It seems as though penetrating public cryptographic analysis of the three Beale Papers (B1, B2, and B3) halted abruptly in 1980 when Jim Gillogly pointed out a problem with B1. If, as he pointed out, you apply to B1 the same dictionary code used for B2 (famously derived from the Declaration of Independence), you get a ciphertext with some distinctive properties:- 


Here you can see not only tripled letters (AAA, PPP), quadrupled letters (TTTT) and even quintupled letters (TTTTT), but also (and this is the part that ignited Gillogly’s cryptographic curiosity) the sequence ABFDEFGHIIJKLMMNOHPP. Even if you restrict your view to the DEFGH IIJKL MMNO monotonically increasing sub-sequence in the middle, the chances of that appearing at random would be (he calculates) about one in a million million. Making it even more improbable is the fact that the aberrant “F” near the start has code 195 where code 194 is “C”, and the aberrant “H” near the end has code 301 where code 302 is “O”, which makes it look a great deal as though these were simply encoding slips. And if these were intended to be C and O respectively, the unlikeliness of the sequence vastly increases again. 

Yet as far as the multiple letter groups go, we can do some simple probability calculations based on the 1321 characters Gillogly lists for the B2 codebook. From frequency analysis – T 255, A 167, O 145, H 80, I 69, S 62, F 62, P 59, W 59, C 53, B 48, R 41, D 37, E 36, L 35, M 30, U 28, G 19, N19, J 10, K 4, V 2, Y 1, X 1, Q 1, Z 0 – you can see that T, A, and P occur 19.3%, 13.5%, and 4.46% (respectively) of the time in the codebook. So, if the text letters were picked at random (as would pretty much be the case if B2’s codebook was completely the wrong codebook for B1), the chances of these patterns occurring randomly at least once in a 520-character sample would be something like this:- 

  • prob(TTTTT) = 1 – (1 – 0.193^5)^(520-(5-1)) = 12.9%
  • prob(TTTT) = 1 – (1 – 0.193^4)^(520-(4-1)) = 51.2%
  • prob(AAA) = 1 – (1 – 0.135^3)^(520-(3-1)) = 72.1%
  • prob(PPP) = 1 – (1 – 0.0446^3)^(520-(3-1)) = 4.5%

You would also expect to see a copious amount of TT and AA pairs scattered through the text, which is in fact exactly what we see (13 x TT and 10 x AA, quite apart from the TTTTT, TTTT and AAA listed above). 

And therein lies the basic Beale Papers paradox: though the distribution and clustering seem to imply that B2’s codebook was not B1’s codebook, the ‘Gillogly sequence’ seems to imply that the two are linked in some way. So, what’s it to be? Damoclean swords aside, how can we unpick this cryptologic knot? 

My observation here is that if there is also some kind of monoalphabetic substitution going on (i.e. in addition to the Declaration of Independence codebook), then it’s quite possible that the Gillogly sequence represents the keyword or keystring used to generate that substitution alphabet. This might well explain the doubled letters within the keystring (i.e. the II MM and PP): if so, we would be looking for a keystring with four doubled letters but where none of the vowels repeat. 


Hmmm… there can’t be many English words ending with two adjacent doubled letters: in fact, the only two I can think of are coffee and toffee (please let me know if you can think of any others!) ‘Toffee’ doesn’t sound very promising, so could it be ‘coffee’? The previous word would then need to end with “C” to make a doubled letter… not hugely promising, but perhaps it’s a start!- 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxC COFFEE
xxxxxxxxxxxxxT TOFFEE

Alternatively, it might be a three letter word, like “TOO” or “OFF”. Had Eric Sams considered this, doubtless he would have happily constructed all kinds of valid key phrases that fit these constraints, such as:-


OK, it’s true that the key phrase to the Beale Papers is not going to be “CLUNKY SPEED RABBIT TOO”, but maybe (just maybe) it’s a step in the right direction. 🙂 

Incidentally… the Wikipedia Beale Papers page notes that “In 1940, the famous cryptanalyst, Dr. White of Yale University, came close to solving the Beale ciphers after tracking down the suspected key hidden by Beale in St. Louis—he never spoke of his findings.” Though I did a bit of Internet sleuthing to try to work out who this Dr White was, I didn’t really get anywhere – I don’t think he was the Maurice Seal White (b.1888) who wrote the 1938 book “Secret writing : how to write and solve messages in cipher and code” (which I found listed in Lou Kruh’s bibliography and Worldcat) and who was a Columbia alumnus in 1920 (see p.212 here), but it’s hard to tell. Please let me know if you find out!

