Monday, March 29, 2010

!!! Will You Be Mine Forever !!!

Let me see you now face to face
Let me talk to you now with an open heart
Let me open my heart and unseal my lips
Let me tell my heart's desire

You are the song of my heart
You are the beginning of my speech

You are in every breath that i take
You are in every thought that i think
You are in every word that i speak
You are in everything and everywhere

Let me open my heart to you now
Let me open myself to you now

You are my first love
You will be my last one
You are the only one
You are my everything

Let thou heart be mine and mine be yours
Let thou thoughts be mine and mine be yours
Let you be me and i be you

Let thou lips be sealed with my righteous kiss
Let your breath be mine
Let every moment i live be yours
Let every deed i do be for you
Let me give the warmth of my embrace
Let me lift you in my arms and show the world you are mine
Let me be yours and yours alone forever
Let me be yours and yours alone for eternity

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Feral Children

Come on, poor babe: Some powerful spirit instruct the kites and ravens
To be thy nurses! Wolves and bears, they say, Casting their savageness aside, have done Like offices of pity.”

Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale, Act II, scene 3, line 185


Stories of children rescued from the wilderness have for centuries inspired awe, fascination and disbelief.

Tales of children being adopted and nurtured by wolves, bears, monkeys, and other animals crop up with remarkable regularity. As the mediæval world gave way to the modern, the wodewose or wild man of the woods shifted from an archetype of chaos, insanity and heresy to one of natural harmony and enlightenment, culminating in Rousseau’s idea of the Noble Savage. But the wild man was both savage and sublime, an image of desire as well as punishment. Wild or feral children elicit both heart-rending pity for their abandonment and wonder for their survival against such terrible odds.

The Legend of Romulus and Remus

Ancient mythology has many stories of children nurtured by animals, but the first ‘true’ account of a feral child was recorded by the usually dependable Roman historian Procopius. A baby boy, abandoned by his mother during the chaos of the Gothic wars in about AD 250, was found and suckled by a she-goat. When the survivors returned to their homes, they found the boy living with his adopted mother and named him Aegisthus. Procopius states he saw the child himself.

Mystery of Feral Children

Throughout ancient and modern times, human history has echoed with curious tales of wild, hairy beasts emerging from forests on all fours - feral children. These strange creatures - neither animal nor human - were generally removed from human society at an early age: lost, stolen or strayed. Isolated from civilisation, they are then supposedly nurtured by animals or somehow survive on their own during those vital formative years. Devoid of normal human influences, they grow up without acquiring speech, often unable to walk, and with distinctly animal-like behaviour.

Whether boys or girls, or whether they've lived in the company of wolves, monkeys or ostriches - or even on their own - they virtually all have one thing in common. Their shadowy pasts will, to us, remain forever mysteries.

Victor, the wild boy of Aveyron, was immortalised in Truffaut's film L'Enfant Sauvage, which for many people is their first exposure to the story of a feral child. Roaming alone in the woods of Lacaune in Southern France at the end of the 18th century, Victor had been sighted on several occasions by villagers and was eventually captured by peasants and taken to be displayed in the village square.

As is so often the case with feral children, Victor didn't take kindly to being trapped and he quickly escaped, only to be caught again a year later. This time, he lasted a week in the company of a widow who fed and clothed him, before he escaped yet again. Thereafter, he would come into contact with human society much more often, begging food from cottages. But still he remained on his own, out in the forests, where he would be glimpsed from time to time running and wailing.

Victor's wild sojourn ended some two years after he was first discovered, in the depths of the bitter winter of 1799/1800. By now, he was some 100 km away in the vicinity of Saint Sernin, and was spotted digging for the potatoes he'd grown so fond of during his brief return to human habitation. Finally, after being caught by a local named Vidal, he would never again know the freedom of the forests.

Around the age of 12 when he was discovered, Victor had clearly survived in the wild for at least two years, and presumably a lot longer, on his own. He'd possibly been abandoned at the age of six by a father who couldn't cope with his learning difficulties, although we will never know for sure.

Victor couldn't have timed his final capture better: a hot topic of philosophical debate at that time was Rousseau's theory that a child of nature would be pure and untainted by the influence of society. But when examined by a succession of luminaries, Victor was found to be generally surly and uncooperative: more like a wild beast than a pure soul.

Victor displayed characteristics common to many wild children. Although found with the tattered remains of a shirt still around his neck, he eschewed clothing and would rip it off if forced on him. He appeared to endure extremes of temperature without ill effect, and would snatch and devour food in an animal-like fashion. He also exhibited the signs that we now associate with some autistic spectrum disorders - a complete lack of interest in other people, preferring to spend hours hunched in a corner.

Victor eventually found a champion on Dr Jean Itard, who then devoted five years to attempting to instruct Victor in human behaviour, as well as impart skills such as speech, reading and writing. Although Itard did have some significant successes when it came to humanising Victor, there was much that he was never able to achieve: in particular, the boy was never able to use any conventional means of communication. Thus he was unable to tell us who he was, why he came to be wandering alone in the woods, or explain the origins of a vicious scar on his neck.

Victor apparently survived on his own, but many other children appear to have been nurtured by wild animals. Whether this is even physically possible - would a human baby survive on wolves' milk? - is still debated today. But if we are to believe the stories as reported to us, we know that these children disappear into the forests at a very young age - often taken, we are led to believe, by animal mothers who have lost their own young - and re-appear some years later.

Myth and legend abound with such stories, and the tale of Aegisthus is the first occasion we hear such a tale recorded by a historian. Procopius, in De Bello Gothico, wrote that a child, left by its mother following a war (so often the cause of children's abandonment) was found and suckled by a she-goat, and found in her company when the survivors returned to their homes.

That was around 250 BCE, and similar tales still reach us today, such as Andrei Tolstyk, discovered earlier this year, apparently raised by the family dog after being abandoned by both parents. But it's the story of Kamala and Amala - the Indian wolf-girls - that is the most intriguing, and which is still controversial over 80 years later.

We're led to believe that these two girls - not sisters, apparently, but taken by animals some years apart - were found together in a wolves' den by the Reverend Singh. Following up stories of two ghosts who'd been seen by villagers, Singh's intention was to find and shoot these unusual creatures to remove the villagers' fear. But when he saw then for himself, he realised they were human children and dug them both out of the den, shooting their wolf-mother.

While at the Reverend Singh's orphanage they became the object of much attention, resulting in many visitors and a certain level of much-needed funding. But unfortunately the younger girl Amala died about a year after capture, and Kamala herself only survived until 1929, when she would have been around the age of 17. Although when she was first found Kamala crawled on all fours, tore off any clothes and literally wolfed her food down - grabbing any chickens unfortunate enough to venture within reach, and devouring them raw - she did eventually learn to adopt more appropriate human behaviour, and could even talk, uttering simple phrases.

Opinion on whether their story is a hoax has been divided pretty much ever since they were found in 1920. Charles Maclean set out to decide the issue one way or the other, and carried out diligent research into hundreds of original documents, eventually travelling to India to find out for himself. On the verge of writing off the story as the invention of Singh, he finally found what was, for him, sufficient evidence of the Reverend's version of events.

However, I am now informed that a forthcoming book from Serges Aroles - Les Enfants-Loups (1344-1954) will provide evidence all feral children, including Kamala and Amala, to be hoaxes, with just one exception: Marie Angelique Memmie LeBlanc.

Memmie's story starts off much like Victor's: she is found by villagers, wandering alone in woods, but some 70 years earlier in the Champagne region of France. Although the first sightings reported two girls, when eventually captured in 1731, Memmie was on her own, her companion apparently having died after an altercation between the two.

Painstaking work by Aroles over a period of years has pieced together one possible solution for the mystery of Memmie LeBlanc. In the second volume of his work, he suggests that she was a Native American of the Fox tribe in Missouri, and then paints a picture of her journey across the Atlantic and then through France, drawing on numerous historical records to support his version of events.

Although already around nine or ten when discovered, Memmie did learn to speak and a sample of her handwriting survives to this day in the French national archives. We suspect that she had already learned to talk before her feral period, and although her origins were never clearly explained she was able to give some clues as to her past, and Aroles' theory is consistent with these.

Feral children have long fascinated scientists of many disciplines, but especially those involved in the fields of linguistics and human psychology. Unable to perform The Forbidden Experiment - that is, to bring a child up deliberately isolated from human contact - scientists have turned to feral children to try to understand the mechanisms of human development: how we develop speech, behaviour, and more fundamentally, exactly what it is to be human. In particular, they have helped illuminate the nature-nurture debate: the question of to what extent our capabilities are attributable to what we were born with, or to how we're brought up.

Unfortunately, there is now such a considerable body of evidence from children who've suffered horrific confinement and abuse that feral children have virtually lost their value in this respect. Nevertheless, they still excite both scientific and lay curiosity, with new discoveries eagerly transmitted around the world by news agencies.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010



It is hard to imagine anyone who hasn't heard of them in this day and age. How could anyone have failed to have heard of vampires when you consider the multitude of movies, tv shows, documentaries, books, articles, magazines, comic books, and internet sites pertaining to the subject. Yet, despite the plethora of information, how much do we really know about vampires?

Unfortunately, (for the majority of the population) the answer to that question remains very little. The problem here is not the availability of facts. The chief contributing factor in this case of mass confusion is an overflow of DISinformation. Myths, folklore, legends, and fictitious accounts designed and perpetuated to mislead, confuse, and otherwise dissuade the individual from persuing the truth.

Consider your own perceptions for a moment if you will. When you think of vampires, what "facts" do you rely upon? What images are conjured up from your experience? Do you see the sun-fearing creatures of fiction exploited in the works Anne Rice and in other similar novels and movies? Perhaps you have read Bram Stoker's works and believe that vampires, although damned creatures, can indeed travel about in daylight. How often do you think of a school teacher, police officer, or other seemingly "normal" and "respectable" person?

The purpose of my research and the book which I am writing is to show that vampires truly do exist. Beyond that, I intend to prove that they are, for the most part, normal people. They lead everyday lives, hold respectable positions, and have the same desires, passions, and goals as others in their communities. I have discovered that the majority of vampires do not publicly flaunt the truth about themselves. They do not dress in Goth fashion or paint their faces white.

Of course, there are bound to be some fringe exceptions to these statements, but I present them here as the facts which I have learned thus far. The true vampire does not live in an old rat infested castle or sleep in a coffin. Vampires exist in every area of every society. From lower class housing projects to penthouse apartments. They are in the city, and in the country. Anywhere that you would expect to find anyone, you can expect to find a vampire.

They do not all ingest blood nor do they all need to do so. Some of the vampires that I have met are psychic vampires and often are outright repulsed by the thought of drinking blood. Even the vampires who do drink blood do not go out stalking human prey and draining their bodies. There are a number of ways to safely and legally aquire blood, and the real vampire seems to prefer these methods.

As I continue my research, I continue to learn more about real vampires. My tools for learning include books and internet resources in addition to interviews, surveys, and meetings with people claiming to be real vampires. I will be posting the results of some of this research here on my site, and invite anyone who believes themself to be a real vampire to contact me through the email link at the bottom of this page.

Mythology and Folklore
They are the shadows of midnight. They are unspeakable dark specters that haunt our dreams and spark our imagination. They are romantic yet emotionless. They are powerful and still they are vulnerable. They can be dreadfully scary and viscous, or gentle and kind. They have passionate feelings without emotion. They are ageless, although they each have an age. Vampires.

You have heard of them, but what do you really know about them? Do the stories you have heard really define the vampires of legend? Or are they merely the machinations of a writer’s fancy? Did Dracula really exist? Who is Nosferatu? When I set out to create my site, those are some of the questions I had. I read texts and books, searched through all available resources, and studied the impact that vampires have had on our society. This article is the result of my research relevant to vampire mythology and folklore worldwide. I started my search for real vampires by exploring relevant mythology, to attempt to establish or disprove any link between fact and fiction.

The truth as I have found it is printed within these articles. You may not find the answers you are looking for. Then again if you only seek the answers you wish to hear, you aren't looking for the truth. I have looked at the issue from all sides and have drawn no conclusions without first obtaining satisfactory proof of credibility. I have attempted to remain objective regardless of what I have heard or seen. My own opinions are not within these pages, only the facts as I discovered them to be.

Throughout history, these beings have resided alongside man. Myths and folktales from all points of the globe speak of beings that feed on the living. From the Japanese Kasha to the Irish Dearg-Du and the Tlaciques of the Mexican Nahautl Indians and the Arabic Algul they exist. Germany alone has a minimum of three distinct types of vampire including the Alp, the Neuntoter, and the Doppelslauger of Germany's northern regions. These sinister creatures have permeated virtually every culture and time period, dating as far back as the Ekimmu of ancient Babylon and Assyria.

Despite the prevalence of vampires throughout society, not all cultures attribute the same characteristics to them. In some instances, they appear only at certain times, or under extraordinary circumstances, while others seem to have the ability to exist under any conditions. Not all vampires are killers, as in the case of the Raksasha from India, which is said to cause only, vomiting in its victims. Not all vampires are evil. The Italian Stregoni Benefici, although a vampire itself, is believed to be an ally against evil vampires.

Contrary to widely accepted mythology, vampires do not always feed on the blood of the living. There are several records of "psychic" vampires such as the Bebarlangs of the Philippines and the well-known Incubus (male), and Succubus (female). These beings simply drain away the victim's life force or psychic energy, leaving the victim physically and emotionally weak. The Babarlangs was actually a culmination of tribal spirits sent out to draw energy from its victims. The Incubus and Sucubus were known for entering the sleeping chambers of women and men respectively and (like the Leanhaum-Shee of Ireland) making love to them while drawing the life force from them.

There are also vampires that feed on other parts of the human body, such as the Jigarkhwar of India which eats the liver and the Brazilian Jaracacas which feeds on the breasts of nursing women, as well as the Lamia of Libyia which consumes the entire body of its victims. One last listing in this category is the Brahmaparush of India. This vampire drinks the blood of its victim AND eats it's brain before donning the unfortunate person’s intestines as some sort of ritualistic wardrobe.

Vampires are also not always dwellers of the night. The Bruxsa, a vampire of Portuguese origin and the Aswang of the Philippines are both said to live a perfectly normal life among humans during the day, each appearing as a beautiful maiden. The difference between these two forms of vampire lies in the fact that although the Aswang prefers to feed on children the Bruxsa is believed to be capable of bearing them. The Polish Upier also falls into this category as it is reported as rising at midday and returning to rest at midnight.

Although death is not a prerequisite to becoming a vampire in all legends, it does appear to be the most universally accepted theory for indoctrination into this infamous subculture of humanity. Some notable exceptions are the Moroii of Romania and the Obayifo of Africa, which are described as living vampires. The Pisacha of India is also exclusive to death in that it is believed to be created by the evils of humanity.

Although many seem to associate vampires with the fictional character of Dracula, males actually seem to be a minority in the global reports of these creatures. Female entities make up approximately eighty percent of all vampire legends worldwide. This causes a discontinuity between the vampire of fiction and the vampire of mythology. While the fictional night stalking vampires are often considered romantic, womanizing playboys; the mythological creatures are predominantly vengeful and angry females who feed on the blood of children.

In closing, the interesting thing to note is that although the creatures of mythology largely contradict the popular view of vampires, they do exist. They exist at all corners of the world and in nearly every culture known to man. Although they exist as superstition and folklore, they persist in appearing in the dark shadows of humanity. Often times, those things we consider mythology, have, in some small way, a foundation of truth to them. One of the purposes of my research is to find the origin of the myths to try to ascertain whether or not any truth ever did exist in them during the long forgotten history of man.

Frequently Asked Questions
About Real Vampires

1. Do vampires really exist?
The answer to this question depends on your definition of the word vampire. If you feel that vampires are the creatures depicted in movies such as Near Dark and in books such as Dracula and Interview With A Vampire, then I would have to say no. To date, I have not met or even heard of a varafiable creature such as that.
If on the other hand, you beleive that vampires are people who are basically normal with the exception of one or two abnomalities such as hypersensitivity to light, heightened psychic abilities, and the physical need to consume blood, then my answer would be yes.

11. Do vampires really drink blood?
Some, but not all, real vampires do drink blood. This does not mean that they drain the bodies of those they drink from. The majority of vampires whom I have met that do admit to drinking blood state that they consume the equivalence of a shotglass full of blood during a single feeding. This amount is not exact as some prefer to drink less, but it does seem to be the maximum amount consumed.

12. Do vampires really die if they are exposed to the sun?
I have never heard of any real vampires who burst into flames or crumbled into dust from exposure to the sun. Some vampires do have a severe sensitivity to sunlight as well as certain forms of artificial light. This sensitivity can cause several different problems for the vampire. First it can cause the individual to be more susceptible to sunburn, sunstroke, and certain other sun related malodies. Second, it often causes the individual to suffer a form of day blindness, similar to snow blindness.

13. Are vampires really repelled by garlic?
Although some vampires prefer not to eat garlic, I have never seen one unable to enter a room because of it's presence. Some vampires suffer digestive problems which are aggravated by the consumption of garlic. Others have a hypersensitivity to flavor or smell, which may cause them to be put off by the strong flavored and highly aromatic herb.

14. Do religious items such as crucifixes really ward off vampires?
Real vampires, the ones I have met, belong to all religious and non-religious denominations. There are Christians and Muslims, atheists and agnostics. Religious items, such as crucifixes and holy water do not repel vampires nor do they cause harm to vampires.

15. Can vampires really change into other animals?
Shapeshifting is a phenomenon discussed in many shamanic religions, and therefore not exclusive to vampirism. Native American folklore speaks of people capable of assuming the shape of animals, thereby connecting with the spirit of that animal. Although I do not claim to be an authority on the subject of shapeshifting, none of the vampires I have met have claimed to have the ability.

16. Are vampires really immortal?
I have met vampires who claim they will have a longer lifespan than normal people. I have also read texts claiming that there are documented cases of vampiric persons who have shown slower aging than normal people. None of this indicates however, that vampires are immortal. Vampires do seem to have a stronger immune system than normal people, but as far as my research has uncovered thus far, they do die.

17. Do vampires really hunt unsuspecting victims?
I have heard of some vampires who do prey on unsuspecting persons, but they are most often psychic vampires whose attacks leave the "victim" with no greater harm than a feeling of exhaustion. Blood drinking vampires have a vast wealth of resources available to them for the aquisition of their needed sustenance. Most whom I have met rely on donors, persons willing to allow the vampire to drink their blood. In addition, there are butcher shops, bloodbanks, and blood merchants.

18. Do vampires really sleep in coffins?
Although I am quite sure that some extremely eccentric vampires may participate in this type of activity, those whom I have met do not. They sleep in normal beds, limited only by their preference of traditional matresses over waterbeds.

19. Do vampires cast a reflection in mirrors?"
As far as I have learned, all vampires do indeed cast a reflection. In fact, I know of one female vampire who spends a great deal of time in front of the mirror, much like any normal female. Vampires also photogragh well, thereby dismissing the theory that they arent able to be seen except headon.

20. Can you really kill a vampire by driving a stake through it's heart?
The answer to this is really an issue of common sense. Think to yourself... "how many living things CAN have a stake (wooden or otherwise) driven through their hearts and still live? With that in mind, rest assured that silver bullets, decapitation, and burning will also effectively dispatch a vampire, just as they would any other living thing.

21. Are there any documented cases listing vampirism as a medical disease?
Vampirism is often cited as a symptom of both physical and psychological diseases. The cases determine those who show certain attributes, such as an aversion to sunlight as displaying "vampiric" tendencies. They do not consider these persons to be actual vampires however. To the best of my knowledge, there are noactual documented cases of vampirism as a medically accepted form of disease.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy"

William Shakespeare

"I have discovered the secrets of the pyramids, and have found out how the Egyptians and the ancient builders in Peru, Yucatan, and Asia, with only primitive tools, raised and set in place blocks of stone weighing many tons!"

Edward Leedskalnin


Modern physics admits that gravity is very different from other forces (strong, electromagnetic and weak) and perhaps less understood. Newton first described and formalized effects of gravity. Einstein made a significant step in understanding its nature and improved the way we can estimate it. Still, we cannot really tell what causes gravity and why it is so special among other forces. Calling it a “field”, a “universal force” does not help explaining it.

Gravity as an inertial phenomenon in curved space caused by rotation of the universe in respect to higher dimensions.

Einstein's Theory of Gravity

Newton's theory of gravity is one of the most significant triumphs of scientific effort. Its predictions are vindicated by observations with extraordinary accuracy. When Adams in England and Le Verrier in France used the motion of Uranus to predict the existence of Neptune they were expressing the trust people have come to place on Newtonian gravitation as a very good approximation to reality.

However as with any theory there are regimes where it is no longer applicable. For example the perihelion of Mercury is observed to precess at the rate of 43 arc-seconds every century. This ``fast'' precession cannot be explained by Newtonian gravitation. Another issue that came back to haunt Newton's theory of gravity was its ``action at a distance'' nature. Following the success of Maxwell's field theory of electromagnetic forces it was becoming increasingly necessary to find a similar field theory for gravitation. It was to meet this challenge that Einstein's theory of gravitation rose. It is an even better approximation to physical reality than Newton's theory, and reduces to Newton's theory when applied to the regime where Newton's theory is expected to work. Perhaps even more importantly it provides a geometric understanding of gravitation, which makes it more satisfying than the action at a distance nature of Newtonian gravitation.

Special Theory of Relativity

Before we enter Einstein's theory of gravitation we should take a detour into another one of his very famous works. One of the problems that faced physics at the turn of this century was one of relativity. In Newtonian physics there were a set of observers, called the inertial observers, to whom the laws of dynamics were the same. They all observed that the Newton's laws were satisfied. These observers were all un-accelerated, i.e., at rest or moving at uniform speed. The laws of dynamics were relative to the inertial observers. This is referred to as Galilean relativity. This was the situation until Maxwell's theory of electro-magnetism. Inspite of its stunning successes, it had one huge problem. Not all inertial observers saw the same Maxwell's laws. Physics was no longer relative. Two inertial observers at uniform motion relative to each other would measure different speeds of light. Maxwell himself was aware of this and attempted to solve the problem by defining his theory to be applicable only to observers stationary relative to a frame defined by a substance called Ether that filled all space. This however was not just an unsatisfying solution, it was also untenable from an observational point of view. No amount of observations led to any detection of earth's motion through this Ether that filled space. Einstein decided that the problem was not with Maxwell's laws but with Galilean relativity. He restored relativity to all of physics by defining a new set of inertial observers who all agreed on the laws of physics. This meant of course Newton's laws couldn't be correct. In fact it turned out that they were only true for inertial observers at rest or moving very slowly (compared to the speed of light). The laws of dynamics had to be changed for inertial observers moving very fast. One of the most important changes was that nothing could move faster than the speed of light. This was a consequence of the requirement that all inertial observers (regardless of how fast they moved) had to measure the speed of light in vacuum to be the same number c. Newton's second law was still true in the sense that the rate of change of momentum of a body was proportional to the force applied, but the meaning of momentum was now different. It became a function of the speed of the body such that it is increasingly more difficult to accelerate a body as it gets faster. For a body of finite mass it takes an infinite amount of energy to accelerate it to the speed of light. Only particles with zero mass (like the light particle, photons) can travel at the speed of light.


One consequence of the new theory of relativity meant of course that Newton's theory of gravitation was no longer relative to inertial observers moving relative to each other either. This meant that a new theory of gravitation had to be found which would be relative according to the special theory of relativity. Now a basic tenet of Newtonian relativity is the concept of absolute space. According to Newton there was an absolute space that did not change or alter and did not care about the state of the observer. The experiment that led him to this conclusion was one he performed himself. He strung a bucket full of water with a rope. He rotated the bucket so the rope was twisted and then let it go. The bucket started spinning around. The water level of course is flat when the bucket starts to spin. Then gradually the water starts to pick up the rotation from the bucket. Eventually the water is rotating at the same speed as the bucket. At this point the surface of the water is curved into a parabola. When the bucket was moving relative to the water the level was flat. It was only when water wasn't moving relative to the bucket that the surface became curved. So Newton concluded it wasn't the motion of the bucket that changed the surface of the water, because by the time the surface of water was affected the water wasn't moving relative to the bucket anymore, but that it was the motion of the water itself which was significant. Somehow the water was aware of the fact that it was in rotation. And so Newton concluded that there was an absolute space that decided what did and didn't have a force acting on it. And only observers at rest or in uniform motion relative to that absolute space could be inertial observers.

Ernst Mach, an Austrian physicist who worked in the end of the last century disagreed with Newton's interpretation of the bucket experiment. He held that all knowledge was derived from sensations. So he refused to admit any statement in natural science that wasn't empirically verifiable. This led him to dismiss Newton's absolute space. He argued instead that the water was responding the mass around it, like the Earth, that it was rotating relative to. As he pointed out, the bucket was of small mass, but if it was made ``several leagues thick'' no one was competent to say how the water would react. His theory of relativity thus did not allow any absolute space. Inertial observers in his theory were at rest or in uniform motion relative to some space that was defined by all the material in the Universe.

This new statement of relativity strongly influenced Einstein while he was developing his theory of gravity. He postulated the strong principle of equivalence. According to this principle, in the presence of a gravitational field (say on Earth or around Sun), at each point it is possible over a small volume to define an observer for whom the laws of physics are identical to that of an unaccelerated observer (i.e., an observer who has no forces acting on him/her). Thus in some ways Einstein's theory of gravity falls in between Machian and Newtonian relativity. The material around our small volume of interest does define the frame identical to the unaccelerated frame (as far as physical laws go), but once that frame is defined the details of the mass distribution no longer matter for the entire small volume.

Stating the equivalence principle in this way brings it very close to a different field that had been worked on before at some length. Imagine a curved line. If we magnify a small portion of it, it looks less curved. We can continue our focusing into smaller and smaller sections of the curved line. Eventually we'll be looking at such a small portion of the curved line that it will look straight to us, much like the way the Earth seems flat at close range even though we know that it is spherical. Note how close this is to the idea that in a small enough volume about a point in a gravitational field we can define a frame where we can forget that there is a gravitational field. This analogy led Einstein to conclude that the gravitational field was infact a statement about the geometry of space-time itself. The presence of massive objects like the Sun causes space time to curve like the surface of the Earth is curved. The curvature of space time is much harder to visualize than the curved surface of a balloon or earth of course. The Earth is a two dimensional curved surface occupying a three dimensional volume. Its far harder to imaging a curved three or four dimensional volume. Regardless the mathematics is very similar and it is possible to carry over the same mathematical arguments from curved two dimensional surfaces to higher dimensions. In the absence of mass the geometry of space time is flat, in the way the table top is a flat two dimensional surface. When there is mass present the space time curves to act like the surface of Earth or the surface of water in the rotating bucket. Except that the curved ``surface'' is in four dimensions (three space dimensions and one time) rather than two. As is to be expected, indeed is required, the Einstein's theory of gravity reduces to Newtonian gravity when the gravitational field involved is not very intense, like in the solar system. Which is necessary given the wonderful successes of Newtonian gravity in explaining the motions of planets. Newtonian gravity fails at Mercury, closest to Sun, where the gravitational field is the most intense. And there the corrections made by Einstein's gravity match with observations perfectly. The unexplained fast precession of Mercury is exactly what is to be expected once corrections due to Einstein's theory of gravity is taken into account.

Some consequences of Einstein's theory of gravity fall straight out of the basic propositions. Because the presence of mass curves space time, ``straight lines'' are no longer straight in the way we think of them in flat space time. Imagine two people back to back on the North Pole starting to walk out in what they think are straight lines. If the Earth were flat they would never meet. Of course we know that that won't be the case and they will meet face to face at the South Pole. This is drastically different from what we learnt in Euclidean geometry where parallel lines never meet and a straight line extends out in two directions infinitely. Whereas in curved space they turn around and meet. Similarly in curved space time ``straight lines'' behave strangely. Two rays of light for example that are parallel in a flat space time would carry on parallel to each other never reducing or increasing the distance to each other. In curved space time they would change the distance between each other. This was observed by Sir Arthur Eddington when he looked for stars near the Sun during a complete solar eclipse and found that they were in different positions to where they were when the Sun was in a different part of the sky. This meant that the light rays reaching us from the stars had been bent by the curved space time due to the Sun's mass.

Another consequence that follows from the equivalence principle is the dilation of time. Imagine two points in a gravitational field, say the Earth and the Pluto in the Sun's gravitational field. According to the strong equivalence principle around each point there is a small volume where we can define an observer (inertial observer) where the physical laws are the same as an un-accelerated observer. But the volume must be small. So the observer who is inertial in the small volume around Pluto won't appear inertial on Earth at all. Imagine a clock in the hand of this observer on Pluto. It will work according to the time scale the inertial observer at Pluto thinks is appropriate. This won't be appropriate at all to the inertial observer at the Earth. So the identical clock on Earth will run differently from the clock on Pluto. In fact as we get closer to Sun, i.e., as the gravitational field intensifies the clock ticks slower compared to what it would in the absence of the Sun. Of course sitting on Earth we can't tell that it is ticking slower, because our standards of time (like how fast we grow old, etc.) are also slowed (remember all physical laws are affected). But if we were to compare clocks in Pluto and Earth we would be able to tell the difference. In fact this is what happens when we look at an atom radiating light. This is a natural clock and consequently will run slower on Earth than on Pluto. As the photon is radiated on Earth it has the color appropriate to the difference of energies of the stationary states the atom is making the transition between. But because of the difference in ticks of the clocks on Pluto the color will appear inappropriate for the same transition. It will appear redder on Pluto where gravity due to Sun is less intense than on Earth. This is called gravitational redshift and has been observed for light coming from white dwarves which have an intense gravitational field.

There are other theories of gravity as well, some not as elegant as Einstien's theory, others of comparable elegance. However the final word in science comes not from prejudices about heuristics but empirical evidence. And from that point of view, Einstein's theory is far ahead of its nearest competitors. But it continues to be challenged by observational tests. One of the most interesting ones being done today involves a yet unobserved prediction of the theory. Just as Maxwell's theory of Electromagnetic fields predicted the presence of waves, later identified as light, Einstein's theory for gravitational fields predict the presence of gravitational waves. However these are extremely difficult to observe and require sensitivity that is yet to be achieved with current technology. However there already exists indirect evidence through pulsars that have been observed to be slowing down because of energy radiated out in gravitational waves. These observations led to Nobel prizes for Joseph Taylor and Russell Hulse. However efforts continue to directly detect these waves in the geometry of the very space time we exist in.

Gravity's Mystery Unveiled

It is commonly assumed that the universe originated in the so-called Big Bang, the explosion of what science calls a singularity. This singularity, a dimensionless point, allegedly was comprised of all the matter of the universe before, which had collapsed into this singularity. However, there is a problem with this scenario. Once matter has reached the state of a dimensionless point it is not matter any more. Matter by its very nature exists in a material dimension defined by length, width, height and time. Once this is gone matter's remnant is energy. As energy does not take up space one could call this remnant a dimensionless point. Therefore, the statement should be that the universe originated in the explosion of the energy corresponding to all the collapsed matter of the universe before.

With matter out of the way the question needs to be what kind of energy exploded and why it exploded. This energy originated from the collapse of matter. This means that the collapsed matter had lost its electromagnetic component and once it had reached the state of being completely separated from its electromagnetic energy matter as such ceased to exist. It collapsed instantly into a state of energy. - For simplicity's reason let it be understood that the weak and the strong force of the atom are meant as well when the term electromagnetism is used.

There are two kinds of energy: the energy corresponding to matter as it oscillates between the stages of energy and the stages of matter. Then there is the energy of the quantum vacuum. This energy corresponds to matter/energy and as such could be called the energy behind matter. Religion calls it the spiritual energy.

When matter collapses out of existence its energy component ceases to exist, as well. Hence, collapsed matter ends up as energy of the quantum vacuum, the realm of spirituality. This energy is not destroyed but it corresponds to dead matter. To re-vitalize this energy an input of energy is needed. Such input as produces the explosion of the Big Bang. For matter to collapse it has to be separated from its electromagnetic energies, the weak and the strong force of the atom. Energy is not lost. Separating from the dying matter this energy forms its own dimensionless point in the quantum vacuum. When the separation of all the electromagnetic energy from all matter in a universe has been reached the result are two dimensionless points, which are part of the energy of the quantum vacuum, the spiritual energy. One such point corresponds to all the dead matter of the collapsed universe the other one corresponds to all the electromagnetic energies, which had kept this matter alive.

When this situation has been reached these two dimensionless points of opposite nature meet in an extremely violent encounter and explode. By the force of this explosion commonly called the Big Bang, the two types of energy fuse and produce new matter, hydrogen and to a lesser degree helium. However, the question has to be addressed what else exploded. The first Big Bang, which created the first universe, must have been caused by the encounter of opposite energies alone because then there were no remnants of electromagnetic energy or matter to clash.

It must be assumed that there are two opposing types of quantum vacuum or spiritual energy. - From now on let's call these the spiritual energies because that's what they are commonly called. - Their very first encounter started the cycles of creation and destruction in the primal Big Bang. Subsequently, when matter died and a universe collapsed these spiritual energies attracted the energies of electromagnetism and the energies of dead matter thereby growing in volume from universe to universe. - For simplicity's reason lets call the energy, which attracts electromagnetism, positive and the energy, which attracts dead matter, negative.

In view of the aforesaid it is clear that primarily the universe is a spiritual structure. Only secondly it is a structure with an electromagnetic and a matter component. The origin, the method of creation and the type of matter created in the Big Bang decide matter's destiny from its beginning to its end.

