Without any further ado, here’s The History Channel’s “The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer” season #1 finale, wherein Craig Bauer, having immersed himself almost completely in Zodiac Killer arcana, conjures up a new solution of the Z340, whereupon everyone else falls (or seems to fall) in line:

Well… OK, I guess. I suspect what most people would agree on about this ‘solution’ are:
* it’s primarily intuitive, and not really ‘cryptological’ in any useful sense of the word
* it’s either really brilliant or really foolish, and almost certainly nowhere inbetween

Craig’s Crack

Because the starting point for Craig Bauer’s decryption attempt was the idea that some letters might actually encipher themselves (to make the answer hide in plain sight), I’ve added a green background to those letters (or simply transformed letters) where the ciphertext and his decrypted text coincide, e.g. “HER……KI.L….” on the topmost line. You should be able to see 23 green-backgrounded letters.

However, for the sake of balance, I’ve also added a red background to those letters (or simply transformed letters) where the two do not coincide, e.g. “…PLVVP….TB.D” on the topmost line. You should be able to see 61 red-backgrounded letters (I think).

To make the following diagram, I used Dave Oranchak’s funky online Cipher Explorer tool:

It should be immediately obvious that a very high degree of selectivity is going on here: furthermore, seven letters are left out (on lines 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7), while three extra letters are inserted (lines 5 and 8). Finally, there is no consistent mapping of other shapes to plaintext letters as per the claimed decrypt, which is why I think it is safe to say that this is not a ‘cryptological’ decryption in any useful sense of the word.

The notion that a given historical ciphertext uses a handful of actual letters as themselves while the rest are somehow illusory or made up is an illusionary amateur cipher-breaking trope I have seen many dozens of times. In every case, it is a Pyrrhic victory of intense hopefulness over good sense, and achieves nothing bar wasting my time. If anyone can point my attention to anything about this particular decryption that varies from this rather self-defeating and useless template, I’d be fascinated to see it: but so far, this is just about as bad as it gets.

The motif of this antipattern is the codebreaker dreaming themselves an intense imaginary journey into the world of the codemaker, and bringing back as their prize a sampling of their vision, one that is every bit as hard to read as a book in a dream. All they have is the enduring conviction that they have solved it, a conviction that gets strengthened the brainier they are (and hence the more ingenious their post-rationalizing retro-fitting gets).

Total Immersion Delusion

If I were to give this kind of behaviour a “Pattern” name, I’d probably choose “Total Immersion Delusion“. Only someone who feels they have totally immersed themselves in their imagined world of the cipher maker would propose such a thing, and in almost every single case it is – sadly – a delusion that gets conjured up.

Here, you can see the seeds of the dream forming in the first line’s “HER…” and “KI.L” word-fragment patterns: but as the dream progressively fades away, the ability of the dreamer to fit the shape to the overselected letters reduces and reduces, until they’re left with only the sketchiest outlines of hope (a single green letter on lines 4, 5 and 7 demonstrates the degree to which it has triumphed over rationality here).

Sorry, but from what I can see, this Z340 ‘solution’ isn’t even close to being close: nobody’s going to come out of this particular dungheap smelling of roses, no matter how hard you hold your nose. Not huge, not a game-changer, sorry.

59 thoughts on ““The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer” season finale, and Craig Bauer’s Z340 cipher “crack”…

  1. Mark Knowles on December 14, 2017 at 10:27 pm said:

    Nick: So who do you think was the Zodiac? I really enjoyed the movie with Robert Downey Jr and Jake Gyllenhaal, though I haven’t watched the series. Whilst I, like many people, find the Zodiac case fascinating I have no intention whatsoever of taking on this problem. It is also feels like a situation where being on the ground and interviewing people is really important and trying to solve it by computer long distance is much less feasible, though that is less of a problem if one focuses just on the ciphers.

  2. “[N]obody’s going to come out of this particular dungheap smelling of roses, no matter how hard you hold your nose. Not huge, not a game-changer, sorry.”

    Mr. Pelling, does that include your cipher associate, David Oranchak? Perhaps we should hear where Dave, himself, now stands with this widely publicized “solution” . . . or would that violate some non-compete/disclosure clause of History Channel and Karga Seven Pictures, Inc.?

