In The Middle Of The CIA’s Headquarters Sits A Mysterious Sculpture That Contains A Secret Code

Gorodenkoff - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

In the middle of the Central Intelligence Agency’s headquarters sits a mysterious sculpture called “Kryptos” that contains a secret code.

For decades, it has stumped experts. So far, three of the coded messages have been deciphered, but one is still unsolved.

Kryptos was created by artist Jim Sanborn and installed in the courtyard outside of the CIA’s headquarters building in 1990.

The large, wavy copper sculpture measures 12 feet tall and 20 feet wide. It consists of 1,800 letters that seem random. However, four distinct messages that form a riddle are embedded within the characters.

Over thirty years later, one of the codes has still not been cracked, making it one of the most famous unsolved mysteries in the world.

In recent years, Sanborn has provided hints as to what the fourth message might be, but no one has figured it out yet.

Sanborn did not have experience writing code before he created Kryptos. He graduated from Randolph-Macon College with a double major in sociology and art history in 1969.

Two years later, he received his master’s degree in sculpture from Pratt Institute. His works have been featured in several well-known museums, such as the High Museum of Art and the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

With some guidance from Edward Scheidt, a retired CIA expert in cryptology and encryption, Sanborn developed a series of encoded messages using patterns, matrixes, and other techniques.

Gorodenkoff – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual people

Sign up for Chip Chick’s newsletter and get stories like this delivered to your inbox.

1 of 2