Matter consists of two components: matter itself and electromagnetism, which keeps matter alive. This duality corresponds to the duality of the spiritual energies. One also could call this the duality of two principles, the principle of life or the positive principle and the principle of death or the negative principle. The Positive Principle creates and maintains creation and the Negative Principle destroys. The Positive Principle provides electromagnetism + the weak and the strong force of the atom and the Negative Principle provides matter and gravity. Together they provide living matter.

The weak force and the strong force of the atom counter gravity on the atomic level and keep the electrons orbiting a nucleus. In space electromagnetism assigns the locations of cosmic bodies. The Sun's electromagnetic field fields extents all the way to Pluto. In this field all the cosmic bodies of the solar system are embedded. Similarly, the star systems of a galaxy owe their respective locations to the electromagnetic field of the galaxy. Electromagnetism is everywhere and so is gravity.

Gravity determined the structure of the Earth. Heavy metals form the core and lighter rocks constitute the planet's crust. In between there is liquid magma. The heavy core rotates more slowly than the lighter crust with magma acting as sort of a clutch. The field lines of the core's metals and the field lines of the ores in the crust intersect and this produces an electromagnetic field, which continuously is getting stronger.

Gravity works very differently. It is attached to matter and forms tiny gravitational fields for every atom. These fields do not cancel the part that overlaps with the neighboring atom's field. These fields are added to one another. The more of these tiny gravitational fields of an atom there are the bigger is the common gravitational field. A planet has innumerable of these fields and, therefore, the accumulated gravitational field is very strong.

Wherever there is matter there is gravity. The more matter there is the stronger is gravity. There is a direct relation between matter and gravity, which cannot be overcome by shielding matter from gravity. Only an input of energy can overcome gravity. For instance, to overcome Earth's gravity a rocket has to use vast amounts of energy to escape its gravitational pull.

All efforts to come up with a unified field theory so far were able to integrate only electromagnetism plus the weak and the strong force of the atom. All attempts to include gravity in such a theory have failed - and for a valid reason. Electromagnetism plus the weak and the strong force of the atom together are the opposite force to gravity. This opposite force counteracts gravity and, therefore, they cannot be integrated in a single formula with it.

Matter and gravity cannot be separated. Shielding matter from gravity is not possible and there is a valid reason. Matter is energized gravity and one cannot shield something from itself.

To understand this statement one has to look at the end of matter in the universe before and the beginning of matter in a Big Bang. When matter in the previous universe lost its electromagnetic components it did not drift aimlessly through space. It instantly lost its matter nature and collapsed as spiritual energy into the center of gravity of that universe located in the quantum vacuum or in the realm of spiritual energies as one could call it, too.

Energy joins energy of same nature. The spiritual energy of the gravitational center attracts the spiritual energy of gravity attached to matter. When matter went out of existence matter's gravitational spiritual energy joined the spiritual energy of the universes gravitational center.

The input of positive spiritual energies caused the Big Bang and forced the weak plus the strong force of the atom and electromagnetism into the gravitational energies of the universe before thereby creating new energized living matter. This means that the newly formed matter originated from positive and negative spiritual energies, which accompany this matter from its very beginning as the second kind of energy behind matter as spiritual energy. This also means that from its very beginning matter has attached the energies from which it originated, the energies of gravity.

Therefore, matter and gravity are inseparably bound together.

Matter equals gravity.



Figuratively, we may imagine that the Earth’s matter immersed into the ethereal one is pressed by ethereal particles which have obtained some potential, and all the bodies on the Earth’s surface are also pressed in the same direction. Actually, the deformed ethereal particles react contrariwise on the spherical coats of the material particles and press them in a direction towards the balance center. The interaction implements the Newton’s Third law.

According to the Hypothesis, the system of deformed ethereal and deforming material particles is a gravitation field and the forces that act in it are gravitation forces. It is obvious that a contradiction between the Hypothesis and the official Gravity Law appears. In fact, there is no contradiction because of the perfect mathematical apparatus of the official theory; only the physical explanation has to be précised.
Because the Hypothesis claims: Forces of attraction could not and do not exist.

Following the ethereal particles from the Earth’s center to its periphery, we see how they become deformed; we might consider that their ideal spherical shape is deformed to an elliptical one with a small axis directed towards the balance center of the Earth’s gravity field. But this consideration have to be accepted as a part of the whole abstraction and idealization being in use by the Hypothesis but, of course, aiming to lead as close as it is possible to the hypothetical reality.

The gravity interactions are dominant in the space mechanics and spread everywhere in the Universe. They are weakest among all interactions, much weaker even than the weak ones. The gravity forces on the Earth’s surface are relatively weak, if we are on our guard that the huge mass of our planet which they depend on.

Gravitation field according the Hypothesis is a system of ethereal particles of neutral character activated to some potential by the neutral fields (the spherical coats) of inertial matter particles immersed into the ethereal matter.

The potential of the ethereal particles depends on the mass of the material particles that it activates them and reciprocally creates reactive forces which accomplish a feedback action to the material ones.

The gravitation field reacts on the particles of the matter and, as far as that matter is integrated into a macro-body, it makes its impact on the same macro-body. A consequence of this is the precision gravity forces which act at a molecular level. Due to this, the vectors of all the forces realized by a gravitation field are directed exactly towards its balance center. By the same reason the moving of the Earth round the Sun and the moving of the Moon round the Earth, in one word, the trajectories of all space objects are at a molecular level, that is why they are so precise in time and space.

Gravity Mysteries Solved

A simple law of nature, reveals the cause behind all of these mysteries:

  • Gravity
  • Creation of galaxies immediately after the Big Bang
  • Gasses amassing to become solar systems
  • The creation of the heavenly bodies
  • Why matter is pulling together
  • The flattened universe
  • Dark matter
  • Dark energy
  • Black holes
  • Lightning
  • Tornadoes
  • Strange air pockets
  • The Pioneer Anomaly
  • The Eye of a Hurricane
  • Magnetic Field of the Sun
  • Magnetism & Electricity
  • "Ionospheric Dynamo" and its ring currents.
  • The shocking new data discovered by XMM Newton
  • Quantum Physics
  • and much more...

If Aliens were watching TV from Earth...


Did an asteroid strike in Australia plunge Anglo-Saxon England into a mini ice-age?

A giant meteorite that broke in two as it crashed off Australia, could have been responsible for a mini-ice age that engulfed Britain in 535AD.

The claim was made by marine geophysicist Dallas Abbott at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union last month.

She found evidence of two substantial impact craters in the Gulf of Carpentaria, off the northern Australian coast.

In the mid-sixth century, Europe and Asia experienced the most severe and protracted episode of cooling of the last 2,000 years.

Sources from the time refer to widespread crop failures and famines as the unseasonal weather took hold. The Gaelic Irish Annals recorded 'a failure of bread' from 536 to 539AD.

Tree ring analysis by Mike Baillie from Queen's University in Belfast also suggested a cool period. He found the Irish oak showed abnormally little growth in 536 and 542. This phenomenon was noted in trees in Sweden and Finland as well.

The cause, according to historic sources, was a huge dust veil that descended on Earth.

For instance Byzantine historian Procopius recorded in 536AD that 'during this year a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness.

'It seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear.'

Until now scientists were divided as to whether the dust cloud was caused by a huge volcanic eruption like Krakatoa or a meteorite slamming into Earth.

Britain was divided into a number of warring kingdoms in the 6th century. Sutton Hoo was first used as a burial site at this time

The eruption theory has many supporters due to sulphate deposits found in ice cores from that period.

However, Dr Abbott's research suggests the alternative theory. She found satellite measurements of sea levels pointed to two significant craters off Australia, which were 11miles and 7.4miles wide.

According to National Geographic, she was led to the site by large v-shaped dunes along the coast, which she believes are evidence of a great tsunami triggered by a giant impact.

Dr Abbott calculated that the original object must have been 2,000ft across. She also found that core samples from the area revealed material likely to have been melted and then blasted into the sky.

This could fit quite neatly with a 2004 paper in the journal of Astronomy and Geophysics, which suggested an object around 2,000ft across could have caused a cooling event on the scale of AD535.

Other researchers led by U.S. physicist Mark Boslough have dismissed Dr Abbott's theory.

Dr Boslough said if a large impactor had broken up as it approached Earth's surface, the fragments should have 'essentially behaved as one piece', creating just one crater.

He added that Dr Abbott and others had found 'evidence' of more impact events than astronomer's believe are possible.

Dr Abbott has staunchly defended her work. While she agreed her case wasn't 100 per cent proven she said: 'I think we're getting very close to being able to show there were a lot of impacts in the last 10,000 years.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Optical Illusions


Our visual system is designed to allow us functioning in three-dimensional environment which is filled with light, shading, color, texture, and full of objects of different sizes at different distances. Most of us take vision for granted without realizing how complex and difficult task our brain is performing in order to correctly represent the "real outside world". Our perception is created by our brain's interpretation of visual information and sometimes it results in fascinating visual illusions. Our mind gets "actively" involved in interpreting the perceptual input rather than passively recording the input. It does not always accurately represent that input.

