A picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger, taken at the set of “Conan the Barbarian”, shows an encrypted (?) text. Can a reader decipher it?

First of all, I would like to invite my readers in Berlin and Vienna to meet me and have dinner together. Here are the details:

Let’s now proceed to the actual topic of today’s blog post. Arnold Schwarzenegger, known as bodybuilder, actor and politician, is not a person who is mentioned very often in the crypto literature. His only claim to crypto fame is a hidden message (acrostic) he included in a letter he wrote while he was Governor of California:

The starting letters of the two main paragraphs spell out FUCK YOU. More stories of this kind are available in my book Versteckte Botschaften.


A photograph

Blog reader Alexander Ulyanenkov from Russia has sent me an interesting photograph of Schwarzenegger. For copyright reasons, I can only present an excerpt here. The complete picture can be seen on Pinterest.

As can be seen, Arnold Schwarzenegger has painted a message on his face. Here are a few lines of it:

Source: Pinterest

According to Alexander, this picture was taken during the production of the 1982 movie Conan the Barbarian. As far as I see, it’s not a scene from the film, but a picture taken at the set.


Open questions

There are a few questions I ask myself about this photograph:

  • What’s the purpose of this face-painting?
  • Why is this face-painting not shown in the movie?
  • Do the symbols on Schwarzenegger’s face encode a message? If so, can somebody decipher it?

Can a reader answer any of these questions?

Further reading: Five more accrostics

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Kommentare (5)

  1. #1 David Oranchak
    18. September 2019

    Another view of the face writing, apparently from a clip from the movie:


  2. #2 David Oranchak
    18. September 2019

    I found the clip and uploaded it here:


    The writing is part of a wizard’s ceremony to summon “healing spirits” to save the barbarian, who is critically wounded by the antagonist in the movie. I’m thinking it’s just decorative writing but it would be interesting if the crew decided to make the text more meaningful.

  3. #3 Breaker
    20. September 2019

    2x’s and one Pi showing in a diagonal….. “The Slant” would be noticed and the letter configurations shown are complimenting the others as pictographs

    Looks like a formula of a sort of engineering of some kind

    RIXH would be RICKIXHX as in Jin Rikisha or Human Powered Vehicle in Japanese

    KIN can also be seen in the next line as in Kinmu or Work in Japanese

    XI are clearly cross multiplication symbols in mathematics which are part of the steganography of Pi used to derive measurements for the perfect axle/wheel sizes to achieve Torus Momentus…the literal definition of the symbol

    The man applying these to his forehead is Japanese as well.

  4. #4 Klaus Schmeh
    20. September 2019

    @David: Thank you very much. This means that the face-painting is a part of the move. I wonder if it has a meaning.

  5. #5 x3Ray
    20. September 2019

    Das sieht mir nach Runen aus; allerdings würde ich – ohne das lesen zu können – drauf tippen, dass das nur “Zufallstext” ist.

    Es geht in der Szene um die Hommage an den Film Kwaidan. Hier sieht man zu Beginn, wie analog zu Conan Arm und Gesicht mit Schrift bemalt werden: