Major Breakthrough

Pressing on with the book code concept that I presented at my site before, I have made what I consider to be a very significant breakthrough.  I now believe that the solution to K4 is within reach, assuming a team effort to perform trial & error book code experiments.  I believe that we can constrain the process to a small set of books from a pair of authors that I identify on my APEX Theory site.  But before you go there and look at the work, please consider the following comments and requests…

I am convinced that I am on the right path.  I have been convinced of this for several years (since about the middle of step 8).  And I do believe that if I am left to press on alone, I will eventually crack K4.  It will take quite some time – years perhaps – because I can only spare a couple of hours per month for this effort.  But I am convinced that I will solve it.  All by myself if I must.

So ask yourself this:  why is Thompson sharing his work and asking for help?  The answer is simple: I no longer care whether I am “the one” to first lay eyes on the K4 plaintext.  I care more that we hurry up and solve this puzzle.  Together.  I’m not begging for help or desperate.  I’m impatient.

Apparently most people don’t feel the same way.  Here is what I envision as the spectrum of responses to APEX theory in the community:

(1) Some people don’t care for my theory at all, so they just ignore it.

(2) Some people really like it but don’t want to be on a team, so they ignore it.

(3) Some people really like it and are actively trying to advance it, but they are doing so without telling anyone of their efforts… including me.

I have been trying really hard to get some attention, teamwork, and momentum going but there is little evidence of that having any effect.  If you are a member of set (1) above, then doubtless you feel that this is as it should be, and you can continue to ignore my efforts.  But if you belong to sets (2) or (3) then I would like to humbly ask you to do one simple thing for me:  prior to following the link to my site, please tell at least two other people (whom you know to be interested in Kryptos) about this blog.  Pass them a link to this very page.  Hopefully they will do the same, and we can drive some real team effort here.


Randy Thompson

13 Responses to “Major Breakthrough”

  1. Carl Ellis Says:

    And some of us (4) are relatively new & still getting up to speed going through the archives so as not to reinvent the wheel too many times; and like yourself haven’t all that much time to devote to this, and who have filed your communications away in the innards of the computer somewhere and will eventually pull them out and study them in the requisite detail. When I have a reasonably good idea of where it all stands, and have run down a few likely-looking notions [which will doubtless be dead ends], I will be happy to join your group if you haven’t already caught the rabbit.

  2. apexofkryptos Says:

    Good point, Carl, regarding set (4). There are undoubtedly other types of individuals too… I just listed a few of the types that I have encountered over the years.

    Good luck with your studies, and yes, I’ll welcome your help should you ever decide that it is worth your time.


  3. Wanted to add a few coincidences for your consideration. I think you are on a right track. With Howard Carter’s quote as the 3rd solution, the materials and the APEX combination, there are just too many things combined to not have been planned by Sanborn.

    Copper was used as both the cutting tools for the limestone (Circular tubes combined with sand and a bow-like device would be used to carve the limestone to blocks). Also, as this was the bronze age, copper was a major component in the chisels to shape the stone.

    When speaking of the APEX of a pyramid, the most common word is ‘capstone’. Capstone just happens to be a failed cryptology program that the NSC tried to implement a few years after the sculpture. Apex could be referring to capstone, perhaps as the key to open the solution via a substitution model? As you pointed out, even Napoleon wondered where the capstone of the Great Pyramid was.

    I’m not a cryptologist my any stretch of the imagination, but I do have an affinity with languages that has helped me translate quickly by recognizing patterns.

  4. Some of us love your framework and methods and have worked to further them. But some (5) are on Kryptos Sabbatical.

    • apexofkryptos Says:


      So do you know whether Kryptosfan has had a change of heart? He gave me a pretty scathing review once upon a time.


    • apexofkryptos Says:

      Just another observation, if I may…

      Sabbatical or not, if someone is quietly trying to further my methods, then they are also members of set (3). This is a bit disturbing to me. I did not “come out”, as it were, with my theory just in order to give others a boost. I was hoping that we could team up and form an organized “divide & conquer approach” to attack the remaining possibilities. Who knows how much redundancy we have going on right now? What if every time someone had an idea that didn’t work, they shared the details with the rest of us? What if we eliminated some of the ideas in advance based on their incompatibility with the facts? Things might go more quickly… especially if there were an organized plan.


  5. I wish your techniques had been a boost! Your ideas are documented, so there should be no hesitation in anyone making a private attempt to further them if that’s what they choose. If your work, in whole or part, shows up in a solution somewhere else, that part of the work must be attributed to your authorship and originality. I don’t think anyone would disagree considering the extent of your dated (not to mention authentic) documentation online.

    I applied portions of your work to ideas I had been toying with for six years. This was done back when you went public with your attempts. I certainly haven’t done anything with my work or your work since the middle of last summer. To reiterate off the cuff, I applied your doorway matrix to my palimpsest theory (which is a significant progression from Gary Warzin’s original thoughts). To say that your work has been furthered by anything I’ve done publicly or privately is grossly misleading. To say I have worked to *try to further* your progress is my only reality. I would love to team up.

