Thursday, 15 July 2021

Johann Bessler’s Use of Codes and Clues

Over my next few blogs I’ll be posting some more of Bessler’s clues and my interpretation of them, but firstly, a mystery; why did he decide to embed numerous clues and coded information in his publications?  Common sense would seem to indicate that no one would be able to decipher the coded information without Bessler’s help, and that wouldn’t happen until he had received payment for his device.  Logically once he had been paid he could reveal the method of encoding he used, so that everyone could read his explanation and know how his wheel worked.   But that might provoke anger in his purchaser.  He might not want the secret he had paid a fortune for, to be given away freely.  Perhaps his buyer would want a contract requiring Bessler’s continued silence about the machine for an agreed period?t

So even though he submitted to the demands of Karl, the Landgrave of Hesse, and permitted him access to the interior of the wheel, upon the swearing of an oath, and then Karl verified the machine and Bessler’s claim - why did he still need the information embedded secretly in his books? Karl had verified the perpetual motion machine as being genuine so Bessler had no need of a code.

It seems that no one was supposed to decipher that information before the inventor had received payment for his device.  Bessler must have been confident that his secret was safe and his code impossible to break, without his help. But if he sold the machine, again there seems no need for the code. 

When Bessler set out to discover how to design and build a Perpetual Motion (PM) machine, he had read that such a device would be ‘worth a ton of gold’.  But during the long years of research he also spent time considering how to actually obtain a large amount of money for the secret of his machine, should he be successful - sound familiar?

His first and over-riding concern was to keep the secret of his wheel’s construction secure, until he had won his ‘gold’.  Once he had constructed his working wheel he approached a number of wealthy persons of high repute, but he would not share his secret for fear of being cheated, which fact prevented him from obtaining documented verification of his claim. Eventually, as we know, Karl was allowed to examine the machine and verified it as genuine.

Given the amount of effort which is self-evident in Apologia Poetica I believe that for many months both before and after his first successful wheel, Bessler planned a publication extolling the virtues of his machine and an account of his journey to success.  This book, Apologia Poetica, would contain a number of clues and codes and would provide a printed back up of his machine’s design, albeit submerged among the texts. However, without the presence of any drawings the encoded textual message must have been extensive and very detailed.  If needed, he could call upon this message as evidence of the priority of his claim, should the need arise.  The message would have to be readily decipherable so it must have been reasonably easy to do once Bessler revealed the key.

This explains his decision to place coded information about the wheel in his books, long before he decided to allow Karl to see how his wheel worked, and why he put so much time and effort into developing and inserting his coded information, even though subsequently he had his claim validated by Karl.  He seems to have considered the possibility that he might never sell his machine and thus die without ever receiving acknowledgement for his achievement, so it had an additional purpose although not one he would have expected to happen.

The puzzle remains, why bother with such a devious code?  I have suggested that he needed some way of proving that he had found the secret by the date of publication of Apologia Poetica, but this leads to a further confusion. On the one hand he might not have been allowed to release information about his device once he had sold it, if that was the buyer’s instruction, but in that case he couldn’t reveal the code.  If the buyer was open to Bessler sharing his secret, then the codes wasn’t needed anyway. But perhaps the last possibility seems be the right one; if the wheel hadn’t been sold and another inventor claimed to have succeeded, then Bessler would reveal the means of deciphering the code embedded in the dated book, thus proving his priority.

In order to pique someone’s interest about the codes in case of illness, death, imprisonment or some other incapacitating event, he devised a straightforward clue to attract the curiosity of a knowledgeable person with the right credentials who would wish to dig deeper, and so he adopted the pseudonym, Orffyreus.

This he created from his name, Bessler, using a well-known mono-alphabetic substitution cipher called atbash,  originally used to encrypt the Hebrew alphabet.  The Caesar shift cipher was similar as is the modern algorithm known as ROT13.  The pseudonym was further refined by the addition of two extra forenames, Johann Ernst, in addition to his given name, Elias.  ‘Bessler’ was changed to ‘Orffyre’ which became ‘Orffyreus’ - an affectation used among the intelligentsia at that time.

I think the purpose of the codes and clues was two fold.  First he needed to protect his secret, hence the code; secondly he craved acceptance, recognition, respect, and admiration.  He would not stay quiet if someone else claimed to have invented a perpetual motion machine, before his own machine had been sold and this supports the idea that he was desperate for fame and fortune.

He also seems to have enjoyed teasing his audience with a number of ambiguous clues:  ‘look at me, see how clever I am! He seems to say, 

My next blog will clarify a number of factors relating to the wheels which may provide a better  impression of their power.

JC

                                   Copyright © 2021 John Collins

26 comments:

  1. John, could you possibly find out what has happened to Besslerwheel forum,I cannot get past the password.
    Have they closed down?

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    1. Good idea Trevor, I’ll try emailing Scott, he may not be aware of the problem.

      JC

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    2. Thank you John,I was most frustrated because this happened just when I was about to show a working wheel.

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    3. Unfortunately my email was returned - not known! Anyone here have Scott’s current email address?

      JC

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  2. Wow!Is he still alive!
    There is so much unrest in America.

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    Replies
    1. John Collins, glad you are back---------------Sam

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    2. Hi Sam, I think you’re the last person to post on BWForum. Glad to be back!

      JC

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    3. Yes John, I crashed the whole system!!!! Sam

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  3. John,do you think his site has been censored by the Democratic agenda.

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    1. I shouldn’t think so Trevor.

      JC

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  4. That's right Trevor, keep your mouth shut. AOC and Bernie know what's best for you and the rest of the country.

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  5. No way, I'm not scared of them because I know Trump is going to win as he was appointed by God to get the country back on track and give the country a jubilee by booting out the cabal.

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  6. Hooray John,the Besslerwheel forum is working again!

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  7. John Collins, Does your codes, secret or other wise, mention pendulums? The reason I ask is because pends. are the only way a wheel will ever work. It's the only way to get the weights back up to the top. It's the only way to prevent bottom heaviness--------------Sam

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    1. Hi Sam, I can’t say because it depends on what you mean by pendulums. 😄

      JC

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    3. Stephen; It's difficult enough trying to figure out how Bessler's wheel worked. I'm sorry, but I just don't have time for riddles-----------------Sam

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  8. Hi John!!
    I will try to describe one. It is 8 inches long, pivots on a one way bearing and has a 1 1/2 lb. weight at the lower end of it. There are 4 of them. They swing in on the up side and back out on the down side---------------Sam

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    1. Sam I think I asked something like that a long time ago and John referred to it as a weighted lever. When I think of a pendulum, I see it as a freely swinging weight (back and forth continuously). In your case, a weighted lever is probably the better description. Regardless of naming, I think you are on the right track however.

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    2. Hi AA 1:13, A weighted lever? Maybe. They do swing freely, back and forth / translating, for upwards of 300 degrees. Then the pend., ( if it is one), swings in 90 degrees, on the up side, which causes the wheel takes off like a shot-------------Sam

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  9. AA 1:13, You are right. The pendulums become a weighted lever, for about 90 degrees of rotation, while they are temporarily locked to the wheel, by the one-way clutch. Then, after the clutch releases, they go back to being pendulums------------------Sam

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    1. Yes for me your pendulum is a weighted lever which moves through range of angles but does need locking temporarily.

      JC

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  10. Weighted levers; that term had never occurred to me before. As AA 1:13 suggested, maybe it doesn't matter--------------------Sam

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