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Page 2 : Beale Ciphers Analyses

Dr. Carl Hammer

    Dr. Hammer was the first serious researcher of the Beale ciphers with academic credentials. He was Director, Computer Sciences, at Sperry Rand UNIVAC, at a time when this company was a major supplier of then-called "supercomputers" to the NSA. His position gave him access to the world's then most powerful computers and to the best cryptanalytical talent of the times, and he used these resources in a long term and concerted effort to solve the Beale codes.

    This website has obtained copyright permission from the Charles Babbage Institute of the University of Minnesota, the custodian of the Carl Hammer Papers, to reproduce two of Dr. Hammer's early studies of the Beale ciphers.

    The first of these is Signature Simulation and Certain Cryptographic Codes. It is a lengthy and detailed description of the earliest computer-assisted studies of the Beale codes. Some particularly interesting points and conclusions are the following:

    Throughout the 1970's and 80's, he studied the codes, published papers, and participated in symposiums. One of these was How did TJB encode B2?, published in the April 1979 issue of Cryptologia. In this paper, Dr. Hammer criticizes the cryptographic talent of TJB, with statements such as these:

    Aside from these two papers on this website, his works are not published on the internet, but are referenced by several other authors. His papers were given to the Charles Babbage Institute and are accessible only with written authorization. These are some items regarding Beale:


Tape recordings:

    An interesting quote is attributed to him: "The name of the first one to crack the Beale code will never be known. We will learn only the name of the second person to crack it - the one who follows directions to Beale's underground vault, and finds it empty."


    Our desktop computers of today are more powerful than Dr. Hammer's computers, and we have access to powerful generic software which did not exist then.

    Treasure hunters can look to Dr. Carl Hammer for encouragement. He apparently was a believer.

    His findings in How Did TJB Encode B2? are entirely consistent with John William Sherman as author. His conclusion that the codes are "real" seem to be based on proof of their non-randomness, a concept which probably never occured to Sherman.

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