340 Cipher - "Two-Way Hell"


Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Ciphers: 340 Cipher - "Two-Way Hell"

By J Eric (J_Eric) (0-1pool25-20.nas7.los-angeles1.ca.us.da.qwest.net - 63.233.25.20) on Saturday, August 10, 2002 - 01:22 am:

I've decoded the 340 character cipher to read in two ways, rather like a crossword grid. Went on the assumption that Graysmith's version started out correct--perhaps he or someone realized it was just too "hot" to publish? Changed a few characters and came out with quite different results. The first sentence, I GIVE THEM HELL TOO actually reads HELL TOOT. "TOOT" is "TOO" (2) reading both ways, making it TWO-WAY HELL, a hint that there's more than one message happening. "Sleuth should see a name below..."--there's no "killer's film," just name what you're looking at and the cipher provides instructions on how to decipher itself! It's been staring you in the face for 33 years.

The message--including anagrams and rebuses--is as follows:

HERB CAEN I GIVE THEM
HELL TOOT L TEESH
T CLESS. SLEUTH SHEOLHD
SEE A NAME BELOO
SALERS SIMBLL A SPILL
GHEM READ ON ME AGECET
U L ROTATE N E. BUT I LET
BLOOSSHED HLSSS LEMMET
KLLER EEL. SA ASK
LUNDBLAD A LOST LES
HURD ALL LIES LLOST T
KEES. DARE I AT LLLLEAST
SSAA A HIELLO. TN MR
AHHEN ATAKES. BALLL
SLAVE CCAUSE BLADE U I.
STOLLEN STONRS TER.
TEL A TALE AH HELL LIEE
AL HH. TOSHHI THE
PIG MHTTS LLSO LEDA.
CS HHS GOELL ME SLAIN


Into plain English we turn this message!

HERB CAEN, I GIVE THEM TWO WAY HELL
I’LL TEACH THE CLASS. SLEUTH SHOULD
SEE A NAME BELOW SAILOR’S (SLAYER’S)
SYMBOLS A SPELL GAME.
READ ON EXCEPT
YOU’LL ROTATE ME NORTHEAST. BUT I LET
BLOODSHED HELLS LIMIT
"KILLER EEL." SO ASK
LUNDBLAD, A LOST LES
HEARD ALL LIES (ALLIES) LOST THE KEYS.
DARE I AT L-L-LEAST
S-SAY A HELLLOOO? THEN MR.
AHHEN (“AH-HEM”) ATTACKS.
BALLS, SLAVE BECAUSE I BLADE YOU.
STOLLEN STONERS TERRORS ("TER." = TERRACE ON A PHILLIPS 66 ROAD MAP)
TELL A TALE OF HELL, LIES, ALL AGES.
TOSCHI THE PIG MEETS ALSO LEDA.*
‘CUZ HIS GOAL’S ME SLAIN.

My attorney tells me "it just wouldn't doo" to say something nasty about The Pig on the internet, so I leave the cipher as written for this line. Leda is a mythological Greek swan, nowadays sometimes appearing as a feathered ballerina. Some have decoded the word as DEAL. Sleuth may look under the table periodically for another more likely word.


We turn now to the reverse message, and what a curious turn it takes. Follow the instructions and rotate the ZODAIK in the cipher so that the Z becomes an N, by turning in the direction of the spiral on the crosshairs (or use your Nice Zodiac Buton if you got one at the 7/4 Task Force Meeting).

The secret message is written partly in Pidgin, phonetic English as spoken by some Asians, or English trying to sound like some Asians trying to sound like English!

The backwards "D" forming an M in the forward message becomes an "N" in the secret message.

Ah-so, prease to leed on:


CILR IS ALNOS DUE SLES HE
HE A S E MATTH HALLL. . PLS
GET AETUL. RESEARC SCLLLR.
ALEN SHHULD LOAV NHHH
HE LEARNS BREAKS N L STEAL
ALOA BOTALLLLSS LD GET
THE KASILENE BOM ON
N BOTUEEN DE ANAEHEIDRO.
SLLL ITO A AIL ALEL BUILETIHG
HOAN. ASO SET SO
KEELOSSCEE LANTEHAL U
PASSETIV GHOSTI.
SLES. BHATO THAM L BUS.
T BLEST KELL COLLETT AL
SLATETE T HEL
TIDS R ALL IN SSMALLER SHHEEL
GET LESSS DS N MATH HLL.
EE EL LE OR DIES. THE END

Word compilation (c) 2002 J. Eric Freedner

Too bad A. Leigh Allen is no longer with us, I've a good mind to bore a few holes in his sailboat!

