KRYPTOS — The Mystery of the MORSE Messages

“At the entrance to the New Headquarters building, the sculpture begins with two red granite and copperplate constructions which flank the walkway from the parking deck. These stones appear as pages jutting from the earth with copperplate ‘between the pages’ on which there are International Morse code and ancient ciphers. There is also a lodestone co-located with a navigational compass rose.”

The Story behind “Kryptos” [Virtual Tour of the CIA]

Teaching Covert Action to Law Students - Lawfare

August 14 2021 — In addition to the main part of the sculpture, Jim Sanborn also placed other pieces of art at the CIA grounds, such as several large granite slabs with sandwiched copper sheets outside the entrance to the New Headquarters Building. Several Morse code messages are found on these copper sheets, and one of the stone slabs has an engraving of a compass rose pointing to a lodestone. What is the message? Is it related to the KRYPTOS sculpture? Let us get started! Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: KRYPTOS Week 2019 — Introduction : Sculpture Dedication Ceremony at the CIA (November 3 1990)

RELATED POST: KRYPTOS Week 2019 — How to Break a Vigenère Code

RELATED POST: KRYPTOS Week 2019 — The Solution of Section II

RELATED POST : KRYPTOS Week 2019 — History of the NSA Involvement

RELATED POST: KRYPTOS Week 2019 — SECTION I : A KEYED Vigenère Cipher [And why the CIA lies so much about it?]

RELATED POST: KRYPTOS Week 2019 — SECTION III : A Transposition Cipher

RELATED POST: KRYPTOS Week 2019 — SECTION IV : A Few Clues From Edward Scheidt

RELATED POST: KRYPTOS Week 2019 — New Clues from the CIA Website? [UPDATE : Get Ready for a New Clue!] — Breaking News : 3rd Clue Just Released!

RELATED POST: One Year Ago — KRYPTOS Sculpture Jim Sanborn : “This is the third and to be sure final clue.” [UPDATE : And then came a 4th clue!]

This is perhaps just a coincidence, but I would like to point out the following.

According to the 3rd clue, the letters in positions 26-34, cipher-text QQPRNGKSS translate into the word NORTHEAST.

Then, according to the 4th Clue, the four letters in positions 22-25, cipher-text FLRV, are EAST in the plain-text.

So, these letters from the cipher means: EAST NORTHEAST.(ENE)

Keep this in mind when you read this post…

Let us get started! Here is a bird eye view of the CIA site.

And here is a magnification of the garden showing the KRYPTOS sculpture in the northwestern area of the Plaza as well as the fish pond.

Here are the two best pictures I could find

Front Entrance — The Compass

Front entrance — A mysterious Morse message

Kryptos - The Bird's Eye View

It is assumed that all the Morse code must be read while looking towards the South.

Pic 1

This one is rather straightforward. It reads :


So, assuming that this is coded with International Morse Code, the text reads: S O S.

Pic 2

This one reads :


Pic 3

Well, this one can only be read RIGHT to LEFT because of the DOT DASH DOT DASH on the lower line.

Therefore the second line reads: LUCIDEEE

And the first reads: MEMORYE


photo by Jim Gillgoly


The code seems to be:




What do these words mean? What is the message, if any?

Who is ‘RQ’?

Is this message in any way connected to the KRYPTOS sculpture?

What’s up with all these E letters?

What do you think?

By the way, does anyone known what the CIA means by ‘ancient ciphers’ ? [top quote]


Many of the pictures in this post come from this blog:

Kryptos – Beyond K4 — Morse Code Translation

Others come directly from the CIA website.

CIA website

Kryptos – The Bird’s Eye View —

Virtual Tour of the CIA — The Story behind “Kryptos”


KRYPTOS — The MORSE Messages

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