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The Secret (a treasure hunt) / Image 2 Verse 6 Solution
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Image 2 Verse 6 Solution

Page history last edited by Oregonian 4 months, 2 weeks ago




  The casque associated with Image 2 and Verse 6 was most likely buried in White Point Garden in Charleston, South Carolina at these coordinates: 32.769711, -79.928921.  To understand how the clues and solution relate to the landmarks in the park, see our White Point Garden Landmarks page.  The burial spot Preiss chose was in a path, on the west side of a monument displaying the capstan from the USS Maine.  The casque was almost certainly destroyed in 2007 when that spot was excavated to build a foundation for a new monument, so firm proof of this location is impossible.


  The shapes of Fort Sumter and the Charleston peninsula send us to the correct area (from the image).  Historical references confirm the city and direct us to a historical area (from the verse).  A line about "two arms extended" (verse) is ambiguous, but black circles with white dots (image) tells us that the arms are cannons.  A line about "May 1913" (verse) sends us to the capstan from the USS Maine.  References to palms (both image and verse) tell us to dig where the shadow of a nearby palm tree would be positioned at the base of that monument.



Detailed Solution


The solution given below will present clues from the verse and the image in a way that narrows down the search area to that specific point.  Bits of the original image are shown in the left column in cells with a tan background.  Lines from the verse are in the same column but with a yellow background.  (For more detail about any particular clue, check the page for Image 2 or Verse 6.) 
Clues Interpretations


  The "scratchings" in the lion's mane include the numbers 79 and 80.  Only a few major cities in North America fall between those longitudes.  Some of the candidates include Toronto, Canada; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Charleston, South Carolina.




Image 2 has many strong references to Africa and to the slave trade that historically brought enslaved Africans to North America. Of all the cities between longitudes 79 and 80, Charleston has, by far, the strongest connection to slavery and the arrival of those Africans.  According to Wikipedia, "Sullivan's Island [in the Charleston Harbor] was also the point of entry for approximately 40 percent of the enslaved Africans brought to British North America, and has been likened to Ellis Island in New York City, New York."



The pattern on the forehead of the mask confirms that we should be looking in the Charleston, South Carolina area. The Charleston peninsula is visible in the middle, with Drum Island beside it.  Most of the major waterways are shown.



1) Of all the romance retold
2) Men of tales and tunes
3) Cruel and bold
4) Seen here
5) By eyes of old



  There's a wealth of history in the Charleston area, but the opening lines of Verse 6 are a rewording of the preface to Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. They tell us that we should head down to the waterfront and focus in on those areas with a historical connection to seafaring and piracy. 



6) Stand and listen to the birds
7) Hear the cool, clear song of water



  These lines suggest that we should be standing in a wooded, park-like area where we can relax and hear water and bird songs.  A prominent waterfront park is this area is White Point Garden in downtown Charleston.  It is located at the southern tip of the peninsula and offers broad views across the harbor.



  There is a Christian cross hidden in the lion's mane. This is very likely a reference to Church Street, which ends at White Point Garden.  


The pendant that hangs from the branch in Image 2 is a representation of Fort Sumter, which has a distinctive five-sided "home plate" shape.  The military connection is shown by the star and stripes.  The two lines that go to the "nose" of the pendant represent the two ferry routes that serve the island, leaving from Liberty Square in Charleston and Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant.


  The "Fort Sumter pendant" serves a double purpose.  On a broad level it confirms that we should be in the Charleston area.  But note that both the "flagpole nose" of the pendant and the shadow from that pole end in a white point.  This is a strong confirmation that we are in the right place. Because White Point Garden is on the edge of the water at the southern tip of the Charleston peninsula, it's one of the few places in the main part of the city where one can look eastwards across the water to Fort Sumter.





  There are several other subtle nods to White Point Garden in the image.  One of the best is in the sash that the woman wears across her hips.  It hangs down in some shapes that are clearly angular and meaningful.  If we flip it vertically, we can see that it actually shows a ship slicing through the waves.  (Click on image at left for close-up.)


  Based on the distinctive profile shape, it seems very likely that the ship in the image is the USS Amberjack, which was sunk in WWII.  White Point Garden includes a memorial for the ship.



