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Vol. VI, 2012

From: Berj N. Ensanian KI3U
To: Journal of Voynich Studies
Sent: 1-28-2012 7:50:09 PM EST

J.VS: Voynich Manuscript vs Mayan Codex Dresdensis : brief comparisons of graphics-elements

Dear Colleagues

As we know, the imageries of both the Voynich Manuscript and the ancient Maya have been described, at least
informally, as "weird". Without any particularly rigorous thoughts on this, I thought it might be interesting
to put the VMS side-by-side with an ancient Mayan document and see what, if anything, in common I noticed
between them after just one brief pass.

Of course any "weird" imagery could be compared with the VMS, so why Mayan? For me the answer was simply
that from what I was previously familiar with, I did not expect any remarkably similar graphics elements at all
between Maya and the VMS, and the original intent of my exercise could be satisfied by just reinforcing a
grasp of the broad spectrum of graphic arts possibilities in general; however also I was curious to "take a
peek" and see if any plausible indications of post-Columbus genesis of the VMS could be added to the existing
stock of such.

Of course the VMS in its "zodiac" pages contains many concentric circles diagrams, and the famous Mayan
calendar is often analyzed with geared circles, and both can be discussed astrologically, but I was here more
interested in elementary graphical elements - were there any interesting similars between the two?

As the brief exercise turned out, I was surprised somewhat. Here then further below follow some items I
noticed from the experiment, expressed in more or less plain commentary language without the benefit of
thorough familiarization with Mayan iconographic technical terminology. To compare with the VMS I chose the
Codex Dresdensis / Dresden Codex, now residing in the SLUB : Saechsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und
Universitaetsbibliothek Dresden [1]. About this codex Andrew Robinson wrote:

" .... key to the decipherment of Mayan glyphs. It was probably painted by Maya scribes just before the
Spanish conquest of Mexico and then taken to Europe by Cortes. In 1739, it was apparently purchased by the
royal library of the court of Saxony in Dresden. " [2]

The decipherment of Mayan glyphs is not complete; about this problem Robinson notes that individual glyphs are
often "soldered" together, requiring a highly trained eye to discern. This soldering of glyphs is at least
superficially reminiscent of the Voyinch intruding gallows glyphs.

During World War II the Dresden Codex suffered damage, and today Mayanists work with several reproductions
of it from both before and after the war damage [3]. For my exercise I downloaded the pdf copy of it from the
SLUB website [1], (which plainly shows the condition issues), and below I reference graphics elements via
this pdf's page numbers.

An additional resource I consulted so as to have some idea of how Mayan glyphs are analysed is Vollemaere's
online "A GRAMMAR FOR MAYA CODICES (Introduction)" [4]. A lay newcomer to Mayan texts can get the
impression that Mayan does not much "look like writing". One the other hand, the Voynich "text" does "look like writing"
but has yet to be definitively demonstrated as such; and, aside the simple conjecture that the VMS text could
be simply tables of data numbers, I've hypothesized at least one alternative use of Voynich "text" glyphs on
f76r - mosaic tiles constructing a hidden / steganographic self-portrait of the VMS author, akin to today's
ASCII text-art [5].

So then, comparing (one pass) the Dresdensis pdf with SID images of the VMS, I found two basic types of
interesting graphic-element similars, which as already said somewhat surprised me:

1.) nested quatrefoils connected to circles apparently bearing writing, one example in each manuscript

2.) rectangular frames bearing quadratic patterns (box-cross) associated with the sun or astronomical theme,
multiple examples in both manuscripts

I've put together a single image containing crops from the VMS and the Dresdensis showing the above:
comparing material from the Voynich nine-rosettes foldout against Dresdensis page-61, and VMS folios f71r and
f67v1 against Dresdensis p. 43. The image also includes a miscellaneous comparison of markings resembling "F"
or "Y", VMS f4r against Dresdensis p. 77. The crops have been de-colorized to gray, and their contrasts have
been strenghtened some to make discernments easier. The filename of this image is
1_VMS_vs_Maya-CD_JVS-379.bmp and I am sending it to our J.VS Librarian Greg for inclusion into the
J.VS Library as Deposit # 32-1-2012-01-28 [6].

I think with some more careful study some more interesting similars can found here; just one potential
exercise would be to compare the configuration of hands between those of the VMS human figures and the Mayan
anthropomorphic figures. Another thing one could look into is the possibility that the VMS glyphs GC-x, y, s, t, have
similar graphic-element representations in the Mayan work.

What, if any, further significance there is to these exercise results I don't know. It's always possible it
can all be written off to just "pure coincidence", whatever that means. It would be necessary to repeat the
exercise with many other "weird" and not-weird artifacts across a great time-range to see, for example, if
the above results tended to fall in post-Columbian times. But nevertheless I think it worthwhile to know
about the existence of these similars between the Voynich Manuscript and the Codex Dresdensis, and therefore
presumably, other ancient Mayan or perhaps also Olmec works.