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p50-69.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - 159.134.50.69) on Saturday, August 10, 2002 - 04:50 am:

Well done on a fine effort and thanks for posting.It's certainly one of the better efforts Ive seen.Problem is,is it right? We have been debating on other threads how "right" Graysmith actually was.Another poster also "assumed Graysmith was right" and "changed a few characters" and came up with Theodore Kaczynski.So you see the problem.Have you had any independent analysis or second opinion from a professional?

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p50-118.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - 159.134.50.118) on Saturday, August 10, 2002 - 10:36 am:

Eric,
Just another few questions points/questions
1.Do you have a copy of the original decipherment
you can show, before you applied anagramming?
2.It appears to be 12 letters short if I'm not mistaken,is this an error or did you attribute null values to the reversed C(although that would only account for 10)
3.The "rotated" reading appeas to have only 320 letters, why is this?
Thanks

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - 192.70.249.40) on Saturday, August 10, 2002 - 01:48 pm:

Yes, thanks to Eric for posting. It would be of great interest to me if anyone tried to solve the cipher without initially assuming Greysmith was close (or without taking his main assumption that a lot of letters equal themselves). Unfortunately ciphers which require anagraming are hard to confirm since there are so many possiblilities.

Lapumo, good questions to Eric, but one correction:
Another poster also "assumed Graysmith was right" and "changed a few characters" and came up with Theodore Kaczynski.

If you are talking about finding THEODORE KACZYNSKI in the ciphertext, such as I discussed on another thread, this has nothing to do with "assuming Graysmith was right". Indeed my best guess is that Graysmith's solution is completely wrong, but I can't prove this (&I don't discourage solutions like Eric's & Zanders which improve upon RG's solution). "Assuming Graysmith was right" relates to actually solving the cipher, as Eric has done above...not to searching for names in the ciphertext symbols written by Z....just a clarification.

By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38lde6h.dialup.mindspring.com - 209.86.184.209) on Saturday, August 10, 2002 - 01:59 pm:

Eric,

First, let me say this is a fantastic effort on your part. I think it's OK to partly base the work on Graysmith, because due to the partial legibility of his solution, we know that he had at least some of the letters correct. What has always troubled me was that Graysmith's solution was never really verified. All that was done was a checking of the key that produced his solution. That is not a verification. What you have done here is, in my view, much different than that. You have read clues that have directed you to a solution that appears to be intended. It's not likely that you went here looking for a specific name and just happened to uncover a message that reads two ways as a result. On the contrary, this solution was arrived at, in my view, as the result of legitimate cryptography. Unfortunately, I am not a professional analyst, so my opinion is only that.

I am also interested in the answers to Lapumo's questions, except I think the answer might be what you said above, that some letters were re-used? But how did you treat the reversed C?

I assume you have much more. My English speaker trying to pretend I'm an Asian trying to speak English comes up with the following twansraysin:

KILLER IS ALMOST DUE SAYS HE.
HE IS AT MATH HALL. PLEASE GET ARTHUR.
RESEARCH SCHOLAR. ALLEN SHOULD LOVE (WHEN)
HE LEARNS BREAKS IN HE'LL STEAL ALL OF THE
BOTTLES LID GET THE GASOLINE BOMB ON IN
BETWEEN THE ANHYDROUS. [SLLL IT TO A AIL ALEL
BUILETIHG HOAN]. ALSO SET THE KEROSENE LANTERN
YOU POSITIVE GHOST I SAYS. BETTER THAN SCHOOL
BUS. THE BLAST KILL COLLECT ALL STRAIGHT TO HELL.
KIDS ARE ALL IN SMALLER SCHOOL GET LESS D's IN
MATH HALL. HE WILL OR LEE DIES. THE END.