8) Harken to the words:
9) Freedom at the birth of a century
10) Or May 1913
11) Edwin and Edwina named after him
12) Or on the eighth a scene
13) Where law defended



  The references to White Point Garden in Verse 6 are even more explicit.  Line 8, ending in a colon, introduces a series of four lines that describe historic events.  Preiss (who clearly had a poetic nature) appears to be saying that we should stand amid the trees and fountains of White Point Garden and "harken" back to what happened in this area many years ago.  (A poet like Preiss might call it a spot that "transports us back in time.")


  Line 9 is a reference to Denmark Vesey, a Charleston slave who won money in a lottery in 1799 and was able to purchase his own freedom "at the birth of a century." 


  Line 11 is a reference to a visit to Charleston by Edward Blyden in 1889.  During the visit he had twin babies, Edwin and Edwina, named after him.  (For full details, see the Verse 6 page.)


  Lines 12 & 13 are a reference to the execution of a pirate crew on November 8th, 1718.  There is a historical monument in the garden to commemorate the event (although it doesn't give the date).


  Important: Of the four historical references in this section of the verse, three could be solved by library research.  (In fact, those three could only be solved by library research.  There is nothing in the park itself that mentions Denmark Vesey, Edwin and Edwina, or the date of 11/8/1718.)  But the fourth reference would likely have left library researchers stumped.  Nothing of any great significance happened in Charleston in May of 1913.



All of the clues up to this point have brought us to the Charleston Harbor and White Point Garden.

The remaining clues will narrow down the hiding spot where the casque is buried.  To keep track of the different landmarks, use the map of the garden shown below.  (For more detail, see our White Point Garden Landmarks page.)



14) Between two arms extended


  The interpretation of this line depends on finding the correct definition of "arms."  Many searchers have followed the most literal interpretation and assumed that this line refers to the arms on two statues in the park.


Charleston - White Point Garden: Fort Sumter Memorial "To the Defenders of Fort Moultrie - June the 28th, 1776" - Monument dedicated June 28, 1876 - White Point Garden, Charleston, SC


  The two monuments that might qualify for having "arms extended" (in the sense of human arms) are the Confederate Defenders monument (photo far left, #10 on map) and the Sgt. Jasper monument (photo near left, #15 on map).  The extended arm on the Sgt. Jasper statue points eastwards, across the water toward Fort Moultrie. The arm on the Confederate Defenders monument is mostly upright but facing southeastwards, toward Fort Sumter.


  The problem with this interpretation is that it doesn't work with the rest of the verse or with the image.  The two statues with arms are separated by a broad, grassy area with no sand where the casque could be buried (see line 17).  The area between the statues also lacks any "bar" (or landmark of any kind) to indicate the exact spot (see line 15).  And the female figure in Image 2 has her hands clasped together, as if to emphasize to us that "arms," in this sense, are not extended.


Charleston - White Point Garden: Seven-inch banded Brooks rifle


  An alternative definition for "arms" would be weapons or  "armaments" (as in "a call to arms" or "the right to bear arms").  The perimeter of White Point Garden features several large weapons that have historical significance.  There are several short, bucket-shaped mortars at the southern edge, but "arms extended" would more likely refer to the guns with longer barrels. 


  On the eastern edge of the park, near Church Street and the pirate monument, there are two enormous cannon-like columbiads.  (The guns are shown by numbers 7 & 9 on the map above.)



  Like most of the guns in White Point Garden, the columbiads are  painted black and have barrels filled with white plaster.  The shape and color pattern matches the two dots on the butterfly wings on either side of the female figure in the painting.


  The presence of these dots on either side of the figure strongly confirms the importance of the columbiads and suggests that we should be between the barrels of these "arms extended."


The capstan of the USS Maine ("mane")


Following the clues this far has brought us to a point at the eastern end of White Point Garden.  Searchers investigating the spot anytime prior to 2007 would have discovered that between the two columbiads was a monument topped by a large steel capstan — an hourglass-shaped metal barrel used for pulling in ropes and chains on sailing ships. 

The capstan on display in White Point Garden was salvaged from the USS Maine, which sank in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898.  (The slogan "Remember the Maine!  To hell with Spain!" was the major rallying cry for the Spanish-American war, although the true cause of the sinking has never been conclusively determined.)



  The biggest visual clue to the importance of the capstan is the enormous lion's mane that fills the upper half of Image 2.  Quick-witted searchers would likely have connected the homonyms of "Maine" and "mane."  But there are other visual clues as well.