Berj / KI3U


[2] The Story of Writing, by Andrew Robinson, London, Thames and Hudson Ltd, 1995.


(Introduction), by Antoon Leon VOLLEMAERE :

[5] see end-note [1] in J.VS communication #326, Vol. IV, 4 JAN 2010.

[6] J.VS Library deposit # 32-1-2012-01-28 :

From: Berj N. Ensanian KI3U
To: Journal of Voynich Studies
Sent: 2-1-2012 9:44:00 PM EST

J.VS: The Voynich Manuscript Mystery : What is it?, and Who did it?

Dear Colleagues

As you know a couple of days ago off-J I pondered what we might come up with if we each wrote a synopsis of
what we think the Voynich Manuscript is, and the kind of person its author was. It was an interesting
exercise as I found out more about what Robert, Rich, and Greg think about the mystery, interesting because
you can spend years talking with colleagues about the Voynich and still have lots of questions of the type:
well what do you really think is going on here with this thing?

I thought I'd commit my synopsis to J.VS as a communication here - it will be interesting to see how it looks
to me in say ten years from now. I imagine other advanced VMS students also have a similar feeling about
their own Voynich overviews: It would be nice to finally find out how close, if at all, I came to getting a
handle on this engaging elegant enigma. Here then follows what I think about the VMS these days.

I began studying the Voynich Manuscript in 1999; my current (30 JAN 2012) views on its mystery remain
essentially the same as when they began to crystallize in 2006 and as developed in my numerous online
postings since. The beginning of this crystallization, which had its detours, was noting that prime numbers
and their relations seemed to be more than casually present in various ways in the VMS, suggesting that the
author might have considerable mathematical skills. I was then struck by the three primary colors, Red, Blue,
Green, diagram in f67v2, and this started me thinking that the VMS author was also engaged in color physics
experimentation. And consistent with that, I had also begun to notice that, at least to my eyes, there were
some curious optical trick effects with some of the wedges of stars in the astro panels. Next I began to
suspect that the Voynich text was being used at least in some folios to construct hidden images. And that
naturally suggested that the text might also be serving to record music. By December, 2006, I was convinced
by Robert Teague that at least some of the Voynich's astro panels held precision astronomical information and
I began to look for it. I was now convinced that the VMS author was aside everything else a mathematician and
a polymathic scientist, but with his perceptions of these disciplines intimately interwoven with esoteric
views. And so it went from there on to the present, along the same essential track, with my views of the
Voynich mystery developing upon that crystallized foundation.

I think the Voynich Manuscript represents its 17th c. European author's lifetime-developed scientific and
philosophical, including mythological-historical, experience and perception of the unified micro- and macro-
cosmos. Cosmos is to be understood completely generally - time as well as space in all "directions" is unified.

The VMS author intends the book primarily for himself as a private comprehensive overview of his ideas and
discoveries in a written conversation, akin to automatic writing, which he is having with a special muse or
spirit / extra-dimensional entity he believes himself to be privately in contact with and inspired by, but also
intends his book as a record left to whatever posterity should come into possession of it, as decreed by
fate, or decreed by the entity: the Voynich Manuscript, in its author's view, is therefore a record of a long
ongoing trans-dimensional conversation between the author and other entities, mainly one chief extra-
dimensional entity.

The VMS author is well skilled in alchemy and the paranormal, is quite a mathematical and scientific
polymathic genius, both experimentally and theoretically, is a master artist, has access to the best
libraries and collections of artifacts in his immediate realm and is well familiar with ancient Egypt and the
New World, has personal contact with many great minds of his day, understands very well the vanity of
intellectuals, has special skills in astronomy, optics, languages, legal protocols, music, ciphers and
methods of secret communications, and medicine including cranial dissection and anatomy. He crafted his
manuscript with his own hand, but he also had occasional help from a woman close to him. Religiously, he is
rooted in  Christianity, and he takes all of Trithemius's writings completely seriously. He is not an obscure
person, and eventually will be identified in the historical record of the 17th century.

Living in the 17th century, the author lives in an age where speculative and esoteric science is rapidly
transforming into demonstratable science. While completely embracing the new, he does not discard the old at
all, instead his mind bridges the two as an inseparable whole. Hence, should it be proven that the parchment
of his book is from an earlier time than his own, then that is completely consistent with his comprehension
of the interchangability of time and space while essential philosophical concepts remain eternally constant:
his book is crafted to reflect his philosophical perceptions even in its materials.

To him the cosmos at all scales is alive - there is no essential distinction between the organic and the
mechanistic, and the living essence of any particular incarnation permeates across an unlimited spectrum of
dimensions. Thus to him plants are sentient entities, individuals he converses with, and who show him their
aspects in dimensions beyond the mundane visible to all. The VMS author would be completely in tune with
modern guises of such ancient ideas, as for example today's socalled Gaia hypothesis.

