Thomas Beale Treasure...Twenty five years ago a prestigious group of intellects joined forces to outwit Thomas Jefferson Beale.
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The Beale. Cypher Association (BCA) includes big name computer experts like Dr. Carl I Hammer, director of computer sciences at Sperry Univac; Per A. Holst, senior research manager at the Foxboro Company, an industrial process control company in Massachusetts.

Frances Beale, a distant relative, is avid member of Beale Cypher Asso.

And top cryptanalysts from the CIA and the National Security Agency, such as Carl Nelson jr., now retired, who was the technological wizard behind the super-secret Berlin tunnel dug: to intercept Communist communications.

The 100 members share information, but with more than 20 million dollars I (at today's prices) at stake, some are reluctant to exchange vital data.

After a recent newspaper article, some 10,000 letters flooded the office of BCA Executive Director Per Holst, most of them requesting; information rather than volunteering it. ; Suspicion, Holst fears, undermines the massive effort to solve Thomas Beale's puzzler.

Topica Email Publisher: Try It FREE for 30 Days!Still, he argues, it is only a matter: of time before the ciphers will be broken! and the treasure, if it exists, found.

Breaking the Beale ciphers, however, is proving easier said than done. Underlying cryptanalysis are two linguistic peculiarities.

First, in all languages, some letters are used more often than others. In English, for example, the most frequently used letter is E followed by T,

Second, the proportion in which the letters occur remains constant.

Take 1,000 letters from a cookbook, a military manual or a love letter and the frequency of certain letters is the same. With an enciphered message, the cryptanalyst utilizes known frequency combinations to tease out the original message. If, for example, there is a high proportion of the letter H, he makes the assumption that it is an E substitute.

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