The Knowledge Modelling Research Group Blog contains our latest published online articles, information about any software resources we produce and general group news and announcements..
Gordon Rugg’s work showed that the Voynich Manuscript could have been hoaxed. Whether or not the manuscript actually was a hoax was another question. A key problem was finding a suitable type of statistical analysis.
A breakthrough comes with the publication in Cryptologia this April of an article by Austrian researcher Dr Andreas Schinner, a theoretical physicist and software engineer at the Johannes Kepler University. Schinner analysed the text of the manuscript using specialist statistics capable of handling quasi-stochastic distributions, and found that the manuscript’s statistical properties were consistent with a hoax consisting of meaningless gibberish produced using Rugg’s method or a similar quasi-random method.
This does not prove that the manuscript is a hoax, but it strongly suggests that the hoax theory is correct. If there is meaningful coded material in the manuscript, then either:
Further work will be needed to provide a definitive answer, but Schinner’s article shows how the problem can be tackled. This may not be the final chapter in the story of the mysterious Voynich Manuscript, but it may well be the start of the closing section.
Wissenschaft.de: Das Geheimnis des mysteriösen Voynich-Codes
Wired 12/09: Scientifc Method Man
BBC Features: Voynich Manuscript
Scientific American: The Mystery of the Voynich Manuscript
Nature: World’s most mysterious book may be a hoax
A short overview
A more detailed description
FAQs about my work
Some common misunderstandings of my work (short) (pdf)
Some common misunderstandings of my work (detailed) (pdf)
Statistical issues relating to my own work on the manuscript (pdf)