Bruno Borges, a Brazilian student who has been working on an “alien project”, has mysteriously vanished from his home. In his room he left behind numerous encrypted notes. Can a reader break his code?

Crimes involving unsolved cryptograms are an extremely popular topic. My blog posts about the Zodiac killer, the Debosnys murder, the Ricky McCormick case and a few others all rank among the most-read in the history of Klausis Krypto Kolumne.

If I’m lucky, I can soon add an especially spectacular encryption-related crime to my list: an alien abduction. And even better, the cryptograms that play a role in this case are even more numerous than the ones of all the afore-mentioned cases combined. Thanks to Kathleen Hellbarth for the hint.


Bruno Borges

Let’s look at the details. Bruno Borges, a 24 year old psychology student from Brazil, has been known among his friends for years as an alien enthusiast. The following picture of him is taken from Facebook:


Last Monday Borges reportedly vanished from his family home. The student’s disappearance has sparked worldwide interest – with many believing he’s been abducted by aliens. A bizarre video of the inside of his bedroom was leaked online. Apparently, Borges turned his room into a shrine to the extraterrestrial world, while his parents were on a vacation trip. He removed all the furniture and put up an expensive  statue of Giordano Bruno.

Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) is certainly known to many of my readers. Some have claimed that he was the author of the Voynich manuscript – a hypothesis that isn’t backed by much evidence. In Germany he is mainly known because the Giordano Bruno Stiftung is named for him. What I didn’t know is that Giordano Bruno was one of the first people who believed in the existence of alien life. This is probably the reason why Bruno Borges admired him (and of course, he might have liked his surname).

Borges was working on a mysterious project before he vanished. He asked several relatives for funding.


The cryptograms

To be honest, I don’t believe in alien abductions. So, I am quite sure that Borges’ disappearance has solely terrestrial reasons. And of course, I have not written this post because an alien-obsessed student has vanished – after all this is neither a UFO blog nor the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry homepage.

What makes Borges’ vanishing interesting for me is the fact that the walls in his room have been found covered with encrypted writing. In addition, Borges left behind 14 encrypted books (this is a lot, considering that my encrypted book list, which contains every encrypted book I know, currently has 86 entries).

The press articles covering Borges’ disappearance don’t give much information about the cryptograms he left behind. Only when I conducted a Google search, I found two excerpts. Here’s the first one:


Here’s the second one:


I’m quite sure that Borges hasn’t used a complicated cipher. It is simply too elaborate to encrypt so much information in a sophisticated code. Probably, he choose a simple letter substitution, also known as mono-alphabetical substitution cipher (MASC). The language is most likely Portuguese.

Can a reader decrypt the ciphertext fragments shown here? Or is a decryption already available somewhere? If you have an answer, please let me know.

Further reading: The Top 50 unsolved encrypted messages: 50. The Cylob Cryptogram


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Kommentare (19)

  1. #1 Thomas
    7. April 2017

    It is indeed a simple substitution:

  2. #3 Thomas
    7. April 2017

    Another presentation of the key:
    with a decryption of page 1:
    and a encrypted third page:

    Page 2 is incrypted with the same key, only the beginning:

  3. #4 Klaus Schmeh
    7. April 2017

    @Thomas: Thank you very much!
    Apparently, he only substituted a part of the alphabet.

  4. #5 Thomas
    7. April 2017

    Here is shown the substitution key of the whole alphabet

  5. #6 Thomas
    7. April 2017

    A video about his ciphers:
    Who speaks Portuguese?

  6. #7 Thomas
    8. April 2017

    A Google translation of the pages:


    For thousands of years the human being has been trying to find answers to questions like “what is the meaning of life”? The philosophy that seems to have begun with Tales of Miletus in the middle of 700 BC seems to find traces of unanswered questions. The deep search for absolute truth comes from philosophy, and when we talk about easy or difficult paths we are referring to this type of theorem.
    It’s easy to accept what you’ve been taught since childhood is wrong. It is difficult when you are an adult to understand that you have been taught wrongly since you suspected that you were correct. In other words, if you fit in with someone whose middle stimuli determined a certain behavior to you, making you at the mercy of beliefs already provided and well established in dogmas and rituals, with a concentrated mass of people in it; Or allowing you to conform, accepting the concept of happiness and meaning of life embedded in the media and society, then clearly you are part of the easy path to the quest for absolute truth. Perhaps it fits into the second option, that is, the one who suspected every set of beliefs that was rooted to him, then he has everything to be a researcher of truthfulness in the things around him, entering a more complicated path, in which a minority takes risks or faces bravely …


    Since normality presents itself as a rectilinear and uniform pattern, and therefore is the cause of the action of the masses, then those of the easy way are more to it than those of the difficult road. Consequently the latter tend to be more willing to go astray, going to the extremity of both lucidity and insanity. However, remember that the so-called “normal” here does not mean exactly “positive”, but rather alludes to the way people interpret around what is to act acceptably in a society. In addition, this habitual way of seeing normality is tamed to the method instilled by the media and other common sense participles to how you should manifest in the social environment. In addition, it is convenient to argue the possibility of those who follow the straight standard of normality are added to those of the easy way, which in turn results in alienation. However, make it clear that it is not always generalized and can be otherwise productive and beneficial.
    It is pertinent to argue first of all that the extremities are much more plausible to take place – regardless of the paths to be followed, in their maxims – in the “continuums.” Well, they are the extreme point of the two tracks, so it is certainly by them that one of the two peaks can be reached represented in the figure of this …

  7. #8 Klaus Schmeh
    8. April 2017

    Kendall Falk via Facebook:
    there is also a whole thread about it here. with the English translation to some of the texts.

