Ambrose Bierce was an American short story writer and journalist at the turn of the century. According to Times Magazine, he’s most famous for his short story, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”. His book “The Devil’s Dictionary” was dubbed one of the “100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature”. He was said to have had a “morbid fascination with horror and death”. (Who here can relate?) (Time Magazine). A civil war veteran, Ambrose Bierce accomplished a lot in his 71 + years of life. But it’s his disappearance and presumed death that has had everyone speculating and theorizing over the last hundred years.
The Voynich Manuscript is one of history’s greatest mysteries. Written in Central Europe in the 15th or early 16th century, this 240-page document is inscribed in a language or code that has not yet been deciphered, despite decades of cryptologists, historians, and mathematicians attempting to interpret it. Even the famous cryptographers from the Bletchley Park, who decoded the Nazi’s Enigma codes in WWII, have taken a crack at it, but all to no avail.
Take a look at the Voynich Manuscript and see the strange language for yourself.
Named after Wilfrid Voynich, the Polish book dealer who purchased this manuscript back in 1912, this document is unusual in a number of ways. First off, it appears to be a magical or scientific text, with many vivid images of herbs and plants that to this date have not all been identified. It includes astronomical and astrological drawings, and lists of what appears to be recipes. It even includes images of what might be alchemical processes; however, the images are original and odd and do not correlate to the scientific processes of the time this manuscript would have been created.
What happens in the archives stays in the archives. Nothing more true can be said of the Archives in the Vatican. Built long before their official establishment in 1475, the Vatican Archives are shrouded in mystery. They are called “Archivum Secretum Apostolicum Vaticanum”, which is Latin for “The Vatican’s Secret Archives”. Talk about being subtle. Almost every Roman Catholic conspiracy theory is linked back to these archives, probably because of this veil of secrecy surrounding them. Containing 53 million miles worth of books, they’re typically not open to the public, and historically only carefully vetted scholars have been allowed to enter. However, in 2010, following the release of the movie based on Dan Brown’s book “The Da Vinci Code”, there was an uprising in paranoia about the Illuminati, whether or not this secret society truly exists, and if their roots are really buried deep in the Vatican’s Secret Archives. To fend off some of these rumours, the Archives opened their doors to allow for select members of the public and journalists (Squires, 2010). But it’s safe to assume that the most sensitive areas of the Archives aren’t a part of the tour…
In addition to the Illuminati, there are many other well-known conspiracy theories surrounding the Vatican (“6 Creepy Conspiracy Theories,” 2016). These include the theory (or fact?) that these archives hold the largest pornography collection in the world, and that they contain evidence of Jesus Christ’s bloodline. Some say that the evidence proves that he was not the Messiah, which is definitely something that the church would want to keep hidden away for all of eternity. But I’m not going to talk about the conspiracy theories that have already been analyzed in excruciating detail.
In this post, I’m going to talk about a lesser known conspiracy theory. The theory that the Vatican Secret Archives holds a time machine.