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  #1  
Old 03-30-2011, 03:09 PM
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FBI needs YOU: The McCormick Case


Anyone see this?

http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2011...nalysis_032911

Seems the FBI needs some help solving a decade old cold murder case. These notes were found in the pocket of the deceased.

After a cursory review it seems to me the code is in an english-based, gibberish language (like pig-latin) not necessarily your standard, letter substitution code.

I haven't gotten around to putting them in a word document yet, but that would be a logical first step. Anyone out there got any good ideas?
  #2  
Old 03-30-2011, 03:47 PM
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In text, from Wikipedia:

Quote:
Note 1 text:
(MND NXNE A RSE-N-SPA UN ARE) (ALFMN)
TFRNE N8TNSE NPBSE RCBBNSE NPRSE INC
PRSE NMRSE 8PRE-WLD ENLDUCBE (TFXLF TCXLN CBE)
AL-PRPPIT XLY PPIY NCBE MGKSE WLD RCBE NSE PRSE
WLD RCB RNSE N T SGNENTRSE - CRSLE - CTTRSE WLD NCBE
AL WLD NCRETEME LRSE RLSE-R GLSNE AS N WLD NCBE
(NDPFSE NLSRE NCDG) NTE GDDMNSEN CUREREBRNE
(TENE TFRNE NCRQ TSE NCBE ING)
(FIRSE PASE ONDE 71 NCBE)
(CDNSE PRSE ONSE 74 NCBE)
(PRTSG TRSE ON REDE 75 NCBE)
(TF NACMSP SOLE MRDE LUSE TOTE WLD. WLD NCBE)
(194 WLD's NCBE) (TRFXL)
Note 2 text:
ALPNTE GLSE-SE ERTE
YLSE MTSE-CSTE-WSE-FRTSE
PURTRSE ONDRSE WLD NCBE
N WLD XLR CMS? NE WLD STS ME XL

DULMT 6 TUNSE NCBEXC

(MuNSA I STENMU NARSE)
KLSE-LRSTE-TR SE-TRSE-MKSE N-MRSE
(FREENSE SE N MRSE)

NMN RCBX NSE PTE 2 PTE WSRC BREXE
36 MLSE 74 SPRKSE 29 KENOS OLE + 73 RTRSE
35 SLE CLGSE OUNNTXF DKRSE PSESHLE
651 MTCSE HTLSE N CU TC TRS NMRE
99.84.8 2 UNE PLSE VCRSE AOLTSE NSKSE N SE

NSRE ONSB PUT SE WLD NCBE (3 XARL)
?NTOSE NRSE I N 2 N TRLERCB ANSE NTSRCR O NE
ASPUSE N G-SPSE MSKE R 8 SE NEBE AU XL R
HM CRENMRE ECBE 1/2 MUNDDLSE

D-W_M-Y MIL XDRLX
the FBI has given us very little to go on. Aggravating. This is not a technical code, it is necessary to get into the guy's head. It's more of a profiling job, than a crypto. What age did it start? What shows/characters did he like? What languages was he exposed to?
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:00 PM
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Thanks for that! I see a couple potential typos, will check it in full this evening.

Agreed, need more info about the creator. His family doesn't even know the code!
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:01 PM
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This almost seems like a kind of personal shorthand to me. Sort of like license plates, you know? Maybe mixed with some spelling errors of normal words. For example:

WLD RCB RNSE N T SGNENTRSE - CRSLE - CTTRSE WLD NCBE

CRSLE jumped out at me. To me, that says "seriously". So this sentence could be something like:

wld - world/wild
rcb - receive?
rnse - ???
n - in
t - it/the
sgnentrse - ??signatures??
crsle - seriously
cttrse - ???
wld = world/wild
ncbe - ???

Last edited by fluiddruid; 03-30-2011 at 04:02 PM.
  #5  
Old 03-30-2011, 04:02 PM
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D-o-n-t
f-o-r-g-e-t
t-o
d-r-i-n-k
y-o-u-r
o-v-a-l-t-i-n-e?
  #6  
Old 03-30-2011, 04:04 PM
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My thought is that the E's at the end of the words generally aren't part of the actual word, just indicative of the end of a word, like the suffix in pig latin.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:05 PM
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(FIRSE PASE ONDE 71 NCBE)
(CDNSE PRSE ONSE 74 NCBE)

If you look at these lines I think what I was talking about was a little more clear.

Firse = first.
Cndse = second.

Apparently "pase onde" likely means the same as "prse onse". (passes on?)
  #8  
Old 03-30-2011, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by MOIDALIZE View Post
D-o-n-t
f-o-r-g-e-t
t-o
d-r-i-n-k
y-o-u-r
o-v-a-l-t-i-n-e?
Ovaltine?

A crummy commercial?


Son of a bitch!
  #9  
Old 03-30-2011, 04:12 PM
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Those three phrases break down further:

FIRSE PRSE "ON DE" 71 NCBE
CDNSE PRSE "ON S DE" 74 NCBE
PQTSE PRSE "ON RE DE" 75 NCBE
  #10  
Old 03-30-2011, 05:45 PM
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99.84.8 2 UNE PLSE
I looked this up and it came to a number of French Sites, one of which listed the smallpox vaccine. Not sure if it has anything to do with it or not.
  #11  
Old 03-30-2011, 05:51 PM
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???


FLRSEPRSEONDE (13 letters) 71 NCBE
CDNSEPRSEONSEE (14 letters) 74 NCBE
PRTSEPRSEONREDE (15 letters) 75 NCBE

adding the 13 plus the 71 .. 84?
88?
90?

Funny how we are all working the same part of this???
  #12  
Old 03-30-2011, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluiddruid View Post
wld - world/wild
rcb - receive?
rnse - ???
n - in
t - it/the
sgnentrse - ??signatures??
crsle - seriously
cttrse - ???
wld = world/wild
ncbe - ???
WLD is more likely "would" not world or wild.
  #13  
Old 03-30-2011, 09:09 PM
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Ahhh, Haha I got it, It's so obvious now.


I gotta go to bed now, but I'll just jot ta reminder down in the margin of this notebook.
  #14  
Old 03-30-2011, 10:03 PM
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when I looked up 99. 84. 8 2 it came up mason county washington code of ordinances title 8 enviromental policy sepa & agency decisions ? I think we are missing alot of information about ricky mccormick , would be nice to know where he worked , where he was born ya know
  #15  
Old 03-30-2011, 10:04 PM
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[QUOTE=TruCelt;13632781]In text, from Wikipedia:



I see several characters different. Interesting how different people see different things.
  #16  
Old 03-30-2011, 10:07 PM
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Remember, you have to think as though you are living in 1999. Think of just the things that existed in that time period.
  #17  
Old 03-30-2011, 11:36 PM
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Have we confirmed that this is indeed his own handwritting?

PRSE
LSE
WLD
NCBE

Are used over and over again.

No letter in English utilizes an accento like above the N on the second line. I am thinking he is vacilating back and forth between his own version of Spanish and English shorthand with all of the PRSE and LSE language. On another note the NCBE could be New City Block and the E is a wasted letter like someone else said. I think the WLDNCB meens would not call back. The second line from the bottom on page one is instructions for him from someone else that he could be murdered and that his contact would not call back. The TRFXL7 seems like a plate. The FBI could not be so stupid as to not follow it so that has to have been tried already.
  #18  
Old 03-31-2011, 01:30 AM
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651 MTCSE HTLSE N CU TC TRS NMRE

651 MTCSE - 651 Mitshbishi
HTLSE N C - Hot license
HTLSE N C - hustling
UTC TRS - UTC trains
NMORE - No more
  #19  
Old 03-31-2011, 04:41 AM
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From what the web page says, the code seems very unlikely to be at all related to the murder. Sp this is really the FBI issuing a game challenge.

OTOH, if I solve it, maybe they'll offer me a job.

I wonder if this was looked at by the NSA or CIA?

Last edited by Boyo Jim; 03-31-2011 at 04:42 AM.
  #20  
Old 03-31-2011, 04:53 AM
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Where's Biotop when you need him?
  #21  
Old 03-31-2011, 05:57 AM
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How odd that he does not have any obvious dates or use of standard notation for money. Perhaps those are a list of addresses?
  #22  
Old 03-31-2011, 10:26 AM
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The wiki file says that he has used cryptic notes like this since he was a kid.

It looks like a crude shorthand that he created, perhaps as a child and it has developed with him. If there were a code to break it I think the FBI would have discovered that.

If we had some very early childhood notes it would probably help to get into his head to figure out what he was saying.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:40 AM
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Someone pulled the text versions off of the Wiki page. Odd. Has anyone looked up this case yet to find the actual police records on it?
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:41 AM
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Might require a helpful dream about now.
  #25  
Old 03-31-2011, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summerjack View Post
Someone pulled the text versions off of the Wiki page. Odd. Has anyone looked up this case yet to find the actual police records on it?
Well, I found this:

http://www.stltoday.com/news/article...7a4a78c22.html
  #26  
Old 03-31-2011, 11:39 AM
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The secret is to reverse the notes.

Quote:
Note 2 text:
ALPNTE GLSE-SE ERTE
YLSE MTSE-CSTE-WSE-FRTSE
PURTRSE ONDRSE WLD NCBE
N WLD XLR CMS? NE WLD STS ME XL

DULMT 6 TUNSE NCBEXC

(MuNSA I STENMU NARSE)
KLSE-LRSTE-TR SE-TRSE-MKSE N-MRSE
(FREENSE SE N MRSE)

NMN RCBX NSE PTE 2 PTE WSRC BREXE
36 MLSE 74 SPRKSE 29 KENOS OLE + 73 RTRSE
35 SLE CLGSE OUNNTXF DKRSE PSESHLE
651 MTCSE HTLSE N CU TC TRS NMRE
99.84.8 2 UNE PLSE VCRSE AOLTSE NSKSE N SE

NSRE ONSB PUT SE WLD NCBE (3 XARL)
?NTOSE NRSE I N 2 N TRLERCB ANSE NTSRCR O NE
ASPUSE N G-SPSE MSKE R 8 SE NEBE AU XL R
HM CRENMRE ECBE 1/2 MUNDDLSE

D-W_M-Y MIL XDRLX
(MND NXNE A RSE-N-SPA UN ARE) (ALFMN)
TFRNE N8TNSE NGBSE RCBBNSE NPRSE INC
PRSE NMRSE 8PRE-WLD ENLDUCBE (TFXLF TCXLN CBE)
AL-PRPPIT XLY PPIY NCBE MGKSE WLD RCBE NSE PRSE
WLD RCB RNSE N T SGNENTRSE - CRSLE - CTTRSE WLD NCBE
AL WLD NCRETEME LRSE RLSE-R GLSNE AS N WLD NCBE
(NDPFSE NLSRE NCDG) NTE GDDMNSEN CUREREBRNE
(TENE TFRNE NCRQ TSE NCBE ING)
(FIRSE PASE ONDE 71 NCBE)
(CDNSE PRSE ONSE 74 NCBE)
(PRTSG TRSE ON REDE 75 NCBE)
(TF NACMSP SOLE MRDE LUSE TOTE WLD. WLD NCBE)
(194 WLD's NCBE) (TRFXL)
There.

I think I solved it.

Last edited by Enderw24; 03-31-2011 at 11:41 AM.
  #27  
Old 03-31-2011, 11:55 AM
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Solving the case


I think you need to take the Es out of the code....All Es are at the end of set of letters.
  #28  
Old 03-31-2011, 11:56 AM
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Hmmm...

Why no "Z"s or "J"s?

Only one "Q".

And yet plenty of "X"s.

Hmmm...
  #29  
Old 03-31-2011, 11:56 AM
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I say we solve it, but hold out on giving the feds the answer. At least until they solve 14 k of g in a f p d for us.
  #30  
Old 03-31-2011, 12:31 PM
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CTTRSE WLD NCBE
"Cutters would be nice".
  #31  
Old 03-31-2011, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bls5782 View Post
The wiki file says that he has used cryptic notes like this since he was a kid.

It looks like a crude shorthand that he created, perhaps as a child and it has developed with him. If there were a code to break it I think the FBI would have discovered that.

If we had some very early childhood notes it would probably help to get into his head to figure out what he was saying.
I saw that, and I found it interesting that the FBI says it doesn't have any more samples of the code. Maybe the guy was kinda paranoid and routinely destroyed his notes, or some family member tossed them all out in a cleanup before anyone realized they might be important.

Or... the killer sanitized his house, which might make more sense if he hadn't also left the notes in the victim's pockets.

Last edited by Boyo Jim; 03-31-2011 at 12:43 PM.
  #32  
Old 03-31-2011, 12:48 PM
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Hello there:

first things, I want to apologize because my English is too broken, but I want to try to help, I'm a Spanish native speaker, but I will try to do my best.

In the first message, the first line the fifth character is not an "A" it's an strange symbol, I'm not sure about, but, it looks like a tombstone (I'm watching the original message, not the WORD document).

(MND NXNE [+] RSE-N-SPA UN ARE) (ALFMN)

Because I'm still watching the same message, the first word looks like "MAD" not "MND"
also, must to be "MVNE" instead of "NXNE", you must to observe how the first "M" in "MAD" it's pretty similar than the second in "NXNE"

We can read something like "MAD MUNE [+] ????? but definitely there is a "P" hidden behind the (ALFMN), (PALFMN) and there is not an "F" but "S", and a "S" instead the last "N"
we can read (PALSMS)= (PSALMS) it's that right?

(MAD MUNE [+] PS (-J-S-PA UN ARE) (PSALMS)....... PS instead PE.

Furthermore, I can see a pattern with the word "ELSE" starting from the sixth line and jumping between words to connect the word.

The word "NSE" is very constant in the first text; I can read something like:

This fucking right nigga (E?)
TFRNE
N8 or Nathan=Nate=night, (E?)
TNS (TNS is an acroynm for Typical Nigger Syndrome) (E?)


I think that:
WLD = WORLD
CBE = Can Be
NCBE = Not Can Be

NPBSE RCBBNSE NPRSE INC
PRSE NMRSE 8PRE-WLD ENLDUCBE (TFXLF TCXLN CBE)
AL-PRPPIT XLY PPIY NCBE MGKSE WLD RCBE NSE PRSE
WLD RCB RNSE N T SGNENTRSE - CRSLE - CTTRSE WLD NCBE
AL WLD NCRETEME LRSE RLSE-R GLSNE AS N WLD NCBE
(NDPFSE NLSRE NCDG) NTE GDDMNSEN CUREREBRNE

TS=totally sweet (E for end?)
TEN= Teenager
(TENE TFRNE NCRQ TSE NCBE ING)

(FIRSE PASE ONDE 71 NCBE)
(CDNSE PRSE ONSE 74 NCBE)
(PRTSG TRSE ON REDE 75 NCBE)

TF= The fuck
TF also can be = The fucking North American Carry Many Single Pistol
MRDE=Murder
LUSE= Lose
TOTE= to carry a weapon?
WLD=World
(TF NACMSP SOLE MRDE LUSE TOTE WLD. WLD NCBE)

(194? World's Not can be maybe something in relationship with the WWII, but in the image this looks more like this symbol < than (
(194 WLD's NCBE) (TRFXL)

Until here my collaboration, I hope could be useful for somebody but I didn't want to be or sound like racist or stupid person, my deeply apologies, I don't want to hurt somebody feelings. Peace
  #33  
Old 03-31-2011, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Boyo Jim View Post
I saw that, and I found it interesting that the FBI says it doesn't have any more samples of the code. Maybe the guy was kinda paranoid and routinely destroyed his notes, or some family member tossed them all out in a cleanup before anyone realized they might be important.

Or... the killer sanitized his house, which might make more sense if he hadn't also left the notes in the victim's pockets.
If my son started to create strange cryptic notes I would definately take a few aside to store them for him later in life.
The parents have got to have some old notes.

And unless he was a loaner kid he probably had a friend that he shared the code with.

