The extraordinary details which I am now called upon to make public, will
be found to form, as regards sequence of time and story, a series of scarcely
intelligible coincidences, which,
viewed individually, are quickly passed over, ignored and unnoticed by the
reader. But taken as a whole, they
slowly, word by word, thought by thought, establish a pattern, a pattern that
clearly reveals the existence of a relationship between The Beale Papers and my body of
work. Establishing, to a reasonable
certainty, that the anonymous author of The Beale Papers was either Edgar Allan
Poe or someone mimicking my work, may
advance considerably the march toward a solution to the enigma. Of course, only by solving the ciphers
can my identity as the author be established beyond any doubt.
The investigation of the mystery of The Beale Papers over the past century
has almost always focused, at least so far as can be seen in the public record,
on developing a solution to the ciphers.
This may, in fact, be a necessary step in cracking the codes. However, an investigator who limits his
inquiry to the immediate, obvious
path, with total disregard of the collateral or circumstantial events, may miss
important evidence that can lead to a solution to the problem. As I previously
stated, I will not provide a solution to the ciphers. However, I strongly suggest that a study
of the text, in addition to the numbers, set forth in The Beale Papers, may provide important
evidence that has been overlooked by previous analysts.
Those of you unfamiliar with my ratiocination stories, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery
of Marie Roget and The Purloined
Letter, may wish to read them now.
In these stories, I introduce Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin, detective,
analyst and observer extraordinairre.
Would be cryptographers who take up the challenge of The Beale Papers could do worse than to
adopt Dupin’s methods. Indeed, all
those who call themselves detectives, analysts or cryptographers would do well
to review Dupin’s comments on analysis by police, poets and mathematicians.
In The Purloined Letter, after the police
have failed to secure a stolen letter from the apartment of the cunning and
brilliant Minister D, Dupin observes:
“This functionary (the Prefect) has been thoroughly mystified; and the
remote source of his defeat lies in the supposition that the Minister is a fool,
because he has acquired renown as a poet. All fools are poets, this Prefect feels and he is merely guilty of a non distributio medii in thence
inferring that all poets are fools…
As poet and mathematician [Minister D] would
reason well, as mere mathematician he could not have reasoned at all, and thus
would have been at the mercy of the Prefect.”
My point, through Dupin, is
thus; the successful analyst must develop the skills of the poet and the
mathematician! This is an old
story, rewritten many times since my era and it remains true today. To those
mathematicians who would take an interest in The Beale Papers, I urge you to develop
your poet qualities. True, the
mathematical reason has long been regarded as the reason par excellence, but the ciphers have yet
to be broken and a new approach to the problem may be in order. Perhaps, some variation of the
mathematical principles is needed.
As to the poets who will explore the observations set forth in this
monograph, it may be necessary from time to time to come down from the clouds
and consider the benefits of a mathematical approach. More than likely, the analytical skills
of the mathematician and the reasoning powers of the poet will be needed to
develop a solution to this enigma.