    Here’s a conversation starter: http://www.zodiackillerciphers.com/?p=602

  3. Poppet: I’m just calling it the way I see it, that’s hardly playing favourites.

  4. john sanders on December 15, 2017 at 7:42 am said:

    I was rather happy with bdi1der’s ex naval rating hubby off C14, who along with his marine corps buddy Kenny, drove out by lake ‘H’ with murder on their minds.

  5. Bill Briere on December 15, 2017 at 7:44 am said:

    Dave?

    Craig?

    I guess they’re not aware of all the commotion they’ve caused online. They’ve quietly returned to business as usual, as if nothing happened.

    They’re certainly not lurking around the various sites that have been calling them out to defend the show and the solution, otherwise we would have heard from them, right? They probably think that their huge, game-changing discoveries were all in a day’s work. No big deal.

    Nope, they must not be able to hear us. Totally unaware that we’re waiting for them to chime in. Surely they would at least say hello to us, if they were reading this.

    Well, that’s all for now. This forum is making me feel … uncomfortable. Anytime I post about these guys, I get this creepy feeling that I’m being watched.

  6. Nick,
    What you call ‘total immersion’ I’d call an encyclopaedic knowledge : expertise.

    I can’t see that there’s any reason to believe that Zodiac fellow would have felt obliged to stick to any “rules of cipher composition” or to produce something which would render a nice, neat, consistent article. I see no evidence that the was trying to sell himself as a cipher-master; rather a madman who thought he needn’t conform to any conventions, not even those of basic humanity.

    So why wouldn’t he make a so-called ‘cipher’ that broke those rules too?
    It makes me wonder if he’d read a certain novel very popular among the weirder section of the 60s – but you had to be there to really understand that.

    If Craig’s ideas were delusional, don’t you think the other guys would have tried to prevent its reaching the camera? Or then the police? Or if they couldn’t keep it back from the police, surely they’d have been prevented bothering the last organisation named.

    I’m inclined to think that what Craig’s range of knowledge let him do was read the message – not unlike the way a parent can tell us what a parent or child with speaking difficulties is trying to say. To us, the connect between sound and message is near-impossible to make; they do it because they know the person so well.

  7. Diane: the biggest delusions are always built on top of deep domain expertise, so you have watch those experts carefully. 😉

    People are starting to wonder what the other experts in the room actually thought of the ‘solution’, but that’s for them to say, not for me to guess. 😉

  8. When enough evidence can be collected theory should follow evidence and not the other way around. Often people come up with a Z340 theory based on very loose evidence or on their opinion of how the killer thinked. And they have no other choice since they know so little about the cipher.

  9. I’ll give Mr. Bauer credit for one thing: having come up with a decryption method so loose it allowed him to make the cipher say whatever he pleased, at least he had the decency not to libel someone by signing it with the name of his favorite Zodiac suspect, as Penn, Starliper and other crackpots have done in the past.

    It’s not a high bar to aim for, but it’s better than nothing…

  10. Jarlve: from reading Craig Bauer’s book “Unsolved!”, he’s clearly well aware of pretty much all the Zodiac evidence. However, this apparently wasn’t enough to immunize him against the same kind of ‘viral overhopefulness’ that infects so many other would-be historical codebreakers. 🙁

  11. There wasn’t much time left between the printing of ‘Unsolved’ (presumably summer 2017, Z340 still unsolved) and the making of the ‘Hunt’ (when?, Z340 solved). So there was no other way than to crack it ‘psychologically immersing’ oneself, crypto-logic falling by the wayside.

  12. Bill Briere: I’m reasonably confident that the opinions of all those concerned will emerge before too long. At the same time, I would be unsurprised if the picture of unanimity presented by the programme makers was more a result of creative editing than of mutual cryptological assent. If – as Kevin Knight was portrayed as saying – this is indeed the ‘best’ Z340 crack proposed so far, bear in mind that what it is in competition with is Corey Starliper’s ‘reading’, along with the rest of the pack: even if this is technically correct, that still doesn’t necessarily mean that it is (a) right or (b) any good. Comparing two crocks to decide which of them is the less disastrously wrong is a fool’s task. 😉

  13. In software engineering we would call this an anti-pattern: a common pattern that is counter-productive.

  14. Ken: why yes – I have the book, and in fact talked with one of the “Upstart Gang of Four” at a conference more than a decade ago. Antipatterns are still a part of the Patterns literature, though having blogged about antilanguages and antisocieties in the last few days, I probably felt like giving the ‘anti-‘ prefix a rest. 😉

  15. Rick A. Roberts on December 16, 2017 at 8:07 am said:

    The last line of the Z340 ZODIAC CIPHER deciphers to ; ” SVEHGTNEIADENEWTSIE “, or ” SEVEN DIE IN HUNTINGTON AND I WASTED THEM “.