  The hourglass shape in the nose of the lion is almost certainly meant as a representation of the capstan, with the curves on either side, the flat base below, and the nostril-like holes above.


  Hidden to the side of the woman, above the arms, is a dark square inside a circle.  The square is very good representation of the dark squares at the top of the circular capstan.  (Compare the image to the photo above.)



10) Or May 1913



  For searchers reaching this location while the capstan was still on display, the importance of the spot would have been overwhelmingly confirmed by an on-site investigation. There were bronze plaques on three of the four sides of the base holding up the capstan. The plaque on the north side had this text:

Presented by
The Navy Department
To the City of Charleston
Through the Courtesy of
U.S. Senator Benjamin R. Tillman
May, 1913


  That final line (closest to the ground) would, at last, be the explanation for Line 10 of the verse and it would have been firm confirmation that one was in the right spot.  The donation of an artifact in May of 1913 would not have been significant enough to make it into any history book.  The importance of line 10 would only have been clear when searchers arrived at the final spot where the casque was buried.



15) Below the bar that binds



  Modern capstans are powered by electricity, but — back in the days of the Maine — the capstan was powered by human labor.  Sailor would use special poles called "capstan bars" that were rounded for most of their length but square at one end (to prevent them from turning).  The square end of each bar would go into a socket at the top of the capstan and then the sailors would push against the rounded part and march in circles.  The system allowed multiple sailors to combine their strengths for something that required considerable effort, such as lifting an anchor.


  The photo at left shows capstan bars as they would be stored around the mast when not in use.  (These are capstan bars of the Bounty II, seen while the ship was docked during the Festival of Sail San Francisco 2008.  Photo by BrokenSphere, CC BY-SA 3.0)


  The bar in a capstan did the work of binding up the rope or anchor.  So a capstan bar is a "bar that binds."


 Image 2 hints at this definition of "bar" by showing us a rope draped over a horizontal pole.  All of this is telling us that we should be at the base of the Maine monument, somewhere below where a bar would sweep around as the sailors were pushing the capstan.


  Here's another view from the deck of the same ship, this time including the capstan.  Note the worn-away circle on the deck left by sailors marching around in circles while pushing on the capstan bars.




7) Hear the cool, clear song of water



  The early lines of the verse all reference the early history of Charleston and ask the reader to pause, "stand and listen," and "harken" back to those events.  We are obviously meant to imagine Charleston's seafaring past.  But what would be the "song of water"?


  The songs most closely associated with sailing and sailors are sea shanties that were sung by sailors in the era of wind-powered ships.  According to Wikipedia, sea shanties were "adapted to suit musical forms matching the various labor tasks required to operate a sailing ship. Such tasks, which usually required a coordinated group effort in either a pulling or pushing action, included weighing anchor and setting sail."


  Many of those tasks requiring coordinated effort involved a capstan.  In fact, one collection of such shanties (published in 1931) was actually called "Capstan Bars."  The verse is telling us to stand by the Maine monument, harken back to the days of sailing ships, and imagine the sailors singing and marching around a circle.



  Much of the power of Image 2 comes from the way the woman's rounded, expanded hairline echoes the expansive mane of the lion, so that she seems to capture the spirit and strength of the African continent.  But why does her hair have the "blue halo" associated with major clues?


  The answer, very likely, is that the woman's head is showing us an overhead map of the treasure spot.  Her linked arms form the sidewalk in front of the Maine monument (and her head is between those "two arms extended.")  The woman's hair shows the circular sweep that would be made by the imaginary capstan bars.  We are to dig within the radius of that circle ("below the bar that binds").



16) Beside the long palm's shadow



  Many searchers have interpreted the "palm" in line 16 as part of a human hand and have tried to make this line work with the earlier idea of "arms" on the statues.  One problem with this is that there's no reason why this kind of palm would be "long."  This interpretation also inherits all the problems of the statue interpretation listed above.


  An alternative definition of "palm" could simply mean "palm tree."  The most likely palm in this case would be a cabbage palm or "palmetto."  According to Wikipedia, "The palmetto has been a symbol for South Carolina since the American Revolutionary War when it was used to build a fort on Sullivan's Island that withstood British attack. The palmetto tree appears on the first symbol of the state, the seal created in 1777. It was officially named the state tree in 1939.  It is a very popular state symbol."


  The South Carolina state flag (shown at left) features a single palmetto under a crescent moon.  There is also thought to be the shadow of a cabbage palm hidden in Image 2


IMG_6738-White Point Garden


  The photo at left shows a modern image of the eastern edge of White Point Garden.  (The photographer was standing on the edge of East Battery, facing westwards.)  On either side of the path are the two columbiads (the "arms extended").  In the middle of the path is the statue of William Moultrie, filling the spot where the capstan from the USS Maine once stood.


  There are two cabbage palms in the vicinity and - significantly - they are on the southern side of the path.  At the time this picture was taken (early in the morning) the sun was behind the photographer and the shadows were pointed away from the street.  During the course of a day, the shadow from each palm tree would sweep from west to east across the path.  Because the palms are on the southern side of the path and slightly to the west of the monument, "the long palm's shadow" would extend to the base of the monument on the western and southern sides.



17) Embedded in the sand
18) Waits the Fair remuneration



  The mention of "sand" near the end of the verse is no accident.  Preiss was always careful to bury the casques in places where digging wouldn't tear up well-maintained lawns or landscapes.  "Sand," in this case, is telling us to skip the lawn and dig in the sand-and-gravel path where the capstan was located between the two arms extended.


  "Fair" is a reference to the "Fair Folk" in the book.  These lines are telling us that the casque is buried in the sand of the path.



19) White house close at hand.



  The description of a "white house" in the final line of Verse 6 could be a reference to either of two white houses on South Battery, facing White Point Garden.  The precise house doesn't matter.  Either one would be visible and "close at hand" to someone standing beside the USS Maine monument.


The "White house" shown in the picture is the Villa Margherita built in 1895 for Daisy Breaux Simonds and her husband.  When Daisy's husband died in 1905, Daisy opened the house as a European style Inn and named it "Margherita" after herself.  Margherita is an Italian feminine name, and also means "daisy" in Italian.  This seems to be another link to Image 2, which includes a daisy, the flower for April.  This is also why some women named Margaret use the name Daisy.


  So here, then, is our final position.  We should be in Charleston, South Carolina on the eastern edge of White Point Garden, where there's a view out to Sullivan's Island and Fort Sumter.  We should stand between two long-barreled guns in a spot that's on a sandy path.  We should be at the base of the Maine monument and we should be within a circle extending 6 feet or so from the capstan, to be within (and below) the circle swept by the bars.  And we should be within sight of the nearby white houses.  The clues up to this point have gotten us to the base of the capstan monument, but we still don't know where to dig. 

  The undated photo above at left shows a person standing on the south side of the capstan from the USS Maine sometime prior to 2007.  In the distance, through the trees, one can see a white house.  The pirate monument is visible just to the left of that, beside a tree with a large, forked branch going out to the side.  The sandy path is visible at the bottom.  The shadows at the lower left edge of the picture, beside the west edge of the monument, could only be coming from the palm trees beside the southern columbiad.


  The photo above at right is an impressive attempt to recreate the same shot in 2018.  You can see the white house, the forked tree, and most of the pirate monument.  Five points off for leaving the sunglasses up on the forehead, but otherwise this pretty much nails it.  (Thanks, Chris!)  Note that there are more shadows now, from the growth of the oak trees, but the shadow of a palm frond can be seen hitting the side of the monument right where the person is standing.  (You can tell it's a palm shadow from the long, straight lines.)




  The photo to the left shows the 2018 view from the west side of the Moultrie monument looking south.  The oak trees have grown and the shadows aren't as clear as they would have been decades ago, but you can still make out the line of the shadow coming from the cabbage palm beside the southern columbiad.  The shadow extends out and hits the corner of the Moultrie monument.


  As noted earlier, the significance of line 16 ("Beside the long palm's shadow") is that the shadows from the nearby palm trees could only hit the USS Maine monument on the west and south sides.  But someone kneeling at the south side of the monument would not be able to see the "white houses" that are both to the north!  By a process of elimination, the only spot that could be "Between two arms extended / Below the bar that binds / Beside the long palm's shadow / Embedded in the sand" with "White house close at hand" would be the west side of the monument.


