Copyright 2011-3011 By Chase Kyla Hunter, All Rights Reserved.
Upon first glance, viewing the photos of the pages of the Voynich Manuscript, it occurred to me that the entire thing might be a well executed hoax. I was ready to post a few documents on the web about it, and move on. Then I located an essay on Revelation13.net which states that the word “Voynich” is found in the Bible Codes. I examined a photo print out of one of the Bible Codes in which several words pertaining to the manuscript appear, and the word “Voynich” is clearly there, along with the word “decode.”
Now we have a real mystery to solve. We can drive little robotic machines across the surface of Mars, but we cannot decode the Voynich Manuscript after 500 years. Hmmmm. Believing as I do, that we are in fact, living in the last days, there must be some urgent import afoot regarding the decoding of this manuscript, else it would never have appeared in the Bible Codes.
It’s a damn shame that author Dan Brown has chosen to write fiction, rather than to focus on the real and urgent messages which are unfolding in the Bible Codes, among which, apparently, is a Divine Directive to decode the Voynich Manuscript before the rise of the Antichrist.
Below I have gathered several articles and images related to the Voynich Manuscript which I found intriguing, including the text of the essay from Revelation13.net with photo reproductions of the Bible Codes in which the word “Voynich” appears. If anyone reading this post has contributing information to share on this topic, please post it under comments.
Chase Kyla Hunter 2.13.11
2.13.11 Repost Courtesy of Physorg.com
February 10, 2011 By Daniel Stolte
The Voynich manuscript‘s unintelligible writings and strange illustrations have defied every attempt at understanding their meaning.
(PhysOrg.com) — While enthusiasts across the world pored over the Voynich manuscript, one of the most mysterious writings ever found – penned by an unknown author in a language no one understands – a research team at the UA solved one of its biggest mysteries: When was the book made?
University of Arizona researchers have cracked one of the puzzles surrounding what has been called “the world’s most mysterious manuscript” – the Voynich manuscript, a book filled with drawings and writings nobody has been able to make sense of to this day.
Using radiocarbon dating, a team led by Greg Hodgins in the UA’s department of physics has found the manuscript’s parchment pages date back to the early 15th century, making the book a century older than scholars had previously thought.
This tome makes the “DaVinci Code” look downright lackluster: Rows of text scrawled on visibly aged parchment, flowing around intricately drawn illustrations depicting plants, astronomical charts and human figures bathing in – perhaps – the fountain of youth. At first glance, the “Voynich manuscript” appears to be not unlike any other antique work of writing and drawing.
Photographs of the Voynich Manuscript
The “Bible Code” is a way of looking for hidden prophecies and passages in the Bible, by using a software program to search for messages in the Old Testament Hebrew text. The spaces between words are eliminated, so that the Old Testament is
a continuous block of Hebrew letters. Then, by skipping letters at a programmed interval, the program searches for words. There appear to be patterns to the passages where the words are found.
Also see the other pages on the King James Bible Code:
On this page I show some Bible Code matrices on the subject of the Voynich Manuscript. The Voynich Manuscript is a strange document, that is hundreds of years old, that is written in a strange unbreakable code, and has bizarre drawings of plants and things. Many people have spent years studying it, trying to break the code. On the web you will find many web sites about it and different theories about it; some people claim to have cracked the code. It has also been claimed that it is a Satanic book. It could be that the Voynich manuscript is complete garbage, either written by an insane person, or as a joke. It could be that there is no meaning to it. But here we will see what the King James Bible Code has to say about it.
Using Codefinder software, I searched for Old Testament Bible Code matrices using keyword VOYNICH, in an ELS (skip) -10000 to 10000 search. I found the following three matrices.
