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FrontPage

Page history last edited by Oregonian 3 months, 2 weeks ago

 

Welcome to Wiki for The Secret

  This is a wiki for solving the 12 puzzles contained inside The Secret, a puzzle book published in 1982 by Byron Preiss.  To set up the puzzle, Preiss traveled to different locations in North America to secretly bury a dozen ceramic vases, or, as he called them, "casques." Each casque contained a small key that could be redeemed for one of 12 jewels Preiss kept in a safe deposit box in New York. The key to finding each casque was to match one of the paintings in the book to one of the verses in the book, solve the resulting riddle, and start digging. Since 1982, only two of the twelve casques have been recovered. The first was located in Grant Park, Chicago, in 1983 by a group of students. The second was unearthed in 2004 in Cleveland by two members of the Quest4Treasure forum. Preiss was killed in an auto accident in the summer of 2005, but the hunt for his casques continues. 

 

  For more background on the book and the authors, see the history page on this wiki.  If you would like to jump in and participate, visit the To Do page to see if you can help answer any of our big questions.  (Other contributions are always welcome too, of course!)


The Rules - Site Summary - Tips for Puzzle Solving - Online Resources


 

 

The Rules

 

(from page 219 in The Secret)

"The jewels collectively are worth over ten thousand dollars.  The treasure casques themselves are of incalculable value, never having been owned by man or woman."

 

"Every treasure casque is buried underground, at a depth of no more than three to three and one-half feet.  The casques are protected by lustrous transparent boxes, and are sealed."

 

"The following places do not hold any treasure:

(a) any life-threatening location, such as a dangerous highway embankment, a contaminated area or active railway track
(b) any cemetery
(c) any public or private flower bed
(d) any property owned by the contributors to the book, their families or friends."

 

A few other bits of wisdom about the treasure spots are well worth keeping in mind:

  • Preiss was obviously a responsible citizen and he wouldn't have wanted his treasure hunt to cause any harm or do any damage.  Your solution shouldn't require you to tear up a lawn or disturb a natural area.  The casques are only going to be in places that have already been disturbed by humans and where further digging wouldn't be a problem.
  • In every case that we know of, the burial site is beside some distinctive, man-made feature that is represented in the image or verse.  (See the Solutions page for more info on the "Aha! icon.")  The presence of the artificial feature within a few feet means that the casque can't be out in an open area or in some pristine natural preserve.  There has to be a distinctive object (made by humans) very close to the burial spot.

 


 

Site Summary

 

  Each of the 12 images in the book represents a groups of immigrants who came to North America from some foreign country. Each image is also linked to a particular month and contains that month's birth flower and that month's birth stone (which also the jewel for that casque). The text of the book includes twelve verses that describe (in varying detail) where a casque is hidden.  The first step in solving the puzzle is to match up each image with the appropriate verse, month, stone, flower, and country of immigration.  The table below gives the most likely connections, based on the work that has been done so far.

 

 

Image Verse Likely City Birth

Month

Source of

Month Number

Birth

Stone

Birth

Flower

Immigration

Country

Image

1

Image 1 Verse
7
San Francisco June Time on clock (6) Pearl Rose China

Status: The search for Casque 1 has narrowed to a strip of land in Golden Gate Park, extending from the eastern end of Strawberry Hill to the California Academy of Sciences.  The map gets us to the right area and then the verse takes us on a stroll through some of the local landmarks.

 

San Francisco Searchers: We have a Proposed Solution for Image 1 and Verse 7 that narrows the search area to a small section of path at the top of an outdoor stairwell in Golden Gate Park.  The path is currently paved with asphalt, covering any potential dig spot, but in 1981 the paved area may have been narrower, or the path may not have been paved at all.  (We know from city planning documents that the park formed a task force in 1993 to begin bringing GGP facilities into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.)  If the asphalt covering was put down 25 years ago to improve accessibility, it has probably kept the soil and the casque undisturbed all this time.  But now it presents an obstacle.  Any test of this solution will require cutting away a square of asphalt with the permission and active participation of the park staff.

 

2019 News: For some inexplicable reason, someone buried a fake casque in GGP and it was unearthed in February.  The details are still very sketchy.

 

Important: Please do not dig in Golden Gate Park without permission!  We have received several reports of unauthorized people digging holes around the park.  That kind of behavior damages a public resources and creates (understandable) bad feelings toward this whole adventure.  The Secret is only meant to be a fun exercise that gets people outside, exploring new places.  There is no "treasure" to be had for finding a casque.  So please take the time to work through the proper channels and solve the puzzles in a way that does no harm to the local landscape.

 

Image

2

Image 2 Verse
6
Charleston April Time on clock (4) Diamond Daisy Africa

Status: Casque 2 was almost certainly buried in a gravel path beside the Maine monument in White Point Garden, a small, historical park at the southern tip of the Charleston peninsula.  To understand the layout of monuments and other features in the park as they existed in 1981, see our White Point Garden Landmarks page.

 

Charleston Searchers:  We have a Proposed Solution for Image 2 and Verse 6, but the chances of recovery are very slim.  Following the removal of the Maine monument in 2007, the city dug a large hole to build a concrete base for the Moultrie monument.  In the course of that construction, the casque was almost certainly destroyed either by the process of driving sheet piling into the ground or by the mechanical excavation.  The sad reality is that this one is probably gone for good.

 

2019 Update:  An article published in the Charleston Post and Courier on 4/22/19 said that there would be a dig in White Point Garden "early next month."  According to the director of the Charleston Parks Department, a team connected to Expedition Unknown was planning to dig "a small hole, about 2 feet by 2 feet."  There was no official follow-up from the paper or the TV show, but unofficial reports said that they dug the hole on 5/8/19 and didn't find anything.

 

Image

3

Image 3 Verse
11
Roanoke Island January Time on clock (1) Garnet Carnation England

Status: Casque 3 was likely buried on the edge of the Waterside Theatre inside the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island in North Carolina.  It's a beautiful spot but that selection is going to make the recovery a little bit difficult.  Historical records show that the amphitheater was going through a period of decline when Preiss hid his casques in the early 1980's.  He probably had no trouble digging a hole without anyone asking questions.  Unfortunately for us, the theatre has since been upgraded and it receives much more attention and care.  Security cameras will probably make a secret dig impossible.

 

Roanoke Searchers:  We have a Proposed Solution for Image 3 and Verse 11.  If you are interested in attempting a recovery, we strongly advise you to work with the relevant groups, including the National Park Service and the Roanoke Island Historical Association, in planning any dig.  Let us know how it goes!

 

Image

4

Image 4 Verse
4
Cleveland March Triangle (3) Aquamarine Daffodil  Greece

Status: The search for Casque 4 has been completed!  The casque was found in Cleveland in 2004.

 

We have a partial write-up for the Solution to Image 4 and Verse 4, but it could use more photos and more detail.  Please add any additional information you have!  It will help us learn more about these puzzles and about how we can solve the rest of them.

  Wiki user Lori Sobota has provided a collection of photos showing the Greek Cultural Garden in Cleveland where the casque was found.

 

Image

5

Image 5 Verse
12
Chicago May Warts (5) Emerald Lily of the Valley

Ireland

& Scotland

Status: The search for Casque 5 has been completed!  The casque was found in Chicago in 1983.

 

We have a partial write-up for the Solution to Image 5 and Verse 12, but it could use more photos and more detail.  Please add any additional information you have!  It will help us learn more about these puzzles and about how we can solve the rest of them.

 

Image

6

Image 6 Verse
9
St. Augustine September Asters (9) Sapphire Aster Spain

Status: Casque 6 was almost certainly buried at the base of a tall pine tree on the grounds of the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park in St. Augustine, Florida.  Searchers were meant to line up the water jets of a fountain with the white dome of a building ("like moonlight in teardrops") and follow that line down to "the base of a tall tree."  Amazingly, the property has changed very little over the past 35 years and all of the major landmarks are still in place.

 

Florida Searchers:   We have posted a very detailed Proposed Solution for Image 6 and Verse 9.  The clues narrow the spot down to only a few square feet on the surface, so a dig would be practical.  Unfortunately though, the final spot is under a cabbage palm that the owners want to protect.  So no dig is likely to happen.

 

Image

7

Image 7 Verse
2
New Orleans December Time on clock (12) Turquoise Narcissus France

Status: Casque 7 was almost certainly buried in downtown New Orleans on the site where the former St. Charles Hotel once stood.  The hotel, which first opened in 1837, was once one of the major landmarks of the southeastern United States.  It resembled the U.S. Capital building and had a dome that tourists could visit to look out over the whole city.  After the first two versions of the hotel were destroyed by fire, the third St. Charles opened in 1896 and stood for over 75 years until it was torn down in 1974.

