Mysterious letter written by nun 'possessed by the Devil' finally decoded by software 341 years later

Alex Barrett
Wednesday 13 September 2017 13:15
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Picture:(Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

In the early hours of 11 August 1676, Sister Maria Crocifissa della Concezione of the Monastery of Palma di Montechiaro awoke, covered in ink.

She claimed she had been possessed by Satan, who forced her to write a message in letters.

The letter was written in a jumbled archaic alphabet.

Centuries passed, and no one managed to decipher the letter.

In the 1960s, the monastery offered a month-long vacation to anyone who successfully translated the message.

Well, it seems like software has achieved what humans could not.

Daniele Abate, director of the Ludum Science Center, told the Times:

We heard about the software, which we believe is used by intelligence services for codebreaking.

We primed the software with ancient Greek, Arabic, the Runic alphabet, and Latin to de-scramble some of the letter and show that it really is devilish.

15 lines have been translated so far.

The first part reads:

God thinks he can free mortals. This system works for no one... Perhaps now, Styx is certain.

The letter continues to try to convince the nun to abandon her faith and that religion is the invention of man.

Abate told Italian news Radio 105:

My theory is that this is a precise alphabet, invented by the nun with great care by mixing symbols she knew

Each symbol is well thought out and structured, there are signs that are repeated, perhaps an intentional and perhaps unconscious initiative.

The stress of life in the monastery was very strong.

HT IFL Science

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