68 thoughts on “The Beale Papers Paradox…

  1. Dennis on June 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm said:

    Very interesting, Nick! You ought to discuss this with Jim Gillogly. I tried to find contact info for him a while back but didn’t succeed. We can discuss privately.

  2. Dennis: I’m still working out what I think this means, as there’s quite a tortuous logical chain of cryptological reasoning involved. But it’s an interesting starting point, for certain. 🙂

  3. Then of course the terminal “P” of the keystring could really not be the last keystring letter, but the first letter of the subsequent ciphertext, rendering any toffee machinations obsolete…

  4. Elmar: all the same, a toffee-based decipherment puzzle would definitely be something to chew over. 😉

  5. Two more -xxyy pattern words I just noticed: committee and Tennessee. My current tentative prediction is that this will turn out to be someone’s name…

  6. James Pannozzi on July 6, 2010 at 5:52 pm said:

    I’m a little curious if anyone has pursued the word-number table approach, popular in the pre-Victorian era and Victorian era.
    Assuming an alphabetically organized table, some long term computer program could look for patterns that way (cf. “A Tale of a Cypher and APL”).
    At one time this would have been impossible but with todays computers and memory it’s not. Even brute force search – the fact of alphabetic organization implies a pattern will be found in the numbers. Backtracking then gives a partial build of the table. Going forward with the hypothetical word-number assignments then attempts to decode the puzzle. A dictionary from about 1810 or 20 would be a good start, though it should be a popular dictionary.
    Quantum computers, should they be built, would do it even faster.

  7. James: there are lots of things you could try to solve the Beale Ciphers, but the point of the post – the Beale Papers Paradox – is that despite Gillogly’s sequences in B1, it still seems more likely that broadly the same text was enciphered in broadly the same kind of way for both B1 and B2. My #1 recommendation to would-be Beale solvers would therefore be to engage with (and overcome) this paradox with the tools that you already have. I don’t honestly believe you would need to start trawling through every pre-1825 book ever printed to solve this – but your time is your own, so feel free to follow whatever leads you like. 🙂

  8. Nick, Is the Beale Cipher still used as required reading for Signals Intelligence type classes? And other than possibly digging up someone’s back yard because they may have put a nice, comfy garage/dog house/swimming pool over it, has anyone simply posted a reward for a definate solution?

  9. there can’t be many English words ending with two adjacent doubled letters

    Are you sure?

    $ egrep '(.)\1(.)\2$' /usr/share/dict/words

  10. Has anyone ever attempted the frequency method? Could work, am in the process of doing so; on a side note, I took into observation that the first page contains numbering which outnumbers the Declaration, however, the Constitution, which is another widely public document(which is just what a coder would want for the intended person to solve). The Constitution fits the number of words available, but so does the Farewell document. Although, my theories do revolve around historical documents, it could also be that the location was only to be deciphered using something only he and his best friend, Robert Morrison, would know.

  11. Could a similar method underlying the doubling and tripling seen in the Voynich ms., does anyone think?

    Non-cipher person’s question here.

  12. Diane: I’m pretty sure that the Beale Papers and the Voynich Manuscript use very different kinds of cryptography: there are far more differences than similarities.

  13. On my website, you will find a discussion of the letter strings in the decipherment of B1 using the key to B2. Arguments are given that the letter strings are a stronger indication that the treasure story is true than false.

  14. Why don’t you use a simulation rather than doing probability calculations? Mix the cipher 10,000 times. Make a count of letters strings at each iteration, plot these, and then compare this distribution to what you find in B1 decoded with key to B2.

    I don’t see this as a paradox. It is simply information that one doesn’t understand until it is understood.

  15. Stephen: for me, the Gillogly strings in B1 have always indicated the presence of cryptographic signal rather than noise, so I haven’t really needed any persuading. 🙂

  16. Nick:
    I don’t think the stings are a cryptographic signal. I accept the story at face value: Beale created three ciphers and Mr. Morriss was supposed to decipher them using the ciphers in a straightforward way. Beale wasn’t expecting Morriss to decode #1 with the key to #2 in order to learn something needed to decipher something else. That is nonsense. Beale put the strings there for a purpose, but it was for his purpose not Morriss’ purpose.
    It’s not a cryptographic signal.

  17. Stephen: Jim Gillogly came to much the same conclusion as you, but I have to say I disagree with both of you – to my eyes, the sequence is just too implausible to be either statistically coincidental or planned. But that’s ok – opinions are meant to differ! 🙂

  18. an interesting coincidence is the following
    first numbers of the Beale treasure code.
    71 x 2 = 142 = L
    194 x 2 = 388 =X
    38 x 2 = 76 = X
    1701 x 2= 3402 = V
    89 x 2 = 178 = V
    76 x 2 = 152 = V
    11 x 2 = 22 = V
    Stan Clayton

  19. Thomas Winwood on April 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm said:

    I decided to try and do my own decipherment, partly to make sure the text of B2 is recorded accurately (neither Cipher Mysteries nor Wikipedia has it quite correct, unfortunately, but I forgot to document the errors) and partly so I could investigate the Gillogly alphabet myself.

    Using Beale’s miscounted Declaration of Independence (with a few insertions and deletions) I find that there’s no break in the Gillogly alphabet prior to the H instead of an O, which may indicate more accurately where one of the omissions is located (thus moving an O word closer to the beginning of the text and changing that H into an O).

  20. One of my code keys show an interesting thing in the gillodgy strings.
    Just double the preceeding code number added this just a coincidence or am i making it up,this bit is not in my book
    BEALE TREASURE CIPHER SUCCESS.Its still at the publishers,Fast Print Peterborough

  21. mark stahley on October 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm said:

    I had some luck with 26 letter segments (the total is 520) and thinking it a hoax that it must be a joke. I showed it to Ron Gervais and he said he’d post it on his site in the near future. It’s not perfect so I can’t wait to here critiques!

  22. Richard Wassmer on March 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm said:

    I’ve studied the Beale papers for 10 years, always trying to accept it as true. Now I just can’t accept it as true. It is a hoax and a game played by J.B. Ward. Since it is a game, Ward left many clues to entice the readers. Ward could not come right out & say it was a hoax but left indirect hints.
    I think the people who say it is true usually are just wishful thinkers, who either want to get rich quickly or become famous solving the unsolved ciphers. If Ward left a signed confession saying he did it as a game , these people would try to prove Ward’s statement was wrong & deny their own instinct that the paper is a fake.
    The last string of letters in cipher 1 gives some good clues. They are not meaningless but part of Ward’s game.
    The last numbered word in The Beale version of the DOI is word 816. If we number the rest of the DOI from here, we get 1312 words total. Using this 1312 word DOI we can form these words from the string letters:
    Position 188 194 188 194
    Letter A G A G
    Number 147 113 147 113 = 520

    Cipher 1 has 520 numbers & it is A GAG or joke
    Continuing we get:

    Position 198 209 188 186 191 188 194 188 194
    Letter J W A R D A G A G
    Number 120 93 147 112 320 147 113 147 113= 1312

    This is the 1312 words used to decipher the string.
    “R” and “W” are not in the string but very close.

    J.B.Wards initials occur in the 3rd cipher.
    Position 411 412 413 = 1236
    Letter J B W
    Number 120 134 66

    In the string in cipher 1 we get:
    Position 198 189 209
    Letter J B W “W” is 3 places from end of string
    Number 120 436 93= 649

    Combining the 2 JBW numbers we get:

    1236+ 649 = 1885
    This is the year JB WARD got his copyright for the papers.
    These are just some of many similar clues which indicate that The Beale Papers are a fake.

  23. Richard: well… it’s an opinion. Perhaps disappointingly, I don’t have any agenda in proving or disproving that B1 and B3 are genuinely cryptograms. All the same, I would have thought that any practical explanation for how B1 was constructed should also explain the presence of the Gillogly strings when the DOI is applied to it.

  24. Richard Wassmer on March 1, 2013 at 10:21 pm said:

    Nick, Here is more evidence taken from String 4 in cipher 1 :

    Position 206 205 204 203 192 ___
    Letter P H O N E Y
    number 13 301 106 44 37 811 total = 1312

    Cipher 2 uses 811 for “Y” in every case.