That which seems to die in the mundane realm, carries on in countless other dimensions. That which is crude,
is merely crude in an aspect seen in the mundane realm, and that which is refined in the mundane, is crude in
other dimensional realms. In f37v the VMS author exhibits this idea with phenomenal artistic skill, rendering
a miniature illumination master artwork, a portrait of a king, steganographically concealing it in low-level
/ crude art : a hidden lion-dog within the mundanely visible, seemingly hurriedly and sloppily painted root
of a plant. Here, as in many other places in the manuscript, he provides the clue that he uses good quality
magnifying lenses to achieve his results on the parchment, lenses historically appropriate to the 17th century.

Over and over on every page of his manuscript, it being his living workbook-vehicle connecting him with
multiple cosmic realms, the VMS author transmits the message: there is more here, much more, than just what
meets the mundane eye - there is no end to more. And on f82r he shows us his belief that one way to see more,
and to meet more entities, is via OBE, astral travel / projection.

In the center of the book, in the upper half of f76r, the VMS author produces his artistic masterpiece:
a self-portrait of him holding an optical filter plate up to his eyes; this remarkable self-portrait is
steganographically hidden in the mysterious f76r text, the "words" of which are employed like mosaic tiles to
compose the portrait. So once again here there is more than meets the eye, there is more to the words than
just their functions as apparent vehicles of language. Moreover we are provided the clue that optical filters
must be used to penetrate the manuscript's secrets - that it bears optically hidden layers requiring specific
lighting and filters to resolve. Today print-ASCII text-art is in high development among its devotees, but in
the VMS on f76r the author does it with script written by hand - it is astounding to realize what he has
achieved on that folio.

There is more than meets the eye, the micro and macro are inextricably and eternally interwoven, and all is
unified: writing is image, and image is writing. Curiously, during the 1960's psychedelic era, it was
commonly reported that during LSD and other hallucinogenic "trips" one striking type of experience was the
inter-transformation of written or spoken language, sounds, and images.

Throughout his book, the VMS author uses the unique mysterious script he has forged in every manner
conceivable so as to ever orbit about the central idea that there is always more to be seen than only that
which meets the mundane eye. The script symbols are used to record music, to calculate or otherwise express
mathematical concepts, to picture upon or without a "raster", to write in various languages, to encipher, to
evoke feelings - they are universal tools serving not one, but all manner of systems of transaction. When he
needs batches of "words", he mass-produces them from a mathematical formula, or its equivalent: physical
concentric n-graph wheels. He hides, or depending on your perspective boldly projects, the universal-tools
character of his script in its higher-order n-graph statistics, managing to achieve what I've termed "anti-text"
from what appears to be, and has, many of the characteristics of regular text.

In the astronomical-theme panels of his book the VMS author reveals himself as a physicist dealing with the
advanced astronomical questions of his day with mathematical precision. His ideas on the orbits of one or two
astronomical bodies, possibly comets, but in any case something important up there in the sky, he encodes, in
f68r3, in a curve (PM-curve) which resembles the curve traced by the path of the moon, but he plots this
curve, which appears just casually drawn to the mundane eye, so precisely that it's analysis leaves no doubt
whatsoever that he is discussing heliocentric orbital mechanics mathematically. The level of mathematical
physics involved in this Pleides-Moon curve of f68r3 fits, science-historically, best into the 17th century,
even the second half of the 17th century.

The socalled nine-rosettes foldout panels are the "climax" of the book - there he diagrams his cosmic and
mythological philosophy upon a framework which emphasizes its most elementary unifying principle:
mathematics, specifically the prime numbers, and the base-10 number system using Hindu-Arabic numerals zero,
and 1 - 9 for calculating mathematically, as well as "calculating" philosophically.

It is not the Voynich Manuscript author's chief aim for his book to serve as a teaching manual for his cosmic
philosopy, but in case it should be discovered by someone who will take it as such, he makes it easy to see
the first steps he prescribes that the aspiring adept must take: he or she must learn to talk with plants,
and perceive them beyond their mundane guises.

Berj / KI3U

From: Robert Teague
To: Journal of Voynich Studies
Sent: 3-19-2012 11:33:00 PM EDT

J.VS: Animation and other graphics techniques for the topics and events of VMS f68 & f67

