Here is a copy of my 2003 (widely misreported as 2007) solution to the Voynich Manuscript - formerly the most mysterious book in the world.
As its home on
will soon no longer exist, along with its number one spot on google, I've moved it over here. I've left it completely unedited and as it was. Written in some early hour of the morning as the effects of too much caffeine were starting to wear off, and just after the whirring of hard drives ceased, signalling the final analysis was completed and my results confirmed.
The Voynich Manuscript
CONCLUSIONS - the mystery solved
The VMS was written using an invented 'language' that does not have any meaning - as a language or as some form of code / cipher.
It was probably created in the 15th or 16th century or is a fake from a later date that is designed to look like it was created then.
HOW THE TEXT WAS GENERATED
It was not unprecidented for authors of the 15th & 16th C. to create entirely fictional 'alphabets' and claim that these were those used in foreign lands - presumably to make their efforts more saleable. Not only did the author of the VMS create a fictional alphabet - he wrote an entire manuscript in it, possibly after realising his artwork wasn't exactly the best and that he needed an edge to make his manuscript more valuable.
Our author, didn't take the obvious route to creating his fictional language - invent some words a grammar etc. but nonetheless he found a simple yet effective way. To do this he simply tried to imitate, speaking out aloud, a foreign language he was familiar with the sound of but of which he understood nothing or very little. Much as in the way children would when play-acting the role of a foreigner. Having done this, he invented a fictional alphabet to spell out his 'words' phonetically.
When you create text this way - as you hit an authentic sounding sound or group of sounds you tend to repeat it only changing the beginning or the ending, adding to it or modifying it slightly. And, what often starts off as a well ordered line can get rather messy/unstructured towards the end as you desperately struggle to make it sound convincing. When a text is generated line by line in this way, it has many of the characteristics of the VMS that has confounded so many for so long, In a hand that looks like it is practised in a Latin script!
* Letter and word combinations tend to occur in runs - Compare the different colours f41r and f42r in the colourized page below - ie in most of any given paragraph or page of the VMS a small subset of words and letters/letter groups occurs more frequently than would be expected in a normal language or code but there is no overall pattern to the entire text beyond what could be expected from a text created in the manner stated above. This favoured subset of words and letters slowly changes in order to avoid to much repetition or sudden changes that would make it look less languagey.
* When creating text in this manner there is an exceptionally high degree of assonance and alliteration, this is evident throughout the VMS.
* Low number of commonly occuring letters.
* This method of generating text also accounts for Captain Prescott H. Currier's findings on lines as functional entities and the effects of Word-Final Symbols on the Initial Symbol of the Following Word.Our author would have had to divide his time between speaking aloud his words and writing them, what better than a line to use as a dividing point between the two activities, and often he struggled to reach the end of a line.
Yes, it is unusual when looked at as a whole, and yes there is nothing else quite like it that we know of from that time, when looked at as a whole. But if you consider the authors intentions and look at the elements
that make up the pictures in the VMS there is nothing unusual. Assuming that the authors intention was to create fantastic pictures of strange and wonderful mysteries from afar (as he did with the text), we see that he was only limited by his experiences. Artistically, he seems to have learned his techniques by imitating the art of the time, particularly the more widely available woodcuts and lower quality hand made manuscripts which, by their very nature, tend towards certain styles of representation. There is nothing unique about any of the 'line-styles' or the repetitve patterns used to make up the pictures of the VMS, they where just put together with a little imagination. What does stand out is the flowing, organic 'tubes', but it is hardly inconceivable that our author did not draw these at his most imaginative moments, and while he was at it he made the less
imaginative step of throwing in a few naked women. Having learned to draw curvy tubular/conical representations (which he may have considered very innovative, given the quality of his work) he couldn't help but use this technique frequently.
YES BUT WHAT ABOUT HIDDEN MESSAGES ?
Not likely, very, very not likely, If I want to hide a message I hide it in something that looks like an informal letter or a shopping list, not a strange and fantastic document that invites scrutiny! As for codes or
ciphers - it doesn't match any known method except for the completely unlikely eg. if you read the eleventh and twenty-ninth letter of this example it says 'hy' which could mean hi, a common form of greeting in the early 21st century. I'm not convinced that the sentence was a secret code - are you? Yes, it is possible that it is some form of highly unusal encoding scheme but there is no reason to suspect that it is, and impossible to prove or disprove. It is also possible that by applying the right algorithm to the text you are reading now you will find that it is really the location of a downed UFO encoded - not impossible, just very, very unlikely.
Well it has been fun and I've learnt more than I ever thought I might while searhing for the answers. Don't take my word for it, these are the conclusions I've reached and the reasons why I've reached them, try to unearth the mysteries of the VMS yourself and see if I'm right or not.
Notes, charts, diagrams, lists etc. (email me for a copy if you want them)
The whole lot in a zip file consisting of:
* A count of the individual letters in the Currier transcription
* A count of the individual 'words' and the pages they appear on. in the Currier transcription
* A count of bi-grams (pairs of letters) in the Currier transcription
* A count of tri-grams in the Currier transcription
* Letter Pair Matrix, in the Currier transcription
- The number of times a letter follows another one can be read by reading the first letter of the pair from the first column on the left and matching it with the second letter of the pair from the top row. Conversely, the number of times a letter comes before another one in a pair can be read by reading the second letter of the pair from the first row on the top and matching it with the first letter of the pair from the first column on the left.
Notes; The pair matrix shows that some letters are never followed by certain others and some never come before certain others. This 'could' suggest that a key is itself in some form of matrix but I've been unable to come up with anything definite.
* Comparative spaced/spaceless letter pair matrix
* A colourized HTML version of the Currier transcript with each different letter highlighted in different colours.
Notes; The colours chosen for each letter are of no significance and only the 15 most frequently occuring are coloured.
* Another colourized HTML version of the Currier transcript with each of the 15 most frequently occuring letters highlighted.
The colours range from Red - 13% - the most frequently occuring letter to Blue - 3% - the least frequently occuring. The inbetweens are coloured proportionately.