    The 1312 word Beale Paper DOI is a fake DOI because it
    is miscounted but only this DOI comes close to deciphering
    cipher 2. Conventional DOI”s (1322 or 1323 words)produce many more errors.Counted correctly Beale’s DOI has 1324 words not 1322 or 1323 .
    Only the 1312 DOI correctly produces string 4. This is just a game by Ward to confuse readers. The following in string 4 shows the
    DOI is the key to get us to see all this:

    position 210 191 204 197
    letter T D O I
    number 86 320 106 8 total = 520 = cipher 1 #’s
    ie. The Declaration Of Independence

    Ward used 4 strings because he knew some readers would only decipher a small part of cipher 1. With 4 strings the reader is more likely to see one and continue searching.
    Once the reader got to string 4 he would see it as a sign to stop because there are no intelligent sentences. String 4
    is just another teaser stopping at letter “P” to make the reader wonder. But it does have clues like the ones I mentioned.
    You have to look hard. It is a challenge, but they are there.

  25. Richard Wassmer on March 2, 2013 at 4:04 pm said:

    the 4th string in cipher 1 is:

    the “C” IS NOT AN “F” AND THE 2ND “H” is not an “O”
    You have to use the 1312 word DOI not a 1322 or 1324DOI
    Use what is in the paper, it is there for a reason. To say the 2nd “H” is supposed to be an “O” is trying to change the facts in the papers to fit their own pet idea. This is completely backwards and prevents a real understanding of The Beale Papers.

  26. Marshall on March 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm said:

    On page 10 of Ward’s phamphlet he tells us, “To systematize a plan for my work I arranged the papers in the order of their length, and numbered them…..”.
    Then on page 21 of Ward’s phamphlet, in Ward’s decoding of paper No. 2, Thomas Beale writes, “Paper number “1” describes the exact locality of the vault”.
    How could Beale know that Ward numbered the papers 1, 2, 3? Also, Ward did not arrange the three papers in order of their length. No. 1 is the shortest, No. 2 is the longest, and No. 3 is in the middle.
    The prose in Beale’s Jan. 4, 1822 letter is perfect; some of the best I have read, other than Ward’s prose.
    Are Ward and Beale one in the same?

  27. Marshall: you know, I think your first point might just be the best single piece of evidence yet that the Beale Papers were concocted by Ward. But yet at the same time he has (as you point out) confused himself too. I’ll have to think about this one a bit more, it’s a bit of a raggedy mess, isn’t it? =:-o

  28. Marshall on March 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm said:

    Nick: Nothing here is really new to me. I started on started on the Phamphlet while at VCU in Richmond in 1971. Actually, I am not sure that Ward wrote the phamphlet, or if it was put together by another. To me, the Beale Treasure story is like a warm pair of socks on a cold day; comforting. I would love for it to be true, but reason is more important than all the wealth the treasure would bring. When the phamplet writer and Beale start speaking as one and the same, reason has to take over.

  29. Marshall on March 12, 2013 at 7:01 pm said:

    If the codes were contrived, there may have been a very good reason. Maybe they were meant to be impossible to solve. I plan to put together an article for Lost Treasure Magazine with pictures and taken from some notes I made in 1989. The publication should pay me $75 for the story, but it should be worth the read. I live very close to Buford’s (Montvale) so it will be pleasurable to visit the site of the interview I had during red bud season this spring. Should be some pretty pictures to go along with it.

  30. Marshall: be wary – I didn’t say you’d proved that Ward == Beale, merely that I thought you’d pointed out the single best piece of (internal) evidence that points in that direction.

    All the same, the jury’s still out, and I for one believe that the Gillogly sequences indicate that B1 is credibly cryptographic, rather than just meaningless frippery. 🙂

  31. Marshall on March 12, 2013 at 8:23 pm said:

    One thing is certain. These codes have stumped the best minds in the business. Today is my first visit to the site, and I am awe struck by some of the posts.

  32. Marshall: I think I’ve covered a fair bit of ground in the 820-odd posts here – but please feel free to email me ( if you think I’ve overlooked anything! 🙂

  33. Christopher on March 14, 2013 at 9:50 pm said:

    What if he used some other significant doc? Like the Articles of Confederation??

  34. Christopher: maybe in B3, but B1 looks likely – thanks to the Gillogly strings – to have been derived *in some way* from the DoI.

  35. Christopher on March 14, 2013 at 10:26 pm said:

    Also, when you build Cipher 1 out like a ten column table, it is 52 rows high… 52/2=26=Number of letters in alphabet…
    71 194 38 1701 89 76 11 83 1629 48
    94 63 132 16 111 95 84 341 975 14
    40 64 27 81 139 213 63 90 1120 8
    15 3 126 2018 40 74 758 485 604 230
    436 664 582 150 251 284 308 231 124 211
    486 225 401 370 11 101 305 139 189 17
    33 88 208 193 145 1 94 73 416 918
    263 28 500 538 356 117 136 219 27 176
    130 10 460 25 485 18 436 65 84 200
    283 118 320 138 36 416 280 15 71 224
    961 44 16 401 39 88 61 304 12 21
    24 283 134 92 63 246 486 682 7 219
    184 360 780 18 64 463 474 131 160 79
    73 440 95 18 64 581 34 69 128 367
    460 17 81 12 103 820 62 110 97 103
    862 70 60 1317 471 540 208 121 890 346
    36 150 59 568 614 13 120 63 219 812
    2160 1780 99 35 18 21 136 872 15 28
    170 88 4 30 44 112 18 147 436 195
    320 37 122 113 6 140 8 120 305 42
    58 461 44 106 301 13 408 680 93 86
    116 530 82 568 9 102 38 416 89 71
    216 728 965 818 2 38 121 195 14 326
    148 234 18 55 131 234 361 824 5 81
    623 48 961 19 26 33 10 1101 365 92
    88 181 275 346 201 206 86 36 219 324

    829 840 64 326 19 48 122 85 216 284
    919 861 326 985 233 64 68 232 431 960
    50 29 81 216 321 603 14 612 81 360
    36 51 62 194 78 60 200 314 676 112
    4 28 18 61 136 247 819 921 1060 464
    895 10 6 66 119 38 41 49 602 423
    962 302 294 875 78 14 23 111 109 62
    31 501 823 216 280 34 24 150 1000 162
    286 19 21 17 340 19 242 31 86 234
    140 607 115 33 191 67 104 86 52 88
    16 80 121 67 95 122 216 548 96 11
    201 77 364 218 65 667 890 236 154 211
    10 98 34 119 56 216 119 71 218 1164
    1496 1817 51 39 210 36 3 19 540 232
    22 141 617 84 290 80 46 207 411 150
    29 38 46 172 85 194 39 261 543 897
    624 18 212 416 127 931 19 4 63 96
    12 101 418 16 140 230 460 538 19 27
    88 612 1431 90 716 275 74 83 11 426
    89 72 84 1300 1706 814 221 132 40 102
    34 868 975 1101 84 16 79 23 16 81
    122 324 403 912 227 936 447 55 86 34
    43 212 107 96 314 264 1065 323 428 601
    203 124 95 216 814 2906 654 820 2 301
    112 176 213 71 87 96 202 35 10 2
    41 17 84 221 736 820 214 11 60 760

  36. Christopher on March 14, 2013 at 11:02 pm said:

    I think that 52 by 10 got you thinking 🙂

  37. Marshall on March 15, 2013 at 6:12 pm said:

    Does anyone have any information about Mel Fisher visiting Bedford in search of the treasure? It was back in November 1989.

  38. Marshall: perhaps a bit too recent to be *the* Thomas Beale, but a nice find anyway. 🙂

  39. Marshall on March 18, 2013 at 4:29 pm said:

    Part of the intrigue of the Beale Treasure Story is that it may be a cover story for events that happened well after the time line established in the story. This might be why both Beale and Ward wrote about Paper No. 1, the exact locality of the vault. If the time line established were true, then Beale would never have referred to Paper No. 1 as he did in his writings; for it was Ward who systimitized his work, arranged the papers according to their length, and numbered them 1,2, and 3. Beale would never know that Ward numbered the papers forty years later.

    I do think the codes tell about a treasure, but just not the treasure that is described. The gold and silver may have been mined near Alma, Co, but not by Beale and his party; someone else mined it.

  40. Paul G. Stewart on April 12, 2013 at 7:06 pm said:

    What would you say if I told you I’ve solved the Beale Papers? Probably dubious I’m sure, but in fact I have…in relatively short order too. Why no one has solved them is that aren’t least not in the traditional sense. There is no buried treasure. The proof will be published soon.,

  41. Paul: what I say to all Beale decryptors is this – that unless your decryption of B1 even partially explains the presence of the (highly unlikely) Gillogly strings, then I think it is overwhelmingly likely that you have made a poor choice somewhere along the way.

