Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Voynich Manuscript - Solved

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.


 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.

 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.


Anonymous said...

so because you cant decipher it it must be a fake?One page clearly pertains to the 7 womb goddessesa la sumerian texts it is obviously important information from someone with a link to the hidden history of homo sapiens..what did you make of that page?

Chris said...

I didn't say it was a fake because I couldn't decipher it - my reasons for saying it is a fake are explained above.
If a page does indeed pertain to Sumerian goddesses then that would not be imcompatible with my claims.

Good Luck

Fulcanelli said...

Neumím anglicky a tak píšu česky.Dešifoval jsem Voynichův rukopis.Napsal ho český alchymista Daniel Stolcius.Je psán jako trojhlasá fuga.Na veškerá vyobrazení se musíte dívat z filosofického pohledu.Rostliny jsou filosofické.vše je jen symbolické.Rostlina je symbol,který ukrývá řadu čísel.Ženy jsou symbolem stříbra.Více informací na mých web stránkách,, přes,(Voynichův rukopis).

Anonymous said...

only out of interest:
have you got any suggestion to what was "in it" for the author?
you believe he struggled with each and every sentence to make it more languagely, and the illustrations must have taken so much time to make. what did he think he thought he would get?

very interesting and unique case

Chris said...

Short answer - Money.

Our author was familiar with more widely available and less expensive books. I think he thought that something more exotic would be more valuable.
Opinions on the value of books at the time do vary widely.

Zlatoděj (J.T.) said...

Chris, abys mohl dešifrovat voynichuv rukopis musel bys ovládat český jazyk, alchymistický sleng,který použil autor při zápisu a také gematrii. Rukopis je alchymistické dílo.Rostliny jsou symbolické.Skrývají čísla.Podívej se na web:Voynich manuscript(rukopis)strana 15. Tam je dešifrování této stránky. Není to žádná záhada.Rukopis je alchymistický. ahoj Zlatoděj (J.T.)

Anonymous said...

I thought so when I tried to crack it. the other script I have translated is vinca which took hours

Anonymous said...

Konecne jsem nasel podpis autora rukopisu.
Rukopis napsal cesky alchymista 15.stoleti. JAN z LAZU.
Manuscript voynich = Zlato Blato !!
(gold mud) 1454.
Na nekolika mistech v rukopisu jsem nasel jeho podpis.Rukopis je jen alchymie.Obrazky = symbol.Rukopis je psan v ceskem jazyce, je pouzit alchymisticky slang. NELZE prelozit anglickym jazykem. (Zlatoděj J.T)

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it sell worse to be in a particular language or text that only you could understand? Surely even back then the people who had bought this book would show it to each other and say 'What is this rubbish it's just gibberish! Maureen! go next door and tell them not to buy this book will you, I can't understand a bloody word of it!' (or something similar) hardly a great selling point is it?

Anonymous said...

Ignore the writing and concentrate on the drawings, does any of them match any scientific discoveries? Not that I can determine. It all looks like junk drawings without anything that relates to atoms, elements, the universe, DNA, or important science.
I have seen many fakes and they don't match scientific fact. If any old documents are genuine and have important information, then probably 80% can be scientifically verified.

Chris said...

You might find this interesting

mystcbeauty said...

Hi, I just watched this show about the VMS and found it very interesting. It occurred to me that it could possibly be an ' Alien language' of another planet , describing the flora and fauna of that planet. Something worth pondering, in my opinion. It's easy to call something fake and dismiss it so that that mystery of it is deflated and people can go back to their own lives; but it's worth publishing it openly and letting the world see it and decipher it. Often , what some of the best minds in the world can't figure out, a lay person may have some idea due to his / her expertise of various things. Specialists are experts only in their respective fields. Everyone doesn't know everything and by that same token there's always someone who knows something that no one else knows.

Chris said...

Thanks for your comments.
I hope this page encourages further investigation - and I'll be happy to review my finds in the light of any new information.

Anonymous said...

I devised a code 40 years ago that only my sister and I can read. It's incredibly simple, but most effective. If anyone's interested, I can tell them how it's done.