This first matrix was at Deuteronomy 17:15 – 33:29. It contains these words:
— VOYNICH (ELS=7624)
— THE BEAST
(in the Bible’s Book of Revelation, the Beast is the Antichrist, the Son of Satan, who is prophesied to rise to power as a Satanic imitation of Christ during the End Times in the future, before Armageddon)
— THE EVILS
— PUT AWAY EVIL FROM AMONG YOU
— PLANT, A VINE
(illustrations of plants are in the Voynich Manuscript)
The next matrix was at Psalm 49:11 – 89:11, and it contains:
— VOYNICH (ELS=4132)
(in the “Omen/Damian” movies about the Antichrist, the Antichrist is named Damian Thorne; also some plants have thorns)
The next matrix was at Joshua 18:10 – Judges 4:24, and it contains:
— VOYNICH (ELS=873)
— WRITTEN IN THE BOOK
In conclusion, there are words appearing in the matrices above that may indicate the Voynich Manuscript does have a Satanic connection of some kind. And there also is a mention of plants (PLANT, GRASS, THORNS, A VINE), and the Voynich Manuscript does have illustrations of plants.
You can also watch my videos on subjects discussed on this web site.
Copyright 1998-2010 by T. Chase. All rights reserved.
An alien language
But a second, closer look reveals that nothing here is what it seems. Alien characters, some resembling Latin letters, others unlike anything used in any known language, are arranged into what appear to be words and sentences, except they don’t resemble anything written – or read – by human beings.
Hodgins, an assistant research scientist and assistant professor in the UA’s department of physics with a joint appointment at the UA’s School of Anthropology, is fascinated with the manuscript.
“Is it a code, a cipher of some kind? People are doing statistical analysis of letter use and word use – the tools that have been used for code breaking. But they still haven’t figured it out.”
A chemist and archaeological scientist by training, Hodgins works for the NSF Arizona Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, or AMS, Laboratory, which is shared between physics and geosciences. His team was able to nail down the time when the Voynich manuscript was made.
Currently owned by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University, the manuscript was discovered in the Villa Mondragone near Rome in 1912 by antique book dealer Wilfrid Voynich while sifting through a chest of books offered for sale by the Society of Jesus. Voynich dedicated the remainder of his life to unveiling the mystery of the book’s origin and deciphering its meanings. He died 18 years later, without having wrestled any its secrets from the book.
Fast-forward to 2009: In the basement underneath the UA’s Physics and Atmospheric Sciences building, Hodgins and a crew of scientists, engineers and technicians stare at a computer monitor displaying graphs and lines. The humming sound of machinery fills the room and provides a backdrop drone for the rhythmic hissing of vacuum pumps.
Stainless steel pipes, alternating with heavy-bodied vacuum chambers, run along the walls.
This is the heart of the NSF-Arizona AMS Laboratory: an accelerator mass spectrometer capable of sniffing out traces of carbon-14 atoms that are present in samples, giving scientists clues about the age of those samples.
Greg Hodgins checks on the accelerator mass spectrometer, which narrowed the age of the book down to 1404 to 1438, in the early Renaissance. Credit: Daniel Stolte/UANews
Radiocarbon dating: looking back in timeCarbon-14 is a rare form of carbon, a so-called radioisotope, that occurs naturally in the Earth’s environment. In the natural environment, there is only one carbon-14 atom per trillion non-radioactive or “stable” carbon isotopes, mostly carbon-12, but with small amounts of carbon-13. Carbon-14 is found in the atmosphere within carbon dioxide gas.
Plants produce their tissues by taking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and so accumulate carbon-14 during life. Animals in turn accumulate carbon-14 in their tissues by eating plants, or eating other organisms that consume plants.
When a plant or animal dies, the level of carbon-14 in it remains drops at a predictable rate, and so can be used to calculate the amount of time that has passed since death.
What is true of plants and animals is also true of products made from them. Because the parchment pages of the Voynich Manuscript were made from animal skin, they can be radiocarbon-dated.
Pointing to the front end of the mass spectrometer, Hodgins explains the principle behind it. A tiny sample of carbon extracted from the manuscript is introduced into the “ion source” of the mass spectrometer.
“This causes the atoms in the sample to be ionized,” he explained, “meaning they now have an electric charge and can be propelled by electric and magnetic fields.”
