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Symbols at bottom stenciling

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Darla Jones
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When I saw these symbols for the first time, I thought to myself, what is he stenciling? The more I look at it, the more it does seem like he was drawing in the blank spaces of something. It seems hard for the hand to be that steady in the one area where there are rounded edges going into other rounded edge parts. A pen that followed the outline of what ever it was that he put down on the paper would leave a mark like this.

 
Posted : October 4, 2014 8:18 pm
(@theforeigner)
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When I saw these symbols for the first time, I thought to myself, what is he stenciling? The more I look at it, the more it does seem like he was drawing in the blank spaces of something. It seems hard for the hand to be that steady in the one area where there are rounded edges going into other rounded edge parts. A pen that followed the outline of what ever it was that he put down on the paper would leave a mark like this.

Welcome to the forum Darla Jones :)

Interesting thought, and indeed plausible IMO.

Hi, english is not my first language so please bear with me :)

 
Posted : October 5, 2014 5:27 am
traveller1st
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I remember something along those lines (no pun intended) being suggested before. The part about the image being the negative or reverse of the holes in an image. I think it was over on ZKF but might have originated on Tom’s board.

I don’t necessarily see any evidence of stenciling in the application of the shapes. I’m not sure the image we have is of enough quality to be conclusive about that but there are irregularities in the edges on closer inspection and even with the quality we have I would expect to see at least one ‘good’ edge even if he had used a stencil sloppily and I’m not convinced it’s anything other than freehand. He might have used something as a guide for the longer edges but that’s about it if even that.

Could be wrong but that’s my feeling on it.

I was pondering the possibility you suggest and if he had produced a bespoke stencil I imagine the easiest way to do it would be to scalpel it out of card. That is a possibility that could account for the imperfect edges, My problem with that would be there isn’t enough in the image to require that extra hassle. The circular parts are just dots and the lines just lines. That doesn’t leave much to complete it.

If however he used an existing object as a stencil … hmmm. I wonder. What would it be, or could it be, do we think? I suppose though that I would still expect it to be something flat or as near as. Anything that was too three dimensional would cause problems in edge continuity and I would expect to see crossover marks to complete an outline.

S’a pity we don’t know what the flippin’ thing is. That would certainly help us reach a consensus on construction method.


I don’t know Chief, he’s very smart or very dumb.

 
Posted : October 5, 2014 6:05 am
(@jroberson)
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For what it’s worth (nothing), I draw and doodle when I get very bored.

At times, I’ve scribbled inscrutable symbols, usually with black or blue ink, which for some reason is much more pleasant than any pencil, including the rather wonderful 0.7mm lead.

Those Pentech pens, the ones with visible ink reservoirs, are the absolute best. Basically you just start…filling up space.

It’s a bored, mindless activity people with a smidgen of creativity often perpetrate in the name of not doing something useful, imo.

Sorry, that doesn’t answer your question, perhaps, but there seems to be no evidence The Zodiac used a stencil. Looks like he just colored some random shapes. Probably merely the artifact of a defective, idling mind.

JMO.

 
Posted : October 5, 2014 9:23 am
Darla Jones
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I remember something along those lines (no pun intended) being suggested before. The part about the image being the negative or reverse of the holes in an image. I think it was over on ZKF but might have originated on Tom’s board.

I don’t necessarily see any evidence of stenciling in the application of the shapes. I’m not sure the image we have is of enough quality to be conclusive about that but there are irregularities in the edges on closer inspection and even with the quality we have I would expect to see at least one ‘good’ edge even if he had used a stencil sloppily and I’m not convinced it’s anything other than freehand. He might have used something as a guide for the longer edges but that’s about it if even that.

Could be wrong but that’s my feeling on it.

I was pondering the possibility you suggest and if he had produced a bespoke stencil I imagine the easiest way to do it would be to scalpel it out of card. That is a possibility that could account for the imperfect edges, My problem with that would be there isn’t enough in the image to require that extra hassle. The circular parts are just dots and the lines just lines. That doesn’t leave much to complete it.

If however he used an existing object as a stencil … hmmm. I wonder. What would it be, or could it be, do we think? I suppose though that I would still expect it to be something flat or as near as. Anything that was too three dimensional would cause problems in edge continuity and I would expect to see crossover marks to complete an outline.

S’a pity we don’t know what the flippin’ thing is. That would certainly help us reach a consensus on construction method.

Thank you for posting that image. Looking at it closer seems to support the idea that there was coloring against a hard object. This dot seems to be darker at the outside and uncolored in the middle. If it was done free hand, I don’t think it would be colored like this. Just grab a ring and draw through the inside. The area near the ring’s edge would be darker if you colored in a circle. IMO

 
Posted : October 5, 2014 9:42 am
morf13
(@morf13)
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Any opinions of what the symbols are? Anybody think they are actual letters of the alphabet? If you swing them around, one looks like the letter K-I was thinking maybe the word,KNIFE? Trav,can you do a reverse image of the symbols,as if you were seeing them in a mirror?