  The destruction of the St. Charles Hotel sparked an outcry and led to the creation of new groups and new laws intended to preserve the historic architecture of New Orleans.  In setting up his puzzle in 1981, Preiss included an obscure quote about the majesty of the former hotel.  Arrows along the edge of the clock face were meant to take searchers on either of two walking routes through the streets of the Central Business District from the Piazza d'Italia (constructed in 1978) to the parking lot where the hotel once stood.  The design of Image 7 linked the new architecture with the old, and the arrows of the walking route ended simply in the word "PRESERVATION."  Sadly, this casque was probably lost when the Place St. Charles was constructed on the site of the former hotel in 1983.

 

New Orleans Searchers:   We have a Proposed Solution for Image 7 and Verse 2 that explains the route to the former St. Charles Hotel.  There's never been a satisfying interpretation about the lines from Verse 2 about the "namesakes of gnome and fay" meeting at the site.  Those clues, and a few others, were probably meant to pinpoint the exact spot for digging.  Interpreting them now will probably be impossible unless someone finds a photo showing the details of the parking lot as it existed in 1980.

 

Image

8

Image 8 Verse
1
Houston July Columns (7) Ruby Larkspur Persia

Status: In 1980 or 1981, when Byron Preiss visited Houston to bury a casque, there was an antique steam locomotive (Number 982) prominently positioned on the southern edge of McGovern Lake in Hermann Park. Most of the locomotive was painted black, but the nose was a bright, shiny silver that made it visible from a long ways away.  Preiss used a line of sight starting at the nose of the locomotive and passing through a fountain to guide searchers to the burial spot on the far side of the lake. 

 

  This was probably meant to be the easiest of all the puzzles.  But in 1982, the same year The Secret was published, the city repositioned both the fountain and the train, disrupting two of the major clues!  To understand how the area has changed over the past 35 years, see our Hermann Park history page.  Amazingly, despite all the major renovations of the past 35 years, there is still a chance that the casque may be intact although the hiding spot has now been covered by a path.

 

Houston Searchers:   We have posted a very detailed Solution for Image 8 and Verse 1 that walks through the different clues and narrows the spot down to about a square yard.  If you are interested in pursuing the recovery of this casque, you will need to somehow get the full and active participation of the Hermann Park Conservancy and Houston's Parks and Recreation Department.  At a minimum, you'll need to have a detailed plan showing how you'll do the dig, how you'll limit disruption to the park, and how you'll repair the damage to the path when you are done.  Ordinary digging tools aren't going to get through the path, so you might have to rent something like a concrete saw or even a Bobcat mini loader to clear the surface.  It won't be easy (or cheap) but a dedicated searcher might be able to get it done.

 

Image

9

Image 9 Verse
5
Montreal
October Roman Numeral X (10) Opal Calendula Netherlands

Status: Clues in Image 9 seem to direct the search toward Mount Royal and the "Golden Square Mile" neighborhood in Montreal.  In particular, the "legeaster dog" seems like a very specific detail to confirm the neighborhood.  It would be difficult to dig in a crowded downtown location without being observed, so that might explain why this is the only puzzle that tells us to "get permission to dig out."  But clues in Verse 5 seem to steer us more toward Saint Helen Island or Notre Dame Island in the Saint Lawrence river beside Montreal.  Those places would have made it far easier for Preiss to dig without being observed, but they would also make it less clear why searchers should get permission before digging.

 

Image

10

Image 10 Verse
8
Milwaukee February Red Balls (2) Amethyst Primrose Germany

Status: The search for Casque 10 is focused on Lake Park in Milwaukee.  Although the image appears to have many references to the downtown area, the reference to "92 steps" in the verse would appear to focus our attention directly on the Grand Staircase.  We have identified a spot at the base of a tree that would agree with both the image and the verse.

 

Milwaukee Searchers: We have a Proposed Solution for Image 10 and Verse 8.  We need people to investigate the spot and map out the birch stumps along East Ravine Road.  If it seems like the ground may have been left undisturbed, it might be worth trying to get the necessary permissions.  (Just don't try to dig without permission.)

 

Image

11

Image 11 Verse
3
Boston August Globe Gold Squares (8) Peridot Gladiolus Italy

Status: The search for Casque 11 is focused on the "Two Circles" structure in the Charlesgate neighborhood near the Back Bay Fens in Boston.  The site appears to have remained relatively undisturbed over the past 30 years, and the casque may be recoverable.

 

Boston Searchers:  We now have a Proposed Solution for Image 11 and Verse 3.  We now need people to investigate the spot, get the necessary permissions, and do the digging.  The site has no aesthetic or historical value, so it should be easy to get approval.  Let us know how it goes!  (Don't try it on your own though.  People in Boston are understandably nervous about strangers digging holes, and the police have already been called to investigate searchers at this spot at least once.)

 

There was a claim in October of 2019 that the Boston casque had been found.  No substantive evidence has (as yet) been produced to support the find.

 

Image

12

Image 12 Verse
10
New York City November Time on clock (11) Topaz Chrysanthemum Russia

Status: The search for Casque 12 has now narrowed to the base of a single street tree near the edge of New York Harbor.  It appears that the tree may have escaped the worst of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the casque may still be recoverable.  The challenge now is to find a way to extract the casque without harming the tree.  The most promising strategy would be to use an air spade to loosen and remove the soil.  This approach would actually help the tree by undoing decades of compaction and allowing water and air to reach the roots.  If anyone knows of an arborist who might be willing to provide an air spade and handle the excavation, please contact us through this site.

 

 

 


Tips for Puzzle Solving

 

  Only two of the 12 casques have been unearthed so far, but those experiences allow us to give some general advice to anyone who is interested in joining the hunt.

 

  Broadly speaking, there are two types of puzzles in The Secret:

 

  • Journey Puzzles take us on a trip through some interesting area to reach a casque.  These are the classic pirate treasure map routes that go winding and looping along indirect dotted lines until they lead us to the final spot.  Chicago, Roanoke Island, San Francisco, Houston, Milwaukee, and Boston are all puzzles of this type.

  • Destination Puzzles, on the other hand, start us in the vicinity of the casque and give us a series of obscure clues to confirm the location and narrow down the spot.  These puzzles may have been Preiss's way of letting people join in the hunt even if they didn't live near a spot.  Many of the clues in these puzzles can only be solved by library research and obscure sources.  Cleveland, Charleston, St. Augustine, New Orleans, Montreal, and New York are all puzzles of this type.

 

  The key thing to keep in mind in solving a journey puzzle is that none of the clues after the initial starting point were meant to be interpreted by armchair enthusiasts (using 1980's tools).  There would be no point in sending people on the walk if they could simply "jump ahead" by interpreting a later clue.  What this means for searchers is that, after starting along the route, all of the clues are going to be for small, innocuous features that wouldn't be mentioned in any guidebook.  There will be references to the number of steps in a staircase, or the name of a highway bridge, or the view across a lake, or the naming of paths in a community garden.  What you won't see is any mention of a major tourist landmark that would have been on maps or brochures in 1980.  The "compass" is not likely to be a well-known lighthouse.  The "giant pole" is not likely to be a totem pole or other attraction.  The "object of Twain's attention" is not likely to be on any list of the first hundred things one might think of after researching the life of Mark Twain.  The whole point is to reward exploration and the discovery of the obscure features one can only see at "see-level." 

 

  With destination puzzles the situation is reversed.  Many of the clues can only be solved by poring over obscure sources in a library.  There is nothing in White Point Garden in Charleston that explains the naming of the twins Edwin and Edwina.  As far as we know, there is no public monument in New Orleans that includes the quotation about the St. Charles hotel.  Armchair searchers have made great progress on these puzzles, but even the internet has its limits when dealing with Preiss's convoluted way of making connections.  Phrases like "natives still speak of him of Hard word in 3 Vols" requires both some serious research and a willingness to make some jumps.

