Saturday 22 February 2014

Wheel update - two mechanisms for proof of principle....again!

It's funny how you can think you know everything there is to know about your design and how it will act and react when in a particular configuration.  My latest design did not react as I had designed it to, but instead of causing me extreme chagrin, it surprised me by acting in an unexpected way.   I knew from the start of this configuration that there were potential variables to the way I finished the design, and I was prepared to substitute those alternatives that would still comply with the initial concept.

Imagine my surprise therefore to discover that the reaction which I had designed to occur within my planned configuration was not only prevented from happening but actually reversed itself and I realised subsequently, it turned out to be the right one!  The correct path of the movement of the weights within my wheel was not intuitively obvious, but actually it makes perfect sense.  How on earth Bessler was able to design them to work as I have now think  that they should work, is just amazing.  I have very briefly imagined that configuration in the past but have dismissed it with scarcely a thought, as being impossible to achieve in a simple mechanical arrangement.

My task now is to remake the wheel with those actions repeated ad infinitum.  I am very doubtful if I can make it with five mechanisms as I have always assumed, so will have to try it with maybe just two. I'm 'fairly' confident that this is the right path, but haven't we all been here before - too many times to dwell on!

Bessler said that when he first tested his wheel it could scarcely turn with just one cross.  This word 'cross' has been a bit of a thorn in my side for many years.  Beside describing a cross as in an X or a plus sign, it can also be used to describe the crossing of a road for example or a level-crossing, as long as the word can also be 'crossing' anything related may apply.

So the phrase seems to imply that the wheel did turn with only one crossing, albeit very slowly and/or unevenly.  In which case one crossing will do, but what does a single crossing consist of? I am unconvinced that one mechanism could achieve a full turn so I am suggesting a minimum of two were needed.  Bessler said that his weight worked in pairs so two mechanisms might comprise one crossing.

I thought that the obsession with the number five suggested five mechanisms and that this number represented the total number of mechanisms possible on one side of the wheel and he had already hinted that more than a single cross was better. So I'm going to make two--mechanism wheel, one on each side, and include my new configuration and hope for success. I should add that my original principle, encoded below, is still the mainstay of my design as without I am certain no success will follow.

One more bit of news; I received an email from a literary agent with the news that a German publisher wishes to translate my book into German and publish it before the end of this year.  Fingers crossed that this time the book appears.  I had a similar experience several years ago but nothing was published then so I am less inclined to get excited about these occasional flurries of interest from the media.

There was the Italian film which was made about Bessler which seems to have sunk without trace after one broadcast; and I'm still waiting to hear about the English documentary promised for this year too.  It looks as if I'm just going to have wait for somebody to invent Bessler's wheel again before anyone really gets excited about the subject.



Thursday 13 February 2014

Update on Bessler's Code

This is a general update on my efforts to decipher Bessler's codes.

Everyone is surely familiar with his first code which involved using the simple substitution cipher from the Hebrew 'atbash' system to convert his name, Bessler, to Orffyre, and thence to Orffyreus. He intended future researchers to ask why he did this and provoke them into looking for further examples in the rest of his publications. His second example included the drawing of his wheel which he published in his first book, 'Gruendlicher Bericht'.  The drawing contains a number of extremely clever clues, but the first and most easily found is the hidden pentagram defined by the rope passing behind the right hand wheel.  There are a numberof numerical clues included as well as evidence of the use of the Golden Mean or Golden ratio, 1.618.  This was produced before his most intriguing work his Apologia Poetica, which was published between 1716 and 1717. At the bottom of the page Bessler writes the date of publication as 1716, two dashes and 1717. The dashes could be construed as just decoration, however the existence of several more similar dashes in part two of Apologia, suggests that the blanks represent the word ‘zu’ which means ‘to’. Adding together the 17, 17, 17 and 16 totals 67. add the u/v from zu which represents 5 and you get 72, the main pentagon number; 5 times 72 =360. The coded information which litters this work is so numerous and varied that it would seem impossible that no one has so far deciphered at least some of it.

In this publication (AP) there are the numerous 'ec's which in the Fraktur font look like 'x's.  'ec' stands for et cetera in German printing, but still their sheer ubiquity (684) draws attention to them and seems to be asking us the examine their presence and find out why they are there, since they don't appear at all in his other two publications.

The abbreviation for et cetera, ec, which looks like x.
The final page of Apologia Poetica contains a simple diagram which appears to represent the wheel.  It too contains a number of ingenious clues which again point to the pentagon.  Above this illustration is a quotation from the Bible, in which Jesus asks of his disciple, 'do you still not understand?'  Another hint that we should be looking for understanding, and elsewhere Bessler states that the answers can be found in his Apologia Poetica.  The quotation itself takes the form of a chronogram. Chronograms were particularly popular in Germany in this period and were often used on buildings to establish the date of their construction.  In this case there are several Latin uppercase letters D, I, D, V, C, C, V, V, D and I, from within the quotation, and assuming they also represent Roman numerals, added together they total the figure 1717, the year of Apologia Poetica's publication. The final line of the paragraph contains two blanks as if words had been omitted, but it is simple to add them as the whole book is in rhyming couplets and the missing word, Teufel contains the U/V alternatives which in Roman numerals represents the number 5.  The sheer number of encoded 5's, V's or their numeric/alphabetic equivalents such the letter E for being the 5th letter, is so overwhelming that one has to assume that the five and all things associated with it, such as the pentagram,  is of prime importance.

