Can it be solved anyway?

Even if the Beale cryptograms will never lead to a hidden treasure, there is still a chance that they can be broken. However, so far nobody has found a solution. Back in 1980 Jim Gillogly, who is now a reader of this blog, found out that if the Declaration of Independence is used as a key for the first cryptogram, it yields alphabetical sequences such as “abcdefghiijklmmnohpp” and others. There are different explanations for this obeservation, however, the most likely one is that this cryptogram only contains meaningless gibberish.


If you have additional ideas on how to decipher the Beale cryptograms #1 and #3, please let me know. And if you ever happen to find the Beale treasure, please send me a few photographs for a blog article.

Further reading: An unsolved cryptogram from 1834


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Kommentare (11)

  1. #1 Marc
    20. März 2017

    This is a Level X Challenge on
    It seems someone has solved it (Seth Kintigh) ?

  2. #2 Klaus Schmeh
    20. März 2017

    Thanks for mentioning this. Here’s the link to the Beale challenge (as you see, I’m the author of it):

    >It seems someone has solved it (Seth Kintigh)
    Seth has has handed in a link to Jim Gillogly’s paper, which gives strong evidence that cryptogram #1 is a hoax. Of course, this is not a solution, but the MTC3 team awarded him a few points.

  3. #3 Klaus Schmeh
    20. März 2017

    Bart Wenmeckers via Facebook:

    I have not looked i to these but i know some people are VERY passionate about this subject.

  4. #4 Klaus Schmeh
    20. März 2017

    Richard SantaColoma via Facebook:

    I like that you came right out of the box, and call this one like it is. Surprisingly there still are many who still present it as a real possibility… and I was actually going to use it as an example as persistence of hope overcoming simple common sense.

  5. #5 Jim
    21. März 2017

    If the Voynich Ms. is someday shown to be a hoax, I think *it* would be a strong contender for the greatest one.

    I agree with Richard that it’s refreshing to see plain talking on this one!

  6. #6 Peter
    21. März 2017

    My private garden mole gave me a hint:
    You should always be aware, that all those
    treasure hunters help to aerate the compacted
    soil, main problem of our suffering breed, he said.
    Must I say more, he asked and twinkled with
    one eye…

  7. #7 Nick Pelling
    22. März 2017

    Klaus: respectfully, I think you’ve called this one wrong. There is a world of difference between asserting (a) that the story in the Beale Papers are fake and (b) asserting that the ciphers in the Beale Papers are fake.

    Though there is reasonably good evidence that a good proportion (though quite how much is a very tricky question) of the story is indeed fake – I prefer to think of it as “optimistically back-filled” after the event by one or more treasure-hunters – I think that the Gillogly strings point very strongly to there being some kind of genuine plaintext, though obviously not using exactly the same encryption scheme as the deciphered part.

    You say “Even if the Beale cryptograms will never lead to a hidden treasure, there is still a chance that they can be broken” – but if you accept that they can be broken, you should also accept that you have no idea of why they were encrypted in the first place.

  8. #8 Klaus Schmeh
    23. März 2017

    James Simpson via Facebook:

    No Klaus, “They” won’t find it…..a man of the Union will…..

  9. #9 Klaus Schmeh
    23. März 2017

    Bart Wenmeckers via Facebook:

    See :p

  10. #10 Lidia
    5. Oktober 2017

    Szyfry BEALE. Informacja.
    Rok temu złamałam 3 szyfry liczbowe BEALE : “71”, “115”, “317”. Na podstawie 3 szyfrów BEALE narysowałam 3 duże mapy format A-3 na papierze w kratkę. Według moich map skarb konfederatów znajduje się aktualnie w stanie Massachusetts. Oto moje mapy:
    1/ szyfr 71- region Revere Boston
    2/ szyfr 115 – miasto New Bedford Mass
    3/ szyfr 317- mapa stanu Massachusetts. Pozdrawiam serdecznie Leokadia Janiszewska Gdynia, POLAND. Adres e-mail: Data : 5.10.2017.