 

  Other things to keep in mind:

  • Study the work that has already been done.  This wiki collects several decades of work on solving these puzzles.  You'll get a huge head start if you take the time to understand what has already been found (and what has already been ruled out).
  • Start with the puzzle and work towards a place, rather than the other way around.  The images in The Secret are so abstract that they can be creatively interpreted to fit almost anyplace on earth.  If you start with a preferred destination and try to make one of the images fit, you're absolutely certain to find some "matches" but you won't really be making any progress.
  • Keep in mind that Preiss and Palencar didn't have access to Google Maps.  There are definitely many overhead views represented in these images, but they all show roads and sidewalks that would have been readily available in road maps and park brochures.  If your theory relies on knowing the overhead shape of a clump of trees or some natural feature, it's not likely to be right.
  • Move from the famous to the obscure and from the public to the secluded.  Every image in The Secret includes at least one well-known landmark.  The painting for Cleveland included the Cleveland Terminal Tower.  The painting for Chicago included the Chicago Water Tower.  Those references are only meant to get us to the right city or the right general area.  The casque in Milwaukee isn't buried at City Hall, and the one in New York isn't buried at the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island.  Start with the famous places referenced in the picture and then move from there to the hidden spots that even the locals have never noticed.
  • Beware of pareidolia.  The human brain has a strong ability to pick out the faces in an image, but sometimes those circuits are a little overactive and we see faces in clouds and other random shapes.  There may be "secret faces" hidden in some of the images of The Secret, but those faces may also be just our own imaginations.
  • Similarly, beware of apophenia.  The human brain also has a tendency to see patterns in what are actually just random data.  The artist who painted the images for The Secret was very clever about throwing in random brushstrokes.  Sometimes they mean something and sometimes they don't.
  • Use your common sense.  Preiss wasn't expecting you to dig through some nice lawn in the middle of a park or an athletic field.  He dug his holes in bare or weedy areas where the soil was already loose and where he was protected from view by trees and walls.  If your solution sends you to a well-maintained or heavily-trafficked area, it's almost certainly wrong.  You shouldn't need to cut through grass (or any other plant roots) to get to the casque and you shouldn't need to be in a very public spot.
  • Don't mess things up for other searchers.  Unearthing the remaining casques will very likely require getting cooperation and permissions from various public and private landowners.  If you damage an area or leave holes for other people to fill, you'll only be giving the whole hunt a bad name.  So - please - be responsible, do no harm, get permission first if possible, and be sure to clean up your mess!
  • Have fun!

 

 


 

Online Resources

 

More theories and discussions about the search are available at:

* The three sites at the start of the list all attempted to solve The Secret using discussions and all ran into the same problem.  By posting new theories and new discoveries in a single, ever-lengthening thread, each forum created such a backlog of unorganized material that it was impossible for anyone to keep track of what had already been found.  The thread at Something Awful, for example, started on May 31, 2013 and in less than a week had more than 1,200 entries.  That thread now has more than 5,700 entries, making it very difficult for new people to join the search and get caught up.  The goal of this wiki is to present all of the discoveries in an organized way, so that searchers can quickly and easily see what is already known about each image and each verse.

 

There are many photo albums on Flickr and PhotoBucket where people have posted images relevant to The Secret. Some of the better ones are:

 

Important: As of early 2019, Flickr is planning to change their terms of service.  Free accounts will now be limited to only 1,000 photos, which means that many relevant photos from the albums listed above (and others) will soon be going away.  Searchers may want to download copies of the most useful photos now, so that they aren't lost forever.

 

Some of the useful websites for doing research include:

 

Downloads:

In the Files Section - A pdf template for a plexiglas casque container.

 


Progress Map

 

Click on the map to see an enlargement.  For more maps related to the casque locations in The Secret, go to the Maps Page.

 

All of the hunt locations so far involve waterfront cities and, in many cases, waterfront parks.  Possibly it is coincidence or possibly there is a water-related theme that no one has fully explained yet.  (Thanks to Austin for the updated map!)

 


 

 

Wiki Update (2/18/18)

 

  It's been a month since the Travel Channel show aired on January 17th and thing are finally getting back to normal around here.  Page views on the site are back down to under 10,000/day and hopefully property owners are feeling less besieged by requests to dig.  But we've made some amazing progress over the past month and we've had some great contributions from new people who have joined the wiki and have quickly gotten up to speed.  So to mark this anniversary of the "big surge," I'd like to recognize a few of our contributors who have really moved the search forwards.  Here's my own personal assessment of the Top 10 Recent Discoveries on The Secret!


10) The concrete slab under the Moultrie monument in Charleston.
Wiki user Chris Andrews did some careful investigations in Charleston and documented that a concrete slab was installed below ground level when the Maine monument was removed (which is great to know but probably ends all chances of recovering the casque for Image 2).  

9) Sash-hattan
Wiki user Drumman spotted the shape of Manhattan that was staring us right in the face, hidden in plain view in Image 12.

8) A tree grows in New York Harbor.
Amazingly, there is also a large and fairly clear tree trunk hidden (sideways) in Image 12, but no one spotted it until wiki user Pizzoli pointed it out.

7) "Dryades Street and Cours de Naides (now St Charles Avenue) in New Orleans were named after wood and water sprites respectively."
We don’t get a lot of new input related to the verses, but wiki user Jess made a potentially big discovery related to Verse 2.

6) Watch out for the alligator!
We knew that Image 6 had lots of clues for Florida, but wiki user Halla4 was apparently the first person to point out that there is a very clear alligator lurking along the edge of the big stone.

5) It’s not a scythe - it’s Albemarle Sound!
People have struggled for years to understand the weird objects on the right arm of the knight in Image 3, but it took wiki user Drumman to point out that they form the shape of the North Carolina coastline.

4) That old pine tree?  It’s still there.
This wiki had a solution for Image 6 that required a large pine tree in a certain place, but we didn’t realize that the pine was still there until wiki users Marvin Calhoun, Zteam, and Andy Hafler nailed down the evidence.

3) Even more amazing? Palencar painted a picture of the spot with the pine tree.
This wiki has always promoted the idea that each image includes an “Aha Moment” of recognition at the burial spot, but it took wiki user Kang to point out the hidden depiction of the FOY hiding spot in Image 6.

2) Those blocks by the park are… blocks by the park.
People have almost certainly pointed it out before over the years, but it it didn’t really register until wiki user Kimberley posted about it: The squares on either side of the Golden Gate Park map in Image 1 are city blocks and the fingers are pointing at streets.

1) If the dragon head is on the left, the map is flipped from left-to-right
The single biggest discovery was the observation by wiki user Goonie68 that the head of the dragon in Image 1 matches the dragon above the entrance to the Golden Gate Park Senior Center.  For years now people have been saying that the backwards “Gh” at the top of the map must mean that the map itself is flipped, and the response has always been to point out that the “flare” in the bottom right corner where Fulton bends is in the right place.  But if there are only two objects above the crossed arms, and both of them are shown in a way that clearly indicates a flip, then it seems very clear that we are meant to flip the upper half of the image from left to right.  And that's what makes the solution finally clear.

  Thanks to everyone for these and all the other insights on the wiki over the past month.  I've tried to give credit where it's due in the above list, but if I got anything wrong, please let me know and I'll try to set it right.  Keep up the good work!

 

- Oregonian (wiki administrator)

 

 


 

Interested in Contributing to this Wiki?

 

  Careful and substantive contributions are always welcome!  Your contributions can explain a theory, but you should avoid lecturing the readers or putting down other approaches.  Be sure your contributions are always professional, courteous, and helpful to the search.  And, of course, remember that what you add may end up getting changed or removed by another wiki editor.  That's how the wiki process works.

 

  If you want to add to this wiki, but you aren't sure where to start, please check our To Do List.

 

  If you want to add to this wiki, but you're nervous about using the wiki editing system, feel free to play around and experiment in the sandbox page

 

  If you're contacting the wiki administrator about access or other issues, be sure to add "pbworks.com" and "gmx.com" to the safe list in your email program, so responses don't end up in your spam folder.

 

 

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Comments (108)

Oregonian said

at 4:54 pm on Feb 3, 2016

Hi everyone!

If you read through the various forums connected with this search, you'll see several mentions of ground-penetrating-radar (GPR). It has apparently been used in Houston and Milwaukee and maybe in some other cities as well. But would it really work? Would it really be able to find a ceramic vase in a plexiglass box under 2 or 3 feet of soil? I'd be interested in hearing about any experiments or experiences people have had. If you're willing to share, tell us a little about what equipment you used, where you got it, and what you found. I'd also be hearing if anyone has tried to use an air spade to get through the soil around tree roots. Feel free to add info about any other technology you've tried to use.

Crimson Lion said

at 9:25 pm on Oct 4, 2017

According to the law of superposition, older sediments are below newer ones. Since this book has been published in 1982, there is a 35 year difference. If we assume that there may be more inches/feet of dirt piled up in each site, wouldn't that affect the GPR's capability of detecting casques?

Guardian said

at 9:56 pm on Oct 4, 2017

It would depend on a number of factors. Gulf coast cities would probably have more sediment from flooding, which may also protect the casques, but also make it harder for some devices to detect. Houston and New Orleans would be heavily affected, since Houston's parks are designed to take flooding and draw it away from populated areas, whike NOLA is below sea level on a delta. It may also apply to Roanoke. In every case, the geography of the site would have a direct impact, such as hills.

Ben said

at 7:39 pm on Feb 3, 2016

also would a GPR detect plexiglass

Odeyin said

at 9:47 pm on Feb 29, 2016

Finally obtained the original book. (I had been using the crappy iBook copy) There is a ton more information in the images, and now I can see the individual dots from print....

T54 said

at 4:22 am on Mar 1, 2016

Where did you get it form? was it expensive? Only asking because I was thinking of getting a copy and if I can find a Cheever copy some that would be helpful.

T54 said

at 4:29 am on Mar 1, 2016

I ment cheaper not Cheever, my bad spelling.

