“With trembling hands, I made a tiny breach in the upper left hand corner… widening the hole a little, I inserted the candle and peered in… at first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle to flicker. Presently, details of the room emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues and gold – everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment – an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by – I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand in suspense any longer, inquired anxiously ‘Can you see anything?’, it was all I could do to get out the words ‘Yes, wonderful things’.”
Howard Carter — The Tomb of Tutankhamen (Diary – November 26 1922
“May your spirit live, may you spend millions of years, you who love Thebes, sitting with your face to the north wind, your eyes beholding happiness.”
Howard Carter’s epitaph — Quotation taken from the Wishing Cup of Tutankhamun
November 26 2018 — Kryptos is a sculpture by the American artist Jim Sanborn located on the grounds of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia. Of the four parts of the message, the first three have been solved.
Section III of the KRYPTOS code is a paraphrased quotation from Howard Carter‘s account of the opening of the tomb of Tutankhamun on November 26, 1922, as described in his 1923 book The Tomb of Tutankhamun.
The question with which it ends is asked by Lord Carnarvon, to which Carter (in the book) famously replied “wonderful things”. In the November 26, 1922 field notes, however, his reply was, “Yes, it is wonderful.”
The last part of the message remains as one of the most famous unsolved code in the world. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
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RELATED POST: The KRYPTOS Sculpture — SECTION IV: A few clues
Since its dedication on November 3, 1990, there has been much speculation about the meaning of the four encrypted messages it bears.
The sculpture continues to be of interest to crypto-analysts, both amateur and professional, who are attempting to decipher the fourth passage. The artist has so far given two clues to this passage.
In a piece published in CIA Studies in Intelligence, David Stein concluded:
“I hope I have inspired some people to study the Kryptos puzzle and to give it a try.
Even the parts of the code that already have been decrypted still have to be interpreted for their deeper meaning.
There are many pieces to be put together and many layers to be peeled away.”
I will regularly expand and update this post to explain how various parts of this code were encrypted, who decoded them and how.
I will also keep you informed on the progress made in decoding the last part of this enigma. Stay tuned!
Kryptos: The CIA’s Unsolved Secret Code
Kryptos remains one of the most famous unsolved codes in the world today.
Since the encrypted sculpture was placed on display by American artist Jim Sanborn on the grounds of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia, in 1989, there has been much speculation about the meaning of the encrypted messages it bears.
Of the four messages, three have been solved, with the fourth remaining a mystery. Over the years, hints and slight cracks have appeared in the armour of this puzzle, however its continuity of being one of the greatest enigmas of all time continues to provide a diversion for cryptanalysts, both amateur and professional, who are attempting to decrypt the final section.
Even after solving the final section, the final riddle of this enigma within an enigma must be worked out, which from the solutions so far seem to be connected with (1) Illusion in Darkness, (2) Using the Earth’s magnetic field being transmitted to something buried underground and (3) Ancient Egyptian tombs, with the clue (4) still waiting to be solved after more than 2 decades.
Kryptos — Wikipedia
Stein, David D. (1999). “The Puzzle at CIA Headquarters: Cracking the Courtyard Crypto” (pdf). Studies in Intelligence. 43 (1).
The KRYPTOS Sculpture — An Introduction
On This Day — KRYPTOS Sculpture Dedication Ceremony at the CIA (November 3 1990)
On This Day — English archaeologist Howard Carter opens Tutankhamun Tomb (November 26 1922)