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The Secret (a treasure hunt) / Image 01
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Image 01

Page history last edited by Oregonian 2 months ago

General notes on Image 1



Image 1


Specific Observations

  Please record your notes about this image in the list below.  Use the letter/number grid to identify the point on the image that you're describing.  To keep things organized, 1) please start each observation with a letter/number combo (in bold), and 2) add new observations in the right place on the list to keep everything alphabetized.

  • C5 - The barred window in the rock appears to be a symbolic reference to Alcatraz Prison (a.k.a. "the rock").  It may also be a more subtle reference to the Garden of Shakespeare's Flowers (see below).
  • CD3 - The subdued area above the single rock pillar shows the face of a balding older man, possibly Mark Twain as referenced in Verse 7.
  • CD4-5 - The rocks in this area show the face of an older man, possibly Giuseppe Verdi (see below).
  • F6 - The part in the hair may represent the land around the Presidio area at the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • F6 & G6 - The distinctive arched eyebrows and nose shape match the same features found on the Shakespeare bust in Shakespeare Garden.
  • G3 - The blue shape has a distinctive outline and is almost certainly significant.  The only strong match that has been found is in a Leonardo da Vinci painting.  (See below for more details.)
  • G4 - The rocks here form the shape of fingers holding a ball.  This might be a visual reference to a baseball sculpture in Golden Gate Park called "Our National Pastime."
  • G5 - The wisps of hair form a "37" (explained below under "latitude / longitude hints").
  • G7 - The wisps of hair form a "38" (explained below under "latitude / longitude hints").
  • H4-8 to J4-8 - The outline shape of the woman’s shoulders and arms, and the reversed outline shape of the head of the statue of Shakespeare in Shakespeare Garden, are almost identical. 
  • H5 & H6 - The letters "G" and "h" appear at the top of the dress in reverse.  (See below for two theories about what this means.)
  • H5 to O5 - The rectangle in the dress appears to be a map of Golden Gate Park.  (See below for more details.)
  • H5-7 to O5-7 - The rectangle in the dress combined with the sleeve cuffs appear to form a cross. (Possibly a connection to line 9 of verse 7: “but first across”)
  • H6 - The jewel is a pearl, the birth stone for June.
  • I4 - There is a silhouette of a person (facing upwards) in the rocks just above the rose.  (See below for more details.)
  • I5-6 - The dragon design appears to be taken from the ironwork above the doorway to the Golden Gate Park Senior Center.
  • J2 to J8 - There is a railing going across the painting behind the woman.  The railing isn't present in the original Leonardo da Vinci painting and it has a blue halo, suggesting that it must have been added for a reason.
  • J3 - The flower is a rose, the birth flower for June.  It may be a hint toward the rose garden in Golden Gate Park.  The outline of the bloom may also show the outline of Angel Island in San Francisco Bay.
  • J4 - The woman's right sleeve (outlined with a blue halo) shows the California coastline along the San Francisco Peninsula.  The flattened section at the elbow represents the stretch of coast between Santa Cruz and Pescadero.
  • J5 & J6 - The crossed arms could represent where Highway 1 crosses Golden Gate Park at Crossover drive.  (See below for more details.)
  • J5 & J7 - The index fingers are pointing at the lines of squares on the sleeve.  If the squares are a city map, then the left finger is pointing at the 4th street and the right finger is pointing at the 4th block.
  • J6 - There is a strawberry-shaped blue area just below the woman's hands, possibly representing Strawberry Hill, the island in Stow Lake.
  • J6 - There is a yin yang symbol on her dress, just below her right hand.
  • J7-8 - The blue halo around the woman's left sleeve must be meant as a match for something, possibly a coastline or a profile of a hill.
  • K3 & K4 - The number 83 appears in the stem of the rose where it meets the table (see below).
  • K4 - The pocket watch on the table says 6:00, indicating the month of June.
  • L4 - The base of the table is often assumed to show the outline of a lamppost, but it is more likely to be the front or rear profile of a San Francisco cable car (see below). 
  • L5,6 to P5,6 - The map of the park is surrounded by several unexplained symbols (see below).
  • N3 & N4 - The full name of the artist, John Jude Palencar.  (Images 2 through 12 only have the initials "JJP.")



The Image 1 - Image 12 Connection:

  • Image 1, the first painting in The Secret, is paired in several ways with the final painting, Image 12. Most obviously, these two images are the only ones to have a narrow shape with a rounded top. The shape is very similar to the interior opening in each of the two towers of the Verrazano–Narrows Bridge (see photo on the Image 12 page).  Both images also feature a solitary woman in flowing robes, and the dotted background behind the dragon in the front panel of the dress in Image 1 is very similar to the dotted areas that appear at the top of Image 12.
  • Beyond the visual similarities, Images 1 and 12 are also linked in their meanings.  The casques associated with those two images are thought to be located in major port cities - San Francisco and New York - on opposite sides of the country.  Those cities have been shaped and defined by immigration and by the millions of people who arrived in America through their ports.  The entrances to both harbors are spanned by huge and historic suspension bridges that mark the entrance to a new country and a new world.
  • The two images may also be linked by the mythology behind The Secret.  Image 1 features a dragon and Image 12 possibly includes the legendary dragon-slayer Saint George.
  • In both images, the nose on the female figure is directly above the jewel.  The vertical line that passes through the nose and jewel in this image is exactly the same line that passes through the nose and jewel in Image 12. 
  • This image also seems to be paired in some way with Image 11.  Both images feature prominent, solitary women looking directly at the reader.  Both have symbols made of squares and triangles, and both feature winding designs that resemble vines.  There is one moon in Image 11 and there are eleven moons in Image 1.  Perhaps most significantly, each image appears to have its own connection to a place named "Strawberry Hill."




Image Matches

  The face in the rocks is a strong match for the way editorial cartoonists portrayed Ronald Reagan, the former California governor who was elected president in 1980, shortly before The Secret was published.  There is the jutting, rounded chin, the exaggerated sharp-pointed nose, the smile, the wrinkles, the eyes squeezed almost closed, the broad forehead, and the hair dyed dark and combed into a pompadour.  It was a very common representation of Reagan in the early 1980's (back when people still read newspapers) and the profile is probably meant as a simple hint toward California.




  The facial features of the woman appear to be Asian.  In keeping with the immigration theme of The Secret, the city most closely connected with Asian immigration to the United States is San Francisco, California.

  The body of water to the left of the woman's face is presumably a (very stylized) representation of the entrance to San Francisco bay.


  It has the two narrow pennisulas of land that leave just a thin gap of water between them, providing access to a much larger bay inside.


  The outline of the table post is very similar to the profile of a cable car, one of the iconic symbols of San Francisco.

  Golden Gate Park is one of the major open spaces in San Francisco.  It is positioned just across the Great Highway from the Pacific Ocean and it forms a long rectangle that flares out slightly at the northeast corner.  The panel on the front of the woman's dress has a similar shape and a similar flare, suggesting that it is a map of the park.

  The "Gh" at the top of the dress panel may be a reference to the Great Highway, which forms the western boundary of the park.   The woman's crossed arms represent Crossover Drive, where Highway 1 crosses the park.  Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill would be united into the blue strawberry-shaped area directly below the woman's wrists.


  Evidence suggests that the upper portion of the panel (above the crossed arms) is reversed.  That would explain the backwards "Gh" and it would explain why the dragon's head touches the left edge rather than the right edge, to show where the Golden Gate Park Senior Center is located on Fulton Street.  But the lower part of the panel is not reversed, because it clearly shows the "flare" where the park expands outwards as Fulton bends at 7th Avenue.


  If the dress is intended to be interpreted this way, so that the crossed arms match Highway 1 and the bottom end of the panel matches the eastern end of the park, then the western area between Great Highway and Crossover Drive is essentially reduced to almost nothing. This might indicate that we are meant to focus our attention on the eastern end of the park.


If you're not on the ground in San Francisco, you can still explore the eastern end of the park using the official Interactive Golden Gate Park Map.

  Some features on the woman's face, particularly the eyes and nose, resemble features on the faces on the two concrete sphinxes that are located near the de Young museum in Golden Gate Park. 


  The woman's thin, arching eyebrows that form a semicircle above each eye resemble the eyebrows on the Buddha sculpture in the Japanese tea garden at Golden Gate Park.


  All of those sculptures are in the eastern end of the park, in the area emphasized by the map on the woman's dress.


  For a closer look, see the full-sized image comparison.

  The design for the dragon appears to be based on a pair of ironwork griffins that adorn the doorway of the Golden Gate Park Senior Center, located at 6101 Fulton Street on the northern edge of the park.

  The dragon wing shape looks like a waterfall. Huntington Falls is on Strawberry Hill. It's fed by an artificial reservoir at the top of the hill, which could be symbolized by the circular shape beside the wing, the tips at the top of the wings showing the water's "entry point" feeding the fall. A 360-degree view of the site is available on Google Maps.

(Notice the hand rail for the fall stairway below the reservoir.)



