As part of the long slow process of fleshing out the Cipher Foundation’s website, I’ve added a new page there laying out the core evidence relating to the Anthon Transcript, a cipher-like document that sits right at the heart of the foundation history / mythology of the Mormon Church.
The short (non-TL;DR) version is that even though it has long been claimed that the Anthon Transcript (shown to Professor Charles Anthon in 1828) and the Caractors fragment are one and the same, a photograph that was unearthed in Clay County Museum in Missouri in 2012 seems to disprove this whole notion. Hmmm.
All the same, people continue to build high-rise cipher theories on top of this unsupportive sandy loam. Most recently, Jerry Grover announced his own fairly epic (251 pages of argument) Caractors translation, that renders the first four lines as:
In the nineteenth regnal year of Mosiah I, the Nephites traveled over the mountains to the foreign speaking people of Mulek. These twenty thousand ‘children of Mosiah’ traveled downriver on the east side of the River Sidon [Grijalva] for eighty days and reached Zarahemla. And then it came to pass that after ten years thus began the period of the Seven Tribes. After the space of twenty-one more years had passed, Zeniff, with sixty of his people, departed. Fifty-three more years then passed; then the Limhiites obtained twenty-four plates from the west in the Land of Desolation, returning upriver on the River of Lamanite Possessions [Usumacinta]. After their return upriver, seven years later, the Limhiites traveled west, bringing the pure gold Jaredite plates to Mosiah (II), which he translated. Previous to the arrival of the Limhiites, Benjamin was made King in the second month of the four hundred and thirty-sixth year after Lehi left Jerusalem. At the age of eighty-three, King Benjamin ascended to eternity, which was four hundred seventy nine years after Lehi left Jerusalem. King Benjamin’s death occurred one and one third years before the arrival of the Limhites. Four years before the arrival of the Limhites, the period of the Seven Tribes ended in conjunction with the Jubilee Year.
Personally, I’d assess the probability that this is correct is roughly the same as a truck load of lobsters falling out of a clear blue sky into my garden: in that I can conceive that it is (just about) possible and (broadly) consistent with the laws of physics, but (etc etc etc).
More generally, I’d offer this as a stark warning to idiot Voynich linguists such as Stephen Bax, as the kind of ultimate destination their foolish non-theorizing will ultimately lead them to.