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The Secret (a treasure hunt) / Verse 08
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Verse 08

Page history last edited by Isstvan 1 year, 9 months ago

General notes on Verse 8

  • This verse is thought to be linked to Image 10 and a casque in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • The search is focused on Lake Park, but there are two competing routes.  The interpretation of this verse has been split into two separate columns where the routes diverge.
  • The proposed solution for this casque is given on the Image 10 Verse 8 Solution page.




Lines Interpretation(s)

View the three stories of Mitchell

- Mitchell Hall is a three-story building located on the corner of E. Kenwood Blvd. and N. Downer Ave on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  It is the closest campus building to Lake Park.


As you walk the beating of the world

- This has always been assumed to be a reference to East Kenwood Blvd., which passes by Mitchell Hall, but finding the correct connection took some time. 

- Early in the search, people thought that "beat" might be a reference to the stereo maker Kenwood, possibly in connection with an ad campaign of the 1980's.

- The reality is that this is almost certainly a reference to the Kenwood "Electric Chef" mixer that was advertised as the "Kitchen WORLD BEATER" (see magazine ad below).


At a distance in time

From three who lived there

- The "three who lived here" could refer to Downer, Hackett and Shepard streets east of the UWM campus.  Those three streets were named after some of Milwaukee's most prominent early citizens.


At a distance in space

From woman, with harpsichord

Silently playing

- "Woman with harpsichord" might mean Marietta Robusti (1560? – 1590), whose self-portrait shows her by a harpsichord.  That would make this a reference to Marietta Avenue, another street east of UWM.


Step on nature

- This suggests we should enter Lake Park, a large natural area on the edge of Lake Michigan.


Cast in copper

- This could refer to Lincoln Memorial Drive, which runs along the east side of Lake Park.  The connection would be reasonable because a penny is made of copper and the back of a penny shows the Lincoln Memorial.


Ascend the 92 steps

- Go up the 92 steps of the Grand Staircase in Lake Park. (For anyone who wants to count the 92 steps, there is a post on the Q4T forum that documents every step.)


After climbing the grand 200

- "The grand 200" is thought to be a reference to the Grand Staircase because, when viewed from above, the outline of the staircase is a double C.  Two C's in Roman numerals equal 200.


Pass the compass and reach

The foot of the culvert

- The word "compass" has many meanings.  The two most common uses would be for the navigational tool and the tool used for drawing circles and arcs.  We are probably looking for a representation of a compass, rather than an actual one.

- At this point in Interpretation #2, the path splits in two, with one route leading north and the other leading south.

Turning Right: North Route Turning Left: South Route

- This interpretation assumes that the compass in question is part of the Masonic symbol that appears on the lampposts at the top of the staircase. If we pass that compass at the top of the stairs, then the "culvert" should be very nearby.  Heading north from the top of staircase, one would almost immediately cross the Lake Park Footbridge.  There is a culvert at the northwest corner of the bridge that drains water and also provides access to a hiking trail that passes under the bridge.

- In this interpretation, the two spheres being juggled in Image 10 would represent the two large circles formed by the concrete at either end of the bridge.

- This interpretation assumes a much longer trip and attaches a different interpretation to the "compass."  Heading south from the top of the staircase, there is a path leading along the edge of the golf course to the North Point Lighthouse.  The lighthouse would be a plausible match for "compass" because of the name ("North Point") and the fact that a navigational compass points to the north.

- There are two ravines that go down the hill from the North Point Lighthouse.  "Culvert" could refer to either the north or south ravine.

- In this interpretation, the two spheres being juggled in Image 10 could represent the markers for the tee areas on the golf course.


Below the bridge

Walk 100 paces

Southeast over rock and soil

- Below the Lake Park Footbridge there is a hiking trail that leads down the slope, following the side of East Ravine Road as it runs southeast.

- The name of the trail is the Locust Street Ravine Trail, which might tie in with the image of the cicada nymph hidden in Image 10.

- The two ravines by the lighthouse are spanned by a pair of historic bridges called the North and South Lion Bridges.  The two trails that pass under them are the North and South Lighthouse Ravine Trails.  Both run in a southeast direction.