I have no idea if this is correct or if you agree with it, but anyway you see it, it is a very interesting message. Anhydrous ammonia (NH3) is an extremely nasty chemical. It is what is known as a hydroscopic compound, in that it will react with water from the nearest source. Yes, this also means your body. This affinity places the eyes, lungs, and skin in immediate peril. Caustic burns appear on contact with the skin. Most deaths from anhydrous ammonia are caused by severe damage to the throat and lungs from a direct inhalation. When large amounts are inhaled, the throat swells shut and the victims suffocate, but even a brief exposure to small amounts can be lethal.

So, we can at least be sure that we were intended to read something out of it with this new orientation. I am curious to see some more of your work on this. Again, great job Eric!

By Ray N (Ray_N) (user-38lde6h.dialup.mindspring.com - 209.86.184.209) on Saturday, August 10, 2002 - 02:18 pm:

PS to my above post:

This is exactly the kind of thing that we have been looking for. Sure, like everyone says, anagramming produces many possible solutions, but how many solutions are available if we turn the grid on it's side and also find readable, albeit cryptic, "plaintext"? This serves as evidence, at least from where I sit, that in light of the hints Zodiac has given us, we have a solution that is very close to what was originally encoded. All that remains is to see what a professional thinks about it.

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p51-153.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - 159.134.51.153) on Saturday, August 10, 2002 - 04:29 pm:

Obiwan,
No,I was not referring to TK being taken from the ciphertext,but rather to Zander's complete decipherment of the 340 resulting in something like "Hello I'm Theodore Kaczynski" in the last line.
In fact,this is the whole agrument some of us here were trying to make all along.Though finding a name was interesting,it proves absolutely nothing when we can get such excellent alternatives as Eric has produced.That's not to say Eric is right and Zander is wrong,but there is only so much we can read into either until such time as we have professional analysis.Personally,(though trying to get that point across to Zander is impossible)I am interested in any name that shows up here.But it must hold up to proper scrunity.
The fact is, there are dozens of names that can be pulled from these ciphers,odds mean nothing,when someone can apply an alternative method and come up with another name.This is not about holding Allen over kaczynski or vice versa.
Its about proving that whatever name or message gleaned from these written communications was the one intended.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - 192.70.249.40) on Saturday, August 10, 2002 - 11:27 pm:

Lapumo, sorry I forgot about the last line of Zander's solution. Your comment was on the mark. I personally do not view that decoded line as strong evidence for TK, due to the multiplicity of possibilities for the 340, and also due to my bias and hope that the 340 will in the end turn out to have a "clean" solution.

The fact is, there are dozens of names that can be pulled from these ciphers

Regarding decoded plaintext derived by us code-breakers, I agree completely. However regarding the ciphertext charaters written by Zodiac himself, there are much fewer possibilities. For example I don't know of any 8 character names which appear in a single line of the 340 code ciphertext, without extremely creative interpretation of the symbols, save the two I found. However I have not looked for other names either.

(Eric, please forgive this diversion from the main topic of your solution of the 340..)

By J Eric (J_Eric) (0-2pool90-98.nas7.los-angeles1.ca.us.da.qwest.net - 63.233.90.98) on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 12:17 am:

Wow, I was not expecting so much feedback in so short a time! Thanks to all for your interest...

First, I am not a pro. Went on the assumption that Zodiac was a bit of an amateur too. Just tried to "get into" his weird mind and went with the flow, whomever he turns out to be...Took me about 3 weeks of nightly work to do it, a lot of sweating and a few "lucky" inspirations.

Still have a hunch some pro did the work for Graysmith (not that I am trying to put him down!) and when this person saw what turned out, he edited it. But...in a way that a reader (moi) could still get the message with more work.

The missing characters: Yes, I counted the backwards "C" null as a "period" in my translations. Rotated reading has 340 characters by my count, but had a devil of a time keeping them all in---coming up with 338 and 339 etc., a different count each time I tried. Any missing characters (not trying to cop out on this one) would likely be duplicate letters such as L's which do not vastly change the message or the way the code seems to say it is to be decoded. At one point, I thought the word "KELL" would have an extra E making it "KEELL."

The anagrams: yeah, I knew I'd be "keelhauled" for doing it, there are many ways to scramble or unscramble groups of letters. But I really thought my way is closest to how Zodiac wrote his other letters--remember him saying the bus bomb with fertilizer + stove oil would "positively ventilate" kids and here he goes again with "U Positive Ghostie."

To Ray N. + others:

I left the "English" translation off the second message to give you all some fun with the pidgin. Particularly since it seems a piece of black humor. Happy to post answer I got. Ray, you were pretty close, anhydrous ammonia it is!

