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The Secret (a treasure hunt) / Boston Claim 2019
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Boston Claim 2019

Page history last edited by maltedfalcon 9 months, 1 week ago

Reports of a find related to Image 11 & Verse 3

  • In October of 2019, there were widespread claims that the casque linked to Image 11 and Verse 3 had been located in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • The casque was supposedly found in Langone Park in the North End.  A newspaper article with very limited information was published in the Boston Globe.
  • No real evidence of the find has been produced, but that silence may be due at least in part to the non-disclosure agreements that many of the participants signed with the producers of Expedition Unknown.  (A show about the latest developments was broadcast on 10/30/19.)
  • This page is a place where people can discuss the possible find and what it might mean.  Note: There seem to be strong feelings in connection with the claim.  Please be courteous to all users and respect the fact that different people may have different thresholds of proof and different criteria for deciding whether a casque has been found.



Image 11

For detailed notes on the interpretations of this image, see the Image 11 page.


Image 11





Matches Linking Image 11 to the Back Bay Fens and the "Two Circles" Park

  This isn't even a complete list, but here are a dozen of the strongest visual clues supporting our proposed Image 11 solution.


Matches Interpretations

  Anyone looking around Boston for possible destinations would notice the similarity between the Back Bay Fens and Image 11.  The fens form the shape of a bent left arm, with a clear shoulder, elbow, forearm, and hand. The Muddy River that flows through the fens creates a winding blue line that weaves back and forth in the area between the "elbow" and the "shoulder."


 In addition, two city streets beside the fens create the impression of an upraised thumb and a straight-line bracelet that goes across the "wrist" of the arm.



  The bird's perch forms a large, boldface, sans-serif T.  It is the symbol for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (known to locals as "the T"). 


  The subway would quickly get searchers away from the downtown area and into a safe place to dig.  And the subway makes very clear "steps" between stops.  This is a way for us to take "five steps" west and all end up in the same place.



  The triangle on the stole resembles the most famous triangle in Boston: the huge Citgo sign, located at 600 Beacon Street, near Kenmore Square.  Both have a wide rectangle framing a set of concentric triangles that point upwards.  Anyone crossing Beacon Street between BU and the fens would have a view of the sign.

(Citgo sign photo by Beyond My Ken - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link) 



  The symbol on the woman's stole indicates we're looking for a street grid that forms a double "A." Because Beacon street runs at a diagonal relative to the regular street grids, there are at least two strong candidates (shown at left).  The place where both of those patterns overlap is at Kenmore Square on Beacon Street.


  The similarity between Image 11 and the keyhole design of the Kelleher Rose Garden in the Fens was one of the first connections made by searchers in Boston.  Both have large, concentric circles connected by a thin line to a rectangle below.


  The rectangular front panel on the woman's dress (matching the rectangular part of the keyhole shape) has a pattern that very strongly matches a design on the fountain structure in the Kelleher Rose Garden.


  The flared, black hair on either side of the woman in the picture resembles the wings spread out behind the figure of "Victory" in a World War II memorial in the Fens.  The memorial is northeast of the rose garden and in the direction of the turnpike.



  The "checkerboard" curve below the globe resembles the arch of the Boylston Street Bridge.  We see it as we pass the north end of the Victory Gardens.  (And the connection is emphasized by the reflection on the tabletop.)

  Walking across the Charlesgate overpass, pedestrians have the chance to look down and see an unusual structure tucked in beside the freeway.  It's a circle and a curve, both made of bricks, with steps connecting them and a few lamp posts scattered around.  The official name and purpose of the structure are unknown but it has been in the same spot for decades.  Most people involved in The Secret call it "Two Circles" or "the 2C site." 


  The proportion of the two circles is captured perfectly in Image 11 and even the diagonal line connecting them is perfect.  This is no coincidence.


  The streetlights in the Charlesgate area, north of the turnpike, have a very unusual, distinctive design.  They are large spheres held up by little "pegs" at the base.  (Note that the peg below the sphere in the image is different from the rod that gives the angled connection between the two circles, as described above.)




  Prior to 2011, searchers at the bottom of the Charlesgate off-ramp would have seen a white utility box with a flat, overhanging, rectangular lid.  And, behind the box on the side of the off-ramp, a pipe and a joint form a pair of parallel lines (one wide and one narrow) running along the side of the overpass.


  This is a very strong image match, and it's hard to see how there could be any reason for that white table in the lower left corner of the image except to recreate this scene.


  Near the white utility box there's an "h" shape formed by the seams in the concrete sidewalk.


  This is not a common shape in city sidewalks!  Streetlights are usually placed in a grassy area between the sidewalk and the curb, to leave all of the sidewalk available for pedestrians.  Even when they're placed in a sidewalk like this, it's very rare for them to line up with the sidewalk joint.  (See photos on the Image 11 page for more info.)  And the "h" shape in the painting is even pointing directly at the bright star, as if to tell us that the shape is associated with a bright light.