- Even after choosing a ravine, it isn't clear where the count of "100 paces" would begin.


To the first young birch

Pass three, staying west

You'll see a letter from the country

Of wonderstone's hearth

On a proud, tall fifth

At its southern foot

- The "birch" is presumably a tree.  It isn't clear whether the subsequent "three" and the "proud, tall fifth" would also be birches or would simply be other trees.

- "Staying west' presumably means that we should not cross Lincoln Memorial Drive.

- It isn't clear what would represent a "letter from the country of wonderstone's hearth." A series of Girl Scout Markers were placed on trees to mark hiking trails in Lake Park in 1981, but there is no convincing explanation for how they might relate to the verse.

- If we find that fifth tree (or birch) the treasure is apparently buried at the base on the south side.


The treasure waits.

- The route down the hiking trail along East Ravine Road will take one toward the intersection with Lincoln Memorial Drive.  Near the final tree before the intersection, there is a large cement disk similar to the millstone shown in Image 10.  The disk may be a clue to confirm that we are in the right place.


- There may not be any physical marker left to indicate the tree in the North or South Lighthouse Ravine.



Lake Park Locust Street Trail Route

 This map shows the most important locations along the final stretch of the Lake Park Locust Street Trail Route.



"Step on nature / Cast in copper"

At this point, one would be coming south through Lake Park on Lincoln Memorial Drive.


"Ascend the 92 steps"

Go up the 92 steps of the Grand Staircase.


"After climbing the grand 200 / Pass the compass and reach / The foot of the culvert"

After going up the Grand Staircase, go past the Masonic compass symbol on the lamppost and cross the Lake Park Footbridge.  On the far side there is a culvert that leads down to the Locust Street Ravine Trail.


"Below the bridge"

After the culvert joins the trail, follow the trail under the Lake Park Footbridge.


"Walk 100 paces / Southeast over rock and soil"

Following the Locust Street Trail downhill (to the southeast) brings one to the concrete structure that resembles the millstone in Image 10.  The tree where the casque is buried is somewhere nearby.



Pass the compass...

Many of the lamp posts in Lake Park, including the ones at the top of the Grand Staircase, have electrical access panels that show a Masonic symbol.  There is a letter "G" with a compass (the kind used to draw circles) above and below it.





Below the bridge / Walk 100 paces / Southeast over rock and soil...

The Locust Street Trail runs southeast as it passes under the footbridge and descends to Lincoln Memorial Drive.  The trail has flat sections of soil interspersed with stone steps, as shown in the photos below.





To the first young birch / Pass three, staying west

"Staying west" tells us that we should reach the correct tree without crossing Lincoln Memorial Drive.  There are currently no living birch trees along that stretch of the trail, but if you look in the overgrown area between the trail and the road you can still see the stumps with the distinctive white bark and horizontal lenticels, as shown in the photos below.  There were clearly birch trees here at one time and we may still be able to determine which one was the "proud, tall fifth."




The photo below was discovered by wiki user Barbara Ali in the archives of the Milwaukee County Historical Society.  It shows the Lake Park Footbridge from the perspective of someone standing at the southwest corner and looking across East Ravine Road at the Locust Street Ravine Trail on the far side.  The photo was apparently taken by an instructor at UWM in the 1970s.  The clump of birch trees in the foreground show that there were birches in the ravine at that time and that shapes were carved into the bark on at least some of them.

(Note that this picture shows urn balustrades below the handrail on the bridge.  The balustrades were replaced with poured concrete walls sometime before 2008.)


Other Notes:

  • If this verse is really sending us to find a particular tree in a wooded area, it's hard to believe that the authors would rely on something as small and transitory as a marker on a tree to define a particular specimen.  The significance of Interpretation 2A is that the concrete "millstone" at the intersection of East Ravine Road and Lincoln Memorial Drive would provide a powerful visual confirmation for anyone who reaches that spot.  And, of course, the "millstone" would not be unlikely to move.
  • One person has put together a very detailed photo tour of the Milwaukee route, showing many of the landmarks listed above.
  • Here's a Flickr photo collection with pictures related to the Milwaukee hunt.
  • An article about Milwaukee's Secret Treasure was posted on the Urban Milwaukee site in October of 2013.
  • The same person who wrote the Urban Milwaukee article also has a blog post laying out his own theories on the hunt. ("There are five possible candidates for parks to dig in based on various clues that could lead you there: Kosciuszko, Zeidler, Pere Marquette, Red Arrow or Juneau Park. Remotely possible are sites in Lake Park or Veterans’ Park.")
  • The clues in Image 10 can be interpreted to point toward Pere Marquette Park in downtown Milwaukee, but no one has identified a long staircase in that location.  The reference to "92 steps" in this verse is what has steered the search to the Grand Staircase in Lake Park.
  • Mitchell Hall houses the art department of UWM. 



Image Matches

A possible "woman, with harpsichord Silently playing" on the south side of the Pabst Theater.


Pabst Theatre: Milwaukee ~ WI ~ Details




Comments (Show all 48)

Marie said

at 4:42 pm on Jun 15, 2017

Cassie, I would love to get together sometime over coffee to discuss. I would love to get a group together and start a dig...but I've been told that getting a permit is virtually impossible...the guy that approves them is not a fan of Byron Preiss, to say the least! Feel free to email me anytime...marieperry.cps@gmail.com.

Casie said

at 4:56 pm on Jun 15, 2017

Is Alterra Coffee still on the lake?? I am dying to tell someone (YOU) what I discovered and I am not willing to give up until I have at least attempted everything I can. I am not opposed to digging anyway and paying the fine if I am denied a permit. I just emailed the Milwaukee County Park asking for more information pertaining to the Right of Entry permit, like where is the form located? How much does it cost. AND I feel like trying to persuade the Byron Press hater to see the benefits of us finally putting the landscape destruction to an end once and for all upon unearthing the treasure. I love that you have an active blog online dedicated to this hunt and it is being updated. (Great pictures by the way) I will email you shortly.

Casie said

at 4:59 pm on Jun 15, 2017

It looks like the building is there and it might be under a new name: Colectivo???

Marie said

at 8:12 pm on Jun 15, 2017

Yeah, Alterra went national so now the local branches are called Colectivo. Same great coffee and yummy food. You may have already seen this, but check out this article about the Milwaukee Treasure...https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/the-35-year-long-hunt-to-find-a-fantasy-authors-hidden-treasure

It covers the guy who won't give permits (from what I understand he is still the same guy, even though this was written a few years ago). I have also tried to track down the two hunters mentioned in the article...but no luck. I was hoping to exchange tips/info with them.

Marie said

at 8:16 pm on Jun 15, 2017

I also plan to go to the Milwaukee Historical Society in the coming weeks...they don't charge much for copies and I want to see if I can find any photos of the park in the 80's. I've been told they did a pretty big renovation part of the park about ten years ago, but I haven't been able to confirm that.

Marie said

at 5:42 pm on Jun 16, 2017

The Shepherd Express (a free, liberal, weekly newspaper in Milwaukee) published an article this week about Milwaukee Parks...they specifically wrote about Lake Park and Mitchell Park (albeit briefly). May be an interesting read for those who are looking!


Marie said

at 12:55 pm on Jun 22, 2017

A few notes...the Locust Street Ravine Trail is currently closed. But you can still walk it (and people ARE still walking it), you just need to go around the fence. The bridge above the northwest entrance of the trail is also closed. I'm fairly certain that is the bridge above in the older photo with the birch trees (NOT the lion bridges). Also, if you decide to go walking down there, wear long pants and hiking boots. I saw some poison ivy.

Jess said

at 9:53 am on Feb 26, 2018

If 'wonderstone' refers to the gem here, could "A letter from the country of wonderstone's hearth." be a letter (or something in the shape of a letter) with an umlaut (i.e. ä, ö or ü)- i.e. a letter from Germany?

