Newbold’s supposed decryption of the Voynich manuscript was taken at face value by world-class scholars like the French medievalist Étienne Gilson, but it was in fact based on an elaborate set of misunderstandings and unfounded hypotheses. Newbold’s entire scheme was mercilessly demolished in 1931 in a devastating article in the medieval journal Speculum by none other than . Manly, now disillusioned about all claims to have cracked the Voynich manuscript code. Voynich himself had died of cancer the previous year, but despite the disproof of Newbold’s theories and the inaccessibility of the manuscript itself (now locked away in a bank vault by Voynich’s widow, Ethel), interest in its mysteries grew. Although he rejected Newbold’s claims, Manly remained intrigued by Voynich’s manuscript. During World War I he himself had worked as a US Army cryptographer. In 1916 he had been befriended by William F. Friedman, America’s most talented maker and breaker of codes, and reputedly the world’s greatest cryptologist.