Saudi Aramco oil ace’s code found in Middle East, mystery remains

It’s one of the mysteries of civilization: to write, especially when it comes to clues to your location, a primitive penchant for symbols is a must. A 2.5-square-mile wilderness of arid sands in southern…

Saudi Aramco oil ace’s code found in Middle East, mystery remains

It’s one of the mysteries of civilization: to write, especially when it comes to clues to your location, a primitive penchant for symbols is a must.

A 2.5-square-mile wilderness of arid sands in southern Qatar, deep within the world’s largest private reserve of sub-Saharan desert, a mysterious network of hieroglyphs can be found hidden amid the invisible sand dunes.

Back in August 2018, a Frenchman with a “specialty in Maya and Mesoamerican antiquities” was wandering the far reaches of Sabaa Bahar Desert when he stumbled upon a rope and a sheep bone among the sand and water-stained rocks. They were traced to a nearby village, and an 11-year-old boy – who wasn’t there during the original visit – was outed as the artist.

Writing alongside the rope was the name Fadhel, hinting to the artist that his secrets are in the southern portion of the region, and the boy left behind a series of digital notes of his own. If you look up the coordinates of Fadhel’s drawings, you can see a bird-shaped symbol and a simple hen, within the faint outline of a sky.

Cryptics include certain streams. Observers at Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera spoke to one researcher, who noted in May 2018: “[The ponds] appear to have ‘hidden’ markings, some of which resemble a line of spiderwebs.” Another hieroglyph suggests that Fadhel was traveling somewhere in Algeria or southern Libya.

As of October 2018, authorities had found and are cataloguing just nine clues to the artist’s whereabouts. The boy is said to be back in southern Algeria or to be in Tongo Edda, near the border with Nigeria.

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