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Is it meant to be folded?

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Hey everyone,

I recently came up with a new theory about the 340 cipher. I believe it is not a cipher at all, but rather a sheet of symbols that, if folded correctly, will reveal a hidden message.

My inspiration for this idea stems from this image:
https://01.img.society6.com/society6/im … prints.jpg

The image resembles a portion of the Halloween Card. As you can see from the image I provided, the picture is intended to be folded in a way in which the blue lines meet. The text that extends beyond the lines meshes together to form a new message.

I also believe Z used the Halloween Card to tell us the 340 is not a cipher. The envelope of the card contained the phrase, "sorry no cipher." Everyone assumes this message refers to the card itself, but I believe he was indicating that the 340 was not a cipher, since almost everything in the card seems to indicate something about the 340.

I have experimented with folding the 340 in many ways. When multiple folds are made correctly, the mirrored text begins to line up with the uncoded text. In addition, certain folds will combine two coded symbols to form a traditional letter. I believe a correct series of folds will form an entirely coherent message.

I am unsure if the folds should create a 3D object, similar to origami, or a flat shape, similar to the way people fold dollar bills using the text to form a new message. It is also possible that the cipher should be cut at some places before folds are made, similar to kiragami. In any case, it seems apparent to me that the cipher should be folded to reveal a new message.

Posted : March 28, 2016 9:18 pm
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It is a nice idea, however the 340 is hard enough to crack as it is (as a substitution cipher). So why should it meant to be fold?



Posted : March 28, 2016 9:30 pm
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Topic starter

Because I do not believe it is a cipher. It was created in 1969ish. Since then, we have invented the internet, supercomputers, massive databases and endless coded language and encryption techniques. Nothing has produced any results. I suppose we could believe someone with the level of knowledge required to create such a complicated cipher happened to also be a attention-seeking serial killer, but given the amount of time that has passed, it seems like LE could have easily reduced the names of the people with such knowledge down to a small list over the last 40+ years. The probability of Z being one of these people seems very low.

Furthermore, Z’s first cipher was cracked. It was not overly complicated, and portions of the message could even be anticipated by the Hardens. Are we to believe Z sent a somewhat simple, rough cipher that was easily solved, followed by the greatest cipher known to man?

The fact that Z is famous for secret messages (many of which are still unsolved), AND he specifically included an example of a secret message trick in the Halloween Card seems to indicate they may be connected in some way. The example in the Halloween Card is meant to be folded. It seems nuts not to believe this was a hint.

Posted : March 28, 2016 10:09 pm
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Since I don’t think Zodiac sent the HC card, I may not be the best person to reply to this, but…

I do think it is a valid idea. It is one that has been discussed in the past at Tom’s site, I know for sure. The Dragon card was also folded via the manufacturer of course.

Here is just one place it is mentioned–most likely at the older boards as well:

http://zodiackiller.fr.yuku.com/reply/4 … eply-42297

…they may be dealing with one or more ersatz Zodiacs–other psychotics eager to get into the act, or perhaps even other murderers eager to lay their crimes at the real Zodiac’s doorstep. L.A. Times, 1969

Posted : March 28, 2016 10:31 pm
Posts: 567
Honorable Member

This folding idea is great.

When I was in grammar school, it was very common for boys to fold notebook paper into paper airplanes and then sail them through the air, resulting in rather severe discipline from the nun teaching the class. (The order of nuns that taught at the grammar school I attended was the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commonly known as "B.V.M.’S." In those days, the habit they wore had a veil that was pinned onto a white starched box. Around 1957, the headdress was modified and the box eliminated. One of them was a pioneer in computers. Google search and you can see if interested and read about the one who was a computer pioneer. Sorry I don’t know how to paste but pics are on Google images. I have wondered if perhaps Zodiac had contact with any of these nuns and was inspired by their headdress or a recipient of one of their punishments lol.)

I seem to remember the class being taught to fold paper into box shapes. It began with a square and each corner lifted to the center so that a 45 degree angle was formed when it was folded and a diamond shape resulted. Then that was folded again and maybe once more and a boxy thing resulted that could be squeezed somehow to change the size somewhat.

I do remember seeing diagonal blank lines or diamond shapes on some of Zodiac’s letters.

It would be interesting to try folding these ciphers into these shapes if not done already.