Dear Colleagues:
I recently discovered a very useful function of the freeware art program
Paint.NET; the ability to modify the transparency of a layer.
With this tool, as well as the very simple animated gif creator Unfreez,
I have made three such files.
To me the figure in the upper circle of f68r1 appears to be Nicolas Copernicus,
and the figure in the center of f67v1 to be Tycho Brahe.
Also, folio f68r3 was overlaid with a star chart from the planetarium
program Starry Night Pro 4, and after some adjustments appears to
correlate the moon's position; one day before occluding the Pleiades.
I recently found online a PDF of Apian's Astronomicum Caesarium 1540,
which includes studies and diagrams of comets appearing in the previous
Thanks to this resource I have been able (for me, at least) to confirm the
topic of folio 68r1; the comet of 1533.
A diagram of the comet's position and path was overlaid on the folio, and
with some adjusting for angle and size, created a match with a majority
of shared points.
If confirmed, the implications for Voynich research are wide-ranging indeed.
Besides being the first folio dated precisely, it would also prove there is
meaningful content, that some labels have been cracked and letter values
found, and that the vellum was not used immediately after creation.
These files can be found in the J.VS Library:

From: Berj N. Ensanian / KI3U
To: Journal of Voynich Studies
Sent: 4-21-2012 12:46:00 PM EDT

J.VS: Repairs on the Voynich Manuscript

Dear Colleagues:
It appears that in recent time repairs have been done to the Voynich Manuscript. It would
be useful to have some sort of record about this.

Our colleague Rich SantaColoma placed online today some new images of the VMS's N-E
rosette, the origin of these images tracing back about a year to Tim Tattrie motivating
Graham Sherriff of Yale to do the new photography [1].

Very noticable when comparing the new pictures with the 2004-era SID of the same area of
the manuscript, is what appears to be some major repair work on the originally torn
parchment in its folded area. I've made an image combining the SID and new image for
comparison, and have sent this comparison image, Compare-VMS-NE-ros_2004-vs-2012.bmp,
to our Librarian Greg Stachowski for deposit in the J.VS Library; Greg will perhaps place
this image into a 0- deposit, dealing specifically with the physical condition of the
manuscript, we'll see, he'll let us know.

Berj / KI3U

[1] A Volcano in the Voynich?; 21 APR 2012 Blog article by Rich SantaColoma:

From: Berj N. Ensanian / KI3U
To: Journal of Voynich Studies
Sent: 5-22-2012 11:33:00 PM EDT

J.VS: A peculiar "star" in Voynich f68v3

Dear Colleagues:

Our recent off-J discussions of unusually clear night skies had me casually revisit some
of the Voynich astro-cosmo panels, just to have another look at them with the current
mindset. On the f68v3 "spiral nebula" galaxy panel I noticed a peculiarity about one of
the stars, the f68v3 "blue star", which previously I had not noticed. Although not
exhaustive, my search of the VMS literature doesn't bring up anything on this, other than
that someone at the 1998 Teddington meeting suggested that the f68v3 blue star was an
extra-star mistake that the VMS illustrator wanted to erase (by covering it with blue
paint) [1].

So, I'll bring this star and its peculiarity to your attention here - as we will see, I
lean very much opposite to the idea that this star was a mistake, but whatever may be
gleaned from noting this peculiarity remains to be seen.

As we know, in the f68v3 illustration there is placed around the 4-spiral-arms-projecting 
central "upside-down" T-O map-symbol four sets of stars, these stars being 
sections-bracketed by the four inner-origin spiral arms. Lets assign identifying numbers
to the sections, and also to the altogether 21 stars.

In the normal view of the f68v3 panel these four sections lie approxmately: bottom, top,
left, and right. Let:

right section = section-1
top section = section-2
left section = section-3
bottom section = section-4

so that starting at the right section we are proceeding counter-clockwise with the section
number identifications.

Similarly lets number the stars proceeding c.c.w. - let the star in section-1, which in
the normal view is at the bottom of the section, be denoted: star #1. Then we have:

Section-1 : stars #1 - #5, or star 1-1 to 1-5
Section-2 : stars #6 - #10, or star 2-1 to 2-5
Section-3 : stars #11 - #16, or star 3-1 to 3-6
Section-4 : stars #17 - #21, or star 4-1 to 4-5

The number of rays these stars exhibit, varies, for example, the 6 stars in Section-3
appear to be all 7-rayed, whereas in Section-2 we find both 6- and 7-rayed stars.

The peculiar star is star #4, or star 1-4. Of the 21 stars, this star #4 is the most
heavily covered with the blue paint which is liberally seen across the f68v3 illustration.
It is the blue blotch covering this star which hides the star's peculiarity in casual
observation of the panel.

Zooming in on this star in the high-resolution SID image of f68v3, the peculiarity is
this: what in casual observation seemed to be rays-construction merely obscured by the
blue blotch, instead hints at a more complex construction which is noticably removed from
the normal VMS-stars geometries.

The SID maximum-resolution zoom gives this hint, and albeit a strong one, it remains only
a hint, as the SID image even though highly detailed compared with other available
pictures of f68v3, is still a good order of magnitude in resolution less than we would
desire for detailed VMS image work.

Nevertheless, we can crop and extract a tif image from the SID around this peculiar star
and do some image processing experiments. Rather than here publish some such processed
images, I'll just comment on what I saw, and you can experiment similarly easily enough

My first image processing priority was to try determine if the blue paint, apparently
added after the drawn outlines of the "star", was responsible for the peculiar apparent
geometry. In other words: did the application of fresh blue paint on the ink-drawn
outlines of the star distort its geometry? Toward this, for comparisons I similarly
processed the several other stars which were partially affected by the blue paint,
especially star #19. From what there was available for data, my tendency is to conclude
that the peculiar geometry of star #4 is not an accidental result of the blue paint, and
its stands on its own mainly from the ink drawing.

To me what seems most compelling toward peculiar geometry is that this "star" appears to
have been drawn as two major separate components: a 5-rayed-star, and the second
construction is a crescent lying on top of the first construction but a bit off-center to
the right; and this crescent is more or less vertical and facing to the right.

It is as if there is a suggestion of a star being partly obscured by a crescent-shaped
object, as if the sun were being transited by a crescent moon.

Could this peculiar effect have arisen because the blue paint did distort an
originally-normal drawn star, and the VMS illustrator then decided to "repair" it with
more ink drawing, and made things "worse and just decided to leave it so? I don't see why
not, but I very much tend to think the composite geometries construction is not accidental
- the cresent is intended to be implied by the VMS author/illustrator.

Many different things suggest themselves to the imagination when the SID of this star #4
is variously processed and magnified, including interesting shapes which remain intact
throughout. But my strongest impression remains of a crescent superimposed upon a 5-rayed

So, to this point my tendency is to think of all this that in the astro-cosmological f68v3
Voynich panel we seem to have 20 normal stars of 6 and 7 rays, plus one 5-rayed star
partly blocked by the lunar-symbol crescent - suggesting our sun and moon. Hipparchus, the
greatest astronomer of antiquity, took 20 stars in the sky as the set of the brightest
stars. As I recall, Hipparchus in one of his major-accomplishment moon calculations
critically employed the number 17, a prime number of considerable relevance in the VMS as
we know. Perhaps the name of Hipparchus is encoded somewhere in the f68v3 text.

Proceeding a bit further with this musing, we might take the f68v3 illustration as
suggestive of earth-centered (i.e. non-heliocentric) astronomy, therefore pre-Copernican,
and that would fit with pre-Columbian beliefs for the origin of the the VMS. However, if
indeed VMS f68v3 is depicting 21 stars as a group, one of which is our sun, then our sun
and the stars are apparently being suggested to be similar astronomical objects. And
whereas this idea seems to have occurred to the ancient Greek astronomers, this idea most
dramatically enters history with the Dominican friar Giordano Bruno, who was executed for
his heresies in 1600, more than a century after 1492.

Berj / KI3U

[1] Minutes of the 21 JUN 1998 Teddington Meeting on the VMS:

From: Berj N. Ensanian / KI3U
To: Journal of Voynich Studies
Sent: 8-5-2012 2:54:09 PM EDT

J.VS: VMS f1r: does it point to a Russian origin of the Voynich Manuscript?

Dear Colleagues:

As you know, in the VMS community I am in the minority regarding the notion that any
legitimate form of "Jacobus de Tepenecz" is apparent at the bottom of the Voynich folio
f1r - I believe those markings at the bottom of f1r, which are conventionally accepted to
be indicating Tepenecz, are really a by-now well-rooted result of the power of suggestion,
started by Wilfrid Voynich. The last time I went on about this in detail was back in 2009
in J.VS communication # 280 [1].

Since then there was released in late 2009 the ORF (Austrian) Universum film which
introduced the dating-interpretation of C-14 test results [2]. In this film we see,
briefly, an ultraviolet light being shined on the actual VMS at the Beinecke Library, and
the corresponding dialog asserts that the Tepenecz is clearly seen. I looked at this
section of the film frame by frame, and came away even more convinced that there is no
legitimate Tepenecz there. However this was based on my viewing the film frames, and not
investigating the actual VMS f1r with ultraviolet myself. And, a bit over a week ago, our
colleague Greg Stachowski made this comment on vms-list:

" On the other hand the Tepenec signature is increasingly convincing, as anyone who was at
Mondragone earlier this year can say having seen all the details presented there. " [3]

I did not attend the Voynich 100 conference at Mondragone, and whatever Greg saw,
objective demonstration of a "signature" or autograph in any form, has not, so far as I
know, been published yet. Therefore for me at the present time my views on the existence
of "Tepenecz" at the bottom of f1r, as I precisely detailed them in comm. #280, still hold.