Ejected from the ion source, the carbon ions are formed into a beam that races through the instrument at a fraction of the speed of light. Focusing the beam with magnetic lenses and filters, the mass spectrometer then splits it up into several beams, each containing only one isotope species of a certain mass.
“Carbon-14 is heavier than the other carbon isotopes,” Hodgins said. “This way, we can single out this isotope and determine how much of it is present in the sample. From that, we calculate its age.”
Dissecting a century-old book
To obtain the sample from the manuscript, Hodgins traveled to Yale University, where conservators had previously identified pages that had not been rebound or repaired and were the best to sample.
“I sat down with the Voynich manuscript on a desk in front of me, and delicately dissected a piece of parchment from the edge of a page with a scalpel,” Hodgins says.
He cut four samples from four pages, each measuring about 1 by 6 millimeters (ca. 1/16 by 1 inch) and brought them back to the laboratory in Tucson, where they were thoroughly cleaned.
“Because we were sampling from the page margins, we expected there are a lot of finger oils adsorbed over time,” Hodgins explains. “Plus, if the book was re-bound at any point, the sampling spots on these pages may actually not have been on the edge but on the spine, meaning they may have had adhesives on them.”
“The modern methods we use to date the material are so sensitive that traces of modern contamination would be enough to throw things off.”
Next, the sample was combusted, stripping the material of any unwanted compounds and leaving behind only its carbon content as a small dusting of graphite at the bottom of the vial.
“In radiocarbon dating, there is this whole system of many people working at it,” he said. “It takes many skills to produce a date. From start to finish, there is archaeological expertise; there is biochemical and chemical expertise; we need physicists, engineers and statisticians. It’s one of the joys of working in this place that we all work together toward this common goal.”
The UA’s team was able to push back the presumed age of the Voynich manuscript by 100 years, a discovery that killed some of the previously held hypotheses about its origins and history.
Elsewhere, experts analyzed the inks and paints that makes up the manuscript’s strange writings and images.
“It would be great if we could directly radiocarbon date the inks, but it is actually really difficult to do. First, they are on a surface only in trace amounts” Hodgins said. “The carbon content is usually extremely low. Moreover, sampling ink free of carbon from the parchment on which it sits is currently beyond our abilities. Finally, some inks are not carbon based, but are derived from ground minerals. They’re inorganic, so they don’t contain any carbon.”
“It was found that the colors are consistent with the Renaissance palette – the colors that were available at the time. But it doesn’t really tell us one way or the other, there is nothing suspicious there.”
While Hodgins is quick to point out that anything beyond the dating aspect is outside his expertise, he admits he is just as fascinated with the book as everybody else who has tried to unveil its history and meaning.
“The text shows strange characteristics like repetitive word use or the exchange of one letter in a sequence,” he says. “Oddities like that make it really hard to understand the meaning.”
“There are types of ciphers that embed meaning within gibberish. So it is possible that most of it does mean nothing. There is an old cipher method where you have a sheet of paper with strategically placed holes in it. And when those holes are laid on top of the writing, you read the letters in those holes.”
“Who knows what’s being written about in this manuscript, but it appears to be dealing with a range of topics that might relate to alchemy. Secrecy is sometimes associated with alchemy, and so it would be consistent with that tradition if the knowledge contained in the book was encoded. What we have are the drawings. Just look at those drawings: Are they botanical? Are they marine organisms? Are they astrological? Nobody knows.”
“I find this manuscript is absolutely fascinating as a window into a very interesting mind. Piecing these things together was fantastic. It’s a great puzzle that no one has cracked, and who doesn’t love a puzzle?”
More information: http://voynichcent … com/gallery/
Related earlier article from April 2010:
The Voynich Manuscript
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Sample of the text in the Voynich Manuscript
The Voynich Manuscript is a mysterious document that is kept in Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book Library. It is made up of 246 vellum pages of the original 262. The document is an unassuming 7 inches by 10 inches. At first glance, one may assume that it is simply an old document, written in a language that they cannot understand, and they would be right, in a way. The thing about the Voynich Manuscript is that no one on Earth can read the language that it was written in. Furthermore, there are no other examples of the language and the author, date it was written and its place of origin are unknown.
