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between subtle shading and the absence of light lies the nuance of iqlusion

2005 DC Trip Notes

Itinerary and list of attendees

Xenon's notes

Notes from Chris Speidel / D1stancerunner



Doug Gwyn

The Morse on the slab: DIGETAL: The E is spaced funny, but if a dot were added to complete the intended I it would be spaced fine. E E E etc.: Actually ellipses (...) indicating that the message continues in that direction; the single dots at line edges are more likely similar markers rather than Es. INTREPRETATU: actually is INTERPRETATION sliced by the slabe edge after the first dash of the O.

The ? between K3 and K4: Indicates end of K3, which is necessary to know for reasonable decryption by intended recipient of the message, since it's an irregular transposition and the exact set of characters has to be known.

The extra L on the tableau seems even more likely to be simply a production error, since Sanborn's models we saw at Cafe Asia didn't include them yet he said that they were supposed to have everything needed to solve. Similarly for kerning, stencil widths, etc. Note however that the YA.R were offset in the model, indicating that Sanborn considers that to be relevant information.

Coordinates: since longitude is given with integer (no "point zero") seconds and latitude is given to a half-second, the precision might by more like a half-second than a tenth of a second. A half-second of latitude is about 15 meters (50 feet) at that location. Anything within that radius of the exact indicated location might be the actual target. (I like the pump manhole idea myself, and it seems consistent with what Sanborn said about this.) If the reference datum was NAD27 (unlikely), the target is right by the cafeteria window. As I recall there is a slab pile by the window but I think it was farther north; I don't recall what is at the NAD27 location. (Maybe something is inscribed in some part of the window wall? Or if NAD83, which seems more likely, on the bottom of a stone bench or table?)

People we probably won't get notes from:

  • Jim Sanborn
  • Jae
  • Ed Scheidt
  • Mike Scheidt
  • Timball
  • Frank Corr
  • Carole Feld
  • Whitfield Diffie
  • Charles Varga

    Raw notes from Elonka Dunin and John Wilson:

    X & Q in K3 are/could be quote marks

    Miniature was missing the extra L, and Sanborn asked about an M when looking at it

    2 people have the key to K4 - Jae (S.O.) and Muffin (friend) in Tucson, AZ

    Muffin has one of the COF's

    Sanborn says there are about 14 COF's

    Duck pond slabs were supposed to have Morse also, but he ran out of time

    The Morse code slabs continue under the rock, so the "T is your position" is actually "What is your position"

    Scheidt gave a talk to the Kryptos society @ NSA, and went over the math behind the codes of Kryptos

    Arabic COF was originally translated at an Arabic Language Facility in Falls Church, VA, but Sanborn later found out that they gave him some Islamic propaganda in the mix, so he had the translations checked by people he personally knew.

    PT on the Arabic was from CIA tradecraft

    Ed Scheidt already knew Whitfield Diffie

    Ed Scheidt is the ISO person doing the standardization of various crypto techniques for XML formats

    Sanborn expressed surprise that we didn't include the rotation of the pool in the 3D modeling

    Sanborn was harassed by CIA personnel during the CIA installation, saying his work was a "waste of money"

    Christie'isms: errors in various pulped art pieces

    Errors in CP were Sanborn'isms

    Christie was suspended above the pulped pieces in a sling in order to be able to reach the inner letters

    Gilbert Kinney (original purchaser of Untitled Kryptos Piece) currently lives in NY

    Sanborn has bunches of docs from the Library of Congress

    Current location of the large COF-english is in his studio. We did not see it in the Georgetown studio, but did see another COF-Eng small one

    Sanborn confirmed that the initials on the rock are not letters, just a trick of the light

    The only added word on CP is MEDUSA

    The extra bolt on CP is because thinks he might have stripped out one of the others

    Used modified (custom made) fonts for greater letter strength (but originally Times New Roman)

    Scheidt said that every letter in K4 will be used, "like the other sections"

    To Sanborn's knowledge, no one has done a reverse check to make sure the code for K4 works

    Sanborn said the solution to K4 is in 2 safety deposit boxes, and that Jae and Muffin have tests they can use to determine whether or not they should dig deeper to see if a solution is correct.

    Mike (Ed's son) said that Scheidt likes extremes - in context - referring to possible coding methods/languages. Like that maybe Ed would have used "the language that was in use for the shortest period of time".

    Mike is not into cryptography

    Jim's intent was to make the slabs parallel

    Compass rose was supposed to point north, but maybe there were magnetic variations

    Needle was "intended to point at the lodestone". Sanborn refused to answer if the needle was pointing to something else

    Refused to answer if there were other pieces somewhere on the CIA grounds

    Said he "assumed that there was digging" when the long/lat were identified

    He likes the water tower

    Jae has a partial letter/location list of K4 that she can use to weed out crank solutions. Sanborn called it the "K4" test

    Still refusing to answer whether the ? is part of K3 or K4

    While looking at Elonka's slide, said that K3 has bad grammar

    When we said that we believed that the Zola fragment said "were removed" instead of "was removed", Sanborn said that it was a Christie'ism

    Christie was given the CT to turn into fragments and told to triple check her work

    Sanborn later learned that she tried to fix mistakes in the art by trying to alter the original documents, which led to the dissolution of the relationship

    Sanborn said that he reused lots of stuff in his codes, including encryption types, keywords, texts, etc.

    Scheidt said he was not involved in any of the COF works

    When asked about the dot in the COF eng - Sanborn gave no answer

    The half-high Kryptos was actually the original Kryptos plates placed in a cylindrical fashion, with a gap to allow light to shine on the petrified wood, to see how having a light on the inside of a cylinder would look

    When showed the 2 dots on Antipodes, Sanborn said that it must be a "typo", but looked like he just wasn't remembering, and had the same blank look about the not misspelled "underground"

    At CNN, we were given a transcript of the Sanborn B-roll interview, and allowed to watch the actual tapes. There were a few minor differences between the transcript and our memories, most of which have been fixed. One remaining confusion though is that in the tapes, when asked whether the code could be solved by looking at Antipodes instead of Kryptos, Sanborn said that there was "one clue" on the Kryptos version which wasn't on Antipodes. The transcript did not catch this portion, so Elonka has contacted CNN to request verification of that section.

    Notes from Elonka about the dinner and museum visit

    At the Spy museum, Scheidt spoke often about the M.I.C.E. acronym for potential motivations for a spy: Money, Ideology, Compromise, or Ego.

    He said he had been an undercover op for many years.

    He said he does not know how to read Russian.

    When I mentioned that some people speculated that the answer to Kryptos might require some sort of dead drop, he said no, "That would be too hard." In the dead drop section of the museum, he said that one problem with them, is that the potential recipient has to be able to "service" them every day.

    While we were watching the intro film with a clip from the head of the Russian spy agency, Ed said that he had met him several times.

    He was wearing a hat (fedora) which he bought at an estate sale. It belonged to the head of a foreign spy bureau, and had initials stamped inside. Ed mentioned that when looking for a contact in a crowd of people, a hat could be a good identifier.

    Ed didn't know the name of who smuggled the KGB documents out of Russia.

    Scheidt said he has not done a reverse check of K4 himself, but he's confident that it was done correctly.

    Notes from John Wilson about the dinner and museum visit


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