  42. Paul Stewart on May 4, 2013 at 1:20 am said:

    My answer to that is simply this- there are actually 4 ciphers. The narrative itself is a cipher as is the message contained in cipher #2. The answer in #2 itself is a cipher. As for the Gillogly strings-Gillogly answered half the equation but didn’t pull the trigger. He is brilliant in that he identified the strings in the first place…but there is far more there than anyone realizes. Take a critical look at the narrative- just the narrative, not the ciphers, and see if you can see what I’ve found. Its quite easy actually.

  43. Marshall on May 28, 2013 at 2:12 pm said:

    When you say, “narrative”, are you speaking of the Booklet from start to finish, or are you referring to the long letter found in the box?

  44. Paul Stewart on May 28, 2013 at 10:28 pm said:

    Marshall- the entirety of the TBP. For doubters…here’s a few tasty morsels…

    Locate all the months in the TBP and convert those months into their numeric values (Jan = 1, Feb = 2 etc), then total them together. What’s that amount?

    Next, add up the pages numbers these months are found on, and total them as well. What’s the total?

    What is the duration of time from when Morriss is given the box to the time he opens it? What is the duration of time between the time Morriss downloads his story until the story is copywritten? The TBP contains how many pages? Add that to the durations…what’s the total?

    Additionally, for Cipher #2, the author added “key” numbers which allow a person to track their way through the DOI to facilitate their not getting lost. He starts with 1-10, and then counts by 10s up to 810, and then resorts to 811, 812, 813 up to 816. He also makes the mistake of counting 480 twice. Instead of focusing on the DOI…count the key numbers themselves. First do it with the mistake- and then remove the mistake. For both, follow this by reducing the number just one (so 810 would be a 9, 84 would be 12 etc). Notice anything?

  45. Here again are the results of my 12 year investigation
    of The Beale Papers.

    Comments to:

  46. Evan on June 20, 2014 at 2:13 am said:

    Speaking of hoaxes, despite the tantalizing “Gillogly Strings” suggesting B1 was encoded with the same DOI used to encode B2, I’m starting to lean in that direction after re-reading the letter that Beale supposedly sent Robert Morris.

    Others have pointed out the use of the word “stampeding” suggests it wasn’t written in 1822, so I was also wondering about the use of the term “grizzlies” when he says “I shall remain here a week or ten days longer, then “ho” for the
    plains, to hunt the buffalo and encounter the savage grizzlies.”

    Notwithstanding the fact if it would even be possible to find plains where both buffalo and grizzlies roamed and this wasn’t just fanciful creative license taken in romanticising the West by an eastern newspaperman like J. B. Ward, I wonder if “grizzlies” was even a common term in the west back then.

    I dug up a reference to the Lewis and Clark expedition not too much earlier in 1805 where they referred to them instead as only “The Great White Bear”, possibly a mistranslation of the Sioux name for the grizzly, “matohota” or “gray bear”:

  47. Evan, The term Grizzzly Bear dates to 1791
    Grizzlies was used in the early 1800’s


  48. Evan on June 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm said:

    Richard, thanks for clearing that up. Either way, I think the Gillogly strings suggest that B1 is enciphered from the DOI, whether it was done by Beale or Ward.

    So the two things I would point out that I’ve observed so far is that the longest Gillogly string has the same number of letters as Thomas Jefferson Beale:


    Could just be a coincidence since I’m not sure what could cause this. Perhaps a Vigenere cipher using that keyword but somehow shifting one letter forward each time, although that seems a bit sophisticated.

    Also, if the output after using the DOI is indeed ciphertext, it seems unlikely that the letters q,v,x,y,and z would be missing in such a long message.

    Maybe the numbers higher than the number of words in the DOI were used to represent these since it may have been difficult to find words starting with those letters.

  49. Evan, You have done some nice thinking.
    I explain how the whole thing is a hoax by
    J B Ward in my online paper. It is very detailed
    but I think I have answered the major questions
    showing that Ward had a central theme.


  50. Richard: I have read your online paper, and plan to review it quite soon.

  51. Evan: be careful, there is no evidence Thomas Beale’s middle name was “Jefferson”, it’s a detail that got ‘added in’ along the way.

