American researcher deciphers code that leads to the Holy Grail

Humanity has come one step closer in solving the mystery of the Holy Grail. For 250 years, the cryptic inscription has exercised the minds of Britain's finest theologians, historians and scientists, including Charles Darwin, Josiah Wedgwood and, most recently, the Second World War code-breakers of Bletchley Park.

But an anonymous American researcher was credited yesterday with the best stab yet at what the letters D.O.U.O.S.V.A.V.V.M. - carved on the Shepherd's Monument at Lord Lichfield's Shugborough estate in Staffordshire - might actually signify.

The answer appears to be "Jesus (As Deity) Defy" - a message left by an 18th century Christian sect Priory of Sion, which was forced to keep its views secret since the Church of England thought they were heretical. On first impressions, this rather perplexing answer may disappoint those who believed the letters pointed the way to the final destination of the Holy Grail, the cup Jesus is said to have used during the Last Supper. But Shugborough Hall was holding on to its hopes last night, since the Priory of Sion was the spiritual successor to the Knights Templar, who were known as the keepers of the &to=' target=_blank>Holy Grail, reports Independent.

According to This is London, retired experts from Bletchley Park, the centre which cracked Nazi codes during World War II, were asked to decipher the inscription on the Shepherd's Monument at Shugborough, Staffordshire. The message, featured in the best-seller The Da Vinci Code, has now been deciphered as "Jesus (As Deity) Defy".

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