Voynich manuscript discussion: 2005 January 22

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.

sun/moon maps

Post by qp » Sat Jan 22, 2005 8:22 am

Have the stars on sun and moon maps ever been compared to the so called "sorcerrershat", a long bronze (or copper or gold?) pointy hat covered with grouped stars. not so long ago about the hat which is in one of the museums, discovered was that it could be used to predict the seasons (and sowing dates) over a period of 13(?)years. the hat presumably was worn by highpriests. They rather kept the information to themselves as it confirmed their bond with nature or god(s). If the maps are similar than it is not so much secret wisdom in the fuzzywuzzy sense, most of it probably common knowledge (for APOD readers and farmers).
If the coded knowledge is that basic and pretty obvious when presented on a single document, the text on the page or even complete chapters could be nonsense just do distract the importance of the stars on one or two maps. Some of the plants look similar to certain cabalistic diagrams. Perhaps the plantstructure is only to hide some of those.. As long as everybody focusses on the nonsensecoded text all other information is easily ignored



Post by bigmouth » Sat Jan 22, 2005 8:40 am

ha! all you scientists have missed the simple and most obvious explanation! :lol: this ancient text contains directions and instructions used by such as Genghis Kahn, Alexander the Great, and other lost explorers to help them find their way across deserts, mountains; to know where the best B&B's are located, and which rest stops offer the tastiest Kasha/mushroom/barley soup! The illustration is a compass showing hot stuff in the south, erotic girls to the east, brrrrrr in the north, and humiliation back home! :( Why else would these dopes have continued through hellish places, watching their elephants slide into ice cracks, the hair on their heads freeze, and their money stolen by wiley ladies of the night each of whom looked like Frankenstein? :shock:



Post by Guest » Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:04 am

I fully agree with the hoax theory. The chances of us finding a full manuscript sold to a medieval, european king written in a language that as of yet has been unable to be translated is extremely slim. If you look at the characters in the words (both mirror image and normally) they dont match any used charcter set of the time exactly. Not to mention there are VERY FEW different characters at all. Noblemen in those times paid eggregious amounts of money for lavish decorations and artwork, which an illuminated text fell more into the category of a work of art than something to be studied. It's conceveable that the book was glanced over, set on a table and shown to people for it's artistic qualities without anyone ever taking the time to read it until it was shelved and forgotten for centuries. Then of course when todays anthropologists discover it we immidately assume that it must mean something or must be some missing link in our history. It's not a missing link it's just a clever scam played on some very rich and very gullible people of the time. Much like the telemarketing and credit fraud scams we see happening today.

H. N. Stone

Post by H. N. Stone » Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:06 am

After extensive research into this area of inquiry, and after reading all of the posts by interested parties, I have but one question: Why?

The most popular conclusion I have observed, by the posters of this topic, is that this is a hoax. I understand other manuscripts and such have been determined to be a hoax of some kind, however I do not see the reason in this particular case. Granted the "suggestive" drawings of females in the nude imply some sort of unusual behavior for such a manuscript but this is a rather old book. Is it possible those particular additions could have been made posterior?

I personally feel a botanical calendar of yearly planting, proper harvesting and moon phases would be the most logical explanation for this text, however, and I am not a botanist mind you, some of those plant illustrations look, to me, to be hypothetical or even extra-terrestrial. I realize the idea, to some, borders on nonsense yet, to others, may not appear far from the beaten path.

Just an observation.

H. N. Stone


Re: voynich

Post by Guest » Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:12 am

Guest wrote:It's not a missing link it's just a clever scam played on some very rich and very gullible people of the time. Much like the telemarketing and credit fraud scams we see happening today.
Ahhhh but at least with the telemarketing and credit fraud we see now-a-days there is a reason behind it. Money. What could possibly be the reason for someone to put so much time into a manuscript of this type for no other purpose than to scam/fool people? I just find it hard to believe someone spent that much time writting in this book if it was all scribble and nonsense. I'm not saying it's the missing link of anything, but a "Farmer's Almanac" is a more likely conclusion than a joke.


Voynich Manuscript decipherment -- just a thought

Post by Polaris93 » Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:41 am

Leonardo da Vinci frequently wrote mirror-image script as a way of keeping others from reading his journals. There are also people who can and do write upside-down (handwriting) with ease, usually for the same purpose. If you take a perfectly understandable audio file or tape and play it backward, the result is usually undeciperhable -- but play it right-way-to and you can easily make it out. So: why not try turning the script portions of these pages upside-down and/or backwards and then running linguistic analysis on them? Just possibly whoever wrote this literary turkey actually had something to say, but only to those with the brains to try *everything* by way of trying to decode/decipher it. Looking at the Voynich script when it's turned upside-down and/or backward-to might be worth trying -- you just never know, do you?



