Apex of Kryptos

“No, [Ed Sheidt] doesn’t know the solution.   I made that very clear that I didn’t want him to be able to decipher what’s going on … that I’d be modifying systems and developing my own, which would make it virtually impossible for him to decipher all of it. I intended the 80 percent (of the text) that’s been deciphered to be deciphered and to be deciphered in stages and relatively quickly. The final part is obviously the, you know, the apex of the pyramid there.”

– Jim Sanborn in WIRED

Here is a picture of the apex of the pyramid.  Perhaps it just doesn’t exist.

The Apex is invisble or just doesn't exist.

Published in: on October 17, 2010 at 7:39 pm  Comments (1)  
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He’s Watching You

WWII Poster

WWII Poster

The following description can be found at a web site about vintage WWII posters.

In this image, a sinister looking soldier wearing a German Stahlhelm M16 steel helmet surreptitiously peers over a wall at the viewer. Under the Nazi regime, the unique German Stahlhelm M16 steel helmet became an icon of military prowess and national pride, while for the Allies it became a symbol of menacing evil.

“He’s Watching You.”

This striking poster was designed in 1942 by artist Glenn Ernest Grohe (1912 – 1956) for the Office of Emergency Management. It shows the menacing, shadowy figure of a German soldier peering directly at the viewer over a dark wall with contrasting large text: He’s Watching You. This cool caution poster was intended to motivate adherence to the laws and prudence to the wartime rules about secrecy in the industrial sector and the close proximity of enemy eyes and ears.

There were two schools of thought about wartime poster design, “realistic images” and “stylized art”. One school of art and artists believed the posters should be realistic and direct like the print advertisements of the time; this was understandable as many of the war poster artists were of course selected from the advertisement illustration field. This poster is obviously from the “stylized war art” school of thought. The stylized sinister Nazi character closely resembles the creepy Star Wars character Darth Vader. Neither the Nazis nor Darth Vader had yet taken their place in infamy so this early war poster was as it turned out ineffective.

A 1942 government survey conducted by the Office of Facts and Figures of the American public revealed that the poster was often misunderstood. Many people perceived the stylized German Stahlhelm M16 steel helmet as the Liberty Bell, while some factory workers mistakenly believed “he” to be the “boss.” Because of this type of issue, the U.S. Office of War Information (OWI) was created in June 1942 to review and approve the design, content and distribution of government war posters, coordinate the release of war news and information for domestic use and other wartime responsibilities.

Ultimately, two contending groups within OWI clashed over poster design. Those who saw posters as “war art” favored stylized images and symbolism, while recruits from the world of advertising wanted posters to be more like ads. When admen eventually gained the upper hand at OWI, the look of government posters changed decidedly.

Espionage has been with us since early time but the immigrant/melting pot based nature of the United States and our relatively late involvement in World War 2 made 1940s America a lucrative environment for spies and potential saboteurs. Naturally the dangers and concerns of national security intensified when the United States entered the war and America’s overseas military and homeland patriots urgently needed additional protection. The U.S. Government had a great need to alert its’ military and private citizens to the presence of enemy spies and saboteurs lurking in American society.

A major advertising blitz involving all media eventually produced thousands of remarkable “careless talk” type posters to warn people that small snippets of information regarding troop movements or other logistical details would be useful to the enemy and could easily compromise national security and U.S. military personnel’ safety. These vintage 1940s public domain poster images like this one of the Stylized “He’s Watching You” displayed on this page from the Safety and National Security World War 2 Gallery of this website allow you to own a copyright free piece of WWII history, a historic patriotic artwork poster.

Twilight Eyes, a video exploring the idea that this same face exists in the layout of CIA’s New Headquarters Building (and surrounding elements), can be seen here:

For other posters, visit these links:





Published in: on August 26, 2010 at 7:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Kryptos, Pyramid, Obelisk

From wikipedia: Obelisk

The obelisk symbolized the sun god Ra, and during the brief religious reformation of Akhenaten was said to be a petrified ray of the Aten, the sundisk. It was also thought that the god existed within the structure.

It is hypothesized by New York University Egyptologist Patricia Blackwell Gary and Astronomy senior editor Richard Talcott that the shapes of the ancient Egyptian pyramid and obelisk were derived from natural phenomena associated with the sun (the sun-god Ra being the Egyptians’ greatest deity).[5] The pyramid and obelisk might have been inspired by previously overlooked astronomical phenomena connected with sunrise and sunset: the zodiacal light and sun pillars respectively.

Does this not sound like Jim Sanborn’s description of the Corcoran installation?!