_sluimers_ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

I don't think this is evidence of an alien logbook - why would an advanced space traveling being be handcuffed by writing down his discoveries?

More likely the author is terrestrial and coded his text to prevent copying - this is maybe the earliest and best copy protection I have ever seen!


Emily Mathews said...

The images of plants are pretty extensive studies. The images and their chronology alone always depicted to me the process of a person (probably a man, and right handed, by the look of the lines) who is using careful life-study to try and come up with theories to explain how things are alive. Some of the tubes represent how the tubes and shoots of plants are layered within each other, and then the ideas become more fantastical and abstract the farther he gets away from life-study. He seems to use female goddess entities as an explanation for why things are connected or why energy flows through in places.

The drawings of plants are a mix of life-drawing and symbolic drawing-- Drawing the impression that something gave the artist rather than drawing what the thing actually looked like. It's kind of drawing short-hand.

The lack of punctuation confuses me, but then again, based on the drawings it doesn't seem that the writer was particularly educated and it's logical to think that his tendency to shorthand would be reflected in his writing.

Overall i'm really not convinced that it's a fake.

Anonymous said...

Chris said...

The problem with the above approach is that you are almost guaranteed to get a few word matches or even the odd phrase in any language you choose.
When large passages are translated I'll take another look.
Until then - Good Luck.

bcc said...

i am a curious person - so assuming that they are telescopes / microscopes (on stands) - then could the segments be independently 'twistable' so as to realign the markings - calibrate so to speak?

blipso said...

Has this book the voynich manuscript been looked at with an art x ray
also then viewed up side down and use a mirror to look at it
or also use a mirror on each of the pages to change the view


Chris said...

As far as I'm aware, no x-rays have been taken.
The mirror thing has been done many times - can be done with image processing software quite easily.

Anonymous said...

pg 177 root that looks similar to man in the middle of the page is lewisa rediva / bitterroot

EnulSolaris said...

I found someone who claims they can read it!
Unless they think I am talking about some MS font they have stated they can read what it says, maybe its not in code at all maybe its like a DISLEXIA!
I will test their claims tommorrow!
Maybe its in 3D lol

Anonymous said...

To be honest I don't believe it is a fake, I trust that very brilliant men such as John Dee, Roger Bacon and (although no genious) the Emperor Rudolf II.
Who paid the modern equivilant of $80,000 would bbe able to spot a fony in their own time.
I do agree it wasn't uncommon for people of that time to invent languages however but it was more often then not used to keep their notes private and prevent theft (Da Vinci wrote his notes backwards.)
Also for a fraud it is unlikely that 260 pages would be neccasary, that's not entirly including the fold out pages either.
Although modern cryptographers having been able to decipher it they have found some patterns that that are Very reminisent of a practiced and learnt language, such as certain letters only following other certain letters as well as some that only appear at the begining or end of a word.

Perhaps it's just the flicker of hope that this mystery will be solved and reveal some new knowledge has made me biased but this is really just my personal belief though.
I'm something of a cynic but even I hope it's not a fake.

Anonymous said...

Do you think this has anything to do with the Illuminati? Like it was a secret code made for them a long time ago.. maybe a new order? With all the technology coming out these days we should be able to know what this says, we've discovered everything else basically but no one can. Or they just don't want to, or cant.

Just a thought

Dave Northam said...

I may be wrong but I just discovered the document and have not looked at all of it. Hoax asside it would seem possible and probable that this would even up being an interpertation of being a dillussion of foreign knowledge. the work of a griphter. However, because of the nature of the suppression of new thought, I thought the book was the personal record of a gnostic or an alechemist. A real one. All of the writings then would be the experience of exploring what we now call the subconscious so of course it would look unordered. The art of various kinds are the gnostics or the alchemist journey connecting to his nature enviroment and noticing his relationship to the nature around him and his connectedness to his experiencing his surroundings. So of course no one unless they have pursued the inner experiences. the book creates a mystery which it is. like the life who lived it. the book is the author and the author is the book. he is in the pages.

fero krondak said...