Ben said

at 9:24 am on Mar 1, 2016

the original books are very expensive around 60 dollars but the pictures are amazing

Ben said

at 9:09 am on Mar 4, 2016

Austin you can have barns and noble or a book store like that print it off for 12 dollars but the pictures arent that good if you want a good conditon copy its around 70 dollars

Odeyin said

at 9:28 am on Mar 7, 2016

I bought mine off of Amazon. They had a few as low as $30.

Cheshire said

at 9:10 pm on Mar 21, 2016

I have a little experience with GPR. The depth won't be an issue, but the soil composition and the amount of previous activity in that site will be your biggest concerns. GPR picks up disturbances and irregularities in the ground, so if its heterogeneous(ex. rocky) or clay you're gong to pick a lot of static. Uniform, sandy soils are the ideal so as it deviates from that the skill needed to read the data goes up. I wouldn't count GPR out though. It would be super useful if you have someone able to interpret those maps.

Ben said

at 2:02 am on Jul 1, 2016

well isn't porcelain made out of clay? and isnt that what the casque's made out of?

Oregonian said

at 10:14 am on Sep 7, 2017

Hi folks,

Last night one of the wiki users sent me a 1982 article about Byron Preiss and The Secret. Most of the information covered things we already know, but there was one interesting tidbit that was new to me: The differing values of the 12 gemstones are meant to reflect the differing difficulties of the 12 casques! This seems bizarre to me, because I would have thought that turquoise was the least valuable of the stones and it goes with what I think is the most difficult casque (New Orleans). But I don't have any particular knowledge of the value of gems (and I'm not sure Preiss had any knowledge about the relative difficulty of his puzzles). So let's give it a shot and see if it tells us anything.

Do we have any amateur (or professional) gemologists out there? Anyone want to try ranking the 12 stones in value? Here they are in order of the associated image: pearl, diamond, garnet, aquamarine, emerald, sapphire, turquoise, ruby, opal, amethyst, peridot, and topaz.

Kia said

at 1:55 pm on Sep 7, 2017

I make jewelry as a side hobby, so I am familiar with all of these gemstones. The problem with relative value is that it is too much of a variable. A gem grade pearl could be worth a lot more than a small, poorly cut diamond. However, if we are going to reflect "difficulty," to me that would relate to hardness, which is measured for each gemstone on the Mohs scale from Talc (1) to Diamond (10). As it happens, value very generally correlates to hardness, which you can see in the lists that follow. For hardness, they would rank as follows: Diamond (10), Sapphire (9), Ruby (9), Topaz (8), Emerald (7.5-8), Aquamarine (7.5-8), Garnet (6.5-7.5), Peridot (6.5-7), Amethyst (7), Opal (5.5-6.5), Turquoise (5-6), and Pearl (2.5-4.5). If I had to rank them in terms of common generally perceived value, I would rank them: Diamond, Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald, Garnet, Topaz, Aquamarine, Peridot, Pearl, Amethyst, Opal, and Turquoise. You can mix and match the order of the Garnet, Topaz, Aquamarine and Peridot, since they are consider pretty equal, and people rank pearl and Opal in different places sometimes, but this would generally be the list.

Oregonian said

at 6:41 pm on Sep 7, 2017

Fantastic! Thanks for the information. Based on what you wrote, let's try splitting the puzzles into three groups:

- High Value/Difficulty: Diamond (Charleston), Sapphire (St. Augustine), Ruby (Houston), and Emerald (Chicago)

- Medium Value/Difficulty: Garnet (Roanoke), Topaz (New York), Aquamarine (Cleveland), and Peridot (Boston)

- Low Value/Difficulty: Pearl (San Francisco), Amethyst (Milwaukee), Opal (Montreal), and Turquoise (New Orleans)

Does this make sense to anyone? I'm sure Kia is right about the assessment of the jewels, but the challenge of the puzzles seems exactly backwards. Montreal, New Orleans, and San Francisco are the hardest ones. St. Augustine and Houston seem like the easiest. (Milwaukee also seems like it was meant to be pretty easy.) Very odd.

Conan Babin said

at 8:50 pm on Jan 22, 2018

Does anyone have the address or contact information for the publisher that is going to honor any of the finds? Or are we to assume the keys aren't redeemable and lost? I really believe I am close to the New Orleans casques. Although, I would love for Oregonian to do a sweep with his GPR just to be certain. I did email the city parkway commission today to find out what if any permits I am going to need to do anything. I am expecting to be denied but will deal with that if it happens.

Cheshire said

at 9:40 pm on Jan 22, 2018

I would go into this with the assumption that no, the reward is no longer redeemable. When Preiss died it is believed that the gems were absorbed into the estate and publishers. There are conflicting reports that his wife has said “the game is still on”, so we don’t know for sure but it is unlikely. At this point it’s more for the reward of conpleteing the puzzle.

Conan Babin said

at 11:17 pm on Jan 22, 2018

I read that too which is why I was asking. It seems to me it would be irresponsible of Expedition Unknown to claim the gems were still available. At least I got that impression from the show. You are right. It is the thrill of the hunt. I would especially like to solve New Orleans with it being the city's 300 year anniversary. I also have family ties to the French Quarter and Jackson Square. My five times grandfather and uncle fought at the Battle of New Orleans. The uncle later became an established cabinet maker in the city and eventually one of the first city councilmen.

skeller@... said

at 6:38 pm on Jan 31, 2018

A bit mystery for me, is. How do I get emails about new comments and when I log onto this site to answer any of them they are not here! Forgive me I am new to this

Oregonian said

at 10:30 pm on Jan 31, 2018

Two explanations, really:

First, information about an image or verse is going to be more useful to people if it's organized on the main body of the page instead of buried in a random pile of notes. Wiki users are free to add their observations directly to the page, but many people aren't comfortable with the wiki interface and prefer to just leave comments. When I move that info up into the main content section, I delete the comment down here to reduce the clutter. (I try to keep each page under 100 comments so there isn't an impossible amount of reading.)

The other reason comments disappear is that I have to keep pruning out the less useful stuff to keep the page from bogging down. Some ideas stay up for a few months (or years) and then turn out to be dead ends and get removed. Other truly off-the-wall ideas get removed much more quickly, unless the authors show that they have truly read and considered all the evidence so far. There are several other forums (linked above) that are appropriate for creative brainstorming. This wiki is more of a place for contributing solid evidence and building on the work that has already been done.

I hope that helps!

Michigander said

at 2:14 pm on Feb 11, 2018

I also watched Expedition Unknown and became obsessively drawn in. I have read and read and read. So many theories, so many ideas. I think Oregonian has nailed it every time. Some folks are WAY over thinking this. I don’t think Preiss had any intention of making clues so obscure that no one would ever find them. I’ve read some crazy theories that are SO out there. Houston, St. Augustine, Charleston, Roanoke Island and Boston are obvious that they are figured out correctly. So many STRONG clues that you just can’t ignore. San Francisco is somewhere near or on Strawberry Hill. I’m in Michigan with no chance of going to any of these sights soon, but I would if I could. I think Milwaukee is also where Oregonian has it figured in the Ravine near Locust St. near a birch. I want to get there!!! Only 6 hour drive for me. Hope some of these digs take place soon. So exciting! Thank you for this site. So we’ll organized and explained. Carry on searchers!!

Oregonian said

at 8:30 am on Feb 13, 2018

Hi folks,

This is your periodic reminder that none of these casques are going to be in well-maintained areas where a searcher would have to pay admission or be formally allowed inside a staffed entrance. There is not going to be anything inside the fenced-in portion of the Fountain of Youth, or in the Elizabethan Gardens at Roanoke, or in the zoo in Houston, or on Liberty Island in New York, or in the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco, or in any of the other many, many crazy places that people have proposed.

If your solution requires you to put a shovel down your pants leg and smuggle it past a gatekeeper, your solution is simply wrong and will only create headaches for everyone involved. Please don't pursue it.

Guardian said

at 10:58 am on Feb 14, 2018

👍🏻👍🏻

GreenQueens said

at 11:31 am on Feb 13, 2018

Oregonian many of the potential locations are more out in the open then I would expect but still easy to take a shovel to with a potential hazard of being noticed. Do you think that eliminates the likelihood of the burial site being in some of these smaller parks themselves? Like Jackson Square, Washington Artillery Park, Layfette Square etc...Both Grant Park and the Cultural gardens were larger and gave cover for exploration. You had said something before PB wouldn’t have placed them in heavy foot traffic areas, for New Orleans that would eliminate most of the best possibilities in the FQ/CBD. Thoughts? FYI I work in the CBD blocks from most of these places that everyone is discussing. Mardi Gras has kept me from doing any deep, boots on the ground exploring yet...

Oregonian said

at 12:16 pm on Feb 13, 2018

My impression is that Preiss was pretty willing to take risks when he buried these things. He said in various interviews that he had to wear disguises when he buried some of them, which means that he was in a public place where he expected to be seen. It took me a long time to come to terms with the idea that he would actually bury one in the middle of a path in White Point Garden in Charleston, but I'm now firmly of the opinion that he did exactly that. Gutsy move. The casque in New Orleans may well be in a similar public place.

