The History and Mathematics of Codes and Code Breaking

Sense of Nonsense

It is amazing to think that in the current age there are still mysteries waiting to be sovled. The progress of science has made so many advances and solved so many problems that it seems almost as if there can't be any mysteries left. Amazingly, after 100 years, the Beale ciphers have remained an uncrackable mystery. Considering the amount of resources, time, and manpower that has been spent on this two page cipher, it's very reasonable to say that if it hasn't been cracked by now, it might not ever be. Even though hundreds of people have tried, failed, and wasted years of their lives on this one cipher, people still believe that they will be the one person to figure out the mystery. The easiest explanation of this drive is simply greed. The one page of the Beale cipher that was decrypted referred to a buried treasure worth over $20 million. That amount of money is tempting to any person, treasure hunter or not. Though the dollar sum itself is motivation, there is also another part to mysteries that drives people's need to figure them out. The human brain is naturally curious, and when things don't make sense we want to find a way to make sense of it. The desire to organize this chaotic world is why humans like to imagine the outline of a snake or a bear in the stars when they are really just randomly placed dots of light. Naturally contradictory, people at the same time love the mystery and suspense of a hidden buried treasure and love to make sense of nonsense. Though the Beale ciphers might really be impossible to crack, there will never be a shortage of people working to be that one person who solves yet another mystery of this world.


The Mystery of the Unknown


Beale Cipher Continues to Confound Cryptographers

1 Comment

  1. Kenneth Bauman


    Merry Christmas!

    Perhaps I have solved the Beale Papers cryptogram B1.

    In July of 2005, I cracked B1 and can report this information concerning it. Please study it carefully.

    I have a decipherment of B1. It's short...only the first 16 coded numbers substitute out to a plaintext of directions on where to dig (even if a treasure does not exist). I have read the Gillogly paper and agree that the majority of the cryptogram is random numbers....I think the Gillogly string was injected into the selection of random choices to throw off later cryptanalysts and further hide the first 16 characters. B2 was fraught with error and I think that B1 was created by the author of the pamphlet after B2; B1 being short and sweet because the encoder was probably tired of counting letters in the DOI which is the key to B1. The DOI is applied in a special manner to B1 and the short plaintext appears as follows:
    Ere is a variation of the word ear which means to plow. Fen is a low land or spot. Due means exactly. Red Knee is likely the name of a spot that is currently unknown to me and to other apparently as I have published this plaintext in two newspaper articles in hopes to locate red knee.
    The original pamplet DOI is the key to B1 (to arrive at my decipherment). DOI word #111 in the original pamplet is "their" instead what it should be: "these". And, between words #154 and #155 (institute and new) is inserted (incorrectly) the word: "a". These two mistakes in the original pamplet are necessary to arrive at my decipherment.
    My small error in determining word #71 I believe was the same error committed by the author of B1. Word #70 was mistakingly thought to be "separation" and therefore the word "we" was selected as word #71. When you come to encoded #76, commit the same error (logically).
    Run this by selecting the LAST letter of each word for the first 16 encoded numbers. Place a question mark for encoded numbers over 1322 (there are two). Reverse the order of letters selected and arrive at:
    ere fen d?e red ?nee
    Perhaps you have found the one "K" that ends the word "mock" in the original pamphlet DOI; I think it's word #697 (not sure right now about this). The author of B1 could have selected the word "mock" to indicate a "K" for "knee". The only other letter that could be selected by the future cryptanalyst is "s" for "snee" (no other english words end with nee). Snee is a word in the dictionary, but does not make sense in a final plaintext. Likewise, the "U" makes the most sense for the final plaintext and "U" does not appear as the final letter of any word in the DOI. Because these letters were not located by the author of B1 in the DOI, he selected ecoded numbers for the cryptogram over 1322 to indicate that some extra work would be necessary to fill in the gaps. This theory seems to make the most sense. Therefore, ERE FEN DUE RED KNEE jumps right out at you; this does not seem to be coincidence or anything but an intended message....especially since the plaintext is backwards!
    James Gillogly's paper: The Beale Cipher: A Dissenting Opinion (on line). This paper indicates a string of letters that indicate that the pamphlet DOI is the key to B1, but that B1 MAY also be a hoax. Well, most of the cryptogram is a hoax except for the well hidden ERE FEN DUE RED KNEE. I am not concerned about the error I made with word #71 as there were many errors in the encipherment of B2 as well.

    The plaintext is very short and to the point. If one finds red knee, one digs at the low spot and perhaps finds what is hidden? Is there a treasure? I don't know for sure. What I do know is that a message was placed in B1 and this is a huge find.

