Thomas Beale Treasure...Many people see interesting and revealing messages just in a sequence of syllables
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In a series of short, spaced apart words and in the occasional medium length word that might pop out of their deciphering effort," he says.

Treasure may lie four miles from this shop on sites of old Buford's Tavern.

Historical context is ignored. For example, Beale's method of enciphering may have been diabolical, but the instructions for deciphering would have to be simple for an innkeeper like Morriss to follow.

"I don't think we have skimmed the surface yet," Holst says. "Instead of just taking a first letter, he could have taken every second vowel, or even every second letter after a vowel, which is mathematically very difficult  without a key, but from an instructional point of view simple."

Click to win!"Let's face it, we are a bunch of crackpots," jokes Carl Hammer, "but we have a lot of fun."

Farmers and landowners in Bedford and Botetourt Counties, Virginia, are not so amused by the "crackpots" who tramp their property with magnetometers, Geiger counters and metal detectors.

Cattle fall in the holes left by bulldozers. Dynamite explosions frighten people. And worst of all, under Virginia law the treasure belongs to the finder-even if he or she trespassed to find it-unless the direct descendants of the original owners are identified within a year.

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