In Germany and elsewhere in Bessler’s day it was customary to use a 24 letter alphabet and it has always been assumed that Bessler too, stuck to that tradition, but there is evidence that he used both forms of the alphabet.

It is clear that he was familiar with an old Hebrew *albam *code as this was self evident in the way he obtained his pseudonym, *Orffyreus. *This system was also used extensively throughout history and was also known as the *Caesar shift, *and in modern times *ROT13. *ROT13 is a simple letter substitution cipher that replaces a letter with the 13th letter after it.

The image below demonstrates how *BESSLER* became *ORFFYRE*, which he then Latinised to become *ORFFYREUS* as was customary in his day.

In the above image matching alphabetic substitution letters share similar colours. Notice that the 24 letter alphabet includes two alternative letters I or J, and U or V. But you have to work on the assumption that the two alternatives pairs of letter each have to remain in their number position as above. If you use a 26 letter alphabet you get the pseudonym *ORFFLRE *instead of *ORFFYRE. *This appears to confirm that Bessler used the 24 letter alphabet.

But at the same time that he adopted the pseudonym ORFFYREUS, Bessler added two more forenames to his Christened names. He was born Elias Bessler, but added Johann Ernst to the former ones. So his new initials went from EB to JEEB. Why?

Taking into consideration his use of the Caesar shift for his new name, when applied to JEE reveals itself as WRR, whether you use 24 or 26 letter alphabets. To explain this further we need to examine another code system.

In addition to alphabetic substitution Bessler also used alphanumeric substitution where each letter is replaced with its corresponding position in the alphabet. For example A=1, B=2, C=3 etc. in this case JEE becomes 9/10, 5,5. WRR becomes 21, 17, 17.

In his first illustration in his book *DAS TRIUMPHIRENDE (DT), *which shows an image of his wheel, Bessler, numbered all the parts from 1 to 24. This seems to confirm a 24 letter alphabet, at first sight. Further examination of the image reveals the twelve hours of a clock with the eight o’clock line labelled with two 8s. The labelling seems over generous leading to the suspicion that a specific number is sought. Adding them together gives the total of 660. When 660 is divided by the twelve hours of the clock, the number 55 appears.

This number is repeatedly indicated by Bessler and of course we just met it for the first time when we looked at the alphanumerical JEEB. The two Es are the fifth letter in the alphabet, but what is the relevance?

I searched for the meaning of the number 5 and 55 within his books and this led to the discovery of some pentagrams hidden within some of Bessler’s illustrations. The reason we can be sure of these conclusions and future ones is because Bessler always provided two or three ways of getting to the same solution through different ciphers, codes and clues. The number 5 is embedded in numerous places, too many to list here, but clearly it was important to him to make us aware of it.

I’ll leave the significance of the pentagrams for now, my aim in this post is to show why I think Bessler used both 24 and 26 letter alphabets.

There are four illustrations included in *DT,* we saw that the first one included a hidden clock face, the next one shows the wheel attached to an Archimedes pump, see below. This illustration is also over labelled. The letters when converted to numerals and added together total 324. The number of letters actually used is 18 as we shall see in a moment and 324 divided by 18 equals 18, the basic pentagonal number. Every angle in the pentagram is either 18 or a multiple thereof.

__Summary__

*atbash*version is there masquerading as a ‘W’, but representing the number 10. ‘i,’ is also present, representing the number 9.

*atbash*cipher.

*atbash*version ‘W’. Why was this significant? He used the double V or interlocking Vs, to give in Roman numerals (which he also used frequently) two 5’s again. There are other reasons which I won’t go into now for the need to show the letter W.

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