  16. Rick A. Roberts on December 16, 2017 at 8:45 am said:

    Line that begins with ” R ” and ends with ” L ” deciphers to, ” GGSETTISNESAELTDT “, or ” GETTING LATE EDS SET “. Next to last line deciphers to, ” TSIOENARLYUNLESSG “, or ” EARLY UNLESS I GET NOS “.

  17. Rick A. Roberts on December 16, 2017 at 9:24 am said:

    Line that begins with ” + ” and ends with ” Backwards P ” deciphers to, ” EDDIES SKATING IN “.

  18. Rick A. Roberts on December 16, 2017 at 9:36 am said:

    First line of Z340 that starts with ” H ‘ and ends with ” Backwards D ” deciphers to, ” IT IS GETTING LATE “. Line that ends in ” . I ” , deciphers to, ” EHGTNEIAENATTSISE “, or ” EIGHTEEN AT S ANISE ST “.

  19. I think about all you need to de-bunk the solution is to note that the symbol that looks like the Greek letter phi maps to R, T and W. And that phi appears as the letter W in NOW ANGRY DANGEROS. Or does it? Maybe it ought to be the letter T, giving you NOT ANGRY DANGEROS, which is pretty much the opposite meaning.

  20. L.E.: there must be a hundred different ways of debunking this ‘solution’. Get on the bus, Gus, don’t need to discuss much / Get a new key, Lee, set yourself free. 😉

  21. Bill Briere on December 17, 2017 at 5:35 am said:

    @L.E. @nickpelling Sure, there are lots of ways to debunk things. But there are also lots of ways to shine a positive light on things.

    Z-340 is a puzzle that any of us could have broken, but it requires that we let go of the chains that keep us from thinking outside the box.

    Maybe the following tips will help everyone understand Craig Bauer’s process and bring a little ray of encouragement to those who still dream.

    Only the decryption steps for this type of cryptogram are shown below. You’ll need to reverse them to encrypt. And the key, of course, is sort of generated and compiled along the way.

    1. Start with a guess at an opening phrase, such as “Here it is” or whatever. In Z-340-type cryptograms, you’ll find that the first few letters are usually not enciphered, so as to provide a hint to the solver.

    2. Fill in your initial letter recoveries throughout the rest of the cryptogram. If nothing promising appears, start over with a new guess. You are allowed to make as many guesses as you want, but you must have at least one good letter to be able to assume that a guess is correct. If a really good word that you need is mostly right, you also may add or remove a letter to fix it. This step is much easier if you can psychologically get inside the author’s head; e.g., you might be able to determine that he or she was a bad speller. (Novice solvers: At this stage, you may also use a handful of wildcards, but don’t burn through them too quickly. You might need them later.)

    3. While immersing yourself in the encrypter’s thoughts, you may start “seeing words.” Open your eyes occasionally to write these down, before you forget them. Be bold. This is, after all, a monoalphabetic, uniliteralish, monographic-esque, pushmi-pullyu-homophonic substitution (MUMPPS) cipher, which is just a fancy way of saying that you don’t need any military training to use it. Another great thing about the MUMPPS cipher is that it does not suffer from the one-way limitation of Z-408’s homophonic system, in which the mapping of letters to symbols was flexible in only one direction.

    4. At some point, it will become difficult to extend the plaintext recoveries any further. Don’t give up! Relax the rules a little, if necessary. Allow yourself to borrow a sensible vowel here and there, if that’s what it takes to accomplish the mission. Once you are absolutely sure that nothing more can be found, that’s when you’ll know that you’ve hit the null section, which you can ignore from that point forward, mostly.

