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The Secret (a treasure hunt) / Verse 07
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Verse 07

Page history last edited by Oregonian 3 years, 5 months ago

General notes on Verse 7




Lines Interpretation(s)

At stone wall's door

The air smells sweet

- The "stone wall's door" could refer to the wall at the Garden of Shakespeare's Flowers.  The alcove in the middle of the wall contains a rare bust of William Shakespeare, and so there are sturdy doors that can be closed to protect it.  The alcove is a reasonable match for the barred window at the top of Image 1.


Shakespeare bust photo used under a creative common license
Attribution Some rights reserved by joshleejosh on Flickr


- Flanking the bust on both sides are 6 bronze plaques that list all of the plant-related quotations from Shakespeare's works.  The "sweet smell" could simply refer to the famous line from Romeo and Juliet: "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."  It's very possible that Preiss is deliberately prompting us to think of that line by including a rose in Image 1.


- "Sweet smell" could also refer to either the Golden Gate Park Rose Garden or to the San Francisco Botanical Garden's Garden of Fragrance.  Both are east of Highway 1 near Stow Lake.


- Alternatively, the "sweet smell" could be a reference to the Spreckels Temple of Music which is just across the street from the Shakespeare garden and is named after sugar mogul Claus Spreckels.


- Another interpretation of the "Sweet smell" could be associated to Golden Gate Park Strawberry Hill. The Hill got its named from the fact that a lot of Strawberries were growing on its side, which gave a sweet scent. (source: Official Golden Gate website): 


Not far away

High posts are three

- This would likely be a reference to the Sutro Tower.  According to Wikipedia, it's "a three-pronged antenna tower near Clarendon Heights in San Francisco" that is "a prominent part of the city skyline and a landmark for city residents and visitors."  The tower is located only a few blocks away from the southeast corner of the park and is visible from the rose garden, the botanical garden, and Stow Lake.

A picture of the Sutro tower as seen from Golden Gate Park's Strawberry Hill:


Education and Justice

For all to see

- It's possible that "Education" and "Justice" are Chinese characters that appear on the Chinese pavilion on Stow Lake.  (To see the inscriptions, visit Yagi_94118's Flickr photostream.)


- Alternatively, "Education" could refer to the University of San Francisco at the northeast corner of Golden Gate Park.


- "Justice" could refer to Alcatraz.


- The two roads that pass under Highway 1 in the park are "John F. Kennedy Drive" (formerly "North Drive") and "Martin Luther King Jr. Drive" (formerly "South Drive").  Of the two modern names, only "Kennedy Drive" could be related to The Secret.  North Drive got its new name in 1967, but South Drive wasn't renamed until 1983.


Sounds from the sky

Near ace is high

Running north, but first across

- "Ace is high" could refer to Highway 1.  "Ace" would mean "one" and "high" would mean both "highway" and literally "high" (because Highway 1 is elevated where it goes through Golden Gate Park).  "Sounds from the sky" would match this interpretation because Hwy. 1 is a six-lane highway and a person standing nearby in Golden Gate Park will hear the roar of traffic from above.


- Highway 1 runs north through most of San Francisco, but at Golden Gate Park it turns and runs due east (across) for a few blocks before turning north again to go to the Golden Gate Bridge.  At the point where the highway turns there is a large stone cross called the "prayer-book cross." The line could be a play on words meaning a) the highway running across the park, b) the highway turning to run across San Francisco, and c) the presence there of the stone cross ("but first, a cross").


In jewel's direction

Is an object

Of Twain's attention

- "Twain" is probably a reference to Mark Twain, who worked as a newspaper reporter in San Francisco from 1864 to 1865.  No direct connection has yet been found between Twain and Golden Gate Park, but Twain did make at least one trip to Cliff House, which is just a few blocks away. Twain wrote about his visit in "Early Rising, As Regards Excursions to the Cliff House," which was published in The Golden Era magazine in 1864.


- Mark Twain also wrote a little-remembered book about William Shakespeare.  The "object of Twain's attention" could therefore be the same Garden of Shakespeare's Flowers that is mentioned above. 


- The "object of Twain's attention" could also be the side-wheel paddle steamboat Eureka, which is part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park at Hyde Pier.


-  The "object of Twain's attention" could also refer to Fulton Street, alongside the Golden Gate Park on its north side. Fulton was an engineer credited for the first commercially successful steamboat. Twain was vice-president of the Fulton Monument Association, whose purpose was to build a Robert Fulton monument in NYC.


- Another possible object - Golden Gate Park has an additional piece going east called the Panhandle. At the easternmost point of the Panhandle is a statute to William McKinley.  Twain was a vociferous opponent of McKinley over the issue of Imperialism especially in the Philippines, which was started by the McKinley administration and famously opposed by Twain.


Giant pole

Giant step

To the place

The casque is kept.

- The "giant pole" could be the “Goddess of the Forest,” a giant wooden sculpture carved out of the single trunk of a redwood tree during the 1939/40 World's Fair in San Francisco.  The sculpture was erected in Lindley Meadow in Golden Gate Park and stood there until the summer of 1986, when it had to be removed because of weather-related decomposition.  The cement base that supported the sculpture is still there in the park, where the 30th Avenue entrance meets JFK Drive (map view, tilt view, street view).  One searcher in 2008 dug all around the base but didn't find anything.


- Alternatively, the "giant pole" could be the 60-foot-tall totem pole at Cliff House.  


- A third possibility is that the "giant pole" is one of the long metal handrails that run up the staircases in the park.


- The repetition of "Giant" could be a playful reference to the city's baseball team, the San Francisco Giants.





Other Notes:

  • This verse appears to be describing various landmarks in or near Golden Gate Park.  "Giant step," however, is very vague for a final approach to the destination. The specifics of where to dig for the casque are probably hidden in Image 1.
  • "The air smells sweet" would be almost meaningless as a general reference to flowers.  However, the Garden of Fragrance was designed in 1965 specifically as a garden for the visually impaired.  The plants were chosen specifically for their smells and textures.
  • The choice of the word "sweet" (rather than "fragrant") might suggest that the smell is coming from a candy factory or sweet shop.  The only candidate match that has been identified so far is Ghirardelli Chocolate in San Francisco.
  • The repetition of "Giant" at the end of the verse is likely a reference to the San Francisco Giants, the city's baseball team.  At the time The Secret was published, the Giants were playing at Candlestick Park in the far southeast corner of San Francisco County.  (They moved to AT&T Park in 2000.)
  • Apart from the first word in every line, only two words are capitalized in this verse: Twain and Justice.  "Twain" is almost certainly used here as the name of a person, but why is "Justice" capitalized? 




Comments (Show all 103)

Brad said

at 10:30 am on Nov 1, 2018

Francis Scott Key Statue at the end of Music Concourse has a flag pole on it. It's in the right area.
Need to stop posting!!!

Brad said

at 10:45 am on Nov 1, 2018

Goethe Schiller statue is mounted on big steps. Was moved a few times, so would need to work out where it was (somewhere around Music Concourse) in 1981.

Linda S said

at 11:23 am on Nov 1, 2018

I have read that the monument’s original location in 1901 was not where it stands in the park today. Although it was in Golden Gate Park somewhere on the road that rings the Music Concourse, around 1920 the statue was moved. When construction began on the new Academy of Sciences building in 2005, Goethe and Schiller were yet again relocated a short distance to their present spot on the left (west) side of the Academy, so I have sent GGP an email asking for more information and dates of moves.
hope to hear back soon.