The Corcoran installation had some references to Greek mythology. There was a freestanding cylinder in the center of the room that was totally perforated with encoded text. Half of the cylinder was perforated text dealing with CIA operations. The other half of the cylinder dealt with KGB operations. The two existed side by side. A pinpoint light inside the cylinder projected these encoded texts, including the word Medusa, which was embedded in the texts, over the inside of the gallery, so that they covered every inch of its surface. It created an effect where Medusa’s gaze, represented by these bright texts, fell over one’s body as one walked through the room. There was a petrified tree in the room, a tree that had turned into stone. I felt as if the projected light was a visible ray that was as toxic as the information on that cylinder. It was a transformation from a text written to a text projected to a text that became toxic when it touched your body.

(Atomic Time book excerpt)

(see APEX of Kryptos Blog for more connections between Kryptos and Obelisks)

Secret Theories

Jim Sanborn said,

“The greatest chart we have for decoding is the Rosetta Stone.  Cracking that code gave us the ability to understand an ancient language.  What the CIA does now, as far as encoding and decoding, is a very similar kind of sleuthing: word sleuthing as opposed to physical sleuthing.”

Word Sleuthing.

The Rosetta Stone had a single text inscribed three times in multiple languages.  Knowing the first two provided a means of interpreting the last.  Imagine, conversely, inscribing a single text once with multiple meanings.  If one could hide the meaning, or the existence of alternate meanings, we would be confronted with steganography.  If those words were reused with different meanings, we would have a palimpsest.  A palimpsest of word meanings.  Words reused.

Ed Scheidt discusses with Nova ScienceNow how the art of steganography is hiding the notion that a secret message exists at all.

Word sleuthing.

“Between subtle shading and the absence of light lies the nuance of illusion.” means: Between my ambiguity in word meanings and your ignorance of my technique, you are deceived into interpreting the deciphered Kryptos text at face value.

“Of the part that’s been decoded already there is certain ambiguity in the last few sentences and it’s been open to interpretation, as has the whole piece.” – Jim Sanborn.

Howard Carter’s journal means something different too:

“Slowly, disparately (sp?) slowly, the remains of passage debris that encumbered the lower part of the doorway was removed…”


The ciphertext is considered a passage of text.  K4, the unsolved part of Kryptos, is debris, and it is to be removed.  This is why all attempts at cracking K4 has failed.  K4 does not exist as 97, 98, or even 100 letters.  K4 does not exist in the text at the bottom of the sculpture. However, the text isn’t simply to be disregarded as useless debris.  Even debris comes from something once constructed!  There is an algorithm of applying that text as a tableau grid over the oddly-worded K2 (and other sections) to create a null cipher. A cipher where overlapping characters are removed. Those letters are passage debris, and ultimately, debris gets removed.  It gets discarded.

Identify the debris.

“When you use the last part and you get the solution you should take out all the spaces and run [the remaining characters] all together.” – Jim Sanborn (2009) (in response to an inquiry as to whether or not he would acknowledge a solution posted online.  See Null-Cipher Theories posted in dozens of forums since 2004)

“With trembling hands, I made a tiny breach in the upper left-hand corner…” refers to the raised letters of the K3 ciphertext.

A breach, as in a break-through.  A breach, as in a discovery.  A breach, as in compromising a relatively secure system — those raised letters in the upper left-hand corner of “Layer Two.”

“And then, widening the hole a little, I inserted the candle and peered in…” means:  We apply the Null Cipher Technique.  We shed light on the true meanings of the deciphered text.

“The hot air escaping from the chamber caused the flame to flicker…” could imply a chamber of people — officials, perhaps — an organization.  A flame is a criticism or violent, intense passion.  The flicker harks back to the raised letters as actual, physical portions of the new text as a guide (or grain of Kryptos Sand).

“‘Kryptos brought me back to my first love. Like my childhood programming days, I was once again free to pursue a challenge that didn’t have the limitations of ‘this is how to do it’,” Phillips told The Guardian in 2005.  (continuing) “Mr Sanborn admits he would feel a tinge of regret if Kryptos is solved.”

Regret that people finally figured out his puzzle?  Regret for what the message says?  Perhaps a flame against the CIA?

“But presently, details of the room within emerged from the mist.”  Mist is an ambiguous term that implies something obscured or hidden from meaning or view.  In context, it means “a hidden document.”

“I’ve made a statement which is straightforward, but that leads to something else. There’s another deeper mystery. As you peel off a layer of an onion, the myst – you get closer to the heart of what it is. And so y’know I just wanted to make it…  you had to go deeper and decipher something else. It’s in English, it’s in plain English, it’s in text, and you can read it, but that isn’t necessarily the whole story.” – Jim Sanborn

“Can you see anything?”