Discovery and History of the Voynich Manuscript
The Voynich Manuscript is named for the American rare book collector and dealer who found the document. His name was Wilfred M. Voynich. Wilfred found the document in a Jesuit College just outside of Rome in 1912. The Voynich Manuscript had been documented and attempts made at discovering its origin before then. However, it had slipped out of history. Voynich brought it into the modern public eye.
The earliest definite knowledge of the Voynich Manuscript that researchers can find is dated 1608. Therefore, we know it is at least this old. However, there seems to be some disagreement about how much older than this date the document is. Voynich dated it back to the 13th century. Modern estimates date it back to between the 15th and 16th century. It is generally agreed that it is European in origin. Nonetheless, the contents of the Voynich Manuscript throw many people off and guesses as to its region of origin do vary.
Contents of the Voynich Manuscript
The pages of the Voynich Manuscript contain both pictures and text. The author used black, red, yellow, green and blue ink. Two-hundred-twelve of the pages contain pictures and text. Thirty-three of the pages contain only text. Some researchers refer to some of the pages as the key. Unfortunately, the key has not been very helpful in translating the text.
The pictures in the Voynich Manuscript are as mysterious as the language that it is written in. There are pictures that are obviously botanical in nature. Some of them depict plants of which modern science has no knowledge. There are drawings that seem to be related to astronomy. There are also drawings of nude women bathing in what seems to be an elaborate unknown plumbing system. Many of the pictures contain what appear to be captions. However, they are of no use.
The Voynich Manuscript
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The language used to write the Voynich Manuscript has resisted translation before and since its discovery in 1912. Experts disagree as to whether it is a language or a cipher. There seem to be patterns that point to a language. It also seems to be alphabetic. The perceived alphabet is thought to be between 19 and 28 characters. There may even be more than one language. However, the complete lack of other examples of this language and its resistance to translation leads some to believe that it must be a cipher created by the author, or authors.
Despite the lack of even so much as a title, most experts agree that the Voynich Manuscript is scientific in nature. They believe that the information thought to be contained within it pertains to botany, biology, astronomy and medicine. The only evidence of what purpose it may have served is conjecture. We can make an educated guess as to its contents, based on the drawings, but a manuscript of that nature could have been used for any number of things.
The Author of the Voynich Manuscript
Amongst the earliest evidence of the Voynich Manuscript is a letter that mentioned Roger Bacon as its author. Unfortunately, the author of the letter was only guessing at the author of the manuscript. Roger Bacon was a scholar and a Franciscan friar. It is possible that he penned the document. However, this was only one man’s guess. There is no evidence that Roger Bacon was responsible, beyond that letter.
One theory regarding the author of the Voynich Manuscript has more to do with the author’s motives than the author himself. Because the document has resisted translation for so long, many people have come to think of it as a hoax. The idea is that someone wanted to pawn it off as a curiosity to Rudolph II of Bohemia, to whom the aforementioned letter was addressed.
A woman named Edith Sherwood concocted one interesting theory that I have come across. Edith has theorized that the Voynich Manuscript was written and illustrated by a young Leonardo DaVinci. While this is an intriguing theory, it may not hold much water.
There is still much research going on regarding the Voynich Manuscript. Some top experts have dedicated a lot of time to attempting to decipher the ‘code.’ Of course, there have been those who have claimed to have succeeded. However, all such claims are unsubstantiated, unfortunately. For now, we will just have to leave the answers up to our own imaginations and hope that it does not turn out to be a cookbook full of terrible recipes.
Voynich Manuscript, retrieved 4/16/10, world-mysteries.com/sar_13.htm
Sherwood, Edith, The Voynich Manuscript Decoded?, retrieved 4/17/10
Another recent article on the Voynich Manuscript:
|The Voynich manuscript is a mysterious, undeciphered illustrated book. It is thought to have been written in the 15th or 16th century. The author, script, and language of the manuscript remain unknown.Over its recorded existence, the Voynich manuscript has been the object of intense study by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including some top American and British codebreakers of World War II fame (all of whom failed to decrypt any portion of the text).This string of failures has turned the Voynich manuscript into a famous subject of historical cryptology, but it has also given weight to the theory that the book is simply an elaborate hoax—a meaningless sequence of arbitrary symbols.