  52. Nick, Thanks for your consideration…Rich

  53. Kenneth Bauman on June 21, 2014 at 7:50 pm said:

    Way too complex TBP is to negate an ulterior methodology of hiding a map to some location of hidden wealth. Why in the world hide such complexity so that no one would appreciate the effort until so long after one’s death?

    What if 666 means refuge?

    What if IMP means the spirit or overt effort of EAP?

    What if the obvious intense complexity hides a real treasure?

    What if I can’t say anything more???

  54. Kenneth Bauman on June 21, 2014 at 8:02 pm said:

    The Imp of the Perverse is a metaphor for the urge to do exactly the wrong thing in a given situation for the sole reason that it is possible for wrong to be done.

  55. Kenneth Bauman on June 21, 2014 at 8:14 pm said:

    e r g o t

  56. Kenneth: in my experience of looking at Cipher Mysteries, what people generally conclude to be overcomplex is normally something fairly simple that has had one or more additional layers of historical accident happen to it, whether miscopying, misinterpretation, Chinese Whispers, deliberate mythmaking, or whatever.

    But all the same, good luck getting fabulously wealthy. 😉

  57. Kenneth Bauman on June 22, 2014 at 8:06 pm said:

    Thanks, Nick.

  58. Nick, have you made any progress with my online paper?
    Thanks…Rich Wassmer

  59. Richard: I’ve gone through your paper, and will be posting on it (reasonably) soon…

  60. Nick, Thanks for your comments, either way…Rich

  61. Kenneth, I tried to connect POE’s TIOTP and other
    stories several years ago but couldn’t find enough
    solid evidence. I think my sources explain most
    details of the Beale story and don’t need other
    sources(Occam’s Razor)…Rich W

  62. Kenneth Bauman on July 7, 2014 at 6:07 pm said:

    Rich: My thoughts are that TBP story is fiction/a hoax; however, a treasure map does exist within. Actually a map to several treasures exists within.

    OK, Occam’s Razor, for you… But, what if one possesses the path to a singular golden thread of information that traverses all the superfluous and ineffectual tidbits of information that get in the way of truth…therefore making moot Occam’s Razor? The key to the entrance of this golden thread of information is the “object duo”. Helping people to see this is exceedingly difficult and patience is necessary. I’ll talk to you more via e-mail.

  63. I have what I think is my last paper on The Beale Treasure.
    It is 19 pages long. It can be found on Google by entering:
    “The Beale Treasure Scam” The title of the paper is
    THE BEALE PAPERS -No Gold, No Message by
    Richard Wassmer

  64. Hi Nick,
    I don’t think the paradox is a big problem. Consider I am encoding a message using the Magna Carta. If I have a sequence of common letters (e.g. T), I have many choices available of which word to reference in the Magna Carta. It’s not very hard to find an instance that coincides with a target letter from the Declaration of Independence. The author could encode the intended message with the Magna Carta, and choose carefully a selected sequence that produces ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOP when the message is decoded with the wrong document, ie. the Declaration of Independence.

    I tested the idea with software, and it’s not too hard. It fails when either the actual letter to encode, or the desired distraction letter – are infrequent. So ‘J’ and ‘K’ in the alphabet sequence would have been a problem. But if matched against a ‘T’ from the Magna Carta, then it’s easy.

    Why would someone bother to do this? Maybe:
    1) The alphabet sequence is a hint to say – not this time, but you’re on the right track
    2) My personal opinion – the back story here sounds too absurd to me true, and is a fictional piece written by someone with a flair for fun and creativity. Maybe they hoped to sell a lot of pamphlets and decided to spend half a day adding a little intrigue by placing this alphabet easter egg in the message. If it was me, I would do exactly something like that. Why not? It’s all good fun and fits the profile of someone who spends their spare time playing around with codes.

    So – folks, get cracking with all those documents again!

  65. … a further note. The alphabet sequence stops of Q, a very rare letter to start a word with. Maybe he ran out of luck at this point and decided he’d made his point with the Easter egg. He would only have one Q to choose from in the Declaration of Independence, so not likely to be able to continue.

  66. Jessica Carrier on July 17, 2016 at 3:22 am said:

    OK, I’m confused… so, is it a myth/joke or is it true??

  67. nickpelling on July 17, 2016 at 8:06 am said:

    Jessica: it would seem to be a myth built up around a genuine set of ciphers. So… both, really. 🙂

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