  Three other factors also make it extremely likely that the casque was buried on the west side:

  1. The USS Maine monument stood in the middle of a path that ran east-west, and all pedestrian traffic moving through the park had to split to go around it.  Soil on the north and south sides of the monument would be highly compacted and difficult to dig through, but ground on the east and west sides would be "in the lee" of the monument and less compacted by pedestrians.
  2. The south, east, and north sides of the monument all had bronze plaques that people would read, but the west side had no plaque and therefore gave people less reason to stand there.  This, again, would make the soil on the west side less compacted.
  3. Finally (and most importantly) the south, east, and north sides of the monument are all visible from the street (East Battery) and a person digging a hole in a path would undoubtedly have attracted some attention, even in 1981.  But, as the photo above shows, the base of the Maine monument was quite large.  Someone crouching and digging on the west side would have been largely out of view from the cars passing by.


For all of these reasons, it is highly likely that the casque was buried at the western base of the USS Maine monument.


Final Location: 32°46'11.0"N, 79°55'44.1"W

(Latitude: 32.769711, Longitude: -79.928921)





But... the casque was destroyed in 2007.

  Before you grab your shovels and go rushing out to White Point Garden, there is (unfortunately) more evidence to consider.


  The photo at left shows the northeast corner of the Moultrie monument in 2018 after a rainfall.  A surface layer of sand has been washed away with the rain, and a concrete base is visible extending out beyond the granite. 


  As we already know, the Maine monument was a short, squat thing that was only four feet high.  There was no risk of the block toppling over, even if the soil settled, and so the city probably installed that monument directly on top of the path, with no underground support.

  The Moultrie monument has a smaller "footprint," but it has a granite base that stands about twice as tall as the concrete base of the Maine monument.  The Moultrie monument is also topped with a metal statue that makes the whole thing stand even higher.


  What all of this means is that the Moultrie monument is a taller, skinnier, less stable structure and so it needed an underground foundation.  That analysis is confirmed by details from A Walk in the Parks, a guide to the monuments of Charleston written by John R. Young, a registered Charleston tour guide.  On page 27, describing the details of the Moultrie monument installation, he writes:

“In April 2007, the battleship Maine’s capstan was removed from the site. … In May, the soil was strengthened to accommodate the new base and statue.  A concrete pad was laid atop the newly compacted soil.”


  The details of the White Point Garden excavation are recorded in an article published on May 11, 2007 in the Charleston Post and Courier (page 1 and page 2 are available here as images).  What we know is that the city started the work by driving steel sheet piling into the path.  Then they excavated with a truck-mounted hydraulic excavator and emptied the bucket directly into a dump truck.  Humans only entered the hole after it was excavated, when it was time to lay the wooden framing and pour the concrete.  At that time they discovered a bone fragment and called in Charleston Museum archaeogist Martha Zierden.  The picture below, taken by Grace Beahm, shows the brief time that Zierden visited the site. 


Reached by email, Zierden confirmed that she did not monitor the excavation itself: "I visited the site after the hole was excavated, and retrieved two historic ceramic sherds from the bottom.  My total time onsite was about 30 minutes.  I do not have a report or photos."


  If you're having trouble interpreting the photo above, here's a very nice diagram taken from the New Zealand Excavation Safety Guidelines. It shows that the area of soil disturbance in the path would need to be much larger than the actual Moultrie monument foundation.  The first step in this kind of excavation is to use a pile driver to pound steel sheet piling into the ground, absolutely shattering anything in its way.  Then the hole is excavated mechanically and the I-beams (called "toms" and "walings") get installed to keep the steel sheeting apart.  Only after all that, when the walls are safe from collapsing, do workers get in the hole to set up the foundation.


  What this all means is...

  1. the disturbed area would need to extend out at least two feet in all directions from the Moultrie monument foundation, and
  2. there's no chance whatsoever that a worker would have seen any shattered fragments of the casque that might have been mixed in with the soil as it was being scooped out of the hole and transferred to the dump truck.  Construction worker safety requires standing well back from pile drivers and pivoting hydraulic excavators.


  Bottom line:  The casque almost certainly sat in the path, undisturbed, for 25 years before being destroyed and crushed into dust by the excavation work during the installation work for the Moultrie monument in 2007.  There is a very small chance that the casque could still be there, beyond the western edge of the foundation, but the odds of that are very, very slim.  This one, sad to say, is probably gone.




Other Notes:

  • From everything we know about Byron Preiss, he obviously enjoyed wordplay and double-entendres.  He must have loved using "arms" and "palm" in the same verse, knowing that searchers would initially connect them with the wrong meanings.  Likewise, he must have enjoyed connecting "mane" to "Maine" in the image and connecting the musical bars of a sea shanty to the wooden bars that turn a capstan.
  • If this solution is correct, this must have been one of the more challenging casques to hide.  White Point Garden is a very heavily-visited park, and even on the west side of the monument (out of view from the street) Preiss would have attracted the attention of some pedestrians.  But we know that Preiss wore disguises at some of the dig sites and pretended to be a maintenance worker.  He must have had the confidence and acting skills to look natural and pull it off.
  • Many thanks to all the Charleston searchers over the years who helped us solve this one!  We're sorry this puzzle doesn't have a happier ending, but we're grateful for all the contributions that helped us reach a conclusion.





Comments (25)

Danny Smith said

at 11:40 pm on Jan 19, 2018

Ok, so the question is: what changed between the subtraction of the Maine and the addition of Moultrie? I've found the name of the sculptor of the new statue but have been unable to find out how to contact him to get info about the dimensions of the Moultrie base and if at all it has changed. I'm not sure if it's ok to post his name but all you have to do is google Moultrie statue in Charleston SC and you'll find it, please post if you find anything as will I.

Oregonian said

at 8:45 am on Jan 20, 2018

Wow, that's a really good idea for how to approach it!

I've been so focused on the base for the statue that I never even thought about the statue itself. But I'm sure you're right that the artist would have been very involved in studying the site and supervising the installation. He would have taken pictures and taken measurements and he probably would have been there when the monuments were switched. That person could tell us a lot about what has happened to the burial spot.

I don't have time to work on this angle right now, but I hope you (or someone else) will pursue it. I don't see any problem with posting the name of the sculptor here. It's a piece of public art, so the name of the artist must be public knowledge.

Smokey Joe Would said

at 12:07 pm on Jan 24, 2018

I saw on some other sites that perhaps Verse 5 points to the casque in Charleston. Some of the clues are compelling, such as Citadel in the night as the Citadel is a large part of Charleston and it's history. Also, on the left eye of the mask in the picture is an arch and a stem that points into the map of Charleston. The tip of that "stem" ends on Marion Square, a large park in the middle of Charleston that is next to a hotel, that used to be the Citadel. Take a look at that and let me know what you think, there are some other clues that make some sense.

Oregonian said

at 12:33 pm on Jan 24, 2018

Yes, people have jumped on that word "citadel" for years. I'm sure it's in Verse 5 as a red herring and I'm sure it was deliberately placed at the start of a line so it would be capitalized. (Very sneaky, Preiss. Very sneaky.) But do you realize how unlikely it is to have the words "May 1913" posted in a public place? And I challenge anyone to find another set of twins named Edwin and Edwina who were named after someone who visited a city. Throw in piracy, sand, water, arms, white houses, and palms and the evidence for Verse 6 being White Point Garden in Charleston is just overwhelming. Don't let the stray mention of a citadel throw you off the bigger picture.

Smokey Joe Would said

at 12:42 pm on Jan 24, 2018

That is true. Sometimes I just try to look at it a different way, it has been 40 years and no one has found it yet.

BTW the big white house over looking White Point Garden was owned by a woman whose nickname was Daisy, and it is called the Villa Margherita, which is Italian for Daisy House. Has to be there.

Danny Smith said

at 4:18 pm on Jan 24, 2018

Sorry I haven't been able to get on in a lil bit. Awesome info guys. Joe, the info about the plate is great, that means if we still have the dimensions essentially of the old capstan then we may not even need to do the extra research about dimensions old and new. I agree, I think the evidence is pointing straight at White Point. I'll be there this summer with my wife to do some first hand investigating.

Smokey Joe Would said

at 4:29 pm on Jan 24, 2018

I do think that the plate, or whatever it is, is the same dimension as the old capstan. I am still skeptical about it being in the path, I think it may be more likely to be across the street by the seawall. The bar that binds could be the rail or the seawall itself. Also, digging in that little stretch of sand would be more correct to the clue and easier to pull off without getting arrested as it is technically not in the park.

Smokey Joe Would said

at 1:53 pm on Jan 25, 2018

OK, call me crazy, but if you look at the birthmark on the Lion's head, does it resemble the bay at Havana Cuba?? Where the Maine was sunk! Might be a huge stretch, but if it is true, it would all but confirm that the casque is beside where the capstan used to be. Let me know what you think.


