Tiny Spanish publisher clones world’s most mysterious book



It’s one of the world’s most mysterious books, a centuries-old manuscript written in an unknown or coded language that no one — not even the best cryptographers — has cracked.

Scholars have spent their lives puzzling over the Voynich Manuscript, whose intriguing mix of elegant writing and drawings of strange plants and naked women has some believing it holds magical powers.

The weathered book is locked away in a vault at Yale University’s Beinecke Library, emerging only occasionally.

But after a ten-year quest for access, Siloe, a small publishing house nestled deep in northern Spain, has secured the right to clone the document — to the delight of its director.

“Touching the Voynich is an experience,” says Juan Jose Garcia, sitting on the top floor of a book museum in the quaint centre of Burgos where Siloe’s office is, a few paved streets away from the city’s famed Gothic cathedral.

“It’s a book that has such an aura of mystery that when you see it for the first time… it fills you with an emotion that is very hard to describe.”

Siloe, which specialises in making facsimiles of old manuscripts, has bought the rights to make 898 exact replicas of the Voynich — so faithful that every stain, hole, sewn-up tear in the parchment will be reproduced.

The company always publishes 898 replicas of each work it clones — a number which is a palindrome, or a figure that reads the same backwards or forwards — after the success of their first facsimile that they made 696 copies of… another palindrome.

The publishing house plans to sell the facsimiles for 7,000 to 8,000 euros ($7,800 to $8,900) apiece once completed — and close to 300 people have already put in pre-orders.

Raymond Clemens, curator at the Beinecke Library, said Yale decided to have facsimiles done because of the many people who want to consult the fragile manuscript.

“We thought that the facsimile would provide the look and feel of the original for those who were interested,” he said.

“It also enables libraries and museums to have a copy for instructional purposes and we will use the facsimile ourselves to show the manuscript outside of the library to students or others who might be interested.”

The manuscript is named after antiquarian Wilfrid Voynich who bought it around 1912 from a collection of books belonging to the Jesuits in Italy, and eventually propelled it into the public eye.

Theories abound about who wrote it and what it means.

For a long time, it was believed to be the work of 13th century English Franciscan friar Roger Bacon whose interest in alchemy and magic landed him in jail.

But that theory was discarded when the manuscript was carbon dated and found to have originated between 1404 and 1438.

Others point to a young Leonardo da Vinci, someone who wrote in code to escape the Inquisition, an elaborate joke or even an alien who left the book behind when leaving Earth.

Its content is even more mysterious.

The plants drawn have never been identified, the astronomical charts don’t reveal much and neither do the women.

Does the book hold the key to eternal youth? Or is it a mere collection of herbal medicine and recipes?

Scores have tried to decode the Voynich, including top cryptologists such as William Friedman who helped break Japan’s “Purple” cipher during World War II.

But the only person to have made any headway is… Indiana Jones, who in a novel featuring the fictitious archeologist manages to crack it.

Fiction aside, the Beinecke Library gets thousands of emails every month from people claiming to have decoded it, says Rene Zandbergen, a space engineer who runs a recognised blog on the manuscript, which he has consulted several times.

“More than 90 percent of all the access to their digital library is only for the Voynich Manuscript,” he adds.

Only slightly bigger than a paperback, the book contains over 200 pages including several large fold-outs.

It will take Siloe around 18 months to make the first facsimiles, in a painstaking process that started in April when a photographer took detailed snaps of the original in Yale.

Workers at Siloe are currently making mock-ups before they finally set about printing out the pages in a way that makes the script and drawings look like the real deal.

The paper they use — made from a paste developed by the company — has been given a special treatment so it feels like the stiff parchment used to write the Voynich.

Once printed, the pages are put together and made to look older.

All the imperfections are re-created using special tools in a process kept firmly secret by Garcia, who in his spare time has also tried his hand at cryptology.

“We call it the Voynich Challenge,” he says.

“My business partner… says the author of the Voynich could also have been a sadist, as he has us all wrapped up in this mystery.”


bizarre story..can anyone give us a bit more information on this?

“a centuries-old manuscript written in an unknown or coded language that no one — not even the best cryptographers — has cracked.”

whats it all about?

