Hans Jahr very kindly left a comment here on Cipher Mysteries recently, pointing me at a treasure trove of declassified NSA documents relating to William Friedman.
Some of these had already been declassified by different NSA mechanisms: but even so, there’s simply so much new material to go through here that it’s enough to make your head spin.
Of course, I’ve started trying to go through these (e.g. there’s not that much new on the Voynich Manuscript, but there’s a lot on the role of Typex II in the post-WW2 years), but it’s going to take a while. Please feel free to browse and search yourselves, and let me know if you stumble onto anything interesting. 🙂
Incidentally, given that Friedman evaluated the Chaocipher in 1942, there may well be some Chaocipher-related correspondence in there somewhere for Moshe Rubin to find. (There’s a large Excel spreadsheet briefly listing out all the items).
Speaking of whom, Moshe Rubin also very kindly dropped me a email about an NSA page containing recently declassified Beale Papers documents.
As you’d expect, many have dated badly and many others are of little use, but that still leaves many other interesting things in the heap. Browse and enjoy; and if you do happen to find something about four miles from Buford’s Tavern… 🙂
More generally, though, the NSA has posted up a list of declassified topics: this includes not only Friedman and Beale, but also VENONA, the death of John F. Kennedy, UFOs, etc etc.
Yet personally, I’m more interested by this unbelievably long list of declassified code/cipher stuff, which includes items relating to just about every country that ciphered anything in the first half of the 20th century. It took me half an hour to speed read through the titles alone!
I picked out a few choice items, firstly on Double Transposition (more on that in a few days’ time):-
NR 1479 CBKH37 6021A 19401200 TRAINING PAMPHLET NO. 40 DOUBLE TRANSPOSITION CIPHERS NUMERICAL SOLUTION
NR 1871 CBLI66 4262A 19340000 GENERAL SOLUTION FOR THE DOUBLE TRANSPOSITION CIPHER
NR 2017 CBLJ73 6206A 19450212 GERMAN POW REPORTS ON DOUBLE TRANSPOSITION CIPHER SYSTEM USED BY AMERICAN
NR 4608 ZEMA36 13947A 19430200 SIGRED-2 INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING DOUBLE TRANSPOSITION CIPHER
Next, some documents on secret writing (at least one person here likes that 🙂 ):
NR 3464 CBQM37 4000A 19200000 SECRET INKS
NR 3465 CBQM37 4852A 19430109 POSTAGE STAMP CODE – ANTHONY E. SCOTTINO CASE
NR 3468 CBQM37 863A 19431129 SECRET WRITING
NR 3469 CBQM37 896A 19430326 WORKSHEETS OF THE LAB BRANCH ON SECRET INK TESTS
NR 3470 CBQM37 897A 19430601 MISCELLANEOUS PAPERS ON POW CENSORSHIP AND SECRET WRITING
NR 3471 CBQM37 898A 19440331 LETTERS CONTAINING SECRET WRITING CONDEMNED BY LAB AFTER EXAMINATION
There’s a report on the Zimmerman Telegram:-
NR 1872 CBLI66 4263A 19380000 ZIMMERMAN TELEGRAM OF JANUARY 16, 1917 AND ITS CRYPTOGRAPHIC BACKGROUND
A few pages I’ll try to get around to looking at before very long:-
NR 3552 CBSC73 6101A 19430500 SECURITY OF ALLIED CIPHERS
NR 3857 ZEMA109 46120A 19431113 UNITED KINGDOM “EXAMPLES OF OPERATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN THE USE OF PIGEONS BY THE R.A.F.”
NR 4660 ZEMA42 4410A 19420120 INTERCEPT OF CARRIER PIGEON MESSAGE
And finally, a fair few photos:-
NR 4181 ZEMA169 41048A 19170000 PHOTOGRAPH. WILLIAM F. FRIEDMAN, SIS, ASA, NSA
NR 4195 ZEMA169 41111A 19420000 PHOTOGRAPH: BRIG. JOHN H. TILTMAN, UK
NR 4693 ZEMA46 41289A 19450000 PHOTOGRAPHS: EQUIPMENT – BOMBE