Linda S said

at 11:29 am on Nov 1, 2018

here the parks response to the FS KEY MONUMENT Francis Scott Key Monument
This “Wedding Cake” monument was originally dedicated on the same day in 1888 as the second Music Stand, on which grounds the monument originally stood. The 52-foot-high classically styled travertine-and-marble shrine, by sculptor William Wetmore Story, remembers the author of America’s national anthem. Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and an amateur lyricist-poet, witnessed firsthand the shelling of Fort McHenry on September 13, 1814, which inspired him to write a poem. Benefactor James Lick was also in Baltimore during the shelling of Fort McHenry, an experience that compelled him to leave a bequest of $60,000 to erect the monument. The bronze portions were cast in Italy and shipped from Genoa around Cape Horn, a 187-day trip aboard the ship Pietro B. Francis Scott Key’s lyrics are inscribed at the base of the statue in incised letters, which were originally gold leafed. For some reason the James Lick Trustees only released $40,000 to Story and he sued for the balance in January of 1891. The figure on top of this monument represents the Goddess of Liberty, while the seated figure is a likeness of Key. At the upper corners are eagles with outstretched wings while the head of a bison holds a draped garland on each facade.

Multitalented sculptor Story was born in Salem, Mass., and graduated from nearby Harvard University in 1838. He practiced law in Boston for several years but was also interested in poetry. Story worked as an expatriate sculptor in Rome and died in 1895 at Vallombrosa, Italy. His sculptures also include the white marble statue of a reclining King Saul and the partially draped figure of a young woman, Dalilah, both in the collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Linda S said

at 11:31 am on Nov 1, 2018

part 2 of email....Donor Lick, the city’s single greatest benefactor, was equally a fiscally conservative. The grandson of a Revolutionary War veteran, Lick was Pennsylvania Dutch by birth and early on became a cabinetmaker. Gaunt looking, he lived on a starvation diet and wore tattered clothes. He amassed great amounts of money, however, and also provided funds for the property occupied by the first California Academy of Sciences building on Market Street.

Originally the monument was dedicated just east of the present-day tennis courts on July 4, 1888, the same day as the adjacent second Music Stand. When more tennis courts were required, the memorial was relocated to the courtyard of the California Academy of Sciences in May of 1908. The monument had been damaged by the 1906 temblor and required repair anyway; McGilvray Stone Company carried out the $1,800 commission.

But with expansion of the Academy in 1967, the work was stored in the park’s maintenance yard. It might have stayed there if not for the help of its fans, most notably passionate park historian Raymond Clary. The structure was finally assembled in its present location with a rededication ceremony on July 4, 1977 at the east end of Music Concourse, where the Electric Fountain once stood for the Midwinter Fair. Two time capsules containing memorabilia and records were buried at its base. This installation cost $127,500, with contributions from the academy, patriotic and historic groups, civic groups, the State Bicentennial Commission, and the state bond issue for beaches and parks. The site chosen was the perfect selection as it is on axis with the also classical Spreckels Temple of Music. The rebuilding was carried out by Valentine Corporation with architect James Hahn and Structural Engineer Glenn R. Nelson.

Linda S said

at 11:31 am on Nov 1, 2018

part 3....The form is a much smaller version of the high-Victorian Gothic Albert Memorial in London that was dedicated in 1872. Baltimore finally got its due when, in 1911, Marius Jean Antonin Mercie's more dynamic version of a memorial was dedicated in Eutaw Place, just a few years before the centenary celebration of the battle.

The Francis Scott Key Monument is City and County of San Francisco Historic Landmark 96.

Kang said

at 5:51 pm on Nov 1, 2018

@Brad and @LindaS - great work! Here is some info that may help. According to my research, the Goethe-Schiller statue remained in the same location as the picture Brad posted (likely from the early '60's) - until the 2005 renovation.
In this pic from 1970 it is still located just off the corner of the CAS http://thesecret.pbworks.com/w/file/129915162/Goethe-Schiller_GGP_Centennial_Apr_4_1970.jpg
And was still indicated as being in that same spot in the mid-late 1990's according to this SF Parks diagram. http://thesecret.pbworks.com/w/file/129915273/Music_Concourse_c1995.JPG
And here it is still there in 2005 just as the tear down of most of the old CAS was beginning http://thesecret.pbworks.com/w/file/129915519/CAS_2005_beginning_teardown.JPG

So, that would bracket the 1981-ish time frame of interest. During the 2005 reconstruction of the CAS and renovation of the Music Concourse it was moved several yards north of that location - a little further away from the new CAS - to the spot it still sits today. I hope that helps!