Matches Linking Image 11 to Langone Park


Matches Interpretations






  As far as we know, no one has ever even proposed any matches between Image 11 and Langone Park.  The one piece of evidence that is often cited is that the shape in the woman's right sleeve might resemble the home plate in a baseball diamond.  But there are over 100 baseball and softball fields in the greater Boston area and the most famous of them all (by several orders of magnitude) is Fenway Park.  So the baseball reference doesn't do anything to specifically support Langone Park, and may actually support the route from Kenmore Square past Fenway Park to the Back Bay Fens.






The First Shape in the Woman's Sleeve


Baseball home plate

Image 11

Fenway Park


  People have hypothesized for many years that the two gray shadows in the cuff of the woman's right sleeve might be significant clues.  The five-sided shape appears to be a hybrid.  The left side of it matches the angles and dimensions of a home plate in baseball.  But the stretched-out right side of it resembles the eastern end of Fenway Park, the legendary baseball field in Boston. 


  Given that the verse mentions "the coliseum with metal walls" and "a green tower of lights in the middle section," it seems overwhelmingly likely that this shape is meant to send us to Fenway, in accordance with our proposed Image 11 solution.






The Second Shape in the Woman's Sleeve


Leg shape

Charlesgate sidewalk

Charlesgate sidewalk with trace


  The second gray shadow in the woman's cuff resembles an outstretched leg, with a pointed toe, a clear heel, and a widening leg. 


  If you've spent any time at all on the Image 11 puzzle, that shape should ring a bell.  It's a very strong match for the Charlesgate sidewalk at the Two Circles site.  Unlike a normal city sidewalk, it has an angular bend it in to accommodate the offramp.  And, because the street has limited space, the sidewalk narrows to a "toe" at the intersection.  The red trace in the third image above shows the shape from Image 11 superimposed on an aerial of the spot.






Verse 3


Langone Park Interpretation Verse 3 Back Bay Fens Interpretation
Wall of Boston Public Library at Copley Square and a reference to a letter by Horace Walpole.

If Thucydides is

North of Xenophon


Wall of Boston Public Library at Copley Square and a reference to a letter by Horace Walpole.



Take five steps

Five subway stops, as indicated by the "T" symbol in the painting.





In the area of his direction

Go west, as indicated by the Walpole letter.




A green tower of lights

In the middle section

The Green Monster - the left field wall at Fenway.  It's one of Boston's famous landmarks.




Near those

Who pass the coliseum

With metal walls

Fenway Park.  It's a "coliseum" where teams battle, and the north side along Lansdowne is a massive green, steel structure with a tower of lights.


"Water" = mouth of Charles River

"Stairs" = ? (No stairs on ball field)

"Home" = home plate on ball field

Face the water

Your back to the stairs

Feel at home

"Water" = Muddy River

"Stairs" = steps between circles at 2C

"Home" = reference to "Dirty Water" by the Standells ("I love that dirty water
Oh, Boston, you're my home")




All the letters

Are here to see

Searchers facing the Muddy River will also be facing the Back Bay Fens victory garden where the paths are identified by letters.


Hint to Boston and Paul Revere's ride.

Eighteenth day

Twelfth hour

Hint to Boston and Paul Revere's ride.
Continuation of the Paul Revere hint

Lit by lamplight

Double entendre.  Fits with the Paul Revere hint and also hints that the final spot is lit by lamplight.



In truth, be free.







Evidence for the 2019 Langone Park Claim:

Piece of evidence
"cardboard box photo"

  One photo that has been widely circulated on the web shows what appear to be some scraped-up chunks of concrete in a cardboard box.  The pieces resemble the sort of debris that one might find on any construction site in a major city.


  By itself, the current photo does not add any evidence to the claim of a find.  Presumably, though, the people who possess those pieces have now taken the time to wash off the soil and take close-up pictures showing the detail.  We would have expected those pictures to be released during the episode of Expedition Unknown or shortly thereafter, but they never were.  Photos of casque shards matching the design of known casques would be extremely strong evidence of a find.


Plastic Box Photo

The clear plastic container obviously does not contain concrete.  As requested here are photos showing matches.  


the Boston Globe article

  The article published in the Boston Globe appears to take the claim at face value.  The article does not present any evidence to support the claim and the authors do not appear to have a strong background in the whole puzzle and the hunt.  (Not surprisingly, the authors do not go full Woodward and Bernstein to verify the evidence in a 40-year-old novelty game.)


the gemstone

  The Boston Globe article includes a photo of the searchers holding a gemstone in a box.  It might be the original stone from 1980 or it might be a prop purchased for the TV show.  There has always been some doubt about whether Byron Preiss actually pre-purchased all 12 gemstones or whether he was just waiting to buy a stone if and when each casque was found.  It's also not clear what might have happened to any such gemstones after his death.  (If the stone were really purchased in advance and were purchased with corporate money, they are presumably now the property of whoever bought the company at the bankruptcy auction.) 


  What we know for sure is that the Preiss family does not know where any of the casques were hidden, so they cannot confirm or reject any solutions based only on the proposed location.  If the Preiss family did provide the jewel shown in the photo, it would be interesting to learn what evidence (if any) convinced them that the find was legitimate.