CILLER (remember Zodiac writing about COPS and CIDS?) IS ALMOST ("Alnos" is almost ALMOST!) DUE SLAYS HE HE (I read it as "Hee-Hee" like the song They're Coming to Take Me Away Hee-Hee to the Funny Farm) A SOUTHEAST MATTH HALL. . PLEASE GET ETHYL (I first thought "Arthur" too but decided Zodes wants Premium Leaded to blow up da joint). RESEARCH SCHOLAR ALLEN SHOULD LOVE NH3 HE LEARNS BREAKS AND'LL STEAL A LOAD-A (Alternate = "Aloha" as in "BYE-BYE" which the bottles go when the truck is hijacked) BOTTLES (Lots of them since the anagram has so many L's!) LD (=LP/Propane gas) GET THE GASOLINE BOMB ON IN BETWEEN THE ANHYDROUS. SEAL IT TO AN AIR HOLE BUILDING HOME (send the gas mixture through the ductwork of a college dormitory!). AH-SO, SET SO CARELESSLY ("Kill-Easy" but "Kerosene" is still a possible alternative) LANTERN DOWN U (You or University?) POSTIVE GHOSTIE. SLAYS (Slaves?). BETTER THAN A BUS (described in his prior letters). THE BLAST KILLS, COLLECT ALL SLAVERY TO HELL, TIDS ("Taken Kids" or just The Kids?) ARE ALL IN ("Allen") A SMALLER SCHOOL, GET LESS D'S IN MATH HELL. EASILY ("HE'S A. LEIGH") OR DIES. THE END.

I'm not a fan of Theo. Kaczynski as being the Zodiac, I guess one could read "Ted's" for Tids at the Smaller School line, but why do references to A. Leigh Allen keep popping up? Did Kaczynski have any cutesy nicknames for himself--such as "Kash" or "Ski" which might be used in the coded message?

By the way, I tried calling Toschi "The Pig" to run my solution by him, but his granddaughter refused to put him on the line, bade me never to call again. Bad move, I guess, on my part. Who else would be an expert?

By Lapumo (Lapumo) (p50-231.as1.clm.clonmel.eircom.net - 159.134.50.231) on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 07:51 am:

Eric and Obiwan,
I generally tend to go with what Glen has to say on this matter(to a point).Glen is a professional who spent some time on this board and gave us a full analysis on why he believes Graysmiths solution to be off.
Alternately though,Eric I believe you are spot on when you opine that Zodiac was an amateur.I believe he had only a basic knowledge of simple encryption techniques.He took these simple systems and "Bastardized"(pardon the pun)them.Therefore,classical decryption techniques may not pick up on everything.There has to be some lateral thinking here.I do like some of your thinking here Eric.I don't know if what you came up with is right but some of your observations are interesting and on the mark I think.
Again getting back to Glen's assessments,he believed that there is a message here.In fact,he said that for Zodiac to have been able to structure his code this way and for it not to contain a message, would make him a true genius.
One of the things I like about this one is the possible clue on the accomanying card.Here we see "this is the Zodiac speaking" written "around the corner".Perhaps alluding to having to turn the cipher.That the word "thing" is followed by 6 exclamation marks and underlined 6 times is also significant I feel.We do have that deleted symbol 6 in and 6 down from the right hand side!
Eric,Glen is very approachable and the fact that your solution reads two ways might provide the proof needed.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (66.philadelphia08rh.16.pa.dial-access.att.net - 12.90.31.66) on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 08:35 am:

MATH HALL, RESEARCH SCHOLAR and GASOLINE BOMB all would point directly to Kaczynski. However, I'm not a big fan of these exercises in anagramming, unless there's a clear method to the madness.

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-mtc-tf024.proxy.aol.com - 64.12.103.29) on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 08:51 am:

The CEO of Boeing was named Allen. Didn't TK have a big problem with commercial airplanes?

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - 192.70.249.40) on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 09:42 am:

Eric, you can expect comments (and praise!) from people here who have also worked on the ciphers. Thanks for putting in the effort. I'd like to remind you and other 340 cipher solvers, that there is a really good way to test if your methods for solving ciphers are ferreting out a real message or just producing words of your own creation:

As discussed on another thread, Ray created a 340-like cipher which has a known solution. The cipher is much "easier" to solve because it does not involve anagramming.