  The shape below the crossed arms and beside the dragon's wing is similar to a strawberry (including the dotted texture). This could make it a hint toward Strawberry Hill, the island in the middle of Stow Lake.  The lake and the island would be just below Crossover Drive in our rotated map.

  The tall, rounded stones behind the woman are similar to the stones that make up Huntington Falls on Strawberry Hill in Golden Gate Park.  It isn't clear, however, when these (artificial) stones were added.


  Huntington Falls

  A 1901 photograph of the falls by the Detroit Photographic Company shows a more rough and jagged outline.  The fact that Image 1 shows the rounded stones suggests that Preiss visited the park sometime after construction was well underway.  We know, however, that the book was published well before the work was finished in 1984. 


  If construction was taking place on the island in 1981 when Preiss came through, it is highly unlikely that he would have buried a casque there where it could be destroyed.  It is far more likely that he found a spot with a view across the water to the falls and the new rocks.

  There is a Chinese Pavilion near Huntington Falls that was given to the city of San Francisco as a gift in 1976.  The pavilion was dedicated in 1981, which means it would have been a new thing getting some attention at the time Preiss was visiting the park.


  For more detailed information about what was done to the eastern end of Strawberry Hill around this time, see the Stow Lake, Chinese Pavilion and Huntington Falls, [draft] environmental impact report published by the San Francisco Planning Commission in 1979.  It has details about the plans for the installation of the pavilion and the renovation of the waterfalls.


Photo used under a Creative Commons License AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by jonathanwcheng on Flickr


  Notice the subtle circle formed by the dots in the "strawberry shape" of the image. (It is apparently the only circle of this kind in the whole dress texture.)  If the shape itself is Strawberry Hill, then the circle of dots might indicate an area of interest at the eastern tip of the island, where the Huntington Falls staircase is located. This blog post (and source for the picture) shows pictures of the stairways at the site.


  On the other hand, the circle of dots may be a representation of the Chinese pavilion, which is formed by eight cylindrical pillars around a central circular area.

  Each sleeve of the woman's dress is decorated with two columns of blue squares.  The woman's left index finger is upside-down and pointing up at the lower edge of the fourth row of blocks. The woman's right index finger is right-side-up and pointing down at the upper edge of the fourth row of blocks.


  Some people have suggested that we are meant to count all the blue squares on each cuff, but that wouldn't explain why the fingers seem to be pointing in such a deliberate way at certain rows.


  Also, the columns start very sharply and cleanly at the top with complete squares but fade away into shadows at the bottom, indicating perhaps that we are only supposed to be doing a precise count from the top.



  The dragon's winding body is presumably meant to represent the winding roads inside the park, but most of it doesn't match up at all.  The one exception is at the southern end of Crossover Drive, where Martin Luther King Jr Drive starts at the edge of the park, extends out to the middle of the park, and then makes a broad, sweeping turn to return to the edge of the park.


  The dragon's body captures this stretch of road very well, confirming both that A) the lower portion of the dress isn't flipped, and B) that we should focus on the area just east of Crossover Drive.


  The dragon's left talon appears to be making a circle to draw our attention to a small bit of land directly east of the tip of Strawberry Hill where MLK Drive has begun to curve back to the edge of the park.  The GGP feature in that spot is the Garden of Shakespeare's Flowers.



  The window at the top of the image is a reasonable match for the alcove that holds the bust of William Shakespeare in the Garden of Shakespeare's Flowers at Golden Gate Park.  At the time Preiss would have visited the park (around 1981), the alcove had sturdy metal doors that were closed each night to protect the bust from theft or vandalism. 


  The presence of a flower garden beside the arched doorway in the wall would be a good explanation for the first lines of Verse 7: "At stone wall's door / The air smells sweet."


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

  The alcove with the Shakespeare bust is still there, although the metal doors were removed recently.  Note that the brickwork on either side of the alcove has a pattern similar to columns of the Roman numerals I and II.  This might be the inspiration for the Roman numerals on either side of the dress panel in Image 1.


  Note also the gray spheres at the top of the wall.  This might be the inspiration for the moons above the arched doorway in the image.


(Photo with two of our intrepid San Francisco researchers, Chris and Isabella, in the Garden of Shakespeare's Flowers in February 2018.)

  Just below the barred window in the rock there's an odd formation that appears to be an older man with bushy eyebrows and a mustache.  This may be a visual reference to the statue of Giuseppe Verdi that stands at an intersection in Golden Gate Park, across the street from the Shakespeare Garden.


Verdi bust photo used under a creative common license
AttributionNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by torbakhopper on Flickr

  Just across Stow Lake from Huntington Falls and the Chinese pavilion, there is a handrail that ends in a spiral very similar to the spiral shown in the stem of the rose in Image 1.  The rail is where the road around the lake makes a hairpin curve, and the railing is for the steps down to the Japanese Tea Garden.


  It would be very useful to know if there has ever been a similar spiral railing on any of the handrails that go up Strawberry Hill beside Huntington Falls.

  Stow Lake

  The digits 8 and 3, or the number 83, may be visible in the rose stem.


  Somewhere near Huntington Falls there is a historical marker with a prominent date of 1893.  This may be a reference to that in some way, although it would be a stretch to find a "9" in the winding of the stem.

The other popular interpretation of this image is that it means we should be standing on or near Russian Hill behind the iconic sign at Ghirardelli Square.  Viewed from behind, the sign gives a glimpse of a backwards "Gh." This interpretation would explain why the two letters are backwards and why the "h" is shown in lower-case.  This explanation would also match up well with Verse 7 and a place where "the air smells sweet."  And this explanation also works with the references to cable cars, because the backwards sign is visible from the Powell-Hyde line.


Also, perhaps this is an indication that the image that we are viewing is in reverse; in other words, we are looking at the MIRROR image, and to "get" what's going on, we need to consider what we see in reverse.







Latitude / Longitude Hints

The Roman numerals stacked up to form "1 2 2" and "1 2 3" at the top of the woman's dress are thought to represent the range of possible longitudes for the casque.
The "37" and "38" in her hair are thought to be the range of possible latitudes for the casque.
The entire county and city of San Francisco is well within both of those ranges, stretching from approximately 37.7-37.8°N in latitude and 122.4-122.5°W in longitude.




Dress Symbols

The symbols at the upper left are a square and a circle, possibly with dots in the middle.  The meaning is unclear
    The symbols at the upper right are a square and a triangle, possibly with dots in the middle.  The meaning is unclear.

If the symbols at the top have the same meaning they would have on a standard topo map, the circle with a dot would be a landmark object, the triangle with a dot would be a horizontal control surveying point, and the square with a dot would be a boundary monument.


Alternatively, the symbols at the top could represent the circles, squares, and triangles used by golfers to indicate their score on each hole relative to par.  A square means one over par (bogey), a circle means one under par (birdie), and a triangle means a hole-in-one. This explanation works well with Interpretation #1 and the idea of the dress being a map, because there is a golf course in Golden Gate Park just east of the Great Highway.

It's possible that some of the symbols around the edge of the dress represent the logos of various businesses that once operated in those spots around Golden Gate Park.  The only way to know for sure would be to find photos of those streets from around 1981.
The spot where a symbol would appear directly under the crossed arms on the left is obscured by the dragon.
    This is a taijitu, or yin yang symbol. It could represent the Chinese Pavilion at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park.  Alternatively, it might represent the San Francisco Chinatown (the oldest Chinatown in North America).
This could be the letter "A" or it could be an upside-down "V."  The meaning is unknown. (Compare it to the "A" one row below on the right and the possible "A" three rows below on the left.)
    This appears to be a Roman numeral in a strange position.  If rotated, it would be a six (VI).  If reflected upwards or downwards, it would be a four (IV).  The meaning is unknown.
This appears to be a capital "X" written in italics.  It could also be the Greek letter Chi or it could be the Roman numeral for 10.
    This appears to be a capital "A" written with a slanted line in the middle.  It may be part of a corporate logo.  If there's a baseball connection in this image, this might be a nod to the Oakland Athletics across the bay.
This appears to be three small circles compressed together.  It is roughly similar to the logo for the State Farm insurance company.  (It would be interesting to know if State Farm ever had an office in this area.)    

Unknown symbol.  It appears to be a triangle with a bar going across the top, possibly representing a scale or a see-saw.

Unknown symbol. It resembles the letter "A" with a reflection at the bottom. (Compare the "A" to the symbol two rows above on the right.)



Unknown symbol.

Unknown symbol.  This could be two half-circles or it could be a capital "D" on the right beside a reflection on the left, similar to the reflected "A" in the row above.





The Leonardo da Vinci Connection:

Image 1 appears to be a visual reference to Virgin of the Rocks, which was painted by Leonardo da Vinci between 1483 and 1486.  The painting was originally commissioned as an altar piece for the chapel in the church of San Francesco Grande in Milan.  (That connection might explain the choice of this image for San Francisco, or it might just be a coincidence.)


Each of the two paintings is framed around a central woman wearing dark, flowing robes who stands before a small mountain of rocks.  Both paintings have similar structures, with rounded tops that echo the rounded rock structures of the background.