Kang said

at 1:41 pm on Apr 3, 2018

I believe that Jess may be onto something here. From page 30 of the book:
“With these original emigres went the Fair People’s treasure: the wonderstones of their Litany, encased and protected in treasure casques fashioned by the Nordic Elves…” So a wonderstone is the jewel. Hearth = home. The jewel's 'home' is the casque. So instead of a reference to the immigration link country - Germany. We may be looking for a letter from Scandinavia. Putting aside old runes for a moment. And assuming its not any old letter, but something that would stand out (like Jess's umlaut hypothesis) - we may be looking for a letter like one of these:

These are most but not all of the special ones. But only the upper case versions of course.

Milwaukee searchers - anyone familiar with Lake Park remember seeing anything that would be a fit? Or want to do some scouting?

Mister EZ said

at 9:07 pm on May 19, 2018

Ah...I see the change to the new image you just uploaded....two alternatives from the Norwegian alphabet.

I like it...

Kang said

at 2:07 pm on Apr 3, 2018

I've located one possibility but it's admittedly rather sketchy. The Erastus B Wolcott statue - has a symbol that could work. But it takes some squinting to get there. Not real comfortable with it. See link.

Full disclosure - I have zero theory on how the clues might lead you there, have found no image matches for it (which I think there should probably be if it were correct) and at best I think this might be an 'on the journey' stop, not a final dig spot. Any thoughts?

Kang said

at 9:06 pm on May 19, 2018

Took another look at this recently and realized there's a second possibility. In addition to the AE another Scandnavian letter is an A with a loop on top. Amended image now shows both options. Neither is perfect. http://thesecret.pbworks.com/w/file/126470555/WonderstonesHearthOption2.JPG
To be clear I'm floating this as a possibility. Not as the correct one. Some solves put the spot near this monument - and the first lions bridge is just steps away. There may be better examples elsewhere.

Mister EZ said

at 9:10 pm on May 19, 2018

As posted above....I like both of these as a possibility, based on the alternative interpretation of the verse. "A letter from the country of the casque." instead of assuming the verse is talking about the country of the gem. Makes sense to me...

amy sabel said

at 9:36 am on Jun 1, 2018

http://county.milwaukee.gov/GeoGuidelinesPlacer22359.htm and http://county.milwaukee.gov/Permits9056.htm https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles http://city.milwaukee.gov, here are a few things I learned about the whole permit ordeal, I called diggers hotline, I told them the proposed area that I want to dig, they notify utilities, ATT & T, and the city of Milwaukee. Diggers hotline will go out and survey the area, and then notify all, AND IT'S FREEEEE THE SERVICE IS....I got one call back from the city of Milwaukee, their only concern was.....I can't say because it will give away an important detail, sorry ( : Anyhooo when I asked about the right of way permit, he really didn't know that I needed to, when I look it up right of way permits are more for HIGHWAYS AND the ultility workers. When you try to call the parks, you are only allowed the email, and when you try to email them it comes back you don't have permission unless you join some lame website that doesn't work??? So I think it's all a ruse because they don't want you digging in the park ( : I will share my experience in the next day or two

Kang said

at 2:42 pm on Jun 12, 2018

@amy sabel - your idea to circumnavigate the onerous permitting requirement designed to prevent searching is brilliant. Do you have any updates that you can share? Did it work? Were you able to check out the spot you wanted?

amy sabel said

at 8:53 am on Jun 16, 2018

Yes, sorry I posted on main page, having trouble with the earth, and my lack of arm strength, need help digging further, going to beg my nephews to help dig further, LOL the area of search is very remote, no permit needed in my book? Will update as soon as I find it or give up?

Oregonian said

at 10:14 am on Jun 17, 2018

Just how "remote" are we talking here?

There's no hard and fast rule about it, but I'd be very surprised if any of the casques are more than a few steps away from a sidewalk. We know that Preiss took a photo at each hiding spot and Palencar incorporated those images into his paintings. So there has to be something distinctive – almost certainly made by humans – at every place a casque is buried. I don't think any arrangement of trees or rocks out in a remote area could ever be distinctive enough (or permanent enough) to serve the purpose. I'm not trying to discourage you, but I just want to give you a reality check before you exhaust yourself digging through rocks out in the woods. As you say, please do update us whenever you find it or give up.

Guardian said

at 10:01 pm on Jun 17, 2018

Not necessarily sidewalks, but definitely walkways.