To get started you can check out some, perhaps not all of the hints Ray gave, and look at my breakdown of the cipher:

http://www.ciw.edu/chris/z/ray/raycipher.html

I for one can say that my methods, which involve computers, have not yet solved Ray's cipher (though I'm confident I can given time), so I haven't ventured to seriously try to solve Z's 340 yet.

ps. I put "easier" in quotes above, but in fact I suspect most people will have a HARDER time solving Ray's cipher than solving Z's using anagramming, because anagramming gives you so much freedom to find words in there.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - 192.70.249.40) on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 09:51 am:

Lapumo: good observation about the correction at (6,6) from the upper right, connecting to "THING!!!!!!"

Sylvie: Yes, TK went after a UNITED exec named WOOD. Which reminds me of another name I managed to find in the 3part cipher using a rather permissive algorithm: WOODY ALLEN!! I believe I also might see ANNE HALL in there...

By Sylvie (Sylvie14) (spider-ntc-tb052.proxy.aol.com - 198.81.16.172) on Sunday, August 11, 2002 - 04:56 pm:

William Allen became Chairman in 1968. He was a Harvard man, interestingly. He encouraged diversification and created The Boeing Company's
place in the space program (something which could have enraged TK.)
Keep in mind that just because we find "Allen" does not necessarily mean it is A.L.Allen.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - 192.70.249.40) on Monday, August 12, 2002 - 07:21 am:

The 3part cipher, when solved contained a lot of new information regarding Z which nobody ever would have guessed based on his previous letters. (Ie Most Dangerous Game, Paradice, Slaves, etc.)

One of my main problems with the Graysmith solution of the 340 cipher is that is provides almost nothing new. Almost all of the words/ideas found there are taken from one Zodiac letter or another, all of which Graysmith would have been pouring over at the time he was writing his book. The only real stand-out words that are not specificially found in a zodiac letter are Toschi & Lunblad, both of whom RG was in close contact with at the time he was writing the book. One possibility is that through the freedom of anagramming, what we are seeing is a compendium of the thoughts that were going through GRAYSMITH's head, at the time he did the decoding, almost like a Rorshack (?) blot.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - 192.70.249.40) on Monday, August 12, 2002 - 07:40 am:

As you all know. Graysmith's solution to the 340-cipher is two part: First translate the symbols in to plain text, then rearrange these plain letters into an understandable message. To give some examples of the freedom anagramming provides, I decided to do some anagramming of my own.
According to Ed N.

The first 3 lines of Graysmith's solution, as anagrammed by G. are:

HERB CAEN I GIVE THEM
HELL TOO BLAST THESE
LIES SLEUTH SHEOLH

I discovered that these same 3 lines could alternatively be annagrammed to read:


I SHALL BECOME THE
LITTLE GHOST BEE
LOVE IS THE ANSHER

Like G.'s anagram, there is 1 misspelling. Of course this is not the only thing we can do with these letters. Some people have suggested that G.'s solution indicates that Z. was a drug user. If the following anagram of the 1st three lines reflects the true meaning, then perhaps Z's drug of choice was caffine:

THE BEST COVHEE IS
ESBRESSO NO MILLLLG
I HATE LATTE HEH

Perhaps a shaky hand from too much coffee (COVHEE) explains all the L's. This was just too much fun, I had to continue to the next batch of 3 lines:

SEE A NAME BELOW KILL-
LEERS FILM A PILLS GA-
ME PARDON ME AGCEPT T

At present, very little is known of Zodiac's culinary capabilities. If the following anagram of these lines reflects true meaning, then perhaps we should be looking for suspects along the lines of the Sweedish Chef.

MOM WE BAKE EGG PASTRIES
FILL MELON CREPE
LAPLAND MEATBALLL

To be fair, I'm anagramming 3 lines at a time and I think RG only used 1 or 2 lines at a time, but you get the idea. Bork bork.

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-54.bos.east.verizon.net - 141.154.21.54) on Monday, August 12, 2002 - 10:21 am:

Obiwan:

"As you all know. Graysmith's solution to the 340-cipher is two part: First translate the symbols in to plain text, then rearrange these plain letters into an understandable message. "

Excellent point. Anyone here who doesn't think he can make something related out of a Scrabble set? The 340 cipher has exactly 3.4 times the number of squares in that box. Just about any distribution on the first pass would provide enough letters to come up with just about anything you want, especially if you are allowed a bunch of close spellings and maybe some left-over tiles at the end.

