Bruno Borges, a Brazilian student who has mysteriously vanished from his home, left behind numerous encrypted notes. Now a Brazilian newspaper reports on new activities in this case.
It’s a situation I encounter once in while. A blog post I wrote some time ago suddenly becomes extremely popular, and the page views are skyrocketing. Sometimes the reason for this popularity is clear. For instance, whenever one of the two Zodiac Killer movies is shown on TV, my Zodiac articles receive many views. In other cases I don’t know what caused so many people to suddenly read an old article of mine.
The Bruno Borges case
This morning I encountered such a situation again. When I looked at the web statistics, I saw that thousands of people had called a blog article I had written two months ago. It is about Brazilian student Bruno Borges, who vanished from his home and left behind encrypted notes. The following picture of him is taken from Facebook.
Bruno Borges, a 24 year old psychology student from Brazil, was working on some “alien project” when he mysteriously vanished in early April. He was known among his friends as an alien enthusiast. The student’s disappearance sparked worldwide interest – with some even believing he was abducted by aliens. A bizarre video of the inside of his bedroom was leaked online. Apparently, Borges had turned his room into a shrine to the extraterrestrial world. He removed all the furniture and put up an expensive statue of Giordano Bruno.
What makes Borges’ vanishing interesting for this blog is the fact that the walls in his room have been found covered with encrypted writing. In addition, Borges left behind 14 encrypted books.
The code Borges used for the major part of his notes is solved. It’s a simple substitution code (i. e., a monoalphabetic substitution cipher, also known as MASC). Check here for details.
However, there are a few text passages encrypted in a different code. To my knowledge they are still unsolved. Here’s the first part:
Here’s the second part:
If a reader can break this encryption or if a solution is already available somewhere, please let me know.
News from Brazil
The vanishing of Bruno Borges happened more than two months ago. So, why is there so much interest in my Borges article from April today?
According to Google News, the Brazilian news portal Globo has published three articles about the Borges case in the last two weeks. Google News shows no other media coverage of this story for this time period. Unfortunately, these articles are written in Portuguese – a language I don’t understand. Using Google translate I tried to figure out what these articles are about. Here’s the result:
- Article 1 (2017-06-02): A friend of Bruno Borges, who had been questioned by police before, was questioned again.
- Article 2 (2017-06-07): Police tried to interrogate another friend of Bruno Borges, who was also heard before, but to no avail. The two friends might have stolen something from Borges and made false statements.
- Article 3 (2017-06-11): This seems to be a summary of the first two articles.
Is there more new information about the Borges case? Why have so many people called up my old Borges post today? Was the Borges case mentioned on TV somewhere yesterday? If somebody knows more, please tell me.
Further reading: How Paolo Bonavoglia solved a 19th century encrypted book