Linda S said

at 5:39 pm on Nov 6, 2018

ok just got back the email from GGP on Goethe Shiller monument, seems its been move ALOT..good reading.

Linda S said

at 5:42 pm on Nov 6, 2018

so where it stood in 1920 would be the spot, just Northeast of the Academy building..

Brad said

at 7:39 am on Nov 26, 2018

Bad translation from Japanese version of book:

The second line "sweet" Basically, it is a meaning of "sweet", but it seems better not to be obsessed with too much "sweet". Because the smell of smell is sweet, let's think of it as "a moderate ???" as an aid.
Line 4 "High Post" This post is wooden. (this is a DEFINITE translation... one of the easiest ones to do.)
Line 5 "Education and Justice" I do not quite understand this alone, but after thinking about Education and Justice and posts can be seen not far, it is easy to understand. "Is it possible to see education and ??? in places that are not so far" ...?
Line 7 "Sounds from the sky" Is there anything called "sound from the sky"? There are lots of sounds coming from the sky. Bird's special? The sound of a hypothesis of wanting *? However, there are sounds that we can not hear for human ears. Sounds that can not be heard without using (tortuous branch techniques)(???) ....
Line 12 "Twain" Speaking of Twain, that one is famous ...

Very difficult translation due to the lo res image I'm working from.

Linda S said

at 1:21 pm on Nov 26, 2018

so has anyone else found the word in the dragon? seems each of the images has some clue spelled out.. my nephew went walking all over the city while he was here. I gave him the poem and image he came back and told me to look at Grace Cathedral Church, thinking if he may have found the area, if I find it, I want to donate it to the City of SF in honor of Autism Speaks, just another idea in this crazy puzzle.

Guardian said

at 3:50 pm on Dec 1, 2018

Not until now. I turned it counterclockwise and saw “gems”. I found another word in I8, and I took it as confirmation of my spot. It’s actually the first part of the word, and I found it in the spout. It could also be part of a message that goes through the images sequentially, and it could just be a coincidence or a deliberate confirmer that it’s nearby but not the actual dig spot.

SteveMarg said

at 12:50 am on Dec 8, 2018

I have an area of Golden Gate Park that I'd like to "search". I've seen the ground penetrating radar that looks like a lawn mower. Has anyone ever seen the hand-held units where you walk with an antenna in front of you and behind you? I’d love to rent one of those for a few hours. 😊

Linda S said

at 3:54 pm on Jan 8, 2019

ok just had another ahhhaaa moment on this darn puzzle, the SF Scottish Rite Masonic Center with Sigmund Stern Grove across the street, i notice the symbols on the building resemble several of those on her rob. has anyone else thought of this area?

Linda S said

at 1:12 pm on Jan 15, 2019

ok so if post could mean markers, there are 3 in the park, first rising of us flag, second the clay street railroad and third the first public school.
THE FIRST PARK is in Chinatown, Twains attention was the Chinese, he loved them and their ways, they were kind people. Gold was first announced in this park. Goddess of democracy is there.. a lot more in common than I thought I would find. READ THE STORY FIRST, then the verses then the image..thats what I'm working on. thanks

Linda S said

at 1:57 pm on Feb 27, 2019

WELL it appears this casque may have been located, Parks confirmed a dig, and an item removed from ground.. CONGRADS to Gerald Gay

Indigoone said

at 9:16 am on Feb 28, 2019

Linda, I'm on the edge of my seat to learn more about this. Do you know if there is any media or news reports? Do you have any more info?

Weeping Angel said

at 9:44 am on Feb 28, 2019

It was verified by JoEllen and Jon Palencar that it is a fake casque. The pictures of the fake casque are on Q4T. It looks nothing like the original casque but the paint under the lid looks close to the chicago one.