It is certain that we could be understanding the real power of art and Sanborn’s disposition as a Natural Scientist toward certain philosophies of institution.

“[The sculpture] could corrupt, somehow…” – Jim Sanborn.

“Just knowing Jim – in talking to Jim, he has philosophies that he would like to portray, and this is a medium for him to do that.” – Ed Scheidt

Details of this theory forthcoming.

Gary Warzin’s Palimpsest Theory

Gary Warzin’s 2001 Palimpsest Theory has been reproduced as a permanent mirror (in memoriam) at KryptosRevisited.com!

Discover how this Kryptos enthusiast used Jim Gillogly’s CIA Sculpture report in conjunction with Simon Singh’s “The Code Book” to develop a theory about K4.  Warzin claims that Kryptos is a physical palimpsest with underlying alphabet characters from the Vigenere Tableau peeking through.


CNN B-Roll Transcript (June 2005)

A previously concealed B-Roll transcript from CNN Interviews in June 2005 has been made available at KryptosRevisited.com.  The transcript was compiled and edited by CNN’s Justine Redman (producer) and Elonka Dunin.

Sanborn discusses details of his CIA Sculpture “Kryptos,” and reveals new information about clues leading up to K4.  He also discloses actual techniques and concepts about k4, noting how it might fit in to the rest of the puzzle.

Read the original transcript here.

Serpentine Yin-Yang: The Ribbon

Over the course of time, ideas about the nature of Kryptos becomes convoluted.  Every good researcher maintains a notebook with facts stripped of conjecture, and my notebook happened to be within arm’s reach of my laptop this morning.  Sifting through the organized collection of material I’ve collected about the CIA sculpture over the years, my eyes were drawn to a particular page with large words written on them.  In haste, and considering that the single-page document was compiled in several dozen sessions of study, sources were vague.  However, there is enough information present to trace these words back to Jim Sanborn himself, given the time to complete such a task.

The title of the page is “Jim Calls the Copper Scroll:” and is followed by this list (partially reconstructed here to focus on certain titles):

  • Yin-Yang (attributing it to balance)
  • Copper Ribbon (noting it furls from a tree that could represent a printer)
  • Serpentine
  • The Sculpture (distinguishing it from the other elements of his artwork at CIA)
  • The Source (of information that is disseminated into the whirling abyss below)

The mind has a way of automatically organizing its volumes of information over time, and “Copper Ribbon” brought several links to mind.  Suppose that petrified tree represents a typewriter, and the Ribbon represents its ribbon (as opposed to printer paper, the popular belief).  Typewriter ribbons are cyclic, which means they are reused by a single typewriter until the ink is diminished.  A ribbon is a prime example of a textual Palimpsest.  Evidence of previous writings can be found on a single ribbon, and a little detective work can result in decoding those plain messages.

“Copper Ribbon” is Jim Sanborn’s description of his sculpture.  When did this change?  Even he claims to have had loose lips in the early discussions, being ambiguous as to which interviews or publications.  “Copper Ribbon” comes from one of the earliest known official documentaries on his work at CIA.  This choice of terminology is what kryptosrevisited.com chooses to use, because it is one of the first, raw descriptions of what Sanborn did in that courtyard.  As a professional, you are urged to explore why it is you choose to describe works such as Kryptos in the way you do, and to be ready to answer when it all comes together.

K5: Twilight Eyes

Watch in full screen (HQ) at a reasonable volume. Note: first minute of video is silent. Your comments are welcome. Don’t forget to rate the video!

Actual Satellite View (Google Earth File)

No Final Conclusions; K4 Remains Unsolved!

I’m going to skip ahead here, and answer some questions, because this original announcement has been hyped up to a point that has unwittingly sparked some serious frustration within many people.  This has taken the joy right out of what I have been planning to do, and I realize my blunder in timing.  My announcement came too soon before the video was released, and failing to specify how long the wait would be was the only real crime here.  The announcement was originally meant to be made within several days (not hours or minutes), and so my deepest apologies for not reiterating that detail in my announcement about an announcement.  Nothing has changed from what I’ve said – there is a new Kryptos discovery that will be detailed within a few days (presently in production).  It will be released in the form of an animated video and a corresponding article.  Again, this announcement pertains to a layer of Kryptos that is not presently considered to be a part of K4.  There certainly has been no claim of final resolution from this author, so by all means keep going!!

I have been working on a video (I referred to it as skilled manipulation in a previous post; perhaps a poor, yet typical choice of words from this author) that depicts what I believe to be the ultimate palimpsest.  Be careful not to jump to conclusions about this.  The very nature of what I am talking about is extremely difficult to imagine.  As it stands right now, we have a limited definition of “palimpsest” and I’ll state openly that if you’re visualizing Archimede’s version, you’ve played into the illusion as planned.