    I doubt there is much redundancy due to the complexity of the algorithms with which we are working. Redundancy as primer is fine. Consider the concept of homework.

    Now to a valid point that I hope no one misses — the ideas that don’t work are very important to this process. This is where the Yahoo! Kryptos group gets it right from what I’ve been told. Of the hundreds of pages of notes I have, relatively few are factual or lead to a promising outcome. The rest — dead-ends. I’ve seen others take the same trails I took, and I’m torn between believing that is a hindrance or krypto-boot-camp.

    As to Kryptosfan — I have not spoken with him about your theories since they first came out. Perhaps he would be interested in hearing from you.

    • apexofkryptos Says:


      I want to make sure you understand that I am not on a mission for credit, and I am not concerned with the lack thereof if someone were to advance my work forward to the solution. I am more concerned with efficiency and focus of effort. I am firmly convinced that we will fail at K-4 without both. I would have responded more forcefully along those lines if not for the following observation…

      One of the things I appreciate most in an intellectual discussion is a statement that is neither cliche nor overly verbose, and yet is quite profound. You did that with this small paragraph:

      “I doubt there is much redundancy due to the complexity of the algorithms with which we are working. Redundancy as primer is fine. Consider the concept of homework.”

      You are right, of course, and I had not considered the instructive value of redundancy. Perhaps it is another expression of my impatience. I so dearly want us to lay out a concept of possibilities (filtered by likelihood and logic) and then take them on in organized fashion… and I want that to start NOW. Perhaps I am too much the idealist…

      I have a notion to build a matrix of possibilities beginning with my current status, and then ask people to sign up for tasks and agree to report their results (negative or positive). I would also support such a concept starting from premises that differ from mine. But it’s got to happen eventually. This whole community thing of “I don’t like your solution because I have a different notion” has got to stop.


      “Kryptosfan” made it clear to me from the very beginning that he would not entertain my line of reasoning for several reasons. He even authored a set of posts entitled “how to fail at Kryptos” which, although not specifically referencing my work, was clearly inspired by it. It is funny, when I look back on his remarks, how fundamentally he misread me.


  6. In The Codebreakers – David Kahn (1967 edition)

    Page 539 last paragraph ….

    “One agent, Peter Tompkins, who at 23 was slipped into Rome in January, 1944, to organize a spy ring, employed as keys two passages from Dante that he had memorized but could easliy obtain anywhere in Italy if they slipped his mind. Nulls were sprinkled about freely. Interestingly, O>S>S> did not use a security check, but relied instead on ‘electronic fingerprinting’ – tape-recording an agent’s fist before he went into the field. Double transposition was simple and quite secure, but it was occasionally solved.”

    Page 540 the second paragraph:

    “Individual agents sometimes developed systems of their own for special-purpose use within the networks of spies that they recruited. In Rome, for example, Peter Tompkins employed a Vigenere with a tableau based on the 21-letter Italian alphabet (j, k, w, x, y omitted); one keyphrase was AVANTI TORINO. Another was a one-page code of five-letter groups for communication with a group in the mountains near Visso whose radio signal was very weak; the codegroups were so designed that if either the first or the last letter (which were the same) and any of the intervening three letters were received correctly in proper position, the group was known unequivocally. Thus, in the weather section, the first three groups were sereno (‘clear’) = TABCT, pioggia (‘rain’) = TBCDT, nebbia (‘fog’) = TCDET.”


    • apexofkryptos Says:


      Thanks for the input. When I get some time, I may go back and see whether any of this information could be used in my transposition scheme from step 8. (That would generate some converts to APEX theory.)

      But first, I’ll be spending the next month with a couple of Tompkins books that I have acquired. I may be near the solution.


  7. Reading your “Obelisk” section brought to mind a possible intersection with BD500 and “a desiccated cow horn.”

    Take a harder look at the K-1 section (the actual coded characters that appear on the sculpture). Sanborn used 63 characters total. 23 letters of the alphabet are used. 3 are omitted.

    They are: C, O, W.

    • apexofkryptos Says:


      That most likely is a coincidence. Here’s why: with a Quagmire III (which K1 is) it is incredibly difficult (but not impossible) to select plain text, a relevant keyword, and simultaneously control the histogram of the output ciphertext. This goal becomes virtually impossible when you have the additional constraint of trying to fit a meaningful clue within exactly 63 characters of plaintext (look at the “Passage” step of APEX theory to understand the clue of K1) and another extremely pertinent clue in the selected keyword (look at the “Palimpsest” step of APEX theory to understand that). There can be very little doubt that I have properly interpreted those clues.

      In other words, trying to have precise control over both the plain text and the Vigenere keyword pretty much renders the output a random thing that you cannot control. (Which is the whole point of encryption, by the way.)

      There simply aren’t enough degrees of freedom to believe all three of these things contain clues. I’m leaning towards the first two.

      Cool observation, though.


  8. Good Afternoon

    Awesome blog, great write up, thank you!

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