Thomas Beale Treasure...Finding the key, of course, is the answer To The Multi-Million Thomas Beale Treasure.
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"With a key," says Carl Hammer, who professes to be more interested in unbroken ciphers than Beale's treasure, "a second grader could decode the Beale ciphers."

According to historians, Beale could have been familiar with some 2,000 books and government documents which he might have selected as the key.

Treasure map shows Virginia area disclosed years ago in second cipher.

Many have been analyzed, including Shakespeare's plays, the Bible, several versions of the Magna Carta, as well as U.S. historical documents such as the 1606 charter of Virginia, the Mayflower Compact of 1620 and even the 1733 Molasses Act.

A researcher currently is looking through early-19th-century stock inventories of book stores operating in Lynchburg at the time.

Two schools of thought exist as to whether Thomas Beale will meet his match by computer or by hand. "We have played games with these numbers which would have taken a million men a billion years to duplicate with pen and paper," declares Carl Hammer, who is betting on the computer and a team of University of Maryland experts currently working to solve multiple substitution ciphers.

Operate Your Own Virtual Travel Agency From Home!While a computer has failed to locate the treasure, Dr. Hammer and the Univac 1108 have proved the codes genuine, not just a bunch of random numbers Beale pulled out of a hat after a night on the town.

"They contain intelligent messages of some sort. The method used for encoding Ciphers One and Three is similar to that used for Number Two," says Hammer, who has spent thousands of hours over the last 20 years feeding combinations of letters and numbers into generations of Univac computers.

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