Secret code found in Weldon university library books, Canada. Reward offered for anyone who can solve mystery

 

Imagine discovering that obscure old books in your university library contained hidden messages.

Well, for regulars of the Weldon Library at Western University in Canada, the fantasy has just become a real-life mystery.

Assistant Professor Mike Moffatt was browsing the stacks on earlier this month, only to unearth an impenetrable coded message in one of the books on the third floor, leading to more than 15 discoveries in different texts.

Writing on his blog, he explains: "I was in the D.B. Weldon library at Western University on Sunday and discovered some form of cryptogram in one of the books in the 3rd floor stacks."

The book, called "International Economics: Trade and Investment", contained a white envelope and a plastic leaf.

"I opened the envelope and discovered the following note and plastic leaf. The leaf was not attached to the note in any way, I just placed it there," he wrote.

The majority of letters on the note were in black, except for a leaf which was green. They appeared to be colour printed.

"The physical leaf is made of plastic and has two paint splotches on it - one red, one cyan. I'm not sure what the grey pillow-shaped object is supposed to be," he wrote.

Since creating the post on 10 March, the assistant professor has received messages from other users who have made similar discoveries.

"I have two more of these notes I've found, see attached for photos. Unfortunately I don't have the title or page info where they were found," an email by a staff member at the library read.

"They're the same format - wingdings-esque font, special symbol in the code, small item contained in envelope, and larger image in bottom-left. They have the same URL on the back."

The discovery has sparked a real-life mystery at the library, with Mr. Moffatt offering $100 to anyone who can solve the puzzle.

"It's bugging the heck out of me," he wrote.

"Again, I will gladly pay $100 to anyone that can solve the mystery."

Since finding the first note, 17 more have come to light at the university. They have so far come in envelopes with an object in them - either a jewel, feather or leaf - that appear to contain some marking.

The notes contain roughly 50 symbols whilst the on the back of the notes, a reference to a blog is mentioned.

Each note appears to be colour printed and contains a picture of a household item such as a vase.

The earliest is from January 2013, but unconfirmed reports stretch back as far as two years ago.

"I keep hearing things like "sorry to disappoint, the notes don't mean anything, it's an art thing"," Mr. Moffatt said on his blog.

"That is certainly a strong possibility. I'm not sure why that should disappoint at all! I find the idea that these are a form of art really interesting. That still doesn't solve the mystery, though."

He added: "Who put them there? When were they put there? What was the artist thinking? How did they create the font? I have all kinds of questions, so if it is art, I'd be delighted if the artist stepped forward."

Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm actor was just 68
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Primary Teacher

£90 - £150 per day + travel expenses: Randstad Education Newcastle: Upper Key ...

Primary Teacher

£90 - £115 per day + travel expenses: Randstad Education Newcastle: Primary NQ...

Primary Teacher

£90 - £115 per day + travel expenses: Randstad Education Newcastle: Primary NQ...

PE Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are currently recruiting...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices