The Dual Cipher

The below set of symbols are the earliest known claim of the design of the ”inscribed stone” symbols, which legend tells where found on a flat stone at 80 or 90 feet level in the Money pit in 1803 or 1804. The sequence comes from a letter sent by a Reverend A.T. Kempton on the 29th of April 1949. The symbols also found their way into Edward Rowe Snow’s book “True Tales of Buried Treasure”, in 1949. They have since become the alleged “inscribed stone” symbols, very much doubted to be genuine by researchers. I have made a cryptographic investigation of these symbols, which I give below in narrated PowerPoint format.

Time period of production, and possible nationality of the Oak Island designers

Geochron Lab carbon dated wood taken from structures in the Money pit to 1575 +- 75 years, which means the tree was cut during early American colonization. Measurements between objects placed by man around the Money pit and in it, according to documentation seem to be based on English Rods (502,92 cm) and feet (the English Imperial feet being 30,48 cm). These were used as fixed standards for surveying in England from the signing of the law Composition of Yards and Perches (sometime between 1266 and 1303).

In contrast, the Spanish King Felipe II, standardized the “Vara de Burgos” as official surveying unit of the Spanish Empire in 1568. One “vara de burgos” equals roughly 2.75 Imperial feet or 0.166 English Rods. Other countries in Europe used different lengths of measure close to that of the English feet, but the length of an English rod as surveying standard was unique to England. Measurement units used in other countries was different in length. The probable use of English Rods and Imperial feet building the Oak Island complex, make it probable that the designers were of English nationality.

Artifacts found on Oak Island have been proven to originate from Spain. I pair of scissors, a shoe (Spanish 16th century fashion) and some Spanish coins. This indicates that some of the people involved, most likely workers, miners, and handy-men, were of Spanish nationality.

If the Oak Island project was a secret enterprise, which seems to have been the case, then it would be very smart for English project managers to hire a workforce from some other place than the British Islands. Experienced mining engineers were few in numbers in England (or anywhere) at the time, and they were of course known to English mining workers. It is simply not likely an experienced mining engineer was not present in the field when building the Oak Island facilities. When managing a secret enterprise, the mining engineer and the rest of the people running the show would have had to remain “not recognized” by the workers. Both during the project and later back in England when the mining engineer likely continued his career. A Spanish workforce seems like a smart move, as Spain was the archenemy of England at the time and workers there had no connection with England.

The investigation

After understanding the most likely time period for production of the Oak Island facilities, and the probable nationality of the designers, I looked at the Kempton symbols. There have been a few attempts and claims regarding the decipherment of these symbols. For the sake of my investigation, I first assumed the sequence of symbols indeed were created late 16th century or early 17th century. I looked at the alphabets of languages and cryptographic methods available at that time and concluded that of all decipherments I had seen, I could exclude all attempts but two. The simple substitution decipherment “Forty feet..” etc, and a poly-alphabetic (cipher disc or Tabula Recta) cipher-break attempt made by Dr. Ross Wilhelm in 1971, resulting in a Spanish message. I will go through both of these decipherments in the video below.

A cryptographic investigation
Could the Kempton sequence of symbols have been created late 16th or early 17th century?

This video is a narrated PowerPoint lecture giving my cryptographic investigation of the Kempton symbols. I have exclusively used information available publicly, and this is not part of my main discovery. My approach for the investigation was to see if I could find indications within the sequence itself if the Kempton sequence of symbols were created during the time period late 16th to early 17th century, which would make it possible they were created by the designers of the Oak Island complex. I find the result of the investigation very interesting.

Deciphering the Kempton symbols
A poly-alphabetic decipherment

This video shows my correction of Dr. Wilhelm’s break-attempt with a moving cipher-disc.

Source material:

[All images and docs are published here with permission from copyright owner]

Mr. Kempton’s letter: 
Nova Scotia Archives & Records Management: Kempton, A.T., story about Oak Island (typescript) Apr 28 1949. R.V Harris Papers MG 1 Vol 384, item 2364f-h

Dr. Wilhelm’s paper: Wilhelm, R ., ”The Spanish in Nova Scotia XVI century – A Hint in the Oak Island treasure mystery”, Bureau of business research working paper, University of Michigan (1971): no. 23.pdf: Here

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