“The plants drawn have never been identified, the astronomical charts don’t reveal much and neither do the women. Does the book hold the key to eternal youth? Or is it a mere collection of herbal medicine and recipes?”


~ by seeker401 on August 24, 2016.

15 Responses to “Tiny Spanish publisher clones world’s most mysterious book”

  1. I’ve read that it’s about botanicals, of course that doesn’t mean it’s true either.

    I think it’s probably a book similar to the farmer’s almanac, a bit of occult, astrology and herbal ‘cures’, but again, what do I know. 🙂 I remember running into an old book once online that contained many ‘cures’ for different ailments using astrology, herbs and what could possibly be called a kind of ‘alchemy’. Wish I knew what that book’s name was, but alas….my memory
    isn’t giving it up.

    • the fact its in code is the strange thing..why hide the information?

      • Maybe the ‘ONES’ who possessed the information saw a profit in it, either monetary or otherwise re: monopolizing the field of ‘medicine’, or perhaps they could claim they could perform ‘miracles’ under the right stars?

        I really have no clue, just throwing things against the wall, but I do think it’s an ancient occult science book of medicine and alchemy if I had to give an honest opinion.

        Magic in alchemy is the concentration of life’s energies through the Will, manipulating and working in harmony the vibrations of creation of our planet with the cosmic forces that be, into a desired object. The operation is ritual, whether it be on a large scale with full ceremony or just acted out in the mind.

        Thus, the pictures of naked women, could be about menstruation or pregnancy and the herbs best taken during those times.

        Just a crazy guess 🙂 and I’m pretty sure GREED and not SHARING has been around since the very beginning of time.

  2. is some way related to Roger-bacon Dr.Mirabilis

  3. i got no idea except i dont believe it is a (another) spoof

    • Could this book for see the END TIMES in our near future? Could code breakers unlock the mystery once and for all? Manuscript 408 remains the only undeciphered Renaissance manuscript and it continues to draw many into its mystery. Some think it’s an early herbal or medical text. Others see it as a work of alchemy (early chemistry) or hermeneutical teaching. Still others have declared it a hoax, but if it is a hoax of some kind, it goes beyond anything produced in the 15th Century. It goes beyond the codes and cyphers used then, and continues to evade codebreakers today. What is this curious work and who penned its bizarre contents?

      The Voynich Manuscript is the Renaissance’s greatest and most bizarre riddle. Who wrote it? Why was it written? What does it mean? What’s with the naked pregnant women dancing in green liquid?

      The text itself has puzzled for decades and even modern computer tools have proved ineffective. The writing itself seems to progress left to right with no punctuation. There are no obvious corrections, the document being very carefully executed. There are some 170,000 separate glyphs utilized throughout and many are used only once or twice. Statistical analysis of the work reveals that it resembles the flow of natural language. But what language? It seems to share some correspondences to English and Latin, but not entirely. The repetition of the glyphs is not a characteristic of European language.

  4. a while back we use to read about the V- manuscript here are some
    still the most validate is the one post bfore that is related to Roger-Bacon Dr.Mirabilis

  5. it’s done.


    • After conducting a statistical analysis of the text, Russian experts believe it’s encrypted in the following way: vowels and spaces are removed from the text. The collection of symbols is united in a new text, bestrewed with spaces beforehand. They estimate that about 60 percent of the text is written in English or German, and the other part in one of the Romance languages – possibly Italian or Spanish, or even Latin.

      “Still, I don’t know why understanding the text can be important today because, judging by the drawings, it explains in what part of the year you need to sow poppy seed in order to later obtain opium,” said the research’s co-author, Yuri Orlov, adding that it’s impossible to restore the entire text without vowels because there are various interpretations of the most important words.

      In the past, specialists from the CIA and NSA tried, and failed, to decipher the manuscript. Cryptologist Gordon Rugg once speculated that the manuscript might be a fake because it makes no sense.

    • the clue to this book’s mystery :-
      * it was bought by Voynich outside a Jesuit College..
      * it is now located in Yale university..

  6. Voynich manuscript: the solution


  7. Mysterious 15th century manuscript decoded by computer scientists using artificial intelligence


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