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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Unsolved Mystery: Kryptos sculpture by the "agent of Satan".

The sculpture named Kryptos at CIA headquarters contains a
secret message -not even the agency's brightest can crack its code. 
"People call me an agent of Satan because I won't tell my secret." " says  DC artist James Sanborn. He is referring to the 865 text characters of seeming gibberish, punched out of half-inch-thick copper in a courtyard which has been the subject of intense scrutiny inside the Central Intelligence Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
"People call me an agent of Satan," says artist Sanborn,
"because I won't tell my secret." 
It's part of a sculpture called Kryptos (Greek for hidden), created  as an outdoor installation for the area between the CIA original headquarters  and a newer building behind it . The work is a meditation on the nature of secrecy and the elusiveness of truth, its message written entirely in code. Almost 20 years after its dedication, the text has yet to be fully deciphered. It's so mysterious, in fact, that not even the CIA has completely cracked the code. The sculpture contains four inscriptions, and although three of them have been cracked, the fourth remains elusive. Still uncracked are the 97 characters of the fourth part (known as K4 in Kryptos-speak). And the longer the deadlock continues, the crazier people get.

In 2006 Sanborn let slip that there are clues in the first inscriptions to the last one, and in 2010 he released another clue: the Letters 64-69 NYPVTT in part 4 encode the text BERLIN.

If anyone manages to solve the last cipher, that won't end the hunt for the ultimate truth about Kryptos. "There may be more to the puzzle than what you see,"  says Ed Scheidt, who had just retired as head of Langley's Cryptographic Center. "Just because you broke it doesn't mean you have the answer." All of this leads one to ask: Is there a solution? Sanborn insists there is—but he would be just as happy if no one ever discovered it. "In some ways, I'd rather die knowing it wasn't cracked," he says. "Once an artwork loses its mystery, it's lost a lot."

Do you want to take a crack at it?

from 10 of the world's biggest unsolved mysteries.

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