What I'm sure Preiss would NOT do is break any laws or cause any harm. The Secret was never meant to be a criminal enterprise. It was just meant to be fun. The "rules page" in the book (page 219) specifically rules out "any public or private flower bed." It also emphasizes that "It is not the intention of the Fair People to destroy the beauty of nature or Man through their challenge."

Of course, what would "destroy the beauty of nature" in 2018 may be different from what would do so in 1981. Some spots (like the Cultural Gardens in Cleveland) may have seemed more abandoned and neglected 35 years ago and be more formal now. But, generally speaking, I think Preiss chose his spots well and the same rules still apply: no paying admission, no passing gatekeepers, no formally landscaped areas ("flower beds"), no pristine spots where the soil has never been disturbed by humans, and no lasting damage of any kind. If we can follow all that, I think we'll recover the casques without making anyone too angry.

Jess said

at 1:01 pm on Feb 13, 2018

I’ve always thought burying it in the Cleveland planter was incredibly bold. I’d be far too self conscious to dig somewhere like that. It’s a plant pot!

He probably dressed as a workman or something. There used to be a whole show here in the UK about the stuff you can get aware with if you just wear a neon yellow jacket.

JChris said

at 2:32 pm on Feb 13, 2018

I’ve been meaning to ask you about the White Point Gardens solution and this reminded me of my question about it. I agree that it’s hard to imagine him burying something in such a public spot - there are a lot of other spots in WPG that are a lot less open to the public view - and I’m wondering if there’s anything besides your confidence in your solution that convinces you that it is/was in such a public spot? I agree the clues point to that location, but to me, the extreme public-ness of that particular spot makes me think it’s probably somewhere close but a lot more hidden from view. Thanks.

Oregonian said

at 2:54 pm on Feb 13, 2018

The White Point Garden location would definitely have been a challenge, but it wouldn't be impossible. If you've looked at the photo on the solution page, you know that the Maine capstan was on a really big, squat concrete block. The east side of the block faced the street, but the west side would have been hidden from view. If Preiss was wearing a hard hat and a reflective vest and was down on his knees working with hand tools, he would have been invisible to the cars driving by and he would have just looked like a structural engineer checking the foundation to anyone in the park. I'm not saying I would have the acting skills to pull it off myself, but I bet Preiss could have done it.

My confidence in the Image 2 solution is just based on how well the clues fit together. I think you would have to search pretty hard to find another place in North America where the words "May, 1913" are written - in a single line, all to themselves - between two arms (weapons) extended.

JChris said

at 3:04 pm on Feb 13, 2018

Like I said, the solution makes perfect sense and does point to that location. The thing that makes me wonder about it is how open that area is. I was there last summer (and have been there multiple times over the years) and even though there is some cover from the statue that’s there now there’s still almost a 360 degree viewing angle. If you’re standing to the west of the Moultrie statue you can be seen from everywhere except directly in front on the street.

I’m not saying he didn’t bury it there, it just seems to me that he might have been able to find a nearby spot that wouldn’t be as risky and would still fit the proposed solution.

Oregonian said

at 3:42 pm on Feb 13, 2018

Oh yeah, definitely. He could have found a more hidden location in the park. Maybe he just liked to be a little daring.

The maddening thing about my proposed solution is that it can be disproven but it probably can't be proven. If I'm right, we'll never know for sure.

skeller@... said

at 10:24 am on Feb 15, 2018

I really think to many people are reading way to much into the puzzles. When this book was published there were not many computers in the home. The pictures were not meant to be blown up cut apart and put back together or anything like that. If you were lucky enough to live in a city where he buried a box, and you recognized the landmarks in the picture, the verse should show the way. Also I do not believe every word in the verses was mean to be a clue. There may be two sentences to hide one clue. Just saying not looking for an argument.

gem1128 said

at 11:21 am on Feb 15, 2018

I am new to this and started Sunday night after watching Expedition Unknown. I have a question. Is there still a person that I contact if I found the casque? I thought I read somewhere that you did not have to actually dig it up but to just identify the location. Is this true?

AlexK said

at 12:21 pm on Feb 15, 2018

No, not anymore. There is nobody you can contact as far as the original publishers of the book or anyone that cant tell you if you have or have not solved the puzzle. If you want to confirm the casque's location you would have to dig it up, with permission of the land owners of course.

DanaSkully said

at 1:34 pm on Feb 15, 2018

I'm pretty sure I already shared this before, but I wanted to share it again for anyone else who is new and who does not own a copy of the book.

Before I bought my copy, I assumed the pictures must be HUGE, and that The Secret book would be map-sized. It's not. Here's two pictures comparing it to a dollar bill: https://imgur.com/a/jORpD

I share this because I used to think that I should be analyzing every pinpoint of the pictures. Now, I don't think it's even possible. The scans you see online end up brightening the images.

Because honestly, they are DARK in real life. The shadows fade to black very quickly. There's not much hidden in them. And watching Expedition Unknown, when I saw how huge the Palencar paintings are, I thought, if I were the artist, I'd be annoyed that my 20 by 35 paintings (or bigger?) got turned into 4.5 by 6 inch pictures upon publication. Tiny details get lost like that. Maybe not clues, or maybe they did lose a few clues when they shrank them, who knows.

cnllreds@... said

at 3:44 pm on Mar 6, 2018

Is there a specific measurement for the Casque container? I noticed on the Expedition Unknown show that it's not a perfect cube - and one side is 8" but can't tell the other dimensions. Any info??

Brad Hodges said

at 11:27 am on Mar 10, 2018

When reviewing Brian’s find. The broken key appears to have a metal skeleton. I know the general consensus is that metal detectors do not work because the plaster cask. But has anyone actually tried? I would be interested if Brian would be willing to place his key under 3 feet of dirt and attempt a metal detector detection.

GreenQueens said

at 6:38 pm on Mar 11, 2018

I think that would be a major help. Identification of the type of metal and if it could be detected could be a giant leap of progress for others.

maltedfalcon said

at 3:10 pm on Mar 16, 2018

some thought it was a hex key but it turns out they are round not hex . they are ferrous, (a magnet will stick to them) and between 1/32 and 1/16 inch diameter 4 inches and 3 inches in length.

maltedfalcon said

at 3:06 pm on Mar 16, 2018

Yes indeed people have created replica casques and used all kinds of tools to try and detect them, from sharp sticks to metal detectors and Ground penetrating radar. of course none of those help at all if you dont have a dig spot...

Jeff C. said

at 7:59 am on Mar 30, 2018

The verses are supposed to take you from a start point, to an end point in a linear fashion, while the Images contain visual clues you should see on your way...along with clues to narrowing the search down to a certain place in a certain city to make this linear journey. It’s not just finding random willy-nilly things that fit the clues, yet do not fit a linear path. And if you throw an idea out there, please for the sake of others, make sure you reasearch it first and that your research is correct!!
One other thing...there are a few people on here that aren’t being very respectful toward other folks theories, or thinking about the hard work that goes into them. I would ask people to refrain from using statements like, “too bad that guy is in the wrong area!”, or, “ I’ve poked around for half a day at your location, and it’s a total waste of time, everybody.” None of us knows where the casque is buried, so unless somebody’s research is just wack from the get go, it is irresponsible and plain rude to make absolute determinations about the validity of someone’s theory, unless you can show with absolute certainty that it is wrong. (Maltedfalcon, this isn’t meant to be directed at you, as (IMHO) you obviously had cause to call out false info.) THIS WIKI IS FOR FOSTERING IDEAS, NOT SHOOTING THEM DOWN! Let’s keep it that way.

Kang said

at 3:01 pm on Apr 1, 2018

JeffC - my opinion is in line with yours on almost everything said here. If someone picks a spot willy-nilly, they can almost certainly twist things or find a fit to many clues. And with limited exceptions concerning Chicago or Cleveland - unless that person has dug the hole, found the casque and posted pictures, every statement made on this or any other forum is at best an opinion or unproven theory and at worst complete BS. Everyone here should think on whether what they're about to post fits with that or not before posting.

However, my opinion differs on the verses. And I just want to clarify. I don't believe that the verses are always linear. In the Cleveland puzzle, the part that has the specific directions to the exact dig spot are in the middle of the verse - while the directions that immediately precede that step (leading you to the spot) come after. And though you don't say this - while some verses can be interpreted as largely being like a set of directions - other verses are nearly devoid of language that reads like directions. Just something to think about as we try and solve these.

And yes, for anyone wondering - my musings above are at best an opinion and at worst total BS. Just food for thought.

JulieM said

at 8:43 pm on Apr 1, 2018

I recall that Burbank_ian posted some what he called 300dpi, but do not recall his source

Mister EZ said

at 8:53 pm on Apr 1, 2018

He also has at lease one that's 1,200 dpi....but, file size would be huge for those.

Would be nice to know if he actually scanned those from the original book or just manipulated the resolution of internet pics that were previously made available. (When importing into Photoshop, you can change/increase the dpi....but, that doesn't replace details that were lost during an initial low rez scan.)

Ameripicks said

at 9:28 pm on Apr 1, 2018

Yes, you want Originals that have been photographed not scanned - IMO. Then want copies for the site that are those same originals best case scenario. If not, then you want copies that are again - photo copies not scanned. Each step is a degraded step.
If anyone is saying 300 dpi, 600 dpi, etc. That means it is result of a scan. If all we can get is an original photo and scanned at 1200dpi then better than nothing. But can they prove what they have is a true unscanned original and a true 1200 dpi copy of it?

maltedfalcon said

at 3:25 pm on Apr 2, 2018

while you can downsize a picture ie take a 300 dpi picture and make it 150 dpi. any attempt to go the other way noticeably fails, the computer has no idea what data to put into the extra dots per inch, so it just averages the ones nearby. Any attempt to do that bascally makes a picture full of garbage and jaggy edges. So if someone has a 1200dpi image that looks normal , it was scanned that way. however the native resolution of the images (meaning the resolution in the print of the original book ) was approximately 150 dpi, (you can count by taking a magnifying glass and counting the dots in the 1/2 tones. So scan all you want, you wont find more accurate images than those that are online here in the wiki,

Jess said

at 4:06 pm on Apr 2, 2018

I have uploaded the San Fran image as a test in 600dpi to see if it makes any difference as I have an original copy and a scanner. Would be grateful for any feedback about whether it is worthwhile to pursue this!

Burbank_ian said

at 1:08 am on Apr 2, 2018

Anyway, I did copy all 12 images from that site at the time so I had a copy of them and these are the ones I shared on this wiki. Just a little background info about me. I'm a software developer from a print / packaging and graphics industry and have also developed some iBooks/epubs. So with the graphics we are talking about, an ePub/ibook/web images these would probably be at 72dpi (like the ones found on this site and the latest version of the book via epub) this is fairly standard for reading material as they load quicker. When it comes to litho/offset printing for books on a printing press these would tend to be at 300dpi. The images I located were created in 2004 and would have been scanned in at 300dpi (thats the metadata I'm seeing within the files that tell me this was the case) Which means that they are probably as good as its going to get.

Burbank_ian said

at 1:08 am on Apr 2, 2018

The image I enhanced to 1200dpi was indeed done via photoshop, but was made up of around 30 different layers to enhance the existing art i.e. the symbols around the dragon. The problem in doing this, is that it also enhances the ink dots from the original printing press so when you zoom in you can see these dots (if they haven’t been destroyed by the scanning process). These dots can then lead to seeing things that are just not normally visible i.e. lots of numbers such as 88, 80, 86, 68, 0, 33 etc and even letters that are not normally visible such as g, o. So basically you have to ignore these items as they are just the dots from the press where more ink is dispersed. Then on top of that, we have the scans, when scanning like this we get what we call moire effect (Which I tried to reduce in image 1 at 1200dpi, there are several techniques to remove it in Lightroom) the moire effect produces lots of colored lines again, leading to images that just do not exist in the original image when zooming in. All these factors just lead to discrepancies that more than likely didn’t exist in the originals

Burbank_ian said

at 1:08 am on Apr 2, 2018

So I would really recommend that we should just view the 300dpi images without zooming in too much and just look at the clues that are obviously visible. I think if people are not familiar with the printing/scanning process and not able to distinguish these dot gain/moire/artifacting etc etc they may end up chasing ghosts. However… having a photograph taken of the actual original art would the best, and I’d be happy to pitch in :) Can we reach out to the Artist somehow?

Mister EZ said

at 7:32 am on Apr 2, 2018

That's what I thought you might have done. And, that's why I am personally avoiding Photoshop to scrutinize the images....I don't trust my own eyes, in the first place. =]

Thanks for the confirmation!

KJRP said

at 12:11 am on Apr 2, 2018

I managed to complete the Cleveland Solve Summary that also validates the Non-Linear clues to finding a Jewel:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HuMUByB0MIJQhiIjKLMzJitbiT5Jo2tv/view?usp=sharing

maltedfalcon said

at 1:25 pm on Apr 2, 2018

This is very good, I believe you are correct the verses do not necessarily need to be dealt with linearly. You have a mistake though item 2/2 is the wrong curve, and you ignore the method to get from the transit tower to the columns. (which is how we know the curve you point out is not the centaurs tail.)

KJRP said

at 2:49 pm on Apr 2, 2018

Thanks for the great feedback! I still see either the Centaur's Tail or the Centaur's Helmet as a solid fit for the curved Road. As for the Terminal Tower, I believe it was included so that locals would spot an easily recognizable landmark to connect it to their City. If you look at my Chicago solve link above, you will see the exact same pattern were the Water Tower is the furthermost visual clue from the rest. The same is true in San Francisco, whether you're rooting for Coit Tower or Sutro Tower, they are both far away from all of the other clues.

maltedfalcon said

at 3:12 pm on Apr 2, 2018

well true, but neither sutro or coit is in the image... as far as the centaur's tail examine the intersection of east blvd, MLK and E105 st but be sure to look at it pre 2005, Did you come up with this all by yourself? I am impressed.

Jess said

at 5:16 pm on Apr 2, 2018

To anyone interested re the possibility of getting higher definition pictures of the images in the original book, I have uploaded image 1 (San Francisco) in TIFF format in 4 different dips (100, 200, 300 and 600). There is no 150 option for my scanner. Annoyingly they are mostly unrotated but I can't seem to be able to delete and re-ulpoad corrected ones yet.

Hopefully this answers some questions some of you were asking, let me know if you think it's worth uploading others.

JulieM said

at 5:35 pm on Apr 2, 2018

Fascinating differences in the images, thanks for the effort

Jess said

at 5:40 pm on Apr 2, 2018

Glad it was worth it! Generally not much groundwork I can contribute from Scotland so this is my two cents :) I think the ‘dots’ you see in the image may actually be there, as there is a bit of a difference looking at the age closely with a naked eye between the density of ink on the black border and in the image itself.

If nothing else, could be helpful for cross referencing queried ‘scanner artefacts’.

Burbank_ian said

at 5:41 pm on Apr 2, 2018

Thanks for that, unfortunately the images are really choppy. Maybe its the tiff format (shouldn't be) and the combination of the dpi (as previously mentioned). So sorry to have wasted your time and effort, its really appreciated. Wish I had the original book to try a few other methods out. Anyone else have any ideas of how Jess could possibly create a copy?

Jess said

at 5:43 pm on Apr 2, 2018

Definitely happy to carry out any other file/dpi combos anyone more sophisticated than me would care to suggest :)

Jess said

at 5:57 pm on Apr 2, 2018

I think it's important that with my naked eye, if I look really, really close at the physical images in front of me, they are almost 'pixel'y (to a tiny, tiny scale). This is particularly noticeable when looking at big swathes of black/darkness.

Also worth pointing out again that the images are really, really quite small. The San Francisco image I uploaded in person is 196mm high (excluding border) and 75mm wide. On a personal level... I don't think there's anything hidden beyond what you see immediately (at least in the printed versions- can't vouch for the original paintings). The resolution of the prints in person (i.e. being able to see the 'pixels' almost) makes that seem so unlikely.

Burbank_ian said

at 6:37 pm on Apr 2, 2018

Thats great to know. For me, its more about having the clarity on the visible images that are obvious i.e. the symbols around the Dragon on image 1 rather than searching for hidden images. For example, the bottom right symbol which appears to have 3 lines going down with a w shape pattern on the bottom of it. Its knowing if that image we see with the jpgs we have on this site truly represents the book. Or the symbol above that one, I see it as an arrow pointing north west inside a square , but could also be interpreted as an upside down V inside a square. Or if the original book images simply displays like this, then I think we need go no further and just settle on the images on this site. Thanks for looking into this though.

JulieM said

at 6:44 pm on Apr 2, 2018

Lower right hand corner, I believe it represents the horseshoe pits. If you go to the comparison of the dress and GGP map, the red line on the map even passes right thru the courts.

ldpater said

at 12:18 pm on Apr 3, 2018

Hi Jess, I agree with you that looking for hidden images to solve these puzzles is unnecessary ... the images have all the clues needed to lead someone to a casque... quoting from the "Welcome page" BP writes "You are about to embark on a fantastic adventure: .... You might even figure out one of their hiding places without leaving your home..." To me, this is a clear indication that the images by themselves in their original sizes in the original book is enough to solve the puzzles... Thoughts???

