Lost Symbol information on Twitter: @lostsymbol
One of the Washington D.C. locations used by Dan Brown in The Lost Symbol was the enigmatic Kryptos sculpture at C.I.A. headquarters (actually at Langley, Virginia). Those who have watched this site over the years would know that DB had been planning on using Kryptos in his sequel to The Da Vinci Code since before he even wrote that book - it's a topic that interests him greatly.
Dan is sure then to be intrigued by the news that Kryptos designer James Sanborn has released a clue to help puzzle-solvers decipher the last remaining message hidden 'within' the sculpture, telling the New York Times that six letters from the remaining 97 letters that have yet to be solved — NYPVTT — are the 64th through 69th letters of the final 97 characters, and that they decipher to the word BERLIN:
It’s the first clue Sanborn has revealed in four years, after he corrected a typo in his sculpture in 2006 to keep crypto detectives from being derailed in their search for solutions.
Sanborn told Threat Level last week that he wanted to reveal a clue to mark the 20th anniversary of the sculpture’s dedication at CIA headquarters in 1990. He said it would be a “significant clue” and hinted that it would “globalize” the sculpture. Asked if this meant it would take the sculpture off CIA grounds and out of the United States, he conceded it would.
Code detectives were already at work trying to crack the rest of the solution Saturday afternoon following the new clue revelation. Members of a popular Kryptos Yahoo Group were brainstorming during a 90-minute conference call.
“The ‘Berlin’ clue makes a lot of sense, in historical context of the Berlin Wall coming down that year,” says code cracker Elonka Dunin, a game designer who moderates the Yahoo Group and maintains a comprehensive web site on Kryptos.
To keep up to date with any new discoveries, your best bet is to visit Elonka Dunin's Kryptos webpage. (For the trivia lovers out there, Dan Brown seems to have given an anagrammatic nod to Dunin in the naming of the character 'Nola Kaye' in The Lost Symbol).
Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol has now sold over 1.7 million copies in the UK in all editions, with the recent paperback release smashing the record for the most first-week sales. The sequel to Brown's smash hit The Da Vinci Code clocked up 141,156 paperback sales in the week after its release, beating the previous record by 16,000 copies.
The paperback edition of The Lost Symbol is due out on July 22nd in the UK (a mass market paperback will be released in the United States in October). Dan Brown's British publisher says that interest in the paperback is extremely high:
Transworld says it has the biggest paperback subscription in its 60-year history for Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, out on 22nd July. The publisher also announced there will be more Brown to come for Christmas, with an illustrated version of the book and an enhanced e-book "in the pipeline" for November.
More than 750,000 copies of the new paperback have been subbed across the publisher's UK and international markets, with over 1,300 free-standing display units also shipped out. Publisher Bill Scott-Kerr said support from all retailers had been "stellar". He said: "Dan Brown started out here as a paperback phenomenon and The Lost Symbol is perfectly positioned to continue that momentum."
The Lost Symbol has done some pretty huge business in the UK, but doesn't seem to have had the media impact that The Da Vinci Code did. Not enough scandal and controversy no doubt - DB made those Freemasons far too nice...
In an ironic turn of events, Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol has topped The Bible as the most highlighted book of all time on Amazon's Kindle eReader:
Amazon has built a "Popular Highlights" section that showcases the book passages underlined by Kindle readers--a 21st Century twist on literary quotation. So far, that list has been dominated by The Shack by William P. Young, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, and The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.
Here is the most underlined passage from Brown's most higlighted title--underlined by 1,161 Kindle users: "Langdon came face-to-face with a bronze bust of Masonic luminary Albert Pike, along with the engraving of his most famous quote: WHAT WE HAVE DONE FOR OURSELVES ALONE DIES WITH US; WHAT WE HAVE DONE FOR OTHERS AND THE WORLD REMAINS AND IS IMMORTAL."
Does that make Albert Pike bigger than Jesus?
The paperback edition of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol will be released on October 19 of this year. The novel will be priced at $9.99 in the US market, with a print run of four million copies.
Variety has reported that Columbia Pictures is moving forward with plans for a movie version of Dan Brown's most recent book, The Lost Symbol. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard will once again produce (returning from The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons), although it's not known yet if Howard will also direct. Tom Hanks is expected to reprise his role as Robert Langdon.
In an amusing coincidence, Columbia have signed screenwriter Steven Knight to adapt to the book for film (Akiva Goldsmith penned the two previous adaptations). With Brown's book bringing positive press to the Masonic fraternity, some readers might remember that it was the late British author Stephen Knight (no relation, as far as I know) and his book The Brotherhood which instigated a major scare campaign against Freemasonry in the 1980s....
To view this article in its original typeset format, you can download a PDF version of it, which is a free download of Appendix 1 from The Guide to Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol (just $9.95 on Amazon.com). The Guide takes you deeper into the hidden history of the United States, Freemasonry, Noetic Science, and other topics that Dan Brown wrote about in his latest bestseller. Check out the Guide now, to get a better understanding of the fascinating revelations in The Lost Symbol. Available from Amazon US, Amazon UK, or as a Kindle eBook.
In late 2003 it was pointed out to me that the dust cover of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code contained a number of curious ‘anomalies’: map co-ordinates in ‘mirror writing’, bolded letters hiding odd messages, and more. The reason for these strange inclusions became clear when Dan Brown announced in an interview that clues about the sequel to The Da Vinci Code were hidden on the cover of the bestselling book. By solving these puzzles and ciphers – and being conversant with many of the topics and resources Brown was likely to use in writing the sequel, I was able to write a complete primer on the as-yet unpublished book in late 2004 (the progenitor of this book you are holding now). In this very early ‘guide’ to the contents of The Lost Symbol – originally titled (and self-published) as Da Vinci In America – I gave background information on many of the topics that I surmised would be in the new book: Francis Bacon and the transmission of Rosicrucian philosophies, the history of Freemasonry, how ‘the Craft’ influenced America’s Founding Fathers, and the esoteric landscape of Washington, D.C. (including such exotic locales as the Scottish Rite’s “House of the Temple”).
When the cover artwork for The Lost Symbol was released in July 2009 I received the first confirmation that my research was on the right track. Though only the front cover and spine design was released prior to publication, it was enough to show that various locations in the American capital which I had written about were important to the new book.
A little help in visualising an early scene in The Lost Symbol: here's the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol in all its glory. The photo was taken during a memorial service for former President Gerald Ford in 2006 (and is in the public domain). Click for a huge version (2000px by 3000px):
Before The Lost Symbol was released I wrote an article pointing out the codes on the front cover and spine, and a few of the possible solutions. I've been meaning to update it for a while, but the easiest way is probably just to provide a PDF file of the Appendix 1 from The Guide to The Lost Symbol, in which I give all the codes (so far recognised) and their solutions. So, here it is!
Remember you can buy the complete guide from Amazon US for just $9.95, or if you're on the other side of the pond, from Amazon UK for £7.99 (mad prices, I know). If you're really cheap, or on the cutting-edge of technology (or both), you can instead grab the Kindle version for just $5.99! Either way, I appreciate your interest!
Update 19th Dec, 2009: I've just posted a HTML version of the article as well.