In fact, it might be a fun exercise to check the distribution of either the cipher symbols or RGs first-stage result against a Scrabble set distribution . Start with one each of J,K,Q, X and Z per 100 alpha characters and work up to 12 E's. Other Scrabble statistics: total value of all the tiles without multipliers is 187. That number mean anything? How' bout it, you Cal Penal Code buffs?

By Tom Voigt (Tom_Voigt) (12-224-139-118.client.attbi.com - 12.224.139.118) on Monday, August 12, 2002 - 11:12 am:

This is getting way off topic...

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-54.bos.east.verizon.net - 141.154.21.54) on Monday, August 12, 2002 - 12:56 pm:

Tom:

I thought I was taking it right back to the original post:"Went on the assumption that Graysmith's version started out correct". You start out with a set of plain alphabetic letters, and you can cook up almost anything. That's the whole key to Scrabble, which has only 100 tiles. My point is that the results here are no more remarkable in their apparent relevance to the case than what you could concoct with 3.4 Scrabble sets.

By J Eric (J_Eric) (0-1pool24-3.nas7.los-angeles1.ca.us.da.qwest.net - 63.233.24.3) on Tuesday, August 13, 2002 - 11:21 pm:

Once I concluded that we're playing a "spell game" I began looking for all manner of word games. The 10th line, about Lundblad, begins "DLAUBLND LOAST ELS..." I found the "A" to be literally "lost" within the "LOST," so I let the poor thing out. So, thinking about how "lost" the officer could be, I ended up with "hurd all lies, lost kees..." And "Lundblad" was "all mixed up" to begin with!

"Dare I at l-l-l-least s-s-aa a hiello" should, I think, be read in a scared way (think Scooby Doo!).

The "B" in the next line (12th) really does look like it should form "BECAUSE" as Graysmith postulated -- so naturally I thought of how NOT to put it in that way, coming up with I BLADE U.

Went for some poetry on lines 13-15. Started humming "Sing a Song of Sixpence Pockets Full of Rye" as I decoded Tel A Tale of Hell, All Ages Lie. Not sure whether Zodiac was into nursery rhymes!

In Line 16 the "MHTT" for Meets may indicate speed. Think of commercial products with misspelled names such as Stop 'N Go Markets, E-Z Off & many more. Only thing speedier than a whizzing bullet is Clark Kent (and he's in Oregon).

Line 17 came to me in a dream. Really! Got up at 6:30 AM to scribble it down.

Reverse Message: Columns 5-6: The ammonia (NH3) is depicted correctly as a molecule (N surrounded by the 3 H's). Neat! Bottles in Col. 6 seems deliberately stretched out to show how many there will be in the truck. "Botueen"
in Cols. 7/8 must be gotten by taking letters back-and-forth from each column, so you decode it "between the lines."

Just wanted to point out that I was not trying to randomly mix letters to arrive at words; a number of clever word plays throughout.

As to Peter H's comment about Scrabble Tiles (Hiello, Peter!) - I actually wrote down the code letters on little paper squares for some of the tougher parts. Sat at my desk re-arranging the little squares and began to feel like the poor guy in A BEAUTIFUL MIND. The "GET LESSS D's... in Col. 16 stumped me for some time until I finally saw the joke. (You can't get Less D's until you learn to properly say Fewer D's!)

Obiwan: Allen was at least in later life a diabetic (according to his doctor who was at the 7/4 Task Force meeting) so I am not sure he would expound upon Egg crepes, Lapland Meatballs or Melons. It's more fun to weave terrorist plots! Just think of the rather recent videos of Osama Bin Laden and threats against US security by damaging bridges; SCUBA diver invasion; crop dusters....he's not interested in sharing his favorite recipes. Still, it IS amusing to learn the variations you presented. Makes me hungry!

"MATTH HALL" may not literally mean a room full of math students. I believe it refers to a college dormitory named perhaps Matthews Hall or Matthieson Hall but nicknamed Math Hall. I once lived in a dorm named Caflisch Hall but nicknamed Calf Hall. Not fit for a cow. There is a Matthews Hall at the U San Diego which is quite a bit southeast of the Zodiac's usual haunts. Any other ideas?