Post by damienhandslip » Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:50 am

Might the face in the centre of the compass rose be that of a monk, with cowl. Would this indicate a monastic origin? Perhaps the language is a coded form of a european language.


Voynich manuscript

Post by sj » Sat Jan 22, 2005 10:29 am

A start to understanding the Voynich manuscript would be to do an analyses of the paper and ink. Carbon dating could give a close date. By comparing the paper and ink to those used in different times and places, a close date and place should be easy to find.

Then a comparison of the writing in the book to those of that time and place might help decipher what the book says.



Post by dubious » Sat Jan 22, 2005 11:12 am

The first thing I thought when I saw the text was: "this looks fishy, Its junk that doesn't mean anything written by some idiot".

If not a hoax I have 3 suggestions.

1) Each letter is a subtle rotation or distortion of what it should be. Imagine being some crazy guy and you think, OK, I'll write 'c' as a rotation of 'n', or some such stuff. Just use your imagination and let those letters morph around in a naive way that a child might.

2) The text is phonetic, sequences of letters are supposed to be pronounced with different sounds. It could even be that words are taken in blocks sometimes to generate these sounds. The sounds then, when the text is read after one becomes proficient in recognizing the sequences, make words in some language. Maybe the guy was so crazy that he dynamically changed the sound maps on the way and used weird lookup tables so that there is virtually no chance anyone will decipher it.

3) The key to translation is in the text itself, for example page 57v, or some other page. I think that it is reasonable to think that the key to translation is hidden in one of the books diagrams.

But anyway, I think I'll go with my first assumption, that it looks like a load of gibberish because it is a load of gibberish, I mean come-on, many of the plants look like stupid alien plants that a child would draw, and those nude women on pages 72v, 73r, 73v... those on 75r and 75v look like "women in a pod" as opposed to "peas in a pod". So my last guess is that the book is written by some lunatic dynamically generating the text on the fly, drawing crazy illustrations as he proceeds. The reason being to make it sufficiently curious as to be able to perhaps sell it at the time and to drive others crazy and waste the time of scientists of the future.



voynich APOD

Post by Althrob » Sat Jan 22, 2005 11:33 am

This isn't a hoax. This looks like the work of a tween fascinated by a parent's work (maybe a physican) who diligently, and possibly encouraged by the parent, produced the form but lacked the substance of the books he saw. I say 'he' because the effort accumulated over a few years including the later development of the randy disposition of a male teen. The artwork is at that age level similar to the elaborate military compounds I drew as a kid influenced by my father's military career. The carachters are simply a set of characters invented by the child to produce the desired form. The author's parent probably bound all the pages and placed them in his library. The text was forgotton and eventually "discovered" by all us smart people.


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The Mysterious Voynich Manuscript

Post by Cpod72 » Sat Jan 22, 2005 11:48 am

I just scaned over some of the pages and some of the comments. I was wondering about the numbers in the manuscript? Hoax, Horoscope or something else, someday someone will figure this out.



Post by dubious » Sat Jan 22, 2005 11:53 am

Interesting idea Althrob, maybe it was a practice text. Maybe the language was designed by the father because he thought that writing those kinds of characters would be a good exercise that would help the son develop better writing skills in other languages. So he told the son just to write arbitrary sequences of them as a daily homework, naturally the son got bored of writing arbitrary sequences so perhaps he made up stories and wrote them, on occasion he would remember particular arbitrary choices for words and then re-use them.

The illustrations could be elaborations of real plants with exaggeration of features, or just creative novel plants inspired by drawings of others, in an attempt to develop the skills necessary to draw real plants later in life. Again this was an instruction from the father.


Here is some random junk I felt like including:

"Balwuakan iditox monicasto plotonsa, mechanos iverisot beht hem saj concenvox. To mi mar meca sot be hevlos mi chora sox, sox abros boster beta, btor sma risa to sare. Colors thesi aths aieh vorisotsic para; abre sieng demora osotix baren."

Blind Io


Post by Blind Io » Sat Jan 22, 2005 12:55 pm

Looks like a clock, divided into day (dark blue) and night (stars) representing 24 hours in a day.


Voynich Manuscript

Post by Mr.G » Sat Jan 22, 2005 12:59 pm

I've only just heard of the Voynich manuscript, and I went for a look see. My first impression is that pages 72v, 73r & 73v are some sort of calendar. Am I being too easily confused, or are the inscriptions in the centre of the diagrams:
72v - "octebre" (October) with a picture of scales - perhaps 'libra' and 30 women (perhaps one for each day).
73r - "novebre" (November) with some sort of animal, and again 30 women.
I cannot make out the inscription at the centre of page 73v, but the drawing is obviously a hunter. Again there are 30 women.
These are the only pages I've looked at, but these lead me to think that a calendar of some sort is being represented in these pages. As tothe rest, I have no botanical knowledge, so I cannot add any rational comment.



