Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Mysteries to be Cracked

Mysteries to be cracked

Artist James Sanborn likes to tease art lovers by putting coded messages in his sculptures.
In 1990, he placed a hidden message in the middle of the CIA. The first three have been solved, but now, everyone is pounding away at the last of four coded messages in Kryptos, a coded Sanborn sculpture at CIA Headquarters. Another sculpture, written in cyrillic, sat on the grounds of the University of North Carolina for years, and was finally cracked. The solution was a newly de-classified KGB document, completely in Russian.

You can find a transcript of the Kryptos puzzle at elonka.com/kryptos/index.html.

Another mystery, still uncracked, are the espionage numbers stations. If you have ever tuned a radio beyond the medium wave band, you will hear the “Spy Number Stations”. These do not officially exist and no one has ever explained what the purpose of these stations are. They consist of the most boring content imaginable. A strange automated non-human voice reading out series of numbers, sometimes accompanied by weird tones or odd melodies, with pitch changes that make them sound eerie.

It's speculated that they correspond to paper thin code books, the pages of which can be eaten or burned after transcription. After obtaining the code, an agent will obtain a frequency, or code message, that can be used to obtain further information. The one time nature of the code books make this code almost impossible to decode.

Some Americans even use them as background music (they even turned up in the film "Vanilla Sky"). You can read more, or hear recordings, at:

http://www.dxing.com/numbers.htm

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