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No. 89: Sep-Oct 1993

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Transcendental Messages In Transcendental Numbers

Those complex crop circles supposedly conveying messages from extraterrestrial entities all seem to be hoaxes. We must, therefore, search out other sources of transcendental signals. Fortunately, a brand-new, unhoaxable communication channel has opened up.

Forget standard numerology, the Number of the Beast (666), and all that. Instead, give the letter A the value 1, B = 2, C = 3, etc. Next, add to your scheme a breakthrough discovery of L. Sallows, let 0 = _, and interpret _ to be a space, so that we can make sentences out of words. Finally, discard our usual base of 10 and adopt as a base 27 -- the number of letters in our alphabet plus _, the space. In this system, B_C decodes as 2 x 272 + 0 x 271 + 3 x 270 , which equals 1461 in decimal. Now we have a way to convert numbers into words in a novel, though tedious, way, and vice versa.

For example, CHAT + TALK = WIND, which is not an unlikely word equation. Really fantastic word-number equalities can be found with the help of a computer. Who would have ever guessed that the following magic square of meaningful words could be constructed?

DIMOWETUGRAP
RIGTAPDOTRAY
THETIPNAPDID
PAPDUDSPYTOW

The magic constant is BEAN, and all horizontal, vertical, and diagonal rows add up to this constant.

The real value of this system of numerology is apparent when we turn to eternal verities: the transcendental numbers such as pi, e, and the Golden Mean (1.618034....). The latter converts to: A.PRNTPFCUCRKDYGRYLLC-QNBIG... Ah, BIG, part of a message, no doubt! Sallows remarks, "Perhaps the first message to appear in pi is ...GOD_EXISTS..., While that in e might be ...PROVE_IT..." Repair to your computers to find the meaning of it all.

(Stewart, Ian; "Number Mysticism for the Modern Age," New Scientist, p. 16, July 10, 1993.)

From Science Frontiers #89, SEP-OCT 1993. 1993-2000 William R. Corliss