10The Voynich Manuscript
The 600-year old Voynich manuscript was suspected for many years to be an elaborate hoax, such was the strange nature of the parchment. Decorated with pictures of plants and stars, the manuscript was written in a language that was utterly foreign to the most experienced of linguistic experts: it had
never been seen before by human eyes. While the purpose of the manuscript is thought to be a treatise on nature, even the most skilled code-breakers of WWII have failed to decode more than a few words, such as 'Taurus'.
Professor Stephen Bax, of Bedfordshire University, has recently worked on decoding the shroud and has vouched for its authenticity, declaring it not to be a hoax. The only questions are: who wrote it, what does it mean and why is it coded? Theories have been put forward over the past six centuries claiming it to be a Da Vinci original - or the language of extraterrestrial visitors.