Posted : March 29, 2016 4:10 am
Posts: 1197
Noble Member

The MAD magazines fold it page has been attributed to that idea before.. the Mad magazines "mascot" Alfred E Neuman fits the 13 letter my name is code. its in unmasked

and I think edition 21 was when Alfred featured fron page? and same edition a parody of Red Ryder "Ded Ryder" dandelion guns. march 55

Posted : March 29, 2016 6:38 am
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I’ve sort of messed around with this a bit and have found a couple interesting tidbits:

1. I am almost certain at this point that the cipher is meant to be folded. When you make a corner fold, make sure you fold directly through the diagonal line of text. If you take two folded corners and line them up as if you were making a paper airplane, you will notice the half-lines come together to form entirely new, readable text. I think the key to finding the hidden message is combining two or more lines that have been folded in half.

2. I believe the symbols in the cipher serve as "instructions." I’m guessing (yes, guessing) that there are multiple messages and they can be found by following the proper set of instructions. The partially shaded circles and squares seem to indicate directions to fold (mountain fold, valley fold, corner fold). I have also started to notice that the cross hair symbols throughout the cipher have unique shading patterns, where some or all of the 4 quadrants of the symbol are shaded.

3. When folding the lines so they can match up with other folding lines, the most useful symbol is what I call the "half cross hair." It looks like Z’s symbol, but there is only one line through the circle. As you may be able to tell just by looking at it, you can form many letters quite easily (p, o, c, u, b). The "V" symbols (V, <, >, ^) are quite useful as well, especially for "Y’s".

One thing I am trying to avoid is coming up with semi-coherent messages that I have to stretch into a solution. Anyone who has spent anytime reading about this cipher knows it hasn’t been solved, and most of the people claiming to solve it have had to make leaps or assumptions in order to form their solution. I think if done correctly, the message will be quite clear and obvious. I have come up with many jumbled versions of "by gun," "by knife," "by rope," and "by fire" but because they were not completely coherent, I do not consider it a solution.

Posted : March 29, 2016 8:58 pm
Posts: 567
Honorable Member

"Elementary, my dear Watson!"

Posted : March 29, 2016 10:45 pm
Posts: 198
Reputable Member

Finding the correct way to fold the paper? What could have been an inspiration to Zodiac? Below you see the music album of the 1967 movie version of "The Mikado". Many people think he was an avid fan (wordpun not intended) of the music of this opera.

Posted : March 29, 2016 11:34 pm
Posts: 1197
Noble Member

Goodkidmaadtoschi wrote..One thing I am trying to avoid is coming up with semi-coherent messages that I have to stretch into a solution. Anyone who has spent anytime reading about this cipher knows it hasn’t been solved, and most of the people claiming to solve it have had to make leaps or assumptions in order to form their solution. I think if done correctly, the message will be quite clear and obvious. I have come up with many jumbled versions of "by gun," "by knife," "by rope," and "by fire" but because they were not completely coherent, I do not consider it a solution.

when trying something relatively new like this your concept of making it fit properly is the right way to go about it.. I am sure people have folded it many ways before.. I am hoping you fold it to a solution… I wish you every success.
PS maybe make an origami "Crane"

Posted : March 30, 2016 5:03 am
Posts: 13
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Topic starter

UPDATE: I found an interesting way to fold the cipher. If you fold the cipher in half the long way, and fold it on top of itself to form a fat "V", you can make folds that start to form a square. It appears as if you can make these squares with the small dots (the ones that look like periods) being where the corner of the box is formed. I folded a few of these boxes, but I was unable to get the corners to completely line up with these dots (I was probably folding it incorrectly or not using the correct starting point).

Another thing I was thinking about…

I do not believe the entire message is contained in the text provided. I don’t know if I have mentioned this yet, but the most significant discovery I have made is the fact that lines folded in half (make the fold directly in the middle of the text) lined up with another line folded in half will produce completely new, readable text. The message is likely contained within two folded lines of text lined up. This works with text that is horizontal, vertical AND diagonal.

Also, I have noted that the Halloween card (and other suspected mailings to Paul Avery) emphasize the letters "LAV". I am starting to explore the idea that these letters may indicate folds, with the first folds forming an "L", the second an "A" and the third a "V". This idea led me to creating the boxes referenced above.

The last thing I want to mention is that it is possible the message does not contain the words "fire," "gun," "rope," or "knife," but rather the words "burn," "shot," "tied" or "cut." I have seen these words show up many times close to "by" in a few logical folding combinations. I have seen these words enough to believe they are part of the message, and they correspond to the hints in an uncanny way.