Both paintings feature gaps in the background rocks that allow the color of the sky to show through.  The left-hand gap in each painting has a large open space flanked by narrow crevices.  A hanging rock in the upper right of each gap creates a narrow crack that points upwards, while a standing pillar of rock in the lower left of each gap forms a tapering crack that points downwards.
The corresponding gap on the right side of each painting frames a single, standing column of rock.
Both woman have hair that is initially straight and flat (parted in the middle) but becomes curly below the ears.  Both wear jewels prominently featured at their necklines.



Questions, questions, questions...

  • What do the inscriptions on the Chinese pavilion at Stow Lake say?
  • What do the symbols around the dress margin mean?
  • Why is she pointing to those specific places on the sleeves?
  • Why are there 11 moons?
  • What is the significance of the blue shape above the rose?
  • Why is the rectangle below the crossed arms in the dress angled counterclockwise from the rectangle above the crossed arms and why is the lower rectangle wider than the upper rectangle?




Image sources:




Proposed solutions

Of all the cities that are believed to have casques, San Francisco has had (by far) the most proposed solutions, possibly because it's the first image in the book or possibly because it has such a large population living nearby.  This is far from a comprehensive list, but here are some of the more fleshed-out ideas that we've seen:




How to obtain permission for attempted recovery


Assumptions: Final location within Golden Gate Park, San Francisco


Process Status: Confirmed by Wiki user

Contact info Status: Confirmed by Wiki user

As of Date: 3/15/2022


Contact information:


Name: N/A

Title: N/A


San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department

McLaren Lodge-Golden Gate Park

501 Stanyan St.

San Francisco, CA 94117 

(415) 831-2700



Alternate Contact info: (415) 831-5500 Permits & Reservations 


Permissions Process:


Of all the search locations across the country, Golden Gate Park has had (by far) the most open, accommodating, and organized system for planning a dig.  The approach they are using is designed to allow some degree of digging while minimizing any disruption or damage to the park.  The permit system was closed down for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it has reopened in the spring of 2022.


To get a permit, complete and submit the online 2022 Secret Treasure Hunt Dig Request form. Searchers are allowed a single, supervised, free, 1-hour dig (see full rules below).  After the initial dig, any subsequent digs require a prepayment of $140.


Secret Treasure Hunt Permit Rules:

  • Permit will be granted on a first come first serve basis
  • Activity is supervised by SF Rec & Parks Park Ranger
  • Specify activity location in permit application
  • 1 hole, 1-hour time limit per permit
  • Probing poles are allowed up to 3.5 feet
  • Hand-digging only, no power tools permitted
  • Hole may not exceed 2 feet in diameter, 3.5 feet deep
  • Avoid drip-line of trees
  • Tools and tarps must be supplied by permittee
  • Hole must be refilled and all turf must be replaced exactly as found
  • No filming allowed 


In the event of failure, permittee may apply for a separate permit for follow-up attempt provided that for all attempts after one, permittee must pay the cost of staff time ($140).






Comments (118)

GoldenGate said

at 3:43 pm on Feb 19, 2016

A couple things I posted in Q4T:

Since Preiss seemed to be liberal with his definition of "steps" as recounted in the Cleveland discovery, consider this: a large section of the Sweeney Observatory ruins, which could be considered a giant step, can be found at the top of Strawberry Hill (see photo link below), after you follow the giant pole up the stairs on the side of the waterfall. Also, if you look at the edge, it resembles the horizontal ledge behind the woman in the image.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/anythreew ... otostream/

Also, new factoid:

The three balls in the shape of a triangle on the dress and inside the Stow Lake Japanese Pavilion are called a Triratna -- a Buddhist symbol alternatively called the Three Jewels, Three Treasures or Triple Gem of Buddhism.

I don't know how in tune with Buddhism Preiss was -- or if he made an intentional connection beyond just the symbol as a mile marker, but a matching symbol which translates to treasure is pretty interesting.



Hope this helps someone on the ground.

Cheshire said

at 4:42 pm on Mar 15, 2016

Adding to the Stow Lake/Strawberry Hill discussion: (mostly just icon matching)
The parting of her hair is definitely a reference to the entering SF via the Golden Gate Bridge and it’s been discussed before but here’s an image for it. When you mirror the hair parting you can see how it lines up rather well with the google maps image. The pearl falls on Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill if you ignore the sizing.


As for Stow Lake, if you look at the cobbles around the pavilion they are a similar pattern to the background of the dragon on the dress. The trim on the sleeves has some resemblance to the roofing pattern.


As for the 11 moons, my theory is that it may be another GG Bridge reference since 11 men died during the bridge’s construction. Alternatively, it could be an immigration reference since one Chinese myth (Heng-O I think?) mentions that there are 12 moons and the “pearl" may be the 12th moon in the picture.

Anyone else curious about the image in the background at about D3? Reminds me of the dome of the Conservatory of Flowers or the Dutch windmill (although the windmill is on the opposite end of the park so unlikely?).

I have other thoughts about actual location specifics but I still need to sift through them.

Dane said

at 2:45 am on Jul 13, 2016

It's strange that the woman is only outlined from the waist up. Could the blue outline around the woman match any features in the area around the Chinese pavilion?

Cheshire said

at 3:02 am on Jul 13, 2016

Nice insight! Now that you mention it: if you look at pictures of the Huntington Falls straight on the silohette matches up fairly well. The bridge even matches up with her folded arms. I'm back in the Bay Area for the summer so I'll take a look in the area when I get a chance.

spacemunkay said

at 9:54 pm on Nov 21, 2016

Got the first photo here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/31515168@N00/15417053398/in/album-72157648910844612/ translated by a friend, the 3 prominent characters on the Chinese temple mean literally: "Golden Door Temple" or in this case likely, "Golden Gate Temple". My friend could tell it was a Taiwanese temple (without knowing anything about it, and from looking at just the photo of the writing). I realize there's more writing on the rest of the temple, but it'd be best to get someone fluent to go there and translate. IMO, I think the needed clues lie strictly in the verse and painting, but it's still fun and can't hurt to understand more about the temple.

DragonFlyLady2011 said

at 1:39 am on Jan 22, 2018

One other thing I noticed is that the watch casts a shadow and that the stand resembles a sun dial. Why else would the watch cast a shadow. A sundial would explain the other roman numerals. I know there are several sun dials in the park. Haven't figured out the other odd symbols yet but working on it.

Kimberley said

at 1:49 am on Jan 30, 2018

I also think the entire dress (the rectangle) is GG Park with the "G" and the "h" indicating the Great Highway at the West end of the park. Since it is reversed I think the right side of the dress is really the South side of the park and vice versa (although I don't know how that plays into anything at this point except for the following thoughts). The arms seem to represent the highway crossing the park just west of Strawberry Hill. The fingers are pointing to certain blocks on the sleeves. I think the blocks are representative of the city blocks on either side of the park which are literally all perfectly square. Now this next part may be way off, but if the arms are the highway and the map is reversed then the right finger is pointing "down" "3" blocks from where the freeway crosses and the left finger is pointing "up" '4" blocks where the freeway crosses. To me that identifies the block in which the treasure is which is on Strawberry Hill in the area "circled" that a previous post mentions. So it is possible that the giant beam sticking out of the boathouse is the giant pole, although that's a stretch. If it was then a giant step may be having to get on a boat and cross the water to Strawberry Hill, but then I think the rest of the clues must be in the picture. I think the yin-yang symbol may represent the Chinese Pavillion on Strawberry Hill, but not sure. Huntington Falls do look like the entire rock formations behind the lady. Since it's so large I feel like maybe that is an important place. Those falls were renovate in 1984. Prior to that the water was not running and I'm not sure what they looked like. I'm wondering if there was a giant pole near there back in 1982, but I can't find any old pictures of it. If anyone can find one I'd love to take a look.

Oregonian said

at 10:27 am on Jan 30, 2018

Wow! That's a huge collection of useful ideas for this image, Kimberley! I'll try to respond to them one-by-one.

We know that the map of Golden Gate Park isn't reversed because the park itself isn't symmetrical. It has a "flare" where Fulton bends at the northeast corner. The panel on the dress has that same flare in the lower right corner, indicating that north is to the right and south is to the left. But, as you say, I don't think it changes anything because our focus is on Stow Lake and Strawberry hill in the very middle of the park.

"I think the blocks are representative of the city blocks on either side of the park" Now that you say it, that interpretation seems so painfully obvious that I'm almost stunned. Yes, those rectangles are clearly city blocks on either side of the park. Crossover Drive (her crossed arms) is 19th Avenue. Her fingers indicate we should be looking between 16th and 15th Avenues. So if we draw lines across the park connecting those streets, our search will have narrowed to a sliver of land just east of Highway 1. Interestingly, this area does not include the top of Strawberry Hill or the staircase by the Japanese Tea Garden, but it does include Huntington Falls and the Chinese pavilion (where many SF-based searchers have always said we should be focused).