    5. Skip down to the bottom of the ciphertext. Since we are looking for a signature here, it will not be encrypted the same as the rest of the message. Look for a name that consists of about a quarter to a third plaintext, plus another quarter to a third where the symbols sort of resemble their plaintext counterparts, and then apply your wildcards for the rest. This step is not as easy as it sounds, but with a diligent search, you are likely to be able to force a generously misspelled name in there.

    6. Finally, and most importantly: Verification. Run the solution by a sensationalist media production crew, who will provide rigorous validation of your work and skillfully edited feedback from a panel of experts. After all, the number of correct solutions is surely limited to only a few dozen, at most, one would think. And, with a little luck, you, too, will soon join the rolls of those who have solved Z-340. Good luck!

  22. Bill Briere: not looking forward to Season 2, then? I thought we might rent a small cinema, get a load of popcorn and bourbon, and play the “huge”/”game changer” buzzword bingo drinking game. We’d have hangovers for a week, sure, but it would be for the sake of science, right? 😉

  23. Bill Briere on December 17, 2017 at 2:34 pm said:

    @Nick “Inneresting.”

  24. David Oranchak just made this post at his ZodiacKillerCiphers site:

    http://www.zodiackillerciphers.com/?p=758&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=craig-bauers-solution-to-z340

    “So, what do you think? Is Craig on the right track?”

    Regrettably, History Channel Cipher Team Member, David Oranchak leaves us with ‘more questions than answers.’ Evidently, Dave does not (yet) wish to tell us what HE thinks – and let’s face it; Oranchak is rarely short of advice or criticism when people proffer Zodiac killer 340 cipher solutions.

    As of this date—about six months after Bauer presented and peer reviewed his solution with the History Channel/Karga Seven Pictures Cipher Team—readers of the Zodiac Ciphers wiki will not find Bauer’s 340 cipher “solution” on the David Oranchak’s list of “Discredited or inconclusive solution attempts.”

    http://zodiackillerciphers.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

    So, we are left to ‘think’ that unlike the other cipher “solutions” on Dave’s inchoate list, Craig Bauer’s solution is neither “discredited” nor “inconclusive” and must therefore be . . . according to David Oranchak . . . ?

  25. Bruce Smith on December 18, 2017 at 4:32 am said:

    Nick, I agree with your assessment. Many of the professed solutions to Z340 use many-to-many keys, which aren’t really keys at all. Craig Bauer’s solution appears to make wild card substitutions. Note that the Z408 key, more specifically the Concerned Citizen key, offered one-to-many key. IF a message exists within Z340 (and it is possible that no message is enciphered at all), THEN there must be an organized enciphering algorithm (accepting errors, as demonstrated in the Z408). However, Zodiac may have increased the complexity of the encipher algorithm by using simple offsets based on column or row or both (Ceasar or shift cipher). Cyclical offsets are also a simple method of increasing complexity. Just saying.

  26. Rick A. Roberts on December 18, 2017 at 5:09 am said:

    ” MY NAME IS … “, ” WEEDOESOEHOEREWH “, or ” WOODROW SHEEHEEEE ” or ” WOODROW SHEEHEES “.

  27. David Schoen on December 18, 2017 at 10:23 pm said:

    What does one do if they legitimately think they have found the name in the z340 cipher?

  28. David Schoen: one the one hand, it is possible to find all manner of names in the Z340 (and don’t get me started on how it is surely possible to find Ted Cruz in the Z340 – in fact, you could probably find Ted Cruz in the Z13 if you really, really wanted to).

    Moreover, if the Z340 (as the Z408 before it was) is a homophonic cipher, it is one that has even more cipher shapes and even longer stretches of text with only very sparse repeats (the Z340’s lines #1 to #3 and #11 to #13 spring quickly to mind) where you can make literally anything whatsoever fit.

    On the other hand, if you have found a name, the clever part isn’t the name but the means by which you found that name. If you want, you can run it past me or Dave Oranchak in confidence: however, be warned that the chances are very slim that you’ve found something new (e.g. the “ZODAIK” sequence in line #20 was noticed almost immediately, etc).

  29. David Schoen on December 18, 2017 at 10:59 pm said:

    Yeah I would prefer to run it by someone in confidence I think… Because I probably don’t have anything and would hate look to foolish.. but on the 1 in whatever number I am correct I would hate to not get the credit 🙂

  30. Rick A. Roberts on December 19, 2017 at 4:39 am said:

    Nick,
    What do you think about my previous work above ?

