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Artist reveals final clue to help crack code of his 30-year-old sculpture outside CIA headquarters

Artist reveals final clue to help codebreakers crack the last passage of his 30-year-old Kryptos sculpture outside CIA headquarters

  • Jim Sanborn built copper sculpture outside CIA HQ in Langley, Virginia, in 1990
  • It comprises of four coded passages but only three have ever been cracked
  • The now 74-year-old released third and final clue with just one word – ‘northeast’

An artist has revealed one final clue to help codebreakers crack the message behind his 30-year-old sculpture. 

Jim Sanborn built the copper monument, known as Kryptos, outside the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, in 1990.

The sculpture comprises of four coded passages but only three have ever been successfully cracked. Now its creator has given code-breaking enthusiasts a helping hand. 

Jim Sanborn built the copper monument (pictured), known as Kryptos, outside the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, in 1990

Mr Sanborn, now 74, has already provided two clues to help decode the meaning behind the fourth segment of code.

The first, which was released in 2010, was the word ‘Berlin’ from letters 64 to 69.

The second, released in 2014, was the word ‘clock’ from 69 to 74.

The third and final clue that he recently announced was the word ‘northeast’ found from letters 26 to 34. 

The assortment of letters now read: ‘OBKRUOXOGHULBSOLIFBBWFLRVNORTHEASTOTWTQSJQSSEKZZWATJKLUDIAWINFBBERLINCLOCKWGDKZXTJCDIGKUHUAUEKCAR.’

Kryptos was first created by Mr Sanborn alongside retired CIA cryptographer Edward Scheidt.

Each passage is based on the themes of concealment and discovery. 

The first passage, which was cracked by a team from the National Security Agency, reads: ‘Between subtle shading and the absence of light lies the nuance of iqlusion [sic].’

Its creators said that some words, such as illusion, had been misspelled on purpose to make the code harder to crack.

The sculpture comprises of four coded passages but only three have ever been successfully cracked - and now its creator has given code-breaking enthusiasts a helping hand

The sculpture comprises of four coded passages but only three have ever been successfully cracked – and now its creator has given code-breaking enthusiasts a helping hand

The second passage says: ‘It was totally invisible.

‘Hows that possible? They used the Earths magnetic field X.

‘The information was gathered and transmitted undergruund [sic] to an unknown location X. 

‘Does Langley know about this? They should Its buried out there somewhere X.

‘Who knows the exact location? Only WW This was his last message X.’

Mr Sanborn (pictured) set up a website where members of the public could submit their suggested solutions for $50 but said he feared the final passage would not be cracked before he died

Mr Sanborn (pictured) set up a website where members of the public could submit their suggested solutions for $50 but said he feared the final passage would not be cracked before he died

It concludes with the latitude and longitude co-ordinates of the CIA headquarters.

‘WW’ refers to the head of the intelligence agency when the sculpture was installed, William Webster, who was given a key to help decipher the code by Mr Sanborn.

The third passage paraphrased Eqyptologist Howard Carter’s account of the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1925.

It reads: ‘Slowly, desparatly [sic] slowly the remains of passage debris that encumbered the lower part of the doorway was removed with trembling hands I made a tiny breach in the upper lefthand corner and then widening the hole a little I inserted the candle and peered in the hot air escaping from the chamber caused the flame to flicker but presently details of the room within emerged from the mist X.

‘Can you see anything Q?’ 

 Kryptos was first created by Mr Sanborn alongside retired CIA cryptographer Edward Scheidt with each passage based on the themes of concealment and discovery

Its creators said that some words had been misspelled on purpose to make the code harder to crack

Its creators said that some words had been misspelled on purpose to make the code harder to crack

Mr Sanborn set up a website where members of the public could submit their suggested solutions for $50.

But he said he feared the final passage would not be cracked before he died.

‘For the past few years I have been trying to figure out how to have this “system” survive my death.

‘It has not been easy,’ according to the New York Times.   

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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