In a Russian online forum, an encrypted book with similarities to the Voynich Manuscript is being discussed. This tome would be a sensational find if it was genuine – but it’s probably not.

Encrypted books have always been one of my favorite topics. My ever-growing encrypted book list currently contains over a hundred entries, including diaries, notebooks, artworks, Freemason mnemonics and more.

The most famous and most interesting encrypted book of all is, of course, the Voynich Manuscript (#00001 on my list), a 230-pages work surrounded by mystery.

Other encrypted book highlights include the Rohonc Codex (#00002), the Bellicorum instrumentorum (#00029), and Charles Dellschau’s books (#00084).


A second Voynich Manuscript?

Blog reader Alexander Uliyanenkov from Russia has now made me aware of an encrypted book I have never heard of. Here’s the first of two photographs he sent me:

Source: Uliyanenkov

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ Coming November 2020 ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

This is THE book about code breaking. Very concise, very inclusive, and easy to read. Good references for those who would make codes, too, like Kryptos.

Ed Scheidt, Chairman of CIA Cryptographic Center (ret)


According to Alexander, this book is currently discussed in a forum operated by VK, the Russian counterpart of Facebook. I therefore call it VK Manuscript, hoping I will find a better name soon. Here’s the second picture:

Source: Uliyanenkov

A modern day production?

As can be seen, the alphabet used by the VK Manuscript author looks similar as the one of the Voynich Manuscript. Some of the symbols are even exactly the same. As the Voynich Manuscript writing system is regarded unique so far, finding another historical book with a similar script would be a sensation. For this reason, it is very likely that the VK Manuscript is a recent production. Of course, one can’t call it a fake, as long as the creator doesn’t claim that it is old.

The illustrations in the VK Manuscript look surrealistic. Perhaps, it is meant as a Russian counterpart of the Codex Seraphianus (#00005 on my list), an encrypted book created by Italian artist Luigi Seraphini in the 1970s.

I would be interested in learning more about the VK Manuscript. Does a reader know who made it? Are more page scans available? Can the text in the manuscript be deciphered? What do the pictures mean? Any feedback is welcome.

Further reading: The secrets of a 16th century crypto book


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Kommentare (20)

  1. #1 Richard SantaColoma
    17. Juli 2020

    It seems the author was influenced somewhat by Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, as one character there seems very similar to the creature…

  2. #2 Nils
    17. Juli 2020

    Below ctulhu you can actually read his name . So this is not as Old as the voynich

  3. #3 ShadowWolf
    It isn't generally encrypted.
    17. Juli 2020

    The pages with the 2 bat wing figures are in English. The only real problem is some of the letters are really strange. The problem is mainly the writing and it doesn’t appear to make much sense.

    The last word in the first line is “and”.
    Third line down is “off modal m?? calm,”
    4th line down ends in “fool a”
    Second line from the bottom, is “calm” followed by a comma.
    In the last line, it looks like “modal-goes”.

    The other page is in the same awful writing. It has some of the same words as the other page.

  4. #4 Gerd Hechtfischer
    17. Juli 2020

    The Cthulhu below the drawing seems to have letters different from the text on the right side. Look also at the text above Cthulhu’s left hand. Is that Cthulhu in even an other writing?

  5. #5 cimddwc
    17. Juli 2020

    Yes, that looks like Cthulhu’s name under his picture, followed maybe by “fthagthn” – maybe a misspelling or other form of “fthagn” from that fictional Cthulhu phrase, also at the bottom of the right page.

  6. #6 Marek
    18. Juli 2020

    Looks as if a talented gamemaster of some Lovecraft-inspired P´n´P had created some very benign artifact as a plot hook.

  7. #7 Klaus Schmeh
    18. Juli 2020

    Dave Kocur via Facebook:
    I can’t speak to encryption, but the drawings look like the work of an H. P. Lovecraft enthusiast.

  8. #8 Klaus Schmeh
    18. Juli 2020

    Randall Williams via Facebook:
    An oddly excessive prop for a D&D game? Most of the words seem to be English except some letters are strange and upper and lower case seem to be mixed. It isn’t off far enough that I would call it a cipher. More like an attempt at a hand written Old English font or just an old font. “Cthulhu”, under the image on the left looks like it isn’t quite spelled right.

  9. #9 Michael Jaworski
    18. Juli 2020

    Das ist sicherlich eine selbstgemachte Fan-Variante des Necronomicon.

    Hier im Wikipedia referenziertes Fan-Requisit:

    Sieht sogar ähnlich zu den hier veröffentlichten Fotos aus.

    Die Texte im Necronomicon sehen dann so aus:
    Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.
    [In seinem Haus in R’lyeh wartet träumend der tote Cthulhu.]

  10. #10 Kerberos
    18. Juli 2020

    “”My ever-growing encrypted book list currently contains over a hundred entries, including diaries, notebooks, artworks, Freemason mnemonics and more.””

    Are You interested in an example from an old comic?
    I found a (very simple one ) in Buck Rogers anno 1930.

  11. #11 Klaus Schmeh
    18. Juli 2020

    >Are You interested in an example from an old comic?
    Yes. Can you send me details about it?

  12. #12 Dampier
    18. Juli 2020

    It looks like one of my exercise books from the 1970s …

  13. #13 Kerberos
    18. Juli 2020

    Details sind unterwegs per email.

  14. #14 Lars Dietz
    18. Juli 2020

    In addition to what others have said, the text (except for that under the Cthulhu drawing) is clearly written in the European Voynich Alphabet (EVA). See:
    Most of it is in English, although it doesn’t seem to form a coherent text, sometimes it seems to stop in the middle of a word and repeat. I the first picture on the right side the text begins with “she strove to”, line 2 begins with “leaving her horse” etc. In the second picture the text above the drawing contains some German (line 2 is “auf den gefrorenen Pol”), that below the drawing doesn’t make sense to me although it contains some English words like “muttered”. Additionally on the left side you can see some bleed-through from the opposing page in a larger script, which can be interpreted as “The Necronomicon”.

  15. #15 Wer
    19. Juli 2020

    Als ich das Titelbild sah war mein erster Gedanke – es fehlt ja die Feuerzeugflambierung – Bingo!

  16. #16 Klaus Schmeh
    19. Juli 2020

    Maxim Korobov via Linkedin:
    Cthulhu calculates sinusoid. Nothing unusual

  17. #17 Simon
    19. Juli 2020

    According to a blog post from 2009, that also features the same picture that is in your article
    ( the book is a prop versions of the Necronomicon, created by Pete Sauber for a production of the “Evil Dead: Live!” stage show.

  18. #18 Klaus Schmeh
    19. Juli 2020

    @Simon: Thanks!
    The mystery is solved.

  19. #19 Klaus Schmeh
    19. Juli 2020

    Alexander Uliyanenkov has provided me the link to the
    VK group where the manuscript is discussed: (see notes of 1st and 5th of July 2020)

  20. #20 Ruby Novacna
    29. Juli 2020

    As Simon said, there is no mystery, just right click and Google will show you the original image.