But the Tepenecz problem is not my main focus here. Rather, I wish to consider some other
VMS f1r issues which launch from a couple of my observations in the same comm. #280 :

' Wilfrid's Plate 2 picture is seriously problematic though: it differs radically in some
places from the modern (2004) high-resolution SID image provided by the Yale Beinecke
Library, and the differences are not easily explained as merely resulting from the ravages
of time, but unfortunately compel at least the consideration that the bottom area of f1r
was actively altered AFTER the Plate 2 was made [6]. Since it was certainly altered before
by Wilfrid, i.e. with chemical treatment, the overall status of what the bottom area of
VMS f1r had on it originally, is quite in doubt. '

' Even just some random elementary image processing experiments on the bottom of the f1r
SID indicate that there are several possibilities for what was originally marked there:
Latin script letters as per the alleged Tepenecz autograph, but also Voynich text letters,
and: drawings. Wilfrid himself in his 1921 College of Physicians of Philadelphia lecture
hints at this, when he states: "Chemicals were applied to the margins and the autograph,
Jacobus de Tepenecz, became visible, with some illegible figures below it." '

So, Wilfrid admits responsibility for applying chemicals to the MARGINS of VMS f1r.
My focus here in this communication is:

What was visible on the margins of VMS f1r, in particular the right margin, before Wilfrid
Voynich applied his chemicals to it?

Of course it is old hat that in the f1r right margin area there are indications of columns
or rows of letters, both Latin and VMS, and that these possibly represent a decoding table
of sorts. But in comm. #280 I had opined (see above) on the possibility of drawings on the
bottom of f1r. And so then likewise:

Were there originally drawings on the right margin of VMS f1r before they became obscured
by the ravages of time, and Wilfrid's chemical treatments?

Recently, I investigated this question. I subjected the extracted tif of the
high-resolution SID image of a crop of a portion of the f1r right margin to some mild
image processing with IrfanView (convert to gray-scale, and set contrast = 99), and then
printed this image. Going over the print with magnifying lenses I traced with fine-point
black ink over the lines which I thought might be original drawing lines. I was not
surprised that I concluded there is indeed a drawing on the right margin of f1r (I had
long suspected it), but I was very surprised at what the drawing appears to show:

a complex scene suggestive of military Christianity in opposition to some hideous hooded
being mounted on an animal, possibly a horned animal. In the foreground of the scene is a
man, without a beard but possibly with a mustache, in a caped uniform suggestive of a
military commander - he is the dominant feature of the entire scene. He is wearing a
massive hat which seems to have a cross of the St. Andrew's design (saltire) on its front,
and is topped with a bun. The hat is so relatively massive that my first thought of it was
a Boyar's gorlatnaya, but it's geometry is more helmet-like than a gorlatnaya. This man is
facing toward the left, that is toward the f1r Voynich text between the second and third
paragraphs. In his left hand he is grasping something, suggestive of a scroll. Behind him
is a shield, or breastplate, or a big jar, bearing an unusual cross - the closest thing to
the design of this cross I've come upon is some of the crosses of Russian Orthodox
Christianity. To the man's right (behind him in the scene), is a younger man. The hideous
hooded mounted figure is above and behind. Many other additional figures and devices are
plausible in the scene.

This complex and evocative scene so surprised me as it unfolded with my tracings, that the
usual cautions and doubts in this kind of work which nag at you, were greatly intensified:
are these just random image artifacts I am imposing patterns upon, and will the scene
disappear or be replaced by a completely different one if the scaling is changed?

Well, I don't know - after all I was working on pictures of VMS f1r without the benefit of
the real thing before me. But certainly the integration of tracings forming the scene is
to me very compelling, and I'm quite sufficiently intrigued by it to bring it to your
attention and invite you to investigate yourself the possibility of an original
illustration on the margin of VMS f1r. I've sent to our J.VS Librarian Greg, for J.VS
Library deposit # 33-1-2012-08-05, the following images:

a) 3_RM_C_VMSf1r.jpg : full-size f1r color image to aid locating the crop of b) & c)
b) 1_RM_C_VMSf1r.tif : the cropped area in gray-scale without any tracing
c) 2_RM_C_VMSf1r.tif : the cropped area in gray-scale with my tracings

The registration between b) and c) is adequate for blinking them.

This scene's overall impression on me is of a Russian influence, and in particular the
Russian nobility and the Russian Orthodox Church. And of course I immediately thought of
the six onion domes in the center of the Voynich's nine-rosettes foldout, and decided to
have another look at those. Doing that, the first thing which struck me was, I saw the
familiar blue colored cross-pattern in the foldout's lower-right panel (f86r5) as quite
suggestive of a St. Andrew's Cross. And interestingly, when in 1698 Peter the Great
established the Order of St. Andrew, the design's coloring was dominated by blue - and
blue is the dominant coloring of the Voynich nine rosettes foldout. Just in case any of
this leads to further Voynich Manuscript surprises in alignment with my long-held belief
that the VMS dates to the latter part of the 17th century [4], we might note that the
first recipient of the Order of St. Andrew was Fyodor Golovin (1650 - 1706), the last
Russian Boyar and the first Russian Field Marshall. As we know, the latter part of the
17th century saw the acceleration of Russia's westernization / Europeanization, and
perhaps some Russian manuscripts from that transition period may appear "older" beside 
contemporary European manuscripts, than they actually are.

