3Ricky McCormick’s Encrypted Messages
Ricky McCormick was murdered in Missouri in June of 1999. His body was discovered in an open field, fifteen miles away from his home. His body was completely decomposed on discovery, and he had last been seen alive five days earlier.
The man had a criminal record, and had moved around the midwest a couple of times. The case was only revived twelve years later, when the FBI announced that the victim had two encrypted notes in his pocket. In a 2012 interview with his family, who hadn’t known of the notes until that year, they suggested that he wouldn’t have been able to write codes, and that he couldn’t spell, he only scribbled.
The police believe that the decryption of the notes could lead to the responsible parties, but despite the attempts by the FBI’s Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit and the American Cryptogram Association, no conclusion was reached.
4The Death of Elisa Lam
The body of Canadian student Elisa Lam was discovered in a water tank above The Cecil Hotel in L.A. in 2013. The body was discovered after guests complained of issues with the hotel’s water.
The last known footage of Lam, captured by an elevator camera, was released by police. In the video, she appears to be hiding in the elevator and gesturing to an unknown subject. The elevator appears to be malfunctioning. Some claim that the video has been edited, and others point toward paranormal activity or Lam’s struggle with bipolar disorder.
Similarities were noted by internet commenters between Lam’s death and the plot of the 2005 film, Dark Water, in which a young girl named Ceci drowns in an apartment rooftop water tank.
The death was ruled an accidental drowning, though the elevator footage remains a mystery. Some believed Lam was running from someone; others, that she became possessed; and others, that she was playing the “elevator game” — a supposed way to travel between dimensions.
Though the case has been closed, many are unsatisfied with its conclusion. Many are uncertain as to how Lam could have entered the water tank alone, and others still believe she was murdered.
5The Kryptos Sculpture
In 1990, a sculpture by the American artist Jim Sanborn was installed at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. The sculpture contains four encrypted messages — only three of which have been solved. The fourth message is one of the most infamous unsolved codes in the world.
The artist has since given clues as to the message’s decryption, but there has not yet been a successful solution. The name Kryptos comes from the Greek for “hidden,” and the theme of the piece is “Intelligence Gathering.”
The first solution was proposed nine years after the sculpture’s installation, and was deciphered using a computer program.
Message I: BETWEEN SUBTLE SHADING AND THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT LIES THE NUANCE OF IQLUSION
Message II: IT WAS TOTALLY INVISIBLE HOWS THAT POSSIBLE ? THEY USED THE EARTHS MAGNETIC FIELD X THE INFORMATION WAS GATHERED AND TRANSMITTED UNDERGRUUND TO AN UNKNOWN LOCATION X DOES LANGLEY KNOW ABOUT THIS ? THEY SHOULD ITS BURIED OUT THERE SOMEWHERE X WHO KNOWS THE EXACT LOCATION ? ONLY WW THIS WAS HIS LAST MESSAGE X THIRTY EIGHT DEGREES FIFTY SEVEN MINUTES SIX POINT FIVE SECONDS NORTH SEVENTY SEVEN DEGREES EIGHT MINUTES FORTY FOUR SECONDS WEST X LAYER TWO
The coordinates revealed in this message point to a location 150 feet from the sculpture.
Message III: SLOWLY DESPARATLY SLOWLY THE REMAINS OF PASSAGE DEBRIS THAT ENCUMBERED THE LOWER PART OF THE DOORWAY WAS REMOVED WITH TREMBLING HANDS I MADE A TINY BREACH IN THE UPPER LEFT HAND CORNER AND THEN WIDENING THE HOLE A LITTLE I INSERTED THE CANDLE AND PEERED IN THE HOT AIR ESCAPING FROM THE CHAMBER CAUSED THE FLAME TO FLICKER BUT PRESENTLY DETAILS OF THE ROOM WITHIN EMERGED FROM THE MIST X CAN YOU SEE ANYTHING Q ?
This message is a paraphrased quote from Howard Carter’s book, The Tomb of Tutankhamun.
Message four remains unsolved, but clues point to a clock in Berlin as the key to the puzzle.