I accept many of the hundreds of the comparisons made between illustrations in the Voynich, with illustrations and objects outside of it. I even accept most of those that are dismissed as “too new”, because, of course, I think the Voynich is as new as 1910. I don’t think those later comparisons should be dismissed so easily. In fact I think they are discarded clues… “Purple Cows”.
But there is another phenomenon that I see within the great number of people who have good comparisons, which they then think point to a certain person, a path, a genre… while needing to reject those comparisons that others make, for other objects, because they are contrary to their own theories. For instance, say person “A” thinks the Voynich was illustrated by “Mr. Apple”, person “B” thinks it was illustrated by “Mr. Bean, and person “C” thinks it was illustrated by “Ms. Corn”. And each sees in some illustration that which they feel is evidence that only their person could have drawn the illustrations… let’s say of an apple, beans, and corn.
But then each person cannot accept that the comparisons of the others are correct: A cannot see beans or corn, for then their Mr. Apple theory is finished. B can’t see apples or corn, only beans, or theirs is finished… you get the idea… This sets up what I consider a powerful bit of evidence of its own… because we have hundreds of people, hundreds of comparisons, all acting like A, B, and C, above. We have these possible explanations for this effect:
1) The comparisons are all wrong, or mostly wrong, except for only ONE of the theories. This means that all the others must be thrown out, discarded as purely coincidental, or pareidolia. The problem is that it is implausible that the mass of good comparisons are wrong, and only one is right. This case covers all theories, because all use comparisons, even “genuine 15th century European Cipher Herbal”.
2) All or most of the comparisons are correct, that is, Mister Apple, Beans, and Ms. Corn, and all or most of the other authors either wrote in the Voynich… it passed through all their hands, and they all had a part in creating it. Well of course this is wildly unlikely, and not proposed by anyone. But I point this out, because many of the individuals… A, B and C… DO propose that THEIR person DID create the Voynich. They do not, of course, propose this #2, though, they can’t, because they know it is an un-sustainable position. If their person is the author, the other comparisons MUST be wrong.
3) All or most of these illustrations are copied from originals by Mr. Apple, Mr. Beans and Ms. Corn. And we do see this from time to time… the suggestion that the illustrative comparisons in the Voynich are copied from the works of those people and items which they most look like… but that it is only a copy, and sometimes a bad one at that. But then one runs into the problem of discarding those items which they think CANNOT be in there… as, again, either coincidence or pareidolia, or wishful thinking driven by earnest bias. So for theorist D, E, and F, they argue among themselves, to a varying degree, which items should be accepted as “evidence”, and which must be discarded and ignored… often by dating, sometimes by geography… depending on when and where and by whom the individual theorist believes the Voynich originated. The problem then is twofold: Discarding any evidence with equal, point by point comparative validity becomes a subjective and unfounded action. The second problem is still that you must explain why and who would have access to the still great many good comparisons that one does accept. The first smacks of a need for great speculation, the second is an onerous task, since as we go back in time, the sharing of the wide range of illustrations and objects, coming from a great diversity of people and places, some practically unknown to ages past, is a very hard hill to climb. I don’t think it can be done. Maybe a Dee, or Erasmus, might have had access to such a corpus… but then, again, much of what they could not have seen, nor even conceived of, must be explained or discarded.
A very good example of this… I could reel off dozens, though… is the very good comparison found by Ms. Elitsa Velinska (she has found probably more good comparisons than anyone else, I think), of the “stars on strings held by women“, and Elihu Vedder’s illustration of the Seven Sisters… holding the stars of the Pleiades on strings. It is an unusual, almost unique concept, found (as many of these comparisons are) ONLY in the Voynich, and the work of Vedder. So is has been suggested by some, like #1, that Vedder himself had a hand in the Voynich (not by Elitsa, to my knowledge, I believe she only made the comparison, not that suggestion). But for Vedder to have had a hand, all or most other comparisons need to be discarded, or explained. Either Vedder created the Voynich, and saw and copied all other comparisons; or Vedder saw and copied ALL comparisons, including the “string star women” from some unknown source; or the other comparisons are coincidental or pareidolia…
… or, simply, someone copied Vedder’s and all the other illustrations from a great many sources. This is my contention, as it allows for almost all the comparisons made, and explains why they are… in fact, the only way they can logically be there.
I’ve attempted to explain one of the greatest reasons I am where I am, and why I believe the Voynich is a modern hoax/fake/forgery: I’ve often said I accept most of the very many great comparisons out there, like Elitsa’s string star sisters, and so many others; but that to suggest any of the (above listed 1-3) alternatives strains credibility past the breaking point. It is far more likely, more plausible, to me, that the Voynich is simply a modern compilation of all, or most, of those things seen by a great many people. They are those things, put there by someone with ready access to all of it, surrounded by books, mobile over a wide geography to see many actual ancient items in museums and libraries… probably Wilfrid Voynich, probably around 1910.