This is what the Voynich Manuscript is – a mysterious book, now believed to be a forgery created by John Dee to swindle a king out of $50,000: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voynich_manuscript
An older scientific american article By Gordon Rugg showing a method by which the VM might have been created by Edward Kelly (made famous by John Dee) using a fairly simple coding technique that creates gibberish that looks like language.
Mystery of the Voynich Manuscript
“The Cardan grille method therefore appears to be a mechanism by which the Voynich manuscript could have been created. My reconstructions suggest that one person could have produced the manuscript, including the illustrations, in just three or four months. But a crucial question remains: Does the manuscript contain only meaningless gibberish or a coded message? ”
Here’s a report about a recent statistical analysis that seems to comfirm that the book is gibberish intended to look like a language:
Another chapter in the story of the worldâ€™s most mysterious book.
“A breakthrough comes with the publication in Cryptologia this April of an article by Austrian researcher Dr Andreas Schinner (who) analysed the text of the manuscript using specialist statistics capable of handling quasi-stochastic distributions, and found that the manuscriptâ€™s statistical properties were consistent with a hoax consisting of meaningless gibberish produced using Ruggâ€™s method or a similar quasi-random method.
This does not prove that the manuscript is a hoax, but it strongly suggests that the hoax theory is correct. If there is meaningful coded material in the manuscript, then either:
1 there is only a small amount, surrounded by large amounts of meaningless padding â€“ otherwise the statistics would have come out differently, or
2 if there is a large amount of meaningful coded material, then it must have been encoded using a method which just happens to produce the same statistical properties as a quasi-random gibberish generator. ”
Why is this worthy of note? It’s worth being reminded that fascinating (and the Voynich has been consdiered fascinating for many years) does not mean true, and may often mean one is dealing with mistakes, misunderstandings, or deliberate deception.
MORE: Here’s a Flickr of the complete Voynich Manuscript.