While looking for more steam punk animation to indulge myself…

I found this great animation! Such cool uses of collage and rotoscope techniques! Reminded me of a combination of “Blue’s Clues” + good Westerns + “Sherlock Holmes” + “The DaVinci Code” …. I hope you all enjoy!

 

 

After watching, of course, I had to research the origins and was happy to find a historical hoax at the end of the line; I happen to be taking a class on historical hoaxes this semester so again, the overlap is interesting.   The Beale Ciphers are reportedly, a set of 3 ciphers that lead to buried treasure! Who’s with me? Anyway, this started from a pamphlet found in 1885 from a man named Thomas Jefferson Beale who was said to have buried the treasure in Bedford County, VA

Wikipedia’s additional report states: “However, in 1982 Joe Nickell published a scholarly analysis of the papers, using historical records that cast doubt on the existence of “Beale”, and linguistic evidence demonstrating that the documents could not have been written at the time alleged (words like “stampeding”, for instance, are of later vintage). His analysis of the writing style showed that “Beale” was almost certainly James B. Ward, whose 1885 pamphlet brought the Beale papers to light. Nickell argues that the tale is thus a work of fiction; specifically, a “secret vault” allegory of the Freemasons. James B. Ward was, in fact, a Mason himself.”

What makes this animation so cool is not only does it draw on a sensational historical hoax (or not, there could be a treasure) but the filmmaker embedded ciphers and clues to a mystery within his animation.  So, for those who love a mystery and have a serious amount of free time, have fun!  There is a facebook page dedicated to those who wish to commiserate over their work as well: http://www.facebook.com/thomasbealecipher

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