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The Secret (a treasure hunt) / Image 02
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Image 02

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

General notes on Image 2



Image 2


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.

  • B3-B7 - There appear to be letters in the lion's mane, possibly spelling "NAVY WAY" or something similar.
  • C6 - The "birthmark" on the lion's forehead is almost certainly significant.
  • E8 - The number "80" appears in the lion's mane.
  • F5 - There may be something written in cursive across the lion's nose.
  • F5 to G5 - The "hourglass" shape formed by the black part of the lion's nose may be a reference to the capstan from the Maine.
  • F6 to H9 - This appears to be an African Fang mask, possibly modeled on the one on display in the Louvre Museum.
  • F9 - The number "36" (or possibly "436" or "+36") appears in the lion's mane.
  • G2 - The squiggles in the lion's mane may form a "33" turned sideways.
  • G3 - The squiggles here may form a "79" turned upside-down.
  • G7/8 - The forehead of the mask shows an outline of the Charleston harbor in South Carolina (see below).
  • G7 - Faint line, looks like a streched U
  • H1 - There appears to be a Christian cross hidden in the lion's mane, similar to the cross carved in the stonework in Image 3.
  • H6-H9/I6-I9 - Looks like possible arches
  • H9 - There's a interesting string draped over a stick.  Taken together, the stick and string resemble a pair of sunglasses, or a part of a boat mast
  • I2 to J5 - The arching pine (fir tree possibly?) branch could represent the curve of Highway 703 as it passes through Mt. Pleasant just east of Charleston. 
  • J2 - Golden pear.  (A possible reference to the Pearman bridge that once crossed the Cooper River from Charleston and connected to Highway 703.  The bridge was demolished in 2005.)
  • L2 - The flower is a daisy, the birth flower for April.
  • L7 - The sash across the woman's hips hangs in an odd shape that appears to represent the USS Amberjack (see below).
  • N4 - The pendant (or ornament?) is in the shape of Fort Sumter, which is located in the Charleston harbor (see below).
  • N5 - The tall pole and the short shadow in the middle of the "Fort Sumter face" form the long and short hands of an analog clock.  The indicated time of 4:00 indicates the month of April.  The long "nose" ends in a white tip, possibly making it a reference to White Point Garden.
  • O9 - The jewel is a diamond, the birth stone for April.  There appear to be two initials in the lower left corner, possibly "TS" or "TF."  There are also two white triangles that might represent something.
  • P9 - "JJP," the initials of the artist, John Jude Palencar.





Other Notes:

  • Because this image is linked to immigration from Africa, the place with the greatest historical significance would be Sullivan's Island, which was a major port for the slave trade carrying Africans to the New World.  According to Wikipedia, "Sullivan's Island was also the point of entry for approximately 40 percent of the enslaved Africans brought to British North America, and has been likened to Ellis Island in New York City, New York."
  • Sullivan's Island is also the setting for much of Edgar Allen Poe's short story "The Gold-Bug" (written in 1843).  Poe spent two years in the Charleston area when he was serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Moultrie between 1827 and 1829.  There is now a Poe Avenue that runs by the Fort Moultrie National Monument on Sullivan's Island.  The Charleston casque may be related in some way to "The Gold-Bug" or to some other writings by Poe, including "The Cask of Amontillado" (sometimes spelled "The Casque of Amontillado").
  • The woman with the wings presumably represents an African immigrant.  The butterfly could be based on a number of different species that have eye-like dots on their wings to confuse predators.  The butterfly imagery is mentioned on page 17, in the "New Passage" section of the book, where it says that the fairies from Africa "fluttered down, like a windfall of butterflies."
  • Several features of the painting (described below) seem to direct us to White Point Garden in downtown Charleston. This blog post gives a good overview of the monuments there.  This Imgur photo album gives more close-up pictures of the monuments and features.
  • April 2019 Update:  An article published in the Charleston Post and Courier on 4/22/19 says that there will be a dig in White Point Garden "early next month."  According to the director of the Charleston Parks Department, a team connected to Expedition Unknown will be digging "a small hole, about 2 feet by 2 feet."  The article doesn't give any specifics about the location of the hole or the reasoning behind the choice.  Stay tuned...




Image Matches

The pattern on the forehead of the mask shows a map of the Charleston, South Carolina area. The Charleston peninsula is visible in the middle, with Drum Island beside it.  Most of the major waterways are shown.


The narrow arch shown at the tip of the peninsula could be a representation of the major streets in that area.

The bend in the pine branch near the pear could represent the bend in Route 703 (Coleman Blvd) as it passes through Mt. Pleasant just east of Charleston.  To the southwest of this bend is Patriots Point, which is one of two departure points for ferries to Fort Sumter.


Prior to its demolition in 2005, the Silas N. Pearman Bridge would have connected at the upper left corner of this map, where Route 703 splits in half to form the on-ramp and off-ramp for the bridge.  The bridge passed over Drum Island and connected to the Charleston peninsula.

  In the shadows to the right of the mask there is a horizontal pole with a rope draped across it.  The combination resembles a pair of sunglasses, but no one has suggested any way that sunglasses might tie in to a solution.


  The rope and pole is more likely to be a hint toward the line in Verse 6 about a "bar that binds."  The pole would be the bar and the rope would be what gets bound.

  The hanging object with a long, thin nose like a flagpole appears to be a representation of Fort Sumter, which has a distinctive five-sided shape.  The military connection might explain the star and stripes.


  The two lines that go to the "nose" of the pendant may represent the two ferry routes that serve the island, leaving from Liberty Square in Charleston and Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant.


  Note that the shadow from the nose (or flagpole) of the pendant ends in a white point.  This might be a hint that we should focus our attention on White Point Garden, a park in downtown Charleston.

  The sash hanging from the woman's bikini top is a reasonable representation of the shape of White Point Garden, located at the tip of the Charleston peninsula.

  The sash wrapped across the woman's hips makes a very unusual and unlikely shape where it hangs.  If we flip the image vertically though, we can see that it actualy shows a remarkably clear profile of a ship slicing through the waves.


  Given its flat bow and the high conning tower, the ship appears to be a WWII-era Gato-class submarine.  These ships were originally built with a smooth wall of armor plating, called a "fairwater," around the conning tower and periscope.  The fairwaters proved to be too easily seen by enemies, though, so later ships were built without them and the early ships were retrofitted to have them removed.


  The fact that the shape in Image 2 shows a tall fairwater on this submarine means that this is almost certainly the USS Amberjack (SS-219).  The Amberjack (shown in a photo at upper right and in a painting below that) was commissioned in June of 1942 and was sunk in February of 1943, before there was a chance for the fairwater to be removed.


  The inclusion of this shape in Image 2 is highly significant because White Point Garden includes a memorial to the USS Amberjack.

  The patterns and circles in the wing behind the woman form an interesting match for a loggerhead sea turtle.  These turtles are thought to live up to 70 years and can grow to be 350 pounds.  They visit the Atlantic coastline of southeastern U.S., from Florida to North Carolina, to lay eggs. 


  The species was declared threatened in 1978 and South Carolina has a conservation program in place to protect it.  (Click on image at right to see comparison in more detail.)

  Two of the dots on the butterfly's wings are dark rings with white centers.  A similar color pattern can be found in White Point Garden, where the cannons are painted black and the barrels are filled with white plaster.


  These cannons could be the "arms extended" that are mentioned in Verse 6.

Charleston - White Point Garden: Seven-inch banded Brooks rifle

  Most of the larger circles on the butterfly's wings contain smaller circles (as discussed above).


  One circle by the woman's head, however, contains a very clear square.  And the square is black, suggesting an opening or square-shaped hole.

  A line in Verse 6 mentions the "long palm's shadow."  The dual meaning of "palm" appears to be emphasized in this image by the crossed palms of the woman's hands that form the shadow of a palm tree on her chest.  (Click on image for close-up.)



The palm shape in Image 2 and the mention of "palm" in Verse 6 could both just be general hints toward South Carolina.  According to Wikipedia, "The palmetto has been a symbol for South Carolina since the American Revolutionary War when it was used to build a fort on Sullivan's Island that withstood British attack. The palmetto tree appears on the first symbol of the state, the seal created in 1777. It was officially named the state tree in 1939.  It is a very popular state symbol." The South Carolina state flag (shown at right) also features a single palmetto under a crescent moon. 


Alternatively, the palm references could be a hint toward a specific palm tree in or near White Point Garden.

  There appears to be a Christian cross in the lion's mane. This could represent Church Street, which ends at White Point Garden.  To see the arrangement of streets in the area, visit our White Point Garden landmarks page.

  The diamond in the lower right corner appears to have some white lettering.  Possibilities include 75, 7S, TS, and 32 (if turned upside down).


  The jewel also has two white triangles that don't seem to match the pattern of that facets.  (That is, the tips of those two white triangles do not point in toward the center.)  The triangles could be a hint toward the triangular Hobson monument at the corner of Murray and King in White Point Garden.  (See our White Point Garden Landmarks page for more information.) 