The last Chapter in the first part of Apologia Poetica is numbered 55, no surprise..  It contains 55 rhyming couplets, but just these 55 are rhymed ABAB rather than AABB as the rest of the book.  The same 55 verses contain 141 Bible references.  Research indicates that these have no relation to their actual quotations and in some cases the verse numbers exceed those actually present in any of the numerous Bible extant at that time. The references consist of the Book, the Chapter and the Verse.  My ongoing research indicates that verse number indicates the line in which a coded letter may be found.  This implies that the lines must all be numbered up to 220 (55 x 4).  However, as I have explained elsewhere, there are four empty lines which will throw the numbering out if the blank lines are not counted.

The bible book quoted has one upper case letter, the first one, and the others are lower case.  The first letter can be deciphered using the 24 letter alphabet, and its alphanumeric equivalent.  The books are all abbreviated so that there only a few letters indicating which book is meant.  These lower case letter must simply be counted and added to the numerical equivalent arrived at from the first letter.  So 'Matt' for 'Matthew' would be M=12, plus 'att' = 3 and therefore 12 plus three equals 15, thus 15th line.  As the verse number has already given you the line in question, the Book gives you the position on the line of the required letter.  You will see that the abbreviations vary and this is so that each required line can easily be indicated despite the fact that Bessler can only use a limited number of the possible books available, and also because there are more than 24 letters in most of the lines - usually around 30.  I have found that some lines require counting from the end rather than the beginning and I am sure there is an indicator which tells us if it should be done this way but so far I have not found it.

There is also an indicator that the letters should be Caesar-shifted back by five, so that the letter 'A' becomes equivalent to the letter 'V' but I'm not sure at this point whether the numerical equivalent is meant or simple the alphabetical substitution.

The so-called 'X's, that I mentioned at the start may indicate a line which contains a letter for deciphering and the possibilities which I have not yet exhausted include equidistant letter sequences (ELS) relating to the number 5 again.  I was not aware that this method of encoding information was familiar to anyone in those days, other than in the Hebrew Bible, but it turns out that it was widely used by Francis Bacon and John Dee among others and so it cannot be ruled out.

This blog scarcely scratches the surface of the encoded material and I shall return to the subject at a later date if there is sufficient interest.



Thursday 6 February 2014

Wheel update - precipitation, inundation, electrocution, procrastination and birthday celebration!

I included the word 'birthday' before anyone jumped the conclusion that I had succeeded in reconstructing Bessler's wheel - ridiculous thought!

Well I had hoped to be nearing completion but the interminable rain has put a bit of a damper on progress. "The deluge that has engulfed southern and central England in recent weeks is the worst winter downpour in almost 250 years, according to figures from the world's longest-running weather station.

The rainfall measured at the historic Radcliffe Meteorological Station at Oxford University in January was greater than for any winter month since daily recording began there in 1767, and three times the average amount."  Excerpt from the Observer newspaper.  Saturday 1st February.

This is definitely down to climate change although the jury is still out on the cause- man-made or a natural . The increased concentrations of  gases, especially carbon dioxide can cause global warming. There is apparently significant scientific evidence that points to human activities, such as burning of fossil fuels, as being mainly responsible for the current increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.   

On the other hand, changes in solar energy can affect global temperature. Thousands of years ago, global temperature changes were driven by solar and orbital variations. The Royal Society, the National Academy of Science in the UK and the Commonwealth confirms that solar activity contributed to changes in global temperature in the early 20th century.

Either way the rain is falling and I have a leak in my workshop; the rain is actually cascading down the outside wall of my house which in this case forms one wall of my workshop!  I've managed to move everything away from the leaking area, but I can't move the electrics so I've had to turn everything off until I can fix the leak.

So I'm 69 today and I had hoped to finish this darn wheel but hey-ho, what's another few days after 50-odd years!

Although I am unconvinced about the cause of climate change I can see its happening and strange to relate it might just be causing a delay in the Bessler wheel solution - that is if I am on the right track and who knows for sure?  I mean this flood is causing me a delay in finishing my wheel but perhaps it's nature showing us how puny our efforts to control her are.

There are some who might be tempted to suggest that there is an element of procrastination in this delay and on previous occasions I might well be persuaded to admit that.  Let's face it as long as the wheel isn't finished I can go on maintaining the belief that I am about to succeed, but if I finish it and it still doesn't work, what then?  I admit to failure and reveal all that I know (or think I know) and let others search for a nugget of gold in my mental meanderings.  But this time I can say, hand on heart, I am so eager to finish this wheel , that I was prepared to risk electrocution until my wife and son-in-law stopped me, thank goodness!



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