  31. Rick: I’m sorry to say that I’m a bit of a cipher purist, so your attempts to read the Z340 off the page (while shifting letters around and filling in the gaps to turn them into words) don’t really work for me. But if Craig Bauer can convince other people with broadly the same kind of solution, there would seem to be plenty of space for everyone to do their thing here.

  32. Jew-Lee Lann on December 20, 2017 at 2:51 am said:

    Very disappointed in the whole mini-series, now picked up for a second season. I can’t believe that Dave was a part of this Histo-fiction show, but I get Craig. From my own my personal experience, I get why Craig might have appeared on the show and claimed a “solution”.

    Just watching and reading through his new slideshow; Craig’s defense is cringe-worthy. A PowerPoint Presentation is not really a proper peer-review or defense, but here are my comments anyhow.

    No serious analysis, or sound method was produced. He purely had a weak “method”, if I could call it that, to show that most of the letters represented themselves…unless, of course they didn’t… the rest were filled in with the ease of a crossword puzzle that went wrong.

    A many-to-many relationship was used to fill in the blanks, sprinkled in with adding a few letters in the plain-text (PT). As Craig started to run out of options on how to massage the “pseudo-homophonic” structure in, the message fell to gibberish.

    My only regret is that layman, the person who does not know the rules of proper analysis, will take this as incredible “solution” and learn that this is the basis as how to solve codes…close your eyes…. just let words come to you and try to fit them in. Just make sure those words sound like they came from the intended.

    Well, I will try to keep my rant to a minimum…as I could go on about 50 year-old maggots…or how CARMEL stole all of Dave’s ideas that’s been out there for years, or how they introduced all the information as if it were new, or how they excavated for a body by digging a diameter of a 2x2x4 foot deep hole and exclaimed that the Zodiac came and re-claimed the body…. and lastly, how they knew exactly where the bomb was and were digging it by themselves (with no protective gear or bomb squad) with a garden spade, which when they reached 3 inches they then claimed they had exhausted the site and that it must have again been dug up and re-taken by the Zodiac killer.

    Maybe season 2 will redeem itself?….I will not hold my breath.

  33. Jew-Lee: if Craig had been presented with his own solution, he would not given it the time of day. And yet he managed to convince himself of its correctness, one wonky crossword clue at a time. It’s not unlike that Frenchman who ate a bicycle by grinding it into tiny pieces and eating the fragments with his meals: there really is nothing you can’t swallow if you put your mind to it. 🙁

  34. Gerry Thompson on December 20, 2017 at 10:23 am said:

    I believe line 9 of the Z340 cipher reads “this is Zodiac speaking” and the last line “ kind of man zodiac is.” Only looked at it for about an hour total. I will look again tomorrow when I have more time. I think the name “Charles” appears in it, but haven’t looked at it enough to say with certainty.

    Thanks.

  35. Avery Dewing on December 20, 2017 at 6:34 pm said:

    I want to know if they tried inputting suspect’s names into the cypher to see if patterns of letters within names might coordinate with patterns of symbols….

  36. Who do I contact if I think I’ve made a real breakthrough with this code?

  37. He is on the right way, it is not the solution for this cipher.Because he get stuck on row 7 or 8.
    where he get stuck I found words

    he did the same thing as robert graysmith,In his book that he have solved the zodiac cipher.
    Craig used the first 3 or 4 lines form the fbi report, only he scrabble the words in a another way

  38. Chris: I’m constantly asked for my opinion in confidence on historical cipher matters, so you could email me – nickpelling at nickpelling dot com – or you could email Dave Oranchak, he’s extremely trustworthy (in my personal judgment), and easy to contact.

  39. Jay: it’s debatable whether or not he’s on the right route here. The ability to see words is neither indication nor proof that they are the right words. :-/

  40. nick that absolutely true. on the last row of the z340 cipher : I found this line: my name is zodiac TL. zodiac is also a cipher on his own. its the real name of the zodiac.