There is more than one way to lose your life to a killer

http://www.zodiackillersite.com/
http://zodiackillersite.blogspot.com/
https://twitter.com/Morf13ZKS

 
Posted : October 5, 2014 2:43 pm
(@jroberson)
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Thank you for posting that image. Looking at it closer seems to support the idea that there was coloring against a hard object. This dot seems to be darker at the outside and uncolored in the middle. If it was done free hand, I don’t think it would be colored like this. Just grab a ring and draw through the inside. The area near the ring’s edge would be darker if you colored in a circle. IMO

With all due respect, Darla, you’re talking about a jpeg-compressed image taking up a measly 70 kilobytes of space.

If the original piece of paper contained even one speck of uncolored paper, and if that speak were sampled, the resulting image would have a huge empty area, as you see.

Perhaps The Zodiac was from Ukraine, or had a thing for Kiev Chicken.

:D

 
Posted : October 5, 2014 4:02 pm
(@jroberson)
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If the area in the center were empty, it would be as dark as the paper, but it’s not, which means there must be some ink, just not as much as the rest.

Sorry, not trying to burst any bubbles, but I do computer graphics for a living. Sort of.

 
Posted : October 5, 2014 4:13 pm
traveller1st
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Thank you for posting that image. Looking at it closer seems to support the idea that there was coloring against a hard object. This dot seems to be darker at the outside and uncolored in the middle. If it was done free hand, I don’t think it would be colored like this. Just grab a ring and draw through the inside. The area near the ring’s edge would be darker if you colored in a circle. IMO

It kinda does I agree but were are dealing with a digital image here and not the best quality either. Not the worst but nothing as good as I would like for this type of examining ie edge detail, heaviness etc.

The thing to remember though is that Z liked his ‘little circles’ sometimes as opposed to solid dots. This letter was one of those occasions if you look at the other ‘dots that aren’t dots’ above certain letters. With that in mind and that he used his trusty blue felt tip (not the finest of nibs) those ‘dots’ in the doodle I just see as smaller, tighter circles.

That ‘thing’ whatever it is meant to be was obviously ‘filled’ in as I think JR was intimating to in his post and in that instance there will be an outline. He may even have done a rougher outline on the larger sections, filled it in and then went back over the outline to tidy the edges. This gives him a visual edge to follow which can help with creating a straighter edge. It may even have dictated somewhat the final shapes.

Below I have isolated a few of the words with his ‘little circles’ to show not only their use in the letter but the variation employed in their use. Filled, unfilled, circular, elliptical and I have picked two that are similar in form to the ‘dots/circles’ in the ‘thing’. I have also included as a comparison the ‘actual thing’ from the dripping pen letter. There are a few correlating construction behaviors. One being the variation in ‘weight’ employed to achieve thinner or thicker lines or objects (highlighted in green) and also that ‘fishtail’ effect (highlighted in red circles) which I’m reasonable sure is caused by building up parallel adjoining strokes to achieve a thicker final one but not matching the start point exactly. These are all freehand traits that, as I hope I’ve shown, we have examples of from his other mailings that included doodles.

Lets not forget that he was cipher boy. All those little symbols also drawn freehand so it’s not like he wasn’t practiced and his busbomb diagrams, variations in handwriting. This guy was used to using a pen. He might and I say ‘might’ have pre-doodled the shape lightly in pencil but unfortunately that’s a speculative suggestion based on what I ‘might’ have done. As I have already said the image isn’t of high enough resolution to check.

So that’s my thoughts on it anyway. I wish he had traced something because then we might stand a chance of guessing what it is lol. I do think though that there seems to be more to suggest that its freehand rather than stenciled whether that be from an existing object or something created for purpose.

Just to add. As JR has just posted re JPEGS and their traits, I agree.


I don’t know Chief, he’s very smart or very dumb.

 
Posted : October 5, 2014 4:28 pm
(@jroberson)
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For all we know, the symbols were taken from an ad in the VHT for Kung Pao Chicken during a moment of his mania…

One day someone we (someone) will probably stumble over the source, if there is one, because I’m pretty sure The Zodiac wasn’t much of a ball of fire in the originality department…

JMO (again)

 
Posted : October 6, 2014 7:55 am
murray
(@murray)
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It occurs to me that the doodles look like chromosomes. For what it’s worth…

 
Posted : October 9, 2014 10:14 am
thedude
(@thedude)
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Has anyone else come up with this image? I have a theory…

 
Posted : March 13, 2016 3:49 am
thedude
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Has anyone else come up with this image? I have a theory…

I think maybe this cipher was inspired by the latest technology of the times, the digital watch, which first came out in 1972.

 
Posted : March 13, 2016 4:21 am
traveller1st
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It could well have been. The problem with solutions that require assumptions is that they are too open to interpretation. Even if what you have presented here is exactly what Zodiac was thinking we have no way of knowing that unless we can ask him in person.Unless we can find a meaning for it that perhaps has, or provides us with, another step or level that adds credence to it’s meaning we’re pretty much snookered with any one step suggestion. Perhaps doubly so if it involves our own independent rearranging of it. Same goes for that batwing thing on the Halloween card.

Just to add, the ‘digital’ thing had crossed my mind as well at some point and the timing (no pun intended) of the advent of digital watches.


I don’t know Chief, he’s very smart or very dumb.

 
Posted : March 13, 2016 4:39 am
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