Now then, to the onion domes in the central panel of the Voynich Manuscript's
organizational climax, i.e. the nine rosettes foldout illustration: what we see in the
central rosette of the foldout, drawn in perspective, are six columnar structures arranged
in a circle, topped with onion domes culminating in crude crosses, and at top these onion
domes appear to support between them a "canopy" filled with stars, this canopy, or the sky
it seems to symbolize, having quite a bit of blue coloring applied to it. These columnar
structures are mostly uncolored except for a couple of them which have some of the
elsewhere-seen-in-the-VMS light-yellow-brown, or "gold", coloring partially applied.

Russian Orthodox churches around the world exhibit variously decorated onion domes,
commonly featuring gold, especially in the culminating crosses. With respect to all
the foregoing, it is compelling to note that some number of Russian Orthodox churches
have, aside the usual gold, the body of the onion domes in blue and they are covered with
stars. I don't know how far back this motif began, but here are web-links to some examples:

Church of the Nativity in Moscow (1649-1652) :

Cathedral of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God and Holy Royal Martyrs, in
Gunnersbury (London) :

Tobolsk Kremlin (fortress / castle) Church in Siberia (we note that in the VMS nine
rosettes foldout we have elevated castles sharing the foldout with the onion domes) :

Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina :

And with this one, the Church of St. George in Moscow, compare also the construction of
the columns supporting its domes, especially at the column-foot, with the onion-domed
columns in the VMS nine rosettes foldout :

At this point a couple of comments on the question of Christianity symbolism in the
Voynich Manuscript are in order. I've long been of the opinion that the VMS has plenty of
Christian symbolism. For example, I've opined that the root of the plant illustrated in
f52r represents an anchor cross, that f68r3 (the PM-curve astro panel) strongly projects a
cross, and that you couldn't ask for a more powerful Christianity theme in the VMS than
the celestial nymph "blessing" the text with a cross in her hand which we see in f79v. So
then the above described complex scene in f1r suggesting Christianity militarily against
evil is in my view consistent with the VMS being strongly of Christian character.

Well then, suppose that with careful investigation of the actual VMS f1r it is found that
these tracings are more or less accurately depicting the scene as I have it - what are
some speculative implications?

One conceivable possibility is of course that Wilfrid did not see any drawing on the f1r
right margin, and that over the past hundred years his chemical treatment of the margin
re-developed and brought back the long ago faded drawing. Conceivable, but I think not
likely - if the above described scene, even approximately, was originally present on f1r,
then I think it very likely that Wilfrid Voynich would have seen it. From what we know of
Wilfrid, he didn't miss much of potential importance anytime anywhere. The front of the
military commander's profile face is pretty much unmistakable in the unprocessed f1r
images from the Beinecke.

If the drawn scene is real, and Wilfrid saw it, and applied chemicals to obscure it, then
the simplest suggestion is that he intentionally altered ( forged ) f1r so as to remove
obstacles to his proposed Roger Bacon authorship theory. We remind ourselves once more
that the left-behind edges from the missing folios in the VMS give the appearance of
having been cut yesterday - the missing folios, having been cut out of the manuscript,
must be missing for serious reasons.

As we know, Wilfrid Voynich was of Polish-Lithuanian origin, and so as to just recall it: 
some Lithuanian and Polish nobility have Kievan Rus' Boyar ancestors. Wilfrid met his wife
Ethel Lilian after he escaped from a Siberian prison during their early Russian
revolutionary period, said period ending around 1895 when Wilfrid transformed himself into
a manuscript antiquarian, and Ethel became a novelist eventually gaining a wide and
admiring audience especially in Russia (which late in her life allegedly surprised her).

In the present context it seems we can speculatively ask: did the VMS come into Wilfrid
Voynich's possession via Polish and / or Russian connections? Is the Voynich manuscript of
Polish and / or Russian nobility origin? Could Wilfrid have come upon the VMS in the
vicinity of Tobolsk, Siberia? Is it plausible that coming into possessian of the VMS
during his revolutionary period, is precisely that which motivated Wilfrid, alias "Ivan
Kelchevsky" [5], to transform himself into a noted manuscripts antiquarian? - it has long
been noted that he achieved this transition rather dramatically quickly. Could therefore
the Voynich Manuscript more tellingly be described as the "Kelchevsky Manuscript" ?
And might this Kelchevsky MS have served Ivan / Wilfrid, however briefly so, in some
revolutionary activity, say perhaps allowing him to travel in the guise of an academic,
say an archeologist on the track of an ancient lost city?

These questions of course directly impact against the conventionally accepted, though
un-proven, provenance that Wilfrid obtained the VMS at the Villa Mondragone in Italy, and
from the Jesuits. Rich SantaColoma has recently on vms-list emphasized the need to remain 
cautious with that notion, having some back-and-forth about it with Greg. The provenance
of the VMS still remains very problematic, and for VMS newcomers to understand why, it is
useful to explore some of the plenty of material about it scattered across J.VS, and in
particular to read the writings on the subject of Jan Hurych [6].

