- Books, Literature, and Writing
Hidden Messages on the cover of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol
Did you know there are hidden messages on the cover of the book?
On September 15, 2009, Dan Brown's publisher, Double Day (a division of Random House Publishing) released the third book in the Robert Langdon series, The Lost Symbol. As an avid fan of the previous two novels, Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, I was eager to get the book and read it. If you like the symbolic puzzles that Dan Brown has become famous for, you'll enjoy this one.
When I got the book, I noticed the cover art was plastered with various symbols and codes. Knowing the history of the series, I figured it was just a creative allusion to the elements of the story. Although they accomplish this quite nicely, I recently discovered there is more to the cover art than meets the eye. That's right, there are hidden messages right on the cover!
Now, before you go off and dismiss this as some conspiracy theory, let me give you the facts.
Discovery of the messages
Symbol Quest & a message from Dan Brown
On the official website for The Lost Symbol, there is a game called Symbol Quest. The point behind the game is really simple: find the symbol that is described by the phrase provided. There are 33 symbols in all, and you only get three misses before you have to start over from the beginning. If you want to see all the answers to Symbol Quest, a blogger by the name of Tildemark has posted them here: Tildemark's Blog.
If you get all of the symbols correct, you will be taken to a page containing an audio message from Dan Brown stating, "This is Dan Brown. Congratulations on completing Symbol Quest, and reaching the thirty-third degree with no errors. As you may have noticed, the book jacket in the U.S. is covered with symbols and icons. Encoded within them are five hidden messages for you to find and decrypt. Best of Luck, and I hope you enjoy the novel."
So, there you have it. Straight from Dan Brown's electronically recorded mouth. There are actually 5 hidden messages right on the cover of his book! But that begs the question... what are the messages in question? Where are they & can they be decrypted?
Well, I'm not the type to leave a question unanswered, so let's get into this. Further below, I've got as much detail as I can on each of the hidden messages. So scroll down and check it out!
Solution To Symbol Quest
Hidden Message #1
The first hidden message that I found was a series of numbers on the front cover following a faint red ring of circles surrounding the masonic seal. (it's easier to see these numbers in the picture of you tilt your head to the left) The numbers are as follows:
To me, this is the most visually obvious of the hidden messages. There was a similar code at the back of another Dan Brown novel, Digital Fortress. Using the same strategy to crack that code, I think I have a solution for this one. The Digital Fortress code was simple to use the first letter of the corresponding Chapter in the book. Using this same strategy with the above code, I get the following:
P - O - P - E - S
P - A - N - T - H - E - O - N
According to Dave Shugarts, a pantheon can be any structure intended for the worship of multiple Gods.
There are many theories out there, but I think the most common (and most likely the correct theory) is that this refers to John Russell Pope, the architect behind the Jefferson Memorial (a replica of the Greek Pantheon) and the House of the Temple - the home of the Scottish Rite of Freemasons in America. Having read the book, I agree with this theory.
Hidden Message #2 - Perfection?
On the back cover, there is a 4x4 grid containing letters as follows:
Using the following Perfect Square given on page 263:
If you assign the numbers to the corresponding squares, you get the following message:
Which reads as: Your Mind Is The Key.
Interpretations? I don't really have any yet, but I'm open to ideas.
Hidden Message #3
Masonic Cypher Text
Along the back cover, there is a message written in the Masonic Cypher (found on page 197 of the novel). Since I can't reproduce the symbols using the standard keys from the text, I'll just produce the solution:
ALL GREAT TRUTHS
BEGIN AS BLASPHEMIES
As for interpretations, all I can come up with are allusions to the storyline. Since I don't really want this to be a rehash of the story (or worse, a spoiler), I will leave it at that.
Hidden Message #4
...still hidden. I'll gladly accept any suggestions or insights. Just enter your comments below.
Hidden Message #5
The Phone Number
Apparently, the solution to the Symbol Quest game originally provided a message indicating that there was a phone number one could call and receive a prize from Double Day. That little contest has long ended. The winners apparently received signed copies of The Lost Symbol from Dan Brown & Double Day.
How did they win? Well, they found these Letter/Number pairs on the book cover:
FRONT: B1 C2 J5
SPINE: E8 H5
BACK: A2 G9 I1 D7 F2
When rearranged alphabetically, you get A2, B1, C2, D7, E8, F2, G9, H5, I1, J5
Finally, if you strip out the letters, you get 212-782-9515. Adding strategic hyphens makes that 10-digit number look a lot like a phone number: 212-782-9515. From what I understand, this is the number that was called by the winners of the Symbol Quest book. If you call the number now, you get a message that is either 1) in a foreign language; 2) backwards; or 3) both in a foreign language and backwards. The message plays for just about 25 seconds and then disconnects the line. I'm trying to learn more about the current message and will post more as I find out.
Update November 8, 2010: The recording is still playing, still the same. A new thought occurred that these digits may now represent an IP address instead of a phone number. In the world of computers, an IP address is a four-part number that acts like a phone number for a website. Each of the four parts consists of 2 or 3 digits, making them anywhere from 8 to 12 digits in length with the most common being 10 digits. Here are the six possible variations along with the results when typed into my browser's address bar:
21.27.829.515 : Server Not Found
21.278.29.515 : Server Not Found
21.278.295.15 : Server Not Found
184.108.40.2065 : Server Not Found
212.78.295.15 : Server Not Found
212.782.95.15 : Server Not Found
Although this wasn't successful, you can see that there are often different ways of looking at a piece of information. Since there wasn't anything specifying that this was a phone number to call, I tossed that assumption and looked for alternatives that might bring me to additional information.
Any ideas you have on this are more than welcome, just enter them in the comment section below!
If you've discovered something I haven't included here, please feel free to share. Or, if you just want to say how much you like this page, I'd love to hear that too!