Kryptos is a name that has been making rounds recently in the world of art and cryptography. The name is associated with a mysterious sculpture located in the courtyard of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia. The sculpture is known as Kryptos. Created by artist Jim Sanborn in 1988, the sculpture has confounded cryptographers and art enthusiasts for over three decades, with only three out of four of its encrypted messages successfully deciphered.
The word «Kryptos» itself is derived from the Greek word «krypto,» which means «hidden.» The name is fitting for the sculpture, which is essentially a giant copper panel with four encrypted messages. The sculpture consists of a series of characters engraved on the panel and arranged in four separate parts, with each part containing a distinct encrypted message.
The first three messages on the Kryptos sculpture were deciphered in the years following its installation. The first message reads «BETWEEN SUBTLE SHADING AND THE ABSENCE OF LIGHT LIES THE NUANCE OF IQLUSION.» The second message is «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 third message revealed in 1999 reads «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.»
The fourth message, however, remains unsolved. It has stumped some of the best cryptographers in the world for over three decades. The message contains 97 encrypted characters and is said to hold the key to unraveling the Kryptos mystery. The creator of the sculpture, Jim Sanborn, has given hints over the years, but it remains an elusive puzzle.
In conclusion, Kryptos is a sculpture located in the CIA headquarters in Virginia. The sculpture’s name means «hidden» in Greek and is fitting since it contains four encrypted messages. Three of the messages have been deciphered, but the fourth remains a mystery. Kryptos continues to intrigue and puzzle those who seek to unravel its meaning, making it one of the most famous artworks of our time.