If all of this is correct, and we should be looking at Huntington Falls, then the only "giant pole" that I know of in the immediate area would be the handrail on the staircase up the hill. Time to investigate! If the handrail is our "giant pole," are there any good places to dig that could be a "giant step" from either end of it? And does the upper end of the handrail still fall within the boundaries of the streets? I'm very open to other poles if anyone finds another one in the area. Failing that, I think the most likely spot would be a step away from the lower end of the handrail (the end nearest to Huntington Falls).

Good luck, San Francisco searchers!

Kimberley said

at 4:14 pm on Jan 30, 2018

Just remember Huntington Falls were renovated in 1984 at a cost of $846k. So it must’ve been extensive work. I really wish we had a picture of what it looked like just prior to that.

Cheshire said

at 5:00 pm on Jan 30, 2018

http://www.sfchronicle.com/oursf/article/Our-SF-Stubborn-gardeners-made-Golden-Gate-Park-6350595.php?cmpid=pinterest-premium#photo-8216449 This article has several older images of SF GGP. There are a couple of the falls, stow lake, and surrounding areas! Maybe the author has more images as well.

GoldenGate said

at 12:10 pm on Jan 31, 2018

I agree that the 84 renovations may have changed things... but the falls essential look the same. They were broken in 81/82, but they were about the same visually -- both from my personal memory -- but also historical photos.

Also, and more importantly, what hasn't changed even an inch from the 80s is the city street and block layout on either side of the park. If the casque is indeed between the parallel lines of 18th and 20th avenues, Huntington Falls would not be in the equation.

Oregonian said

at 1:25 pm on Jan 31, 2018

Well, first, I think we are meant to count the blocks on the sleeve, but only from one end. Notice that the top edge of each sleeve is sharp and clear. The blocks are well-defined. But the bottom edge of each sleeve fades away in shadows. That suggests that numbering the blocks only matters from the top edge. More importantly, if we were meant to use the total counts of the blocks, there wouldn't be any point in having the fingers point so significantly and clearly at particular rows.

Based on those two things, I think it's very likely that we are meant to count blocks downward (eastward) from Crossover Drive (19th Avenue). As you say, there's almost nothing between 18th & 20th Avenues because that space is mostly occupied by the highway. But the space between 15th and 16th Avenues includes some of the most central references in this whole puzzle, including the Chinese pavilion and Huntington Falls.

I'm just guessing at this point, but I think it's very likely that the Huntington Falls stairway originally had a steel handrail ending in a spiral like the one we've found across the lake near the Japanese tea garden. The handrail at the falls was meant to be our "giant pole" and the spiral was meant to be the visual reference beside the hiding spot. But when the falls were renovated in 1984, the handrail was replaced with the current green version and so the visual clue was lost.

Again, this is all just pure speculation. But I'd be very interested to see pre-1984 photos of that handrail if anyone ever finds them.

Goonie68 said

at 10:50 pm on Feb 5, 2018

Check out in this image above the door (the iron work) looks like the dragon's head on the dress??? Thoughts?

GoldenGate said

at 11:14 pm on Feb 5, 2018

For all my grousing about matches that don't look right... the dragon head is as close as I've seen. Great sleuthing! Also intrigued about the pyramid / triangle on the Prayerbook Cross, which to me sits right in that 18th to 20th Ave sweet spot.

Oregonian said

at 1:32 pm on Feb 8, 2018

Credit where it's due: I think Goonie68 may have cracked this one wide open.

For many years now, people have suggested that the map might be flipped, because of the backwards "Gh" at the top, and I've always responded by pointing out the "flare" in the lower right corner. But if the dragon comes from the senior center on Fulton street and the dragon's head is clearly positioned at the left edge of the map near the top, then I think it's pretty clear: the upper half of the dress panel IS reversed. And if the hands are also reversed, then the fingers are really indicating a much wider strip of the park, from 9th Avenue to 16th Avenue.

This makes sense in SO many ways. It explains why the only park features shown in detail on the dress panel are the ones between those lines (Stow Lake, Strawberry Hill, and MLK Drive). It explains why the dragon's talon is indicating a spot on the curve of MLK drive (that's where the Shakespeare Garden and the Garden of Fragrance are located). And it explains how Preiss was able to bury the casque in the park even while a massive construction project was reshaping Huntington Falls and installing the Chinese pavilion. He didn't go over to the falls. He just found some place where he had a view of it.

Ameripicks said

at 11:36 pm on Feb 16, 2018

Goonie, in one of you pics their is a string of golden pearls display in a flower garden. This is the same jewel as the Image. A golden pearl around her neck. In the verse "In jewel's direction", Is this display in sight of any of the other clues in which you can create a direction? I assume we are just thinking this verse means in the cascade spot direction. But what if it doesn't. Is there any other Jewel display in the area? Was this string of pearls display there in 1981?

Ameripicks said

at 8:26 am on Feb 17, 2018

Oh carp. Meant to spell it casque not cascade. My spell check did not mark it. So I did not even think about it. - Dummy...lol.

Jaeden said

at 9:09 pm on Feb 9, 2018

David Silberman on Facebook noticed that the birds on the arch of the entrance of the Golden Gate Park Senior Center are identical to the Dragon. https://scontent.fyka1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/27655247_10155917543656826_3132072365066143824_n.jpg?oh=7f9c391fd116b272a9e01848166dce05&oe=5ADDBB54

branchesandbeyond@... said

at 10:30 pm on Feb 9, 2018

It sure does look similar, even with the little notch on both objects just in front of the dragon mouth.

Kang said

at 11:18 am on Feb 11, 2018

Not sure if this is anything but I keep seeing it. When you rotate the lake a certain way, I see a depiction of her hands. Three fingers of her right hand together, curled and facing a bit downward. Left hand extended, open, slightly cupped. The index finger on her right hand is pointing - to what would appear to be Crossover Dr.

If this is clue is even real (which it may not be), I don't think it negatively impacts any of the other hands related clues in the proposed solution. It may just be an indication hinting that Crossover Dr is important, a clue or is on our journey to the correct spot. So don't let this derail any of the current thinking.


NTB said

at 12:20 pm on Feb 11, 2018

I have yet to see this pointed out by anyone:
In the illustration, under the Yin Yang symbol between 6.5/K and also under the A symbol between 6.5/N -there is a ring/bump along the side. I’m intrigued by this. Could it represent road openings into GGP? On a map they look like they could be Bus Lines 28 and 44. Thoughts anyone?

Ameripicks said

at 4:16 pm on Feb 12, 2018

Just like to share some observations that support the search area. May have been mentioned already so excuse me for that. I notice to the lower right of the strawberry there is a small patch of blue. I believe this to be the lower point of Stow Lake. Which is in the search area and a part of the proposed dig site. I believe the artist included this section of the lake because it is significant. The dragons shoulder/arm separates the two images just to make sure you know they are to two different things. Also, the Wing has an interesting shape to it is is elevated up from the body. Like the road at some point is elevated to go across the park. It does have a bridge look to it and has lanes like a road would. I know it is not in the exact spot where the elevation is but neither does the dragon itself follow the roads quite right. Do like the Huntington water fall theory also. Can see waterfall back in the rock image also. Do we need two images for it? Last, I think the blue area where the Talons are are representative of all three Gardens (Botanical/Shakespeare/and Tea). To the left the larger space is the Botanical. The small loop of course is Shakespeare. And the right side the Tea Garden. Anyway that is what I saw. Hope you go easy on me. NY shot me down like a missile upon sharing. Be a while for back there. I hope SF is the next Cascade out of the ground. Go Team!

Jeff C. said

at 1:08 am on Feb 16, 2018

The way she holds her hands is almost exactly the same way the bust of Shakespeare in Shakespeare Garden holds his hand, except where she is pointing with one finger, he holds his quill with 2 fingers extended. Clue or coinsidence? You have to find a photo that shows the hands clearly, but they are almost identical. Ive also thought that there are so many things that seem to be reversed, or backwards, and that there really are no lines in the verse that SPECIFICALLY say to walk or go anywhere, perhaps the end point is Shakespeare Garden...seems a bit far fetched, though. Maybe if Mark Twain had a special interest in Shakespeare? Just a thought...

Joecool said

at 6:46 pm on Feb 23, 2018

Hey everybody I got a chance to take a field trip to GGP last week and got some good high def photos, posted here:


I also took pix of the dragons above the front door of the GGP Senior Center at 37th and Fulton, near Spreckels Lake. My own personal observations re: the latest casque location at the top of the stairs:

- There is only about 6 to 8 inches of soil between the AC path and the bottom of the boulders buttressing the large cypress tree. In one of the pix I show my boot for scale, which is touching the edge of the AC path, so as you can see there isn't a lot of room to dig a hole. The earth there is soft, as evidently several other searchers have dug in that location.
- My guess is that the boulders were placed there as a retaining wall, or to buttress the cypress (which is huge, easily 36 or 40 inches truck diameter at breast height). There is no concrete foundation underlying the boulders.
- The Chinese pavilion is not visible from the path, and it's a stretch to see it even from the top of the path (the photo I show of the Chinese pavilion was taken about 100 yds down Stow Lake Dr away from the tree).
- The Senior Center front door IMO is a better match than Shakespeare's garden for "stone wall's door". Although, the Shakespeare garden was originally called the "Garden of Shakespeare's Flowers".

