork was lost to the world for more than 300 years.
> 'It was bought by Emperor Rudolph II of Bohemia for 600 ducats, an
> fortune for that period,' said Rugg, whose paper on the manuscript is
> published in the journal Cryptologia. 'People clearly thought it contained
> arcane secrets and great knowledge and were prepared to pay to learn
> Unfortunately, after only a few years in Rudolph's care, the manuscript
> lost and was not seen again until it surfaced in Frascati, Italy, in 1912
> when it was bought by a Russian antiquarian called Wilfred Voynich.
> The manuscript - written on vellum in neat and clear handwriting,
> illustrated with watercolours - is now a prize exhibit at Yale University.
> However, those who have attempted to unravel its meaning have had a
> lack of success even though they include some of the world's greatest
> codebreakers such as John Tiltman, head of Britain's codebreakers at
> Bletchley Park, and William Friedman, whose team broke the Japanese Purple
> cipher during the Second World War.
> The fact that an Elizabethan document could be written in a code that has
> defied a century's attention by the world's greatest code-breakers is the
> most astonishing aspect of this amazing document.
> Some of its strange characters look like Roman numbers and Latin letters.
> Others are unlike any symbol seen before. The language seems to have
> structure, however, and forms a pattern, albeit one unlike any other
> language on earth.
> Apart from those who believe it is the handiwork of aliens or survivors of
> great lost civilisations, there are cryptologists who claim the Voynich
> manuscript is written in early Ukrainian script while others say it is a
> form of Chinese.
> Despite these claims no-one has been able to translate the document. Nor
> have claims that the script is a simple hoax been sustained.
> 'The manuscript exhibits so much linguistic structure that a hoax appears
> require almost as much sophistication as an unbreakable code,' says Rugg
> his paper.
> But now the computer expert and his team believe they have found the
> of the Voynich manuscript.
> They have shown that its various word, which appear regularly throughout
> script, could have been created using table and grille techniques. The
> different syllables that make up words are written in columns, and a
> grille - a piece of cardboard with three squares cut out in a diagonal
> pattern - is slid along the columns.
> The three syllables exposed form a word. The grille is pushed along to
> expose three new syllables, and a new word is exposed.
> Rugg's conclusion is that Voynichese - the language of the Voynich
> manuscript - is utter gibberish, put together as random assemblies of
> different syllables.
> 'People thought the manuscript had great meaning - some form of alchemy,
> perhaps,' said Rugg.
> 'In fact, it was created by Kelley as a deception to make him money. He
> succeeded. The Voynich manuscript was the Elizabethan equivalent of the
> Hitler diaries.'
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------~->

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