Linda S said

at 11:37 am on Feb 28, 2019

omg I go to sleep and wake up to this news.. WHY do ppl do this...well I guess that Dr Gerald Gay has lost his credibility...the search is back on again..

Brad said

at 6:57 pm on Feb 28, 2019

Dr Gerard Gay may not be real, but the whole thing may be a long and elaborate ruse.
Sadly, the casque was buried and dug up. The bad news is that it was a fake.
It was in my exact location, and I am hoping that he buried it just inches above or next to a real one, and I was right. But I highly doubt after this fiasco that anyone would be allowed to redig there, and GGP or even other SF locations may be out of bounds as this may sour the hunt in the eyes of the Parks Dept.

Burbank_ian said

at 7:09 pm on Feb 28, 2019

Hi Brad, Not sure if someone has dug that exact same spot before. But if you want to have some kind of closure or confirmation on your spot I'd be happy to to dig (with relevant permission, if GGP will allow it anymore) on you're behalf and video the entire dig.

Brad said

at 8:37 pm on Feb 28, 2019

Thanks Ian... but in all honesty, I think that spot may have been dug before by someone on the Q4T forum (people were talking about it), and someone clearlt hass dug there, and has probably managed to go down far enough. I was just thinking about irony...
However, if you are feeling in need to digging somewhere, you could do it. Ask SF Parks, and when you're asking, see if you can speak to Stanley Chow, the ranger who witnessed the sham dig. If he can confirm a very shallow dig, there might be merit. The real casque should be 3-3.5 feet down. Not very far, and if someone buried a casque and perspex box on top, the bottom of that dig would probably be getting close to the top of any real casque. Then, given the approx 1 foot box, and the fake could have been as far as the corner of a real one, the zone of disturbance goes out to almost 3x3 feet... so... it looks unlikely.
If you want though, for your own curiosity... be my guest. Just remember that the treasure stays with SF Parks to be displayed for all to see.

Burbank_ian said

at 9:19 pm on Feb 28, 2019

I'm on Q4T (bbi) and I do see some chatter about the Verdi Statue in the past but I couldn't find anything that said it had been dug around that spot ( I may be missing something, I used the advance search and found a few things that use it as a reference for Twains attention). Just couldn't find anything that stated an unsuccessful dig? Maybe it was in Josh C's comments that I think had been removed.

Brad said

at 9:37 pm on Feb 28, 2019

When I posited Verdi's pole as a pointer, I searched through Q4T and found no-one referring to it, or digging at it. So I believed it was unique. Recent chatter suggested a dig in the past and in the last few months. But you can never tell...

Mike said

at 12:43 am on Mar 1, 2019

I looked at the statue yesterday and it didn’t look like anyone had dug there recently, at least not at any depth. @Burbank_ian email me if you want to team up, we could get two permits which would allow us more time and space to search if they are still accepting applications.

Joecool said

at 2:48 pm on Mar 2, 2019

Mike and Burbanl_ian, I'm in SF too and can assist with another dig. Email me if you need support. FYI, I'm available any Friday or weekends.

Brad said

at 11:15 am on Mar 2, 2019

I just saw some photos on Q4T, as there is still scuttlebut about the digsite.
The photos show a chicken scratching right next to the edge of the statue base. Talk was that previous dig had occurred right next to base.
Talk is now about digging about 4 foot out because that constitutes a "giant step.
I don't think either of these are correct. Preiss would not leave us with a vague possible location (although this is proved wrong in the case of Chicago).
If I were to check the site, I would take a piece of cord, tie it to the pole a little way up, and move it until the cord alignes with the base of the pole. CSI style, creating a projection out from the pole and on to the ground. If it extends some way out of what seems to have been dug, then we could be in luck. If it's right at the edge, no luck, it's already been dug, probably twice.
Remembering that only a foot or so further away from any dig will create a new dig site. In Chicago, the dig occurred a far bit, the searches got frustrated and chucked a shovel into the hole and heard the ping. A matter of an inch can be the difference between "hidden" and unearthed.
As there is talk of a redig on Q4T, if you want to dig, I'd do it sooner rather than later.

skeller@... said

at 3:28 pm on Mar 1, 2019

The comments do not go back far enough, but I remember a gentleman dug at that statue and found nothing but concrete. He was using the same idea of the pole. If anyone remembers his name or if the page operator can access older comments you might find it. I believe it was around March or April of last year

Linda S said

at 5:46 pm on Mar 1, 2019

i was able to go back 5 years but not seeing the posts i have in the past about the pole and who did it.