The book is named after the Polish-American book dealer Wilfrid M. Voynich, who acquired it in 1912. Currently the Voynich manuscript is stored in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library of Yale University as item “MS 408″. The first facsimile edition was published in 2005.
By current estimates, the book originally had 272 pages in 17 quires of 16 pages each. About 240 vellum pages remain today, and gaps in the page numbering (which seems to be later than the text) indicate that several pages were already missing when Voynich acquired it. A quill pen was used for the text and figure outlines, and colored paint was applied (somewhat crudely) to the figures, possibly at a later date. There is strong evidence that at one point in time, the pages of the book were arranged in a different order.
The text was clearly written from left to right, with a slightly ragged right margin. Longer sections are broken into paragraphs, sometimes with “bullets” in the left margin. There is no obvious punctuation. The ductus flows smoothly, suggesting that the scribe understood what he was writing when it was written; the manuscript does not give the impression that each character had to be calculated before being inked onto the page.
The text consists of over 170,000 discrete glyphs, usually separated from each other by narrow gaps. Most of the glyphs are written with one or two simple pen strokes. While there is some dispute as to whether certain glyphs are distinct or not, an alphabet with 20–30 glyphs would account for virtually all of the text; the exceptions are a few dozen rarer characters that occur only once or twice each.
Wider gaps divide the text into about 35,000 “words” of varying length. These seem to follow phonetic or orthographic laws of some sort; e.g., certain characters must appear in each word (like the vowels in English), some characters never follow others, and some may be doubled but others may not.
Statistical analysis of the text reveals patterns similar to those of natural languages. For instance, the word entropy (about 10 bits per word) is similar to that of English or Latin texts. Some words occur only in certain sections, or in only a few pages; others occur throughout the manuscript. There are very few repetitions among the thousand or so “labels” attached to the illustrations. In the herbal section, the first word on each page occurs only on that page and may be the name of the plant.
On the other hand, the Voynich manuscript’s “language” is quite unlike European languages in several aspects. Firstly, there are practically no words comprising more than ten glyphs, yet there are also few one- or two-letter words. The distribution of letters within the word is also rather peculiar: some characters only occur at the beginning of a word, some only at the end, and some always in the middle section—an arrangement found in Semitic alphabets but not in the Latin or Cyrillic alphabets (with the exception of the Greek letters Beta and Sigma).
The text seems to be more repetitive than typical European languages; there are instances where the same common word appears up to three times in a row. Words that differ only by one letter also repeat with unusual frequency.
There are only a few words in the manuscript written in a seemingly Latin script. On the last page, there are four lines of writing that are written in (rather distorted) Latin letters, except for two words in the main script. The lettering resembles European alphabets of the 15th century, but the words do not seem to make sense in any language. Also, a series of diagrams in the “astronomical” section has the names of ten of the months (from March to December) written in Latin script, with spelling suggestive of the medieval languages of France or the Iberian Peninsula. However, it is not known whether these bits of Latin script were part of the original text or were added later.
The history of the manuscript is still full of gaps, especially in its earliest part. Since the manuscript’s alphabet does not resemble any known script, and the text is still undeciphered, the only useful evidence as to the book’s age and origin are the illustrations—especially the dress and hairstyles of the human figures and a couple of castles that are seen in the diagrams. They are all characteristically European, and based on that evidence, most experts assign the book to dates between 1450 and 1520. This estimate is supported by other secondary clues.