První kompletní faksimilní vydání nejtajemnější knihy světa, Voynichova rukopisu, jenž mnozí odborníci považují za „Svatý grál historické kryptografie“ (a který inspiroval i Dana Browna k jeho bestselleru Ztracený symbol), doplněné obsáhlou úvodní studií renomované badatelky a záhadoložky Jitky Lenkové.
Tajemný rukopis, nad nímž si lámou hlavu filologové, kryptografologové i amatérští luštitelé celého světa už přinejmenším 100 let (od r. 1912, kdy jej nalezl americký sběratel Wilifrid M. Voynich v jezuitském klášteře v italském Frascati). Zatím neúspěšně. Nikdo nebyl dosud schopen jednoznačně dešifrovat jedinou stránku, vysvětlit jediné vyobrazení ... přestože se o odhalení jeho tajemství pokoušejí nejhloubavější mozky planety. ... O jeho původu a účelu existuje více teorií, než kolik má stran. Někteří badatelé jej považují za magický grimoár, středověkou čarodějnickou knihu, jiní za babylonský okultní spis, alchymicko-astrologickou příručku či zašifrované poselství mudrců Atlantidy nebo Plejáďanů, další věří, že jde o legendární Necronomicon Abdula al-Hazreda, denník Leonarda da Vinci anebo dílo Rogera Bacona ... Hlavní teorie a hypotézy, společně se souhrnem známé historie rukopisu a jeho zkoumání od 15. století, předkládá právě tato kniha, jež zároveň obsahuje i první publikovanou verzi kompletního faksimile Voynichova rukopisu. DOPORUCUJI SDILET A PREPOSLAT!

Anonymous said...

I have a couple questions. 1.Who numbered the pages? 2. Why do the numbers match some of the symbols in the manuscript? I mean Im not a codebreaker but this book has drew me into its mystery. And for some reason on every page you see numbers in the text what if its a numerical alphabet where the numbers are words and all the extra stuff is nonsense.

Anonymous said...

But it was dated to between 1404-1430, and it would of cost him way to much and taken to long to simply make it for monetary reasons. In a day where you had to mix all your own pigments, parchment was no where near cheap, and time wasn't something people had much of, faking it just does not seem logical to me.

Chris said...

Thankyou for your comment, a lot of people have raised this point but not as clearly (including eminent historians).
The VMS was written on vellum, the not very useful bit of an animal in times when food shortages occured regularly.
Would any book be written if the materials needed to do so where too expensive?
Economically speaking, the value of something in the 15th century was, as is today, whatever the buyer was prepared to pay. But compared to today, the cost of transportation was relatively expensive. This meant that as a seller you had a much smaller market, and as a buyer there were bargains to be had if you where in the right place at the right time.
As such, the value of anything would vary significantly both geographically and temporally.
Also, pigments were cheap and easy to make.
Don't mean to sound harsh - once again, thanks for your comment- and I hope this helps others on their quest to understand the VMS.

D.O'Donovan. said...

Chris - I've spent nearly four years working on the imagery, and all I can say is that the person you describe is not the person reflected by the imagery. It's too well-informed and the few (chronological) anomalies are easily explained by a later annotation of much earlier source-works - ones which the later person must have understood. So, sorry. I think we're looking at text which was not always incomprehensible. It wouldn't be the only language of that time of which we have very few, if any traces left. It may be enciphered as well, but it's no fifteenth-century invention.

Anonymous said...

It is RARE find another rational mind at work - As we often "want" to find 'wonderful, amazing, mysterious' things, the real world actually seldom offers them up. Your reasonings make very good sense, and your scientific-method approach with such a tempting project is to be admired.

Considering the Billions of people that have populated this planet over time, I'm surprised there aren't more outlandish creations such as this one. Thankyou for your time & research...I guess Occum's Razor wins again this time;)

Imagine if JRR Tolkien's fabricated languages & fully realized pretend worlds were discovered accidentally without any reference point! Same result, i'd imagine. People are capable of some pretty goofy & extreme things - this book being a good example of such. I would suggest the author was probably fairly rich or well-off and had quite a bit of time on his hands...or possibly made this book to generate funding for some kind of project or expedition - either dying prior to its presentation or just after. People in that era tended to die quite regularly and from the simplest of misunderstood causes - that's my guess.