Last edited by bls5782; 03-31-2011 at 12:50 PM.
  #34  
Old 03-31-2011, 12:53 PM
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Might require a helpful dream about now.
Did you have the same backwards-talking dream with the dancing midget?
  #35  
Old 03-31-2011, 12:54 PM
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MRSE could be "mercy" or "merci"
TRSE could be "truce"
PRSE could be "purse"
WLD looks like "would" fits in a lot of places

The NCBEs and XL(R)s are interesting.
  #36  
Old 03-31-2011, 01:06 PM
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We need much more information about the victim. If we had some idea of what types of things he might encode, we could try to work it backwards. "Street Smart" isn't very helpful.

It's interesting to try and speculate why the individual would choose to write something in code in the first place. It seems he was writing this code for himself...which is a much different animal than writing a code for someone else. Why write a code for yourself? It's almost as puzzling a question as the code.

Might there be some book that McCormick was fond of...or perhaps some other element of culture that could be used as a key for the code? It would be interesting to see the FBI file indeed!
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:26 PM
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He sounds sadly neglected as a kid. I think "He was street smart" might have been their excusing themselves for not caring better for him.

Update on tips received:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/31...urder-mystery/#

Last edited by TruCelt; 03-31-2011 at 01:26 PM.
  #38  
Old 03-31-2011, 01:26 PM
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What I would want to know about the victim:

1. At what age did he start writing these cryptic notes to himself? In all likelihood he used the same system throughout his life, with some refinements as he got older. The older he was when he started the code, the more complex it might have been at the start.

2. What sorts of things was he interested at the time he started writing in this code? Did he start studying a new language at school...for that matter, did he ever? Then the code might be more linguistically based. Was he interested in spy capers and the like? Then a cryptographic code might be expected.

3. What did he use these notes for? Did he expect others to find them, or did he use them as a kind of shorthand?

My best guess, looking at the notes and reading the meager details about the case, is that the victim was a somewhat paranoid guy who created secret worlds for himself. When I first saw the notes yesterday I thought the code might be linguistically based, because there were letter pairs (especially SE, TE, and RE) that appeared in a way that seemed to indicate tense or other grammar. But now that I've read a little bit more about the victim, I think those letter pairs might be a sort of filler text to throw off somebody who found the note.

Not that this means the note means anything...actually I don't think it does. I have a hunch the note is more like a mental checklist than a "meet the killer here" letter.
  #39  
Old 03-31-2011, 01:29 PM
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A lot of this case doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. How is it possible that this guy has two notes on him when he dies, and his family said he has done this since he was a child (for about 30 years!) and there isn't a single other example? This guy wasn't married, had at least 3 known addresses and 4 kids. It doesn't seem possible that these are the only two notes of their kind.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:38 PM
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Since this story broke, searching Ricky McCormick brings up pages of links to yesterdays reports. When I looked yesterday I found a link to a news report from the time that questioned whether there was a crime at all since he suffered from heart disease.

As someone already pointed out, this looks more like a personal shorthand than a letter based code. xxspudsmomxx may be on to something with the car references.

I'm not surprised that nobody kept notes that looked like gibberish. Why would anybody but the victim bother to save any?
  #41  
Old 03-31-2011, 01:44 PM
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If he wrote them as a kid his parents should have saved some.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:54 PM
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Seems like it was a confession of sorts


What we know:
1. He had heart problems
2. He was receiving medical treatment of some sort
3. He was accused of sexual assault
4. He was considered very intelligent
5. He was "known to use such cryptic" memos according to family

What I found is that there are alot of references to what could be railroad stations, carts or routes. There are references to what could be water ways too. I cant help but to think that the note, in all its cryptic glory was a suicide note of sorts.

I have been able to decipher some of this based upon my speculation above but because I dont want to skew others attempts.

What I wonder is:
How much did he travel/visit? Where did he travel/visit? did he travel internationally? What medical treatment was he receiving? What are the initials or names that he called he kids/loved ones?
  #43  
Old 03-31-2011, 02:11 PM
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Seems like if it was shorthand, even somewhat obscure shorthand...it would have been solved by the FBI. And wouldn't family and friends be aware of this shorthand technique if that's all it is? If he used such an addled shorthand, you'd think there'd be samples abound.