It's possible, in fact, that the whole jewel is meant to be a map corresponding to the rectangular map of White Point Garden.  If the larger of the two triangles represents the Hobson monument (#25 on the map at right) then the smaller narrower triangle appears to be pointing at a spot just a little bit inwards from the right edge of the rectangle.  That spot would correspond with a location just slightly west of the Maine capstan monument (#8 on the map at right) as proposed on the Image 2 Verse 6 Solution page.


  The "birthmark" on the forehead of the lion is almost certainly significant, but no one has managed to find a solid match for the outline so far.


  The light/dark contrast forming the shapes seems very similar to the relief sculptures on the base of the Fort Sumter monument in White Point Garden.



Latitude / Longitude Hints

There's a "33" in the lion's mane at middle-left.

Rotated for clarity:

This number initially appears to be a "36," but it could possibly be a "32" with the "2" turned upside-down.  There also seems to be a "5" formed using the upper part of the "3," and to the left of that there is either a "+" or a "4."  This is (obviously) a difficult number to interpret.

There's an upside-down "79" close to the lion's whiskers.
Rotated for clarity:
There's an "80" to the right of the lion's eyes.  
The tip of the Charleston peninsula is located at 32.8 degrees north and 79.9 degrees west.  A range of 79 to 80 degrees for longitude would make sense, but 33 degrees only begins around 20 miles further north and 36 degrees would put one up around the middle of North Carolina.  It therefore seems more likely that the "36" is actually a "32" with the second digit turned upside-down.  That would create a range of 32 to 33 degrees of latitude, which works for Charleston.  The upside-down "2" may have some other significance in the puzzle.



Questions, questions, questions...

  • What is the symbolism of the golden pear?
  • Why is it on the branch of some conifer?
  • Is the arching shape of the branch significant?




Proposed solutions:




How to obtain permission for attempted recovery




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Comments (Show all 58)

Odeyin said

at 4:34 pm on Jun 12, 2016

so maybe we can orient the shadow of the tree to the clock and get a direction of where the casque is buried..maybe. (ie if we take 12-oclock to be north.

That Guy said

at 12:22 am on Jun 13, 2016

Yeah i may be going there in a few weeks i will take photos (BTW i love this group of people who love the hunt and the group)

Nathan Leachman said

at 12:33 am on Jun 13, 2016

Just give me the word on where to look and I'll do it, as I am on Dialysis and have to travel from my home in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina to King Street, Charleston, South Carolina...3 days a week.

So just let me know and give me an idea to look and take pictures and I will most certaintly do it.

Oregonian said

at 7:03 am on Jun 13, 2016

Thanks for the offer! I've listed some of the photos we still need on our "To Do" page. It would be great to complete that collection for the White Point Garden Landmarks page.

dellucc said

at 10:13 pm on Jul 19, 2016

I took another look at what you were talking about and posted within "It looks like this". I do believe her feet are the same shape as Charlestons peninsula.

dellucc said

at 2:23 am on Jul 25, 2016

As a practicing painter, I see several anomalies that should not be there. There is a water mark at the top tip of the nostril on the LIONs right. The outline on the wings are wrong, a frayed edge here and a wiggle there, they are deliberate. After some study, I am convinced the lions forehead is a depiction of a caved-in fracture. I have noticed from the two solved paintings, that the areas surrounded with blue are only clues to the fairy folk and no blue surrounds where the treasure should lie. I am still not completely convinced we are using the correct verse. Oh yes, there is an Isle of Palms here in SC, you know "beside the long palm's shadow".

dellucc said

at 11:47 am on Jul 26, 2016

Here in Charleston, We have a lot of Oyster roasts and oyster festivals. The shells are recycled for driveways, paths and beach erosion. I did take a picture, of where the monument sits, there is no base, the pedestal sits directly on the path which winds all through White Point Garden. The paths need refurbishing so mostly sand is showing. I am attempting to reach the Parks and Recreation dept to obtain information, old maps and the big question of where the Capstan is.

dellucc said

at 11:55 am on Jul 26, 2016

diy, Board of Architectural view (BAR) was created by the city council in 1931. I know hwy 17 falls under their jurisdiction but I do not know how far it extends on the battery. Does it stop on White gardens side of the road or does it include the wall?

NikolaTesla said

at 11:37 am on Aug 12, 2016

The fairy's wings are the portrayal of what long palms shadow it refers to. there is a palm tree in between two cannons near the battery. The two dots on the fairy's wings have the shadow of the palm tree in between them. Just something I noticed, hope it helps a little.

NikolaTesla said

at 7:36 pm on Aug 15, 2016

I think the casque is buried at the way marker on the battery (buried in the sand below it). First off the palm tree I explained before, at 4:00 (time shown in the picture) it's shadow points towards the way marker. The statue of two men at white point, have extended hands. The marker lines right up in between them. "Below the bat that binds" also points to the battery. The area is also sand as it specifies. The rest of the verses also point towards White Point. Just a theory.

NikolaTesla said

at 7:37 pm on Aug 15, 2016


Dellucc said

at 1:54 pm on Aug 22, 2016

I have a Question? Mr. Preiss buried the casques around 1983, correct? He had to scot locations and clues. This would have taken quite a while. He had to commission 12 paintings, these are not done in a day, maybe one a month at best. He also had to publish the book. How far back should we be looking for the clues?

Sorry, paste got srambled

bf5man said

at 2:17 pm on Aug 22, 2016

This article ( http://kspot.org/trove/ct_111682b1.jpg ) says that he hid the casques over several months. It would be reasonable to think he hid them early 1981 to early 1982. That's what I personnaly assume.

Oregonian said

at 3:24 pm on Aug 22, 2016

The book had a publication date of January 1, 1982, so the casques must have been hidden before that.

The Chicago Tribune article published in November 1982 said that the entire book project started "more than three years ago," but that the treasure hunt component was "more or less an afterthought." My guess is that most of the casques were hidden in 1981, but it's possible that a few were hidden in 1980.

Dellucc said

at 3:10 pm on Aug 22, 2016

Noticed another typo. Paintings would have taken 1 month each, at the least. This would set us back to end of 1970 to first of 1980.

Dellucc said

at 3:20 pm on Aug 22, 2016

cobble stones, in the fairy wings, could be the most famous cobbled stone street in Charleston. 8 Chalmer street is the location of the Old Slave Mart Museum which is also the only standing slave mart. This would ty together both cobble stones, Lion, slave woman, and the mask.

Dellucc said

at 6:54 pm on Aug 22, 2016

I found a picture of the raft torpedo. I will have to scan it before posting. Never done that before. Bear with me, coming soon.

That Guy said

at 3:51 pm on Jan 17, 2017

I dont know if the is useful but i was looking into lions noses and a black nose no spots is a old adult aka 8 years roughly

FlippinArkansas said

at 5:11 pm on Feb 24, 2017

The mask is possibly a reference to Haiti. From Verse 6, the line "Freedom at the birth of a century" could refer to the Haitian Revolution at the turn of the 19th century. The slave owners of Charleston were consumed with fears that the slave revolt would reach their shores. Several men were hanged in 1822 for an alleged plot to do just such a thing. One of them was Denmark Vesey, whose portrait was commissioned in 1976 and hung in the Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, though with much controversy.

Amy said

at 8:49 pm on Feb 5, 2018

Does anyone else see a face around f9? The eyes are under the 36 of the mane. It is almost like a face from a statue.

Weeping Angel said

at 12:36 am on Feb 6, 2018

Yes, I see it too. It looks like a mermaid. The body curls into a U shape with the tail at the end. There is a famous mermaid legend of Charleston. https://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/two-little-known-charleston-legends-that-time-has-nearly-forgotten/Content?oid=5544643
It centers around a house on the corner of Broad and King streets and ties into people gaining freedom.

Mel said

at 11:43 pm on Feb 5, 2018

If you read the first part of the book, "The Tale Simply Told" and "The Passage to the New World" rather than just skipping to the pictures and verses, you will find that the "Fair People" that Preiss was referring to was the African Tree Fairies, which is depicted here with the lion, African mask, and Tree Fairy. There is even a map with the different races of "Fair People" and where they came from. The book also says where those races settled in the new world.

Ameripicks said

at 9:47 pm on Feb 13, 2018

Hey Mel! I see you are reading the book. There is definitely extra clues in there to be found. Good job.
I just wanted to make a comment about the the Birthmark on the lions forehead. I just see a chickens face pretty clear. It looks like it is down in a fighting position with its feathers ruffled up. Positioned like its preparing to fight. Lol. Yea its like looking at a cloud. Everybody sees something different. I just think it is the Carolina Gamecock being represented. See ya Mel...

Odeyin said

at 11:08 am on Apr 30, 2018

The "A" at C8 is almost certainly meant to be an A. It is made in a very distinctive way that Palencar writes his A's. (The cross from the bottom of the right leg) I will upload the example I have later today.

amy sabel said

at 9:04 am on May 2, 2018

Hi, All I'm not sure if I missed the boat, or if someone has already mentioned this but I have taken notice to the jewel itself in the painting. I have noticed the 7f or Lf? in the jewel and a white triangular in the jewel it looks like the monument at the corner of Murray and King in white point garden, the jewel looks like a map? hopefully this helpful??