Visual Illusions can be categorized as:

  • Physical Illusions: here the illusion has already occurred before light has entered the eye [ mirage, rainbow, straw in a glass of water ]

  • Physiological Illusions: illusions which can be explained by low-level physiological mechanisms [ Hermann Grid, Mach Bands ]

  • Cognitive Illusions: illusions which require real world knowledge: constructivist explanations [ Necker Cube, Boring’s Women ]

    • Ambiguity: more than one way of perceiving stimulus - Necker Cube, Duck-Rabbit.

    • Paradox/Perception: Seeing things that aren’t actually there [ Hermann Grid, Kanizsa Triangle ]

    • Distortion: Systematic differences between measured and perceived size, shape etc. [ Ponzo Illusion, Müller-Lyer Illusion ]

    • Fiction illusions are the perception of objects that are genuinely not there to all but a single observer, such as those induced by schizophrenia or hallucinogenic drugs. [not covered here]

Many illusions have more than one cause [ Müller-Lyer, Café Wall ]

Physical Illusions - Examples

These are examples of physical illusions, where what we see is not really there, but where the cause of the illusion in the behavior of light before it reaches the eye.

Mirage Phenomena

A mirage is a natural illusion that is an optical phenomenon. It is produced by the reflection of light when it passes into a layer of hot air lying close to a heated ground surface (known as a temperature inversion). In deserts, mirage may create the illusion of a lake in the distance (which is actually an image of the sky reflected by the hot air (temperature inversion layer).

The most commonly observed mirage is the inferior mirage, which is usually seen as a shiny patch on a hot surface that is the reflection of the sky. Summer sunlight may raise the temperature of an exposed surface as much as 80°C or more than the air not far above it. A strong temperature gradient is established just above the surface, and with it a relatively thin layer of reduced density.

Inferior Mirage

Formation of inferior image

The air is normal except for a thin heated layer, so the rays are mostly straight lines, but strongly curved upwards in the heated layer. An object AB appears to the observer at O reflected at A'B', inverted and below the horizon, in front of the shining pool that is the reflection of the sky. Except for inversion, the object is not distorted. Note that the rays to the top and bottom of the object are crossed. This crossing is necessary to produce the reflection. The object AB is also visible by direct rays in the normal way. It is not very unusual to see such inverted images, but in many cases there is nothing to be imaged, so just the shining pool of the sky is seen. The inferior mirage with this geometry is frequently seen while driving in the summer, and cars ahead may be seen reflected in it.

A superior mirage occurs when the air below the line of sight is colder than that above. This is called a temperature inversion, since it does not represent the normal equilibrium temperature gradient of the atmosphere. Since in this case the light rays are bent down, the image appears above the true object, hence the name superior. They are in general less common than inferior mirages, but when they do occur they tend to be more stable, as cold air has no tendency to move up and warm air no tendency to move down.

Superior mirage - photo by Carlos Santos
Carlos photographed this horizon line at 19:39 pm on
the Semptember 5th, 2007 on the beach of Furadouro in Ovar, Portugal.

Superior mirage detail - photo by Carlos Santos

Superior Mirage
Formation of superior mirage (source: Sechrist et al. 1989)

Superior images can be straight up or upside down, depending on the distance of the true object and the temperature gradient. Often the image appears as a distorted mixture of up and down parts.

The fata morgana is a complex mirage in which distant objects are distorted as well as elongated vertically. For example, a relatively flat shoreline may appear to have tall cliffs, columns, and pedestals. The phenomenon occurs under much the same meteorological conditions as the superior mirage with inversion, and contains features of both towering and inversion.

Antisolar Rays

Antisolar rays are sometimes seen in the direction opposite the sun, converging to the antisolar point (towards the shadow of your head). They are caused by sunlight being scattered from aerosols like dust particles and water vapor. Clouds or terrain may block the sun in some places, which causes rays of light to become visible. The sun's rays are all parallel to each other, because the sun is very far away. However, perspective causes the rays seemingly to diverge from the sun's position, or, in the case of antisolar rays, converge to the point opposite the sun (antisolar point).

The sun's rays are actually parallel.
They look as if they converge only due to perspective effect
(just like road lines appear to converge in the distance).


There is no definitive location for a rainbow. Its location is determined only by observer's position relative to the sun and rain.

A rainbow is an apparently real object, but we can never reach it.

Flattening of the Sun and Moon

The temperature (and pressure) gradient in the atmosphere causes bending of light rays. This is called atmospheric refraction. Light rays from the low sun or moon will refract more closer to the horizon. This is why the setting or rising sun (and moon) appears flattened: the light rays from the lower part of the sun's disk refract more than the rays emerging from the top, and the vertical angle over which you see the sun is decreased - it is flattened.

Green Flash

Green flashes and green rays are rare optical phenomena that occur shortly after sunset or before sunrise, when a green spot is visible for a short period of time above the sun, or a green ray shoots up from the sunset point. It is usually observed from a low altitude where there is an unobstructed view of the horizon, such as on the ocean.

Its explanation lies in refraction of light (as in a prism) in the atmosphere and is enhanced by atmospheric layering. Whilst we would expect to see a blue light, the blue is dispersed (this is why the sky is blue) and only the green light remains visible.

With slight magnification, a green rim on the top limb of the solar disk can be seen on most clear-day sunsets. However the flash or ray effects require a stronger layering of the atmosphere and a mirage which serves to magnify the green for a fraction of a second to a couple of seconds.

This photograph was taken from Torrey Pines, California on Jan. 7, 1996.
This is the kind of Green Flash associated with the mock mirage.

Mirror Illusion (Reflection)

A mirror creates an “illusion” of another object or person being present.

Mirror Ball by M.C. Escher


A light ray bends when it enters a different density medium at an oblique angle.
The density of a material affects the speed of light ray traveling through it.

A straw in a glass of water appears broken at the surface
of the water and its size and angle different under the water.

An underwater object appears under different
angle when viewed at the edge of an fish tank.
Both A1 and A2 are apparent positions of the object A.

When light passes from one substance to another, it changes direction. This effect is familiar to all of us from observations in bath tubs and swimming pools, and it is called refraction. The effect is usually dealt with as if light were rays that literally bend in direction as they pass through the boundary, but in fact the elegant explanation of what happens relies on the wave theory of light.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Introduction to Cryptography

  • cryptography is the study of
secret (crypto-) writing (-graphy)

  • concerned with developing algorithms which may be used to:
    • conceal the context of some message from all except the sender and recipient (privacy or secrecy), and/or
    • verify the correctness of a message to the recipient (authentication)
  • form the basis of many technological solutions to computer and communications security problems
  • for a good overview paper see:
W Diffie, M E Hellman, "Privacy and Authentication: An Introduction to Cryptography", in Proc. IEEE, Vol 67(3) Mar 1979, pp 397-427

Basic Concepts

the art or science encompassing the principles and methods of transforming an intelligible message into one that is unintelligible, and then retransforming that message back to its original form
the original intelligible message
the transformed message
an algorithm for transforming an intelligible message into one that is unintelligible by transposition and/or substitution methods
some critical information used by the cipher, known only to the sender & receiver
encipher (encode)
the process of converting plaintext to ciphertext using a cipher and a key
decipher (decode)
the process of converting ciphertext back into plaintext using a cipher and a key
the study of principles and methods of transforming an unintelligible message back into an intelligible message without knowledge of the key. Also called codebreaking
both cryptography and cryptanalysis
an algorithm for transforming an intelligible message into an unintelligible one using a code-book


Encryption C = E_(K)(P)

Decryption P = E_(K)^(-1)(C)

E_(K) is chosen from a family of transformations known as a cryptographic system.