Expedition Unknown

  Expedition Unknown made an episode of their show based on this claim, and some people clearly consider that to be strong evidence.  Viewers should be aware, however, that EU has a pattern of manufacturing props and then doing "reenactments" to entertain their viewers.  (The "old Polaroids" of the Milwaukee site shown in an earlier show would be one example.  The administrator of this wiki routinely receives emails informing him that the Polaroids still exist because the person writing the email saw them on TV.  The power of television to convince people that they are seeing reality is an amazing thing.) 


John Jude Palencar 

  The artist who painted the pictures for The Secret participated in the EU episode, which presumably means that he vouches on some level for the accuracy of the find.  (It also presumably means that he has signed a nondisclosure agreement limiting what he can say about what went on behind the scenes.)  Ordinarily, the endorsement of the artist would carry enormous weight.  But before the Boston claim in 2019, Palencar apparently went on the record in an interview and said that there wasn't a casque in Boston.  It's hard to count him as an authority now without weighing the contradiction of his earlier statement. 


  The only two clue interpretations Palencar seems to have publicly made for Image 11 are that the shadow in the woman's sleeve is based on a baseball home plate and that the stole she wears resembles the nautical flags on the USS Constitution.  Both interpretations seem quite plausible.  Neither one links directly to Langone Park.


Anything else?  Feel free to add to this table if you know of any additional evidence to support the claim of a Boston find.


Some of the pieces we don't have (as of 8/5/20 include:

  • shards of the plexiglass box,
  • shards of the ceramic casque (identifiable as such),
  • an independent assessment of the shards by someone who has not signed an NDA with Expedition Unknown,
  • the metal core of the key,
  • an "Aha image" from Image 11 confirming the spot,
  • other clues hidden in Image 11 that would lead searchers to Langone Park, and
  • any confirmation from John Jude Palencar that he used Polaroids of Langone Park to paint Image 11.




  There appear to be at least four possibilities to explain the current situation:

  1. Byron Preiss buried the casque in Langone Park and then John Jude Palencar, for reasons known only to himself, said "Screw it, I'm going to make the painting irrelevant to the real site and just fill it with a few dozen pictures closely tied to the Back Bay Fens."  This does not seem like a particularly strong theory, but it (presumably) can't be ruled out.
  2. Byron Preiss buried the casque in Langone Park and took his usual Polaroid pictures of distinctive features in the immediate area.  Palencar incorporated those pictures into his painting, but all of the corresponding features have disappeared from the park and from the historical records.  Under this theory, the similarities between Image 11 and the landmarks in the Back Bay Fens are all entirely coincidental.  This is at least slightly more plausible than Theory #1, but it still seems highly unlikely.
  3. Someone is conducting a deliberate fraud.  This theory would seem too ridiculous to even entertain if it weren't for the fact that something like it has already happened.  Someone recently built a fake casque, buried it in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, and then tried to pull off a fake "find" by digging it up.  So who knows?  Maybe something similar is happening here, involving one or more of the dozens of people involved in the current claim.  But nothing we've seen so far would suggest any deliberate attempt to mislead and, like Theories #1 and #2, this theory just doesn't seem likely.
  4. We are currently left with only one plausible theory:  People went looking for a casque, found some debris, and convinced themselves that they had found it.  And Expedition Unknown wanted an episode that would bring in viewers (and ad money) so they filled in the gaps with "reenactments," arranged for a gemstone, and wrapped up the whole package into a TV show.  Not a satisfying theory, admittedly, but it appears to be the strongest one so far.



Obviously all of the above could change dramatically if some real evidence of a find is ever produced.


Comments (5)

KJRP said

at 3:54 pm on Oct 28, 2019

All currently available public information references Langone Park although the fields on the Puopolo Park side of the combined Recreational Park does seem to fit the puzzle better. It also ties in to the interpretation of Image 11 that I think the Krupat family might have used: The three (3) spheres in Image 11 are meant to look metallic/textured like Bocce Balls that match the Italian theme of the puzzle & the three (3) Bocce Courts situated in between Langone Park (named for Joseph A. Langone Jr.), and Puopolo Park (named after Andrew P. Puopolo), both of whom share Italian surnames... just my 2 cents.

KJRP said

at 2:49 pm on Oct 30, 2019

Here's an awesome preview picture of the Key found in Boston: https://theblast.com/c/expedition-unknown-the-secret-key-treasure-found

Drumman said

at 10:12 pm on Oct 31, 2019

Definitely watch the episode. JJP even gives insights into the painting and its clues that could maybe help in other searches (Boston is spelled out with the, home plate, the baseball diamond hair, etc.)

Regarding clues, the finder said that "five steps" reminded him of the wharfs, with the North indication earlier as a general direction. On the one hand, I have mentioned the similarity in image 12 to the docks in Manhattan. On the other hand, I can't help but wonder if the "five steps" are actually "five stops", the number of stops between Copley (at the library) and North Station (near the park).

Jaeden said

at 2:47 am on Nov 1, 2019

I count 6 stops from Copley to North Station.

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