Linda S said

at 4:17 pm on Mar 5, 2019

and those that haven't heard on other sites, Gerald Gay did it again he found yet ANOTHER Casque,,, boy hes good

Joecool said

at 11:47 am on Apr 13, 2019

!!! Pray tell the details of this marvel!

Linda S said

at 10:01 am on Apr 15, 2019

Joecool, he staged it, it was a fake..

Oregonian said

at 10:28 am on Apr 15, 2019

Can you give us more details about this additional fake casque? Was it also in Golden Gate Park, like the first one? Are there photos or news articles?

Honestly, I don't know why Gerald Gay would go through it again, after being revealed as a fraud the first time. Anything he digs up now will be always be assumed to be part of a fraud. But it certainly makes an interesting story.

Brad said

at 7:40 pm on Apr 15, 2019

Dr Gay's story changes faster than I change my underwear. In a later release (I think on his Chassour's site) he said that he didn't dig at Huntington (despite the photos), but in fact dug about 5m from Verdi, stating that I got the clues mainly right, but just got the wrong end. He insists that the casque he dug near Verdi is real (and it may not be the one in the photos) and that he is not releasing anything about it until the meeting they are having in France with his Golden Owl buddies.
I don't believe a word he says, and neither should anyone else. The diggers who just dug at Verdi looked at the depression that people are saying was a dig, and there were undisturbed tree roots in it, just below the surface, so it wasn't dug there. They then scoured the area out past 5m for anything that looked like disturbed soil and found nothing. It's just a story I'm sure there's more to it, but it's not worth wasting your time on.

Linda S said

at 11:47 am on Apr 19, 2019

so i was just as confused as everyone else, so i personally contacted GGP and this is their respose...
Our Permit Office has confirmed that Mr. Gay’s permit was approved for the Verdi Statue, however he dug below the Huntington Falls sign on Strawberry Hill. Please note that this is not in keeping with our permit rules, and we are not allowing permittees to dig at sites that were not approved on the permit application. If a treasure hunter chooses another site after the permit is approved, they will need to apply again for a new dig permit. This is to ensure that our staff can properly evaluate dig locations to preserve irrigation and landscaping.

Linda S said

at 11:48 am on Apr 19, 2019

why??? we may never know.. sad one has to lie and cheat

Linda S said

at 11:08 am on Apr 15, 2019

its the same story, he make it look like he found it at Verdi but then photos came up at the falls, so it seemed at first as 2 digs..faked the entire thing.dude is a jerk..

Oregonian said

at 12:38 pm on Apr 19, 2019

Thanks for following up on that, Linda! We'll probably never get the full story, but every new piece of info fills it out a bit.

At this point I'm assuming that Gerald Gay found only a single (fake) casque and that the talk of a second casque was just the confusion over the two dig sites.

Linda S said

at 2:16 pm on Dec 10, 2019

ok this is what the ranger is saying.... IF members of your group may come and dig unauthorized. If this happens we will have to investigate. I do want to remind you that unauthorized digging and/or taking buried items from a National Park Unit is a serious crime, likely a felony.. i have been denied by this person, but i am still moving up the chain. keep you all posted.

Linda S said

at 4:42 pm on Jan 23, 2020

ok i got my response back from San Fran NPS..

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.


but im not giving up yet.. i went and asked Gavin Newsome to help me.. he was SF mayor for many years and has a heart for this City, so maybe he will respond.,, again ill keep ya posted.

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