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Robert L Tatham Treasure Cypher


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Hi Guys:

Years ago there was a metal detector dealer and treasure hunter by the name of Robert L Tatham who lived in the Kansas City area. Sometime during the late 70's or early 80's he published a small pamphlet with some stories about a few treasure legends in the Ozarks. At the end of one of his pamphlets he had a numerical cypher that when decoded -gave the location of a small cache that he buried and had a few hints as to how to solve it. Does anyone remember anything about this? I worked on this briefly myself but there was a lot of research involved and I didn't have any time for it. I had completely forgot about this until I started going through some books in the basement yesterday.

Steve

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  • 4 weeks later...
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Hi Jason:

Robert Tatham published a number of books and pamphlets back in the 70's and 80's. That link you provided is for one of his other books and

had very little to do with the cypher. Since I posted the original question, I found out Mr Tatham passed away a couple years ago. His wife has stated the cypher has yet to be solved and the "treasure" is still out there to be found. A number of people have spent countless hours trying to solve this, without any luck.(me included) :laught16: If you know about the Beale cypher- you know how difficult those can be to solve. Personally,while I think the Beale cypher is a hoax and there never was any treasure to start with, Tatham's cypher is not. It's a simple substitution code but requires a lot of research to find the "keys". The first key used in the cypher was the Declaration of Independence. It's the other two keys people are having problems with.

Here's a link to the Beale cypher.

http://www.unmuseum.org/beal.htm

Most of the people worked on this in the late 70's and early 80's, then interest died off. My thinking is with all the information availible on the Internet, it might be easier to solve now then ever before but I no longer have the code and I don't think anyone is going to willingly give theirs up so someone else can work on it.

Steve

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Maybe if you approach if from a different angle it might make a little more sense. Go and see the movie with Nicholas Cage out called National Treasure to give you some perspective on how riddles can be solved. My grandfather worked on a Hawaiian treasure cache code for years and still didnt get to see it through. It kept on leading from one clue to another. I guess that is how these treasures still exist out there. They need someone to really be obsessed with it.

Aloha, Stan aka Kaimi

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Stan:

This isn't a riddle, but a simple substitution code which will require a LOT of research. One of the keys deals with the names of men who undertook a certain march during the Civil War. Even if you can find the list of men, it has to be put together properly so the code can be broken. That's just one key. There's still another one that has to be solved also. I don't remember too much about it since it's been well over 20 years since I worked on it but a lot of people have spent a lot of time on this, to no avail. Of course, one of the "pieces of booty" was a gold escudo and that could be worth quite a bit these days. There's also an emerald in the "treasure chest" so it's certainly worth trying to solve it- up to a point.

Steve

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I wish I still had it!!!! The only suggestions I can make to you is to contact the metal detecting or treasure hunting clubs in the Kansas City, Missouri area since that's where Mr Tatham lived. I am sure some of the people that belong to those clubs have the booklet and the cypher but whether they will give it to you is another matter...

You could also ask around on the treasure hunting and metal detecting forums.

Steve

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  • 8 months later...

i don't believe that the declaration is used for one of the keys i have tried it on all four ciphers and the list of soldiers that you refer to in a cival war march does not work either so any other clues to figuring out at least one cypher

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i don't believe that the declaration is used for one of the keys i have tried it on all four ciphers and the list of soldiers that you refer to in a cival war march does not work either so any other clues to figuring out at least one cypher

Thanks for replying to me steve but i still don see how the declaration of independence works on the tatham cipher here is the first line in the first cipher

respect(53

that(80)

a(51)

of(57)

dissolve(15)

causes(65

the(3)

for(11)

opinions(56

them(22)

these(74

bands(18)

earth(33)

human(6)

the(16)

to(26

among(28)

the(34

just(120

How does that work ? i tried the whole word first letter last letter backwards forwards please explain and if you are talking about the beale cyphers they have been solved please see this link http://bealesolved.tripod.com/index.html

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Not sure if you are talking about Robert L Tatham "Ozark Mountain Tresure tales"?

I found one book for sale (used of course)....they want $93.00.....a bit steep eh?

I was thinking this was the

"pamplet" you first mentioned because it says "binding unknown"...

Here is the link to the book if its the one.

http://www.amazon.com/Ozark-treasure-tales-Robert-Tatham/dp/B0006YQYEQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266604050&sr=1-1

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This might be a little late response,but I also worked on Robert Tathams cyphers back in the late 80's-I worked on it for about a year solid and have come to the conclusion that the clues must be very "vague" as that no one that i know of has found a single one--after reading this thread,I found my old book in the basement and looked it over along with the codes and began to play with it again (a little)-I still think the clues are vague,but it all brings back great memories!-sorry to hear that Robert has passed. I wrote him a couple times back in the "day" and he did write me back.-I wonder if the treasure is still buried?-and how did "Goldfinger" come up with the conclusion that a list of men doing a march during the civil war was a "Key" to a source to solve one of the codes? I would be interested to know. I can't find anything in the book that hints to that.-ahh,but what the heck!-I haven't ANY hints yet,and its only been 20 or so years..

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I worked on the cipher in the early 80' and corresponded with Mr Tatham also. It was Mr Tatham himself that gave me the clue about the list of men during a march. No doubt it he was referring to a battle that happened near Kansas City someplace and no doubt the answer is in a library there.

While Mr Tatham passed away , his widow is still alive she says the treasure is still out there. I just have to think she knows a bit about the cipher too so if I was still interested in it, I would contact her.

Steve

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Thanks for the "Hint"-tho i would have no idea where this "civil war march" would have taken place-I think i will read the book again and see if there are any subtle "hints" on this march--I have tried to look for Mr. Tathams family with not much luck unless you join and pay for records-I wonder if his wife still lives in Raytown on Brooklane-I was there once,tho, it seems like a hundred years ago--If anyone else has any Hints on this puzzle,maybe we should share them--One could be that on page 9 he says for us to use "common sense" when you evaluate treasure stories.Well. thomas paine wrote an article called common sense back in 1775 or 76 for the revolutionary war-I've looked at it and got no where-maybe someone else can do better.....

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Thanks for the "Hint"-tho i would have no idea where this "civil war march" would have taken place-I think i will read the book again and see if there are any subtle "hints" on this march--I have tried to look for Mr. Tathams family with not much luck unless you join and pay for records-I wonder if his wife still lives in Raytown on Brooklane-I was there once,tho, it seems like a hundred years ago--If anyone else has any Hints on this puzzle,maybe we should share them--One could be that on page 9 he says for us to use "common sense" when you evaluate treasure stories.Well. thomas paine wrote an article called common sense back in 1775 or 76 for the revolutionary war-I've looked at it and got no where-maybe someone else can do better.....

I think his wife lives in Blue Springs now. You should be able to do a search on Zaba or another one and find her address. Should be in her 70's.

The march he refers to involves a battle that took place around Kansas City somewhere. Mr Tatham always stressed a love of history and research and no doubt it will take a lot of both to find it.

Interesting tidbit when you mentioned "common sense" but I no longer have the booklet so I wouldn't know how that fits in the scheme of things. I had thought about trying to obtain another copy of the booklet in hopes of having a fresh perspective after all these years but to no avail. But the person who finds it will no doubt be from the KC area. The clue is in a library ,museum ,etc someplace. Are there any civil war historical sites in the KC area? Those could also be helpful.

Also, there are many variations of the simple substitution code. Perhaps someone actually did have all the correct keys but used the wrong variation?

Steve

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Thanks, i'll try to look for her.Yes,i figure that he could have used a variation of the "Beale" cypher code

like, maybe, using the LAST letter of the word instead of the first letter-or ?? as i said before,his clues seem very vague to me anyway-just trying to find a "March" of men in the book is tough.......

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Interesting thread....

Bill-

Interesting cipher. Spent many hours on this during the early 80's. There's a gold escudo, a piece of eight, rough emerald and some other goodies which I can't recall. Just wish I had another copy of it since I have plenty of time to work on it.

Steve

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After looking for this book for a couple weeks,I found one (and only one)from a seller off amazon.It cost me $28 plus shipping-I could have sworn i had my old book(had 2 of them)and notes in my stuff in the basement,but could not find them-the wife swears she did'nt pitch them, uh-huh----anyway,i'm not even close to being obsessed with this as i was long time ago,just playing in my "older" age-tho,i would dearly love to crack just one code before.....well,you know,-I did find a Barbara tatham who now lives in Independence and will send a letter to her with my belated condolences and tell her how much i have enjoyed Robert's treasure hunt through the years.-

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What was the exact title of that booklet that had the codes? I may keep an eye out for a copy and buy it provided it isn't too expensive.

Independence?? Well - I was close... She could have some info for you if you approach her in the proper way.

Steve

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when i searched for mine,I found 6 sellers on amazon with the book,they all turned out to be the 1974 edition-except for one'I bought it and the listing for the 1982 edition disappered,so i figure i got the only one at that time-maybe someone is giving up theirs and you'll get lucky--paul

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