    Red Knee was later identified as the tarantula that curiously attaches to Edgar Allan Poe's tale The Gold Bug. We are lead to The Gold Bug to search out a hidden secretly written missive within the tale that leads to a mansion in Philadelphia. Actually this mansion is thought to represent "Buford's Tavern" in the Beale Papers and within "four miles" from this mansion tavern is another site (another mansion) in Germantown where the Beale Treasure was hidden in the 18th century. In urns atop the roof about "six feet below the level of the ground"...the ground being the lightning rod tip on the roof. The urns, there were five of them on the roof and were destroyed. Today the urns that adorn this mansion called Cliveden, are reproductions. The five urns were thought to have contained the gold, silver and jewels hinted to in the Beale Papers tale.

    Through research of 18 years, it became apparent that there are multiple sites of suspected hidden wealth. Philadelphia is just one location. Virginia is also a State that likely has Beale wealth hidden...this project is spearheaded by others and they seem to be quite successful to date.

    Produced by the Beale Papers is one other interesting search which is outlined here:

    Let's study something unusual.

    Ron Gervais publishes on his site: (Google) BEALE CIPHERS ANALYSES (view page 26 item 6).

    Once you've looked at the material, know that "the small island" referred to is Machias Seal Island in the Bay of Fundy northeast of Maine.

    Is a Freemasonry secret known of the 13th Degree: Royal Arch of Enoch (or Knights of The Ninth Arch) ? Does Machias Seal Island represent the subterranean cavern of this Freemasonry group?

    Does the Beale Papers lead us, in a complicated way, to Machias Seal Island which is disputed heavily for ownership by the US and Canada?

    A well known thesaurus by Roget indicates in its 1000 entries that #666 is defined as a refuge or hiding place. Does Machias Seal Island have any reference to 666? Let's see...

    "Ninth Arch"... nine, hmmm.

    Call up a map of the eastern seaboard.

    Run a straight line from the DC monument (obelisk) to Machias Seal Island. Note this:

    The exact straight line from DC, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Trenton, NYC (statue of liberty), Bridgeport, New Haven, Boston to MSI is a line that intersects these cities (no more, no less) and the line contains exactly NINE points DC through Machias Seal Island.

    Want more?...

    Statute miles from DC to Machias Seal Island is exactly 666. Wow?!

    Want more...?

    DC to Philadelphia (statute miles) is right at 133.16. Philadelphia to Bridgeport is right at 133.16. Bridgeport to Boston is right at 133.16. Boston to MSI is right at 266.5. This is 666 statute miles. Curiously convenient. 666 statute miles from DC is MSI (or Machias Seal Island).

    Does the distance of 133 and the "Lost Book of Enoch" have anything to do with the fact that Dan Brown's book "The Lost Symbol" has exactly an unusual number of chapters being 133 and a grand subject being the DC monument (the obelisk)? Does the height of the obelisk in DC reflect a reference to the distance from DC to MSI? Let's see...

    Washington monument (obelisk) is approximately 555.5 feet high, but is actually about 583.5 feet high from sea level. So the spire from sea level reaches high about 583.5 feet. So, the monument is actually right at 583.5 feet high.

    Why was the monument built at such a specific height? Why?

    583.5 feet was a code to be transformed. If one looks at 583.5 feet as STATUTE MILES instead...what do we have? Well, 583.5 statute miles from DC on the line to MSI falls short of the island. Hmmm.

    What if we consider 583.5 feet to be NAUTICAL MILES instead of feet? In other words, the height of the monument is coded to mean 583.5 nautical miles...

    To transform nautical miles to statute miles one multiplies by 8 and divides by 7 for a near approximation of statute miles. So...

    583.5 nautical miles multiplied by 8 and then divided by 7 equals .... yes, 666.85714 statute miles !! Mathematics does not lie.

    The distance therefore from DC to MSI (in statute miles) was intended to be exactly 666 to indicate that MSI is a refuge or hiding place of something.

    The Beale Papers code #1 as was previously outlined in the Ron Gervais site is an itinerary to MSI and represents only one facet of what is hidden in the Beale Papers. There are other people working to uncover other sites of hidden wealth which are hidden in the confines of Beale. I, myself, have other locations that the ciphers indicate that treasure is hidden. MSI is only one site.

    The Beale Papers is a massive coded miracle.

    Please communicate with me on this subject from your Math 115F: Cryptography group.

    I can be reached at:
    260-573-1821 (cell)

    Kenneth Bauman

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