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Mitchell, a former cryptographer with the Royal Air Force, first stumbled upon the chapel nearly 40 years ago, when it was largely unknown and in disrepair. He would return to Rosslyn with increasing frequency over the years, always drawn to the cubes and their mysterious symbols. While there was no obvious order to the sequence of the cubes, Mitchell noticed that, as on a strand of DNA, little patterns would repeat. The same sequence of three symbols appears at the base of two of the arches, for instance, and one arch contains long stretches in which just one symbol is repeated.
Mitchell is certain this is no accident. The symbols, he believes, form a 500-year-old code bequeathed by the chapel's founders. And the angels are the key to deciphering it.
Continue to Part 2: Are the chapel's mysterious stone symbols a musical score?
TODAY IN SLATE
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“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.