The criteria for a definitive solution to the 340 cipher, is not when one person or few believe a solution has been achieved, it is when there is overwhelming consensus across the board, removing subjectivity from the equation.
If the 340 cipher doesn't actually contain a message, it will never be broken, and paradoxically will remain unsolved despite no solution being possible. Having examined this cipher innumerable times, the only solution I can come to- is it has no solution.
This revolves around two key issues: In that, the Zodiac Killer may have had 'cipher three' formulated or drafted before he designed 'cipher two', to enable the interconnectivity between both. He had to think forwards to create backwards.
If we assume the 340 cipher has a solution and therefore a key (no matter how complex), then one may assume the Zodiac created the key, then created the message, and then applied the message to the key, so as to encrypt it. If this were the case, we must believe that the 'near Zodiac' that emerged on line 20 was by sheer chance. We would also have to believe, that had he crafted 'cipher three' completely independent of 'cipher two', with no intention of connecting both, then the following observations also happened completely by chance.
Because the '13 Symbol' cipher was thirteen characters in total (half the alphabet) and began with an A and ended with an M, it was considered that by placing the first half of the alphabet alongside the '13 Symbol' cipher and numerically counting the difference between the columns, something may emerge. It did.
For example: C to N produces a difference of 11, whereas B and E produces a difference of 3. Non alphabetical symbols cannot produce a difference, so a zero is inserted. The resulting numbers produced have been color coded. The red section is before the first circled 8, the green section is after the last circled 8 and the blue section spans the first and last circled 8. Notice the perfect symmetry. The red and green numbers are identical read forwards or backwards, and the blue numbers again read identically in either direction, producing a mirror image.
An equally symmetrical pattern was created using the identical technique, when placing the correct spelling of Zodiac alongside the 'near Zodiac' on line 20 of the 340 cipher.
Furthermore, the three 0's and three 8's created, can be combined and carried forward onto his '13 Symbol' cipher, which seemingly is what he did.
It is also apparent on the '13 Symbol' cipher, that either side of the three circled 8's are the Zodiac crosshairs and an inverted Aries symbol, apparent either side of the 'near Zodiac' on the final line of the 340 Cipher. So, the author has effectively carried eight symbols from one cipher to another.
The point being, that when the Zodiac Killer sat down at his desk and began to create a unique key for his 340 cipher, into which he was to place his message, it accidentally created the 'near Zodiac' on the 20th line, accidentally created the correlation between 'near Zodiac' and Zodiac to produce three circled 8's, accidentally created the symbols either side of 'near Zodiac,' that fully or in part, carried forward to the '13 Symbol' cipher in the correct position, and accidentally created symmetry in both instances. Or, the Zodiac crafted the '13 Symbol' cipher before the 340 cipher, which I would argue nobody believes.
The Zodiac Killer may have began his 340 cipher key from the bottom first, deliberately allocating specific letters in his message to create the 'near Zodiac' characters and continuing from there. But, if the interconnectivity exists between the 340 cipher and '13 Symbol' cipher, he effectively began with 'cipher three' first and worked backwards. However, this doesn't seem the likeliest of answers. The alternative, one could argue, is that the 340 contains only his pseudonym and nothing more.
It can be clearly seen on the left, that the Zodiac Killer was conscientious enough to correct an alphabetical K to a reversed K on line 6, even though spelling correctly was never much of an issue with the Zodiac Killer. To validate that this was a genuine mistake, he made sure that the original K had not been fully obscured. This may give the impression it is easy to mix up your K's when implementing your encrypted text. Or maybe this is what he wanted us to believe. Who in their right mind would correct a fake cipher? Therefore it must be genuine.
Did the Zodiac Killer implement this correction, conveniently leaving the blacked out character still visible (and just reversing it), to give us the impression that the 340 cipher is undeniably genuine. Was this move just another red herring, to again validate something that never was.
Alternatively, the final line of the 340 cipher may contain just a part message, yet incomplete, bearing in mind that many believe the '13 Symbol' cipher may contain some form of a name. The 340 cipher may end with: "the Zodiac is".... to be continued on the next cipher. The anticipation of the newspapers and readers alike, for the sequel to be released, would be a Zodiac dream.