I keep coming back to the question of why he is writing in code to begin with. Under what circumstances do people write two pages of notes to themselves? If no other members of the family/friends have any other of his "work", it seems logical to assume he didn't want others to read his writing. Of course he might have been under the influence of some drugs, and it really all is just jibberish.

Last edited by Biotop; 03-31-2011 at 02:13 PM.
  #44  
Old 03-31-2011, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Biotop View Post
Seems like if it was shorthand, even somewhat obscure shorthand...it would have been solved by the FBI. And wouldn't family and friends be aware of this shorthand technique if that's all it is? If he used such an addled shorthand, you'd think there'd be samples abound.
But on the other hand, if it's a code, where's the key to it? The very fact that the guy was carrying around the notes suggests that the key was in the guy's head. One would have thought that his residence would have been searched after his death, and one assumes no key was found. I can't see how even an intelligent person could remember a code so complex that the FBI couldn't figure it out.

Quote:
Of course he might have been under the influence of some drugs, and it really all is just jibberish.
Or the head injury he suffered before death could have goofed him. But if he had a history of writing this stuff, I would think that explanation is unlikely.
  #45  
Old 03-31-2011, 03:20 PM
mommymac77 is offline
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mommymac77


I only can for sure say that the A at the first line is "St Louis" it's the arch with a t inside. Other than that only hypotheses. Where it says 1st person I believe it is (died 17, died 47, died 57) Was he looking into some sort of medication or a trial program? I also think that the E that is everywhere signifies a previous letter is off by one other in the alphabet (i.e. if there is SE it could mean TE or RE) Where it says NBCE could be N&B or if you follow the E replacement would make it M&B. So many of the B's may be Ampersands.
  #46  
Old 03-31-2011, 03:34 PM
potaco is offline
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26MLSE74SPRKSE29KENOSOLE173RTRSE

26ML(SE) = "26 miles"
(7)4SPRK(SE) = "forest park"
KEN = "kentucky"?

Kentucky has a Route 173, but it's tiny and on the east side of the state...

---

651MTLSEHTLSENCUTCTRS NMRE
WLDRCBRNSE NTSSHENTXSE-CRSLE-CTTRSEWLDNCBE

"CUTCTR(S)" in the first line, "CTTR(S)" in the second... possibly related?
  #47  
Old 03-31-2011, 03:41 PM
potaco is offline
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"(194 WLD'S NCBE)" is also interesting because he was last seen at Forest Park Hospital in St Louis... the same area as the 1904 "World's Fair".
  #48  
Old 03-31-2011, 03:46 PM
Veronica79 is offline
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I believe by the directions that he was going to the Canadian border at the top of Michigan.
  #49  
Old 03-31-2011, 10:14 PM
EdSmith is offline
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I think the idea that this is in anyway encrypted is totally off base. If the notes are for himself it wouldn't make much sense to have a key and have to take your own message back to your room and use the key to decode your own words. Encryption doesn't make much sense without a correspondent. Much more likely is some kind of personal shorthand. The repeated SE and wld and ncbe could be simple obfuscations that he has attempted to randomly pepper through his text. Most people can't come close to an actual random dispersion of text or numbers in a sequence, our brains just aren't made that way.

The grouping of the text might be something to look at. Ignoring the text altogether does the grouping of the parenthetical statements look like anything? I keep coming back to programming language of one kind or another, but I can't think of anything that would generate strings like that.
  #50  
Old 04-01-2011, 04:29 AM
US_SOLDIER is offline
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Here's what I've got so far (I'm not a code breaker by any means mind you lol):

It seems to me from what I've found so far that at least some of the words he's using are from Anglo-Saxon/Old English words.

mxne- to read a book
http://books.google.com/books?id=oXl...q=mxne&f=false

tene- teen or trouble

http://books.google.com/books?id=oXl...q=tene&f=false

ncbe- hatred, trouble, malice, affliction

http://books.google.com/books?id=h0R...q=ncbe&f=false

se- see

http://books.google.com/books?id=h0R...t&q=se&f=false

So it's possible that at least some of his words are sourced from Old English. And "wld ncbe" is used 6 times in the exact same sequence in P1 so if you assume "wld" means world and use Old English it translates to "worlds trouble, affliction, malice or hatred"

Good luck, hope I helped
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