Also…another idea: http://makinglemonadeblog.com/diy-valen … oto-cards/

Posted : March 30, 2016 10:22 pm
Posts: 628
Honorable Member

Other than a simple fold in half down the middle, or some such, if it requires multiple folds at different sections and angles, how exactly would you construct that? Do you understand what I’m saying?

The only way I could figure would be to take a blank paper and fold it into arrangements, then draw in the message over the folds. Then unfold it, and draw in the rest of images afterwards. But that seems like it would be impossible for someone to recreate by chance, and to leave symbols that are supposed to show how to make the different folds and expect people to follow them, but also the proper order? Actually just making a substitution cipher with a couple different shifts and transpositions, with a few errors to throw in a monkey wrench, sounds a whole lot easier.

Posted : March 31, 2016 3:29 pm
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Topic starter

I understand what you are saying. This has been the most challenging aspect of this theory.

Here is how I would answer your initial question: I have no starting point. This is a problem. If there has been one thing I have been doing consistently throughout this process, it is making note of my first and/or second folds and seeing if those folds conform to some sort of indicator within the cipher. For instance, if I make my first fold, are there symbols that line up with one another as a result? I’m basically looking for some sort of marker that tells me my first fold was correct and other folds will follow a similar logical progression. I am not sure if this information would be contained within the symbols or letters themselves, or if the markers are contained in other Z messages independent of the cipher itself. Ultimately, the key to determining the validity of my theory would be determining the template for how to make folds.

Within the cipher, there are a few sets of symbols that can be explored in almost endless combinations. There are partially shaded circles and squares that could easily indicate folding direction. There are the dashes throughout the cipher that could indicate where creases should be made. There are the "+" signs throughout the cipher that have served as markers for some folds I have made (specifically, I have noticed these +’s playing a role when I began folding the cipher into a box shape, with the +’s being where the corners were forming). I have also explored the idea that Z’s apparent obsession with the letters "LAV" are instructions on how to fold the cipher (begin with an "L" fold, then a "A", followed by a "V").

I currently believe that the lines are meant to be folded in half, as two half-folded lines put together form new letters. If you fold a line in half and line it up with half of another line, every new letter formed is almost exclusively a letter from the alphabet. If the hidden message is revealed in this manner, it would explain why there are no solutions to the cipher, as the characters that make up the cipher on its face are actually meaningless on their own.

As to the ease of creating a folding message, I was kind of on the same page as you when I began. It seemed rather complicated. However, after spending some time looking up folding tricks and games that involve secret messages, I notices endless examples of little kids making similar kinds of things. In fact, I provided a link above that shows how to make a folding card out of the shape of a heart folded into a square. There is a picture contained on that page of a small child actually using a ruler to mark out the folds on what appears to be a collection of symbols that are arranged very similarly to the 340 cipher. I really think this type of hidden message is actually quite easy to create.

This sort of jives with my personal opinion of Z. I think he wanted to be seen as a mad genius or some sort of super villain. If he were alive today, I think he would be one of these people on social media constantly posting about how smart he is and how high his IQ is, even though everyone who knows him probably thinks he’s a moron and a weirdo. I think he WANTED to be crackproof, but in reality he’s just a dickhead who need validation that he was smart because everyone who actually knew him recognized he was delusional. If I’m being totally honest, Z was a giant, underachieving baby who wanted everyone to think he is great without actually putting any effort into earning the label. Unfortunately, many people over the years have given him this undeserved validation, and in my opinion, over-complicated his antics.

Posted : April 1, 2016 2:37 am
Posts: 567
Honorable Member

Just got idea of how code possibly was meant to be folded. Was thinking of how kids used to play with folded newspaper and how boys used to have paper routes. Zodiac was very fond of newspapers so thinking he may have had route as a kid.

If not done already, try folding code like newspapers were/are folded. Also remember kids making paper hats from them or boats. Don’t remember exactly how to do it but was simple and began with wide fold at bottom of paper IIRC.

Kids used to see lots of references to dunce caps and witches hats in cartoons and early tv. Those could easily be made of folded paper and tie in with Halloween card perhaps.

Also thinking of song sung at campfires when I was young. May also have been in early piano lesson book ("My Hat It Has Three Corners").

Posted : April 1, 2016 5:03 am
Posts: 567
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You can Google search for instructions on how to make various things from folding paper with good illustrations for the hats and boats I remember from childhood.

Posted : April 1, 2016 5:21 am
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