The Dual Cipher

The below set of symbols are the earliest known source of the ”inscribed stone” symbols, which legend tells where found on a flat stone at 80 or 90 feet level in the Money pit. They come 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 serious 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 several investigators through the years, 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. But this doesn’t prove the designers where of Spanish nationality. It only proves that some of the people involved, most likely workers, miners and handy-men, were of Spanish nationality.

If you come to think of it, it would be very smart for Francis Bacon and his people, to use workers that doesn’t understand their own mother tongue, English. Bacon spoke and wrote Spanish himself, among other languages. To use a work force that did not understand English would enable him and the designers to walk around freely among the workers, and discuss plans of production without the workers intercepting the true purpose and plans of the project.

The investigation

After understanding the time period of production, and the probable nationality of the designers, we can look at the Kempton symbols. There have been a few attempts and claims regarding the decipherment of these symbols. By assuming the symbols are genuine and created late 16th century (for the sake of the investigation only), and taking into account alphabets, historic cryptographic methods available during late 16th century and statistical math, one can exclude all known deciphering 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 message in Spanish. I will go through both of these decipherments in the video below.


A cryptographic investigation
Are the Kempton symbols genuine or fake?

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 showing with some degree of certainty, that the Kempton symbols were indeed created by the designers of the Money pit complex, or not. I arrived at very interesting conclusions.


Deciphering the Kempton symbols
A poly-alphabetic decipherment

This video show my correction of Dr. Wilhelm’s break-attempt with a moving cipherdisc. A step-by-step decipherment of the poly-alphabetic part of the Kempton symbols.


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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