Feel free to share the pix at your discretion. Cheers!

Oregonian said

at 9:07 am on Feb 24, 2018

Hi Joe,

Great photos! Is it okay if we incorporate some of them into the pages here on the wiki?

Joecool said

at 2:05 pm on Feb 24, 2018

Yes, pls do. It is okay to post my pix to any and all sites related to the Secret.


Goonie68 said

at 7:26 pm on Feb 23, 2018

Joecool said

at 2:13 pm on Feb 24, 2018

Thanks all. Like I said I'm a retired former city employee, so can be available for field trips withing SF or surroundings with a little advanced notice.

Jeff C. said

at 2:17 pm on Mar 19, 2018

Yes, you can get somebody to dig for you, but they have to apply for the permit, as they do require I.D. I have a permit to dig on Thursday, 3/22, and I live out of town. Luckily, I live only 5 hrs away, so I can drive there if given enough notice. The permiting process is easy enough. As for the GPR, I have no idea. I imagine you could rent one, or hire a company to do it, but it is probably costly.

Ameripicks said

at 10:11 pm on Mar 19, 2018

Yea, that is what I thought. If you only get 3 free ones with ID. Then only thing one can do is bring a friend, relative, or neighbor to use their ID. Would be nice if walking around with a GPR did not require a permit. It should'nt be - just walking. Mark your spot with a golf tee or something low profile. Then come back to permit dig. I looked on the internet for GPR rental in San Fran. They wanted the operator to be a Geologist to rent. WHAT? Wonder why? Just too difficult for us to figure out. I am trying to find a way to get a free GPR and Operator. Stanford and Berkeley Universities have Archaeology programs. I have tried to reach out to them. If we can get them interested in the hunt they can bring the GPR. We could host a Field Trip for the class. Do grid searches in OUR spots! Would be real experience for them. And a hole lot of fun for everybody who could come. Anyway - call me a dreamer. I swing for the fences on these things. If anybody else wants to try persuading them. This is all I have right now:
Christine Hastorf - Head of Archacolgy Dept. Berkeley University - hastorf@berkeley.edu
Dont have a name for Stanford yet - archaeology@stanford.edu

Cheshire said

at 2:16 am on Mar 20, 2018

I’ll guve you a heads up about GPR. The equipment is very expensive depending on the model. Unless you know how to calibrate and read the data from it it’s going to be useless to you. Berkeley prolly won’t give it a go because 1) the intro archaeology courses are huge lecture halls 2) there isn’t any historical reason to grid out GGP and do test survey other than the treasure hunt. They have plenty of other places where they can do legit fieldwork and analysis on what’s excavated. Also the hole they would dig would be at least 50x50cm and traditionally it’s usually 1x1m for archaeology. It can’t hurt to shoot then an email but I wouldn’t get your hopes up from CAL.

Ameripicks said

at 5:04 pm on Mar 20, 2018

Thanks for info. Best senerio is to get someone else to to do GPR. Motivation top do it for free is the challenge. I am working on that. Next step up would be to purchase our own equipment. I have been in the field of network copiers and laser printers for 25 years. Calibrating this equipment has been a learned experience. How hard do you think it would be with manuals to calibrate these devices. After watching the show "The Curse of Civil War Gold", I saw that a guy mounted his own GPR to a three wheeled baby carriage and had good solid readings with it mounted properly that way. On Ebay one can get a unit fairly cheap unmounted. Mounted its like ten times the price. I can get this same three wheel carriage real cheap at thrift stores for 15 to 25 dollars. I just dont think its too hard to do if its already been done before. Probably could make it happen for less than 2000.00 if one DYIs the mount. Just make sure it has the software and is not an older discontinued item in support. Any thoughts on that? Thanks, Mike

maltedfalcon said

at 6:56 pm on Mar 20, 2018

GPR has been tried in Houston Milwaukee and St Augustine. The results, not spectacular... It basically can identify disturbed soil, In all these areas ,the soil has been disturbed a lot... so basically you get positive results 100% of the time. Also translating the results requires an extremely skilled individual.

SteveMarg said

at 2:24 pm on Mar 24, 2018

Hi everyone,

I’ve been lurking here since I joined the group after watching Expedition Unknown.

I was waiting until I had something worthwhile to say before posting. 😊

I was able to visit the park last week and I did make a few observations.

Shakespeare Gardens looked quite a bit different 37 years ago. It was basically the brick wall with the bust and plaques, the sundial, and the benches. There was no gate, center courtyard, or planters.
So the “G” and “h” on the image’s neckline do not indicate the arch over the garden’s entrance. Also, since the courtyard and planters did not exist at the time, even though they have white sphere’s as part of their design, the moons at the top of the picture cannot be these white orbs. They weren’t there yet.

The one thing that struck me…when you stand in the center courtyard next to the sundial facing the bust, to the right is a huge tree. It could be a redwood. I’ve never seen anything like it. It looks a lot like the brown mountainous area at the top of the image. It’s a very unique pattern.

I also visited the areas we all talk about here, and I have to say, until we decipher the image’s fingers and blocks, and the 11 moons at the top, we’re never going to know exactly where to dig.

I think these two pieces of the image hold the final clues

Ameripicks said

at 12:31 pm on Mar 25, 2018

Hello SteveMarg and MikeyP (below). I will play door greeter for you and say welcome. I believe everybody else is real busy in some of the other searches. They may can comment later. A lot is mentioned here and on the verse side and on the Proposed Dig link side. Look at all to help you. Shakespeare, Rose and Tea Gardens are all represented in the Image. The G and h has been brought up. Dont know where now. The 11 moons has been mention as possibly the Moon Bridge in the Tea Garden. Google - moon bridge golden gate park - to see. For the Sundial the overall image has a shadow on it. Going straight down look at the womans chin and the pearl. The watch on the stand has a strong shadow to the right - like a Sundial. Dont know what that means but there it is. Did not know about the Redwood tree. MikeyP if you are looking outside the Park we can not offer you much advice nor any specific Permit help. Just do it within the rules and don't get discouraged it not being there. We can't find it here in GGP either- lol yet.That is all I have right now. Some of the more seasoned members on the site could much better help you. Welcome. Happy treasure hunting.

Jess said

at 5:04 pm on Apr 12, 2018

Two random observations that may well be old news to you more seasoned SFers:
- The parting in the woman’s hair looks to be a very unusual and thus intentional shape. Has this corresponded to anything yet?
- The square and triangle with a dot in them are near identical to the ones in image 11 (‘Boston’). Perhaps these symbols aren’t specific to an image visible in/near the site but are more general markers?

Jess said

at 5:10 pm on Apr 12, 2018

What I mean re Boston image:

Jess said

at 5:18 pm on Apr 12, 2018

Now looking at lots of symbols that may match these (ie glyph sets). Hopefully not alchemy because one thing suggests a square with a dot in is urine...

JulieM said

at 6:45 pm on Apr 12, 2018

Very funny square with dot boundary marker if next to triangle it is setting an edge

JulieM said

at 6:43 pm on Apr 12, 2018

Google - usgs markers - find area in Boston you think is relevant - then when you click find marks look for the triangles. I believe they are very relevant and are part of my solution for image 1. I was in the park today, lost my phone, found it and came home. Dig Tuesday noon in ggp.
I agree about the part.

Kang said

at 10:19 pm on Apr 12, 2018

I remember seeing a comment that they were map symbols (of the surveying variety)? I remember the post said that they read Landmark, Boundary, Boundary, Horizontal Marker. I have googled these and found some evidence this may be correct. But I cannot really corroborate, nor can I attest that the interpretation is correct.

SteveMarg said

at 8:10 pm on Apr 25, 2018

So I have a question here...when you flip the image horizontally, does anyone else see 3 steps that rise from the bottom of the image to just above the table?
There is definitely something rectangular there.
It looks to me like steps or planters.
Any thoughts?

KJRP said

at 12:25 am on Apr 27, 2018

@JulieM... Yes, anyone within a 2 hour radius is a 'local' since most of the people I had hoped to invite are out of state and I live walking distance to GGP. That being said, I might just do a Skype meeting or something.

DK said

at 4:33 pm on May 3, 2018

Hi JR, I am a local from the San Mateo area. I would be interested in attending an in-person presentation, and could help out with video documentation if you want something to show to non-locals. Thanks!

KJRP said

at 1:10 am on May 4, 2018

Darren, Yes! Thank you for your most generous offer to collaborate. I will email you tomorrow, Friday May 4, 2018 to discuss. Cheers!

Jeff C. said

at 3:10 pm on May 5, 2018

I saw you were above, about what tools you could use for your dig. You can use hand tools only. However, depending on your dig site, the ranger is very lenient about how long your dig can last, and how many holes you dig. Just leave it as you found it basically. If your dig is in the middle of a place commonly frequented by people, they may be a bit more strict about those things. One thing, if you can get ahold of an actual ground probe tool (as opposed to, say, a piece of rebar, for example) probing will be MUCH easier. If I ever go back to dig again, that’s the one thing I’d do differently. Good luck!

