ITT we try to solve the Zodiac killer's unsolved 340 cipher.
Quick backstory: Zodiac was a serial killer in the 60's and 70's who teased the police by sending them a ton of letters. He sent the police two cipher puzzles, one of which were solved. Zodiac's second cipher has still never been solved and neither has the killer's identity been revealed.
We are all gonna try our best to crack this cipher, if you find something interesting, post it here.
Great online tool for the cipher: http://oranchak.com/zodiac/webtoy/
Useful observations: http://zodiackillerciphers.com/wiki/index.php?title=Encyclopedia_of_observations
The funniest explanation is probably the right one. He sent in one cipher to get people paying attention to him... then sent in a bunch of TOTALLY RANDOM SYMBOLS so that great minds of the world would churn forever on the mystery of his awesomeness. Forever, and ever.
The reason it is unsolved is because it is gibberish random shit, he was worried the detectives were getting too close and wanted to keep them busy with a whole lot of nothing.
Also Zodiac was Earl Van Best Jr.
been greatly interested in the ZK ciphers, after countless years of research and painstaking work deciphering the 340. I deciphered a portion of it, a clear cut message that read "OP is a faggot".
I've never understood deciphering threads, tons of people who actually WORK with this all day long have tried and gotten nowhere.
Do you honestly believe that someone with magical deciphering skills would go on /x/ this moment and find this thread and think "hell, I haven't seen this before, let's give it a try. Oh look, I solved it".
Cryptography and ciphering is a pretty intuitive process. A lot of times a breakthrough comes in an otherwise inaccessible work simply because someone either spotted a particular similarity or had a random inspiration, like scrounging for proper nouns or noting syllable rhythms. These intuitive moments are easier to hit the more people you have working on it, so much so that the professionals you appeal to have in recent decades taken to crowd sourcing out as of yet undecipherable texts. Is it likely that 4chan is about to translate the Voynich Manuscript? No, but if they try, it does actually improve the overall odds.
The thing to remember with this specific cipher is that it was meant for the police to find in the year 1969. Knowing this you'd have to put yourself in their position in that year, and having the other zodiac letters because they are all connected and this cypher is a code that translates hidden messages in the other letters.
Putting this along side the other ciphers you can find other hidden messages as well.
Great post, Xeno. I would think that Z's 340 cipher would be easier to solve than the Voynich Manuscript, and entirely possible.
4chan has done some impressive detective work thoughout the years and I wouldn't be surprised if this was the place where the cipher finally was solved, if it's possible to solve it that is. Remember that the first cipher was cracked by a regular guy with his wife one morning.
And that's the reason most people don't like cryptography! The inspiration for any given cipher could come from literally thousands of different sources of language, mathematics, religion, train time tables, anything. When I was 15 I made one that was a self referential looping cipher utilizing the periodic table. My personal favorite I ever saw was one involving drawing clouds. So to be good in the field typically means being able to at least have a passing familiarity with a lot of different patterns from throughout the whole of human culture and history.
Actually, wouldn't a smaller cipher be harder to work with than a larger one? A larger text gives you more to see and a better chance to spot any consistent patterns or repeating characters/words, a smaller message doesn't, especially if it is kept concise.
Unfortunately the method requited to actually solve this must much more complex than Caesar shift.
Any cracking that doesn't take into consideration the symbol in bottom might prove to be just some partial interpretation of the code (a message that makes sense perhaps, but has nothing to do with the original one). If we look at the characters, you can notice the have shifting orientations, which could be linked to the cardinal cross at the bottom - perhaps it can be used to indicate the orientation of the reading. The problem is that the code uses both letter replacement/shifting (which is somewhat easier and more of a classic way of decoding messages) and non-letter symbols. The latter seem to be related by geometric logic, for the represent more or less the same figures, with variations on how the are "filled" or divided. Among these symbols, the ones that seem to be more of a good start for interpretations are the ones that represent a modification or a miniature of the cardinal cross at the bottom. They may be quite explicit indications on how to read the code, with indications such as "read left part only" and "rotate the paper 90* to the right".
The first two lines are ALL unique symbols. >26, so its not as simple as 1 symbol 1 letter. Maybe theres a combination of punctuation symbols and symbols that stand for whole words. Could someone do an analysis that guessed the probability that a certain group of symbols was a word based on the spacing between the symbols? I imagine that there is a strong subconscious drive to separate distinct words that might make a person writing this more likely to put even microscopically larger spaces between symbols that end and begin words, and maybe smaller spaces between symbols that are part of larger words.
I guess that in the Exorcist letter could be the fingerprint of Bob Vaughn. And the fingerprint in the taxi cab could be of any passenger. Right? There are any prove who could only be of the Zodiack killer? Like 100%.
There's a print taken in blood and I think one taken off a phone handle that was fresh and after the phone was left hanging.
Plus they got DNA samples from the envelopes (and maybe another palm print?).
I don't think it was two people working together, it would be an unnecessarily difficult thing to cooperate and I just don't see it. Plus he said to have acted alone, if he weren't I think he would have played that up to scare people since he was clearly into that.
Also it wasn't Allen, none of the evidence matched him.
He wasn't killing innocent people.
The people were made innocent by the news/media/politicians.
His victims dun goofed.
His letters were reports on his victim-findings.