The earliest confirmed owner of the Voynich manuscript was Georg Baresch, an obscure alchemist who lived in Prague in the early 17th century. Baresch apparently was just as puzzled as we are today about this “Sphynx” that had been “taking up space uselessly in his library” for many years. On learning that Athanasius Kircher, a Jesuit scholar from the Collegio Romano, had published a Coptic (Ethiopic) dictionary and “deciphered” the Egyptian hieroglyphs, Baresch sent a sample copy of the script to Kircher in Rome (twice), asking for clues. His 1639 letter to Kircher, which was recently located by Rene Zandbergen, is the earliest mention of the manuscript that has been found so far.
It is not known whether Kircher answered the request, but apparently, he was interested enough to try to acquire the book, which Baresch apparently refused to yield. Upon Baresch’s death, the manuscript passed to his friend Jan Marek Marci (Johannes Marcus Marci), then rector of Charles University in Prague, who promptly sent the book to Kircher, his longtime friend and correspondent. Marci’s cover letter (1666) is still attached to the manuscript.
Many names have been proposed as possible authors of the Voynich manuscript.
Marci’s 1665 cover letter to Kircher says that, according to his late friend Raphael Mnishovsky, the book had once been bought by Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia (1552–1612), for 600 ducats—around US$ 30,800 as of 2005. According to the letter, Rudolf believed the author to be the Franciscan friar and polymath Roger Bacon (1214–1294).
Even though Marci said that he was “suspending his judgment” about this claim, it was taken quite seriously by Voynich, who did his best to confirm it. His conviction strongly influenced most deciphering attempts for the next 80 years. However, scholars who have looked at the Voynich manuscript and are familiar with Bacon’s works have flatly denied that possibility. Mnishovsky died in 1644, and the deal must have occurred before Rudolf’s abdication in 1611—at least 55 years before Marci’s letter.
The assumption that Roger Bacon was the author led Voynich to conclude that the person who sold the manuscript to Rudolf could only be John Dee, a mathematician and astrologer at the court of Queen Elizabeth I, known to have owned a large collection of Bacon’s manuscripts. This theory is also conveyed by Voynich manuscript scholar Gordon Rugg. Dee and his scrier (mediumic assistant) Edward Kelley lived in Bohemia for several years, where they had hoped to sell their services to the emperor. However, Dee’s meticulously kept diaries do not mention that sale and make it seem quite unlikely. If the Voynich manuscript author is not Bacon, the connection to Dee may just disappear. It is possible that Dee himself may have written it and spread the rumour that it was originally a work of Bacon’s in the hopes of later selling it.
Dee’s companion in Prague, Edward Kelley, was a self-styled alchemist who claimed to be able to turn copper into gold by means of a secret powder that he had dug out of a Bishop’s tomb in Wales. As Dee’s scrier, he claimed to be able to invoke angels through a shewstone and had long conversations with them—which Dee dutifully noted down. The angel’s language was called Enochian, after Enoch, the Biblical father of Methuselah; according to legend, he had been taken on a tour of heaven by angels and had later written a book about what he saw there. Several people (see below) have suggested that, just as Kelley may have invented Enochian to dupe Dee, he could have fabricated the Voynich manuscript to swindle the emperor (who was already paying Kelley for his supposed alchemical expertise).
Fabrication by Voynich
Others suspected Voynich of having fabricated the manuscript himself. As an antique-book dealer, he probably had the necessary knowledge and means, and a “lost book” by Roger Bacon would have been worth a fortune. However, by expert internal dating of the manuscript, and the recent discovery of Baresch’s letter to Kircher, many consider that possibility to have been eliminated. Still, internal dating is often highly speculative and depends on many assumptions that may themselves be lacking in hard factual support. There has also been debate over what date the internal evidence suggests, with some scholars perceiving a more modern date. Further, Baresch’s letter (and Marci’s as well) only establish the existence of a manuscript, not that the Voynich manuscript is the same one spoken of there. In fact, their letters might even be taken as the motivation for Voynich to fabricate the manuscript (assuming he was aware of them), rather than as proofs authenticating it; but if a fabrication, the question arises as to why neither Voynich nor his widow ever attempted to sell it. Fame rather than fortune might be speculated as a motive, but that would not explain why Voynich’s widow never attempted to sell the manuscript after his death. All things considered, most who have studied the history of the manuscript do not believe that Voynich fabricated the document.