Jess said

at 12:28 pm on Apr 3, 2018

Absolutely. Of course they are- otherwise Cleveland and Chicago wouldn’t have happened! I know there are theories that on some paintings hidden ‘layers’ put in by the painter as notes to himself are evident. Even if this were true- which I doubt would EVER be detectable from the book prints (I repeat, even the bigger details in the pictures are TINY- face in San Fran is about the size of my fingerprint and far from great resolution- I wouldn’t be comfortable using this as part of the clues. That surely isn’t what was intended.

Kang said

at 6:03 pm on Apr 3, 2018

The definitive answer is in folks. The Game is STILL ON! For me - this is all about (hopefully) solving the puzzle. But for anyone interested, the game is still on.

Thanks to Mister EZ's post about there being new contact information in the 2015 reprint of the book - I found some info on the small publishing company that purchased the assets of Byron Priess Visual Publications in the bankruptcy proceedings. Per the contact info Mister EZ posted, the assets were indeed purchased by a small publishing firm Bricktower Press and its owner John Colby.
http://shelterislandreporter.timesreview.com/2013/10/08/island-profile-publisher-has-it-all-in-dering-harbor/

So I emailed him and asked. He replied confirming that the game is still on and that they will "honor the award upon presentation of the casque/key." Please note that he also states that since BP was the sole person with knowledge of the solutions, they are unable to give any guidance on the searches. Screen grab of the email below.
http://thesecret.pbworks.com/w/file/125253173/GameOn.JPG

So - first hand confirmation...

Ameripicks said

at 9:49 pm on Apr 4, 2018

Had a phone call with John Jude Palencar. He was very gracious in talking with me. The conversation went on about 7 minutes. I was calling about the possibility of making better photographs of his art work than we have now. Even if he got permission from John Colby and Brick Tower Press to do so, he still doesn't want anyone else to have or make High resolution photos of the paintings. Partly out of his honor to Byron Preiss and not to get into any litigation about it. He did want me to tell everyone this so not to call or email further about it. He is not going to change his mind. He was very nice and a bit chatty reflecting back on the days He and Byron kicked around ideas on where to bury the casques. It was very entertaining him telling the stories. I am trying to remember them while I type. Even told about the Cleveland bury that the Police drove by when Byron was up there on the planter frozen in fear with shovel in hand. He did say “the easiest two have been found”. He did say Josh Gates was close. He quickly backed up by saying that he could not say by 5 ft or 5 miles really. He was referring to the TV footage of the Milwaukee casque hunt. But a little to the left or right is all you need to do sometimes. Side - I am always a believer in poking beyond the dug hole in all directions just in case you are close. I told him I lived closest to Charleston and St. Augustine but most interested in San Francisco right now. He said yes and the one up there in Minneapolis I think. He was on a roll at this point. I could not get in a "but or What?". I do think he meant Milwaukee. So don't freak out. He said that there is more clues in rest of the book. The Tale Simply Told & Passage To The New World. That the immigration story was important to him (Byron). Referring to Cleveland again, he said is why they chose that place because of the immigrant focus there. Funny side - There was a wedding going on in the park in 2004 when they found the cascade. Part 1 of 2.

Ameripicks said

at 9:49 pm on Apr 4, 2018

Part 2 of 2. John Jude Palencar did say about the reprints of the books that the images were “HORRIBLE”! Some clues couldn’t be or would be hard to make out. So – Looks like the original book is GOLD. Not to say that one can’t just figure out clues and find one without it. Apparently He does know were some of them are buried. But we know he is obligated at many levels not to tell. Not that something might slip out unintentionally. He did say that Byron would drop in and stay at his place when passing through. Used Johns place like a 2nd home. Probably why He did 3 so close to his house. John seemed to have more memory or stories to tell on them. They were very good friends as He told me several times. This is all I can remember right now. Probably all to tell anyway. He did say to me but certainly to all the ones in the group I was calling for “Good luck in the hunt”.

Burbank_ian said

at 10:43 pm on Apr 4, 2018

WOW! what an amazing call you had with him. Sounds like a very gracious fella in sharing a few of his memories with you. Nice job.

Kang said

at 10:32 am on Apr 8, 2018

Posting this on the front page as I think it's relevant to multiple (or all) puzzles. If anyone has not seen Odeyin's latest post - check it out. It's pushed me off the fence.
http://thesecret.pbworks.com/w/file/125344901/Img3_Signature_Comparison.jpg

No scanner invented that. The odds alone of getting those 16 letters in that order are 1 in 43 sextillion. While not completely 'hidden' or particularly tiny in the original image it is certainly obscured. Easy to miss. As in, you'd only notice it if you're being particularly observant. Yet hard to understand in the original. And it is something that is able to be made more clear via photoshop-like enhancement. Others can believe what they wish, but my takeaway on this is that while I won't be trying to use photoshop to examine an entire image, if I think I see something in the original (at a reasonable distance out) I would feel safe using photoshop to lightly enhance, to see if it clarifies the artists intention.

amy sabel said

at 9:05 am on Apr 11, 2018

Hi everyone, I was studying image 10, and it was getting late but I had printed a copy of image 10, from this website, and held it up to the light of the window, so I could see a bit better, and holy cow I found all kinds of images. numbers, stick people? fairies? I think it may be when John P. did the paintings he could have easily etched in the paintings, these hidden clues? then brushed over lightly, maybe he used oil paints, you would tend to see better something that was etched, oils also flow better on canvas? Also I investigated the paper, regular paper is thin , and has watermarks and some images that you see maybe from original watermarks from the paper. For the most part images I saw in an area were images from the artist, not watermarks in the paper. Anyhoo, it is worth while to get a really good copy from your local printer? or your own? and a magnifying glass. I think its a bit archaic but when it comes to dark images that we are working with it may pay off to see some clues, from images that are dark. Also because back in 82 we didn't even have this wiki site or the technology we have now. One more thing, when looking, at these images don't forget about negative space, i feel like a found a few more clues to confirm my solution to image 10. Hoping this is helpful to all

Kang said

at 10:07 am on Apr 11, 2018

Amy - after Odeyin posted about the not exactly hidden - but somewhat obscured JPP signature in the Roanoke image, I had wondered about this. Since scans and photoshop were not available in the 80's I wondered if maybe holding the page up to the light was a technique we were intended to use. But doing that with a printout might be a different experience than trying it with the book.

For anyone that has a copy of the actual book - on the pages that the images are printed on - is there something printed on the opposite side? Text? The next image? Or it it blank? What if anything can be seen/gleaned by holding the page up to the light?

Great thought Amy! Let's follow that thread....

Jess said

at 3:46 am on Apr 12, 2018

On the back of each image is the next image, nothing else. The paper is similar to that you find in a biography or something where the text pages are in standard paper and the paintings section is whiter and more card like. I can take normal pictures to show the book open etc once home if helpful!

Jess said

at 3:47 am on Apr 12, 2018

And I’ve not tried holding it up to the light, but doubt that shows anything. It’s card like, the ink is shiny but basic. Will try though but don’t get excited!

Jess said

at 3:56 am on Apr 12, 2018

Also as mentioned- the next image is printed directly onto the back of that image. There would be too much noise for that to be possible.

I’m wondering whether it might be easier to do a little video showing the book in scale and how the pages are configured etc as this might show it more dynamically than photos. If anyone has any questions about the original book itself, let me know and I’ll try to answer them :)

amy sabel said

at 8:52 am on Jun 13, 2018

I have a "Q" ?? For anyone who has actually dug any holes in search of casque, has it been easy to dig or hard to dig?? Sorry to ask such a question, but in my dig, the earth is full of boulders and large rock, shale, black rock, clay and bricks.....So I am wondering if I am wasting my time here on the spot we have been trying to dig?? Would Preiss have dug all that up and then put it back?? I am not sure I want to continue my dig? My daughter and I have been trying in an area....and I admit I am the weak one...LOL however she is not, but we can't even probe because we hit rock, so we keep digging we are about 2 1/2 feet downish, and we go a little wider so you can get into the spot, but keep digging huge rock??? Anyone who has dug, are you going thru this too, I'm thinking I may need a strong arm for the rest or should I assume this may not be the spot??? Thoughts anyoneeeee

Oregonian said

at 4:04 pm on Jun 14, 2018

I think we all agree that new obstacles to digging may have been added on top of the casques over the past 37 years. My proposed solution for the Houston would put it in a spot that was covered with a crushed gravel path sometime around 2001. My proposed solution for San Francisco is under a patch of asphalt that may have been added in response to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

But both of those were obstacles added later on top of the soil. It's very hard to imagine that Preiss would A) dig through rocks and bricks to make his hole, and then B) put the rocks and bricks BACK where they would be obstacles for the next diggers. That just doesn't seem likely at all. From everything we've seen so far, Preiss chose neglected spots in parks and gardens where the soil was meant for growing things. And he didn't spend a whole lot of time on his solo digging efforts. If you're struggling to get two feet down and you're still hitting rocks at that depth, I'd say you have some pretty powerful evidence that you're in the wrong place. (But, of course, the "Oak Island type" searchers will insist that the rocks are proof that someone was trying to protect something of value just a little bit deeper...)

skeller@... said

at 12:51 pm on Jun 15, 2018

LOL That was great !!! Oak Island should be called Joke Island, but you have to admit the money they are making from the believers is unbelievable. Made my day :-)

Linda S said

at 12:49 pm on Jun 26, 2019

the grounds are very tough, remember its been over 30 yrs, and BP dug at least 3 feet and the years of soil, one must now dig almost 4 feet to get to the casque, most folks stop cause its hard and they think they dug deep enough. good luck

Oregonian said

at 11:25 am on Jun 26, 2019

Oh, hey... Just happened to check the hit counter page and I saw that there was a small burst of activity here on the wiki yesterday. Probably a rerun of the EU episode in some market. In any case, it means that we just passed a grand total of 5 million page views since the site was overhauled in late 2014.