JulieM said

at 5:45 pm on May 5, 2018

I used a 1/2” Bully 4’ steel with a GOOD point and it was tough. Highly recommend something more narrow, 3/8 or 1/4” it will make a huge difference. I had a short piece of 1/4” in my car without a point and it was able to penetrate a little more easily.

KJRP said

at 11:13 pm on May 5, 2018

Jeff & Julie, thank you both for the great pointers! (See what I did there?) Any who, I purchased the Forestry Suppliers probe, 3/8" x 48". My appointment has been confirmed for 9:00 AM this Wednesday. That said, we are primarily meeting to discuss the viability of my being able to dig whatsoever. My spot was once surrounded by wild flowers, weeds, etc. Today it has been mostly paved over and gets a lot of foot traffic. I am finishing my Solution as I type and will post the final version tomorrow... stay tuned!

Suzeroo! said

at 8:40 pm on May 25, 2018

The most faint rocks in this square look just like the Palace of Fine Arts to me.

SteveMarg said

at 6:48 pm on Aug 16, 2018

Hey everyone,
Most of the other paintings have an outline of the state hidden in the image.
Does Image 1 have a representation of California somewhere in it?

Burbank_ian said

at 6:59 pm on Aug 16, 2018

I always thought the area around the rose and arm outlined CA. See link http://thesecret.pbworks.com/w/file/128162715/image_possible_state_match.png

Brad said

at 8:41 am on Oct 30, 2018

I was looking at the earring-jewel relationship on Image 5 (Boston Cirle and Park where the casque was found), and was wondering if it was the same for other images.
I was looking through GGP on googole maps, and noticed the Music Concourse. Looks kind of oval. Has a bold strip at one end. Like the head, collar and gem...

Linda S said

at 4:34 pm on Dec 5, 2018

so another site they are saying the DD at the end of the image (marked unknown here) is actually SD if you have the original book, does anyone else confirm that?

Burbank_ian said

at 6:11 pm on Dec 5, 2018

Hi Linda,
I believe it's still a DD (two half circles back to back). I've got several scans/photos of the actual image from different sources and depending on the scan quality etc, it still looks to be two D's. Not sure how someone is seeing one of them looking like an "S"? I have this symbol matched as being the turn table at Hyde St and Beach at the Aquatic park.

Several images showing the DD symbol:

Hyde St. Turntable (Although it was repositioned around 1984 but still in the general location):

The link to cable car turn table (If you look closely you can see a little arrow at the end of the rose curl, to men that indicates a direction i.e. turning)

I do have my own solve to the Aquatic Park (which I think I'll clean up and share soon), but the whole area is under GGRNA jurisdiction which means its an absolute no dig/probe zone :(

Kia said

at 3:24 pm on Dec 6, 2018

I have the original book, printed in 1982, which I purchased in 1982. The image above is correct and the symbol in the book at the bottom of the drawing is the mirror image D shape. There is no way that it is an SD.

Mike said

at 6:44 pm on Feb 27, 2019

Brad, I live across the street and didn't dig yet because it's been raining since the beginning of January and I have to take a day off work to dig during permitted hours, but when I read your post I knew you were right.

Brad said

at 6:58 pm on Feb 27, 2019

It is what it is Mike. People have been posting crackpot theories for ages. Who was to say that my theory wasn't as crqckpot as everyone elses!?! ;)
I never wanted the treasure anyway, so I am just happy that I managed to figure it out!
Will be interesting to see how he explains how he came to the conclusion and whether this forum gets a nod.
As much as that theory was "mine"... Linda S found me the Stonewall Gate starting point, countless other posts found other points on the journey... I just added a few more and ordered them right. We all chipped in pretty well, and should all give ourselves a pat on the back!

Mike said

at 7:05 pm on Feb 27, 2019

I just learned about it in January and spent a couple days reading everyone's theories. It makes sense that the statue would be pointing to the exact spot. If it wasn't the statue that Jeff C. attempted a dig at then it would have to be the Verdi Statue. Congrats anyway Brad for researching and figuring it out, even though you live so far away.

Brad said

at 7:20 pm on Feb 27, 2019

This one was easy to do from far away. Google earth and GGP documentation was very in depth. I could track where statues were and where they moved to for probably close to a hundred years. Other ones are proving harder to do remotely. I could also walk the path exactly in google earth shy of the first 100 yards.
Plus, I proposed to my wife in San Fransisco, so I had a bit of knowledge of public areas all across the city from having been there as a tourist.

Linda S said

at 5:22 pm on Feb 28, 2019

Hey Brad..how about the WWI memorial, have you thought of there yet? i have some reasons for it.

Brad said

at 7:00 pm on Feb 28, 2019

Haven't thought of that. I am flat out with other business for a month or so, and am now reinvigorated thinking that my solution was wrong. I'll look at WWI Monument when I do and we can chat about solutions.

Indigoone said

at 8:31 pm on Feb 28, 2019

I know I don't know you, but don't give up. It's terrible that someone faked a solve, but more than anything it's suspicious. There's got to be a reason why someone would have so much knowledge about the casque, the site, the clock inside the casque, etc., but then make obvious blunders in creating the casque. That's nonsensical. To me there's more going on than meets the eye. I keep asking myself what this whole fiasco has accomplished, because that is going to be the most logical reason why this person did this. What's did faking this cause? For you, it's got you doubting yourself. Why would someone want that? Kind of makes you start wondering if someone wanted to not only discourage searchers in general, but especially searchers looking in that area possibly? I know it's paranoid lol, but I just think there's something off about this. Anyway, your walkthrough and solve were really well thought out and explained, so don't give up!

Brad said

at 8:46 pm on Feb 28, 2019

It all sounds fishy to me too. But the casques already found have been published. Anyone with a little google searching can find a photo.
Someone then went to a lot of trouble to create a ruse, which sounds odd, because they didn't go to enough trouble, and screwed some easily researchable details, such as signing the casque JJP- the painter, not the sculptor. Fishy fishy >O, >O.
As for the location... someone could have picked anyone's theoretical location and dug there, or made one up, or pretended that they dug and just present a casque...
But I began to think the same way as you... why do it? Shirts and giggles? There's easier ways to rile us all up than a long con that was debunked in a matter of hours. The prize? No-one's sure that a prize even still exists... To throw us off the scent? If they thought the casque was there... they would have just dug it up when they dug up the fake. Unless they were too lazy to dig a bit more... but they were not so lazy as to dig a hole twice...
I don't know...

Jeff C. said

at 6:40 pm on Mar 4, 2019

Has anybody been keeping track of known, unsuccessful dig sites on a map? I thought it might be handy to have a comprehensive, update-able map that shows all the known places people have dug a hole so far. I realize that not everybody shares where they dig, but some people have, and those who havent, may feel ok about it after exhausting their dig site. Just a thought.

Brad said

at 8:21 pm on Mar 4, 2019

I thought of this and contacted the parks deptartment to see if they would work with us to release dig sites. never heard back from them and never collated anything myself. I think its a great idea so long as everyone is honest about where they dug and what happened. The Dr Gay incident has started a lot of us thijnking that some people aren't honest and may abuse such a resource. If you think you could put something together, I would be happy to help!

Nick Cook said

at 10:12 pm on Jun 12, 2019

Hi everyone,

I love everything about this treasure hunt!

Me and my son headed up to GGP last weekend to investigate. I'll post some video sometime soon after I can edit it. Some observations:

* There were TONS of people at the park. Not sure if it was like this in the 1980s, but if so, Preiss must have come at night to hide the casque.
* We measured about 83" from the vertical handrail post at the top of the stairs to the other side of the asphalt path. This is the handrail and path that leads to Stow Lake from behind the Japanese Tea Garden.
* I really doubt that the casque is hidden under the asphalt path. That really seems too easy to figure out and I would assume that it would be have been found by now. Also, there is a lot of imagery in the painting that probably needs to be deciphered to find the exact dig spot.
* It seems like an ideal place to hide the casque would be just to the north of this path, down the hill. It's relatively out of view. But I'm not sure you could see the handrail from down there. It seems to be a common theme in the two solved hunts so far that you can see the man-made object from the dig spot.

We put in a request to dig in August, but would love to know where other people have already tried near this staircase. Also, for those who have tried, are you allowed to probe around in your general search area before digging?

- Nick

Burbank_ian said

at 12:00 am on Jun 13, 2019

Hi Nick,

I think its fantastic that you and your son are doing this together, its a great way to explore the city and learn new things. In regards to your question about probing within the general area. I've never dug around that particular spot at GGP, but when we last dug (an empty hole) at GGP, the ranger allowed us to probe around where we liked, obviously under their supervision as to avoid hitting underground pipes etc. Basically you have 1 hour and its up to you how you use that time, just remember though, digging a 3ft hole is actually harder than it sounds :) especially if you encounter roots and hard dirt. So yes, probe away but allow time to dig. Maybe have a few practice digs at home first.