There are many theories about the Voynich manuscript’s “language”. Here are some:
According to the “letter-based cipher” theory, the Voynich manuscript contains a meaningful text in some European language, that was intentionally rendered obscure by mapping it to the Voynich manuscript “alphabet” through a cipher of some sort—an algorithm that operated on individual letters.
Following its 1912 rediscovery, one of the earliest efforts to unlock the book’s secrets (and the first of many premature claims of decipherment) was made in 1921 by William Newbold of the University of Pennsylvania. His singular hypothesis held that the visible text is meaningless itself, but that each apparent “letter” is in fact constructed of a series of tiny markings only discernible under magnification. These markings were supposed to be based on ancient Greek shorthand, forming a second level of script that held the real content of the writing.
This theory holds that the text of the Voynich manuscript is mostly meaningless, but contains meaningful information hidden in inconspicuous details—e.g. the second letter of every word, or the number of letters in each line. This technique, called steganography, is very old, and was described by Johannes Trithemius in 1499.
Exotic natural language
The linguist Jacques Guy once suggested that the Voynich manuscript text could be some exotic natural language, written in the plain with an invented alphabet. The word structure is indeed similar to that of many language families of East and Central Asia, mainly Sino-Tibetan (Chinese, Tibetan, and Burmese), Austroasiatic (Vietnamese, Khmer, etc.) and possibly Tai (Thai, Lao, etc.). In many of these languages, the “words” have only one syllable; and syllables have a rather rich structure, including tonal patterns.
In their book, Kennedy and Churchill hint to the possibility that the Voynich manuscript may be a case of glossolalia, channeling or outsider art.
If this is true, then the author felt compelled to write large amounts of text in a manner which somehow resembles stream of consciousness, either due to voices heard, or due to his own urge. While in glossolalia this often takes place in an invented language (usually made up of fragments of the author’s own language), invented scripts for this purpose are rare.
The peculiar internal structure of Voynich manuscript “words” has led William F. Friedman and John Tiltman to arrive independently at the conjecture that the text could be a constructed language in the plain—specifically, a philosophical or a priori language. In languages of this class, the vocabulary is organized according to a category system, so that the general meaning of a word can be deduced from its sequence of letters.
The bizarre features of the Voynich manuscript text (such as the doubled and tripled words), the suspicious contents of its illustrations (such as the chimeric plants) and its lack of historical reference support the idea that the manuscript is really a hoax. In other words, if no one is able to extract meaning from the book, perhaps this is because the document contains no meaningful content in the first place.
The argument for authenticity, on the other hand, is that the manuscript appears too sophisticated to be a hoax. While hoaxes of the period tended to be quite crude, the Voynich manuscript exhibits many subtle characteristics which only show up after careful statistical analysis. These fine touches require much more work than would have been necessary for a simple forgery, and some of the complexities are only visible with modern tools. The question then arises: why would the author employ such a complex and laborious forging algorithm in the creation of a simplistic hoax, if no one in the expected audience (that is, the creator’s contemporaries) could tell the difference?
- “Voynich Manuscript Dated: Makes ‘DaVinci Code’ Look Lackluster” and related posts (huffingtonpost.com)
- Voynich manuscript dated to early renaissance (boingboing.net)
- The Queue: Voynich bin ein Berliner (wow.joystiq.com)
- University of Arizona experts determine age of book ‘nobody can read’ (eurekalert.org)
- Strange, Ancient Book Decoded (foxnews.com)
- University of Arizona experts determine age of book ‘nobody can read’ (scienceblog.com)
- Is the real-life Da Vinci Code about to be decoded? Scientists finally work out age of mystery manuscript (dailymail.co.uk)
- Mysterious crypto-book dated to 15th century (go.theregister.com)
- Age of mysterious ‘alien’ manuscript uncovered (Daily Mail) (seattlepi.com)
- Top 10 uncracked codes (telegraph.co.uk)