The parameter that selects the individual transformation is called the key K, selected from a keyspace K

More formally a cryptographic system is a single parameter family of invertible transformations

E_(K) ; K in K : P -> C

with the inverse algorithm E_(K)^(-1) ; K in K : C -> P

such that the inverse is unique

Usually assume the cryptographic system is public, and only the key is secret information

Private-Key Encryption Algorithms

  • a private-key (or secret-key, or single-key) encryption algorithm is one where the sender and the recipient share a common, or closely related, key
  • all traditional encryption algorithms are private-key
  • overview of a private-key encryption system and attacker

Cryptanalytic Attacks

  • have several different types of attacks

ciphertext only

  • only have access to some enciphered messages
  • use statistical attacks only

known plaintext

  • know (or strongly suspect) some plaintext-ciphertext pairs
  • use this knowledge in attacking cipher

chosen plaintext

  • can select plaintext and obtain corresponding ciphertext
  • use knowledge of algorithm structure in attack

chosen plaintext-ciphertext

  • can select plaintext and obtain corresponding ciphertext, or select ciphertext and obtain plaintext
  • allows further knowledge of algorithm structure to be used

Unconditional and Computational Security

  • two fundamentally different ways ciphers may be secure
    unconditional security
    - no matter how much computer power is available, the cipher cannot be broken
    computational security
    - given limited computing resources (eg time needed for calculations is greater than age of universe), the cipher cannot be broken

A Brief History of Cryptography

Ancient Ciphers

  • have a history of at least 4000 years
  • ancient Egyptians enciphered some of their hieroglyphic writing on monuments
  • ancient Hebrews enciphered certain words in the scriptures
  • 2000 years ago Julius Ceasar used a simple substitution cipher, now known as the Caesar cipher
  • Roger Bacon described several methods in 1200s
  • Geoffrey Chaucer included several ciphers in his works
  • Leon Alberti devised a cipher wheel, and described the principles of frequency analysis in the 1460s
  • Blaise de Vigenère published a book on cryptology in 1585, & described the polyalphabetic substitution cipher
  • increasing use, esp in diplomacy & war over centuries

Machine Ciphers

  • Jefferson cylinder, developed in 1790s, comprised 36 disks, each with a random alphabet, order of disks was key, message was set, then another row became cipher
  • Wheatstone disc, originally invented by Wadsworth in 1817, but developed by Wheatstone in 1860's, comprised two concentric wheels used to generate a polyalphabetic cipher
  • Enigma Rotor machine, one of a very important class of cipher machines, heavily used during 2nd world war, comprised a series of rotor wheels with internal cross-connections, providing a substitution using a continuosly changing alphabet

Classical Cryptographic Techniques

  • have two basic components of classical ciphers: substitution and transposition
  • in substitution ciphers letters are replaced by other letters
  • in transposition ciphers the letters are arranged in a different order
  • these ciphers may be:
  • monoalphabetic - only one substitution/ transposition is used, or
  • polyalphabetic - where several substitutions/ transpositions are used
  • several such ciphers may be concatentated together to form a product cipher

Caesar Cipher - a monoalphabetic cipher

  • replace each letter of message by a letter a fixed distance away eg use the 3rd letter on
  • reputedly used by Julius Caesar

ie mapping is

  • can describe this cipher as:
Encryption E_(k) : i -> i + k mod 26

Decryption D_(k) : i -> i - k mod 26

Cryptanalysis of the Caesar Cipher

  • only have 26 possible ciphers
  • could simply try each in turn - exhaustive key search

  • also can use letter frequency analysis
Single Letter              Double Letter             Triple Letter             


Character Frequencies

  • in most languages letters are not equally common
  • in English e is by far the most common letter
  • have tables of single double & triple letter frequencies
  • these are different for different languages (see Appendix A in Seberry & Pieprzyk)

  • use these tables to compare with letter frequencies in ciphertext, since a monoalphabetic substitution does not change relative letter frequencies
[1] do need a moderate amount of ciphertext (100+ letters)

Modular Arithmetic monoalphabetic cipher

  • more generally could use a more complex equation to calculate the ciphertext letter for each plaintext letter
E_(a b) : i ->a.i + b mod 26

nb a must not divide 26 (ie gcd(a,26) = 1)

otherwise cipher is not reversible eg a=2

and a=0, b=1, c=2 ... , y=24, z=25

  • eg E_(5 7) : i ->5.i + 7 mod 26
  • use letter frequency counts to guess a couple of possible letter mappings
    • nb frequency pattern not produced just by a shift
  • use these mappings to solve 2 simultaneous equations to derive above parameters

Example - Sinkov pp 34-35

Mixed Alphabets

  • most generally we could use an arbitrary mixed (jumbled) alphabet
  • each plaintext letter is given a different random ciphertext letter, hence key is 26 letters long

  • now have a total of 26! ^(~) 4 ^(x) 10^(26) keys
  • with so many keys, might think this is secure
  • problem is not the number of keys, rather:
1) there is lots of statistical information in message

2) can solve the problem piece by piece

(ie can get key nearly right, and nearly get message)

(near enough MUST NOT be good enough!)


  • use frequency counts to guess letter by letter
  • also have frequencies for digraphs & trigraphs

General Monoalphabetic

  • special form of mixed alphabet
  • use key as follows:
    • write key (with repeated letters deleted)
    • then write all remaining letters in columns underneath
    • then read off by columns to get ciphertext equivalents

Example Seberry p66





Polyalphabetic Substitution

  • in general use more than one substitution alphabet
  • makes cryptanalysis harder since have more alphabets to guess
  • and because flattens frequency distribution
  • (since same plaintext letter gets replaced by several ciphertext letter, depending on which alphabet is used)

Vigenère Cipher

  • basically multiple caesar ciphers
  • key is multiple letters long K = k_(1) k_(2) ... k_(d)
  • ith letter specifies ith alphabet to use
  • use each alphabet in turn, repeating from start after d letters in message

  • can use a Saint-Cyr Slide for easier encryption

  • based on a Vigenère Tableau


  • can describe this cipher as:
given K = k_(1) k_(2) ... k_(d)

then f_(i) (a) = a + k_(i) (mod n)

Beauford Cipher

  • similar to Vigenère but with alphabet written backwards
  • can be descibed by
given K = k_(1) k_(2) ... k_(d)

then f_(i) (a) = (k_(i) - a) (mod n)

and its inverse is

f_(i) ^(-1)(a) = (k_(i) - c) (mod n)

Example - Seberry p71

Key = d


Variant-Beauford Cipher

  • just the inverse of the Vigenère (decrypts it)
given K = k_(1) k_(2) ... k_(d)

then f_(i) (a) = a - k_(i) (mod n)

Language Redundancy & Unicity Distance

  • human languages are highly redundant
    • eg th lrd s m shphrd shll nt wnt
  • Claude Shannon derived several important results about the information content of languages in 1949
  • entropy of a message H(X) is related to the number of bits of information needed to encode a message X [2]
    • cannot exceed log_(2)n bits for n possible messages
  • the rate of langauge for messages of length k denotes the average number of bits in each character
D = F(H(M),k)
  • rate of English is about 3.2 bits/letter
  • distinguish information context and redundancy
  • Shannon defined the unicity distance of a cipher to give a quantatative measure of:
    • the security of a cipher (must not be too small)
    • the amount of ciphertext N needed to break it
N = F(H(K),D)

where H(K) is entropy (amount of info) of the key,

and is D the rate of the language used (eg 3.2)

  • for polynomial based monoalphabetic substitution ciphers have:
N = F(H(K),D) = F(log_(2)26,3.2) = 1.5

hence only need 2 letters to break

  • for general monoalphabetic substitution ciphers have
N = F(H(K),D) = F(log_(2)n!,D) = F(log_(2)26!,3.2) = F(26 log_(2)F(26,e),3.2) = 27.6

hence only need 27 or 28 letters to break

  • for polyalphabetic substitution ciphers, if have s possible keys for each simple subs, and d keys used, then
N = F(H(K),D) = F(log_(2)s^(d),D) = F(d log_(2)26,3.2) = 1.5d

hence need 1.5 times the number of separate substitutions used letters to break the cipher

  • but first need to determine just how many alphabets were used
    • Kasiski method
    • index of coincidence

Kasiski Method

  • use repetitions in ciphertext to give clues as to period, looking for same plaintext an exact period apart, leading to same ciphertext

Example - Seberry p71



Since repeats are 9 chars apart, guess period is 3 or 9.