By Peter H (Peter_H) (pool-141-154-21-54.bos.east.verizon.net - 141.154.21.54) on Wednesday, August 14, 2002 - 07:59 am:

I love free association. Gets right to the objective truth every time.

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - 192.70.249.40) on Wednesday, August 14, 2002 - 07:01 pm:

In fact, it might be a fun exercise to check the distribution of either the cipher symbols ...
Peter, check here for a breakdown of the cipher symbols. I'll leave the scrabble comparison to you.

By Alan Cabal (Alan_Cabal) (42.sanfrancisco-12rh16rt-ca.dial-access.att.net - 12.81.119.42) on Wednesday, August 14, 2002 - 08:12 pm:

Peter, I appreciate your wit, but the reality is that this is a fascinating line of speculation that J Eric is pursuing here. None of us know for sure what the damned thing means, and you never know where the answer might come from, assuming there is one...

By J Eric (J_Eric) (0-3pool108-121.nas7.los-angeles1.ca.us.da.qwest.net - 63.233.108.121) on Friday, August 16, 2002 - 10:47 am:

It means...now that we've got a reversed message from the 340 cipher (which needed the Hardens' initial work to supply a few clues), I think we can go on to the 32 character cipher about the bomb. If the 32 cipher uses the SAME decoding as the 340, and assigning the value "N" to the little Omega Thing so the clue reads NORTH (its apparent meaning), and "T" to the anchor gizmo as might come from the MY NAME IS cipher, we get:

AADIOOGTASSMNORTH
UAPLBBTHAEELIHA

Since Zodiac says "North," I'll take every direction but.

Anagram may be:

PL [PLACE] A HBOMB SOUTH EAST O' RADIAN EIGHT ALA

I think I know what his plot is, where the bomb might be, the date Zodiac was out there, and the route he took. Do you?

By obiwan (Obiwan) (ciw2.ciw.edu - 192.70.249.40) on Tuesday, August 20, 2002 - 11:40 pm:

Eric J.

Could you please clarify your method of finding solution(s) for
the 340 cipher? I may not understand completely but it seems what you
have done is, produce two solutions in the code:

1.) Essentially take the Graysmith solution, but use somewhat different
anagrams from what Graysmith used, get somewhat different text for first
solution

2.) Rotate RG's solution 90 degrees changing some letters into other
letters (Z->N) Then read the text left to right, then anagram the text
as read line by line (or word by word?)? Presumably this rotation
turns most letters into non-letters. How are these treated? Why is it called
a "reversed" soulution? Are some lines read backward?

Thanks.

By J Eric (J_Eric) (dsl081-238-156.lax1.dsl.speakeasy.net - 64.81.238.156) on Thursday, August 22, 2002 - 01:09 pm:

Hi, Obiwan.

1) True, by changing values of some Graysmith characters, I found INSTRUCTIONS as to how to solve the 340-cipher and the hints that it's to read 2 ways.

2) Although "Z" of ZODAIK rotates to look like an "N," it does not mean that letter values change at all. All values in the "forward" cipher are retained in the "reverse" message, except that the backwards "D" changes from M to N in the reverse message. One merely is reading "sideways" if you will. Several words pop out immediately ("CILR" at the lower left corner and the anagram "THE END" at the upper right corner) and others I derived from anagrams as in the forward message. Think of the Optician's Chart, where the letter is an E but you must tell the Doc if it's pointing up, down, right, or left--it's still an E!

"Reverse message" (only trying to explain it's a second hidden message vertically) is best viewed by turning the paper sideways in which case the text comes off as if written by teletype machine, but, if reading in "corums rike Chinese," the flow is: up first column, down second, up third, etc., ending up reading up final column to THE END. Like steam traveling thru a radiator.

Hope this helps. It's really easier to explain in person or in writing over the cipher--which is why I mailed it to Tom V.

By Sandy (Sandy) (ppp-67-116-225-221.dialup.pltn13.pacbell.net - 67.116.225.221) on Sunday, August 25, 2002 - 10:19 pm:

Take a look at Sherlock Holmes movie called: Secret Weapon. It is about four codes,sent to four people . Three were decoded the fourth was much harder,until it was put up to a mirror.