Danny Smith said

at 6:59 pm on Jan 26, 2018

Wow, that actually does look like the bay of Havana encircled around Charleston, good call. I got in contact with a pretty serious hunter. The guys done a ton of work on this particular casque, he seems to believe that picture 2 actually goes with verse 5 instead of 6 and the casque is actually at Sullivan's Island. Here's the link https://jamesvachowski.com/2017/12/31/the-buried-treasure-of-sullivans-island/ very interesting stuff, although I'm not entirely sure it's correct, but interesting. But again, good call on Havana and its connection to the Maine.

Danny Smith said

at 7:02 pm on Jan 26, 2018

On the same note, it does look similar to Havana but it's exact to the surrounding area and water ways around Charleston itself as well

Knox said

at 8:13 pm on Jan 31, 2018

Hello y'all. Brand new here. I'm a SC native and frequent the Charleston area quite often. I'll be down there next weekend and will be looking around in a new state of mind this time! I feel that there is more to the fort Sumter "eyes" and "teeth" in the image than has been mentioned so far here. I'll be looking to see if maybe I can find something that resembles either of the two on my trip. Thanks to all for the great contributions on this site!

Smokey Joe Would said

at 12:54 pm on Feb 6, 2018

Does anyone in Charleston have access to the library so they could look in Newspaper archives? They could see what information about who moved the capstan and who was involved in the replacement. Some companies might still have records of what was done there to see if there was any evidence of the casque during the exchange of statues. I would look online but it costs $40 to get an out of state library card.

Brad said

at 10:58 am on May 6, 2019

Great find on the Charleston dig for the monument base. So... if we think that the dig for the base was done carefully enough to excavate a bone and pottery, should we assume that it was dug carefully enough to not obliterate the casque? And maybe the dig is enough to suggest that the casque was not in that location?

Oregonian said

at 12:29 pm on May 6, 2019

Quite the opposite, I'm afraid. A casque on the west side of the Maine monument would only have been found if people were digging down slowly and carefully by hand, doing a real archaeological investigation. But that's not at all what happened here. The photo clearly shows that the hole was reinforced with steel sheet piling. Those things are only driven into the ground BEFORE an excavation, and the force of the pile driver is enough to completely obliterate rocks, roots, and anything else in the way. They would have turned the casque to dust in an instant. And, after piling is installed, the hole is dug with a hydraulic excavator and steel I-beam walings are added.

Humans only entered that hole and found the bone fragments and pottery shards after the hole was already 8 or 10 feet deep. Any trace of the casque was long gone at that point.

Brad said

at 10:49 pm on May 6, 2019

Cool. I understand now.
This is of course all predicated on the idea that the casque was buried there and not somewhere else in Charleston of course! ;)
I still think buryng something in a path is a strange thing to do...

Outsidethoughts said

at 4:34 pm on Jun 5, 2019

I believe that the casque in Chrleston may still exist because while it is 100% possible that no one would notice a simple ceramic urn, they WOULD have noticed the PLEXIGLAS CASE AROUND IT and told somebody or filed a report or something

Outsidethoughts said

at 4:51 pm on Jun 5, 2019

Also if it was in a pile of dirt if it was excavated, the dirt would have slid right off

Oregonian said

at 5:59 pm on Jun 5, 2019

Well, it's possible, of course. There's no way to prove a negative and prove that the casque isn't there. But to understand what would have happened to the box and the casque in the path, you really need to get a sense of what sheet pile driving does to the ground. Here's a video, but it doesn't even do it justice. You really need to be there and feel the ground shaking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A47OAosNnG4

Even if the box wasn't directly under the sheet piling, the vibrations of the pile driver would have shattered it all into rubble. And it's unlikely that anyone in the cab of the excavator would have noticed or cared if bits of plexiglass were exposed. Construction workers dig up trash on every job; they can't stop for that kind of stuff. I share your hope that this casque is still around but, realistically, this one is most likely gone.

Outsidethoughts said

at 6:11 pm on Jun 5, 2019

I see your point... it would have been obliterated. THe only hope for that casque is if it was buried somewhere else... But cant you send in a solution even if you dont dig up the casque or its missing because of changes or theives?