  8. #9 gänsehauthochzehn
    9. April 2017

    Guten Tag lieber Herr schmeh. Ich schreibe vom smartphone, daher könnten vermehrt Fehler und/oder sinnfreie Wörter in diesem Text stehen.
    Ich bin froh, dass sie bereits von Bruno borges Kenntnis genommen haben. Ich sitze seit Stunden mit dauergänsehaut hier… Der Fall Bruno borges steht in direkter Korrelation zu cicada 3301!
    Ich bin erst durch denn Fall borges auf cicada 3301 aufmerksam geworden..
    In dem Zimmer von Bruno ist das Logo von cicada 3301 zu finden!
    besser: min 2:38, oberer Bildschirmrand.

    Leider habe ich gerade eine 10 std schicht hinter mir und die nächste folgt heute abend, daher kann ich mich zur aktuellen Stunde leider nur sehr trivial zur Thematik artikulieren.
    Ich habe noch einige weitere Entdeckungen zusammengetragen und würde beizeiten ihre Meinung zu der Thematik erfahren.
    Ich werde Sie die tage über einen anderen distributionsweg kontaktieren.
    Mit freundlichen grüßen.

  9. #10 Jerry McCarthy
    England, Europa
    9. April 2017

    #9 Can anybody help me with, what is I guess an idiom, “dauergänsehaut”? The rest is quite clear.

  10. #11 Klaus Schmeh
    9. April 2017

    @Jerry: Having “Gänsehaut” (goose chin) means to be thrilled or fascinated. “Dauergänsehaut” is a persistent state of being thrilled.

  11. #12 Hawk
    10. April 2017

    Dauergänsehaut == permanent goose bumps

  12. #13 merzmensch
    11. April 2017

    Sehr sehr spannend. Ich bin gerade in der Facebook-Gruppe, wessen Mitglieder dabei sind, alles zu übersetzen (meistens auf Portugistisch).

    Hier ist der Blog, in welchem man bereits die Substitutionskodes übersetzte:

    Es bleiben andere Texte, die eventuell mit Vigenère verschlüsselt sind.

    Cicada-Hinweis von dem Vorredner ist auch äusserst interessant! Ausserdem hat man den Skulptor der Statue gefunden. Bruno mag ihn wohl ca. 3 Jahre lang kennen, und der Skulptor ist nebenbei Mitglied einer Freimaurer-Loge, soweit man seinen eigenen Photos aus der Facebook-Seite erkennen kann.

    Es wird spannender und spannender!

  13. #14 Klaus Schmeh
    11. April 2017

    >Es bleiben andere Texte, die eventuell
    >mit Vigenère verschlüsselt sind.
    Dann gibt es ja noch ungelöste Teile. Darüber könnte ich bei Gelegenheit bloggen.

  14. #15 merzmensch
    11. April 2017

    Es gibt noch was interessantes: in der Gallerie findet man auch eine an Pigpen erinnernde Chiffrierung. Es entspricht jedoch nicht dem Pigpen:

    Abgesehen von der ersten Buchstabe (A) ist hier alles verkehrt. Ist es womöglich kein Schlüssel?

  15. #16 Thomas
    11. April 2017

    Die Buchstaben sind nur anders auf die Gitter verteilt:

    ohne Punkt:

    A C E
    G I K
    M O Q

    mit einem Punkt:

    B D F
    H J L
    N P R

    mit zwei Punkten möglicherweise ( falls ab dem S keine X-förmigen Gitter verwendet werden, das Bild zeigt ja nur einen Teil des Alphabets):

    S T U
    V W X
    Y Z

  16. #17 Thomas
    11. April 2017

    Korrektur: Auf einem anderen Bild der beiden Alphabet-Pigpen-Leisten ist zu sehen, dass ab dem S zwei X-förmige Gitter verwendet werden, daher:

    ohne Punkt:

    U W

    mit einem Punkt:

    V X

  17. #18 Thomas
    11. April 2017

    Has the letter cipher (, on the right side of “M XLMCADQJ ROZQ OLQDIJCX”) been broken yet? Apparently this is no simple substitution cipher.

  18. #19 kud gt
    11. April 2017

    Perhaps its time, that someone reveals this connections:

    Cicada 3301 is back: page:
    Countdown also @ site.
    An there’s a connection to Bruno Borges:
    The same rune key!
    Check this:
    And here:
    Theres also a link (connecton) to Tengri 137.
    Cicada 3301 is using DNA. Tengri 137 also.

    “Dig deeper” – Cicada 3301 said.
    Check the sourcecode of the HTML-page of Cicada 3301.
    Load the files! Load the sound files (not only sound!) and grafix. Use headlines of the posts.
    One of them: –>

    Tengri 137 – the same! Load the sound files (not only sound). Use the headlines of the pastes. Search and use DNA Fountain.
    Headers of T137 Files are not valid. No accident.
    Pre-Check ALL files with a HEX-Editor.
    Amazing ASCII Work and many more Data.

    Good luck!