Jim Sanborn, the creator of the enigmatic “Kryptos” sculpture we told you about last May has revealed a significan clue for code-breakers who are hungry to solve the piece’s hidden message.
“Kryptos”, which means “hidden” in Greek, is located at C.I.A. headquarters and is a copper wave composed of four panels stamped with what would appear to be random letters that actually contain coded messages.
The first three “Kryptos” codes were cracked back in 1998, eight years after the sculpture was erected in Langley, Virginia.
According to Sanborn, the fourth and final code is the most difficult to crack, but his recent revelation that six of the 97 letters in the last section spell “Berlin” has sent code-breakers into a frenzy.
“Well, there were several reasons (for releasing the clue),” Sanborn said. “One is that November 6th, 20 years ago was the dedication of ‘Kryptos’ at the CIA headquarters.
“And it’s also my birthday month, and so I figured, I’ve got to do something for the anniversary, that’s the reason for the timing.”
The other reason, though, was because he was “getting tired of the continued and somewhat escalating number of people contacting me and saying that they had cracked the code.”
So Sanborn set up the website, Kryptosclue.com. Now, professional and novice code-breakers alike have a way of submitting what they believe is the hidden message.
The code was supposed to be difficult, but Sanborn is surprised it has taken folks so long to figure it out.
“Well, the first three sections I figured would be decoded in a matter of weeks; they took several years,” he said. “I’m not quite sure why, but it took a very long time.”
Not a math whiz? There’s hope for you yet. Sanborn says you don’t have to be a mathematician in order to crack the code.
“I’m what I call an anathemath,” he said. “As an artist you can come up with myriad coding systems.”
The structure has become something of a legend. Even the author of “The Da Vinci Code”, Dan Brown, worked the piece into the plot of “The Lost Symbol”, which Sanborn wasn’t too keen on, by the way.
“I think all art work is open to interpretation but (it) should be in some way sacrosanct, in that each artist should come up with their own ideas and not necessarily appropriate other people’s work,” he said.
What happens if “Kryptos” isn’t decoded in Sanborn’s lifetime?
“I think it would be great if it retains its mystery, I will probably give out some other clues in 10 more years, and if I’m still around, 10 more years after that,” he said.
“I have two very trusted friends, younger than myself, who know how to get to where the answer is,” he continued.
“It’s not easy, but in the event of my demise, it could be found out,” he said.
- Artist Jim Sanborn gives codebreakers hope to solve Kryptos CIA puzzle (guardian.co.uk)
- CIA’s Kryptos sculpture close to being solved (telegraph.co.uk)
- Sculptor Gives a Hint For CIA’s Kryptos (it.slashdot.org)