Oregonian said

at 10:44 am on Jun 18, 2018

True. It's not always going to be a sidewalk. In the case of Houston, it might have just been the tracks of the miniature train.

A better way to phrase it might be that the casque isn't going to be out in the middle of a field or in the middle of a forest. There's going to be some semi-permanent route, built by humans, that's going to get us within a few steps of it. Preiss knew that we would need those fixed anchors to find the right spot. Every step away from the human-built anchor makes it exponentially more likely that we will swing a few steps to one side or the other and completely miss the destination.

amy sabel said

at 7:52 am on Jun 18, 2018

I will say this....I consider it to be remote, because no one goes there, or no one is ever there while I'm there? I will explain that later..... Also I don't think the Pics Preiss took are necessarily the hiding spots. I think they are good references, well at least Milwaukee. It looks like that was proven by who ever dug by manhole??? There is something very distinctive in this photo? Which I'm very surprised no one has caught by now, I have found help and will be returning to the scene of the treasure, well I'm truly hoping so? I will update soon ( :

amy sabel said

at 8:57 am on Jun 18, 2018

OOps I meant something very distinctive in the pinting

amy sabel said

at 8:58 am on Jun 18, 2018


amy sabel said

at 8:44 am on Jul 11, 2018

Hi All, I am here to share my proposed solution, but I am having trouble uploading in message box here? Maybe Kang can help? For starters, N. Lake Park Rd, loops in a semi circle, which is exact match for the jugglers collar. Next E. Ravine rd. is in the middle, which is exact match for the neck line of the juggler. The Ahha is that ....the Jewel itself....the right side of jewel takes on the same shape as the lamppost luminaire arm, looks like a music note. and in the painting M7 in the cluster I found what appeared to be the number 6 or 8 and or 5, the lamp post has 8 sides to it, there are 7 lamp posts on that street, one ( the 6th one) is missing now must have been taken down sometime after 2011 because google earth is current on that street since then. The road itself is very secluded and remote area of park since the road has been closed due to bridge falling apart. Trees and debris all over road. Hikers go thru occasionally but every time I have been there No one has gone thru. I havent been able to get back down there since we were there last, due to rain or Summer fest that has been going on... The hole is still there, I still feel like this could be the spot. I am sharingthis because I need help digging, anyone interested. let me know PLEASE

Kang said

at 11:04 am on Jul 14, 2018

Hi Amy - What are you having trouble with? Posting an image or a file? If you'd like to send it to me, I can post that up for you. Or can you let me know what you're struggling with? Thanks!

amy sabel said

at 8:16 am on Jul 15, 2018

Hi Kang, yes posting images, I have posted lake park map but couldn't direct it to this page. if it were sized correctly it would line up with jugglers collar, also Ravine drive lines up with jugglers neckline, by blowing up jewel you can see the right side of jewel looks like luminaire on lamp post arm

Kang said

at 1:14 pm on Jul 15, 2018

Here are the image matches that Amy seems to be proposing. (Amy, feel free to correct me if I don't have this right).

As for how to post links like the one above here - after you load the image, find it and copy the URL/address. Then when you're writing your comment, you can paste the link in there, as above. That help?

amy sabel said

at 8:33 am on Jul 15, 2018

I have found an old pic of luminaire that I moved to image10 verse 8

Bigcatrich said

at 8:04 pm on Aug 11, 2018

I'm still researching this... i have a possible location.. but what confuses me is how a lot of people are over looking the "100" steps listed in the poem.... the focus has been on the circular concrete drain at the bottom of the stairs.... I walked that path alot.... unless you walk heel to toe.... you should not be anywhere near 100 steps... i recently saw, in my opinion, fake info posted on a dig that occurred at the circular drain. Posted were pictures of shards of plastic and porcelain. I pose this question: IF you were illegally digging in a BUSY lakefront park and actually FOUND the cask... would you take the time to open it there and leave evidence behind. Oh Hell no!! that bad boy would be in a back pack and opened when it was safe to do so. I've spoken to Park reps.... they hate the idea that this hasn't died yet. I personally think the cask is not near that circle... I also believe the posted pictures of a broken Porcelain plate were presented to stop random digging. Thoughts?

andrewwilliammartin@... said

at 12:53 am on Aug 15, 2018

@Bigcatrich - Totally agree. It's in the poems as paces, which roughly equals 2-3ft each. You'd be way past the concrete drain after 200-300ft.