Anyway, all the best to you and your son and good luck!

Linda S said

at 2:09 pm on Jul 5, 2019

ok just uploaded some of solve.. this is crazy, how it just feels correct

Burbank_ian said

at 2:34 pm on Jul 5, 2019

Hi Linda,

Last year, myself and Durian came to the same conclusion about this area. The verse fits really well and image to verse matches are really good, I've visited the Park many many times now and have done exhaustive research (right down to obtaining city works maps of older buildings that used to be there in 1981) But lately lost interest due to not being totally satisfied on the giant pole, giant step part as well as a lack of Chinese immigration to the spot. Also, I hope you have better luck than Durian and myself in obtaining permission, as you know its a complete no dig/probe zone. Any way, good luck to you and a I really hope you find it !!!

Here are some links to the verse matches and the icons around the dress that could possibly be found within a 5 minute stroll around the Aquatic Park. PS, I'm heading to SF right now to look into another area, if you want me to look at anything before you go let me know.

Verse: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TpGUw-vi1waTT51poTKrjhHs-A0Usixp/view?usp=sharing
Icons: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eBirX9e3NlXwBa7I_Kkc1Kr40lbY1-dp/view?usp=sharing



Linda S said

at 2:50 pm on Jul 5, 2019

hi mark yes I have been talking with Durian, and I am trying to see what I can do to get the permission needed. hoping being part of DOD and I had worked for ABC tv, they may just allow a small dig. I would love to ask.. can you measure 35 feet north from each one of the speakers as I believe that is why it says NORTH but first across, my solve is one of the speakers, giant pole is 35 feet tall, I want to measure 35 feet NORTH, which should take us into the beach and sand, that's where you and I differ, not the rock but into the beach, therefore one can dig.

Brad said

at 10:37 pm on Oct 22, 2019

Who has dug in the Shakespeare's Garden Area of GGP? If people have dug there (actual, 3 foot deep minimum holes, not chicken scratchings), where have people dug?
We really need a map of dig locations!!!

skeller@... said

at 3:21 pm on Oct 23, 2019

Hi Brad Any response? I have wondered that as well. Are you in San Fran?

Brad said

at 2:43 am on Oct 24, 2019

None yet, but I have started an online editable map showing where we dug and a few other known locations. I will post here and Q4T for people to add.

PatrickG said

at 10:38 am on Oct 31, 2019

It has been a long time since anyone has looked time for another location!
I can prove it is on angel Island! It's buried at the Chinese immigration center right next to the big pole! I can walk you threw the verse!
At stone wall's door The air smells sweet: SF maritime museum/stone wall's door Ghirardelli/the air smells sweet https://www.nps.gov/safr/learn/historyculture/bathhousebuilding.htm
Not far away High posts are three/ mast of the ship at the Wharf
Education and Justice For all to see/ Alcatraz
Sounds from the sky Near ace is high Running north, but first across/ cable car turnaround the track cuts across and you can hear bells ringing in the sky aces high clock tower at Ghirardelli everything is at one location!
In jewel's direction Is an object Of Twain's attention/ the paddle steam boats next to the high posts at the Wharf! Again everything can be seem from one location and they are all tourist attractions!
Where did Mark Twain go when he came to SF? Angel Island!
The Picture is a Chinese angel she is glowing over the water!
time watch pointing to angel island!
Giant pole Giant step To the place The casque is kept. There is a big pole right at the dock of the Chinese immigration center https://angelisland.org/history/united-states-immigration-station-usis/
Her finger points to the fourth stair platform down and the other finger points to the third staircase across witch puts you right in front of the big pole! Solved! Everything is a tourist attraction!

Suhy said

at 11:24 am on Oct 31, 2019

well, i have noticed that her shoulders down to her arms are symmetric and shaped like a bell. Sure enough there is a bell next to the immigration center.


the only issue is that i think it was not possible to stay on the island and thus priess would have had to bury in the open during the day. Also i think there are two flag poles in front of the immigration center.


Suhy said

at 12:25 pm on Oct 31, 2019

plenty of giant steps.... just none with words that might tip off to the clue. may have been renovated after 1982 as well.


Suhy said

at 12:33 pm on Oct 31, 2019

last one...there is a flag pole over her left shoulder. this was the best i could come up with using google as a search tool


PatrickG said

at 3:11 pm on Oct 31, 2019

Yes you could camp out overnight there not sure if you can now!

PatrickG said

at 3:18 pm on Oct 31, 2019

The immigration center has four platforms that cascade down "note her fingers" and three stair cases on each platform. "note her other finger" Puts you at the pole next to the water.

Linda S said

at 7:49 pm on Nov 6, 2019

ok does anyone know about the POCKET PARK that is or was in Aquatic Park? prior to 2008..thanks

Burbank_ian said

at 9:47 pm on Nov 6, 2019


Again, another one of top spots I wanted to probe due to the half circle, wall along the back and the stepped terrace gardens which were known for their roses in some parts. I’ll send some details of the area to you Linda.

Burbank_ian said

at 10:09 pm on Nov 6, 2019

Heres a pdf I just put together for you Linda. As you may have seen when you were at the Park the area is fenced off. I asked them what they were doing last August when they started, they said they are updating the pump house and have been using the pocket park as a heavy equipment/storage area.Then they will be installing new pipe work along the backend of the pocket park. That same month I also volunteered with the NPS to help clear certain vegetation from the terraces, whilst I was helping them I also wondered off a little and took some great pictures of the terrace gardens. Some interesting spots but very neglected.

Anyway, heres a link, if you want me to share the images/video footage I took of the terrace areas let me know:


Linda S said

at 11:28 am on Nov 7, 2019

seems like im hot your trail... GMTA.thanks..

Burbank_ian said

at 11:59 am on Nov 7, 2019

You go for it Linda! I've been to the Park probably 15 times over the past 18 months, every time I go, I'm wanting to see that smoking gun (The image in the picture and the actual physical dig spot, i.e. the home plate, the fence & fixture). Unless something has been removed or replaced I can never find a spot to try. But like you, I follow the verse and clues and overtime it leads me to the Bocce Court and that Pocket Park and terraces. If you do get a dig permit, please, please invite me to help out, I would love to help you dig.

Linda S said

at 4:14 pm on Sep 11, 2020

hi Burbank, ok i have been very busy still searching this area, my wife had some old pictures of when she worked in the trans building,, i got the giant FLAG POLE, i talked with Bryan DeWitt, he will give me the permit i need to check out this area. i have 2 spots, if your still interested in being there.. its just to the right of Aquatic Park,

Linda S said

at 12:04 pm on Nov 7, 2019

Im convinced it next to bocce ball, those blocks with the acorn top.. her 3 finger is a swimmer and 7 finger are those 3 post in the water by the boys club..just need to go with either 3 up and 7 down or 4 up and 3 down.. her hair split looks like those tress right there.. giant pole. and step are there also.. clues I found in the robe took right to front of the area..

Suhy said

at 4:37 pm on Nov 11, 2019

Hi Linda , take a look at my solve.

IMO, the orbs are almost undoubtedly a nodf to the lamp posts at angel island . the file to look for under image 1 folder is "20191108 Suhy San Fran...."

Linda S said

at 7:13 pm on Dec 10, 2019

NPS archeology dig permit ....When individuals conduct archeological activities or otherwise disturb archeological resources on Federal lands without a valid Permit, they are in violation of ARPA (16 U.S.C. 470ee, ff, gg), the Antiquities Act (16 USC 433), and other statutes. They are subject to criminal and civil penalties, including forfeiture of personal property. ARPA and its regulations detail the requirements for obtaining a Permit.

Linda S said

at 12:24 pm on Dec 13, 2019

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.

Linda S said

at 12:26 pm on Jan 23, 2020

ok once again here is the response from San Fran NPS... as they hold the key, litterally

Linda S said

at 12:26 pm on Jan 23, 2020


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.


Linda S said

at 6:00 pm on Feb 7, 2020

so this is the fine i or anyone who digs or probes can be faced with.. i have great correspondence with NPS.. ill find a crack in the loop somewhere.

Section 6 of the statute describes the range of prohibited actions, including damage or defacement in addition to unpermitted excavation or removal. THIS IS WHAT NPS will charge me or any one digging will be charged with.. START A BOND FUND.

ARPA also substantially increased the penalties that can be levied against convicted violators. For a felony offense, first time offenders can be fined up to $20,000 and imprisoned for up to one year. Second time felony offenders can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned for up to 5 years. These criminal penalties were substantial increases from those set in the Antiquities Act of $500 and 90 days imprisonment. In addition, Section 7 of ARPA enables Federal or Indian authorities to prosecute violators using civil fines, either in conjunction with or independent of any criminal prosecution. Section 8 (b) of the statute allows the court or civil authority to use forfeiture of vehicles and equipment used in the violation of the statute as another means of punishment against convicted violator

JT said

at 4:35 pm on Mar 2, 2020

I just want to note that the top of her head is the shape of the giant polo field on the west side of the park. Which if a map is turned clockwise 90 degrees. The polo field is the head, crossed arms is Crossover Dr, and the Strawberry obviously Strawberry Hill as pointed out by others. Back to the verses which suggest "Giant Pole" giant polo field, and giant step in the direction of an object of Twains affection. The question is a giant step from where on the polo field? The center? The east end? Also how far is a step? As was seen in Boston a step can be the distant of five wharfs. Which equaled about .5 miles.

