CIA, Sanborn, Jim Sanborn discussed on Unexplained Mysteries


Hi everyone before we start the show. I have some important news for you. Beginning august second unexplained mysteries is moving exclusively to spotify but nonni dory. You can still binge all your favorites and find future episodes for free by following unexplained mysteries in the spotify app. Being part of the spotify family means we have the opportunity to bring you the very best podcasting and we hope you'll join us. Just download the spotify app for free and search unexplained mysteries. Give our show a follow and enjoy. Thanks for tuning into unexplained mysteries each week. Your loyalty means so much to us. We look forward to seeing you exclusively on spotify on august second in the late nineteen eighties. The cia added a new headquarters building to their complex in langley virginia to celebrate the planners wanted to place an art installation between the old headquarters and the new one after a long search for the perfect artist. They awarded a two hundred fifty thousand dollar commission to a sculpture named jim. Sanborn sanborn was known for creating puzzling interactive art. Many of his previous sculptures involved cosmic images compasses and hidden meanings. He saw the cia's commission as an opportunity to explore another interest of his cryptography. Cryptography is the art of making and breaking codes. Sanborn wanted his sculpture to contain a series of secret messages and he wanted the coach to be incredibly difficult to crack so he contacted edwards shite. The head of the cia cryptography department. Sanborn goal was to make a code so tough that challenged even the most seasoned members of the cia. He met with shy in secret. And the cryptology expert taught him how to create ciphers a method of hiding a message by replacing or shuffling around its letters with sheds help sanborn wrote an encrypted four messages. Then he started work on the sculpture itself. The artwork began with a large copper sheet. Sanborn saw about eighteen hundred capital letters into the metal interspersed with the occasional question mark. It looked like an unsolved crossword puzzle. Well sanborn carved these odd patterns others at the cia. Compound tried to spy on the artist. Word of the sculpture had spread among employees and their interest was piqued on more than one occasion. Police got intruders climbing ladders and attempting to photograph the unfinished art work but their efforts were thwarted in the project remained under wraps for two years. Then in nineteen ninety jim sanborn and the cia unveiled the statue for the first time they called it. Cryptos the greek word for hidden crypto stood twelve feet tall and twenty feet wide to a casual observer. It's many letters would read as gibberish. The text contains seemingly indecipherable sequences of letters for example one section read. Em f. p. h. z. There were no clear words or spaces and the interspersed question marks appeared to be included at random. The only distinguishable pattern seemed to be that crip doses. Letters were broken into four distinct quadrants. More than anything. The sculpture seemed like a challenge. It sat just outside the cia headquarters taunting the most astute minds in the country right away. Intelligence officials were on the case among them. Cia analyst david. Stein set his sights on cracking the cipher. And within a few he made a breakthrough he found that only half of cryptos was a code. The other half was a clue. The text of cryptos was split into four quadrants. The two left hand quadrant encoded. But the two right hand quadrants held a decryption key to decode encrypted message. You need a key. The simplest example of this kind of messaging is called a substitution cipher and their usage dates back to the height of the roman republic in the fifties bbc. General julius caesar used substitution ciphers to fool his enemies when sending sensitive information he replaced every letter in his messages won several positions away in the alphabet for example. If the alphabet was shifted three times a would become d d would become g and so on a simple message like good morning would look like complete gibberish. But with a bit of time and patience. The intended recipient could dakota easily. If they knew the key nowadays substitution ciphers are so well known that practically anyone can crack them so modern code codebreakers like jim sanborn are forced to use other more complex forms of substitution. Like visionary tableau 's this gets a little complicated but stay with us. A visionary tableau is a type of encryption grid. The alphabet is written along the x and y axes with a closest to the origin point on both axes. Creating a twenty six by twenty-six table on each row of the grid. The alphabet is written again beginning with the letter on the y axis. This means that the first row begins with the letter. A the second begins with the letter b and so on once you have this grid you need a message and a code word. Let's say our messages bingo. And our code word is score to create the encryption. You begin with the first letter of each word. Be an s. Then you find. Where are these letters intersect on the grid to visualize this. Imagine a graph you might have seen in algebra class the letters of your message and your codeword essentially serve as coordinates which lead you to a point. On the graph this point contains the encrypted letter all and all using a vision. Air to blow makes decrypted message much more difficult. Unless you have the code word untangling the meaning can be nearly impossible. So in the spirit of making cryptos as enigmatic s possible jim sanborn encrypted his messages with two key words but the artists didn't leave codebreakers completely helpless as we mentioned he included the tableau needed to solve the mysteries on the statue itself. They make up. The sculpture is second to quadrants. When david stein made this discovery it was only the first step to solving cryptos next. He had to integrate another decryption strategy. Known as letter frequency every language has patterns in english e. n. t. Are the most common letters. Therefore when coating an english passage it can be helpful to assume that whichever letters appear most often represent e or t a visionary tableau disguises these patterns to a degree but it's still possible to find a work around the encoded sections of cryptos contain over eight hundred characters within these david stein noticed that.

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