"The Voynich Manuscript: Evidence of the Hoax Hypothesis ..

In the last decades of Voynich research, some scientists suggested that the whole manuscript is an elaborate hoax without any real meaning. For example, in a study published in Cryptologia, the Austrian physicist Andreas Schinner suggested that the order of words within the manuscript is of unnatural regularity.[1] Yet, an obvious argument against the hoax theory is that the manuscript is too complex and required too sophisticated work to just be a fraud.

Schinner-2007-The Voynich Manuscript Evidence of the Hoax Hypothesis-000

In April 2007, a study by Austrian researcher Andreas Schinner published in supported the hoax hypothesis. Schinner showed that the statistical properties of the manuscript's text were more consistent with meaningless gibberish produced using a quasi- method such as the one described by Rugg, than with Latin and medieval German texts. However, this comparison is valid only for plain text in European languages, or text enciphered with a simple , while analysis suggests a much more complex enciphering method and/or non-European origin of the underlying text of the Voynich manuscript (see and below).

“The Voynich Manuscript: Evidence of the Hoax Hypothesis.” ..

manuscript: Evidence of the hoax hypothesis;

Because of the bizarre features of the texts of the Voynich manuscript, as well as the suspicious contents of its illustrations, there are also theories that support the idea that the manuscript is nothing more than a hoax. According to the supporters of this theory, if no one is able to extract the meaning of the book’s contents, then perhaps it is because the document contains no meaningful content at all.

Will the Voynich Manuscript ever be decoded ? | …

Following its 1912 rediscovery, one of the earliest efforts to unlock the book's secrets (and the first of many premature claims of decipherment) was made in 1921 by William Newbold of the . His singular hypothesis held that the visible text is meaningless itself, but that each apparent "letter" is in fact constructed of a series of tiny markings only discernible under . These markings were supposed to be based on , forming a second level of script that held the real content of the writing. Newbold claimed to have used this knowledge to work out entire paragraphs proving the authorship of Bacon and recording his use of a four hundred years before . However, John Manly of the pointed out serious flaws in this theory. Each shorthand character was assumed to have multiple interpretations, with no reliable way to determine which was intended for any given case. Newbold's method also required rearranging letters at will until intelligible was produced. These factors alone ensure the system enough flexibility that nearly anything at all could be discerned from the markings. Although evidence of using the can be traced as far back as the ninth century, it is nowhere near as compact or complex as the shapes Newbold made out. Close study of the manuscript revealed the markings to be artifacts caused by the way ink cracks as it dries on rough vellum. Perceiving significance in these artifacts can be attributed to . Thanks to Manly's thorough refutation, the micrography theory is now generally disregarded.

Voynich Manuscript | Manuscript | Palaeography

2. Another possibility is that these characters might not be properly part of Voynichese and only used for foreign words. In several herbals (e.g. Pseudo-Apuleius) names in different languages are presented at the beginning of each plant description. Another possibility is that the two characters are related with numbers and each paragraph opens with some quantitative data (like the medieval herbals that provide the “degrees” of the different Galenic qualities at the beginning of each plant description). Since this hypothesis requires a uniform semantic structure for the paragraphs in the whole manuscripts (that appears as heterogeneous under several aspects) it is not likely to be correct.

Regarding Evidence That The Voynich Manuscript …

According to the "codebook cipher" theory, the Voynich manuscript "words" would actually be to be looked up in a "dictionary" or . The main evidence for this theory is that the internal structure and length distribution of those words are similar to those of —which, at the time, would be a natural choice for the codes. However, book-based ciphers are viable only for short messages, because they are very cumbersome to write and to read.