    Maybe i’m wrong maybe not

  41. This ‘solution’ is the biggest load of twaddle I’ve ever laid eyes on. I was enjoying watching the series and was looking forward to a conclusion with a definitive or at least semi definitive answer as to who the Zodiac really was. The guys on the ground were doing great, they were getting lots of solid information, police and FBI files, first hand accounts and descriptions from witnesses, even DNA. Also after hearing the “This is the greatest breakthrough in cryptography in 50 years” line since episode 1, I presumed they were going to crack the cypher as well. When I saw the ‘cracked’ cypher and heard how the guy had come about the solution I was dumbfounded. Anyone with the slightest amount of common sense can see that that this solution is utter nonsense. In order to crack a cypher you need to be able to explain the rules of the cypher, you need to be able to explain how theserules enable you to decode the cypher. Those rules then need to be ‘pressure tested’. The person that is claiming to have cracked any given code must be able to encode a message and this message must be then able to be successfully decoded by another person, using the formula given to them by the encoder. Any cypher absolutely must follow a formula or set of rules, without any rules or formula, it would be random jibberish. Any person claiming to have cracked a code must be able to show what the formula or rules to encrypt/decrypt the code are, this guy showed none of that. He basically just said he was “in the zone” and came up with it from his mind LOL. I thought his colleagues would tell him it was nonsense, whgen they ate it I was pretty taken back – I mean, these are intelligent guys… right? When the guy from FBI? said it was good I realised what was going on. The code is utter BS, its all a set up by the History Channel so the show could go out on a ‘bang’. They just tried to con people in to thinking they cracked the code. Anyone notice how the FBI? guy at the end couldnt/wouldnt actually say “yes, you cracked it” and just said “congratulations” and when the guys were talking on the phone after and they said the head of FBI said “uh… well he said congratulations”. It was a ruze, a fraud, the code isnt cracked. The psychic guy didnt just manage to telepathically pull it from his rear end after staring at it for a long time. It might not evn be a real cypher, but in any case, that is definitely not the real solution

  42. jennifer on December 23, 2017 at 4:45 pm said:

    I find this solution to be forced. Of the first 12 symbols, seven are used to represent 2 or more letters/characters. “q” is even used to represent THREE letters in this solution. I can’t help but feel this is a sixth grade, “I saw what I wanted to see and made it work” solution. If you can use the same symbol for multiple letters, AND each letter can also be represented by multiple symbols, then you can literally make it say anything you want. Someone else showed that using this same method results in numerous coherent, feasible solutions with no way to verify the validity of any said solution.

  43. Aaron and Jennifer: Very well stated; I couldn’t agree more. What’s also problematic is the fact that each History Channel Code Team member seems bound to the TV entertainment contract and Season 2 (?) so much so, that none wishes to go on record to state how he evaluates Craig Bauer’s “solution.” Perhaps they just don’t want to hurt Craig’s feelings. 😉

    These experts have been heralded for years as the ‘go-to’ guys for Zodiac Killer cipher analysis. It would certainly appear that we have one standard for Team Members’ solutions and another for the proles’.

    I believe everyone in the greater research community should be made aware of these serious conflicts of interests. When it comes to the putative gatekeepers of ‘potential’ versus ‘bogus’ leads in Zodiac Killer cipher research: Who will watch the watchmen!?

  44. Polly: for what it’s worth, I watch the watchmen – and where they fake it, I call them out, explaining as clearly as I can what’s going on.

    What makes the Zodiac Killer case so extraordinarily difficult (in my opinion) is that people have laid down so many false layers. The specific problem with the recent History Channel series is that it didn’t seem to grasp the idea that History only begins when you think to look for ways to tell what is false from what is true.

    And so the paradox is that the History Channel produced an entire season of programmes with basically no History in it. Which is lamentable and somewhat shameful, but nothing that others haven’t pointed out a thousand times. 🙁

  45. Nick,
    The aim of that programme, I thought, was chiefly to demonstrate that these days we have such a battery of crime-detection techniques that neither time, nor distance nor even the death of the perpetrator can prevent the crime’s closure.

    Talking of separating true from false, I feel that much of what the cipher-buffs say is based on premises which are reasonably assumed when speaking of military ciphers and ciphers-for-fun, but not necessarily true of this particular murderer.

    The implicit models are less of war than of football or chess, where each individual sees him/herself as belonging to a ‘team’ and engaging in a battle (of wits) with one or more members of another team. Both teams know the rules, and both engage on the understanding that the define the activity in the same way and acknowledge the rules and the respect due the other side.

