I am fairly
familiar with all forms of secret writings, and am
myself the author of a trifling monograph upon the subject, in which I analyze one hundred
and sixty separate ciphers, but I confess that this is entirely new to me.
The Adventure of the Dancing Men
I write to convey details,
heretofore unpublished, of a narrative secretly written during my lifetime but not given
to the public until many years after my death. This
narrative has become legendary in three diverse fields, cryptography, buried treasure and
historical literature. Included in the story
are the oldest unsolved ciphers and one of the most sought after buried treasures in the
history of the United States.
The author of
this famous manuscript is not currently known, as the story was published anonymously in
1885. For over one hundred and sixteen years,
despite the best efforts of literary historians, treasure hunters and cryptographers, the
authors identity, along with the solution to the ciphers and the location of a
buried treasure, have remained a mystery.
In the appended
monograph I provide clues to the identity of the author of this most famous narrative. These details are submitted in the hope that I,
the creator of this mystery story that has captured the attention of the worlds
great investigators for over a century, will finally receive the credit for which I am
entitled. For I, Edgar Allan Poe, wrote this
classic treasure hoax before I died in 1849. I
arranged, to the last detail, the circumstances upon which the story would be published
and I have relished for all these years the strength of the unbroken ciphers I created so
The time has
come to reveal my authorship of these papers, for I grow weary of the futile efforts of
modern man. Unlike the Egyptians, who were
content to wait 5,000 years until Champollian deciphered their hieroglyphics, I am
impatient for the recognition I never received during my time on Earth. For I have left a gift to you, Future Man, a
treasure more valuable than gold, silver or jewels.
I have deposited, not in the ground beneath the Appalachian Mountains, but
in the literature of my soul, a treasure, a story. A
gift buried in one of my writings by using a cipher as the spade and beautiful words as my
I submit these
clues freely; you may publish this monograph without risking any claim of copyright by me. But woe to the publisher who fails to give me
credit. I will haunt you mercilessly.
I present to you evidence that I, Edgar Allan Poe,
am the author of The Beale Papers. This evidence is offered in the hope that some
good man, building upon these clues, might unlock the ciphers and discover the literary
treasure that I have left to posterity. It
is needless to say that I shall wait with much anxiety the development of the mystery.
Edgar Allan Poe