The Voynich manuscript is an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system. The vellum on which it is written has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century (1404–1438), and it may have been composed in Italy during the Renaissance. The manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a Polish book dealer who purchased it in 1912. Some of the pages are missing, with around 240 remaining. The text is written from left to right, and most of the pages have illustrations or diagrams. Some pages are foldable sheets.
The Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British codebreakers from both World War I and World War II. The manuscript has never been demonstrably deciphered, and the mystery of its meaning and origin has excited the popular imagination, making it the subject of novels and speculation. None of the many hypotheses proposed over the last hundred years has been independently verified. In 1969, the Voynich manuscript was donated by Hans P. Kraus to Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Voynich Manuscript in "Manuscript Tradition"
The Voynich Manuscript was created by an inhabitant of a planet the people of Earth as dubbed "Faraday" in the 21st century. This denizen arrived aboard a starship around the year 1400. He awoke from cold sleep as his pod was headed towards Earth; he knew there was an emergency, but never learned what actually happened. He was also the only survivor of the trip. When there wasn't a rescue mission, he concluded that his planet had suffered a devastating war.
Landing in Italy, the alien took up residence there, and created the manuscript to cope with his situation. Over the course of the centuries, the alien lost control of the manuscript. It was purchased by Wilfrid Voynich in the early twentieth century, and was donated to Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale. In the meantime, the alien arrived in the United States in 1893. When he learned that the Beinecke had the manuscript, he took a position as a janitor there in the 1980s. Using the name "Loquasto", the alien worked as a custodian at the Beinecke until 2219, hiding his identity by claiming to be various descendants of the original custodian.
In the late 21st century, the U.S. sent a space crawler to Loquasto's home planet. It arrived there in the 2170s, and began collecting data, including evidence that its people had indeed fallen into a devastating war. One such denizen smashed the crawler. The data arrived on Earth in 2219. While viewing it, Dr. Feyrouz Hanafusa, the incumbent curator of the Beinecke, saw pictures of flora that she remembered from the Voynich Manuscript. As she reviewed it, the alien, using the name "Tony Loquasto" appeared. When Hanafusa confronted him, Loquasto told her his story.
While they spoke, images showing Faraday's dead civilization, and the crawler's destruction had been broadcast. The second to last image showed the base of what had been a statute, including writing identical to writing in the Voynich Manuscript. People across the country recognized the significance, and began contacting Hanafusa. Loquasto disappeared; his house in West Haven burned to the ground. The manuscript remained officially a mystery. While Loquasto's story became public knowledge, only Hanafusa ever really believed it.