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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?


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

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987