    Right – so as a rule the person to enciphers a message is imagined to have a desire to communicate information to one of his own ‘team’, and for that reason he expects, and so do they, that he will encipher a plain text ‘by the book’ so that the other member of the team will be able to understand the message, and all its content, as ‘plain text’.

    But the murderer wasn’t a member of any team; he wasn’t even as human as a blackmailer. His aim was not ‘to be understood’ but to create pain, anxiety and bewilderment while stroking an ego which fed… not on being understood but on seeing that he was beyond others’ ability to understand.

    The first couple of messages were enciphered, I agree. But I think the puffing-up he had wanted by those means was increasingly satisfied by the reactions to messages which could not be understood and which did not – and were not intended – to communicate with anyone save himself. I think it may be one of those false things believed because so easy, and so natural, but I do not accept the ‘reporting soldier’ model in this case.

  46. Rick A. Roberts on December 27, 2017 at 5:25 am said:

    The First Line of the Z340 deciphers to ; ” TEGSTANHIITATVNIO “, and it reads, ” THE INVITATION TAGS “. The Forth deciphers to ” ETTANASEHITNEEGSI “, and it reads, ” EIGHTEEN AT ANISE ST “. The Fifth deciphers to : ” YLVEDRLOTTSIEEDIK “, and it reads, “I SOLVED IT EARLY TED K “. The Ninth deciphers to : “ONVEEEAGISLGUWEDS “, and it reads, ” EAGLE I(EYE) EDS VOW IS GUN “. The Eleventh deciphers to : ” EEGKTRETEULTESVSN “, and it reads, ” SEEK TEN GET RESULTS ” . Twelfth deciphers to ; ” INSAGATETSTVNEILS “, and it reads, ” INVESTIGATES SLANT “. Seventeenth deciphers to ; ” GSSETTISNESAELTDT “, and it reads, ” GETTING LATE EDS SET “. Nineteenth deciphers to ; ” TSIOENARLYUNLESSG “, and it reads, ” EARLY UNLESS I GET NO(NUMBER) “.

  47. These are the first rows:

    HERE KANE I GIVE YOU ONE BLOODYDAY.KILLS
    BY A SMILE GATHERED SOULS EASY VICTIMS

    and I have more
    actually everything 😉

  48. john sanders on December 28, 2017 at 12:36 pm said:

    Jay: Herr Keane I have one more bloody day to live. Gulls for miles, tethered sorells and squeasy Victorians…That make sense?.

  49. john sanders on December 28, 2017 at 1:23 pm said:

    Jay: Sorry wrong threadline. I’m was on about Sister Thomson, the Somerton man’s dam; she was only Ern Chalmer’s daughter (in-law), yet all the horsemen knew her.

  50. john sanders: that joke must surely be from the 1930s, if not earlier. Just sayin’ that you’re showing your age there. 😉

  51. john sanders on December 28, 2017 at 11:07 pm said:

    Nick: It was supposed to have been Norsemen, as in Styn, mikkelsen, thompsen, Augenson, Mangnoson &c.

  52. John Sanders: …but “Norse manure” isn’t funny?

  53. Rick A. Roberts on December 29, 2017 at 12:19 am said:

    Line 14 deciphers to, ” ANSGNDTITENGHTREE “, and reads, ” EDS HANGING TEN TREE “.

  54. john sanders on December 29, 2017 at 7:26 am said:

    Nick: How many funny laplanders have you bumped into lately? Oh yeah Saint Nick; no shit!…

  55. Rick A. Roberts on January 2, 2018 at 6:50 am said:

    Line #2 deciphers and reads, ” TELLS SEND GUNS NEED “. Line #3 deciphers and reads, ” A GUN TO DELETE A SLAVE “.

  56. Nickpelling. I honestly think you’re a complete fraud and you think you’re smarter than everyone else. It’s truly comical to sit here and read your comments. Keep up the good work by being a laughing stock hahaha great job nick!

  57. CDT: please let me know when you decide to hold an opinion about an historical cipher rather than about a person, that would be interesting.

  58. The problem with the cipher solution is that craig said in the slide show he made on the history website that the z340 is theorized to be reverse homophone, yet the symbol L is use for multiple letters in the cipher. Sorry to say Craig, but this is not at all close.

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