Replicating the Voynich Manuscript

My Solution

The solution involves using text generation tables, combined with a modified Cardan grille (a piece of card with holes cut in it forming specific patterns). Details are in my article in the January 2004 issue of Cryptologia.

The key points are as follows:

The method is a way of producing something which looks like language, but is actually gibberish, not a code.
The techniques used in this method suggest a date for the manuscript of 1550-1586.
One person using this method could have produced all the text and illustrations for the manuscript in two or three months, working alone.

The strong implication is that the manuscript was produced by Edward Kelley as a hoax for monetary gain.

Edward Kelley

Edward Kelley (a.k.a. Kelly, a.k.a. Talbot) was an Elizabethan adventurer whose life was colourful even by Elizabethan standards. He acted as clairvoyant to a leading Elizabethan scholar, John Dee, and allegedly relayed messages dictated to him by angels. After parting company with Dee, Kelley allegedly produced gold using alchemy, with such success that he became a baron, before being imprisoned for fraud. After his release, he became a soldier of fortune, until he was again imprisoned. Kelley drugged his guards, climbed through the window of his tower cell using a rope made from his bedding, and then vanished from history.

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Last updated: 13th July 2004 by ST