Oregonian said

at 10:03 am on May 2, 2018

Great observations! I've added them into the page. I think the white text is likely to be the number "32" turned upside down, which would make it a hint toward the latitude.

Kang said

at 9:34 am on May 3, 2018

Great find Amy! Can I ask a follow up question? You mention that you think certain features of the jewel may be a map. Can you elaborate on that thought? What specifically do you think may be depicted? Certain icons in the puzzles are thought by some to be hidden representations of something or an area (like a little map). Can you describe what you think it's a map of and how? (If correct, it may be an important clue). Thanks!

amy sabel said

at 8:31 am on May 6, 2018

Hi Kang, I thought that the highlights of the facets were points of interest, like a map. I wasn't exactly sure but then I came across Columbia SC and the State house, 1100 Gervais st, Colubia SC and it is identical to the jewel shape in painting, maybe just another reference to the puzzle. I tried loading to the pics on here but it comes up blank from google maps I dont know how to fix or delete? However it still doesn't satisfy me, with the white triangle? I had noticed the hair pin too, like JulieM mentioned, I feel the bobbie pin is the area to search? it all leads to white point garden? and the Hunley monument, it looks to me like the symbol of serpent and staff. but it also points to G9--10 possibly, (the stick with winding twig,(looks like sunglasses)...I am still looking and researching, my only ah ha moment was the the state house at this time, hopefully this clears up your question?

JulieM said

at 12:35 pm on May 6, 2018

Amy, we seem to be in tune. If you follow the line of the Bobby pin around the left eye of the mask it leads to a little rectangle which happens to align directly above the jewel. Then there is Marion Square in Charleston which also has the shape of the jewel and lies between king and meeting.

JulieM said

at 2:08 pm on May 3, 2018

Don’t know if previously mentioned, but at G7 within the African mask is “Bobby pin”, or long staple, an upside down long U. I looked at a map of Charleston and there are two streets King and Meeting that run parallel down to White point. King flanks the park and meeting intersects at item 17 on the white point garden map above.

JulieM said

at 2:30 pm on May 3, 2018

#17 is the Hunley Monument, along each of the thin sides are ? Fish?. If you turn the fish upside down it resemble the mist below the woman’s feet

amy sabel said

at 8:53 am on May 6, 2018

Another mention possibly in the wings of the butterfly, right wing specifically, I, J-8-9 to be looks like a profile of nude bust in the white area? Not sure if it means anything. One more thing, if you look at Columbia are the interstates 20, 77, 26, kinda take on the shape of the whole butterfly

JulieM said

at 11:34 am on May 6, 2018

I see the woman, her back is the edge of the wing, I see her semi reclining, almost sitting on that twig. Also see what you mean about 20, 77, 26 being similar to a butterfly wing, and the jewel, but isn’t Columbia pretty far from white point?

RRPerry said

at 10:31 pm on Jul 25, 2021

Ashley, Cooper and Wando rivers make up the majority of the outline of the lion's face in S.C.

RRPerry said

at 10:23 am on Jul 26, 2021

There is an SC next to the right side of the lion's ear (right facing). In comments or clues someone mentions seeing a U shape, which is on the left side of the same ear. I can't make out what is between the U and the SC, but there seems to be something.

Limey said

at 1:33 pm on Dec 23, 2022

Is that a turtle in the fairy’s top right hand wing at I6 in the image 2 grid? http://thesecret.pbworks.com/w/file/151533516/image2_turtle.jpg

Oregonian said

at 7:04 pm on Dec 26, 2022

I think you may be right!

I've added your comparison to the page.

Oregonian said

at 12:10 pm on Dec 27, 2022

It's hard to really comprehend the size of those creatures until you see one beside a human: https://twitter.com/fasc1nate/status/1607635525556486145

Limey said

at 7:52 am on Jan 1, 2023

Thanks Oregonian, yes I thought that it may be a reference to the sea turtle nesting areas of South Carolina.
Happy New Year to everyone still searching for the answers to these remaining puzzles - let's nail another one this year!

Limey said

at 2:30 pm on Jan 4, 2023

The fairy’s bikini top looks like it has an arrow pointing to the south east corner of the WPG shaped tassel, I think this is indicating where in the garden we need to be. http://thesecret.pbworks.com/w/file/151636542/Image_02_WPG_arrow.jpg
I have composed my solve idea for image 02 verse 06 in detail and uploaded it here. http://thesecret.pbworks.com/w/file/151636545/Verse06_Limey%27s_solve.docx

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