Anonymous said...

It's a Diary or a journal.

Sushil Pawar said...


Book Publication

Subject: Voynich Book Print Publication


Sir, Madam.

Myself Sushil Pawar i m a BFA Artist passed from Sir. J.J Institute of Applied Arts Bombay University. I work as an Animator in Animation Industry.
As we all know Voynich is one of the biggest mysteries of publishing, the enigmatic Voynich Manuscript located at Yale UniversityBeinecke Library is more than Thousands of years old Coded Manu Script. This Manuscript was purchased and sold to many royal Families and King’s from generations, as if it’s being considers as a royal prestigious to have it and its Enigmatic writings has still become a challenge to every Code Explorers to break its code language. Its Coded Language is, unsolved; some believe it as a Spiritual to Mankind or relate to Human Evolution, a Creator theory or Astrological theories or beyond. Many code explorers and researchers tried to Crack it out but, none has yet succeeded properly. As though its, event’s are enigmatic and so addictive to researchers and book lovers whenever approached or learned about it.
I have cleaned the Actual Manuscript and Maintained its quality for Study Purpose and Hi Res Publication for book collection. This rare book can be well marketed in European and Asian continents or distributed amongst Libraries and Universities, throughout the world. And it will surely make good profits from business point of view if concerned. Researchers and Book lovers will definitely go for it, due to its improved quality format. If any Publisher willing to publish "Voynich Manuscript" in Good Quality Format in Hi resolution I have the whole entire Work with me. Please consider to look at attached Sample’s and url presentations those are of Medium Resolution. But the Actual work is in HD resolution Sharp Defining Quality no blurry or dull looks. This entire project Total numbers of pages are 229 single sides. Both Sides Become around 114 to 115. Ready for Printable Quality.
I have attached PPT Presentation samples and word documentation “url” of this project on this mail. Please have a look.
Below are the url samples



My purpose is to sell this entire project with a particular fee over it once for all. If interested, can mail or call me, I will hand over this entire project if the deal happens.
My cell no 9833115014 or mail me at or

Thanks for your time.


Sushil Pawar

Anonymous said...

Look up charles a.a. dellschau his strange writings seemed of similar mind but was encrypted and successfully deciphered but fact in his story could not be corroberated

Anonymous said...

It may simple be a self-invented language that might be known only to the individual or individuals who wrote it. Maybe the person or persons was/were simply verbaphilias like Tolken was when he invented the Elvish Language.

CROW said...

actually I don't think they would go threw all that trouble to make a fake book that will have the whole entire code depicker breaker waste there time on. but what would happened if the book is mix with other forigein lanauge that is close enough to make complex words. I do believe its is mix with a few other lanuages that are close to the country where it was made. what would happened if the reson the book talk about atstronay was time and reference in which you can see the plants grow threw its seasons. and the time you will see those plants or flower that they can be used at that time frame, and exactly know when to use them. if in fact it was used to be medicaines in that time. it should of been a short reference in how they would become to use.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

This is probably just a porn journal :-)

Best regards,


Victor Akraka said...

who ever wrote that, wrote it for a specific group of people "only" to read so if they are obviously dead the translation died with them. that's what i feel must have happened.

Anonymous said...

For full size authentic voynich manuscript copy's go to

john said...

try to see it with a mirror , thats all i say

Jan Stolz said...

I find the misinformation and wild speculation fascinating. Radio carbon dating of the vellum pages and ink proves it was written between 1404 and 1438. It was found at Prague Castle in the Czech Republic.
It was written by a Nun, a member of the Poor Clares at Prague Castle in a phonetic alphabet so that the Catholic Church could not read it and charge her with heresy. The women in pools are the different cloisters in the many mineral springs around Prague, some owned by the abbeys.
There NO Sumerian goddesses! You guys are something else!

Chris said...

Interesting ideas Jan. But I'm pretty sure it isn't a phonetic or otherwise alphabet of any language. It would be easy to crack if this was the case.