Isstvan said

at 1:09 pm on Jul 20, 2021

I was there last month, Sullivan's Island was a sobering experience... The casque is still there, but i feel that to get it out of its location isn't the point of this at all. I almost turned an ankle multiple time in Milwaukee because of ghost holes dug in the ground in the wrong spots- grrrr. Truly inelegant attempts. I may or may not (???) have a pic of the exact Charleston location :) that Palencar painted in the image almost like a photo inset

DonB said

at 8:03 pm on Jun 26, 2022

I think that the casque is more likely buried near the east side (the water side) of the Joel Riley Waterfront Park. If you look on Google maps you can see the two small water inlets there that make up a picture of the 'Bar that binds' (Do a picture search on Google for 'old bar handcuffs' and you will see what I am talking about). There are a couple of indications of this formation in the picture (the 'arches' in the mask that has a picture of Charleston in it, and the bar and rope just to the right of the mask). The two piers sticking into the 'bar that binds' are the 'Two arms extended'. You can hear/see the water at this location (Hear the cool, clear song of water) and also hear/see all the birds out on 'Shutes Folly Island' ('Stand and listen to the birds'). If you look at the area on Google maps - satellite view, you can see the square looking land area that sticks out into the middle of the 'Bar that Binds' looks just like the nose on the lion. If you stand in the middle of the area and look to the pier on your right (south) you will see the 'White house close at hand'. Unfortunately, the Joel Riley Waterfront Park was constructed around 1990 and that probably messed up our chance of finding the casque. I doubt that we would ever be able to find the location of 'the long palm's shadow' (I think this was an actual palm tree that would have been cut down during the park's construction) , or the area of sand that we should dig in (the entire area was wiped out with the new park's construction).

DonB said

at 8:05 pm on Jun 26, 2022

A couple of other thoughts....

The face mask in the lower left part of the painting has been pointed out by others to be in the shape of Fort Sumter. That fort is in the line of site when standing in Joel Riley Park.
Also, the pear in the painting has been pointed out by others to perhaps be a reference to the 'Pearman Bridge'. This bridge (that was demolished in 2005 and replaced by the Arthur Ravenel Bridge) would have been in the line of site of Joel Riley Park in the early 80's.
I have also noticed that in the actually 'Boston' casque solution, its verse referred to a well know, historic landmark a few blocks away from the actual burial site of the casque (that landmark being The Old North Church), and that most of the rest of the verse referred to what could be directly seen from the burial site. So I tried to find a landmark close to this site that might have been referred to in this verse. The closet thing I can find is the 'Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon' building a couple of blocks to the west of the park. Also, the verse refers to May, 1913. I think that this might be referring to the day that the care of that landmark was given (by an act of Congress) to the Daughters of the American Revolution in the early part of 1913. I do not know the exact date that the organization actually (formally) took over but perhaps it was in May? Perhaps a plaque in, or near, that building would show the date. The landmark could also be the 'Old Slave Mart museum' just to the west - but I could not find a reference to May, 1913 for that building. I have searched the internet for that month and year and could not find anything of interest that would have been referenced to in this verse. (In the Japanese version of The Secret there are 'additional hints' given. And one of those hints for this verse says to go to the history books and find out what happened in May of 1913. I cannot find it!!!)

Don said

at 11:25 am on Mar 1, 2023

Does anybody like the idea of a second verse?

Emily Schuman said

at 3:29 pm on Mar 5, 2023

This one has been my favorite so far; I'm not even going to get into all the history this picture teaches! The pear branch is the old Pearman bridge which was closed in 2005 and the necklace that hangs off of it, is the boat route from white point garden to Fort Sumter and then to the Patriots Point Navel Museum. Shutes Folly island is in the middle of this route. The fairy I believe is Oshun -The protector of the poor, mother of all orphans, healer of the sick. She is attracted to all things that glitter and are shiny. I believe she is Shutes Folly Island, if you make the castle her head and the north side her feet. The jewel would be to the right of her feet. There used to be a white house on the island that sat by the water close to the castle. West of the island is the Pineapple fountain that has a long row of palm trees that I assume is the long palm shadow. May 1913 was the explosion at Fort Moultrie which i would think you could also see from this point. I believe the casque is buried at the northwest side of the island at the point where you are between arms extended at white point garden and the navel museum, the white house would have been close at hand, and you are beside the long palm shadow.

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