A bookseller declares that he has found one manuscript of the 15th century in a monastery in Italy. It contains an incomprehensible language. Also, plants and animals that are not related to this world. Still, nobody knows what it is.
It is a manuscript in this world, bizarre, until today unbreakable, and very old. He has also confused the world’s greatest cryptologists for nearly a century. Is it really a code to be broken, or a powerful mockery?
“I came to the Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts at Yell University to solve a puzzle that makes the Da Vinci Code seem a joke. A book that no one can read. In a language that does not exist. Illustrated by plants and creatures that have never been seen on earth. It is known as the Voynich Manuscript, according to the name of an old book merchant, Wilfrid Voynich. He claimed to have discovered this book in Italy in 1912. Since then, the book has obsessed an endless number of experts and has generated countless theories, whether scientific or hallucinating.”
“My favorite theory is that we have to do with an illustrated diary of an adolescent extraterrestrial who left it on Earth,” jokes Ray Clemens.
What strikes me most is how small it is. I was waiting for a manuscript similar to an album. But the book I see in a reading stand in front of me is the size of a pocketbook.
Connected with a soft cap in the color of an old ivory, it features 240 pages of abundant illustrations. Illustrations look like something one can only look at after being addicted to LSD. Strange plants, astrological symbols, creatures similar to seaweed, and something that resembles a lobster. In an illustration, a group of naked women with alabaster skinned baths below what appears to be a stream of water flowing from above the book. The text, written in brown ink like rusty iron, resembles Tolkien’s fairy tales.
Voynich was an ethnic Polish from Lithuania, to what was once the Russian Empire. Born in 1865, he was temporarily imprisoned in Siberia for revolutionary activities, before leaving Manchuria until he arrived in London.
In London, he opened a bookstore used, which became the center for political asylum seekers. Among them was Karl Marx and a Russian immigrant, Sidney Reilly.
Vojni claimed that he had met the manuscript at a Jesuit workshop outside Rome, Villa Mondragone. Along with the manuscript was a letter supposedly written in 1665 by Johann Marcus Marci, a doctor of the Holy Roman Emperor.
The letter would say how manuscript belonged to Rudolf. It was probably the work of queen Queen Alchemist Roger Bacon. There are also two other men suspected of potential perpetrators. John Dee, Queen Elizabeth of the First Master and Astrologer, and an alchemist companion, Edward Kelley. Voynich himself referred to the book.
Since then, the book has been the object that has challenged all the great minds. American William Friedman, one of the greatest cryptographers of the twentieth century, who created an institution that recently became famous by Edward Snowden, the founder of the National Security Agency, NSA, passed 30 years trying to break the manuscript code. Theories on the code thrive constantly. A retired American botanist recently claimed that some of the plants presented there are of Latin American origin. A British linguist claims to have translated ten words.