Not meaningful really. Just the odometer rolling over another digit. But still kind of cool.

Linda S said

at 12:57 pm on Jul 16, 2019

So does anyone know approximately when BP was in San Fran, trying to take time for book to be written and published and all, may be late 1980 early 81? thanks for any input

Kang said

at 2:03 pm on Jul 16, 2019

If you are asking when he might have buried the casques, according to publicity interviews Preiss did when the book launched in Nov, 1982 - they give varying accounts on when he did it but all seem to point to a time frame of Fall/Winter '81 to early Spring '82. Though it is likely he may have been working on the puzzle for a while before that. Preiss also went to Grad school at Stanford in the early 70's. So he had previously lived in SF and had to have been quite familiar with the area.

Oregonian said

at 10:32 am on Nov 9, 2019

Folks, please help keep this site more organized by remembering that there's a separate page for each image and verse in the book.

If your comment is about a particular search area, please post it on the page for the appropriate image or verse. If you have ideas about several different casques, split them up and post each one separately on the appropriate page. This front page is only meant for input that relates to the search or the book as a whole. Thanks!

Linda S said

at 6:13 pm on Nov 12, 2019

ok has anyone else contacted the folks at the back of the book about finding the possible solve but unable to dig? have they responded to you and if so what did they say.. i just got the most odd answer back and i want to see if anyone else has.
thank you

Indigoone said

at 8:24 pm on Nov 12, 2019

No one knows where he buried the casques. Since they don't know, they can't tell anyone they are correct, simply by reading their proposed solution. Therefore, if you want a jewel you have to deliver a key. There's no if, ands or buts about it lol. What was listed in the book was only an option when Byron was alive and could easily tell if a solution was correct without ever digging again.

neal.day@outlook.com said

at 9:04 pm on Nov 12, 2019

I have a friend that recently submitted a solve this way for the Milwaukee puzzle. He received a letter back as well (we were actually surprised he got a reply!). It looked like a boiler plate kind of response. It thanked him for his letter and said if he has the key, they will honor the award, but the estate and the publisher do not know the locations of the casques. It also said they are keeping a record of the solutions, which I thought was interesting. The letter he received back wasn't updated yet for the Boston find, so it said there were 10 treasures still out there.

Did you receive something similar in your reply?

Indigoone said

at 11:10 am on Nov 13, 2019

I've never sent in a theory, but I did email the man that now owns Preiss company, and they sent the same auto response.

Linda S said

at 12:40 pm on Nov 15, 2019

yeah i sent my solve and got a different response.. i will proceed with their request. we dont know til we try.. ill let ya know the outcome...

neal.day@outlook.com said

at 2:17 pm on Nov 15, 2019

What did your response say? What was their request?

Linda S said

at 2:21 pm on Nov 15, 2019

I am not saying much more on this until I get more information. but it was not the same as what others have received. I will let everyone know more when I can make confirmation

neal.day@outlook.com said

at 3:48 pm on Dec 2, 2019

I noticed you posted a solution to the SF puzzle. Curiosity has gotten the best of me here, but are you able to elaborate on what your response letter the publisher sent you said? Even though the puzzle details probably have been lost with the passing of Mr. Preiss, I've always wondered if someone maybe provided enough details in a solution that it might jog a memory with the estate or maybe even JJP and they would let you know you had the right spot.

Linda S said

at 3:55 pm on Dec 2, 2019

hi Neal, I am just waiting on one more email that I sent today. its been a long slow process but so far everyone has been working with me and I was even given permission to poke the grounds. yes for 4 hours I poked and searched and now I have to ask for permission to dig. once I have my response I will be more than glad to share what I had to do and where it got me with NPS.

Linda S said

at 2:50 pm on Dec 9, 2019

OK PARKS has responded, we can not use the simple permit, so therefore now I am in the next stage of permit proses..higher up the chain we go.. this will be about 2 weeks before I know more,, but I am making progress..

Linda S said

at 12:25 pm on Dec 13, 2019

for all who are searching in NPS LANDS...
ok,, i have done all i could.. NPS in san fran says NO DIG NO PROBE on any of the parks.. so heres what we have to do. NPS website look up archaeology dig, from there search for TREASURE TROVE CONTRACT, fill out 2 forms and SNAIL MAIL your solve to Arlington Va.. thats the best i could do and find.. i have sent my solve and now its a waiting game with the US GOVERNMENT.. good luck to all ...im done, im tired now.. lot of work i have done, time for a vacation from the secret.. happy holidays everyone.

Burbank_ian said

at 1:20 pm on Dec 13, 2019

Hi Linda,

You gave this process 110%, well done. You explored all legal avenues from face to face park ranger, office meeting with Park Mangers, talking to NPS directly and now the Treasure Trove contract (which I believe is an official archeology dig request or something?). You deserve a break after the work you have put in to this. Have a great Holiday!
(bbi, Mark)

Linda S said

at 2:20 pm on Dec 13, 2019

thank you Mark, i will upload the application and pages for TTC.

KJRP said

at 12:58 am on Dec 15, 2019

Hi Linda, if you happen to see this message would you please clarify which two (2) Forms we need to submit to the GSA in Arlington? I am only able to find one (1) Form: Application for Permit for Archaeological Investigations. Unfortunately, my proposed Solve also lands me under the jurisdiction of the NPS.

Linda S said

at 10:50 am on Dec 16, 2019

Hi KJRP, yes its that form, you have to read the instructions, submit 2 copies.. one they keep and the other they send over to NPS. so I filled out one and copied my entire package. good luck.

KJRP said

at 10:23 pm on Dec 16, 2019

Thank you for clarifying. You're awesome!

Linda S said

at 3:54 pm on Dec 17, 2019

your very welcome, and good luck. let me know when or if you get any answers.. sad we have to do all this work..but hopefully the casque get located soon.

Linda S said

at 5:57 pm on Jan 16, 2020

ok i posted the image with my solve marked out.. NPS has asked me to resubmit my dig request.. i hope this is a good thing..keep everyone posted

Linda S said

at 4:42 pm on Jan 23, 2020

so i got my resonse back today.. Linda,

I appreciate your persistence but I am following regulation. This is not a choice I am making. Digging for treasure is not an allowable recreation activity, especially in a National Historic Landmark District.

I think this matter is confused because San Francisco City has allowed some supervised digging in Golden Gate Park. We are a federal organization and a National Historic Landmark District which is very different.

Morgan



but im not giving up yet..

Robert said

at 7:30 pm on Jan 29, 2020

So, NPS said you could probe? Back in Dec, you wrote: "ok,, i have done all i could.. NPS in san fran says NO DIG NO PROBE on any of the parks. ..." Who is "they" in the sentence above ("the say i can be awarded...")?

Linda S said

at 10:25 am on Jan 31, 2020

i have been working and emailing and communicating like crazy with any and all who will listen.. I do not have the approval yet from NPS to probe, but if I can get the gem by just proving its the box, they may allow one more poking of the ground, hell I poked if already over 100 hole, so my plan is whats one more..the final one.. it is either the casque or not.

neal.day@outlook.com said

at 5:52 pm on Jan 30, 2020

I have to say, I'm impressed by the restraint shown here. If I was probing and I hit something that I really felt was the casque, I think I would have dug right then, with or without a permit.

Linda S said

at 3:03 pm on Jan 31, 2020

i would have been charged with a felony, the ranger said no, therefore i wasnt going to break the law..

neal.day@outlook.com said

at 5:56 pm on Jan 30, 2020

Actually, to your question about a probe with a camera, have you tried a boroscope? I haven't used one personally, but they are relatively inexpensive on amazon. Might be worth taking a shot on one.

Linda S said

at 3:06 pm on Feb 12, 2020

hell i dont even own a cell phone or computer.. but i think am going to by a scope for my valentines gift and take a peek, get bail money ready.. if you dont hear from me for a while make sure bail is good. lol

Linda S said

at 4:49 pm on Feb 18, 2020

LOL NETROLINE Histroric sites just did a guess this map... YUP ITS OF SAN FRANCISCO .... nice old image on their site today for the contest. it may help those who need an old SF MAP

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