Post by zoomy942 » Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:11 pm

why is it that when something is unexplainable everyone think s it is a hoax? for some reason, it is the constant assumption of modern society that the farther we go back in time, to less people knew. we have no proof of all that. they may not be cataloging discoveries like we do, but what if, to them.. knowing about the stars or about some other advanced technology was logged on parchment or on cow hide. just because we dont use that or because we havent found theirs DOES NOT mean that older civilizations were primative.


At first glance!!!

Post by kurtdawg1 » Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:16 pm

I am not a scientist of any sort but at first glance I predict that the words in the spokes of the wheel are the months of the year (12), either written in some unknown language or using symbols of a sort in place of letters. I think the trick to figuring this thing out is to keep an open mind to anything and not hyperfocusing on any one idea or thought. The first thought that comes to mind for most scientist who find this sort of thing is that it must be some sort of harvesting manuscript. It deffinately has something to do with time, I suspect that the author may have drawn this over the course of a year with symbols (stars, etc) as a calander of sorts. Could the circles outside of some of the words in the spokes indicate the months with a Full or New Moon? If in fact the words in the spokes are some ancient letters or symbols for the months of the year then it shouldn't be that difficult to decipher those symbols/letters and thus have the tools needed for translating the rest of the manucript.

Kurtdawg in Turkey


voynich manuscript

Post by James » Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:33 pm

The apparent strange constellations and 'unbreakable' coding suggests to me that this is a medieaval hoax - interspersed with factual pictures and calendars to throw the scent. I know that people like us always search for logic and reasonable answers but the sad fact is that anything human originated is always open to abuse and we all know that most muggles are perverse and contrary. Sorry guys but thats my opinion. Cheers J :arrow: PS if it isn't a hoax and does get deciphered - then hats off to the guy that does it and I stand corrected. 8)


Post by sabernar » Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:47 pm

SciAm had an article about te Voynich. The theory is that it's a fake, and that the text was generated with a text generator and it just gibberish. Take a look:

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articl ... sc=I100322


Post by Guest » Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:50 pm

I have always thought that the the center is the moon covering the sun. A solar eclipse.


the illustration

Post by Chi » Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:54 pm

I think it's not the sun in the middle, but the moon

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Post by andrew200r » Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:57 pm

I think the center is the moon covering the sun. The face represents the man in the moon. The center represents an eclipse. Just a thought.


Voynich manuscript

Post by guest » Sat Jan 22, 2005 2:17 pm

I'm surprised at all the suggestions being made for explanations that have already been tested. Some people should look into a matter a bit more before spouting off at the "fingers".


Voynich Manuscript

Post by Samten » Sat Jan 22, 2005 2:19 pm

There are twenty-four "spokes" on that wheel and it seems to me to have some relation to what is known in the field of astrology as "planetary hours." Two experts who may be able to help you further are Rob Hand, contact through Catholic University, Virginia, and Nicholas Champion, contact
through Sophia Centre, Bath Spa University College.

Thanks for choosing this as the image for today.


to zoomy

Post by dubious » Sat Jan 22, 2005 2:21 pm

zoomy942: there are many good books on the history of mathematics, for some casual reading, take a look at "The History of PI" by Petr Beckman, and a bit more mathematical "e: The Story of A Number" by Eli Maor. While it is true that in general the father we go back in time, the less people knew, the knowledge landscape is not a linear graph; for example, the medieval ages were a low point for mathematics. There is plenty of evidence suggesting that the farther back in time we go, the less people knew. This is pretty obvious, and can be seen to a large extent even within this century, the last ten years, the last year and so on because our knowledge is constantly growing. And btw, proof is a mathematical concept and cannot be applied to validate social assumptions. As for empirical evidence, I suggest you do some research. I'm not being condescending, I am serious as you seem to be interested in older civilizations, owing to your defense of them from attacks which nobody on this forum made, I recommend you really learn about the Mayans, the ancient Greeks and so on, and their mathematical achievements, as a starting point via that first book I suggest above.

Then once you get an idea about these older civilizations and their works, it might be more obvious to you that this text looks far from ancient, and looks like a hoax, even though it might not be a hoax.



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Re: Voynich manuscript

Post by andrew200r » Sat Jan 22, 2005 2:36 pm

guest wrote:I'm surprised at all the suggestions being made for explanations that have already been tested. Some people should look into a matter a bit more before spouting off at the "fingers".
Replies like that are what give these kind of forms a bad name. I welcome anybody who would like to say anything, no matter what age or what the quote is as long as it is not offensive. We should not select people to participate, but instead encourage all age groups to get involved in learning history of any kind. The reply that was "spouted off" was from a curious 9 year old. He should not be discouraged or feel like he should not participate because he has not researched this manuscript.