The speculative idea that Wilfrid Voynich may have obtained his famous manuscript in
Russia or via Russian connections, is not new - as I recall it is, however briefly, 
somewhere in the earlier archival record of vms-list. This idea now seems to me far more
plausible than ever before, and I think that it deserves some serious consideration.
It can be seen from the image  3_RM_C_VMSf1r.jpg  that the scene I've traced does not cover 
anywhere near the entire right margin area of f1r - there could be much more to discover
in the right margin, and elsewhere around f1r, symbols and emblems perhaps which might
indicate more precisely the origins of the VMS.

I'll close here with some of my impressions of Wilfrid Voynich, the man. I've long
believed he was brilliant. I think that once he got out of his revolutionary groove and
into his antiquarian groove that he played things pretty straight. But as a young
revolutionary, we shouldn't be surprised if he participated in all sorts of deceptions.
If indeed he first came across the VMS while at least still partly in his revolutionary
groove, then plausibly he forged the true reality of the VMS. And, as Rich developed
recently on vms-list, the VMS story Wilfrid painted to the world may have gotten away from
him, and he couldn't backtrack beyond controlling access to the manuscript tightly and in
effect undermining its open sale [7]. As for Wilfrid faking the entire VMS, I agree with
Greg - it's a no-go idea for multiple reasons.

Berj / KI3U

[1] Journal of Voynich Studies communication #280 (Vol. III, 14 JUL 2009):
J.VS: The p-problem of the alleged Tepenecz autograph on Voynich f1r; by Berj / KI3U.

The later released English version of this film was titled "The Book That Can't Be Read".

[3] vms-list thread post: " RE: VMs: Wilfred Voynich, Forger? ", Thu 7/26/12
9:45 PM, by Greg Stachowski.

[4] Journal of Voynich Studies communication #380 (Vol. VI, 1 FEB 2012) :
J.VS: The Voynich Manuscript Mystery : What is it?, and Who did it?; by Berj / KI3U.

[5] See J.VS thread beginning with comm. #194 (Vol. II, 31 MAY 2008) :
J.VS: Voynich Biographical Data and "Ivan Kelchevsky"; by Greg Stachowski.

[6] Jan's most recent paper (29 DEC 2010) on the problems of Voynich Manuscript provenance is:

[7] See Rich's comments in vms-list thread:
" VMs: Wilfred Voynich, Forger? ", launched by Rich SantaColoma 25 JUL 2012.

From: Berj N. Ensanian / KI3U
To: Journal of Voynich Studies
Sent: 11-23-2012 8:54:06 AM EST

J.VS: WWII coded Pigeon message mystery

Dear Colleagues:

Here's an interesting item from the bbc news website by Gordon Corera, dated 23 NOV 2012 :

" WWII pigeon message stumps GCHQ decoders "

" Britain's top code-breakers say they are stumped by a secret code found on the leg of a dead pigeon.

The remains of the bird were found in a chimney in Surrey with a message from World War II attached.

Experts at the intelligence agency GCHQ have been struggling to decipher the message since they were provided with it a few weeks ago.

They say it may be impossible to decode it without more information - some of which could come from the public.

The message was discovered by David Martin when he was renovating the chimney of his house in Surrey. "

Berj / KI3U

From: Berj N. Ensanian / KI3U
To: Journal of Voynich Studies
Sent: 12-19-2012 2:09:17 PM EST

J.VS: Re: WWII coded Pigeon message mystery

Dear Colleagues:

Here's some further development on this story in a BBC online
article dated 16 DEC 2012 :

" Has World War II carrier pigeon message been cracked? "

" Gord Young, from Peterborough, in Ontario, says it took him 17 minutes
to decypher the message after realising a code book he inherited was the key.

Mr Young says the 1944 note uses a simple World War I code to detail German
troop positions in Normandy. "

Berj / KI3U

From: Greg Stachowski
To: Journal of Voynich Studies
Sent: 12-19-2012 1950:00 GMT

J.VS: Re: WWII coded Pigeon message mystery

From the previous comm. # 386 in this thread:

" Gord Young, from Peterborough, in Ontario, says it took him 17 minutes
to decypher the message after realising a code book he inherited was the key.

Mr Young says the 1944 note uses a simple World War I code to detail German
troop positions in Normandy. "

If you look at what he's done, it's just assigning more or less ad hoc words to each
letter, the "message" is pretty meaningless and vague, and clearly "forced" to fit.
The whole thing about the codebook is misleading, he didn't use it as a key, he has an
artillery spotters abbreviation book and used abbreviations along those lines.

Greg S.


J.VS Archive continued in Vol. VII, 2013