The story that lead to this belief (that’s all it is at this point) was originally not connected to Kryptos.  A Moroccan tile artist emailed me several months ago about something she saw in Kryptos, and so as a faithful co-enthusiast, I looked.  I was stunned when I immediately saw something.  However, low and behold, she was not referring to Kryptos — but an entirely different work of art by a different artist from a different era.  I couldn’t confirm her findings, and I subsequently dismissed my own impression about Kryptos as coincidence.

During my normal Kryptos persuits, I discovered a work by a prominent fiction writer from the 1920’s.  His name is Howard – no relation to the Howard Carter of 1922 we are all familiar with.  This is Howard Phillips Lovecraft.  He wrote a story called “Memory” that seems to speak of a sense of time when advanced intelligences could not in hindsight distinguish the difference between man and monkey.

…The Genie that haunts the moonbeams spake to the Demon of the Valley, saying, “I am old, and forget much. Tell me the deeds and aspect and name of them who built these things of Stone.” And the Demon replied, “I am Memory, and am wise in lore of the past, but I too am old. These beings were like the waters of the river Than, not to be understood. Their deeds I recall not, for they were but of the moment. Their aspect I recall dimly, it was like to that of the little apes in the trees. Their name I recall clearly, for it rhymed with that of the river. These beings of yesterday were called Man.”

So the Genie flew back to the thin horned moon, and the Demon looked intently at a little ape in a tree that grew in a crumbling courtyard.

H P Lovecraft also wrote “The Shadow Out of Time,” which seems to speak of Kryptos.  The story is about pseudo-memory as a possible antithesis to lucid-memory.  And then there is “The Dunwich Horror” which makes reference to a Savant named Wilbur Whateley who developed a puzzle using Vigenere and Matrices.  Dunwich was terrorized by invisible forces (see wikipedia article).  There is reference to an inner city between the two magnetic poles and something called the “DHO-HNA” formula, coincidentally reminding me of “antipodes” and DHO and HNA in the first line of the ciphertext of k3.  I digress with DHO being the letters surrounding that infamous YAR.

This ultimately is a rabbit trail that brings me to the reason for my recent dramatic announcement.  One of those stories inspired me to take a second look at what I thought I had seen several months ago as a tip-off from that Moroccan tile artist.  I say this now with complete confidence, that H P Lovecraft is in no way connected to Kryptos.  I have no reason to think that Jim Sanborn would have used this prominent fiction writer.  It is coincidence, and to suggest anything else without any tangible information is delusional.  Merely interesting parallels of which there are countless as we all know.

Regarding my announcement and the sudden betrayal several people found themselves feeling, no authority has genuinely given me the “go ahead” and no one has endorsed my ideas.  The claim about being chosen was going to be revealed in the video as part of my own slant and point in illusion on this legitimate discovery I made (not yet specifically referenced anywhere).  I’m clearing this up, because of the numerous reactions before I could tell the story.  In light of the seriousness of the claim and my credibility being somewhat at stake in the face of a few frightening emails from my own peers, I am going to recant this, and I may incorporate the purpose of it at a more appropriate time.  It is important to me that what I show you is simple, factual, and free from my own interpretation.  This isn’t completely possible, but I will treat the presentation professionally, which you have come to expect from this blog and my related materials.

Obviously, it is my job to hype up anything that is a decent possibility as it pertains to Kryptos.  This is what I do.  This is what I have been doing for years.  The facts and theories (have you seen my “did Sanborn sign Kryptos?“) are at the heart of my web site.  Let’s clear that intention up first.  My discovery is not K4.  I have not solved K4. I have not claimed that I have solved K4, and I kindly ask that if anyone thinks otherwise or has mispoken about this that they help me clear up the issue.  It has instigated widespread panic in people who are trying to solve it.  I like suspense.  I like to have fun with illusions, exaggerations, and dangerous implications… but I also respect genuine resolution.  Being the author of “k4 syndrome,” I am careful about what I say, and live for delivering genuine, fresh content.  I want to go above and beyond with my skills because it’s beneficial to the Kryptos community and I enjoy doing it.

1) What I believe to be buried out there is a palimpsest.  This may not be an original idea.  Again, this has not been confirmed or endorsed by anyone.  I believe Langley should know about this but that they don’t.

2) In light of what I will be showing via my new animated video next week is an interpretation of the deciphered plain text as it relates to this new discovery.  Again, I am not sure whether the interpretation is original or whether it originated in someone else’s fascinating studies (such as Dr. Randy Thompson’s).  I will show you what is buried.  I will specifically show you the item I’m calling the new palimpsest.

