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The Secret (a treasure hunt) / On-Site Confirmations
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On-Site Confirmations

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


The On-Site Confirmation (aka "The Aha! Moment")

  Each image-and-verse pair in The Secret includes the representation of some small, obscure, and otherwise unimportant feature found right at the spot where that particular casque is buried.  In every case that we know of, the feature is something man-made (probably to give it permanence and ensure that the shape wouldn't change over time).

  These on-site confirmations were obviously selected with care by Preiss as he was choosing his spots.  None of the features are important enough to be mentioned in any history book, yet each one is distinctive enough to be more than a coincidence.  These features are meant to give a sudden jolt of recognition - an "Aha! moment" - to confirm that the searcher is in the right place and ready to dig.  This table lists the known and suspected "Aha!" Icons for the 12 images.


Image 1 - San Francisco

  The green spiral at the base of the rose is a match for an unusual spiral at the end of a handrail in Golden Gate Park.


  Image 1 includes the spiral and the vertical post (shown as a moulding behind the rose stem) and — crucially — it also includes the bulge where the spiral was welded on to the handrail.  There would be no reason to have that bulge on the rose stem if it wasn't meant to be a match for this handrail.

Stow Lake

Image 2 - Charleston

  The "Aha!" icon for Charleston is unusual because it's taken, not from the image, but from the verse.  Many searchers puzzled over the reference to "May 1913" in line 10 of Verse 6, because nothing significant happened in the area on that date.  But in the final hiding spot, on the north side of a monument, there was a bronze plaque with a dedication and the final line of that dedication (closest to the ground) read simply "May, 1913."





May, 1913




May, 1913

Image 3 - Roanoke Island

  The "Aha!" icon is likely a feature from the interior of the Waterside Theatre where "The Lost Colony" is performed.  Certain props used in the performance are rebuilt every year (with minor changes) which may explain why this icon has not yet been recognized.



Image 4 - Cleveland

  The icon here was some feature of the Greek Cultural Gardens.  (We just haven't bothered to pin it down yet.)



Image 5 - Chicago

  The fencepost with the arch over it is very distinctive, visible from the casque burial spot


Image 6 - St. Augustine

  The "Aha!" icon for the proposed St Augustine solution can be seen in this photo. Two tall trees at left, with a picket fence in the background. Behind that, a fountain, which used to have a taller, urn-shaped top (see inset photos from current day (bottom right) and 1978 (top right).


  This capture from Image 6 is a stylized representation of this scene. The two tall trees, hints of a picket fence, a shape very similar to the older version of the fountain, with a moon-like orb behind - the FOY planetarium. There may even be a yellow arrow pointing to the actual dig spot at the base of the tree....


Image 7 - New Orleans

  This casque was almost certainly buried at the site of the former St. Charles Hotel in downtown New Orleans.  At the time Preiss was there in 1980, the famous hotel had been torn down and the lot was being used as a parking lot (hence the prominent use of "preservation" in the image).  Unfortunately, tourists don't tend to take pictures of parking lots, so we don't have a good idea of how things looked.  We aren't likely to find the Aha Image for this casque unless someone discovers some photos from the appropriate time period.



Image 8 - Houston

  The "Aha!" Icon for Houston is a particular view of the train tracks for the miniature train.  When one is standing in the correct spot for the dig, the tracks receding over the train bridge in the distance resemble the lines on the stone plaza in the painting.


  The technique is called one-point perspective and Preiss is hinting at its importance when he tells us in Verse 1 that Perspective should not be lost.

Image 9 - Montreal

  The "legeater" lamp was originally thought to be the image for this one, but no one has identified a possible dig site nearby.


  It might be worthwhile to search for a good image match that one could see from the southern tip of Saint Helen's Island.


Image 10 - Milwaukee

  The "Aha!" icon for the Milwaukee picture is likely to be the millstone that is being juggled.  A concrete cap to a utility tunnel at the base of the Locust Street Trail has a very similar appearance.


(Note: It's possible that an even more distinctive symbol existed at one point on the birch tree beside the burial spot.  If so, that confirmation feature is now gone.)


Image 11 - Boston

  There are so many matches betwee Image 11 and the Two-Circles site in Boston that it's hard to settle on just one. 


  The most startling connection is probably the tabletop in the lower left corner, which corresponds to a white utility box that was once at the site.  Image 11 captures not only the top of that box but also the edge of the ramp and a pipe or piece of conduit running along the wall.

Image 12 - New York

  The arched and divided panel behind the woman is a match for an arched window in the New York area.








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