Can you crack a puzzle that has stumped cryptography experts for 30 years?
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarter in Virginia houses a sculpture that hides the answer to a secret code that baffles experts up to this day.
During the 80s, American sculptor Jim Sanborn created the sculpture known as Kryptos.
Knowing that his sculpture will be unveiled in front of intelligence officers, Sanborn decided to make it a puzzle sculpture.
The sculpture was eventually unveiled in November 1990.
The artist thought that the puzzle will be cracked in a few weeks, as per a CNN report.
However, he was wrong, and up to now, it remains unsolved.
“I didn’t think it would go on this long,” said Sanborn, as per CNN.
Sanborn is not a cryptologist, so during its conception, he sought the help of a cryptography expert, Edward Scheidt.
Scheidt was also the CIA Cryptographic Center’s former chairman.
The solution to the encrypted message was only known to two persons, Sanborn and William Webster, CIA’s former director.
Hints Over the Years
Sanborn has already released three hints in solving the puzzle, as per a Smithsonian report.
In 2010 the hint was “clock” and in 2014, “Berlin”
The final hint was revealed early this year through a report by The New York Times, the word was, “Northeast”.
So far, three messages were already deciphered by different people since Kryptos’ unveiling.
However, its fourth message has been quite elusive for its solvers.
The first message goes like this, “between subtle shading and the absence of light lies the nuance of iqlusion.”
Accordingly, “iqlusion” is Sanborn’s way of confusing people, it is misspelled for the word illusion, as per CNN.
The second one message referenced Webster and includes coordinates for CIA.
The third one borrows a line from Howard Carter, the archaeologist who discovered King Tut’s tomb.
Code Breakers Unite
Elonka Dunin, an American game developer and cryptologist, has been trying to crack the puzzle for decades now.
She is also one of the founders of an online community group committed to solving Kryptos.