Index of Coincidence

  • Index of Coincidence (IC) was introduced in 1920s by William Friedman
  • measures variation of frequencies of letters in ciphertext
    • period = 1 => simple subs => variation is high, IC high
    • period > 1 => poly subs => variation is reduced, IC low

see Seberry Table 3.2 p72 and Table 3.3 p74

d           IC             

1 0.0660
2 0.0520
3 0.0473
4 0.0450
5 0.0436
6 0.0427
7 0.0420
8 0.0415
9 0.0411
10 0.0408
11 0.0405
12 0.0403
13 0.0402
14 0.0400
15 0.0399
... ...
Inf 0.0380

	Table 3.3 - Period and IC for English

  • first define a measure of roughness (MR) giving variation of frequencies of individual characters relative to a uniform distribution
		MR = Isu(i=o,n-1,(p_(i) - F(1,n))^(2))

where p_(i) is probability an arbitrary character in ciphertext is the ith character a_(i) in the alphabet
			 Isu(i=o,n-1,p_(i)) = 1

  • for English letters can derive
		MR = Isu(i=o,n-1,p_(i)^(2)) - 0.038

		MR + 0.038 = Isu(i=o,n-1,p_(i)^(2))

is prob two arbitrary letters in ciphertext are the same
  • can compute MR for plaintext using characteristic letter frequencies
eg MR for English is 0.028 (0.066 - 0.038)
  • can also compute MR for a flat distribution as 0
  • since probabilities and period are unknown, cannot compute MR, however can estimate from ciphertext
  • now the number of pairs of letters that can be chosen from ciphertext of length N is
		Bbc[(S(N,2)) = F(1,2) N (N-1)

  • if F_(i) is the freq of the ith letter of English in the ciphertext, then the number of pairs containing just the ith letter is
		F(F_(i)(F_(i)-1),2)		and	Isu(i=o,n-1,F_(i)) = 1

  • now define the Index of Coincidence (IC) as the prob that two letters at random from the ciphertext are indeed the same
	IC = 	Isu(i=o,n-1,F(F_(i)(F_(i)-1),N(N-1)))

and use the IC estimate in
		MR + 0.038 = IC

  • since usually use IC in crypto work, expect that
		0.038 < IC < 0.066

  • for a cipher of period d the expected value of the IC is
		Exp(IC) = F(1,d) F(N-d,N-1)(0.066) + Bbc[(S(d-1,d))F(N,N-1)(0.038)

and we can use these values to estimate d from the ciphertext

Example program to compute IC - Seberry Fig3.4 p74

Solving Polyalphabetic Ciphers

  • use Kasiski method & IC to estimate period d
  • then separate ciphertext into d sections, and solve each as a monoalphabetic cipher

Example - Seberry pp73-77

Krypto program

  • this is a program to help solve simple substitution and transposition ciphers
  • invoke using
krypto [file]
  • has the following commands available
       Command                                    Meaning                           

? this message.
! execute a shell command.
f [ [n]] print [the n most] frequent strings of length seqlen.
g [

] print the frequency distribution graph of letters.
i [

] calculate the index of coincidence of the text.
l [ ] list only the modified string. [b=blklength, B=blks/line]
p print current code.
q exit.
s substitute ch2 for ch1.
S [-] -[gvbB] {keys} Perform the substitution specified by the key.
T [-] |key Transpose text by perm or keyword. e.g. T 4,5,2,3,1
t [/regexp] look for transpositions of period n; [print only /regexp].
B [-] |key apply the specifed rectangular encryption to the text.
b [/regexp] look for block decryptions of size n; [print only
u undo previous modification.
z reset the code to its initial state.
r enter code from file.
w write code to file.
e edit code.

  • see man entry for more details

Transposition Ciphers

  • transposition or permutation ciphers hide the message contents by rearranging the order of the letters

Scytale cipher

  • an early Greek transposition cipher
  • a strip of paper was wound round a staff
  • message written along staff in rows, then paper removed
  • leaving a strip of seemingly random letters
  • not very secure as key was width of paper & staff

For information on lots of simple substitution and permutation ciphers see:

  • A. Sinkov "Elementary Cryptanalysis", New Mathematical Library, Random House, 1968* other simple transposition ciphers include:

Reverse cipher

  • write the message backwards


Rail Fence cipher

  • write message with letters on alternate rows
  • read off cipher row by row
Plain:	I A E S W C N U R D


Geometric Figure

  • write message following one pattern and read out with another

Row Transposition ciphers

  • in general write message in a number of columns and then use some rule to read off from these columns
  • key could be a series of number being the order to: read off the cipher; or write in the plaintext

Key (R): 2 5 4 1 3
Key (W): 4 1 5 3 2


Example - Davies p26 Fig 2.14

  • or can use a word, with letter order giving sequence: to write in the plaintext; or read off the cipher

Key (W): C O M P U T E R
Key (W): 1 4 3 5 8 7 2 6



Example - Davies p26 Fig 2.15

  • key idea for row transposition ciphers is that message is in groups that have the letters reordered in each
  • Exercise using key sorcery (to read out) encipher:
Key(R):	sorcery => 6 3 4 1 2 5 7

laser beams can be modulated to carry more intelligence than radio waves
erasb lecam snabd umole atoed ctamo ryrre elntl iicee ntgha dnria oesav w

  • decryption consists of:
    • writing the message out in columns
    • reading off the message by reordering columns
    • (use T command in krypto, uses read out keys)
  • hint - its not a good idea to leave message in groups matching the size of your key!!!

Cryptanalysis of Row Transposition ciphers

  • a frequency count will show a normal language profile
  • hence know have letters rearranged
  • basic idea is to guess period, then look at all possible permutations in period, and search for common patterns (eg t command in krypto)
  • use lists of common pairs & triples & other features

Example - Seberry p67-8 [3]

  • to determine the complexity of this cipher, we can calculate its unicity distance
    • given blocks of period d, there are d! keys, hence
N = F(H(K),D) = F(log_(2)d!,D) = F(d log_(2)(d/e),3.2)

Seberry Table 3.1 p69

Block (Columnar) Transposition ciphers

  • another group of ciphers are block (columnar) transposition ciphers where the message is written in rows, but read off by columns in order given by key (use B command in krypto)
  • for ease of recovery may insist matrix is filled
Key(R):       s o r c e r y        s o r c e r y

Key(R): 6 3 4 1 2 5 7 6 3 4 1 2 5 7

l a s e r b e l a s e r b e
a m s c a n b a m s c a n b
e m o d u l a e m o d u l a
t e d t o c a t e d t o c a
r r y m o r e r r y m o r e
i n t e l l i i n t e l l i
g e n c e t h g e n c e t h
a n r a d i o a n r a d i o
w a v e s w a v e s q r

  • giving ciphertext (by reading off cols 4, 5, 2, 3, 6, 1, 7)
ecdtm ecaer auool edsam merne nasso dytnr vbnlc rltiq laetr igawe baaei hor
  • decryption consists of:
    • calculating how many rows there are (by dividing message length by key length)
    • then write out message down columns in order given by key

Example - Sinkov p148

  • exercise - Sinkov p148 #74

Sinkov p148

Cryptanalysis of Block Transposition ciphers

  • again know must be a transposition, and guess is perhaps a block transposition
  • guess size of matrix by looking at factors of message length, and write out by columns
  • then look for ways of reordering pairs of columns to give common pairs or triples (very much trial & error)
  • (nb use b command in krypto to try possibilities)

Example - Sinkov p 149-151

Nihilist ciphers

  • a more complex transposition cipher using both row and column transpositions is the nihilist cipher
  • write message in rows in order controlled by the key (as for a row cipher)
  • then read off by rows, but in order controlled by the key, this time written down the side
  • uses a period of size the square of the key length

Key (W): L E M O N
2 1 3 5 4
L 2 O N W S I
E 1 H T E I T
M 3 E M F R O
0 5 L A L O G
N 4 D O M N E



Example - Davis Fig2.16 p27
  • attacking this cipher depends on column and row rearrangement, with much trial and error
  • for more complexity can vary readout algorithm
    • diagonal cipher reads out on fwd diag (/) in alternate directions (up diag, down diag etc), ie a zig-zag read out

Product ciphers

  • can see that in general ciphers based on just substitutions or just transpositions are not secure
  • what about using several ciphers in order
    • two substitutions are really only one more complex substitution
    • two transpositions are really only one more complex transposition
    • but a substitution followed by a transposition makes a new much harder cipher
  • product ciphers consist substitution-transposition combinations chained together
  • in general are far too hard to do by hand, however one famous product cipher, the 'ADFGVX' cipher was used in WW1 (see Kahn pp339-350)
  • instead there use had to wait for the invention of the cipher machine, particularly the rotor machines (eg Enigma, Hagalin) mentioned briefly earlier

ADFGVX Product Cipher

  • named since only letters ADFGVX are used
  • chosen since have very distinct morse codes
  • uses a fixed substitution table to map each plaintext letter to a letter pair (row-col index)
  • then uses a keyed block transposition

Substitution Table

\\    A     D     F     G     V     X    

A K Z W R 1 F
D 9 B 6 C L 5
F Q 7 J P G X
G E V Y 3 A N
V 8 O D H 0 2
X U 4 I S T M


Intermediate Text:

Keyed Block Columnlar Transposition Matrix

D     E     U     T     S     C     H        Key                    

2 3 7 6 5 1 4 Sorted Order