Six months ago, I was interviewed for a “Raiders of the Last Past” (“Myth Hunters” in the US) episode focusing on the Beale Papers. Unfortunately, I managed to miss the first US airing three weeks ago of Series 3 Episode 13 “The Mystery of Thomas Beale’s Treasure”, *sigh*, and so completely failed to flag it to all you nice Cipher Mysteries readers, sorry. 🙁
However, the UK version is going to be broadcast at 9pm this Good Friday (3rd April 2015) on Yesterday (Freeview channel #19), and I heartily recommend it as a nice slice of cipher mystery TV entertainment. Of course, feel free to fast-forward past my own talking head, because if you’re reading this you probably already know what I’m going to say. 🙂
Anyway, rather than try to summarize the whole sorry saga of the Beale Papers, the film-makers have chosen to focus on George and Clayton Hart’s sustained attempts to understand and crack them. Which I think, having seen the final edit, was a pretty smart move on their part: I mean, who really wants to see a long parade of ugly battling theories?
My own conclusion on the Beale Ciphers shifted while I was getting my thoughts ready for camera, as I described here before. In short, I now think that the ciphers are very probably real, but that nearly all of the pamphlet is fake. I also think that the ciphers will prove to be crackable, with little more than a small step sideways from what we already know.
We shall see! But in the meantime, enjoy the episode! 🙂