JT said

at 5:05 pm on Mar 2, 2020

Then again if the clues start on the east side and move west. Then I would presume that someone would need to search the west side of the polo field in between the field and the Golden Gate Angling & Casting Club. If his affection is to be translated as the Angel Fish & Aquarium Club that he formed in 1906 after losing three of his daughters.

Linda S said

at 4:44 pm on Apr 16, 2020

i think the dark leaf under the table is the turnabout for the trolly cars at the corner of Aquatic Park..

Linda S said

at 1:06 pm on Jun 4, 2020

HI ok i have been looking into this lady whom i now think is the image, Mary Tornich Janislawski the mother of Navigation, taking San Francisco to the Moon and Back. fascinating lady, but my issue im having is trying to find what ships her hubby Stanley Janislawski captained, as this fits and solves my Aquatic Park theory. i have over 800 pages of work on Mary.
any info would be great and again THANKS

Linda S said

at 9:47 am on Oct 19, 2020

hi yall, ok im posting this on behalf of another searcher.. Matt...he no longer lives in the area and wouldnt mind a little help if some one heads out that way...
Or if you wanna relay them that would be cool, I don't live there any more so wouldn't be pursuing it. My comments would be:
The asphalt walkway in some areas around the top of the stairs in underneath the surrounding fake rocks. It's likely to have been paved back when the treasure was buried.
This is a busy thoroughfare between two busy parts of Golden Gate Park, it is unlikely to be buried in the middle of the walkway. It would have drawn too much attention.
And probably most pertinently, when you're standing on the stairs looking up the railing (giant pole), the trees across the path and on top of the rocks are Sequoia trees, more commonly known to Californians as Giant Sequoias. The 'giant step' might refer to the rocky 'step' that the Sequoias are on top of. And that step is also certainly giant when compared to the steps of the staircase. The double meaning of 'giant' there would play nicely into the wordplay known throughout the book.
I did a little recon around the trees and there is a good 2-3 foot buffer of dirt, without grass or ground cover, around the trees. If I were to be the one getting a permit and digging, that's where I would be looking

Kia said

at 1:19 pm on Oct 19, 2020


I am of the same view, that it has to be somewhere around the tree rather than under the pavement, but I can appreciate both points of view. Before the lockdown, I was going to arrange a permit and a dig there and hope to do so once activities open back up. To be able to take out the asphalt though, I will have to get a contractor who will cut and put it back before they will allow that. Digging on the other sides of the tree is easier to get permitted, but nothing that is voluntary and involves a bunch of people is allowed right now. I hope to go up there one more time to pick the right direction in which to dig, besides under the pavement area. It really depends, in my view, on which of the Twain references is the right one. I am taking that as part of the "direction." Cheers!

Linda S said

at 1:31 pm on Oct 19, 2020

hi Kia, appreciate the feedback, Ill pass it on to Matt and good luck.
I am also awaiting for things to open back up. be safe, happy key searching

Linda S said

at 6:29 pm on Nov 2, 2020

REBUSES.. i think i found one in san fran.. i think she is mary janislowski, clock means time and table it cable car MARITIME CABLE CAR STOP.

Linda S said

at 11:12 am on Nov 30, 2020

went to the city took over 400 pictures, i met 2 of the rangers i have emailing for 3 years, handed them copies of the book, my new spot is going under construction, they will keep an eye out for casque and call me should they find something.. wow i finally gonna have them do digging for me.. check out the pic.. i know BP and JJP were with me on the search

Kia said

at 8:08 pm on Nov 30, 2020

Sounds awesome! I am going up there with a Segway on December 20, to have an easy way to re-check my solution markers quickly in the park, and safely with the various restrictions. I will see if any of the construction is near the spots where I want to dig. If you want to coordinate with me off line, I am happy to do that. I have the advantage of living only fifty miles away, in San Jose.

Linda S said

at 11:15 am on Dec 1, 2020

in in san jose too, by Oakridge mall, went there is was ruff, was videoing my solve and taped a car jacking, then went to the palace to see where my g grandfather did the first music from boston to san fran 1915 worlds fair. nothing but car windows smashed in and glass all over, I have never been worried before, so be safe. I would love to go again, just don't know when.
best way to get ahold of me.. good luck on the key searching.

Linda S said

at 1:20 pm on Mar 22, 2021

ok, the casque IS NOT AT THE ACORN WALL, it was a fence fixture and water line. i can now sleep after all these years..

Linda S said

at 11:29 am on Jun 7, 2021

Ok folks looks like SF parks is not considering opening permits till sept.. here the email info


SF Recreation and Park Department is currently not issuing permits for treasure hunt digs due to COVID19 staffing impact and we will evaluate restarting the permitting September 6th.

When we resume issuing permits, the permits applications that were submitted before the COVID shutdown will be issued first, and new application will be scheduled in the order received. Once we resume permitting digs, the link below will be opened back up for application submissions.


Below are our rules that will accompany your permit once issued and you get the first two permits free of charge.

Secret Treasure Hunt Permit Rules:
• Activity must be supervised by SF Rec & Parks Park Ranger
• You may only dig in the permit area
• 1 hole, 1-hour time limit per permit
• Probing poles are allowed up to 3.5 feet
• RPD reserves the right to limit or prohibit digging if it could damage wildlife, natural resources, irrigation lines or another park property
• Hand-digging only, no power tools permitted
• Hole may not exceed 2 feet in diameter, 3.5 feet deep
• Avoid dripline of trees
• Bring tarp to place sod / soil on top – none will be provided
• Bring tools – none will be provided
• Hole must be refilled and all turf must be replaced exactly as found
• No filming allowed
• You must bring a photo ID

Brian DeWitt

Linda S said

at 11:31 am on Jun 7, 2021

also if anyone wants to contact me im at
AP Rabbit hole san Francisco on face book.

just cause it says AP (aquatic park) doesn't mean I don't talk other cities, just this is my solve area.

Linda S said

at 7:10 pm on Aug 12, 2021

i think the clock in the image is the 2 sided clock on the pier, the clock as the same numbers, same 2 lttle feet and the vines even match.

Linda S said

at 7:12 pm on Aug 12, 2021

uploaded Clock on pier image

Linda S said

at 7:37 pm on Aug 12, 2021

37 degrees 48 mins 35 sec n
122.25.16 w

Linda S said

at 11:09 am on Oct 18, 2021

Hello fellow key searchers, we have made a pretty cool discovery in searching for the key.
we located 2 white porcelain dragons holding a pearl and 3 glass balls.
they appear to have been in the ground many years.
not sure if they are left from the 89 quake or someone placed this in my dig my spot.
but they a pretty cool find.
uploading image of the find.
called Our Find.

Flarish said

at 10:02 am on Apr 11, 2022

Hello Linda! Just found you from X-Marks the spot on on YouTube and wanted to know if you had found the Casque? and I am very interested in seeing what the Dragons looked like! Also I filed out a permit to dig, but I don't know who to get to review it. Do you think you could help?

Linda S said

at 10:52 am on Apr 11, 2022

hi and welcome to the search... thanks for reaching out.. no it was not the casque but an old fence post plate. congratulations on your permit and email me at lspaulding@fnf.com

Jim B said

at 9:01 pm on May 30, 2022

Hello. Looking at the blue shape at G3 on Image 1, it appears to resemble Aladdin’s lamp. Not sure if this has been mentioned before. Looking at the verse….
In jewel's direction
Is an object
Of Twain's attention
Leads to Twain….if you search his quotes on Aladdin you can find the following:
“ It{California} is the land where the fabled Aladdin's Lamp lies buried-and she {San Francisco} is the new Aladdin who shall seize it from its obscurity and summon the genie and command him to crown her with power and greatness and bring to her feet the hoarded treasures of the earth.”
Is it possible that the lamp image is in the jewel’s direction?
Thanks for listening.

Limey said

at 4:34 pm on Nov 11, 2022

Hello from the UK. If the stairway to the lake is the location area, maybe the “Giant step” is the platform in the middle of the stairs as mentioned to by Aaroncoastie, and the burial site could be/could’ve been either side of it. http://thesecret.pbworks.com/w/file/151057086/stairs_GGP.jpg
BTW Linda S, I like your Aquatic Park proposal, especially the “High posts are three” schooner C. A. Thayer - C.A.THAYer – ”From impossibly distant Cathay they had travelled,….”, p.18 in my copy of “The Secret”

Limey said

at 9:28 am on Nov 22, 2022

The “Ronald Reagan” face at I4 on the image grid maybe based on the outcrop of rock beside Morro Rock in Morro Bay CA. – a clue confirming California as the state.

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