Guardian said

at 2:05 am on Aug 19, 2018

1 pace = 18 inches, so mulitiply the number of paces by 1 1/2 to get the number of feet.

amy sabel said

at 8:16 am on Mar 10, 2019

Hi everyone, it's been awhile, Sorry a lot has happened for me since I was last here. While my dig was unsucessful, and the hole id still there? I still feel the treasure is by teh lamp post? I never had the chance to go back. I'm just wondering if I had the wrong lamp post? I'm just not sure?

GeekSpeak said

at 10:44 pm on Mar 21, 2019

I’m still stuck on the woman playing harpsichord reference. I don’t see why we’d get a second directional vector on the same route. I think Marietta is a false positive. I can’t find a reference, but I think a reasonable link is Sylvia Marlowe. She was a prominent harpsichordist, and she passed in dec of 1981, right in the time that Preiss was hiding the casques. Makes much more sense to me.

GeekSpeak said

at 10:55 pm on Mar 21, 2019

That being said, I’m not really convinced that this verse links to Milwaukee. The imagery suggests downtown, but the verse takes us so far away. I have 2 theories:

1 - verse 8 is Houston, which has a strong “Mitchell” connection and also has some Marlowe links.

2 - The solution for Milwaukee is out of order or maybe even needs to be transposed on a similar grid.

There’s no way you can ascend the steps after you’ve “Stepped onto nature.” If stepping onto nature is a directional reference then Lincoln Memorial Dr being cast in copper, if it is interpreted, gives us 2 references on the same vector. I don’t think it’s correct, or the duplication needs interpretation.

GeekSpeak said

at 10:57 pm on Mar 21, 2019

Off in left field here: I noticed a lot of speed signs in Milwaukee are simply numerical. I wonder if a distance in time is simply a speed sign that has MPH displayed. Would be a distance in time...

Limey said

at 12:13 pm on Jan 4, 2023

Interesting Lake Park walking video including South Lighthouse Ravine Trail and the Grand Staircase.

Limey said

at 11:50 am on Aug 20, 2023

“As you walk the beating of the world”
I’ve struggled with this line being a reference to the ‘Kenwood Mixer’ for E Kenwood Blvd for a while, especially with the Japanese hint seeming to confirm it referring to a ‘person’s name related to drum or similar’, and I think I may have finally found a good solve for it - Kenwood Dennard.
A well respected jazz Drummer, he was born in Brooklyn and taught drums in NYC, so maybe BP new him and/or liked jazz music. He’s travelled the world beating drums for lots of famous artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Sting, Whitney Houston, The Allman Brothers, The Manhattan Transfer, Real Thing and loads more.

Limey said

at 11:52 am on Aug 20, 2023

Limey said

at 9:00 am on Sep 17, 2023

Has anyone got any corroborative evidence for the Girl Scout Hiking Trail Brochure information as posted on the Q4T site from 2014 by ‘animal painter’:
“It is written in the Girl Scout Hiking Trail brochure...
"Past Bradford Beach, watch for trail sign on tree as you enter the first ravine"

If this can be confirmed, surely it would be an important clue to the “You'll see a letter from the country Of wonderstone's hearth On a proud, tall fifth” lines. It could possibly have been a “G” or “GS” sign.
Has anyone seen a copy of it or know of such a sign from the 70’s or 80’s?

Limey said

at 10:57 am on Oct 28, 2023

“the grand 200”
This how I think BP calculated this.
He counted ALL the steps from the very bottom of the staircase to the top, climbing one side (which is 100) and just doubled it, while noting how many steps it took to get to the top of the staircase using one side of the Grand Staircase starting from the staircase concrete footer (as previously mentioned there is a post on the Q4T forum that documents each of these steps, which is 92). http://quest4treasure.co.uk/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=727&start=870#p128928
There are an additional 8 central steps not counted in the 92 of the Q4T post. If we include those 8 steps for each side we get a grand total of 200.

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