3) I will show you what the coordinates point to, exactly.  The steganography, as many people have suggested, in this part of the solution is the wording of the plain text itself.  In fact, I can not count the number of people who have suggested this very thing and thought it to be their original work.  I certainly won’t pretend to have been the first to have come up with it.  What I will propose is what that plain text means in this particular new layer of Kryptos.  What do the coordinates mean?  I will show you.

4) “It was totally invisible.  How’s that possible?  They used the earth’s magnetic field…”  I want to explain what this means in light of the palimpsest discovery.  Like my Leonardo discovery from several years back, once you see the chalice, you always see the chalice.  That chalice is a steganographic message.  I’m trying to be specific without ruining the potential surprise.  However, this discovery is questionable and subject to as much doubt as the disparate chalice discovery.  There will be believers and there will be doubters.  I think that with the story of Kryptos thus far, we are intelligent enough to accept what Jim Sanborn did out there on the CIA grounds behind everyone’s backs.  I’m also prepared to hear, “no, that’s not it,” in which case I will promptly abandon the idea.

5) I will explain the meaning of what information was gathered and transmitted underground.  The exact place is unknown, and so this is a discrepancy from my previous post.  However, I will explain what it means.  I will tell you where, exactly I have been told this place is.

6) The ultimate lesson for the CIA that will likely not change personalities as Sanborn hoped but will cause them to think a little about how Jim Sanborn carried out this act and got away with it for twenty years.  That’s what this discovery is about.  The story doesn’t begin at the dedication ceremony.  It began long before, and part of the Kryptos puzzle includes the history and drama involved in its planning and installation.

The chance event will have to wait for further explanation.  To those waiting, please be patient.  I will do my best to not disappoint you with these things and to give the best showmanship you deserve.  This is not a hoax, but please do not make this out to be “the finale” in the sense that it’s over and done with.  Hardly!  I believe this to be a minor step of progress.

It is big, though.  Very big.  In what way, you’ll soon find out.

Hope this helps, and please don’t bury me over my enthusiasm.  This is supposed to be fun… for everyone…

and it is!


The World’s Most Famous Palimpsest

You were thinking Archimede’s palimpsest?  As of this writing, August 6, 2009, you might be correct.  Within a few short days, you will be mistaken.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I can not contain my silence any longer.  I’ve been given the “go ahead.”  Keep an eye on KryptosRevisited.com, because in a few short days a very powerful secret about the CIA’s sculpture, “Kryptos” will be revealed.  Here is what you will learn:

…who it is that made the discovery and why this researcher was chosen to reveal it.

…what, exactly, is buried out there that Langley should know about and after twenty years still does not.

…the meaning of the coordinates and the steganography sought out for so many years.

…what exactly was totally invisible, how it was made invisible, and how it will hereafter forever be made visible.

…what information was gathered and transmitted underground, and where exactly that place is.

…how the earth’s magnetic field was used.

…the ultimate lesson for the CIA that could “change personalities,” cause them to “think less seriously about what is encoded,” and give a new perspective on the history and installation of this world famous puzzle.

…how this may give new insight into what k4 really is and why it has not been solved.

This is, perhaps, the final layer of the puzzle that was likely not meant to be discovered except by a rare chance or occurrence of an event that has not occurred.  This event would be what Jim Sanborn refers to as why Kryptos is slowly unraveling itself.  Fortunately for all of us, we don’t have to wait for this chance event to occur.  I will make it happen, and you will see it clearly for yourself with the aid of skilled manipulation.

The gears are now in motion, and without further announcement, at some future time that is already designated, that truth will be revealed, and the mystic chatter about Kryptos will ensue once again.  Get ready.  This is going to be big.

From the researcher who revealed Leonardo’s masterful encoding of the St. Bartholomew Chalice comes another revelation soon to be the world’s most famous palimpsest.

Unexplained Metaphor & Other Kryptos Oddities

A new topic at KryptosRevisited.com explores “Unexplained Metaphor,” which can be found within the pages of “In-Depth Analysis.”  Discover some of the stranger anomalies in Kryptos.  In his Exhibition catalog for the Covert Obsolescence Installation, James Sanborn said, “Metaphor has always been important to me.  Petrified trees and fossils were once moving, growing, and living, but have been somehow transfixed — turned to stone.”

The Internet is flooded with old, rehashed information about Kryptos, and this section of the web site is intended to look at the more obscure elements of the CIA sculpture.  For example, did Jim Sanborn sign his artwork?  Find out here.

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