On a Russian website a handwritten notebook from the Soviet era is described. Its content is encrypted. Can a reader solve this unusual cryptogram?
I absolutely love to rummage in archives and libraries in search of interesting crypto documents. Many of the stories I have covered on Klausis Krypto Kolumne are based on findings I made this way.
However, my best source for new crypto stories is still Google. Usually, I carry out my online searches in German or English, but with the help of Google Translate I can easily use search terms like “encrypted”, “secret writing” or “crypto mystery” in other languages, as well. I prefer to search for images instead for text, because interesting pictures are easier to spot on a long list of items than interesting text.
One of the most interesting Google searches I ever made came about when I used Russian search terms like тайнопись (“secret writing”) and закодированный (“encrypted”). Among other things I found a page about Russian child murderer Vladimir Vinnichevsky (1923-1940) and his allegedly encrypted note. When I reported on this story in a blog post last week, my readers Alexander Ulyanenkov and Thomas found out that the note was not really encrypted but abbreviated.
The Russian notebook
Here’s another crypto mystery from Russia I found via Google. On a Russian website (I prefer the Google Translate version) I read about somebody who had discovered a notebook in the waste paper of an old country house. The content of this notebook is written in an unusual script – most likely, it is encrypted. Only two page scans are given on the website. The cleartext is unknown. I put the Russian notebook on my Encrypted Book List (position 00082).
The author of the Russian website offered the notebook for sale. I wrote him an email telling him that I was interested in buying it. For the case that the booklet was already sold, I asked him for a complete set of page scans. So far, I haven’t received a reply. I don’t even know if he speaks English.
Here are a few facts about the encrypted Russian notebook:
- It’s a squared exercise book as used in school.
- The writing probably stems from the 1980s.
- The paper is slightly affected by water.
- The book contains several pictures, the meaning of which is unclear.
- The finder of the notebook thinks that the content has got to do with magic. I’m not sure about this.
As it seems, the notebook finder posted information about this booklet on a variety of online forums and received many comments. However, nobody came up with a solution.
Can a reader of Klausis Krypto Kolumne find out more about this unusual cryptogram?